Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hobbit Fever

My husband and I have just finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and now we wait for the film. But while we wait, let's enjoy some Lord of The Ring recap on Honest Trailers. I have my husband to thank for sending me this information via one of his favorite blogs Nerd Approved. Merry Christmas, Middle Earthlings!

  (via YouTube Screenjunkies)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

An Everything Fall Cake

We celebrated our friend Josh's birthday a couple months ago and his girlfriend Missy made one of the best Fall cakes I've ever tasted. It's two different spiced cakes (Apple Cobbler cake & Pumpkin, Rum and Maple cake) layered together with delectable Brown Sugar frosting. OMGoodness!

This recipe was originally baked as cupcakes but my creative friend turned it into a delicious birthday cake. You can find the original post on Cupcake Project's blog and find out how Missy constructed this cake on her blog, The Dabbler Ramblings. It's been great getting to know Missy. I believe she's the first person I've ever met that is truly from Louisiana; and it's even better because she too loves to bake and cook and go all out when it comes to food. Gotta love a Southern Belle!
Thank you for sharing, Missy!

Let the baking begin with these links from Cupcake Project:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crustless All-Meat Quiche

Happy Wednesday! This morning I woke up feeling extremely hungry and parched, don't know why but sometimes I get that way. But instead of making something quick and easy, I decided to make something slow and protein-y! I baked a Crustless All-Meat Quiche. I haven't adhered to a "real" quiche recipe but this is the only way I can name something that is easy to find in search engines. So please forgive me, all you foodies out there...naming egg foods isn't my strong suit. But here goes:

Crustless All-Meat Quiche

4 large eggs
1/8 cup Nonfat milk
1-2 Tablespoon of Lowfat Kefir Yogurt Cheese or Greek Yogurt
5 strips of Turkey bacon, rough chop into short stips (I use Applegate All-Natural Turkey bacon)
2 cooked chicken & herb sausage links, rough chopped (Applegate Chicken & Sage)
4-5 oz of Italian Chicken Sausage
1/4 cup of Shredded Italian Five Cheese blend
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning 
Salt, Pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 tablespoon of oil
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick baking spray onto a French white 1.5 quart ceramic bakeware.
  • Beat eggs, milk and kefir yogurt cheese until well blended. Give it a dash of some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set aside.
  • In a nonstick pan over medium high heat, oil pan and wipe excess oil. When heated add chicken sausage and cook until pink is gone. Add chopped turkey bacon, chopped chicken sausage links and italian seasoning. Cook until meats are well heated. Add salt, pepper and garlic to taste.
  • Pour meat mixture into bakeware. Sprinkle meat mixture with cheese.
  • Immediately, pour egg mixture onto meat. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes or until middle of quiche is firm. 
  • Garnish with basil and enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Favorite Shopping Catalog

I don't subscribe to a lot of magazines nor am I comfortable with companies contacting me with their junk mail. But one of my favorite shopping catalogs is Penzeys Spices. Not. Junk Mail.

Every single issue is filled with stories about customers and traditional recipes from their kitchens. It makes me to proud to love to cook. There is a special bond between people who love to cook and share their bounty with others, and I believe Penzeys catalog captures that. I just want to hug each one of those people and thank them for sharing their delicious recipes.

I've made great Traditional Butter Cookies from a recipe they shared last year and this year, I'm bound to make more cookies from their current issue. I'm setting my sights on baking Irish Cream Delights and Cassie's Chicago Crunch Cookies. Please do check back when I have successfully made them. I can't wait to share!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

I've never brined a turkey before but I've never heard of something tasting bad because it was brined. For SUPER easy delicious turkey, try Reynolds Oven Bags. Seriously, it's never disappointed me and I get the same results every time. So brine first, then bake in bag. Perfect.

One of my favorite shows to watch online or on tv is America's Test Kitchen. They offer so much background information on making amazing American food. These baked apples are sure to bring extra tart and spice to your Thanksgiving table.
BTW, my sister Samantha made their German Chocolate was HIT! I only wish I was there to help her consume the cake over the course of the day. 

Last but not least, Deviled Eggs! Everyone has their own version of this recipe but after watching this video, I think I might have to try making this for tomorrow. Instead of mayo, I'll be using Vegenaise and maybe limit the amount of chopped onions.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Happy Monday Card

This card made me laugh out loud for sure! I love reading my girl Sara's FB posts. Love her humor and her smile. Have a great Monday!

