Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Happy Autumn! Here's some chocolate and pumpkin deliciousness.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line or grease 12 muffin cups.
2. Combine flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together vanilla, sugar, egg, puree, milk, and vegetable oil until smooth.
pour into flour mixture and stir until batter is just blended.
4. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes in a preheated oven.
Allow to cool for ten minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

This recipe can easily be made vegan.
If you don't like pumpkin but still want a delicious muffin then replace it with yogurt.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dupa Demands Mini Reeses Pieces Cookies!

The recipe I used for this is the same as the Chocolate Chip Cookies with the obvious substitution.

Looks like he's trying to say something

His evil plain is coming to fruition


Friday, August 31, 2012

Pannekoeken (Apple Pie Pancake)

Today my mom saw something about Pannekoeken on TV and wanted me to make it, so I did.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced 
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (optional)
1/2 cup whole milk (I used heavy cream)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
3 eggs (2 would work better if you don't like the egg flavor)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon granulated sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup brown sugar 
4 tablespoons cold butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, apples and applecause to a pan. Saute the apples over medium-low heat until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Prepare the batter: Mix the milk, vanilla and eggs in a bowl. Add the flour, granulated sugar and salt and whisk lightly (It might be slightly lumpy, don't overmix).

Increase the heat under the apples to medium and add the brown sugar and butter. Cook until a syrup forms, about 3 minutes, Stirring often.
Add the batter all at once to the center of the pan. Swirl the apple syrup mix through the batter, using a heatproof spatula, to form ribbons (you do not want to fully combine the apple-sugar syrup into the batter). Cook until small bubbles form around the edge.


Finish cooking the pannekoeken in the oven, 15 minutes. 
To serve, invert a 12-inch plate over the pan and flip the pan to turn out the pannekoeken. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Berry-Lemon Bars

This is a variation of this recipe: Lemon Bars

I wanted to make it a bit different so I grabbed a bag of frozen blackberries, defrosted them and threw them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients, they turned out awesome! Fresh berries would also work but the produce stand didn't have any.

I love the color!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Filled Gingerbread Cookies

Sorry to say I don't have a gingerbread recipe to post, I've made it from scratch plenty of times but I can't find the recipe I used this last Christmas.

Recently I was given a huge thing of pre-made gingerbread dough and wanted to do something with it, so this was the result.


4 ounces Cream Cheese (Room temp)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons pumpkin powder or puree.
Cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg to taste

Prepare your dough and filling, refrigerate both until it's easy to work with (About 20- 30 minutes). Pre-heat oven to 350.

Method One: Whoopie-Pie pan
1. Press dough into bottom of the whoopie pan cavities.
2. Take a small amount of filling and place it in the center, flattening slightly.
3. Cover it another another piece of flattened dough
4. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top (optional)
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to sit for ten minutes before trying to remove from pan.

Method 2: Hand-Rolling
1. Take some dough and roll it into a ball then flatten in your hand (You might have to flour your hands to keep it form sticking).
2. Take a small amount of filling and place it in the center, wrap dough around it.
3. Roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture (optional)
4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 7-10 minutes.
5. Allow to sit on the pan for a few minutes before trying to transfer to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Snicker Doodles

Recently I've been wanting to fix a problem I have with pumpkin cookies, they come out too cake like. I decided to order some pumpkin powder from Barry Farm. This was my first test with it but I have other ideas.

1/2 cup butter (Room temp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin powder
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove to taste

To roll your cookies in/sprinkle on top:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin powder

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla, beat until smooth.
2. In a medium bowl sift the pumpkin powder, flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar, and spices.
3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. 
4. Let dough chill for 30 minutes to one hour.
5. Preheat your oven to 300° and line a baking sheet.
6. In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the topping.
7. Roll dough into small balls and toss in sugar mixture. Press lightly onto baking sheet.
8. Bake 12-14 minutes then allow to cool (They won't seem done in the middle but they need time to set up, if you bake them too long they will get hard).

