Friday, August 16, 2013

hi again

hi. hello. that seems like such an insignificant greeting after my exceedingly long hiatus from the kitchen and this little meeting and sharing place. but hello. I still haven't moved into our new house so while i can give you a photographed recipe at this very moment. I can let you know I'm still alive actually and I can give you some pretty things to look at while you stew in your anger towards me.

Trust me.. i want to be in the kitchen too. We move in the week after school starts for me and everything will rev into action. But for now, I can enjoy the respite i'm receiving from this pointless relaxation period.

So with all this spare time, I can jot out the past few months for you in the hopes that you'll believe my claims of stress and crazyness. I promise I'm not avoiding you ok?

I can cut my trip into three little pieces. I spent a month in california with my second family, resting, rejuvenating and petting alot of cats. Sadly i was confined to an iphone the entire month but that's ok. don't hate on it alright, their house is probably one of the happiest places for me.
There's a big red house with a shed full of cats, and fruit trees, and a horse across the way and delicious Iranian food and my happy other family.
There's giggling and tickling and games and eating vine ripened, sun warmed sweet california fruits.
There's star watching and eating ice cream and I like it alot. I probably spent just as much time with them as I did with the shed full of 13 kittens in the yard. I'm beyond a cat person, I'll probably end up in a house full of cats in the not very distant future with no hopes for having a man in my life.
And that doesn't really worry me.. I'll be quite content.
Then hopefully disney will make a short about me where I find the perfect man. Hey.. a girl can dream right?
That was a very very happy month. The happiest of times. We even threw a smashing bridal party. That's exciting right?
 But all good things must come to an end, and so they did. A quite teary-eyed exit was made to my flight and I jetted off to Ohio.

This trip was a very much a break up with Hawai'i. It broke my heart, but that's life. I kissed the beaches and shores and waves goodbye and taught myself to move on. Living in hawai'i is an indescribable experience. I learned so much and now it's time for new things.

Ohio is my now, so I'm really focusing on making it good.
I had a break up in Pennsylvania for a few weeks, to see family.

 wait could little miss sylvie be any cuter? I'd never gotten to meet her and she's already this big. whew.
 those eyes could see right through you i tell ya.

 little katie is just my minnie me.

 and lastly is the ever sweet chloe. i swear never a more innocent heart walked the earth.

and as always, the long enduring photo all together.. 

last was a trip to Langhorn to stay with the family of 8 that I love so dearly. 
That was quite exciting for a girl who has always wanted sisters and never got them. Being surrounded by six other "siblings" was extra fun for me. 
I got loved on every day while also getting to gift some of the wisdom I've acquired over the years. I haven't had many to share it with but this trip as the perfect opportunity.
Their house includes plenty of drama and crying and fighting, so it was the best time for me to be there.
I learned so much about each child and the manners in which they interact with each other. I became the eternal comforter and I enjoyed it immensely.
Lots of long talks and long walks. Discussions of the future and who they are. Who they want to be.
Tears were shed, tickles given, selfies taken. We had a grand ball of a time I must say.
 Yes, all iphone pictures again, i apologize.. but what's a girl to do eh? I was having too much fun to mind anyway.
Now, hopefully I've fully proven that I did not in fact drop off the face of the earth but was enjoy myself immensely, merely lack kitchen time. I had to stop opening my blogger feed because all the yummies that I couldn't make were too much for my little stomach to handle. be back soon ok?


Saturday, May 11, 2013

easter cake

With finals, and my pony club rating and tests and moving loom over my head in an omnious cloud, this little blog keeps getting pushed to the side.

Even today, I don't have time to write a post but I wanted to share these pictures with you to inspire you for mothers day tomorrow. A cake of this style would be lovely for your momma!
I had a blast creating this cake. It's a lime soaked vanilla cake with passion-fruit curd everywhere and strawberries and vanilla frostings. I was really excited with the result of all the icing that I'd been flinging everywhere. It's a very simple technique.
Slop on a bit of each color onto the cake in thirds. The top color will be the one all over the top. Smooth down the sides and then smooth it out. Make sure that you use alot because you'll be taking lots of it off. Start to swirl them together as you move your way around the cake. Play with it until you're happy, it can take a little messing around. Smooth the sides out for good, swirl the top and serve.

