Tagged with "recipe | The Hyper House - Part 5"
14 Mar
Posted in: Food
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Pi Day

Happy Pi Day! Pi Day is of course one of the high holidays for nerds. The other is Mole Day (October 23) and that is best celebrated by dressing up in a mole costume and singing a special song in its honor. You’ve never heard the line “that’s 6 with 23 zeros at the end…Much to big a number to comprehend” or danced to it either? Well, fine then, we’ll just stick to Pi Day and its glorious pies made in the holiday’s honor.

Today’s pie isn’t anything fancy. When I was a kid and I would visit my grandma, she’d make it for me and my brother. As a kid I had never seen such a tall pie and it was solid chocolate. My grandma called it dream pie and the first time we ate it my brother had a nightmare that night so he called it nightmare pie for quite a while. The other name we called the pie was pudding pie but being a kid and not being trusted in the kitchen, I had no clue why it would be called dream pie or pudding pie. Here’s a hint.

Dream Pie

For this recipe you need a magic ingredient called dream whip (a whipping stabilizer), pudding of your choice, a 9 inch pie crust and milk. That’s it. It’s so simple.

dream whip

At the beginning you only mix a cup of milk with the dream whip and magically you already have a very fluffy looking base. Then you add in pudding and some more milk and you have a giant fluffy mixture that you just spoon into a pie shell. The hardest part of this recipe is that you have to let the pie chill for 4 hours. It’s super simple and straight from the box so while my grandma never told me her “secret” recipe, I just had to find dream whip on the shelf in the pudding aisle to discover her secret.

dream pie

Dream Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 1 pie

Serving Size: 1 slice


  • 2 envelopes (1 package) Dream Whip
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 (3.4 oz) packages Jello instant chocolate pudding
  • 9 inch graham cracker pie shell, baked


  1. If your pie shell requires baking, bake it and cool following the instructions.
  2. With a mixer blend 1 cup of the milk and the 2 packs of dream whip.
  3. Beat on high for 6 minutes until the mix has peaks.
  4. Add the powdered pudding and remaining milk. Mix on low until combined, then on high for 2 minutes.
  5. Spoon the mix into the pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.

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12 Mar
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The Girl Scouts Turn 100

Happy 100th birthday to the Girl Scouts! I was a Girl Scout for only 3 years but I’m still friends today with several of the girls who were in my troop.

Girl Scout Cookie cocktail

In honor of the Girl Scouts reaching such an old age, I created a cocktail in their honor. I wanted a chocolate milkshake with the taste of mint cookies and for fun I threw in some rum. It was a great combination. I used chocolate ice cream but for a stronger mint flavor you could use vanilla ice cream. You could even go the mint chocolate chip route but I didn’t want the taste of Thin Mints to compete with the taste of the ice cream. The only thing that went wrong with this cocktail was that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. That’s what I get for drinking before 5 o’clock. I’ve adjusted the recipe so it makes two small cocktails, one for you and one for another Girl Scout.

Girl Scout Cookie cocktail

If you haven’t seen Girl Scout cookies in your area yet try the Girl Scout Cookie locator. I live in a rural community without many young people so I’m always having to hunt down Girl Scouts but now I just plan ahead and combine a cookie run with a trip to the hardware or grocery store. You could always cheat like I do in the off-season and buy the Keebler Fudge Shoppe Grasshopper cookies. They aren’t quite as minty or as crunchy and they’ll do when I run out of a frozen supply of Thin Mints but I always revert as soon as it’s cookie season.

Girl Scout Dessert

If you aren’t a Thin Mint person, I’ve been seeing plenty of Girl Scout-themed desserts this year. There’s SugarDerby’s Do-Si-Dos and Tagalong Bundt Cake, aBitterSweetWife’s Samoa Caramel Bark, My Baking Addiction’s Tagalong Peanut Butter Parfaits, and these incredible looking Samoas Cupcakes by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Grown Up Girl Scout

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 glasses

Serving Size: 1 glass


  • 6 Thin Mint Cookies
  • 3 Scoops Ice Cream
  • 2 Shots of Rum
  • 4-6 oz Milk
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Choose 2 tumblers to serve your cocktails in. Use 1 to measure out a full tumbler of milk.
  2. Add the milk to a blender with cookies, ice cream, and rum. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour shake into tumblers and add whipped cream.