I love mac n' cheese. All kinds of mac n' cheese...boxed, gourmet or leftover. Bring it!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

Hi there! It's been a long time and while I have been gone, I have been baking and baking. To be honest, I'm carbed out but somehow I never really let go of carbs. It's hard.

Well, this is one of the best recipes for zucchini I have ever made. I found the original recipe from Closet Cooking site. Seriously, this guy Kevin can COOK. I love his recipes and I will definitely have to make his Pumpkin Pie Pancakes (with Caramel Sauce) this holiday season. Great site for recipes and good food. I can attest to that from this recipe I've adapted.

I adjusted this recipe according to what my husband likes and what I had. My bread pan was crusty and rusty so I decided to use my beautiful bundt pan instead. Worked for me. For a decadent, crazy finish, I  made homemade ganache. Writing this post reminds me of why I am not a size 2. Ha. I'm a "size Pleased", that's what. Have a great weekend!

Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
Recipe adapted from the Closet Cooking Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Pinned it!)

1 1/2 c Zucchini, grated
3/4 c Light Brown Sugar
1/4 c Canola oil
1/3 c Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 egg
1 c Unbleached flour
1/2 c of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/4 c Hershey's cocoa powder
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 c Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan with non-stick baking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. 
  • In a large bowl, mix zucchini, light brown sugar, canola oil, greek yogurt and egg, blend well.
  • In a medium bowl with a whisk, mix white flour, wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and cinnamon until blended.
  • Mix dry ingredients into large bowl of wet ingredients. Mix in chocolate chips. Blend well.
  • Pour batter into sprayed bundt pan. 
  • Bake for 40-48 minutes depending on your oven. Let cool in pan and then transfer to rack or plate. 
  • Once cooled, drizzle with ganache or sift powdered sugar on top.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Finds: Halloween Party Ideas

If I were to host an all out Halloween party, I'd go with fun, creative and cute themes. I have Pinterest boards called Hostess with the Mostest and Fooooooood!. I love these boards because they feed and entertain my inner Chef and Party Decorator (someday). But anyway, here are some food and party ideas for an awesome Halloween Party.

Great Ideas from creative people!
Halloween Table Design by Amy Atlas (she's amazing).
Link found via designvagabond

Magical bottles like Alice in Wonderful. Heck, do 
an Alice in Wonderland Theme party. 
Bottle via Etsy seller Windrosie

Have these jars placed around the house. 

Check out Better Homes and Gardens for more ideas like these cute Mummies wrapped in gauze strips.

Host a Harry Potter theme party and entertain guests with this 
Link via Little Pink Blog

How about making cupcakes glow? Instructions found via Recipe Snobs
More cool pics of what they did. 
Nice blog and they seem to always have some kind of giveaway! Sweet.

Treat your guests to some Homemade Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt, recipe from The Family Kitchen

For easy handling with much enjoyment, feed your guests these 
Pumpkin Pie Bites from the kitchen of Bakerella
Check out her blog for MORE mini treat ideas. Love them all!

Strewn your walkway up to the party with these DIY Milk Jug Ghosts. 
This link is found via Inspiring Pretty's post where there are more ideas waiting for you! 

Well, this is just a start to many more ideas but I hope it has inspired you for your next Halloween party. Have a great Monday and a safe night of Trick-or-Treating. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wonderful and Healthy Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Hi there! It's FALL (I shouted it, yes I did), it doesn't feel like FALL but it is! So what better way to bring in the season with Fall's mascot vegetable...pumpkin.

This recipe is straight from Good Housekeeping and I'm just going to share the link with you because there wasn't a need for any adaptations. This is seriously one of my favorite recipes so far when it comes to Pumpkin bread. I did use Chobani greek yogurt, Trader Joe's canned Organic Pumpkin and Turbinado sugar, if that makes a difference. Other than that, you are good to go.

Good Housekeeping Healthy Pumpkin Bread recipe.

Have a great day!!!

Enjoy in the morning with some Smart Balance butter. ;P

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unperfected Recipes: Quinoa & Almond Meal Cookie

I have these cookie pictures I took and I'm really proud of them. However, I'm a still on the fence about sharing the recipe because I know it can be perfected. It was a bit too crumbly and the quinoa flour smell was a bit overpowering. Once again, I've attempted to bake a recipe off the top of my head and go with my instincts. However, my instincts when it comes to baking have yet to be refined. But for now, I just want to share my first attempt pictures with you.

