Saturday, April 23, 2016

Win a Boyfriend Brownies

Here's the scenerio: Cute boy. You want to date him.
Follow my simple, non-customized and over generalized "Win a Boyfriend" plan! This will only cost you a couple bucks, some blood, sweat, tears, and possibly frustration. This plan works! I have won about 34,581 boyfriends from these brownies. 

(Disclaimer: this is a lie. I've actually never won a boyfriend from this recipe- but whatevs)

Okay so here's what you do. First, shoot him a text and tell him you had some spare time so you figured you'd just whip something up in the kitchen real quick (this will make you seem domestic AF). Secondly, tell him you made extras so it's no big deal to just drop some off at his house! (He doesn't have to know you purposely doubled the batch).

Boom, Immediate invite to come over. Not only do you get to have an encounter with him, but you'll blow his socks off with how impressive you are in the kitchen! (;  If he says no to this invitation, he is either 1) gay. 2) actually busy or 3) not worth your time. I've never had a guy turn it down, so you shouldn't have a problem, if you do.., IDK SOS, you're on your own! If you're thinking, "wait I lack those baking skills...", don't you fret. This recipe is fool proof and bound to work! Dump those doubts and win a boyfriend!

First you start out making the basic brownie batter. Melt butter in a glass bowl, add sugar and mix. Next add cocoa and eggs. Continue to stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla. This will be a really thick batter. That's okay!

Spread evenly into a greased 9x13 inch glass pan.

Next, mix up the cream cheese marbling (aka the best part that sets you apart from all those other basic bitches who just use a box mix and think that will get them anywhere in life). You'll start by beating the cream cheese. Next add the sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth. Make sure there are no lumps.

Drop cream cheese topping onto brownie batter and use a knife to swirl it in. After this looks excellent and girlfriend material, sprinkle some chocolate chips over the top just to make yourself look better than you actually are. Make sure you find that fine line between "just right" and "trying to hard"
actually screw it
If you're looking at this recipe with the motive to actually do this, you are trying to hard. But that's okay (':

Cream Cheese Brownies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Swirl:
1 8 ounce block cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Wait until cool to cut into squares, then deliver to all the hotties. Best of luck!(:

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Shane's Wilderness Cookies

I recently had the opportunity to go backpacking in Southern Utah. I went with some family and friends and it was remarkable. We saw some incredible Indian Ruins and shared many laughs. Some highlights of the trip were as follows: 

- cheap motels
-sitting in dirt
-Caputo's Olive oil and dipping bread
-Clint's Barbarian Quotes. Such as "Speaking of, my ex wife was exactly like Satan!" and "I'm telling you buddy, we are going to be such great friends if you can get me deals"
-Shane's cookies  

When it comes to backpacking, quality meals are slim and far between. You can pack so many cup-o-noodles and can only take so much tuna before you really crave good, homecooked food.

Shane saved the day on this trip. He is quite the high class diner and he won't let the wilderness stop him. He decided he would whip up a batch of these hearty, durable, yet delicious cookies before our trip. 

They are super easy to make and lasted the whole three days. They tasted fresh and they filled you up. You just start with a basic oatmeal cookie dough. For convenience sake, Shane opted for a pre-measured Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix. After mixing that up according to package directions, you add coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and a heaping amount of chopped walnuts.  Boy are these cookies delicious. 

The recipe is as follows

1 Oatmeal Cookie Mix (mix according to package)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
3/4 cup walnuts 

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and scoop out onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely before putting in a plastic bag and packing. 

Happy Camping!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sticky Buns That Are So Easy and Remarkably Tasty, Its Unreal.

This is a Sunday staple at the Twede Home. We look forward to having them every week. Are they a dessert or simply a side roll? It's still up in the air. Regardless of what it's classified as, its so good we all devour them.

They take next to no time to put together. You just dump tons of sugar and butter onto pre-made roll dough and then let it raise. The wait for them to raise and then bake is what takes the longest! When it bakes the sugar and butter form a sort of caramel that coat each role. Everyone will think you've spent hours working on these.

