Piñata Funfetti Cake

Piñata Funfetti Cake

If you ask most cooks or bakers why they love being in the kitchen, many will tell you it is not the actual making of the recipe but the joy of sharing it with others.

For me that joy amplifies with the opportunity to bake a celebration cake for those that I love — especially when it is for one of my nieces or nephews. With my nephew’s third birthday party approaching, my sister asked that I bake him a special cake. He asked that his party be Trolls-themed. So, deciding on the type of cake was easy—funfetti—because it matched the rainbow theme.

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Because my nephew may or may not be my favorite of the group, I wanted to take the simple funfetti cake up a notch by making it piñata style.

A piñata cake is a cake that has the center removed and filled with candy or sprinkles. I choose both. It is an easy method to apply to any layered cake and creates a very dramatic effect for your cake eaters. Once you cut the first slice, the center comes pouring out.

My nephew absolutely loved the effect; you can see his little hands sneaking some candy as I tried to snap a picture.

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To cut the sweetness of the sugary cake and center, I went with a cream cheese frosting. This takes the cake from one note to several, especially for the adult party goers.

As for decorating the outside of the cake, stick with what your are capable of. If you have never used fondant, try your first time with a smaller project. The same goes for any technique you haven’t used much. I knew I could create a semi smooth and level cake, so that is the method I applied to get a show stopping cake.

Really, with my sister hosting the party outside at her cow farm I am sure any cake decorations would have done just fine.

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A few tips for cake decorating:

• Let your cakes cool completely before assembling. The cake will fall if you do not.

• To make your cake level take a perforated knife and slice off the rounded top of each layer.

• After layering the cake with icing, always coat the outside with a crumb layer of icing. This will give the cake a cleaner finish.

• After the crumb layer is on, stick your cake in the fridge to allow the icing to set up. This will help hold the cake together.

• To smooth the final icing coat, use a cake scraper or even a large plaster knife.

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Funfetti Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks of Butter, Softened
  • 2 Cups of Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Buttermilk
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 4 Cups of Cake Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Sprinkles

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare your four 6-inch cake pans by first rubbing them with Crisco or butter, then coat the lard in flour. Be sure to dump out the excess flour. Set pans aside.
  3. In a large whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a second large bowl whisk together your eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  5. In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer on medium, beat together your butter and sugar. Continue to beat for at least five minutes until butter becomes pale and fluffy.
  6. Start 1/3 of your wet mixture and add it in, mixing until combined.
  7. Add 1/3 of your flour mixture, mix until combined. Continue with 1/3 wet, then 1/3 dry, repeating until all of the ingredients are mixed in. You should end with the last third of your flour mixture.
  8. With a spatula, fold in your sprinkles.
  9. Evenly divide your batter into your prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake on the center rack for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let you cake cool on a wire rack before assembling.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 8 Ounce Blocks of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Stick of Butter, softened
  • A 1 Pound Box of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. In your stand mixer or with a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together your butter and cream cheese.
  2. Next add your extract and salt, mixing to combine.
  3. Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time, being sure to mix in the last amount before adding more.
  4. Beat frosting until all of the ingredients are combined, then continue to beat for another minute or two until the frosting becomes fluffy.

Piñata Cake

Ingredients:

  1. 6.25 Ounce Container of Sprinkles or Candy
  2. Funfetti Cake (above)
  3. Cream Cheese Icing (above)

Directions:

  1. Level your cake layers by removing the rounded tops with a knife.
  2. Cut a 1 to 1 1/2 inch hole into the center of three of the four layers of cake. A small cookie cutter will work fine.
  3. Using 1/3 of your icing, assemble your cake. First layer the three tiers that have a hole in them by placing frosting in-between each layer of cake, then pour in your sprinkles, last top with the whole and last layer of cake. .
  4. Apply 1/3 of your icing to the outside of your cake, creating a crumb coat.
  5. Let the cake rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Apply the remaining 1/3 of icing to the outside of the cake, smooth with a frosting smoother.
  7. Decorate or top the cake how you desire.
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Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

My mother and my uncle (her brother) have an extremely green thumb. If a green thumb is something you can inherit, they definitely got it from my great grandmother.

As for me—well, my thumb is probably kind of that weird color in-between yellow and light green.

For the last couple of years I have been planting a summer garden. I have done okay, but I would dub my prowess less than masterful. Each year has yielded different bounties with some crops more successful than others. I will add, the heat of Savannah makes it much more difficult to be successful. I am practically watering my garden twice a day.

