I love working in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, eating…I love it all. So here is my list of the top 10 things I want to make before heading back to school:

10. Homemade Hot Cocoa (http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/the-perfect-hot-chocolate-2590715.html)

Who doesn’t love a mug of heart- (and tummy-) warming hot cocoa? I know I do :) Gotta figure out how to steam milk first though…

9. Better-Than-Crack Brownies (http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/08/better-than-crack-brownies/)

Chocolate. Peanut butter. More chocolate. Enough said.

8.  Sour Cream Pancakes (http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/edna-maes-sour-cream-pancakes/)

These might sound a wee bit odd at first, but I have high hopes for them. Good thing I have two test subjec…uh…I mean…sisters to give their input as well ;)

7. Garlic Alfredo Sauce (http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2011/10/creamy-garlic-alfredo-sauce-my-go-to-dinner-saver.html)

I made this for lunch a couple of days ago…it was delicious! The garlic added a nice subtle flavor without overpowering the sauce (though it probably could have used a wee bit more).

6. Cheesy Bread (Sorry, no recipe for this one…)

The cheesy bread in my school’s dining commons is sooooooo good. I asked my friend who works there what the secret is, and to my surprise she said that they use ranch dressing as the “sauce”…never would have suspected that! So now it’s my turn to experiment and see what happens :)

5. Rachel Ray’s 5-Minute Fudge Wreath (http://shine.yahoo.com/tistheseason/fabulous-5-minute-fudge-wreath-190500912.html)

This recipe for fudge is mainly melted chocolate chips…I might use the wreath idea but switch the fudge recipe with one my family loves (more like 30 mins, but it’s melt-in-your-mouth good)

4. Eezy Breezy Mac and Cheezy (I’ll explain the recipe a couple of lines down)

I actually made this recipe up, but it’s very similar to any other homemade mac & cheese recipe you’ll find. My little sister loves it, and when I substituted ordinary elbow noodles with whole wheat penne it tasted alright too. Here’s the recipe:

2 Tbsp butter or margarine

2 Tbsp flour

1 cup milk

1 and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (cheddar and monterey jack work best)

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups cooked elbow noodles, drained.

Directions: Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour. Add milk and stir until completely incorporated; reduce heat a little and let the mixture simmer until thickened. Mix in 1 cup of the cheese, along with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles in a small oven-safe dish, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Broil at 300°F until cheese on top is melted. Enjoy!

3. Stove-Popped Popcorn

This stuff is WAY better than the microwave variety…both better tasting and better for you. Just get some raw popcorn kernels from your local grocer, put a couple of kernels into the pan as it heats up (add 1-2 Tbsp of veggie oil before heating up, and remember to cover the pan with either a lid or aluminum foil which has been poked with a fork several times…the hot air needs to escape when the popcorn is popping), then when the 2 or 3 test kernels pop you know the pan is hot enough. Add the rest of your raw kernels (about 1/4 cup unpopped per person) and you’re good to go! Remember to keep the pan moving though so the kernels at the bottom don’t burn.

2. Apple Pie (http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/grandma-brunets-blue-ribbon-apple-pie-2601184.html)

I saw this recipe on Yahoo! and was immediately tempted to make it. My sister is the baker of the family, however, and got dibs on making the Thanksgiving pie. She won’t get to make the Christmas pie if I have anything to do with it… >:) muahaha

1. COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLESSSSS!!! (http://thevillagecook.com/cookie-dough-truffles/)

I swear, it was love at first sight. These babies are balls of unbaked cookie dough covered in chocolate. Like I said, love at first sight. I actually just made these today…they’re every bit as delicious as they look!

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