Friday, November 2, 2012


I have been a complete failure in the blogging department. Life has gotten ahead of me and I have neglected my blogging duties. To make it up, I have not one but two recipes for you! Both involved the deliciousness known as pumpkin. At even the remotest signs of fall, I am all about the pumpkin. Lattes, muffins, pies, cupcakes, candles, pasta anything that has pumpkin in it, I will eat. The two recipes that follow take one can of pumpkin so you don't end up with extra laying around.

First up is pumpkin pancakes. I've been making pancakes from scratch for a long time, I don't even remember the last time I used a mix. People over estimate the difficulty of doing things from scratch. Pancakes are one of the easiest things to make and it only takes a couple more minutes to make them from ingredients you probably already have at home. The best part is you can experiment with the batter and make tons of yummy flavor combinations.

This particular recipe hails from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats. All of the recipes I've tried from this site are great. Always easy to follow and delicious to eat!

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tbsp. melted butter

1. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Use a whisk to break up any lumps.

2. In a separate bowl beat the egg. Next add the pumpkin, milk, and butter and mix till combined.

3. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture and whisk together. Stop when the batter is just combined, some lumps are ok but not too many.

4. Heat frying pan or griddle to a medium. Spray with cooking spray if you are not using a nonstick surface. Pour about 1/3 a cup of batter on to the pan. The batter is pretty thick so you may want to spread the batter out a little bit. Flip when bubbles start to appear in the surface of your pancake. Once flipped NEVER SQUISH THE PANCAKE DOWN. I repeat NEVER SQUISH THE PANCAKE DOWN. If you want fluffy pancakes resist the urge. After this side is browned, remove from pan. Repeat till out of batter.

5. Top with cinnamon sugar or syrup or both and enjoy!

Now that you've made pancakes, you've still got half a can of pumpkin left. What to do, what to do? Cupcakes of course!

This recipe also comes from a great blogger, Brown Eyed Baker. I have to say this is by far the best pumpkin cupcake/ muffin recipe I have ever tried. They were moist, spiced just right, and completely delicious. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone and everyone.

Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes (makes about 18):
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with liners or grease which ever you prefer. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes light a fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Next add the flour mixture in three separate batches, mixing in the buttermilk in between each addition of the flour. Finally, beat the pumpkin in to the mixture until combined. The batter will be very thick. Don't freakout this is how it is supposed to be.

3. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3s of the way up. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (room temp)
1 8oz package cream cheese (room temp)
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.

2. Add powdered sugar a little bit at a time until frosting becomes fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract.

3. Once cupcakes are completely cooled frost and enjoy!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I have caught a major case of olympic fever. Every 2 years when the olympics roll around I spend hours watching sports that I have no clue the rules of and cheer on Team USA and Great Britain. And when I say hours, I mean HOURS, like 12 a day. I avidly avoid any website that shares olympic results before they are aired on tv. I have cried, I have screamed, I have laughed, and I have cheered. I now know all the rules of road cycling as well as race walking. You get the point, I LOVE the olympics. So when Annelih suggested olympic themed dishes for this weeks post I was on board!

After all the sweets I've been eating, baking really wasn't on the cards. I thought about doing something British but nothing really felt right. In the end I went with something healthy, delicious, and summery; quinoa fruit salad.

Quinoa is a super grain that, while being delicious, is packed with protein. It cooks just like rice and can be eaten both hot and cold. To give my quinoa an olympic flare I added fruit in the color of the olympic rings; blueberries for blue, mangos for yellow, blackberries for black, kiwi for green, and strawberries for red. For a little extra something, I added something toasted coconut and honey lime dressing.

Olympic Quinoa Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa cooled to room temp
handful of strawberries cut up
handful of blueberries
handful of blackberries
1 mango cubed
2 kiwis cubed
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded cocoanut toasted
juice of one lime
2 tbsp honey

1. In a bowl mix together the quinoa, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, mango, kiwi, and cocoanut.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together the lime and honey. Pour over fruit salad and mix.