I made a few crosses because it was Resurrection Sunday. It was super simple, cut a few straws and tie together with twine. Super simple but SO cute!

til later my loves, xoxo


Yellow Cake Recipe
Lilikoi or Passionfruit Curd

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

tres leches layer cake

These girls at my school have this thing. They caption their photos with this saying. They name their albums with this saying. They constantly repeat this saying and the rest of us don't get it. I don't really mind but I do. They constantly say "Preforming live gives us a rush." I don't really get it but ok. If it wasn't true, it would be even weirder. Thank goodness it's true.
It's actually so true.
Between theatre the past few weeks and runways, I feel like I'm always on the stage. And it feels kinda good if I'm going to be honest. Hearing an audience laugh or cry with you. The flashbulbs at the end of a runway. The glamorous people whispering as you strut down the runway in the cutting edge duds. It's sounds more glamorous than it is. It's a tough job, but it all becomes worth it in those two seconds when you're standing at the edge of the platform and nothing is going through your mind. It all gets kinda clear.
After a 12 hour day at work, my hair is crunchy with product, rinsing all the makeup off my face and pulling heels off my sore sore feet, all I need is something to pull me back down to earth.
tres leches cake is the way to go.
I was a bit cautious because I've had issues with sponge cake before.. que cracked roulade... well i tried
thank goodness it went without a hitch!

The cake baked up moist and light and sticky.
Then i poured it with that lovely mixture of condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.
You let it soak in all nice. Stack up your layers with cinnamon whipped cream and then you lovingly cut yourself a slice.

 Tres Leches Cake makes a 2-layer 9in cake {adapted from pioneer woman}
1 cup ap flour 
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 eggs
1 cup of sugar- divided 
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Milky Creamy Stuff:
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease 2-9 inch cake pans. 
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
Separate your whites and yolks into separate bowls. 
Beat the whites until foaming. Add a 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Either quickly washer your beater or use a separate bowl. Beat the yolks with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar until doubled in volume and lighter in color. They should get all fluffy and nice. Gently mix in the mix and vanilla. 
Use a light hand to combine the yolks with the dry ingredients. When there are just a few streaks of flour remaining, at in half the whites. Softly fold until combined smoothly. Add the remaining whites and stir until just combined. 
Divide into pans and smooth the tops. Bake until lightly golden on the top and just springy to the touch. I baked mine on convection and it only needed 15 minutes. If you use it on regular kine oven settings, then it should take about 25 minutes.
Rotate the pans after 10 minutes to ensure even cooking. 
Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Flip onto two lightly greased plate and let cool briefly.
While they cool, stir together all the milky mixture ingredients. This is where the cake gets it's personality. 
Poke holes in the top of the cake with the prongs of a fork and begin pouring the mixture over the cakes. Let it soak in before adding more. ***
Stack one layer on a cake plate. 
Whip your cream with the sugar and cinnamon until it hold medium stiff peaks. Spread half on the first cake layer. Stack with the second cake layer. Add the remaining whipped cream. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and serve.

***You will not use all the milky mixture, just toss the rest***

Monday, April 22, 2013

your new favorite grilled cheese.

 who likes bacon? everytime i see that beggin strips commercial  i get that inevitable craving for bacon. I realized as I've started trying to cut back on my sugar and fat intake that.. well.. i don't really like bacon.
At least, i like cheesecake more. I'd rather reserve my bacon calories to splurge on cheesecake. i love to smell bacon. i love to think about bacon but eating it, meh. give me cheesecake or give me death.

until this little fellow happened.
I eat those little baby bell cheese rounds solely in white cheddar. white cheddar is my choice cheese. It's creamy and tangy and that delicious cheesy flavor without being overwhelming. So. when I happened to have a block of the cheese in my in my favorite brand, a pack of bacon in the crisper, and my cast iron pan staring me in the face, what's a girl to do?
I couldn't just stand there. So i sprung to action. I didn't just make grilled cheese. It made grilled cheese with white cheddar. I didn't just make grilled cheese with white cheddar, I made grilled cheese with white cheddar and bacon. I didn't just make grilled cheese with white cheddar and bacon, I made grilled cheese with white cheddar and bacon, cooked in the bacon's lovely juices.

OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY. yes, you can have some. and it's just for you.

White Cheddar Bacon Grilled Cheese for one
2 strips of bacon {i prefer thick cut}
1.5 oz quality white cheddar cheese {delightful with jalapenos}
2 slices of your favorite bread
salt and pepper

Take your cast iron pan and heat the puppy up. Once it's at medium  heat or so, cook your bacon until nice and crispy. Get it cooked well. Take the bacon out of the pan and let cool on paper towels. Cut into little pieces and set aside.
Meanwhile, don't even bother to butter your bread, you've got all that bacon juice staring up at you.. {how gross does that sound.. sorry} Slice your cheese and layer it lovingly all over your bread, sprinkle with bacon and top with other bread slice. 
Make sure your pan is on medium low heat and put your sandwich in the pan. Cook bottom side down until golden and crispy. Flip and cook other side until golden and beautiful. Cut, salt and pepper accordingly and gaze beautifully at your creation.

Friday, March 29, 2013

brownie sandwich cookies with salted caramel and cream

I've been meaning to do a salted caramel photo tutorial for the longest time. It's the simplest thing but I think people are afraid of it because it involved melting sugar and the likes. Candy making isn't even my thing but still, you've got this. The only problem is I can't figure out how to get good pictures at my stove. They're dark and grainy and gross and I don't wanna give that to ya'll. I don't have a singular burner either though so I can't bring it out on the porch where I normally take pictures. #foodbloggerdelimmas. I got those.
Once I figure that out, the tutorial will be automatic since I make caramel nearly weekly.. sometimes more if I make something like these and feel the need to dollop incessant amounts of caramel all over everything.
Don't blame me, I'm not in my right mind. I've been sick all week with some sort of something in the cold variety. I got to craving chocolate yesterday and I couldn't stop myself. I was so nervous about cooking sick though so I'm pretty sure I looked like a crazy person. I'd just showered and every couple seconds I was scrubbing up and down my arms with soap gettin' in between my fingers. If I felt like sneezing or God forbid coughing, I practically walked down the street to do it. Madness I tell you, madness. But in the end, these were delicious and they're all gone so perfect.
The chewy brownie cookies have been haunting me forever so I saw a version on bakers royale {who by the way I adore, especially when she smashes cakes} and so I decided to give it my own whirl.
I wasn't just going to make the cookies, I was going to make them, throw salty caramel all over them and fresh cream and smush it all together so that you have to eat it with a spoon. That's the best kinda dessert, I promise.  You can make the salted caramel first so it cools while you make the cookies. Then you can whip up the cream whenever you're ready to serve these.
The delicate salt of the caramel with the subtle bittersweet of the chocolate, the toffee chips complimenting the caramel, the fresh cream caressin' everything {why did I say that} and holding it all together. l o v e l y.

Salted Caramel Sauce makes a good cup or so.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP heavy cream
2 TBSP butter {salted or unsalted}
3/4 - 1 tsp favorite salt {make sure you actually like the salt because you will taste it, no table salt por favor}

