Friday, August 22, 2014

Teddy Bear Toast


Teddy Bear Toast

Saw a couple pictures floating around Pinterest and other social media outlets of a cute teddy bear toast art and decided to do my own. It's easy and quick to make, and it adds an adorable addition to your breakfast!


Total time: 5 minutes, 2 slices of 'teddy bear' bread


Ingredients:
  • Slice of toast
  • Sliced bananas
  • Milk and white chocolate chips
  • Cookie butter spread


Directions:
  1. Spread cookie butter over the toast. Make sure the spread fills the entire bread.
  2. Cut slices of bananas and put three on the slice of bread, with two as the ears and one as the nose.
  3. Use chocolate chips for the eyes and nose.

Done!


So easy, right? 

I was actually going to use creamy peanut butter but I ran out just a few days ago so I used cookie butter spread instead. It's a darker brown, but it's still a shade of brown and it works! For the chocolate chips, you can substitute raisins. They're still a relatively black color so it won't be very different. I substituted white chocolate chips for the eyes because milk chocolate chips are hard to see against the dark cookie butter.

Definitely give this a try and make it for breakfast! Guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Roses and Bows <3




A bouquet of beautiful pink roses with fuchsia tips wrapped in a lovely layered ribbon bow. <3

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Current Obsession: Kara's Cupcakes


A box of 4 cupcakes: Java, IMHRO's organic blackberry cheesecake, blackberry, and peanut butter chocolate ganache



Up Close: Java and blackberry cupcakes!


With a Meal: Gyoza, red pepper crab bisque, and a box of Kara's Cupcakes (red velvet on the left and smores on the right). <3


Lately I've been obsessing over Kara's Cupcakes! It's a cupcake shop in the Bay Area, known for their pink stores and packaging as well as their conspicuous brown pink striped vehicle (AKA Kara's Cupcakes Karavan). They have 2 locations in San Francisco and one in Burlingame and Palo Alto. In my opinion, Kara's offers one of the best cupcakes in California! Every time I go there, I'm rarely disappointed. The key to the freshest and richest cupcakes at Kara's, and at any cupcake shop, is to go to the store directly and eat it right then and there. That's when it tastes the best. If you deliver them or have them sit out on the table or in the fridge, the flavors will diminish and it will become stale. Cupcakes are delicate, and the longer you let them stay out, the more disappointed you will be.

Kara's make their cupcakes by hand every day using local and organic ingredients. Their promise is that they maintain freshness every day, delivering fresh cupcakes every minute or hour. Each regular sized cupcake is $3.25 and the mini's are $2.00 each. Flavors switch up regularly, so a flavor you see today may not be there tomorrow. Some of them have fillings in them and some of them come gluten-free! They also occasionally work in partnership with non-profit organizations to help fund-raise for a good cause. The organic blackberry cheesecake cupcake pictured in the first photo benefits the IMHRO, the International Mental Health Research Organization. Prices are higher for these though (from $3.25 to $3.75).

My favorite part of the cupcake is the cream. It's very thick (.5-1 inch thick!) and rich. I believe the cream is one of the most important aspects of a cupcake, and can break or make it. The cake itself should be moist too however. 

Here's a quick review of some of the flavors from my Yelp review:

"Carrot: Small carrot shreds in the cake.
Banana: Minor banana taste. Nothing strong.
Red Velvet: Very sweet, but I liked the cream frosting!
Smores: Unique! The cream part is made of toasted marshmallows. The cake tastes like a brownie and the bottom is made of graham crackers! Definitely a must try. 
Blackberry cheesecake (w/filling): Cheesecake cream is so yummy!
Java: The cream has a very heavy coffee taste.
Peanut butter chocolate ganache: The cream is so rich that I couldn't eat the rest of it.
Blackberry: Love this one! Super moist all around.

How to Store - If you're eating it the day of, you don't need to refrigerate them. But for the days after, you should refrigerate them because of the cream. After you remove them from the fridge, let it sit for at least 30 minutes so it can soften up. I recommend eating these the day of since refrigerated cupcakes are tougher to eat."


If you get the chance, definitely go out and try Kara's Cupcakes! :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Avocado, Banana, Fried Egg, Buttered Toast, and Rainier Cherries



Healthy snack before dinner!


Ingredients:
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 slice of whole wheat grain toast with butter on both sides
  • 1 large egg
  • A handful of sweet pink and yellow rainier cherries

Directions:
  1. Apply butter on both sides of the toast.
  2. Heat up the pan and place the toast on it. Flip regularly.
  3. Remove toast.
  4. Place an egg in the pan and flip occasionally.
  5. Remove the egg from the pan and place on top of the toast.
  6. Cut avocados and bananas and place it on the plate.
  7. Add several pink and yellow rainier cherries.

Done!


I love pink and yellow cherries! Much lighter, juicier, and sweeter than black and regular cherries. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Chocolate Covered Strawberries



Chocolate Covered Strawberries


My second time making chocolate covered strawberries! The first time I used only strawberries and chocolate chips. I grabbed a bag of white chocolate chips and heated them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. The result: burnt (literally some parts were black) and hardened chocolate. So in my second attempt, I followed the recipe instructions step-by-step, and they turned out so much better! Ahh I'm so happy! They're actually really easy and simple to make!


Ingredients:
  • Strawberries (fresh, washed and dried)
  • Chocolate Chips (semi-sweet)
  • White Chocolate Chips
  • Shortening

Directions:
  1. Wash all of your strawberries and wipe clean with a paper towel. 
  2. Put water in your double boiler and heat it on medium.
  3. Once it is simmering, put chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon of shortening in a heat-safe bowl and put in the double boiler.
  4. Once half way (to 3/4th) melted, quickly remove from the stove and place it on a table.
  5. Dip the strawberries in the bowl of chocolate. 
  6. Place chocolate covered strawberries on a bowl with the chocolate side face up.
  7. Put the dipped strawberries in the freezer.
  8. Repeat step 3 and 4 for white chocolate chips.
  9. Take out the strawberries from the freezer.
  10. Make swirls with the white chocolate over the strawberries.
  11. Put in the freezer like step 6
  12. Transfer to the refrigerator after 20-30 minutes.
  13. Remove from refrigerator and enjoy!

Done!

Enjoy! The white chocolate swirls definitely adds an elegant and impressive look! :)