I Like It Sweet n’ Spicy

Hey Y’all!

I didn’t have time to go on a foodie venture this week, but I want to tell y’all about a must try that is just as sweet…and spicy! 😉 

Roasted Sugar & Spice Walnuts! Appetizing. Amazing. Addicting. Ambrosial. Shall I go on? 



I made a batch last week, and they were the perfect treat to get me through this hectic, more than crazy, week! 🙂 

I found the recipe while indulging in my guilty pleasure, Pinerest; I came across the recipe on A Girl Deflowered and decided I had to try them. They WERE (notice the past tense) soooooooo good! They were sweet with the right amount of “kick” in flavor. I LIKE IT SWEET N’ SPICY! Best of all, they were so easy to make, and the batch was big; I had enough to share with my family, and even took some to work to share with my co-workers. 

This combination of nuts and cranberries is the perfect snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, as well as the perfect DIY gift to give for any holiday.

Do yourself a favor: click the link above for the recipe, and try them for yourself! If your not a fan of walnuts, try the recipe with pecans or almonds. (Side note: I like to get my raw nuts from Trader Joes; they are very reasonably priced.)

Let me know how you like them.

Until next week…happy eating! 

-Coco

Edible Tokens of Love

It is that time of year again: the love birds are chirping their harmonic songs, cupid is aiming his arrows, and many of us see nothing but red and pink hearts.
Yes, it is almost Valentine’s Day! While it is important to let those we love know that we love them throughout the year, Valentine’s Day is a day that allows us to take a step back, reflect on how much we truly love those who are most important to us, and shower them with gifts from our heart. However, some of us have such a hard time figuring out the perfect gift to give those we love. In addition to the stress finding the perfect gift, many people equate money with love (the more you spend on someone is the more you love that person), but it’s important to realize that you do not have to spend tons of money to let those you love know it. As a matter of fact, gifts you take your time to make are many times the most heartfelt…and I am sure, those that are tasty will earn you extra points! 😉
When looking for the perfect edible token of love, I came across this recipe from The Little Epicurean for Blood Orange Donuts (click here for the recipe); I thought they would be a super cute gift to give for Valentine’s Day.
Unfortunately, I ran into two problems when trying to make these: 1) I could not find a blood orange, and 2) I did NOT realize I needed a donut mold for these donuts until after I started to actually make them (that is what happens when you do not read the directions thoroughly BEFORE you start baking, haha)! So I improvised…first I used a Ruby Red Grapefruit instead of the Blood Orange, which was a risk, since grapefruits can be extremely tart, but surprisingly, the grapefruit flavor was delicious! I had to use extreme restraint in an effort not to lick the ENTIRE grapefruit icing bowl! 🙂 The Blood Orange would have given the icing a natural pink color, but with using the grapefruit, the icing was a really light pink-peachy color, so I added a TINY bit of food color gel to brighten up the pink.

IMG_1199
Second, once I realized the donut mix was more of a cake batter versus a dough, and needed a donut mold, I decided to use the mini Bundt cake mold I already had.

IMG_1189
Even though my Blood Orange donuts ended up being Ruby Red Grapefruit mini cakes, they truly turned out to be the perfect EDIBLE TOKENS of LOVE.

IMG_1304
They have the cutest mini cake/cupcake boxes that these treats can be delivered in at craft stores like Michael’s! My love ones loved these Ruby Red Grapefruit Bundt Cakes…I know yours will too! 😉

IMG_1303
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,
Coco

PS- Feel free to substitute the cake recipe for your favorite white/vanilla cake recipe! The grapefruit icing will taste amazing drizzled over a white/vanilla cake.

Drunken Georgia Peach Cobbler…Cookies?!

Twitter is an amazing social networking site; I believe it associates strangers with common interests more than other popular networking sites. A few months ago, I started participating in #Foodiechats’ Monday night chat sessions on Twitter, and by doing so, I have made connections with tons of amazing people, who love food as much as I do.

On March 18, a few of my #Foodiechats friends and I decided to connect further by doing, what we named, the Coast to Coast Cookie Swap (#C2CCS). We each baked a batch of delicious cookies and sent them up and down the California coast, and across the country to Washington D.C.

When it all began! @JazzyJ0nez was soon added! :-)

When it all began! @JazzyJ0nez was soon added! 🙂

It took me a couple of days to decide what would be the perfect cookies to send; I finally settled on peach cobbler cookies. I thought, “who does not like peach cobbler?” and with the summer weather approaching, I knew this would be the perfect cookie to get us in the mood for the coming season. However, I did not want to send “regular” peach cobbler cookies…no, I wanted to send BOOZY peach cobbler cookies. I love the taste of bourbon and peaches together, and I was going to call them DRUNKEN GEORGIA PEACH COBBLER COOKIES (I know…that name was intense)! Unfortunately, after trying three different cookie recipes, and wasting half a bottle of bourbon, my cookies were not even a little bit boozy. 😦

This was a new bottle when I started!

This was a new bottle when I started!

