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Moving Back – Check out my new Site

1 Feb

If you’re still reading, you may notice that I haven’t blogged in awhile.  There is a reason for that, but rather than get in to my password issues, I just wanted to let you know that I’m moving back to Blogger, even though it’s considered “less than desirable” in the blogging world.  I’ve never had problems with Blogger, and unfortunately I cannot say that about wordpress, so I’m moving.  Additionally, I finally started working towards “branding” my blog!  I have a new domain name and eventually you’ll see a new, CUSTOM, design/template!

So, without further adieu, check out my new domain, and reset you’re readers and feeds!

http://www.coffeeandcannolis.com

Thanks,

Angie

Wendy’s Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt

12 Dec

A few weeks ago I received an email from Foodbuzz for a Tastemaker opportunity – a chance to try Wendy’s new Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt.  Yes, please!  My husband and I both LOVE Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwiches, however there aren’t too many Wendy’s locations in St. Louis so we don’t get them that often :(.  However, thankfully for us they’re starting to expand back in to St. Louis!

Foodbuzz and Wendy’s sent me two $10 gift cards to try out the new Natural Cut Fries with Sea Salt, suggesting that I stop by at a predetermined time.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to one of the designated times to try the fries due to a rescheduled appointment, however a morning of running errands gave me the perfect opportunity to pick up some lunch for my husband and I.

A new Wendy’s just opened about 15 minutes from my house a week or so ago, so naturally there was a long line.  Well worth it though!  After finally getting to order I got a Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal for Rob (no tomato), and a Spicy Chicken Nugget meal for myself since I’ve been dying to try them.

Admittedly I am a big fan of fries.  Put any fry in front of me and I’ll most likely eat it.  Though, I do agree that not all fries are created equal, especially when it comes to fast-food fries.  Wendy’s fries have always been middle-of-the-road for me.  Not bad by any means, but not the best I’ve ever had.  Now that I’ve had the opportunity to try the new fries they’ve jumped up on my list.  I’ve always been partial to natural cut fries, plus, I would rather eat a fry seasoned with sea salt over table salt!

Overall we’re fans of the fries.  Rob thought for the most part they were the same, however he was a fan of Wendy’s fries to begin with.  I was a fan, but I did notice that the fries towards the top of the holder were less salty than those on the bottom.  I’m sure that was due to sitting in the bag for a few minutes before I got home, and the napkins sitting right on top, brushing off some of the salt.

I’ll definitely continue to get!  Oh, and the Spicy Chicken Nuggets – amazing!  I’ll definitely be getting those again as well.

Thank you Wendy’s and Foodbuzz for this great opportunity!

Getting to Know You Blogging Challenge

12 Aug

Last week, the lovely Jade over at The Mess Pot, tagged me in a blogging “getting to know you” event, so to speak.  I’ve been so busy that I’m just now getting caught up on my Google Reader and happened to see this.  Anyway, this challenge is supposed to be passed along to fellow bloggers, but with how busy I am, I’m just going to answer the questions, and if you want to do on your own as well – please do so!  I must admit, I LOVE these kinds of things.  Remember in high school and college all of the old forward/chain emails with like 100 questions to answer… the procrastinator in me did ALL OF THEM!


Here you go!
1) What was on your To-Do list today:
– Finish up my IDP for work as it’s due while I’m on vacation next week
– Research in to a few competitors 
– Finish up the plan of a project I’m working on and touching base with the vendor on tomorrow
– Wash and sanitize bottles for the beer we’re bottling tonight!
– Wrap wedding gift for the wedding we’re going to tomorrow night

2) 5 Snacks you enjoy:
– Cheese (with crackers, bread, sausage, etc… doesn’t matter as long as it’s cheese!)

– Bread and Olive Oil
– Strawberries with a little splenda
– Pepperoni (weird snack, I know!)
–  Peanut Butter (by the spoonful or with crackers)

3) 5 Places you have lived:
– My parents house (St. Louis)
– College Dorms (Springfield, MO)
– College Apartment (Springfield, MO)
– First apartment with Rob (St. Louis)
– Our first, and current house (St. Louis)

(Living Room – one of my favorite rooms in the house)









(Kitchen – my favorite room – and there’s Puma up where she’s not supposed to be, as always!)


4) What were you doing 5 years ago:
We had just gotten engaged about a month ago 5 years ago and right around this time we were starting the planning process (picking the date and talking about venues).  I had been in my job for a few months and I loved it and Rob had just gotten offered his first job.  We were both still living at home with our parents and none to thrilled about it, but now I’m missing the days of no mortgage and someone to clean for me!


5) 5 things you would do if you were a Billionaire:
– Get out of any debt we have – student loans, house payment, credit card, car payment… and subsequently – buy a new house, or perhaps build our dream house!
– Travel.  My #1 destination is Italy – all of it.  I’d need LOTS of time there to enjoy it.  Rob’s #1 destination is Australia.  
– Make sure our families are taken care of
– Start some kind of bar/restaurant/bakery with Rob – we joke all the time about “we should open a bar”, “You should totally do this…”
– Volunteer time and money to a cause that means something to me – funding for arts and music in schools probably.  


PS – If you want to learn more about Jade, check out her responses here.

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes

25 Jun

Adding chocolate to a light dessert always makes it more indulgent, but when that chocolate doesn’t counteract the lightness of the dessert you automatically have a winner.  These chocolate angel food cupcakes are still light, like angel food cake should be, but the cocoa flavor really makes these little guys more impressive.

Not only did this taste great, and hit that sweet spot I often find myself trying to hit – I’d have to say that my favorite thing about these cupcakes is that they are so adaptable to variety.  Want to make them even more indulgent?  Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce.  If you’re really watching the waistline (it IS swimsuit and wedding season after all) you can top these cupcakes with your favorite berries instead of whipped cream.  You can even go somewhere in between – whatever floats your boat – just make sure your boat takes you to these delicious cupcakes!