So here's the recipe to these Unreal Sticky Buns:

1/2 cup pecan halves
1 small package *COOK AND SERVE* butterscotch pudding
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick butter (melted)
12 Texas Rhodes Rolls

Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, then dump pecans into bottom. Next add the 12 rolls on top. Then sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, and dry pudding powder over the rolls. Lastly, drizzle butter over the top of all of this then cover with plastic wrap. Let the rolls raise until they are about doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Turn over onto a sturdy plate and enjoy!

Alisa's notes: I add more pecans than just the half cup. When the rolls are done they get glazed with all the sugar and they are the best part. So I don't skimp on those. Also MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT USE INSTANT PUDDING. It will ruin the rolls and make the glaze goopy and your rolls chewy. It needs to be the Cook and Serve type unless you want gross rolls and an angry family.

Here's a video of how I put it all together!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Lake Powell Dutch Oven Cake

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.

I spend way too much of my nonexistent free time looking through pictures spent at Lake Powell in past years. It’s my favorite place on earth if you haven’t picked that up from my past posts.

Today I decided to whip up a Crandall Family Reunion Lake Powell trademark. Every year we eat Dutch oven cobblers after dinner one of the last few nights. They usually consist of a bag of frozen berries and a cake mix. However, my personal favorite is the Dutch Oven Chocolate Cobbler. I don’t even know why it's called a cobbler when it's more like a chocolate lava cake.
Especially when you’ve spent the week camping. There is nothing better than warm, melt in your mouth, fresh chocolate cake.

Since we eat it on the lake, it is obviously super simple and easy. All it requires is three things:
1.  Marshmallows
2.  Chocolate Pudding
3.  Devil's Food Cake Mix

Yup. Super easy. So here is how you can make this yourself at home! If you are making it in an actual dutch oven, you'll want to view the recipe below because it is a little different. But for the domestic, non-camping scenario, you can still enjoy this delicacy.

You start by dumping half of a bag of mini marshmallows into the bottom of a greased 9x13 glass pan. Next, mix up a small (3.9 ounce) package of instant chocolate pudding. Pour that over the marshmallows.

 Next, prepare a Devil's Food cake mix according to package directions. Pour the cake mix over the pudding and marshmallows. Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for anywhere from 30-40 minutes.

Keep in mind that you have a whole package of pudding at the bottom of this. Therefore no matter what, it will be wobbly and not firm like most cakes you make. That’s fine, just make sure the cake is baked on the top.

When it's finished, you might want to wait a little for it to set up, or you can just go at it. You can’t really cut it into pieces because it’s a lava cake, so we just scoop it out into a bowl, dump a whole lot of whipped cream on it, and eat it with a spoon. If that doesn’t sound like heaven to you, no one should trust your opinion.

Dutch Oven Chocolate Cake (in the actual Dutch oven)

2 Devils Food Cake mixes (prepared according to packages)
 large package instant chocolate pudding (prepared according to directions)
*or you can use the equivalent in pudding cups if you don’t have a way to bring milk and prepare it there)
1 bag miniature marshmallows

Follow the directions stated above, however cooking times may vary. Happy Camping(:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Healthy Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had my first vegan baking experience the other day (': It was really just like any other baking experience I had, no worries you guys it worked out wonderfully!

I have the privilege of nannying the two cutest boys. Not only do they babysit pet alligators, double as ninja turtles, and have an obsession with jumping on air mattresses, but they are quite the pastry chefs.

They insisted on their mom's recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, let me just tell you, it's a gem. They are super healthy and it doesn't come at the expense of losing any of the tasty pumpkin flavor. You won't even be able to tell that they are vegan.

For me, I have quite the sweet tooth and I would recommend adding more maple syrup or sugar to the recipe. However, without they were still worth eating a dozen of them and you won't even feel guilty after!

