Monday, December 20, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

First, a shout out to my friend Stephanie who posted a pic of the Ginger Wars house that my co-worker and I created for a work competition! Go to her blog to check it out! Plus her blog is cool in general with a lot of fashion, home decorating and all around craftiness! Go check it out!

Now onto cookie business... I probably shouldn't post cookie fails on my blog, but I am going to anyways. I finally baked some holiday cookies and I'm convinced the baking soda was bad! And that's why my cookies failed to rise. Because it couldn't have been an user error... right?!? Don't get me wrong, they're actually not that bad, they're chewy and crisp and a good flavor...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Baking!

'Tis the season for cookies! Baking, decorating, giving and eating cookies! I don't know how but I always end up too busy in December to properly think out my cookie baking for the month. So far I have baked 0 cookies in December, but this will change. This year I plan on trying out some new recipes, but I do have some go to recipes that I break out this time of year that I would like to tell you about!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Oops- I was pretty lame about updating for Thanksgiving festivities. To be honest, I was just enjoying baking, cooking and 4 days off work. It was much needed! So I vow here in blogland to not slip up for December. I will be making cookies and hopefully loads of them and I will chronicle my escapades.

In the meantime, I'll journey through last week and update you all on my latest baking adventures. In order of baking events, we start with the lovely and underestimated Snickerdoodle. This is a cookie I first learned about while working at a coffee shop. It is one of my favorite cookies. Cinnamon and sugary goodness. I made these cookies for work last week before the break and they were a hit. They go well with fall without having to make something pumpkin flavored.

The All Recipes website is my go to place for finding good cookie recipes online. Since the recipes are rated, I just search for the cookie and choose the one that is the most highly rated recipe- as that is sure to be a winner.

My cookies were adapted from Mr. Sigg's Snickerdoodle Recipe on Allrecipes.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt.

3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. 

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until done. (This is one cookie that you don't want to take out the oven slightly doughy- make sure it bakes all the way through)

5. Eat them with a glass of milk!

**Recipe variation**: I used 1 cup butter instead of the called for 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening. I don't trust shortening.... even for pie crusts.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner: Part I

Google Images confirms the popularity and goodness if this dish

Thanksgiving is fun. I really enjoy hanging out with my family and making Thanksgiving dinner. This year will be my second year making the complete dinner and this is one meal where I don't try and make everything from scratch. It's part of the fun... right? Cranberry jelly that's shaped like a can, canned yams and marshmallows.... they're staples at our dinner. Even if I think yams are gross.

One of my favorite side dishes is something not thanksgiving-ish at all. My mom found this recipe several years ago for Strawberry Pretzel Salad and now we make every Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's so good. You should make it right now. And eat it. It's that's good. It's made of a layer of pretzel crust, cream cheese- whipped cream middle and strawberry jello layered on top. Yum. It's salty, savory and sweet in one dish and very addicting. I could eat it all. Oh and use frozen strawberries if you're not lucky enough to have them year round like we do here in California.

But here's your chance to get the recipe. I use one from All Recipes. Com.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Make it now and thank me later.

Baking Club!

Did you know I belong to a club? A baking club? While I haven't made it to alot of our meetings, I did get to host this past weekend. It was nice to catch up with some old friends, make a new one and try out some new recipes.

We made cinnamon apple coffee cake, pumpkin bundt cake and chocolate cupcakes, ate some lunch and had some fun.

Here are my reviews on the recipes:

Apple Coffee Cake recipe from Betty Crocker:
This is a pretty simple coffee cake to make and it tasted pretty good. The strussel crumb topping is always my favorite in a coffee cake.

Pumpkin Bundt Cake recipe from ... I need to get it from Wendy:
As you can you see from the picture our cake had a little accident. It didn't come out of the pan all the way.  So we put the glaze inbetween the broken layers, which helped it to stick together as a whole piece.
This was my favorite of the day. It didn't taste too much like pumpkin and was very moist. I recommend this one for the season... but will need to post the recipe later! Oops....

Chocolate Cupcakes with Irish Cream Glaze
Chocolate cupcake recipe from a google search: Cake on the Brain Blog
Irish cream glaze a simple mix of powder sugar, a touch of milk and a splash of Irish Cream syrup (all eye balled and made up by me)
The result- the batter looked like chocolate mousse, which is always a good indicator. But the finished product wasn't as moist and because this was a dark chocolate cupcake, it could have benefited from some chocolate frosting. But that would have taken too long.

