Friday, June 24, 2011

Kat's Ice Cream Sandwiches

The other day I was just sitting around watching a cooking show and the host was making ice cream sandwiches. She was using a store bought mix for the cookies and some other things. I decided I needed to make my James some ice cream sandwiches (which he loves), but that I would make the cookies from scratch and use some leftover ice cream we had. Here's what I came up with:
Kat's Ice Cream Sandwiches:
1-1/8 c white wheat flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 c + 1/8 c succanat (or use regular sugar)
1/4 c + 1/8 c brown sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
softened ice cream - any flavor you like
1. Cream sugars and butter together. Once light and fluffy, add in the egg and vanilla and stir.
2. Add in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until almost all the flour is mixed in. Add chocolate chips and mix until you can't see flour anymore.
3. Using a standard ice cream scoop, drop cookie batter on silpat lined baking sheets. These spread and are big so don't put more than six on a pan.
4. Bake in a 375° oven for 10-12 minutes. Put on a wire rack to cool. Once cookies are cool, put them in a ziploc bag and freeze until solid.
5. Once cookies are frozen, put one scoop of softened ice cream on the bottom of one cookie and top with another. Freeze until ice cream is solid again.

I don't have a stand mixer, so I just used some arm muscle for this, but you could of course use a mixer.

These are so yummy! I accidentally forgot about the ice cream so it was a little softer than I would have liked when I made the sandwiches, but it still worked out. This recipe made 5 sandwiches (James got to one before I could include it in the picture) and one sample cookie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So-Called "Mock KitKat Bars"

I wanted to make a snack yesterday and had been holding on to this recipe for awhile. Since I had all of the ingredients, I decided to give it a try. While it has a good "candy" flavor, I would not describe it is a KitKat bar or even a "mock" KitKat bar. The recipe is from a blog I follow called Cookie Madness.

Mock KitKat Bar Cookies

2-1/2 sleeves of Ritz Crackers
1-1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 c sugar
3/4 c butter
1/3 c milk
1 c butterscotch chips
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c peanut butter

1. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment or non-stick foil. Put a layer of crackers over the bottom.

2. In a HEAVY-bottomed saucepan, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugars, butter, and milk. Turn heat to medium and bring to a boil. When mixture begins to boil, set time for 5 minutes and boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the 5 minutes are up, pour half the mixture over the Ritz crackers and gently spread evenly, then put another layer of crackers over the mixture. Top with the rest of the mixture, spread evenly, and top with a final layer of crackers. (Two layers of mixture, three layers of crackers.)

3. In another saucepan, combien butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Melt, over low heat, until smooth. Spread melted mix over top of crackers.

4. Let this cook at room temp for awhile and then transfer to the fridge until the chocolate sets. When set, remove from pan using parchment of foil and cut into bars.

If I make these again, I will increase the caramel mixture by a quarter to make sure I have enough to evenly spread over all the layers.

The graham cracker mixture burns very easily. I had a candy thermometer in it (essentially you are making a caramel) and after the five minutes it was just a little below soft ball stage.

CVS today 6/21

I had some ECB expiring soon, so I went in to roll them over.

I bought the purchases above in two transactions.

Total OOP = $3.32
Total saved = $21.04
ECB earned = $13.49

Pretty nice little trip. Plus the Hershey's Bliss White Chocolate bites are DELICIOUS!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Kerbey Lane Review

Kerbey Lane Cafe is a local favorite in Austin, TX. We have been there once or twice a long time ago, but not in a very long time. I've always loved the eclectic, artsy vibe of Kerbey's the kind of place where most of the servers have tattoos, piercings, and there are a lot of dreds! Recently I purchased a Groupon for $7 which enabled us to get $15 worth of food, so we thought we would give it another shot.

