I know…I know…. Just like you, I love Holidays season, especially the day after Thanksgiving, where Christmas music is being played all-day long on the radio and I can shop in the name of secret santa or Christmas gifts, or simply just for myself. Ahhh…the joy of giving and sharing. Well, not too fast, though because we’re also doing Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This was my second time doing this and I love the concept that Julie and Lindsay put together. Each of us donated $4 to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer. By participating in this cookie swap you are not only contributing to the food blogger community, but also supporting a great cause. Additionally, our three generous brand partners, OXO, Gold Medal Flour, and Dixie Crystals, will EACH be matching our donation (up to $3,000). Additionally, all U.S. participants can also opt to receive free goodies from our partners, including kitchen gadgets and product coupons. It’s a win-win for everyone!
This event brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things cookie. Last year we had nearly 600 bloggers participate and raised over $4,400 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. That’s a lot of cookies doing a lot of good. This year alone, we raised $13,778.40. Isn’t it amazing?
The premise is this: sign up. Receive the addresses of three other food bloggers. Send each of them one dozen delicious homemade cookies. Receive three different boxes of cookies from other bloggers. Eat them all yourself…or share. This year, I was lucky to receive amazing walnut cappuccino biscotti from Melissa of i was Born to Cook, and peppermint nutella crinkle cookies from Denise of Addicted 2 Recipes. Now, who doesn’t love holidays?
Hazelnut Toffee Palmiers
- 1 box puff pastry (2 dough)
- 1 tbs sugar
- Hazelnut spread
- Mini chocolate chips
- Toffee bits
- Sprinkle work surface with the sugar. Place the puff pastry on top and roll to a rectangle 8 by 26 inches and approximately 1/8 inch thick, continually sprinkling with additional sugar to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Spread 3/4 of the dough with hazelnut spread, then sprinkle 1/2 of it with mini chocolate chips and toffee bits.
- Working quickly but gently, roll the pastry and make a log. Freeze rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Slice crosswise into 3/8-inch slices.
- Roll over each palmier with a rolling pin to lightly flatten, and sprinkle the center of each with more chocolate chips.
- Place palmiers 2 inches apart on water-sprayed baking sheets.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake palmiers 4 to 6 minutes, until golden on the underside. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
I’ve been busy with my new role as a full-time housewife and building my own studio. It’s a
big huge adjustment for me and I’ve been wrestling with myself, debating whether or not I should look around searching for a stable income or just go and continue to pursue my dream. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve made. I thought staying at home will give me some flexibility and enough time to do more things. Turns out, I have less time to do stuffs and I even get up earlier and stay up later than usual. My days are packed with meetings here and there and I’m so behind in my blogging or visiting my virtual friends and I really missed baking and writing. So today, I jot down my priority list to refresh myself. Sometimes it’s just wonderful to relax a bit and not rushing yourself. I’m sure most moms know what I mean.
We had an Indian Summer last weekend. It’s supposed to end on Friday, but somehow we still got the heat until Monday. So we had to enjoy an outdoor wedding under 100F heat. Yeah, talking about being in the oven made me go wild with ice cream. On Sunday morning, I got up way too early and decided to make this ice cream. It was an impromptu recipe based on my mood that morning, but I loved the texture and flavors especially with Jif mocha cappuccino spread. If you love avocado, cappuccino, and nutella, this one is for you.
Easy Avocado Ice Cream
A smooth, creamy, and easy ice cream recipe.
- 2 ripe, Fresh Hass Avocados, seeded and peeled
- 2 tbs Jif mocha cappuccino spread
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Vanilla bean, chopped, optional
- Nutella spread
- Condensed milk
- Pit the avocados and scrape the flesh into a food processor.
- Add the sugar, vanilla bean, milk and mocha cappuccino spread, and pulse in processor until blended. Depends on how ripe your avocados are, you can add more milk until you reach smooth consistency.
- Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.
- After removing mixture from ice cream maker, transfer to metal bowl and freeze for an additional 2 hours, or until desired firmness is reached.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
I finally went for another lab test last weekend and am glad with the result, which are mostly good. However, my doctor is still waiting for one more result before she can make any conclusion about my condition. I’ve been crossing my fingers and hoping that everything is fine. Anyway, I’ve been on a low-sodium diet and have to really watch what I eat. In the beginning, it was a challenge for me to find food suited for my diet and I had ran out of ideas of what to cook. But after a few days, I’ve been feeling so great and have come up with many fabulous low-sodium menus.
But enough talks about low-sodium diets, and let’s move on to ice creams, as Summer is approaching. I have always enjoy making ice cream and in my opinion, ice cream making is more fun than cooking, except that ice cream must be produced in bulks, therefore I will need a lot of help to finish what I made. So maybe I will throw an ice cream party – which serves only ice cream. Can you believe that this nutella ice cream only contains 2 ingredients? I was so amazed when I read the recipe in the ‘Only Ice Cream’ blog. If you’re a
chocolate nutella ice cream lover, you must try this and yes, you’re all invited to my ice cream party. How’s that?
