Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pina Colada Boozesicle


Tomorrow is Labor Day. Allow me to make you a list of the positives and negatives


  1. I can’t wear white shorts any more (Considering I’ve already gotten them dirty, this may not be a problem Also – let’s be honest, no one cares)
  2. The sun will now set before I leave work, which will cause me to cry every night
  3. My commute will now take 2x longer
  4. I have to find my jacket
  5. My perpetually cold hands will no longer feel refreshing
  6. Summer is “over”



…that’s all I’ve got.

However! Thanks to climate change, who knows when the summer will really end?

So to enable the continuation of your summer fun, I give you:

The Boozesicle


One part popsicle

One Two part alcohol

100% delicious


I really don’t think I need to put much of a plug in for these. It’s alcoholic childhood. If you like pina coladas, but not getting caught in the rain, you should just make these. Even if you  like getting caught in the rain. Make these. Then stand in rain with popsicle.

Labor Day BBQ? You’ll be a big hit. Because sometimes life needs some alcohol in your popsicle.

Get to it.


Pina Colada Boozesicle

Adapted from Shutterbean


  • 3 cups chopped fresh pineapple (I used canned. It was fine.)
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light rum (let’s be honest. I splashed more than this in)


Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until delicious. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, and  freeze until firm, about 24 hours.


Easy right?


Happy popsicle freezing!


p.s. don’t drip popsicle juice on your white shorts.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

BACON Peanut Butter Cookies

I put bacon in cookies. I put bacon in peanut butter cookies.
They were awesome.
Have you gone to the store to buy bacon yet? I can wait. IMG_2788
So normally I don’t really do bacon. See this post for why. But for something as intriguing as bacon cookies? I will buy the most human bacon I can find just to experience this peculiar sounding combination. The results?
Salty, sweet, peanut butter, delicious.
It was funny to see people’s reactions. When I first  proposed the idea to Suela, she texted me back with something a long the lines of “oh…well that could be okay, but I’m not sure about that…” When I  plopped the container of cookies down at the party I had made them for reactions were similar. People’s eyes seem to light up at the mention of bacon, but then you could see the confusion after the words “cookie” and “peanut butter” were linked to them. Yet after the party, I had already shared the source of the recipe multiple times. Total success.
These also may be the most expensive cookies I’ve ever made…
Still worth it.
They’re not even that bad for you! Not that I checked…I totally checked. I had to check.
Regardless! If you want to freak you friends and your taste buds out, in a good way of course, give these things a shot.
Bonus points – breakfast cookie! Do it. Be a champion.

Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Adapted from Shutterbean
  • 1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ~ 6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced
  • Chocolate chips (optional but AMazing)
Fry up that bacon!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a mixer, combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in  the egg and baking soda and mix for about 2 minutes. Carefully fold in cooked bacon and chocolate into dough. Roll heaping tablespoon sized balls of dough, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Flatten balls with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. Careful – I found the cookies to crack easily like this! 
Bake for roughly 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool and consume!
The one thing I didn’t love about this recipe is that I found the cookie to be quite crumbly. I think if I did it again, I may experiment with a peanut butter cookie recipe that has flour it in. It may work, it may not. I guarantee it will still be delicious. I mean…it’s bacon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mom’s Tiramisu Birthday Cake



Can we talk for a second? Who are those people that manage to get their cameras out just at the right moment to get all of those perfect “we’re having so much fun!” pictures? Do they just permanently have a camera attached to their hands? Do they get to partake in the fun, or are they too busy trying to take pictures? I’m awful at taking pictures (surprise surprise). I forget! Why would I want to be fumbling with my camera if I could be in the action.

That being said…it would really have been nice to be fumbling with a camera and to have proof that we celebrated my mom’s birthday. Instead, all I have is a few pretty pictures of her lovely cake. That I baked. Yes I just complimented myself. Deal with it.

There are so many wonderful things I could write about my mom.

For one, I know that no matter what, I will at least have one person reading this blog, and that’s her. Actually it’s a bit scary how quickly she catches on to whether I’ve posted…because I do it so amazingly infrequently. Mom senses. That’s how. Hi Mom!

My mom is probably about 80% of the reason I bake (The other 20% being my sweet tooth…)She was always so good at it! And like most things my mom is good at, she made it look so simple. When you tell her how good she is, she just shrugs it off like everyone can do what she does. Not true Mom, not true!

Anyways, I’ve been eyeing this  cake for a long time, waiting for the right person to make it for. My mom is a coffee lover, Italy lover (I really wanted to write Italian lover), and a cake lover (duh). Plus she’s my mom, so she deserves an awesome cake. Sounds good to me.

