The Recipe Club

My sister's version

 

Yesterday, I posted about my New Year’s Resolutions. I am happy to report that for the second day in a row, I woke up with no snooze alarm! Lest you think I am a bastion of willpower, let me let you in on a secret. At night, before I go to bed, I set the alarm on my cell phone. Then, I get out of bed and put my phone far out of my arm’s reach. Then, in the morning, I am forced to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. Once I’m out of bed, my dogs are looking at me longingly and my workout clothes are all laid out, so I figure I might as well go ahead and get dressed instead of crawling back into bed and hitting that snooze button.

So far, this technique is working for me. The Taste Tester (TT), however, is not a fan. Jealous of my newfound resolve and willpower and also a big believer in snoozing, he has decided to set his alarm earlier than my alarm, thereby waking me up and giving me the effect of the snooze alarm, even though I am not actually hitting the snooze button. The joke’s on him though, because this gives me the best of both worlds. I still get the gradual wake-up the snooze alarm gives me, but I am also out of bed at just the right time. No over-sleeping and starting the day off rushing. Instead I am up at 6:30, ride my exercise bike, make my coffee, and slowly get ready for the day. Aside from letting my dogs out 3-4 times, chasing one dog up and down a steep hill in our backyard because she won’t come inside, and spending part of the morning outside in frigid temperatures in my bathrobe; it’s pretty much the perfect start to an excellent day. Read more

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? If you did, have you abandoned them yet? Because New Year’s Day is a holiday and my workplace observed the holiday yesterday (Monday), I decided not to start my New Year’s resolutions until today. So far, I am 100% on-track to achieving my resolutions, but it’s only been one day.

According to statistics, most of us (somewhere between 80-92%, studies disagree), will totally fail at our New Year’s resolutions. Why is that? Well, it seems most of us make resolutions that are either impossible to achieve or impossible to gauge success. For example, maybe you resolved to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle. Well, how exactly can you measure that? Technically, if you lose one pound, you have “lost weight.” But, I imagine most who resolve to lose weight want to lose more than 1 pound. And, what if you lose 5 or even 10 pounds but then gain it all back over the course of the year?

So, today, as we officially get back into our new year routines, let’s take a minute to re-vamp our resolutions and set ourselves up for success, shall we? Read more

Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownie Bites

Second on the list of fastest cookie recipes is a recipe that is not a cookie at all. Or really even a holiday treat per se. At least I don’t associate these with the holidays. I associate these Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownie Bites with every single event which required me/my mom to show up with a dessert. This was definitely my mom’s go-to recipe when I was growing up because it checks all the boxes that moms (and everyone else!) needs: Easy. Fast. Can keep all ingredients on hand. And it has the perfect job for little helpers, whose little fingers are perfect for unwrapping all those Reese’s cups. Read more

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before starting the fastest cookie project, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were not really on the radar in the Foodiocentric household. My great grandma used to make oatmeal cookies that my family LOVED, but I think they had raisins and at that point in life, I wasn’t going to go near a cookie with raisins. Some things never change. Tell me, seriously, what is the point of an oatmeal raisin cookie when oatmeal chocolate chip cookies exist? Who are these people who would choose RAISINS over chocolate-and what is wrong with them? The only thing worse than oatmeal raisin cookies is when you think you are picking up an oatmeal chocolate cookie, only to discover that the “chocolate chips” are actually raisins. #firstworldproblems. Read more

Meijer Pizzeria Hand Tossed Frozen Pizza

This week, we deviated from our normal Kroger/Busch’s rotation to get Meijer frozen pizza. The Taste Tester picked this one out as I attempt to avoid entering Meijer at all costs.  I hate Meijer; I have met many people who love Meijer. But, much like Michigan State fans and University of Michigan fans can come together in mutual hatred of Ohio State, Meijer lovers and Meijer haters can come together in agree on one thing: It’s better than Wal-Mart.

Total Score: 36/80; 45%

The Breakdown:

Taste Tester

Crust: 5/10

Sauce: 3/10

Toppings: 5/10

Overall: 5/10

Foodiocentric

Crust: 5/10

Sauce: 4/10

Toppings: 5/10

Overall: 4/10

Overall I thought this pizza tasted pretty cheap. Luckily it was cheap, which boosted the Taste Tester’s overall score. I found it severely lacking in cheese, which also made it taste like it had way too much sauce. The pepperoni was good though. Given the low score and my loathing of Meijer, it’s safe to say we won’t be eating this one again.

The Fastest Cookie Recipes-for the Holidays and Beyond!

The last thing you need this time of the year is another cookie recipe. You can find millions on Pinterest, many by far, far more talented bakers than me. What we all need this time of year is more time; time to fit in all the holiday activities and time to actually enjoy said activities without feeling like we are just checking items off a list. To help you achieve Christmas bliss-I present the fastest cookie recipes around (and maybe some other treats too!)