When we first got there we were "greeted" by a rather curt, but stunningly beautiful lady. She was kind of abrupt with us at first, but it might just have been because they were coming off a rush. We were seated and started looking at the menu (which we had already perused on the web.) Our waiter showed up several minutes later, right when I started to wonder if anyone was ever going to come to our table, and took our orders for water. We decided to order an appetizer of chips, queso and salsa, pictured below.

I honestly thought this was the best part of the whole meal. The queso was so creamy and yummy. Awesome queso flavor and great texture. The salsa was a little on the sweet side, but it was still good and the chips were crispy and salty. A small order (which is what we ordered) was $5.59.
I ordered a short stack of original buttermilk pancakes. I really wanted whole-wheat pancakes, but they only have apple whole-wheat pancakes and mix the apples in early so they couldn't take them out. I thought the pancakes were okay, but they were nothing special. I am not a huge fan of hot syrup, and that is what Kerbey Lane brings to the table (we weren't really checked on by anyone so I never got to ask for cold syrup by the time I had made up my mind that was what I wanted.) The syrup did have a good flavor, just not really what I wanted or was expecting. I don't even think I ate half of the pancakes. A short stack of pancakes is $4.49.
James ordered "David's Enchiladas' with verde sauce which consisted of "three cheddarjack cheese enchiladas topped with your choice of sauce, pico de gallo, lettuce and sour cream. Served with black beans and guacamole." The black beans and guacamole were served on a different plate. James liked the flavor of the beans and guacamole. He said the enchiladas were okay, but not like he expected. They were kind of dry and not like traditional enchiladas that are covered in sauce. He said that he felt like they were trying to make the enchiladas healthy by completely covering them with a "salad." I got the feeling that he would not order these again. The David's Enchilada were priced at $7.99.
With our $15 groupon we only ended up paying $9 for the meal at the restaurant. (We tipped off the original total, and were more generous than we should have been based on the service.)
I'm not sure if we'll be going back. I think we were both a little disappointed in the meal, although it was okay.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I just wanted to give an update on my condition. We still don't know what's going on. Today I had some more blood work done, was put on a new medication, and am being referred to a cardiologist. We'll see what happens.
I do have a new restaurant review to put up in the next couple of days.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Odds and Ends

As per my challenge I've been doing a few things.

One day after work I put in a movie and worked on a piece of a decoration I want to get done for Christmas. I got a pretty large portion of it completed. Eventually it will be a snow man...kind of hard to see it now, but I actually don't have a lot left to do.

My friend Inge makes jewelry and she made me a couple of pairs of earrings that I love. I was inspired to try my hand at it. While it is pretty easy, making the little loops is harder than it would seem. I also messed up on the pair on the left...I didn't notice that there were two sizes of silver balls on the bead chain, so I'll have to fix one of them. Overall, I'm pretty happy with my first attempts.

I've also helped James paint a little bit of the outside of the house. I'm not that much of a help because I tire out so easily, but I did contribute for about an hour.

I also want to share my Staples bounty. I forgot I had some earned some rewards when the store first opened, and received an email that they were going to expire. I went with the intention of being frivolous with the rewards and just getting a bunch of whatever I wanted. However, I happened to walk down one aisle in the very back of the store that had food and paper products. My plan changed and I was able to get $25.95 worth of goods that we'll use around the house.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New challenge for myself

I have been having some health problems...undiagnosed health problems. These have been the center of my thoughts for about two months. It is very difficult to stay positive and "look on the bright side" when you have constant discomfort. In an effort to take my mind of the problems (my health insurance doesn't kick in for a month, so I'm in limbo until then), I am challenging myself to craft, bake, do a home improvement project, or do a brain-teaser puzzle every day that I am off work for at least two months. The projects can be small or big, it is more about the idea of creating and completing something. I hope this will help me keep my mind off my discomfort, at least for a little while each day. Hopefully, I'll remember to take pictures of the things I do and blog about them.

2011 Challenge = Support Local Eateries

Read about our 2011 Challenge here.