Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Dedicated to Pasta Salad

I really really really REALLY love pasta salad: it's a staple and favorite in the Scroggin household. I mean, whenever my mom makes it, we inhale it and it's gone quickly.

So this is a post dedicated solely to a love of pasta salad.

Even when we went on our spring break trip and had to make lunch, my group decided on pasta salad (creds to Emily) and everyone loved it!

And if you're familiar with the Cheddar's Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad (soooooo good), I tried my own version! Which means that basically, I just put lettuce and pasta on a plate and added croutons, shredded cheese, and Caesar dressing and it was pretty dang good.

My mom had used a recipe from Pinterest (of course) that was full of asparagus, goat cheese, and lemon pasta!
And my pasta salad the other day paired well with my normal salad and veggies.
But we've finally found our favorite way of just making normal (but delicious) pasta salad!
(My cute sister thoroughly enjoying her pasta and in her monogrammed shirt, of course)
Cook 1 box of pasta and add with a mixture of 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1/2 cup Ranch dressing, and add whatever else you want! We love cucumber, green, red, and yellow pepper, and especially spinach!
- Meredith


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter Rolls

I've had this recipe saved on Pinterest for a while, tucked away as a great copycat recipe. I had kind of forgotten about it until my friends and I got into a heated discussion over the merits of Texas Roadhouse.

The only thing we could really decide on was that Texas Roadhouse has the best friggin' rolls out there and when I remembered that I had a recipe for the rolls, I got really excited and so did my friends, insisting that I make them some time (so, Jacob, this is for you).

And HOW easy was it?? Super easy. It makes a good 3/4 cup and I don't know how I'll go through it all!

Right after I made it, my brother and I tried it on some rolls by spreading it on top and then heating them up where they were warm and delicious and according to my brother, "magical".

Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter Rolls (Copycat)
- 1 stick of butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

- Whip butter until creamy, then add the honey, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix well until light and fluffy, scraping down sides when needed. Whip for about 1-2 minutes and enjoy!

Source: The Hen Basket

- Meredith

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

My mom was adamantly against eating raw cookie dough. Ever since I was little, she'd give us dirty looks every time we asked if we could eat it, constantly repeating that we WILL get sick. (Apparently, my uncle/her brother ate it when he was little and legitimately did get food poisoning...)

But this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction was the best alternative to an egg-filled, potentially salmonella-filled dessert.

When I offered my youngest brother (10) a bite of the frosting, his voice got real low and he said "But isn't Mom home?" But when I told him he could have a whole spoonful without him getting sick, his eyes widened.


The frosting was SO GOOD that I could've honestly eaten the whole bowl right then and there.


My friends said this was probably the second best thing that I've ever made (the first best being Cookie-Reese's-Brownie bars)

Messy, yes, but the perfect combination of a cookie AND cookie dough AND a cupcake.

What you'll first want to do is make the base, base-ically a chocolate chip cookie (bad joke, but whatever).

Mine made 24 cupcakes exactly.

Then, preferably with a cookie scoop, form the dough into balls and place into a muffin tin pre-lined with cupcake liners.

Push the dough down until it seals all the edges of the cupcake liner.

Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. While those are in the oven, make the frosting (and try to refrain from eating it all at once).

When the cookies come out of the oven, let them cool completely. Then frost them with your icing and you're good to go!

(Prior to being frosted)

Here's the link to the recipe!



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Windows Down Playlist

All of my blogs usually revolve around food or crafts or monogrammed shirts. But my English class has a blog with prompts that are sort of fun, so I figured I'd share this week's on here as well! (The prompt was choosing your top five songs for a playlist of doing anything you wish)