This year I added Swiss chard to my list of plants, which have always included tomatoes, peppers, and squash. As it turns out, Swiss chard is rather easy to grow other than having to water it a bit extra that most of the other plants.

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Once one of my chard crops was too large for its spot, I decided it was time to cut it and cook it. I have found that my favorite part about summer, aside from the ample time at the beach, is the summer bounty that is available. Every single fruit and vegetable at the store tastes so delicious and fresh.

This recipe takes a plain old pizza dough and spruces it up with bacon (because everyone loves bacon), fresh summer corn, and swiss chard from my garden.

I use bread flour for this recipe because it creates a thinner, crispier crust. If you do not have bread flour you can use regular all purpose, but be aware your crust will be slightly chewier…but still delicious.

If you do not want to make your own dough, pop by your local pizzeria and buy a ball or two from them (it is better than the frozen version).

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Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 and 1/2  Cups of Room Temperature Water
  • 4 1/2 Cups of Bread Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, combine your yeast and water. Let sit for 3 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
2. In your stand mixer, combine flour and yeast mixture. Mix to combine.
3. Add your olive oil and salt, then mix to combine.
4. Attach your dough hook, and knead the mixture on medium-low for 4-5 minutes or until dough comes together and looks smooth. If mixture absolutely does not come together you can add a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
5. Place your dough in an oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
6. Let sit on the counter for one hour, or until doubled in size.
7. Gently turn out the dough and divide into two balls for use.
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Swiss Chard, Bacon, & Corn Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Package of Thick Cut Bacon
  • 2 Ears of Fresh Corn
  • 2 Cups of Swiss Chard
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • 2 Cups of Shredded Mozzarella
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare your bacon first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place bacon in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the bacon for 30-45 minutes or until it has reached your desired doneness.
  4. Remove bacon from oven and drain on a paper towels, set aside.
  5. Turn oven up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or preheat your grill.
  6. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
  7. Rinse, remove the stems, and coarsely chop your Swiss chard.
  8. Heat a small skillet over medium with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. Cook Swiss chard in the heated skillet until very lightly wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Rinse your corn, then cut kernels away from the core. Set kernels aside.
  11. Prepare your pizza paddle or baking pan with a heavy amount of flour or semolina flour to allow dough to slip off easily.
  12. On a floured surface, turn out one of your pizza dough balls.
  13. Stretch, toss, or roll your pizza dough to your desired size. Each dough ball could fairly stretch up to 8×8.
  14. Place the stretched dough onto your prepared pizza paddle or baking sheet.
  15. Lightly drizzle your dough with olive oil.
  16. Spread two tablespoons of garlic mayonnaise over your prepared pizza dough.
  17. Sprinkle dough with salt and pepper.
  18. Spread 1/4 cup of your mozzarella over the pizza dough.
  19. Next, spread 1/2 of your corn, 1/2 of your Swiss chard, and 1/2 of your bacon over the pizza dough.
  20. Top the pizza with 1/4 cup of mozzarella.
  21. Repeat the process for preparing the pizza with the second pizza dough ball.
  22. Once you have both pizza prepared, cook on the grill or in the oven until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

Georgia Hotdogs + Low Country Boil Corn

Georgia Hotdogs + Low Country Boil Corn

Today, you get two recipes in one post. Thanks to none other than my fried and fellow blogger: A Common Connoisseur.

A few days ago, she asked that I come by, spend the day cooking, and take pictures of what we made. What we came up with were funky grilled hotdogs, a side to go, and of course a dessert. She has a pool at her house, so we were naturally drawn to hanging out by the pool while making yummy food.

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I wanted to go with all things southern because I am slightly obsessed with southern food, and her portion was a bit more tropical. Both flavors are perfect for grilling on a lazy summer day lounging by the pool while avoiding turning on the oven.

Hotdogs (and hamburgers) are the perfect summer food, but we did not want to make just any old hotdogs with ketchup and mustard. For this recipe, we take hotdogs up a notch by topping them with simple, delicious, and unique ingredients.

My topping pays homage to my home state, Georgia, with the use of fresh peaches and Vidalia onions. To take the dog over the edge, bacon and a creamy buttermilk mayonnaise were added.

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The side, corn, is inspired by elote, the delicious Mexican street corn, and Savannah’s favorite party food — low country boil.

