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baking

Yay a post! Such a rare update… nevertheless, I start graduate school in a little over a week, so I’m taking advantage of my last couple of days of freedom by providing you guys with some lovely photos of what’s been happening in my kitchen lately.

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Strawberries & Cream Cupcakes: made these with fresh strawberries & strawberry greek yogurt, so you can bet they were packed w/ intense strawberry flavor! Incorporated pureed strawberries into the buttercream because…. why not?

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Whole Wheat Apple & Pumpkin Streusel Muffins: not quite Fall yet…but we all know that’s my favorite baking season, so why not get a head start on the wonderful flavors of Fall? 🙂

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Salted Hazelnut & Chocolate Macarons: got back into my macaron-making phase again. I looooove these sweet treats paired w/ a morning coffee 😀

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Greek Yogurt & Cinnamon Coffee Cake Muffins: because c’mon… cinnamon, yogurt, coffee cake… what else could you want first thing in the morning?

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Peanut Butter & Raspberry Macarons: if you know me at all… you know that I have a slight obsession with peanut butter. These macarons were seriously out of this world! Personally, I think it’s one of the best creations I’ve made thus far… 🙂

That’s about it for now… sorry to let down my readers, but consistently blogging is seriously a commitment!

xoxo JO

Hiya. TWO updates from me within one week?!?! This is a miracle….

Here’s what I’ve been making this Fall:

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Pumpkin Bagels – kneaded completely by hand! This was actually my first time making bagels, and they were so0o0oo good…I even ended up making a second batch just a couple of days later! Life is hard without a standing mixer…but you can get quite an arm workout in by kickin it old school and kneading out some yeast dough!

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Apple Pie – hashtag basic. But this was actually made for my cousin, who is IN LOVE with my apple pie. The crust is made from scratch, which I actually prefer WAY over store-bought crust for a number of reasons. 1) The final product is just so. much. better. 2) I find rolling out the pie crust/dough to be extremely therapeutic and relaxing. I know… I’m weird like that.

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Pumpkin & Greek Yogurt Bread – wow, the number of pumpkin loaves I’ve made this Fall is ridiculous. I believe in 2 weeks, I had made over 8 loaves… I just had so many people to gift a loaf to, and so many people kept asking for them! These are made with greek yogurt, so they were extremely moist & soft.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Biscuits – can you tell I was pretty excited for the Fall season and went a bit crazy with all the pumpkin stuff? Heh… always creating/developing new recipes, and for some reason, I was really wanting biscuits one morning. These actually turned out pretty good, but I ended up giving half of them away since I live by myself and always need to limit the number of baked goods I have on hand, otherwise I’ll EAT THEM ALL!

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Salted Caramel Macarons – ignore the bumpy shells. So ugly, I know. Note to self – NEVER skip the step where you process the almond flour & confectioner together…EVER again! Macarons are one of those pastries where you can definitely take NO shortcuts.

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Salted Dark Cocoa & Nutella Macarons – of course. The whole previous post was dedicated to these babies, so I’m sure you guys are sick & tired of seeing their pics around, hehe. 

Alright, well I added a “contact” link to my menu, so you guys can use that to fill out any order requests that you may have, or if you just want to simply send me a message! I always love getting messages from my readers. Yall are seriously the best.

P.S. – I recently hit over 1K followers on insta! wo0o0o0ot

xoxo JO

Oh. My. Goodness.
This week marks the first week of me actually selling some of my goods at Baylor. To kick it off, I decided to sell salted dark cocoa nutella macarons. For those of y’all who have no idea what a macaron is…it’s basically one of the most tedious and challenging pastries to make! What makes it such a frustrating treat is that everything before/during/after the process has to be EXACT. Your ingredients need to be measured out in grams. You need to process them for at least 15 seconds. You need to sift the flour mixture. You need to age your egg whites at room temperature overnight. You need to have the right environment – two humid, and you end up with a mess. You need to allow for a resting period. You need an exact idea of how your oven temperature works. You need to know when your macaronage is mixed exactly right – undermix by just a few strokes, and you’ll end up with peaked tops and hollow shells. Overmix by just a few strokes and you’ll end up with a runny batter that doesn’t hold its shape during the resting period. But most importantly… you need to make sure that your shells develop some nice feet, the defining characteristic of macarons so difficult to perfect that make places like Laduree and Pierre Herme stand at ladders above its competitors and allow them to charge crazy high prices for this French pastry.
Being that it was only my first week, I definitely underestimated the number of orders that I would get. For three nights straight, it was just me, my food processor, my hand-mixer, and a whole lot of mess in the kitchen for hours and hours, trying desperately to make sure that I met my deadline. So. Exhausting. Here’s some photos to capture the moments.

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For those who say I never post….. sorry heh.
Here’s an update for you guys filled with photos of what I’ve been making, just for kicks. Subscribe/comment and I’ll be more motivated to actually write real posts!

