Margarita Ice Cream


I really should be studyin for my nursing exam right now. Like really really. Seeing as how it is tomorrow at 10am. Seeing as how I’ve yet to study more than a few lectures…I need to take a break for food. I recently got in a small feud with my mother in which I was labeled delusional and uncompassionate. Those are just the things I can print on this blog. Trust me, the list is much longer. I needed to take time for food then. I need to take time for food ALL the time. This margarita ice cream is a good way to take time…you may just get a buzz off of it. In all fairness, there is not that much tequila in this ice cream but oh boy does it make its flavor appearance. If you like margaritas (and who doesn’t really?? tequila is god) then you will love this ice cream. Surprise, it tastes like…a margarita! The best part?? No ice cream maker needed! Let me repeat that, no ice cream maker needed! The alcohol from the tequila and triple sec combined with the whipping of the heavy cream make this a straight to the freezer affair that stays both soft and light(-ish…it is heavy cream). Stay tuned for tequila sunrise ice cream…yum.





Margarita Ice Cream
1/2 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
3 tablespoons orange liqueur like triple sec
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream

Pour the lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur into a bowl and stir in the sugar to dissolve.

Add the cream and then softly whip until thick and smooth but not stiff.

Spoon into an airtight container to freeze overnight. This ice cream does not need ripening (softening before serving), as it will not freeze too hard and melts speedily and voluptuously. Sprinkle with margarita salt if desired.

Taken from Nigella Lawson via

Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones


Hello. Did I ever tell you how much I like grapefruit? Hmmm…probably not. I love grapefruit :) Especially in these scones. The base of the scone is a delicious, moist, and light concoction that tastes especially yummy without being overly sweet at all. If I was going to make these without grapefruit I would spread them with butter or jam while they were still warm. But I wouldn’t make them without grapefruit. I suggest you try them especially if you are different. These scones are different. Yet oh so familiar. Which is why I like them. I alslo like people who are failiar yet different. See a trend here? Anyways, if you did want to stray off the beaten path and grapefruit just isn’t your thing I’m pretty sure you could substitute it for orange, lemon, or lime. You could even get crazy and add ginger to the dough…or cinnamon! But I digress…make these grapefruit scones, they’re familiar, different, and yummy!!


Grapefruit Honey Yogurt Scones

Makes: 6 scones
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1 Ruby Red grapefruit, zested and segmented
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Zest the grapefruit and combined zest and granulated sugar on a clean cutting board. Rub together the zest and sugar with the back of a spoon or a plastic bench knife. The sugar will be tinted a pale orange color and smell of grapefruit. Measure 2 tablespoons of the grapefruit sugar and whisk into the dry ingredients. Save the remaining grapefruit sugar for topping the scones just before baking.

Segment the grapefruit next. Slice off the bottom and top of the grapefruit, exposing the wheel of grapefruit flesh inside. Use a sharp knife to cut away the peel and pith of the grapefruit, exposing the pink grapefruit flesh. Slice in between the white skin segments to the center of the fruit, at a slight angel, circling the grapefruit. Little grapefruit segments should fall from the fruit as you slice. Set segments aside.

Dice cold butter into small chunks and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, and working quickly, break the butter down into the flour mixture until butter chunks are the size of oat flakes or small peas. The butter and flour combined will resemble coarse meal. Add the honey, plain yogurt and grapefruit segments. Toss together with a fork until all of the dry ingredients are moistened by the yogurt and honey.

Turn the scone dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into an 8 inch circle, about 1 inch thick. Use a knife or a bench scraper to cut the dough into six scone triangles. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly brush the tops of the scones with milk or buttermilk, and sprinkle generously with grapefruit sugar.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden brown on top and firm but soft in the center. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with butter and jam. These scones are best served the day they’re made.

Recipe from


Raspberry and Apple Brioche Bread Pudding


Wondering what to do with your leftover loaf of crusty brioche bread? Well, look no further my friends. This is it!! Raspberry and Apple Brioche Bread Pudding. It’s a yummy title, but well worth it to describe the awesomeness of this bread pudding. To be completely honest with you, I am NOT, I repeat am NOT a fan of the orange raspberry combo. Yuck. This bread pudding changed my mind. Forever. And ever…I was told by a couple of relatively cool people that this bread pudding was “Top Chef worthy”. Clearly, a compliment. Totes magotes. Some other stuff about this bread pudding:

1. It is awesome
2. It will take some time [love] in the kitchen

This is the kind of dessert I would serve all year round. Yup. It’s versatile. For example, the original recipe called for rhubarb…Couldn’t find it. Sad face. But! Alas, apples have a similar-ish texture in that they take a little while to cook. I knew they could stand up to the same process in this recipe. But, let’s say you didn’t want to use apples, raspberry, or ginger? Well…you could use blueberry jam, lemon zest, and fresh berries. Or in the fall…how about a caramel sauce instead of jam with cinnamon and apples? Why not? Honestly, I think this recipe can be tweaked to allow for any combo you can come up with. The basic ratios of bread to filling are PERFECTION and the vanilla custard is the perfect canvas for any flavor profiles. Can you tell I realllly like this?


