Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispy Treats

I can’t believe this is my 50th video! Thank you to everyone for your love and support over the last year. It’s been such a fun ride and can’t wait to see what the next 50 videos hold! Don’t forget to let me know what videos you want to see by leaving a comment below, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

This dessert is sure to be a crowd pleaser. An easy, no bake recipe if you need a last minute treat to bring to a party this weekend.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

About a month ago I had the pleasure of baking for my friend’s wedding. Baking is a hobby but this was my first time of doing it for almost 200 people at one event. My friend suffers from celiac disease so we worked on plan to make all the desserts gluten free.  It was a big undertaking and I definitely put a few miles on my KitchenAid mixer.

The dessert menu for the night:

  • Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Cake Pops
  • Coconut Macaroons
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
  • Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispy Treats (check the blog next week for this recipe!)

Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of all purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 hefty tablespoons unsweetened coca powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring gel
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1 bar of cream cheese (8oz)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2-3 cups of confection sugar

Cake Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a small bowl pour in almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Do not stir, set aside in order for it to develop into “buttermilk.”
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, coca powder, salt, baking soda and xanthan gum.
  4. In a mixer on medium speed, beat together the eggs, vegetable oil and sugar until blended together.
  5. Add vanilla and food color to mixer and blend together.
  6. In 3 batches mix in flour mixture, alternating with 2 batches of the “buttermilk” mixture.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes (for mini muffin pan) or until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Directions:

  1. In a mixer beat together cream cheese and butter.
  2. Add one cup of confection sugar at a time, mixing in between. The amount of sugar you add depends on your taste level of sweetness.
  3. The frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the fridge.

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Spinach Basil Almond Pesto

I have been promising this recipe for awhile, here you go! It’s great to have on hand during the holidays, especially if you have any unexpected guests that show up. It so easy to warm up, pour over chicken and/or pasta. It even makes for a great hostess gift for all those holiday parties you may be attending, package it with some dry pasta in a cute basket and voila, instant homemade gift!20131030-082633.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 5 cloves of peeled garlic (can use less, depending on your taste preference)
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • Lemon juice (1/2 of fresh lemon)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional – Parmesan cheese about 1/2 cup (or keep it out to make it vegan)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor add the basil, spinach, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, salt & pepper and blend together.
  2. While the food processor is going, slowly pour in the olive oil. Keep adding until you get your desired consistency. I like mine a little more on the chunky side.
  3. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

Pumpkin Muffins

Every year my parents host Thanksgiving, it’s always a huge crowd of friends (since our family is on the east coast) with an abundance of food & drinks. Our one family friend always brings these delicious pumpkin muffins and I’m always dying for the recipe. This year, they were so gracious to share the recipe since we decided to travel to North Carolina where my parents recently got a house and do Thanksgiving on the beach. It was my duty to make the muffins and I hope I did them justice (with just a few little tweaks to make them gluten free). Let’s just say I had to hide them because I’m worried there won’t be any left for Thanksgiving tomorrow! Enjoy!

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Makes 24 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten free flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cans of pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare muffin tins with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves & nutmeg.  Set aside.
  3. In the mixer, beat together sugar with butter on medium speed until just blended.
  4. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is very light and fluffy.
  5. Beat in pumpkin puree.
  6. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until combined.
  7. Stir in nuts.
  8. Pour batter into muffins tins.
  9. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Deconstructed Pumpkin Pie

Last year in Martha Stewart Living magazine I saw a recipe for pumpkin mousse and always wanted to try it out but never got around to it. Recently, I got a request from a YouTube viewer to do a pumpkin recipe for fall and thought it would be the perfect time to test out the pumpkin mousse. I didn’t end up using Martha’s recipe because it called for gelatin and I didnt want to use that, but I found a recipe just as good and made some minor changes. You can definitely make this recipe in a bowl but thought it would be fun to put in small mason jars. They can act as favors and/or place cards at your next dinner party. You all know I’m a huge fan of double duty items when it comes to entertaining.

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Materials:

  • Mason Jars
  • Twine
  • Tags

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
  • ½ can condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • Cool Whip
  • Cinnamon Candied Pecans
  • Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs

Directions:

  1. Place the pumpkin puree, condensed milk, ½ cup of heavy cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove into a medium saucepan and stir over medium heat.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and allow the mixture to cool completely and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. You could make this part of the mixture the night before and let it chill.
  5. Smash cinnamon candied pecans in plastic bag with rolling pin. Set aside.
  6. Place the chilled pumpkin mixture and remaining 2 cups of cream into a stand mixer and whip until it thickens..
  7. Fill pastry bag with mousse and squeeze into mason jar. You can also just spoon it in, but you will get cleaner sides with the pastry bag.
  8. Add layer of graham cracker crumbs.
  9. Add layer of Cool Whip.
  10. Top off with layer of the crushed cinnamon candied pecans.

Pumpkin Mousse Recipe adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon. 

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

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This no bake dessert packs so much goodness in one little bite. I prefer to make these mini because they are so rich, especially if you are using dark chocolate. I have a lot of pregnant friends right now and this dessert seems to be satisfying those sweet tooth cravings.

Makes 24 mini cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup of chunky peanut (or almond) butter
  • 3/4 cup of gluten free graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup dark (or semisweet) chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of milk (I use almond milk)
  • Sea Salt

Steps:

  1. Line muffin tin with papers.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter together for 45 seconds. Stir until smooth. Add graham crackers crumbs and sugar, mix to combine.
  3. Distribute mixture evenly between prepared muffin cups (using an ice cream scoop helps this process). Tap muffin pan on counter to help settle the mixture in the tins. Freeze for 5 minutes to set peanut butter layer.
  4. Combine chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe bowl and heat in 25 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.
  5. Distribute evenly over top of peanut butter layer. Tap muffin pan on counter to help settle the chocolate in the tins.
  6. Wait 2 minutes for chocolate to cool a little, then sprinkle with sea salt. Chill until firm. Store covered in fridge or freezer.

