Saturday, December 11, 2010

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Friday, December 10, 2010

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Monday, August 23, 2010


What is your favorite spot in California to go 1.) During the day 2.) At night?
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

sorry its been so long. these will make up for it.

I apologize that it has been so long. I got busy with life. However, now it is finals week and I am procrastinating so I thought I should definitely share these. I made them for myself for my birthday last week, and they were delicious. Time consuming, but unbelievably worth it and amazing. Notice I said time consuming, not difficult. Clearly the recipe comes from the Queen herself, Martha Stewart. Okay, not the queen, but she may as well be. The recipe that I used can be found here.

You'll need:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

So you'll start with the ganache, or the filling. Put four ounces of the chocolate in a small, heatproof bowl. In a small plan over medium heat, you'll heat the cream until it begins to boil. Once it is boiling remove from heat and pour it over the chocolate, while hot. Let it stand for a minute or two, then mix it until smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until it is SET. About an hour, probably longer. Use a 1-inch scoop to make balls of the set ganache, place on a parchment lined tray - not touching. Two important tid bits: MAKE SURE THE GANACHE IS SET. and normally I'm not one for parchment lining anything, too lazy, but we didnt this time and regretted it very quickly. Freeze these for at least an hour, but up to three days.

Once they've been in their an hour, the rest is easy and quick. Preheat the oven to 450, line a muffin/cupcake tin with your liners. Or what we definitely wished we had thought of earlier was using those free standing cupcake liners that you can put on a cookie sheet. We ended up crushing a few of ours taking them out of the tray at the end, so if you have some of the free standing ones around you should try those. 

You're going to make the batter, which is surprisingly simple. In a medium (heat proof) boil set over a pan of simmering water, heat the remaining chocolate (eight ounces) with the butter until its melted. While thats melting, but still being occasionally stirred, mix together your eggs, the yolks, and sugar until its pale and thick (five minutes?). Quickly add this to the melted chocolate that has been removed from heat, and fold in until ALMOST completely incorporated. Sift flour and salt over mixture, lightly fold it in.

Divide this batter amound the liners, but filling only half way. Then add a ganache ball to each, and then fill with the rest of the batter. you can fill them basically to the top. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool lightly, cakes will fall, we aren't making souffles. Serve them warm. (I ended up with one left, and microwaved it for breakfast the next day [hey it was my birthday, don't judge] and it was still delicious.) I garnished mine with ice cream. It soothes the immense chocolate flavor. Enjoy!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010


Smore Cookie Bars. Seriously one of the best inventions in the world. A graham cracker flavored cookie, a layer of yummy melted milk chocolate, a fluffy layer of marshmallow goo, and another layer of cookie. Delicious. I've made them multiple times, and never have they failed to impress. Probably not wise to serve at a very fancy gathering, as they tend to get a little messy. But anywhere else, throw these easy cookie bars together and serve them warm. :) I found these here.

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)(though one day, I am going to try this with whole marshmallows and see what happens)

Preheat your oven to 350, prepare your 8x8 pan... 

So in a bowl, cream together the butter and both the kinds of sugar until it gets light. This whole "creaming" thing is another one of those "not if you live in a dorm" kind of luxuries, so I usually just melt the butter and mix it in and pretend I followed the directions. Then add the egg and vanilla, stir til combined, set aside.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, crumbs, baking powder, salt). Once this is all together, throw it into the butter mixture. However, if, once again, either you're lazy or have limited supplies or what not the only real benefit of this step is combining the crumbs and the flour, so I usually just skip it and throw it all straight into the butter mixture because its less bowls to wash. But shhh, dont tell. 
Next, you're gonna divide the cookie dough in half, and put one half of it into the bottom of your 8x8 pan and make an even layer. Then place the chocolate bars over them, they should probably fit perfectly but if not break and make it fit! Then spread the marshmallow fluff. Fun! Sticky! Yay! I've learned this works a lot more effectively when the marshmallow fluff is not cold. Next, the really fun and sticky part, putting the second layer of cookie on top of the marshmallow fluff... Good luck! According to the recipe, the easiest way is by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together. I usually just kind of go at it and hope it works. 
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and it smells wonderful. The recipe says cool completely, but I definitely prefer them warm. And with leftovers I usually just microwave them for a few seconds at a time to warm them up, and they stay delicious. 

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Sunday, April 11, 2010


So the headline on this article caught my eye. I was like, really, who's to say THIS will be the best? But honestly, it was. It was absolutely delicious. I saw boys who I've never seen eat vegetables before eat it. It was soooo good. That hint of lemon with the amazing flavor of the cheese. SO GOOD. I could seriously eat this as my side dish every night. The recipe I got it off of didnt really have a straight up ingredient list, so I didn't really use exact amounts of anything, so I'll tell you my guestamites.

