Foodie funny

I am taking a psychology class and my professor was explaining different traits, one is Extraversion. Every time she said that word I thought Extra virgin olive oil. If you don’t get it then…still have a laugh cause it releases endorphins which makes you a happier person.

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Oatmeal peanut butter cup cookies

Over the weekend my god sister came to stay over my house and we decided to bake oatmeal cookies but not just any old oatmeal cookie, we put in reese’s peanut butter cups! I love peanut butter and with chocolate, it’s magical! Actually, every time we bake I am the one who bakes and she waits patiently but this time she took pictures for me. Thanks!

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all the ingredients mixed together.

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Ready for the oven!

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baked and ready to eat!

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Oatmeal peanut butter cup cookies
The recipe was adapted from the oatmeal raisin cookies and I swapped out the raisins for the peanut butter cups. If you want you could add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries for some tartness to balance out the sweetness of the peanut butter and chocolate. I would have done that but sadly I did not have any.

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking spoon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, cut into quarters

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter, brown sugar, milk, egg and in a large bowl until combined.
Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture and mix together.
Stir in oats and peanut butter cups. Drop tablespoonfuls onto aluminum foil or wax paper covered cookie sheets.
Bake 12 to 15 mins. Remove from oven and let it cool

Carrot cake

This cake was another birthday cake for my dad since they were celebrating it with family friends. Therefore, I made carrot cake. How I love this cake, I mean how can you not love carrot cake, It has cinnamon, raisins, carrots, nuts and best of all cream cheese! I LOVE CHEESE!!! (even though I am not suppose to, darn lactose intolerance).

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Build up your arm muscles by grating that carrot. To the left of the picture there is a plastic glove, I use that so the orange color from the carrot doesn’t come off on my hands but I took them off for this picture.

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Substituting apple sauce for half the oil, with the mixture of sugar and eggs.

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Added the carrot into the sugar, egg & oil mixture.

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Added the flour and combined it into the mixture then added the raisins and nuts.

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Into the oven we go! drop the cake pan one or two times to even the batter out and get the bubbles out.

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Carrot cake
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma
I tweaked this cake in a healthy way by substituting half the oil for apple sauce (you can also use yogurt). Thanks education for teaching me that. This was the first time I had used apple sauce in a cake and it was not bad, not bad at all. The difference between the regular cake and apple sauce cake is that the cake was quite moist, this might put off some people but in the end it still tastes great! It must be all that cream cheese, yum!
As for the carrots, the recipe says four but I think it depends on how large the carrots are. I have used two very large carrots before. If you happen to have more carrots you can put in about 1/2 a cup more into the cake or put it in a salads or tuna fish.
Don’t have mace then use a touch of all spice or nutmeg. Also, if you don’t have cake flour, its okay I did not have cake flour for a long time, you can use 1 3/4 cup of all purpose flour and 1/4 cup of corn starch.

4 large carrots

2 cups cake flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground mace

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 1/4 cups canola oil(with apple sauce, 1/2 cup & 2 tablespoon each)

1/2 cup raisins

1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Cream cheese frosting
Adapted from Alton Brown

8 oz cream cheese, soft

2 oz unsalted butter (4 tablespoons), room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two round cake pans or 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

To make the cake, peel and grate the carrots. You should have about 3 cups, set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and mace, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs,  and oil and whisk thoroughly to combine. Stir in the carrots. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture until almost completely incorporated. Add the raisins and 1 cups of nuts and fold to mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Watch the time closely at the end so the cake does not overbake. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Place a cake rack on top of the pan, invert them together and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely.

Cream cheese frosting
Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until blended then add the vanilla. On a low speed add the powdered sugar in 3 batches and mix it till smooth for each addition.

Time to assemble the cake. Place a layer of cake on a cake stand or a large plate and frost each layer. Use the rest of the crushed nuts to decorate around the side of the cake. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my father’s birthday! I made cheesecake with a slight lemon flavor. This is what what I think a New York style cheesecake is suppose to taste like, thick slice and creamy consistency, yum! Don’t feel too guilty for eating it since I cut half the amount of sugar in the recipe. I had a mango and strawberries in my fridge, used those to make a pretty flower design.

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all the ingredients and tools you need. Vanilla extract is optional, I accidentally put it there, it’s for a sour cream topping in the original recipe.

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Once again if you are feeling stressed use that meat tenderizer to crush those graham crackers!

