Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Melting Snow Cake

Merry Christmas! We hope that you are having a wonderful holiday season. No matter what holiday you celebrate, this is a cake that can be celeb rated and enjoyed by all, enjoy our Melting Snow Cake. This is a spiced pound cake with a marshmallow fluff layer on the outside. This cake doesn’t get its name for any reason….it is a small cake, but is messy cake to make, so beware. If you are not feeling the messy frosting, and want something more prim looking feel free to buy a can of frosting and mixing our marshmallow fluff in with it!

Ingredients: Serves about 4-6

Marshmallow Fluff:
3 egg whites room temperature
2 cups corn syrup
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 
 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan 
 1 cup sugar 
 4 large eggs 
 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
 1/2 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 teaspoon ground clove
1.5 teaspoon cinnamon

Start by making the marshmallow fluff and preheating the oven to 350 degrees.  Pour corn syrup into the egg whites, and beat on a high speed with an electric mixer until the mixture doubles, about 5-6 minutes.  Slowly add in your powdered sugar while mixing on low. Once completely mixed, add vanilla extract. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Butter your cake pans. We used two 8 inch round pans.  Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition then add vanilla and salt.

With mixer on low, gradually add flour, and all of your spices, beating just until combined.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Let cool completely before you start to put the cake together. If the top of the cake is too rounded you can simply take a knife to flatten the tops off. Start by putting a layer of fluff in between the two cakes, if you are afraid of your cake sliding, then secure with toothpicks. Place second cake on top. Cover in fluff. When we made it the fluff poured all down the side because it is so heavy, so we placed in the freezer immediately for about 5 minutes.

Don’t leave in freezer for longer than 15 minutes, because it will be difficult to eat! Before serving dust with powdered sugar!


Merry Christmas!



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Potato Pancakes with Awesome Sides!!!!

Happy Hanukkah!!  Whatever holiday you celebrate, there is not a single person who can say they don’t like latkes! I mean come on, a delicious potato pancake served with awesome sides. While making them for this recipe we probably ate 10 of them, but made sure we had enough left to photograph. I am eating one as I type this, cold…because they are awesome hot or cold.

These are some straight forward delish potato latkes with some very amazing garnishes…cinnamon/pear/apricot jam, ponzu sour cream, and some jalapeno bacon jam! Though the bacon jam isn’t kosher….it’s wonderful!

This recipe makes about a dozen! Maybe more but you will have a dozen after you eat the ones right out the pan.


Potato Pancakes:
1 bottle vegetable oil
7 Russet potatoes
1 large shallot
2 eggs
¾ cup wheat flour
Kosher Salt

Jalapeno Bacon Jam:
1 pack bacon
4 jalapenos
½ cup brown sugar
½ lemon

Cinnamon Pear Jam:
4 small apricots
2 large bosc pears
½ cup sugar
½ lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Ponzu Sour Cream:
½ cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons Ponzu
2 teaspoons Siracha


Start by making garnishes so that you have them ready.

Jalapeno Bacon Jam:

Remove seeds from jalapenos and chop. Dice bacon as well. In a large skillet on a medium high heat, render bacon and jalapeno stirring every few minutes. Cook for about 15 minutes or until browned a bit.

Place in a food processor and blend slightly. Add back into the pan. Lower heat until medium and add a ¼ cup of water, cook until water has evaporated. Add another ¼ cup of water, the sugar, and squeeze the half lemon. Stir, and let cook for about  6 minutes.

Remove from heat, and let sit.

Cinnamon Pear Jam:

Chop up apricots and pears and place in small sauce pan on medium high heat. Using a masher, mash up fruit until mostly liquid with small pieces. Bring fruit to a boil.

Once boiling, squeeze the lemon half, and stir in sugar. Let that come to a boil for 2 minutes, and then lower heat to a simmer.

Let simmer and cook down, stirring every few minutes, for about 25 minutes.

Set aside and let cool.

Ponzu Sour Cream:

This one is very simple… simply mix all the ingredients together!

Potato Pancakes:

To make the pancakes peel all of the potatoes. You are going to be preparing the potatoes into three different ways, so basically into thirds. Cube two of the potatoes, and place in a pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. Let boil for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, grate the remainder of the potatoes, with the large side of a grater. Press with a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.

