Puppy Chow Cookies

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowWords were deleted here, lots of words.  Words about how much my life has changed in the past year, words about disappointment, and words about loneliness.  These words are not for sharing here, however.  They are meant to be shared in conversations with friends whether on the phone or in person.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowOver the past few days I have been fortunate enough to share these words with people who matter in my life and it has given me clarity.  Not clarity in the sense that my feelings have lessened, but clarity that I am alright and I am not alone.  When I was 24 I got a tattoo on my wrist because I was high on life and wanted to memorialize those feelings.  In all the wisdom of my 24-year-old-self, I knew that this particular season of my life would not last forever.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowWhere is my 24-year-old wisdom now?  When is my 30-year-old lady wisdom going to kick in?  My proper, adult, lady-self recognizes the importance of spending money on proper and classic shoes.  My proper, adult, lady-self takes pride in having a savings account.  Yet, I’m having trouble remembering that life comes in phases, seasons even, and this too will pass.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowMy hope is that the next season will be one of simplicity.  There are plenty of ways to improve and simply my life and add more purpose and grace.  Lofty goals, yes, but entering a new decade brings with it some lofty expectations.

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowEnough of this.  Let’s talk decadence and deliciousness.  Let’s talk looking for a simple, easy recipe and that somehow turning it into dipped chocolate and powdered sugar all over the kitchen!  Puppy chow is one of my favorite treats and I don’t make it often because it’s my kryptonite; I just can’t stop.  I gave away all these cookies within 4 hours of making them as necessity, they’re that good.  The peanut butter cookie is flavorful and crispy, the chocolate rich, and the powdered sugar sweet.  This batch makes a bounty, so get ready to share!  I’m serious about these cookies, my 24-year-old-self says make them and eat them now, she is wise!

puppy chow cookies | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Pulled Salsa Chicken

Print the Recipe!

Puppy Chow Cookies
Adapted from Cookies and Cups
Yield – 5-6 dozen cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup flour

20 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (2 bags)
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter, this one if you’re feeling naughty
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups powdered sugar

  1. Cookies – Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Add the butter and peanut butter to the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.  Beat for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy.  Beat in both sugars until well combined.  Add the egg, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, beat until pale yellow.  Scrape the bowl as needed.
  3. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
  4. Use a 1-tablespoon scoop to portion the dough.  Flatten each round of dough with the bottom of a floured glass.
  5. Bake for 11 minutes and then let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Coating – Add the chocolate, peanut butter, and butter to the bowl of a double boiler.  Heat and stir gently until everything is melted.  Place the powdered sugar in separate bowl.
  7. Place your wire racks over paper towel or foil or something, things are about to get messy.
  8. Dip each cookie in the chocolate mixture using a fork and shake off excess chocolate.  Immediately drop the chocolate covered cookie in powdered sugar and toss to coat.  Place on the wire rack to dry.  Repeat for the rest of the cookies.
  9. If desired, once all the cookies are coated, give them a second dunking in the powdered sugar, this really creates a nicely covered outside.
  10. Store in an airtight container and serve with napkins, these are delicious but messy!puppy chow cookies | pale yellow
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Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowHappy Easter!  I hope everyone had a joyous holiday.  My Easter was spent in Brooklyn like the good old days; St. Savior, a rejuvenating and wet mass, and brunch at a local favorite.  On my stroll back to the car I stumbled into a bookstore to look for a book I’ve been thinking about, Notes from a Blue Bike; I want to live a more purposeful life!  However, the book wasn’t at the bookstore, so I bought a different book, Ample Hills.

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowAnd let  me tell you, this book of ice cream recipes is going to change my life and then your life!  Ample Hills is a fantastic, artisanal creamery in Brooklyn.  As much as that sentence kills me, it’s a true delight.  Now I can make my own artisanal delights here in Queens, the peninsula better watch out, this is some good stuff!

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowThis salad is also some good stuff.  As you all should know by now, I rarely make the same recipe twice and I’ve made this two times in the past month.  It’s a perfect salad for lunch because it’s tasty warm or cold.  Plus, it fairly healthful and easy to throw together.  Using pre-packaged broccoli slaw is totally the way to go.

buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellowIf you want a salad that is hearty, just a little bit spicy, easy for quick lunch or dinner, this is the recipe for you!  Trust me, you’ll like it.buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellow

Print the Recipe!

