Don’t grow up, kids. It’s a trap.

You know what’s horrible about growing up? It’s no longer socially acceptable to build forts or jump on the living room furniture to avoid landing on the carpet which is unfortunately made of lava. Well, I guess I still could, but people would think there’s something wrong with me. And I’d also probably break the couch and a limb.

a whole lotta chocolate chips

A few days ago I went to the City Museum. For those of you who don’t live in St. Louis and are looking for something to do when you visit (you know you want to), I strongly recommend going to the City Museum. If you’re over the age of 12 you can only go once. Every time after that it just gets boring and depressing. I remember being so scared of it when I was little. There is one dark part called the caves that I was so terrified of, but when I went through them the other day the only thing I was terrified of was throwing up because the whole thing smelled rank. It was really disappointing. My favorite part was the ten story slide, but I had to climb up ten flights of stairs just to get to it, and it wasn’t worth it.

flourless chocolate cake batter

Last night I went to go see Monsters, Inc. with my friend. We were going to go by ourselves until we realized that two 17 year old girls going to see a movie that came out when we were 7 really is a bit lame, so we took Sister Celiac along. Because bringing along a 13 year old definitely makes things better? There were only four other people there, and we were the only ones between the ages of 6 and 30. We all had a lot of fun and I always forget how sad I get at the end of the movie…

making caramel sauce

As if I couldn’t get any older, I opened a checking account yesterday. I had a moment of panic because I was afraid that the woman who helped me with it would have me practice writing a check. All of the sudden I couldn’t remember how to spell forty. I couldn’t remember if there was a u in it or not and I was like OH NO. I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE A MORON IF SHE ASKS ME TO WRITE A CHECK FOR $40. Luckily she didn’t. I also ordered checks, and no one supported my decision to buy ones with Batman on them. I basically got bullied into getting my second choice which was polka dots. No one appreciates my love of Batman. But the good news is, heh heh, I underestimated the amount of moolah I had in my Ireland Fund. Unfortunately, I think the Ireland Fund is going to turn into the Ramon Noodles Fund. I’ve been thinking about whether or not I want to continue blogging in college, and at first I wasn’t going to since I wouldn’t be able to really cook. But then I looked at my follower count and I’m like hey, I have over 120 followers here that I wouldn’t want to let down. So I’m going to attempt to cook in college… I’m going to spend all of my money on stupid food just to make you guys happy. That’s how much I love you.

homemade caramel sauce

Also, I have two cups of caramel sauce left over. You’re welcome to come over and eat it straight out of the jar with me.

flourless chocolate cake

Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Cake

From AllRecipies

1 cup butter, cubed (I accidentally only used one stick and it tastes fine)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I just used regular chocolate chips because I’m not that fancy)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
6 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan, and line with parchment paper. I recently figured out that if you trace the bottom of the pan and then cut it out, you’ll get a nice even circle that fits in the bottom of it. Yeah.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in chocolate, and continue to stir until almost melted. Remove from heat, and stir until melted and smooth. I’m not sure why you have to remove it from the heat before it’s completely melted, but whatever. In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/4 cups sugar and the cocoa powder. Whisk in the eggs until well blended, then whisk in the chocolate and butter. I love being able to whip out my whisk. It’s pretty much my favorite cooking utensil, in case you cared. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven. The cake is ready when the edges have nicely puffed and the surface is firm except for a small spot in the center that will jiggle when the pan is gently shaken. Cool cake in the pan over a wire rack. Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake, then remove the sides of the pan, and invert onto a serving plate. Remove the parchment paper.

4. In a heavy saucepan, stir together 1 1/2 cups of sugar, water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook without stirring until the syrup is a deep amber color. For an accurate color check, dip a metal spoon into the syrup and lift it out of the pan to check the color. Once the syrup is amber, remove from the heat. Gradually stir in the cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously and freak you out. At least that’s what happened to me. If lumps form, stir gently over low heat to dissolve them. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter.

5. Cut the cake into wedges while warm, and serve with caramel sauce spooned over it. You can also chill the cake and sauce, then warm again before serving.

5. Mentally thank me for giving you this wonderful recipe.

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And not ONCE did anyone ever say, “Socrates, muffins without sugar taste like poison.”

I’m a little awkward. And that’s an understatement.