3. Serve, eat, and enjoy!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Summer Cocktail

So, I completely failed this week. I missed our weekly group blog post. :( Although I'm four days late, I have a great summer cocktail for you all! 

Annelih posted a recipe for mango pineapple rum punch which looks delicious! Rum always makes me think of summer. All those fruity cold drinks with little umbrellas in them! 

Cassie did a Spanish wine drink called Tino de Verano. It looks super refreshing and is pretty simple to make. I'll adding it to my "took make" pile.

For my summer cocktail, I was planning on making a basil martini but Publix didn't have any basil, sad day. Instead, I went with what I had in the fridge. Strawberries, mint, ginger ale, and gin. It may sound like a strange combination but it was delicious, trust me!

Strawberry Mint fizz
3  sliced strawberries
4 mint leaves
1tsp sugar
1 shot of gin
Ginger ale

1. Muddle the strawberries, mint, and sugar in  the bottom of a tall glass. (I just used a spoon and smashed it all together )

2. Add gin, a couple of ice cubes, and top off glass with ginger ale. 

3. Stir, sip, and enjoy! (don't spill half on the couch like I did)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

homemade twix bars!!!!

WARNING: These are extremely addictive! Make at the risk of your own waistline!

Thats right. Homemade delicious cookie with caramel and chocolate twix bars. I have always wanted to make these ever since I saw them on one of my favorite blogs, cupcakes and cashmere. The idea of making caramel is slightly terrifying. Burning, molten sugar that has the potential harden into a rock and stick to every corner of everything is really appealing (not).

I thought I could face my fears with some help, so I suggested to Cassie and Annelih we make them for our weekly blogging adventure. They agree and so the mission began!

Check out Annelih's twix bars here and Cassie's isn't up yet but she's got an awesome scone recipe for now and I'll post her twix when she gets it up. (Update: heres cassie's! and hers doesn't involve making your own caramel for those of you who want a simpler recipe)

Heres my attempt. They turned out really well! Like I can no longer make them because I eat the entire thing in three days well. I"m warning you, make these for a party or for company, your waistline will thank me!

Homemade Twix Bars
1 stick plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1- 14oz can sweeten condensed milk
1/2 tsp salt

Chocolate layer:
10 oz dark chocolate

1. Cream sugar and butter together for cookie layer. Add salt and flour a little bit at a time, the mixture will be crumbly. Press mixture into a 13 X 9 in pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Make sure the layer is level to ensure even cooking.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and then rotate pan. Bake for another 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow time to cool.

3. While cookie layer is baking and cooling make the caramel. In a large sauce pan, mix together butter, sugar, corn syrup, milk, and salt for the caramel. Place on low-medium heat and stir constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to medium-high heat. Continue stirring to avoid burning. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat back down to low-medium. Stir for another 10 minutes until the caramel becomes thicker and begins to pull away from the sides. Pour over cookie layer and let cool.

4. Once the caramel is cool, put into fridge. Fill a sauce pan with about an inch of water in the bottom with a glass bowl on top. The glass bowl should not touch the water but should be big enough to sit on top of the pan without touching the bottom. Put the sauce pan on medium heat and bring the water to a simmer. (this is a double boiler!) Place chocolate in the glass bowl and stir until melted. 

5. Remove caramel cookie thing from the fridge. Pour the chocolate over the top and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until chocolate is set. 

6. Slice and enjoy!!! (sprinkle with a little salt for an extra treat)

Monday, July 16, 2012


 The best quiche I ever had was last summer in Paris. My friend and I knew very little french so ordering food became very interesting. One day we went into a very busy bakery to grab lunch for a picnic. There were to many people to find out what everything was so I attempted to ask which of the delicious looking options didn't have meat. I ended up with the best tomato, basil, and mozzarella quiche ever! The quiche along with macarons and nap in the park equaled the perfect lunch.

Since then I have started experimenting a little more with my quiche filling. The combinations are endless. Once you know how to make a basic quiche, you can put whatever you want inside! For this quiche, I used stuff I already had in my fridge; goat's cheese, tomato, basil, and onions.

