IDGAF Kitchen: Pumpkin Mug Pie

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I have been fiddling around in the kitchen a bit lately… mostly for shortcuts to feeding my sweet tooth. On a related but kinda gross note, I have a few cans of pumpkin because Bunny  had some intense tummy issues last week (oh how many loads of laundry I did and oh how much paper towel I went through…) so I have 2 cans of pumpkin puree left. (Pumpkin is good for doggies with upset tummies.) ANYWAY, I wanted to try a microwave pumpkin pie recipe. I used this one. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of it. I made another quickie Instagram movie instead.   A video posted by Twinkie Chan (@twinkiechan) on Sep 23, 2015 at 11:07pm PDT   The recipe did say this fell somewhere between a pie and a cake… and I can’t say I was a superfan of the texture. I MAY have over-microwaved it, so it might be my fault, but I did see a few different recipes with different variations, so I will definitely try out some others. My pie was missing that smooth, creamy, custard-like texture, so I wonder if that can still be achieved in the microwave with other recipes. I still have tons of pumpkin left, so … more pumpkin parties for me!!! (These are all pumpkin parties for one, because  Manda hates pumpkin.)

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IDGAF Kitchen: Oven S’mores, Take One

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A video posted by Twinkie Chan (@twinkiechan) on Sep 21, 2015 at 11:47pm PDT So we’ve been wondering for a while about oven s’mores, since we don’t have a fire pit or such like. We finally procured graham crackers the other night (we already had mini marshmallows and chocolate chips), but nobody seemed that pumped about giving the oven s’mores a try! I decided to just do it by myself tonight, and I posted that quick lil video on Instagram. There was a bit too much chocolate for me, and I’d probably leave off one graham cracker and do open-faced, but overall, I would call this an IDGAF Kitchen success! Basically you just set the oven to 400 degrees and leave the s’mores in there for what I read was 3-5 minutes, but mine needed longer, and then I got impatient, so I cranked that ish to 425 and the marshmallows started browning right away. Just keep an eye on it. You can’t really mess this up! I’m curious about whether using regular marshmallows cut in half would change the texture…. like more goo and less crunch. This definitely merits a second attempt and further taste-testing. This would be perfect for a low-key get together when you need a quick dessert for everybody. You can also dump the chocolate and marshmallows in  a baking dish and get everything nice and melty and brown on top, and then use graham crackers to dip into your s’more goo! Exsqueeze me, I’m going to get marshmallow-wasted now.

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/ | 9 Comments on IDGAF Kitchen: JELLO LEGOS

Have you guys seen the video tutorial for making Legos out of Jello? My dad posted it on my Facebook page a little while ago and was like, “You should make this!” So I thought it would be a fun experiment and also a cool Father’s Day gift. The guy on YouTube cast his own Lego mold, and I wasn’t about to get that crazy, so I bought this mold and this mold from Amazon (affiliate links). I think you can use whatever ice cube tray or candy mold you want, as long as it’s silicone, so that the Jello pops right out. Also the King of Random video called for corn syrup, which I failed to get at the store, but he said it was to add smoothness, so I figured… if my Legos were a tiny bit less SMOOTH, life would still go on. I also looked at this tutorial for research. What seemed to be the Jello Lego ideal was to get your Legos super CLEAR and not cloudy, so I became a little obsessed with Jello clarity and was a bit hard on myself, so it’s good to have someone else in the kitchen to slap you in the face and tell you to get over yourself. I’d read that you’re supposed to overfill the molds a little bit due to shrinkage, but I didn’t experience that much shrinkage. Here’s what I put in the mold: I mixed 3 oz. of flavored Jello with 1/4 cold water. Then I slowly mixed in 1 packet of Knox gelatin. The gelatin tends to clump and stay clumpy even on the stove, so a slow mix seemed to be the ticket. Then I heated the mixture on the stove for a few minutes on low heat until everything looked dissolved (to be frank, everything already looked dissolved anyway, but I put it on the stove because it seemed like I was supposed to). Then I poured the mixture into a glass. You wait a few minutes so that all the foam and cloudy bits rise to the top and you can spoon it off like a pudding skin. This is all part of that Jello clarity thing, if Jello clarity is important to you. Then you can go ahead and pour it into the molds. I had squeezy bottles to get the Jello into the mold, but as it turned out, pouring it out of a cup worked perfectly fine.  Then you just let the molds set for 5-6 hours, on the counter, not even refrigerated or anything, while you eat Chinese delivery and watch the Bachelorette. As you can see, I don’t have the clearest Jello Legos, and some of my Lego nubs didn’t fill all the way. Also, my Legos didn’t actually stack, because you have to get a Lego base plate and spray it and slap it on the top of your mold while it sets, and my mold wasn’t even actually Legos anyway…they were bigger, maybe more like […]

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IDGAF Kitchen: Those weird 2-ingredient pancakes made out of bananas.

