Monday, July 30, 2012

Four Ingredient Chocolate Pie

Thanks for stopping by! You picked a great day to check out my blog, today's post involves my favorite chocolate pie! This pie is so easy to make, and the flavor is so chocolaty and decadent.

Amanda's parents don't really cook. They have a few staple meals, most of which are desserts. But maybe there's something to having a few staple meals, because the ones they do cook are always tasty and this is her Mom's chocolate pie recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
2 packages of cook and serve chocolate pudding (4oz)
3 1/2 cups of milk
1/3 cup of chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of butter

That's it! Oh... and the pie crust of your choosing. I like the pre-made dough that you just roll out and bake. So maybe its a five ingredient pie, you be the judge. 

Combine all ingredients and cook on medium heat until it comes to a full boil. Stir constantly. Take off the heat and cool for five minutes. Pour mixture into completely cooled crust and refrigerate for a few hours or until the pie is set. 

What's your favorite pie? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chocolate S'mores

I love summer, and I love summery foods. Hamburgers, baked beans, fresh salads and my favorite, S'mores! When we moved into this apartment we were bummed about having a gas stove. We both grew up with electric and it took us a while to get used to having the open flame and the differences in cooking times. One good thing came out of that open flame, though...toasting marshmallows!

This s'more has a chocolate graham cracker for that extra chocolate flavor. I like my marshmallows burnt and crispy!

Hot Meter! My Favorite Olympic Uniforms

Amanda and I have lived together for nine months. We do a lot together, cook dinner, watch TV, go grocery shopping...pretty much everything. I always knew she liked the Olympics, but you would think she knew someone competing in every event! She gets so into it, it is kinda cute. I'm not a big sports fan, and she likes sports less than I do, which is what makes this whole Olympic experience so funny! She wants me to be as excited as she is about this Olympics and I am keeping my energy level up...GO USA!

After taking a trip to the outlet mall last week and spending all of our 'fun' money for the month, in a way I'm glad the Olympics have Amanda in a trance. For the next 17 days we have a fun and free event 24/7!

I love fashion, which is not conducive to our Two Broke Gals lifestyle. So if I am going to be watching the Olympics, I had to find a way to make it fun for me.  Here are my top five favorite outfits from the opening ceremonies:

5. In fifth place we have the Bahamas, I appreciated how classy the outfits were. I liked the light blue jackets, it didn't look like they tried too hard. It was the right amount of class for the event.

4. Serbia gets fourth because the look is very Hamptons! Some day when we are Two Rich Gals, and can afford a house in the Hamptons we will have to get the designer of the Serbian team to make us some outfits!

3. Denmark got it right. I love a good cardigan, and those short red ones really work for the athletic bodies and the high-waisted skirt. I think the pearls were a nice touch. I would wear that outfit to work! 

2. The Netherlands- Huge fan of the trench coats! I love the bright blue in contrast with the bright orange. I think they stood out amongst the crowd and just looked so fashion forward. I want to move to Denmark and rock the shit out of that orange coat!

1. Brazil brought the heat, those Olympians looks damn sexy in the Brazilian uniforms. I loved the mix of neon yellow and green, I thought the outfits looked fun, and everyone seemed to enjoy wearing them. I think Brazil wore the outfits, they didn't get worn by them... cough cough like the US (what were you think Ralph Lauren?). 

Sound off in the comments below, what country wore it best? Am I crazy or was the US a HOT ASS MESS?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tzatziki Dip

Wow, it has been a while since we were last blogging! I guess with the summer sun we have spent more time outside and less time sitting on our butts in front of the computer. That is probably a good thing but I missed sharing recipes and things with you guys! We have been eating lots of summer foods and have an abundance of cucumbers. Thus: Tzatziki Dip!

All of a sudden, I am completely obsessed with Greek food. I didn't like olives until about six months ago, and I would normally choose almost any cheese over feta. I don't know when it happened but now I eat, sleep and breathe tzatziki dip. I love the dill and cucumber flavors with the bite of the lemon juice and the Greek yogurt. It is just a perfect blend of many flavors. 

You will need: 
2 large cucumbers
2 cups of Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon of dill weed
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 tablespoon course salt

Peel and chunk your cucumbers, then put them in a colander sprinkled with a little bit of the salt and let them release some water for about twenty minutes. Once the cucumbers are ready, pat them dry with a paper towel and put them in a food processor with everything but the yogurt. Once the mixture is well blended, stir it into a bowl with the Greek yogurt. Taste the dip and season with more salt as necessary. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more before serving. I made the mistake of tasting it, and adding more dill. After it sat for a few hours the flavors really popped and mine was too 'dilly'.  

I really like the cucumber flavor and the crunch, so I like to use thin slices of cucumber to eat my dip. Pairing it with pita bread is nice too, it becomes a much heartier snack.