The last recipe I tried, the consistency of the cookie was a bit dense, and kind of tasted “cakey,” versus tasting like a cookie; I think this was because I beat the batter for too long. Thankfully, the cookies were still really good, and I can’t wait to make them again.

I found the recipe on Follow the Ruels (recipe below). I made a double batch; it was hard mixing so much batter at once, so I suggest doing a single batch; however, if you need to make a double batch, mix the liquid/creamy ingredients together, gently, and by hand. One adjustment I had to make when baking was to set the oven temperature to 350 degrees, versus the 375 degrees the recipe suggests, because the first cookies were starting to burn. Also, instead of buying preserves, I made homemade preserves hoping that boiling the peaches in the alcohol would bring out the flavor of the bourbon (yeah…that did not work either), however you may want to make your own just to adjust the sweetness/tartness of the preserves to your liking, and use the rest for your morning toast. 🙂

My Peach Preserves

My Peach Preserves

Like I said…even though it took a few tries, and they still were not “drunken,” I had a blast baking cookies, and participating in #C2CCS. I recommend this recipe, as well as cookie swapping with friends; get some friends together and have a cookie swap party, or contact a long distance friend and agree to send a delicious package to each other. I can guarantee that you will enjoy the experience.

Some of my delicious packages!

Some of my delicious packages!

Here is a list of the cookies that were sent to me in delicious packages, with the links to each of the Lovely #C2CCS Ladies’ cookie recipes:

Allison (@socaliallie): Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Jazmine (@JazzyJ0nes): Lemon-Blueberry Cookies

Natalie (@InNatsShoes): Glorified Chocolate Chip Cookies

Karla(@FoodologieKarla): Molasses-Ginger Apricot Cookies

CoCo (@uc_foodie): Peach Cobbler Cookies

IMG_7449

IMG_7448

Half of the cookies had the crumb-topping, and half were sprinkled with the cinnamon-sugar mix. They were both good!

ALL of the #C2CCS Ladies’ cookies were amazing! Try a couple recipes, and let me know how the cookies come out! 🙂

Happy Baking, CoCo

Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 6.52.53 PM

 

Wee Bit O’Irish

My cool pin that made me feel a wee bit o'Irish! :-)

My cool pin that made me feel a wee bit o’Irish! 🙂

Everyone loves an Irish, Black girl…right?! Okay, confession: to my knowledge, I do not have any Irish blood in me, but on March 17th, and the weekend preceding, I was indubitably a WEE BIT O’IRISH as I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in and around Los Angeles.

Over the weekend, my friend Alicia, her cousin Jasmine, and I had a blast being out and about for St. Patty’s Day. First, we went to Tom Bergin’s in Los Angeles; they have been famous for their Irish Coffee since their establishment in 1936. Although it was a cool, laid back vibe at Bergin’s, we were looking for a more “lively” crowd and headed over to Santa Monica’s Busby’s West. As soon as we entered Busby’s we were in our element as we walked into a sea of green and heavy bass of hip-hop beats. We were so sad, when the party ended soon after we arrived; I guess we did not have much of that Irish luck. 🙂

Alicia, Jasmine and I

Alicia, Jasmine and I

However, Monday, March 17th, the day St. Patty’s Day actually fell on, was a lot less eventful. I knew I would not be partying, but was still feeling a WEE BIT O’IRISH; so what better way to satisfy that feeling than with food? I had always heard how “Irish” corn beef and cabbage was, but was curious about what other traditional Irish dishes were out there; luckily, I stumbled across the Dublin Coddle (recipe from Food.com is below).

The dish is named after the capital of Ireland, and the city it is most often associated with. Traditionally the dish was made to rid the home of left over meat on Thursdays (at one time, many people in Ireland were Catholic, whom do not eat meat on Fridays); all of the ingredients were thrown into a large pot that had a tight lid, with a little bit of broth, and sometimes made with Guinness. The ingredients would coddle, or be steamed together for three to fives hours, which allowed all of the flavors to really infuse each piece of meat and vegetable.

This dish is incredibly hearty, and tastes amazing! It is kind of a cozy-winter’s-night type of meal, so I suggest that you get to your local market as soon as you can, so that you can prepare this dish before the weather gets too warm. If you like beer, be sure to grab some Guinness to drink with this meal.

The only thing I was missing on Monday was a tasty loaf of Irish Soda Bread to accompany the Dublin Coddle, to sop up the delicious gravy the dish makes. Here is a link to a recipe for Paleo Irish Soda Bread from my foodie friend and fellow blogger Allie at Sweet Potato Bites (she also has recipes for a traditional Irish Soda Bread, and a Gluten-Free Irish Soda bread).

I made a couple of minor adjustments (marked with asterisks) to the recipe I found on Food.com:

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.41.44 AM

I’m sorry, I did not take a picture of every step as I was cooking, but here are a few pictures I took when layering the ingredients:

Layering the meat and veggies...

Layering the meat and veggies…

IMG_7355

IMG_7357

After three hours…

Up Close & Personal

Up Close & Personal

I hope you try and enjoy this meal! It will definitely make you feel a WEE BIT O’IRISH any day of the year!

Sláinte!