Sunday, September 6, 2015

Got Books?

I am very picky. I'm a picky eater and I'm also a picky reader. The amount of time I spend researching a book is pretty embarrassing. I definitely do not judge a book by its cover and incessantly look up reviews, recommendations, and new authors to check out. But, that being said, not many books tickle my fancy. While I like a wide range of genres, I am very picky about which book I will choose from each. So, without further ado, a list of a few great books that someone with tastes like mine might enjoy.

1) Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
-A quick but thorough read that will throw cold water on the face of anyone even questioning feminism.

2) The Last Lecture by Jeffrey Maslow and Randy Pausch
-This one really puts perspective on the big picture of to wisely spend the time you have on earth and how to appreciate it.

3) Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom
-A classic that also will inspire you appreciate your life and those in it while you can.

4) Not Quite What I Was Planning by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser
-Really funny and easy to read, a compilation of six word memoirs.

5) The Myth Of Sanity
-A really informative fact based book about mental illness and it's presence in society.

Those are just a few titles off the top of my head that you should really check out!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Broken Leg Tomato Gazpacho

So, a fun fact about me is that I have a brittle bones disease called Osteogenesis Imperfects which causes my bones to break easier than other people's. I've been strong and fracture free for a few years now thankfully but it seems my lucky streak has come to an end. Last night, upon arriving home from a five hour flight might I add, I was approaching my bedroom when I slipped, spun, and fell in a spot of water on the floor. That caused a fracture in my leg. Anyway, while I sepnd the week resting to see if I need surgery I need something quick and yummy to eat. That's how I came up with this delicious cold soup.

1 28 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups broth of choice
5 leaves basil
1-2 chopped green onions
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup chopped green squash

To make the soup simply chop the squash, onions, and basil and add all ingredients to a blender. Blend to desired consistency and serve chilled (or warm). Enjoy!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

THE Chocolate Chip Cookie

When I think of dessert, I think cookies. They have always been my favorite. More specifically, chocolate chip cookies are my FAVORITE. All caps was needed to try to convey my love for the chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie. As a little kid, I used to basically support Nabisco with my consumption of Chips Ahoy cookies. It wasn't until later years that I realized I was eating a glorified cracker. The cookie is so dry that sandy crumbles of them would fall overtime you try to take a bite and the flavor was good but sort of flat. That's when I started trying every chocolate chip cookie recipe I could get my hands on until I found the one that was PERFECT for me. Some people like crispy cookies, some like puffy ones, but I happen to love chewy ones, which is what this recipe will produce. Give them a try, i'm sure you will not be disappointed!

recipe slightly adapted from

You will Need:
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar (i like to use a mix of dark and light)
1/2 granulated sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in one teaspoon hot water
1 3/4 cup flour
Chocolate chips

Melt butter and then add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend in the sugars for about 3-5 minutes. During this time the sugars really get incorporated into the butter and develop the flavor so don't be afraid to let your mixer run for the few minutes! Add in the egg and egg yolk one at a time and blend until fully incorporated. Next, blend in the vanilla. Add the dissolved baking soda and salt. For this, i just microwave a small bowl of water for about 20-30 seconds and add a tsp to the baking soda, stir, and then mix into the dough. Then, slowly add flour until JUST incorporated. Then, by hand fold in about 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, you can add more or less depending on your preference. Next, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days. I like letting my dough rest for a day or two in order for the sugars to really develop but it is not necessary. The 30 minutes is needed though to ensure that the cookies do not spread into a flat mess once in the oven.

When you're dough is ready, scoop rounded balls onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 9-12 minutes. I like to take mine out just as they are turning golden brown to ensure a gooey center.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Homemade Candy!

Valentines has just passed and I'm sure you've indulged in your fair share of chocolate. But what's better than the store bought candy that's been sitting on store shelves since summer? Homemade candy of course! When I first decided to make candy I'll admit I was a little nervous, and under prepared. Anyone that's interested in making candy, caramel in particular, know it can be a daunting process. Caramel is described to be so hard- and dangerous to make. With it's bubbling cream and burning temperatures it can scare off even the most daring of bakers. But that was until I discovered this easy recipe and gave it a shot. I don't even own a candy thermometer but this recipe came out fabulous. The recipe, found on was so easy to follow and delicious.

Here it is:
Shortbread Base:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick softened unsalted butter

Combine the dry ingredients until fully blended. Mix in softened butter until the consistency of wet sand forms. Press the dough into a lined 9 inch pan. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (mine took 18) at 350. remove from oven and cool.

Now, make the caramel. You will need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 TB unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt

Heat sugar in a medium-large pot until it cooks down to a dark amber liquid, stirring occasionally. Make sure your pot is large enough to contain the cream once it is added and bubbles up to avoid spilling over. If you have a candy thermometer, clip it on now. Add the cream, SLOWLY, I wore oven mitts while adding it as to not get burned by the splatter. Heat to 248 degrees or until the mixture is smooth and a medium-dark amber color. It will also begin to smell like caramel. Stir in the butter and salt until smooth. Carefully pour the caramel over the cooled shortbread cookie base and let set for 1 hour. Cut into desired amount of bars, or into fun shapes. Dip into 12 ounces of your favorite type of chocolate. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Now that I have your attention, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite macaron recipes! Macarons scared, no terrified me for many months until I finally bit the bullet and started experimenting with them. They are not as hard as you might think so give them a try! Here are some tips for perfecting any macaron recipe you come across:
1. BE PATIENT. Treat the macaron as if it were a newborn baby. They are so, so fragile and any over zealous mixing can ruin the delicate shell.
2. When transferring your mixture into a piping bag, I recommend placing the bag in a large glass first. this will make it easier to softly pour the mixture into the bag with both your hands free, not holding the bag open.
3. BE PATIENT. AGAIN! Once you pipe your macarons onto a cookie sheet lined, with parchment always for easy removal, let them sit for at least 20-30 minutes. This will form a skin on the cookie and ensure they have those cute little "feet" you see fancy macarons sporting.
I hope I helped! Now here is my very own recipe for Cookies n Cream macarons! Enjoy!


1/2 cup plus 2 TB finely ground almonds
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 room temperature XL egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-3 TB finely ground oreo cookie crumbs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the oreo crumbs, ground almonds, and confectioner's sugar in a food processor and blend until combined. Sift into a bowl and set aside. Whip egg whites in a large bowl until they hold peaks. SLOWLY fold in dry mixture until just combined. Pour batter into pastry bag and deposit cookie shapes onto a cookie sheet. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, cool. 

Once the cookies are nice and cool you can fill them. I used my favorite buttercream and dark chocolate ganache but you can do whatever your taste buds desire!