Monthly Archives: August 2011

Turtle sugar cookies with buttercream frosting

So, good news! My cookie cutter worked!!! I was able to make a batch of red eared slider turtle cookies for my coworker’s last day.

I may have gone a little overboard when I was piping the frosting, but it was my first time using the little tip and I was just so excited to decorate them!

I won’t lie, these cookies take a long time to make.  I started these on Sunday and did one or two steps every day, finishing at 10:30 PM Tuesday night. If you need a quick and easy cookie recipe, I would find a less labor intensive one. But if you have the time and creativity they are so much fun!

This recipe will work for any cookie cutter, obviously!

Cut-out sugar cookie recipe (adapted from here)

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

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DIY cookie cutters

As I mentioned in my About Me section, I work in a University lab studying turtles.

Their vestibular systems, to be exact.

Looks like this

One of my coworkers is going back to graduate school this fall, and his last day is this Wednesday. I knew that I had to make him some turtle shaped cookies, but the problem was I couldn’t find any cookie cutters. (Amazingly, it was the one shape that was left out of my box of 100 cookie cutters)

So I decided to make my own!

What you will need:

  • A sheet of cheap aluminum cookware (I got a cookie sheet)
  • good scissors
  • a ruler
  • a pen
  • a picture of your desired shape (I printed one because I was in a lazy mood, but feel free to draw your own)
  • Electrical tape, or other thick tape

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My search for the best funfetti cupcake recipe! (Part 1)



I used to be the Queen of boxed funfetti cupcakes. I would make them all the time. Literally.

I was so fabulous at making these colorful cupcakes that one of my high school friends joked that when she got married I would have to bake them for her in lieu of a wedding cake. (The trick is to cook them for one less minute than it says on the box.)

So when I started baking from scratch I knew right away that I had to find or create the BEST funfetti recipe. Nothing less than perfect would make the cut. If that meant I had to make batch after batch of cupcakes, then so be it! =)

 My first attempt came out successful. As cupcakes go, they were certainly delicious. But there was something not perfect enough about them for me to accept them as the ultimate cupcake.

But I did frost them successfully using a decorating bag and a 1M star decorating tip, which is pretty exciting (If only I didn’t drop the box and smush them when I was bringing them to work!)

And I now have this awesome picture, which is currently the background on my computer:


So my quest continues. If you have a recipe for delicious and fluffy vanilla cupcakes or frosting please please PLEASE let me know!!!

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Site under construction

My in-house nerd (Ken) and I are fiddling around with the site to find a layout we both can agree on. So if it looks different each time you check in (because I KNOW you check in multiple times a day) that’s why. Hopefully it should settle down within the week.

Let us know what you like, and what makes your eyeballs want to vomit.

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Peach crisp

My mother and I went to the Fairport farmer’s market this past weekend. It’s tiny in comparison to the big one in the city, but it’s much closer and less crowded, so I prefer it.

She kept asking what I wanted, and I kept responding, “buy whatever looks good, I’ll figure out something to do with it.”

So we bought peaches.

Peaches intrigue me. I haven’t eaten many, and when I have eaten them they were from a can or in a fruit salad.

It’s such a beautiful, fragrant fruit with vibrant colors…and that texture.

That soft, almost human-like skin that you want to rub against your face.

It creeps me out.

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Cajun grilled burgers

My first attempt at burgers this summer was disastrous. In an epic way. I had never grilled by myself before and I thought “how hard can burgers be?”

Imagine a hockey puck but thicker, made out of ground beef. The outside is completely charred. Oh, and the inside is still raw. Now picture it in a bun with a diameter 3x the size of the burger puck. It was pathetic.

Artistic representation

Now, as the summer progressed, so did my burger making abilities. They slowly became flatter, wider, and more delicious. Finally I found this recipe, and I surprised even myself with how delicious an easy burger could be.

*Bonus: It goes perfectly with the Cajun grilled veggies*

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Baked brie

I. Love. Brie.

This is my brie face

If only it were inexpensive and healthy, I would eat it every single day. Across the street from my college there was a restaurant called Johnny’s Bar and Grille, and I would go there once a week and buy the baked brie appetizer.

Imagine heaven. That’s what this meal is. It’s drizzled with melba sauce and served with garlic crostinis and apple slices. The flavor combination is perfect.

But, unfortunately, I no longer live within walking distance of my brie. So I have to make it myself.

Again, unfortunately, it’s not an everyday kind of meal. So this weekend when I had not one but TWO friends over for dinner (crazy, I know) I said, “what the heck, three people is practically a dinner party!” and I decided to make baked brie.

So what if one of my guests was lactose intolerant? 🙂

You will need:

(We used the recipe directly on the brie) Continue reading


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Monkey bread

I’ve always wanted to make monkey bread. The whole concept of bread that you pull apart just intrigued me, and besides, look at it. It’s super cool looking.

I have no idea why it’s called monkey bread, but…

I dug out an apron for Captain Chips here, handed him a mixing spoon and we were ready to go. What’s monkey bread without a monkey helper?

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Cajun grilled vegetables

I only just started eating vegetables this summer, and the dish that made me realize they weren’t so bad was this one. I made it originally with zucchini, yellow squash, yellow onions and red peppers. It was bright and colorful and the flavor was out of this world. I’ve been making it ever since! (Here is the original recipe)

You will need:

  • vegetables of your choosing: for this batch I used 1 small zucchini, 1 small yellow squash, 1/2 package of baby bella mushrooms and 1/2 package of mini corn
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning: I use Emeril’s Bayou Blast!
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or a little more, if you like things spicy)
  • 1 tbs Worcester sauce (in a pinch I have used soy sauce with a little bit of water before. Came out great)

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Cauliflower mashed potatoes


I have a confession. Until today, I have never eaten a cauliflower.

I mean, look at it:

It’s weird looking. Like an alien plant.

Or like God opened up his vegetable coloring book (I like to imagine him with the box of 64 crayons) to the broccoli page, got bored halfway through and said “screw it, it’s finished.”

It doesn’t even taste as good as broccoli, in my opinion. But now that I’ve cooked with it, I’m willing to cut the poor albino veggie some slack. It’s not his fault he isn’t as delicious as his green cousin.

I digress. Cauliflower mashed potatoes! I got the idea from Can you stay for Dinner? but realized I didn’t have quite the right ingredients, so I read through her recipe and another one I found online, and then just combined them all and made some steps up. And to my surprise it worked!

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