I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t know how to take compliments like a normal person. For example:

You: Hey Picco, your blog post last night was cool.
Me: HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

You think I’m joking. The only reason I sound somewhat sane on my blog is because I can edit what I write. Sometimes (all the time?) when I look at my writing I think Well. I have no idea what my point is. I think my life needs a backspace button so I can erase all the dumb things I blurt out. I also need a theme song and someone who will tell me to go running in the morning instead of downing multiple bowls of Apple Jacks. Although I think that thing’s called a conscience.

I’m not exactly the coolest 17 year old in the world. Cool 17 year olds would probably go to cool concerts, like Ed Sheeran or Train. They’re actually both coming to St. Louis soon, but I’m not going to see them. Who am I going to see instead? Justin Bieber. Before you judge me and start throwing small inanimate objects at your computer screen (because isn’t that what we all do when we judge something?), let me explain. No, I’m not a “Belieber.” At all. I prefer to be fans of people like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Robert Downey Jr. You have to have three names to win my admiration, obviously. The only reason I’m going is because my dad was able to get free tickets. A few weeks ago Sister Celiac and I were talking about how hilarious it would be if we could go to his concert as a joke. My dad was like well, I might be able to get free tickets… and he did. I think if I close my eyes really hard and drown out the music by singing a Demi Lovato song, I can pretend I’m at her concert. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m predicting not well.

You know what else is awkward? Cupcakes. How do you eat those things? If you just bite into them you get frosting all over your face and up your nose. Gross, I know, but you can relate. Apparently the “hipster” way to eat a cupcake is to take off the top, turn that upside down, and make a cupcake sandwich. Like this. I tried that once and guess what? The stupid frosting spilled out over the sides and I had frosting all over my hands and a very depressing looking cupcake. Talk about a let down. Also I’m really awful at making frosting. So basically I’m not good at making or eating cupcakes at all. I prefer to stick with muffins.

Aside from being awkward, I also obviously suck at following recipes. Sometimes when a recipe calls for 6 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and 3/4 cups of sugar, you should add the sugar. Guess what I didn’t do? Just to give you a general idea of how disgusting these muffins were, after eating one it made me want to go into the depths of our basement, pull out a U-Hall box, and start gnawing on it just to get the taste out of my mouth. I tried to make them better by drowning them in chocolate syrup, but no such luck. They were in the trash before they had even cooled down.

The good news is that Corrupted Brother helped me make these and it was a nice bonding experience for us. We sang If I Had You by Adam Lambert together. Halfway through I stopped and wondered how the heck he knew the words to it. I’m so sorry, mom. I gave him 5 chocolate chips and he managed to get chocolate ALL over his face. That’s talent right there. He also decided it would be a good idea to eat the cocoa that had spilled on the counter. He regretted that in about 1.7 seconds.

Even though we made a huge mess, I had to change the Pandora station from Peter Fox to One Direction to Fun. to the Inception film score in order to make Corrupted Brother happy, and we used stale marshmallows and…uhhh…no sugar, I had fun baking with my lovely brother. True story.

I’m 100% positive these are delicious, but just remember to add all the ingredients. If you end up making them, let me know how they turn out, ok? Ok. Lovely.

Chocolate Marshmallow Muffins

From What’s Gaby Cooking

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups flour (I used King Arthur’s all purpose gluten-free flour)
6 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup marshmallows
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup skim milk

Line a cupcake tray with cupcakes liners and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, SUGAR, chocolate chips and marshmallows. In a large mixer whisk the egg, milk and melted butter. Slowly add the flour mixture until completely mixed. If you’ve forgotten the sugar, I’d recommend adding it right about now. The batter will be stiff and hopefully not sugar-less.

Divide the batter evenly into the 12 cupcake liners.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Could be better. Could be raining. And 20 degrees cooler.

The only things hotter than a St. Louis summer are molten lava and the sun. If the thought “Hey, I’d like to visit St. Louis in the summer” ever crossed your mind, IGNORE IT. Yesterday it was 106 degrees and today it was 102, but felt like 107. It’s so hot here that you start sweating just thinking about going outside. Blah. I’m moving to Ireland. It’s cold there, right? I mean you never hear about Ireland exporting bananas or coconuts, so it has to be cold.


