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cookingwithlauren

Homemade guacamole and a drink

Yesterday, I posted about some fajita bowls that I made for the week, and I also mentioned that I made some homemade guacamole to go along with it. Today, I’m going to tell you how to make some tasty guacamole for yourself.

A short background on this: every time my boyfriend and I make Mexican food, he makes this guacamole, and it is the best guacamole I have ever eaten. This is the first time I’ve tried to make it myself, and all I had to work off of as far as ingredients was what I’ve seen him buy at the store. I’m not sure how much of each ingredient he puts in, so I’m pretty much winging it.

Here is what I used to make the guacamole. I’ll include what my boyfriend says he uses as well, so you can pick which version you like best.

  • 2 soft avocados
  • 1/4 tomato (OR: 1 roma tomato)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (OR: 1/2 white onion)
  • About 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • Juice from a lime
  • Salt (and black pepper, optional)
  • 1 tsp. cumin

The first thing to do is chop the ingredients that need chopped. Instead of buying separate ingredients, I used the leftover 1/4 of the tomato and onion that I used to make the fajita bowls. Make sure these are cut up pretty small, depending on how smooth or chunky you like your guacamole.

Next, pit and peal the avocado. For making guacamole, you want the avocados to be almost overripe, so that they are easy to smash and you won’t end up with a bunch of large avocado chunks.

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Next, throw those into the bowl with the tomatoes and onions. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, lime juice and garlic, then start smashing everything together with a fork until it is smooth. This is a to-taste process, so taste a little bit as you go and add whatever extra things you think this needs. I ended up adding quite a bit more lime juice and a little bit more cumin.

After that, you can put this on top of any sort of dish you want. In this case, I put it on top of my fajita bowls, but you can put it on tacos, burritos, or even just eat it with some tortilla chips.

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This is pretty easy to save and eat for later as well, just make sure to use a small enough container, because the top layer will start to turn dark and gross-looking if put in a large container with too much air.

As an extra treat, I thought I would include a recipe for some “wine-slushies” that taste really good on a hot day, and they are a good option to switch out with margaritas when you’re eating Mexican food, because sometimes margaritas aren’t everyone’s thing.

This is possibly the most simple drink ever to make, and it is super adaptable. Just pick some sort of white or pink wine, for this I used a pink moscato (you can find ones that use red wine as well, if that’s more your thing).

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Then, pick up any frozen fruit mixture that you want from the freezer isle. We used a “tropical” blend that has pineapple, strawberry and mango. This would also go really well with some frozen peaches.

Then, pour both of those things in a blender with some ice and blend it up!

 

This is an awesome drink to sit by the pool with and relax, and it tastes nice and light, unlike a margarita would. I recommend it for all the huge wine fans out there.

What are some other tasty homemade guacamole recipes? I’m looking for one that might beat my boyfriend’s, but it will be a tough task.

 

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My best meal yet: Fajita bowls

As anyone can probably tell from reading my blog, I love Mexican food. I love Mexican food of all shapes and sizes, but my absolute favorite is the famous Chipotle bowl. I’ve been on the hunt to find a homemade recipe for a Chipotle-style burrito bowl for the past few weeks, and so far I’ve found a few good recipes, but nothing outstanding.

This week, I tried something different.

Really the only thing required to make a burrito bowl is to take the contents of any Mexican food, remove the tortilla, and replace it with some rice. Today, I put that idea to the test by adapting a fajita recipe into fajita bowls.

The fajita recipe I used for this was a super easy slow-cooker recipe, which can be found here.

Here are all of the ingredients to make some fajita bowls:

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • Choice of 1 orange or green bell pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 10 oz. can of tomatoes.
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • lime

The first thing to do is chop up all of the ingredients while the chicken thaws. Take the stem and seeds out of the bell peppers and slice them long-ways. Then, dice the yellow onion. The original recipe says to use one whole yellow onion, but I’m not a huge fan so I only used 3/4.

After chopping everything, place half of the onions and the peppers in the bottom of the slow cooker, and put the rest to the side. (A quick tip: I find that it’s helpful to have an empty bowl on hand while cooking to either be a trash bowl, or hold extra ingredients.)

