Rhubarb Sorbet with Pistachios and Dark Chocolate

Rhubarb Sorbet with Dark Chocolate and Pistachios

This past Sunday I was determined… incredibly determined to make some concoction with rhubarb. I’m always usually pretty persistent with my recipes, but this Sunday was just a little different. Basically, this urge to bake with rhubarb resulted from a visit I had a few weeks ago to Ox in Portland where I had one of the most tasty sweet concoctions of my life: Rhubarb Vanilla Sorbet, Bittersweet Chocolate Magic Shell, Crushed Pistachio.

As a result, I’ve been thinking about rhubarb ever since that visit so I knew I had to fulfill my craving for it.

But, among all of the various options to bake with rhubarb, I decided that instead of a rhubarb crisp or rhubarb pie, I wanted to make something “cooler” (temperature-wise), so I choose to attempt to replicate the Rhubarb Sorbet I had at Ox. However, after two botched tries of locating rhubarb (the first store did not have rhubarb and the second store had unripe rhubarb), my final attempt resulted in just enough (I almost took all of the slim supply at the store) to make this dessert!

Despite the madness of visiting three stores, this recipe was definitely worth the trouble and the wait. Just look at the pictures above and below and you’ll understand!

Step 1: Chop Rhubarb

Rhubarb for Rhubarb Sorbet

Step 2: Dissolve Sugar in Water Over Low Heat

Dissolving Sugar for Rhubarb Sorbet

Step 3: Add Lemon Juice and Rhubarb Pieces

Rhubarb Mixture for Rhubarb Sorbet

Step 4: Put Rhubarb Mixture into a Food Processor

Puree-ing Rhubarb for Rhubarb Sorbet

Step 5: Place Rhubarb Mixture into Ice Cream Machine

Rhubarb Sorbet in the Ice Cream Machine

Step 6: Scoop, Drizzle Chocolate and
Pistachios; Eat!

Rhubarb Sorbet with Dark Chocolate and Pistachios


Even though I didn’t make the “magic shell” like Ox did, I still thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. Basically, this recipe encompasses three distinct flavors: tart, sweet and salty. Usually I only like two of those distinct flavor types, but this time all three converged together quite nicely without overwhelming each other in the process!

Thank you to Ox for offering such a delicious recipe!

Cheers!

Rhubarb Sorbet with Dark  Chocolate and Pistachios

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Banana Stuffed French Toast With Streusel Topping

Sometimes a decadent breakfast is required in order to start the  day out right. Although I would not recommend doing this everyday, I completely think that indulging for breakfast every now and then is totally acceptable.

This is exactly how I felt this past weekend – I just wanted French Toast  and did not want to care about the dreaded caloric content. My solution? Decadent breakfast + smaller-than-normal portion size = one satisfied lady with a stomach that was not too full!

Step 1: Cut Challah Bread into Slices and
Cut “Pouch”; Cut Banana Slices

Step 2: Carmelize Bananas and Stuff into Bread

Step 3: Whisk the Egg Mixture Together

Step 4: Place Stuffed Bread in Egg Mixture with Almonds

Step 5: Combine Streusel Topping; Place on Top and Bake

Although decadent, I am happy to have made this. One recommendation is to be careful with the soak time of the challah bread and how much liquid it absorbs. Other than that, a perfect start to a Saturday or Sunday!

Cheers!

Everything is Bigger and Chocolatey-er in Texas!

My eyes lit up as soon as I found a recipe for a Texas Sheet Cake. In order to look forward to my upcoming trip to Austin, Texas (yes, I am so incredibly excited), I figured that I absolutely, positively had to make it. Plus, did I mention it was ranked #2 Best Dessert in Cooking Light magazine and it has copious amounts of chocolate? Sold.

Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients

Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients Together;
Add Dry Mixture

Step 3: Bake Batter; Combine Butter,
Cocoa, Powdered Sugar and Pecan; Spread & Eat 

After making this cake, the phrase “everything is bigger in Texas” kept ringing in my head. But, according to this cake, the phrase really should be “everything is bigger and chocolatey-er in Texas”. This was definitely a delicious cake with plenty of chocolate-y goodness. Perhaps my stomach size needs to increase before my upcoming trip!

Cheers!

Strawberry-Almond-Cream-Tart

So, continuing with this past weekend’s trend of using almonds, I found a recipe for a Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart during a recent shopping excursion at the local grocery store. After looking through recipe after recipe in the grocery store magazine aisle, I finally settled upon this one. But, I’m not going to lie, at first glance, I solely wanted to try this recipe because it looked “pretty” and it contained almonds. It wasn’t until after my impulse buy and I was in the car already on the way home that I realized that this would be a perfect dessert for a dinner party: light, summery, and the strawberries I had chosen were actually ripe!

Step 1: Crush Graham Crackers (You
Can Use a Food Processor — I Just Chose
to Smash Them in Bags!)


Step 2: Combine Crushed Graham Cracker
Crumbs With Butter and Sugar 


Step 3: Spray Pan With Cooking Spray;
Press Graham Cracker Crumbs Into Pan 


Step 4: Mix Cream Cheese With Almond
and Vanilla Extracts Plus Sugar 


Step 5: Cut Fresh Strawberries


Step 6: Add Strawberries and
Almonds to Top; Bake and Enjoy! 


Although I altered a few things from the original recipe, I’m happy with how it turned out. I really liked implementing nuts into this dessert because I often don’t ever think to add them to desserts. The key for the best flavor is to toast the almonds and the key to the best construction of this dessert is to use enough cooking spray (I didn’t and had some architectural failure when taking it out of the spring form pan). Anyway, all in all, this is a flavorful dessert that is light and doesn’t leave you feeling too full which is just perfect for summertime!

Cheers!

Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers

Lately, I have been doing a lot of cooking with friends which makes the whole experience just that much better. This past weekend was no different. This time, my lovely roommate found a recipe for Almond-Crusted Chicken Fingers that she wanted to try. I don’t have them very often, but every now and then I will crave chicken nuggets — so, let’s just say I was more than excited when she mentioned this recipe. Plus, I was intrigued by the fact that the crust contained almonds which happens to be one of my favorite nuts. Did I mention that the recipe called for few ingredients too? Stellar pick by my roommate!

Step 1: Chop Almonds

Step 2: Pulse Almonds, Spices,
Flour & Olive Oil in Food Processor 


Step 3: Cut Chicken; Dip in Egg
Batter and Then Almond Mixture 


Step 4: Bake Chicken and Enjoy!

This chicken recipe was fantastic and goes well with salad as a side dish. But, don’t forget to add oil or cooking spray to prevent the underside of the chicken from sticking (we accidentally made that mistake — oops!). And, if you are a sauce fiend like me, don’t forget to use a plethora of sauces too!

Cheers!

Banana Bread

So, I haven’t blogged in over a month and I’ve truly missed it. Life has been an absolute whirlwind lately. I just moved from Portland to Seattle and haven’t had the time to sit down and make a home cooked meal or a dinner that didn’t involve take-out or pasta with jarred sauce. Although the move isn’t that drastic, it is enough to make me miss home and the scenery of Portland. But, I’m excited for new adventures in a much bigger city that will surely involve experimenting with more recipes, finding new restaurants, and meeting interesting people along the way.

As previously mentioned, my roommate and I have been in the process of moving into a new apartment. Unfortunately, boxes are still everywhere and I haven’t quite made a full visit to the grocery store just yet. But, this past weekend, I was absolutely craving to bake something at our new apartment. Unluckily for me, the lack of grocery items within our pantry shelves made this desire quite difficult. As I peered around the kitchen, I noticed I had a few very ripe bananas that were in desperate need of consumption. Since banana bread requires very ripe bananas, I knew I had to make them. So, with the help of Epicurious, I was set to make Aunt Holly’s Banana Bread.

 Step 1: Find Very Ripe Bananas and Mash


Step 2: Mix Mashed Bananas with Melted
Butter, Sugar, Egg, Flour, Baking Soda,
and a Pinch of Salt 


Step 3: Bake in Oven for 1 Hour at 350 Degrees

The banana bread turned out wonderful. It added a nice aroma to our new apartment (that smells like new paint currently). But, I would definitely recommended adding four ripe bananas instead of three. I liked the flavor of this bread; however, it needed just a bit more banana accents. Nonetheless, all I had on hand was three ripe bananas. So, c’est la vie!

Anyway, I will definitely look forward to writing more blog posts about food within the coming weeks.

Cheers!

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!