Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Welcome to my blog!

Hey everyone! My name's Alyssa and this will be your (hopefully) comprehensive guide to making some of those delicious recipes we all see and crave on Pinterest. So many of us love Pinterest, but some of the recipes are really time-consuming and can cost quite a bit of money with their odd assortment of ingredients. Being as I am in college, my time and money are precious and it's great when I can cut corners on either of those (without negatively impacting my food).

So, throughout this blog I will post recipes that I have tried and let you, the readers, know how easy it was and how it tastes (which is the most important part, haha!). I will post tips with each recipe that I think might help. These tips might be anything from recipe modifications, ways to save time on preparation, ways to save money, or a tip to just never make this recipe!! If any of you see a recipe that you'd like me to try, post it and I'll give it a shot!

As most of you know, college kids love to drink, so I will also be showing you some fun cocktails you can make at home! I love all the funky drinks that are pinned all over Pinterest, but some of them just look too good to be true. I'll be your "guinea pig" and let you know the best way to serve up some of these amazing cocktails. 

I will also periodically post some cool and/or nerdy things I find on Pinterest. I'll try to link it to the food I make, but no promises. Also, I work with sea turtles, so I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures or posts about them, haha.

So, to kick off this blog, it seems right that it should start off with turtles. So, before I show the recipes I'll be reviewing today, here's a couple of the little sea turtle hatchlings I work with at my job:

I absolutely love sea turtles, so if anyone ever has questions or comments about them, feel free to message me! :)

Ok, so down to business. I figured since this is my first post, I'd start it off big and do three (that's right, THREE) recipes! I decided to do an entree, a drink, and a dessert. The entree I chose is a Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork. I saw this pinned a while ago and have been wanting to make it ever since! For the drink, I decided on a sweet tea recipe I saw. I was going to post a cocktail recipe, but I decided I really wanted sweet tea! (and there's no one stopping you from adding a little vodka to your sweet tea, haha). Finally, for the dessert, I chose Nutella Ice Pops. The entree sounded a little heavy, so I thought the popsicles might offset them a bit. Alright, let's start!

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork


The thing that I love best about this recipe is that it's cooked in a slow cooker! Slow cooker recipes are some of the easiest recipes because you do a little preparation, let it sit for a few hours, and then you have a delicious meal! I also love pork loin because, when it's cooked right, it's really juicy. The important thing about this recipe that will help you save money is to buy the pork loin when it is on sale. Our grocery store has sales on meat every once in a while and when that happens, we stock up on meat!  Also, the recipe calls for 2-lbs of meat, but I'm only cooking for two people so I bought a smaller size of meat (a little over 1-lb). The meat cooked a little faster, but was still very tender!

Can you tell I'm already excited for Halloween? haha
Sage, garlic, salt, and pepper rub for the pork loin

The oh-so delicious pork loin ready for the crock pot

This is where the magic happens
Let me just say that the 6 hours that this was cooking was complete torture because the smell in the house was so amazing!! In the last hour that the pork was cooking, I was making the glaze for the pork but it wasn't really thickening like I would have liked it to, so I added an extra tablespoon of cornstarch. With that addition, it came out thick and delicious!

I shredded the pork with two forks. The meat was so tender I barely had to do any work.
A dinner fit for a King (it's good to be the King)

So this dinner was freaking amazing!! The pork was so tender and barely even needed the glaze (but the glaze was great to enhance the flavor of the meat). I would definitely make this dish again, especially because it was so simple: put it in the crock pot and you're pretty much good!

Sweet Tea


I've always loved sweet tea, and this recipe sounds amazing and simple! I cut the recipe in half because it makes a gallon of tea and I'm the only one in my house who drinks sweet tea (I know, right? I live with crazy people!). I like this recipe because I had pretty much everything I needed except the tea bags, but they only cost about $2.50 for a bag of family-sized tea bags.

So, I rounded up my ingredients and got to work!

Apparently baking soda is the secret ingredient that makes the sweet tea smooth. Who knew?

