Easy, Delicious Plum Cake

plum cake
Michael is from Germany so often misses the delicious cakes and tarts he grew up eating. He complains that the desserts found in the U.S. are usually very sweet or topped with artificial sugary frosting (I can’t really disagree with him on this one). Hence, I am always on the hunt for an easy, delicious dessert recipe. I stumbled upon this plum cake recipe late one night when we both had a taste for something fruity, buttery and slightly sweet. We were also in the Alps with no store open at 10pm! This dessert has become one of my favorite cakes. Best of all, it is ready to eat in no time at all! I hope you give it a try because I know it will be a hit with your family and friends! Continue reading

Mango Sago Recipe

mango sago
I LOVE a good mango sago. Michael and I tried our very first version of this ‘oh-so-yummy’ dessert in 2006 while visiting friends in Hong Kong. They were selling this stuff everywhere! We were addicted ever since. Sadly, it’s not as readily available in New York City, unless you go to Chinatown or Flushing. A few Chinese dessert places have been popping up elsewhere around Manhattan, but nothing like a Dunkin Donuts on every corner.

I decided to make my own version of mango sago yesterday because mangoes were on sale in Chinatown. 3 for $1. It doesn’t get any better than that folks. I think my version comes pretty darn close to that sold in stores – nice coconut flavor, natural sweetness from the mangoes and overall so refreshing. If you like mango sago, definitely give my recipe a try! It is so quick and easy to make. :) Continue reading

Honey Corn Muffins

honey corn muffins

I LOVE cornbread with just about anything. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The best is when it’s fresh out of the oven – still warm enough so the butter melts as you’re spreading it on. I used to buy those little Jiffy boxes from the grocery store to make a quick batch of corn muffins. But after discovering this delicious and easy recipe from the Neely’s, I will no longer have to buy those boxes again! I had no idea how easy it was to make cornbread from scratch. What I love most about this recipe, however, is the addition of honey. It gives the corn muffins a slightly sweet taste, which I think goes very well with butter. These muffins should keep for two to three days if kept in an airtight container, but I doubt you’ll have many leftover! 😉 Continue reading

Easy Strawberry Muffins

strawberry muffins
I somehow believed that muffins were extremely difficult to make. Hence, I never even attempted to make them in the past. This all changed after I watched an episode of the Barefoot Contessa. Ina Garten is one of my favorite chefs on the Food Network and her recipes have never let me down. She made these muffins look so easy to prepare, I had to make them the next day! In less than 40 minutes, I had delicious, warm muffins to enjoy with my cup of coffee. They were so moist on the inside, but had a nice sugary crunch on the outside. This is due to mixing in the sugar at the very last moment.

I made two tweaks to Ina’s recipe: I added whole wheat flour and vanilla extract. If you don’t have whole wheat flour or prefer not to use it, simply use all-purpose flour instead. This recipe is great to use for a muffin “base” as well. Just follow the recipe to make the batter and use other kinds of fruit instead. You could make blueberry, apple, banana nut or even chocolate chip muffins. The possibilities are endless!  Continue reading

Super Easy & Moist Pineapple Cake

pineapple cake
This incredibly easy recipe is the semi-homemade version of traditional pineapple upside down cake. It is so quick to prepare but so delicious and moist! Your guests will love how it looks and tastes, but will never have to know how easy it was for you to make! Your entire house will smell of vanilla and pineapple. Mmmmmm :)

I came across this recipe one day while watching Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network. She was making a lunch for her girlfriends and baked this cake for dessert. I was shocked when she took out a box of Betty Crocker cake mix! LOL. I thought to myself, “If Giada has no shame getting a little help from Betty Crocker, I sure as hell don’t either!”

I made a few changes to her recipe based on my preferences and what I had available. My cake turned out fantastic. Definitely give this recipe a try next time you’re in the mood for cake!  Continue reading

Best Tiramisu Ever

Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts. It’s the perfect combination of rich creamy flavors with a light and airy texture that simply melts in your mouth. Even though tiramisu is available at almost every Italian restaurant in NYC, I have always wanted to make this dessert myself. I don’t know why, but I kept putting it off for years. Maybe I was intimidated by the mascarpone cheese or whipping the egg yolks, but I finally decided to make tiramisu over the holidays. Everyone and their mother must’ve decided to make tiramisu the same day I did because we could not find any store with mascarpone cheese! Every single store we went to was completely out. We had to drive to another town to finally get my mascarpone cheese. At that point I was thinking, “This tiramisu better be worth it!