So what you'll need:
2-3 Bunches of Broccoli Crowns (or some bags of broccoli wokly)
4-5 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Lemon
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 425.
So you'll start by cutting your broccoli into florets if you didnt buy already cut up ones. Make sure that if you washed your broccoli that its totally dry, otherwise it will get all gross and burned. Put it in a bowl, toss with the olive oil and some salt and pepper (whatever you normally put on food should be fine, I didnt measure at all.) Spread them out on a cookie sheet. You can line it if you wish, but I didnt.
Pop this in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until its golden brown ish, but not burned.
Now, zest the lemon over the broccoli (I skipped this step, lemon zest annoys me), and then squeeze the lemon juice over all the broccoli. Make sure all the broccoli gets some love, as thats the best part. Then top with the cheese. Serve warm. ENJOY! Definitely definitely enjoy.

I want to try putting it back in the oven for a bit after I add the cheese, to melt it. If you want to try that, let me know how it turns out.
Hope you love them too!
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Raspberry Lemon Bars

So lemon bars are sort of my claim to fame back home baking wise. They were the first thing I ever really baked on my own... And I used to bake them like almost every day. So I was really excited when I found this new twist on them. However, I was not as thrilled as I thought I'd be with the result, but everyone else seemed to like them. I guess that's because I was expecting lemon bars, and thats not really what they were. They were like tart raspberry bars. But they are still a nice summer tasting treat, just don't be expecting lemon bars with a hint of raspberry. 
So you'll need:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups  sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup  fresh lemon juice (from 2-3 lemons)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 lemons)
2/3 cup (65 g) unbleached, all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup (150 g) frozen raspberries, defrosted
1 tablespoon powdered sugar [I used a few more]

Now keep in mind that I live in a dorm. I do not have measuring cups. In fact, I haven't used a measuring cup in so long it is actually kind of sad. But those are the measurements off of the recipe I used, so I mean it is what it is. 

So start with your oven preheating to 350, as usual. You'll need an 8x8 pan, either greased, lined with parchment paper, or just chillen. 
Then you'll cream your butter and sugar with your electric mixer (another thing missing in my dorm)(I ended up just using my hands, it was actually quite an adventure.), then mix in your flour til its incorporated. Put your crust into your pan, put your pan into your oven, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, this would be a prime oppurtunity to start juicing those lemons if you have not already done so. If you have, hang out til the crust is done, then prepare your filling while it cools. This was a weird part of this recipe for me, as I'm used to recipes that call for pouring it over a hot crust, but I did what it told me to do. So to prepare mix sugar, eggs, lemon juice and zest,  and flour in a large bowl. Pour raspberries into a sieve* and press through to extract all the pulp and juices. Whisk into lemon mixture and pour into crust. 

*Sieves, yet another thing I do not have hear in my dorm room. I attempted to use a very mini strainer I found for $2 at Albertsons, but it was just messy and frustrating, so I ended up just crushing my frozen raspberries and throwing them in. Maybe thats why these came out so weird...
Anyway, cook for about 30-35 minutes according to the recipe, though for me it took almost an hour and the filling in the middle still didn't pass the tooth pick test. Oh well... Cook until its done I suppose. Cool, top with your powdered sugar, cut, enjoy. 
I hope this works better for you than for me!
And yes, I know I should stop using my Iphone and start using my real camera. So sue me.

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

French Fries! No deep fryer needed.

Hmm, still not Passover friendly. Let's just pretend it's not passover. But again, I didn't make these today either. And I don't have a picture yet for these either! Gah, I'm falling behind. But these are delicious and simple. A nice change from just plain homemade french fries. I've had this recipe sitting around for a while and don't remember where I got it from. Woopsie. But they are seriously easy!

So you'll need:
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup water, or as needed
1 cup vegetable oil for frying

So first slice your potatoes into french fry shape. Or go to Ross and invest in one of those really cool potato cutters that I have. They make life easy. (When they aren't chopping your finger off...)(Okay, not off..) Keep the fries in cold water while you're waiting to cook them so they don't brown.
Heat your oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. While thats chillin (or heatin I suppose), sift together your flour, garlic salt, onion salt (I feel like I skipped this ingredient now that I'm looking at it...), normal salt, and paprika into a bowl. Slowly add in enough water so that the mixture can be drizzled from a spoon.
Dip fries into the batter one at a time, then place them into the oil.  The fries must be placed into the skillet one at a time, or they will clump together. Fry until golden brown and crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Yummy! I love french fries! Enjoy!
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Absolute Favorite Mac and Cheese

Alright, I get it. I'm a bad jew. But if it is any consolation I did not actually MAKE this today. I've made it a hundred of times in the past though. It is seriously the best macaroni and cheese in the world. It is different because it uses Fontina instead of Cheddar, and shells instead of elbows. Also, the breadcrumb talking is fantastic. I found this one Ezra Pound Cake and I use it all the time. Its extremely easy, and it feeds me for like 3-4 days. Or everyone I know for a lovely meal.