The ingredients of this cookie recipe include:
Quinoa Flour
Almond Meal
Shredded Coconut
Chocolate chips
Sweet Leaf sugar
Unsalted Butter
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Baking soda
1 Teaspoon of Almond extract

I have the ingredients down, now I must perfect the quantity of each ingredient and share with you the end result for another post! But for now, enjoy baking your own version of this cookie with the ingredients provided.

Have a great Tuesday and bring in Fall with a pumpkin spice candle! :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sims 3: Real-life Ambrosia Recipe

Happy Friday! For those of you who may or may not know this but...I'M A SIMMER! I've played The Sims since 2000. I've gone through huge life experiences whilst playing The Sims. I've gained weight from playing all summer long my sophomore year. I also ended a toxic relationship around that time. There was a time my sister Anz and I, could make conversation by just speaking in Sim language. I have families to manage in my world and careers to build. Evil emperors, world-renowned surgeons, star athletes, international super spy and desperate housewifes have I created, raised or terminated, and then resurrected. So yes, I am a Simmer and I do enjoy this world.

In the game of Sims, Ambrosia is considered the ultimate-satisfying-age-defying-life-resurrecting food. According to The SimWiki and yours truly (currently playing Sims3 on Xbox360), a Sim must have a level 10 Cooking and Fishing skill, a level 7 Gardening skill, learned Ambrosia recipe (12,000 simoleons), Deathfish and Life Fruit. More tips on Ambrosia here.

Here's how to make a real-life Sims 3 inspired Ambrosia dish without having to be a Michelin-star chef, a member of Cabela's or have the blessed touch of Persephone:

Gelatin Ambrosia

1 packet of Lime gelatin dessert
Pineapple chunks
Orange chunks
Seedless red grapes, halved
Maraschino cherry bits
Chopped Pecans
Blackberries, halved [something black to represent the Deathfish]
Shredded Coconut
  • Make lime gelatin dessert according to packet. Let chill for about 30-40 minutes. 
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients together. Add to slightly thickened gelatin and let child overnight.

Baked Spiced Pear

1 Bosc Pear [aka Life Fruit]
Cinnamon-Sugar mixture
A dash of nutmeg
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cut pear in half and sprinkle spices on pear. 
  • Bake 30-40 minutes. 

Honey Soaked Shredded Coconut

1 tablespoon of Honey or 1 teaspoon of Barenjager Honey Liqueur (for 21+ crowd)
Sweetened shredded Coconut
1-2 drops of green food coloring
1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • Mix all ingredients together. Mold into a 1/4 cup measuring cup or your mold of choice. Chill until ready to serve. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake and Sea Salt Caramel

Happy Tuesday! I know I haven't posted my cookie recipe but I promise you, I will find it and share it. But for now I just want to share a recipe I found last night for Flourless Chocolate Cake. For added sweetness, enjoy with Talenti Sea Salt Caramel!

The recipe I chose was Shana Hillman's recipe "Flourless Chocolate Cake II" from Instead of sugar, I used Sweetleaf Sugarleaf blend of stevia and raw cane sugar.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
adpated from Shana Hillman's recipe on

4 (1 oz) squares of semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup of salted butter
1/2 and 1 tablespoon of Sweetleaf baking sugar
1/2 cup of Ghiradelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa powder
3 eggs beaten, room temperature
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Grease 8-inch round pan with butter and coat with some cocoa powder.
  • On a double boiler, melt semisweet chocolate squares and butter. Once melted, remove from heat.
  • Mix in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla. Pour batter into pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for at least 10 minutes, then turn onto plate or rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar or glaze with your favorite icing recipe. is a great site for any recipe! Thanks to the many cooks who make it possible.

Added more powdered sugar...hehe.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Something for My Husband

It's Thursday, one of my favorite days of the week. I would like to post my new cookie recipe but I need to find it in my kitchen! I've been baking off the top of my head lately and most of the times I lose my recipe notepad in the mess of it all. So I'll find it and post it tomorrow. (fingers crossed)

But for today, I found this video link on Pinterest from pinner Drew Hawkins. I don't know him personally but that's the beauty of Pinterest, you just pin what you like no matter who pinned it first. I dedicate this vid to my husband in hopes that it will bring a smile on his face during his lunch break. Happy Thursday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kara's Cupcakes

Did I forget to tell you about my travels to San Francisco? I think I did.
This summer has been one of the busiest summers our young married lives. My husband got accepted into Animation Mentor and we've been nonstop busy ever since. We traveled to San Francisco late July in order to attend Animation Mentor's annual BBQ on the Great Meadows (Fort Mason area). Read all about our travels and our journey as a couple learning and living through animation school on our blog The Animator's Wife.