As of right now, my friend is in Spain. For a month. I spent the other night helping her pack and listening to music we bought in 7th grade (and weren’t sure if we should be proud or depressed that we knew every lyric to every Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, and Justin Timberlake song). It was really fun, until she started talking about Spain. She said “I think it’s going to be a breezy 80 degrees when I get there, and it’s right on the ocean so it won’t feel too hot.” Hate. Jealous. So many emotions. I threatened her with her life if she didn’t send me a postcard or buy me something, because…uhhh…that’s just the person I am. I’m not crazy, I promise. Or maybe I am, but people are just very accepting of me. I really appreciate it, guys.

Then I realized that almost most everyone I know is either leaving, going to college, or going to a Spanish speaking country. Or people on a Hispanic scholarship are leaving to go work at a college. Hmmm. I think I just need to kidnap all my friends and lock them in my closet. Would that be weird? Yeah, maybe just a little bit.

In order to ease the pain of people rudely leaving my life, I made cookies. I brought 9 over when I was helping my friend pack and we ate all of them in 20 minutes. I really appreciate people who have similar eating habits to mine. I’ve made these and posted about them before, but for those of you who just started reading my blog (hello, 6 new followers), let’s pretend that I’ve never made these before. HEY, look at this new recipe I found!

I’ve tried 20+ cookie recipes, and this is definitely my go-to recipe. Part of the reason they’re so good is that you get to tear them apart and then squish them back together. Fun and delicious. Could you ask for more? Well, yes. They would be much better if I had put Reese’s peanut butter chips in them. Every time I use peanut butter in a recipe my mom threatens to disown me a little bit more. Also, they would be much better if I had made these with Freddie Mercury. Although that might be creepy…? Since he, uh, bit the dust a while ago. But knowing me, I’d pull a Dr. Frankenstein/Igor and dig Freddie up from the grave. Aaaannnndddd now this is getting really weird.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

From How Sweet It Is

makes 18 large or 36 small cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and coole
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini m&m’s or anything else that you love. Don’t attempt to fold in Ryan Gosling. I already tried with disastrous results.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. Boring. I feel like every recipe has you combining the dry ingredients and then just ignoring them. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms. I made the first mistake of cookie making and dumped all the flour in at once, and then realize I forgot to put the eggs in. *sigh* Fold in the m&m’s.

Divide the dough how you choose (1/4 cup portions for 18 large cookies or 2 tablespoon portions for 36 smaller cookies). Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. WHACHA. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and then squish both halves together. Make sure to squish them, or they’ll look super weird. Place the dough rough-side up on a baking sheets. If you’re doing large cookies, I’d leave about 2 inches in between each.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (large cookies) or 8-12 minutes (small cookies) or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be soft and puffy. Do not over bake, or they’ll be gross. Let cool completely (or, uhhh, not), and I give you permission to eat all of them at all once.

Don’t create what you think the people will like, create what you know you will like. Like cookie dough brownies.

I made up a recipe today. I’m pretty much Martha Stewart…minus the whole convicted felon part.

One of the many blogs I am subscribed to is Bakerella and yesterday she posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookie dough truffles. Once I was done crying tears of utter joy, I decided I had to make them. So this morning I was going about my cooking ways, dum dee dum dum dum, I made the cookie dough, formed them into balls, and was about to go find some popsicle sticks, since they are truffles-on-a-stick, when I realized, duh. I don’t have any almond bark to coat them with. After I finished up crying over that (today has been an emotional roller coaster for me), I searched the other blogs I follow and thought, hey, I can just make chocolate chip cookie dough peanut butter cups from How Sweet It Is. Things were looking up for me until I looked in our cabinets for more chocolate chips to coat the cookie dough with when I discovered WE HAVE NO CHOCOLATE CHIPS. What household doesn’t have chocolate chips?! Exactly. And then I got really sad.

So I improvised (this is where it gets really impressive). Luckily, we had brownie mix so I made the batter, poured it into liners in a cupcake tin, and basically made brownie cupcakes. After they were done, I made them into bowls, then flattened the cookie dough globs and smushed them into the brownie. Very descriptive, I know. I’d say that these are beyond wonderful but 1) I don’t want to brag about how great of a cook I am, 2) ok, I lied, I totally want to brag how how great of a cook I am. They’re wonderful, and 3) there are certain things in this world that can’t be explained. Like Skandar Keynes, for example.

