Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lately: Bikes and Bakery

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// Just a few pictures of what has been going on lately while I'm down by the beach:)
Along with sitting in the sand, I've been doing a ton of bike riding and cinnamon roll eating.
I have a really awesome new blog post coming up soon, but I'm having a little technical difficulties with the program I'm using... hopefully it will be up in the near future!!


XO

Lauren

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Berry Picking and Jamming Experience

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So as many of you know, I went berry picking a little bit ago. I have never really gone before and I was really excited. We went up to the pick-your-own farm in upstate New York called Alstede Farms (I highly suggest it if your ever up that way!). 

BERRY PICKING TIP: I did not know this but, THERE WILL BE A TON OF BUGS. Like bees, beetles, those annoying little fly things... all trying to attack you while you are picking the berries. Funny story, for some reason all the bugs just liked to land on me.. not anyone else... just me. At one point a giant beetle landed on my back.. I screamed... and ended up dropping the ENTIRE basket of blueberries on the ground :/
Thank goodness my mom came with me or we wouldn't of had any jam:)
but besides that, it was so much fun.






















We didn't really pick that much because it took forever to get that one pint of blueberries:)
so we cheated a little.. and bought the rest of the blueberries for the jam (oops)



Then my little sis helped mash up the berries before we put it in jars.





To make jam you basically need three things: fruit, sugar, and SureJell (which is the stuff that sets the jam)
I used the recipe on the inside of the SureJell box, and it worked pretty well!
But, if your going to make jam or jelly make sure you get the low or reduced sugar version of SureJell, because if you use the regular version it will be very very sweet.

I also made peach jam, which was so delicious also:)

XO
Lauren

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Farmers Market Part 2

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Hello guys!
Its been awhile, but at the same time not really.
For me the past two weeks have sped by so fast, incase you didn't know, I'v been away in California.
I have never been before and it was amazing. I know I was suppose to keep you updated on everything I ate there, but honestly nothing I ate was really worth photographing and uploading (oops). It was partially the fact that I was just too lazy also. Anyways, I was back at the farmers market today!
In the early fall I did a post on my first trip to this market, and I thought it would be cool to go back in the summer.





















Can I mention, the bread here is always amazing (we bought two loaves).
I love challah, really love it, like if I was stuck on a island and only had challah, I would be pretty happy.






Okay, so I walked by this stand and knew I had to get one. It's homemade lemonade, but you can mix in ANY fruit you want. whaaaaattt
I went for the raspberry lemonade, and my Mom got strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry mixed into hers.
It was actually amazing, like Starbucks, you need to get on to adding something like that.









Overall, I love the farmers market and I really like how all the pictures came out:)
HERE IS MY FARMERS MARKET HAUL:

  • Berry Jam
  • 2 loaves of bread
  • 2 packages of homemade ravioli
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup
  • Gluten Free muffins
  • 2 Croissants (to put the jam on)
  • a homemade frozen pizza
  • and a thing of string beans
Another really exciting thing thats coming up for me... I head off to cooking boot camp at the International Culinary Center!
Yay, so hopefully I post what I end up making
See you soon

XO
Lauren
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

THE BEST BLT PIZZA EVER

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Some of you might already recognize this pizza from the cover of the latest Cooking Light magazine. When the issue got delivered to my house, I took one look at it and knew I had to make this. Ever since I got a pizza stone, I looooove making pizza on the grill.








The only thing I was a little cautious about was the sauce. The recipe called for a white sauce, which is way different from the usual red tomato sauce. I have had white sauce on pizza before, and I'm not the hugest fan. Also the sauce for this pizza called for mayonnaise, which I also thought was a little strange, but I guess they added it to enhance the BLT effect.

Well first things first, this pizza was absolutely amazing. No joke, this was probably one of the best pizzas I have ever made. I think for me was the combo of everything together, the sweet tomatoes, the fresh arugula, the gooey cheese and the crisp bacon.
But if you want a little kick on it, add some red pepper flakes on top, in addition to everything else.

Just a warning, this pizza is very filling, so if you want to make it just for yourself, make a personal one:)









Also on the side note, I'm going to be away for the next two weeks in Lake George and California (yay!!). I will try to keep posting and I'm going to download the blogger app on my phone so I can update you guys if I eat anything worth talking about:)
XO
Lauren


RECIPE (from Cooking Light)
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/blt-pizza-white-sauce-50400000136009/


  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 4 center-cut bacon slices
  • 10 ounce fresh pizza dough
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 2 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup baby arugula


    1. Place a pizza stone on bottom oven rack. Preheat oven to 400°.
    2. Arrange tomato slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with oregano and pepper. Place baking sheet directly on pizza stone. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until tomatoes are no longer wet. Remove tomatoes; keep stone in oven.
    3. Increase oven temperature to 500°.
    4. Combine mayonnaise, oil, chives, and garlic in a small bowl.
    5. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain on paper towels. Break into pieces.
    6. Using well-floured hands, pat dough into a 10-inch circle. Place dough on a pizza peel or baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Pierce dough with a fork; transfer to preheated pizza stone. Bake at 500° for 5 minutes.
    7. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven. Brush mayonnaise mixture over crust, leaving a 1-inch border; top with tomatoes and bacon. Top with cheese; coat crust edge with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust browns. Top with arugula. Cut into 8 slices.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    Red Velvet Whoopie Pies!

