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My friends were making dinner for my husband and I, and I decided I’d bring the dessert. I thought cake would be a fun thing to bring, so I just went out and bought a regular chocolate cake mix. I got home started the mixer and added the oil, water, extra: vanilla extract (always add it to mixes for a more homemade taste!), and the mix and realized that I had NO eggs. Tragic. So, I went online and found a vegan substitute: cornstarch and water. It baked normally, but the cake came out more dense and moist. I loved it. I will probably always substitute cornstarch for eggs now!

The frosting is equally important. Instead of using some store bought frosting or making my own sugary, buttery version (which my husband thinks both are grainy,) I decided to use ganache as frosting! What better frosting could there be!

Ganache Frosting:

I cup Heavy Cream

9 ounces of bitter sweet chocolate

You can do any variation. Like 1/2 cup cream to 4.5 ounces of chocolate, and it will still work. Any way, I just microwaved the cream until it was piping hot and then stirred in the chocolate until it was smooth. Make sure you let the ganache and cupcakes cool before bringing the two together. This frosting will make your cupcakes shine and taste so rich!

<3

Pad Thai

I really enjoy Thai food, but it can get so expensive to eat out.  So, I decided to make some here at home, and it is, of course, vegetarian! No yucky fish sauces!

Pad Thai (2-3 servings)

Noodles

6 ounces of rice noodles (1/4″ wide if you can)

Water

Sauce

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon or lime (I used lime.)

3 Tablespoon of ketchup

1 Tablespoon of sugar

1/2 Cup of soy sauce

Stir-Fry

1-2 Tablespoons of veggie oil

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 medium fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced (or not, hehe)

4 scallions, finally chopped

extras if desired: shredded carrots, peanuts, mung bean sprouts, tofu

So, I really like spicy food.  The recipe calls for 1 seeded/de-ribbed jalapeno…..well I added 3 with all the goods, and then added hot sauce to my own dish.  I cleaned my dish in minutes because it was delicious, but my eyes were tearing up and let’s just say my sinuses will be clear for awhile.  So, it’s your choice, spicy or not.

Directions: Cook the noodles as usual. Drain them and make sure they aren’t sticking together. If they are just simply rinse them in cold water.  Mix the sauce ingredients together and then set aside. (I just eyeballed the measurements.)  In a medium skillet, heat the oil on med-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the jalapenos and garlic, let cook for 1-2 minutes.  Then add the sauce, noodles, and scallions.  Now, if you want to add tofu, which I did, this would be the time to do it. I used a hot and spicy smoked tofu (pre-cooked = awesome.)  Heat the mixture throughout and then serve onto plates or bowls!  Top it with some fresh cilantro or chopped peanuts.


I joined Etsy

Hey everyone,

Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile. Within the next week I plan on posting a new vegetarian recipe! I got a really nice Kitchenmade mixer from my mother, and I am just itching to use it!

Okay, so on April 14 I started my very own Etsy shop. I made a sale on the first day, and sold two more recently to my sister’s friend. It feels so good to have people enjoy my art. I have been painting like crazy to try to get my shop some more business. However, recently it’s been dry, and I still haven’t cracked the mystery of getting my name out there.

Check out my Etsy and let me know what you think! http://www.etsy.com/shop/ToriKatsu

Marble Cupcakes

I decided to make cupcakes for my husbands work today.  I am glad to have a reason to bake because I really love doing it.  I especially enjoy putting my own spin on really simple recipes.

Marble Cupcakes

1 box White Cake Mix

1 (favorite icing, I chose whipped chocolate) tub

1 Hershey Bar (broken into pieces)

2 TBSP Heavy Cream (or regular milk will work)

Vanilla Extract

Optional: French Vanilla Pudding Mix (2 TBPS)

Prepare the cake mix as usual (add the pudding mix if you so choose) and add the vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl, heat the milk and then pour over the chocolate bar and stir until smooth.  Add about 3/4 cup of the prepared cake mix into the chocolate and stir.

Pour some of the white into each cupcake and then go back through and add some chocolate mix. Swirl it a bit in the cupcake tin to add a more creative marble effect, or just leave it be.

Bake, frost, and enjoy.

March

This week I got a new camera lens which I am really excited about! I can’t wait to start taking tons of pictures with it.  I got kind of frustrated looking for a lens for my Nikon D40 because it seems all the ones I wanted didn’t function all the way with it. I wanted to buy a new camera, but let’s save that for when I finish my photography degree.  The lens I got is a telephoto zoom, and I like it a lot.

(If you want to check out more of my pictures go to Flickr.com/yahidontknow)

Anyway, I haven’t been cooking a lot lately for some reason, but today I did make coconut whipped cream to top a basic pudding pie.  Just put 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream in a bowl with 2 TBSP of sugar, 2 TBSP of instant coconut cream pie pudding mix, and some vanilla extract. I don’t really have the mixing gear to make fresh whipped cream, so the addition of the coconut cream pie pudding mix gave me the stiff peaks I wanted.

I really like pie, and that is why half the recipes on this blog deal with pie. =)

One more thing before I finish up this entry. Ryan and I got a new dog from the humane society, and he is wonderful! I love him so much, and though he is very timid of others, he is warming up to the idea of being around them.

Easy Chocolate Pie!

Okay, so I have been craving pie something fierce lately! I crave it everyday (no kidding.) So, we ran out of pie yesterday (I like to get a store bought Banana Cream Pie! Yum!), and I went to two different shopping centers that were out of the kind of the pie I wanted. All they had was cheesecake, and I am sorry….but I just can’t stand cheesecake. So, I quickly came up with a random idea to make an easy chocolate pie of my own.

Easy Chocolate Pie:

1 ready made pie crust (baked)

1 Large Tub of Cool Whip (if you don’t like Cool Whip, you could use whipped cream, and it’d probably taste richer!)

1 instant chocolate pudding mix

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 cup of chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream

1-2 TBSP of cocoa powder

Okay, so I baked the pie crust first of course and let it cool.  I then made the ganache (heavy cream and chocolate chips.) Just microwave the heavy cream until it is almost to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.  Use this ganache to coat your pie shell evenly.

Take the instant pudding mix, 1/2 cup of milk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and about half the tub of Cool Whip, and blend together and until smooth and creamy.  Fill the pie crust and chill. Top with remaining Cool Whip if desired and eat!


Ryan got me a mini light box for Valentine’s Day, and I love using every chance I get to use it! These images were actually shot using the stock lens on my Nikon D40.

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup of Nutella

1/2 cup of Peanut Butter (chunky or smooth)

1 cup of sugar

1 egg

Note: You could make these using one cup of peanut butter and omit the Nutella, but you cannot make them with one cup of Nutella and omit the Peanut Butter. The Nutella will become runny in the oven and will not come out like cookies. At least, that is what I have found to be the case. I could experiment and find a way to make them with 100% Nutella, but I really don’t want to waste delicious Nutella on experiments. =)

To make these cookies, add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix! Preheat your oven to 325 F and bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes!

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