Well, after we spent a full day of making new friends and putting faces to profile pictures, a crew of us journeyed to Ghirardelli Square. While we were there, we collected free chocolate samples, had decadent dessert and I made sure I got a taste of Kara's Cupcakes!

What a great location for cupcake and what a stylish little storefront in color and simplicity. Who could resist such a sweet place? I had a hard time choosing which flavor to try but I ended up happy with their seasonal Key Lime cupcake and one of their staple Chocolate Velvet cupcakes. It. Was. Delish.

So if you are every around Fisherman's Wharf or on your way to see the Golden Gate Bridge, stop by Kara's Cupcakes for a treat or two. Read more about how their unique and environmentally-friendly approach in their business.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Raspberry Whey Protein Shake

Happy Tuesday! There are days when I feel like drinking a healthy shake instead of having a full blown lunch. So for days like this, I prefer to create a shake with what I have in my pantry and fridge. I initially bought whey protein in hopes of having a daily meal substitute for lunch, but as it turns out, I suck at being consistent with my calorie intake. Oh, well, gotta pick myself up and keep trying. On a good note, I've started working out again...I'm on Day 2 but any start is a good start!

With no further delay here's my recipe for a delicious shake:

Raspberry Whey Protein Shake

1 heaping scoop of Whey Protein Powder
8 oz or more of Almond Milk (40 calorie carton)
1 cup of Fresh Raspberries or Frozen raspberries
1 to 2 packets of Stevia
If using fresh raspberries, add two to three ice cubes for chilled shake
  • In a blender crush ice, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until desired consistency. Taste and adjust ingredients according to your preference. Enjoy! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

OC Fair 2012

Just some pics I wanted to share of our adventure at the Orange County Fair. It was such a hot day that I forgot to take pictures of everything we did because I was busy drinking water and staying cool. So glad we amped up our sunscreen that day. If not, my husband would have turned into a lobster and I would have more moles popping up on me. I'm not a fan of too many moles on my body. Speaking of, make sure you get your annual dermatology check up! I just did two days ago. I'm good to go for the next year. Stay cool and lathered.

Piggie Race,  #3 won.

Tropical Chocolate...what is does it meeeean?

Yeah, I wish...


Remember these toys?? 

Where Cabbage Patch Kids come from.

Weird Al Yankovic. Great performance and I can't believe he has so much energy!

OC Fair 2012 Foods We Consumed

This post is not for the faint of heart or those allergic to grease. If you look in the dictionary of Fair Foods, the word "Diet" does not exit. Even if it did, it would be a diet from healthy foods, highly alkaline foods and so forth. But to be fair (ooh pun) to the OC Fair, they did offer some really good alternatives like fresh fruits and berries, chicken kabobs and such. I took a break from grease by eating a cup of juicy, cold, sliced nectarines. Man, it's good to be in California where fruits and veggies are plentiful.

 Anyway, back to our splurge. My husband ordered sausage and I got the giant corn dog. I figured, why not? I only eat corn dogs at fairs and this is the only fair I'm attending this year. So I took the challenge and ate most of that deliciousness on a stick. Towards the evening, we had Greek food, another normal-sized corn dog and topped it off with a Deep Fried Snickers bar and Mini Doughnuts sprinkled with Cinnamon Sugar. I'm proud to say I didn't finish that tub of minis but it was very hot, very soft, spiced and satisfying. Maybe next year, I'll have a nicer camera to take food pictures and share more fair foods. My husband was raised in the midwest but he's never been to the Iowa State Fair and THAT'S where I want to go next year. In fact, that's where anyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Have a Happy Thursday!

Do I really need a caption for this? 
Deep Fried Snickers bar
Mini Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Curry Bison Burgers

I'm a big fan of Bison burgers. If you gotta have red meat go with bison or elk. The meat is leaner and it really tastes delicious without the gamey-ness. Lately, I've been wanting more excitement in my burger department, so I followed my heart and stomach and came up with this recipe. I'm so pleased with the tasty outcome, I just had to share it with you. Have a great supper!