In the spirit of warm, spring weather, I'm just really loving being able to roll down the windows and play country music. I know, I know, that sounds like a country song in and of itself, but there's something about warm weather and driving that makes me even more obsessed with it. So here's my playlist for when you're in my sort of perfect moment: driving with the windows down, warm weather, and nothing to do.
1. Beat This Summer (Brad Paisley)- This one's new, but I know it's going to be the summer anthem. I love Brad Paisley and I LOVE this song. Its message is pretty simple: "But the sun keeps settin', the days go fast and the sand the beach is like an hourglass...I ain't gonna beat this summer" and I just love it.
2. Out of Summertime (Scotty McCreery)- "OH MY GOSH I LOVE SCOTTY MCCREERY HE'S MY HUSBAND" screams every teenage girl. I love him, but I'm obsessed with this song. Hopefully we're not out of summertime (considering it hasn't even started), but you can't help but smile when you're listening to this.
3. Highway Don't Care (Tim McGraw feat. Keith Urban and Taylor Swift)- The reason I put this song on here was because the first lines are "Bet your window's rolled down and your hair's pulled back and I bet you got no idea you're going way too fast" and even though this could apply to a million girls, my windows were in fact rolled down, my hair was pulled back, and I was going too fast (don't tell my mom). So then I got hooked and I love the chorus (*everyone lets out a collective groan against T-Swift*) and it's just pretty catchy.
4. Get Your Shine On (Florida Georgia Line)- This is the ULTIMATE summer song (as well as their other popular song, Cruise) and it's a song that just makes me happy.
5. The Road and the Radio (Kenny Chesney)- It's from 2005, but as a Kenny Chesney fan, it's one of my favorites. Most of these songs don't have any direct application to my life (other than them being good to sing along to), but 'the road and the radio' is what I like to do and what this playlist is about.
Honestly, I could put a million other songs on here (most of them being by Billy Currington and Eric Church, or just from the Country Top 40), but these highlight some songs good for the windows down and the music up.
Just because I had to: Wagon Wheel, I Drive Your Truck, Sure Be Cool If You Did, Like Jesus Does, Good Directions, Until You, 1994, Big Green Tractor, Highway 20 Ride, Summertime

Hope you're enjoying this nice weather!
- Meredith

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nutella-Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Everyone has some sort of relationship with Nutella. For me, it's a much more relaxed relationship than some of my friends- I love it, but I'm not absolutely crazy for it. But this recipe could possibly change my mind about how I feel about the chocolate hazelnut spread.

When I made these, everyone went insane for them. All it is is a sugar cookie with Nutella inside. Easy? Yes. Delicious? Of course.

I made these before I had any concept of creating a blog, so I don't have many pictures, but I'd say you don't need many to realize that these cookies of creamy chocolate goodness are heavenly.

Thinking back on these great cookies, I remember posting a picture of them on Instagram and my friends freaking out.

Nutella-Stuffed Sugar Cookies

-1 jar of Nutella
-Sugar cookie dough (homemade, from a mix, whichever)

-Preheat oven to 350.

-Scoop Nutella in 1 tbsp. drops onto wax paper and place in freezer. Leave them in the freezer until they're absolutely frozen. This is extremely important for forming the cookies.

-Form a 2 tbsp. ball of cookie dough, but split the dough in half and put on your sheet, as you would with normal cookies.

-Once the Nutella drops are frozen, lift with a spatula and place in the middle of your cookie dough. Use the remaining dough to cover the 'Nutella sandwich'. You may have to push around the edges so that it forms completely around the cookie.

-Bake for 10-13 minutes until they start to turn a little brown. Let cool and enjoy!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Puddle Cookies

I've never realized how much I love gluten. It's in basically everything I eat and bake (pasta is a separate food group of mine), so when I went looking for a recipe for something actually good and free of gluten, I was a little upset. But then I found a recipe and figured I'd try it.

They're called Chocolate Puddle Cookies, and I can't even imagine a more appropriate name. They are so moist and chocolaty and dense that it was like a little chocolate puddle of goodness.
I made them for a gluten-intolerant friend who's birthday was coming up and almost didn't bring them to her because I was afraid they were bad-tasting.

I've never been so happy to be so wrong in my life.
I had left them out on the counter and when I couldn't get them off the stone but had to leave, I was quite frustrated that they were so sticky and not fully 'cooked'. But when I came home, half of them were gone! My mom asked me what were in them because they were "so freaking good", as she put it.

I chuckled, knowing they were only about 70 calories (!!!!!!!!) and put the rest in a platter. My friend, and her gluten-intolerant friend, absolutely loved them... they couldn't believe they were gluten-free.

