Some recipes are secret recipes...
because chefs like to cook and bake by “eyeing” the ingredients, adding a little bit of this or different amounts of that. It’s tedious to stop and measure everything. So here is a picture of my latest “secret” recipe - a Nutella-Banana-Reese’s tartlet, because I honestly have no idea how much Nutella or milk I used or the size of the circles I measured for the...
Croque Monsieur Hot Pockets
I was very excited when I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine I purchased on my way home from my sister’s wedding. They are extremely easy to make and on the Food Network website, they have the other varieties of homemade hot pockets. Ingredients 1 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 3 ounces) 1 cup deli-sliced ham, chopped (about 4 ounces) 2 teaspoons dijon mustard 1/8 teaspoon...
Pasta and Lentil Soup with Broccolini
With the weather in Malibu turning colder as it gets later into the year, I found a soup recipe in the October issue of Food Network Magazine that would be the perfect way to warm up. The only difficulty I had was that I could not find canned lentils at the grocery store, but improvised by using dried lentils and putting them in earlier. I put in an entire bag, but next time I will either add one...
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, I decided to make Oktoberfest pretzels for a friend’s party. The recipe seemed almost too simple, but after a trip to Costco to buy massive amounts of flour, baking soda, and active dry yeast (I figured I should just purchase large bags for use in the future since the recipe required so much of the ingredients), I was set to make the pretzels. I was concerned...
Ingredients 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal 1 cup sliced almonds 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2/3 cup honey 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 1/2 cup dried cranberries Directions Preheat the oven to...
Deep Dish Pizza
Lindsey gave me a gift card to Williams-Sonoma for being her maid-of-honor in her wedding. For one of the items, I selected mini springform pans, hoping to make mini cheesecakes. However, as I looked through the description, I realized that I could also make mini deep dish pizzas. As I was preparing to get the ingredients together to make the mini pizzas, I thought to make even more pizza I could...
Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
This Giada de Laurentiis recipe is perfect when you want to make a meal that is simple and will have leftovers. The shells are filling and tasty while it is easy to make ahead and freeze, or bake all at once and have leftovers for a few days. I did not use the Arrabbiata sauce as the recipe calls for but instead used my own sauce made from crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and Italian herbs. ...
This past summer after getting a farmer’s market share, I ended up with more zucchini that I knew what to do with. It was enough to probably make at least four or five batches of bread. I found a Paula Deen recipe that was very easy to follow, adding a little extra of the spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) to really bring the flavors out. The result was a moist bread with a crusty top that...
Caramel Apple Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Frosting
I made these cupcakes for our “final”/cookout in my Ethics and International Politics class. They weren’t too difficult to make, but I would air on the side of less apples so that there is more batter in the cupcakes. They aren’t the prettiest when they come out of the oven, but that is easily covered by the icing. Refrigerate them about an hour before you are going to...
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake
This recipe is a little time consuming, but the result is worth it. Inspired by Julia Child, Ina Garten created her own version. You can play with the herbs that you use in the recipe, but make sure to use fresh bread crumbs. Her Family Style cookbook notes “to make fresh bread crumbs, remove the crusts of Pepperidge Farm sandwich white bread or other fine-grained white bread. Cut the bread...
dosesofpms asked: What kind of tip did you use to ice your 4th of July cupcakes? I always have trouble finding the perfect one!
A rhubarb crumble quickly turned into strawberry-rhubarb when I realized that I needed two pounds of rhubarb and only had one piece. It was very easy to make, and I put it into the oven right before we sat down to dinner so it would be ready when we had finished eating. Serve with ice cream. The recipe is from Food Network Magazine. Ingredients 1 cup flour 1/3 cup oats 3/4 cup sugar pinch of...
Happy 4th of July!
(July 4, 1994)
4th of July Flag Cupcakes
I like to make a festive dessert every year, so this year I decided to make an American Flag out of cupcakes. I used the yellow cake recipe that I used to make the homemade funfetti cupcakes, minus the sprinkles. I used a Paula Deen recipe for the Red Velvet Cupcakes. After making sure that I had enough yellow cake cupcakes for the white stripes, I dyed the rest of the batter blue. I decorated the...
This is one of my favorite Giada De Laurentiis recipes. It’s a perfect summer drink that can be made ahead of time. The recipe makes a very strong lemonade, so if you prefer to lighten it up, simply add more club soda. If you have a Zoku popsicle maker, use the still water and you can quickly make Basil Lemonade Popsicles. You can also add a splash of vodka to make it an adult drink. ...
Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes Decorated for the 4th
After a smog alert nixed plans to go to the Cincinnati Zoo on Friday with the girls that I nanny, we decided to make some homemade funfetti cupcakes for them to decorate for a picnic they are going to on Sunday. They did a great job creating their own icing colors (although I admit to using store bought whipped icing) and putting the decorations on the cupcakes. We took a Bobby Flay recipe and...
Lemon Angel Food Cake
I had attempted to make an Angel Food Cake back in California in May, but not really thinking and in a bit of a rush, I bought a carton of egg whites. Little did I know, they were pasteurized and not going to whip. I whipped them as much as I could and thought that maybe that’s how they would just turn out, but the cake came out gooey, not airy and light. I was talking to a friend about it...
"Brownies, as they should be"
I “stumbled upon” this recipe a few months ago, bookmarked it, and finally got the chance to make it. Normally I do not like to make brownies from scratch as they turn out too bitter, dry, and often a waste. But I decided to give these a try, you can see here why. I changed the recipe a little bit by using a cupcake pan and making individual brownies and putting a Dove chocolate...
Savannah Cheesecake Cookies
I was looking for a simple dessert for Father’s Day that would not take too much prep or cook time. This Paula Deen recipe was just that. It hardly took ten minutes to make and just a little bit of time to set up with the mint leaves and blueberries before I served them. Ingredients Crust: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1 cup chopped pecans 1 stick butter,...
My new pride and joy
Grilled pizza has certainly become the “dish of the summer” at my house. We’ve made it at least five or six times in only a few weeks. It’s really easy to make, and it’s a great dish to have others help and interact in the cooking process as each person gets to make their own individual pizza. People are often confused by the concept of grilled pizza, but once they...
My Sous Chef on Father's Day
Ali's Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken
I love to open our drawer of spices in the kitchen and just make something up. Tonight, I asked my sister, “What kind of chicken do you want? Mexican, Asian, or Italian?” She chose Asian. While it might not be perfectly “Asian” so to speak, I try to make the main flavors used in their cooking. I marinated the chicken in one small can of pineapple juice and about 1...
A fun summer drink by Emeril Lagasse. Ingredients 2 cups water 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 1 cup fresh lemon juice 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved 2 cups cold sparkling water or club soda Ice Mint sprigs, garnish Whole strawberries, garnish Directions In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally,...
Father's Day Lunch
Strawberry Lemonade Prosciutto and Gruyère Pinwheels Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad Grandma’s Deviled Eggs Grandma’s Potato Salad My aunt’s Spinach Soufflé “Asian” Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Fresh Fruit Salad Savannah Cheesecake Cookies
Dinner in Spain
Everyone always loves to cook and eat Italian food, but not many people pursue recipes from Spain. After living in both countries, I often recognize the disparity of the popularity of the foods. Everyone speaks Spanish, but everyone eats Italian (although I supposed most would “substitute” food from Spain as food from Mexico for the Spanish). Even a great number of students study...
Stuffed Turkey Burgers
I never thought I would like turkey burgers. I’m never one to go for the turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas, and turkey dogs grossed me out just as much as hot dogs. After I tried making turkey burgers a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to try it again. I wasn’t planning on making dinner tonight, but with a few hours before we had to go out tonight and the ground turkey ready in...
I have always stayed away from making any sort of ice cream or ice dessert. They either require some sort of ice cream maker, which I don’t have and we have enough great ice cream in Cincinnati that I haven’t felt a need to buy one, or the ice desserts always turn out like an ice cube, never the shaved ice look in the picture. This summer, I am nannying for two girls that my sister has...
Asian Turkey Burgers
These were surprisingly easy to make and turned out to be full of flavor. I made a few changes by not using the bulgur wheat - I didn’t have time to let it soak and I had 19 ounces of turkey meat instead of the 12 ounces called for in the recipe. I was able to make 6 medium sized burgers. I also made my own hoisin sauce, knowing that I don’t like too much spice. You can find that...
Inspired by Food Network, I decided to de-stress from all of the schoolwork I have had lately and bake some Easter cupcakes. The recipes for the cupcakes and buttercream are from the cookbook Rose’s Heavenly Cakesby Rose Levy Beranbaum. The cupcakes were very easy to make, but the buttercream was the most difficult frosting that I have ever made. I had the bright idea to make the frosting...