Now, chop up the shallot, and take half of the grated potatoes and place into a food processor with the shallot and pulse. Place back into the large bowl with the grated potatoes.

Once the boiling potatoes are tender, drain and mash up. Place those into the large bowl with the rest of the potatoes.

Using a large spoon mix all the potato mix together, with a large pinch of salt, two eggs, and the wheat flour. Now your mix is ready.

In a large skillet on medium heat, heat up about a ¼ inch of oil. When the oil is ready, plop in a spoonful of potato mix and push down. Place about 3 pancakes in. Cook for about 7 minutes, flipping halfway through. Place on a paper towel to drain excess oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Voila! Now serve with garnishes and enjoy!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Pasta!

Christmas is right around the corner, the temperatures are dropping a bit, life is getting bit more hectic. We have a created a simple yet delicious kale, mushroom, and sausage pasta with a noisette sauce. This is a dish you can throw together at the last minute and satisfy a family!

*We used Casarecce pasta, it holds flavor nicely, but go ahead and used whatever kind you want!

Ingredients: serves 4

1 box casarecce pasta
2 heads kale
2 cups oyster mushrooms
4 Italian sausages
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons ponzu
1 Tablespoon oil
A few inches of Salt

Start by cleaning and slicing both kale and your mushrooms separately. In a large sauté pan heat up your oil on medium high heat, and put all of your kale in. Using tongs, turn the kale so it evenly cooks for the first few minutes. Add the ponzu and let the kale cook down, turning every 5 minutes for about 25 minutes.  Once the 25 minutes are up, add the mushrooms. Let cook an additional 10 minutes, turning every few minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.

Depending on what kind of sausage you purchase, some are cooked first, others are raw; if cooked slice and brown. If not, poke small holes, cook all the way through, and then slice. Set aside.

Fill a pot with water and a pinch of salt. Once water has boiled add pasta and cook until just al dente about 9 minutes.

Cube your butter, and melt it in the same sauté pan as you cooked your kale on a medium heat. Cook until the butter becomes a light golden color, add a pinch of salt. When butter becomes the color, it becomes almost nutty and very delicious.

Once pasta is cooked, drain, and place into butter, and make sure all the pasta gets coated in butter. Next add kale, mushrooms, and sausage, and toss together! Sprinkle with extra salt to your taste!


Winter 2014-2015

Winter is a wonderful time of year! We get to think about others, eat too much food, make resolutions, celebrate stuff. So enjoy your winter time!


Michael and Francesca

Monday, November 24, 2014

Curry Scotch Egg!

  At the current moment we are up in Sequoia National Forest where my (Francesca’s) parents currently live. It is about 40-50 degrees, which for people who live in California can be quite crisp. This Thanksgiving we are spending it up here for a change of scenery, weather, and pace. To go along with this more laid back and chillier holiday we are making a real traditional English dish called a Scotch Egg, which is essentially a boiled egg wrapped in sausage! It is a perfect breakfast dish, or served here as a lunch item, but is also great to have as a snack, even a snack on the go…basically great whenever.
Ingredients: makes 4

6 eggs
5 bratwurst sausages
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup flour
Teaspoon yellow curry
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
Frisee lettuce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ a lemon

To start out this endeavor soft boil 4 eggs, by placing 4 eggs in cold water on the stove and heat water to a boil. Once the water boils, boil for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and place in cold water bath.

Now that we have our eggs, we can set everything else up. We are going to set up three plates; one with flour, the next with two beaten eggs, and the third with the panko bread crumbs and cayenne mixed together. Next Remove sausage from casings and add a pinch of salt, then using your hands, mix everything together! To make things easy for myself I separated the sausage mix into 4 equal portions. Lastly remove eggs from shells.

Now that we have all of that, we are ready to assemble. Putting flour on your hands, take a sausage portion and pat out into a large oval, large enough that it will wrap around the egg but not so large that it will overwhelm it. Roll one of the eggs in flour, and wrap sausage around it. Next roll sausage in egg, and then in panko breadcrumbs. Set to the side and repeat for all four.

