February 27, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Doughnuts

Stupid work. I've got Parade's End saved on my DVR, and I can't watch it because I have to be an adult and go to work and make money. I don't think my boss will accept "but my imaginary hubby is in a mini-series on HBO and I wanna watch it" as an excuse to stay home.

Yep. It stars my boy. Don't judge me. I still don't have series 3 of Sherlock. Although they've been building the sets. *Squee* 221b Baker Street is back. (And crazier Sherlockians than me have spotted the fact that Benedict is growing out his hair again.) (We stalk his hair. We're not meant to wait this long. It does things to us.)

Did anyone watch it? How did you like it? I've heard good things about it. And I do love me some costume dramas. XD Just, no spoilers! Or I'll send River Song after you.
I'm mixing my fandoms now. Never a good sign.

Let's just skip right to the doughnuts, shall we?
I was asked to make a "healthy" dessert. I responded by asking if they had ever met me. I believe in butter and sugar and cream, thank you. But since I'm a crazy person and hate to back away from a challenge, I decided to go with baked doughnuts. You're starting with a baked version of a traditionally fried dessert, so that's already healthy. And since I only have a mini doughnut pan, that's like doubly healthy, right? Because it's little, right? Right.

So I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour, which was already low in sugar and fat, and I swapped out the vegetable oil for unsweetened applesauce. And let me tell you, it's a good thing these are not terrible for you, because they're addicting. Easy to make, basic ingredients, super cinnamony but not overly sweet, I didn't want to give them up to the person I was making them for. I wanted them to be my doughnuts. But they went away and now I'm sad. I'm just gonna have to make more. And eat them while watching my boy on Parade's End.

They're little so it's cool if I eat a bunch, right?
That's my doughnut. And the one behind it is mine too. And the one behind that...

Cinnamon Sugar Mini Doughnuts {Printable Version}
Yield: 28 mini doughnuts

7/8 cup all-purpose flour (or 1 cup pastry flour)
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. dried buttermilk powder*
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs
3 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp. water
Cinnamon sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spray a mini doughnut pan with non-stick baking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, buttermilk powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, applesauce, and water until foamy. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fill each cavity in the doughnut pan halfway with the batter. (Use a pastry or zip top bag to pipe the batter, to make filling easier) Bake for about 6 minutes, until the doughnuts spring back when pressed. Immediately sprinkle the doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. Cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning the doughnuts out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*Or replace 2 tbsp. water with 2 tbsp. buttermilk

Recipe adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

February 24, 2013

3 Cheese Quinoa Casserole

You guys, I've got something super special planned for the blog starting in March, and I'm so totally excited about it. I've been going crazy researching recipes and techniques and writing myself all kinds of notes that, taken out of context, totally make me sound like a serial killer. (Stick a bamboo skewer in hand, freeze.Stick in blue Jell-o)

I haven't decided whether or not I want to tell you guys what I've got planned, or if I want it to be a surprise. I'm actually terrible at keeping secrets. Doing secret Santa is agony for me, because I always want to go up to the person and be like, "I got you. I'm totally shopping for your present right now. I'm putting lots of personality and thought into it, too."

Strangely, I've never had a problem keeping what I bought a secret. I guess because they're already expecting a present, and I just want them to know that I'm the one buying it.

Anyway, I can't decide if this thing I'm planning would be better as a surprise, or if I should just tell you. It's probably better as a surprise, right? People like surprises. But I want to tell you.

So as a compromise, I'm gonna drop you guys hints in each post, from now until I start. Maybe that will keep me from bursting out with it, because I have a whole month longer to wait, and I can't stand keeping it a secret anymore! And if you guess, well, cat's out of the bag and I don't have to keep it a secret.

So, hint #1: I'm planning on doing another series (like Sunday S'mores) starting the end of March.
Super special auxiliary hint: This casserole has absolutely nothing to do with your surprise.

I've seen recipes around the interwebz for quinoa mac'n cheese, and I'm all like, "It's quinoa, not macaroni, so shouldn't it be qui'n cheese?" But they looked tasty, so I let it slide.