You'll need:
1 pound small shells
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (plus some for the topping)
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces (about 2 cups) Italian Fontina cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (I've never actually tried with the nutmeg, as I live in a dorm and do not really feel like buying nutmeg for my dorm, let me know how that goes.)
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 350. The recipe doesnt actually say this anywhere, or any temperature for that matter. So I just made it up. It works nicely. Get out your handy dandy 9x13 pan too. 

Start off by cooking your shells, just a minute or two less than what the package recommends. Drain. 
While they are cooking, shred the Fontina. Cube the butter (the 5 tbs) and put it in the bowl you plan on mixing everything in. (So make sure its big enough for all your pasta!) Warm the cream in the microwave, cover it or just leave it in the microwave to keep it somewhat warm.
When the shells are done, toss them in the bowl that has the butter. Toss and stir or whatever tickles your fancy to coat the butter over the shells. Stir in the cream and the cheese and mix until its all covered evenly and the cheese starts being all yummy and melty and gooey. Season with your salt and nutmeg. 
Pour this into your greased 9x13 pan. 
Combine the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. I usually dont really measure this part out, I use whatever covers it well enough. Pour this combo over your pan of mac and cheese. Cover it well, the crunchyness is yummy! Dice some butter and sprinkle it over the top to add some brownness, and butteryness. 
Throw it all in the oven until its nice and bubbly, about 20 minutes. 

Enjoy! This dish also saves really well, so its great to make and take for lunch!

I'll take a picture next time I make it. 
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Passover! But not.

So I made passover-friendly lemon bars, but they were awful. And I have never made/consumed awful lemon bars until today. So I'm going to choose to not give that recipe to you. Instead, I'm going to share my staple lemon bar recipe, because they are actually delicious. Obviously they would be, because it is Martha Stewart's Recipe. But we'll just keep that on the down low.

So you will need:
[for the crust]
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen; plus more for dish
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

[for the filling]

4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup whole milk
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, as usual. Line your 9x13 (or 8x8 if you want fatty ones), grease it, whatever you usually do. I just slab some butter down and otherwise they are buttery enough to come out without sticking. 

So start with the crust ingredients. You'll need a grater. Yes, like a cheese grater. Grate your butter on the side with the big holes, all 1 1/2 sticks of it. Why? Because it spreads it out better and makes the crust evenly flaky instead of chunky flaky. And its fun-ish. Put it to the side.
Whisk (or mix with whatever mixing device you choose. I hate whisks, I use a fork.) the other crust ingredients (flour, sugar, salt). Once its combined, mix in the butter. It will look crumbly, thats okay, thats the flakiness. Transfer this mixture to the prepared dish. Freeze for about 15 minutes, I usually do about 20-25 cause I get distracted, but the recipe says 15. Then bake the crust for about 17 minutes. Again the recipe says until golden brown, but that hardly happens. I usually go by when it becomes fragrant. DO NOT TURN YOUR OVEN OFF!

While the crust is in the oven (yes, while, you'll want to pour this over the hot crust) you're going to whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Throw in the lemon juice and milk. If you finish before the crust does, make sure you give it a last stir before pouring it over the hot crust. Reduce the temperature to 325, and bake until filling is set and edges are slightly golden brown, about 18 minutes. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar. Cut, serve. Enjoy!!
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Matzah Toffee!

You'll need:
Enough matzah to cover the pan you're using (about 5 sheets?)
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
1 cup dark brown sugar
And an oven that has been heated to 450 degrees.
(or any equal proportion, based on how much you're making)

So start by lining your sheet with the matzah. I used a normal cookie sheet and put down tin foil under it. You'll want to put something, tin foil, parchment paper, wax paper... whatever your preference. Line the matzah evenly, in a flat single layer. You'll have to break some pieces to fill in the awkward shape... Then set that aside.

Next, take a small pot and put the brown sugar and the butter in it. Put it over medium heat and bring it to a gentle boil. Until it starts boiling, I'd suggest stirring it a bunch to get the sugar broken up and make sure its melting evenly. Once it starts boiling though, leave it alone for five minutes. At this point it should be nice and thick. Then remove it from the heat and pour it evenly over your matzah, while still hot. Like, remove from stove, pour on matzah. No break there. 

