Farmer’s Market Haul #1

Farmer's Market Haul

Some people get excited about makeup hauls or drugstore hauls, but one of my weekend delights is a Saturday morning farmer’s market haul. It’s always exciting to see what new goods are out. Some of my favorites thus far have been the farm fresh feta cheese and the white grapes (not pictured). The feta cheese was a lot more creamy and not as tangy as the ones you find at the grocery store and the grapes were very sweet with a nice crunch from the little seed inside. Fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets have that special local feel and that is probably the only place where you will get to meet the direct people who picked them that morning or last night. Depending on what you get, some foods are cheaper than what you can find in the grocery store or very comparable at the least. Featured today is a haul containing mushrooms, cucumbers, squash, and bell peppers. Here is a little of what I have planned for these ingredients:

Button Mushrooms– cream of mushroom soup & marinated mushrooms (great for adding to salads)

Zucchini/Yellow Squash– zucchini chips, vegetable tian (dish with spiraled veggies including potatoes, onions, and tomatoes)

Bell Peppers– roasted vegetables mix with pasta

Cucumbers– spring mix salads, cucumber yogurt dip

I hope this inspires you to check out your local farmer’s market and get creative with what ingredients you find! Farmer's Market Haul

Farmer's Market Haul

What are you making with your farmer’s market finds?

Treat Yo’ Self Thursdays: Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

There’s always that one ingredient that you’ve been wanting to use in a recipe, but have been putting it off for a long time. In my case, it was Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses. I bought them, because they were a unique flavor of the Hershey’s Kisses yet I didn’t know what to make with them! Last weekend, I finally decided to check them off my list and make thumbprint cookies. These buttery cookies are essentially a shortbread made with butter, sugar, and flour. The egg yolks and baking powder add to the chewiness, while the salt and vanilla/almond extracts enhance the flavor.

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

If you are looking for a quick yet great looking cookie recipe, then you are in the right place! Within less than an hour, you can be sitting down and relaxing with a glass of milk and of course, these wonderful Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies.

After making this recipe, I was inspired to make a detailed post with explanations on making the perfect shortbread cookie with the ratio and different variations that you can make use of. Keep an eye out for this upcoming post in the future!

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Printable Recipe Here

Total Time: 40 minutes    Makes: 20-24 cookies

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • red food coloring, 3-4 drops
  • 20-24 Peppermint Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Directions

Preheat: 350 F°

  1. Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Slowly combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until well incorporated. If the dough is to sticky to roll into balls, add another ¼ cup of flour and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (about the size of a tablespoon) and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  7. Use your thumb or  the end of a cap to make a well about ½ inch deep in the top of each dough ball.
  8. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then reform the wells in each of the cookies by pressing down on them again.
  9. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Stir every 20 seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  10. Add 3 drops of red gel food coloring to the chocolate and mix well.
  11. Fill each cookie with about a teaspoon of the red chocolate using a piping bag or a spoon.
  12. With the remaining chocolate, drizzle it onto the cookies using a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off.
  13. Press one peppermint kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow it to cool for an hour until set and hardened. You can also put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes for quicker results.

Recipe Adapted from Lecremdelacrumb

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Tips

*For some more pictures you can visit Sally’sBakingAddiction recipe to see the process in action.

*To form the indentation in each cookie, you can be creative in what you use whether it be a cap of chapstick or the end of a teaspoon measuring spoon.

*You can change this recipe by replacing the peppermint kiss with a chocolate one or even eliminating the Hershey’s kiss altogether. Other variations include filling the cookies with caramel, jam, or brownies.

*Your dough should not be sticky like toothpaste when forming the 1 inch balls. Refrigerate it for about an hour if it is.

*If the dough cracks when you are making the indent, try to smooth it out. A few cracks are fine, because they will later be covered with the drizzled icing.

Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

What is your favorite thumbprint cookie recipe?

