Fiery “Dragon’s” Colored Deviled Eggs

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

Take the throne and seize the realm! To celebrate the return of HBO’s magical series, Game of Thrones, I was invited to attend a watch party for its Season 4 premiere. Delicacies included “Tyrion’s Totchos” (think: Tater Tot nachos), Fire and Blood beer from Brewery Ommegang and TRAYS. OF. MEAT. There will be FEAST!

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

I also made Fiery “Dragon’s” Deviled Eggs, pilfered straight from the nest of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. ;) These dyed eggs would also be a fun to make for Easter, or any dino-themed party. To get the crackled color effect on the eggs, I simply chipped the eggshells after hard cooking the eggs – a technique similar to hard boiling – and let them sit in colored water for a few hours.

For the Game of Thrones fans, there won’t be any major spoiler alerts here about the new episode, but I did enjoy seeing the return of some of my favorite seasoned cast members (Arya! The Hound!), as well as a few new ones, including a prince who boldly tells Tyrion that the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts…

Anyway, onto ye mighty recipe!

The Makings:

Dragon's Deviled Eggs  Dragon's Deviled Eggs

  • Eggs
  • Food coloring

Optional “Fiery” Deviled Eggs filling:

  • Mayonnaise – 1/3 cup
  • Dijon Mustard – 1 teaspoon
  • Sriracha sauce – 2 teaspoons
  • Paprika – 1 pinch for the filling; some to dust the tops of the eggs

The Sweetness:

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

1. Place eggs in pot of water and bring to a simmer. Once water is simmering, keep eggs in pot covered by a lid for 17 minutes. (This method is called hard cooking your eggs, which is different from hard boiling because you maintain a simmer vs. a boil. Simmering is a cooking method used often for stews; it involves bringing the water to a temperature just under boiling point. You may see small bubbles slowly float to the surface, but you shouldn’t allow your water to come to a rolling boil.)

2. Remove eggs from pot, allow them to cool and then lightly chip eggshells by tapping and rolling them on a hard surface, so they’re lightly cracked all over.

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

3. Use hot water from pot and pour into glasses or mugs. Stir in a few drops of food coloring. (I used 3-4 drops per glass.) Carefully drop in your cracked eggs, and make sure the water fully engulfs eggs. Place glasses or mugs into refrigerator and let them sit for a few hours. (I let my eggs sit for approximately 4 hours.)

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

4. Remove eggs from colored water. Your shells should be a pretty, dyed color now, too. :) And now for the slightly painful effort — shell removal. (Warning: This process takes some time and patience! I popped on the Game of Thrones Season 3 recap and watched the episode while removing my shells. The dragon sightings were very appropriate here. :)

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

5. Slice eggs in half, remove yolks and mix together your preferred deviled eggs filling (optional filling recipe above). Pipe filling back into eggs. (I used my new cookie press and an icing tip to pipe my filling. It worked like a charm!) Dust tops with paprika for an extra fiery effect.

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

Dragon's Deviled Eggs

Pop in a tray, bring to your party, and if appropriate, make many references to majestic winged creatures in flight! :)

This recipe was adapted from Doughmesstic.

More Sweetness:

Cranberry Avocado Salsa  White Chocolate Popcorn  Margarita Cupcakes

Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cakes

Lemon Strawberry Cookies 001

I was seeking a bright, sunny burst of sweetness in my kitchen. These Lemon Strawberry Cookie Cakes pack quite a lemony punch, but not in a super sour way, at all! They’re baked in a pan, and then cut to make single servings. I used my circle cookie cutter as a mold (and ate the scraps in the process). :) I paired my cookie cakes with a glass of sparkling water, topped with strawberry slices. If you’re still craving more lemon love, you could serve these with a glass of lemonade.

The Makings:

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

  • Flour – 2 1/4 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter or margarine – 1 cup
  • Egg – 1
  • Lemon zest – 3 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Diced strawberries – 3/4 cup

Optional glaze:

  • Lemon juice – 3 tablespoons
  • Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking pan with tin foil.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies
3. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest and egg. Then mix in dry ingredients.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

4. Fold in strawberries.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

5. Add mixture to lined baking pan, lightly pressing dough down into bottom of pan.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. To create glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Use whisk to drizzle glaze atop cookie cakes.