So how did they turn out flavor wise? Honestly I feel the pumpkin is lost. I will add more next time.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Homemade Spice "Drops"

Recently I've been wanting to try and make more candy and I thought "Hey, why not spice drops?". Well like most times when I make candy, the first attempt is usually a "learning experience" haha. These look great but I needed to add more flavoring, they ended up tasting kinda like gelatin still. But they look pretty!

4 Tbsp gelatin (that’s about 6 envelopes)
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar
Orange Extract
Pumpkin Spice Extract (Candy oil)
Food coloring (I used four colors)
extra sugar for coating

1. In a large pot, soften gelatin in cold water for five minutes. Stir in boiling water until gelatin dissolves.
2. Stir in sugar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 25 minutes. Stir constantly.

3. Pour mixture into 4 – 3X5 pans. (I used smaller pans so I could do other colors)

4. Add extracts and food color to each pan. Stir until thoroughly combined.
5. Cover pan and chill overnight in the fridge.
6. Cut gelatin mixture into 3/4 inch cubes using a knife dipped in hot water.
7. Separate cubes and roll in sugar until coated on all sides.
8. Place on wax paper and leave at room temperature for two days to crystallize.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Delicious Banana Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (Or any sugar you use)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use more)
2 tablespoons ground flax (+1/4 cup water)
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt (I used So Delicious)
1/2 cup "Mix-Ins" (Anything you want, I used crushed up banana chips)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease (or line) a loaf pan.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Set Aside.

In a small bowl combine water and flax to make a "flax" egg. Let sit for several minutes. If you'd rather not use flax then replace it with two eggs.

In a third bowl mash the bananas and combine with the milk and yogurt. Mix in the flax "egg".
Stir wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined (don't overmix). Fold in your mix-ins.

Pour batter into prepared pan (I sprinkled a little coconut palm sugar and cinnamon mixture top) and bake for 60-70 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mississipi Mud Cake

My mom saw Mississippi mud cake on TV and asked me to make it, since I had all the ingredients I figured why not.

2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Miniature marshmallows

1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup chocolate almond bark
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° and grease or line a 9x13 inch pan.

1. Combine the sugar, salt, and flour in a large mixing bowl.
2. Bring the butter, oil, cocoa, and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Add to the flour mixture. 
3. Beat together the eggs, baking soda, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the chocolate mixture, mix well.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and melt together, whisking until smooth. Set aside.

1. Put the cake on a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before covering in mini marshmallows.
2. Pour warm icing over and let sit before serving. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Reeses Pieces" Fudge

Despite the name, no, these don't actually contain reeses pieces (Though I suppose people could if they wanted to). The flavor just reminds me of the candy.

1/2 Pound (Half package) white almond bark
1/2 Pound (Half package) chocolate almond bark
1 cup peanut butter (Creamy or crunchy, I used crunchy)
1 cup of any mix-in you want (Optional)

1. Melt the almond bark in a saucepan over medium-low heat (Stirring constantly until smooth)
2. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and mix ins until well incorporated.
3. Pour into a lined 8-inch pan and chill until firm.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tortilla 'Smores

I was really wanting 'Smores yesterday and was told we have to do something with the tortillas before they go bad. I realized we also have Chocolate Lava Sauce and marshmallows. Well, I really can't be left unsupervised or I do things like this.

For the chips:
Tortillas (Flour or corn)
Butter (as needed, depending on how many you make)

To make:
Preheat oven to 375° and line a cookie sheet with foil.

1. Melt the butter and mix in the cinnamon and sugar.
2. Brush the butter mixture onto both sides of the tortilla and cute into 8 pieces.
3. Arrange pieces on pan and bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes. Flip them oven and bake an additional 3-4 more minutes (Make sure they don't burn).
4. Place the chips on a wire rack and let cool for a few minutes.
Serve as is, with chocolate dip or make 'Smores.