Vanilla Bean Poached Pears

poached pears

If you always fall in love with that perfectly spiced apple pie drenched in a sweet, cinnamon syrup that just keeps you coming for more, then you are sure to find this recipe a hit! Why? It’s super easy and you don’t have to worry about baking a crust that is too hard or under-baked. After making this recipe, I didn’t have mounds of measuring cups, bowls, and spoons to wash so it was a relief. Mind you, I’m not usually the pears type of person. I will go straight for the apples if given both to choose from. This dish though presents pears in a simple yet enjoyable way. It almost tastes like an apple pie, because of how juicy and tender the pears are.

Vanilla Bean Poached Pears

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (can also use actual vanilla bean or vanilla extract)
  • 7 medium sized pears (peeled, cored, and split in half)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Preheat: 375 F

  1. Place sugar in a small bowl and mix in the vanilla bean paste
  2. Arrange the pears in a large baking dish (cut side up) and then pour the lemon juice and sprinkle the sugar evenly over them
  3. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the pears and pour the water into the dish
  4. Divide the butter amongst each of the pears, placing a small amount onto each one
  5. Roast the pears for 30 minutes
  6. Turn the pears over and roast for another 25-30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Tips:

– If you are unable to finish the pears, refrigerate and warm up before eating the next time

– Vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream will go great paired with this dessert

poached pears

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Classic French Toast

Classic French Toast

French toast used to be the type of breakfast food that I would always hear about, yet never eat. It was not because I did not like it, but because I had never tried it and so I tended to dismiss it. The first time I tried french toast was totally random. I was carpooling with a friend and we were a little late to school. Her mom had made me a piece for breakfast, which was perfect by the way because I hadn’t had any breakfast that morning. I ate it on the go and instantly loved it. I never knew how easy it was to make and after hearing the directions, I decided that I must make it myself! Definitely will be making this perfectly delicious breakfast again.

Classic French Toast

Makes: 8 slices

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half (or use buttermilk or whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Mix together the eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl
  2. Place the pieces of bread in a baking dish and pour the mixture over them
  3. Wait 5 minutes and flip the pieces of bread to get the other side soaked
  4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on a frying pan
  5. Fry each side of the french toast for 3 minutes or until golden-brown
  6. Use another 2 tablespoons of butter for the next batch, and repeat

Tips:

-For every 4 eggs, add 1 cup of liquid- half and half, buttermilk, or wholemilk

-If you want it to be more cinnamon flavored, add another teaspoon

-For other variations, you can also add a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

-You can cut the bread in slices for french toast sticks

3 Rice Krispies Recipes in 1: Nutella, Peanut Butter, & Pumpkin Spice

Chocolate Loaded Rice Krispies

Chocolate Loaded Rice Krispies

The best recipes are always those that are impromptu! This one was created with a few friends that I had invited over. There was nothing planned in particular, as we are usually a spontaneous type of group and any type of baking episode that we create is always a memorable one; one where we usually double or triple the actual amount of baking time. No worries though, the time spent is invariably amusing and full of whimsical moments & shenanigans to look back at and laugh upon haha. As a big fan of simple recipes that are effortless, after eyeing the new bag of Rice Krispies on top of the fridge, I knew that we must attempt the unfailingly, delicious task of making Rice Krispy treats. I checked the recipe online and turns out that I had all the ingredients we needed (always a happy sight!). We ended up not following the exact recipe and added our own creativity to this delightful bite, which I highly recommend you do as well with your favorite chocolates or whatever you might have waiting to be used in your pantry. Some of the added goods included mini Reeses bites, mini chocolate M&Ms, peanut butter, & a satiny Nutella glaze to finish it off.

HomeMade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Krispies

Printable Version Here

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 10 ounce marshmallow creme/bag of marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: various candies/chocolates/pretzels

Directions

  1. Spray a medium 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray
  2. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. Stir in the marshmallow creme until incorporated and remove from heat
  4. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla extract
  5. Move to a larger bowl if the saucepan is not big enough and add the 5 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
  6. Gently mix all the cereal with the marshmallow mixture and add any of your optional chocolates
  7. Press the Rice Krispies mix into the prepared dish and refrigerate until set (about 30-60 minutes)

Different Flavors to Try:

*Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies: add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice

*Nutella Rice Krispies: add a 1/2 cup of Nutella to your mixture

Few Tips:

