Friday, August 26, 2011

Skittles Blenders are Super Disgusting.

I haven't done a candy review for awhile so I figured it was time. Plus I walked into a place called In Zone- a type of store unique to college towns featuring tiny Iowa Hawkeye shorts/19 cent fountain sodas/candy/rolling papers and glass pipes for tobacco use only - an impulse bought 4 kinds of candy. For an inexplicable reason I bought Skittles Blenders- one of those new variations they force on people because they think they are bored w/ regular skittles. This one features unnecessarily mixed fruit flavors and then shove them into a Skittles.

Here are the dumb flavors:

Melon Berry Burst: taste neither like Melon, nor Berry.
Watermelon Green Apple Freeze: only one that was oooookkkkaaaayyy.
Strawberry Lime Blast : tastes like soap
Mango Lemonade Freeze: taste like suntan lotion
Cherry Tropicolada: not equipped to describe this ickiness.

Stay away. These flavors are the candy equivalent of people who make up their own children's names because they think they sound 'different.' Again - stay away from the Skittles in the yellow bag.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zucchini Cheddar Biscuits & the Red Boot Diaries.

When I buy a new pair of shoes, I usually keep them in my closet for a little bit...warming up to them...watching them in a natural shoe environment...proving they really belong to me and fit in with my little wardrobe family (we are a tightly knit clan, most cottons HA!- good pun, right?) .

Leaving a beloved old city and moving to a new one has sort of been like this...Iowa City is currently sitting in the corner of my apartment, and we are slowly getting used to each other.

The upside/flip side to this transitional period is gobs of hours to bake! And it is summertime in Iowa, one of the most delicious places on earth. When you buy fresh produce from the Pioneer Co-Op it comes from a farm 10's of miles away, at a quarter of the price of Union Square Farmers Market (score one, Iowa). Tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers are running wild. How, oh how will we use all this zucchini?

Zucchini Cheddar Muffins will do! I found this fantastic recipe from a blog called A Cozy Kitchen.

Makes 15 biscuits

  • 3/4 cup zucchini, shredded (***I recommend 1 full cup because I like bigger, faster, more)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 cup grated cheddar (***I recommend a 1 1/4 cup because I like to overdue it)
  • 2 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 stick butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

Shred the zucchini. Using a cheese cloth, add the zucchini to the center and squeeze all of the excess water out. Transfer to a small bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of flour. Mix and let stand for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Working quickly, add the cubed butter and break up with your hands until they’re the size of small peas. ***Because you are working with butter, work this as little as possible for maximum fluffiness.

Add the milk, zucchini and cheddar until moistened. Drop batter, using two tablespoons, on a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm if at all possible but they are fantastic ANYTIME.

With each warm biscuit Iowa City and I are warming up to one another, making sure we fit into each others wardrobe. In the meantime I am going to continue to bribe it with baked goods and new shoes.

(like these - love you Revival!!!!).

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins!!! What a Gem!

New place, new space, new zucchini muffin recipe. They all go together, do they not? The fresh Iowa zucchini was burning a hole in my fridge and I was ready to try something new.

Having a kitchen the size of a stick of Trident, I have been forced to stash the ingredients and equipment needed in various places all over my apartment. The muffin pan is under my winter coats...the mixer is in a train case above my vintage dresses....etc. I pulled them out and got going on this recipe I found on, in haste while at the grocery store. No worries because it panned out. The chocolate/spice/zucchini combo seemed strange but it has made a really rich "muffin" (don't kid oneself, this should be classified as cake). The cardamom really took these up a notch and made my home spell AMAZING.

Another note: I substitute butter for oil always because I like dense over fluffy. If you disagree, use vegetable oil instead. If you want to be 'healthy' you can also use applesauce- personally, I don't subscribe to this because I say you should make a really delicious recipe and just eat less of it! I might be nuts but next time I might add nuts.

Chocolate Zucchini Gems! (makes 24)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil -(again, I use melted butter but the two sticks that I had to melt down almost made me change my mind)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease or line two 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Beat in the sugar and oil. Add the cocoa, vanilla, zucchini and stir well.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. Mix until just moist.
  4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Store loosely covered.

I love you. You are delicious. What a gem you are!!! Now I just hope that I can figure out where I am going to stash all 24 of these muffins!!!