Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars

I love the Betty Crocker emails that I signed up for. The recipes are so easy, the site is simple to navigate, and you can save and print all of your favorite recipes! Since it is prime pumpkin time I knew I had to make these Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecake Bars when I saw the recipe in my inbox. 

They were so easy to make and were a HUGE hit at my office. I have already passed on the recipe to 3 other people who want to make them for the holidays. I think they are best served cold so I kept them in the fridge until it was time to serve them.

Recipe and image courstesy of Betty Crocker:


Cookie Base
pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
    **I couldn't find plain oatmeal cookie mix in my grocery store so I used oatmeal chocolate chip and I think it made the squares even better!!**
cup crushed gingersnap cookies
cup finely chopped pecans
cup cold butter or margarine

packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
    **I used low fat cream cheese**
cup sugar
cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
tablespoons whipping cream

cup chocolate topping
cup caramel topping

  • 1Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, crushed cookies and pecans. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. 
  •     **I did this step in a food processor and cut the cold butter in at the end**
  • 2Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining filling ingredients; beat until well blended. Pour over warm cookie base. Sprinkle with reserved topping.
  • 3Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is set. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled.
  • 4Before serving, drizzle with chocolate and caramel toppings. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Boston Dining Deals

My friend Andrea just shared this link from It has some great dining deals for restaurants around Boston so I figured I would share :) I can't wait to check some of these out!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lauren Conrad

I'll admit it. I watched Laguna Beach and The Hills while they were on TV. Ok, I'll even admit I watch the re-runs on On Demand every so often too :) However, when I heard Lauren Conrad had a blog I didn't really think twice about it because it was not something I thought I would find interesting or relevant. 

Well, luckily I must have been bored one day and decided to click on it. Turns out it is actually really cute with lots of delicious looking recipes, fun entertaining ideas, crafts, fashion tips, and giveaways.

Check out these really creative Halloween ideas. My favorite is the Mummy Pizza!!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I have this website listed in my favorites. I really like the vibrant pictures and how you can input ingredients you have in your own kitchen for recipe inspiration. The team at Gojee hand picks recipes from blogs and websites so you get a quick overview of the recipe, but than can click on the link to be brought to the full post.

Check it out by following them on Twitter @gojee or click on the link below:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

UMASS vs. UNH at Gillette Stadium

We started a new tradition last year when UMASS starting having an annual football game against UNH at Gillette Stadium. I am lucky that a lot of my friends from UMASS live in the area so we have more than enough people to get together for a party bus to tailgate for the day!

The morning started out with a pancake and mimosa brunch at my house. I just use regular pancake mix but add a little cinnamon and sugar and vanilla extract to the batter.

I made a big pasta salad to take with us because it is so easy to make and feeds a lot of people.

  • 2lbs of pasta (I mixed two shapes to make it more fun)
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1 diced yellow pepper
  • 1 8.5 oz can of corn
  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 7 oz container of mozzarella balls, quartered
  • Light ranch dressing
  • Lemon juice
Boil and cook the pasta so it is aldente. Immediately rinse under cold water to prevent the pasta from cooking any more. Mix in the cucumber, yellow pepper, corn, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Add as much or as little ranch dressing as you like, a few squirts of lemon juice and some fresh cracked black pepper. So easy!

Here are a few other snapshots from the day. One of my friends got creative and made double layer jello shots for our bus ride!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Every so often I get an email from that feature $25 gift certificates to Boston restaurants for only $4.

Click on this link and use the promo code "TREAT" at checkout. In order to get the $4 deal you have to choose the $25 gift certificate option.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Herb Dijon Salmon and Spaghetti Squash

I am a HUGE Trader Joes fan! Recently I discovered this pre-marinated salmon from there that has quickly become one of my favorite dinners. It's super easy, just pop it in the oven at 375F for 15 minutes or so and you're good to go! They even give you a little lemon wedge to squirt on before baking for just a little extra pop of flavor. If you prefer to broil or grill your salmon they have directions on the back of the packaging on how to do that as well.


What you will need:

  • 1 package Herb Dijon Salmon from Trader Joes
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • Lemon juice (optional)

Since the salmon is so easy to prepare I decided to make some spaghetti squash as a side dish. Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to regular pasta if you are looking to cut out some carbs from your diet. You can find it in pretty much any grocery store in the produce section.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and with a spoon scoop out the seeds and thick strands in the center of the squash. (I save my seeds which I rinse, dry, and then bake like you would do with pumpkin seeds).

Drizzle olive oil on the squash halves and sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning to taste (regular pepper would work just fine here as well!). I use a pastry brush to make sure the oil and seasoning completely cover the squash.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray, place squash halves cut side down, and roast for 45 to 60 minutes.

After the squash is done roasting remove from the oven and raise the temp to 375F. Let the squash cool for at least 10 minutes. Once the squash has cooled pull out the strands of the spaghetti squash with a fork. At this time also place the salmon on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan. Add 1/4 cup of frozen peas and 1/4 cup of frozen corn and saute for a minute or so. 

Add the strands of spaghetti squash and sprinkle on a little bit more lemon pepper seasoning to taste. I love lemon flavor so at this point I add a lemon juice to the pan as well, but if you don't want such a strong flavor just leave it out!

After the 10 minutes has passed on the salmon cooking switch the oven settings to broil on the highest setting. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes until the top of the salmon has browned and is slightly crispy around the edges.

Plate up the salmon and spaghetti squash and enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Open Sky

I recently started using the website Open Sky. It is an online shopping website personalized to your interests. They have a long list of celebrity chefs, trainers, and designers that you can choose to follow like on Twitter. Each person that you follow will recommend various products and you get an email each day with what is on sale in the categories you like.

The reason I like the website is that the products I have seen so far have been unique and the prices are extremely affordable. They give you a $15 credit for signing up and a chance to win free Christian Louboutins! It's definitely worth checking out

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The first entry...I'm nervous!!

Hi Everyone! My name is Emily and I live in South Boston, Massachusetts. I'm 26 years old and enjoying this new found desire to try new things and meet new people! I love my friends, my family, where I live, and have a pretty unique job. However, I have also have a very strong passion for cooking and trying new restaurants. 

I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in May of 2007 with a Hospitality and Tourism degree. UMASS is where I first started cooking, entertaining and really and enjoying it. I took all of the food and beverage classes where I got to learn my basic cooking skills and food safety. When graduation time came I was thinking about enrolling in Le Cordon Bleu but a family friend introduced me to a wonderful company where I have been lucky enough to be going on 5 years there. 

I wouldn't trade how things ended up but I keep finding myself wanting to learn more and try new things in the kitchen. With this blog I hope to share some new recipes, foods, techniques, and of course restaurants!

Below are just a few snapshots of my kitchen. I love all the counter space I have for prep and the granite is such a great stone!

A Kitchen Aid stand mixer is worth the $!!

I like to fill the empty jars on the right with different pastas when I have them

Love my double drawer freezer!!