Recipe adapted from Blue Eyed Bakers

How to Make Cake Pops

These delicious cake pops are much easier to make than they look. I promise you no one will have just one. I figured about 4 cake pops equal 1 cupcake, so don’t feel so bad when you go for seconds, or thirds….right!?!

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Los Angeles: 30th Birthday Recap

Last Sunday I turned the big 3-0! I headed to Los Angeles where I got to celebrate the last days in my twenties with amazing friends and great food. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Oh, and did I mention we went to the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z Legends of the Summer tour at the Rose Bowl!?! Best. Birthday. Ever.

I’m in LA a few times a year and this trip we hit all new spots to eat and drink. I wanted to share with you all where we went cause there was no complaints about anything! I would go back to anyone of these places in a heartbeat. What are you favorite spots to eat and play at in LA?Los Angeles July 2013

The Village: Chill little spot in Studio City where you are sure to spot a celebrity (we did before we even sat down at our table).

  • Eats: Black Mussels, La Loggia Chopped Salad, Crispy Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cheese Platter
  • Toddies: The Spicy Native, Blacklisted Basil

Blu Jam Cafe: The portions are big, so you could definitely share a dish. I was so full but just kept eating because it is so good.

  • Eats: Chilaquiles, Migas, Spicy Tex Mex Hash, Blueberry Pancakes
  • Toddies: Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Kamil’s favorite juice combo (carrot, beet, celery & ginger)

Cleo: If you want a real LA/Hollywood vibe this place will provide it but without the pretentious attitude.

  • Eats: Lebaneh with Feta, Hummus, Spicy Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts (must have!), Pork Belly Kebabs, Falafel, Grilled Octopus
  • Toddies: Mediterranean Margarita, Clementina, Lotus Flower

Sassafras: We headed here after dinner at Cleo. Sassafras makes you feel like you are in a prohibition bar in the south rather than in downtown LA. There is a laundry list of whiskey to pick from and the live music is a can’t miss.

  • Toddies: Cucumber Smash

Eveleigh: Hands down my favorite place of the weekend! Loved the decor and the views of LA from the outdoor deck (and the waiters were easy on the eyes too!!). They were super accommodating to my gluten allergy and the substitute dishes were delicious! I put a “gf” next to the food items they made gluten free for me.

  • Eats: Granola (gf), Spiced Banana Bread w/ Lemon Yogurt, Avocado Toast (gf, the boiled egg gribiche was to die for!), Spelt Hot Cakes (gf), Baked Eggs, Bubble & Squeak, Truffled Fries
  • Toddies: Almond Milk Latte, French Press Coffee

Melrose Trading Post: Of course we did some vintage shopping!

20130802-182720.jpgBrunch at Eveleigh

20130802-182736.jpgBirthday favor that my BFF made, there was gluten free cookies inside that bag

20130802-182828.jpgA stop at Whole Foods for a picnic in the park at the Rose Bowl before the concert

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Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

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My mom has this recipe book that is older than I am. The cover is burnt off, the pages are torn and spilled on but it contains some of the best tasting recipes. I have been craving the Zucchini bread that she always made when I was younger, so I got the recipe and altered it for my gluten free lifestyle (plus I cut out some of the sugar and oil as well).

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 2 cups (about 3 medium sized) shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Using a food processor, shred the zucchini.
  3. Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer and then evenly distribute into loaf pan. Bake 1 hour.

Mom’s recipe book!

Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita

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Every summer muddled drinks are on the top of my must-have list. I love the pure freshness that you get when muddling fruits and herbs. Earlier this year when I was in Austin, Texas I discovered jalapeño tequila and instantly knew I had to try to make my own. Both of these things add up to be my summer drink mix: tequila + spicy + muddling =  the Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita. This drink recipe is the perfect balance of refreshing with just a kick of heat.

Jalapeno infused Tequila:

Ingredients:

  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 mason jar (I used a pint size)
  • Silver (Blanco) Tequila (enough to fill the jar)

Directions:

  1. Slice jalapeno and place in the jar.
  2. Pour and fill jar with tequila.
  3. Add lid and let it sit for 3-5 days in a cool/dark place. Once a day shake the jar.
  4. Strain out jalapeno slices/seeds and pour back into mason jar. I keep the jar in the fridge, it’s always good to have chilled tequila on hand.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita:

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Jalapeno Tequila
  • 5 thinly sliced pieces of cucumber (save one slice for garnish)
  • 2 oz of margarita mix. My favorite is Tres Agaves since it is organic and contains just lime juice and agave nectar. Or substitute with 1 oz fresh lime juice and 1 oz agave nectar.
  • 1 oz Triple Sec
  • 1 slice of jalapeno (for garnish)
  • Margarita salt (I prefer no salt but it makes for a better photo!)

Directions:

  1. Muddle 4 slices of cucumber in shaker glass until the juices are released. If you don’t have time to make the jalapeno infused tequila then add 4 slices of jalapeno to be muddled.
  2. Pour in remaining ingredients into the shaker with a scoop of ice. Add top and shake well.
  3. Prep glass by rimming it with a lime wedge and dipping into salt. Add 5 ice cubes.
  4. Pour mixture into glass. Garnish with cucumber and jalapeno slice.