Friday, April 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avocado Salsa

Addicted...that's all I'm going to say.

Avocado Salsa
Adapted from my mother/sister-in-law

4 medium avocados, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small/medium can of sliced olives
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

1/3 cup e.v.o.o
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Toss everything together in a medium bowl. Serve with tortilla chips or just by itself (i prefer this way)
*tip: to keep the avocados from turning brown, save 1 or 2 of the avo pits and store it in with the salsa

The BEST Chocolate Cake

No really, this is the best chocolate cake I've ever had (homemade). The only cake the prevails over this one is Magleby's chocolate cake. But this is so similar and almost tastes exactly like it. It's great. The only difference is the frosting. I haven't quite been able to find a recipe that's as good as Magleby's. If anyone  has a great chocolate frosting, please pass it on! And I promise you that you'll never want to buy a box chocolate cake ever again (yuck). This is dense, moist, chocolaty, and everything chocolate cake should be.

Chocolate Cake
Recipe slightly adapted from My Girl's Kitchen: Tim's Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (melted) salted butter
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine your dry ingredients, sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda/powder, and salt. Next add in your melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Once that is all incorporated, slowly add the cup of boiling water. Your mixture will be runny, don't worry, this is how it suppose to look

Butter and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Carefully pour your cake batter and bake for 25-30 min. Once your cake is done, place on top of cooling rack and let it cool completely. Refrigerate for a few hours if you can and then frost to your heart's desire.

*Side note: I enjoy this cake so much better the 2nd day. It's great the same day you bake it, but for some reason it tastes even better when you have it for breakfast the next day :)

For the best frosting in the world, use this recipe here

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

This is my most favorite drink in all the world! It is so yummy! It's sweet, sour, fizzy...everything you could ask for in a beverage. It's my go to drink for any event I want to bring something special to, or just my go to drink. If you don't have fresh strawberries, you can always use frozen. Just let them thaw out...or don't. If you want to make a yummy frozen slushy, keep them frozen and blend them up. Hope you enjoy!
Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

2 lbs fresh (or frozen (thawed) if out of season) hulled strawberries
1 1/2 - 2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 bottles of sparkling water (you'll need about a liter a half)

Directions: Slice strawberries and place in blender. Add 1/2 cup sugar. If you want a more sour lemonade, use 2 cups lemon juice, for a little more subtle taste use 1 1/2 cups. Pour lemon juice into blender. Next, make a simple syrup. To do so, boil the last 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 cup of water. Reduce and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 min. Now add the simple syrup to blender. Blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into a pitcher and add sparkling water slowly. Stir with a large spoon. Chill for about 2 hours or serve over ice immediately because really, it's just too good to wait for.

*credit goes to one of my church leaders from years ago. Greatest thing I ever learned to make :)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thai Peanut Pasta

Enjoy! I've "heathified" all of the ingredients, but if you don't have the exact ingredients on hand, use what you've got. No big deal.


2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken but the smell of that makes me sick)
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spice level)
3 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
2 tbs freshly grated/minced ginger

1 package linguine noodles
A good, big old handful of freshly chopped cilantro
A couple of limes, sliced

Cook your pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, combine broth, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger into a medium sized saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture becomes smooth. Once pasta is cooked, toss sauce over pasta. Dish up and add a splash of lime juice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. DON'T leave that last step out. You'll regret it. It tastes unbelievable when you add that fresh lime juice and yummy cilantro.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Oreo cookies

Homemade oreos are delicious. Enough said. Let's get down to it.


2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large mixing bowl combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add in softened butter, mix, and add the eggs. Continue to mix until the dough comes together in a large mass. Take 1 inch sized dough balls, roll them and slightly flatten them before placing on baking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Place cookies onto cooling racks and let them cool completely before icing them.

Oreo filling

1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter for 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and continue to mix for another minute. Slowly add in powdered sugar until it's well mixed.

To assemble cookies take 2 cookies that are equal in size. Spread a good amount of filling on one side and place the other cookie on top to make it a sandwich...easy enough right?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Coconut Cake

We celebrated my son's FIRST birthday over the weekend! It is absolutely insane to think that I have a one year old now. Wow. But anyway, for his birthday I made a coconut cake that has now become my favorite. It's just so yummy and delicious and now I want some. If you're not a coconut fan, don't worry, you can still make this. Just leave the coconut flakes out. Easy as that. I actually did that to make some cupcakes and they turned out great!

When baking the cakes,make sure to keep an eye on them. Most of you know that all ovens bake differently and what what time works for one may end up burning in another.

Coconut Cake
Adapted from Ina Garten: Food Network

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1-2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.

Using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. Crack the eggs into a small bowl. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. If the mixture looks lumpy, don't worry.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternate adding in the dry ingredients and the milk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. (Optional) Fold in the 3/4 cup of coconut with a rubber spatula.
*I personally leave the coconut out of the batter, I only use it to cover the outside of the cake.*

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Let them sit in their pan for about 20-30 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. When you're ready to pop the cakes out, take a butter knife and carefully run it along the edge, tip over so it's laying face side down on the cooling rack and lightly tap the bottoms of the pans until the cake falls out onto the rack. Cool completely before frosting

1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
A tiny splash pure almond extract
1 pound powdered sugar

Using the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the powdered sugar slowly and mix until just smooth (don't whip!).

To assemble the cake:
Place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle remaining amount (or however much your heart desires) of coconut on the top and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

(I doubled the batch to make a 3 layer cake and used the leftover batter to make cupcakes)