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The egg, cream cheese, sugar, lemon and flour. A bit lumpy buts it’s okay, keep going!

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Added the egg whites and folded it into the batter. Do not stir the egg whites or else all the work you did to make the egg whites peak will be for nothing. To fold the egg whites you should use a spatula and gently lift the batter from underneath to “fold” the batter over its self.

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When you take off the springform you are left with a lovely plain cheesecake. Mine did not brown on top but its okay.

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Sliced up the mango and strawberry and make this flower design. I thought about this design all day and had a little day dream about it too.

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Added sliced strawberries to the side of the cheesecake to make it more colorful.

Lemon Cheesecake
adapted from Mark Bittman: How to cook everything.
For this recipe you need a springform pan and put it in a water bath. What I learned is to wrap the pan in two layers of aluminum foil to prevent the water from seeping into the cake. Now you don’t have to do this but for my own sanity I had to do it cause who wants a damp crust.  Although, once you put the cake into the fridge to let it cool you will not notice it.  If you do take the aluminum foil route, the water level will stop just a little under the lowest edge of the aluminum foil.
If you do not have a large baking pan to put the springform pan into, don’t fret, use a aluminum foil pan. When using that aluminum foil pan I suggest that you pour the water in when you put the pan in the oven since the foil pan might be wobbly when moved to the oven.

1 double recipe Graham cracker crust (see below)4 eggs, separated
24 ounces (3 [8-ounce] packages) cream cheese, soften
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Use an electric mixer to beat the egg yolks until light; add the cheese, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 cup of the sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks; use a rubber spatula or your hand to fold them into the yolk-cheese mixture gently but thoroughly. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and place the pan in a baking pan or aluminum foil pan large enough to hold it comfortably.

Add warm water to the baking pan, so that it comes to within an inch of the top of the springform pan. Transfer carefully to the oven and bake until the cake is just set and very lightly browned, about an hour.

Graham cracker crust
You can line your springform pan with parchment paper to make it easier to transfer the cake and not scratch the bottom of the pan.

6 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 ounces crushed graham crackers, about one package ( 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°
Crush the graham crackers with a meat tenderizer or food processor.
Melt butter in a saucepan or microwave for 35 seconds.
Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a bowl.
Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes till browned and let it cool.

Baked pasta & Asparagus

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, flowers are blooming and the smell of fresh cut grass is in the air! This makes me want to listen to really upbeat pop music such as One Direction, yes that’s right I like their music!
asparagus
The asparagus dish came to me because I was hungry and digging through my fridge.  Took a short cut and used frozen asparagus, microwaved it for 3 minutes then crumbled feta cheese and drizzled on some Persian lime olive oil. (My friend Nicole introduced me to this olive oil. If you have never tried Persian lime olive oil, you are missing out, it tastes and smells delicious)

On to the main dish Baked pasta! I found this recipe in a foodnetwork magazine featuring Italian food. It’s quite simple and fast to make, also the ingredients can be swapped with almost anything. When I make this I put in all vegetables, one pound each of zucchini and frozen spinach. As for cheese I play around and put in whatever cheese I have on hand such as cheddar, monterey jack or an Italian blend of cheeses.

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All the ingredients and baking dish. The pasta was a gift from my cute cousin, she went to Italy and bought that for me.
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Cooking the zucchini and spinach.   Tossing the cooked pasta with vegetables, tomato sauce and half of each cheese.

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before baking

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After baking. look at the browned cheesey deliciousness!

Baked Pasta
From foodnetwork March 2011 issue.

1 pound pasta (faralle, ziti, rigatoni, cavatapi, fusilli, penne or large shells)
4 cups tomato sauce (about one jar of prepared tomato sauce)
3 cups cooked ground meat and/or cooked chopped vegetables
3 cups shredded melting cheese  (mozzarella, provolone, fontina or asiago)
1 cup grating cheese (Parmesan, pecorino or ricotta salata)

Preheat the over to 450°
Cook the pasta till al dente (still has a bite/slightly uncooked) and cook the meat and/or vegetables.
Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, meat and/or vegetables and half of each cheese.
Spread in an oiled 3 to 4 quart baking dish.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta.
Bake uncovered, until browned, about 20 minutes.
Let it cool for a bit and Enjoy!

