I always find myself wanting to be healthy. I think most people like that thought. But then that chocolate bar and Biscoff Spread are staring at me and I find myself dunking chunks of chocolate into Biscoff Spread… terrible I know. But so delicious! 🙂 Anyways lately I have been on this Banana Bread kick and I decided to try making some with greek yogurt. You know get some protein in there and get rid of some butter and sour cream and make a Healthy Banana Bread.
I began to make my banana bread. First I emptied out my oven which stores a few extra pans. Then I turned it on. Next I whipped up the banana bread. Poured it into a pan and then went to put it in the oven. Only once I put the pan in the oven it felt cold. I didn’t get that rush of heat I normally do.
So I double checked went to turn it off and on again. (That works with almost everything else) And nothing. It wasn’t lighting and I was pissed!!!
Luckily I was going into work so I was able to bake it there.
Anyways this turned out good it was SUPPPER moist. Some even said a little too moist. Maybe it should have cooked a little longer or maybe it was acting up since it was made and didnt bake for 2 hours. Who knows? Anyways all I know is that it was devoured at work and everyone loved it. Including me. I will defo make this again and next time I might even omit some sugar! AHHH scary thought for me!
I have seen this idea on Pinterest for ages. It always sounded like the perfect combination. And making plain banana bread last week had me still in the mood for banana bread. So here we are. I used the same recipe from last week but adjusted to make peanut butter and peanut butter cup banana bread.
This bread was great. Everyone seemed to like it more than me. I like peanut butter. And I do enjoy it with chocolate and dessert. But I don’t like a lot of peanut butter in desserts. I can’t do peanut butter frosting, something about it just doesn’t sit right with me. I know its weird.
Anyways next time I think I want to make a plain banana bread and mix in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and no actual peanut butter in the batter. But this was still wonderful, I highly suggest you give it a go!
Taxes are a tedious task! I was trying to file my own taxes but in the end it was too confusing (as a waitress it’s a bit trickier)! So on the Sunday before taxes were due I stopped by an accountant I knew and she offered to file them for me and in return asked for some baked goodies with lemon.
I came across this recipe and it was DIVINE! These cookies are perfect not overly sweet or tart. Beware you may find yourself eating them by the handful, lord knows me and my sister did! Luckily, they make a good size batch so we had plenty for my amazing accountant!! 🙂
1/2 Cup Butter (1 stick)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 TSP Lemon Zest
1 TBSP Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 TSP Salt
1/8 TSP Baking Soda
1/4 TSP Baking Powder
1 1/2 Cups AP Flour
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with Silpat liner.
2. In bowl of an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla extract, egg, lemon zest & juice. Make sure to incorporate it all together. Add flour, baking soda & powder, salt and mix until combined.
3. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a large teaspoon size of dough into a ball and then roll in powdered sugar. Repeat for all cookies.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until edges of cookies begin to barely brown, cookies will no longer be shiny. Let cool and enjoy! 🙂
Garlic is a wonderful! What can I say I love it! Add it to some pasta, some bread throw in some cheese and I am in heaven!!! And it is supposed to be good for you too 🙂 Whenever I see a recipe call for some garlic I usually end up doubling or tripling the amount. For some reason my body likes a LOT of garlic more than the average person! 🙂 But I don’t mind!
Roasting Garlic is easy and you can get multiple uses out of it. Here I made a garlic olive oil, garlic butter and a garlic spread.
1/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil per Garlic Head
1. PreHeat oven to 350F and use a small baking pan ex. 8X8, 9X9, Pie Dish…etc.
2. Take each head of garlic and chop about 1/4 of an inch off the top. *Some cloves might fall off and that is fine- if the individual pieces fall out I prefer to peel the skin off before I bake it.
3. No need to peel the skin off the whole head of garlic.
4. Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil all over the garlic * You can use more olive oil if you are using the olive oil for another dish ex. Pasta.
5. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40-50 minutes.
6. When you take the pan out of the oven be careful as the Olive Oil could burn you! Let it sit for a few minutes. The garlic should ooze out of the skin.
7. Use it just as it is a spread, or mix in with some butter, throw the garlic into some pasta, on some pizza, sandwiches..the options are endless!! 🙂
Tiramisu is one of my ALL time favorite deserts. Years ago I worked at an Italian restaurant and the owner made homemade Tiramisu, that was when I first fell in love. A few nights a week I would take a nice (large) piece home to devour. I justified doing it so often by sharing with my mother 🙂 The restaurant eventually closed down and I was left with no tiramisu! I searched for a delicious one but some were too soggy, too dry, the marscarpone flavor didn’t come through…etc. Well I have now found my favorite Tiramisu from a local restaurant Roman Cucina! Their pasta dishes are delicious as well. If you are in the Orange County area go check it out!
So back to my love of tiramisu- here is a cupcake that is wonderful! I even layered some chocolate in between the cupcake and frosting 🙂 YUM!