As my house still has an overabundance of quinoa, I decided to try it out. I made a cheese sauce based on the one from my favorite mac'n cheese (with actual mac) recipe. I had some sausage meat and some frozen broccoli, so I threw those in to make it a full meal. Then I slopped it all in a baking dish, added some panko and some parm to the top (and a little parsley, for pretties) (and some extra garlic, because I'm me), and baked it until it bubbled like the swamp thing.

How did it taste? Well, like mac'n cheese. But if you made mac'n cheese with like pastina instead of regular pasta. Or, you know, with quinoa. Oh, and I'm super proud of this 3-cheese sauce, because it was uber-yummy and gooey all by its lonesome. I could probably just sit there with a spoon and eat it straight from the pot.

3 Cheese Quinoa Casserole {Printable Version}
Yield: 6-8 servings

For the quinoa
1½ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 cups water
½ tsp. salt

For the sauce
1 lb. sausage meat*
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. pepper (freshly cracked)
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ grated parmesan, plus extra to top
12 oz. frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
Panko bread crumbs, to top

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare the quinoa: In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and ½ tsp. salt to a boil. Add the quinoa, and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool.

Prepare the sauce: In another pot, cook the sausage over medium heat. Drain off the excess fat, and remove the cooked sausage to another plate. Add the garlic, onion, and butter to the pot, and heat over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and the onion is translucent. Add in the flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. Gradually add in the milk, stirring constantly. Continue to heat until it starts to boil. Remove from heat, and add the cheese ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. The cheese should be completely melted before the next batch is added. When all the cheese has been added, add the cooked sausage, quinoa, and broccoli, mixing well.

Spread the mixture evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish and top liberally with extra parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

*Any meat can be used in place of the sausage, or it can be skipped altogether for a vegetarian dish.

Recipe by Kim

February 22, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Brownies

I know, this week has been weird. Instead of my regular Sunday/Wednesday posting schedule, you got Monday/Friday. Well you know what? Anybody who didn't have to deal with bounty hunters and floods at work can shut their cake hole.

That's right. Bounty hunters and floods. I've got all my facebook friends convinced that my job should be a sitcom. Half the time I think I'm getting punk'd myself. Except I don't think that you could make this stuff up if you tried. See, the sprinkler burst (the working theory is that the movers hit it, but the movers weren't really moving anything tall, I don't really believe that. But since our security company sucks, the cameras don't face the right way, and we'll never know exactly what happened). So the fire alarm starts blaring, and because we had a training class at the time of some of the best and brightest in pharmaceutical sales, I had to deal with the noise, trying to figure out what was happening, and full grown adults coming up to me asking, "what's going on?" and "what should we do?"

These are the people that sell medications to your doctors. I want you to keep that in mind.

Since I work for the facilities management company, once I convinced the trainees that blaring alarms mean you should probably evacuate the building, I called the landlord who told me there was a flood on the first floor. I went to check it out, and the hallway was flooded with this black liquid that kind of smelled like fresh tar. This is apparently the water in the sprinkler system that they will allow to rain on me if there is ever an actual fire. Black. Smells like tar. They keep telling me this is water.

That was a week ago. On Wednesday, I had two bounty hunters come in looking for a woman that had jumped bail and her last known work address was with us.

This is real life, people. My life.

Oh, and did I mention the mystery pizza that showed up? Yeah. When I got in touch with the guy it was for, he tells me that Lynn was the one who ordered lunch, and she didn't order pizza. So I get in touch with Lynn, who tells me that she ordered Mexican, not pizza. Floods, bounty hunters, and mystery pizzas. I'm afraid to see what happens next week.
After all this excitement, I needed something quick and simple to give you guys. I was flipping through some of the recipes that I've collected over the years. Because I'm a hoarder, I kept every recipe that teachers gave out for free, and I found this brownie recipe from my eighth grade Home Ec class.

This is brownie recipe is easy to make, quick to whip up, and super chocolatey. The texture is a bit odd, not precisely fudgy, but not chewy either. But it's perfect for that midweek, I couldn't make up the crap I deal with, chocolate craving.

