Monday, August 31, 2009

New Layout and Giveaway!

Sorry I have been MIA for so long. I have been out of town a lot and started baking and pastry school which keeps me quite busy along with work. Over the next couple months I will be posting some different things I make in school. So be sure to check back!

Now onto the fun stuff! How do you like the new layout? That's me as a cartoon! :o) Fun huh? Well, I told you I would be doing a giveaway when I got my new layout. So here it is!

If you win you will receive:
2 potholders, 1 oven mitt, and 1 kitchen towel,
all with a cute cupcake/flower pattern!
  • You must follow my blog to be eligible.
  • And just so I know you're still out there, leave a comment on this post about what you think of my new layout, ideas of new desserts I should make, or whatever you want!
  • Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win!
  • Winner will be picked by
  • Deadline for post is Friday, September 11th @ 5pm.
Good Luck!

And the winner is....Kim from Stirring the Pot! Congratulations!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rocky Road Ice Cream

I have a friend who is pregnant and craves ice cream. Since I got my new ice cream maker she was really hoping that I would make her favorite, rocky road. I was a little resistant to wanting to make it, because I have never had it and I'm not a big fan of marshmallows. However, I think she and baby deserve some yummy rocky road. :o) And this is a good opportunity for me to try something new!
Rocky Road Ice Cream (from Serving Ice Cream)
Makes 10 half cup servings
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate (8 oz)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows (place in freezer before making the ice cream so they are easier to stir in at the end)
On your stove or in your microwave, heat milk until it just starts to bubble. While the milk is heating, finely chop chocolate in a food processor or blender. Remove milk from heat and add chocolate and sugar, mix until chocolate completely melts and the mixture is smooth.

Cool in refrigerator for at least 15 minutes. Once cool, stir in heavy cream and vanilla. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Pour mixture into ice cream maker and mix about 20 minutes or according to manufacturer's instructions.

Add chopped nuts and chocolate chunks and mix for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from ice cream maker, stir in frozen marshmallows, and place in a storage container.

And enjoy! It was better than I thought, but I still am not a fan of the marshmallows. Hopefully my friend will enjoy it!


For those of you who are new or haven't heard about the giveaway, I plan on doing a giveaway soon. The only thing you need to do to be eligible for the giveaway is to follow my blog. You can do so by clicking the follow button in the sidebar to the right.

I apologize for not having done the giveaway yet. I wanted to do it with the launch of my new blog layout and I am still waiting to get the new layout. Hopefully it will be soon!

I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten and I promise it's coming!

In the meantime, thanks to all of you that are following my blog and even those who aren't. I really appreciate all of the visitors and the comments/feedback that you leave!

Thanks again :o)


Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These no-bake cookies have been a favorite in my family since I was little. We like them so much they are usually gone in one day. I made them today for my brother's birthday, because it is one of the few sweets that he likes. Personally, I am not a big fan of oatmeal cookies, but I love these!

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Makes about 18
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 cups Quaker Oats Quick Oats (you MUST use the quick oats or the cookies won't turn out)
Set out some wax or parchment paper on the counter before beginning.

In a large pot combine cocoa powder, butter, milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and peanut butter, stir until peanut butter is melted. Pour in oats and mix quickly until all the oats are covered with the chocolate.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop some of the mixture onto the wax paper and pat down with the back of the scooper to make the cookies flat. Do this quickly as the mixture starts to harden quite fast once the oats are added.

Tip: I suggest measuring out your peanut butter and oats ahead of time so the chocolate will be at the right temperature when you add them.

Let cookies set for about 10-15 minutes or until firm and you are able to pick them up without them bending.

Finally, eat 'em up! Because they are gooooood!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Brownie Ice Cream

For my birthday this year my friend got me a Cuisinart ice cream maker! I was thrilled! I attempted the basic vanilla ice cream recipe that came with the maker for my first batch and decided why not add some brownies, since I have a ton left over from the Cheesecake Brownies I made. So I threw some of those in the mix and the ice cream is delicious! Also, it was SO easy to make! I can't wait to make something else with my new ice cream maker.

That thing is amazing and I am so happy that I have one now! If you don't have seriously need to get one. They are more affordable than I thought, only $49.95 on Amazon and free shipping! I really like that the freezer bowl is small enough to fit in my tiny freezer that is always packed with food. And did I tell you all you have to do is turn on the machine, add the ingredients and it does all the work for you in about 25 minutes? A-ma-zzzing! Sorry, I am just really excited about my new toy. :oD Anyways, here is the recipe:

Brownie Ice Cream
Makes 10 half cup servings.
  • 1 cup whole milk, chilled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, to taste (I used 2 and would probably cut it back next time because it had a very strong vanilla taste)
  • 1 cup chopped brownies

In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla. Turn on your ice cream maker and pour the ingredients in. Let mix 25 minutes or until thickened. Add the chopped brownies in the last five minutes of mixing or just mix them in by hand with a rubber spatula once the ice cream maker is done and turned off. Unless you like your ice cream soft and creamy, place it in a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours to get it thickened properly.