Lemon Strawberry Cookies

This recipe was adapted from Bakeaholic Mama.

More Sweetness:

Strawberry Banana Bread  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls

Hot Chocolate Brownie in a Mug

Mug Brownie Mug Brownie
This week, we Chicagoans experienced our second “polar vortex,” (read: temps below -25 degrees when you factor in the windchill.) And to think that it’s ONLY just the beginning of February. Needless to say, I’ve been spending lots of time indoors. Last week, I made a spicy black bean soup in my slow cooker. I also whipped up this recipe for an “instant brownie ala mug.” It’s a Hot Chocolate Brownie in a Mug thanks to the addition of a couple marshmallows and a light dusting of cocoa powder. And as if that wasn’t enough, I also mixed in some leftover peanut butter chips. This recipe makes a fast and simple brownie for one, perfect for those moments when you just want a quick sweet treat for yourself without worrying about the pressure of finishing off an entire batch!

The Makings:

Mug Brownie

  • Melted butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Water – 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Granulated sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tablespoons
  • All-purpose flour – 4 tablespoons

Optional:

  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish

The Sweetness:

1. In a mug, whisk together melted butter, water, vanilla extract and salt.

Mug Brownie 2. Stir in cocoa powder, sugar and flour, pausing to whisk in each individual ingredient before adding the next. (Optional: mix in peanut butter chips as an extra ingredient after mixing in flour.)

3. Place mug with brownie mix in microwave and heat for 90 seconds at a reduced power level. (I used power level 7 on my microwave.)

4. After 90 seconds, inspect brownie mixture in mug and continue to heat brownie in microwave in 30 second intervals at a reduced power level until mixture becomes a cake. Be careful not to overcook. Cooking times will vary based on microwave. (This takes some patience and careful observation. You’ll notice that the edges will bake first, leaving a gooey, molten center. I had to repeat this interval heating process about 3x more before it was ready to eat. I tested the cake consistency with my spoon at each interval. When finished, my cake was firm but not rock hard or completely gooey.

Mug Brownie

When your cake is at its desired consistency, place a few marshmallows on top of the brownie. Use a spoon to lightly press down on marshmallows. The residual warmth of the cake should melt the marshmallows into a spread. (If you’ve left your mug out for too long in between this process, you may need to place back into the microwave and heat for a quick 5 seconds.)

Mug Brownie

Take a pinch of unsweetened cocoa powder and sprinkle atop marshmallows as a final garnish.

Grab a spoon and DIG IN!

Mug Brownie

Recipe adapted from Food.com.

More Sweetness:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies  Bacon Chocolate Hearts 001  Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Pink Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

Happy New Year! Right now, it’s ridiculously cold here in Chicago. I mean, it’s Fuh-REE-Zing. In fact, we have sub zero temps outside today. Some locals have dubbed it the land of “CHIberia.” To avoid cabin fever syndrome, I ventured out last night to a birthday party, but aside from that event and a few errands I ran yesterday, I’ve been cooped up inside all weekend. I’ve got my slow cooker simmering away with Chipotle Chicken Soup and a fresh mug of Raspberry Pomegranate tea by my side.

I also made a batch of Cool Whip Cookies, or as I like to call them, “cloud cookies,” because of their light and fluffy taste and texture. This time I opted for the power of PINK. (Click to see the Lemon Cool Whip Cookies here, inspired by this summer’s sunshine. Man, we could use some of that sun now!)

The Makings: (1 batch yields ~2 dozen cookies)

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

  • Cake Mix – 1 box
  • Eggs – 2
  • Cool Whip – 1 8 ounce container
  • Powdered sugar – 1/2 cup

The Sweetness:

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies  Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

1. In a medium sized bowl, beat together eggs and entire contents of the Cool Whip container. Slowly add in cake mix, until it’s folded into the batter. Chill mixture for 1 hour in the fridge.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and remove chilled dough.

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies  Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

3. Scoop balls of dough – about 1 tablespoon per ball – and roll them in powdered sugar. Place powdered dough balls on a cookie sheet. (Here, I also sprinkled on some pink sugar for an extra pinch of PINK.)