Get out a bowl of cool water and a pastry brush {mine is silicon and  I love it} Also, measure your heavy cream and butter so they're sitting out, you're gonna want all of your things ready to go.
Combine the sugar and and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Keep it on low until the mixture has become clear and is no longer grainy. To tell if it's grainy, get a bit on your fingers {don't burn yourself} and rub them together. If it still feels like sand then keep cooking. Once it's smooth, turn the heat to high. It will bubble furiously and that's good. Once you've made caramel a hundred times, that will be the most comforting sound ever. 
It'll take from 5-7 minutes for the color to start changing. During this time, watch the sides of the pan. If you see sugar crystallization on the sides or burning on the sides, use the pastry brush dipped in water to wash it off. It may bubble up in response so watch your hands. 
Watch carefully as it turns light brown and then amber. Once it becomes a medium dark amber color, quickly in one step: Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream and butter. It's going to steam and puff and fight and bubble but just keep stirring. 
You may want to wear an oven mitt for this but you'll get used to it. 
It will clump up and be a big mess of sugar on the whisk but calm your tits, {my friends and i always use this and I DONT KNOW WHY. wuuuuut sorry.} you did it right. Return the pan to low and continue whisking until the mixture becomes smooth. 
Remove from the heat to let cool completely. While it's cooling, add the salt and taste. Add more to your liking. Once room temperature, place in a container and and refrigerate. It will thicken significantly as it cools. It'll go from liquid sauce to a really thick brownie batter kind of feel. yum yum.

Brownie Cookies makes 7 sandwiches. adapted from bakers royale.
6 oz bittersweet chocolate- chopped into chip sized pieces
2 TBSP butter
1 large egg {funny story about this egg and me while multitasking, i'll tell you later if you wanna know}
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 TBSP ap flour
1/8 tsp baking powder

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Melt 3.5 oz of the chocolate with your butter. Let cool.
Beat the egg, sugar & vanilla until whipped and creamy and nice. About 8 minutes or so. Mix in the melted chocolate until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and the remaining chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a good ten minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Scoop tablespoons of the batter onto the parchment, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cracked on the top and with the edges just barely set. You want it gooey and brownie-like, not crunchy. Let cool.

Whipped Cream 
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 TBSP confectioners sugar

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the the sugar and continue beating until stiffer peaks form.

Stack brownie, caramel, cream, caramel and brownie in a bowl and devour.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

easter cupcakes

I'm really really kicking myself right now. After my camera died, my mom and brother went on a trip to NYC and Boston with the KMS band so I didn't have my baby for two weeks. I've been baking up a storm, yeasted white bread and wheat bread, snickerdoodle cheesecake cupcakes, chicken puff pot pie (my favorite food ever) and all kinds of goodies but I couldn't take pictures. So I couldn't blog them. So I cried. and I wept because I missed you and this little blog.
Anyway, on to bigger and better things.
I'm sick today and it's horrid. I'm really sad and so I'm sitting here watching "boyfriend does makeup" videos and guess what. they're hilarious. My friends usually watch them to make themselves feel like crap because they're single. For me, I just laugh and remind myself I don't need a boyfriend because boys are dumb. Dumb as rocks. Oh lawdy. It's okay. I'm totally fine with growing old with just my cats and a full kitchen. I've resigned myself to that fact. At least then I can make these cupcakes and not have to share them. If anything, I have to marry someone who can eat more than me so we can down dozens of cupcakes and doughnuts together. That's true love right there.
Can't you just picture it now? I'll be fat and have a dozen cats and be surrounded by cupcakes. It's a real disney love story ain't it?

Onto these cupcakes. Wouldn't you rather get these in your Easter baskets rather than some dumb old candy? Yes. Yes you would. These are the best lemon cupcakes ever.
They're so light and moist with the best crumb. I was literally tearing up as I ate my second one because it was so lovely! Top them off with a fluffy creamy strawberry buttercream and wabam. happy easter loves.

Lemon Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups cake flour-sifted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
8 TBSP salted butter- softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 eggs (Add the first two and beat the third in a seperate bowl and pour in half)
1/2 c +2 TBSP milk
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice 
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract +more to taste
yellow food coloring

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. 
Combine the milk, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar until white and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Beating each time until aerated and voluminous  It should get all fluffy like 80s hair. Pour in half the milk mixture and mix on low. Add all of the flour and gently mix until nearly combined. Add the remaining milk and lemon extract and lightly mix until smooth. Don't over mix. Add more lemon extract to taste and yellow food coloring if desired. 
Divide into the muffin tins, filling 3/4 of the way. Don't feel like you're overfilling them, it just gives them that cute dome that everyone loves and bakeries are known for. 
Bake for 16-18 minutes or until just springy. Don't over-bake, that's key. 
Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then finish cooling on a wire-rack. Frost and enjoy. 

