Thursday, June 23, 2011


Blueberry Lime Cakes
Hungry Girl Pasta

Blueberry Lime Cakes

Hungry Girl Pasta

hungry girl pasta

If you were me, you'd make this too. If you're hungry, this should look good.
After stumbling into my house after taking my last two finals, I instantly pulled out a fruit bar from the freezer. I then had to contemplate. Clean my room or relax and watch TV? I looked at the sweet, icy fruit bar in my hand. Well, I can either clean and eat this treat even though there's a possibility splatters of grape would splash on my white furniture. OR should I relax and take a breather. Breather, it is. After flipping through the movie channels and not finding ANY good ones, I reluctantly turned to the Food Network. My tummy was grumbling. I watched Rachael Ray make some saffron carbonara before I turned the TV off. I needed to feed this grumbling tummy. Now.

I headed downstairs in the mood for a fried egg. I thought we had tomatoes and eggs and potatoes. I could make an egg in a potato basket with a homemade tomato sauce. "YAY!" I thought. i was wrong. We did not have potatoes. Sad face. After grumbling my a** off, I settled with some whole wheat rotini. I just decided to make what I'm a pro at. Pasta.

Hungry Girl Pasta
Serves one hungry girl and two polite grandparents**
1/2 big onion
2 garlic cloves
left over Roma slices from a BBQ (or 3 Romas)
3 handfuls of small cherry tomatoes (or two cups of them halved)
12 oz of dry rotini, or any small pasta
kosher sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp of basil, thyme, rosemary, each (or 2 tsp of Italian seasoning)
Red pepper flakes

Dice up that onion into small cubes. Not too small, not too big, okay? Now, smash the cloves and mince it. Don't make it too small or it will burn soo quick. Dice up the Roma tomatoes. (Now, this is where I found out I needed more tomatoes or it would be a 3:! onion: tomato ratio. Not good. I ordered my darling wittle brutha [he's 14, 5'8] to fetch me some cherry tomatoes. He rolled his eyes and went to his room. So I got them. But I digress.) Put the water on boil now. Heat up a pan. I used to nonstick because I didn't want to ruin my cast irons. (Oh yeah, I made this recipe from the top of my head. Never tried it, don't a reference. I didn't know how it would taste/look/feel. if it was too watery, I wouldn't know what to do. Mum wasn't home. I'm a cast iron n00b. I'm digressing again.) When it is nice and HAWT, drizzle in a little lot of EVOO. Add the onions and garlic. Let it infuse that oil. Move them around a bit so they don't burn. Add some salt. Two pinches of so. (Coarse salt was next to me. My hunger was gnawing at my stomach so to move this along, I just used it.) Add some red pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat. Add the Italian seasoning blend or the freshly picked herbs from your garden. Adjust to your taste. Add your salt and EVOO to your pasta pot. Dump yo' pasta, gurl/boi. Put your tomatoes under low - med heat. While the tomatoes are melding and the pasta is boiling, halve the cherry tomatoes. Watch your fingers, guys! Add the cherry tomatoes. Stir and up the heat. Drain the pasta. Taste the tomatoes and add more seasoning/salt/pepper/red pepper if you would like. Serve and enjoy!

**After making it, I asked my sweet maternal grandparents, who are visiting from Korea, if they wanted some. They politely said, "yes, a small portion" because they wanted to try what I whipped up. They smiled while they ate it. They had, like, 1 oz servings... I had the rest.

PS. These pics came from my iPhone because I was too lazy to fetch my DSLR. K, happy nomming.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

blueberry lime cakes

blueberry lime cakes
Ah, its almost summer. Sliced watermelon is going to be a staple in my house as well as summer berries. Blueberries are a favorite. These tart and sweet morsels have a life span of about one day in my house. We usually gobble them up like kids with candy. It's kind of ridiculous. But lovely and a cute tidbit about my family as well. So how did end up snatching up these blueberries to be in my mini cakes before they got chomped? Well... they're not exactly fresh.
blueberry lime cakes
They were frozen.
Now, now. Don't get fussy. I know people have a thing about using fresh fruit in their desserts. Trust me, I was one of those people too. "But- but- fresh fruits taste better." Yeah, well, fresh fruit taste better when they're tossed up in the air and caught with your mouth. Not encased in some lovely, fluffy, soft cake. The cake overpowers the sweet, pure taste of the fruit. When someone finds me a baked dessert featuring a fresh fruit, please enlighten me. In their prime season, I think that fresh fruit should go from the farm, the market, your cart, your car, under the faucet, a paper towel, and in your mouth. Sounds like a dumb theory but I'm sticking to it! Seriously. I swear! Frozen fruit is okay because... well, it's not fresh. Okay, I sound like a weirdo now so I'll stop.
blueberry lime cakes
I kid, I have no real problem with fresh fruit used in baked desserts. Just as long as the fruit isn't suffocating and has room was air out its juices and flavor. Like these cakes. These cakes were everything I would want in a spring-summer transition dessert. Light and fluffy yet moist. I used limes because I used up all the lemons. Bonus: its showcases the blueberries.

Blueberry Lime Mini Cakes**
Adapted from smittenkitchen
Makes 12 extra large cupcakes, or 15 medium cupcakes (a pain, I know)

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lime zest (approximately 5 limes)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed (miniature wild blueberries are great for this, and pose the least risk of sinking)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the cupcake tin.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lime zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the cupcake tin. Bakee for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lime juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cupcakes are done, allow it to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cupcakes are still warm, use a pastry brush or a tablespoon to pour the lime and sugar mixture over the cakes. Poke teeny holes, as smittenkitchen suggests.

**I called them mini cakes because they're a mix between a muffin and cupcake. These were originally a loaf cake so I just call them little loaf cakes or mini cakes.

my Flickr: flourandflowers

Friday, May 27, 2011

the baking rookie [intro]

Hello there, reader!

My name is Nicole and I am a student on the East Coast learning, laughing, and eating my way through life.

Wow, that was corny.

So, to put it simply, I am a baking rookie. I'm young and unexperienced in the kitchen. I'm still afraid to pull out a hot sheet of cookies or a pan of cupcakes. Meringue is still a challenge I have yet to accomplish. Macarons are on my list of to-dos. Will I ever have the time or patience? Maybe, maybe not. (Have no fear, reader, I will. I promise.)

The point of this blog is for me to record my way through my cooking/baking journey. Hopefully, I can pick up some things along the way. Join me?


PS. I originally wanted the blog name flourchild, flourgirl, or flourpower. Unfortunately, they are taken or MADE BUT NOT USED. Argh. Please let me know if those name ever opens up. Leave a comment here. Gracias!