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Have you guys seen the video on Facebook in which someone is making pancakes out of eggs and bananas? I can’t seem to find the exact video via Google, but it was basically like, “Make pancakes out of two eggs and a banana. And some cinnamon. It totally tastes just like pancakes.” Here’s a link to a pretty thorough blog entry and recipe on Our Best Bites. Manda was out of town this weekend, and there was That One Browning Banana staring at me from the fruit basket. I have a higher tolerance for ripe bananas than Manda, but this banana was going South super fast. There is a point where I can’t even use That Kind of Banana for a smoothie because the smoothie will just taste too banana-y. ANYWAY. I decided I would be weird and try this 2-ingredient pancake thing. I took a nod from Our Best Bites and added baking powder, because I think that anything to make these fluffier is ideal. I made a 15-second video for Instagram. 15 seconds is hardly any time, so there is not much eating in the video…..   A video posted by Twinkie Chan (@twinkiechan) on Jun 13, 2015 at 7:18pm PDT It was definitely a fun experiment, but, I didn’t have time in the video to mention that you should do some deep breathing and prolonged visualization, imagining pancakes, and brain-washing yourself into thinking that you are about to eat real actual pancakes. Because it’s hard to un-think that you are eating eggs mixed with bananas, cuz that’s what it totally tastes like. My first two pancakes were REALLY WET (kinda like scrambled eggs are?), so I made the ones in the video a bit darker. They were still REALLY WET. On Instagram, I used the word JUICY, which is not really a word you associate with pancakes. Our Best Bites describes them like “the inside of french toast,” which I tried really hard to manifest, but, it’s not quite there for me. I could see how this could be a good replacement for low carb/gluten-free folk, and I am sure there are more things you could add to this that would make it taste less like a banana omelet, but I’m afraid this carb-lover is gonna have to stick with regular pancakes. Like, if you could leave your eyeballs on, but turn your mouth off, these would be perfect. If you have a really good food-imagination, these would be perfect. I would probably eat them again, but, I just didn’t want to lie to any of you pancake-purists. I know you’re out there.

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IDGAF Kitchen: Pancake Muffins w/ Maple Lemon Glaze AAAND Double Chocolate Muffins!

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If you celebrate Easter, I hope you had a great Easter weekend! I went to an Easter egg hunt at my brother and sister-in-law’s house, as well as a friend’s bday bbq, and also a fun family dinner in the city! For the Easter egg hunt, I volunteered to make muffins and also deviled eggs (not pictured). Why would I ever volunteer to bake muffins when anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I am …. not reliable in the kitchen!? Even if I try to GAF? As I have mentioned before, I am terrible but hopeful! First up was Joy the Baker’s recipe for Maple Syrup Pancake Muffins. This looked like a fun challenge to me for reasons twofold: 1) BROWN BUTTER. I have never browned butter before. I should have googled it before attempting it. 2) Maple lemon glaze. Making a glaze sounds extra fancy, and you know how fancy I am… So about that brown butter…. This was my first attempt. Let’s remember that I DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT COOKING/BAKING, and I didn’t know if, like, ALL the butter would turn brown or what! Cuz that’s what it sounds like to me! I was like, “Manda! Does this look like brown butter!? Is this brown butter!?” And she acted completely disgusted and said, “I would NEVER brown butter!” As it turns out, small bits will start turning brown, and that’s what is supposed to happen and that’s when you pull it off the heat. It should look like nutty brown bits suspended in butter. The whole thing will not turn brown. JUST THE BITS. If you let it go too long, you get the above burned up debacle, which will henceforth be known as the buttery char of Satan. So, I started again, AFTER googling brown butter, and all was well. For the moment. I forgot to grab a lemon at the store for the maple glaze, so I ran outside with a flashlight and grabbed a Meyer lemon off my tree. As much as I suck in the kitchen, I probably suck MORE in the garden, and my lemon tree is more like a luxury spider condo filled with horrible disgusting THICK spider webs but also some lovely fruits. I plucked the least gnarly lemon off the tree and ran back inside screaming and flapping my arms all over myself. Manda was like IS THERE A SPIDER ON YOU WHAT IS GOING ON!?!?? But it was just that yucky feeling of having walked through ten million spider webs Indiana-Jones style. The lemon turned out to be super juicy and delightful, so at least the spider dance was worth it. Here’s me dipping my muffins in some bad ass glaze. So here’s something else I have to keep telling myself while baking: TRUST THE TOOTHPICK. Sometimes I’ll stick a toothpick in my baked goods before pulling them out of the oven, and the toothpick comes out clean, but I feel like the baked good is still mushy […]

