Tuesday, December 27, 2011

College Christmas Fudge

I am home for the holidays. And it just passed the year anniversary of this blog.

So, I am going to do a post that exemplifies the stated purpose of Once Upon a College Kitchen. A simple, cheap recipe, that can be made easily, but which is also kick-ass.

Although I have not made this fudge in my college kitchen, I believe this fits the bill.

College Christmas Fudge
  • 3 cups of Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1- 14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of the Extract of your choosing (I used Vanilla, but I believe BF would love this with mint)
Yep, that's it. These 4 ingredients will make smoother, tastier fudge than you can get with all sorts of messing around with marshmallow fluff.  

 Start by covering an 8 by 8 pan with aluminum foil. Don't worry about anything else, the foil will come out just fine. 

Melt the chocolate chips until mostly melted.

 Add the sweetened condensed milk and salt, then stir until combined.  

Once combined, allow the chocolate to melt completely. Mix in vanilla and nuts if you would like. I don't like nuts in my fudge.

 Spread fudge into the foil covered pan, then refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut into little pieces, this is a very rich fudge.

Enjoy! This a very easy way to make fudge. Great for presents. :) 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Yukon Gold Cinnamon Rolls

So, I've been a very bad blogger. I only have 3 weeks of Winter Quarter before break, and my professors are trying to squeeze all they can out of me before Christmas.

Plus, I was hosting the Knitting Club's holiday party last  night. I was on my feet from 9 am until 2 am. Tired panda.

For this party, I decided to make Cinnamon rolls. Everybody loves cinnamon rolls, right? I used this Bon App├ętit recipe, for Yukon Gold Cinnamon rolls. 

The potatoes in the dough makes them so moist you can't dry them out, and so tender, people will think you bought them.

I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to make cinnamon rolls, with a few pro tips.

1. Have a lot of extra flour on hand, this recipe, while making very tasty, tender rolls, they do take about twice as many cups of flour as the recipe states.

2. They do not need to bake as long as state, my rolls were quite thoroughly baked through after 9-11 minutes. 

3. Cut the recipe in half. I made a full batch and it made 3 dozen large rolls. I have no idea who can use this recipe to make 12 rolls. This is what happened to me with one batch...
You have been warned.

I do love these rolls, and I hope you all can use this recipe for your holiday celebrations. 


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Last Minute Thankgiving Bread

So, it's Thursday. Everyone congratulate me, as of 9:15 this morning, I am officially finished with Fall Quarter of my Junior year of college. *bows*

Yes, folks, that means that it has been Finals Week for me. And I did have every intention of posting this Tuesday... and last Tuesday for that matter.

I had these great frozen Spicy Chicken sandwiches that I made to reheat over the course of the week. Brillent, right?

Then my phone crashed, taking all of my photos with it. :(

So I had no photos and no time to come up with a fantastic new idea to tell you all about Finals Week. But now that the madness is over, I have time to think about Thanksgiving.

For those of you that don't know, I go to college a loooong way from home, as I detailed in my first every post, A Nice Change of Scenery. So, for the first time, I am not going home for Thanksgiving. No giant dogs to chew on me, no walking into -my- bedroom, no after dinner pie at Village in with my best friend Josh, and none of my mother's super fabulous stuffing.

I do, however, get to spend the holiday with my BF and his family. Remember BF? He's been working in San Diego for 6 months? Well, he'll be back just in time for the New York winter.

The key to my long, rambling story is that I needed something to bring to not only BF's mother, but her sister who is hosting the dinner... And I needed to plan all of this during Finals Week..

Quick Bread! It has the word quick in the name! It's perfect! I recently found out that his mother loves blueberries, and seriously, if you are going to bring food the hostess doesn't ask for on Thanksgiving, it really needs to be breakfast for the next morning, or alcohol.

I'm only 20.. darn you stupid 8 months before I turn 21, I guess I'm bringing breakfast.

So, without further ado...

Oatmeal Blueberry Bread or Muffins
Adapted from Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

1 dozen muffins (you didn't want to be making muffins all afternoon did you?)
  • 1 cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 cup Quick Oats
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder  
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Mix egg, milk, oil, and vanilla in a glass. Trust me, the fewer bowls the better.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until -barely- blended. Fold in the frozen blueberries.

Pour the batter into a muffin tin or 2 loaf pans, sprayed with non-stick spray. (I wanted to use my heart pan, so I had to have a second muffin tin.)

Bake at 350 degree for 15-20 minutes for muffins, 20-30 minutes for the loaves.

Enjoy! These are moist and delicious, I'm planning on making the loaves to take with me to Pennsylvania!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Honey Cookies

So... Happy Tuesday!

... Ok, so I lied. It's not Tuesday. But yesterday when it was Tuesday, I spent so much time doing reading for Organic Chemistry, I convinced myself it was Thursday.

