Category Dessert

kebabs, linzers and chiffon

This was a surprising good meal, Chicken Kebabs with Cucumber Noodles. Jude loves raw carrots and cucumbers and I love any kind of peanut sauce so everyone was happy. I’m adding it to my meal planning food list.

chicken kebabs with soba noodle/cucumber salad and sesame carrots

For VDay, Jude and I spent some time making cookies. And really, when Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Linzer Heart Cookies, I knew they were the ones to make. So stinking good.

Nutella and hazelnuts heart

Really, everything is better with Nutella.

chocolate hazelnut Linzer cookies

And finally, I can’t believe I haven’t posted the recipe for this cake before. It is probably the best, non-chocolate cake I have ever made. This Mixed Berry Chiffon Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting is a show stopper. And the perfect birthday cake. ūüôā It’s pretty time consuming to make, but I made the cake a week ahead of time and froze it (cakes always taste better after they have been frozen) and made the filling and frosting the day before. Delicious.

Mixed Berry Chiffon Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

summer foods

We’ve been doing a fair amount of grilling around here since the weather has heated up. And although I didn’t take a picture of this one, you should give¬†Yogurt Marinated Chicken¬†a try on your grill this summer. I promise you, it’s worth it.

We also roasted some poblanos and stuffed them with corn risotto, because Deb from Smitten Kitchen is a genius and created Corn Risotto Stuffed Peppers. We topped them with some slow cooked carnitas and took what could have been a vegetarian entree to a meat eaters dish. It was delicious.

Corn Risotto Stuffed Peppers

In an effort to get us to eat some more fruit, I whipped up Bon Apetite’s Strawberry-coconut lassi (a fancy word for smoothie, I’m assuming): 1.5c strawberry, 2/3 ice, 1/3c buttermilk, 1/3c coconut milk, 1tbsp sugar. Blend. Yum.

Strawberry Coconut Lassi

And finally, what’s summer without my obsession with homemade frozen concoctions. We tried Cooking Light’s lower fat version of¬†Vanilla Bean Ice Cream¬†and weren’t¬†disappointed¬†at all.

Waiting for the Icecream


Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Creme Filling

Brownie cookies are already seriously high up there in my favorite things. Chocolate cookies with chocolate chips with a slight crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. So fantastic already.

Brownie Cookies

But then you add salted caramel frosting and these things become epic. Seriously epic. Like, can hardly keep from making these every second of every day. Thankfully this recipe made enough filling to make several batches of brownies. Seriously, if you need a show stopper holiday cookie, these  Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Creme Filling are some of the best.

Brownie Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting

 What are some of your favorite holiday cookies to make? Share your recipes in the comments below!


salted, dark chocolate, giant peanut butter cup

I love pinterest. Especially when it reveals food beauties like this one. A giant reese’s peanut butter cup sounds delicious enough and then you realize that it’s a salted, dark chocolate, giant reese’s peanut butter. Holy dang. Salt + Chocolate = happy place.

Note to everyone else – silicon tart pans? No good. Use a removable bottom tart pan. Otherwise you will end up like I did – unable to take the tart out of the pan. The crust is very tender, which tastes delicious but it’s not very transferable. Oh well – it didn’t end up mattering because it was devoured right out of it’s silicon home. It was so. Good. So good. It was rich and delicious – a tiny sliver was all your needed to get your fix. Or maybe two tiny slivers.

The only complaint I have is that this recipe took forever – you have to cool each component at each step. You make the crust. Chill it for a long time. Roll the crust out in the tart pan. Chill it again. Bake it. Chill it. Fill it with the filling. Chill it. Top with ganache. Chill it. But it’s worth it. Just set aside a fair amount of time to complete it!

Salted, dark chocolate, giant peanut butter cup

Chocolate. . . Mmmm.

Totally cheated on these – used a boxed mix and added sour cream. My brain didn’t have the capacity to bake from scratch on this particular day! But I did fill them with Nutella and make a Nutella buttercream¬†to frost them with. So delicious!

Nutella Cupcakes

Chocolate goat’s milk ice cream. Funny story about this one. I went in to get Jude’s hair cut with my hair stylist (who is so cool she cuts his hair for free until he’s 3) and her client after us had just milked the goats at her kid’s school. They were going out of town for spring break and wouldn’t be able to use it before they left so she brought the milk in to my hair stylist, because she is also a chef (I know, right?). My hair stylist in turn, knowing how much I love food, asked me how much I would like. Does this stuff happen to anyone else?