For those that have never had low country boil, let me explain the basics of what it is. Most of the low country has a favorite food that they love to serve at parties, mainly because it feeds a ton of people and highlights the coast’s sweet local shrimp. Low country boil is comprised of a huge batch of corn on the cobb, sausage, shrimp, and potatoes all boiled together in Old Bay seasoning or something the like. After it is cooked, the entire batch is dumped out onto a table that is covered in newspaper for everyone to gather around and eat with their hands.

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Maria went with a bahn mi inspired hotdog, which turned out absolutely yummy due to the use of a homemade peanut sauce. She also took care of dessert, which was a no churn ice-cream layered with fig and orange jam. The crazy part, she made it into an adult ice-cream float by topping it with sparkling rosé.

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Here recipes can be found here.

As for the photos, some of hers can be found on this post as well as all of mine!

Low Country Boil Corn

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 Ears of Corn on the Cob
  • 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • Juice from 2 Lemons
  • 1/2 Cup of Parmesan
  • 3 Tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning Powder
  • 1/2 Cup of Fried Onions, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter

Instructions

  1. Low Country Boil Corn
  2. Ingredients:
  3. • 6 Ears of Corn on the Cob
  4. Prepare and heat up your grill.
  5. While the grill heats, combine your mayonnaise, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then set aside in the fridge.
  6. Next, clean the corn cobs by removing the husks. Coat the corn with your melted butter to prevent sticking on the grill.
  7. Grill the corn until there is a light char all around each ear.
  8. Immediately after removing your corn from the grill, brush each ear of corn with the mayonnaise mixture. Be sure to coat all sides of the corn.
  9. Next coat the corn with your parmesan, followed by your old bay seasoning, and finish by topping with the chopped fried onions.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/07/23/georgia-hotdogs-low-country-boil-corn/

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Georgia Hot Dogs

Ingredients:

• 12 Hotdogs
• 12 Hotdog Buns
• 2 Peaches, halved
• 1 Vidalia Onion, sliced with the rings in tact
• 1/2 Package of Bacon
• 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
• 3 Tablespoons of Buttermilk
• 3 Tablespoons of Fresh Parsley, chopped
• Salt and Pepper to Taste
• Olive Oil

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Directions:

1. Prepare and heat your grill.
2. While the grill heats, in a small bowl whisk together your mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons of parsley, buttermilk, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in the fridge.
3. Grill your bacon to your desired doneness. Remove bacon from grill once cooked and drain on a plate covered with paper towels
4. Lightly coat your onion and peaches with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill the onion and peaches until they have light char marks.
5. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
6. While the peaches and onion cools, grill your hotdogs.
7. Chop your onion, bacon, and peaches into large chucks then combine together. Set aside.
8. Remove your hotdogs from the grill, and lightly grill your hotdog buns.
9. Prepare your hotdog by placing the hotdogs into the hotdog buns, topping each hotdog with your peach and onion mixture, then pouring your mayonnaise sauce over the peaches.
10. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Korean BBQ Bibimbap Bowl

Korean BBQ Bibimbap Bowl

Just a few days ago I posted a recipe on how to cure egg yolks, specifically my style  using Korean Chili Powder.

But, I am confident most of you are like: how in the world can I even use cured egg yolks?

Plenty of ways! The texture is similar to a soft cheese therefore the ideal use is to grate it over a dish. Many chefs love to grate them over fresh pasta.

Since the egg yolks I cured were covered in Korean spices, the best route for these bad boys is a dish with Asian inspiration. My choice? The bibimbap bowl.

Lets start with what a bibimbap bowl actually is. It is a traditional Korean dish and is normally served with a base of rice that is topped with roasted vegetables, meat, a sauce, and an egg. The vegetables can range from carrots to peppers or cucumbers, and the meat is usually beef but can often be another type of protein. As for the sauce, the traditional sauces such as gochujang, soy, and a few others are used. Last, the egg, which is in my opinion the most important part. However the egg is used, it is normally served with a runny yolk, adding a bit extra sauce to the equation. Before the bowl is eaten, all of the ingredients are stirred together. The beauty is, there is no right or wrong way to create a bibimbap.

When I lived in Atlanta there was a local Korean Mexican fusion spot where my husband and I always played weekly trivia. It was through this restaurant that I was introduced to the concept of the bibimpap bowl and many other delicious Korean delicacies. I grew to love kimchi as well. They also offered these amazing Korean barbeque nachos — that I will be recreating for a blog post one day!