Chocolate Pudding Brownies {Printable Version}
Yield: 12 brownies

1 (3.3 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding (I used chocolate fudge)
2/3 cup sugar
½ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
2 eggs
½ cup melted butter
¼ cup milk or cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 or 9 inch square pan with foil, and lightly spray with nonstick
cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the pudding mix, sugar, flour, and salt. Mix in eggs, butter,
milk, and vanilla, and stir until smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly into the prepared pan
and bake for 25 minutes, or until the edges pull away from the pan. Cool and dust with powdered sugar.

Recipe adapted from my middle school Home Ec class (original source unknown)

February 18, 2013

Open-faced Balsamic Chicken & Goat Cheese Sandwich

Okay, guys. I totally had this dream that I met Benedict Cumberbatch. And I was in my pajamas. They were my flannel gray pajamas with pink polka dots. And my hair was a mess, and I was holding Needy McSnuggles.

Even in my dreams, I'm a hot mess.

He rang the doorbell, and I opened the door (while holding the cat; I don't think that's something I could manage in the waking world. Needy McSnuggles is two armfuls of purring fur at the best of times). And he just smiles and says hello.

And my dreamself just kind of blinks at him and goes, "Do I know you?"

He introduces himself as the British actor (quite literally) of my dreams, and because my subconscious thinks so highly of me, I respond, "No, you're not. You're standing on my porch. You can't be Benedict Cumberbatch because you're standing on my porch."

I don't remember what else happened. I think there was cake. And there might have been some crime-solving. But I'd like to think that I invited him inside and fed him, because feeding people is what I do.
I could have made him this sandwich. While sounding and tasting very fancy, it's a breeze to put together. You just slice up some chicken. Put it on some bread. Put some salsa on top of the chicken. Crumble up some goat cheese on top of that, and a little bit of shredded mozz, just for meltability. Drizzle with some balsamic and shove it under the broiler. Make awkward conversation with your unexpected guest for a few minutes until the mozz is golden brown and bubbly. Serve and impress, and then while he's distracted with food, run to the bathroom and try to put your hair in some semblance of order. Maybe take off the fuzzy slippers and try to brush off some of the cat hair.

Moral of the story? There is none. I'm awkward, my subconscious knows it, and this is a tasty sandwich.

Open-faced Balsmic Chicken & Goat Cheese Sandwich {Printable Version}
Yield: 1 sandwich

2 thick slices of your favorite sandwich bread
About ½ large cooked chicken breast, sliced into thin pieces (preferably flavored with balsamic vinegar)
2 tbsp. salsa, drained*
1 oz. goat cheese
¼ oz. shredded mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar

Place the chicken on each slice of bread in an even layer. Top with salsa. Crumble the goat cheese on top and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and place under the broiler for a few minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve hot.

*Make sure to use a quality brand of salsa with a lot of flavor.

Recipe by Kim

February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Menu Ideas, and the Liebster Award

Since this week is a busy week for me (it's my birthday Friday, and I'm gearing up for the Wicked Faire, and I bought myself Skyrim as an early birthday present (I know, I'm late to the party on this one, but at least I know the bugs will be worked out!)), instead of the usual recipe post, I have a round up of Valentine's Day recipe ideas for you! Yay! (Btdubs, making Picmonkey collages is like my newest obsession. OMG.)

I'm particularly proud of this collage. XD
And for the star of the show:
Left to right, starting at the top:
I was also awarded the Liebster award, not once, but twice from Ruby at The Ruby Red Apron and Heather at Dietetic Sinners

So, for the Liebster Award, I'm supposed to list 11 random things about myself, and then answer 11 questions asked by the person that awarded it to me. Since I have 2 sets of questions to answer, Imma skip the 11 random things. (You're welcome)

From Heather:
What is your favorite childhood memory?
And we start out with a tough one. Umm, it's hard to say. Not one memory really stands out to me as a kid. I can't even be like, "going to Disney World when I was five" because I got pneumonia immediately afterwards. Can we go with "everything other than getting pneumonia"? 

I had a pretty awesome childhood, so we'll go with that.

What is the best thing you have ever eaten?
Another hard question. Geez, is this the Spanish Inquisition? Who's going to bring out the comfy chair? I guess I'll go with the tres leche cake at Martino's, a local Cuban restaurant. That thing's like a religious experience (and their chicken mole ain't too bad, either!)

