Chocolate Covered Madeleines

Greetings!! I hope 2017 has been treating you well so far. Can you believe that it’s already February?!  As for me, I can’t complain I got a fancy new camera for Christmas, so I promised myself that this year would be the year that I actually get back to baking, blogging and stepping up my food porn game.  I made these cookies a few weeks back and just haven’t been able to sit down and write a post.  Not too sure if it’s writers block or laziness, I’m thinking it may be a mixture of both.

My household LOVES Madeleines! I decided to try my hand at making them from scratch and surprisingly they are much easier to make than I thought. With only 6 ingredients these moist (not my favorite word) and buttery cookies are made even better by dipping them in Guittard semisweet chocolate.

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Chocolate Covered Madeleines

Ingredients:

180 grams butter, melted and cooled
200 grams flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
200 grams sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla or orange extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Butter and flour madeleine molds.

Whisk the sugar and eggs together until well mixed and then beat in the extract. Fold in the flour and baking by sifting it over the egg mixture in three batches. When the last batch is almost mixed, gently pour the butter over the mixture and fold together as lightly as possible. Chill the batter in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

With a large spoon pour the prepared batter in the molds, filling them two-thirds. Bake the madeleines for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Once the cookies have fully cooled, dip in melted chocolate of your choice. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper until the chocolate has set.

XOXO,

Andy’s Fruit Tart

To me, food is like a song- when it’s taken in it brings back certain memories. This tart reminds me of  being a kid and watching my dad in the kitchen and huge family gatherings.  Because the only time he made this tart was for a party. It was a special occasion or a special request tart. So this year for NYE I decided to make it for my family and I think it made them reminisce about my dad and the memories they shared with him.

The first time I made this tart was a little over 5 years ago. The tart is made of a buttery and flakey crust with a frangipane center topped with a creamy custard and fresh fruit.  Growing up this is one of my favorite things that my dad made and with him gone I wanted to make sure that his “baking legacy” lived on.

I know some you are looking at the recipe and thinking “Holy Majoly! There’s no way that I can make this!” Don’t be afraid. I know that the recipe looks intimidating, but trust me it’s easier than it looks.  I’ve made this tart a total of 2 times and not to toot my own horn, but I nailed it both times! So try it- you’ll be surprised with what you can do.

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Fruit Tart

I was able to make 1 9-inch tart and 3 6-inch tartlettes.

Ingredients:

Pate Sucree (crust)
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter

Creme Patissiere
6 egg yolks
8 Tbs. sugar
5 Tbs. flour
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt

Frangipane
6 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk plus 1 egg
1 Tbs. Calvados (optional)
2/3 cup almond meal
2 Tbs. flour

assorted fresh fruit- I used strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and mandarin oranges.

Directions:

Make the crust:
Sift the flour onto a marble slab or board and make a large weak in the center. Put the salt, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract in the well and mix together with your fingertips until the sugar dissolves. Cut the butter into, add it to the well and quickly work it with the other ingredients using your fingertips until party mixed. Gradually work in the flour pulling the dough into large crumbs. With a pastry cutter or dough scraper mix the dough in a cutting motion. When the dough is smooth, work it on a lightly floured surface kneading it with the palm of your hands until it is pliable and peels away easily in one piece.

Form the dough into a disc, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

Make the Creme Patisserie:
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar util thick and light. Site in the flour and add enough milk to make a smooth paste. Scald the remaining milk with the salt. Add the vanilla to the hot milk, cover and infuse for 15 minutes. Remove the bean and reheat the milk to boiling.

Whisk the boiling milk into the egg mixture and return to the pan and which over low heat until boiling. (Be sure to the pastry cream is smooth before letting it boil. If lumps form as it thickens, take the pan from the meat and beat until smooth.) Cook the cream gently, whacking constantly, for 2 minutes and the flour is completely cooked. Remove from heat and using a sieve transfer to a bowl. Rub a piece of butter over the surface to prevent a skin from forming and place in the fridge.

*When pouring the milk into the eggs, make sure to pour very slowly so you do not scramble the eggs. Carefully pour the eggs into the mixer while the mixer is on low. Making sure that the milk pours down the inside walls of the bowl into the eggs.

Prepare the Frangipane:
Cream the butter and gradually beat in the sugar, continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then the yolk. Add the Calvados (if using) and then stir in the almond meal and the flour. The Frangipane can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept in the fridge.

Assemble the tart:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Butter the tart pan and roll the dough to about 3/16 of an inch think. Press the dough into the tart pan. Chill in the fridge until firm- about 15 minutes.