Let us know what you think of this great Greek dish! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Ice Cream Edition

There's this ice cream place down the street.  We don't go there often since we can make delicious sundaes at home for a small fraction of the price, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about my favorite sundae there.  Sometimes I just drive by and stare longingly out the car window.

They have a variety of specialty sundaes, a good list of 25 or so to choose from.  Shelle and I have experimented a bit with some different items off the menu, but we just keep coming back to one:  The Moose Track Monster.

Moose Tracks is a delicious flavor of hard ice cream all on its own - a creamy vanilla with huge chunks of fudge and mini peanut butter cups.  Our favorite sundae takes these flavors and amps them all up.  Hot fudge and peanut butter sauce are poured over the ice cream, more mini peanut butter cups are sprinkled generously over the top, and the whole thing is topped with whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and a cherry.

I can't write any more.  I'm starting to drool.

What's the best ice cream you ever ate?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

These Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers are so flavorful and hearty, even the biggest meat-eater wouldn't miss the beef!

We went to the local farmer's market this weekend and the green peppers looked awesome and were so cheap. We picked up five peppers for three dollars. What a steal!

Of course I planned on making some tasty stuffed peppers! Usually I put meat and white rice in them with some spaghetti sauce and seasonings. Because Amanda is a vegetarian and we wanted a healthy alternative, this recipe calls for brown rice and corn rather than meat.

Here's what you'll need for four stuffed peppers:

4 bell peppers
2 cups of brown rice
1 cup of corn
1 cup of grated and squeezed zucchini
2 cups of spaghetti sauce
A dash of garlic powder
A dash of black pepper
Mozzarella Cheese

In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients minus the peppers and the cheese. If the mixture isn't saucy enough for you, add more! When the filling looks good, spoon it inside your peppers and put them in a baking dish. Cover peppers with aluminum foil and bake for half an hour at 375. Take the aluminum foil off the peppers and cover them with mozzarella cheese. Bake them for about another twenty minutes or until the cheese is brown on the edges.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Four Favorite Independent Films on Independence Day

Shelle and I watch a lot of movies.  We've accumulated a decent collection over the years, and we often borrow new favorites from friends and the library.  Overall, it's not a bad habit for broke gals to have.  Although a good movie is fun just about any time, we have a tendency to settle in with a quality movie marathon when we have the day off for a holiday.  We've already shared with you our Ten Romantic Comedies for Memorial Day Weekend, and today we present our favorite independent films on Independence Day.

Here, in no particular order, are the four we're watching this Fourth of July:

Amanda says:  Remember my love for Meryl Streep?  It totally extends to George Clooney too.  I've loved him ever since I saw reruns of that season of "The Facts of Life."  Never before had I more wished that the Eastland School was not fictional and that my parents had enough money to enroll me there.  Anyways, I thought the movie was amazing regardless of Mr. Clooney's level of perfection, and believe it was totally worthy of all of the Oscar buzz it generated.  The movie managed to seamlessly weave together several story lines while having them all connect in the end, and I'm pretty sure I felt all of the same emotions as the characters as we discovered the plot twists together.

Shelle says:  Who wouldn't like this movie? George Clooney's in it!  He's the epitome of hotness.  I really liked this movie because it had an honest quality to it.  I appreciated that it wasn't all rainbows and happiness but it was still emotional.  I also really liked the little girl - she reminded me of Lilo from "Lilo and Stitch"!  Overall it was a good movie, it surpassed my expectations and I think it should have beat out "The Artist" for the Oscars or whatever during the awards season (not that I saw "The Artist" but it's a silent film.  Come on.  Nothing beats George Clooney.)

Amanda says:  I will freely admit, the first time I watched this movie it was only because all the cool kids were doing it, and I was very confused.  I will also freely admit that the second time I watched this movie, I loved it and made plans to watch it again and again and again.  It made me think and still does, even after so many viewings.  I appreciate the non-linear way in which the story is told, and it forces me to pay attention and try to piece it all together in my head.  I will also forever wish I live nearer to an IKEA.

Shelle says:  I think I'm seeing a pattern here.  The reason I like all of these Indie movies is because they're so dark.  I would normally consider myself a happy and bubbly person so it's sort of surprising that I like these not-so-happy endings.  The reason I liked "(500) Days of Summer" is because the ending is unexpected.  After all this time, you sort of think that maybe they'll get lucky and it'll end like every other movie but it doesn't.  It leaves you feeling sad at the end and I appreciate that.  I don't think all movies should leave you with a happy emotion at the end - that's what makes them real.