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Coffee cream macarons brushed with dark cocoa. The shells are coffee flavored. The filling is mostly a buttercream filling with a hit of strong coffee. These were soooooo. goooood. I’ve been really into macarons lately, and I’m planning on experimenting with different flavors this month 😀

 

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Mint brownie cookies. If you’ve known me for awhile now, you’ve probably had these at least once or twice. Definitely a staple of mine. Posted this pic on reddit a couple of days ago, and it conjured up a lot of traffic, so I thought I’d share with you guys. BTW, if yall HAVEN’T had these cookies before… ask me to make some for you!!! They are seriously so divine.

 

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Baked cinnamon donuts with a vanilla cream cheese glaze. I got a donut pan awhile back, and went through a phase where I was really into baked donuts. Coupled with a good glaze, this was definitely a hit.

 

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Browned butter nutmeg donuts w/ a dark cocoa glaze. I love using browned butter in my baking, and it just goes so well with nutmeg. When I was thinking of a glaze for these donuts, I basically just worked with what I had at hand at the moment, which conveniently, happened to be dark cocoa powder. Whipped up a glaze and these donuts were delishuus.

 

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Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes. I made these for a work party back in June when blueberries were on sale. Thought to myself – “blueberries…and cheesecake! Cuz who DOESN’T like cheesecake?!?!” and came up with this recipe. Success.

 

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Strawberry lemonade cheesecake cupcakes. I don’t know why I never thought of this combination before. These were also made for the work party mentioned above. The cupcakes were so lemony and perfect for the summertime. Made a glaze to accentuate the strawberry and the lemon flavors.

 

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Kale & italian sausage soup. I’m a huge fan of soup, and an even bigger fan of one-pot dinners. This was so spicy, hearty, filling, and healthy. And the best part? LEFTOVERS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK! 😀

 

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Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad. Basically just threw together some leftover greek pasta I had made with some mixed greens, feta cheese, balsamic, and sun-dried tomatoes. The result was a huuuuge success. Probably one of my tastier creations yet.

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Well that’s about it for now. Til next time~

xoxo JO

For my life-cycle nutrition class, we had the option of bringing a food item that would be considered a “healthy” meal for a specific age group. The item I chose to make was banana bread, targeted mostly towards kids who enjoy a bit of sweetness in their breakfast. I modified the banana bread that I always make to implement additional nutrients in. This recipe uses whole-wheat flour, but you can certainly use all-purpose flour, or half AP and half whole-wheat if you’re not accustomed to the texture of whole-wheat flour. I also added some ground flax seeds for fiber and greek yogurt for protein and calcium. I used unsweetened applesauce in replacement of fat as well. I had some moderately ripe bananas, but ripened them further in the oven until they were black, so that I could reduce the sugar by half. Creating your own recipes is fun! I recommend that you guys experiment with food whenever you have time 🙂

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Hey readers!
Wow, I really stink at keeping up with this blog…
Here’s an update on life –

  • School’s rough. 18 hours every semester I’ve been in college, including this one, except I’m in all upper-level classes this semester, so it’s extra rough. Weeks are filled with research papers, exams, quizzes, lab reports, etc. On top of that, I was going to school from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and going to work right afterwards from 4 until midnight……….. but thank God I quit my job because I was literally in zombie mode every day.
  • Everyone’s graduating soon. It’s so crazy how fast these college years went by. I don’t graduate until December, but seeing my friends and classmates get ready for graduation is really a reality check on how precious and irreplaceable time is.
  • Everyone’s getting married. dotdotdot. Seriously, when did we start growing up so fast?

Here’s some photos on things I’ve been making. You can catch more of my food on my insta. Hopefully (*fingers crossed*) I will find the time to update this blog more often w/ recipes and good reads.

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Apple Pie!!

 

 

 

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Strawberry & Oats Bars. Sooooo. Gooood.

 

 

 

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I love me some good roasted chicken.

 

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Banana & hot cocoa swirled muffins topped with chocolate chips…..just because. 😉

I’ll sincerely try to post more. Someone hold me accountable plz.

xoxo,
JO

One of my favorite breakfast foods is oatmeal. I know that sounds weird to hear, since most people dislike oatmeal due to the “yucky” texture, but personally, I love oatmeal! With that being said, I always love a good oatmeal raisin cookie. Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the classic chocolate chip cookie… but when given the option between the two, I will more often than not opt for the oatmeal raisin cookie. There’s just something about oatmeal and dried fruits that complement each other so well.

Earlier this week, I made a trip back home to Dallas and got to shop at one of my favorite grocery stores again (Sprout’s). I saw that their bulk supply of cranberries were on sale, so I thought to myself – why not? Cranberries are well-known for being a superfood and is the second leading antioxidant source, ranking higher than other fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, spinach, oranges, carrots, and broccoli. Research has proven cranberries to be especially effective in preventing urinary tract infections, cancer, and inflammation, as well as promoting cardiovascular and digestive tract benefits. 

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Today was my day off from work, so I decided to do some experimentation with my baking again. Since I love oatmeal and I had cranberries on hand, I decided to go for an oatmeal cranberry cookie while using whole wheat flour (keep in mind that you can substitute the wheat flour for all-purpose flour; I’m just weird like that and so… yeah). The oatmeal I used is the Mom’s Choice natural old-fashioned oats (my favorite brand), and I used King Arthur flour.

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Keep reading for the recipe:
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