Monday, December 11, 2017

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

That's right! Double Chocolate Bread Pudding! 
One of my favorite creations...mixing my love of sweet bread and molten chocolate lava cake. Honestly I was missing New Orleans and bread pudding seemed like the cure, then I remembered that we were visiting my aunt and uncle! Perfect timing. There was no way that we could eat it all on our own and it was too special not to share. 
To start I set the oven to 325 and buttered a 13 x 9 inch pan. Next I whipped up the 6 eggs and set aside and sifted the cocoa powder into a bowl. Then I proceeded to cut up my Brioche bread into about 1 inch pieces and placed them onto a baking sheet to toast for about 10 mins (turning them halfway through). This added more structure to the bread, which would soon be drowning in chocolate goodness. Once golden brown I set them aside to cool and poured the pieces into the buttered pan.
I put the chocolate pieces into a bowl and then brought the milk, cream, sugar and salt to a boil in a large pot. After stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar I removed it from the heat and added in the vanilla. Then I held my breath and watched Craig pour it over the chocolate chips. The chips quickly began melting under the warmth. 
I let the mixture sit for about 5 mins then it was time to whisk to perfection. Slowly the milk turned into a rich hot chocolate. Next I took a 1/2 cup to whisk into the cocoa powder, added another 1/2 cup and then mixed in the eggs. The chocolate was getting big by that point so I transferred it to a larger bowl and added in the rest of the chocolate! Next step, pouring all but 1 cup over the bread. After this step you have to wait....
The last time I made bread pudding it was good but it didn't quite turn out how it was supposed to. This time, I really took the extra time to let it sit and soak. That made such a difference. I checked on the bread every 15 mins or so and pushed the pieces down and added in the extra chocolate mix to fully saturate the dish. 
Craig and I headed over the 17 to my aunt's house in Fremont to finish the dish. Bread pudding can take awhile and the car trip added some extra soaking time! With their oven at 350 I covered the dish with tinfoil and set it in a large baking dish with about an inch of water. After baking for 45 mins I removed the foil and let the pudding bake for another 25 mins (until it starts to puff in the middle).
As the pudding cooled I quickly started the caramel sauce. I combined the sugar and water in a saucepan, heating until the sugar liquefied. I continued to cook until the sugar turned a medium amber color. Turned off the heat and then added the milk, softened butter, Bourbon and salt. Mixed to perfection!
I don't think delicious is a strong enough work to accurately describe this chocolate bread pudding....scrumptious AF maybe. I don't even know if there is a word. The sauce was such an indulgent touch. Not too sweet and with a hint of rich bourbon flavor. I'm so happy I got to share this dish with family! So worth the wait! One of the best parts is that it saves well. I warmed up a scoop this evening, and some chilled bourbon sauce and my mouth almost wasn't prepared for it! So good and satisfying! My mouth already misses it!
Thanks! Bunny
This was my last piece...note the sad bunny...
Behind the scenes...

Friday, November 10, 2017

Little Damage Magic

Tucked into a busy corner in the heart of LA lies Little Damage. An adorably catchy soft serve ice cream shop, that i'm sure you've heard of. 
They popped up all over Facebook with awesome charcoal black ice-cream cones and equally colorful ice creams! It was all I had ever wanted in life, ice cream cones...yes as black as my soul. They looked so yummy! It took forever but Craig and I actually planned a SoCal trip, so I made sure Little Damage was our first stop in LA! 
First impression...SO CUTE! And they decorated for Halloween! These were my people! A few neon signs hung in the shop and they even have a photo-booth to commemorate your visit, completely free too. 
We tried a few of their flavors and I had already made up my mind to try the black ice cream...but then I tasted the Unicorn Tears. Sweet mother of god! Perfection! I can't pass up anything cake batter. I even got to choose some sprinkles to add to the unicorn magic! The black ice cream was yummy too, kind of an icy berry. Next time we are in LA I'll have to get a scoop. Craig went for the Smore Taco which looked amazing. He ate it so fast I didn't even get to try LOL!
I reluctantly left the sweet smelling shop but I did have a huge black ice cream cone filled with blue unicorn tears and two googly eyes. Little Damage, thank have my heart!
If you are ever in LA, check them out. Little Damage is family owned and rotate their flavors seasonally and add in some creative creations. So you never know what you will find!
Cheers, Bunny

