I am a recent college graduate who is searching for employment while living at home. With the help of my trusty slow cooker, I have taken over my mother's kitchen and have claimed myself to be the chef of the house. Bon apetit!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with fun frosting - gobble gobble!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with fun frosting - gobble gobble!

Maple bacon doughnuts from The Independent? Don’t mind if I do.

Maple bacon doughnuts from The Independent? Don’t mind if I do.

Happy fall!

Happy fall!

Another Hiatus

Well, I finally did it. I finally found a job that I am actually well-qualified for and it’s located in one of my favorite cities: Boston. Yayy! My taste testers were not pleased that I hve abandoned my cooking enterprise, but I am sure their waist lines will appreciate the break.

Unfortunately for my blog, I won’t be able to devote as many hours to trying new recipes. Therefore, I am announcing an indefinite hiatus. As much as I love to cook and bake, it’s significantly harder to do when working 40 hours a week plus time for the commute. When I come across fun recipes or make festive desserts, I will be sure to post them; it just won’t be as timely as usual. Thank you for reading my blog :)

I made this Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart, courtesy of the Brown Eyed Baker, for Memorial Day. I love being able to use fresh fruit and the strawberries and blueberries were especially patriotic. Instead of making a tart crust, I bought a pre-made graham cracker crust, which tasted just as good. I recommend chilling the tart for at least 30 minutes before serving. My taste testers absolutely devoured this tart.

I made this Strawberry Cream Cheese Tart, courtesy of the Brown Eyed Baker, for Memorial Day. I love being able to use fresh fruit and the strawberries and blueberries were especially patriotic. Instead of making a tart crust, I bought a pre-made graham cracker crust, which tasted just as good. I recommend chilling the tart for at least 30 minutes before serving. My taste testers absolutely devoured this tart.

Last week, I went with my precocious preK kids to Arethusa Farm in Litchfield to see the fancy cows. These cows were indeed fancy. Not only are they potty trained, but they also receive pedicures once a year, their tails are shampooed and conditioned daily, and they eat oats, hay, and shredded beet pulp. I was very impressed. The large industrial fans also help keep the smell at bay.
To commemorate my excellent field trip, I made these Moo Pies, inspired by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie! Oh My! I basically made chocolate cookies with a Fluff filling. The tops of the moo moo faces and udders were covered in vanilla frosting with dark chocolate frosting swirled through. I then dyed some of the vanilla frosting bright pink for the belly and nose. Good & Plenty candies were perfect for horns and udders. I rolled out slightly melted Tootsie Rolls for the ears and the M&Ms finished off the candy parade as the eyes and nostrils. They were udderly delicious!

Last week, I went with my precocious preK kids to Arethusa Farm in Litchfield to see the fancy cows. These cows were indeed fancy. Not only are they potty trained, but they also receive pedicures once a year, their tails are shampooed and conditioned daily, and they eat oats, hay, and shredded beet pulp. I was very impressed. The large industrial fans also help keep the smell at bay.

To commemorate my excellent field trip, I made these Moo Pies, inspired by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie! Oh My! I basically made chocolate cookies with a Fluff filling. The tops of the moo moo faces and udders were covered in vanilla frosting with dark chocolate frosting swirled through. I then dyed some of the vanilla frosting bright pink for the belly and nose. Good & Plenty candies were perfect for horns and udders. I rolled out slightly melted Tootsie Rolls for the ears and the M&Ms finished off the candy parade as the eyes and nostrils. They were udderly delicious!

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!
I made these rabbit-in-the-garden cupcakes for my mother. The inspiration for the rabbit holes comes from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Hello, Cupcake! One taste tester actually said my cupcakes lacked originality, but I thought they were the perfect reminder of the lovely spring weather we had this weekend. 
I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. For the bunny faces, I used mini M&Ms for the ears and nose, black gel for the whiskers, red gel for the mouth, and halved tootsie rolls for the ears. For the grass, I dyed some of the frosting green and used a Wilton frosting tip for the special texture. For the rabbit holes, I used crushed oreos for the fur, a mini marshmallow for the cottontail, halved tootsie rolls for the feet, and black gel for the toes and sole. For the sunflowers, I used crushed oreos for the center and cut a triangle in a Ziploc bag to shape the petals. 

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms!

