Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Banana & Mixed-Berry Cobbler

As per @CrowndVic's request, I am blogging and posting this recipe. The thing I love about cobbler is that it's simple, easy and doesn't take much to make. More than likely if you cook and occasionally bake you can make this.

This cobbler was made on a whim. I was thinking of remaking a peach cobbler but seeing that I didn't have any peaches I had to make do with what I have. Very rarely can you "make-do" with what you have when it comes to baking since baking is a bit more complex than just cooking especially with the chemistry of the ingredients...another reason why cobbler is great :)

Banana & Mixed Berry Cobbler

3-4 fresh bananas
1 package of frozen mixed berries (about 2 cups); thawed
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar (I used sugar in the raw)

for the cobbler topping:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
4-5 Tbsp of brown sugar (light or dark brown)
1 Tbsp cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I use a lot of it but you can use less)
1/2 tsp cloves
4 Tbsp butter; cubed
2/3 cup heavy cream or buttermilk or milk (whichever kind you use) enough to moisten it so make it dough-y or a little more if you want it a bit thinner.

Directions for fruit mixture:
• Pre-heat oven to 350*
• Slice up bananas (not to thin or too thick) and toss it in a bowl with the lemon juice so the bananas doesn't turn black. Let sit for a few minutes
• In a bowl, toss the bananas, berries, cinnamon and sugar together. Set aside.

Directions for cobbler topping:
• Combine all dry ingredrients together.
• Mix butter in, used your hands to mush it in (yea that's a technical term I know lol)
• add in cream/milk. mix well.

I used a ceramic pie dish or you can use any non-stick baking dish. Pour fruit on baking dish, top it with the dough evenly and bake for about 25-30 mins.
Let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven to give the juices a little time to thicken. Serve by itself or with a scoop (or 2 or 3) of your favorite ice cream :) Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lent: What did you give up?

I'm feeling a bit guilty because I have not been keeping up with this lil blog of mine. It's not like I'm not cooking or baking (well I have been baking less though as I've been too busy and tired as of late) but I just haven't been able to take pictures of the food (and utilize my new camera that i luuuurrrrvvveeee!) as well as just lack of creative juices to write about it. I know, i know, it's a lame excuse but if any of those who still reads this or waits for me to write something really and i mean really need me to make something or give you a recipe of something, all you have to do is ask :) (I promise to respond/help however I can)

So, back to the task at hand. Lent. In case you need me to explicitly say it, I am catholic. Born and raised, I even lived in a convent for about 2 years. Yes, a convent, with nuns and all that jazz. So yea... Lent. I decided I will give up meat for lent and become a pescetarian (as in the only "meat" I ate was fish/seafood). It wasn't too hard really. I am actually not really craving much but I have had some meat :/ it was unavoidable but for the most part I kept to my promise. Before you get all antsy about what the heck I'm talking about and when is the food part gonna come in, well here it is!

I have made this last year for a Valentines day dinner and a few more times since then. I actually got the recipe from a magazine called CUISINE Lite. The dish is super delicious and fairly simple and well, lite. What is it? It's Sweet Soy Scallops with Hawaiian Linguine. I'm gonna list the recipe then my notes/alterations at the make sure you read all the way through okay? Also, pardon the not quite so great me it will taste good!

Sweet Soy Scallops

*this recipe makes 2 servings*

3 Tbsp. minced scallions
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. coarse-ground mustard
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 large sea scallops
2 tsp. canola oil

Combinescallions, syrup, soy sauce, mustard, and pepper in a bowl. Add scallops; marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Remove scallops from marinade;pat them dry, reserving marinade. Sear scallops in the skillet until they're brown on both sides, 5-6 minutes total.

Add marinade to skillet; boil until mixture begins to thicken slightly and forms a sauce, 1-2 minutes. Scallops should feel firm to the touch. Serve scallops topped with sauce.

***notes*** When I made this I actually bought 1 lb. of scallops. I made a bit more of the marinade (double or triple it, its up to you and you can use the sauce for topping later). I also marinated my scallops overnight it made the flavors really soak into the scallops.

Hawaiian Linguine

3 strips low-sodium bacon, diced
4 oz. fresh linguine or angel hair pasta
1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 Tbsp. minced red onion
1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro (optional but highly recommended)

Cook pasta according to package but omit any oil or salt.

Cook bacon however you cook your bacon

Toss linguine, bacon, pineapple, and onion in a large bowl. Stir in cilantro, if desired. Serve with Sweet Soy Scallops.

I cooked my bacon first before dicing it. So much easier. You can also omit bacon completely, it will not really affect the dish, it'll still be yummy.

I used the "fresh" linguine that you can find in the same case as the bacon and what not...i think it was Bertolli brand.

Also, i used canned pineapple.