Boyyyy was it worth it! The tiramisu came out absolutely perfect. It was SO incredibly delicious – we couldn’t stop eating it. I can honestly say it tasted better than what we’ve ordered at many restaurants. Trust me, I’m not being biased here ;).

If you’re having a dinner party or get together soon, definitely give my tiramisu a try! Follow all the directions carefully and you won’t be disappointed! Continue reading

Chewy Fudge Crinkles

Looking for an easy cookie recipe to make this holiday season? Well, look no further! These chewy fudge crinkles only require four ingredients and take no time to make. But be warned, they are EXTREMELY addictive. One bite into these chewy, fudge-brownie-like cookies and you will instantly say, “OMG, these are ridiculously good!”

I wanted to make cookies to give out this holiday season, but didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing, baking, and decorating. After hours of scouring the internet, I found this recipe on food.com. I read all of the reviews because it sounded too good to be true. Not one person gave it a negative review so I decided to give it a try. It literally took me five minutes to prepare the dough and another 20 minutes to roll and bake the cookies. Needless to say, I ate five cookies within 15 minutes. Most importantly, everyone LOVED the cookies and couldn’t stop eating them. I am definitely making another batch next week!

These chewy fudge crinkles are definitely worth adding to your cookie recipe collection. Make a batch this holiday season and you won’t be disappointed!  Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

It’s been quite an adventure the last few weeks since Hurricane Sandy hit NYC, but I’m finally back (with electricity, water, and internet)! In the days leading up to the hurricane, I tried to use most of my ingredients in the refrigerator by making dishes that would last a few days at room temperature. One of the recipes I turned to was for this pumpkin bread, which is so incredibly moist it could even be a cake. It is one of my favorite recipes for the holidays because it’s so easy to make and actually tastes better over time (I’m not kidding)! Boy were we glad to have this delicious pumpkin bread to munch on for a few days while the power was out. :)

I love to use Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree for this recipe because it’s organic and inexpensive, but you can use any brand of your choice. Just make sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to give this pumpkin bread a try this holiday season. A fun idea is to bake in mini loaf pans to give away as gifts! :)

Note: This recipe calls for 1 cup of pumpkin puree, which is about half of a 15 ounce can. Wondering what to do with the remaining half of puree? Don’t fret, try out my Pumpkin Mac and Cheese!

Continue reading

My Mother’s Chè Chuối (Vietnamese Banana Coconut Pudding)

This recipe is very special to me because it belongs to my mother. We used to make chè chuối together all the time when I was a little girl. The sweet and rich aromas of coconut milk would fill our entire kitchen. It was our little way of spoiling ourselves. I am reminded of these fond memories of cooking with my mother whenever I make this dish today. Luckily, Michael loves this dish just as much as I do, so I always make a little extra ;).

Chè chuối, approximately pronounced “che chuy,” is prepared by simmering lady finger bananas in coconut milk and tapioca pearls. Although traditionally eaten as a snack by Vietnamese people, it can also be eaten for dessert. Chè chuối can be served cold on a hot summer’s day, or warm on a cold autumn night. Either way, it is simply delicious. I hope that you will fall in love with this recipe just as I have. Continue reading

“Healthier” Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Sadly, summer is coming to an end. So why not celebrate the last few weeks of summer by baking this yummy, and healthier, strawberry rhubarb cobbler?! I rarely bake because I prefer savory over sweet, but I wanted to take advantage of strawberries and rhubarb being in season during the summer months. I’ve been playing around with this recipe for quite some time now; however, I think I’ve finally nailed it! I made this cobbler a little healthier by using whole wheat flour, oats, and less butter. Don’t worry, the flavors are all still there :)! It’s a great recipe because you can use virtually any fruits you like, such as berries, plums, or peaches. I even made this cobbler with frozen berries and it came out just as delicious.

I portioned this recipe for 6 to 8 servings because it’s slightly more labor intensive. Basically, you’ll want to enjoy the fruits of your labor for a few days ;). Plus, what’s better than having homemade dessert readily available for a few nights? You can store this cobbler in the refrigerator for about 5 days.

Give this recipe a try and let summer go out with a bang! This would also be a great dessert to make for a Labor Day picnic or barbecue. Continue reading