Stick this in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Remember, the oven should be PREheated to 450 degrees. Take it out, sprinkle the chocolate chips over it relatively evenly (don't worry, once it melts you'll be able to cover everything) and stick it back in the oven for ONE (1) minute. Take it out of the oven and spread the chocolate over the whole thing nice and beautifully. 

Let it cool and harden, break into pieces, store as you wish... or ya know, eat it. Cause thats why you made it. Enjoy! 
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Monday, March 22, 2010

Delicious Brownies

Now, I am not a giant fan of chocolate. In fact, I very rarely eat chocolate, in any form; brownies, chocolate cake, etc. However, these are some of the best brownies ever.
And the best part? THEY ARE SIMPLE! Except for the whipped cream. But that is so unbelievably worth it, so it does not even matter. 

So here it is, Brownies with a White Chocolate Whipped Cream

You'll want to start with the whipped cream, as it takes longer. So you'll need:
A whole bag of your favorite white chocolate chips + 1 cup of heavy cream. That is it. 
Throw those into a pot and heat on low heat until the chips are melted. Once they are melted, you can raise the heat slightly, but still not even past medium. Now, stir constantly and heat for about 15-20 minutes. Stir CONSTANTLY. White chocolate has a habit of burning, and burnt whipped cream just does not sound fun. Then remove from heat and let it cool while you move on to the brownies.

For the brownies you will need:
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
3/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of cocoa
3 eggs
3/4 cup of butter
1  cup of chocolate chips

a 9 x 13 pan, and an oven that has been preheated to 350. 
Oh, and a pot.

So to start, you'll melt the butter into a pot. If you only want to use one bowl/pot for the whole process, use a seemingly unnecessary large pot for this part. Anyway, once the butter is melted remove it from the heat.
Stir in the white sugar, followed by the cocoa once it is combined. 
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one. Throw in 2/3 of a cup of the chocolate chips after this. 
Once everything is extremely mixed, throw in the flour. Now this is the important part: BARELY mix it. If you over mix or even mix past the point of it being combined, it will turn your brownies cakey instead of chewy. Now if you want cakey instead of chewy, mix at your own will. However, chewy > cakey in brownies, so I'd say stick with barely mixing it. 
Once that is done, throw it into your greased/parchment-paper lined pan (or ungreased/unlined...your choice), throw the rest of the chocolate chips over the batter. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

While those are cooking, you'll want to bring back the white chocolate situation. Now this is the part where I pray to the money trees everyday that eventually I will get a kitchen aid stand mixer, however, I do not yet have one... So it took me about forty minutes of whipping with a hand electric mixer. But anyway, whip as you normally whip, be it in your fancy little kitchen aid where you have to do no work, or old fashioned with a whisk. Now the important part is to NOT spread it on the brownies until they are COMPLETELY cool. Otherwise you will have wasted a lot of time whipping. 

Hope you enjoy. They are my favorite brownies. 
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Layer Yellow Cake

So clearly I like to bake, a lot. However, one feat I had never attempted until today was a simple layer cake. They are surprisingly easy. I've made something similar to a layer cake, but never a straight off the front of a cake mix box kind of cake. So today I decided too. It turned out a little dry, but I might have over cooked it.

I used a recipe I found on food gawker, my favorite website ever. This simple yellow cake was extremely easy and tasty, but as a said a little dry. But it was easy and used ingredients that almost any basic baker always has laying around the house, so that was nice. However, I cheated a little and used store-bought chocolate frosting. Oopsie. 

Yellow Cake: 

 2 3/4 cups cake flour 
 1 1/2 cups sugar
 3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
 3/4  tsp. salt 
 12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature 
 3/4 cup milk, room temperature
 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
 4 eggs, room temperature 
Preheat the oven to 350.
I used two round pans, feel free to use square, rectangular, cupcakes... whatever you please. Triangles maybe?
Sift the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl, or kitchen aid mixer bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and mix them into the flour mixture on low speed.  The mix should be lumpy. Add the milk and the vanilla extract.  Mix on medium for another minute.  Add the eggs one at a time and mixing in between each addition. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan or the two pans equally. Bake 15-20 minutes for cupcakes and about 30-35 minutes for the cakes.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  
Then take the cakes out of the pans, making sure they are completely cooled. Once again my lazy side prevails, and instead of flattening the tops, I stuck the domed side down in a plate so it didnt show. I frosted the top of that layer, stuck the other layer on, leaving the dome on top... and frosted the whole thing. Wha-la. 
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Cake Illustration Copyrighted to Clarice