There you go! Enjoy! I sure did :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hello Dear Readers :) (well that is if anyone is still holding out hope for me)

First of all, let me apologize for the blog silence. I decided to put the blog on hiatus because life just got a bit hectic the past few months and I didn't have much time (or motivation) to take pictures and all the work that goes into blogging.

Secondly, I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday(s). I baked quite a bit over the holidays (as well as cooked) and I hope you did too. I moved a couple of days before thanksgiving and it was super stressful which is another reason why the blog went on a vacay. My kitchen is about a quarter of the size of my old kitchen :( I wish it was bigger but I'm making it work. As long as there's an oven, a stove, a fridge and a sink, I can make it work. You get creative with space when it's limited.

I'm sure you all are wondering what I have in store for you on this special day (or not lol) This recipe I'm sharing was created by the lovely Carrie of Fields of Cake Blog What is it you may ask? Raspberry Almond Truffles is what it is! I first happen upon this deliciousness last year and I made it for my Valentine of 2010. He loved it too. I'm sure if he was around now he'd still love it. This is way, way better than store bought (not that there's anything wrong with that) but making your own truffles (any treat really) just gives it that extra special oomph! (that may help you get lucky ;)) Well, I'm going to stop blabbering and share the recipe :D

Raspberry Almond Truffles

7 ounces dark chocolate (highest quality you can afford) chopped into small pieces

¼ cup heavy cream

Pinch salt

1 ½ Tbsp Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)

½ pint fresh raspberries

¼ cup or so almond paste

Place chocolate in heat proof bowl and set aside.

In small saucepan heat cream and salt to a hot simmer (not boiling), pour over chocolate and shake the bowl a bit to settle the chocolate. Allow it to sit for a few minutes then stir gently with a spatula until smooth and silky. Add the liqueur and stir to incorporate.

Stuff each of your beautiful plump red raspberries with a bit of almond paste (I found it easiest to shape the paste into a cone then place in the raspberry that way)

Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper, get a fork or get you a dipping set from your local craft store. (I'd say get the more expensive, metal sets because the plastic ones isn't too durable)

Place a few stuffed raspberries into the chocolate and cover completely in the yummy, silky chocolate. Use the fork to fish them out one at a time, tap the fork on the side of the bowl to get excess chocolate off and shimmy the raspberry onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until they are all cozy in their new chocolate suits then allow them to chill for a while then re-dip them.

(I'm using Carrie's Final product pictures because mine is still in the fridge chilling :))

You can package this by putting it on a foil wrapper like this and then box em up like this or you can get a bigger box if you want.


If your chocolate doesn't melt completely, microwave for 10-15 seconds stir and check for melty-ess, repeat if necessary.

Also, I rinsed my raspberries. Rinse and shake off the water gently (whilst in the strainer/colander) then kinda let em roll on a sheet or two of paper towels to shake off the water and let sit (in a cool area or the fridge) to dry before stuffing with almond paste.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Past, The Present and Future of my Hairstyle(s)

Pardon me while I blog about non-food/cupcake related stuff for a hot minute :) After reading Ali's and Vicki's evolution of hair, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and looked through myspace/flickr/facebook pictures. Let's start with my teen years, before I had full control of what I can and can't do to my own hair.

1996 was the year I got out of the convent after living there for about 2 years. Prior to living there my mother didn't really let me grow my hair out but since she wasn't around to tell me what to do, I let it grow out. The year 2000 my hair was cut super short due to my mother's bright idea of perming my hair. I will not be posting a picture of that but you can see how short I had to cut it to get rid of the perm. It's ok though since I joined the U.S. Navy right after I graduated high school.

1996: God I was so skinny!

Right before I moved to the U.S.

Senior Portrait

We're going to skip a few years since from 2001 till 2004 my life, to include my hair was just not very...pleasant or really that note worthy. So let's jump onto 2005 shall we?

This was the height of my "party days" and I decided to be bold and go pink! It also glowed in the blacklight ;)

2006: I went from the bright pink streaks to light golden/copper color and then to red. Red is the hardest color to maintain!

Light Golden/Copper

Red streaks!

2007: My hair kinda changed color from dark to light. By this time I was hooked on layers...for some reason I just can't grow my hair out past my this day I'm still trying.

2008: I had my wonderful son that year. Which also meant I didn't have very much time or money to spend on a new hairstyle. I started working 4 months after I had my son. (around October)

2009-2010: This is the year I moved to where I live now. Tampa Bay area (to keep it simple) and have met my wonderful hairstylist (and friend) I feel like I haven't varied much haircut wise but I have played around with color some. I'm hoping to try and grow my hair out again but I just get so impatient. My hair is fine but I have a lot of it, it also doesn't like to stay curly and I don't particularly like "poofy" hair or a whole lot of "body" as others might call it. For summer 2010 I wanted to do pink again...this time a lil less streaky. It's faded out now though and I'm not sure what I'm going to do next...any ideas?