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8 Mar
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Club Cobb Salad

club cobb salad

I haven’t talked a ton about my husband Daniel but here’s one thing you have to know about him: he loves salad. He eats salad with Chinese food, he layers it on his lasagna, and I have to buy lettuce in bulk at Costco. In an effort to appease his salad love, I concocted the idea of a cobb salad with all his favorite things on it. In addition to salads, Daniel loves ham, sandwiches, bacon, ranch, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese. This is how the club cobb salad was born.

salad greens

You’ll want to cut up a mix of salad greens into finely chopped pieces. Mine had spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce in it. Then form rows with all your ingredients. I used cheddar cheese, sliced deli turkey, hard-boiled eggs, diced ham, bacon, monterey jack cheese, grape tomatoes, and green onions. They key to this salad is lining up the ingredients in rows so it looks pretty. When you’re ready to eat just toss it up and serve with a good dressing. I like honey mustard but my husband is more of a ranch person. Serve it with some toast and you’ve got yourself a club sandwich in a salad.

club cobb salad

Club Cobb Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 2 cups


  • 6 cups finely chopped mixed salad greens
  • 1 dozen grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped bacon bits (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 2 hard-boiled large eggs, separated, the yolk finely chopped and the white finely chopped
  • 8 slices turkey deli meat
  • 2 tablespoons diced green onions


  1. If you are making fresh bacon bits then cook your bacon and crumble it. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl or platter with fresh salad greens.
  3. Arrange the ingredients in lines starting from the center. Use tomatoes, bacon bits, ham, egg whites, and turkey forming a mirror image from the center.
  4. Layer the egg yolks on top of the egg whites and place cheeses over the bacon and turkey.
  5. Sprinkle on the green onions to taste.
  6. Serve with either a ranch or honey mustard dressing.


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5 Mar
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S’mores Mix

If you’re in St. Louis, you’ve probably played in a trivia night or two. Outside of St. Louis I’ve discovered that most people have no clue what a trivia night is. Usually trivia nights include 10 or so rounds of 10 questions with the event working as a fundraiser for a cause. There are usually raffles, giveaways, and a group of about 50 or more tables competing.

My friends and I have an annual tradition. We go to our old high school’s trivia night to raise money for each year’s grad night program to promote a safe night without drinking for all the kids. The event provides free sodas and you can buy drinks and all the tables bring their own food. My friends and I tend to take that food part as a challenge. We bring pizzas, tacos, chips, deli sandwiches, a fruit tray, dip, cheese and crackers, and plenty of yummies for everyone. This year I made a S’mores snack mix. I’m pretty sure one person wanted to steal it from me and eat it all night long with a glass of milk. Who can resist Golden Grahams, a chocolate syrup, and marshmallows together? Thankfully it was good enough to help cope with our crushing loss this year. Let’s just say the categories included retirement community card games and knowing the price of toilet paper at a grocery store. Sorry people, I’m in my 20s and shop sales.

smores mix

S’mores Mix

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup


  • 12 oz box Golden Grahams cereal
  • 3/4 cup Dark corn syrup
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 11 1/2 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 bag of 11 oz bag of mini marshmallows


  1. Pour box of Golden Grahams into a large bowl.
  2. Over medium heat, stir together corn syrup and butter until evenly combined. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth.
  3. Pour the chocolate mix over the Golden Grahams and stir together. Once well combined, add your half bag of mini-marshmallows.
  4. Spread the mix into a sheet cake pan using your hands. Smash it as flat as you can and let rest for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, break the mix apart into smaller bites and enjoy.

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16 Feb
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Chicken and Dumplings

There seems to be two camps when it comes to chicken and dumplings. The northerners love a dumpling that is more ball-shaped and is light and fluffy and the sauce is broth-based. The southerners love a dumpling that is more biscuit and chewy while the sauce is more of a gravy. Living in Missouri my life has always been a mix of northern and southern traditions so chicken and dumplings are always a hot topic. The average southern style is always better than the average northern style but the best northern style will ALWAYS beat the best southern style. That’s just how it is for me.

chicken and dumplings

Thankfully, this recipe is one of those best northern style chicken and dumpling recipes. Pam from For the Love of Cooking has tweaked a Cooking Light recipe to be amazing. She even understands my irrational hatred of rosemary and uses basil as her herb of choice. Rather than repost her recipe I want Pam to have all the credit so if you need to try some of the best northern chicken and dumplings out there, try Pam’s Chicken and Basil Dumplings.

How about you? What’s your favorite style of chicken and dumplings? I’d love to be convinced by your recipes.

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13 Feb
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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cupcakes

This all started before I knew what I was making. My local grocery store was having a 10/$10 sale on cake mixes and I was feeling kind of froggy so I bought a few to experiment with. The first creation was my Funfetti Doughnuts. For Valentine’s Day I wanted something simple. My husband’s birthday is the week before so we were a little overwhelmed with all the chocolate cake we’d had leftover. Valentine’s called for something lighter on our stomachs and something that looked like it took far more work than it did.