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IDGAF Kitchen: Pumpkin Pecan Mexican Wedding Cookies! (vegan!)

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Ok, we all know that I am NOT a good food/baking blogger, so my photos are of baked goods that are THREE days old. But the food still tastes good! Picture above are pumpkin pecan Mexican wedding cookies. My buddy Elysse (who has a new blog called The Vegan Sweet Beat!) came over on Saturday night for pizza, baking, and rom com (we watched Walk of Shame…. I give it a “meh” although A+++ for big giant hair). We used this recipe from Cookie and Kate. Our cookies did have more powdered sugar on them before, but, you know… THREE DAYS. The recipe calls for whole wheat flour, and we used Earth Balance instead of butter or coconut oil. I LOVE ME SOME PUMPKIN BAKED GOODS (but not the PSL or any pumpkin spice drink…), and these cookies were super yummy! They did not end up quite as dry and crumbly as the Mexican wedding cookies I am accustomed to, but Kate mentioned this would be the case when you sub out the real butter. Regardless: YUM. Elysse toasted the pecans, and my kitchen smelled AMAZE. Elysse also suggested we bake a back-up in case the pumpkin pecan cookies turned out weird. Well, actually, the brownies turned out to be weird!!! (We still ate them.) It was the first time I baked or tasted a brownie with black beans in it. I have always been really curious about them, but Elysse thought this recipe was not the best, and the brownies came out SUPER DUPER DENSE. It was almost like eating …. firm chocolate jello, or I guess, fudge. However, they were better the next day, and even better the day after that, etc etc, so I think that having some time to dry out did them some good. Anyway, I have no idea what recipe we used, but Elysse says she has a better recipe, so if I get around to make those, I will link you! Here’s us on Saturday night getting our PB on. I’m looking serious/dubious about putting on the peanut butter the right way, and Elysse is triumphantly zig-zagging through it all with a knife. I have pumpkin puree left over, so, per Elysse’s suggestion, I am going to try making a pumpkin spice smoothie next!

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IDGAF Kitchen: Makin’ Smoothies

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I have been smoothie-curious for a while and keep talking about how I’m gonna make smoothies all the time. I like eating veggies, and I like eating kale. My go-to breakfast is a toasted PB&J sandwich, cuz it’s fast and easy, but eating a PB&J a day is probably not that great for you. I will look at people’s smoothie photos on Instagram and think Hey, that looks healthy and delicious and fresh! BUT …. if you know me at all, or if you have read my blog for some time, you know that I am NO WIZ in the kitchen, and lots of food-prep-related things are really not my forte. There are things I can do, and things I can’t do, and preparing food is kinda on the “can’t do very well” list. Luckily, I’m not a super-picky eater, so even if I make something that’s 75% nasty, I’ll probably still eat it anyway. My mom got me a small/personal blender/smoothie-maker thing for my birthday, and this really sent me over the “you must try to make smoothies” precipice. Part of my anxiety about smoothie-making was Will I get the right consistency? Will I make something that tastes nastier than nasty? Will I break the smoothie-maker? Is it too annoying to wash all those dishes? Here’s what I put into my very first inaugural smoothie: frozen strawberries, rolled oats, half a banana, 1 big kale leaf with the ribs torn out, chia seeds, and vanilla coconut drink. I zapped this concoction around in my blender, playing with low and high speeds and the pulse function, and like, nothing was blending. I went to Instagram to ask for help, and as it turned out, I simply didn’t have enough liquid in there, so I poured in more coconut drink and also like half a cup of plain water. Things really started to whizz around at that point! Ok ok ok. I know it looks like barf. It had sort of a light brown color and LOTS of green bits in it. Further google-searching has led me to believe that my blender may not be high powered or fancy enough to blend green bits perfectly smooth. Luckily, this falls under the “75% nasty” umbrella, and I can handle chewing through my smoothie a little bit. The flavor was fine, but maybe just a smidge too tart because of all the berries and no sweetener aside from the banana and the sweetener in my coconut milk/drink. The smoothie did end up runnier than I imagined in my head, and I repeated the same mistake the next day. Oh well! This was today’s smoothie: some ice cubes, a banana, rolled oats, 2 TSP of PB2, 2 TSP of cocoa powder, chia seeds, a handful of frozen blueberries, coconut drank, and water. As I mentioned above, it ended up runnier than I would want, but maybe this is just what smoothies are like!? I dunno. I’ll try to add less water, but I know if I don’t […]