Goat's Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Tomato, and Basil Quiche

1 pie case (I used the left over pastry from my apple pie for the crust but frozen will do)
5 eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 onion
1 large tomato, sliced
goats cheese
3 basil leaves

1. Slice the onion and cook in a pan at medium-low heat with a little bit of oil. Cover the onions and leave them, stiring occasionally until they turn a carmel color. Add a pinch of salt and remove from heat.

2. Whisk the eggs, milk, and cream together in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper. Chop the basil and add it into the mixture.

3. Using a fork, prick the bottom of your pie case. Spread the onions at the bottom of the crust. Place small pieces of goat cheese on top of the onions as well as the slices of tomato. Pour the egg mixture on top of it all.

4. Bake in a preheated 365 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove when the center is fully cooked. Use a toothpick to test if needed. Let cool for at least an hour.

5. Slice, eat, and enjoy!!

** The pie crust, eggs, milk, and cream are all you need for a basic quiche so get creative and make your own combinations and flavors!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chocolate Orange bread

Ok, so for this weeks group bloggingness we decided to make bread. I decided what a perfect time to make yeast bread for the first time! Days later, in a flour covered kitchen, I ended up with a heavy lump of kind of bake terrible bread.  I failed, epically. Sometime in the future I will post a beautiful picture of some steaming, perfect french bread but for now yeast bread will be on hold.

That being said I needed something for group blog day (ps we need a name, any suggestions?). Both Annelih and Cassie were making sweet quick breads. I decided to follow their trend and googled quick bread recipes. In my searches, I came across orange chocolate bread. I was sold! Orange and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations ever!

Check out Cassie's Chocolate Almond Bread and Annelih's Peanut Butter Bread they both look amazing! I'm going to have to try those recipes out for myself!

Orange Chocolate Bread

1 orange
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Zest and juice the orange. Combined he juice and add boiling water until it equals 1 cup. Pour over the zest and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Combined flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg, butter, vanilla, and orange mixture together. Add the liquid to the dry and mix until just moist. Fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Pour mixture into a greased bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick and remove from oven when the center is cooked. 

4. Cool, slice, and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Key lime pie

Being from Florida, it was only a matter of time before I blogged about our state pie, key lime pie. This delicious treat uses the tart key limes that can be found in the Florida keys. If you google key lime pie, you can find a bunch of different recipes. As far as I'm concerned, there are only three things you need; key lime juice, sweeten condensed milk, and egg yokes. Any recipe that tries to make it more complicated is not a key lime pie. You can buy the juice in a bottle or take the tiny fruit and squeeze your own. Either way its delicious. For my pie I addde some strawberries for something a little different.

Strawberry Key Lime Pie

1- 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice
3 egg yokes
1 cup sliced strawberries
graham cracker crust ( I usually buy one because making one isn't really worth it)

1. Whisk together the egg yokes and condensed milk. Keep mixing whilst adding the lime juice a little at a time. 

2. Spread the strawberries at the bottom of the crust. Pour lime mixture over the strawberries.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove and let cool for several hours.

4. Top with whip cream, slice, and enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Guac time!

I used to hate avocados. When I was younger I thought they were the grossest thing in the whole world. My parents loved them though and would always order guacamole at our local mexican restaurant. They would bring out a big bowl and make it right there next to the table. One day I decided to face my fears and try it. My whole world changed. It was the BEST thing in the world. From then on  I have loved everything and anything with avocados in it; guacamole being my favorite.

I always make it for parties or potlucks and it is always a hit. One time, I made four avocados worth of guacamole. I swear two of my friends where about to fight over licking the bowl. They ate the entire bowl between the two of them. So here you go the easiest and best guacamole recipe ever!

2 avocados
1 clove of garlic
1 small tomato
half a lime
1/3 cup of onion
1/4 cup chop cilantro (optional)

1. Smash the two avocados. Crush the garlic, dice the tomato and onion, and mix all with avocado. Squeeze the lime juice into the mixture and add a generous pinch of salt. At this point, add cilantro if you desire. Taste your guac and add what ever you think its missing!!