After you have made all four, turn oven on to 425, and pour oil into large sauté pan and heat on medium high heat. To check to see if oil is hot enough, you can drop a few drops of panko and if it sizzles it is ready. Place all four scotch eggs in the oil and cook for 6-7 minutes, rotating so that they cook evenly, cook until it is a deep golden brown. To finish off cooking place in oven and cook another 7 minutes.

To serve, place on frieze lettuce tossed with lemon and oil, and voila! Cut in half, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rosemary Biscuit with Acorn Squash Butter

As Halloween swiftly approaches us, and we are getting deeper into fall we are embracing fall flavors. My mother around this time of year likes to make compound butters, so we are creating a delicious acorn squash compound butter, to be accompanied by light and fluffy rosemary biscuits. Both of these are so incredibly easy to make and in a short amount of time, and will forever be party favorites. 

You can also make the butter ahead of time, and keep in the freezer for a rainy day.


*Make butter ahead, you will have a lot of it. You will also need tinfoil or cling wrap.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small-medium acorn squash
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 ¾ cups flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter + some for baking sheet
1 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup milk
3 large sprigs fresh rosemary

Start by making your compound butter. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut your acorn squash in half so it is almost through the stem. Scoop out all of the seeds, rub olive oil on both halves and put on a baking sheet cut side down. Bake for 25 minutes, or until soft. Once the acorn squash is baked, let cool.

While squash is cooling, let your butter soften at room temperature. Put half of the acorn squash and salt into the butter and mash together.

Cut two 9 inch square of cling wrap or tinfoil, and pour half of the butter onto each. Start to roll the cling wrap or tinfoil, twisting it at the corners, so that you are starting to make something that looks like a sausage. Place both in the freezer.

Now for the glorious biscuits! In a large bowl measure out your flour, baking powder, and salt.

After removing all the leaves from the rosemary twigs, finely chop. Add to dry mix.

Next cube the 6 Tablespoons of butter and add to the dry mix. Using two forks or two knives, break up the butter into the dry mix until creating a mealy like texture. Add milk a little at a time while mixing with a fork.

Butter baking sheet, and spoon out about 9-12 biscuits. We also used our hands to pat little balls, but it gets pretty messy!

Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pop those babies out of the oven and smother in some acorn butter! Yum!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies

October is our favorite month, not just because it is my (Francesca’s) birthday month, but it is when the holiday season starts, when food starts to become more comforting, and when you can start wearing more than just shorts.

In honor of everyone’s obsession with pumpkin spice everything, we have made a simple twist on a homemade classic in the form of pumpkin spic oatmeal cookies. Enjoy!

Ingredients: makes about 2-3 dozen

½ cup butter (softened)
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar plus 5 Tablespoons
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground clove
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup pumpkin purée
3 cups rolled oats
2 Tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl beat together ½ cup butter and sugar until nice and creamy. Add in your eggs one at a time, with vanilla, and then beat well.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Mix together well.

In small batches, pour the dry mix into the sugar and butter mix.

One cup at a time, mix in rolled oats using a flat spatula of a large spoon.

On an ungreased and unlined baking sheet, form cookies. Make them by using a heaping tablespoon.

Bake for 15 minutes, turning half way through to achieve an even bake.

Now to make the chocolate drizzle: while the cookies are cooling, heat remaining 5 Tablespoons of sugar on medium low heat until completely melted, once melted add chocolate and completely mix together. You are going to want to make this pretty quickly because sugar can burn very quickly, and it gets very bitter. Trust us we have burnt sugar more times than we like to admit.

Now immediately drizzle the chocolate over the cookies and enjoy!!!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Late Night Ramen!

Happy Fall !!!! We have created a wonderful and easy weeknight recipe that any busy student/mom/dad/babysitter/tired person can make. Remember that good ‘old instant ramen that we all loved because it is so easy and fast to make. Well we have appropriated that with a home made broth and fresh ingredients to make a superb vegetarian weeknight ramen.

The reason we are using instant ramen is because Momofuku Ando invented cup of noodle in 1971 by creating a noodle which has already been cooked and can just be re-cooked! The noodles are so fabulously starchy and absorb so much flavor!!  