So these little cookies/brownies/mess of a dessert are one of my favorite things. I have yet to try them again, but I'm proud of them!

And you can do all the math yourself, but I figured (if you make 38 cookies) each cookie to be about 67 calories, 1g fat, 15g carbs, and 13g sugar. It's a lot of sugar per cookie, but I'd say you have to include that much to make them good.

One thing you'll want to note is that I used a stone, so I didn't grease it. It was nearly impossible to get them off the pan because the inside was so sticky and the outsides were so tough. The cookies were good, but not worth ruining good baking stone. Next time, I'll grease a sheet or perhaps even put them in a greased baking dish to make chocolate puddle brownies or cookie bars?!

And, pay attention to how long they're in there: they're SUPPOSED to crack at the top, but still have changed from a dark color to lighter.

(The cookie 'dough' looked much more like brownie batter. Be sure to space them out well so they don't run into each other)

(Clearly, they were difficult to get off and wash off)

Also, the recipe I found called for just walnuts. To be quite honest, we barely had any walnuts, so I threw some white chocolate chips in there and called it a day (but of course I checked to make sure they were gluten-free). So I challenge anyone who uses this recipe to find something cool to put in it!

(Please excuse my salad-making in the background)
It really was just a puddle of chocolate! They break easily, but don't let that stop you. They're cookies like you've never had before, SO GOOD and so worth the amount of powdered sugar you'll need.
One of the funniest things about these was when I took them to another friend and they ate them all right up...before I told them they were a form of 'healthy'. It was too funny.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Puddle Cookies
-2 cups topping (i.e., walnuts and white chocolate chips)
-4 cups confectioner's sugar
-1/2 cup + 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-scant 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
-1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 320 and line (3 is best) baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the sugar, cocoa powder, and sea salt. Stir in toppings, then add egg whites and vanilla until well combined.
Put cookie dough (2 tbsp.) on sheets. It'll be more like batter than dough, and everything will spread out, so leave plenty of room for them to bake.
Bake until they get bigger and change from a dark brown to a lighter brown; they'll crack on top as well. This is about 12-15 minutes.
Let cool and store. Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2013

In Memory of Lilly Pulitzer

Yesterday, one of my life role models, Lilly Pulitzer, passed away at the age of 81.


Not only was she the entrepreneur of one of the biggest names in fashion history, but she was a pretty cool woman. She was a legacy that all started with a juice stand (as we've all read in the beginning of our annual Lilly planners). Her dresses started in Palm Beach with her trying to find a dress that would camouflage orange and grapefruit stains, but her dresses became brightly patterned, as we all recognize easily. (NY Times article)
Ms. Lilly went through a lot in her life, good and bad, but still managed to pull off looks that had never been started before, and even the beautiful cultural icon, Ms. Jackie Kennedy wore her dresses. And seriously, who doesn't want to dress like Jackie?
She was the start of an empire that created the eternal style we describe as prep. To me, clothes and fashion are more than just a materialistic manner but rather a way of expressing who you are and how you present yourself. I'd hope that every lady wearing Lilly is expressing Ms. Pulitzer's want to be classy, bright, and "always in a sunny state of mind".

I hope we all remember Ms. Lilly Pulitzer, a pretty kick-butt woman who put up with a lot to get where her name is today, because really:
Life is more fun in Lilly.
RIP Ms. Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau.
- Meredith

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New shirts and photos!

After a great week in South Carolina, I guess I'll have to accept that it's back to a normal life...

Photo of Garden City Beach Pier from Lauren Duffy Photography
But of course, I had lots of shirts that I made right before I left! Here are some of them.

For CaraGrace Cain and her sister, Sam!

For myself, Meredith Leigh Scroggin!

For Kirby Jo Fitzpatrick!

For an Alabama fan: Roll Tide!

I hate to toot my own horn, but aren't they cute? I was so excited with how they turned out (my own shirt's up there with them!) and while we were at the beach, my beautiful photographer, Lauren, was there and took some pictures of myself and my best friend Kirby in our shirts!


The rest of these great photos are here, and the link to Lauren's photography page is here!

I was so excited to have a great week filled with the people I love.
 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit."  (John 20:21-22)