And since it was Thursday, not Tuesday, I had no reason to be working on a post for you lovely people.

Then my loving BF pointed out that it was actually Tuesday, ruining my productive feeling.

So today, the real Wednesday, I've decided to explain myself.

As it happens, I'm doing a Cell Biology on peanut allergies tomorrow, so I got the idea to make peanut butter cookies for my class. Haha. I gave myself an extra project right before final... I think I might secretly be a masochist...

Moving right along, I just spent the last 2 hours making cookies. It's not my recipe. Not even close. The recipe is the result of a quick internet search from me, and what tastes like countless hours of a lovely blogger named Annie.

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe I used

I did make 1 substitution. Not because there is anything wrong with the original recipe. Nothing at all actually. But I am a college student. I do not keep shortening in the house and am waaay too lazy to drive to the store for one ingredient. So I used 4 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. They still came out great!

Told ya.

Now, I have also begun knitting items for my club's winter sale. So soon there will be pictures of all the adorable headband I am knitting, along with a link to the adorable pattern.

Not now though. Now I must go back to my studying and hope I pass all my exams.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Goblin Bar, The Best Halloween Cookie

So, I've been trying to get a post out every Tuesday this quarter... As you can tell by the giant lack of posting last week, that didn't happen.

Sorry guys, 4 exams, my parents were in town, and I got the stomach flu. That leaves surprisingly little time for baking, cooking, or knitting.

Not to worry, because my lovely craft club came over last Friday anyways for a little party, and I was all over refreshments.

Halloween happens to be my favorite holiday. Funny thing about that is, I don't particularly like being scared. But I do love dressing up. I love any excuse to eat chocolate. I love pumpkins, apple cider, and fall. And most of all, I love Goblin Bars.

Goblin Bars
(Before the yelling starts, I am aware that these cookies go by many other names. This is just what I call them)

  • 1/2 Stick of Butter
  • 1-2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs, (from a box or freshly smashed)
  • 1 Bag Chocolate Chips with Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk 

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and insert either a 12 inch round cast iron pan or 8by13 inch rectangular baking dish with the butter. 

 When butter is melted, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.  Press the crumbs together to form a crust, using crumbs as needed to make a 1/4 inch crust. Make sure all of the crumbs are held together by the melted butter, or your crust will fall apart.

Cover the crust with your chocolate and peanut butter chips. This won't take the whole bag... Oh darn, you'll need to snack on a couple.

Now is when you'll want to open your condensed milk.

Drizzle the milk over the chips, try to keep it as even as possible.

Place your cookies into the 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the milk is caramel colored and bubbling.

Allow to cool before cutting into squares. These are quick and delicious cookies, very handy for when you forget you're having people over.. not that I'd ever do that...


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Plum Strudel

No I don't mean apple in that title and no I haven't fallen on my head anytime recently. I just happened to fall victim to a good sale. 2 pound bags of plums, $1.98 each. I happen to love plums and couldn't pass up a bag.

The problem with this is that I really only loved the first pound... and then ended up with a pound and a half of quickly ripening plums sitting on my counter.

After a quick Google search, I started to feel very badly for plums. All of the plum pie recipes I ran across were a little too gourmet to sound appetizing.. Don't pretend you don't know what I mean. There was nothing simple, a tad spicy, a little sweet, and would use a good number of my plums.

So, I worked off of a basic Strudel recipe, changing to based on what I had on hand and what I know to work well with plums. This created a very tasty plum strudel that my knitting club devoured.

Plum Strudel  
  • 2 cups skinned, sliced plums (around 6 plums)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemonade (lemon juice works too, but this is what I had)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Sheets of Puff Pastry - defrosted
  • 1 Egg
  • Cinnamon Sugar for dusting
Vanilla Icing
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
 Start by peeling and slicing your plums. This is the most tedious part of this. But well worth it. Be careful getting that pit out.

Next, melt the butter in a cooking vessel large enough to contain your fruit.

Once melted, add the plums into the pot, and cook until tender and aromatic. You want them to be a little tender before you move on.

When the plums begin to soften, you want to add your sweet and spicy team. Cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, honey, and lemonade all go into the pot.  Mix and cook until the plums are soft and a bit golden in color.  Let your filling cool. I hurried this process along by placing the whole dang pot in the fridge.

 Unfold your puff pastry, then refold in half. Make half inch cuts on the folded side. Then fill with half of your plum filling. Seal your ends, and place your newly formed strudel on a baking sheet seam side down. Brush the top of the dough with your egg, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. It's nice when things look pretty... Lather, rinse, repeat with the other sheet and the rest of the filling.

Bake according to your package of puff pastry. Watch carefully, mine got a little crispy because my oven is possessed.

Now for the grand finale. The frosting. So simple, so tasty. Melt butter. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix. Thin with water or milk if it's too thick to drizzle. Use a spoon to drizzle onto the strudel. This is the best glaze I have ever used. You'll never go back to using just milk again.

