Monday, May 7, 2012


For Cinco de Mayo this year, being it is my love's birthday I was trying my best to figure out the best cake idea to surprise him. Luckily one of my good friends has cake decorating experience. Since this is something I have always wanted to learn to do I jumped at the opportunity to make him a cake inspired by his favorite t-shirt line, T.I.T.S.

Being this was my first time working with fondant I am truly pleased with the end result. What do you think?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Dinner

As I sat this morning trying to think of an appropriate dish to post for today it dawned on me that today was Sunday so why not post something that could be used as a typical dinner for a Sunday.  Considering how tight budgets are right now I also wanted to give you guys something that was cost efficient as well.


Fried Pork Chops


Pork Chops (Cut of your choice)
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Seasoned Meat Tenderizer
Cooking Oil
Flour for breading


For the Pork Chops I prefer to use a boneless thin cut center chop. I put a little seasoned meat tenderizer on them followed by black pepper and garlic powder.  I cover them in flour and I pan fry them in canola oil. It should only take about 3-5 min per side considering thickness.  You don't want to cook them too long or it will cause your grease to burn and your chops to stick to your pan. Once they are done you need to allow the oil to drain from them so just simply lay them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Courtesy of Paula Deen)


3 medium baking potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon (or more) whole milk, at room temperature or warmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.

Add the butter, sour cream and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork until the ingredients are blended. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm Baaaack

Whew, after a hectic 1st year teaching I am back for a summer debut.  I'm gonna try and do better posting guys even if it's only once a month! If there's anything you guys would like me to post just shoot me an email at and I will do my best to respond ASAP!!

Since I've been out for the summer I've tried 2 new things in the kitchen and I cans say the 1st was a success although it wasn't what we expected.  The 2nd was AMAZING!! I shall share both with you now...


Island Stew Chicken

4 lbs chicken  – cut into serving size pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh  ginger – crushed/sliced
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3/4cup water
dash of black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (I used Habanero)
1 green onion or chive (scallion) – chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 lime or lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
1/2 teaspoon green seasoning (I LEFT THIS OUT)
1 can chickpeas (Channa) 540 ml/194 fl oz (I LFET THIS OUT)
* I used chicken legs & boneless/skinless thighs since I love the flavor you get from dark meat. 
In a large bowl place the cut pieces of chicken and pour the vinegar/lime or lemon juice and work between all the pieces of chicken. Rinse with cool water and drain. Then add all the ingredients, except the oil, sugar, chick peas and water. Allow this to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or 2 hours to get best results.
In a large heavy pot – I used an enameled cast iron pot,  Heat the oil on high heat, then add the brown sugar and stir. This is a bit of a tricky process and it’s important you get it right. No worries, I have faith in you. You want the sugar to completely dissolve, then start going frothy and finally it will go to a rich dark brown colour. DON”T let it go black or really dark brown or it will give the dish a bitter taste. 
As soon as you get the rich dark brown colour, add the pieces of seasoned chicken and stir so every piece gets colored with the caramel we just made. Use a spoon with a long handle when putting the seasoned chicken into the pot, as the hot oil/sugar combo can cause some splattering.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low, cover the pot and allow that to cook for 15 minutes (stir occasionally).

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake


  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candy(optional)
  • Additional crushed hard peppermint candy(optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl; beat on high speed of mixer 3 minutes. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and baking powder; add alternately with water to butter mixture, beating until blended. Add candy, if desired. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
I covered with cream cheese frosting and it was absolutely delicious! It was also super moist... When we cut the first piece it split on the top like an earthquake had struck! It might have been ugly but the taste was great.  Next time I will try to add some coconut to the icing. ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011


So I've been thinking that I wouldn't mind working at a bakery over the summer (since teachers don't get paid for 2 months).  It would be fun and a great learning experience for me to see the ins and outs of daily bakery life...

I went down the street to a Bakery (that shall remain nameless) to try out their goods and to possibly try and  see about being taken under their wing...