What was your favorite subject in school?
An easy one! English.

Where did your blog name come from?
This one takes a little back-story. A few years back, the bestie decided she wanted to open a cupcake shop, and she wanted me to do it with her (never happened, obvi). But we weren't just going to sell cupcakes. No, we were going to serve gourmet teas, and I would sell my jewelry, and we'd have a steampunk theme and make soups and sandwiches, and it would be the best shop in the history of shops.

So, our working name for this shop was Om Nom Nom Cupcakes. But then we couldn't use that, because we weren't just cupcakes, so we decided on Om Nom Nom Cupcakes and More. But that was a bit unwieldy. We were just calling it Cupcakes and More by that point. I was making jewelry pretty constantly back then, and everyone was convinced that I should open a shop and sell it anyway, so one of the women my mother worked with suggested the name Tea & Trinkets, which I loved. It went with the theme, we could make it more of a tea shop atmosphere, it was perfect.

Fast forward to me starting the blog, and I was trying to come up with a name. My perfect shop name wouldn't work, I'm complete pants at naming things, and I thought I'd be posting a lot more crafts (heh), so I tweaked Tea & Trinkets into Treats & Trinkets

Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
Lose all of my old memories. As good of a life as I've had, I've also got a lot of baggage and bad memories. I'd rather start fresh than stay stuck.

Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?

What animal are you most like?  why?
I honestly don't have an answer for this. Although I'd very much like to be a housecat. They've got it made, dude.

On a scale of one to ten, how well do you sing?
I'd say in the 6-7 range? I made regional choir twice in middle school, so I'm better than average, but I never got any solos, so it couldn't be by much. I'm a mezzo-soprano, if you were wondering.

Have you ever met someone famous?  If so who was it?
Nope. Although there was that dude from the Sopranos that came to the family barbecue once. Apparently his character was killed with a Snapple bottle. Very exciting. And the drummer from Vampire Weekend said hi to me, but I couldn't remember where I recognized him from and thought he was in one of my classes or something (suave is my middle name).

And Chris Baty tweeted me back when I asked him a question. And Jen Yates retweeted me once. And Bonnie Burton said she wanted to read my novel about the Cheese Man. And this one time in high school, I emailed John Ondrasik, and he emailed me back, like a full length email, with paragraphs and everything, and I was excited about that for months, and I was convinced we were totally best friends.

Yeah, I'm gonna stick with the "nope."

What's your favorite ice cream brand and flavor?
Ben & Jerry's. Cherry Garcia. Word.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
I'd stay the age I am now. Old enough for everything, and young enough to do it. Although I'm a bum and a homebody, so I probably won't do a darned thing. But I could.

From Ruby: 
What has been your most popular blog post so far?
Mommy's birthday cupcakes, the white chocolate chip cupcakes

Name one recipe or food that you would like to cross off your bucket list.
I'd like to try and my my own ricotta and mozzarella. Also, get over my frying phobia.

What’s your favorite ingredient to work with (spice, herb, etc.)
I like cinnamon. And Mrs. Dash. Although, not together. Ick.

Since I love vegetables so much… What is your favorite vegetable?
Spinach. It's pretty much the only vegetable I'll eat 100% of the time, no matter the preparation. Cooked, raw, hot, cold, whatever.

What is the best dish or dessert you’ve EVER made?
A question like that could start wars. Everyone has a different opinion on that. So I'm going to go with my personal favorite, which are my applesauce cupcakes.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Or where do most of your ideas come from?
I pull it out my derriere. Seriously, though, we know my deal with planning things. It don't work. I have a notebook with recipes that I've planned out and researched and written notes on and I haven't made a single one. But then I'll buy some Zombie Head Bon Bons and boom! Cherry chocolate chip cupcakes.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. You just gotta be ready for it. (Inspiration blogger quote FTW!)