Curry Bison Burgers

1 lb of Ground Bison
Half a White Onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1 teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 tablespoon of Madras Curry Powder
2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
2/3 cup of Puffed rice cereal
1 egg lightly beaten
Coconut oil for pan
Whole wheat buns
Cubed ripened Ataulfo Mango
Sriracha Chili sauce
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients together. Use you hands and squish away!
  • Form meat mixture into round 4 ounce balls and pat down into burger patties.
  • Heat pan on medium high. Add a tablespoon or so of Coconut oil. Once oil is heated pan fry patties about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove patties on paper towel to drain excess oil. Lowering heat to medium, place both sides of bun face down on hot pan to lightly toast bread.
  • Carefully remove buns after 30 seconds to a minute. Dress buns with Veganaise and Sriracha sauce. Place cubed mango on burger and enjoy!
For a side dish, I sauteed some Kale & Shredded Carrots in garlic infused coconut oil and a couple splashes of low sodium soy sauce. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dazbog Coffee

Zdravstvuj (zdrah-stvooy; hello)! I'm waiting in Denver International Airport, waiting for my delayed plane ride up to San Fransisco.

While walking to my gate, my eye catches deep red & white bold designs. I've arrived at Dazbog Coffee. Instantly, I recognize Russian alphabets and my curiosity is peaked.

I take a look at their products and I'm thinking this could be a fun adventure. Since I already consumed a cup of joe at an ungodly time of the morning in St. Louis, I chose to try Dazbog's Chocolate Pu-Erh tea instead.

My thoughts? The tea smells like smooth chocolate butter, soft and sweet. The taste, very subtle hints of chocolate and I think of you added some sugar and milk, it would make for a great alternative to a mocha latte. The base of the tea is black leaf tea. Dazbog has other teas made from green or herbal leaves. The next flavor I'd like to try is the Orange Peppermint decaf green tea. Mmmmm.

I'm glad I've discovered a new tea & coffee brand. Read about Dazbog's story here.

Happy Friday! Do svidaniya! (duh svee-dah-nee-ye)...Till next time!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Zucchini Bread Version 1

Zucchini Bread, oh how I try to pin down a really good recipe but somehow find a way to mess it up. So simple the ingredients yet so hard to get it at a consistency that is reminiscent of my husband's childhood. Probably because I skirt around the main ingredients of using REAL sugar and lots of oil. Ah, but not this least with the oil, I used Smart Balance cooking oil because it said it had ALA Omega-3 in it. Yes, I'm THAT consumer, plus, less greasy guilt on my mind. But again, I think other kinds of oil like Coconut Oil might be interesting to use or how about Vegenaise?

For easy removal, line bread pan with parchment paper (I used the new Reynolds Wrap Non-Stick Pan Lining Paper. One side paper, the other aluminum), along with giving the edges some non-stick cooking spray love. I'm very happy with my Zucchini Bread this time and I look forward to getting better with each attempt. 

Zucchini Bread Version 1
Recipe adapted from my Southern Peach Paula Deen at
Makes 2 standard loaves 

2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 cups of Oat Flour
1 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
1 teaspoon of Jamaican All Spice (Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon
2 cups of Sucralose
1 cup of Raw Sugar
1 cup of Vegetable/Cooking Oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of Water
2 cups Zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees. 
  • Combine wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking soda, both spices and both sugars together in a bowl. I usually stir it all together with a whisk (don't whisk but stir...although whisking flour would be quite comical).
  • In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice.
  • Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold in, mix well.
  • Pour content into lined and non-stick sprayed pans. Bake for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Like I always emphasize, you know your oven best. I baked mine for 50 minutes! 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream

My sister purchased a Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt-Ice cream & Sorbet Maker (Ice-20 Series) as a wedding present three years ago. This last week I decided I would finally use it while she was in town for our Comic Con trip. Plus, I had a large carton of unsweetened almond milk that needed to be used soon. My new favorite thing to do is not have anything go to waste. I surprise myself at how creative I can get with food. So far, so fun.

Be sure to have the freezer bowl completely chilled before use. I'm sure most of you already knew that but this was my first time, so it was definitely something I didn't think about. I guess that's why they have instruction manuals.

For this recipe I've used whipping cream but for those of you who are lactose intolerant, using coconut cream is a great alternative. Ooooh, that would taste delish. I'll have to incorporate that into my next concoction.

Homemade Almond Milk Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from Cuisinart booklet

2 1/2 cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk
3/4 cup of artificial sweetener (Sucralose)
1/2 cup of whipping cream, well chilled
2 teaspoons of Pure Madagascar Vanilla extract

  • Whisk almond milk and sweetener until sucralose is dissolved.
  • Stir in whipping cream and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Turn on machine and pour content into freezer bowl through ingredient spout. 
  • Let it mix for 25-30 minutes. 

*I'm still on a quest to find out how to keep an ice cream consistency without it hardening in the freezer. I had leftovers but the next day it was hard as ice. Whaa, whaa.*