I made these rabbit-in-the-garden cupcakes for my mother. The inspiration for the rabbit holes comes from Karen Tack and Alan Richardson’s Hello, Cupcake! One taste tester actually said my cupcakes lacked originality, but I thought they were the perfect reminder of the lovely spring weather we had this weekend. 

I made vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. For the bunny faces, I used mini M&Ms for the ears and nose, black gel for the whiskers, red gel for the mouth, and halved tootsie rolls for the ears. For the grass, I dyed some of the frosting green and used a Wilton frosting tip for the special texture. For the rabbit holes, I used crushed oreos for the fur, a mini marshmallow for the cottontail, halved tootsie rolls for the feet, and black gel for the toes and sole. For the sunflowers, I used crushed oreos for the center and cut a triangle in a Ziploc bag to shape the petals. 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Even though it’s May, the weather has been ridiculous lately. I understand the importance of rain for the environment, but three days in a row is a little much, especially when the preK kids are stuck inside. These past few nights have been chilly as well, so soup was the perfect option for dinner. This recipe is actually my mother’s chicken noodle soup and uses the stove instead of the slow cooker. The soup takes a while to cook but this is ideal comfort food. 

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, with bones

2 cans (28 oz each) chicken broth

salt and pepper

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

pinch of thyme

1/4 onion, diced

rice or noodles

Directions:

1. Put chicken breasts, chicken broth and tsp salt in large stockpot. Add water to cover breasts. Turn stove to high; cover and boil. 

2. Scrape white fat off top. 

3. Reduce heat to low; add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Remove chicken and let cool for 30 minutes. Break into pieces and discard bones.

5. Cook rice or noodles separately and spoon into pot with chicken.

6. Reheat soup on medium heat until hot enough to eat.

Mexican Chocolate Cakes

I sincerely apologize for my lacking of postings since returning from China. I have been working in preK everyday and applying to jobs, which often leaves me too tired to cook. Sad day. Instead, I have been revisiting past favorites such as baked macaroni and cheese, beef and Guinness pie, and vegetable soup with Tortellini

I attended a friend’s party on Cinco de Mayo, which provided the perfect opportunity to try out these Mexican Chocolate Cakes, courtesy of Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone’s Booze Cakes. The cakes themselves were delicious. They tasted like rich and fudgy brownies with a hint of mocha and dark chocolate flavors. Technically I was supposed to serve these flourless cake with a tequila and caramel sauce, but that combination tasted disgusting and the little cakes were just fine on their own. Separating the egg yolk from the white takes some practice, but this recipe was fairly easy to follow. Sadly, this only makes 12 cakes, so you may need to double the ingredients. Fiesta time!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup sugar, divided

10 oz dark chocolate, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, separated

1 Tbsp Kahlua or other coffee liqueur 

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Grease and flour a 12-cup cupcake pan.

2. In saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter with 1/4 cup sugar. Stir in chocolate and cook until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

3. Beat egg yolks and remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow in a mixing bowl. Beat in coffee liqueur. Stir warm chocolate mixture into egg yolk and blend well. In separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture. Pour batter into pan. Bake 15 minutes.

Barbecue Roast Beef Sandwiches

I made this perfect weeknight meal the other night. The recipe, from the Betty Crocker cookbook, was easy to follow and only took about 20 minutes to throw together. I was a little wary about the barbecue sauce, so I tasted it before combining the sauce with the roast beef. Even one of my taste testers tried it out and said she could really taste the barbecue sauce, to which I responded “ha! barbecue sauce wasn’t an ingredient.” Clearly, the homemade sauce was effective.

The one problem that I noted for future reference was that this recipe only makes enough for five sandwiches. There was just enough barbecue sauce to coat the meat without being too liquidy. Roast beef in general does not last very long in the refrigerator, but you may need to increase the amount of ingredients if you are serving more people. 

I served these sandwiches with a fruit salad.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup ketchup

3 Tbsp distilled white vinegar

2 Tbsp diced onion

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp packed brown sugar

1 clove garlic, diced

1 lb thinly sliced cooked roast beef - available at most delis

6 hamburger buns

Directions:

1. In 2 quart saucepan, heat all ingredients, except roast beef and hamburger buns, to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add beef gradually into sauce, stirring to coat each slice. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until beef is hot. 

3. Fill buns with meat mixture.