2. Eat and Enjoy!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Apple pie!!

Today marks the start of a wonderful blogging adventure!. Several of my blogging friends and I will each be cooking up the same delicious dish and posting about it each thursday! This gives you a great chance to read about three different experiences making some sometimes challenging dishes.

So first off here are my fellow bloggers and their awesome blogs:

Now the first dish! For our first post we went with apple pie. We wanted to do something July 4th themed and whats more American than apple pie??

I've made apple pie several times, most of the time buying frozen pastry for the crust. This time I decided to make my own. I usually don't follow a recipe for the filling either, I just mix apples, sugar, cinnamon, and flour add some butter and bam! This time I payed a little more attention so I could write it for you guys.

The crust recipe I used was a little weird. The high fat content made it kind of difficult to work with but the results we yummy and buttery. As long as you make sure your surface in well floured as well as you rolling pin you should be fine.

Apple Pie

(adapted from smitten kitchen)
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp vegetable shortening
12 tbsp unsalted butter
8 tbsp cold water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the shortening in small chunks and mix with the flour mixture with hands until it looks like bread crumbs. Next add the butter in small chunks and mix with hands until the largest lumps are no bigger than a small pea.

2. Using a spoon, add the water a little but at a time. Stop when the mixture comes together in a rough ball. You may not use all the water, you may use more, don't let the mix become to wet. Divide the ball into two and flatten into disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for minim a hour.

6 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter divided into 5 chunks

1. In a big bowl mix together the apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Make sure all the apples are throughly coated. Added the flour and mix again. Leave to one side.

2. Take out the crust from the fridge. Take one disk, unwrap, and place it on a throughly floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top and roll out the dough until it will fit your pan. Carefully lift the dough over your rolling pin and place it over your pie pan. Using only small adjustments make sure the dough lines your pan with a little overhang. It is important to remember the more you mess with your dough the tougher your crust will be so avoid messing with it as much as possible.

3. Take the filling mixture and pour it into your prepared crust. Spread the apples out evenly. Place the butter on top of the apples. Next roll out the second disk, just like the first and place it on top of the apples. Cut off the extra around the edges and pinch together the bottom and top crust. Cut slits in the top crust to help vent the filling ( I cut a star for the 4th theme so get creative if you want!)

4. Bake on a tray at 425 for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for another half hour. Check the pie and remove when the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Place on a cooling rack and allow a generous amount of time for the pie to cool.

5. Slice and enjoy!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mini apple tarts!

This is a recipe I have been making for years. It is super easy, delicious, and makes people think your a really impressive baker. My parents had a potluck this weekend and asked me to make this tart for them to bring. I made one big one for them and several little ones just for me! The recipe takes a whole stick of butter so its not low on calories but its worth it! You can make this tart in a tart pan or free form. I prefer the free form, it tastes the same I just like the rusticness ( really word? of it.

Apple Tart
Adapted from smitten kitchen (this is one of my favorite food blogs, always has great recipes)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
3/4 stick of unsalted butter (6 tbsp)
3 tbsp cold water

3 large apples (peeled, cored, and sliced)
2 tbsp melted butter
5 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1. Mix flour and sugar for the crust together. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Rub butter and flour together until mixture resembles bread crumbs with large pea sized lumps. Add the  water a little bit at a time mixing until a dough is formed. You may not need all the water or you may need a little more, add a little at a time. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a least half an hour. 

2. Prepare your apples, saving the peel and cores. Once dough is sufficiently chilled, take out of the fridge and begin to roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Now this is where you can make the choice of either mini tarts or a big tart and if you want to use a tart pan or make it free form. 