Name one person famous or not — that you would like to cook dinner for.
Talk about a loaded question. There are quite a number of fangirly answers to this one, and while I would very much like to make dinner for a certain British actor with a ridiculous name and even more ridiculous cheekbones, my answer would have to be my Grammy. I'd make her risotto and hot dogs. And for dessert, we'd have devil's fool cupcakes, because that was the last thing she ever asked me to make, and she couldn't eat them. 

And that was a lot harder to type than I thought it would be.

Do you have a favorite chef/cook?
That's a toss-up between Nadia G, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay. Although, if I had to choose one, I guess I would say Alton Brown, because nerdy cooks are awesome.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
The blogging community is wonderful. I also love the fact that it pushes me outside of my comfort zone to try new things and new flavor combinations, and techniques. It gives me something to focus on when I need it, and forces my mind to do something constructive and creative

What is your earliest cooking experience memory?
Making meatballs with my grandmother in her little Brooklyn kitchen.

What’s your favorite cuisine or favorite food?
I don't really have a favorite. I'm rather eclectic.

And now I'm suppose to nominate 11 blogs and ask them 11 questions of my own. (It's really supposed to be new blogs, but I'm a mean old blogger and I don't really follow n00bs. *shakes cane*)

And the nominees are:

And here are your 11 questions (be afraid):
  1. What is the funniest thing anyone has ever said to you, or you've overheard someone say?
  2. When you were really little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
  4. What accomplishment (blogging or or otherwise) are you the most proud of?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. What is your ultimate comfort food?
  7. What is your guilty pleasure?
  8. Who is your favorite superhero?
  9. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  10. If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
  11. What are your zombie apocalypse plans?
...I warned you. I told you to be afraid. Did you listen? If you're brave enough to answer my questions, please make sure to leave me a link in the comments below so I can read your answers. I solemnly promise not to steal your zombie apocalypse plans. Because mine kicks butt.

February 10, 2013

Whole Wheat Brownie Waffles

Have you seen that Rachel Ray tip, where she says you can pour brownie batter into a waffle iron and have brownies in 5 minutes instead of 50? I was talking about it with my cousin once, but I neither of us really liked the idea, because we both like the fudgy middle of the brownie the best.

Fast forward to me on the King Arthur Flour website, looking for a recipe for fudge cookies (because REASONS), when I stumbled upon a recipe for whole-grain brownies. I was intrigued, and printed out the recipe to try it. But I wasn't really in a brownie mood. It was early, I'd been shoveling snow all morning, and I was thinking that I should maybe do a breakfast recipe. Then it struck: brownies is the waffle iron. Whole wheat brownies. They were practically waffles already!
Of course, this is still a brownie recipe, and despite the fact that I tried to healthify it some (I cut down on the sugar, butter, and eggs, upped the flour, and used unsweetened applesauce), these are still dessert waffles. Meaning you can serve them with ice cream and chocolate chips and raspberry syrup.

How did they taste? Well, like dense chocolate waffles. They weren't particularly brownie like (no fudgy insides), and while the whole wheat texture might have been a bit odd in a brownie, it lends itself well to a waffle. Next time I might try some buttermilk to make them a little more fluffy. All in all, they're a fun, unusual treat, and I'd definitely break out this recipe for brunch.

Whole Wheat Brownie Waffles {Printable Version}

Yield: 5 waffles

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. instant coffee granules
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups whole wheat flour

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Mix in the cocoa powder, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and coffee. Add the applesauce, oil, and eggs, and mix until smooth. Carefully add in the flour, and continue to mix until smooth. Spread the batter evenly onto a pre-heated waffle maker, and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Tip: Because the brownie batter is so thick and doesn’t rise much, you can add more of it to the waffle maker than usual. I used a full cup of batter, as opposed to the ¾ cup I normally use.

*I used ½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, along with ½ cup regular cocoa

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

February 6, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Meringues

 I've mentioned a few times how I've never really had a tradition of cooking in my family, even though we're Italian and love food. Not only is that true, but it also colored my perception of how difficult things would be to cook and make. I never knew anyone who made frosting, so I always assumed that is would be really, really hard to do. Color me surprised the first time I tried it out and it was the easiest part of the baking process.