This recipe is a combination of what I had in Greece and recipes that I found online when I came home. This was one of my favorite foods while I was in Greece, and I was quite excited to find out how good it is for you. As my cousin and I ate it every day, we would just ignore the thought of how bad it was for us until we realized it was actually a healthy yogurt. It is a perfect dip as an...
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
A recipe from Papouli’s Greek Grill Ingredients Kosher salt 1 pound tricolor pasta, such as bow tie or fusilli 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 2 to 3 teaspoons dijon mustard Freshly ground pepper 2/3 to 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes 1/4 cup fresh basil, julienned 1/4 cup diced onion 2 large pickled pepperoncini peppers, diced [I don’t like spicy foods, so...
Egg White Omelet with Asparagus and Parmesan...
I woke up not feeling so great this morning and decided I needed to have a healthy breakfast. I wanted something besides my typical multi-grain cheerios, not to mention my milk is spoiled and I didn’t want to go to the grocery store. When I was in DC a few weeks ago, I had eaten an omelet that had asparagus in it and loved it. Asparagus has become my vegetable of choice recently. It...
I am currently picking out the cakes and meals I am going to make while I have the next week off of school. I asked for a recommendation of cookbooks from my internship (I have currently been organizing them…I’ve gotten through the first 479!) and was lent Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum and Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan. Pictures and recipes will be...
Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss
A Rachael Ray recipe that is easy for a busy night. The recipe says it makes four servings, but we had a lot of leftovers. You can always adjust the spices and flavors for your tastes. For example, I do not like capers, so I just left them out. Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces Salt and pepper 1 1/2...
Broccoli and Bow Ties
Having little kids over for dinner and not sure what to feed them? Or are you like me and just like to eat what little kids eat, too? Then Ina Garten has a tasty recipe for you. The bow ties are a fun shape that help make kids interested in what they are eating, and the broccoli provides a bright color. If the kids you are feeding don’t like broccoli, try a different vegetable - zucchini,...
I do not like mushrooms, but I love mushroom risotto. After eating it in Spain and Italy while I was abroad, I decided I would try to make it at home. There is a huge variety of mushroom risotto recipes on the internet, depending on the type of mushrooms you want to use, if you want to smoke them, used dried mushrooms, or use truffles instead of mushrooms. This recipe by Tyler Florence was easy to...
Chicken in Phyllo with Bechamel Sauce
Unfortunately, I did not take a picture when I made this. This is a recipe to make on a day when you have a lot of time. Phyllo dough is difficult and tender to work with, but well worth it. This recipe is from I’ll Cook When Pigs Fly by the Junior League of Cincinnati. Ingredients For the chicken: 1 (16 ounce) package frozen phyllo dough 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 celery heart, finely...
Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
This is typically a summer dish, but with the nice weather in Malibu after all of the rain, this sounds perfect. Ina Garten created a very easy dish to put together, and it tastes better after it sits for a little bit. When I made it, I used strozzapreti pasta. Strozzapreti is typically only used for pesto dishes in Italy, but since it is my favorite type of noodle, I decided to break tradition...
Beef in Herb Wine Sauce
From I’ll Cook When Pigs Fly by Junior League of Cincinnati, Beef in herb wine sauce is an easy to make yet savory dinner. It calls for a variety of spices, but they all add to the flavor. If you are feeling adventurous, try to mix the spices and change some of the flavor. Ingredients 3 or 4 medium sized onions, sliced 2 tablespoons bacon drippings 2 pounds sirloin tip or other lean beef,...
Cinnamon Nut Crisps
Cinnamon Nut Crisps are a simple treat for brunch. They are really easy to make and a crowd pleaser. The recipe comes from I’ll Cook When Pigs Fly, a cookbook by the Junior League of Cincinnati. Ingredients 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter, softened 1 egg, separated 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3/4 cup chopped pecans, divided Directions In a mixing bowl, cream...
Chocolate Dirt Cupcakes
I wanted to make a fun cupcake and came across this. It reminded me of the days when my family would go to TGI Friday’s and I would beg my parents for “dirt” - chocolate pudding with oreo cookies and gummy worms. Even though I usually do not like chocolate cake, this cake was moist and although rich, not too heavy. Ingredients Cupcake: 8 ounces sour cream 1...
Parmesan and Thyme Crackers
I always look to Ina Garten when hosting guests for a meal. She has the perfect appetizers and tips. When I make these crackers, I will make enough for several recipes and put the dough in the freezer until I’m ready to bake them. The dough lasts up to six months when frozen. Ingredients 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter 3 ounces grated Parmesan 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4...