Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Avocado Adventure........

While looking through a magazine my mom and I saw something that made us both look at each other in agreement. We HAVE to make this for Jimi. If your wondering, Jimi is one of my very good friends, and also an Avocado-a-holic. The picture depicted a cheesecake green in color, and made with, now don't be too surprised, avocados. We went to the grocery store hoping to get some good avocados and thankfully when we cracked them open there they were, green and perfect.

Avocado Cheesecake with Walnut Crust


  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 cup shelled walnuts, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin

  • 1 lemon

  • 1-1/2 cups skim milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 fully ripened Avocados from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and diced

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened and cut in pieces


Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare crust: In bowl or food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, sugar, anise seeds and salt. Add butter; pulse until ingredients are thoroughly combined (will resemble wet sand). Press into bottom of 8-inch spring form pan; bake 15 minutes; cool completely.

To prepare filling: In cup, combine gelatin with 2 tablespoons water; let stand for 5 minutes. Using potato peeler, remove strips of lemon zest (yellow portion only). In small saucepan, combine milk, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest; bring to boil. Add gelatin; simmer until gelatin has completely dissolved, about 1 minute; strain. In food processor, place avocados and cream cheese. Pour hot milk mixture into processor; whirl until very smooth. Pour into pre-baked crust; cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. Remove side of pan. Serve with raspberry sauce, if desired.

Best when served the day of preparation. Any leftover cake should be securely covered with clear plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Recipe from: www.theamazingavocado.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Walnut Bread

One of my favorite things to bake, and one of the most time consuming to complete, is yeast bread. It's bizarre but I love the kneading you have to do and all the insane steps you have to follow. So as the mood strikes me to make a loaf or two, I jump on it. I'd seen this recipe for Walnut Bread in a Cooking Light magazine I quickly browsed through, the braiding giving it an especially appealing touch. I collected my ingredients, making sure I had some time to let it rise, and began. A few hours later the smell of fresh bread filled our house, making every one's mouth water. I sliced off a piece, still warm putting a bit of jelly on top. After hours of waiting, just that single piece makes it all worth while.

Walnut Bread:

  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • cooking spray

1. Place oats in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until coarsely chopped. Combine chopped oats and 1 cup boiling water in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add buttermilk to oat mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in honey and oil. Add the oat mixture to yeast mixture; mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Weigh or lightly spoon 13.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups) and whole-wheat pastry flour in dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours with salt. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture. Mix dough at medium speed 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding remaining all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to sides of bowl. Add walnuts; mix at medium speed just until combined.

3. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

4. Preheat oven to 400°.

5. Punch dough down; divide in half. Divide each half into 3 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), shape each portion into a 14-inch rope. Place 3 ropes lengthwise on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (do not stretch). Pinch ends together at one end to seal. Braid ropes, and pinch loose ends together to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining dough to form another braid. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

6. Spritz top and sides of loaves lightly with water from a spray bottle. Bake on center rack of oven at 400° for 28 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Recipe from: www.myrecipes.com

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween fun

Halloween came so quickly this year I just can't even believe it's already November. So as a celebration of my favorite holiday I made some adorable cupcakes to enjoy on the rather spooky night. Along with the cupcakes I made pumpkin fudge, peanut butter covered pretzels, and a southwestern mac and cheese. All turned out well, (okay maybe not the pumpkin fudge, haha). As the night progressed, I had to get into my costume which was Pocahontas. I quickly enjoyed a cupcake before going out with a friend around the neighborhood to collect candy. The pile was mostly of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I always seem to grab those first. Sadly, no ghosts visited me this Halloween but there's always next year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thanks Martha.......

I forgot to tell you in the last post, but on that wonderful birthday of mine, my mother got me an array of gifts (most of them having to do with the Wizard of Oz), apart from one. Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, a book I had been eying up for a while and finally got. Days passed from my birthday, as I was constantly paging through this cook book for something to make. A Saturday morning came, and I hadn't baked anything in the past couple of days, so of course I had to do something. With over 175 cupcake recipes it was slightly overwhelming, all those choices. But I came to a decision (finally). It was the morning so I had chose to make Streusel Cupcakes, almost like a mini little coffee cake for only your indulgence. The recipe follows:
Martha's Streusel Cupcakes

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • Streusel topping (recipe follows)
  • Milk Glaze (recipe follows)
1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2-With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Stir in vanilla by hand. Add flour mixture and sour cream; stir until just combined.
3-Divide batter evenly among lined cups. Sprinkle half topping over the cupcakes, gently pressing it into the batter. Sprinkle evenly with remaining topping. Bake, rotating tins half way through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.
4- To finish, place cupcakes on a wire rack set over a baking sheet; drizzle evenly with milk glaze. Glazed cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature in airtight containers.