Enter chocolate covered cherry cupcakes.

I started with a cherry chip cake mix and all the ingredients it usually called for. Then I threw in some cherry pie filling to really bring home that cherry feeling. After baking you might notice that your tops will fall slightly as they cool. This is actually good because it forms a little holder for the icing of choice: chocolate ganache. You want to plop just enough ganache on each cupcake to fit in the depressed space. Once you ice all the cupcakes, take some cherries (or cheat like me and use some leftover from amaretto sours), dip them in chocolate and plop them on the cupcakes.

Now comes the hard part: you have to wait 2 hours to let the ganache harden enough to eat them. Still, it’s worth it. The cupcake itself is sweet so the chocolate ganache on top is just bittersweet enough to remind you of an actual chocolate-covered cherry without being too rich. They’re super simple so you can make one tonight and it will be ready for dessert tomorrow.


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9 Feb
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Meat Lovers Stromboli

3 meat stromboli

You might know stromboli by its other identity of calzone but I like to think there’s a difference so I feel special saying “STROMBOLI!” in my horrible fake-Italian accent. This Meat Lovers Stromboli (or do I have to call it Stromboli for people who love meat?) follows some very simple steps that you’ll be used to seeing in my pizza recipe. Some key tools that make it easier include a Kitchenaid mixer with its dough hook and my favorite Pampered Chef Stoneware piece. The dough in my photo below is after my first rise. I had to run some errands and it got a little out of control so I punched it down and let it rise a little more.

stromboli dough

This recipe is cheesy awesome goodness with ham, bacon, and pepperoni. If you’re the kind of person who likes pizza crust, every bite of this dish includes crispy dough with a bite of pizza filling. One bite is all it will take to make you a believer in stromboli. One bite.

stromboli toppings

The key to stromboli is wrapping it up like a burrito. You fold in the little edges first, then the big ones, then seal it nice and tight with your fingers and some olive oil before flipping it onto your baking sheet seam-side down. Even with all that mine leaked a touch but I just scooped the cheesy goodness right off the tray and chowed down.

Meat Lovers Stromboli

Prep Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Serving Size: 2 slices

A delicious stromboli recipe. The dough is 2 servings so freeze one half or double the ingredients to serve more people.


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 to 5 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Filling
  • 1/4 lb ham slices
  • 1/2 pack of pepperoni
  • 1/3 cup crumbled bacon
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasonings


  1. In Kitchenaid mixer bowl dissolve yeast in the warm water.
  2. Add oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Use the dough hook attachment to begin blending together. Slowly add in 2 more cups of flour 1 cup at a time. If the dough looks too wet, add in the remaining cup of flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough looks blended but not crumbly or sticky.
  3. Continue to knead dough on low until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Unhook the bowl, coat your dough in a tablespoon of olive oil. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for an hour.
  5. Punch dough down. Divide in two and freeze or save the second half for another project.
  6. Stromboli:
  7. Roll out remaining dough into a 10 x 12 rectangle. Keep it about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
  8. In the middle of the dough, add toppings, first ham, then pepperoni, then bacon, then cheese slices, then sauce, then shredded cheese. Make sure to leave space around all the edges.
  9. Fold the two shorter edges towards the center, just covering the toppings. Fold one long edge over, then cover with the other long edge, like a burrito. Use olive oil to help firmly seal all the seams.
  10. Grease baking pan with olive oil and place stromboli seam-side down onto the pan. Coat the top of the stromboli with a little olive oil and sprinkle on Italian seasonings.
  11. Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes, cut into 1 inch slices, and serve

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27 Jan
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Fun with Funfetti

I’m having a bit of an obsession with buttermilk lately. Combine that with my love of my doughnut pan and doctoring cake mixes and this recipe is like my soul mate. So what’s all my fuss about? Funfetti Doughnuts.

Oh yeah, I went there.

Cookies & Cups tipped me off to this amazing recipe. You need most of a box of cake mix, some buttermilk, eggs, and a touch of melted butter. That’s it! Okay, so you’ll also need a doughnut pan (or you could steal one from your mom) so you can enjoy the baked doughnut goodness. This recipe filled up both a 6 regular-sized doughnut pan and a 12 mini-sized doughnut pan.

Just snip the corner of a Ziplock bag and fill up your pans. The full recipe and cooking instructions are below. I added a glaze to the doughnuts but they are sweet enough without them. My husband commented that they taste like angel food cake and even though he’s more of a Krispy Kreme kind of guy he gave these his seal of approval. Then he went back for seconds.