Since moving to Savannah from Atlanta I have struggled to find bibimbap bowl as delicious as the one we ate every week at trivia. So when you cant find it, you recreate it.

For this recipe, I forwent the traditional bulgogie, thin marinated slices of grilled beef, for Korean barbeque. My version uses a crock pot, which is by no means traditional or correct, but it is easy and guarantees tender meat.

For the rice, I steamed jasmine rice the day before and pan seared it for a crunchy outer layer.

The vegetables are your choice, but I am partial to bok choy, so that was my green. You can trade out any vegetable in this recipe to what you love or have.

This recipe makes at least four to six bowls depending on how large you prepare them.

Crispy Jasmine Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cup of Jasmine Rice
  • 3 Cups of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. The day before you want to eat your bibimbap bowl prepare your rice.
  2. Rinse your rice under cold water until the water runs clean.
  3. Pour your rice into your rice cooker, and cover with water.
  4. Set the cooker to cook.
  5. Once rice is cooked, store in the fridge in a sealable container.
  6. The day you want to eat the bibimbap bowl, remove rice from fridge.
  7. Heat sesame oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  8. Once oil is rippling, gently pour in your rice and pack down into a pancake.
  9. Sprinkle over salt.
  10. Let rice cook on one side, without stirring, for approximately four to five minutes.
  11. Flip the rice and cook for the same on the other side.
  12. Serve cooked rice in the bottom of your bibimbap bowl.

Korean Barbeque

Ingredients:

  •  2 1/2 pounds of Beef Roast or Loin
  • 1 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of White Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of Gochujang (Korean pepper paste)
  • 1/2 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Pear or 1 Kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Scallions

Directions:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients but for the beef.
  • Stir until fully combined
  • Place your beef in a crockpot, then pour sauce over the beef.
  • Cover and cook on low for at least four to six hours, until beef is fork tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Set temperature of crockpot to warm until ready to serve.

Bibimbap Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 4 Heads of Baby Bok Choy, sliced from bulb base and rinsed
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup of Carrots, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 Cup of Fresh Beansprouts
  • Korean Cured Egg Yolks, one for every two bowls
  • Korean BBQ Beef
  • Crispy Jasmine Rice

Directions:

  1. Prepare your rice according to the recipe above. While it cooks prepare your bok choy.
  2. In a medium sauce pan heat sesame oil over medium heat.
  3. Place bok choy in the pan, and cover with soy sauce. Cook until slightly wilted.
  4. Add in your minced garlic, and cook until garlic is fragrant.
  5. In each bowl, place the desired amount of rice in the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Top with cooked bok choy, Korean bbq beef, carrots, cucumber, and beansprouts.
  7. Grate 1/2 of the Cured Egg Yolk over each bowl.
  8. Serve with desired toppings like gochujang sauce, kimchi, siracha, soy sauce, green onions, sesame seeds etc.

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

When it comes to cooking, I am a believer in using every ingredient to the max. In my posts, I have often spoken of the difficulties in cooking for a home of two — especially being a Southerner with a large family who is used to eating large meals. The concepts of a meat and three and eating everything on your plate was instilled in me at a very young age.

Another southern part of me loves to keep a cake on the counter at all times, and my husband’s mother is the same way. With all of the baking I do, I so often have leftover egg yolks and nothing to do with them. For most, we think nothing of tossing the egg yolk into the sink after separating eggs for a mix. To be honest, I have done the same countless times, often without even blinking. Thinking back on it now, it is kind of silly to waste such a delicious fat-filled staple. Egg yolks are so versatile; they’re essentially nature’s mayonnaise. Personally I feel as though a runny egg can be eaten atop of almost any dish, taking a dish from normal to out of this world. So why would we throw away something so delicious?

All of that changes now. After reading up a bit on salt curing, a cooking technique that predates most, I thought why not apply this technique to my egg yolks. If you don’t know what curing is, it is a way to preserve food by applying salt.

Cured egg yolks, often time duck yolks, are popular with traditional Japanese cuisine.

The result of curing the yolk is a bit strange. The finished product is not runny, instead the texture of the yolk is that of a soft gummy. Many people treat the yolk as a soft cheese, grating it over a finished dish. The flavor is like a creamy umami salt bomb.

