Thursday, July 28, 2011

One Ingredient Ice Cream

Okay so who knew you could make ice cream with one ingredient? I guess the whole food blogging community did except me. But now I do!!

There's no cream so technically it isn't "ice cream" but whatever. What's the secret ingredient? 


All you have to do is slice the bananas and freeze for at least an hour or so. Then remove from the bag and pulse until creamy and light.


4 bananas

any additions:
cocoa powder
nutella (highly recommend)
peanut butter
maple syrup


Peel bananas and cut into slices. Place in a plastic bag and freeze for up to 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from the bag and place the bananas into a food processor. Pulse until creamy and light. If using honey, add while pulsing or drizzle on top.

Once creamed, place in the freezer to harden. This makes it easier to scoop into ice cream balls.

Enjoy this one ingredient ice cream all summer long!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sea Salt & Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Imagine...a bite of decadent, ooooozing chocolate, that's surrounded by brown sugar and a kick of sea salt.

What's better than a chocolate chip cookie? After searching online and reading about whether or not to make brown butter chocolate chip cookies, sea salt or just stick the with original, I decided to go with a dark chocolate chunk sea salt cookie. What a mouthful right? Well the name is fitting for this outrageous recipe because these cookies are so good I don't know if I will ever stray from these. How had I been so naive to only use chocolate chips instead of chunks before?

After visiting Seattle, where they sell a wonderful treat that consists of dark chocolate with sea salt on top, this ultimate combination has haunted my mind daily. It's invaded my life more than you could imagine. The other day I went to Trader Joe's and bought salted almonds and a dark chocolate bar just to could get my fix. Not a bad on-the-go snack! Salty & sweet. You just can't go wrong, which is why these cookies are seriously, THE BEST. I made a double batch but they still seemed to vanish once they came out of the oven...sad.
This recipe is so simple, you never have to use a hand-mixer. Just by combining the butter, egg and brown sugar in a food processor, the mixture is so smooth you can stir it directly into the flour, baking soda and powder. You're not supposed to over-mix the cookie dough, just combine enough to evenly distribute the chocolate chunks which will allow for a wonderfully homemade, fluffy cookie.

Butter has to be the best ingredient on earth.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Don't over-mix, just stir enough to evenly distribute.

I used 70% dark chocolate that I chopped into small pieces. Mix a little to maintain that rustic cookie feel. Afterward, place the cookie dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Roll into a 1 to 1 1/2 tbs. ball and place on a baking sheet with lined parchment paper. This will allow you to easily remove the baked cookies. Sprinkle sea salt on top of the cookie. Using a generous amount really does bring out the rich flavor of the dark chocolate so don't be shy!


10 1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 4/5 cup of all purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 1/2 to 2 cups of chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped into chunks
sea salt


Combine the butter and sugars in a food processor. Mix thoroughly until you reach a smooth consistency. Afterward, add one egg and pulse until mixed completely.

In a medium-sized bowl toss the dry ingredients together such as the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Then, with a spatula, scoop the mixture in the food processor out into the dry ingredient bowl to combine. Do not over-mix.

Finally, toss in the chopped dark chocolate into the cookie dough. Then take plastic wrap and cover the dough to place in the fridge for around 15 minutes. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the cookie dough from the fridge and form the cookies into 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. balls. Don't overcrowd. Sprinkle the sea salt generously on top.

In a 350 degree preheated oven, let the cookies bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the hot pan and place on a rack to cool.  

Don't forget the milk!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Avocado, Orange & Corn Summer Salad

For the past year, I've been ordering the spicy shrimp house salad at Cafe Habana in Malibu. It has to be one of my favorite salads, especially in the summer when corn is a burst of natural sugar. 
I've always wanted to make my own rendition of this summer salad, so I finally got around to it on Father's Day.

I know this post is a little late but again, I went to Cafe Habana with one of my closest friends, Lina Bardovi who actually hostesses there during the summer. Last night I was lucky enough to grab her after her work shift to unwind and have some girl time. Halfway through our meal, Cindy Crawford and her hubby Rande Gerber (owners of the restaurant) were seated right by us and recognized Lina. After a delicious dinner and a few cocktails, we asked for the bill. Randy and Cindy told their waitress that they were planning to pay our entire tab. Obviously Lina and I were speechless and so grateful, so we went up and thanked them for their generosity. Kind deeds go a long way in my book. I now will forever be a loyal customer who will consume their spicy shrimp house salad weekly!

Anyhooo, that was awesome. But let's get back to the salad. It's not the eeexxacct salad they serve there, but it's pretty darn close. For Father's Day, I prepared steak so I omitted the spicy shrimp, but either source of protein works wonderfully with this summer salad.

The buttery texture of the avocado mixed with the sweet corn kernels and a pop of orange zest/juice is the ultimate combo. Ever since summer arrived, my diet has become a little more healthy causing me to resort to a wide variety of salads. I've started to really appreciate a good salad and plan to share some more with you very soon!


One 10 ounce bag of spinach or mixed greens
1/2 red onion
3 large ears of corn
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
3 oranges

6 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons of freshly chopped chives
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt & pepper


Whisk together orange juice, white wine vinegar, chives, and orange zest. Gradually add the olive oil; salt and pepper. This dressing can be prepared in advance.

Prepare barbecue on medium heat while coating the corn with olive oil. Grill onions for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Once done, remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Once cooled, shave off the corn kernels with a sharp knife.

Toss together salad with orange slices, avocado, red onion and corn kernels. When ready to serve, drizzle salad dressing over and season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pumpkin Bread


Okay so it's summer and I chose to make pumpkin bread. Whatever. We all know it's delicious so why not? I sent my step dad on a wild goose chase around the store to find canned pumpkin and someone told him it wasn't sold during the summer months. Ya right. Sure enough he found it and I'm so glad he did.

This recipe is from my bestfriend, Laurel. Her mother has made it every year and sent it in a care package to her while at school. Little does she know, I usually consume half of the loaf, which Laurel probably isn't that happy about. When I asked for the recipe, Laurel said I should call it Laurel's Lovely Loaf. So there you go! This pumpkin bread is Laurel's and Laurel's only. But I've mastered it so I can finally make it on my own and stuff my face without eating her mother's.

This recipe makes a heck of a lot of pumpkin bread. If you want a scrumptious treat for your family and need to bake something for a party, I'd choose this recipe so you can have both! It also lasts for a ridiculously long time if you wrap it in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge. It's by far the most moist pumpkin bread I have ever eaten. It's so good I will never stray from the recipe. Thanks Gayle and Laurel!

Combine the dry and wet ingredients. I'd recommend grating your own nutmeg because the flavor is very noticeable. 

If you aren't craving pumpkin yet, save this for the winter months.

Just do it.

This recipe can yield either 1 large loaf, 2 medium loaves, 3 small loaves or 2 mini muffin pans.

4 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of oil
6 eggs
3 tbps. of baking soda with 1 cup of water
28 oz. can of pumpkin
5 cups of flour
1 tbsp. each of clove, nutmeg, and allspice
1 1/2 tbsp. each of cinnamon and salt
3/4 tbsp. of baking powder


In a medium size bowl, combine 4 1/2 cups of sugar, 1 1/2 cups of oil and 6 eggs. Mix well and then add 3 tbsp. of baking soda with 1 cup of water. Then add 28 ounces of canned pumpkin. Mix well.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Afterward, add the dry mixed ingredients to the wet and mix well. 
Cook at 350 degrees. 15 minutes for the mini-muffin pans and 45-60 minutes for the other loaves. I checked mine every ten minutes because this bread cooks quickly towards the end.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crostini Appetizers

Party planning? Then I've found the perfect thing for you. 4th of July is approaching, so try these awesome appetizers! Very simple and such a wonderful presentation for guests. I made this after flipping through the new Bon Appetit magazine, where they featured a section called Toast With The Most. There were plenty options, but I chose the Peas, Mint & Parmesan along with the Pickled Fig, Robiola & Pistachio. I love the contrast they supplied because the fig was a little rich and the peas very light. I highly recommend making these! If those don't appeal to your taste buds, check out the others creations at Bon Appetit.

If you can't find Robiola cheese, substitute some triple creme, french, soft cheese. This goes really well with the sweet, pickled flavor of the figs. The Pistachio added some crunch, along with the toasted bread.

Pickle the figs in red wine vinegar, sugar and a little water for about 30 minutes to an hour.

 Smash Hit
Peas, Mint & Parmesan on Baguette

You can sub in fresh favas or edamame for the peas. Grill 12 slices bread and rub with 1/2 garlic clove. Blanch 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed, in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes for fresh peas and 1 minute for frozen. Drain peas; transfer to a bowl. Season with kosher salt and 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and mash with the back of a fork. Spread about 1 tbsp. mixture over each toast. Garnish with shaved parmesan, torn mint, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Makes 12.

Fig Love
Pickled Fig, Robiola & Pistachio Oil on Ciabatta

Quick pickled figs add a sweet-tartness to this bruschetta. Combine 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. sugar, and 6 dried figs with 1/4 cup water in saucepan; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit until figs soften, about 30 minutes. Halve figs lengthwise. (Alternatively, use 6 fresh figs and halve lengthwise.) Finely crush 2 tbsp. toasted, shelled pistachios and combine 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Grill 12 sliced bread. Smear room-temperature Robiola cheese onto warm toasts. Top with halved figs. Drizzle with pistachio oil. Makes 12.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is quite simple! For those of you who are health conscious or just want to try something different than your typical spaghetti dish, this is a wonderful light meal that is shockingly similar in flavor to any pasta under meat sauce. 

Truthfully, I had been reading about spaghetti squash on a lot of blogs recently, and for some reason I wrote it off as being one of those substitute dishes that wouldn't even compare to the original, but I was totally wrong. Even my step dad, Greg, who keep in mind LOVES pasta, said he actually preferred it. WHAT?! Yes that's right. My step dad prefers spaghetti squash to pasta. If that isn't an incentive to test it out, then I don't know what is.

Spaghetti squash can be prepared in a multitude of ways, such as baked, sauteed, boiled or even microwaved. If you want you can even add extra veggies like mushrooms, squash, zuchinni, or asparagus etc. to add substance. 

I chose to microwave the spaghetti squash for about 8-10 minutes until the outside skin started to become soft. Once the squash cools down, cut in half and discard the center section with the seeds. Then begin to fork the inside edges of the vegetable and you will see how easy the strands really do fall off!

Place the squash strands in a bowl and set aside while you begin the turkey meat sauce.

Over medium-high heat, saute the ground lean turkey meat (or any meat you prefer) and cook until it turns brown.

Pour the marinara sauce into the pan with the ground Turkey (I used Trader Joe's Basil Marinara Sauce) and reduce to medium heat. Add a little water to the mixture because over time the sauce with reduce. Season to your liking with salt, pepper, garlic powder etc. I didn't because the marinara sauce I used was already pretty flavorful.

While the Turkey is absorbing the marinara sauce ingredients, place the spaghetti squash in a medium sized pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the squash has released it's water and become more tender.

Once the spaghetti squash is finished, remove from the stove and serve on plates. Top with the ground turkey and marinara sauce to complete!

 Serves 4


2 Spaghetti Squash
 Lean Ground Turkey
2 tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Marinara Sauce


Microwave the spaghetti squash for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice in half. Then discard the seeds and center of the vegetable. Begin to fork the sides, releasing the strands. Place the spaghetti squash in a side bowl; set aside.

Saute the ground turkey in a medium-sixed pan over medium-high heat. Toss regularly. Once the meat browns, add the marinara sauce. Reduce to medium-low and let the meat sit to absorb all the flavors or the tomato sauce. Depending on what brand of sauce you use, season to your liking.

Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Add the spaghetti squash noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the moisture releases and the strands become tender.

Finally, serve the strands on a plate and top with warm turkey marinara sauce. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top to complete!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Cinnamon and sugar. Fluffy, soft and wonderful. Snickerdoodles are fabulous. Maybe not all snickerdoodles, but mine were definitely special.

You guys should see my list of recipes that I intend to make. Staring at food blogs and reading cookbooks all day adds to my collection. Thank god for computers though. Without technology, my entire kitchen would be filled with thousands of papers. Usually, when I come across a recipe I like, I place it at the bottom of the list. Well that wasn't the case with these Snickerdoodles. Maybe it was because I was running low on ingredients and Snickerdoodles are such a staple, but everyone in my family wanted the sweet morsels, so I did it. I made lots.

These are Martha Stewart's perfected cookies, so I highly doubt anything would go wrong if you attempted baking these.

Mmmmmm. Cinnamon and sugar. What's better than tossing cookie dough in this?

Roll the batter into 1 tablespoon size balls. Toss in the cinnamon sugar bowl to coat.

And now you are read to bake! How easy was that?

 There you have it! Vooilaaaaa!

Snickerdoodles from Martha Stewart


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure vegetable shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if needed
2 large eggs


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with one rack in top third and one rack in bottom third of oven. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper; set aside. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, shortening, and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, and beat to combine. Add dry ingredients, and beat to combine.

 In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the ground cinnamon. Use a small (1 1/4-ounce) ice-cream scoop to form balls of the dough, and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are set in center and begin to crack (they will not brown), about 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets after 5 minutes. Transfer the sheets to a wire rack to cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to the rack. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.