Ingredients:  serves 2-4
2 packs instant ramen (doesn’t matter which flavor!)
2 eggs
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
½ cup bean sprouts
4 cloves garlic
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 dehydrated shitake mushrooms
1 cup button mushrooms
¼ cup enoki mushrooms
1 bunch green onions
1 serrano pepper
1 oz can chestnuts (only need ½ of the can)
1 oz canned bamboo shoots

This wonderful dish is mostly just creating your prep work, letting a broth cook for about 30 minutes, and soft boiling two eggs.  

Start by rehydrating your shitake mushrooms in a small bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes.

Next create your mise en place by mincing your garlic, and by slicing your button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, Serrano pepper, chestnuts, and on a bias slicing your green onion only up until the green turns white. Set aside half of the onions, and half of the Serrano pepper.

Start making your broth by combining your vegetable broth, water, and soy sauce and bring to a hard boil. Once you boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and add half the onions, half the Serrano pepper, half the bean sprouts, all the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, garlic, and water chestnuts. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

At about 20 minutes in, boil water in a small pot. Once the water starts to boil, add to eggs. Put heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and let cook for 6 minutes.

This is about the time when you can add the noodles to the broth. It doesn’t matter which instant ramen you get, because we won’t be using the flavor packet that comes with it. Add the noodles in and let absorb the broth.

Once the timer for the eggs goes off, take eggs from water, and run under cool water.

While the eggs are cooling, we may now plate our noodles. In two (or four) bowls, place noodles and broth in bowl. Top with raw bean sprouts, green onions, and Serrano pepper. Lightly crack the egg shell, peel it off, and slice in half. Put your gorgeous egg on your ramen, serve with chopsticks and enjoy!

Fall 2014

Dear Fall,

            Please show yourself! It is far too hot in Los Angeles right now. We will buy fake leaves and throw them on the floor if we need to (I may have in the apartment already)!

       Aside from that, we look forward to all the delicious wonders you will present us!



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stone Fruit Summer Roast

Summer is about to end, though here in Los Angeles it feels as if it never will. If I could get some rain we will be happy campers, so will LA! The end of summer brings some amazing stone fruits, especially at this time when it is so warm, they get so juicy and delicious. There is no better way to honor the summer than creating a simple roasted fruit dessert.

We roasted some wonderful pluots, peaches, and nectarines, topped it with some sweet goodness and sprinkled some fresh mint! If you don’t want to use these specific fruits, you can use whatever large stone fruit you like. Delish!!!

Ingredients: Serves 3-4

2 peaches
2 pluots
2 nectarines
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
5 -7 mint leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and cut fruit in half, removing the center stone. Place fruit cut side down. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, flipping fruit oven half way through.

While in the oven, make simple syrup, boil water and sugar for 5 -7 minutes. You want the syrup to start to become sticky and a bit gel like, not super gooey though.

Next make whip cream by combining heavy cream and almond extract and whipping with an electric mixer until it starts to form peaks.

Lastly chiffonade mint by rinsing the leaves, then roll up and slicing in small strips.

To create the beauty that is this dish, loosely arrange fruit cut side up, pour some simple syrup over but not too much! Plop some dollops of whip cream on, and then sprinkle the mint.  This is a guaranteed dish to wow anyone, and is so simple to make.

Cheers to the end of summer!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Peach Granita Dessert!

For the end of summer, we need to grasp onto the last rays of sunshine, the last warmth, and never let it go! This dessert is very simple. It is within this simplicity that lay something so delicious, and grabs onto the true taste of summer. Enjoy the peach granite dessert we have put together for you!

Preparation takes a few hours.

Ingredients: serves 4-6
6 peaches
¾ cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 kiwis
1 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
Sweetened condensed milk


Start by preparing the peaches, and by setting aside a baking tray.

Peel the peaches, cut up into pieces, while removing the center pit. Remove any extra hard pieces that may be left over. Puree the peaches in batches of thirds, so 2 peaches, roughly a third of the ¾ cup water, a bit of sugar etc., until everything has been liquefied together and poured onto the baking tray.

Place tray in the freezer so that it lays flush. Let freeze for a few hours.

Once frozen, prepare dessert by using two forks to scrape the frozen peach purree apart so it is like shaved ice. Peel and chop up the four kiwis. Place some of the granita into a bowl, and top with kiwi bits, and then shave some chocolate on top. The finale is drizzling some condensed milk over the top!