Emma Stone Addresses Weight Criticisms in (Typically Awesome) Fashion

Originally posted on Style News - StyleWatch - People.com:

Emma Stone always seems perfectly poised and put together, but the actress deals with her own internal battles when it comes to her appearance. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star spoke to Seventeen.com about confidence, body image and, of course, girl power.

Emma Stone SeventeenKristin Callahan/ACE/INF

“My great hope for us as young women is to start being kinder to ourselves so that we can be kinder to each other,” the 25-year-old said. “To stop shaming ourselves and other people for things we don’t know the full story on — whether someone is too fat, too skinny, too short, too tall, too loud, too quiet, too anything. There’s a sense that we’re all ‘too’ something, and we’re all not enough.”

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5 decadent desserts made with Girl Scout cookies Part 5

Trefoil shortbread sandwiches

Casey Barber

Trefoil shortbread sandwiches

The famous dessert bars known as “millionaire’s shortbread” are time-consuming to make; by using buttery shortbread Trefoils, the indulgent treat is transformed into a quick, ultra-rich bite.

Yield: about 20 sandwich cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Trefoil shortbread cookies
  • 7 tablespoons dulce de leche spread (from 15-oz. jar)
  • 6 oz. (about 1 cup) coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate (about 60 percent cacao)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Instructions:

  • Line a large baking sheet or cutting board with waxed paper.
  • Scoop about 1 teaspoon dulce de spread on the flat underside of half the Trefoil cookies, then top each with another Trefoil to form a sandwich cookie, making sure the pattern on each cookie lines up properly. Set aside.
  • Fill a small, straight-sided saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  • Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel or heatproof glass bowl set over the simmering water. Stir the chocolate constantly until it’s melted and smooth. Stir in the coconut oil until melted into the chocolate.
  • Dip the sandwich cookies into the chocolate until halfway submerged. Lift the cookie out and allow any excess chocolate to drip off before placing on the waxed paper-lined sheet.
  • Let the cookies sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to let the chocolate harden before serving.
  • The cookies will keep overnight when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. (But since the chocolate is untempered, it may develop safe-to-eat but not-so-pretty white spots as the cocoa butter separates from the cocoa solids.)

5 decadent desserts made with Girl Scout cookies Part 4

Thin Mints pound cake

Casey Barber

Thin Mints pound cake

Chunks of delicate Thin Mints turn into pockets of flavor when baked inside a moist chocolate pound cake. Slice and serve with your favorite pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream for a double dose of this tasty pairing.

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • butter or nonstick baking spray for greasing the baking pan
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 sleeve (1/2 a box) Thin Mint cookies, coarsely chopped
  • mint chocolate chip ice cream for serving (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a standard loaf pan or spritz it with nonstick baking spray.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl as necessary.

Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, beating well until each is incorporated before adding the next egg.

Add the vanilla extract and beat for 15 seconds more. Scrape down the bowl again.

Add a third of the flour-cocoa mixture, stirring until just incorporated, then stir in half the buttermilk. Add a third more flour mixture, then the remaining buttermilk, then finally the remaining flour.

Stir in the chopped cookies, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is slightly domed and cracking on top, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice and serve with mint chocolate chip ice cream, if desired.

The pound cake will keep for at least three days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Alternatively, the pound cake can be wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil and frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw before serving.

5 decadent desserts made with Girl Scout cookies part 3

 

Do Si Do Tart

Casey Barber

Do-Si-Do peanut butter tart

Crushed Do-Si-Do cookies become a crunchy crust for this surprisingly sophisticated peanut butter tart.

Yield: 1 9-inch tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes + 4 hours chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 8-oz. box Do-Si-Do cookies (twist 1 cookie apart and save half for decoration, if desired)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 block (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special Equipment:

9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Break the cookies into large chunks with your hands and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Grind the cookies into crumbs in the food processor.
  3. Pour the cookie crumbs into a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter until well combined.
  4. Press the buttered cookie crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, making sure they are spread evenly enough to reach up the sides of the pan.
  5. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and turns deeper golden brown. Let the crust cool on a rack while you make the filling.
  6. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 5 minutes until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  7. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the peanut butter and cream cheese together on medium speed until smooth.
  8. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until combined. Add the vanilla, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute more.
  9. Gently mix the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, then spread the filling evenly into the cooled crust.
  10. Top with the reserved half cookie for decoration, if desired.
  11. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until completely chilled. Remove the outer tart ring before serving, and serve the tart cold.
  12. The tart will keep for at least 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