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    Alright, so here's the story behind these...
    So I guess we have this "tradition" at our school where the lower class men bake for the upper class men. So this week the Sophomores had their "Sophomore Spirit Day" (Why only they get an entire day off to celebrate being sophomores... I don't understand) BUT ANYWAYS...

    So guess who had to bake for them? *points to self* this gal. (Okay theoretically not just me, but you get what I'm saying)


    Pretty much I looked at the list to see what everyone else was bringing and this was the list (I kid you not)...
    Brownies
    Cookies
    Brownies
    Cupcakes
    Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Brownies
    Cupcakes
    Cookies
    Cookies
     and the list goes on similarly for the all the 56 freshmen that signed up...
    well I knew just then what I was NOT going to bake







    I'v always had a thing for whoopie pies, I'm not really sure but I love the idea of bite sized cake with marshmallowy frosting in the middle. The ironic part is that I don't even like red velvet that much, but I never baked it before. It wasn't like I was going to eat these anyways (lets hope the sophomores like red velvet)

    For this recipe, I have a whoopie pie pan at my house, so I used that. If you don't have one I'm pretty positive that you can still make them without it.

    I got this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens and you can find it here.


    2
    1/2
    teaspoon baking soda
    1/4
    teaspoon salt
    1/2
    1
    cup packed brown sugar
    1
    egg
    1
    teaspoon vanilla
    1/2
    cup buttermilk
    1
    1 ounce bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
    1
    recipe Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
    2. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk, beating after each addition just until combined. Stir in food coloring.
    3. Spoon batter in 1- or 2-inch diameter rounds, about 1/2-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1 inch between each round.
    4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes for 1-inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or until tops are set. Cool completely on baking sheets on rack. Remove cooled cookies from baking sheets.
    5. To fill, dollop Whoopie Pie Filling on flat sides of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat sides down. Makes 60 one-inch or 42 two-inch cookies.
    From the Test Kitchen
    To store:
    Refrigerate in airtight container up to 4 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

    Whoopie pie filling...

    Ingredients
    1/4
    cup softened butter
    1/2
    8 ounce package softened cream cheese
    1
    7 ounce jar marshmallow creme
    Directions
    1. In medium mixing bowl beat butter and cream cheese until smooth. Fold in marshmallow creme.


    *disclaimer* again, this is NOT my recipe, and I am not going to take credit for it, so if you want to try it I suggest going to the website to print it out from there. (I just copied and pasted for a quick read)

    These pies (would you even call it that?) turned out so good and you should definitely try it out over memorial day weekend! WARNING they are messy:)
    Talk to you soon

    XO
    Lauren




    Thursday, May 8, 2014

    Ombre Cake

    1 comment:




    Hello everyone!
    Here I present you with my first attempt at an ombre cake...
    I always see these online (especially on pinterest)

    In my opinion they looked pretty cool, but how easy is it really?
    Ever had one of those moments where your on pinterest (or some other social media) and you see a really cute diy and your like, yeah I can totally do this...
    11 minutes later you're downstairs in your basement with a glue gun in hand and about to have a mental breakdown.

    I knew this cake wasn't going to give me a complete mental breakdown, but I didn't really want this cake to give me too much stress.








    Well, like most of the recipes on this blog, this one isn't as difficult as it looks.
    Oh. and to make it extra ombre, I dyed coconut flakes in different shades of color also!
    Pretty much this cake started from a basic vanilla recipe. 
    Then I split the batter in three bowls and added a few drops of food coloring in each (making sure each bowl was gradually darker).
    Now for the coconut... 

    actually it's the exact same concept but you're putting the coconut in a bag and shaking it with the food coloring.

    Sooo the whole reason I made this cake was to surprise my mom for her birthday (mostly because I couldn't find her a birthday present #oops)
    But hey food can count as a present right?

    Anyways... if you're itching to try an ombre cake... go for it!!
    See you soon!

    XO
    Lauren






    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    "It's Complicated" Nachos

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    Hello everybody!! I'm baaacckk
    and this time I come with cheese and chips (like how can this end up badly?)
    Being tired of lacking inspiration in the kitchen,  I picked up a copy of the latest Epicurious magazine. 
    It was actually a really good issue that features recipes from different sections of America. After flipping through it rather quickly, these nachos caught my eye in the Southwest section.






    I'v always had a soft spot for nachos, of course I never really had them often except on Super Bowl sunday. They were just the classic, simple ones though, just really salty chips and sharp cheddar cheese.
    I really loved the idea of these more complicated nachos that introduced even more flavors for more complex pallets.

    BAM. No plans for lunch plus plenty of time (I'm on break from classes)…. this was happening.
    I kind of took the recipe from Epicurious and changed it up a bit.
    soo i added…
    -cheddar + monterey jack
    -feta
    -black beans
    -onion
    -cilantro
    -shredded chicken
    -and a good shaking of chili powder:)

    then add to the oven at 350 degrees for a little less than 10 minutes

    There ya go… "It's Complicated" nachos
    XO
    Lauren