Next, after the chicken is done thawing, chop the two breasts in half and place them in the slow cooker on top of the peppers and onions. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of the taco seasoning on top of the chicken, then flip the breasts over and sprinkle another tbsp. on top.

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I have a small crock pot so you can’t see the peppers. 

After that, add the tomato, garlic and lime. In the case of diced tomatoes, make sure to drain the can before putting them in the pot. I chopped up a fresh tomato, and left 1/4 of the tomato to make guacamole later (recipe coming soon).

I used minced garlic instead of fresh garlic because we have about 4 cans of it in our fridge. I equate 1 clove of garlic to about half a teaspoon, so I added in four of those.

Then, place the rest of the bell peppers and onions on top of the chicken and let it sit on high for about 3 1/2 hours.

Once it sits for a while, grab a plate and two forks and pull out the chicken. Shred the chicken by pulling at it with the two forks,. It should fall apart extremely easily.

IMG_2982 Then, put it back in the pot to sit while you do some prep work. I used a cup of minute white rice and boiled it in a cup of water, then let it sit for about five minutes. That will make about two servings of rice.

Then, get out the toppings. A few things that I recommend to top of the fajita bowl are:

  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Homemade guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream

The last step is simply to pour some rice and the fajita mix into a bowl, and complete with toppings.

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It’s a great meal prep option for weekdays, and it’s really filling! It’s also quite a bit healthier than the classic chipotle bowl. Enjoy!

 

A side dish and dessert

I’m pretty experienced in the realm of making entrées and huge desserts that can feed about 10 people, but for this blog I wanted to show off how I cook for 1. My last post was about french dip sandwiches that I made for dinner, and I thought I’d share a small side dish and a quick dessert to go along with it.

For the side, I decided to make some garlic-parmesan asparagus, which is one of my all time favorites, and it’s super simple. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Asparagus (however much you think you’ll eat)
  2. Olive oil
  3. Garlic powder/ Minced garlic
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. Grated parmesan cheese

The only steps are to take the asparagus and snap off the bottom parts. Just bend the sprigs gently until they snap in a natural spot, and you can do a handful at a time. Then, lay them out on a flat baking sheet.

Cover the asparagus in olive oil and make sure to roll it around so that every part gets coated. Then, sprinkle on some minced garlic or garlic powder. Something that came in really handy for this was I actually had garlic-infused olive oil, and I highly recommend it. It’s two steps in one!

Then, sprinkle on the salt and pepper all over, and sprinkle the parmesan onto the tops of the asparagus, where the leafy bits are. After that, the only thing left to do is throw them in the oven at 450 degrees for about 7 minutes.

This goes great with chicken or beef dinners, and its always my go-to when I feel like my dinner needs a little something extra.

Now, let’s move onto the dessert. When I bake, I usually make huge batches of desserts that I can never eat all of, because I am only one person. Today, though, I found a recipe that’s perfect for one person and will be just as good to save for later: Braided Nutella bread.

This is a recipe that only takes two ingredients:

  1. Nutella
  2. Crescent rolls

First thing’s first, grab a baking sheet and lay out the entire package of crescent rolls, flat. You’ll have to seal off all of the pre-made perforations, because we don’t want this splitting apart when we try to braid it.

The next step is to pretty much cover the entire thing with Nutella. If needed, put the Nutella in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds to make it a little easier to spread.

After that, simply roll it up long ways so that it looks like it did coming out of the package.

Once it’s rolled up, make a cut down the middle of the roll, again long ways, splitting the bread in half so that it can be braided.

To do the braiding, you’re supposed to fold one end over the other and keep that up until you reach the bottom. I’ll be honest, though, I just twisted the bread around itself in a spiral. After that, put it in the over at 375 degrees for about 17-20 minutes.

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It looks pretty good once it’s done, right? It tastes even better. I ate almost a whole role after dinner last night. To finish off, feel free to add some powdered sugar on top for an extra flair.

I hope this gave everyone some ideas on what to do when you only have the main dish prepped, but want to make a meal look a little bit more put-together. Let me know some of your favorite quick and easy side dishes!

 

 

 

Crock pot adventures: French dip sandwiches

In my opinion, the best tool for people like me who are absolutely inept at cooking is a crock pot.