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Honey, I baked! IDGAF Bunny/Cat Donuts!

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I have a lot of childhood Easter memories, but I don’t have a strong connection to Easter as an adult. The only real reason it’s on my radar still is because it’s Manda’s most favorite holiday of the year. We have both been really busy and stressed, so we kept it low key, and I suggested we have a picnic in the park with friends. For the picnic, I wanted to make kitty donuts, following the instructions from My Paper Crane. I have a mini donut maker that is basically like a waffle iron and makes very cakey donuts, so I decided to use that for my project. I kind of forgot HOW MINI the donuts really are, so my kitties turned into bunnies since the almond-ears were so big compared to the donuts. I used melted chocolate chips, but should have thinned them out with something, because my chocolate was rather thick and difficult to work with, leaving me with some really mutated bunnies. PLUS, I used a store-bought gel icing for the faces, and it was a HOT HOT MESS! WELL, whatever, IDGAF! Maybe I’ll try with regular-sized donuts next time!

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How to Make IDGAF Cheese Crackers, by Twinkie Chan

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Sooooo Christmas of 2011, I decided to buy a cookie press and make some spritz cookies. I was like, “OMG THIS IS SO FUN! I WILL USE MY COOKIE PRESS EVERYDAY! EVERY EVERY DAY!!!” I never used it ever again. But tonight. Oh, tonight. I resurrected the cookie press and finally attempted to make some home made CHEESE CRACKERS!!!! AWWW YEAH CHEESE YEAH! I love Cheezits so much, that I literally make myself sick. My buddy Pickle once asked me, “What do you like most? The Cheez? Or the Its?” WHO CAN CHOOSE!? Needless to say, this was like my most humongous kitchen debacle. My cheese crackers look like cat chow and they smell like Bibi’s feet. Let’s go on this journey together. I used the recipe from the Wilton website, Wilton being the maker of my cookie press. I know I should have done a little more research, but …. say it all together…. IDGAF! Actually, I do, but I’m also lazy. Here are your ingredients: 1 pound sharp cheddar or aged swiss finely shredded 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce Dash hot red pepper sauce 1 1/2 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika I am a very serious chef, and I only use VERY SERIOUSLY SHARP CHEDDAR. As should you. I wanted to get yellow cheddar because cheddar is supposed to be yellow in my book. But Hairy is a food snob and insisted on white cheddar. Plus, he got all cheesenerdy with some dude at Andronico’s, and they were like, “Good sir, you must select a cheese from Vermont.” “Right-o, good sir, I shall!”   1. I attacked the aerobic portion of the recipe first: grating 1 lb of cheese. I gave up after .5 lb, which ended up being the best decision of the whole night. You may think this was due to laziness, but the real reason was my plate was overflowing with cheese, and I didn’t think I had enough large bowls for mixing everything together. SO MUCH CHEESE. So I cut the whole recipe in half. 2. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, cream the cheese, butter, Worcestershire sauce and hot red pepper sauce until smooth. So, what exactly does it mean to cream something, because I attempted to do this, but it was basically like trying to turn the cheese powder from your pizza delivery into a liquid. Like, it’s not gonna happen! It was like 80 million parts cheese to 1 part worcester sauce and butter. I already knew this was a terrible, terrible sign. “Cream” was not what I had. I had superstiff cheeze playdough. 3. In separate bowl, toss flour and seasonings with fork. Gradually add to cheese mixture. I added my cheese playdough by small chunks. What appeared in my mixing bowl was first like a pile of pebbles and then later like a bucket of sand. Great dough, right!? 4. Mix until dough holds together and shape into small logs. Sand is just […]

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