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Millionaire's Shortbread

Hey there, 
What do you do when two lovebird soulmates are about to meet again after a few decades apart and separated by 200 years? The answer is, you make amazing chocolate caramel bars! This recipe was actually quite simple and didn't take long at all. 
First, butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch pan. I chose to not use any parchment paper and the butter worked just fine. Then I started on the shortbread layer. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Grate in 1 1/2 sticks of butter and mix. Use your fingertips to blend the mix together until it resembles cornmeal then press the dough into the pan and poke with a fork. Bake until firm and golden brown, about 30 mins.
While the shortbread cools down, grab a saucepan and melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a gentle boil and stir frequently. Then reduce the heat and stir until it thickens for about 10 mins. Pour over the shortbread evenly and let cool.
Embarrassing but I didn't realize that caramel was just brown sugar and condensed milk. Sure you have to keep your eye on it to prevent burning, but it is quite simple! This caramel came together well, the texture wasn't as silky but the flavor was perfect. 
While waiting for the caramel to set, melt the chocolate and remaining butter in a double boiler. This way the chocolate melts evenly. Once smooth, pour over the caramel. 
Check out my poor-person makeshift boiler! 
I let the bars cool and then cut out a nice square to taste. The chocolate melted in my mouth with the delicious crunch of cookie and I was in heaven....SO GOOD! So rich! Craig's review..."These bars combined a bit of sweet and chewy crunchy decadence."  
Just the right amount of chocolate to caramel to cookie. Perfect! I even took some to work to share. They were a hit! Thank you Theresa Carle-Sanders!
They were indeed worthy of a great romance.
Thanks for readin!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Funfetti Cookies

I was going though my baking drawer looking for cookies to make and came across my all time favorite cake mix! Funfetti! So I decided to take the cake mix, add some frosting and turn them into yummy cookies.
My instincts were right...they were amazing! The extra sprinkles added crunch and the frosting was creamy and sweet. Paired with some cold milk, funfetti perfection!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Outlander Apple Fritters

Outlander is BACK! 
We waited for what seemed like hundreds of years for Claire and Jamie to come back to us. To celebrate I opened up my Outlander Kitchen Cookbook courtesy of Theresa Carle-Sanders and whipped up some whisky soaked apple fritters. 
To start mix together:
1/4 cup whiskey
1/4 cup whole milk 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from one lemon 
1/4 cup of sugar 
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground ginger 
A sweet whiskey lemon flavor filled the kitchen as I whisked letting me know, already, that these were going to be delicious. Next peel and cut up about 3 Gala apples into cubes and add them to the mixture to soak. I let them absorb every bit of goodness for 30 mins then drained the apples, saving the marinade into a bowl for later.
Next, making the pancake-like batter! 
In a bowl stir together:
1 cup flour 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp salt 
Then whisk in both eggs, 1 tablespoon melted butter and half of the remaining marinade juice. Fold in the apples, making sure to coat every piece, and you are ready to cook!
Heat up a few inches of oil in a sauce pan, on high heat, and drop in spoonfuls of batter. Don't crowd the pan and fry until each side is golden brown. Once cooked, remove and drain on a paper towel. While still warm, serve with sprinkled powdered sugar. Voila! Perfect bites or yummy.
 As the Scottish melody opened the new season I took my first bite of fritter heaven. Dusted with some powdered sugar they came to life inside my mouth and I couldn't get enough. Such a savory and sweet combination. I will have to make these again! Thank you Outlander for coming back to us and Theresa for making such an amazing recipe.
Thanks for readin! 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Love of Pralines!

This weekend summer decided to have one more hot day before giving in to winter. The air was thick, sticky and just plain hot! Naturally this made me think of New Orleans. I couldn't help but remember wandering those packed streets, listening to jazz and stopping to take a peek in every unique shop. One in particular had pieces of pralines to try. So creamy and perfect bites filled with pecan flavor. I'm sure the cashier noticed as I would casually pass by the tray while I perused. Missing this delish staple of New Orleans, I went to my Damn Good Sweet cookbook for a simple praline recipe and it was simply delicious. 
To start I melted butter, cream, brown and white sugar together until they reached 220 degrees. Then I folded in the pecans and turned off the heat. Next I spooned out about 2 tablespoons per praline onto a baking sheet. 
I did not have any parchment paper, so tin foil had to do. *Just be sure to use something or your pralines will stick to the pans like glue! They did get a little messy, in the future I would want to use something to shape them into more perfect circles. I wondered how Aunt Sally's did it. They had achieved praline perfection! 
It did not take long for them to cool down and stiffen. Craig did try to pick at them before hand lol! I was surprised that they were ready to serve so quickly. I peeled one off the tray and took a bite...YUM! These pralines turned out pretty well, maybe a bit too sugary but each bite took me back to NOLA. Sweet with a bit of pecan crunch. They were not as creamy as I imagined but I think that might require more cook time or more cream. Either way I found another way to eat pecans and reminisce he he! Now this hot day didn't seem so bad.
I am definitely coming back to this sweets cookbook soon!
Thanks, Bunny

