Did you not get what you wanted for Christmas?
Sure, you told everyone around you that you wanted 'nothing', but was their something worst than nothing?(I'm looking at you Snuggies) Sure, you left **highly suggestive little reminders** (read circling magazines in red sharpies and casually forgetting them on your coworkers desk, and sneaky post-its of wish lists all over your friends and classmates stuff) yet no one really got the hint?
Well never Fret! We have a giveaway! And you can use this money to buy yourself whatever you want from the Food Network store!!!
Whats amazing about the site is that it is literally any foodies dream store. Like a child in a candy store. They have everything imaginable from pots and pans to spices to cupcake liners! They even have specialty products from famous chefs such as Paula Deen Cookware.
Did you not get what you wanted for Christmas?
Check out my latest giveaway to the Food Network! And check back soon for even more giveaways coming soon!!
Long time no see huh? I apologize for the lack of posts around here. The reasoning behind it is school, school, school. Let me rewind. Around September time I was in the “YAH! LETS DO THIS!” mood school wise. But of course, as life is, it decided to be cruel to me and slap me in the face with not one, not two, but THREE colds! Right after another. Yah. It sucked. It came to the point where I was so frustrated by not getting better that I was close to tears. *unhappy face* :(
Anywho, by early October I started feeling better and ready to blog, but then you know what happened? SCHOOL HAPPENED. You know those few weeks of September that I was uber sick? Yah well believe it or not school had continued on without me and I was now an entire month behind in course work and midterm season was upon us. **freak out time**
I assumed that come November I would have plenty of time to update, but it turns out I got even MORE busier! Believe it or not I have written a total of 15 essays in the past few weeks. FIFTEEN! Believe me when I say, I have written more in the past month than Shakespeare did in a year!
The worst part about that ‘cold’ (read evil virus that would probably strangle kittens) keeps coming back. I think I never fully kicked it? Some mornings I wake up a sneezing icky mess and then 2 weeks nothing. And then there’s the big comeback every month when I get reallyyyy crappy again. So far I’ve been on 2 diffeerent antibiotics and probably chugged enough Orange Juice to make all the farmers in California rich.
Anywho. Hopefully the new set of antibiotics will work and all will be well. Hopefully I wont die. Dramatic? What are you talking about?! Anyways I thought I would give you guys an update and as a thank you to all of you for sticking by, and for reaching 100 followers, we have a giveaway! *yay*
Now. On to the recipe. To celebrate National Hot Cocoa day I made some, well, Hot cocoa! But of course me being me I couldn’t just do something simple and heap a spoon of Nesquick into a cup of microwaved milk. No, no, no. That simply wont do! Grab some imported French Chocolate (or the finest quality of chocolate you can find) and some whipped cream and enjoy!
Gourmet Hot Coco
* 3-4 ounces of chopped high quality chocolate of your choosing (I used French)
* 3 cups of milk (not baking cups but coffee cups :) )
* whipped cream
* some toppings if you like: Dusting of coco powder or cinnamon perhaps? I used shaved bits of chocolate.
1. Pour your milk into a small pot and heat up. Make sure it doesn’t boil!
2. Carefully chop up your chocolate with a sharp knife.
3. Toss in the chocolate, and mix with a whisk or spoon.
4. Once chocolate is completely melted, pour equally between 3 cups.
Of course my mother would always make these new ‘western’ recipes her own. My mom doesn’t like using recipes. She’s made enough food to know how things ‘should taste’ and likes to ‘assume’ what a recipe will be like. Shepherds pie? Looks like ground beef and veggies with mashed potato on top. So she would adapt her own recipes and incorporate some of her favorite Persian spices. Sometimes her refusal to follow recipes would turn disastrous, but other times it would turn out better than the ‘real’ thing!
I apologize for the lack of posts around here lately. I will definitely be making up for that very soon ;)
In the mean time, I thought I should tell you guys about who won the giveaway!
Congrats! Have fun shopping on CSN ! ;)
See you guys soon!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm hosting a giveaway with the help of CSN stores for all my lovely followers! The Lucky winner will receive a $40 gift card to CSN stores that they can spend in not only their lovely dinnerware store, but in over 200 other stores owned by CSN!
Check out some of the lovely things you could buy from Dinnerware!
|Look at all this lovely dinnerware! You could take AWESOME food photography pictures with these, or host fabulous dinners. And who knew? Versace makes dinnerware?! Doesn't get anymore chique than this!|
But if Dinnerware doesn't strike your fancy, check out their other stores. From Home Decor, Housewares, Home Improvement, Babies and Kids, to School and Office Supplies, shoes, and a Pet section, they are truly a "one stop shop" !!
|get your coffee fix!|
|Rachel Ray's BEST SELLING set! (Now almost $200 off!)|
|I would SO add this to my room!|
|Everyone knows that knee high boots are totallyyy in this season ;)|
As for my personal "to buy" list?