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes
Ingredients:
3/4 cups sugar
Scant 1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate, grated (about 1/4 cup)
6 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place oven rack in center.  Sift together onto a piece of parchment paper 1/3 cup sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add grated chocolate; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  With machine running, add the remaining sugar in a slow steady stream, beating until fully incorporated and stiff glossy peaks form.  Add vanilla and almond extracts; beat to combine.

Remove from mixer.  Gradually add flour mixture, gently but thoroughly, folding into egg-white mixture until fully combined.  Pour into lined muffin tins, about 2/3 full.  Tap pan on counter to remove any air bubbles.  Bake until cakes spring back when depressed with a finger, 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pan about 5 minutes and then remove to wire rack to complete cooling.  Serve with whipped cream and/or fresh fruit as desired.

Source: adapted from Martha Stewart

Creamy Taco Mac

24 Jun

We definitely have a soft spot for Hamburger Helper in our house.  Cheeseburger Macaroni is probably one of my husbands favorite meals – so much so that if he were ever knowingly given the need for a last meal he might actually consider it.  I, too, enjoy Hamburger Helper but considering my love of cooking, desire in expanding my knowledge and wanting to cut out process foods when possible, I try not to rely on boxed meals too much.   Don’t get me wrong – I still love Hamburger Helper and I’m not gonna lie, I’ll probably continue to make it every once in a while, but this Creamy Taco Mac will definitely rein supreme when it comes to quick “box” dinners.  The concept is reminiscent of classic Hamburger Helper – but I know every single item that was in the skillet.  Can’t beat that, right?  Plus, it was just as quick which is an added bonus.   It makes a lot so I did freeze the leftovers – I’m hoping it’s just as good defrosted because I’m already craving it!


Creamy Taco Mac
Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb. ground meat (I used 1 lb. ground turkey, 1/4 lb. ground beef as that’s what I had)
8 oz. dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp. mild taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
S & P
Cheddar Cheese to taste

Directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.

Over medium heat, brown meat until no longer pink.  Drain and add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes.  Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese and sour cream.  Stir until cheese and cream is incorporated and melted.  Simmer over low heat about 3 minutes.  Season with S & P as desired.  Top off with desired amount of cheddar cheese.

Source: adapted from Delish 

Fresh Mint Ice Cream (with Oreos!)

21 Jun

One of my absolute favorite ice cream flavors is mint, especially when it’s Mint Chocolate Chip or Oreo Mint.  YUM!!  I finally bought a copy of The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and have been drooling over it since day one.  Naturally, I couldn’t wait to try the recipe for Fresh Mint Ice Cream.

The fresh mint in this recipe made for a very light and refreshing ice cream.  Personally, I loved it, though my husband was a little taken aback by the fresh mint flavor.  I did warn him that the mint was fresh and not extract from a bottle, but apparently I was too late.  He didn’t dislike it by any means, he just wasn’t expecting it to taste so “plant like” as he referred to it.  It was the “plant like” flavor that I enjoyed the most about this recipe!

Fresh Mint Ice Cream
Ingredients:
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
Pinch of salt
2 cups, lightly packed, fresh mint leaves
5 large egg yolks
(optional – crushed oreos, thin mints, chocolate chips, etc. – about 2 cups – I used too many at 3 cups)

Directions:
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the mint leaves and stir until immersed in the liquid.  Cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Strain the mint-infused mixture through a mesh strainer into a medium saucepan.  Press on the mint leaves to extract as much of the flavor as possible, then discard the leaves.  Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer on top.

Rewarm the mint-infused mixture over medium heat.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm mint liquid into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.  Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the cream.  Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Source: adapted from The Perfect Scoop


Garlic Cheese Bread

18 Jun

A good garlic cheese bread is something that is so easy to make, but always pleases.  Yes, you can certainly buy pre-made garlic cheese breads from the frozen section of the grocery store, but it’s just as cheap, and sometimes quicker, to make your own.  For even novice cooks butter, garlic and cheese are often staples in your pantry and fridge so to make your own garlic cheese bread all you need is the bread (and maybe parsley if you want it or already have it, though it’s not necessary).  With Artisan breads becoming easier and easier to find at local bakeries, the bakery section of  your grocery store, etc. it’s certainly not hard to find.

In just a few short steps you can have your own garlic cheese bread fresh from the oven and on your families dinner plates.  And, what’s better than the ease of making your own garlic cheese bread is the fact that you know every single ingredient you put in to it, whereas the premade stuff you never know what you’re going to get, and can sometimes have that frozen aftertaste to it.

Garlic Cheese Bread
Ingredients:1 baguette, or bread of choice, horizontally cut in half
1 stick butter, softened or partially melted
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use a blend I keep mixed in the fridge of various blends and cheeses I’ve bought and opened)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place both sides of the bread on a cookie sheet with the crust down.  In a small bowl, combine butter and garlic, spreading evenly on bread halves.  Be sure to press the garlic butter down with the back of a spatula so the small pieces of garlic are pushed in to the bread.  Bake for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Increase the heat to 500 degrees, or change the oven setting to a high broil if your broiler is large enough to accommodate larger items – mine isn’t :(.  Evenly sprinkle cheese over the halves of the bread then sprinkle with parsley and stick the cookie sheet back int he oven.  Bake at 500 degrees for about 5 minutes, or broil about 1 minute or until cheese has completely melted and some golden bubble marks show.

Remove from oven and carefully slice in diagonal pieces and serve.  Remaining pieces can be stored in the freezer in a ziplock bag to reheat later!

Source: adapted from Savory Sweet Life