*This is an easily adaptable recipe to what you like, for example if you do not prefer peanut butter then take that out or if you like extra m&ms in your rice krispies then add a whole cup of them

*For a chocolate icing simply melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, add 1/2 cup of Nutella to it, & drizzle all over

Pumpkin Spice & Nutella Rice Krispies

Pumpkin Spice & Nutella Rice Krispies

EPIC, EASY, & EFFORTLESS DESSERTS

I don’t even know how long it’s been but here’s for a food packed post to have made that wait worthwhile. I have all these pictures accumulating and just waiting for their moment to shine in a post. Most of my baking is done for occasions like a friend’s birthday or if I am going to a dinner party. Oh and can’t forget my cravings either haha. You know, especially when you see an epic mouthwatering dessert that you just must taste. At what better than recreating it to your liking? Or even when you go to a restaurant and have one of their specialities & think of how nice it would be to be able to make it at home for a midnight snack or what not. Not only that, when you bake you know EXACTLY what it going in your food. It for sure puts all those worries about mystery ingredients to rest.

Looking for something quick to make or just ideas in general? Check out these three easy to make assorted desserts! IMG_2250 Twizzler Chocolate Sandwiches

-Bake your favorite flavor of cake & let it cool (Hershey’s cake recipe here)

-Cut it into 3 x 3 inch squares & cut those in half to make a sandwich

-Fill the inside with buttercream, recipe found here

-Using a piping bag, top the cake with icing & place your candies accordingly IMG_2806

Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes topped with Glazed Strawberries

-Bake your favorite cake in the mini bundt cake pans (found mine at World Market)

-Make a chocolate ganache to cover it, a combo of about 9 oz of chopped chocolate with 1 cup of heavy cream

-Top it off with a strawberry dipped in a fruit glaze (bought the glaze already made in the grocery store fruits section) IMG_2044 Chocolate Drizzled Pecan Pie with Raspberries

-My ALLTIME favorite pie recipe because you simply mix all the ingredients together and throw them in a pie shell (product is too epic and leaves your taste buds feeling out of this world!)

-You can find the recipe for the pecan pie in a previous blog post of mine here

-Melt some baking chocolate and drizzle it over the pie (i put the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag with the corner cut to make it easier) & for some color add fruits on top

What’s your favorite go-to recipe?

Happiness in A Cupcake

Spontaneous baking… Haha that’s what this was. That & it was the perfect opportunity to use those edible silver pearls I just bought! I really wanted to make something with bananas so I was about to make my 4-ingredient banana bread, but…… There was the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I made cupcakes. Cupcakes it was :)

*Why do I say “Happiness in A Cupcake”?? Well, as it turns out- Bananas have been known to cheer people up. They are the only fruit that contain high levels of tryptophan that is later converted to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter that lowers depression. Sadly….. I discovered during my research that this is a myth -__- Yes, bananas contain serotonin. BUT there remains the fact that this serotonin is unable to cross the blood-brain barrier and so can’t get to where it needs to be. I still believe there is a lot of happiness to be found in bananas. Seriously, with almost no fat, low calories, and a plentiful of vitamins who could deny this bountiful fruit?

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or regular milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Get a large mixing bowl and beat the butter for a few minutes until creamy 
  2. Add the sugar and then the eggs & vanilla extract while beating at a low speed
  3. Add the 2 mashed bananas & coconut and continue to beat
  4. Mix in the flour and buttermilk in small intervals
  5. Fill the cupcake pan about 2/3 full each and bake for about 18 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and butter
  2. Add the powdered sugar in small intervals
  3. Pour in the vanilla extract and beat until fluffy for a couple minutes

 