5 decadent desserts made with Girl Scout cookies part 2

 

Tagalong ice cream bombe

Casey Barber

Peanut butter-chocolate ice cream bombe with Tagalong cookies

This wow-worthy presentation isn’t as difficult to pull together as it looks—a bowl and plastic wrap are the secret tools to making a gorgeous ice cream bombe. This one hides an extra-special surprise: a layer of Tagalong cookies.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes, including chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart vanilla-peanut butter swirl ice cream, slightly softened in the refrigerator
  • 1 box Tagalong cookies
  • 1 quart chocolate-peanut butter swirl ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies (or 1 chocolate cookie pie crust, removed from the pan and crushed in a bowl)

Special Equipment:

2 1/2-quart freezer-safe bowl

Instructions:

Line a 2 1/2-quart freezer-safe bowl with two long pieces of plastic wrap, criss-crossing the pieces over each other to cover the inside of the bowl completely with a few inches of overhang on each side.

Spread the vanilla-peanut butter ice cream evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the plastic wrap-lined bowl with a silicone spatula. Gently press the Tagalong cookies into the ice cream to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in an even pattern.

Freeze the ice cream in the bowl for an hour; while the ice cream bowl freezes, place the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream in the refrigerator to soften slightly.

Fill in the center of the bombe with the chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, spreading it to the edges of the bowl.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Stir the butter and crushed cookies together, then spread evenly across the ice cream to make a cookie crust.

Fold the overhanging edges of the plastic wrap over the cookie crust and press gently to adhere.

Freeze for 1 more hour, then unmold the bombe by removing the plastic wrap from the cookie crust and carefully turning the bowl upside-down on a serving plate. Remove the bowl and peel off the plastic wrap completely.

Slice and serve immediately.

The bombe will keep for at least 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

5 decadent desserts made with Girl Scout cookies part 1

Resist the urge to devour every Girl Scout cookie in sight—if you can—and save a few for these five fantastic dessert recipes. Trust us: They’ll make you want to double your Girl Scout cookie order next time.

Samoa pudding pops

Casey Barber

Samoa coconut-caramel pudding pops

Coconut, caramel and chocolate—the three Cs that make up a classic Samoa cookie—are swirled into these nostalgia-inducing pudding pops. You’ll need wooden popsicle sticks, easy to find at your local craft store.

Yield: 6 pops

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour + 4 hours freezing time

Ingredients:

  • 1 13.5-oz. can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 1 3-oz. box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 6 teaspoons unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 Samoa cookies, coarsely chopped, plus 6 whole Samoa cookies
  • 6 squeezes (about 6 teaspoons) bottled chocolate syrup

Special Equipment:

  • 6 5-oz. Dixie cups
  • 6 wooden popsicle sticks

Instructions:

Shake the can of coconut milk before opening, and pour the coconut milk and milk into a 1-quart saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then whisk in the packet of vanilla pudding.

Continue to whisk until the pudding thickens, then remove from the heat and pour into a heat-safe bowl. Stir in the caramel sauce until it melts into the pudding. Let the pudding cool for at least 20 minutes.

While the pudding cools, toast the coconut in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until golden. Remove from the heat.

Scoop a scant 1/4 cup pudding into each Dixie cup, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon toasted coconut on top. Divide the chopped Samoa cookies between the 6 Dixie cups, then squirt 1-2 teaspoons chocolate syrup onto the cookies.

Scoop another scant 1/4 cup pudding into each cup to top the cookies and chocolate, then sprinkle a final 1/2 teaspoon toasted coconut on top of the pudding layer. To finish, gently press a whole Samoa cookie into each cup and thread the craft stick through the cookie hole so the stick stands upright.

Place the pops on a small rimmed baking sheet and freeze for at least 4 hours, until completely frozen. Peel the Dixie cup off each pop before serving.