  • Free form (my fav): Roll dough out into a rough circle. Fan apples out about and inch from the edge of the dough, over lapping them in a circular pattern to the center. Fold the edges over the apples and place tart onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  • Tart Pan: Roll dough out slightly larger than the size of your tart pan. Carefully drape the dough over a rolling pin and the over the tart pan. Fan apples out at the edge of pan and work your way into the center. Fold the extra dough that is overlapping the edge over the apples.
  • For mini tarts follow the directions for free form or a pan only divide your dough into 8 equal parts.
3. Brush tart with melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake in a 400 degree over for about an hour (30 minutes for minis). Pay attention and pull the tarts out of the oven when the edges are golden brown and the center apples are just showing some color.

4. While tarts are baking, put the peels and cores in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup sugar and just enough water to cover the peels. Simmer on low for 30 minutes and strain. When tarts come out of the over pour a few tbsp of the glaze over the tart while it is still hot. 

5. Let them cool and enjoy!

Try varying the recipe a little for your own tastes:

  • Add raspberries to make it an apple raspberry tart.
  • Try a completely different fruit like peaches or pears
  • Use cranberries and some orange zest and replace the glaze with orange juice
  • Remove the sugar and add some cheddar cheese for a savory tart.
  • Let your imagination run wild!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coconut Chocolate Cake

I made this cake a while ago for my dad's birthday. His birthday is so close to my brothers and Christmas that by the time we make it to his I've been baking for a whole week. This year he requested anything with coconut and chocolate. I decided to go with a simple chocolate cake, filled with coconut custard, and covered in cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut. It turned out amazingly well and was the favorite cake of my family's holiday season.

I used my basic chocolate cake recipe for the base (seen here) bake in a 8 inch round pan.

Coconut Custard
2 egg yokes 
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp + 2 tbsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 handfull-ish shredded coconut

1. Whisk together the yokes, cornstarch, and 2 tbsp sugar in a small heat proof bowl (glass is preferable).
2. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, bring milk and the rest of the sugar to a simmer.
3. Pour a small bit of the hot milk into to the egg mixture whisking constantly. Add the remaining mixture, continue mixing.
4. Pour the entire mixture back into the sauce pan and add in the coconut. Continue whisking the mixture over medium heat. It will thicken quickly so make sure you are paying attention and keep stirring!
5. When custard has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat. Cover the mixture tightly with plastic wrap and press down to remove air. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cream Cheese Frosting (one of my favs)
4 oz salted butter (room temperature)
8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

1. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Add sugar a little bit at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract.

Putting it all together!!!
1 8 inch chocolate cake
coconut custard
cream cheese frosting
shredded toasted coconut

1. Cut the fully cooled cake in half horizontally.
2. Spread the custard on top of the bottom half evenly, then replace the top.
3. Cover the entire cake in cream cheese frosting. Don't worry about making it pretty, just slap it on. 
4. Take a hand full of toasted coconut and press it into the sides of the cake. The flakes will stick to the frosting. Sprinkle all over the top as well until you have a beautiful toasted coconut mountain of deliciousness!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lets be British!

(please read the following in the most obnoxiously cheesy British accent you can imagine)

For those of you don't know, this weekend marked Her Majesty the Queen's diamond jubilee. She has ruled for a cracking 60 years. To celebrate the occasion, events have been planned across England for the past four days, including a smashing boat parade down the Thames, a lovely church service, and a brilliant concert in front of the palace.

Miles away in sunny Florida, my family decided to get into the spirit of it all and had our own little tea party in honor of the queen. We sat in front of the telly with our scones, dainty tea sandwiches, and pimm's cups watching the boat parade.

The delightful sandwiches had three different fillings; 1st was turkey, avocado, and boursin cheese, 2nd was a traditional egg mayonnaise, and 3rd was cucumber and laughing cow cheese. All cut into little triangles and tasted delicious!!

For drinks, we made the traditional Pimm's cup. This is an English summer drink which combines Pimm's (a spiced, gin-like liquor), english lemonade, and fruit. For ours, I mixed a cup of Pimm's, 3 cups of ginger ale, and slices of lemon and cucumber. If you do a google search you can find a load of different recipes and things. I suggest you just mixing until you get the taste you want.

