Israeli Couscous on the side

Saturday nights are usually a night to go out for dinner. But this Saturday we stayed in. Although we did not have lots of food in the house I managed to throw something together. I made some chicken with curry and a couscous dish on the side. I am a big fan of the Isaraeli couscous because it is rounder and has some texture to it. I cooked it just like pasta and when it was done I added some zucchini, mushrooms, and onion and of course garlic! I also added some basil that I had grounded up. Fresh basil would be wonderful in this but I did not have any.

Brownie Cookies

I love brownies and I love chocolate cookies! What could be better than mixing the two? In Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook I found the perfect recipe for this. The cookie is  called Double- Chocolate Brownie Cookies. They tasted very similar to rich brownies but with the cookie look! The main reason I made these fabulous cookies was for a goodbye gift for an intern at my work.  He was our intern and was accepted into UCLA's school of Higher Education. I made these for him because we talked about baking different recipes to try. He will be missed by all! 

9 ounces semisweet chocolate
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of sugar

3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted flour ( all purpose)
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 375`F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Melt 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter on a double broiler.  Stir until smooth. Set mixture aside for about 5 minutes. 

In electric mixer fitted with paddle, beat chocolate mixture with sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add eggs and mix until just incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Add the flour and salt, and beat until just incorporated. Stir in remaining chocolate and nuts if using. 

Shape the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place about 1 1/2 apart on baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are set and centers are still a bit soft, 9-11 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

  • When I baked I toasted the walnuts before using them in batter
  • I sifted the flour with the salt 
  • When scooping the batter onto the baking sheets I used a small ice cream scooper to make cookies all the same size.

Wedding Shower!

Today at work we had a wedding shower. We were celebrating three marriages! I was asked to bake a cake for one of the couples, a white cake with white frosting. So, I gladly accepted the offer and looked through all my cookbooks. I finally found a white cake recipe from Dede Wilson, in her book called, "Wedding Cakes You Can Make". I was nervous because this was the first time I have baked a white cake. The white frosting was a egg white based frosting. I was not happy with the way it turned out because I was not able to decorate as well as I wanted. The cake tasted really good and the frosting as well! I added fresh lemon juice and zest to the frosting to give it a little life, and I think it really helped. 

P is for Penny!

This weekend I went up to Portland Oregon for my niece's first birthday! I was in charge of the cupcakes for the party. So, I turned to my cupcake book by Elinor Klivans and used the kid simple cupcake batter. I thought to go simple for a first birthday. For the frosting I used the "powdered sugar" frosting that is one the back of the blue sugar box. The cupcakes were a hit! I tinted the frosting to make a very pale pink and threw some sprinkles on top. Here is the recipe for the frosting I used.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
3 cups powdered sugar (don't be scared!)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons of whole milk
any food color dye that fits your fancy!
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat all ingredients until creamy, smooth, frosting. Add to cupcake.


Yesterday I found out from my best friend that her cat of 17 years passed to kitty heaven. I was so sad to hear about this because she was such a wonderful cat. Her name was, blue(buba) for short. I came pretty attached to the kitty because I was the kitty sitter when her parents were out of town. We will always remember blue! 

Joy Day!

July 3rd, Joy Day! My work is so cool that we got July 3rd off for a day of joy! What is a day of joy? It is a day to do what ever brings you joy! My day started off nice, got to enjoy a cup a yummy tea in-front of the tv then I headed off to the gym! That may not seem very joyful but it was! Then I went to have lunch with a friend of mine who is off for the summer, since she's a teacher! The real joy came when I was able to go to the knitting store and take my time to look at all the wonderful yarns. I ended up buying some really beautiful wool sock yarn to make a lace scarf for the fall. A pumpkin color yarn that I will add light green beads to! Today at work, our homework assignment was to report back at a  staff meeting what we did as part of our day of joy! 

Cupcake Anyone?

Part of the reason I wanted to start a blog  was to showcase my baking. Here is my first shot of a cupcake a made over the weekend. I made a chocolate sour cream cupcake. I found the recipe from a book called, "Cupcakes!" by Elinor Klivans.