It’s just wonderful, you throw things into a bowl and you just leave it until you’re ready to eat. It’s the best. However, I’ve been pretty bland with how I use my crock pot, and I pretty much stick to only making pulled beef or pork sandwiches. They’re delicious and great, but I thought it was time to change pace a little bit.

I looked through a few recipes for french dip sandwiches and, to be honest, it was pretty hard to find one that didn’t include beer of some sort (and I can’t exactly walk up to a counter with a six pack and say I need it to make sandwiches), but eventually I found one that was super simple and really delicious, with no alcohol required.

Here’s what you’ll need for this:

  1. About a 4 lbs. rump roast
  2. 1 16oz can french onion soup
  3. 1 16oz can beef consomme
  4. Provolone cheese
  5. Hoagies

That’s it! So let’s get started on prep work for this before you throw it into the crock pot. You’ll want to cut off any extra fat before it goes into the cooker, because rump roasts have a ton of extra fat that will be too chewy in a sandwich. After that, just take the rump roast, heat up some vegetable oil in a pan and sear all around the outside of the beef.

Then, just throw it into the crock pot with both of the soups, and leave it either on high heat for about 4 hours or on low heat for 8. I started this at about 11 a.m. this morning, so it was perfect when I pulled it out at 7 p.m. for dinner.

When it comes time to take the beef out of the cooker, there are a few options you can go with. One is to treat it like pulled beef and simply shred it with a couple of forks, which would work fine.

The option that I went for was actually to cut the beef into long, thin slices. I wanted to switch it up a bit from my usual pulled beef texture, and this roast was a little hard to just pull apart with a fork.

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Once I had the beef all sliced up, I put it back in the crock pot for about 30 minutes to soak up some more juice while I prepped a side dish, which you can find out how to make in my next blog post.

The very last thing you want to do is put a few slices of provolone onto a hoagie bun and heat it up in the microwave for about 20 seconds so that the cheese melts. Then, you can lay some beef onto the sandwich and it’s good to go! Except for one more thing…

To make the “au jus” (it’s just soup) to dip the sandwich in, just get a little juice out of the crock pot and put it into a smaller bowl, making sure not to get any pieces of fat or anything in the dish. As a pro tip for other college students who don’t have a mini decorative bowl lying around, use a Tupperware dish!

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It doesn’t look as gooey and melty as some of the french dip sandwiches that I’ve seen online, but that’s ok because who really wants a big mess to clean up? Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy trying to make this on your own. Come back later today to see how I made the asparagus AND an extra-special dessert recipe!

The quest to find a Chipotle bowl recipe

The title says it all, really.

A few days ago I was really craving some Chipotle, but being a college student, I have to limit how many times per week that I eat out, especially when it comes to Chipotle which is like 10 bucks a meal. So, instead of going out to eat I decided to try and find a homemade recipe that would be pretty close to a Chipotle bowl, but maybe a little different and possibly better.

I looked around online and found this recipe from BudgetBytes that seemed super simple and quick to make, which was good because I was trying to make this on my lunch break.

Here are the ingredients for a lunch-time taco bowl:

  1. 1 cup white rice
  2. 1 chicken breast
  3. 1 15 oz can of black beans
  4. 1 cup salsa
  5. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  6. Green onion
  7. Shredded cheese, any kind

Also, here are some optional ingredients that I recommend adding if you want it to look a little bit more like a bowl from Chipotle:

  1. Shredded lettuce
  2. Sour cream
  3. Guacamole
  4. Corn
  5. Other veggies

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The original recipe says that you can buy pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or any other type of pre-cooked chicken, but I just decided to make my own shredded chicken and use that instead because I already had a package of chicken breasts in my freezer.

The next thing to do is simply throw the chicken, uncooked rice, beans, salsa and chili powder into a large sauce pan and heat it up. I made a few changes to the original recipe for this step, so I’ll go over those really quickly.

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As you can see from this picture, that is A LOT of chili powder. I cut the amount of chili powder that I used in this recipe down to about half from the original 1 full tablespoon, and it’s still a lot. I think it depends on how spicy you like your food, but I would recommend only using a teaspoon, like I said above, especially if you’re using really hot salsa.

Another thing I “changed” (I really just did it wrong) was I cooked the rice before putting it in the pan, which you definitely don’t have to do. Not cooking the rice will help out a lot with putting some flavor into the rice and it will help with how liquid-y this is, as you can see above. I ended up adding in a little bit of uncooked rice along with the cooked, and drained the pan a tad. IMG_2955

Once it’s almost done heating up, I threw the cup of cheese on top and mixed it in.