Cupcakes: 1 3/4 cups plus 2tbsp cake flour 1 1/4 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 6 tbsp milk 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature 5 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks 1 1/2 cups sugar
Syrup: 1 cup freshly brewed espresso (or very strong coffee) 5 tbsp Kahlua 9 tbsp sugar
Chocolate layer: 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Frosting: 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 12 oz marscarpone cheese at room temperature 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325F. Line cupcake pans with liners. In a medium sized bowl combine the cake flour(sifted), baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend. Set aside. Put a small saucepan over medium heat and add milk, vanilla bean seeds and the bean. Heat until the mixture bubbles around the edge, and let it stand for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
2. In the bowl of an electric add eggs, egg yolks and sugar and whisk until just blended. Put mixing bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm about 6 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and place back in the electric mixer and whisk until mixture is fluffy, pale yellow and thick enough that it ribbons.
3.Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in 3 additions. Stir 3/4 cup of the batter into the milk mixture to thicken it. Then fold the milk mixture into the batter. Fill cupcake lined pan evenly and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the cupcakes halfway through and take out when the edges are light golden brown and the cupcakes are set. Let the cupcake pan sit on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then transfer cupcakes to wire rack.
4. In a small bowl mix together sugar, Kahlua and espresso. Set aside. Use a metal skewer to poke holes in the cupcakes. Take the syrup and use a pastry brush to brush the syrup all over the top of the cupcakes.
5. Use a double broiler or a bowl over simmering water to melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Melt them until they are shiny and stir together. While melting cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Once chocolate is melted add to a piping bag with small round tip and create zig zag designs or circles. Put in the fridge to harden.
6. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium-high speed whisk the heavy whipping cream. Once hard peaks are formed scrape the cream out into a clean bowl. Put the bowl (not cleaned) back in the electric mixer and use the paddle attachment to mix the marscarpone cheese and sifted confectioners’ sugar together until its light and fluffy. (Note: Make sure the marscarpone is at room temperature otherwise the frosting will have little balls of marscarpone.) Gently fold in the whipped cream into the marscarpone mixture until combined. I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes with a large round tip but you can get creative and use any tip or even use a knife to spread it on:). Sprinkle with unsweetened cocoa powder.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries Stuffed with Cheesecake
So you already know about my obsession with chocolate covered strawberries so when I saw a picture of strawberries stuffed with cheesecake batter I thought why the heck not use chocolate covered strawberries?? Well they were amazing!!! Afterwards I was online and saw a picture of chocolate covered strawberries stuffed with cheesecake on Pinterest so its going around.. as it should be so yummy!
Fresh strawberries (the bigger the better)
Milk or Dark Chocolate ( chips are fine or go for a nicer chocolate finely chopped)
8 oz Cream Cheese at room temperature
1 teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
Strawberries and Chocolate:
Wash strawberries and dry completely
When cutting the stems off the berries I used a knife and went down and around creating sort of an upside down cone out of the strawberry, creating room for the cheesecake filling
Set aside a cookie sheet and top it with wax paper
Melt the chocolate over a double broiler be careful to watch it constantly so the chocolate doesn’t over cook, if it goes just a bit too far then it will harden and there is NO going back! For example, if using chips I let them melt almost all the way ( as they begin to lose their chip shape) then I take the bowl off of the double broiler and mix it until completely smooth.
Dip the strawberries and lay them on the wax paper to harden
Put cream cheese into a bowl of an electric mixer and whip until light and fluffy. The cream cheese MUST be at room temperature or it will contain tons of little bumps.
Add the sugar and vanilla.
Use a pastry bag to pipe the cheesecake batter into the strawberries. It’s best to add the cheesecake to the strawberries right before serving.
Note: You could always dip the top the cheesecake into graham cracker crumbs, I didn’t as I was out of graham crackers but next time I will
A few weeks ago a dear friend left all of us in Orange County to start a fabulous adventure in Zambia for The Peace Corps! We had a fantastic party to send her away with lots of great friends and food. I made some desserts and also made these scrumptious tomato capresse skewers. They are SOO easy and SOO delicious! A must make for any party you are throwing.
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil & Vinegar
How to assemble:
First soak your toothpicks in a bowl of lukewarm water for 30 minutes -1 hour. (This helps prevent the toothpicks from splitting)
Next just press one toothpick into one grape tomato, one mozzarella ball and one fresh basil leaf.
Once you are finished sprinkle some salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar over the top.
Chocolate covered strawberries are classic. They NEVER get old. And the options are endless. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate but whatever you do please spend the extra money for the good quality chocolate it really does make all the difference. Feel free to dip them in just about anything chocolate chips, any kind of nuts, crushed Oreo cookies, Heath bits, crushed pretzels or graham crackers, sprinkles, even caramel! Get creative! 🙂 Over the years I have made tons of different kinds of chocolate covered strawberries but my favorites seem to be chocolate covered rolled in crushed Oreo cookies and chocolate covered rolled in a mixture of Heath Toffee Bits and finely chopped almonds! Delish!