Amanda says:  As cheesy as it sounds, I love the feel of this movie.  The setting and the colors and the soundtrack just meld so perfectly together it honestly makes me feel a little bit like I'm a guest at that wedding and hanging out on the ocean.  It always makes me want to get together with my group of friends from college too, even though we're not nearly as exciting or dramatic, and certainly lack the "incestuous dating history."  Even more, though, I love the ambiguity of it all.  Like the previous movies on this list, I'm left wondering whether or not I should be pleased with the ending.  It manages to make me feel the same melancholy as many of the characters, and I'll just keep watching it until I figure out whether or not that's a good thing.  Also, the scene where Candice Bergen's character wakes up in the middle of the night proclaiming that it's going to rain?  Priceless.

Shelle says:  I liked this, and it was a good movie.  I especially like how it leaves you wondering - did they get married or didn't they?  There's a part of me that hopes that Anna Paquin's character says forget you to her future husband and finds a new best friend because they clearly have some issues.  I thought the wedding was beautiful - I was a little confused by the purple bridesmaids' dresses and the coral-colored ties on the men, but I loved the setting.  I would love to get married on the ocean someday!

Amanda says:  I first saw this movie one of my first few days at college, and I will always remember how hard I laughed, even at a point in my life when I still wasn't totally certain about where I was and who I was with.  The characters in this movie are all equally memorable, as is the final scene in which the family joins each other in dancing on stage at the pageant.  If only my own dysfunctional family was this funny.

Shelle says:  How cute is Abigail Breslin in this movie?  She has a face that only me and a mother could love.  I loved the grandfather and I thought it was adorable how inspiring he was for her and how inspiring she was to him in the same sense.  It had me laughing, crying, and everything in between.  Overall, it was a great movie!

What independent films are your favorites?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

English Muffin Pizzas

When we were in elementary school, my brother and I used to love half days of school.  Sure, getting out around eleven and having a free afternoon was always a good thing, but the real draw was in the lunch my mom would prepare for us: English Muffin Pizzas.

We ate english muffins pretty regularly, usually for breakfast with peanut butter or strawberry jelly.  Pizza was no rare treat either - as I've mentioned before, my parents have had a weekly Friday pizza tradition for at least as long as I've been around.  For some reason though, combining these two ordinary foods together just made magic in our minds.

And in mine, it still kinda does.

Trying to be frugal and still eat well can be tricky at times, so Shelle and I are always on the look out for sales.  Pretty frequently, our local grocery chain will have buy one, get two free deals on english muffins, and we always take that as an opportunity to stock up.  English muffins keep well in the freezer, so why not?  We always have pizza sauce on hand, and mozzarella cheese is a must in our fridge.  Sometimes I'll add black olives to mine, or Shelle will top hers with ham and pineapple.

Although we don't have the luxury of half days off of school anymore, English Muffin Pizzas haven't stopped being easy, cheap, or just plain delicious.  We'll combine them with a nice salad for a quick week night dinner, or just make a couple up for a light lunch or late night snack.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Bake

Good evening! 

You will probably be hearing from me (Shelle) a lot these next few days. The Olympic Trials are on, so Amanda is in a trance. The Olympics were never really a big deal in my house, but in her family the world stops! I bet her parents used their vacation days just to watch the Olympics.

Anyways, we just finished dinner. Oh my god, it was sooooo good! We made a Spaghetti Squash Bake. We have been eating like crap lately, lots of smores and wine on vacation, so it was time to make something healthy, without compromising the flavor. 

We took one spaghetti squash, cut it in half, and roasted it in the oven at 375 for about half an hour. When it was done, we took a fork to it and scraped the squash off the sides and into a bowl. In that bowl we added half a box of frozen spinach and a grated zucchini. We squeezed some of the liquid out of both the spinach and the zucchini before adding it to the bowl. 

To the mixture we added almost a full jar of spaghetti sauce and put it in an 8 by 8 pan. We covered the mixture with a small amount of mozzarella cheese and baked it at 375 degrees for about half an hour until the cheese was brown.

It seriously tasted just like baked ziti. You can't taste the veggies, and the texture of the squash is similar to pasta. I think we will keep this one in the repertoire!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Peacock Inspired Room

We went on vacation with my family this past week and rented an awesome house in the Adirondacks.  It was super relaxing! We even saw a black bear! But that wasn't the only cool animal we saw. I took an awesome picture of a peacock we visited in a zoo and it inspired me to design a room around it. We currently live in a tiny two bedroom apartment and we're broke so there isn't a whole lot we can do. We do like to dream, though, and keep a big book full of ideas and pictures as we come across them. My peacock-inspired room ideas are definitely going into that book.  I can't wait to use these colors in a swanky living room, or maybe a romantic bedroom. 

I think I would paint the walls tan, get a really cool dark blue couch, a nice yellow patterned chair, and some turquoise accent vases! 

How cool is this picture?!