I have always loved the holidays, but even I can be guilty of letting all the holiday stress get to me. It just seems like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish every single holiday related activity AND still live my life. Unfortunately there is no Christmas break from my 40-hour workweek and Christmas goodies still have calories which means I have to find time to fit in some extra workouts on top of everything else.

So, without wasting any more time, my gift to you the fastest-and easiest-cookie recipes, ranked. From now until just before Christmas, I am re-making all the classic holiday treats, plus a few new ones, to determine just what is the fastest cookie recipes around. BUT, instead of just providing the recipes, I am providing you with some much needed information: how long those recipes ACTUALLY take, from start to finish AND how much effort they really require. And when I say how long they take, I mean how long they really take, IRL.  Like in real life where you don’t have pre-softened butter, someone to measure all your ingredients, or a spare 3 hours to wait for dough to chill. Read more

Freschetta Brick Oven Frozen Pizza Review

Next up, we had one of the Taste Tester’s perennial favorites, Frechetta Brick Oven pizza. Aside from Tombstone, this is the frozen pizza the Taste Tester has had most often.

Total Score: 58.5/80; 73.1%

The Breakdown:

Taste Tester

Crust: 8.5/10

Sauce: 4/10

Toppings: 9/10

Overall: 8/10

Foodiocentric

Crust: 9/10

Sauce: 3/10

Toppings: 9/10

Overall: 8/10

The biggest objection to this pizza was the sauce. It definitely had the classic frozen pizza taste. This was a disappointment because overall this was a very good pizza. Of all the pizzas we have sampled, this one really brought the toppings. Lots of cheese and very good pepperonis. If the sauce was better this may have been the perfect frozen pizza. It will definitely be part of our regular rotation.

 

 

 

 

Kroger Rising Crust Frozen Pizza Review

For our next taste test, we sampled Kroger’s rising curst frozen pizza. As with the others, it was prepared in my convection oven. The Taste Tester and I have given totally unbiased reviews, we spent our very own money on these pizzas and sourced them all ourselves.

Total Score: 36/80; 45%

The Breakdown:

Taste Tester

Crust: 6/10

Sauce: 6/10

Toppings: 4/10

Overall: 5/10

Foodiocentric

Crust: 3/10

Sauce: 5/10

Toppings: 3/10

Overall: 4/10

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this had way too much crust for me. Both the Taste Tester and I found it lacking on toppings, specifically cheese. Not too objectionable, but no worth repeating.

DiGiorno Stuffed Crust Frozen Pizza Review

The Taste Tester’s co-worker informed us that DiGornio stuffed crust pizza is the best of all the frozen pizzas. It was pretty pricey, so we had high expectations. I think this one would have really benefited from a trip in the regular oven as opposed to the convection oven. I will be looking forward to trying this one again. Also, remember that I am quite biased as a thin crust lover 4life!

Total Score: 52.5/80; 65.6%

The Breakdown:

Price: $7.99, on sale

Taste Tester

Crust: 10/10

Sauce: 6.5/10

Toppings: 6/10

Overall: 8/10

Foodiocentric

Crust: 5/10

Sauce: 6/10

Toppings: 6/10

Overall: 5/10

Both the Taste Tester and I were satisfied with this pizza, although I found it ridiculously overpriced. The Taste Tester loved the crust, but noted that without cheese it would have been wayyyy too much. I still found it to be a little crust heavy. I also found the crust to be bland and a bit soggy. Even though the Taste Tester really liked this one, at $7.99 it won’t be making too many more appearances in our freezer.

Kroger Simple Truth Organic Frozen Pizza Review

Next up in our very scientific frozen pizza challenge, the Taste Tester and I sampled a pizza from Kroger’s own brand, Simple Truth Organic.

Price: $4.99, one of the pricier pizzas in the test, especially considering it was rather small

Total Score: 12/80; 15%

The Breakdown:

Taste Tester

Crust: 4/10

Sauce: 3/10

Toppings: 1/10

Overall: 0

Foodiocentric

Crust: 0/10

Sauce: 4/10

Toppings: 0/10

Overall: 0/10

Wow was this awful. Remember how I told you at the beginning of this challenge that the Taste Tester likes ALL. THE. PIZZA. Well, I stand corrected.

This is the first time, in 28 years on earth, the Taste Tester has ever been actively hungry and refused to eat pizza. He could not stomach another bite. It was THAT bad.

While I enjoyed the 1 pepperoni that I had on my pizza, the Taste Tester found that it tasted like a cheap summer sausage. We both wanted to give it negative points. Organic or not, this is not a pizza we will be purchasing again.