Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home Made Goldfish Crackers

Or not. I couldn't find the fish cookie cutter but I used the mini flower
cutters from my gum paste kit and they worked perfect.
This recipe made tons and tons of crackers so many that I began
to worry what I was going to do with them but to my surprise they
were gone by the next day. This said I think you might want to try and
make them.


- 1 c all purpose flour
- 4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 oz cheddar cheese
- 1/2 t garlic salt
- 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
- fish cookie cutter or any other small cutter

1. Pulse the flour, butter, cheese, salt and pepper using a
food processor until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. Pulse in 3-4 T of water, one at a time and only enough so
the dough forms a ball.

3. Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours.

4. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.

5. Roll out the dough, thinly so that the crackers are crunchy.

6. Cut out, place them 1 inch apart on baking pans.

7. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and crisp, 15-20 minutes.

Yaki Udon; Japanese Stir-Fried Udon Noodles

I fell in love with this recipe. This marinade worked perfect with tofu and
what a way to cook udon noodles, yummy!

recipe adapted from Wandering Chopsticks

for two servings:

- 2 (7 oz) packets fresh udon noodles

- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

- 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced

- 1/2 c mushrooms

- 1/2 c yellow pear tomatoes, cut in half

- 1/2-3/4 cup tofu, sliced or diced

- 1 T white wine

- 1 T hoisin sauce

- 1 T flour
- 1 t ground black pepper

- 1/2 t salt

1. Slice tofu. In bowl add 5 last ingredients, mix and set aside.
2. Slice onion and bell peppers into strips, cut tomatoes and set aside.
3. In pan drizzle some oil and add the onion, when onion is 
soft and golden, add the noodles. Let udon noodle brown and
add bell peppers and mushrooms. Wait 2 minutes and add tomatoes.
When bell peppers and mushrooms are soft put everything on a plate
and add the tofu and marinade to pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, let thicken a bit.
4. Add veggies and noodles back to the pan and toss; serve.

Easy Pistachio Cookies!

I made these and took them to class, since the recipe makes like a billion!

Everyone asked for the recipe, they are simply delicious, cute and
so easy to make.  I'm glad I came across this recipe. I decorated them
with chocolate and chopped pistachios but honestly they are better just as is.

recipe adapted from The Italian Dish

- 1 c sugar
- 1 c softened butter
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 1 package instant pistachio pudding
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat sugar, butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and egg.
In separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients; whip
into butter. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into round balls and arrange
on baking sheet.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown on bottom.
Let cool and decorate.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How to shape; Un-Perfect, Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I learned this tip from Diamonds for Dessert  which she learned
from Cook's Illustrated The New Best Recipe and it certainly does work.

In order to have that perfect un-perfect pastry shop cookie
you have to follow these steps:

- Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough.

- Dive the dough how you wish, 1 T works for me.

1.  Once you divided your dough, shape each portion into a ball.

2. Pull each ball into two equal pieces.

3. Turn both pieces so that the jagged side faces up.

4. squish them together.

5. place jagged side up on parchment lined sheets.

Bake as you would.

Milk Chocolate Caramel Cookies also from Diamonds for Dessert

Chocolate Cupcakes, Pink Butter Cream & Butterflies

 Baked these for my Boyfriends sister's birthday (:
I made the butterflies by piping melted chocolate onto
wax paper and adding little sugar pearls to make the body.
Flowers made out of fondant.

Spicy Smashed Potatoes

These potatoes are something else, let me tell you.
You HAVE to try these, I simply could not get enough of them
and matter of fact I'm making these again, tomorrow.
I can't stand cumin but in this recipe I was loving it.

recipe adapted from kitchen wench

- 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes; scrubbed and cut into smaller pieces
- 1 t paprika
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t ground black pepper
- olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes in boiling
water, boil til they are half cooked. Should be able to
pierce with fork but still firm. drain. Return to pot.

2. Drizzle potatoes with olive oil. Mix together the spices
and add 2/3 of the spice mix to pot. Put the lid on the pot
and roughly shake the pot in order to smash potatoes and toss
spiced around. ( if you over cook your potatoes you will end
up with spiced mashed potatoes) Once you are done with that
lay them on a baking sheet, cut surface up. Sprinkle with
remaining spices.

3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, edges start to crisp.
Turn the potatoes over and bake for another 10-15 minutes or
until outside outside had nicely crisped and inside is
soft and easily pierced.

4. Plate potatoes and enjoy with some sweet chili sauce &
sour cream.

Home Made Banana Chips

This is an incredibly delicious and nutritious snack.
I made mine too thin but I will definitely be making
them again. Mix them into your trail mix, put them 
in your cereal or oatmeal or simply eat them like as is.

adapted from Food Network magazine
Banana Chips

1. Slice banana into 1/8 inch thick rounds and
lay on greased baking sheet.

2. Bake at 200 degrees until golden. 2-3 hours.

3. Let harden at room temp.

Best Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Puddle Cookies
- 3 c walnut halves, toasted & cooled
- 4 c powdered sugar
- 1/2 c + 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- scant 1/2 t fine grain salt
- 4 large egg whites, room temp.
- 1 T vanilla extract

recipe adapted from 101 cookbooks 

She had me at " texture that made me think of a collision
between soft meringue and a fudgy brownie".

1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees.
Position racks on top and bottom third.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper
( this step is crucial, i usually use wax paper
for everything so the first time i made these
cookies they got stuck to the wax paper
completely! it was the worst. moral of the story
use parchment paper.)

2. Make sure walnut have cooled, chop coarsely and
set aside. sift powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and
sea salt. stir in walnuts then add egg whites and
vanilla. stir until well combined.

3. Spoon batter onto prepared sheets, 1 T each
( these cookies will be HUGE, they expand like crazy).
allow plenty of room between cookies.

4. Bake until they puff up. Tops should get glossy
and crack a bit. 12-15 minutes. (rotate pans).

* let cool completely before removing.
they keep in airtight for a couple of days,
IF you get lucky and don't eat them all at once!

Baby Shower Cookies & Chocolate Covered Marshmallows


Made these for a baby shower.
Sugar cookies covered with fondant and royal icing.
Marshmallows covered with chocolate topped with
fondant flowers and edible glitter.
Right now i have two orders, birthday and another
baby shower and I'm very excited to get to workin' (:
I love working on small details and adding details to
my work that makes something so simple,
well, not so simple.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strawberry “Pop Tarts”

My mom absolutely loved these. They aren’t your ordinary out of a box pop tart.
They are grown up pop tarts. Sweet and salty, from the coarse salt. Delicious.


- 2 c. + 2 T. all purpose flour
- 1 t. coarse kosher salt
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter.
- 4 T. ice water 
- 1 1/2 T. preserves

1. whisk flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add butter.
Using fingertips blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form.

2. gather dough into ball, divide in half, shape each half into disk and
wrap in plastic. chill at least one hour. line 2 large rimmed baking sheets w/
wax or parchment paper.

3. working w/ one disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface.
thin enough and wide enough to get 8 5x3 inch rectangles. arrange 4 rectangles,
spaced apart, on each sheet. spoon preserves in row, down center of each rectangle.
top preserves with second dough rectangle. using fingertips, gently press all edges
of each tart to seal; press edges with fork to double seal. using toothpick,
poke a few holes in centers of top dough. cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least
2 hours and up to one week.
(perfect to make ahead, and pop them in the oven when you wish)

4 .preheat oven to 375 degrees. bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden,
reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 20-35 minutes in total. transfer tarts to rack.
sift powder sugar lightly (or not, i like more) serve warm or at room temp w/ a glass
of milk and fresh berrys. enjoy!

Sesame Chicken with Glazed Baby Bok Choy

This dish is really something. Must try.
sesame chicken:

- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 c. sesame seeds
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 1/2 t. salt
- pepper to taste
- 8 small chicken cutlets
- 3 T. sesame seed oil

1. in a bowl, whisk the egg whites,
sesame seeds, cornstarch, salt & pepper.
drip the chicken in the batter and shake
off the excess.

2. heat the oil in a large skillet over
med-high heat. add chicken and cook
until golden brown and cooked through.
(you can do this in 2 batches).
transfer to a plate.

baby bok choy side dish:

- 2 T. sesame seed oil
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1 T. grated or minced garlic
(you can use ginger if you’d like)
- 2 t. sugar
- 1 t. cornstarch
- 6/8 heads of baby bok choy, quartered  
- 1/2 jalapenos (preferably red i couldn’t find any
so i used green), sliced

1. in a small bowl combine the soy sauce, garlic or ginger,
sugar, 1T. water, and i t. cornstarch.

2. heat the of oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.
add the bok choy and cook, turning until they begin to
soften; 1-2 min. add the soy sauce mixture and the
jalapenos and cook until the liquid has thickened slightly
and the bok choy is tender about 4 minutes.
serve with the chicken.

*i added carrot (that i previously cooked in a little water)
to the bok choy at the same time that i added the jalapenos.

Jam Filled Cookies

Baked cookies for my grandmother and aunt.
I loved them, and you should try them. Simple as that.

jam-filled cookies

- 1 c. shortening
- 1 c. granulated sugar ( i used 3/4)
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 buttermilk ( i used regular milk)
- 1 t. vanilla
- 3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- strawberry preserves, or any other kind
of preserves that you would like.
I used strawberry and blueberry preserves.

1. in a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars.
    add eggs, milk and vanilla; mix until smooth.

2. stir together flour and next three ingredients;
    stir into creamed mixture. cover and chill.
   (chill for about an hour, if not dough will be very
    hard to work with. i put the dough in the freezer.)

3. after your dough is chilled, you roll it out,
    (not to thick since you will be covering with another
    piece of dough)
    on a very good floured surface so it won’t stick.
    cut into rounds with cookie cutter.

4. place 1 t. preserves on half of the rounds;
    top with remaining rounds.
    lightly seal the edges with a fork. ( keyword: lightly)
    with knife, cut crisscross slits in tops of cookies.
    bake at 350, until golden, 10-15 minutes.
   ( i baked mine in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes.)

Fresh Ginger Cookies

If you love ginger, you’ll love these cookies. I’ve been obsessing over ginger lately.
A lot of recipes that i make call for ginger and I simply could not stand the taste of it,
but i refuse to leave it out. Also I’ve been reading on how good it is for your health.
So I’ve been working around it… trying to find a way to cook with it and actually enjoy it.
I pretty much found out to use it in moderation and pair with other ingredients that go well
with ginger. Now i will cook with ginger, matter of fact even bake.

fresh ginger cookies
recipe adapted from: Kay Chun, Real Simple, JUNE 2001


- 2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 c. unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 c. sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 T. dark corn syrup
(i used light, but if you have dark use dark)
- 3 T. fresh grated ginger
(i used two, i thought three was too much)
- 1 T. ground cinnamon

1. heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. in med. bowl combine: flour, baking soda, ground ginger
& salt; set aside.

3. cream butter and 1 c. of sugar on med. speed until smooth.
add eggs, corn syrup & ginger; mix until well combined.
blend in the flour mixture, cover and refrigerate until
slightly smooth. (i placed dough in freezer for 30 minutes.)

4. in small bowl combine cinnamon and remaining sugar.
form dough into 1/2 inch balls and roll into cinnamon sugar.
place on greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes
or until lightly browned. cool and enjoy.

they are great with coffee and tea. makes about 5 dozen.

Zucchini-Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Seriously if you don’t try this cake you will be missing out on the best zucchini cake ever.
I do apologize for not taking a better picture but, don't judge a book by it's cover! ;)

Zucchini-Pecan Cake
adapted from: bon appetit magazine


- nonstick vegetable spray
- 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1 t. coarse kosher salt (you can use regular table salt)
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- 1.4 t. ground nutmeg (i didn’t add any)
- 3/4 cup olive oil (not extra virgin!) *also i used canola oil,
i ran out of olive oil.
- 1 c. packed golden brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 c. coarsely grated zucchini

1. position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  line a 9x2 pan with wax paper. spray with vegetable oil.

2. whisk flour, baking powder, coarse salt, cinnamon, ginger and
nutmeg (if using) in medium bowl to blend well.

3. whisk oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in large bowl to blend well;
fold in flour mixture, then grated zucchini and pecans.
transfer cake batter to prepared pan.
bake cake until tester inserted in center comes out clean,
about 45 minutes. cool cake completely in pan on rack,
about an hour.

Cream Cheese Frosting:


- 1/2  8 oz. package philadelphia brand cream cheese
(do not use reduced fat or fat free!), room temperature
- 3 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1. using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter
in medium bowl until blended. beat in sugar, vanilla and

2. spread frosting thickly over top of cake.
cut cake into wedges and serve.
enjoy with a glass of milk!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 Ingredient Petite Apricot Pochettes

adapted from Food Network magazine
petite apricot pochettes recipe:

- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp.

- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
- 2 c. all purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
- apricot preserves
- powder sugar, for dusting.

1. Beat the butter and cream cheese in a bowl with a mixer until light
and creamy. Slowly add the flour, mixing until a dough forms
( do not over-mix). Flatten into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap,
refrigerate until firm, at least one hour ( i would do at least two).

