Thursday, December 16, 2010

nom noms

One of my best friends from my Italy trip recently made her own food blog! It is still new, but her recipes that are already posted demonstrate her passion for cooking, and her ability to come up with her own delicious recipes. Check her out at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Today, I made cinnamon rolls with my family. They turned out scrumptious, and everyone was addicted at first bite.

The dough, which we made from scratch (using yeast), took a little while to rise, but the fluffy result was well worth it.

The icing was something of my own creation, although the recipe did suggest confectioners sugar and milk. I used about 1/2 cup milk, and 2 cups (give or take) confectioners sugar, until it got a little thicker. Then I warmed up about 4 tablespoons of cream cheese and whisked it into the icing.

I got the idea from another blog, J's Kitchen.
Here is the recipe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have made these cupcakes before, but I have never put them up here. 
This is one of my favorite recipes, and I think it ties in well with Autumn. 

For the pumpkin flavor, the recipe called for one can of pure pumpkin puree.

The recipe had many spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger.

For the recipe, click here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

For Halloween, I made Marshmallow Ghost cupcakes. I used a chocolate cake mix, and made vanilla frosting, dyed orange.  

For the ghosts, I used two mini marshmallows. For the head marshmallow, I rolled the top between my fingers to create the peak shape. Then I used chocolate sprinkles as the eyes. 

I got this idea from Martha Stewart, here.

Homemade Spaghetti

I finally got a pasta maker! A pasta maker helps to roll out the dough and cut it into the shape of pasta that you want. I decided to make spaghetti. There are electronic and manual versions, but I got a manual version, where you actually crank it out.

The pasta maker that I got was the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Maker.

To make the dough, I used this article. 

This was the uncooked pasta after I cut it into spaghetti. 

Homemade Samoas Bars

For my friend's birthday, I made him homemade somoas. 
Somethings went wrong when I was baking them, but these would be good with a little practice. 

The main ingredients were toasted coconut, caramel, chocolate, and a shortbread cookie base.
Here is the recipe.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies pt. 2

So I already made these cookies before, but the first time they were not as successful as I had hoped. I tried the recipe again, and this time the cookies came out a lot better.

This time I used Rollos instead of Dove caramels.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

Once again, I was inspired by a classmate to bake this recipe. I am really glad I tried them out because they were delicious, especially the icing. 

What made these cupcakes "Mexican Hot Chocolate" was the cinnamon in the recipe. The ingredient gives it a subtle spice.

Once you have completed the batter, you slowly add 1 cup of boiling water to it. This made the cupcake really moist.
I found the recipe online here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Italia 2010

So I haven't really updated all summer, but there's a good reason behind that. This summer, I went to Italia with eleven other people, all whom I had never met before. My group began with a three-day orientation in Roma (Rome). Then we all stayed with a different Italian family for two weeks in Napoli (Napels). After my group and I went to a culinary school to work with a chef in small northern towns (Canelli and Asti). And finally we spent three days in Venezia (Venice). It was a life changing experience, I made and ate some incredibly delicious food and I made some friends for life. Below are some pictures.

A beautiful view of all the vineyards in Italia on the way to our culinary school.

My first gelato (in Roma)! Lemon and mango flavored.

My group and I made our own pizzas from scratch in Napoli!

In Napoli, we visted a buffalo mozzarella factory, where we ate fresh mozzarella.

My group and I made a dessert very special to Asti, bonet. It is like a hazelnut chocolate flan.

This is one of the many plates of pasta we had while in Italia. This is goat cheese gnocchi with lavender.

My group, the chef and some of his assistants in the kitchen.

The view from a gondola in Venezia. Absolutely gorgeous.

On our trip, we focused on a special program, the Slow Food Movement. Their mission is to "counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world." As a result of partnering with this program, we really learned to appreciate the ingredients and process that goes into making our food.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

For Father's Day I made penne with garlic-lemon scallops and asparagus. The scallops were pan-seared, while the asparagus was roasted.

This was my first time cooking scallops and asparagus, although I've had them before. To learn how to pan-sear the scallops, I used this article: How To Make Pan-Seared Sea Scallops.
To learn how to roast the asparagus I used this article: How to Cook Asparagus

I used an easy recipe for the scallops, which can be found here.
The family loved it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moist Cake

I was recently given a tip by my teacher at school on how to get the most moist cake. 