Melted Strawberry Buttercream

18 TBSP (2 sticks + 2 TBSP) butter
4 TBSP shortening
powdered sugar (About 2 cups)
1 big tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp strawberry extract  + more to taste

Whip the butter and shortening together until creamy. Add in powdered sugar one 1/2 cup at a time until fairly stiff. Beat in the vanilla and strawberry extract to loosen up the frosting. Beat until airy and fluffy on high. When its to your liking, mix on low for a minute to get the big bubbles out so it pipes smooth. 
Pipe on the cupcakes and enjoy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

mint chocolate baileys cake

I literally have no motivation to write this. or breath or function. I put on my work out clothes and could barely drag out the yoga mat. I finally got it on the floor in front of the tv and lay on it for half an hour while I watched four weddings and laughed at annoying women.
i mean seriously, 75,000 dollar budget and you're whining. i think you could have gotten good food for that but apparently not.. geez. I swear no weddings have good food according to this show..
I'm also laughing at TLC for thinking I care. cause i don't. {and yet im still watching as a i write..} 
wanna know what I DO care about? this cake. 
my absolute favorite chocolate cake sandwiching mint chocolate ice cream buttercream and topped with bailey's hot fudge.

my brother literally ate about a cup of the leftover frosting and asked if we could redo his birthday so we could use this frosting.
I fervently agree. It tastes like I took mint chocolate chip icecream. but it's not. BOOM. mind blown.
the baileys ganache is thick but pourable and so delish.

OH and my chocolate cake. oh man. my mouth has a spasm when i eat it. Mix it all together and what do you get?

Mint Chocolate Chip Bailey's Layer Cake makes 2 layer 6-inch cake

3/4 cup ap flour
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP good quality cocoa powder {it really does make a difference to step up from hershey's}
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
big pinch of salt
1 oz chocolate - chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup buttermilk {or 1/2 cup milk mixed and let sit with 1 tsp vinegar}
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg - room temp
1/4 cup + 1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup + 1 TBSP sugar


1/2 c butter - soft
3 TBSP shortening
1 1/2 c confectioners sugar 
1/4 tsp mint extract + extra to taste
1/4 tsp clear vanilla extract
3 TBSP mini chips
green food coloring {ie 3 drops avocado, 2 drops bright green}

Bailey's Fudge Sauce from here

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 6-inch cake pans and dust with cocoa powder. 
In a bowl, pour the boiling water over the chopped chocolate and set aside. In a separate bowl, pour your vanilla into your buttermilk.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda together in a large bowl and set aside.
With your standmixer, beat the eggs on high until foamy. Reduce speed and slowly pour in the oil and then beat until combined well. Slowly pour in the cooled chocolate/water mix and stir to combine. Do the same with the buttermilk mixture. Mix until smooth. Add in the sugar and mix on low until the batter is liquid and smooth.
Remove from the stand and pour in all the dry ingredients. Fold together by hand until there are just a few dry streaks.
Press through a sieve into the large dry ingredient bowl and stir briefly to combine. Be very gently not to overmix. 
Divide into the two cake pans, weighing if possible. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops begin to spring back lightly to the touch. 
Let cool in the pans for 20 full minutes. n o t o u c h i n g. the cakes are so tender that they'll fall apart if you're rough with them. 
Gently place onto wire racks to finish cooling. 

Beat softened butter with the shortening for 4 minutes or until fluffy as can be. Beat in the confectioners sugar and the extracts, adding to taste. Beat until fluffy and creamy and perfect. Add food coloring til desired color. Fold in chocolate chips and place between the cake layers. Prepare glaze by instructions and pour over the cake.
Serve and enjoy.