These meringues are another example of that sort of thinking. I have never made meringues before because my mother always swore that whipping egg whites was so difficult and it was so easy to overmix them that I always avoided any recipe that called for them. I was a nervous wreck the first time I made white cake. I watched the egg whites like a hawk, but they were fine. And then the next time something called for whipped egg whites, they were fine. And the next time, they were fine.
I'm still not completely sure if I'm some sort of meringue savant, or if my mother just has a meringue phobia. Either way, you will never catch me attending to something else while the egg whites are whipping, because my mother put the fear of god into me.

Despite all of this, these meringues were really easy to make and are naturally gluten and fat free. They are light and crispy and airy and full of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. And really, you can never go wrong with the chocolate/raspberry combination.
As for me, they're not really my favorite. I prefer my desserts a little more on the substantial side. But they're a great gift, and are super impressive, especially if you know someone with a meringue phobia.

Chocolate Raspberry Meringues {Printable Version}
Yield: Approx. 2 dozen meringues

4 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted after measuring
1 tsp. raspberry extract
Red food coloring (optional)
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 250°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using electric beaters, beat at medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and gradually add the sugar. Beat until stiff and glossy. Reduce speed to low and add the cocoa, extract, and food coloring, mixing until just incorporated. Carefully fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Scoop the meringues onto the prepared cookie sheet by rounded tablespoonful, leaving about 1 inch between each. Bake for 1 hour 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma The Best of the Kitchen Library: Desserts

February 3, 2013

Nathan Fillion's 7 Layer Bean Dip of the Gods (Go Browncoats!)

On the DVD of Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, there is not only a commentary, but a musical commentary. Commentary! The Musical. (It's a three-part webseries about a singing supervillain. Go with it.)

During Commentary! Nathan Fillion sings a song. A sea shanty, if you will. That his pirate mother used to sing to him. All about how he's better than Neil Patrick Harris.


In this sea shanty, there's a lyric that goes like this:
"He makes 7 figures,
And gets Emmy nods.
I make seven layer bean dip of the gods!"

Well, a little ways back, Nathan decided to share the recipe for this, the holiest of dips, on Twitter.
And being as there's a certain kind of sporting event going on today during which people apparently eat a lot of dip, I decided that I would share this sacred knowledge with you, straight from the man himself. (My changes are in italics)
Ready, Cap'n Tight Pants!
  1. Layer one: Large can of fat free vegetarian refried beans.
  2. Layer two: mix taco seasoning into low fat sour cream and spread over beans.(I used full fat sour cream and Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime Seasoning Blend, with a little added chilli powder, cayenne powder, garlic powder and paprika)
  3. Layer three: four large diced tomatoes (use your jug dement for adequate coverage. (I ended up using only 2. You could also use a well-drained can of diced tomatoes)
  4. Layer four: Guacamole. (I use avocados mixed with Herdez mild salsa). Tomatoes will anchor the sour cream layer. (I made more of a classic guacamole. Avocados, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, and fresh salsa. You could also use premade.)
  5. Layer five: one cute little can of diced green chilies. Suggest wee flinging through fingers for even spreaddage.
  6. Layer six: one cute little can of black olives. Same technique for spreaddage. (I didn't use olives. I don't like them. Don't judge me. I added some scallions instead. Because REASONS)
  7. Layer seven: shredded Mexican cheese mix. Or to taste. I use a whole bag.  
  8. Casserole dish for dip, and a strong chip like Mission Rounds. Dip is thick- will destroy lesser chips. Maybe stock up on Beano, too.
I also added some shredded lettuce to the top, some more fresh salsa, and I made it pretty. Because I'm a food blogger and that's how we roll.
 Look at those lovely layers. This is some epic dip, people. Epic.

I actually made this to bring to a friend's house today. But we're not going to be watching football (except, I'll probably make them turn it on during the second quarter to see the new Star Trek: Into Darkness trailer. And I'll do my very, very best to resist my fangirly instincts and not slap anyone when it comes on. I maybe sort of beat up the bestie a little bit when we saw the trailer before the Hobbit). We're going to be playing board games. I think the estimable Mr. Fillion would approve.
 And since I know you're all wondering what to get me for my birthday coming up in less than 2 week, I'm going to make it easy on you: You can donate to the Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund.