Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peach Bundt Cake with Peach Glaze

What say’s summer more than peaches?!

I figured since summer is slowly coming to an end (sad I know) I decided I pay tribute to what has been an awesome summer with a little peach cake.

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups of sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 can of peaches in light syrup, drained (reserve syrup for glaze), diced
  • ¼ cup of butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp of syrup from canned peaches
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a bundt pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and eggs one at a time until well mixed.

3. Add half the flour, and yogurt and all of the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined, then add the remaining flour and yogurt, Mix well.

4. Spoon half the batter into the pan, cover with canned and fresh peaches, then pour the remaining batter on top.

5. Bake for approx. 50 – 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

6. To make the glaze, mix melted butter, icing sugar, and peach syrup until smooth. You may need more syrup or icing sugar depending on consistency. It should be thick but still pour-able. Spoon over cake. Keep cake refrigerated until you consume.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Pad Thai

This is my latest attempt of "take out at home". I love Thai food! And this dish really hit the spot. I substituted a yellow pepper for bean sprouts. I'm not a huge fan of them to begin with, but had fully tended on using them until they looked all slimy in the bag. yuck!

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup of green onions, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, scrambled in a bowl
  • 1 package of brown rice noodles, cooked and drained
    1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 4 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp of crushed red chili flakes
  • chopped peanuts

1.  In a bowl or large measuring cup whisk together ketchup, fish sauce, sugar, peanut butter, and red chili flakes. Set aside.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in a large wok over medium heat until cooked through. Add in the green onions and yellow pepper, saute for minutes then transfer for a bowl.

3.  Crack eggs over preheated pan (where you cooked the chicken) and allow to fry for a bout a minute ,then break it up with a spoon. Add the chicken, onion and pepper mix back into the wok along with the sauce and mix together. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce. Garnish with peanuts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Caprese Quick Bread

This was really good. Like really, really good.
I usually bake while Andrew is away and then cut and wrap up individual pieces to freeze for him to eat when he's back or take with him next time he leaves for work. With is bread, I convinced myself that Andrew doesn't like end pieces of things, so instead of letting them go to waste I would just have a taste now and the rest as snacks later. Ha! I devoured both of pieces right away, not even a crumb remained.

I didn't put measurements for the cheese, basil, or sun-dried tomatoes. You can really use your judgement on those depending on  what you like.

  • 2¼ cups of  flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • Mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Sun-dried-tomatoes, with oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ tbsp of olive oil
  • 1¼ cups of buttermilk
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan or baking dish.

2. In  a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the cheese, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add eggs, olive oil and buttermilk, Stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Spoon into the loaf pan.

4. Bake for approx 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The bread should be a golden color.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eyelashes for Days

I’ve done it all. Eye lashes extensions, tried every mascara under the sun and even used a serum to encourage growth. What is it with girls and their lashes?!

Only two things have worked for me; Ageless Lashes and Younique 3D mascara. Obviously, the extensions gave amazing results but they are far too pricey and ruined my real lashes. When they were removed all I had left were little stubs. Needless to say it was an extremely sad week for me. :(

After trying countless mascara brands I was very skeptical when I first heard about Younique, thinking it was more of the same. But it’s not. The combination of gel and fibers allows you to build your lashes up and up, pretty much as long you as you want them. But be warned that this can be extremely addictive and after using it, you will never be able to go back to just ho hum regular mascara.

For me, what worked best was using a very thin coat of your regular mascara (emphasis on the very thin coat) then use a coat of the Younique gel, then immediately after the green tea fibers, and gel again to seal it. I also like to use a brush without anything on it to keep the lashes separated in between coats. Repeat gel, fiber, gel until you achieve the desired lash length.

Just a little beauty find from me to you! ;)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I once heard a rumor that there are certain people on this earth, who actually don’t like peanut butter and chocolate together. Seriously. These people baffle me. Chocolate and Peanut butter together is one of greatest love stories of all time, it’s right up there with Romeo & Juliet. And this pie, is one of the best expressions of that love.

I often say no to dessert only to find myself trying to compensate with a variety of “healthier” options that probably in end, have just as many calories, but aren’t nearly as satisfying. So I say, every once in a while, when something really appealing presents itself, I say go for it. Indulge a little. I know I thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite of this one! ;)

  • 1 and half boxes of Oreo cookie crumbs 
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter

Peanut Butter Layer
  • 1 packages of light cream cheese (2.5 oz) at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of softened butter
  • 2/3 cup of icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups of heavy cream (whipped) 

Chocolate Mouse Layer

  • 1 packages of milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of heavy cream (whipped) 

Chocolate Glaze Layer

  • 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • chopped peanuts for garnish

 1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the melted butter and Oreo cookie crumbs. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. A drinking glass works great for this. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid beat together the cream cheese and butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until fluffy. Fold in the whipping cream and pour over the prepared crust, and smooth the top so it's even. Place in the fridge while you make the next layer.