Sunday, August 20, 2017

King's Landing Sweet Corn Fritters

Tonight I made a pre-Game of Thrones treat straight from the Game of Thrones Cookbook and King's Landing. 
Sweet Corn Fritters! 
I always love when whole corn kernels are used in recipes, especially in cornbread, so I immediately knew these fritters would be no exception. To start first take kernels from about 2 ears of corn, saute with butter and set aside. 
In a bowl whisk the egg and milk together, then mix in the flour and cornmeal. Add a pinch of pepper and the corn. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan until hot and then it's ready for the sweet corn batter! 
Place about 2 tablespoons of the mix into pan and fry until golden brown. These heat up pretty quick so make sure to keep an eye on them and flip quickly. Remove each one and set on a towel to cool...also to soak up some of the oil. Then plate with your favorite dipping sauce. Some honey could do nicely as well he he!
These fritters were, as suspected flavorful and delicious!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Truth About Thinx

Time to get real...periods suck and you know it! 
It might be my age or the just the sudden kick in the pants we have gotten lately but a movement of strong female power has been washing over the world. It took a complete idiot for this ball to get rolling but I am seeing a change all around me! With this shift from girl power to woman warriors we are being more open, accepting and free. I am learning more about myself now merely by learning about you. While some topics are a bit personal, one thing that I've learned is that the natural process our bodies go through is not something to hide or be ashamed of. With that being said, I wanted to share my experience and a company with a worldly goal.
After undergoing a uterine fibroid surgery last year and the super fun weight shifts and anxiety that came with it, my body hasn't been the same. Even with switching birth-control pills it seems that what used to work for me isn't working anymore. I have had surprise spotting off and on and lived in fear or ruining my favorite panties. I was going through boxes of tampons...on top of being wasteful and expensive it was annoying as hell. Pads weren't much better...bulky as can be! 
Enter Thinx!
 Despite a rocky start and some bad publicly, Thinx are still pushing forward to tackle the stigma of periods, inspired by their own period adventures and the fact that millions of girls around the globe miss school during their "time of the month". The proceeds from Thinx go toward their Global Girls Program to help educate girls all over the world.
So in the midst of getting a handle on my female hormones I thought that Thinx could save me. I was truly skeptical but so curious about these magical period saving panties. After looking through YouTube reviews and numerous blogs my conclusion was to give Thinx a try for my spotting, that seemed to be the best use for them. I chose the boyshorts to try around the house and they were surprisingly comfy. Very much like a swim suite bottom with less pantie-lines!
As far as my spotting, the nervousness was gone. If my body decided to surprise me again, it was okay and that felt great. I moved about free and whenever I needed to pee, no problem! No tampon BS! 
Of course I couldn't wear my new panties 24/7 but they were easy to clean. Just rinse after use, cold wash and hang to dry! The material lends itself well to a quick wash and I did not find any difficulties, just make sure to not use any bleach or fabric softeners.

I would love to try their other products. Thinx really thought of everything, including active wear. I'm so curious to see how their Thinx thongs hold up during the stress of High Fitness ha ha! 
Check below for the links and remember, periods are a fact of life for women. We must break free of this negative stigma and share. Maybe that will help others become more comfortable as well. 
Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 24, 2017

GOT Modern Blueberry Tart

Game of Thrones is Back!
The race for the throne is back this month and I couldn't be happier! To celebrate I made a Modern Blueberry Tart from the A Feast of Ice and Fire Cookbook! Perfect for those tense yet sweet moments GOT brings. 
This tart was super easy but there is also an option to make a Medieval Tart which I will try in the future he he! I started by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and got out some pastry dough. The book recommends their Lemon Pastry Recipe from page 10. Yum! I pressed the dough into a tart tin evenly. Next, after rinsing them off I poured my blueberries into the tin, leaving a few for later. 
Then I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the berries and popped them into the oven. After about an hour (or once the filing started bubbling) I took out the tart and topped it off with the remaining berries and some powdered sugar. 
Once the tart cooled a bit it was ready to serve! This made for a very happy viewing party ha ha! Scrumptiously tart with a lightly sweet flavor. As the book suggests, it pairs well with some champagne! he he
Cheers, Bunny