Well that's all I've got for now. Must prepare for Thanksgiving soon. I'll be posting some of my fave Thanksgiving recipes shortly. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Week Night Dinner- Thai Red Chicken Curry

This one is a cheat- which I would like to think I don't stray away from making things from scratch, especially for this blog, but when I get home around 530-630 I am generally hungry and generally the one who cooks dinner.... so I want to make something quick so I can eat it. It's a dilemma.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When All Else Fails, There's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dear Blog,
I was going to update you with fabulous and fun Halloween cookies that I made! But, they didn't turn out so well! I really wanted to make Star War cookie sandwiches with these cookie cutters I got from Williams-Sonoma.... but my recipes were not cookie cutter friendly at all. And to be honest, the cookies themselves weren't that great. They weren't bad, but they just didn't do it for me. So when all else fails, make chocolate chip cookies and everyone wins- regardless of the festive holiday. And that's exactly what I did.
Ever catch my post on the best ever chocolate chip cookies? Well make them here!

Cookie Fail
Cookie Win!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fudgy Yummy Brownies

Jason and I had some friends over on Saturday night- we dined on vegetarian asian food (I got Jason to enjoy tofu!), followed by some Wii fun and a few rounds of Apples to Apples and- of course- brownies for dessert.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week Night Dinner- Risotto

Risotto always seemed like a very intimidating dish to make. After all, I first heard about it from Kitchen Nightmares and/or Hell's Kitchen where Chef Ramsay is constantly yelling at chef's, 'you can't even make a risotto!' It sounded like a simple- for elegant and trained chefs only- type of dish. Nevertheless, a few months ago I bought arborio rice with an amateur cook's dream of making this dish at home.

Birthday Cupcakes

I'm baaack to blogging. August and September were brutal work months- literally 10-12 hour days almost everyday for most of August and most of September. And I just didn't have the energy to bake and blog about during that time.  But I think things are back to normal and that means coming home at decent hours and time and energy to bake, cook and blog! Oh yey!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

What I Want Now- Mugs!

I am a bit disappointed in myself for not writing here more often! I've been working looooong hours since probably before labor day, making my ability and desire to cook or bake anything obsolete. Honestly, I am not sure I cooked a home made dinner at all during the work week for all of September so far. But... but... I want to keep this blog chugging along while hopefully things die down to normal at work and I can come home at respectable hours, make dinner and have plenty of weekend time to dive into more complicate bakery fun!

In the meantime though, it's time for another What I Want Now! post. In this post, I present to you, all things cute to drink your coffee/tea and anything else you see fit that should go into a mug.

1. I don't know why- but I just want this to carry around all my cold coffee drinks- it's how I prefer my coffee anyhow. Starbucks came out with a version last year or so, and I really wanted it then, but without the Starbucks logo. Guess I can make those dreams come true by owning a non logo one now! And it's quite the bargain at Fred Flare for only $10!

2. I think this may be the winner out of the 4- it's just so cool! I've been coveting this little mug for awhile- not sure why I never just buy these things. It's from this site Veer that is actually a site for licensing photos and fonts, but they have a cute little selection of merchandise for the looking. How I stumbled upon this site in the first place... I am not sure.... but I am glad I did.

3. Did you know that Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most banned books in America? Yes, it's true. You wanna know why? Because she carries a bottle of wine in her basket to bring to her grandma. Sigh- doesn't that just depress you? But this little tea mug won't! It's keep your tea leaves out of your tea and keep you smiling with how cute it is.  This 'better to brew you with' mug is from Mod Cloth.

4. And finally, we can also keep it simple with this simply put mug from Crate and Barrel. At $5.95 a mug- it's quite the bargain!

Hopefully I am in full swing this week and updating this blog more often... starting Tuesday... because honestly... I couldn't bring myself to do the laundry over the weekend and I may need to do it tomorrow!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz

Let me tell you about my favorite way to make coffee at home. You see, while in college, I worked at a coffee shop, and it was there I learned techniques and tips for making really good coffee. I also learned to drink coffee, and even iced teas without any sweeteners. I'm still not a fan of a regular cup of joe though, and despite my many years at the coffee shop, which by the way, was probably the funnest job I've ever had (no joke), I never learned to properly brew drip coffee at home. So what's a girl to do when she wants some coffee at home and has not shelled out a decent amount of money for a commercially viable espresso machine for her own kitchen?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Strawberry Cake!

Happy birthday to me! Well about 2 weeks ago or so. So, as I'm on a baking kick, and having just baked cupcakes not that long ago, I knew I had to try baking my own cake from scratch. Why? Because I've never done it and I've always wanted to try. And it just seem more justifiable when you have an occasion to bake a cake for.