 To make 'Smores:
1. Place mini marshmallows on chips and pop under the broiler for a few minutes or in the microwave for a few seconds. Sandwich them together and set aside.
2. Heat up chocolate sauce and drizzle some over the chips or dip 'Smores into them.
Serve and enjoy.
(You can also just use regular chocolate).

You can also use a cookie cutter to make fun shapes life Fall leaves

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hello Kitty Carrot Cake

Recently it was my friend Chelsi's birthday so I had to make her something. Her request was a vegan carrot cake and I decided on a vanilla bean frosting, delicious. Since it was for her it needle some sparkle and fun, so it became a Hello Kitty cake.

I can't remember the recipe I used, I sort of threw this together. I reduced the sugar in the cake itself because I wanted the carrot flavor to really come through, but the frosting (Made with Earth Balance) was very sweet, a good balance. Apparently it went over well.

Hope it was a great birthday Chelsi!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beignet's - Café du Monde

A short while back my mom bought me a beignet mix from Café du Monde, finally yesterday I decided to use it. I mostly avoided it because I don't like working with hot oil, but once I got started I was actually having fun.

I mean in all reality what isn't fun about fried dough cover in sugar. I didn't like them much but that's just because I'm not a fan of things with powdered sugar on them. The dough itself isn't sweet so next time I will either sweeten the dough or even make it savory.

Sadly no one would let me attack them with powdered sugar haha.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Baked Mushroom Rice

(Sorry for the terrible picture)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (See note below)
2 cups broth (Chicken, veggie, beef, ect)
1 cup uncooked rice
Chopped onion (Yellow or white), to taste
Chopped Garlic, to taste
Green onion, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil of choice)
Salt, pepper
Hot sauce (Optional)

Preheat oven to 375°

1. Sauté onion, garlic, and green onion in oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan until onion is translucent.
Turn off heat.
2. Add can of condensed soup to the Sautéed mix.
3. In a separate sauce pan bring broth to a boil then simmer, add salt and pepper to taste.
(You could add any hot sauce here, or just while serving)
4. Slowly pour broth into soup and onions, stir together.
5. Pour uncooked rice in a 7x11 (Or 8x8) pan.
6. Pour the soup and broth mixture over the rice and stir. Cover pan with foil.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, stir and return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering.


Don't like mushrooms? Need this to be vegan? Use any condensed soup you'd like or regular soup
and reduce the amount of broth used.

I served mine with cornbread (Bob's Red Mill) and it was a delicious dinner.

Mini Vanilla Cheesecake w/ Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

I wanted to make my mom a mini cheesecake with what we had on hand, this was the result.
I know the caramel sauce isn't really one but I had an open can of sweetened condensed I wanted to use.

1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup crushed graham cracker


1 8oz package creamcheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons sourcream
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 vanilla bean, scraped (Optional)
(I get mine in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs)

Easy salted caramel:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Soy sauce (To taste)

Preheat oven to 375
(Line a small 5 inch pan with foil if you don't have a spring form that small)


1. Melt the butter and combine it with the crushed graham cracker.
2. Press mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes.
3. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

1. In a small bowl mix the sour cream, milk, lemon, vanilla extract and vanilla bean.
2. In a large mixing bowl beat creamcheese and sugar until smooth.
3. Add in the sourcream mixture and beat to combine.
4. Add eggs and beat untiil just combined.
5. Pour mixture into cooled crust lined pan.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes (Until the filling is just set)*
7. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes then transfer to the fridge for four hours.

Salted Caramel Sauce:
1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk and soy sauce into the top of double boiler; place over boiling water.
Over low heat, simmer 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until thick and caramel-colored, stirring occasionally.

*To test the doneness of your cheesecake, gently shake pan.
The center should appear nearly set and slightly jiggle, it will firm up when cooled.

Serve with sauce or topping of choice, enjoy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I was requested to make something for my mom's work, evil things happened.

