Let Them Eat Cake

For Easter, I was craving something fresh and spring-like. Also, chocolate. Dark chocolate to be precise. I usually make a lemon pound cake around Easter, but this year I wanted to switch it up. Feast your eyes on this fluffy cloud of deliciousness.

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After scouring the interwebs, I came across this recipe for chocolate cake and this recipe for coconut buttercream. I modified both recipes a bit. For the chocolate cake, I used strong black coffee, instead of the espresso powder and dark chocolate cocoa powder, instead of regular. For the buttercream, I used the remaining of my coconut extract, instead of canned coconut milk. I just couldn’t justify opening an entire can of coconut milk for a few  tablespoons. Both the cake and buttercream turned out great and I used some organic coconut flakes to finish off the cake.

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There’s something so relaxing about baking. It helps me destress when the world has got me down. And lately, I need a lot of activities to help me destress. Plus, unlike, say yoga or walking around your neighborhood, when you bake, you get to eat it when it’s done.

Om

 

Good Eats: Sausage and Cheese Quiche

After eating a breakfast of sticky icky bacon and chocolate chip banana bread, I decided to whip up a quick quiche so that I’d have something to munch on while downing mimosas. What’s a snow day without mimosas? It’s boring. That’s what it is – boring.  Continue reading “Good Eats: Sausage and Cheese Quiche”

Saturday Brunch: Fried Chicken & Waffles

I’ll be honest, before a few years ago, I had never tasted fried chicken and waffles. I remember hearing about it and thinking that it was a very odd combination. Then, I attempted my first stab at the southern dish via Bobby Flay. After that, I tried a few restaurant versions and determined to create my own twist on the classic. Continue reading “Saturday Brunch: Fried Chicken & Waffles”

Sweet Bourbon Tea

It’s been one of those weeks where the slightest thing bothers me. I’m not sure why this happens, but it usually coincides with a four-day weekend.

It’s Wednesday evening and I’m sitting on my living room floor with my half eaten dinner in front of me. My apartment is small and doesn’t have a dining room or eat in kitchen, so my coffee table is where I eat at night.

My desk in the corner technically doubles as a dining table, but who has the time or energy to pull that bad boy out every night?  Maybe when I have a dinner party I’ll drag it out and make use of it’s proper form. Maybe.

Despite the 90-degree heat wave we’re currently experiencing in Baltimore, I’m craving fall. This could’ve been a bourbon cider post, but I had some tea bags remaining and borderline overripe fruit, so I figured, why not?

This tea is not too sweet and helps you get rid of farmer’s market fruit that will quickly go bad before you can pack it in your lunch bag.

Sweet Bourbon Tea
2 peaches

2 clementines

1 pitcher of tea (homemade or store bought, your call)

1 cup of bourbon

1 lemonata San Pellegrino

Splash of triple sec

Muddle the fruit and place in the pitcher. Refrigerate the pitcher of fruit while you make the tea. If you bought your tea, simply pour it into the pitcher over the muddled fruit.

Add in your bourbon and top off with the San Pellegrino. Taste and add the triple sec if you please. I added a splash because I made my tea slightly bitter due to the addition of the ripe fruit.

Pour into your glass. Sip and repeat.

Red Wine Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake is one of my favorite cakes. It’s quite possibly my favorite cake, but I have a hard time picking favorites. Thank God I’m not having kids! That would be an awkward conversation. Anyway, I am always trying new recipes and looking for alternatives to adding the red coloring. I don’t mind using red food coloring, but if I can avoid it, I would like to. Which is why I am super excited to try Smitten Kitchen’s Red Wine Chocolate Cake.

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I ordered this cookbook a few months ago from Amazon. Every now and then I go on cookbook binges and seek out as many new and different ones I can find. As one would know, cookbooks be expensive. But this one is worth the list price. Dishes for every occasion and non-occasion can be found between the covers. So it seems fitting that I use this recipe to help me celebrate turning 30 this year.

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Most people may dread turning 30. I honestly do not care about it that much. I am always happy to turn the page and start a new chapter. I get restless and I’m always anticipating what’s going to happen in the next phase of my life. Turning 30 will just be the next part of me moving towards who I’m supposed to be in this life. I have a lovely apartment now, and I am starting grad school in the fall. I feel as though I am finally starting to settle into my bones.

