Recipe Round-Up, Pillsbury edition

As of yesterday, it’s been exactly one week since I moved to Baltimore. I’ve spent more money outfitting this place and buying food than I care to admit, but I figure, since it’s the first week, that it’ll settle down next week and I won’t want to go out to the stores so much. It’s still a full two weeks until classes start. Not sure what I’m going to do with myself, BUT I do have one idea.

My roommate moved in on Tuesday and as she doesn’t cook, looks like I’m going to be feeding both of us. I think this would not be the best time to mention that I am not an A-class chef.

Thanks to websites like Pillsbury and Kraft Foods, even a beginning cook like myself can make dinner as special a treat as dessert.

“Flaky biscuits top these veggie-packed pot pies. The individual servings are a nice change from passing hot pie pans or casserole dishes at the table.” – Pillsbury

“Do stuffed peppers one better by nestling them in delicious flaky biscuits.” – Pillsbury

 

“A Cornish hen, roasted to perfection with an apple-scented glaze, is fancy enough for a special occasion, but easy enough for a simple dinner for two.” – Pillsbury

“Grandma may not be ready to reveal her Italian-sausage-and-peppers recipe, so make this smart version instead—a simple but bold twist on the classic.” – Kraft Foods

“Pasta? Check. Chicken? Check. Cheese? You bet. All you need is a single pot to turn these on-hand ingredients into a veggieful main that can be part of a smart eating plan.” – Kraft Foods

And that’s our round-up for today. Stay tuned for next week’s recipe post! – Niki

 

Cookie mix cookies

 

In case you hadn’t heard, I’ve moved to Baltimore. I’m still adjusting to life here, like figuring out the grocery store (I went on Monday and got lost in the aisles of stuff. I think I need to determine a meal plan. Anyone got ideas on that? TO PINTEREST) and how far I can walk without dropping dead of heat exhaustion.

Also, I was supposed to move into a building with a Dunkin Donuts, and I would like to say:

WHY ISN’T IT OPEN YET?

It’s killing me not to be able to go downstairs and grab a Coolatta or a box of munchkins. Not to mention the sausage biscuits! Darn you, Varsity at UB. Getting my hopes up with advertised Dunkin’ Donuts and then not providing.

Moving into a brand-new kitchen means starting completely over. I have no spices, no flour, no sugar and definitely no butter. It’s a sad time when I think about all things that I want to bake and I can’t go around the corner to the grocery store whenever I feel like it. I have my car tucked away in a garage, the grocery store is forever away and oh yeah, I don’t have a job that pays the bills.

MY LIFE.

So I found this cookie mix at the store, and since I’ve never really used them (cookies mixes, I mean), I threw caution to the wind and purchased the chocolate chunk version. I ended up with about a dozen light, cake-like cookies. Yum.

Betty Crocker Cookie Mix Cookies

Ingredients
1 package of cake mix (I used the chocolate chunk because I am in DESPERATE need of chocolate)
1 egg
1/4 C of natural, unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp of milk (I used coconut)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

3. Add in the cookie mix a little bit at a time, making sure it’s thoroughly absorbed.

4. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for nine minutes. The cookies will be puffy and shiny on top, but evenly set.

5. Carefully remove from the pan and let cool on a rack before munching down.

Makes a dozen or more cookies, depending on how big you make them.

Fish Custard Fudge

Ah, Bakers Anonymous family, you know about Doctor Who, don’t you? While I didn’t grow up watching it on television like my father, I’d heard the wonderful stories of the man with the blue box and even watched a taped movie or two.

Sadly, I wasn’t much interested in the Doctor when I was younger, but when we heard that the show was coming back to television after a decade and a half absence, my siblings and I were very excited.

I mean, seriously. What kid doesn’t love new television shows? And then we watched it.

Blown. Away.

And we’ve been watching ever since. I became particularly obsessed with the David Tennant doctor ’cause, well, he’s freakin’ awesome. Also, I loved the love story between the Doctor and Rose. Ah, romance. And then the Doctor died.

Boo.

But then there was Matt Smith! And we were all like, eh, Matt Smith. But then he turned out to be pretty cool. He wore a fez!

And after watching the below episode of Doctor Who (featuring a recently regenerated Doctor), I couldn’t get fish custard out of my head. None of the previous episodes had ever really focused on food.

So this was a pleasant surprise. And it made me want to do something with it.