Spread the frangipane in the bottom of the chilled pastry crust. Bake the tart in the bottom half of the oven for 10-15 minutes. Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 10 minutes or until the crust is brown and the frangipane is set. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Once the pie has cooled spread the creme patisserie on top of the pie and decorate with the fresh fruit.

XOXO,

Pastillas de Leche

Pastillas de Leche

My mom is an amazing cook and when I am craving Filipino food I call her and have her make it for me. Yes, I know I’m a spoiled brat, but that’s what mom’s are for- right?!   I realize that I can’t call my mom forever to make me my favorite dishes so the last couple of weeks I’ve been making an effort to learn how to make my favorite Filipino dishes.

One of the first things I set to learn was my absolute favorite candy from the Philippines- Pastillas de Leche. Pastillas are a sweet and creamy milk candy that melt in your mouth. Surprisingly, this was one dish my mom didn’t know how to make.  So I went to the internet to help me with my search for a Pastillas recipe and came across Kawaling Pinoy– thanks to her I made my first batch of Pastillas.

The candy is surprisingly easy to make and now I don’t have to ask my relatives in the Philippines to send me the candy. 🙂

Don’t forget to store the candy in the fridge.

Enjoy!

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Pastillas de Leche

Recipe adapted from: Kawaling Pinoy

Ingredients:

5 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup for dusting
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup powdered milk

Directions:

In a wide, nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine milk and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cook, regularly stirring (careful not to scorch the milk) and scraping sides and bottom of pan, until milk is reduced and mixture turns into a paste.

Add butter and powdered milk and stir until smooth and well combined. Continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to pull from sides of pan and turns into a soft dough. Transfer mixture onto plate sprayed with cooking spray and allow to cool to touch.

Divide mixture into about tablespoon portions and roll each portion into logs of about 1-inch long. Roll pastillas in sugar until fully coated.

XOXO,

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Move to CA: Kansas to Colorado

On Wednesday we started our trek to CA.  For those who don’t know, we have decided to move back to CA.  My husband has graduated from MSSU (the reason why we moved to Joplin) and with his family moving out of Joplin it just made sense to go back to CA.  That is the reason why we are driving across 4 states to get back home.

Wednesday was the day the movers arrived at 8 am and finished at 3pm.  We stayed to clean the house and finished with that at 8pm. Then of course we had to have one last dinner with the family so we didn’t leave Joplin until 10pm.  That night we loaded the luggage, 2 kids and a cat in the car drove to Wichita, KS we got to the hotel at 1:30 in the morning.  It was a pretty uneventful ride except for the severe thunderstorm that rolled in, but we made it safe.

Yesterday morning we got in the car and headed for Denver.  The picture below pretty much sums up what we saw on the drive through Kansas…

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…WAIT!  We also this….

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more windmills!!  There is one word to sum up our drive through Kansas…BORING!  But we made it through and the view started to get prettier.

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Before we headed to Denver we made a little detour to visit the Garden of the Gods.  The place was absolutely stunning and if it wasn’t for the rain we would have spent more time in the park and walked around.

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And then we made it to Denver…

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We arrived in Denver at around 7:30 pm, so that gave us just enough time to get dinner, dessert and back to the hotel to rest.

For dinner we ate at Tocabe, an American Indian Eatery, where I had a Guy Fieri’s Chicken Indian Fry Bread Taco.  Apparently when Guy visited Tocabe he customized his taco and they put it on the menu for other people to order.  I thought if it was good enough for Guy it was definitely good enough for me.  It did not disappoint!

The restaurant is set up “Chipotle” style.  You walk up to the bar and order your taco, nacho, or salad.  If you order a taco they freshly fry up the bread for you and then you proceed to pick out your toppings.  To be honest I can’t remember what all was on my taco.  I do remember it had black beans, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, green chile, sour cream and cheese.  Whatever was on it it was all very tasty.

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After dinner out next stop was Voodoo Doughnut.  This place is known for their crazy doughnut flavors and even crazier names. Voodoo’s original shop is in Oregon and now they have three locations there and their fourth location is in Denver.  The Denver store is open 24 hours a day.  We got there at about 9 0’clock and the line was decently long, but they have a great system in place which makes the line go fast.  If you ever decide to visit Voodoo remember to bring cash because that is all they will take and if you forget to bring cash don’t worry there is an ATM in the store for you.

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The kids were just as excited, if not more, than I was to eat Voodoo Doughnut.