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Now, back to this delicious cake. I love the fact that I get to not only eat one of my favorite cakes, but also add one of my favorite red wines to it as well! I used Layer Cake’s Shiraz. I love Layer Cake wine and I could also see using the Malbec in this recipe as well. This dreamy cake is paired with a simple mascarpone cheese topping.

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For my 30th, I decided to act fancy and bourgeois. I am serving this cake along with a lovely chilled champagne. Turning milestones should be done in style and with flair. I am thrilled to get another year to do better, learn more, and embrace everything that comes my way.

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Chocolate Covered Dreams

There’s no better time than the holiday season, to take creamy peanut butter, crushed pretzels,  roll them together into balls, and then smother them in dark chocolate. It’s what holiday miracles are made of. Seriously. I looked it up and those are all of the ingredients of holiday miracles.

I decided to make these delicious, tempting, scrumptious treats for my undeserving lovely coworkers. Haha, I’m just joking. Sharing is caring and all that made up jazz. You can’t make a treat like these and then eat them all in one sitting, while watching The Singoff finale on NBC. I mean, you can, but maybe you shouldn’t? I don’t know. Now that I think about it, that sounds pretty awesome and I probably should’ve just done that.

I used this recipe from Ghiradelli. Happy Eating!

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Crush up the pretzels using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer and a plastic bag to hold the pretzels.

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After warming the cream cheese and peanut butter in the microwave, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, crushed pretzels, and powdered sugar.

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Roll the mixture into balls and chill in the freezer.

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Cover the chilled balls in dark chocolate and then chill in the refrigerator.

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Let Them Eat Cake

I like to consider baking my sport. I am a hardcore baker with a black belt in flavoring. Yea, I said it. I love mixing it up and laying it down in the kitchen. I am in my element when the holidays roll around.

Need an Easter chocolate torte? Done.

Craving a Fourth of July cherry pie? Boom!

Longing for some Christmas Eve cookies? I thought you’d never ask!

Along with Christmas Eve cookies, I needs my Christmas cake. And here are some of my favorites. Feel free to serve all of these cakes with coffee, milk, and love. Happy Baking!

Chocolate Bundt Cake
Coconut Cake
Pecan Spice Layer Cake
Bittersweet Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake
Perfect White Cake

Thanksgiving Revisited

Not to come off cocky, but I cooked the hell out of Thanksgiving this year. Everything was delicious and I have Real Simple magazine to thank. Using their menu, I selected a few dishes to compliment the turkey and everything blended very well together.

I will (gladly) be eating leftovers for the next five days.

Fall for Beer!

Ah, Fall brings out the best seasonal beers. From pumpkin ales to Octoberfest beers, Fall is by far- in my humble opinion- the most treasured beer season! And to go along with these hearty beers, one must have equally hearty and fulfilling meals.

Now, if you’re looking for light, or low calorie options, I don’t have any. When it comes to beer, I go balls to wall, all out. Sometimes, you just have to drink the damn beer and exercise later.

Paulaner Marzen paired with Grilled Pizza 

           

I love a good, cold, Paulaner Marzen. It is one of my favorite beers of all time and it only makes sense to drink it with one of my favorite foods of all time- pizza.

Sam Adams Oktoberfest paired with a Bison Burger 

      

Hmm, I’m getting hungry and thirsty just looking at these pictures. I haven’t even tasted a Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer yet this season (its been too warm) but now that it’s cooler, I am ready to dive in. And what better to eat with it, than a juicy bison burger?

Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale paired with Turkey Chili

       

A good turkey chili recipe should be in everyone’s reserve. The savory chili will nicely compliment the slightly sweet pumpkin ale. It’s going to be a good Fall. Yes indeed!

Eat a lot of Peaches

Summer time is when fresh fruit rules. Fruit inspired desserts take front and center. I mean, honestly, what goes better with hot weather and barbeques than roasted peaches? And ice cream. Don’t ever forget the ice cream.

adapted this Roasted Peaches recipe. Eat up and enjoy!

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2 peaches, halved
2 tbsp Grand Marnier (love this stuff)
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

DSCN1360DSCN1361Preheat oven to 350F. Place the butter and brown sugar into a glass baking dish and bake for 5 minutes.

DSCN1375Stir in vanilla extract and Grand Marnier and place the peach halves into the dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Scoop out some of your favorite ice cream and Eat a lot of peaches!

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