The other day I went to the gym at 6am…ok, I haven’t been to the gym in forever, so actually it probably was a few weeks ago. But I know it was six in the morning because this dumb story will be forever etched in my head. Anyway, I made the mistake of wearing a shirt I made that says “It’s a Skandar thing, you wouldn’t understand.” Some old weird guy, as he was weirdly eating his banana (who eats a banana at six in the morning? Actually, who eats a banana at all?), told me he didn’t understand what a “Skandar thing” was. So, I told him Skandar Keynes was an actor. When he told me he had never heard of him, I wanted to say GO BACK TO YOUR BANANA, OLD MAN, but I didn’t. I then attempted to explain, while I was still half asleep, how he is a British actor who isn’t really in a bunch of movies and blah blah blah. I can’t really remember what I said because it was kind of early. Worst day of my life. More or less.

If you’re looking for an excuse to make these, you could always hypothetically make them on the off chance you told me a while back that today is your birthday or something. Or I could make them for you in spirit, since you’re a broke graduate student and stuff. You know, hypothetically.

Cookie Dough Brownies

Cookie dough recipe is from Bakerella. The rest is from my imagination. Whacha.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (leave out if you are using salted butter)

1 box of brownie mix
1 egg
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the brownies, preheat oven to 350 ºF. Place paper cupcake liners cups in muffin pans. If possible, get the really fun looking ones that have tiger print or Disney princesses or something on them. Ok maybe not the princesses, but those cupcake things kick the excitement factor up to 11. If that makes sense.

Combine brownie mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl. Place 2 tablespoons of batter in each paper liner.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until edges are done and brownie tops crack. Take out of oven and set aside.

For the cookie dough, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Mix in milk and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix on low until combined. Then stir in chocolate chips, if you are fortunate enough to have chocolate chips in your house. If so, I envy you.

Chill dough in refrigerator for about 30 minutes until firm enough to roll into 1-inch balls. Wrap a shot glass (make sure to use the random one that says Florida on it) in plastic wrap and use it to make a dent in the brownies. Flatten the cookie dough balls and press into brownie cups. Try not to eat all of them at once.

To be (stung) or not to be. I vote not.

So basically I almost died yesterday. Again.

Remember my run in with lead poisoning a few weeks ago? Ok, well maybe I didn’t get lead poisoning…but something happened to me. Anyway, yesterday I was going for a run and decided it would be a good idea to run up and down a really steep hill by my house. There were some pretty tall weeds on the hill and obviously there was a bee that agreed with me that exercise is dumb and decided to sting me. Can I just point out that I was actually doing something good for me when I was attacked by the bee? I wasn’t rewatching Newsies for the 100th time, I was exercising. EXERCISING. Since I’d never been stung before, I panicked and pulled the stinger out of my leg, which apparently isn’t what you’re supposed to do because it gets more venom in your body. Ew. So then I frantically ran/limped home, stuck some ice on the place I got stung, and then it all went downhill from there. Obviously, I’m allergic to bee stings. Not deathly allergic, but I was feeling really sick and dizzy and anxious and my throat started to feel weird. My slight allergicness combined with my lovely vasovagal qualities makes for a really annoying person to deal with.

I was freaking out so much I tried to distract myself by watching Spongebob and eating. As I was eating some soggy animal crackers (I’m still not sure why they were soggy) and saltines that I’m sure expired before I was born, all of the sudden I thought “Wait, if I’m dying, this is my last meal.” Then, half delusional, I starting thinking about what I want my last meal to be. The best I could think of was a chocolate malt from Crown Candy, biscuits and honey from KFC, and those little raspberry and blackberry candies. Delusional me obviously doesn’t have a very refined palate.

So I asked my mom why I was feeling so awful and she said, basically, I was poisoned, and then I started to freak out even more. No one ever told me that it was poison. People always said Picco, what is truth. Picco, what is the nature of the good. Picco, what should I order. Picco, what are you having. And not once did anyone ever say Picco, hemlock…errr…bee stings are poison.

Rosebud.

Oreo Triple Layer Chocolate Pie

From here

32 oreo cookies, divided (about 3/4 of 15.5-oz. pkg.). I used the leftover gluten-free overcooked brownie cookies I made the other day…in case you cared.
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 packages (3.9 oz. each) jell-o chocolate Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip, thawed, divided
Finely crush 24 cookies; mix with butter. Press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.

Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 min.

Spoon 1-1/2 cups pudding into crust. Stir half the cool whip into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer in crust. Chop remaining cookies; stir into remaining cool whip. Spread over pie.

Refrigerate for 4 hours, or until set.