For my recipe, I wanted to expand on the idea of Asian cuisine, adding Korean chili powder known as Gochugaru. You can find it in any local asian grocery store.

As for the color of the yolks pictured, they are much more orange than those cured in a traditional salt cure. The chili powder adds a vibrant orange tint to the yolks.

Do not be scared of curing something. The process itself is rather foolproof. Simply tightly cover and let sit untouched in the fridge for one week.

Korean Cured Egg Yolks

Cuisine: Asian

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 3 Cups of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Korean Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine together salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar.
  2. In a sealable container (at least 8x8), pour 2/3 of the mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the container.
  3. Create six indentions in the mixture, large enough to nest an egg yolk.
  4. Gently place each egg yolk into each indention, being careful not to break.
  5. Gently pour, preferable with your fingers, the remaining 1/3 salt mixture over each egg yolk. Be sure each egg yolk is fully covered.
  6. Tightly cover and store in the fridge for one week.
  7. After one week, remove from the fridge.
  8. Gently rinse each yolk with water.
  9. Grate onto anything you want.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/07/01/korean-cured-egg-yolks/

Vanilla Meringues with Rhubarb Jam + Pistachios

Vanilla Meringues with Rhubarb Jam + Pistachios

Confession time.

I love GBBO. If you do not know what that stands for…leave now.

Just kidding, don’t leave. GBBO stands for Great British Bake Off, otherwise known as one of the greatest television shows ever. Naturally I have watched every single episode I could find here in the States, and get very excited when I find a new season is out.

A lot of inspiration can come from this show because the bakes are so different to what is found in America. We love our apple pies, chocolate chip cookies, and banana puddings. (For good reason might I add.)

Occasionally it is nice to get a bit of insight into other cultures, especially if you do not feel like spending thousands to fly to a foreign land. Each episode of GBBO has three rounds of different desserts, the majority of which are traditional British treats.

Have you ever had a bakewell tart, mince pie, or chelsea bun? Have you even heard of those things? Yeah, me either. Although, I would love to try them all.

Another dessert I have never tasted, also featured on GBBO, is the Pavlova. This one is not traditionally British, if you hadn’t guessed by the name.  Pavlova is three large layers of baked meringue and some sort of fruity filling.

And although I am not a fan of meringue, mainly because I have only ever tried the kind you get on top of a pie that is never prepared properly, the idea of a proper meringue sounds very delicious. If done right, the outside is light and crispy, and the inside is like a sweet airy pillow. As for the flavor, it should be reminiscent of a marshmallow.

In order to achieve a good meringue, the sugar has to be added in very slowly. This allows the sugar to dissolve into the eggs (so it will not be grainy), and keeps the eggs from deflating. As for baking, you have to dry them out low and slow to achieve the perfect outer and inner textures.

For this recipe, rhubarb was a no brainer because it is in season. Pistachios would add the perfect crunchy jolt of saltiness. And of course I kept the meringue itself as simple as possible, adding only the flavoring of vanilla. I decided to make little individual meringues, and not shackle myself to one giant cake that would most certainly fall apart before you could finish it. By keeping the meringues small and the toppings separate I could extend the shelf life and allow eaters to personalize their dessert. You could surely impress your friends by featuring them as the dessert for a summer dinner party. They look very fancy once all together.

Rhubarb Jam

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Rhubarb, cubed
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Water
  • Juice of One Lemon
  • A Pinch of Salt

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar, water, salt, and lemon.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Once bubbling, turn the heat to medim-low.
  4. Allow the rhubarb to cook over medium-low for approximately 45 minutes, or until the jam is thick and reduced in half.
  5. Allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container.
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https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/23/vanilla-clouds-meringues-with-rhubarb-jam-pistachios/

NOTE: This jam can store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Vanilla Meringues

Ingredients: Makes 8-12

  • 4 Large Egg Whites
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
  • 1/2 Cup of Pistachios, coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line two baking sheets with slipmats. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a large piping bag with the desired tip. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat egg whites on medium for one minute.
  5. Add in cream of tartar and continue to mix on medium for another minute.
  6. Mix together salt, sugar, and corn starch. Add into mixer, while on medium, one tablespoon at a time.
  7. Continue to beat until soft peaks have formed.
  8. Add in vanilla, and beat meringue on medium until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form.
  9. Gently transfer meringue into prepared piping bags. Pipe meringue, in your desired shape, onto prepared baking sheets. I piped cones, but most people pipe a nest to hold their topping.
  10. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until meringues are very lightly golden on the outside.
  11. Let cool in the oven for 4-6 hours before serving.
  12. To serve, top each meringue with a tablespoon of jam and a sprinkling of pistachios.