2-ingredient Nutella Ice Cream
Only 2-ingredients for super simple summer dessert.
- 1 1/2 cups (12 1/3 ounces or 350 grams) Nutella
- 1 1/2 cups + 1 tbs (14 1/2 ounces or 380 ml) evaporated milk
- Pre-freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Combine the chocolate hazelnut spread and the evaporated milk in a medium mixing bowl and microwave together for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You just want to warm them up a little in order to have the mixture easier to blend. With an electric mixer or hand blender, blend until the mixture is completely smooth and homogeneous.
- Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled. Whisk again and churn into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Put in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze until ice cream reaches your desired consistency.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
There are few things that I kinda try to avoid making in the kitchen. Oatmeal bars, for instance. For some reasons, I find it to be intimidating. The thought of making homemade granola bars never occurred to me until a few weeks ago. As it turned out, I was having so much fun making these tasty bars! The only problem is they are very addicting and I’m so madly in love with them. Seriously – what’s not to love about oatmeal and chocolates? You just can’t go wrong making them!
Pretzel Oreo Oatmeal Bars
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup nutella spread
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup chopped pretzels
- 1/2 cup chopped oreo
- Optional: Dried cherry
- In a sauce pan, melt butter with brown sugar, honey, and nutella.
- When the mixture has melted and is combined well, stir in old-fashioned oats, oreo, and pretzels.
- In an 8 x 8 pan, place a piece of parchment paper to fit. Spread the granola mixture into the pan, then press it in firmly. Sprinkle dried cherry over the top.
- Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Cut into bars and serve.
The Urban Mrs http://theurbanmrs.com/
Confession - I always fall for sea salt, any kind of sea salt. I have sea salt for cooking, baking, or even drinks, but mostly on sweets because I always think sweets and savory make a perfect duet. Just like Ross & Rachel on Friends, or Joey and Pacey on Dawson’s Creek, or Doug and Carol on ER, or Meredith and Derek on Grey’s Anatomy, or…ok, I better stop here or the list won’t stop.
Few weeks ago, a fellow blogger, Stephanie, shared about her trip to Canadian National Exhibition where she tried NutellaBBLT for the first time. Curious, I googled what’s all about. Turned out, Nutella BBLT is quiet famous there. It was Bacon Nation who created the menu and I went insane because of this. Literally! I remembered it was weekdays when I read about this and I couldn’t wait for weekend to come so I could spend more time in the kitchen making this.
So that weekend, I decided to make it happen and I was swoon. Who would have thought adding nutella to it? It was so brilliant that I craved for more last weekend. But this time, I just prepped it on the table without telling Frederick the secret ingredients. Now, Frederick is the kind of guy who prefers something ‘normal’ when it comes to food. So, I was quite surprised to find the fact that he loves it! In fact, I didn’t ask for his opinions, and he suddenly said, “it’s so good!”.
Just to make breakfast more fun, I also made pear and choco sea salt sandwich. I got this choco sea salt when we went to Portland. Choco sea salt is smoked sea salt, blended with dark chocolate to create a rich and versatile seasoning. It really gives a savory twist to any desserts. So, enjoy!
Serves: 1 of each
- 4 slices bread – white or wheat
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2 leaves iceberg lettuce, fresh and torn
- 2-4 slices of tomato
- 1/2 pear, thinly sliced
- Chocolate sea salt
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, arrange the bacon on the rack. Bake in the preheated oven until crisp, about 20 minutes
2.Toast the bread
3. Spread the nutella on each slice of toasted bread
4. Arrange 2 slices of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and top with another layer of bacon
5. Bring the two pieces together to make a sandwich and enjoy!
For Pear Choco Sea Salt:
- Spread the nutella on each slice of toasted bread
- Arrange pear on one side of the bread
- Sprinkle chocolate sea salt
- Bring the two pieces together to make a sandwich and enjoy!
Making donut has been on my list for quite some time; however I’m not someone who adores frying in the kitchen. I like baking because it uses less oil and of course less guilty.
So, I was so excited when I bumped into this doughnut pan last weekend. I suddenly start dreaming making doughnuts – baked, not fried – and I started browsing the recipes.
Oh boy, there are tons of doughnut recipes out there. Okay, perhaps I’m exaggerating too much, but still there are lots of recipes that really confusing. Each recipe has its own ingredients and they all look so good. Some takes over an hour because it contains yeast and that needs to develop well. Well okay, I’m crossing that off my list…perhaps for next time. I’m looking for something practical at this point.
So, I was struck when I found this recipe: 3-ingredients baked doughnut. It’s quick and simple, exactly what I was looking for.
Adapted from Lauren’s Latest *
- 1/3 cup Nutella
- 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 whole egg yolk
- 1 whole egg
- 6 tbs all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp oil
- Confectiones sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a small bowl, combine nutella, peanut butter, egg, egg yolk, flour, and oil. Spoon evenly into doghnut pan and fill cavities evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool completely and dust with confectioner sugar.
* original recipe uses 2/3 cups of nutella and no peanut butter or oil.