3.  In a small bowl, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth. Add the vanilla and fold in the whipping cream until consistent in color. Spread across the peanut butter layer and return to the fridge.

4. In a small sauce pan on low heat, carefully heat the heavy cream, be careful not to burn. Cream should not bubble. Once heated mix in the chocolate chips and stir until they are all melted. Add the vanilla and then pour over the top of the pie, spreading to the crust with the back of a spoon. Garnish with peanuts. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before consuming.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

50 Shades of Reality

I thought I would break up what has appeared to have turn into a food blog with a little book review.  

*Spoiler Alert*

I just read the first 50 Shades of Grey book, well rather listened to it on Auditable. I know I am extremely behind the times but I never had an interest in reading it. But I just happened to have an extra credit to use up and figured with the movie coming out it would be worth a try.

The fact that this book became so extremely popular remains a mystery to me. Is this the type of relationship most women want? A borderline abusive relationship with a control freak? Is Mr. Christian Grey the man of everyone’s dreams?
No matter who you are, I assure you, you could do better.

I do, however, understand the allure of having an extremely good looking, rich man making elaborate gestures to win you over. And that reading a book like this can be a nice little escape from reality. But please be advised, this is a fairy tale and no real life relationship advice should be drawn.

While listening to this book, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and think how off base this book truly is from reality. (Thank god Mr. Grey didn’t see otherwise I would have a very sore behind)

So I thought it would be fun to do a little compare and contrast. Book vs reality.
Please note that this post is intended for humorous purposes only. The reality scenarios do not in any way depict anything remotely close to how my fiancĂ©, Andrew would behave….ex-boyfriends….maybe.

Book Scenario– Even though Ana is a virgin, Christian gives her multiple orgasms every time they have an encounter. (Including the very first time she has sex) Christian is apparently some sort of energizer bunny and doesn’t need a break…ever.
Reality – Ana’s first time is not very pleasurable, and it will most likely take a number of times of having sex before she can have an orgasm. And Christian is far more concerned with his pleasure then hers. After he’s done. He goes to sleep, not particularly caring what Ana does.

Book Scenario – Thinking ahead, Christian wants to surprise Ana by upgrading her flight her to first class. He also spends a little extra to purchase the seat next to her because he is a possessive, jealous man.
Reality –
Men don’t think ahead.

Book Scenario – Christian flys across the country to see Ana because he misses her after being gone for only 3 days.
Reality – Christian is ecstatic to be rid of the old ball and chain for a few days. He enjoys not showering, playing xbox all day, and eating take out.

Book Scenario –
Every time Ana emails Christian, Christian responds immediately with a witty email, expressing his feelings for her.
Reality – Christian doesn’t respond to Ana for a few days to keep her on her toes, and only a “sissy” would be upfront about his feelings.

Book Scenario – Christian is always very concerned with Ana’s health and always insists she eats everything on her plate.
Reality- Christian makes an underhanded comment about Ana’s weight and suggests she should skip a meal every now and again.

Book Scenario –
Christian spends tons of money and fills up an entire closet full of designer clothes just for Ana.
Reality – Christian doesn’t care what Ana wears, would never go shopping for her, and thinks anything more than $30 for any article of clothing is exorbitant.

Laters, Baby.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Red Velvet Cookies

I’ve been a total cookie monster the past few weeks. Feeding my addiction probably isn’t the smartest thing I’ve done but I send majority of the them with Andrew and only sneak a few before they go. Sooooo that’s how I’m going to justify making these.

  • 1 box of Red Velvet cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vanilla together. Add the cake mixture, and baking powder. Mix to form a dough - stir and fold until all of the pockets of dry cake mix are gone. The dough will be oily. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

3. Drop rounded balls of dough, about 1 Tablespoons of dough each, onto prepared baking sheet.  Bake each batch for 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Maintaining a balanced life is all about give and take, and compromising. Think of this recipe as middle ground between fried donuts covered in sugary glaze and, well, not eating a donut. Baked, homemade donuts are all about treating yourself, without feeling copious amounts of guilt.

Who knew baked donuts are so Zen? ;)

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ of buttermilk (I made my own)
  • 2 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 6 cavity donut pan
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
  • ½ stick of butter, melted
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

1) Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees, lightly grease donut pan and set aside.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk (I make my own by adding 1 tsp of vinegar to milk). Mix everything together. You should have an airy batter.

3) Either spoon or pipe the batter into the donut pans and bake for approx. 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the donuts cool in the pan, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl to make the topping.

4) Turn donuts over onto a cool rack and brush the tops with butter, then dip into the cinnamon sugar mixture, and set back onto the rack. Either consume immediately or wrap each individually and freeze. Makes approx. 8 donuts