Brownie Batter:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (Or chopped)
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup (or more/less, your discretion) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Batter:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin
2 tablespoons flour
Cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice to taste (optional but I wanted a "pumpkin spice" taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9-inch or 8-inch square pan with foil.

2. Beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars and vanilla, beat for an additional few minutes

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

4. When slightly cooled add the butter/chocolate mixture to the egg mixture.

5. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients.

6. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin, the yolk, 5 tablespoons of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Stir in the flour and spice.

7. Pour the brownie mixture into your prepared pan.
Distribute the cream cheese mixture in spoonfulls across the top of the brownie mixture, swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter.
(Normally looks prettier than mine)

8. Bake for 40 minutes (Mine were done, I wouldn't bake it past 40).
Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
(I like my brownies fudgier so I cool on a rack for 30 minutes then transfer to the fridge)

Friday, April 6, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

Cake Ingredients:
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lukewarm coffee
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 350° & prepare 2 round cake pans
1. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate over a double boiler then set aside to cool to room temp.
2. In a medium bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a small bowl combine the coffee, water and buttermilk*
4. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until like and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs on at a time, mixing well. Add in vanilla.
6. Add the coffee/buttermilk mixture and flour mixtures in alternating additions. Mix until just combined.
7. Divide the batter into the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
8. Let cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rake then place in the freezer for 40 minutes.
(this makes the cake really moist).
Note: I made mine a few days a head of time to so took each layer and wrapped it in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.

Coconut Pecan Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup pecans
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup evaporated milk (can also use light or heavy cream)
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut**
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut Pecan Frosting Directions:
1. Toast the pecans at 350° for 8-10 minutes, cool and finely chop
(I reserved some for decoration)
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly.
3. Once the mixture starts to boil and thicken remove it from the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
Mix in the chopped pecans, coconut and vanilla.***
4. Cool until spreadable (30-50 minutes)
5. Assemble and serve or place in the fridge until ready to serve.

* I tend to make my own buttermilk:
Combine 1 cup whole milk and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
Let it sit for 5 minutes.
** If using sweetened you can reduce your sugar if you want
*** I added the coconut during the cooking process so it would be softer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Mini Apple Bread Loafs

I had some apples that needed to be used but I didn't feeling like just eating them so I decided to make apple bread. I also have mini loaf pans so I decided to use them for once.

1 egg (Yum finally have local farm eggs again)
2 tablespoons safflower oil (Or vegetable)
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 apples peeled and chopped.
Optional: I added 1/2 teaspoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of honey
(inspired by when I make apple pie)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease/flour your pan
(I used silicone mini loaf pans so no pan prep was needed)

1. Beat the egg with the oil, apple juice and optional lime juice and honey. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
3. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir until just moistened.
4.  Fold in apples pieces and pour mixture into the prepared pan/pans.
If using one pan: Bake for 45 minutes. 
If using smaller pans: Bake for 25 then check for doneness.
If using muffin pans: Bake for 22 minutes then check for doneness.

I had some extra apples so I made a new batter. This time with chocolate. Add 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder to the dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chunks (whatever amount you want) when you fold in the apples. It sounds odd but tastes awesome. Next time I might mix in some cranberries too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patricks Day/Pure Romance

On St. Patrick's Day I was invited to a ladies night/Pure Romance party. Every seems to think these parties are dirty but they're not, they are really more informative than anything. (Comments from the crowd on the other hand...).

It was also a potluck! So I decided to make sugar cookies. I racked my brain trying to think of how to decorate them and then I got an idea: The PR logo in green and the words "Get Lucky" That way they went with both themes. I really need better piping skills but it's getting better.

I flavored the icing with hazelnut because most people went with mint (just because it's green doesn't mean it has to be mint). I was so happy that these came out like store bought (Soft but not too soft and not too sweet)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Make your own laundry detergent

For a long while now I have wanted to make my own laundry detergent but never got around to it. Finally I have. Recently I watched a video on how to make it and decided to just gather the supplies and do it.

