Grilled Cheese.. With Apples?

Yes. With Apples. Everybody knows cheese and fruit go together like pb & j.
Except it’s waaay classier and more grown-up than pb & j.

But you can’t use just ANY cheese with ANY apple. You gotta pair them correctly.
My suggestions:
1. Granny smiths with sharp cheddar.
2. Red delicious with brie.

You can also use other fruit besides apples!
For instance, one time I had peach & mozzarella quesadillas… I’m sure they would go great together in grilled cheese!

If anyone discovers any other delicious combos, let me knooowww.

This is all you need. And butter.
… Not that much cheese. I just buy in bulk.

Cook the toast in a pan on medium-low heat:


While that’s cooking, cut the apples:

Make sure you core the apples and and cut them into thin slices. If you’re using block cheese, cut it into the same thickness as the apple slices. Doesn’t have to be perfect.
Flip the bread, layer the cheese and apples, and cover the pan:

 … Cook until all the cheese is melted. Flip the cheese side over on top of the apples, press it down, and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove from the pan and revel in the delicious taste of sweet apples and tangy cheddar :]

Review: Bridget Foy’s

For her birthday, my mom and I went to a restaurant that my cousin works at as a chef (does that make me biased?…)

It’s Bridget Foy’s, originally just called Foy’s before the owner had a daughter. The inside is lit with natural light from the many windows that make up the front wall of the restaurant, and paintings by the owner’s wife adorn the inside. And they’re really good. Two of them involve monkeys.

… Anyway, since it was my mom’s birthday and she had a gift certificate, we decided to get a whole bunch of different dishes and share them. I’m including my two favorites here:

Korean BBQ Duck Tacos.
spicy ginger bbq sauce . bean sprouts . pickled veggies

I like spicy things. I like duck. And I loooove tacos. So I loved these. My mom hates anything hot so she skipped out on this dish so I had them all to myself! They were really really messy, though..

Hand Cut Fries.
herb mayo . chipotle aioli . jalapeno ketchup . bourbon dijon . garlic cumin ranch

Oooohhhh my goddddd. These are probably my favorite fries ever. The herb mayo was my favorite dipping sauce, followed by the jalapeno ketchup. Absolutely wonderful for a snack!

Overall, I highly recommend Bridget Foy’s. The atmosphere is comfortable, the food is satisfying, and the service rocks. (Our waiter had a Salvador Dali mustache!)

Till next time, lovelies.❤

Cheeseburger.

… Or hamburguesa in Spanish.

I’ve been deathly sick for the past.. Oh, I don’t know, 2 weeks.. So I was going to post this earlier. But it’s hard to be motivated from a friggin’ hospital bed when your kidneys almost exploded.

ANYWAY.

Cheeseburgers.

Yes.

 

From my experience, I’m going to give you some tips and suggestions about cooking the meat, what type to get, the condiments, etc… Picture by picture.

First: When buying the meat, shoot for an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio. You can adjust according to your needs, however; I used 85/15 because I wanted a little less artery-clogging deliciousness (I’m trying to eat healthy).

 

Second: Put however much meat you think you’ll use in a bowl (each patty should be about a half an inch thick and 5 in. across.. So.. Figure it out). This is the part where you get to mix in spices with your hannndsss. It feels like.. fibrous, greasy play doh. Of course you don’t have to use your hands if you don’t want to. This is where gloves come in! Anyway, just mix it with some salt and pepper. And anything else you want to throw in for flavor, like garlic powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, parmesan, cheddar cubes (like Burger King! Except not disgusting.)

This is what I used.

 

Third: Cooking the meat. I heated a pan with a LITTLE BIT of oil to prevent it from sticking. Only use a little bit because the burger will shrink and cook itself in its own juices. And there will be a lot of juices. Throw the patty in there, cover it, and sear it on high heat for a couple minutes to lock in the flavor. Then lower the heat to medium level and continue to cook for another couple minutes, flipping it once. Keep it covered with something unless you want grease everywhere. It doesn’t take long at all to cook. To test the readiness, press down on top with a fork. If it bleeds red, cook it a little more. Test it every couple minutes.

See the juices? There’s a lot. And yes, I admit I overcooked mine a little bit.

 

Fourth: Assembling the Krabby Patty. (Haha.. Spongebob). I like to use slightly toasted Kaiser rolls for my burger, but you can literally use anything you want. You don’t even need buns if you’re on that awful Atkins diet. Or if you’re allergic to bread. As for the condiments, the list is literally endless. You can throw jelly beans on that thing if you’re so inclined. As for me, I went classic (note in the first picture how much the patty shrunk):

Cheddar.. Ketchup..

Mustard.. Romaine.. (Yeah that’s a smiley face.. So what?)

Red Onion.. Tomato. I should’ve added another; they were tiiiiiny.

 

I made burgers again the next day and I chopped up some colby-jack cubes into the meat, which saved me from  having to deal with shredded cheddar falling out if it wasn’t melted (it’s all I had)! If I were to make this again, I’d put homemade guacamole on it. Or a fried egg. I’ve heard of somebody putting a pineapple slice on theirs. I love burgers because, even though they aren’t the healthiest things ever, they’re totally customizable.