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Daily Harvest Scoop

Behind every good woman is a nutrient rich diet! 
In the journey to a healthier me, I have filled our fridge with more fruits, veggies and exchanged some of our usual snacks with healthier options. Still I was having trouble finding time to cook or meal prep. With a new job further away from home and I was often exhausted by the time I was off. I could feel myself getting weaker and in need of more nutrients than a protein bar could offer. Insert Daily Harvest, fun combinations of super-food in compact cups, just add the liquid of your choice. Their smoothie and overnight oats options looked especially intriguing so I decided to give them a try. On Tuesday afternoon a big Daily Harvest box was waiting on my porch...I love getting mail...especially mail I can eat ha ha! It contained six cups all frozen using dry ice. They make sure to mark the ice and keep it separate, for safety. Along with the cups came little instructions and some magnets! Such a cute idea!
I started with the Chia Parfait Blackberry and Majik which had two options, heat now for 3 to 6 mins or let soak overnight. There was no way that I was waiting so I added some vanilla almond milk, stirred a bit then heated up the cup. I could immediately smell the sweet berries as the parfait came to life. Filled with chia seeds, blackberries, coconut and banana this parfait was scrumptious. Adding to the antioxidants is organic blue majik, a blue green algae super-food sure to pack in flavor and health benefits. This chia parfait was quickly one of my favorites!
Next, the smoothie I was the most curious about, the mint and cacao! It sounded perfect but I was skeptical that the healthy ingredients could match the mint-chip flavor I desired. I added almond milk and began blending the ingredients, immediately peppermint and cacao filled the air. After transferring back to my Daily Harvest cup, I took my first sip and to my surprise it tasted like ice cream. This little cup of green mush was a dream! Plus I did not feel guilty about slurping it down either...perfect! 
My third selection was the Mulberry and Dragon fruit Overnight Oats. I let them soak during the night with some almond milk and packed them up on my way to work the next day. Overnight the oats soaked up all the almond goodness and the complete flavor of the cup came through. Complete with raspberry, blueberry and mulberry this beauty was packed with vitamins. The cup was a fun pink color too and the mulberries added a flavor that I don't often get. It was subtle but sweet. That's one thing I appreciate about Daily Harvest, they take ingredients that I would normally never put together and make something healthy and delicious. 
So the verdict...Daily Harvest is yummy and easy to make. Perfect for those that need a quick meal and/or are starting to step up their food game. For me it works on so many levels. They give me a chance to try something new and to think about my meals. I've always found nutrition a challenge and these little cups help push me in the right direction! I can't wait to try out more flavors!
Thanks, Bunny
Ps. So now I think I am addicted to the Mint/Cacao Smoothies. Soooo good!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Blood and Sand

On the bar menu for our beach day: 
Blood and Sand from the True Blood Cookbook. 
This cocktail comes from the marvelously dramatic Lorena, where the smell of cherry brandy inspires memories of the carnage she and Bill created. They spent their nights partying and drinking blood until the sun came up. I wish the show would have dove a bit deeper into her past but from the small sampling of Lorena's hard yet deeply loving persona...this drink is a match. A bit of sweet royal blood and rough abrasive sand, mixed to perfection. 
I was worried that the whiskey and vermouth would be too strong for me but I was pleasantly surprised, thank you orange juice! Blood and Sand had a delicate balance of tartness to sweet, with a smooth finish and curious undertone of cherry and oak. Creating the perfect cocktail to sip as the waves roll in. I loved that the color was sandy too, fitting it's name and looking a bit creepy, what else could a Truebie ask for! 
Thanks for readin! -Bunny

Friday, June 16, 2017

Styled by Amie

Happy Friday! 
If your handwriting is anything like mine, legible only when typed, then you can really appreciate these chalkboard and lettering skills! Styled by Amie takes boring signs to another level using her stylish and eloquent penmanship. She has done work for Scentsy, Lularoe and other pop-up shops helping to give every event a special and personal touch. 
I was fortunate enough to have Styled by Amie create a few signs for me, for my bridal shower, and they did not disappoint. 
Totally on-point with the Alice in Wonderland theme and super adorable. I wanted to take them home! She even added moss and some playing cards. This girl should seriously create an Etsy shop and take over the calligraphy world! Check out her IG!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sakara Love

So I am in complete love with these Dark Chocolate Cardamom Cookies from Sakara! LOVE! I didn't even know I liked cardamom. Such a great treat...not too sweet, not too savory. Perfect! They are so yummy but a bit too pricey to order all the time :(
A week or two after my last cookie had been eaten I started craving the spice and nutty almond butter of the Sakara cookies. I had to have more, so I decided to try making my own. The main ingredients call for almond flower, almond butter, cardamom and honey. While these still have sugar in them, it was nice not adding in a stick of butter, sugar and a few eggs. Also, you add in chopped dark chocolate. I have never been a huge dark chocolate fan, it can be so bitter, but these cookies turned me around! Such a good combo!
For this mix you have to let it chill out in the fridge over night but that didn't stop me from eating some of the dough he he! 
After rolling out little dough balls onto my cookie sheet and giving them a quick bake, they were ready! So delicious and just like the Sakara ones. They look a little different but it's probably how I molded each one...a little too smooth/round.
Tip: Definitely use a paddle mixer instead of a whisk. The dough became thicker with each ingredient and wasn't the easiest to mold. Plus I added in dark chocolate chips but will chop up the chocolate a bit more when I make them again. That's right, again, again and again ha ha! 
Or I may add the Sakara ones to a Clean order as a special treat. See the link below for the Sakara Clean Boutique. Such great products! I would recommend the beauty and detox waters as well!
Cheers, Bunny