So I made this Tiramisu cake for my mom. The one who taught me and inspired me to bake, and garden, and clean with an 80/20 attitude (more like 50/50 sometimes), and forced me to eat salad every night.


This cake uses fancy ingredients like mascarpone cheese and instant espresso. Never fear. It’s just expensive cream cheese. The cake is light, but soaked with alcohol. If that doesn’t say birthday, I don’t know what does. I would highly recommend if you plan on serving it a day or so after you bake it, soak it the day you make it. That will keep it from drying out a bit – my one flaw this time.

Still delicious.

Love you mom! Happy birthday!

Tiramisu Cake

From Smitten Kitchen



For the cake layers:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

For the filling and frosting:
1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Making the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 in round cake pans.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

In a separate bowl, beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for approximately 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time ending with the yolk, beating about a minute each after ever addition. Mix in vanilla. On a low speed, mix in dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, making sure to start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix only until the ingredients disappear.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake cake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. Cakes are done when golden and springy. Transfer cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Making the Espresso extract

Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended

Making the Espresso syrup

Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur.

Making the Filling/Frosting

Whisk mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liquor in a large bowl until smooth.

Whip heavy cream with a hand mixer until it holds firm peaks. With a rubber spatula stir about 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Gently fold the rest of whipped cream.

To Assemble the Cake

Place one layer right-side up on serving dish. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.

For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. 

Smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. Decorate with Espresso beans.

Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Homemade Irish Cream/ Magical Cheese Soda Bread


I apologize for the pictures. Some things are too good for good pictures. Sometimes I’m just lazy. I thought it was more important to share the recipes than to worry about looking good (and I was late…)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. You should make both of these things. They will be delicious, and easy, and just do it.


Cheddar Soda Bread

This bread has pockets of cheese in it. POCKETS of cheese!

Ok quick side note. My roommate Suela has this face she makes when she’s experiencing utter food bliss. It’s like half the reason I bake for her. She’ll first breath in the sent of the baked good and get this huge grin on her face. Then she takes a bite, and if I’ve done my job, she’ll breathe out, and literally her whole body exudes food bliss. It’s hilarious to watch. Being the ultra cheese lover she is, this bread was for her.

It’s absurdly easy. I made it…with a few drinks in me. And it was flawless.


This picture sucks, but the recipe does not



  • 2 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (Cabot preferred), cut into pats
  • 8 ounces Cabot sharp or extra-sharp cheddar, grated; about 2 cups, lightly packed
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk* (or milk heated up slighly, mixed with a Tbs of lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1 large egg


    1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 9" round pan, caste iron skillet, or just really any pan you have...

    2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    3) Add the butter, working it into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Toss in the grated cheese.

    4) Mix the buttermilk and egg, and add to the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is moistened.

    5) Scoop the dough into the pan, in as much of a ball shape as you can. Dough will be VERY sticky.

    6) Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Its internal temperature at the center will be close to 200°F.

    7) Remove the bread from the oven, and loosen the edges with a table knife. Wait 5 minutes, then gently turn it out onto a rack to cool. It's tempting, but wait about 20 minutes before cutting the bread, if you can; it's a bit crumbly when hot.


    Irish Cream (Homemade Bailey’s)

    OH my god. They are ripping all of us off. Not only is making you own Irish cream cheaper (MUCH cheaper), it’s stronger and far more delicious. Also, so so so very simple!!



    Ingredients (makes 4 cups)

    • 1 C heavy cream
    • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk***
    • 1 1/3 C Irish whiskey (I used Jameson)
    • 2 T chocolate syrup
    • 1 t instant coffee (I used instant espresso because that’s what I had)
    • 1 t vanilla extract
    • 1 t almond extract (I didn’t use)

    ***Find in the baking section in a small can. Watch out! Evaporated milk comes in the same type of can and it is VERY different!

    Wanna see how easy this is?

    Mix all ingredients in a blender.



    Holy crap. so good


    Happy St. Patty’s!


    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    Cinnamon Rolls


    Cinnamon rolls happened.

    They can happen to you too.

    flour + butter + sugar + yeast = dough


    go for a run while it rises (why not pre burn off the calories?)

    roll out


    sugar + spices = filling


    Melted butter gets brushed on dough. Filling gets generously distributed over dough.

    Dough is rolled into a snake.













    It takes some time, but it’s worth ever warm melty bite.


    Saturdays in this house kick butt.