OM NOM NOM NOM.

 

TACOS.

My favorite food, ever,
Is tacos.

In my mind, tacos are the perfect food.
Think about it: they include something from each food group.
And they’re delicious.
And they’re so versatile. You want peppers? Throw some peppers on there.
You want cheese? Go right ahead, put on whatever cheese you want.
You want pickles?.. Fuck it. Pile ’em on.

This is what I used for tonight’s dinner: Flour tortillas, taco-blend cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, mango-peach salsa, ground-beef-style tofu…

 

… And THIS:

Crystal brand hot sauce. My favorite.

I’m not going to put a recipe because if I did, it would look something like this:

“Recipe-
1. Heat up ground beef on the stove until no pink shows.
2. Melt cheese on tortillas.
3. Layer ingredients. Enjoy.”

… Did I mention tacos are also easy?

Nova Lox on a Bagel

Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite breakfasts, which is also one of the richest (alongside Eggs Benedict and oatmeal, which are two of my favorite breakfasts, also): Nova Lox on a Bagel!

For those of you who aren’t akin to eating raw fish, you need to try it already!😉
Seriously. I’m going to break some rumors here. Raw fish is not:
a. Slimy
b. Chewy*
d. Jelly-like
*(Unless you eat octopus or squid. But that isn’t fish anyway; they’re cephalopods.)

I, for one, love eating raw fish. I crave sashimi almost every day. (It’s kind of killing my wallet, actually).
My favorite is the one featured in this recipe: salmon.
Salmon, when raw, has this smooth, buttery texture and flavor to it. It’s not dry or too oily, and it has the least amount of mercury compared to, say, tuna or yellowtail.

If you like sashimi, you’ll like Nova Lox.
If you don’t like sushi, you may like Nova Lox anyway.
I’d probably try eating something along the lines of a Philly roll at a sushi joint first. It’s very similar; both include raw salmon and cream cheese.


Nova Lox is sooo good.. And sooo expensive.:/

Ingredients:
-Nova Lox flakes (I got mine at Wegman’s)
-Cream cheese
-One bagel
-A couple rings of raw onion (red onions are better but it really doesn’t matter)
-A couple slices of tomato
-Capers*

*Traditional Nova Lox usually has capers on top. Since I don’t really like capers, I didn’t use them.
If you like capers, you’re certainly allowed to include them. Just add a couple on top of the whole thing at the end.

First: Toast a bagel. I used whole wheat bagel thins.

While the bagel is toasting, cut up a few slices of onion and a few slices of tomato. Whatever amount you feel comfortable with.

When the bagel is finished, spread on however much cream cheese your little heart desires. I used Trader Joe’s light cream cheese.

Layer the Nova Lox.

Add the onion and tomato (and capers if you want).

Enjoy!

Because we were bored,

Steph and I decided to make creamy tomato basil soup and garlic bread grilled cheese.
I kindasorta followed this recipe from Food For My Family for the soup… I really only used it as a guide since I didn’t have the exact amounts of the ingredients. Steph didn’t use a recipe at all and her grilled cheese came out delicious🙂

Main ingredients: Tomatoes, Onions, Basil.

I threw all of it into a big pot with some olive oil, let it get juicy for a couple minutes, and added garlic and a can of crushed tomatoes.

It smelled like fresh bruschetta!

Meanwhile, Steph’s grilled cheese was cooking..

Steph used Italian bread, american cheese, scallions, garlic, and butter for these sandwiches. I didn’t really get a lot of pictures of her preparing them because I was busy attending to my soup. Sorry Steph!❤

They look so angelic.

 

My final step was to put the soup in the blender and puree with heavy cream and freshly grated Locatelli parmesan until it was a nice consistency. Now that I think about it, I should’ve blended it for a little bit longer to further liquefy the whole thing (it’s a little chunky as you can see in the picture) but it’s not a big deal. Everything was so good. Following tradition, we dipped our sandwiches into the soup. Afterwards we were so full that all we could do was sit on the couch and watch Ghost Ship for an hour. Hahahha😀

All in all, it was super easy to make and perfect for cold weather. Definitely try it yourself!

Review: Phileo Yogurt


Last night my two friends and I went to South Street to visit the hookah bar and do some shopping. After getting harassed for our pizza by a bum outside of Lorenzo’s (oh, Philly) we were thinking about where to get dessert; Cait suggested frozen yogurt. We went to Phileo, which is a soft-serve frozen yogurt joint. Now I’ve only had frozen yogurt out of a carton, never soft-served. But it’s probably ten times better than actual ice cream. Especially at Phileo.

How it works:
It’s self serve. 49¢ an ounce. You go in, grab whichever size cup you want, and treat yourself to as much or as little froyo as your heart desires in whatever flavors they have available. When we were there they had vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, dulce de leche, plain, pineapple, lychee, blueberry, apple pie, and cupcake batter. They also had some low-fat flavors available.