  Check out more from her at:

Here are the written directions and some of my photos:

- 5 gallon bucket with lid
- long paint stick (You'll need it to stir or something sturdy)
- bar soap (5.5 oz) that is not perfumed, My soap came from Sappo Hill
 (You should be able to find soaps that contain only: “Saponified Oils of Palm and Coconut; Glycerine”)
-1/2 cup of Borax
-1 cup Washing Soda (not Baking Soda but by Arm & Hammer – buy it in the laundry aisle)

Note: It says "Not perfumed" but that wasn't an option at my store so I got aloe vera. I'm not concerned because Sappo hill uses all natural ingredients and colored with mineral pigments.

1. Cut bar of soap into small pieces or grate. I strongly recommend grating because it will melt faster.

 2. Cook soap pieces in 4 cups of hot water over medium heat; stirring frequently until fully dissolved.

 3. Fill bucket half full with hot tap water
4. Add the dissolved soap/water from cook-top.
5. Pour in the Borax (left) and Washing Soda (right) and stir until dissolved

6. Fill bucket with additional hot tap water (to the 5 gallon mark) and stir.
7. Place lid on bucket and let sit overnight to gel.
8. The next day, stir and pour solution into smaller containers.

Note: This solution is a concentrate, so be sure to add it to your machine water before adding clothes.
Also, this soap will not form suds: don’t worry, it’s not the suds that do the cleaning; it’s the components of the soap. Give the jug a quick swish before each use, but vigorous shaking is not necessary.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A cupcake that will ruin your diet

Also know as...
Chocolate Doughnut Cupcakes w/ Salted Caramel Filling & Chocolate Ganache
(I know, I'm down right love it)

The Batter:
(Based on THIS one with some changes)
1 1/2 cups AP Flour (or cake flour)
1/2  cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup buttermilk (room temp)
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2-3/4 cup fresh brewed coffee of choice (optional)
1/2 cup chopped chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla

The Filling:
(So...I cheated. I had to come up with a new filling because my original idea didn't work out.
I didn't have time to make caramel from scratch but luckily we had those wrapped caramel squares..
so I improvised.)
1 bag caramels
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
2-3 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter (room temp)

Preheat oven to 425°  and prepare a cupcake pan.
Brew your coffee (if using, I suggest you do).
Once coffee is brewed pour 1/2-3/4 cup into a mug then add the butter and chopped chocolate to it, stir until incorporated and set aside (this also melts your butter for you!)

Make the batter: 
1. In a large bowl mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. Mix in buttermilk, vanilla and eggs.
3. Once cooled add in the butter, coffee and chocolate mixture.
(don't overmix..or eat the batter..that second one is really difficult)
4. Fill cupcake liners about half way (they puff up!).
5. Bake for 7-10 minutes (10 minutes in my oven was perfect).
6. Cool completely before moving onto the other steps.

Make the Filling:
Like I said..I cheated. I will eventually update this with a real recipe.
1. Unwrap the caramels.
2. Place in a pan with the liquid aminos/soy sauce and heavy cream.
3. Melt together over low to low-medium heat and stir often.
4. Take off the heat and move onto the next steps.

Prepare the cupcakes:

1. Make a well for the filling. I used my handy-dandy apple corer to make a well in the middle, you can also use a melon baller...or whatever else as long as it works for you. Save what you take out!
2. Fill them. I filled them once the caramel was fairly cool then I placed each on in the fridge after filling (because it will soak into the cupcake, the warmer the cake/caramel the more it will absorb)

3. Place the tops back on.

Make the ganache:
1. Place the chocolate and heavy cream in a pan.
2. Heat over low-medium heat while stirring constantly.
3. When it almost comes together add in the butter and stir until it's all incorporated.
4. Allow to cool slightly before topping the cupcakes.
5. Top the cupcakes and place them back in the fridge for the ganache to set up.