I already got the mixer....
Now for the add ons.... ;)
and....I really want a tart pan. I just do ok? Don't judge. ;)
Now that I've got you all drooling, Heres how you can win!
MAKE SURE YOU POST SEPARATELY FOR EACH. SO EACH ENTRY GET'S ITS OWN COMMENT. THEREFORE A MAXIMUM OF 3 SEPARATE COMMENTS
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups pistachio nuts
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, mix together oil and sugar until well blended. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, then beat in the eggs. Combine flour, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir into egg mixture. Mix in cranberries and nuts by hand.
- Divide dough in half. Form two logs (12x2 inches) on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Dough may be sticky; wet hands with cool water to handle dough more easily.
- Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until logs are light brown. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
- Cut logs on diagonal into 3/4 inch thick slices. Lay on sides on parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes, or until dry; cool.
My Notes on this recipe: I didnt have cranberries or pistachios on hand so I just substituted with sliced almonds ( I didnt change the recipe cause its really yummy with the cranberries and pistachios ;) ) As well, I dont like my biscotti TOO hard, so I only baked it oh so slightly the second time around. And as for the forming of the 'logs' I did that the first time around and it doesn't turn out too good. Instead, just make a rectangular shape, and then cut it! :) Overall this Biscotti recipe is amazing and deserves the "best ever Biscotti" title! Enjoy!
Fudgy Homemade Brownies
1 1/3c semi-sweet chocolate chips (use best quality-Guittard or Ghiradelli)
5 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and butter together. Stir in vanilla and set aside to cool.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until light yellow and in the ribbon stage (you know you’ve reached this when you can lift up your whisk and the egg mixture drip down in a steady ribbon rather than in gloopy clumps). Stir in salt and cocoa and mix well to combine.
3. Stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture and combine well. Sift over flour and fold in until just mixed. Do not overmix, or you will have tough, dry brownies and I will cry for you.
4.Pour into a sprayed 8 x 8″ baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
**do not over bake and allow to cool completely before cutting*
Recipe Review: These were fudgey. I think that about somes it up. I mean just look at those pics and you just know you are in for a bite of intense, luxuriously sinful chocolatey bliss. These are on the fudgey full blown chocolate end of the brownie scale, which is exactly what I was looking for. However, if you are more in the mood for a 'cakey' brownie than a fudgey one then check out my go to brownie recipe. Overall, these were yum and I will make again! :)
I apologize for the lack of posts. It almost seems like whenever I make a decision to start posting more, life swoops in and makes it so that I can not only not update more often, but that I can’t update at all! Life has been very un-cooperative as of late, and work has kept me uber busy. Allow me to outline to you my days: I wake up
So then, I think to myself, on the weekend I’ll bake a BUNCH of stuff and then update throughout the week with it! Yay! Right? Nay. Every single weekend has been cloudy and rainy! EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. How am I supposed to take pretty pictures without any good lighting? I swear its like life is laughing in my face. Working on files all day at work? Sure! I’ll pour in lots of beautiful sunshine and PERFECT weather. Excited for the weekend and all the baking? How about I stop the sunshine on Friday, give you thunderstorms on the weekend, and bring back the shine on Monday
The weathers a bitch. Plain and simple.
Now that I have that off my chest, on to these delicious lemon poppy seed cakes. I made them way back in January because I was getting the winter blues and need something light and ‘summery’, so I guess that would fit in quite snugly now what with all our 40C hot weather!
Moist Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
• 2 1/4 cups cake flour
• 1 1/8 cups white sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
• 4 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
• 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
• 5 eggs
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 3/4 cup lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
2. Sift together the flour, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar and salt. Then mix in the lemon peel, poppy seeds and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
4. In a saucepan over low heat; cook 3/4 cup white sugar and the lemon juice until stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let cool to just warm or to room temperature.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack-place a cookie sheet underneath this rack. Prick the top of the cake several times with a toothpick. Brush the top of the cake with the warm or room temperature syrup, allowing lots of the syrup to run down and soak into the sides and bottom of the cake. Cool slightly in the pan before removing the cake to the wire rack to cool completely. When completely cooled, wrap the cake in foil or plastic freezer wrap and let the cake rest at least one day before serving to your guests.