The pops will keep for at least 1 week when stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

 

Crazy creations for National Grilled Cheese Day

grilled cheese

Fontina and blackberry basil smash grilled cheese? Yes, please!

If you’re in need of comfort, look no further than the grilled cheese sandwich. April is National Grilled Cheese Month, and April 12, specifically, is National Grilled Cheese Day – as if we needed a reason to glorify sandwiches fried in fat and filled with gooey melted cheese.

But it’s time to get out of our comfort zone, and go beyond the Wonder Bread and American cheese creations of our youth. Look to fresh herbs, fruit and fast-food fusion for inspiration and make some of these truly inspired versions of the humble grilled cheese.

Fontina and blackberry basil smash grilled cheese

If you can stop drooling at Jessica Merchant’s mouthwatering photography long enough to actually make this recipe, you won’t be disappointed. The fontina and blackberry basil smash grilled cheese sandwiches are gooey, buttery, tart with blackberries and fragrant with basil. The sandwiches are rich but not heavy and also multilayered with flavor. They are stunning to look at and tasty to eat.

grilled cheese

Baked potato grilled cheese

What can make cheese on carbs even better? Try more carbs …with a side of bacon. That is certainly what Bob and Carlene Deutscher of BS in the Kitchen thought when they invented their baked potato grilled cheese sandwich. Pan-fried potato slices are layered onto cheese and bread, and then piled with sour cream, bacon bits and scallions. It’s creamy, it’s crunchy, and to quote the blog, it’s “SOO GOOODD@#$*!!!”

apple cinnamon swirl grilled cheese

Kevin Lynch

Apple cinnamon swirl grilled cheese

Pretzels and chocolate; salt and caramel; cinnamon swirl bread and cheddar cheese? That may indeed be the new sweet and salty culinary darling. Closet Cooking creator Kevin Lynch pairs tart apples, sweet bread and tangy cheddar cheese together for a sweet-meets-savory combination that is reminiscent of apple pie topped with cheddar cheese. A little sugary, a little salty and a whole lot of grilled cheese joy.

mac and cheese grilled cheese

Mac and cheese grilled cheese
Putting mac and cheese into a grilled cheese sandwich would just be comfort food overload, right? Russell Warnick of Endless Simmer clearly thinks it’s the ticket to food nirvana. He ups the ante by preparing the cheese sauce with roasted garlic, thyme and truffle oil. To make the grilled cheese, he simply takes leftover mac and cheese, piles it onto bread, and grills it in a panini press. The cheese sauce oozes pleasantly into the nooks and crannies of the bread and the pasta is crunchy in some places, soft in others. This may just be the best use for leftovers ever!

taco grilled cheese

Laureen King
Taco grilled cheese

Taco grilled cheese
Remember all those times when you couldn’t decide if you wanted tacos or cheeseburgers for dinner? Art and the Kitchen’s taco grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect combination of those two foods. Spiced taco beef, avocado, shredded lettuce and – of course – shredded cheese are all stuffed inside two slices of bread, and then grilled until the cheese is melted and the sandwich is delightfully sloppy. Creator Laureen King says that this would go nicely with tomato soup, but it would work just as well with chips and salsa or some cumin-spiced sweet potato fries.

Dark chocolate and parmesan grilled cheese
Hold onto your hats and get ready to rock your tastebuds. This isn’t the normal sweet-and-salty pairing that you might expect. These seemingly odd bedfellows are actually scientifically engineered to work well together. A technology called Foodpairing is used by chefs to create unique and new recipes. Using the analysis, dark chocolate and parmesan cheese are perfectly matched. In fact, The Huffington Post says that ,“The salty and savory (umami) flavor of Parmesan cheese pairs exceptionally well with the depth of flavor in dark chocolate.” Try it for yourself, if you don’t believe it –and pair it with red wine to bring out the fruity side of the chocolate.

grilled cheese

Sarah Spigelman

Animal-style grilled cheese

As a lover of In-n-Out, my own favorite grilled cheese sandwich is this animal-style version. Both sides of the bread are spread with homemade Thousand Island dressing, then layered with sharp cheddar, fresh jalapenos and grilled onions. The result is so meaty, spicy and salty that you could swear that you were eating a burger. It’s my ode to the best fast food on the planet.

 

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