Apples and Raspberry Sauce

1 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
2 1/2 pounds apples (about 5 medium) cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces (8 to 9 cups)


Whisk preserves and 1/2 cup water in heavy large skillet over medium heat until preserves dissolve. Add ginger and orange peel. Scatter apples evenly in skillet. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat, occasionally stirring gently, until apples are slightly tender but still intact, about 10-15 minutes. Pour mixture into large sieve set over large saucepan. Let drain 15 minutes.

Vanilla Custard and Assembly

3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Butter (for dish)
8-12 (depending on size) 1/2-inch-thick slices brioche cut lengthwise in half
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk sugar and eggs in large bowl. Place milk and cream in heavy medium saucepan. Add vanilla. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Gradually add hot cream mixture to egg mixture, whisking custard to blend.

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Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch oval baking dish. Arrange enough bread slices in dish to cover bottom (some spaces will remain between slices). Spoon half of apples evenly over. Repeat with remaining bread and apples. Pour custard over. Place baking dish in roasting pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of dish.

Bake pudding until just set in center, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand in water bath 30 minutes; remove.


Boil sauce from apples until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Keep warm.
Brush top of pudding with reduced sauce. Spoon warm pudding into bowls; top with sauce and whipped cream.

Adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2010

Brioche Bread

Mmmmm…what a tasty treat. I’m imagining it in all sorts of ways…in bread pudding, french toast, with jam, whipped cream, chocolate…the possibilities go on and on. Sweet and savory. I’ve no idea what possessed my to bake a brioche bread. I guess it’s just one of those things that I decided after some pondering was quite out of the norm for me to bake, and so worth trying. I like to break out of the norm. Oh yeahhhh. But really. I don’t quite bake/cook a lot of french inspired things. They just have never really turned me on, ya know? Plus, I don’t think I had ever tried a brioche bread before today, and with the numerous ravings I read from numerous online blogs I decided I had to give it a go myself. I have to say also that I expected it to be a bit more tedious to make with all the complaints I read about the consistency of the dough. After a good 2 hours in the refridgerator, shaping was really no big deal, albeit a bit sticky. Nothing a mom can’t hande. 😉 I am now possessed with the idea to try all different ratios of butter to flour and all different methods and recipes for brioche. Not one recipe I read was the same and I am now dying to compare a few for good measure (and it tastes delicious, right?). It’s almost like a blank canvas except that it also tastes amazing by itself. And I will skip all the brioche history and explanations for other blogs since there is plenty out there to find and I am not so inclined yet that I want to re-write my own history. I’ll save that for the Irish and Italian goodies (no disrespect intended). Or, maybe when I am more culinarily inclined, my interest will persuade me to delve deeper into brioche and French baking and cooking in general. For now, this brioche will have to do.




1/2 cup unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk (90 to 100 degrees)

Mix the ingredients for the sponge in a bowl together until the flour is fully hydrated. Cover with plastic and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. I like to stick mine in an empty microwave and use the timer on the microwave, just be careful that no one actually turns the microwave on.


5 large eggs
3 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour (I like King Arthur’s)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter

Whisk together the eggs and the sponge until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the sponge and eggs and stir until all of the ingredients are combined and the flour is evenly hydrated. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

Work the butter into the dough. It is easiest to do this by warming the butter to room temperature and then working it in a few chunks at a time. This is easiest (and most fun) to do by hand. Continue working the dough for 5 minutes or so after the butter has been incorporated. The dough will be very soft and moist.

If you have parchment paper, line a sheet pan with it and then spray the parchment with oil. If you don’t, just oil the pan well. Pour the dough from the bowl onto the pan and spread it to make a large, thick rectangle, approximately 6 by 8 inches. Mist the top of the dough with oil and cover the pan with plastic. Put the pan into the refrigerator until the dough is thoroughly chilled, at least 2 or 3 hours.

Spray two 9×5″ bread loaf pans with oil or nonstick spray. Remove the dough just before shaping: you want to work with it while it is as cold as possible.

Cut the dough with a very sharp knife into four long strips. Make two dough twists by overlapping two pieces of dough until a “twist” is formed. At this point you should have two pieces of dough that resemble a french twist doughnut. Tuck each twist into a bread pan. Don’t worry if the dough does not fill out the pan, it will rise to meet the volume of the pan. Cover each pan with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for two hours (once again, I like to use the microwave for this as it is relatively warm and dark).