When I walked in I as immediately taken aback because the place was tiny, they sold old fashioned dip ice cream, and not to mention they only had 1 type of cupcake in the display case. We weren't greeted as we walked in the establishment either.  Trying to be a good patron I waited patiently as I looked over the few cupcakes they had then I saw the price... a whopping 2.00/cupcake!!! (they were regular cupcakes might I add)

I finally was greeted and I decided I would give them a try and I would purchase 1 cupcake...Eyes backed out on me (smile) I bought a strawberry cheesecake cupcake and I was actually very eager to try it. Oddly enough it was 2.00 even (no tax)...

Once I got back to the car I looked over the cupcake and noticed it looked a bit familiar...the pink specks in the cake looked similar to those of the Duncan Hines/Betty Crocker Strawberry Supreme... I took the first bite and I was HEATED!!!  I was right it was cake mix and the icing was too!!!

I felt so cheated, I had just paid 2.00 for a box cupcake with can icing...

Needless to say I will be trying my best to learn the bakery business on my own to avoid deception again..


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

So a good friend of mine asked me via twitter what I knew about these red velvet swirl brownies... I replied nothing but I will find out soon enough. 

Here goes...They are amazing!



1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan

Red Velvet Brownie Layer
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Cream Cheese Layer
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Special equipment: 8 by 8-inch baking pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.

Brownie layer: In a saucepan on medium heat melt the butter. Remove the butter to a large bowl and add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between additions. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and stir it into the cocoa mix. Fold in the flour until lightly combined. Stir in the walnuts and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/4 cup of the batter for the top.

Cream cheese layer: Blend together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

Sweet Potato Cake

I made this cake before Thanksgiving as an experiment because we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year so I didnt want to do the regular pound cake & chocolate cake.  This cake was a success and it was so good it was the first thing that I wrote on the Thanksgiving menu! My family and friends all loved it and  hope you all do too!!! Our God-Daughter who's 2 saw the cake when I was icing it and said "Ria let me taste that cake!" She tasted it and said, "Ummmmm."


Sweet Potato Cake
1/2 c shortening
1 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 c cooked, peeled & mashed sweet potatoes ( about 2 med. sized potatoes boiled should do)
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 c All Purpose Flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c milk
1 c chopped nuts (This is optional but I used pecans to add to the batter and also some extras for garnish)
1 tsp vanilla

Cream shortening, sugar eggs and sweet potatoes. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and spices. Alternate dry ingredents and milk to sweet potato mixture. Divide in 3 9in. round pans and bake at 350 for 30 min. (may need less time so keep an eye on the layers to avoid them from baking too long and drying out.)

Cream Cheese Icing was a perfect match for this cake.

Cream Cheese Icing (double this recipe for this cake)

1/2 cup of melted butter
One 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla
One 1 pound box of confectioners' sugar

Combine the butter, cream cheese and vanilla, mixing well. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well until smooth. Spread on cooled cake.

Molasses Cookies

Hello all! I know it's been a while since I've last posted but my life has been extrememly hectic! Teaching is rather time consuming and I have very little free time for myself.  I honestly don't even get to cook anymore like I used too.

I made these cookies last night for my school holdiay party and they were a success. Even the leftover dough was a hit with eyesofphases of

Enjoy & Ciao'

Molasses Cookies

3/4 cup Butter
1 cup Granulated sugar
1 Egg
4 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Ginger
2 Cups All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons baking soda

Extra Sugar to coat

In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add egg and blend. Add molasses and spices; mix well. Add flour and baking soda and blend. Chill dough at least 2 hours or overnight, covered tightly.

Dough will keep for at least a week, refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 325˚. Shape dough into small balls, roll in sugar and place 2-inches apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