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We ended up ordering a dozen doughnuts, Voodoo Doll Doughnut, Old Dirty Bastard, Diablos Rex, Triple Chocolate Penetration, Captain my Captain and Bubblegum to name a few, and then went back to order more to take home to my sisters.

Those doughnuts were a perfect ending to our day in Denver.  After sitting in the car for 8 hours all we wanted to do was lay in bed and relax.

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Lemon Glaze

I have a challenged myself the last few weeks, that challenge is to use what is in my refrigerator and pantry before we move back to CA. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you all that we are moving back to CA, but more on that later.  Anyhow, with us moving I don’t want any food to go to waste.  I am determined to use as much of what we already have and get my pantry and fridge cleaned out.

One of the things I made was an Oreo Cookie Brownie (if you follow me on Instagram you would know this). All I did was take some brownie mix, mixed in 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, topped it with Oreos and baked it according to the package.  I used a 9×11 pan and cooked it at 325 degrees for about 55 minutes.  

If you are wondering what it looked like here is a photo:

Oreo Brownies

Now, let’s move on to the Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Lemon Glaze.  All I can say about this cake is that is so freakin’ delicious!  The sour cream makes this cake moist and the lemon in the glazes gives the cake a delicious tang.

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Blueberry Coffee Cake with Brown Butter Lemon Glaze

slightly adapted from: a cup of jo

Ingredients:

For the cake:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the glaze:
4 tbsp. butter
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 10-inch bundt pan (with a removable bottom) with baking spray.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter and the sugar until well incorporated. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until fluffy. Then add the sour cream and beat until the batter is smooth and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, and then add the dry ingredients to the batter and partially mix together. Add the buttermilk and beat until you have a smooth batter.

Remove the mixing bowl of batter from the mixer, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer the batter to the prepared bundt pan and bake at 350F for 55 minutes, or until a skewer just comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before turning over onto a cake plate. While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze.

In a small pan, melt the butter and continue to cook on low heat until the butter has turned a dark golden brown color. When it reaches this color, (but before it burns!), set aside. In a small bowl add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and then whisk in the brown butter. Thin out the glaze with the lemon juice, and whisk until the glaze is smooth and runny.

When you have turned the cake out onto a cake plate, drizzle the glaze over the top. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Acai Bowl

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I have been hearing a lot of rumbling on how  yummy Acai Bowls are and living in Joplin, MO there isn’t much of a demand for Acai Bowls so there is no place for me to buy one.  Don’t worry that didn’t stop me from getting my hands on one so obviously I did the next best thing and made my own.  I wanted one so bad I may have even broke my blender while making this.  It’s okay it was a cheap blender and I needed a reason to buy a new one (I’ve been eyeing the Ninja blender).

Acai is considered a Superfood.  What’s a Superfood?, you ask.  Don’t worry I’ve got you covered:

Superfood

For those who are wondering what the heck Acai is, here is a breakdown (courtesy of Sambazon):

Açaí – the king of the superfruit jungle is this tiny purple palm fruit called açaí. A staple food for the local Amazonians, açaí is rich in antioxidants (specifically anthocyanins like those found in red wine) and healthy fats similar to olive oil, plus it has no sugar. This combo makes açaí a powerhouse of satisfying nutrition. 

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This was so easy to  make and the outcome was delicious and refreshing.  It’s great for a quick breakfast or even as a snack.  I topped mine with blueberries, strawberries, shredded coconut and bananas.  You are free to top it with what ever your heart desires.  I think next time I may top it with some granola.

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Acai Bowl

Ingredients:

2 packages Sambazon Acai Smoothie Pack
1/4 cup orange juice
1 banana
1 tablespoon agave nectar
assorted fruit for toppings (I used bananas, shredded coconut, strawberries and blueberries.)

Directions:

Place the first 4 ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you like your mixture to be thinner just add a little bit more juice. Once the mixture is well blended place in a bowl and top with your favorite fruit.

 

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Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles

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If you follow me on Instagram (If you don’t you probably should, click here to do so.) then you know that a few days ago I made some Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles.  If you’ve ever been to San Francisco and visited any of the famous An Family Restaurants then I am sure you have had these noodles, maybe even with some Roasted Crab.  And if you ever plan on visiting San Francisco make sure to eat at Crustacean or Thanh Long and order the Garlic Noodles.  The noodles are yummy, buttery, garlicky goodness that practically melts in your mouth.

My husband loves this recipe!  I’ve made it for him twice this week!  It’s perfect to eat as a side, but even better to eat it as a main dish.   Now if only I knew how to make the roasted crab.