I added none but you could add sprinkles, nuts, anything!
Another way to top them is to put a layer of caramel on top and then the ganache.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I love my new Ninja!

Banana "custard" (Raw/Vegan)

All hail my new Ninja blender! And since I finally have one I got to try this recipe.


3 Ripe bananas
2-3 tablespoons dairy replacement of choice (I used almond milk)

Garnish (Optional)
I had banana chips so I put one on top.


1. Cut the bananas into small pieces and freeze for several hours
(I froze mine overnight)
2. Place frozen pieces and "milk" in the blender.
3. Pulse a few times to get it mixed and then blend, stopping
occasionally to scrap down the sides.
4. Serve! Place the extra in the freezer for later.

Note: Next time I will probably add cacao to make a "chocolate covered banana custard" or maybe strawberries.
Anything really. It's delicious just like this.  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Banana Cake w/ Nutella Frosting

I made this cake for my friend Mara's birthday, it turned out awesome!

Banana Cake:
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375°
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs (one at a time) and the vanilla.
4. To that add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately then fold in the mashed banana.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan (I used a spring form) and bake in preheated oven for one hour
or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. (ensures the cake will be moist).

1 26oz jar of nutella
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened.

1. In a large bowl mix the Nutella and butter with a hand mizer (or in a stand mixer) until light and fluffy.
If you think your frosting is too thick add some heavy whipping cream or vanilla extract,
if too thin then add some powdered sugar.

I made a lot of frosting because I cut the cake in half and put frosting in the middle. You could use the smaller jar of frosting and one stick of butter.

Shaved chocolate
Banana Chips
Chocolate heart (I just poured melted chocolate into a cookie cutter on parchment)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I made these with my friend Chelsi not too long ago (Along with the couscous salad and kunefe) so I wanted to make them again.

•1 cup oil
•6 cups onion, chopped
•2 cups rice
•1/2 cup parsley, chopped
•1 cup water
•1 cup tomato sauce
•1 cup lemon juice
•1 tablespoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon black pepper
•Dash cayenne
•1 tablespoon dill
•1 quart grape leaves (80-100)
•1/2 teaspoon allspice, optional
•1 cup lemon juice

In a 4-quart stainless steel roasting pan, saute onions in oil until clear. Stir often to prevent burning.
Add all ingredients except parsley and bring to a boil. Stir, turn heat low and cook, covered, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and stir. Let cool.
Rice mixture should be cooked the day before and allowed to cool
Rinse grape leaves and squeeze out water. Remove stem from leaf.
Lay each leaf flat dull side up. Place 1 teaspoon rice mixture on the leaf, fold sides over filling and roll leaf up.

How to roll grape leaves

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Couscous Salad

Couscous, 1-2 10oz boxes of 5-min OR any amount/type you want
(I used two boxes of Original Near East, use whatever kind you want)
Cucumber, Chopped
Bell Pepper, Chopped
Carrot, Chopped
Tomato, Chopped
Spinach, chopped (I chiffonade mine)
Onion, chopped
Garlic, Minced
Teaspoon of fresh dill
Teaspoon parsley
Dressing (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinager
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt/pepper/garlic powder
(I also add a squeeze of lemon to mine)


Make the dressing:
Combine all ingredients in a blender/food processor or just mix by hand and set aside.
(depending on how much couscous you make you may need to double the recipe)

Prepare Couscous (according to whichever couscous you pick).
Add to it the dressing and the vegetables, parsley and dill.
The vegetable are whatever amount YOU want, I like a lot, some people like few.
Refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'Smores Cupcakes

The actual cake recipe is much like the one I had for my red velvet,
just slightly modified.

1 C Almond Milk
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 C Sugar
1 1/4 C Flour
1/3 C Canola Oil
1/2-3/4 C. Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in your cupcake pan.
2. Combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
3. Combine sugar, oil, extracts and espresso in a large mixing bowl.
Once your soy milk mixture has thickened add it to you mixing bowl. Combine thoroughly.
4. Add the rest of your dry ingredients, mix until all lumps are gone.
5. Fill cupcake lines 2/3 full.
6. Cook in the over for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the
center of a cupcake comes out clean.
7. Wait at least 30 minutes, or until completely cool to frost.