Adapted from BlissfullyDelicious

Pumpkin Spice Cake

OMG its almost October! First off, if you know anything about me, it’s that I’m really obsessed with pumpkin. Not so much the actual pumpkin, but more the pumpkin spice flavor. I’ve had many a highlight day when I randomly find a pumpkin flavored dessert in season. Recently Starbucks got the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spice Frapp back in! As well, Sprinkles Cupcakes also has Pumpkin Cupcakes every Tuesday and Thursday depending on locations. Einstein’s Bagels has Pumpkin Bagels and Muffins. The list could really go on and onnnnnnn….. ANYWAYS.. I know y’all really want the recipe for the deelish cake below which is of course pumpkin spice flavored! It’s one of my favorite recipes that I’ve made many times. The last time I made it was hilariousss because of course what did i forget?? Only the most important ingredient that makes it what it is- the pumpkin spices.. Lol.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned/homemade pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, and oil together. Add pumpkin and mix well.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and you are good to go!
  3. Pour the batter in a greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Larger Version of My Strawberry Chocolate Bundt Cake

Let me just warn you. If don’t own a bundt cake pan and go out to buy one now, you will not be able to stop making bundt cakes! Trust me, there are plenty of flavors out there for you to try. Oh and plenty of toppings as well. The options are pretty much endless. Whenever I have too much free time on my hands I like to bake something. It takes forever though to choose the perfect recipe from foodgawker.com, so due to my laziness I decided to use my classic chocolate Hershey’s cake recipe. Yup, and I just had to use that bundt cake pan! After the cake was done, another dilemma came up. What frosting to use?! For some reason, I am a fail at frostings and have yet to find the perfect healthy one. My original one I’d use is basically butter and powdered sugar but I’ve been trying to experiment with different recipes to find something different. If you are lazy, the easiest frosting is just to melt baking chocolate squares and pour that allll over the cake, as I did :) My only mistake that I realized later was that after you refrigerate it, that the chocolate will harden and make it even tougher to cut the cake. Not too big of a deal, certainly didn’t stop me from eating it haha. For the end, I topped it off with sweetened coconut and my favorite- the glazed strawberries.

P.S. and yes, those mini strawberry chocolate bundt cakes I made in an earlier post helped inspire this! I just had to make the big version :)

OMG almost forgot, but this recipe was not just any chocolate cake, it was a TRES LECHES CHOCOLATE CAKE! Really Easy. Just mix a combination of evaporated milk (1 12oz can), sweetened condensed milk (1 14 oz can) , and heavy cream (1 1/2 cups) and pour it over the cake. Let it soak for a couple hours. And by the way, the measurements for the milk mixture to soak it in do not have to be exact. There are many variations as to how much you put of each type of milk, but I chose these.

The Formidable Fried Ice Cream

Fried Icecream?!?! How is that even possible you may ask. Won’t the icecream melt when you fry it?? I always had this in the back of my mind to try, but when one of my friends made it recently I decided to give it a shot. It’s a very easy and simple recipe by the way and tastes just amazing!

Oh and no, the ice cream does not melt because it will be at a really low temperature after you have kept it in the freezer for about 3 hours or more.

Fried Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart ice cream
  • 3 cups corn flakes
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • Optional- strawberries, honey, chocolate sauce (decor)

Directions:

  1. Make 5 scoops of ice-cream and put them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. I also made 8 mini ice cream scoops as well for mini desserts. Freeze for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, put the corn flakes in a plastic bag and crush them.
  3. Add the coconut and cinnamon and shake the ingredients to combine. Set aside.
  4. Take a shallow bowl and whisk together the two eggs with the milk.
  5. Now remove your ice cream from the freezer. Roll it in the corn flakes mix and then coat it with the eggs. After that, coat it with the corn flakes mix again. (You can shape them with your hands to make them more of a ball shape)
  6. Put your ice-cream scoops back in the freezer for about 3 hours or overnight.
  7. Heat oil until it is medium-hot so about 365 degrees. You can drop one corn flake into the oil and see if it gets brown on the edges within 20 seconds to test if it is ready or not.
  8. Remove the ice cream balls from the freezer and fry them for only 20-25 seconds. Place on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the oil.
  9. Serve immediately!

 

Some Step By Step Pictures

The Corn Flakes Ready To Be Crushed

Crushed Cornflakes

The Corn Flake Mixture Including the Cinnamon and Unsweetened Coconut

The Coated Mini Ice Cream Balls Ready To Be Frozen!