Smoothie & Oatmeal raisin cookies

Yesterday I tried to make a super healthy smoothie with mango, banana, flaxseeds, kale, spinach, cranberry juice, yogurt and blueberry. Before I blended the ingredients it looked very colorful and pretty but oh my goodness afterwards…it did not look appealing. I have to say it didn’t taste that bad but after the first cup I couldn’t drink anymore, so that won’t be happening again anytime soon. Although my smoothie was better than the smoothie/liquified food a youtuber, named Alfie Deyes, made from a fry up, a traditional English breakfast. (click his name to see the video, eww but it’s funny!)

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From colorful to a really bad shade of blurry beige.

On to a successful recipe, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies! Continuing on the oatmeal trend, from my previous recipe, these cookies smell & taste delicious (it’s that darn cinnamon). Also, it makes you feel a little less guilty for eating a cookie since its made with oatmeal. The reason I made the cookies was because my father requested me to make them for meeting he was going to have today and being a wonderful daughter I made them.

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This is the butter, brown sugar, milk, egg and vanilla mixture. If you did not leave the butter out to soften, pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds and out comes soften/melted butter. The mixture looks weird and lumpy but it’s okay, keep going!

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Mixing the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture.
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After the butter and flour mixture has been combined it will be smooth and velvety.
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Stirred in the oatmeal and raisins until you see everything coated with the butter/flour mixture.
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Done and plated! yum!

Oatmeal raisin cookies
adapted from sun maid raisin oatmeal cookie.
I got this recipe from the back of a sun-maid raisin package. Though I changed the amount of sugar and mixing pattern cause I realized after baking a lot that American recipes tend to add a boatload of sugar, which I don’t want extra if I don’t need it. As for the mixing I got lazy, skipped a step and it turns out perfectly fine.

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter, brown sugar, milk, egg and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.
Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into the butter mixture and mix together.
Stir in oats and raisins. Drop tablespoonfuls onto aluminum foil or wax paper covered cookie sheets.
Bake 12 to 15 mins. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Granola

I thought I would share this granola recipe as a healthy way to “spring” into the new season (you see what I did there). A very simple recipe that I learned a long time ago and the best thing about it is that it makes your home smell delicious! While you are baking, turn on some music and do  a little dance. Today I was listening to Justin Timberlake’s new album “20/20 experience”, it’s pretty good and usually I don’t listen to his music.

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I buy nuts in the bulk, so I put them in a plastic bag and use a meat tenderizer to crush the nuts. This is especially good if you are feeling stressed, it’s a great stress reliever, you get to hit the nuts and have a little scream while doing that and if someone asks why, you can tell them that you are making granola.

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The ingredients and tools you will need for granola. As you can see my flaxseeds are not grounded there since it’s better to ground it when needed to keep all the flaxseeds fresh and your body utilizes the nutrients of omega 3 fatty acids in the seeds better when grounded. I used a coffee bean grinder to ground my flaxseeds, works perfectly.
I love cinnamon, this is what makes your home smell great, it has shown to give great health benefits. I would also put in wheat germ but I ran out, it’s great to add this since it provides protein and fiber.

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Mix the oil and honey till it looks like this, a great golden mixture.

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What the granola looks like when it’s all mixed together. You will see that everything has a shiny coat on it from the oil/honey mixture.

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The granola spread out evenly, all ready to go into the oven. see you in 20 to 40 minutes!

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Tada! granola all done and ready to eat with yogurt and raisins!

Granola

6 cups of oatmeal

1 cup of honey

1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups crushed walnut, cashew & almond

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/2 cup sunflower seed,

1/2 table spoon cinnamon

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F

Mix the honey and oil first in a large bowl until it’s an even mixture.

Then mix the honey/oil with the rest of the ingredients until all ingredients appear shiny.

Spread the mixed ingredients thinly on a baking sheet (line the baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean up and transferring later).

Bake for a total of 40 minutes, at 20 minutes stir the mixture and re-spread it.

If you put the mixture on two baking sheets on different layers in the oven, swap the position of the baking sheets when you do the mixing at the 20th minute.

After you take out the granola, let it cool and then transfer the granola into a container.

You can enjoy your homemade granola with yogurt or eat it as is for a snack or mix it with some raisins or dried cranberries as trail mix.

Hello!

Welcome! I hope to those who are reading this will enjoy my lovely blog filled with food, food and more food, with some little random thoughts of my day.
Thank you and Enjoy!