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

Yield – 5-6 servings

1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup hot sauce, Franks
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
12 ounces broccoli slaw
4 green onions, finely chopped

  1. Quinoa – Add the water and quinoa to a small saucepan and allow to simmer until all the water is absorbed.  Stir occasionally.
  2. Chicken – Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and saute in a medium saucepan in a little olive oil until cooked through.
  3. Dressing – In a small bowl whisk together the oil, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, celery salt, salt, and smoke paprika.  Stir half of the dressing into the cooked chicken and stir.
  4. Assembly – Add the quinoa, broccoli slaw, and half of the chopped green onions to the pot with the chicken.  Stir to combine and add the rest of the dressing.
  5. Serve warm or cold.buffalo chicken quinoa salad | pale yellow

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What I Learned This Week #28

paleyellow.netWhat I Learned This Week:

  • Sat. 4/12 – If I’m going for a walk on the beach I now need sunblock.
  • Sun. 4/13 - Loving the reaction of the Internet over Joffrey.  So glad I read the books first!
  • Mon. 4/14 - I cry an embarrassing amount during the series finales of TV shows.  I’m looking at you Dawson’s Creek.
  • Tues. 4/15 – Chinese food after doing laundry in the rain can make a crappy day infinitely better.
  • Wed. 4/16 – Never underestimate the power of a binkie, music & lights on a play mat, and a fresh bottle.  The twins are too adorable to handle!
  • Thurs. 4/17 – I don’t have the tools required to put together my bike and even I did, I can’t figure out how.
  • Fri. 4/18 - The oldest living female baboon is 35 and lives in the Prospect Park Zoo.

Around the Internets:

  • Time to get crafty!  I love this idea for my kitchen.
  • It’s grill season; a perfect dessert or appetizer.
  • Love, love, love!  I need a reason to host this type of party.
  • One way to use up my large jar of tahini in the most sophisticated of ways.

paleyellow.netOne Year Ago – Strawberry Shortcake Whoopie Pies

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Special Blondies with Brown Butter, Chocolate Chips, and Marcona Almonds

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowHere is a fact to blow your mind: 90% of my posts are written from my bed.  When I had roommates it made sense to work in my bedroom because that was my quiet space.  I could also be alone and get into my head for all these riveting words.  Now that I live alone I spend much less time in my bedroom and much more time in the living room.  My little slanted roof living room is my downfall however.  I just don’t have strong focus in there.  True story.

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowMind not blown?  Here is another fact: Whole Foods may possibly be the devil.  I  said it.  They built a beautiful Whole Foods in Brooklyn next to my favorite derelict house with a lovely parking lot and then I moved away.  Which is probably a good way to save my bank account.  However, I find myself stopping in Whole Foods when I’m in Park Slope and spend a ton of money.  And this is not for my regular groceries, this is my “extra” purchases.  You know, those special foods you just have to have.

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowWhat’s the point?  Marcona almonds are one of those special purchases.  Obviously I couldn’t just walk into Whole Foods to get almonds, I need nutritional yeast, some hot food for dinner, and another $30 worth of food.  Marcona almonds are totally worth it, totally!  I first tried marcona almonds at the Iberian Pig in Atlanta and was blown away by how creamy and flavorful these almonds wore, this is not your regular almond!

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowWhen I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker, I knew I wanted to make the blondies as an excuse to buy marcona almonds.  Marcona almonds require a specialty store, so Whole Foods it was; the story comes full circle.  The blondies are worth the extra trip and money; they are sweet, chewy, moist, nutty from the brown butter, and super special from the bittersweet chocolate chips and marcona almonds.  These aren’t the blondies you serve to your drunk friends; these are the blondies you sit and savor!

special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Grasshopper Pie

Print the Recipe!