The End! Well, for now. Give me another month or two for a new style or color :D

Can a cupcake be sexy?

Some of you might know that this year I celebrated my birthday with my toddler. Our birthdays are only a week apart and since the venue where I wanted to have his birthday party at was only available on my birthday weekend...well I'm sure you see where I'm going. Anyway, my birthday weekend was full of baking craziness! I had to bake a batch of cupcakes for my son's birthday, my friend, Lauren's engagement party (which was later that same day of the party) and of course MY birthday cupcakes. I wanted to make something special for me...although, I wasn't too sure what. It kinda just happened. (that's what he said! lol) I honestly, don't remember how my thought process happen upon this concoction. I was as per usual using Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake and next thing i know i was on a quest for something... and Chocolate Caramel Seduction was born! The name just happened like today. It was nameless, and had been since it's creation back in may. I re-made these cuppies for a friend of mine's going away shindig and there was a collective "OMG" "goddamn" response on how awesome it was. I also made another batch for my classmates in my last portfolio review class. Honestly, out of all the cupcakes I've made, this is by far my favorite out of all of them. I'm sure you want the recipe right???

here it goes!

Chocolate Caramel Seduction

for the cake: I used Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake or you can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe. I used dark cocoa powder on mine (it's my favorite :)) I would also recommend not over filling your cups so you can easily drench it with the tres leches and it not spill over.

Tres Leches
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 can condensed milk
1 cup evaporated milk

*mix together in a bowl. set aside in the fridge till cupcakes are cool.

*After your cupcakes are cool poke holes on em. You can either use a kebab stick or a fork or even a small knife. Just poke a whole bunch of holes all over the top of it so that it can soak up the tres leches.

*after the poking ;) brush the tres leches over the cakes. Repeat this till your cake is soaking in milk (but not falling apart)it should feel a little heavier than normal. refrigerate it if you're not gonna frost it right away and eat it since it has milk.

Chocolate Ganache
1 package of Ghirardelli Bitter-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

*on a double-broiler (in my case a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water) pour chocolate chips and cream and stir till melted and mixed well. If it's too grainy/thick, add more cream 1 Tbsp. at a time. It should be in a creamy, spreadable consistency.

*let it stand for about 5 minutes. Then spread over the tops of your tres leches soaked cupcakes.

Caramel Drizzle
1 cup sugar (just regular white granulated sugar)
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

**Before you start making the caramel make sure you have all the ingredients! You don't want to burn your sugar trying to scramble to get your ingredients.**

*Use a heavy, non-stick pan. on high heat pour the sugar on the pan stirring constantly till it melts and looks like molten glass. when sugar is completely melted lower the heat to medium and add the butter. It will bubble a lot so make sure you use a big enough pan as to avoid spillage. Stir and make sure it's mixed together.

*Count to 5. then take it off the heat and slowly add the cream while stirring. The caramel will be runny but it will thicken as it cools.

*Put caramel in another bowl and let cool. You want this to be cool before drizzling over your cupcakes or it will melt the frosting.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

**Depends on if you want vanilla or coffee flavored frosting, substitution is easy :)**

1 1/4 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 1/2 tsp. of Vanilla
1 Tbsp.instant coffee mixed in 1 1/2 tsp of hot water

*On a double boiler: place sugar and egg whites. mixed till sugar is melted about 7-10 minutes.

*pour sugar mixture onto your mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high till it's cool but not forming stiff peaks.

*switch to paddle attachement. Add butter 2 Tbsp. at a time mixing it well on low/medium speed.Mixture will be runny. When you've added all the butter, start mixing on high till the frosting starts to make that slapping sound. Scrape sides and add vanilla or coffee.

*Pipe frosting over your ganached cuppies and then drizzle with however much caramel you want. ENJOY!!!

Chocolate Caramel Seduction

Here are some folks enjoying said cupcake :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cake Pops and Truffles: yummy and pretty

Hello Dear Readers of mine :) Are you guys still out there? **is this thing on?** As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will have a few guest bloggers since my schedule (aka life) is a bit ridiculous and I figured that I can call onto my fellow bloggers/fabulous girl friends to help me. I'd say boy friends but guy has really volunteered, if you're out there dude, just shoot me an email and you can guest doesn't even have to be food related it can be anything "pretty" and that I believe is a broad enough topic...amirite?