Of course I made homemade scones because what English party would be complete without them? I have never made them before and I was a little nervous to be honest. I know how easily they can turn dry and become as hard as rock. My mother referred me to her go to recipe and somehow they turned out perfectly! 

English Scones
from my Mum's old recipe book
12 oz self rising flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
3 oz cold unsalted butter
6 fl oz milk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl.
2. Add sugar and butter to the flour. Rub butter into the mixture until it resembles fine bread crumbs. To do this literally mix the butter and flour with your hands, rubbing the butter with your figure tips to break it up.
3. Add the milk a little bit at a time, mixing until a dough is formed. You may not need all the milk. You want just enough to form a ball of dough.
4. Dump mixture out on to a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until a 1/2 an inch to 3/4 of an inch think. Using a round cut, punch scones out of the dough. Repeat this with the scraps until all the dough is used. Place scones on baking sheet.
6. Brush the tops of scones with milk before placing them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown.
7. After cooled fill them with jam and freshly whipped cream or butter or anything you like!

For the centerpiece of our celebrations I made a Victoria Sponge. This is the first cake I ever learned to make and the recipe is about as traditionally English as it get. Its a sponge cake cut in half and filled with jam ( we used raspberry). The top is sprinkled with granulated or powdered sugar. I used powdered and created a Union Jack pattern on top using paper strips of different widths. 

Victoria Sponge 
Instead of a list of ingredients like normal, this is a basic ratio. For the cake above I used a three egg recipe
2 oz self rising flour
2 oz sugar
2 oz butter
1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan.
2. Beat together the butter and sugar until pail and fluffy.
3. Add in each egg, one at a time until incorporated.
4. Add the flour in three different intervals making sure the flour in fully combined.
5. Pour the thick batter into the prepared pans and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minute rotating half way through. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean after sticking it in the middle. 
(At this point in the process lick the bowl and beaters clean if you so choose to risk salmonella poisoning. I did. and it was delicious)
6. Let the cake cool completely. Slice in half vertically. Remove the top half and spread jam in an even layer across the now exposed half. Place the top back on the cake and sprinkle entire cake with powdered or granulated sugar. 

I hope everyone has had a smashing weekend and I hope these recipes inspire your own British tea party! The london Olympics are coming up and an opening ceremony party would be a great time to break these out!


PS My lovely friend Annelih has started her own little food blog. Her first post is about another dish from across the pond, shepherd's pie! Take a moment and check it out

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pasta Pasta Pasta!

Its been awhile since I posted. I promise to post a little more often but until school ends things will be a little erratic for awhile. A couple of weeks ago I made some cupcakes for a friends fundraiser. The bacon ones sold out in no time at all! People really do love bacon I guess!

Last night I was stuck at home with very little in my fridge and no way of getting to the store. All I had was an egg, some pasta sauce, and baking stuff. What to make? I really wanted something more then just an eggs but I really didn't want pancakes or anything sweet. So after some intense googleing I decided to conquer one of my top items on the to make list; pasta.

As simple as pasta is to make, it can be completely intimidating. It really is so easy. I took one cup of flour, some salt and an egg mixed it rolled it out and bam! fresh pasta! Thats it.  It was so delicous and so easy. I'm excited to try some more combinations.

Pasta Dough
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 egg
1-2 tablespoon of water

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl and create a well in the center. Crack egg into the center then use a fork to whisk egg and slowly add in flour. As you mix, your going to have to add the water to bit at a time. Its up to you how much you add. The dough should be dough-like without being dry. Once a ball has been created, start kneading the dough for 3-4 minutes. This will smooth it out and allow the gluten to develop. At this point you can allow the dough to rest or begin to role it out. Roll it to desired thickness and the cut into desired shape. Cook in salty boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

Thats it!

The results are so much better than the boxed stuff and cost less if thats even possible.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Basic Chocolate Cake

Over spring break my roommate came to visit me down on vacation island. Her birthday a couple days before so what better excuse to make a cake! She LOVES chocolate so I decided to make a triple chocolate cake. Chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, covered in .... chocolate.