Baked Funfetti Doughnuts

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 12 doughnuts

Serving Size: 1 doughnut


  • 2 3/4 cups Funfetti Cake Mix (less than 1 box)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Stir the ingredients together until just mixed.
  2. Transfer batter into a Ziplock bag and squeeze into a buttered and floured doughnut pan.
  3. Bake at 425°F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then use a knife to gently remove doughnuts from the pan.
  5. Top with a glaze or even funfetti frosting for extra flavor.

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10 Jan
Posted in: Food, Household
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Meal Planning from your pantry

Yesterday I talked about how to clean out your kitchen and to take an inventory list. I mentioned highlighting any irregular items from your inventory and today I’m going to show you how to easily base your meal plan around your pantry.

When I did this last April, some of the items that popped up on my inventory were cherry pie filling, some leftover cream, white cake mix, carrots, peanut satay sauce, coconut milk, raisins, and canned clams. There were some more obvious choices on using up some items but other items had me stumped. The clams I used in clam chowder and the cherry pie filling I used up in a quick bread.

For the raisins I went to one of my favorite sites, foodgawker. I knew I wanted a raisin dessert or breakfast item so first I searched raisins and then I chose desserts and breakfast under category on the second screen.

I had 10 pages of results but on page 3 I found a perfect recipe that used both raisins and carrots: carrot cake! On the same page I also saw Hot Cross Buns. Since I was doing this in April, Easter was right around the corner so both Hot Cross Buns and carrot cake were perfect for my menu.

Another site I like to use is food.com. I figured both the coconut milk and the cake mix could be used in a dessert so I used the site’s recipe sifter tool.

Under filter by ingredient I typed “coconut milk” and checked the green arrow to add it to my sorter.

I repeated the process with “white cake mix” and then I had just 13 recipes.

The most popular recipe was a Tres Leches Cake that not only used my coconut milk and cake mix but also used up most of my extra cream too. Bonus!

For sauces like my peanut satay, I wanted to use it all up and quickly. I was working on this all last spring so I was into grilling a bunch of meat. I took several pounds of chicken and coated it all in the peanut satay sauce before throwing it on the grill. I froze a bunch of it and over the next few weeks I had traditional satay chicken, satay pita pockets, and grilled chicken salad with satay dressing. If you don’t want to be overwhelmed trying to eat up a single ingredient, freezing is definitely the way to go.

The best part of cleaning out your pantry is how few items you’ll need to buy for your many meals. I just added the extra ingredients needed to complete my recipes to my restocking list from the cleanout. For 20 days the only items I had to buy from the store were milk, some fresh produce, and bread. It was a great way to save money and you can do it every 6 months if you’re anything like me.

How about you–what are your best tips for making a meal plan from your pantry?

30 Dec
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Screw Resolutions

This is the time of year so many people post their resolutions for 2012 and reflect on how they did for 2011. This is the time of year I say “Screw Resolutions” and post the most fattening cupcakes I’ve ever had. They’re completely delicious, amazing, and rich so really I’m doing you a favor. If you insist on dieting for 2012, make these for your New Year’s Eve party as one last hurrah.

These Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes feature a chocolate chip cupcake base with an egg-free chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough inside each one. Then you top it off with a cookie dough flavored frosting and sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips for decoration. The 6+ sticks of butter might be intimidating but before you give up on cupcakes forever you’ll know you’ve had the best one there is.

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Recipe is from the brilliant Annie from Annie's Eats. It's just like eating real cookie dough but in cupcake form so give in to temptation and try one.


    For the Cupcakes:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • For the Filling:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • For the Frosting:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Additional mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)


    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs one at a time until blended smooth.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the sugar mix until just mixed. Stir in the vanilla.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Divide the batter evenly and bake for 18-20 minutes until a soft gold color. Let cool.
  8. For the Filling:
  9. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  10. Blend in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
  11. Gently stir in the mini chocolate chips.
  12. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour.
  13. For the Frosting:
  14. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  15. Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the flour and salt.
  16. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended. Let firm up for 5 minutes.
  17. Assembling the Cupcakes:
  18. Once cool, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake.
  19. Take your chilled filling and roll 1/2 tablespoon into a tiny ball. Place each ball into a cupcake. Use any leftover filling to make sure cupcakes are nice and smooth on top, where the hole once was.
  20. Spread or pipe the frosting onto each cupcake. I used a Wilton 1M tip.
  21. Decorate the cupcakes however you like, I added more mini chocolate chips to mine.

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