I left with 4 huge mason jars of fresh, raw, goat’s milk! When I got home I got down to business of making this ice cream. Two batches actually. It’s better than your typical chocolate ice cream, I think that point has been agreed on by all who have tasted. I also made some goat cheese by heating the milk to 180 and squeezing a lemon in it. Strain and drain the curds – ta-dah, goat cheese! And I used the whey to make pizza dough. Nothing goes to waste.

Chocolate goat's milk ice cream

Anything I should be cooking this week?

Chocolate Nutella Pudding Pie

Have I drawn you in with the title of this post? As if pudding, or pie wasn’t enough on it’s own. Add some nutella. My obsession.

I saw this pudding and I knew I had to make it. 10 minutes to make homemade pudding. Um yeah? And I still had half of a pie crust left over from national pie day. So what I had to do what OBVIOUS, yes?

Nutella pudding pie.

It’s a good thing that I brought this to someone’s house to share because I could have eaten the whole thing. The. Whole. Thing.


Pudding is one of my favorite things. Something rooting in my childhood memory there.

Nutella pudding pie: devoured

Look at that damage that four people caused in a matter of minutes.

So when are you going to make this one?

Pie. Lots of pie.

Yesterday was national pie day, so we had to celebrate. First course, mini pot pies. I used a combo of recipes. . . This one for the crust and this one for the filling. They were ridiculous. I am reminded of all the pot pies I used to eat in college (freshmen 15 anyone?) and these are just so much better.

Mini Pot Pies

And then we had to have pie for dessert too. Mini lemon meringue pies. These were my first experience making lemon meringue pie. They’re so cute in all their littleness. . .

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

Jude liked them.

Mini Lemon Meringue Pies

And so did we.

Anyone else do something fun for nation pie day? Apparently, it’s one of two pie days. . . the next pie day? 3/14 (or 3.14… or pi for all you non-math folks).

recent eats

Holy moly, I have cooked some good things recently and have not been sharing them with you guys! Instead of writing up too many food posts, I decided to just dump them all here into one post. You guys don’t mind, right? Let’s get started.

Back in July, I made some¬†Beef Empanadas¬†for a friend’s birthday party. I wanted a hardy, handheld appetizer and empanadas came to mind! Not to mention, I have been wanting to make my own empanadas for quite some time. These were surprisingly delicious and simple to make due to the use of puff pastry. The black bean dipping sauce was certainly a winner as well – adding a certainly creamy richness to balance all the spice in the filling. I eventually do want to try and make my own pastry for the outside, but in a pinch, puff pastry sure makes a quick substitute!

Beef Empanadas

When I saw this recipe posted on Budget Bytes, I knew I wanted to make it. I love yogurt marinated meats and this Chicken Swarma and Homemade Naan really hit the spot. I mean, homemade naan is freaking awesome Рfresh grilled bread slathered in melted butter. Oooo. Yes. And then you add the grilled, yogurt marinated chicken and it gets even better. Yes please. Add some fresh summer tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce and you have an easy handheld meal!

Chicken Shwarma

So, I may have developed a little bit of a girl crush on¬†Gwyneth¬†Paltrow. This is a bit strange for me since I’m not really one to follow much of what celebrities do – their world usually doesn’t collide with mine often, but Gwyneth kept popping up . . . First on Glee (ohmygoodness, did I just admit I watch that show? Guilty pleasures!) and then on the cover of my Bon Appetit magazine. So I read her article and it turns out we have some similar interests: food, kiddos, music, sustainability . . . and now I think I really like her! The first recipe I made from her recipes was the¬†Corn Vichyssoise. Cold, sweet, fresh summer corn soup with a dollop of sour cream = so refreshing on a hot summer day. Win.

Corn Vichyssoise

Next up, I tried her Mahi Mahi with Mango Avocado Salsa and it was amazing. I love the combo of avocado and mango over such a meaty fish. Such a great summer meal! I could see myself making this salsa to eat with tortilla chips too. So yummy.

Mango Avocado Mahi Mahi

Next up,¬†Pioneer Woman’s Enchiladas. Ree really knows how to knock recipes out of the park. Everything I make by her turns out amazing (although usually pretty gut/calorie busting). So a couple notes – I made this for a friend that’s gluten free, so I thickened the sauce with cornstarch instead of the rue with flour that Ree suggests. This was my first time frying the corn tortillas in oil instead of simmering them in chicken stock and dang, that extra fat makes them extra delicious. We sliced some avocado thin and ate it with the enchiladas for the final win.

Pioneer Woman Enchiladas

I bought 16 pounds of cherries. Yes, you read that right. Sixteen. Pounds. On my defense, they were organic cherries that Whole Foods was running a special on for $2.99 a pound. So I bought the max you could buy and spend the next several days using the back end of a chop stick to pit cherries! This of course lead as much cherry consumption as possible. Enter¬†Cherry Pie with Coconut Crumb Topping. We made them in mini tart pans so everyone got their own pie. Who doesn’t like having a pie all to¬†themselves?

