Posts tagged ‘starbucks’

April 7, 2011

a not so successful lasagna

I am obsessed – OBSESSED – with Starbucks Iced Tall Soy Lattes.

I’m pretty sure the reason I like this Starbucks drink so much is because of the particular soymilk they use. Today, I treated myself to an Iced Tall Soy Latte and while I was waiting for my drink, I snuck a peak at the brand of soymilk they used while making the drink.

All it said on the carton was “Organic Vanilla Soymilk.” What BRAND?!?!? I really couldn’t find the brand…anyone know?

I wish I could have an iced latte every single day of my life. Actually, I used to be a bad girl and get it every weekday. But I’m trying to be a better girl.

But I’m happy to say I am finally a Gold member! At least the soymilk is free now (it went up to $0.60!!!)

 

In other news, Jeff and I went to Walmart tonight to pick up some random items. I LOVE mini trips to Walmart, Target, etc. Don’t laugh, but I picked up a pair of these.

I like to wear these when I “go out” (which I will be doing on Saturday) or for special occasions! I think eyelashes are one of the biggest factors that can brighten up your eyes. Plus, the fakes one are a LOT cheaper (and safer) than extensions!

 

For dinner tonight I tried my hand at lasagna again.

It came out alright, but I think one of the biggest reasons for the flop was the type of cheese I used. From now on, I’ll be sticking with shredded mozzarella!

Fresh mozzarella is so stinkin’ hard to slice if you don’t have a cheese slicer! I considered using floss to slice the cheese but I only had mint-flavored flossy and didn’t want minty mozzarella. Thought “minty mozzarella” does have a nice ring to it!

Also, next time I will be getting the “yes-boil” lasagne noodles. But instead of boiling them, I’ll use Alton Brown’s method (I love Alton!) of soaking the noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes and then just layering from there. So not REALLY boiling. I don’t know what it is about boiling noodles, but sometimes it just seems so inconvenient! Which I guess is what the appeal is for these “no-boil” noodles.

Anyway, I sauteed the Andouille Chicken Sausage in a pan and added the tomato pasta sauce. And then I got to layering!

 

Little bit of sauce:

 

Noodles:

 

Chicken Sausage sauce:

 

A layer of thinly sliced zucchini:

 

A layer of sliced portabella mushroom:

 

And lastly, a layer of awkwardly chopped fresh mozzarella:

 

I repeated this layering 3 times, until I got to the top!

Yumz. But as you can see, the cheese got sort of uneven and gloopy. Sticking with the shredded!

Also, next time I will ROAST the veggies. Oh yum, what flavor would that bring!

Make this, and tweak it however you want!

 

Andouille Chicken Sausage Lasagna

Serves: 4-6

 

Ingredients:

1 package lasagna noodles (next time I wont use “no-boil”)

2 cups favorite tomato sauce

2 links chicken sausage (taken out of casing and crumbled)

1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced (next time I’ll stick with shredded)

2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthwise

1 portabella mushroom, thinly sliced

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Begin by sauteeing the sausage on the stove in a pan. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

In a baking dish, begin with a very thin layer of the meat sauce. Then layer lasagna noodles, meat sauce, zucchini, mushroom, then mozzarella. Repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish, ending with mozzarella.

Cover the top of the baking dish with foil and bake about 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a few more minutes until the top is melted and bubbly.

 

Not too many dishes with this one either. Always a good thing. ;)

 

Advertisements
March 28, 2011

that’s what she baked: cake pops

I may be the last one on earth to try making Bakerella’s cake pop’s, but I finally did this past weekend. Better late to the party than never right?

To be honest, the first time I had a cake pop was when Starbucks was giving them out for free, which was a few weeks ago. I never really had a desire to try a cake pop – let alone make one myself. But Jeff and I fell in love with cake pops at first bite.

And there was no more holding me back to making it for myself.

Jeff and I may be in the minority here, but both our favorite flavors at Starbucks (note: Starbucks is our first and only experience with cake pops!) was the pink Birthday Cake flavor. I was surprised because I was sure he’d love the Rocky Road one, but nope, for once we were in agreement with our food preference!

But cake pops from Starbucks cost about $2.50 for two of them. After doing the math I realized I could make about 50 cake pops for less than $10! Sure, I’d need to do the work, but it’s fun work. =)

I wanted to make a cake pop as close to the Birthday Cake one as possible so I started with Yellow Cake cake mix and Buttercream frosting.

Yellow cake…I love it.

And this is why I love parchment paper. Just lift and transfer the whole cake in one swoop.

 

After cooling, crumbling, and mixing in3/4 a can of frosting, I got to rolling…

 

Then I dipped each lollipop stick into the melted pink candy melts before sticking them into the balls…

I’m not sure if this actually helped with the stick staying more secure in the ball, but it couldn’t hurt!

 

And then I got to dipping and sprinkling…

I even made my own DIY cake-pop-holding-mechanism. It worked, but next time, I’ll invest in some styrofoam. ;)

 

I also dipped some cake pops into white “confetti” candy melts.

They were cute, but hands down I will be sticking with the pink candy melts. For some reason, even though the ingredients and nutrition and everything was practically the same between the white and pink candy melts on the package, the white candy melts had a much thicker consistency. That almost made it easier to dip the cake pops because it didn’t drip as much, but the end result was more thick and “chunky.”

 

The verdict with these cake pops? Well, we did a taste test between these and the Starbucks ones (yep we actually went to Starbucks to get their cake pops so we can do a side-by-side test!). And here are our thoughts:

1. The homemade ones had a much more “bready” texture inside. This may be because I added as little frosting as possible to the cake crumbs, while still having the dough stick. This “bready” texture wasn’t better or worse, just different.

2. Starbucks’ cake pops were bigger than the homemade ones. We both liked that. Next time I will be making my cake pops bigger.

3. We both agreed that the homemade cake pops were richer and sweeter than Starbucks’ cake pops. Jeff didn’t think that was better or worse, just different. I thought that was worse. I enjoy Starbucks’ cake pops more because it’s not so rich and sweet. The outer shell is already sweet, so I thought it would be fine – in fact better – if the insides were not so sweet too. I think the richness and sweetness is due to the frosting, so next time I will try an alternative to the frosting to make the dough stick. What that alternative is, I’m not sure. But I’m willing to experiment!

4. I think I will now stop talking about our unnatural obsession with studying cake pops.

I can’t wait to keep experimenting with these. What is your experience with cake pops?