Special Blondies | Blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 16 pieces

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup cashew or almond butter (mine was unlabeled)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup marcona almonds
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
sprinkling of sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F and grease an 8×8” pan with shortening.  Cut parchment paper to fit in the pan and overlap the sides.  Grease the parchment paper as well.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and cook until brown and nutty, whisking the whole time.  Let cool for about 5 minutes before proceeding.
  3. Whisk in the brown sugar and then the eggs one at a time.  Add the cashew butter, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder, whisk to combine.
  4. Add the flour, three-fourth’s of the almonds and three-fourth’s of the chocolate chips.  Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.  Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  5. Place the remaining almonds and chocolate chips neatly on top.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until just browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack and then cut into pieces.special blondies with brown butter, chocolate chips, and marcona almonds | pale yellow

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Root Beer Float Cupcakes

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou what’s super condescending?  When you’re watching Netflix and after three episodes it asks you if you’re still watching.  Obviously, I’m still watching!  If I wasn’t walking I would walk away or press pause.  Stop judging me Netflix!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what’s more annoying than Netflix being condescending?  The rain.  Itt’s been raining for the past 24 hours, and there is really nothing better to do than watch TV.  April showers are certainly roaring along, at least it’s not snowing here like in Michigan…

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowYou know what is not annoying?  A Song of Ice and Fire!  ** Spoilers ** I’m finally reading book 5; Joffrey is dead, Jon Snow, Bran, & Tyrion are back in the picture, and I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that everyone is going to die.  My only wish is that Arya and Sansa would get their names back.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowAnyway, these cupcakes were eaten on a sunny, non-condescending day, a day when Ruth and Chelsea came to visit.  We were able to do my favorite thing and go for a little walk on the beach. There was also a lot of eating.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowChelsea’s birthday was a weeks prior, so it was completely appropriate to celebrate with cupcakes of her choosing.  Root beer float cupcakes have been on my Pinterest board for awhile, so I was excited to make them.  All I needed was a little root beer extract.  I’m thrilled by the way the frosting came out.  The cupcakes are dark like root beer, the root beer flavored-frosting is on the outside to look like foam, and the plain frosting is in the middle to look like whipped cream.  The cupcakes really taste like a root beer float; all creamy, vanilla-y, and root beer-y.  These are a great way to turn your favorite beverage into dessert!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Single Girl Chocolate Cake

Print the Recipe!

Root Beer Float Cupcakes
Adapted from Dine and Dash
Frosting from Sweetapolita
Yield – 12 cupcakes

Root Beer Cupcakes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon root beer extract
splash of vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut milk

Vanilla & Root Beer Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
5 egg whites
1 1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon root beer extract

  1. Cupcakes – Preheat to the oven to 350 ˚F and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners.  Set aside.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth.  Beat in the sugars for 2-3 minutes until pale yellow.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat in the extracts and applesauce.  Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Whisk together the flour, powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Turn the mixer to the lowest setting and add the flour in 3 batches with milk in between each addition of flour.  Mix until just combined.
  4. Use a standard ice cream scoop to portion the batter into each cupcake liner, they should be about half full.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  6. Frosting – Add the egg whites and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and place the bowl in a small pot of simmering water.  Whisk the sugars and egg whites until they are no longer gritty to the touch.  Add a pinch of salt.
  7. Remove the bowl from the pot and place in the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Beat for about 10 minutes until the meringue is stiff and shiny and the bowl is cool to the touch.
  8. Beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, just keep beating until the mixture becomes completely creamy.
  9. Beat in the vanilla.  Add half the frosting to a piping bag with a large star tip, set aside.
  10. Beat the root beer extract into the remaining frosting.  Add to a piping bag with a round tip.
  11. Pipe the root beer frosting around the outside of the cupcake.  Pipe the vanilla frosting in the center.
  12. Cut paper straws in half and add to each cupcake.Root Beer Float Cupcakes | Pale Yellow

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Onion Jam Pizza (Vegan)

onion jam pizza | pale yellowThe past few weekends have been relatively low key and I’ve been enjoying the quiet and alone time.  The past summer, fall, and winter have been quite busy with a new job, working most Saturdays, a big move, and the change from roommates to single occupancy status.  I’ve needed the quiet and the break.

onion jam pizza | pale yellowThis weekend was not so quiet and now that Monday is quickly approaching I feel as though I need another day to get all my stuff done.  However, every event was worth this 10:30 writing session.  And yes, 10:30 is a late for me.  I was able to eat my last fish and chips of the Lenten  season, play with a precocious almost 2-year old, and watch Joffrey get his dues with friends.