My Mother worked with a Filipino lady when I was a little girl and she would make these for my Mom.  I quickly learned how to fry them myself and they were always soooo good! When my Mom left the job I never had them again until I ran across this recipe one day! I was so happy and excited that I went to the international market and bought all the ingredients and EOP and I had them for lunch! 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon or 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons season salt
  • 1 package of 50 Lumpia Wrappers or 2 packages of 25 individually separated Lumpia Wrappers
  • 1-1 1/2 cup(s) vegetable or olive oil
  • Small bowl of water
First, you'll want to brown your ground beef with your chopped onions, shredded carrots, garlic, pepper, and season salt, over medium high heat in a skillet or frying pan. (I recommend using a frying pan that is at-least 1 1/2" to 2" deep. I use the same pan to fry the lumpia in once it is rolled and finished.) When the meat is nice and brown drain the excess grease and set aside.
Now, here comes the fun part. Separate the Lumpia wrappers. In all my years of making Lumpia I have not found any easy way to separate this darn things but I will tell you how I do it; maybe you can come up with an easy way. The wrappers need to be defrosted if they are frozen. You'll also want to have a plate to set them on as well as a damp kitchen towel to cover them, we don't want our wrappers to dry out! Open the package and take out the stack of Lumpia wrappers, start at the edges and gently start peeling the edges upward, continue around and round until you eventually get to the center and loosen the individual sheet off of the stack. Now, place the loose sheet on your plate under the damp towel or cloth. And basically repeat until the stack or package is done. Sounds easy right? It's not! It will take you a few times of separating before you get the hang of it, probably midway between the stack.
We are now ready to assemble our Lumpia Rolls.
  • Take 1 of the Lumpia wrappers and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of your ground beef mixture into a line near the edge on the Lumpia wrapper.
  • Fold Lumpia wrapper over the line of meat you just spooned.
  • Now, you will begin to roll the meat into a tube. Stop rolling when you are to the middle of the wrapper.
  • Fold the right and left sides of the lumpia wrapper to the center
  • Continue to roll to the end of the wrapper
  • Dip your fingers in the small bowl of water and lightly moisten the exposed edge of the lumpia wrapper
  • Fold wrapper edge onto itself pressing it down gently. So it seems to glue itself down.
  • Place to the side for now and repeat, repeat, repeat! Until there isn't anymore wrappers or meat left.
All that's left to do now is heat your oil in your frying pan on medium high heat. You only need about 1/2" of oil across the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot place about 4-5 Lumpia across the pan and lightly brown each side of the lumpia. About 3-5 minutes each side. It will also vary with your stove. So if it seems like they are burning quickly turn your burner down. They should be a nice golden brown color. Now you want to let them cool and drain some of the excess grease off of them. My mother and I have always used a colander, feel free just to set them on paper towels or napkins. Repeat until you've made desired amount or they are all done. You can store extras(before they are fried in oil!) in the freezer to fry later on. That's another great benefit to this recipe, you can make 50 at a time and only fry 10 one day and saved the others for when you feel like it.

Serve with Ketchup!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


I don't eat very many sweets but when I get a sweet tooth it HAS to be satisfied!! I recently tried another cookie recipe and the cookies were very good but they weren't as soft & chewy as I would have liked.  So I tried again and thought I would use the recipe from the back of the Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels package.  SUCCESS!!!  I hope you all like these cookies as much as me and my boo enjoyed them! 



  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Milk Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans they are my fav!)


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. 
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

*This recipe makes about 5 dozen if you spoon them small enough!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Simple Pleasures...

Happy 4th Everyone!

I grilled this year as I have every year since Ive been on my own and my menu went a lil' sumthin like this...

Brightleaf Hot Dogs & Red Hots (yum-o, my fav hotdog in the whole wide world!!!)
Grilled Jerk Chicken Wings (my babe's specialty..)
Grilled Turkey Legs (xtra yum-o)

Butter Beans w/ smoked turkey
Mac & Cheese

Sounds Yummy huh? Wish I had smell-o/taste-o vision so you all could experience the yumminess!!!!

But for now what you've all been waiting for...

Grilled Turkey Legs

Take the raw turkey legs and place em over a charcoal grill.
Turn while cooking to insure they brown on all sides.
Cook until done (varies depending on size)
Remove & Enjoy...

*Speckled Butter Beans w/ Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey Wing boiled until tender and water looks cloudy (its seasoned) add 1 bag frozen *speckled butter beans add salt & pepper to taste.  Cook until done. (about an hour or so)

Really easy huh? It is and it's really healthy!  

*I like the speckled butter beans because it makes the "gravy" dark and they have a better flavor than the reg green ones to me but you can cook either one this way.

Ciao, Infinity

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