baked pumpkin oatmeal

>> Sunday, October 30, 2011

i posted this breakfast treat on clarendon patch over the weekend. it is seriously the best way to start your fall morning with a cup of joe. check it out at

ps. i'm making recipes from gwyneth paltrow's cookbook this week. hopefully i can post the results on here!

pps. i learned out to filet a whole fish today in class. removed the eyes and everything. wow.


cookies and cream cupcakes

>> Wednesday, October 26, 2011

i never thought i was a baker. i literally used to have meltdowns when baking. that was until i started my new life as a nanny and baker has become my new job title. every time one of nanny dad's co-workers has a birthday i send in 30 cupcakes for his team. this has become a little routine of ours and i've grown to love it. i get to be creative and make whatever i feel like.

last week i made these cookies and cream cupcakes. nanny dad says they were the best cupcakes i've ever made. i'm gonna go ahead and agree with him. the super moist cake and paired with such wonderfully decadent icing is so delicious that you can't help but eat a second.

this recipe makes exactly 30 cupcakes when you fill liners 3/4 full of batter.


via my baking addiction

1 (18.25 oz.) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding mix - if you can't find this size just use 1.5 boxes of the 3.9 oz size
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips

cookies and cream buttercream frosting

2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shortening, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 lbs. powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk
8 crushed oreo cookies (cream filling removed before crushing)
30 mini oreo cookies

preheat oven to 350 degrees. line cupcake pans with paper baking cups.

in a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes. mix in sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water until just combined. stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared cupcake pans.

bake for 20-24 minutes, until tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

for the frosting:
cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. add the vanilla extract and combine well. begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. after all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk, one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency. fold in the oreo cookie crumbs. top cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting and garnish with a mini oreo.


vegan roasted vegetable and black bean burrito

>> Wednesday, October 19, 2011

last week's patch column was all about eating vegan. my editor asked me to create a vegan recipe for his fiancĂ©e that they both could enjoy even though he's the traditional meat-eating guy.

it was a fun project and a little out of my comfort zone (at first i had no idea what a vegan actually was). check it out to see what i came up with over at

on a side note - i started culinary school this week. it's been amazingly crazy and wonderfully overwhelming. i'm loving every minute of it so far and can't wait to share more updates with you guys.


pesto crusted lamb chops

>> Thursday, October 13, 2011

the last post i wrote was about my new found love for arugula pesto.

this week i'm going to show what to do with the leftover pesto to make a fancy schmancy friday night supper. serve with a simple salad and potatoes au gratin to make it elegant enough for dinner guests or delicious enough for kids aged 2 to 6 to gobble up. just trust me on this one...i'm talking from my own experiences :)

here we go.

1/4 cup arugula pesto
2 racks of lamb, cut into individual chops (ask the butcher to do this for you)
olive oil
slat and pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees.

heat olive oil in large frying pan over high heat. liberally season chops with salt and pepper. sear 2 minutes per side and place on baking sheet. brush with pesto and roast to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium-rare.

brush with more pesto before serving. enjoy!


israeli couscous and tomato salad with arugula pesto

>> Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i have made basil pesto many many times. i had never made arugula pesto though.

so i decided to give it a whirl for the nanny family after finding the recipe in an issue of food and wine magazine.

it was simple and quite delicious. the arugula has a peppery kick and is high in vitamin a & c. and you can put this stuff on just about anything - pasta, shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, veggies. i suggest you give it a whirl sometime too.

6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces), plus whole leaves for garnish
2 cups israeli couscous (12 ounces)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pints red cherry tomatoes, halved
4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice

bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. with a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.

add the couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent clumping. let the couscous cool to room temperature.

in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. let cool.

squeeze the excess water from the arugula and coarsely chop it. transfer the arugula to a food processor. add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and the 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. season the pesto with salt and pepper.

transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the pesto. gently fold in the tomatoes. garnish with the arugula leaves and serve.


diy tv dinners: muffin meatloaf with mashed cauliflower and edamame succotash

here is last week's patch column. i re-invented the traditional tv dinner and turned it into a healthier way to enjoy america's iconic "fast food".

take a look over here:


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