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Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Banana Bread Donuts + Chocolate & Peanut Butter

When I think of food and my father, a few very select items come to mind. Peanut butter and chocolate may be at the top of that list.

Growing up, and even now, my dad keeps a secret treat hidden in the pantry. He takes a jar of peanut butter and some chocolate chips and stirs the chips into the jar. When he wants a sweet treat he digs out a spoonful at a time to eat. My love for chocolate was definitely passed down from my dad.

When my father-in-law comes to mind, I immediately see donuts. Not only does he love sweets more than your average bear but because he lives close to a donut shop, he grabs a dozen anytime the hot sign is on. I know how easy it is to gobble down freshly glazed, warm donuts. They practically dissolve in your mouth.

So when I was contemplating a good bake for Father’s Day, it was easy to find inspiration.

These donuts take classic banana bread, remove the nuts, and are baked into donuts. For the glaze, a dark chocolate ganache and peanut butter drizzle paired perfectly with the banana. On top, I added crushed salted peanuts to cut through the decedent chocolate topping.

This recipe is extremely moldable. You can easily change it around to suit your father. Put chocolate inside the donuts, and the same goes for nuts of your choice. You can do just a peanut butter glaze, and so much more — the options are limitless.

Banana Bread Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 Stick of Butter, softened
  • 4 Extremely Ripe Bananas
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Butter and flour your donut cake pan. Set aside.
  • In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs and the remaining ingredients. Mixture should be fully mixed but still have a few lumps due to the banana.
  • Spoon into donut pan. Each donut should be about 2/3 full. This recipe makes 13 donuts total. Bake each pan full in batches for 15 minutes each.
  • Let donuts cool before dunki ng the tops of each donut into your ganache and drizzling with peanut butter. You can top the donuts with crushed peanuts as well.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups of Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan heat the heavy cream over medium.
  2. Once at a simmer, remove cream from heat and pour directly over chocolate.
  3. Let sit for several minutes, then stir vigorously until chocolate mixture is melted and smooth.

Peanut Butter Drizzle

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, stir together cream and peanut butter.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. When peanut-butter mixture is warm enough to drizzle it is ready.

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Everyone has that one recipe that people instantly recognize as theirs. The one that you are stuck always bringing to family gatherings. The one that is asked about all the time. The one recipe that you refuse to give away.

For me, that dish has kind of become cheesecake. I do not know if I should blame my husband (it is his all-time favorite dessert) or his family. Almost every holiday or gathering I find myself returning to baking a cheesecake.

There is one great thing about cheesecake being your signature dish…it is literally a blank canvas for any flavor. You can go tart with lemon, classic with strawberry, a bit more crazy with candy bars, I mean the options are endless. Once, I even saw a recipe for a crawfish cheesecake.

This recipe is not that crazy, just a subtle yet unique twist to the classic cheesecake. I also portioned down the size, my husband has been having a  lot of trouble lately finishing all of the deserts I have been making. The baking time is cut in half as well, another nice addition.

The recipe makes one small tart sized cheesecake, and on the bottom is a layer of brown sugar. When you bake the cheesecake, part of the brown sugar gets gooey and some of it stays crisp. Gives the cake a decadent layer with a bit of texture.

You can have your classic cheesecake with that little extra something that makes people ask “what is that?”.

I want to give you a few cheesecake basics/reminders:

Cook your cake in a water bath to avoid cracking.

To avoid water seeping into your crust (from the water bath) line the outside of the pan with a bit of tinfoil.

Let the cake cool in the oven with the door open…to avoid cracking.

The cheesecake is done when the middle is still slightly jiggly; and I mean slightly.