This chocolate cake recipe is my go to. It isn't the best recipe I've ever made but it is a. easy and b. only uses one bowl. It is also super easy to adapt and add different flavors to make different kinds of cake. The best part is it is really hard to mess up. You pretty much stick all ingredients in a bowl and mix. 

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk***
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 9" cake pans. (This is how I made the cake above but the recipe is also perfect for cupcakes)
2. Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the wet and mix until completely combined.
3. Divide batter between the three cake pans. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pans then bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.
4. Remove from oven at let cool COMPLETELY on wire racks before decorating.

Chocolate Buttercream
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup melted chocolate

1. Beat butter until soft. Add sugar a little at a time until frosting reaches the desired consistency.
2. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. If frost becomes to thick add a splash of milk.
Before Chocolate
After Chocolate

Chocolate Ganache (Topping)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Bring cream and syrup to a simmer on a low heat. Pour cream hot cream mixture over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Let the chocolate chips melt for about a minute, then whisk the mixture together until smooth.

Putting it all together..coming soon

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mug chocolate cake!

Today I was craving me some chocolate cake. I didn't have the energy or the calories to make an entire cake so I made the next best thing; a mug cake. This is a cake that takes less then 5 minutes to make and its baked in your microwave.

If you do a simple google search you will find soooo many different recipes for microwave cakes. I use this particular one because there are no eggs. The last thing you want is to worry about fully cooked eggs when your making a cake in the microwave. This isn't the best cake you've had but its still delicious.

Microwave Mug Cake
this is not my recipe but I have no idea where I found it

4 tbs flour
4 tbs sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
2 tbs water
2 tbs oil

1. Combined all ingredients in a mug and mix. Microwave for 1:30, the center should still be a little liquidy. 

Yes. Thats it. Eat it warm right out the microwave. I've never been patient enough to eat it cold but I've heard its best not to do that.

Here are some adaptations you can play with :

  • add some chocolate chips or nuts or both! to the mix
  • replace the water with coffee for a richer cake (this is a must for me)
  • mix in some chili powder or cinnamon for a little kick (both delicious)
  • stir in some flavored extracts to make a mint chocolate or orange chocolate cake
  • top with ice cream or whipped cream
  • poor carmel or chocolate syrup over the top of an extra decadent treat!
  • or just skip the whole cooking process it tastes just like brownie mix without the fear of raw eggs
Hope this helps satisfy some cake cravings!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oscar Cupcakes! (pics to come)

It has been awhile since I posted but life has been a little to busy for baking.  But I'm back with some delicious cupcakes!

I was invited to a little get together for the Oscars and decided to bring some cupcakes, of course. Now, it was a hard choice on what kind to make but I decided on Stout chocolate cake with chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream. They are rich, chocolatey, and delicious! I made this as a full sized cake for my brothers birthday and it worked out really well.

Now I ran into some bumps in the road on this one. First off, I no longer have a car (RIP Frankencar!!) so getting the ingredient was quite an ordeal. I managed to get the chocolate, butter, cream, etc. in one trip in my roommates car (thanks!) but was unable to find Guinness or the Starbucks Via, which are key ingredients. So I was freaking out, trying to figure out what cupcakes I could make now or how I was going to get the ingredients. Luck was on my side and I ended doing a liquor run for a party that night so I got the Guinness. I found the Via the next day at school so all seemed good to go.... I thought.

I made the cupcakes, no problem. Then I went to make the ganache and the cream had expired... on Valentines day... which was over a week ago. So I was stuck with a pan full of expired, chunky, smelly, cream and no car to go get more. So instead of ganache, I made a chocolate shell over the cupcake, not as good but you do what you do.

SOO enough of that heres the recipe!!!

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes
(adapted from smitten kitchen)

1 cup stout (I used Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners.
2. In a saucepan, bring butter and stout to a a simmer at medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder till smooth. (resist the urge to taste the heavenly chocolatey looking mixer, it tastes terrible)
3. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixture, beat together eggs and sour cream. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix until just combined. Add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Hand mix until completely combined.
4. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way with the batter. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.