Now go get your ice cream makers out and get started! Because it's hot out there, and this is delightfully refreshing on a hot summer day. :o)


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cheesecake Brownies

My favorite parts of dessert usually involve two ingredients: cream cheese (which honestly I have no problem eating by itself, except for the fact that it's not such a healthy idea), and chocolate. When I came across cheesecake brownies, I thought it was one of the best ideas ever! It was one of the first recipes I found when I first discovered foodie blogs, and I have been wanting to make it ever since. I decided today was the day so here they are! They are very rich, but oh so good!

Cheesecake Brownies (Recipe from My Baking Addiction)
Makes 32 brownies

Brownie Batter:

  • 2 Sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups superfine sugar*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Cheesecake Batter:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese; softened
  • 2/3 cup superfine sugar*
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Put an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with butter.
3. Heat butter and chocolate in a saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted, or just melt in the microwave.
4. Remove from heat, pour into a big bowl and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined and shiny.
5. Whisk in flour and baking powder until just combined and spread in baking pan.
6. Next, whisk together the cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
7. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula. (I forgot to dollop and smoothed mine evenly in the pan, so there isn't much swirl going on, but still delicious!)
8. Bake until the edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 45 minutes.
9. Let cool.
*Note- If you do not have superfine sugar, just throw some granulated sugar in the food processor for a few seconds.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Coco Bello

Picture it:

You're laying in a lounge chair underneath the warm sun and you can hear the waves crash onto the beach. You feel the breeze from the water and it keeps you nice and cool so you can tan for hours and hours comfortably. You're in paradise and you think it doesn't get better than this. And then you hear, "Coco bell-ooooo!" and you jump up!
Yes! the coconut guy has arrived with his bucket of delicious and refreshing Coco Bello, the perfect snack for the beach. You grab 1 euro and run over to get your little piece of heaven. Who knew coconut could be so wonderful?

This was my experience every time we went to Sottomarina Beach in Italy. It was about an hour and twenty minutes from where we lived, which was a treat for us since we don't live close to a beach in the States. We traveled there often and I always looked forward to the Coco Bello guy and the granita vendor that rolled down the beach. I recently bought a coconut to enjoy and bring me back to those wonderful lazy days in Italy. Needless to say, it wasn't nearly as good as I remember.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pineapple Cheesecake

My mom made me this delicious cheesecake for my birthday. She got the recipe from my great grandma, and we're not sure if it was her own or if she got it from somewhere else. But if you like like pineapple and you like cheesecake, you will definitely enjoy this.

Pineapple Cheesecake
Makes 8 servings.

  • 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c sugar (omit sugar if using Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs)
  • 1/3 c melted butter
Combine ingredients together and then reserve 1/4 of the mixture for the top of the cheesecake. Press remaining mixture into bottom and sides of 8 inch pie pan.

  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1 can (9 oz) crushed pineapple, including juice
Blend together the cream cheese and butter until well mixed, and then add the sugar and egg. Mix thoroughly, then blend the remaining ingredients in the order listed: flour, milk, pineapple.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and spread evenly. Top cheesecake with reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 35 minutes at 350° F. Chill before serving.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Birthday to me...

My birthday was yesterday and because I am going to be attending culinary school in the fall, I thought I should try to work with fondant again. I figured there is no better time to practice than for my own birthday, because if it didn't turn out, then the only person that would be let down would be me (or maybe my boyfriend because he paid for the supplies/ingredients since he wanted to buy me a cake. But I don't really think he would care either way).

I was a little bit nervous to attempt this cake, since my first fondant cake took me for-e-ver (picturing Smalls from The Sandlot), and cost me lots of tears and heartache. But I thought it turned out ok.

Problems I had:
  • Trouble covering the cake: My boyfriend helped me lay the fondant on the cake since I didn't have a large rolling pin (oh yeah, that was fun...I didn't have my large fondant rolling pin with me and so I had to use my mini one to roll out my fondant. You know the one you use to roll out tiny bits of fondant for flowers and whatnot. *sigh*) and as we're laying it on top he asks me how is the cake going to be smooth with no creases. Good question I told him. I flashed back to my Wilton fondant class to the moment where I was covering my cake with fondant....oh that's right, I didn't cover my cake with fondant, the instructor pretty much did it for me. Great. Now I remembered she kind of pulled on the fondant and it just magically smoothed out and the creases ended up below the cake and I cut them off. So I tried that...and instead of magically smoothing out, mine stretched...and tore. *heavy sigh* Awesome. At least I was adding circles to the cake so I could cover the tears. I managed to get all of the creases out except for the one in the back of the cake....hence no pictures of the back of the cake. Haha. :o) Solved that problem! But seriously, I don't even remember how I did that on my first cake which was quite curvy.
  • Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it so there are no creases?
  • Air pockets underneath the fondant: I tried poking a hole but that didn't really work. I had way too much air underneath there.
  • Droopy fondant: The numbers are droopy and I know it's because they didn't get to dry long enough. So...
  • How long do they really need to dry before they will stand up straight?
    And once they can stand up straight, how do you secure them on the top of the cake?

In the end, I was a little bummed but I didn't cry about it, so I think it was successful. :o)
However, any suggestions or advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!