Immediately after you take the cake (or cupcakes) out of the oven, you just pop them into the freezer for a few minutes. My teacher explained that while the outside cools, it will seal the heat and steam on the inside, leaving the cupcake more moist! I have tried this tip, and have to say it really works. 

Special thanks to that teacher!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

I baked cookies today, which I haven't in a while. I made caramel filled chocolate cookies. Although they weren't as pretty as the picture in the recipe that gave me the idea (from the blog obsessed with baking), they still tasted yummy.

I put the chocolate cookie batter on the cookie sheet and placed a piece of caramel filled chocolate in the middle. Afterward I completely covered the chocolate with more batter and put it in the oven.

In the baking process, the chocolate melted and the cookie got flat, so the caramel center was not very visible, although I could taste it. The actual chocolate cookie recipe was good as well.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tiramisu Layer Cake

Today I made a Tiramisu Layer Cake. I was inspired again by my favorite Italian restaurant as well as by a cupcake recipe I tasted, made by my classmate.

I found the recipe online. It called for a white box cake mix, which saved a lot of time. I made three layers, but in the layer that I was going to put in the middle, I added a teaspoon of instant coffee.The filling and frosting were also very easy to make, using simple ingredients such as heavy cream, confectioners sugar and coffee liqueur.

This recipe was more complicated than I am used to, but it wasn't too hard. When it was finished, it didn't taste too sweet, which was a refreshing change for the summer weather. I sprinkled cocoa powder over the top and garnished the edges with raspberries, although the recipe called for chocolate shavings. I definitely recommend this recipe!

You'll find it here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Raspberry Jam Crumb Cake

I made a Raspberry Jam Crumb Cake today. 

The topping did not come out very crumbly, and mostly blended into the cake, but it still tasted the same.

I swirled the raspberry jam into the cake batter in the pan, and used my fingers to sprinkle the topping batter over it. Because I mostly concentrated the crumbs in the middle, they clumped together and the edge was mostly cake.

This recipe was easy and fun to make. You can substitute any jam for the raspberry one, depending on what you like. 

Here is the recipe.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blueberry Peach Pie

I recently made a blueberry peach pie. Usually, this recipe is made in a ramekin (a small dish, similar to a soufflé dish), but using a large pie plate worked just as well.

The recipe called for a pre-made crust, fresh blueberries and frozen peaches, as well as vanilla, nutmeg, sugar and flour to be mixed in with the filling.
This pie was really easy to make and tasted really fruity and juicy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seven Layers Chocolate Bar

I got the recipe for this seven layers chocolate bar from a Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook 
that I got as a birthday present.

The main ingredients include pretzels, sweetened condensed milk, unsweetened baking chocolate, mini marshmallows, coconut and pecans, with a dark chocolate drizzle on top.

The unsweetened baking chocolate I bought was already pre-melted, when the instructions called for unmelted, but this didn't really pose any problems. 
This recipe came out really great!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fruit Tart

This is the fruit tart I just made. I could hardly stop my family from eating it
when I finished.

For the topping I used strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and blackberries (although the recipe called for raspberries, it still came out great).

The filling was simple. I just used cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and spread it into 
a graham cracker pie crust.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These are the coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The cake is made from scratch, coconut flavored. The frosting was also made from scratch.

I used the extra coconut to garnish the top and sliced some strawberries to put on top. I was inspired to make these cupcakes by my favorite Italian restaurant, who makes a cake similar to this.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

This is the first rainbow cupcake I made, back in April 2009. I made the cake from scratch, using a vanilla recipe. I separated the batter into six different bowls, dyed each a color and layered it one by one into the cupcake cups.

S'mores Cupcake

This is a s'mores cupcake, with a graham-cracker bottom and marshmallow filling inside. I made this back in February 2010.

Easter and Spring Cupcakes

These are the bunny easter cupcakes. I used box cake mix for the cake to save time.

I used vanilla icing, orange jellybeans for the nose, marshmallows for the ears, and black-gel icing for the eyes and smile.

These are the spring cupcakes. The cake was also box cake mix, from the same batch.

I used vanilla frosting (dyed light blue), coconut (dyed green) for the grass, jellybeans for the eggs and Peeps marshmallow birds.