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out disk of dough on a floured
surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut out as many rounds as you can
with a 3 inch (or so) round cookie cutter. Top each with a heaping
half teaspoonful of apricot preserves. Brush the edge of the dough with
water, fold the dough over to make a half moon and press to seal.
Place on ungreased baking sheet. Re-roll the dough scraps and repeat.

3. Bake the cookies until golden, 20-22 minutes. Dust generously with
powder sugar! seriously, generously! remember there is no sugar in the

* you can substitute the apricot preserves with any jam or preserves of
your preference.

Carrot Kinpira

Made chicken teriyaki w/ broccoli and white rice and
decided I needed something more in my bowl.
So i made carrot kinpira and i was glad i did.
Great as side dish or somethin’. everyone loved loved this!

recipe adapted from just bento
carrot kinpira recipe:

- 3 carrots
- 1 T. dark sesame oil
- 1/8 t. red pepper flakes ( i use waaay more, about 1 1/2 t.)
- 1 1/2 T. soy sauce
- 1 t. sesame seeds ( i use about 2 t.)

1. cut carrots, matchstick size.
2. heat up frying pan with sesame oil.
   add carrots and toss til crispy-tender about 4-5 min.
   add red pepper flakes and toss some more.
   add soy sauce, toss toss. add sesame seeds
   near the end. all done. enjoy.

DIY teriyaki sauce, in minutes

This is my go to teriyaki sauce recipe.
Yes there are many other recipes out there
that are more authentic and complex not
to mention delicious but this one tastes just
like your regular teriyaki sauce and it calls
for ingredients that you will definitely have
in your pantry.

teriyaki sauce:

- 3 T brown sugar
- 1 minced garlic
- 1 t fresh grated ginger (optional)
- 1/4 c soy sauce
- 1 c of water
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1/4 c ice cold water

1. In a small saucepan stir constantly while adding
brown sugar, garlic, ginger (if using), soy sauce and
1 cup of water; bring to a boil.
2. Dissolve cornstarch in ice water and add to sauce.
Stir constantly and allow sauce to thicken.

I make this sauce all the time to make teriyaki chicken.

BLT’s with spicy mayo

The classic BLT with a twist, bacon, lettuce, tomato and spicy mayo. Simple and filling give it a try.

makes 2 sandwiches

spicy mayo:

- 1/2 garlic clove
- 1/4 t. coarse salt
- 1 t. chili powder  
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
- 1/4 c. mayo.

1. chop garlic clove with salt
and press it with side of knife
until mashed (paste consistency)
scrape garlic into small bowl
and stir in chili powder, lime juice
and mayo.

for sandwich:
- 6 pieces of bacon
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 1 small tomato
- 4 slices of white bread
- dill pickle spears *optional

1. cook the bacon.

2. meanwhile wash and cut lettuce leaves 
and tomato.

3 .toast bread. spread spicy mayo on toast.
   arrange the bacon, lettuce and tomato
   on bread, cut sandwich and serve with
   dill pickle spears.

BLT pasta salad… ‘cause who doesn’t love bacon?

I made this delicious salad before i became vegetarian but i'll share the recipe
with you guys anyway. It's so simple and you prob. have all the ingredients that
you need to make it already.

- 1 (7oz.) package rotini pasta noodles, cooked and drained
(i used macaroni noodles because it’s what i had,
worked great but rotini would look better in this salad)
-8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled
- 1 cup mayo
- 1/4 cup lemon juice ( i used lime because once again
it’s what i had, i did use a little less than 1/4 because
it’s very acidic)
- 2 t. sugar
- 2 t. chicken bouillon
- 1 large tomato, seeded and diced (i used 3 small)
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cups thinly sliced lettuce
1. in small bowl combine mayo, lemon juice, chicken
bouillon and sugar. mix until smooth.
2. in a serving bowl add noodles, bacon, tomato,
green onions; toss with dressing.
stir lettuce right before serving.

i personally loved this salad as well as my sisters.

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

Made these delicious watermelon margaritas for my mom and I, let me tell you they were scrumptious!
Best of all they are super simple to make and very pretty.

frozen watermelon margaritas
recipe adapted from: Food Network magazine

1 1/2 c. cubed watermelon
1 c. tequila
1/2 c. lime juice
1/2 c. orange liqueur (i used fresh squeezed oj)
1-2 T. confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t. salt
& 3 c. ice in blender
divide among glasses; garnish with lime
and watermelon.
* here's a tip, instead of using only salt on the rim like i did
   you can make a mixture of chili powder with salt for extra kick.