After that, just spoon however much you want into a bowl and put the rest into a Tupperware container to save for another time you’re craving a trip to Chipotle.

Once you have it in a bowl, add whatever toppings you want and go crazy. I just chopped up some green onion and added a bit more cheese.

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It looks like slop, but it tastes pretty good if you like spicy foods. Next time I make this I will definitely grab some more toppings from the store.

This will likely be the first of a string of blog posts where I look for a good homemade Chipotle bowl duplicate recipe, so let me know if you guys have any favorites!

 

 

We got fried.

I thought I’d follow up a success story with a long lost blog post from months past… when my boyfriend and I decided we wanted to try making churros at 12 a.m.

It wasn’t exactly a failed recipe. We did end up with churros, they just weren’t the best churros. Any sort of dessert recipe that involves frying things never really goes off without a hitch for us, but I’m going to share our adventure anyway in the hopes that someone else will be able to do it correctly.

Here’s the recipe for some basic churros:

  1. 1 cup water
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. MORE sugar: 1/2 cup

The first thing to do is make the powder that the churros are going to get rolled into, so to do that just mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

IMG_2861Now that that’s set up, it’s time to start on the actual churro part of this.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water, eggs, salt, and the 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. For our recipe, we used eggs, but I’ve found a few online, like this one, that substitute vegetable oil. I would recommend trying both and seeing what works best, because I do not think it makes a huge difference either way.

When everything is combined evenly in the saucepan, start adding some flour bit by bit and mixing everything together until it forms a ball.

The next step is to get the hot oil started up. I’m really not sure what type of oil is best for frying things. I’ve heard from some people that vegetable oil does just fine, but others have said sesame or peanut oil. This time around we just used a bunch of vegetable oil.

Heat the oil in the pan to 375 degrees, making sure to test it with a cooking thermometer to check that it’s not too hot, because the insides won’t fry before the outside burns if that is the case. We also thought it would be best to put a few little dots of the dough in to see how they reacted, and judged any adjustments in temperature from there.

Piping bags would come in pretty handy for this recipe if the churros need to look more professionally-done, but we didn’t have piping bags so we filled a plastic bag with the dough and cut a pretty wide tip out of the corner, so we could pipe out some churros and drop them directly into the oil.

Ours were a little skinny, so be sure to cut a wide hole in the bag for bigger churros. From there, just pipe them directly in the oil, making sure they are not too long. This will make them easier to flip while they are frying.

It was sort of a guessing game to tell when they were done, but we let them fry on each side for about 30 seconds and it seemed to do the trick. Just be sure to keep checking the oil temperature. After they are done frying, set the churros on a plate that has a paper towel on top so that excess oil gets absorbed.

Once the churros have cooled down on a wire rack, roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture and then they are ready to go!

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Overall, our churros turned out pretty well. They are a little dark on the outside, and when left overnight the insides became a little soggy, which means we might not have fried them long enough or we had the oil too hot.

Either way, they were super tasty and we could probably get the hang of making them after a little bit of practice.

An ambitious undertaking: Apricot turnovers

This is the day where my practice paid off, everyone.

This was another request from my parents, who decided to have my family over for dinner one night. It was my aunt’s birthday, so my mom wanted me to make some sort of dessert. My aunt tends to pass on dessert on any other occasion, so I was skeptical about this, and figured I would make something that was dessert-like, but not sickeningly sweet like most treats usually associated with birthdays.

So, what did I do? I Googled “fruit dessert recipes,” of course. I looked through a few pies and things before finding a pretty cool-looking apricot and blackberry turnover. My family loves blackberries, so I thought it would be perfect. I knew it was going to be a little ambitious for my level of cooking ability, even though it was pretty much just making sauce and folding it into a puff pastry.  My skill set is limited.