The frosting I mad was fail, despite is looking nice so I won't list the recipe.
It was marshmallow but the taste was a bit off. So use any frosting you want, this would be really good with peanut butter
frosting or you could mix chocolate chips into it and have them as muffins.

For decoration I crushed some graham crackers and melted some dark chocolate.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Armenian food: Kunefe

My friend and I had an awesome Armenian food night and this was dessert. We found a few different recipes but this was what we settled on. There are many variations:

1 package shredded phyllo dough (We just bought packaged)
2 sticks of melted clarified butter
1 15oz package of ricotta cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup simple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, crumble the phyllo with your hands (or use a food proccessor) and then add melted butter and mix together. Put part of the mixture in the bottom of a pie pan.

Mix together the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon then put the mixture in a thin later it pie pan. Covered with riccota (Whatever mount you want, we didn't need a lot because it was a small pan). Then cover with the rest of the phyllo mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is brown and crispy. Let cool for ten minutes the spoon the simple syrup onto the top of the kunefe and sprinkle with leftover walnut mixture (if you have any) and let cool for an additional 20 minutes before serving (we put ours in the fridge, it came out perfect).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Almost Vegan Mint Chocolate Cookies

So these are almost vegan but I use honey, so technically they're vegetarian.

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 C. Vegetable or Canola oil
1/2 cup raw sugar**
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey (replace with 1/2 C maple syrup + 1/4 C agave to make vegan)
1 TBS almond milk (or soy, coconut, ect)
1 TSP vanilla exctract
1/2-3/4 C chopped fresh mint (Depending on how strong you want it)

Dry Ingredients:
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 TSP salt
1 TSP baking soda
1 TSP baking powder

Preheat oven to 350°

1. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.
3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.
4. Drop by tablespoon (or roll into balls) onto a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

You'll notice some of the cookies have a topping. I made an icing/ganache by combining 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3 TBS honey (or agave) and2 tablespoons melted coconut oil and spooned it on top then refrigerated them for 10 minutes.

**I used a vanilla sugar. When I scrap my vanilla beans I put the extra in a jar with sugar and shake it once or twice a day.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Vegetable Noodle Soup (Gf & Vegan)

After a few requests for a recipe I decided to attempt, since all I did was throw things together.

First off the stock. I save bits of veggies I don't use, leftovers from fresh herbs, ect and freeze them. Today I finally threw them in a pot with water and simmered them for about an hour with some celery, chopped carrots, white onion, whole peppercorns, tomato, and some olive oil. You could throw in anything you want to flavor it.
After about an hour I turned it off and let it sit (covered) for about 45 minutes (which was because I had to run to the store). You could let yours sit longer or strain it right away. Then I added the stock back to the pot.

Ingredients for soup:
1-2 green bell peppers, chopped
1-2  red bell peppers, chopped
4-6 (Medium or large) carrots, peeled and chopped
3 large russet potatoes (or 4-5 red potatoes) chopped (I don't peel mine)
1 cup mushrooms, slices (I used crimini)
2 stalks
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
1/2-1 cup chopped celery
2-4 Tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I had kumato on hand)
1 cup pearl onions
1/4 -1/4 bag gluten free pasta
1 cup chopped cabbage
Himalayan pink salt (or any salt of your choice) and pepper to taste
Fresh/dried herbs such as rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme (to your preference)
Herbes de Provence works well too

1. Add vegetables (except cabbage) and herbs to pot and simmer for an hour or until vegetables reach your desired tenderness. You can wait until later to add the tomato but I throw it in with it so it cooks down and adds a good flavor.
2. About ten minutes before the veggies are done add in your pasta and cabbage (or just add chooped cabbage on top when serving for a nice crunch).