Preheat the oven to 385 degrees F. Brush the dough with an eggwash made from one beaten egg. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!!

Barely adapted from, originally adapted from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice (what is known as a “Middle Class Brioche”)

Saint Patrick’s Day Grasshopper Cake


Why? …because it’s green!!! Yes, that was about my only criterea for this grasshopper cake. That and the fact that it comes from my new and favorite baking book “Baked”. Specifically from the first, “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” although I enjoy the second edition just as well. Anyways, back to the cake. I made it on the fly after having dogeared numerous recipes from the cookbook and debating over which of them to make that night. I finally decided on this one. Green and minty? Saint Patrick’s Day? Yes! Awesome? Yes! This cake is wicked! That same night, I decide to take a trip to my local craft shop to buy some awesome Thomas the Train stickers for my 2 year old daughter (a potty reward, gotta have the “potty chart”) when I came across a nifty set of baking pans. These pans have around a 4″ diameter with a small well in the center. Fill with your choice of filling and flip two on top of each other, frost, and voila! Instant filled mini-cake. Awesome! I decided the grasshopper cake would be perfect since it calls for a mint chocolate ganache as well as a creme de menthe frosting. Ganache filling? Yes! Actually, sadly, no. I did not make it to the grocery store for chocolate. And so on the fly this cake became frosting filled, sans vegetable shortening, and plus creme de menthe “candy” flavoring in place of real creme de menthe due to a lack of ingredients. It just goes to show that you don’t always need to have the exact ingredients to make a recipe, even in baking, as long as you use smart solutions. I’m posting the altered recipe, I’m sure it tasted just as good as the original (or not, I’ll never know!). And quite festive if I do say so myself! This recipe also uses a really cool technique for making a buttercream that I have never used before. It is absolutely amazing and gives the frosting an awesome creamy, thick texture without being cloyingly sweet from pounds of powdered sugar. Try it. Do it. (p.s. I also substituted half and half for milk and heavy cream with no problems. Try it. Who would’ve known? Me. Ha!)

*Note: I halved this recipe, if making a triple layer cake, as intended in the original, you might want to double the recipe or do some research and find the original. Also, this would make a really great cupcake, especially with the original ganache filling in the center, just a thought!

Classic Chocolate Cake

1/2 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups or 2 sticks plus 2 tbl salted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 jumbo egg or 1 1/2 t pure vanilla extract

Preheat the over to 325 degrees F. Spray the inside of your baking pans with nonstick spray or butter and flour, tapping out any excess.

In a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, hot water, and sour cream and set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add the vanilla, scraping down the sides, and beating for another 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, alternating with the cocoa mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pans, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan.

Creme de Menthe Buttercream

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup half and half
2 sticks salted butter
2 drops creme de menthe candy flavoring (or to taste)
1/4 t peppermint extract
green gel food coloring

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the half and half and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, 10-20 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; mix until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Add the extracts/flavorings and mix until combined. Frost any way you like (be creative!) and enjoy!

Cupcakes are cool!

Things I am obsessed with lately:
1. Katy Perry’s new song E.T.
2. Dropkick Murphy’s and anything Irish

Soooo, how do I put this? I have a problem with cupcakes. That’s it. I said it. It’s not the kind of problem you might think…it’s more of a jealousy issue. A jealousy issue that extends to friends and family who may try to challenge my title (at least in my mind) with their very own “creations” (if you might call them that). As you can see, I am very bitter. And angry. Some days. Most days I go on with my life in beatiful cupcake peace, lest you ruin it by baking cupcakes.


So, in the spirit of competition, even if it is only in my head (the “woman gene” as my boyfriend so lovingly puts it), I am posting this yummy recipe for coconutty cupcakes. I will say that they are not in the variety of super-sweet bonbon type cupcakes (although there will be more of that later, ohhh there will be more), they are more of a balanced and not-too-coyingly-sweet type. Of course they are yummy, and of course they are coconutty, but they are also something else entirely. That’s right, I’m throwing down the gauntlet…


Coconut Cupcakes with Fluffy Cloud Frosting

1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature (salted or unsalted, the choice is yours although I
prefer the taste of salted butter in all my baked goods)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 (1/4 if using unsalted butter) teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
7 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift togetherthe flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in about half of the coconut.

Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Cut a small cone in the middle of each cupcake, leaving enough room for 1-2 Tbl of filling. Cut the bottoms off of each cone, fill each cupcake with enough filling to leave room for the top, and replace top. Frost the cupcake and sprinkle with remaining half of coconut, toasted (to toast simply put in a pan over medium heat until golden brown).

Coconut Custard Filling
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 eggs
3/8 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, combine half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the coconut and the vanilla extract.

Marshmallow 7-minute Frosting

Cupcakes from Ina Garten, filling from, frosting from Martha Stewart