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With a Strawberry on Top

6 Apr


When I was living in Gainesville, I realized I had developed a habit when stress became too overwhelming. I baked.  My roommate was always able to tell when I was stressed out because there would be a delicious double layer red velvet  or pineapple upside down cake sitting on our kitchen counter. After a long hectic week, I found my coworker’s birthday as the perfect opportunity to relieve some stress and do something nice. Voila! The strawberry cupcake, really simple and looks adorable. Guranteed to put anyone in a great mood.

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Valentine’s Day Gifts

4 Feb

Usually I’m really excited for Valentine’s day, especially since my birthday is the day before. There is something about the abundance of chocolate and red hearts that gets my all giddy. These past few years however, I haven’t been excited for V day at all. It just seems to be another thing I have to think about. But this year I’m doing something different, I’m not going all out on a Valentine’s day gift but instead getting my Valentine something simple. There’s so much stress over ‘the gift’ that people forget what it’s really about, love.

While brainstorming my simple yet sweet gift idea, I came up with a list of things that I think would make anyone happy.

{For her: A new notebook with a little something written by you inside telling her how much you love her. }

{ For him & her: A personalized coupon book that you can make yourself to say anything you want. Be creative ; ) with it. }

{ For him & herScandal Body Massage Oil & Candle. Who would turn down a back rub, seriously? }

{ For him: a personalized photo frame for his nightstand or desk. }

{ For her & him: a photo collage is always a unique & fun gift that’s very personal. Plus its always so fun looking back at all the good times. }

{ For him & her: I don’t care how cliche it is, chocolate for any occasion is great, and you can’t go wrong with Lindor Truffles! }

{For him & her: My personal favorite, homemade chocolate covered strawberries, while spending quality time together }

Family Dinner

30 Dec

Now that I have more time on my hands because school is over, I decided to embark on the journey through my cookbook, The Best of Cooking Light. My dad was also in the cooking mood so he went ahead and decided on Quinoa and shrimp, but I wanted to add a fresh healthy touch with this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Fresh Herbs and Parmesan.
Because my grandmother cannot have anything high in sugar or starchy, this is a healthy side dish low on calories and contains no carbs. Do I have your attention yet?

Here’s how to make it yourself.

You will need:

  • 12 cups cauliflower florets (about 2 heads)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place cauliflower in a large roasting pan. You will want to cut off the florets and cut the stem short.
3. Drizzle with olive oil, toss well to coat. I put a little more than the recipe called for but it’s totally up to you.
4. Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until tendered and browned, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn your eyes when you stir it like I did!
5. You can chop the parsley and garlic in the meantime.
6. After 20 minutes, Sprinkle with parsley, thyme, tarragon, and garlic. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
7. Combine cauliflower mixture, Parmesan cheese, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl, toss well to combine.
& it’s ready to serve!

We made a flavorful NO CARB dinner that consisted of sauteed shrimp, quinoa, and roasted cauliflower. Absolutely deelish!!
If you try it, let me know how it comes out in a comment!

 

Chicken Quesadilla

6 Oct

In an attempt to eat healthier and add more variety to my diet, I ventured into hispanic culture and made a mouth watering chicken quesadilla. It was actually a lot easier than I thought. It was actually so easy and delicious that I had it two days in a row. Here’s my quick recipe for a healthy home made quesadilla.

Ingredients

1 Tomato

1 chicken breast

Olive oil

Baby spinach leaves

Four cheese Mexican blend

2 tortillas.

Sour cream

Directions

1. Chicken breast needs to be cooked before hand. Put 2 teaspoons of olive oil on a skillet and set to medium heat. Cut up thawed chicken breast and place on skillet then season with Adobo all purpose seasoning or any seasoning of your choice. Cook on the skillet until golden brown. Then set aside in a bowl.

2. Reduce heat. On one tortilla spread one tablespoon of sour cream then place the tortilla on the skillet, sour cream facing up.

3. Chop up desired amount of tomato and spinach. Sprinkle it around the tortilla along with the chicken pieces and cheese.

4. Close it off with the second tortilla. When the bottom gets crispy, flip over to get the other side just as crispy (or to your liking but the softer, the more difficult it will be for the ingredients to stay together) to melt all ingredients together (especially the cheese yum!). To make things easier, you could use a foreman grill or sandwich iron.

5. Serve it on a plate, cut it into 4 and enjoy!

Red Raspberry Velvet Cake

4 Aug

 So every now and then I get the chance to choose a recipe out of my cook book that my mother gave me for Christmas and try out something new. My obsession with sweets and everything baking has been instilled in me by my mom. I picked out a surprisingly simple recipe for Red Raspberry Velvet Cake , two layers with red raspberry jam in the center, with home made cream cheese and powdered sugar icing. Salivating yet?

After making my cake, I got a wise tip from an experienced baker: use one less egg than what the recipe calls for if you’re in the south because gravitational pull is different from the North, where you would use more eggs. I thought it was completely absurd until I tasted one of her cakes.

P.S. The contrasting colors of the cake come out so beautiful, it serves as a nice kitchen decor piece when placed on a cake plate.

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