Cherry Mini Pie

Continuing on my cherry trend, I remembered a recipe I had seen on GoodLifeEats awhile back and went to check it out. Cherry Limeades quickly became our refreshing drink of choice. I made a giant batch of limeade and we regularly blended it with some ice and frozen cherries for a brief respite from our summer heat.

Cherry Limeades Cherry Limeades and Life Cereal

Whew, how’s that for a diverse round up of the food I’ve been cooking lately?!

What great recipes have you tried lately? 

homemade chocolate pudding

Chocolate pudding (along with nutella) is one of my soft spots. I have these memories of eating it as a child and always eating more than one bowl. My mom always made the Jell-O stove top version and would spoon it into these large frosted glass bowls. The skin on the top was my favorite part – I would barely puncture the top layer, eat out everything underneath and enjoy the last couple of bites as almost only pudding skin. Did that just gross anyone out? Sorry – pudding skin makes me nostalgic!

Chocolate pudding is one of those things that it took me quite some time to realize that there were other options besides Jell-O. And then, enter Smitten Kitchen and this recipe. For whatever reason, it took me quite some time to actually MAKE this recipe. I would frequently go to the website and drool at this recipe, resign myself to make it soon and promptly forget. Something to do with a fried mommy brain I guess. Somehow even chocolate pudding can’t seem to stick.

Well I finally made it. Oh yes. And Jason doesn’t even like pudding and he loved this. I even dreamed about it – it was that delicious. I’m just warning you, this won’t stick around your house long. If you do make it, be sure to cook the pudding until it really is almost the thickness that you would want to eat it at. It thickens some in the fridge but not as significantly as the Jell-O version I am used to. ūüôā

Simple Chocolate Pudding

Silky Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from John Scharffenberger, via Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used good quality semisweet chocolate chips; use 70% bittersweet if you want more of a dark chocolate kick)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or skip this step if you’re a slacker like me who is absolutely certain that there is nary a lump her puddin’) into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.

3. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days (ahem, good luck with that).


May Bookclub

For May’s bookclub book, we read Trail of Crumbs by Kim Sunee. None of us particularly loved the book, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to the caliber of some of the other books we have read. It was a lot like Eat, Pray, Love in my opinion. . . and I though Eat, Pray, Love was a representation of what America is pursuing in spirituality and life today, selfishness. While Trail of Crumbs wasn’t a spiritual memoir, I still felt it represented a selfish¬†ideology¬†that I wasn’t really identifying with. Not that I’m not selfish, because I know I am. . . I guess I just wasn’t inspired to live a better life or to aspire to something higher after reading this book.

Aren’t we cute? I love my book club girls. ūüôā

Book Club - May 2010

The one thing that the book had going for it was it’s discussions of food. There were recipes included in almost every chapter (although towards the end of the book the recipes no longer related to the chapters they were included in. . . ), so we decided to do a potluck for bookclub, using recipes from the book. Fun, right?

We had goat cheese toast points with herbs and garlic:

Book Club - May 2010 - Goat Cheese Toast

I made the orange cous cous (which was just . . . ok in my opinion).

Book Club - May 2010 - Orange Coucous

And I think the star of the evening was the chocolate cake with mascarpone chestnut cream made by Jenn. Delicious!

Book Club - May 2010 - Chocolate Cake

We tried to talk about the book some but really we ended up talking about food and eating the food that we all brought. So in light of that, I thought I would share the recipe that Jenn made with you.

Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone-Chestnut (ahem, nutella) Cake

8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c powdered sugar
3 large eggs
1 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 8 oz container sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl at high for 30 second intervals until melted, or on stovetop. Stir until smooth.

Beat butter and powdered sugar at medium speed with a mixer, about 5 minutes or until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating until just blended.

Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to chocolate mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended afte reach addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured deep 9-inch round cake or springform pan, or a 9×13 glass pan. Bake at 350 for 28-30 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cook completely. Served with a dollop of Mascarpone-Chestnut Cream (recipe below).

Mascarpone-Chestnut (Nutella) Cream

1 7 oz container mascarpone, softened
1 8.75 oz can creme de marrons (chestnut spread (or, nutella, because where in the world do you find chestnut spread in the states?)
1 tsp grated lemon zest

Beat mascarpone and chestnut spread together at medium speed, about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat whipping cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into mascarpone-chestnut mixture. Stir in lemon zest. Cover and chill until ready to serve.