Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

November 18, 2011

I made chocolate chili cupcakes last night because I had some leftover chocolate ganache (#firstworld problems, am I right?) and this was the result. Not bad. There’s a nice spicy finish that you don’t notice until you’re just finishing it up, but it’s definitely there. Ancho chiles will give you some more depth of flavor, but if you don’t have it, just heap on a little bit more of cayenne pepper and you’re all set.


Topped with chocolate ganache, a dusting of cinnamon, and a Hot Tamale.

Want the recipe? It’s below the cut.



Super Bowl Sunday Menu

February 6, 2011

My team, the Green Bay Packers, play in today’s Super Bowl.

And I’m a little beside myself with the excitement/nerves. So, what does one do with all that nervous energy? Make ginormous amounts of food, that’s what

Here are some of the recipes I’m preparing today while I watch 12 some hours of football coverage:

And I’m going to attempt to fry cheese curds. Wish me luck. Wish the Packers luck (unless you’re a Steeler’s fan, in which case, you are dead to me).

Lemon Lavender Poundcake

June 30, 2010

If you know me you know that I’m obsessed with lavender. I love the flowers, the scent, I even love it in my food. So when given the opportunity I try every recipe I can that says, “add culinary lavender.” For those of you think lavender makes everything taste like soap? Well, I say this to you: Haters to the left!

Go overboard and serve this with lemonade infused with lavender syrup.

For this recipe though, you can skip the lavender if you so choose, but a hint of it really gives the lemon poundcake an extra something. It’s lemon and dense and moist and sweet, a nice summer treat to be served with coffee or tea, or a big cold glass of lemonade.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

May 31, 2010

Oh, hi! I made pie! And crust. And it was all quite easy, really!

Farmer's market fresh strawberries and rhubarb go into this homemade pie.

Strawberries are still wonderfully in season so my household has been getting two ripe quarts a week. I personally hate the idea of eating fresh fruit in any other way other than fresh and unadulterated, but sometimes ripe means really ripe, and that’s what happened with the strawberries the week I made this pie.


Key Lime Pie

March 4, 2010

I have gotten to know my dentist and endodontist very well over the past 15 months. After 8 fillings, 2 cleanings, multiple x-rays, endodontal surgery, a root canal, and a treatment for a crown (got the temporary one on my tooth right now and will get the actual crown on the 25th), I know that my dentist enjoys manchego cheese, that the dental assistant doesn’t eat pork, but will still cook with bacon fat (also, we recognize each other when we run into one another at Whole Foods) and, somewhat inexplicably, I also know that my endodontist has had a hysterectomy. Things just “pop” out sometimes, I guess? (And I’m the one under the anesthesia.) It’s like being at the hairdresser, except you have drills and brushes and picks in your mouth so you become the one doing the listening.

Key lime pie topped with fresh whipped cream.

What am I trying to say, though? Why do you need to know about my dental work? Oh, yes, I remember: Despite all these problems, all this dental work, I have yet to be told by these professionals: STOP EATING ALL THAT SUGAR. I’d like to say I’m trying to cut down, but I’d be lying. Some people smoke. Other people drink. I, like Lamar Odom, love sugar. I like it in candy. I like it in desserts. I like it in my drinks. We all have our vices. I just have to be careful. And so, for the most part, when I make all these desserts I share with family, friends, and mostly coworkers.

So I will occasionally make attempts to reduce my sugar intake, because it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to encourage this kind of behavior, it won’t stop me from baking all sorts of concoctions. Concoctions such as this lovely key lime pie:


Review: Morimoto

February 9, 2010

In high school, Iron Chef was on in the background of every house party, dirty basement, or hang out location my friends and I went to. We loved the hell out of it. Iron Chef had everything! Crazy food? Check! Competitions? Check! Nutty Japanese? Double check, because you know both the Chairman and his crazy cowboy shirt each get a count.

Of all the original chefs, Morimoto was our favorite. Young, handsome, and a chef! You can imagine how excited I was to go to his restaurant in Philadelphia.