Anyway, here are the ingredients for (my version of) apricot-blackberry turnovers. This is a doubled recipe, which will make about 12-14 turnovers:

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  • 3 medium-sized packages of blackberries
  • 2 16 oz. cans of halved apricots (6 fresh apricots pealed and diced, if you’re feeling fancy)
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar
  • A dash of vanilla (I used liquid, but other recipes recommend ground vanilla)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 packages of puff pastry.
  • Powdered sugar

 

For the first step, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. As a tip: my puff pastries were frozen when I got them, so I just laid them out on a baking sheet on top of the oven where I wasn’t cooking things and let them thaw out a bit from the heat.

To make the apricot spread that goes inside the turnover, first dice up the apricots and throw them in a saucepan to begin heating up. Next, add the sugar and vanilla, and cook until everything is dissolved and the apricots get very mushy.

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Add in the corn starch after the apricots fall apart and then cook until everything starts to thicken. Make sure that the correct amount of corn starch is added in. For mine, I doubled the recipe as I said, so there needs to be a bit more corn starch to really get the mixture to thicken up.

Next, lay out the thawed puff pastry onto a backing pan and cut it into even squares. Mine actually turned out a little smaller than they were supposed to, so make sure they are big enough to fit a good amount of the apricot spread in there, plus a few whole blackberries. Before putting anything onto the pastry, poke multiple holes in it with a fork.

After that, spread the apricot mix onto half of the pastry, leaving room at the edges for it to be sealed. Then, place a few blackberries inside. This dessert can be sweet or tart depending on how many blackberries are added. Fewer blackberries leads to a sweeter treat, so I tended to only add two. Plus, it all depends on how much will fit inside when the pastry is folded over. In some cases, when taking mine out of the oven, the blackberries had fallen out because I added too many and stretched the pastry too thin.

Fold over the other half of the pastry and seal it by pressing the edges with a fork. This process was pretty time-consuming for me because of the size of my pastries. I had to stretch them slightly in order to make things fold over, but in the end it didn’t change much.

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until browned. The pastries should be puffed up, and don’t worry if a bit of the apricot filling spills out.

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Finish things off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and there it is! A treat that will satisfy a sweet tooth without inducing a massive sugar rush. Also, it goes great with some vanilla ice cream on a hot day.

Just another cookie-cutter dessert recipe

While most people were high-tailing it out of my university town this winter break and heading home, I was stuck at home with my parents. For the most part, it wasn’t great. Missouri in the winter isn’t exactly the sunny paradise I wanted it to be, but it did result in one good thing: the ability to exploit my parents for groceries so I could make things for this blog.

Ever since I started this blog, one of the first things I hear when I get home is “maybe you can make us some dessert for tonight,” so let’s not pretend I’m the only one benefiting from this setup.

I made a few tasty treats during my time back home, and this first one is basically homemade cookies and cream custard. When I say custard, it’s a loose term. This isn’t really made in the same way that ice cream or custard is, but once it’s finished it tastes pretty much identical.

The recipe for this cookies and cream casserole is pretty simple:

  1. 1 package of Oreo cookies, crushed
  2. 8 oz of cream cheese
  3. 1/4 cup butter
  4. 2 cups milk
  5. 1 large box of instant vanilla pudding
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 12 oz cool whip

First thing’s first, get the supplies. I used a casserole dish that was about 9×13 to set all this stuff in and then I just used a plastic bag and my fist to crush some Oreos. IMG_2921

Next, lay the Oreos into the bottom of the pan in a thick layer. Make sure to save about 1/4 of the package for the topping. It should look like the casserole dish is filled up to about halfway with crushed Oreos.

The next part of this is to make the cream filling that will go on top. To do this, I used my electric mixer because everything should be really smooth. First, whip together the milk, vanilla and softened (not melted!) butter. Then add the vanilla pudding mix and whip that up so that the filling gets pretty thick. It should simply look a lot like vanilla pudding at this point.

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Here’s another picture of my mixer, because she’s a beauty.

After that, you’ll want to add the cream cheese. The most important part of this is to make sure that every ingredient being put in is softened, because if it isn’t, the end product is going to have clumps of cream cheese or butter that didn’t get fully mixed in with the liquid.

After adding the cream cheese, take the filling off of the electric mixer and start adding the Cool Whip. This shouldn’t be mixed too heavily, but actually folded in so it gets a little fluffier, kind of like folding together a meringue. Then, simply use a spatula to spread the mixture over the top of the crushed Oreos. My mixture for this was a little runny because I used 3 cups of milk as opposed to 2, which is what most recipes online say. However, in the comments later I saw that a lot of people ended up with runny desserts that didn’t set well, a lot like mine, so definitely use less milk if that doesn’t sound appealing.