Coffee Buttercream (this may be my favorite frosting I've ever made)

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (slightly softened)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Starbucks Via packet (I'm not a big fan of this stuff but it makes the BEST frosting)
A dash of milk

1. Beat butter for a minute, until soft. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, beating as you go. Stop when frosting is at the desired consistency, you may need a little more or less powdered sugar. Add in the Via packet and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes to fully incorporate the coffee flavor. In the end you may want to add a dash of milk to smooth out the frosting.

Friday, February 24, 2012


My followers and at dinner! (aka my friends who I forced to follow me and I at dinner lol) more cupcakes later!

Check out Cassie's Blog Little Blog on the Internet! She took those lovely pictures from my Valentines day post!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!!! (for yesterday)


Whether you have someone to celebrate with or not, Valentine's Day is a great excuse to eat lots of sugar. This year was the first year in awhile that I didn't have a show or rehearsal so I decided to celebrate. My friends and I drank yummy cocktails, baked some cupcakes, and watched lots of Ryan Gosling aka just pause the movie whenever he took his shirt off.

For our celebrations we made some pink themed goodies which included grapefruit martinis (which I spilled all over the floor) and cinnamon chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon almond buttercream.


Grapefruit Martini
Juice from one grapefruit
2 tablespoons of simple syrup**
2 shots of vodka 

1. Pour all ingredients into shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into sugar rimmed glasses.

** microwave equal parts sugar and water for 30 seconds and stir until sugar is fully dissolved

Cinnamon Chocolate Cupcakes
(adapted from Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake)

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup soy milk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill cupcake pan with liners.
2. Mix together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl using a whisk or mixer. Next add eggs, water, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix all ingredients until smooth. Make sure to scrape down sides of the bowl.
3. Divide batter into liners, filling 2/3s of the way. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pan half way through baking. Remove from oven when fully cooked. Let the cupcakes cool fully before decorating.

Cinnamon Almond Buttercream
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Beat butter until soft. Continue beating as you slowly add in powdered sugar, stopping when it reaches to desired consistency. Add in both extracts and cinnamon, beat until combined. 

***we added pink food coloring to the frosting to make it festive***

Monday, February 13, 2012

Finally Starting: Bacon Cupcakes!

I am finally starting the food blog! After diving in maple bacon cupcakes I feel like its time. So my goal is to post recipes of things I've made, share my experiences in trying new things, and have some fun while doing it!

To kick things off I'm going to share my latest cupcake creation: Maple Bacon Cupcakes

When the idea was suggested to me, I knew I had to make them. After doing some googling, I found several different recipes but nothing really sounded like what I was looking for. Several just took pancake batter, folded in bacon, and baked them like you would a regular cupcake. I choose to create my own recipe based on several different vanilla cake recipes.

The only problem is I don't eat bacon so I wouldn't be able to taste my creation. My lucky roommate became my brave taste tester.

The cupcakes turned out perfectly! I brought them with me to my show and they were gone in no time. So am guessing they tasted good. 

Bacon Maple Cupcakes
(Bacon maple cake, toped with maple buttercream and bacon)

Bacon Cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of solidified bacon fat
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup or more chopped bacon
  • 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon in your proffered method (I baked it in the oven). Drain off and save the grease. 
2. While the bacon fat is solidifying, combined flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and bacon fat until combined. Add sugar and maple syrup and beat with butter mixer until fluffy. 
3. Continue to beat as you add in the eggs, one at a time until combine
4. Add in half the flour mixture and mix until combined. Next add the milk, mix, and then the rest of the flour. Mix until combine.
5. Fold bacon into the thick cake batter. 
6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way. Bake for ten minutes rotate pan and bake for another 10 minutes or until toothpick come out clean.

Maple Frosting:
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 1. Beat butter and syrup until combined . Add powder sugar a little at a time until frosting is the desired consistency. Add pinch of salt at the end.