I'm going to take a moment to apologize for the lack of detailed pictures at the end. I was hurrying to finish these, and spaced on taking a couple pictures for you fine folks. Feel free to comment any questions you have, I can clarify anything. I just couldn't wait to share this tasty recipe.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Freezer Minestrone

I don't know about where you live but in Rochester,  NY fall is upon us. The tree are changing color, the breeze kicks around the fallen leaves, and icy rain pours like you wouldn't believe about 3 times a week.

With weather like this, even taking the bus home from campus can be a task that ends with me being soaked from head to toe. After a full day of classes, battling a waterfall to get into my apartment was not what I had in mind.

Luckily, on days like this, I can walk from my freezer to my microwave, and in no time at all be greeted by a warm, thick, delicious soup... If I've planned ahead.

I am a firm believer that the freezer is there to be used and I'm not just talking about for booze and ice cream.

This recipe is tasty hot off the stove, but just as wonderful defrosted throughout the cold months.

Freezer Minestrone

1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 an Onion
2 cloves of Garlic
3 small Potatoes
1 large Zucchini
1 can Cannellini Beans
3 cans of Low Sodium Beef Stock
2 cans Stewed Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 pound of Dried Pasta

 Dice 1 large white onion, and mince the garlic.

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent.

Peel and dice the potatoes and add to the pot with 1 of the cans of beef stock.

Cover and cook until the potatoes are fork tender. The potatoes break down a bit, making the soup very thick.

While these are cooking, cut up the zucchini into quarters.

When the potatoes are cooked, add the zucchini to the pot.

Then add both cans of stewed tomatoes.

And the second can of beef broth and the Cannellini beans.

Now is time to add the seasonings. These can be adjusted to taste very easily. My ratio is heavy on the spice. (I love the red pepper.) Let this stew on low until you are about ready to eat.

Then, add half a box of pasta, and cook until the pasta is al dente. This will thicken up the soup a lot, so save the last can of beef broth to add right before you eat.

Enjoy! For the first time.

Once the soup has cooled off a little, spoon into cups lined with quart freezer bags.

Close the bags and place, cups and all, into the freezer. Take the cups off once they are frozen, and you will have nicely shaped, individual servings of soup to defrost all winter long.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Potato Tomato Omelet: Fast, Delicious Dinner for One

I have this horrible hatred of cooking dinner for myself, so many nights, I end up with toast and Nutella. While this is a tasty snack, I don't believe to could be considered dinner or filling...

Last night, like many other nights, I found myself beginning to think about dinner a little too close to the time I was supposed to be somewhere else. Say what you will about my time management skills, but if I'm not hungry, I forget to plan ahead...

So I had about 30 minutes to cook a tasty and filling dinner, scarf it down, and walk out the door to be at my Knitting Club meeting on time.

Enter the delicious omelet. The key here is to prepare this dish in the most efficient way possible. I have some terrific hints for that.

Potato Tomato Omelet (One Person, One Pan Meal)
  •  Cooking oil of some type
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 small Red Potato, or half of a large one.
  • Diced Tomato (I used half of a Roma, but whatever you have on hand veggie wise works nicely)
  • Cheese of some sort (I actually had shredded on hand, but there is no shame in using sliced, it gets the job done)
  • Seasoning. (I used salt, pepper, Emril's Essence, and chili powder)
Start by adding enough oil to the smallest pan you have to cover the bottom, and place on to medium heat. I used my fantastic 6-inch cast iron. :)

Then, peel your potato.

This is the very pivotal part of this recipe. Using the potato peeler, slice the potato into thin, chip-like slices. This will allow the potatoes to cook quickly and evenly.

Place your thin potatoes in your now hot pan, and toss with the seasonings.

Make sure you are liberal with your seasonings, because they will be flavoring your eggs as well.

While your potatoes are cooking up, dice the tomato or prepare your other veggies. (Cooked bacon or another meat you have around is also a very tasty addition.)

Beat 2 eggs in a separate bowl.

When your potato layer is soft and thoroughly cooked, drop your temperature to medium-low, and pour your eggs on top and then sprinkle the top with your tomatoes and cheese. (Sorry about the blur, I really was late...)

Once the bottom of the omelet has begun to solidify, place under your broiler at 500 degrees.

Watch carefully, these eggs will go from undercooked to overcooked very quickly.

But you do have a few minutes, so clean up your kitchen! Trust me, your roommates won't be very happy to come home to this...
....no matter how in a rush you are.

One your eggs become solid and puff up a tad, it's time to de-pan.

Try not to take it too personally if it doesn't slide out like it does on tv. Egg yolk is protein and protein is sticky!

Now enjoy a tasty, quick, one person dinner while the pan soaks. :)