    Cinnamon Rolls

    Adapted slightly from Joy the Baker

    For the Dough:

    • 1 – 1/4oz package active dry yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
    • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for kneading
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan

    For the Filling:

    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
    • 1/4 cup raisins (Optional)
    • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

    Cream Cheese Icing

    • 4 oz (half a brick) cream cheese
    • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 sick of butter
    • splash of lemon juice

    Making the dough:

    Measure out 1/4 cup water in a glass measuring cup and heat it until warm to the touch (about 10-15 seconds in the microwave is perfect). Add yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar to the water and let sit until frothy, about 10  minutes.

    In the mean time beat the remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk in a large bowl. Add the four and salt and mix (with your hands or a stand mixer with a dough attachment) until the dough comes together. Knead dough for another 4 minutes. Add the butter and continue to knead for another 6 minutes. The dough will be very sticky (this step was weirdly awesome from the butter). Continue to knead another 1/3 cup flour into the dough on a floured surface. The dough will still be sticky. Let dough rise in a covered bowl in a warm place for about an hour to two (!) hours, or until doubled.

    To make the filling while the dough rises, combine sugar, brown sugar, nuts and raisins (if using), cinnamon, salt, and cloves in a bowl. Stir in maple syrup and set aside.

    After dough doubles, move it to a heavily floured surface, and gently kneed flour into dough. Add in enough until dough is no longer sticky (about 3-4 Tbs). Let dough rest for about 5 minutes before rolling out.

    Using a floured rolling pin (or wine bottle!), roll the dough into a 20x10 inch square…I definitely didn’t measure, but eye ball it. If dough pulls back, let it sit a few minutes before trying again.

    Melt a half stick of butter and spread across rolled out dough. Spread filing out evenly across dough and pat down slightly. Roll dough from the long side until you have a dough snake. Pinch ends together.

    Cut dough snake into using a sharp serrated knife into roughly 2 inch pieces. I think I got about 13 rolls out of this.

    Put rolls cut side up in a buttered 9x 13 inch baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for another 1-1/2 to 2 hours. You may also refrigerate rolls overnight.

    Heat the oven to 375. Uncover rolls and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

    While rolls are baking beat all icing ingredients together in a bowl. Spread icing over hot buns (hah).

    Eat ASAP.


    Try it. Or tell me to make them for you…it’s easier. And I’ll totally do it.


    Happy Saturday


    Sunday, January 29, 2012




    more like


    No Seriously. We’re going Jewish for this post.


    Here’s the deal. Everyone may think that Chanukah is the most important Jewish holiday. Well everyone is wrong. Please, it’s about a group of people who kept the light going for eight days instead of one. (actually the story is pretty kick butt. Look it up. OR speed things up and listen to this song)

    Regardless. The high holidays, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) and Yom Kippur (that day you fast and pray that God doesn’t have bad things in store for you for the next year) are significantly more important. Although while everyone else is fasting, my family hikes. And talks about food all day. And does not fast. I think it’s a fantastic tradition. At the end of the day? Challah.

    So what is it? Just the most soft, squishy, ever so slightly sweet braided egg bread. Its almost the Jewish version of Portuguese sweet bread or French brioche. sometimes it has raisins in it. It’s extremely satisfying with just a bit of butter, but probably makes the best French toast you’ll ever had.



    Challah comes in a normal straight loaf, or a circular loaf which is eaten around the high holidays. Circle – new year - life – get it?


    Does this differ from normal bread making? Kinda. The richness of the bread comes from eggs and oil. Really making this bread is no different from most, but there are a few more ingredients. I also suggest one slow rise in the fridge to get a more developed (read: delicious) flavor. That just means more foresight in your baking (or skipping this step). Watch out! This one also takes THREE rises (so have even more foresight!) Also, if you knead the S#*t out of the bread, it will rise like a beast. Pro tip. See pictures for proof


    Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who else?)

    Makes two decent sized loaves

    • 1 1/2 packages active dry yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons or 3/8 ounces or 11 grams
    • 1 tablespoon (13 grams) plus 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
    • 1/2 cup (118 ml) olive or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the bowl
    • 5 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) table salt
    • 8 to 8 1/2 cups (1000 to 1063 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup raisins (about 70 grams) per challah, (optional)
    • Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling. (optional)

    1. In a large bowl (REALLY LARGE), dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon  sugar in 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water.

    2. mix in oil , and beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt. Gradually add flour. Mix until dough begins to come together.

