Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipe. Show all posts


Midnight Dark Chocolate Stout Cake

The addition of a dark stout is the perfect way to elevate a classic chocolate cake recipe. Not only does the stout perfectly offset the sweetness of the batter, but it also imparts a deeper more complex chocolate flavor. A sprinkle of lime zest also adds a much-needed brightness, which would be missed if omitted from the recipe.


2 cups of Guinness stout
1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/ 1/2 cups of quality dark cocoa powder
1 dark chocolate bar (Hershey's)
2 large eggs
1tsp. of lime zest
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 of sour cream
1/2 of cream cheese
1/2 cup of carnation cooking milk
2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
1 tsp. of salt
1tbsp. of baking soda
1 tbsp. of vanilla extract

For cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter cake pans and set aside. Bring stout and butter to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower the temperature and whisk in dark cocoa powder, dark chocolate bar, and sugar until smooth. Set the mixture aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

Using an electric mixture, add eggs, lime zest, vanilla extract, salt, cayenne pepper, sour cream, cream cheese, and carnation cooking milk and blend until well incorporated. Then slowly add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and blend to combine. Add flour and baking soda and beat until desired batter consistency is reached. Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 30-50 minutes depending on your oven.


Pour 1 cup of sugar into a small saucepan, add 3 or 4 tbsps of water and allow mixture to bubble. Next, pour 1/2 cup of Guinness stout to the saucepan and cook until you've achieved a syrupy glaze. Drizzle glaze on top of cake and enjoy!


This Ingredient Yields the Tastiest Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my favorite spreads, and I've tasted my fair share of the mashed treat over the years — albeit, some tastier than others. I'm always looking for ways to add nuance and complexity to the classic recipe. So when I heard adding just a dab of mayonnaise yields a creamier batch, I just had to try it for myself. Try it, I did. I also find that the addition of mayo creates a more well-rounded flavor profile. Check out my revved up guacamole recipe below — trust me when I say, It's far from mediocre ;)

Photo: Epicurious
Recipe (2-4 servings)

You'll need:

2 ripe avocados — use this trick to determine overall ripeness
1 medium red or white diced onion (you can substitute shallots if you have them)
1 tsp. of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, smashed (use mortar and pestle)
1/2 lime or lemon juice (I prefer lime)
2 tbsp. of chopped cilantro
1 scotch bonnet pepper, finely diced (you can use serrano or jalapeno peppers if you prefer)
2 tsp. of salt (or more to taste)
1/2 tbsp. of mayonnaise
Tortilla chips, to serve


Use a fork to mash avocados in a large bowl. Add lime juice first to keep avocados from turning brown (note: in my experience, lime juice will keep avocados vibrant for maybe and hour or two). Incorporate diced onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro, salt and mayonnaise into the batch. Mix well and enjoy with tortilla chips.

Check out my previous post about how to keep guacamole green, longer.

Also, did you know guacamole dates back to the 1500s?


The Best Spiked Pumpkin Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie You'll Ever Have!

Over the years, I've repeatedly tweaked my pumpkin cheesecake pie recipe, and not to tune my own horn—but I think it has finally reached ultimate status. Whoop, whoop!

So without further ado, here's my updated and foolproof spiked pumpkin cheesecake pie recipe. I Hope you enjoy some version of it this upcoming Thanksgiving!

Ingredients (for two pies)

2 cans of pumpkin purée 
2 pounds of cream cheese
1 cup of sour cream
1 stick of butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of honey
or granulated sugar
Pinch of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 teaspoon of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of grated lemon zest
3 eggs
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of coconut milk
Splash of quality dark rum 
Pre-made pie dough


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick pre-made pie dough with a fork and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is brown in color. Remove and set aside.

For the filling:

Whisk heavy cream, coconut milk, rum, lemon zest, eggs, butter and vanilla extract together in a large bowl until well blended. Combine pumpkin puree, cream cheese, sour cream, baking powder, flour, sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a pan and cook on low heat for 10 minutes or until thickened.  

Remove pan from the heat and slowly incorporate cream mixture with a hand whisk.

Optional: transfer mixture into food processor for smoother consistency.
Pour mixture into pre-made pie crust and bake for 55 minutes or until the center is set. Cool at room temperature and serve warm with whipped cream. 

Bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!


My Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

For some, the turkey is the star of Thanksgiving dinner. It inspires speculation and awe, but most often than not, it can be a complete letdown. There's nothing worse than gazing ravenously at a golden brown turkey only to have that anticipation peter out as you bite into something that mimics the texture of cardboard.

I've come to think of myself as the turkey whisperer! But I didn't get this sure of my gobble-gobble skills without a lot of trial and error, and deep frustration. It took me years to master my ultimate turkey recipe and it has been a staple on my family's Thanksgiving table ever since.

 Photos: Honestly Yum

I've gotten so many inquiries from family members and friends alike about how I manage to get such a flavorful bird each year. My secret weapon is so simple; I brine it. Brining is a process in which you steep poultry into seasoned water before cooking. If you've never brined your turkey before, I encourage you to give it a try this year. I promise you won't regret it.  Let's get started!

Ingredients (for a 16 pound turkey)

For the brine:
2 cups of salt
4 gallons of water
Black peppercorns
1 head of garlic
Scotch bonnet peppers (use your desired amount)
6 Carrots
2 large onions
6 celery stems
One clean 5-gallon bucket

For the aromatics:

*Thaw the turkey a day before making the brine.

At least two days before Thanksgiving, combine water, salt, peppercorns, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, onions and celery in a large pot—boil the solution over medium heat. Cook until all the flavors are well incorporated into the water. Note: the water should be salty. Remove the solution from the heat and cool it down to room temperature.

Next, remove the innards and place the turkey into the 5-gallon bucket. Pour the brine solution over the turkey making sure that it's fully immersed. Place a lid over the bucket and store it in a cool, dry place until Thanksgiving morning. Note: The salt will keep the turkey from spoiling. 

On Thanksgiving morning:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees farenheint.

Remove the turkey from the brine, pat it dry and place it into a roasting pan. Carefully lift the skin with your index fingers and distribute a healthy amount of room temperature butter throughout. Repeat the same process over the skin. Add aromatics into the turkey's cavity and tuck the wings underneath it.

Cover the turkey with the lid from the roasting pan or aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour. Next, remove the lid and reduce the oven's temperature to 350 degrees F. Then, cook for an additional hour.

Optional: after the last step, remove the turkey from the oven and use a basting brush to coat the skin with canola oil—this step ensures a crispier, golden brown skin.

If you plan to use a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the bird—be sure to avoid making contact with a bone for a more accurate reading. According to experts, a 16 pound turkey should be done cooking once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. But from my experience, 165 degrees F ensures you'll end up with a dry bird. Opt for 161 degrees F instead.

Tip: make sure to let the turkey rest for a minimum of 15 minutes before carving. And, speaking of carving, here's a thorough lesson on how to carve a turkey! 

Bon appetit!


The Best Butter Cookies You'll Ever Have—With a Twist!

I'm drawn to simplicity and when I'm in the mood for something sweet and delicious, I always turn to these crumbly, buttery cookies. They are simply divine and so easy to make. Let's get started!

Recipe: Butter Cookies


1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of salted or unsalted butter
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 splashes of vanilla extract
Special twist: lemon zest
Decorating sugar or sprinkles


1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt in a bowl. Sprinkle lemon zest and incorporate specks into flour mixture

2. Using an electric mixer, whisk together butter, granulated sugar for 1 minute or until fluffy and light in color. Incorporate egg yolk, vanilla extract and blend for five-to-six minutes. Switch mixer on low and slowly add flour until dough is formed

3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Take small pieces of dough, roll them into balls and flatten them with a spoon or your thumb. Distribute decorating sugar or sprinkles on top of each cookie. Then refrigerate for one hour or overnight.

4. When you're ready for a snack: heat your oven to 325F and bake cookies for 15-20 minutes. Let cookies cool for five minutes then store them in a container at room temperature.



Easy, Creamy Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is one of those time-consuming dishes that you try to make to impress your new in-laws and pray comes out marginally edible. But once you've mastered this dish, it doesn't take more than half-an-hour to make. 
Luckily for you, Laura from A Beautiful Plate has a foolproof recipe that requires zero stirring. How awesome is that? Her classic mushroom and herb risotto definitely needs to be added to your repertoire ASAP!


Potato Pizza!

Have you ever tried potato pizza? I only found out about it recently but apparently it has been a thing in Rome for quite some time. 

Potato is not the first topping I think of when I think of the ideal pie. Pepperoni and ham, yes, pineapple, maybe, but potatoes.... It sounds odd but I assure you, it's ridiculously delicious. Check out this potato pizza recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen. Bon Appetit! 


My Spicy Buttered Shrimp

Does anyone spend hours slaving over a hot stove anymore? I sure don't. My spicy buttered shrimp is one of my go-to recipes to make when I'm crunched for time because it's affordable and incredibly simple to prepare. You can even cut down on prep time by asking your local fishmonger to devein them for you. I hope you enjoy making these as much I do. Enjoy!

1 lb. of uncooked, shrimp, (unpeeled & deveined) 
2 sticks of butter
Freshly ground black pepper 
6 cloves of garlic, crushed 
Finely grated lime zest and juice of 1 lime 
Cayenne pepper 
Red pepper flakes 
1 Bouillon cube
Finely chopped parsley or cilantro 
2 sprigs of thyme
Lime wedges and crusty bread, to serve

Melt butter to completely submerge the shrimp. Place shrimp in a medium sized saucepan and pour butter mixture over them. Add lime juice, zest, thyme, garlic, bouillon cube, a hefty dose of ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and pepper flakes. Then bake for 15-20 minutes or until the shrimp turns rosy pink.

Just before serving, sprinkle with a handful of parsley or cilantro. Serve hot with lime wedges and lots of crusty bread.

(Pictures via La Buena Vida)

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