onion jam pizza | pale yellowI even started grad school.  Again.  I started this blog because I had so much time after I finished graduate school the last time.  We’ll see how much I’m able to post working full time and in school part time.  I finally got back up to three food posts a week!  The reality of starting school has not sunk in; I love being a student, but I don’t love the amount time required.

onion jam pizza | pale yellowThis pizza is a riff off Amy’s diary-free pizza.  I fell in love with the pizza last year when I went vegan for a month.  It’s amazing how much flavor pizza can have without cheese!  I definitely improved the flavor with more onion jam and more veggies.  The pizza is flavorful, hardy, and you won’t even miss the cheese.  While I do admit it’s a bit of work to babysit the onion jam as it cooks and precook the veggies, everything could be done before hand.  This is the type of food that makes vegan eating a joy!onion jam pizza | pale yellowPrint the Recipe!

Onion Jam Pizza (Vegan)
Crust adapted from Fleischmann’s Yeast
Inspired by Amy’s
Yield – 2-3 servings

Onion Jam
3 onions
olive oil
salt + pepper
1-2 cups vegetable stock

Pizza Crust
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 envelope Fleischmann’s Pizza Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons oil
1 cup all purpose flour

Toppings
1/4 cup green pepper
1/4 cup red pepper
1 garlic clove
4 artichoke hearts, diced
8 ounce can mushroom slices
oregano
nutritional yeast

  1. Onion Jam – Start the day before.  Slice the onions into thin half moons.  Saute over low heat for about an hour in olive oil until completely caramelized.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  As the onions get dry, add splashes of vegetables stock.  It’s important to let the onions really caramelize without burning.
  2. Move to a bowl and refrigerate to cool completely before using for the pizza.
  3. Toppings – Finely dice the peppers.  Coat the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil and saute the peppers.  Add the garlic, finely diced, and salt and pepper.  Stir and cook until the vegetables are soft.  Let cool completely.
  4. Pizza Crust - Preheat the oven to 425 ˚F.  In a large bowl whisk together the whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Stirl in the water and oil, mix until combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour bit by bit until the dough forms a ball.  Turn out on a well floured surface.
  6. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, about 5 minutes.  Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  7. Flatten the dough into a circle.
  8. Assembly – Drizzle olive oil over the dough and spread evenly.  Spread onion jam over the top.  I used about three-fourth’s of the jam.  Sprinkle the peppers, artichoke hearts, and mushrooms over the top.
  9. Sprinkle oregano and nutritional yeast over the pizza.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the dough is cooked through.onion jam pizza | pale yellow

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What I Learned This Week #27

Will I ever get sick on the beach?

Will I ever get sick on the beach?

What I Learned This Week:

  • Fri. 4/4 – I’m a person of weak conviction and am about to start wearing leggings as pants…
  • Sat. 4/5 – What you put out into this world gets returned to you.
  • Sun. 4/6 - Homemade coconut ice cream is way better than the store bought version.
  • Mon. 4/7 - If I hustle, I can make it from The Space Center to the ferry in 25 minutes.  Huffing and puffing, yes, but at least I made it!
  • Tues. 4/8 – Teaching upperclassmen is where it’s at; they are real people.
  • Wed. 4/9 – Where the almost nude beach is in Rockaway!
  • Thurs. 4/10 – The reality that I’m about to start another graduate program has not sunk in yet.
  • Fri. 4/11 - The thalamus part of your brain appears to have equal activity across both hemispheres when looked at under a brain scan.  That is, unless you are person who prays/meditates to a loving God or god-like being.  This act brings a sense of faith, security, and love, thereby enlarging one side of your thalamus.  There is truth and physical change by reaching a more peaceful state.

Around the Internets:

  • Maybe I’ll like popsicles this year?
  • I need to practice more.   I get bored and feel like I’m in a rut.
  • Aquinas College in the news for an amazing prank?  Why yes!  Love my alma mater, perhaps I should donate more…
  • I’m getting more and more hippy, these sound delicious in a salad.
Mason jar sippy cups, I love a good straw!

Mason jar sippy cups, I love a good straw!

One Year Ago – Mississippi Mocha Mud Brownies

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