    3. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead knead knead until smooth and elasticy. Form a ball and put it in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size. Punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another half-hour. (note: either of these rises can be in the fridge. Allow about 8 or so hours? I think I just left mine in the fridge overnight)

    4. If using, knead the raisins into the challah,  before forming the loaves.

    5. Here’s the challenging part – braiding. To make a 6-braid challah, take half the dough and split into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Place the 6 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together. Move the outside right strand over 2 strands. Then take the second strand from the left and move it to the far right. Take the outside left strand and move it over 2. Move second strand from the right over to the far left. Start over with the outside right strand. Continue this until all strands are braided. (I had Kai read this to me while doing it. It made things A LOT easier)


    For a straight loaf, tuck ends underneath. For a circular loaf, simply twist into a circle, pinching ends together.

    5. Place on a cookie sheet for the final rise (about one hour). Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. At this point, you may freeze the loaves as is until later. It works, I tried it.

    6. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and brush loaves again. Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.

    7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Don’t over bake! Challah is totally better on the doughy side than the…bleh dry side. Cool loaves on a rack.


    Bake it. Be Jewish for a day. Make French toast afterwards.


    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Margarita Birthday Cake




    Again. Doesn’t it seem like I only write about birthday cakes? It’s because they’re fun to make, and exciting, and pretty. And delicious.

    Ok! Recap. Last year for his birthday Kai requested “an interesting cake” and I gave him a vegan chocolate avocado cake (I know right! I’m still impressed with myself). So I had already geared up for a some weird request that he would have. When I did ask him what he wanted he told me a margarita cake. A margarita cake? half the fun of margaritas is the tequila, so what fun is it when all the alcohol is baked off? But what choice did I have? He wanted a margarita cake, I was going to give him a margarita cake!

    I thought it was going to be pretty hard to find a recipe like that. Fortunately, people in this country have an odd obsession with cinco de mayo. I don’t get it…we don’t celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. In fact, I’m sure most of us laugh at the sheer thought of Canadian Thanksgiving. Cinco de mayo is SO not American that even my spell check is giving me the angry little squiggly for cinco (mayo must be used as a short for mayonnaise quite frequently because it doesn’t appear to have a problem with that. I mean, I use mayo in my every day typing, don’t you?)

    Regardless, cake recipe was found, and off I went.


    The original recipe that I found basically said that it was from a Martha Stewart lemon cupcakes, which she turned into  lime cupcakes and added tequila into. Sounded fair to me. I took her recipe, doubled it for a cake recipe, added more lime, more tequila, and as always didn’t measure properly.

    The frosting was a lime-tequila swiss buttercream – my first swiss buttercream experience.

    People. Normally I would be gushing, I mean it’s cake. It’s cake that I made. But it didn’t blow me away. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate plenty of it, and it still was quite good, I just realized I totally make better chocolate cakes (thanks for the chocolate cake gene mom!). The cake was lime-y and the frosting was good. I missed the tequila though. I would probably stick to a plain margarita next time though. …oh now I want a real margarita.

    No worries. Plenty of tequila was served with the cake in honor of my darling roommate and (MIA….EHEM) blogging buddy.



    Margarita Cake

    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/2  tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs, at room temperature
    • 2 limes, zested and juiced
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature 
    • tequila for brushing on warm cakes

    1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans.

    2. whisk flour baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

    3. cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until mixed thoroughly. Add lime juice and zest and mix.

    3. slowly alternate mixing in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.

    4. Split batter between two prepared baking pans. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean. Brush (lots) of tequila on warm cake.


    Tequila-Lime Swiss Buttercream

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 large egg whites
    • 26 tablespoons butter (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
    • Juice of 2-3 limes
    • a bit under 1/4 cup tequila

    Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a BIG bowl over a pot of simmering water until you cannot feel the sugar granules.  Remove from water and whip mixture until it doubles in size and turns white. Add lime juice and tequila and mix. Add butter one stick at a time and whip (forever) until it comes together. This takes like 15 minutes. It’s a pain. It’s weird. Your frosting goes through phases.

    Note: I totally made the tequila and lime juice amounts up. Why? Because I made it up the first time and I baked this cake over a month ago and have no idea what I did. It seemed to work in the end so…give it a shot! Or make a different frosting. A cream cheese frosting is always wonderful. Or a glaze. Mmm yeah A glaze would be awesome.

    Would I do this frosting again? It was kinda a lot of butter, and whipping. I loved that it was sturdy and I could make a prettier than usual cake (for me), but I don’t think buttercreams are my favorite. That being said it was still good!


    I’ll be back with more delicious items. Never fear.