Cook With Nikki – Signing Off

Hi Everyone!

Thank you all so much for reading Cook With Nikki. I’ve had so much fun writing in this blog over the years, and have gone through so many changes since starting it up.

One of the biggest changes I’d say that I’ve been through, is having gone vegan. I’ll spare any readers a long entry on why I chose to go vegan, or why I remain on a diet where I no longer consume animal products… But what I will say is that it was one of the best decisions that I could have ever made for my body.

I’m still writing, and posting recipes – head on over to www.cookwithnikkiveg.blogspot.com to check some of them out!

I will still keep this blog up for now, but over time I plan on taking some of my older recipes and re-vamping them into a vegan (raw or cooked) version of an old goodie.

This is a difficult decision, as when I look back I almost feel like if I erase this blog, I’m erasing a big part of my life. It’s a long process of letting go, but it’s something that has to be done. As much as I love sharing recipes, what I don’t love is knowing that people may come across this blog and see recipes that include animal products and assume that it’s something that “Cook With Nikki” (sorry to refer to myself in 3rd person) finds acceptable.

I’ve come to realize that there is not one single good reason to use animal products in the foods which we consume. Again, I won’t go into my beliefs here – but just wanted to let any of you who may still be reading this know that I’m not just abandoning my blog – rather, I’m moving on.

Have a great day everyone, and I hope to see you all at my new blogging home – www.cookwithnikkiveg.blogspot.com

 

Late Night Snack Vlog – Easy Apple “Crumble”

Here’s a random vlog! I was hungry, and didn’t know what to make… So put together an apple “crumble”. It’s not quite a crumble in the traditional sense, but my goodness is it ever tasty! This video is MUCH shorter than my last one, and I go through the few ingredients of this tasty little dish slow enough for you to write it down if you need to, so I’m going to keep this a text-light entry! Here’s you go, enjoy! 🙂

Here’s the link to my original apple crumble recipe!

Here’s some pictures!

In the oven!

In the oven!

 

Mmmmmmm! :)

Mmmmmmm! 🙂

Starbucks Christmas Blend 2011 Review & A Frothy Treat

So I decided to put together my SUPER EASY eggnog latte along with a review for the Starbucks 2011 Christmas Blend, and here’s what I got: A video. Yay! 🙂 I also talk about using a stove-top espresso maker… I make a mistake describing how to use it (at 3:30, oops! 😛 ), but I correct it… 😉 I also talk a lot… But hey, if you read this blog, you should be used to how much I ramble about things by now!

The video was filmed and edited on an iPad 2 and the iMovie App! Such an awesome application, and so easy to use!

It’s been a while…

…but I haven’t forgetten about this blog! Things have been hectic with school and moving (and soon to be moving again)… I’ll be back and posting recipes and reviews soon!

-Nikki

More Recipes Coming Soon!

Things have been hectic… When life gets crazy, I get lazy [in the kitchen]… However, I do have some tasty recipes that I will be posting soon! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

“What is happiness to you?” -Vanilla Sky

What IS happiness? The easy answer is “an emotion”. Real thought-provoking, eh… The tougher answer is figuring out what makes YOU happy, and being able to put that into words that others can relate to. This blog is in no way a place where I philosophize or go into my deepest thoughts about my personal life, so I won’t write out an essay about what makes me happy. This is a food blog, not an English assignment. Instead, I’ll give you my food-related definition of happiness:

Happiness, for me, is the beautiful harmonization of food flavours. Finding two {or more} flavours that blend so well together, that when you eat the finished product, you feel like the world has stopped moving just so you can savour that tasty moment.

One of my favourite flavour combinations is peanut butter and chocolate. As I’ve posted in entries prior to this {such as the peanut butter cup smoothie, peanut butter filled chocolate candies, and the peanut butter chocolate chip tart just to name a few}, I just LOVE the way these two flavours join together. Chocolate is so rich and sinfully sweet, while peanut butter is slightly salty with a creamy texture. So good!

So when a competitor on an episode of the Ultimate Recipe Showdown presented the judges with a “peanut butter cookie dough brownie” as the dessert {and won!}, both Joe’s and my jaws dropped. This dessert looked far beyond tasty, and I thought that since Joe’s birthday was coming up, why not make this for him? {I’m sure he would have enjoyed the poached pears I planned on making, but really, he loves peanut butter and chocolate more than almost any dessert.}

I went onto the Food Network’s website, and found the recipe for this calorie-packed dessert! I will admit that I used a boxed brownie mix for this, as I was super low on time {I work 9-5, Monday – Friday, so I don’t always have time to do everything from “scratch”}. For this entry, I’ll post what I did for this recipe. The original recipe can be found by clicking here. Enjoy! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownies

{adapted from the Food Network’s Ultimate Recipe Showdown contestant Kerstin Sinkevicius}

Ingredients:

  • Brownie Mix {you can either make your own, but I used a boxed mix for this}
  • Cookie dough layer:
  • 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp skim milk
  • 1/2 cup 100% natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour {the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp, I found that to be way too much for this recipe, so I cut down on this}
  • 1/4 tsp salt {the original recipe calls for 1/2 tsp salt, again, I found this to be way too much, so I cut down on this}
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract {not called for in the original recipe, but I like to add vanilla to pretty much anything}
  • Ganache layer:
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips/broken chocolate of your choice {I used milk chocolate with great results!}
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream {keep it above 30% m.f.}
  • optional garnish: 1/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • Dash of salt for the top of the chocolate ganache {I did this as I wasn’t using peanuts, but wanted to give a hint of a salty flavour to the chocolate}

Method:

  • Prepare the brownie base as you normally would. This takes about 30 minutes.
  • Allow the brownies to cool, then prepare the cookie dough layer.
  • For the cookie dough layer, mix the butter and brown sugar in a bowl until well blended.
  • Add in the milk, peanut butter, flour, vanilla and salt.
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the mixture over the cooled brownie layer.
  • Make the ganache by placing the whipping cream and chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Microwave for about 1 minute on high, then stir the mixture until all of the chocolate has melted.
  • Continue to stir until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour and spread the ganache over the cookie dough layer, then sprinkle the peanuts on top if using. If using the dash of salt instead, sprinkle this over the ganache.
  • Place the whole dish in the fridge, and allow to set for at least an hour prior to serving.
  • Note: this tastes best when allowed to sit overnight.
  • Optional: serve with a side of vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownie - "Joe sized serving" ;)

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownie - "Joe sized serving" 😉

served a la mode :) (Nikki sized serving)

served a la mode 🙂 (Nikki sized serving)

~.^

More recipes coming soon!