Speculoos (Belgian spice cookies)

February 6, 2010

I get excited about cookies on flights. Yes, I admit it. I can pack all the snacks I want at home for my flight, but the novelty of airline food intrigues me, even when it’s not good. But these airline cookies I’m about to talk about? These cookies are gangbusters.

I’m talking here about the Biscoff cookie. If you had it, you might just remember it, too, ’cause these cookies are no peanuts, no pretzels in difficult-to-open packs. They are these delicious, crispy, spicy, sweet Biscoff cookies, (aka speculoos or Belgian spice cookies). Friends and enemies, since this post is turning out to be confession time, let me say this: I am obsessed with these cookies.

Biscoff cookies are available on Delta flights, or, you can find them at or at Cost World Plus. OR, you could try your hand at making your own.

They dramatically increase my mood (read: blood sugar) when I’m on a flight that seems in danger of never ending. I can only pretend to sleep so long, and no, I will not watch your free episode of Two and a Half Men. The first time I ate them I was shocked at how tasty they were, and then sad that I had scarfed them down. Next time I got one, I was a little better in my savoring skills. And the third time? I saved the package because I had to look up these cookies, I had to dissect them, find how I could approximate the recipe for myself at home.

A clone army of the Biscoff Belgian spice cookie!

Yes, I want to dissect these cookies and reassemble them, in the manner of one Dr. Frankenstein, into a delicious, crisp spice cookie man. What’s it to you?


Apple Crumble with Oatmeal Struesel

January 6, 2010

I sometimes make new year’s resolutions, but if I do it’s not so much that I break them so much as forget them. Hey, life gets busy when you’re blogging about food and getting all googily-eyed over the copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that your dapper and charming boyfriend got you for Christmas. But I view resolutions in the way I view diets—they’re ephemeral and not always effective, especially when compared to lifestyle changes, and usually in this case, lifestyle changes that are steps and not drastic 180s into world where—gasp!—you might cut out say, desserts!

Because you shouldn’t deprive yourself, especially of dessert, because you’ll just drive yourself mad. What you can do, though, is attempt to make “healthier” versions of desserts and eat them only in moderation (especially after the cookie-binge that is December).

Serve with a little vanilla ice cream in a wine glass, and you’re party-ready.

So to start the new year, here is my attempt at a health(ier) dessert. While it’s not prime apple season anymore (should I make another resolution—erm—lifesetyle change, to actually post these recipes when they’re in peak season and when I say I will? I’ll make a mental note).

Rosemary and Lavender Shortbread Cookies

November 17, 2009

While walking across the street to my car I saw a empty, discarded box of Walker’s shortbread cookies. And the craving hit me. Like that. Inspired by garbage!

I went home, threw some butter on the counter, and then realizing it was getting pretty late had to throw the butter back into the fridge. Attempt two occurred the next day, this time with buttery success.

Rosemary and lavender are two of my favorite scents and flavors. Combined in the right balance in a buttery cookie? Oh. My.

I’ve tried to grow lavender in the past. Sadly and unsurprisingly, it either never grew, or grown plants would wither away and die. So, next best thing, culinary lavender bought in bulk from the local natural food store. My rosemary is a different story. It’s the one plant that has survived my black thumb, bless it’s fragrant, piney, herby heart. And it always forgives me a little bit of pruning, especially in a good cause such as the incorporation into cookies.


Pastel de tres leches (tres leches cake)

October 26, 2009

Today is my boyfriend’s birthday. We celebrated this weekend with a good deal of good food, too. On Saturday we went to Woodberry Kitchen and had an all-around wonderful meal, simply wonderful (review and pictures to come). I can’t say too many good things about it. I had tuna seared with Moroccan spies; he had braised leg of lamb with lamb sausage and eggplant and other good things. I could go on, but I’ll save that for another time.

We continued the food good times Sunday night with steamed crabs covered in salty, delicious Old Bay seasoning. At the end of the meal, the proprieters were so good to let me bring in the cake I had baked for his birthday.

This cake, in fact:

Tres leches cake made with a rum milk syrup.

Tres leches cake made with a rum milk syrup.