But it’s not over yet! Before you hit the checkout, they have a wide variety of toppings available for the same price. On a diet? Top your frozen yogurt with fresh kiwi, banana, or strawberries. Not on a diet? Try the brownie bites or gummi bears. They also had caramel sauce and jimmies so you can pretend you’re eating real ice cream.🙂


Steph’s: Blueberry, Strawberry, Dulce de leche, & Cupcake batter froyo with kiwi and gummi bears (and I think I see a lone cookie dough bite in there).


Cait’s (aka. the Sweet Jesus size cup): Strawberry and Plain (which tasted like a tangy vanilla) froyo with cheesecake bites, cookie dough, and chocolate jimmies.


Mine: Blueberry, Cupcake batter, Lychee, and Apple pie froyo with blueberries, one blackberry, mango, mochi, and pomegranate seeds. I also got kiwi but I ate it before I thought to take a picture🙂 oops!

Pros:
-Delicious.
-Bright, modern interior.
-Wide variety of flavors and toppings.
-Relatively cheap.
-You can get as little or as much as you want.
-Healthier than ice cream because it’s yogurt.

Cons:
-The whole time we were getting our frozen yogurt, a member of the staff just stood behind us and watched us. Creepy. I know it’s probably for security measures, but.. How the hell would you steal frozen yogurt?

Over all, I’d definitely recommend it.
Here’s more reviews and their facebook page.

Mango Berry Tart + Thanksgiving Festivities

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Mine was so fun.. I got to play Call of Duty with my little cousins and gorge myself on tons of good food and I tried Prosecco for the first time, which is pretty good even though I’m not big on dry wines.😛

Almond CookiesInside the wrapper.

 

 

 

 

Almond cookies that my aunt brought from Italy. I’m not big on almonds but they were so adorable.

It looks like 3 layers!Prosciutto + Cheese on a Baguette
Caramel espresso / prosciutto + cheese on a baguette.

My obligation this year was to bring some type of dessert (and my whole family was pretty excited about that). After a lot of research and with time running out, I really wanted to make something easy. And with pumpkin. But I discarded that when I remembered how good my last year’s fruit tart was.. I don’t have a recipe but I do have a lot of pictures to show you!

I just used  a regular ShopRite brand pie crust and made some ganache out of heavy cream and Ghirardelli milk chocolate baking chips.

PLOP.

Spreading ze cream

Mmmm

Spreading sweetened cream cheese over the chilled and hardened ganache.Berry assortmentBlueberriesBlackberriesMangoRaspberries

Finally, I added the berries. Look at the cooollooorrsss! My phone took these pictures. Love my new Samsung Epic😀

I don’t have a picture of the whole tart (not because I forgot, if that’s what you were thinking..) but I did get a picture of a slice. With a bite taken out of it. Next to the other desserts..

So delicious.

Menage a trois?

It was pretty delicious. Not too sweet and the cream cheese and chocolate both complemented the fruit really well! Definitely making this again. Next time I’ll have an actual recipe for you guys😛

First Post: Thanksgiving Cupcakes!

So with the holidays right around the corner –and my need to provide a dessert for my RTN club’s Thanksgiving dinner– I present to you a recipe for pumpkin spice cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream frosting! Delicious!

The finished product!

Let me tell you something: These cupcakes are the perfect combination of pumpkin and buttery frosting and they aren’t sickeningly sweet. Perfect for kids and adults alike!

First things first: Ingredients.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon*
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger*
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (if you only have salted butter, omit the salt)
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree*Because I’m probably the laziest person in the world, I substituted all these spices with 2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice.

Salted Caramel Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Start lining your cupcake pans with liners.
2. Whisk dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt (if you used unsalted butter), and spices. Put this bowl aside.
3. In another bowl, mix together both the white and brown sugars with the butter and eggs. Beat until well combined.

4. Add dry ingredients to this mixture until combined, then fold in the pumpkin puree.

5. Fill the cupcake pans about halfway. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

For the frosting:
I was running a little late for the party so I don’t have any pictures to show you the steps for this part. My bad!

1. To make caramel, stir together water and white sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium/high heat.
1a.Cook without stirring until the liquid turns a deep amber color. Remove from heat.
1b. Slowly add cream and vanilla, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 15-20 minutes until just barely warm and still pourable.
2. Beat butter and salt (if you used unsalted butter; if you only have salted, just beat the butter) until fluffy.
3. Add powdered sugar and mix (on low speed if you’re using a mixer) until combined.
4. Add caramel and beat for 2-3 minutes, when the mixture is light and airy.If it’s too runny, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
5. Top cupcakes and enjoy!🙂


Le icing.. mmmMmm.. Soooo goood.

(Adapted from the recipe on Made in Melissa’s Kitchen)

Bonjour!

Hiya! I’m Ariele. Nice to meet you!
I just started this blog because I like to bake.
Specifically, I like to bake pretty things. Like cupcakes and tarts and creme puffs and cookies.
I also like to take pictures, specifically of the pretty things I bake.
I also cook! I’m French & Italian so it’s in my DNA.

My goal is that I provide you, the reader, with detailed recipes and helpful advice.
Not to mention product reviews and lots and lots of pictures!

So read away (and hopefully I’ll make your bookmarks folder).
Happy baking, fellow pastry chefs!

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