Brown Sugar Bottom Cheesecake

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • Crust Ingredients:
  • 5 Ounces of Short Bread Cookies
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Block or 1/2 Pound of Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons of Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 Tablespoon of Corn Starch
  • 6 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, crush short bread cookies until they are fine crumbs.
  3. Pour crumbs into tart pan, then pour in butter. Mix together and firmly press the crust into the tart pan. Set aside on a baking sheet.
  4. In your stand mixer cream together cream cheese and sugar.
  5. Mix in egg and remaining ingredients (except brown sugar), blending for about 5 minutes or until mixture is completely smooth.
  6. In the bottom of your tart pan, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the bottom of the crust.
  7. Pour cheesecake mix into prepared tart pan, over the brown sugar bottom.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until firm in the center with a slight jiggle.
  9. Let cool in the oven with the door open.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/15/brown-sugar-bottom-cheesecake/

Avocado + Lime Pops

Avocado + Lime Pops

Officially it may not be summer yet, but boy does it feel like it in Savannah. The sad part is, we have many more months of sticky thick heat, and lets not forget the clouds of gnats.

The best way to stay cool is sit inside your air conditioned home or find some water to get into (I am talking beach or pool). And if you do not own a pool, you almost have to find a friend who does.

During the summer my husband and I love to spend time at the beach on Tybee Island with his family at the beach house. As for Sundays, with a workweek looming, we prefer to hit up our club pool because it is easy and close. They have a huge case of ice cream and popsicles next to the cabana (which is really just the bar) that draws me in at the end of every visit.

Sometimes it is nice to just forget you are a full grown adult, and get a cold treat after a long day swimming with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I cant forget about being an adult for too long, those ice cream treats stick in the wrong places as my age increases. That is where avocado popsicles come in.

Avocado in a popsicle? I know right—it sounds super weird.

Honestly it probably is. But I am not one to shy away from the strange, especially when it involves a trying a new treat. I had a similar thought when I read that some people use avocado as a popsicle base to make the dessert healthy but keep it creamy. Luckily, this recipe came out delicious, so we can now be certain that avocado works as a frozen treat.

IMG_6860

Avocado + Lime Pops

Yield: 3-6

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 Cup of Fresh Lime Juice, about 5 limes
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Fresh Pineapple
  • 1 Tablespoon of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Instructions

  1. In a food processor combine lime, avocado, 1/2 cup of pineapple, and sugar. Blend until smooth.
  2. Chop your cilantro and remaining pineapple, stir into mix.
  3. Pour into your popsicle containers, and freeze for several hours before eating.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
https://epicuropedia.com/2018/06/13/avocado-lime-pops/

*Makes 6 small pops or 3 large pops

Churro S’more Brownies

Churro S’more Brownies

As a death row inmate, my last meal would most certainly include my mom’s meatloaf sandwich, loaded fries, and those cheap gooey brownies you make from a box mix.

I know kind of morbid, but we have all contemplated it or discussed our last meal with our friends.

I am not afraid to admit (even though I can be a food snob at times) that I absolutely love those cheap and easy box mix brownies. You are lying to yourself if you do not agree. The reason is simple: they come out perfectly soft and chocolaty every single time.

So why not take oozy, fudgy brownies up a notch? This recipe came about rather seamlessly; in fact I had been thinking about creating the dessert for sometime. I purchased some churro marshmallows to snack on, and quite honestly they tasted horrible on their own. As to not waste them (or my money) I decided to repurpose them.

You can buy them here. You can also make your own by coating plain marshmallows in butter and a cinnamon sugar mixture.

This recipe is a take on those classic fudgy brownies, but with a graham crust, Mexican chocolate, and charred churro marshmallows on the top.

Mexican Chocolate & Churro Marshmallow S’more Brownies 

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Graham Flour
  • 1/4 Cup of AP Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons of Butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons of Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Prepare a 9 inch square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In your stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
  4. While that mixes, combine your dry ingredients into a small bowl. Mix together.
  5. Slowly mix in your dry mix, alternating with the remaining wet ingredients. Mix until all of the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Press down mixture into your prepared baking dish to create one even layer of crust.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and set aside.

Brownie Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of Churro Marshmallows, cut in half length wise
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 2.7 Ounces of Mexican Chocolate, Grated
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of AP Flour

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and Mexican chocolate. Mix to combine.
  2. Slowly add in each egg, mixing until fully combined.
  3. Last mix in your vegetable oil.
  4. Pour over graham crust. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Once baked, remove from oven and place marshmallows on the top of the brownies in a single layer, cinnamon side down. You want the cut side to be facing up. The residual heat from baking will cause the marshmallows to stick.
  6. Once the brownies have cooled and before serving, torch the marshmallow top with a baking torch. If you do not have one you can use your oven on broil.
  7. Slice and serve.