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Vietnamese Garlic Butter Noodles

Ingredients:

1 lb of thick egg noodles from your local asian grocery
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic (pounded)
6 cloves of minced garlic (or more if you want)
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of garlic power
1 tablespoon of chicken bouillon powder
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Boil noodles according to package. Make sure you don’t over cook it. It’s better to under cook than to over cook the noodles. Once the noodles are boiled drain them in a strainer and rinse with cold water.

Heat up your saucepan with the olive oil on medium to high heat. Once the oil has been heated, toss in the 2 cloves of pounded garlic. Once the olive oil has been infused with the garlic (about 2-3 minutes) on medium high heat, add the butter and turn the heat to low heat.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the noodles and Parmesan cheese. Let everything simmer and mix for about 1-2 minutes. Once everything is simmering and bubbling a little bit, toss in the noodles, stir and toss for 3 minutes.

Cook until your desired consistency on the noodles. Make sure it is not overcooked and it’s al dente when you bite into it. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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Potato Skins

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My husband loves potato skins! For Father’s Day I made him some of his favorite foods, potato skins being one of them.  I also made him Tex-Mex Chicken and Chiles and Chocolate Mousse.  My hubby sure is lucky to be married to someone who knows how to spoil him with love food.

This was my first attempt at making potato skins.  I must say that I surprised myself.  I didn’t realize how simple they were to make. Why didn’t I make these earlier?!  Not only were they easy to make, they were delicious.  It tasted just like the potato skins you can get at any restaurant.

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Potato Skins

Ingredients:

6 small baking potatoes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

for garnish:
sour cream
chopped green onions

Directions:

Scrub and clean the potatoes, make sure to dry the potatoes well. Lightly grease the outside of potatoes, cut small slit in the top and bake at 425 degrees for 45 minute or until soft. Let stand until cool enough to handle (about 15 minutes). Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the cooked potato, leaving a very thin layer of potato. (Save the cooked potato for mashed potatoes or hash browns.)

Brush the outside and inside of skins with melted butter. Sprinkle the inside with seasoned salt and Parmesan cheese. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until crisp and bubbly. Fill each with Cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of green onions

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Birthday in a Box

Birthday Box

 

My youngest sister turned 22 on the 4th of this month (I couldn’t post this until she recieved it).  With her being in CA and me being in MO I wasn’t able to spend her birthday with her or even get her gift to her on the day of her birthday.  I am lazy when it comes to mailing out things, especially packages.  I just really hate going to the post office.  I don’t know why I just do.  So unfortunately her birthday gift arrived about 8 days late (better late than never, right?).

What I gave her was a Birthday in a Box which included:

  • water balloons with rolled up bills in it (I taped a pin to the sign on the box so she can pop the balloons)
  • boxed cake mix (I taped candles to the box.)
  • frosting
  • cupcake toppers 

 

Want more ideas for gifts in a box?  Check these out:

Box of Sunshine

Ice Cream Social in a Box

Root Beer Float in a Box

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

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Last night my husband looked at me and said “Where’s the chocolate chip cookies?”.  I looked at him with crazy eyes and said “What do you mean chocolate chip cookies?!  We don’t have any chocolate chip cookies!”  He then proceeded to give me the “Please can you make cookies face?” and I of course did what was necessary and made the damn cookies! My husband is a spoiled turd!  When it comes to food he always gets what he wants from me.  He’s lucky I love cooking!

Now there are always a few things that I make sure I keep in my pantry/fridge and chocolate chips is one of the pantry staples.  I make sure to never be without a bag, because who knows when my husband will give me the “please make me cookies face”.  Trust me that face is a sight to see and who can say no to a face like that?!

I did one-up myself and baked the cookie in a mini skillet.  I got my mini skillet from Amazon and I love it!  But then I didn’t stop there, I proceeded to top the cookie with Neapolitan Ice Cream and whip cream.  All I can say is that it was AMAZEBALLS!!  I couldn’t put the skillet on the table fast enough for my family before their spoons went digging in it.

P.S.

I’m sorry for the poor picture quality.  I took the photo with my iPhone because it was a last minute dessert (no time for food styling and making sure the lighting was right) and once I ate it I knew it was too good not to share.

P.P.S

I also made regular cookies out of this recipe.  The cookies were fantastically chewy and delicious!

 
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet

very slightly adapted from : allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

To bake in a skillet: Lightly grease the skillet by using a paper towel with a little bit of vegetable oil on it.
To bake as cookies: Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.

To bake in a skillet: Using an ice cream scoop place 2 scoops of cookie dough in the skillet and with your hands press the dough evenly into the skillet.
To bake as cookies: Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.