Many birthdays ago my mom used to buy me this strawberry cake for my birthday.  It was light, fluffy, not too sweet and used whip cream instead of frosting. All I know is she used to get it at an asian bakery.  I wanted to replicate this cake.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

My momma brought Jason and me a ton of tomatoes from her garden. I was overwhelmed with tomatoes, and though it was like 100 degrees out ( but to be fair maybe only 85 near me) this past week, I thought wouldn't tomato soup taste good? I've never made it before, but it sounded like something I could do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lemon Cupcakes!

My friend Barbara and I decided some time this summer to make lemon cupcakes. Why? Because a) I had hot pink and rainbow sprinkles! and b) why not?! We made these suckers like a week or two ago but I am only getting around to posting this because my work has turned into chaos where I spend 9-10 hours looking at two giant computer screens and the very last thing I want to do is stare at more computer screens when I get home. BUT it's finally the weekend and I can handle the computer again and bring to you a very tragic, but good ending to my cupcake story.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pretty in Peach

Looks better than what my crappy camera can picture!

I've never really made anything pie or pie-crusted related before, and lately I've been seeing tarts everywhere on blogs. Rustic tarts look pretty and simple so I thought, why not give it a try? Plus, I am a new fan of buying fruits and veggies and even eggs from my local farmer's market. It's just down the street and open every Sunday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Roasted Chicken

Week night cooking for me is peaks and valleys. Sometimes I'm really good about cooking dinner for Jason and I, and a dinner is prepared at home almost every night for a week. Then there are other times when I am forced to work late at work, or the dishes are dirty and need to be washed before making dinner or I am just lazy and in those weeks we eat out.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What I Want Now- Kitchen Edition!

Lucky Magazine has or use to have this cool section where their editors would tell their readers 'what they want now!' for all things clothes, accessories, etc. and I thought it would be cool to do the same for baking and cooking related products.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Microwaved Popcorn- A New Revolution!

I like popcorn. Only recently though, my taste buds have been adjusting and I've grown fond of popcorn not popped in the microwave. Why? Because of all the artificial aftertastes that are left in my mouth. It's just not as satisfying as movie theatre popcorn or popcorn cooked over the stove.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Tip and a Book

So in my new explorations of the cooking world, I've stumbled upon a few helpful books and tips as I meander more into baking and cooking. I thought I'd share one of each that have stuck with me and are my guiding philosophy into this cookery world. First, a really good tip from Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' book: buy the best cooking equipment that you can afford. Makes perfect sense, and I try and practice this sound type of advice anytime I'm at Surlatable, Surfas, Williams and Sonoma, etc. etc.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday Night Kind of Pizza

Fridays are the best day of the week. Or let me rephrase that:  Friday nights, after you've left the office, are the best time of the week. You leave the all the unfinished work and nonsense behind.  That is what I try to do at least.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Scream, Ice Cream (the saga)

This past weekend I was determined to make ice cream.  About 5-6 years ago I talked my mom into buying  an ice cream maker and she gave it to me when I moved out a year later. 3 apartments later, I've finally decided to use it and make homemade ice cream. It turns out it doesn't work! Maybe I lost a part in one of our moves, I know I definitely lost the instruction booklet. Of course, I figured this out after I found a recipe for gelato. It didn't deter me because I thought I could just make ice cream without an ice cream maker.  Basically, you make your creamy concoction and freeze it, but constantly check on it and scrape the frozen parts because you want ice cream to be creamy not icy. I do not recommend this method.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Let me tell you about the best ever chocolate chip cookies.  These aren't the chocolate chip cookies of my childhood- no, they are better. These are the one thing I can make very well and am happy to say I am not an amateur at. These are a staple for holidays and special occasions and just because sometimes you need a chocolate chip cookie. They are just that good. And I think this last time is the best I have ever made them. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bakin' a Pizza Pie

I was going to write about my great graham cracker experiment- but I think I will save that for next time. I had grand ideas for graham crackers, and well... they didn't work out. So instead I bring to you pizza. Yum, who doesn't love pizza? My dad doesn't actually, but I don't know why.

Anyhow, I've actually come up with a brilliant plan to cook most of mine & Jason's dinners to save money, eat healthier, etc. etc. And this time the brilliant plan involved actually planning out what to make for the week instead of just buying things and figuring them out later (as I usually do) . And when that figuring it out later part doesn't turn into any ideas, we turn to take out and eating out pretty quickly. But not this week! I made a plan! And a grocery list! And a wonderful trip to the farmer's market! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Granola- with an exclamation mark!

Few know that I have/had a cooking blog. I had very good intentions for that blog, but that's all there ever was- intentions. It's too much pressure to cook all the time. Especially when you have a stressful job and when you get home you're just hungry and want to eat now. I don't have the patience to then take pictures and then blog about my cooking. Too. much. work. for. me. And perhaps I am a bit lazy, who knows! Anyhow, I'm starting anew and sticking to my current hobby- baking!