The final step is to sprinkle the remaining Oreos over the top and put it in the fridge to set for at least two hours. This is where I differed, because mine wasn’t setting correctly. I decided to put mine in the freezer overnight, which worked out for the best. Instead of slicing it into squares like a casserole, my family scooped it out with an ice cream scoop.

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There you have it, a final product that at least makes it feel a bit more like warm weather is around the corner. Plus, no baking required!

 

 

Sometimes, things don’t work out: Cheddar Bay Biscuits edition.

As a tribute to my love of seafood, I decided to make a batch of Cheddar Bay Biscuits this week. For anyone who doesn’t know, Cheddar Bay Biscuits are the best part about going to Red Lobster, which is the only place I’ve seen in the Midwest that serves seafood that isn’t sushi.

The biscuits at Red Lobster are fluffy, wonderful bundles of cheesy goodness that I could eat as a meal by themselves. Spoiler: my attempt at Cheddar Bay Biscuits do not fit that description, no matter how deceivingly delicious they look.

First, let’s start with where I found the recipe for these things, because it wasn’t part of my conventional process. Usually, it nears time to post my blog, and I go “oh no,” and then I look at my bank account to see how much money I have to go grocery shopping and once again say “oh no.” Then, I search “easy recipes” that include some ingredient in my fridge that is about to expire, and I pick a recipe that has 5 ingredients or less.

This time, it was different.

I was watching cooking videos on YouTube the other day, and I came across a strange genre of relaxing instructional cooking videos. Most of the time they are just silent videos of people filming themselves cooking, which I don’t exactly find helpful, but then I came across this video: (Warning: don’t watch this if you’re weirded out by people whispering.)

ASMR Baking: Red Lobster Style Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Suddenly, I was inspired. Maybe it was because she used cat-shaped measuring cups in the video, or maybe it was because the end product looked just as delicious as mine did. They could have actually been disgusting, much like mine turned out to be.

Anyway, let’s go over my Cheddar Bay Biscuit-making process and point out all the times I went wrong.

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Reasons I failed #1: From this photo, you can see that my oven is extremely old. It takes about 30 minutes to fully pre-heat and it burns everything.

First off, start by pre-heating your oven to 450 degrees. This was actually a good move, probably the only good move I made during this process. Although, in retrospect, the biscuits were a little burnt on the bottom, so maybe turn down the oven just a tad.

The next step is to get out all of the ingredients. For this recipe, you are going to need the following:

  1. 1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim, which was a mistake)
  2. About 1/3 cup melted butter
  3. A heaping 1/4 cup mild cheddar cheese
  4. 1/2 tbs. baking powder
  5. 1/2 tbs. sugar
  6. 1/2 tbs. garlic powder
  7. 2 big pinches of salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
  9. 1 cup all-purpose flour

This is where things get weird, ya’ll. The next step is to mix dry and wet ingredients together in separate bowls. In the first bowl, mix in baking powder, sugar, garlic powder, flour and half of the salt. Now, if one were to look at the photos above, they might ask “Lauren, what’s with the red stuff in the dry ingredient bowl?”

The explanation for this is that I found a recipe that told me to add chili powder for an extra kick, and thought I’d try it out and stray a little from the original recipe I started with. Don’t do that. Not everything needs extra spice.

In the second bowl, mix the milk (I stress the use of WHOLE milk) and melted butter.

The next steps is to mix those two bowls together gradually. The most important part about biscuits, I’ve heard, is to never over-mix the dough. So, I followed those rules and my dough ended up looking like the floury mess above. However, I fixed it by adding in extra cheese, which is always the solution.

Split that dough into about 6 smaller balls and lay them out on a baking pan, then throw that in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. If your oven is a death trap like mine and burns everything, leave them in for about 8 minutes.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, they may or may not be edible, but they will be Instagram-ready. As far as what was wrong with these when I tasted them, they were definitely more garlicky than cheesy, and they were way too dry. I attribute that to my use of skim milk.

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The only part of this that wasn’t a failure was the killer presentation.

P.S., the bottoms are completely charred. A+ for angles.

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