Cover and wait for deliciousness to ensue

 I sort of forgot about the tea while it was steeping so it came out pretty dark, but no matter, the stronger the better! I added the sugar and cold water next, but I was still a bit skeptical about how it would taste. So, even though it was a bit warm, I took a taste and it was sooooo gooooood! Very sweet and very strong, just how I like it!

 So there you have it, a fast and easy way to make sweet tea which tastes so amazing! Making this only cost me the price of the tea bags because I had everything else and I only used 4 tea bags out of a box of 24. This means that I can now make 5 more jugs of this tea (mwahaha!). So if you're in the mood for some southern comfort (not of the whiskey variety), then I would definitely recommend this recipe!

  Nutella Fudgesicles


The last recipe that I made for today is Nutella fudgesicles (I know, I almost died too). So, for any of you who don't know, Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread and is so amazing that some consider it the food of the gods! Not only that, but Nutella goes well with pretty much everything. When I saw this recipe I almost fell out of my chair so I knew I just HAD to make it! Hopefully, it doesn't disappoint.
 First of all, this recipe calls for popsicle molds, but unless you have kids or you've been saving them since you were a kid, you probably don't own these. But don't fear! Instead of going out and buying molds, we will use a method that has been used for years and years: ice cube trays! So, what you'll need is: ice cube trays, toothpicks, and saran wrap. 

So, first of all, this recipe calls for Nutella and...Pacific hazelnut chocolate milk. So, I had no idea what the hell Pacific hazelnut chocolate milk was (and neither did the lovely employees who work at my grocery store), so I decided to just substitute it with regular chocolate milk. 

 So, I mixed together the Nutella and chocolate milk and it took me a while to whisk them together because the Nutella is so dense (not complaining!). I finally got them mixed and I poured them into the ice cube trays. The mixture filled up two trays perfectly. After you pour in this heavenly mixture, cover the trays with saran wrap really tightly. Once you've covered them, poke toothpicks through the saran wrap into each slot. 

No one's perfect, ha ha
Put saran wrap over ice cube tray really tight (I obviously got lazy)
Poke toothpicks through the saran wrap, as shown
Once you're all done, pop them in the freezer and wait a couple hours for them to harden up. As I was making all of these ice pops, I realized that these cubes could also be used in plain milk to make your very own Nutella chocolate milk! Just an idea (which I will probably try). 

The finished product

Yum! Time to enjoy!

 So, the fudgesicles came out amazing! They were really good and just the right size! I say this because they are pretty rich, so I think a full popsicle would have been a little too much. Also, a word of caution if you make these, you might want to spray the ice cube tray with something because mine got a little stuck to the edges. They were just as delicious though and luckily I have a whole tray and a half to eat! >:)

All in all, these recipes were fantastic! I can't wait to try some more and make these ones again. Don't forget, you can request recipes you'd like me to try before you give it a shot and I'll give you some tips on each one (except fish recipes, I am a marine biologist after all!)!



  1. Just found your blog and I think it is a great idea. Can't wait to see what you make. I do have a recipe that I think you should try. I just pinned it and it says its addictive chicken that the whole family will beg you to make again. Here is the link to the page

  2. Great blog, Alyssa! Can't wait to read more!!!! Check out some of the recipes I've repinned!

  3. Thanks guys! I can't wait to make more delicious recipes in the future! I've seen that chicken recipe on Pinterest and have wanted to make it for a while now, so I'll get on it and let you know how it is!

  4. Can we have some black pudding recipes please..;-)

  5. Yeah...i agree with the black pudding bloke.....i also hear things can be done with cheese and cake..CHEESE-CAKE...its the future.

  6. Haha, I might make some cheese cake in the future. As far as black pudding, I didn't find any recipes, sorry!

  7. I love this recipe ! Reminds me of you making soap at home, Mom.
    And it's fun to see photos of your house there and see
    Dad in that comfy chair we sat in when we visited,
    attempting to use the slow internet :)

    I can't wait to hear how the soap turned out in terms
    of using it. Does it smell different since it is made with
    animal fat? Any other differences from vegetable-based soap?

    Love you!

  8. I love that I stumbled across this blog! Hope to see more recipes soon!