4. Bake cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom and the tops of the cookies are lightly golden.

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

Strawberry Cool Whip Cookies

More Sweetness:

Strawberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies  Margarita Cupcakes  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Last month, I attended the kick-off soiree for this year’s Chicago Food Film Festival. If you’ve never heard of the event, it’s exactly what it sounds like: you get to watch films about food…and then sample the featured foods! NOMS city. (They even inserted napkins in our programs!)

Food Film Fest

To preserve the authenticity of the dishes and the tasting experience, the event organizers flew in ingredients (and in some cases, the chefs, too!) from the places profiled in the food flicks. The biggest draw at the party was by far the Ramen Burger. YES. You heard me right. A delicious patty enclosed in a ramen “bun.” Dreamed up by ramen connoisseur Keizo Shimamoto, this noodle nosh caused quite the craze this year, right up there with the cronut. (Like the cronut, the lines to try the Ramen Burger in New York can be quite long; Shimamoto once even swapped a customer a burger for a cronut!) 

Food Film Fest

Ramen Burger team, assemble! Chef Shimamoto and crew built their creations in front of our drooling eyes. Want to learn more about this burger bliss? Check out the trailer for the Ramen Burger film: http://vimeo.com/75558527

Food Film Fest

Burger aside, one of the surprise showstoppers for me was the Compost Cookie from David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar. It’s called a Compost Cookie because it crams in a TON of ingredients, including (but not limited to) potato chips, oatmeal, chocolate chips, pretzels and ground coffee. The coffee grounds really gave the cookies a mighty fine finish. They flew Compost Cookie samples in straight from NYC that morning! We even got to take a few pieces home in our goodie bags to enjoy for breakfast the next morning. :)

Food Film Fest

Inspired by this everything cookie, I knew I had to try to make a simplified version: Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Coffee Cookies.

The Makings: (Yields about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies)

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

  • Flour – 2 1/4 cups
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground coffee – 2 teaspoons
  • Butter or margarine – 1 cup (2 sticks)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Brown sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Eggs – 2
  • Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup
  • Butterscotch Chips – 2/3 cup
  • White Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup

The Sweetness:

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and coffee grounds together in medium bowl.

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Slowly mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually add dry mixture into large bowl until incorporated.

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

3. Stir in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Use tablespoon to drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. (Use extra chocolate and butterscotch chips to position on top of cookie dough drops.) Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

Next time around, I’d add in more coffee grounds, as the butterscotch dominated the flavor profile of these cookies, but overall I liked that you got a slightly different blend of flavors with every bite. Serve them up as a snack with a glass of milk or mug of coffee. (Hey, there’s coffee in ‘em, so go ahead and take a couple for breakfast. ;)

More Sweetness:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins  Apple Pie Cookies  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Holiday Pod Decorating Contest & Reindeer Cheer

Reindeer Cheer

Twas the season at my office for an inaugural holiday pod decorating contest. After assembling our group of working elves, we settled on a theme: The North Pole.  Then it was off to Pinterest to find some inspiration.

Reindeer Cheer

Our DIY display included a faux cardboard fireplace, a mantel display featuring holiday photos of our team, santa and a snowman made from empty milk gallons, a reindeer stable for our newest colleague – an inflatable reindeer named “I’m Rein Burgundy?” – and lights, lots and lots of lights!

Reindeer Cheer

Reindeer Cheer

Reindeer Cheer
Reindeer Cheer
To keep “I’m Rein Burgundy” company, I also created some gingerbread cookies and reindeer marshmallows.
Reindeer Cheer
Reindeer Cheer
For the gingerbread cookies, I used a cookie mix from Betty Crocker, Wilton cookie cutters and icing, sprinkles and chocolate for embellishments. To create the reindeer marshmallows, I used jet puffed marshmallows (and icing to attach the heads to bodies), pretzels for antlers and legs, chocolate, red licorice strips for the scarf and an edible marker to create the eyes.

Reindeer Cheer
Our North Pole pod took home the award for “Best Use of Office Space”. Hooray! We were very proud of our collective efforts; I have some crafty colleagues. :) The entire experience definitely put us in a festive, holly, jolly mood.

More Sweetness:
Apple Pie Cookies  White Chocolate Popcorn  Eggnog Cookies

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