You might ask who my guest blogger is today, well, her name is Sarah :) She's fabulous and I love her. I first met her thru twitter via her announcing that she has books to give away, for FREE! She even paid for the postage! So after a few days I received my awesome books (yes i said books, there were 4 or 5 I believe) and from there on out our virtual friendship began. Honestly, if she didn't live on the opposite side of the country I would love to be hanging out with her, but alas CA is kinda far from FL :( Let me just say that I have tasted her cake balls (hehehehe i said balls :P) She sent me some samples and it was DEE-LISH! No, really it was pretty freaking awesome. You can follow her tweets @sarahntastic and check out her blog She's quite sassy and I'm sure you will enjoy tweeting with her and reading her rants and raves just as much as I do. Okay, I'm going to shut-up now and let you read on and enjoy! (Thanks again, Sarah!)


Just like @colorMEcupck, I am a cupcake lover. I make them, I eat them, I review them, and sometimes I sell them. In looking for more fun things to create, I came across this Bakerella post, and clicked through to these step-by-step instructions for cake balls.

Overall the process is mostly easy, but extremely time consuming, especially if you're me and accept a first order of 100 pops! Instead of reviewing the process I've already linked to, I will list tips that make your cake pops easier to complete.

1. The texture and moisture should be more dry than you might think initially. Remember you will be expecting the cake to hold a stick as well as hold up to chocolate and candy coating dipping. I found that too much frosting means the cake is too wet and will not allow the stick to stay stuck! **always refrigerate pops after you make the balls, and again after you insert the sticks. They must be chilled in order to hold up to dipping!

2. The size of the ball should be fairly small, like a jacks bouncy ball, NOT a golf ball. Remember, again, you will be dipping these, so the size will increase, but you also need to keep the stick in place while you are dipping in hot candy.

3. I found it easiest to refrigerate for 5 minutes then put the tray in the freezer for 10 minutes, then back to refrigerator for final chilling before wrapping or serving.

4. Don't worry about tiny candy swirls, holes, or messiness. You can easily add drizzles and sprinkles to cover this, plus this makes them all the more pretty.

5. You will need sheet pans, waxed paper, sticks, and although some may say this is a waste, I absolutely need my Wilton chocolate/candy melts warmer. I purchased mine at Michael's using the weekly 40% off coupon, so it was fairly inexpensive. Microwaving burns real chocolate, which is expensive and not worth the waste.

6. Candy melts are much easier to use when melted than chocolate, but some recipes just taste better with real chocolate, like my chocolate raspberry cake pop!

7. Use box cakes and add-in flavor. Don't waste your flour, sugar, butter on these. The flavor of the cake isn't the primary thing here, it's the entire package, so a cake mix with tasty flavored frosting and add-ins like nuts, extracts, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, mint chips (my grasshopper was a huge hit), dried fruit is a better way to spend your money.

8. While these are time consuming, they are a huge hit. Remember one batch of cake makes dozens. Divide the batter and make several flavors. People love them.

Here are pics of my process & my favorite final cake pops!

Balls are formed, sticks inserted, dipping has begun!

This is a must have tool for me! Wilton melting pot.

Dipped, ready to refrigerate before drizzling!

Chilled after dipping, ready for decorating!

Drizzling is super easy! use a spoon or spatula & flick it over the dipped pops!

Contrasting drizzles!

Purple candy melts for easter, almonds for fun (marzipan cake)

Grasshoppers! Chocolate cake with mint chips, mint extract, chocolate dipped

Inexpensive cello bags from the Target $1 bins!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monkey taste, monkey eat!

Before I say (type) anything else, let me apologize for not having a picture of the recipe I am about to post. It was eaten too quickly and I just got side-tracked that I forgot to take a picture. It will be remade again soon as I have some over-riped bananas again so don't fret :)

I know I haven't posted cupcake stuff but hang with me ok? This delicious "bread" can be paired with coffee or as dessert or your entire meal. I promise I won't judge. We all have had over-ripened bananas and it's so wasteful to just throw em out. This is a good alternative to that...or you can just buy bananas and purposely forget to eat it till it gets all black, that's fine too!

I'm a bit short on time so I won't say too much of an intro. The original recipe I adapted can be found here.

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread

* 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used a cup of dark chocolate chips instead)
* 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped (I used 1 cup of chopped walnuts; spread it out in a pan. toast in a pre-heated oven 350 degrees for about 7 mins)
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used 2 teaspoons)


Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl until blended. Combine chocolate chips and toasted walnuts in a small bowl; toss with 1 tablespoon flour.

Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Spoon about one-third of the batter into buttered and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with half of chocolate chip-walnut mixture. Spoon another one-third of batter over the chocolate chip mixture. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chip-walnut mixture. Cover with remaining banana bread batter. Run knife through batter in zig-zag pattern.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan; turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Makes one 9x5x3-inch loaf of banana bread with chocolate chips and walnuts.

***Note before you start baking***

When you mix the chocolate chips and walnuts with the flour, I also tossed in about 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. You don't have to do it if you don't like cinnamon but I love cinnamon and I think it gives the bread just a little bit of extra yum factor :) Happy Baking!