And then, I promptly forgot about it, until I came across a certain seller on Etsy offering up “fish custard” fudge. Uh, yes please? After a search for a fish custard fudge recipe came up fruitless, yielding only this really cool post for fish stick cookies from Bakingdom, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Besides, what else could I give my daddy for Father’s Day but Doctor Who fudge?

Fish Custard Fudge

Based on a recipe from Kraft Recipes.

Ingredients
8 oz. of white chocolate (I ended up using 11 oz of white chocolate)
1/2 C butter
1/3 C water
1 3.9 oz package of French Vanilla pudding
3 C powdered sugar
5 oz bag of Swedish Fish

Directions
1. Chop your Swedish Fish to bits. For what I knew I’d be mixing inside the fudge, I tried to make the pieces as small as possible. To top off the fudge, I cut a fish into three pieces.

2. Line an 8×8 pan with foil. I ended up using a larger pan, but that just means thinner fudge.

3. Microwave half of the chocolate, six tbsp. butter and water in large microwaveable bowl until butter is melted; stir. It took about a minute, minute and a half for me.

4. Add dry pudding mix. Stir two minutes.

5. Add in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. After the second cup, I added in the Swedish fish bits. Mixing in the third cup of powdered sugar might be tough; it’s okay if you don’t use it all.

6. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

The next step is only necessary if you want to top your fudge with extra chocolate. Since white chocolate is very temperamental, use at your own discretion. If you don’t want the chocolate, go straight to decorating with fish parts! 

7. Microwave remaining chocolate squares and butter until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate until chocolate is thoroughly mixed in. Spread over pudding mixture.

8. Press the Swedish Fish parts into the top of the fudge. I was able to fit six parts across to four rows.

9. Refrigerate until just firm. Using the fish pieces as your cutting guideline, cut out 24 pieces. If you are using a smaller pan, you may have less. Keep refrigerated. To serve, let come to room temperature.

This fudge is light and fluffy, like a marshmallow, but still thick enough to provide you with a solid bite.

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Oh, Bakers Anonymous family, things are getting crazier than ever here. Remember late last year when I got it into my head that I would start doing dinner bakes? And then I promptly stopped doing them?

Yeah. I don’t really remember it either.

But that’s about to change! Starting this very day, every last week of the month, Bakers Anonymous will feature a different dinner bake. In my old, wizened age, I’ve realized that one cannot always eat brownies, cookies or cake, despite desperate attempts to do so.

I ate pizza instead.

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Originally based on this recipe from Pillsbury.

Ingredients
1 tube of Pillsbury’s Grands! Flaky Biscuits (do NOT use the Homestyle butter biscuits)
1/2 to 1 C of pasta or pizza sauce (Prego’s chunky garden sauce with mushrooms and peppers)
1 bag of part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 package of sliced pepperoni (or any other toppings you want)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
2. Pop open the can of biscuits. There are eight to a container. I was able to place four to a sheet.
3. Spread out each biscuit using your hands or a rolling pin. Press into a five to six-inch circle, depending on how thin you want your crust and the desired size of your pizzas.
4. Spread tablespoons or more of the sauce on each pizza.
5. Top with as much cheese as you want.
6. Place your toppings on the pizza. I fit five pepperoni slices to each.
7. Bake in the oven for about seven minutes (my oven was very hot, so it baked faster. You might have to bake for longer, up to fifteen minutes).
8. Cool the pizzas slightly before removing from the pan.

Makes up to eight pizzas.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut

“Pride and Prejudice.”

A cup of hot cocoa.

Chocolate chip cookies.

Pink plaid, fur-lined moccasins.

Some days you just want the classics.

It’s going be one of those weeks, and coupled with the fact  it’s cold outside (oh, the fickle heart of April), it’s time to heat up the oven. After rummaging through my cabinets and examining my taste buds, it all came down to the leftovers – milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and of course, coconut. These cookies have a slightly soft center with crunchy and chewy edges.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut

(Original recipe from 101 Things to do with a Cake Mix)

Ingredients:
1 box of yellow cake mix
1/2 C butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
3/4 C milk chocolate chips
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 C flaked coconut

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the eggs, vanilla and butter. Add in half of the cake mix.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips and coconut, making sure that all areas of the batter are reached.
4. Add in the rest of the cake mix. The dough will be stiff and chocolate chips might come loose.
5. Roll one tablespoonful of dough into a ball. This will secure the chocolate chips in the cookie and ensure perfectly round cookies. Bake for 11 minutes. The bottoms will be evenly browned.
6. Cool on tray for one minute before removing to a cooling rack.

Makes three dozen cookies.