The recipe goes as follows:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch of allspice
pinch of cloves
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
(1/4+ cup sugar, optional)
1/3 cup coconut oil  (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In liquid measuring cup combine pumpkin, syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Mix together wet and dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop into greased muffin tin and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Toddler's Favorite Tavern

Ever since I was born we have been going on family vacations to Lake Powell. At some point in these excursions it became tradition to stop at Ray's Tavern on the way home. It's located in Green River, Utah, so after a week spent on the lake, we would always finish the trip with a nice, thick burger. So, since I was in diapers, I have been eating in this tavern that became one of my favorite places.

It may be due to the fact that the memories I have there are linked to Lake Powell, regardless, if I'm ever near Green River I make it a priority to stop. I have yet to eat something there that I don't enjoy.

Ray's may be a hole in the wall.
It's debatable.

But it's still my favorite diner.

This past weekend I went on an overnight trip to Moab and, of course, had the privilege to finish off my excursion with a Ray's burger. I got their cheeseburger and my friend, Ivonne, ordered a bacon burger. One cool thing about their burgers is they give you all the condiments and toppings on the side, so in essence, you build your own burger. It also comes with a huge helping of fries.
I've  tried their burgers, chicken, chicken strips, steaks, and salads. All of which I recommend. You can't go wrong.

Each burger is made to order and fresh. Since it's a small local business, they use fresh potatoes for their fries and their toppings are prepared by hand.

The moment you sink your teeth into that juicy, tender burger, you savor the taste of fresh, hot food you've been deprived of since you started your camping trip. The cheese is delicious.  It is not that fake, plasticky stuff you get from typical fast food joints. I dump about half the bottle of fry sauce on my burger to clearly prove my loyalty to Utah and its fry sauce fanatics.


I always shed a tear of happiness when burger joints have fry sauce available and not just ketchup. All praise to the Fry Sauce Gods.

Ray's tavern is definitely a place to add to your itinerary. Don't drive by Green River without stopping to try it out. You will not be disappointed. Waltz in, sit at the bar, let your hair down, eat a burger and fries, make some jokes, have the time of your life, leave the tavern with your life a million times better and realize you have just had all your dreams come true.  You're welcome!

Also, If you want to see what Ivonne and I were up to in Moab, check out the video we made! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Easiest & BEST Coffee Cake Known to Man

You can only handle so many bowls of cold cereal every morning before you get sick of bran flakes and Cocoa Puffs. Let me save the day! I present to you my favorite rise-and-shine breakfast: Coffee Cake.

Is this really breakfast? Is it really healthy and filling? Is this really something  you want to eat when you start off your day? I don't know the answer to the first two, but I do know it's super easy and unbelievably good, so yes, you do need this to start your morning.

This recipe came from the family, once again. To be honest, someone probably got it off of the back of a Bisquick box or something and it ended up in the family cookbook. Regardless of where it came from, it's a cherished gem that has been feeding the messy-haired, sleepy-eyed, sometimes grouchy, early morning Crandall risers since at least 1968.

This cake is moist, flavorful, and filling. It is a super easy recipe because it's made up of Bisquick. I highly recommend everyone keep Bisquick mix as a staple in your pantry. You can make so much from it.

You simply just dump the Bisquick, milk, eggs, and sugar in a bowl, mix it up and voila! You're halfway there.

Secondly, you just mix up the topping and sprinkle it on the top. HOW SIMPLE!? You can make it into a cake or portion it out in a muffin tin and make coffee cake muffins for an on the go option!

Fun hint: In the video above it shows me adding flour to the chocolate chips. I do this so that they don't all sink to the very bottom of the cake when I mix them into the batter.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cake

2 1/3 cup Bisquick (divided)
1 egg
2/3 cup sugar (divided)
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine 2 cups Bisquick, eggs, milk, and 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9x9 pan. For the topping, combine 1/3 cup Bisquick, 1/3 cup sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter. Add nuts to the crumble mixture. Sprinkle on top, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.