Streusel Topping
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
Whisk together flour, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt; cut in the butter using a pastry blender, your fingertips, or two table knives until combined but still crumbly. Refrigerate 30 minutes before use.

Milk Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
Whisk together ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

Makes 24 Cupcakes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yum..........It's all I can say.

I know this is a little late, and I do realize that I've been neglecting Forever Flavorful, but I have now made a promise to myself that I will update a lot more and this time I mean it. These past weeks have been slightly exciting, starting with October 1st, my birthday!! I can now say that I am officially a teenager, definitely a great accomplishment, haha. The day started with a trip to Starbucks, just before school to get a warm, delightful, pumpkin spice steamer. A mix of hot milk and that wonderful pumpkin flavoring with a bit of pumpkin spice sprinkled on top. Since this beginning of Fall I've been addicted to pumpkin, anything that I can get my hands on, so as you might have guessed, when I walked into Starbucks and in that little case I saw a pumpkin scone staring at me, I just couldn't resist. From then on I could tell this day was going to be a pure sugar fest. I got through the day of school, boring as ever, and when I arrived home I couldn't hold in my dying excitement to go pick up my cake. As most people know, I'm pretty much Vegan Treats Bakery in Bethlehem, biggest fan. I go there at least once a week to try another one of their pastries, one sugar rush after another. Conquering at least one of everything on their menu is pretty much my life goal, and believe me, I'm on my way. I stared at their menu all week before deciding upon something I'd never tried. It was called a Vanilla Strawberry Mousse Cake. My parents and I drove to Bethlehem, me in the back telling them to step on it of course. We got there and it was my birthday, so I had to get something as a snack. I couldn't choose anything small, of course, so I went for their one pound cinnamon bun. It's always been one of my favorites, one of the first things that I tried from there and believe me I ate every last bit. We got the box with the cake in it and made our way out, I couldn't help but stare at it the whole ride home. I had asked for a Mexican Fiesta for dinner and when I got home that's exactly what we had. After having a cinnamon bun and tacos in a short period of time, I have to admit, I kinda felt like I was going to throw up, but I didn't, thank God. My stomach was still recovering, but they brought out the cake and I wasn't going to miss having my own piece, no matter what my stomach thought. I ate that piece of cake right down, loving every minute of it. So moist and delicious, it reminded me of why I love that bakery so much. The day was coming to an end, always a sad thing on your birthday, but with all that food in my stomach I was burnt out. I went to bed, with having only one single thing to say, YUM!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Father's Day Quiche.

Last weekend it was Father's Day, as most of you probably know, and when I asked my Dad what culinary creation I could make him for breakfast his answer was quiche. As a lover of quiche I was glad of his choice and instantly started thinking of flavors to make. I ended up making two different kinds (with my mother's help), and of course it was tasty and definitely satisfying. One of the two recipes used was mainly my idea and consisted of baby spinach and sun dried tomatoes. It turned out to be my favorite of the two although both were extremely good. Even though I had to wake up earlier than normal to complete these, it was all worth it in the end.

Quiche with sun dried tomatoes and baby spinach:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion
  • 12 sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups Mozarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Store bought pastry shell

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a pan, saute onion with butter until softened. Take off heat and set aside. Thinly slice sun dried tomatoes and also set aside. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and heavy cream until combined, then add cheeses, tomatoes, onions, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into pastry shell and sprinkle extra cheese on top if desired. Bake for about 40 minutes and let cool.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A "Sick" Day.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up and it was just one of those days when going to school looked like about the worst experience ever. So I asked my mom if for one day, just one day, I could stay home and if you can't already guess, it was a yes.
My day was pretty uneventful, just mostly sitting on the couch or going on the computer, but suddenly, of course, I had the need to bake. While on the computer I was looking at different recipes that I could try, when I came across one that looked extra appealing. The name Cinnamon Roll Cookies jumped out at me, making me instantly hungry and completely ecstatic. I wrote down the recipe and prepared myself to make the cookies that would soon, but not soon enough, find their way into my stomach.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For filling, combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and put to the side.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, and salt for dough, set aside. Then cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated.

Roll dough into a 16 by 9 inch rectangle and sprinkle half of filling mixture over top. Begin on the long side and roll dough into a log, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar and let chill for at least 3 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment. Take out chilled dough and cut into 1/4 inch slices. then place on baking sheet to bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Let cool for at least 5 minutes and then move to a rack.

I then mixed up some of the regular cinnamon roll icing and drizzled the cookies with it to add that extra cinnamon roll taste.

I definitely recommend these cookies to anyone who loves cinnamon buns just like me! Try this recipe and I'm sure you'll love it.

The Beginning of a Delicious Adventure.

So recently I've been addicted to anything baking. From cakes to cookies to muffins to truffles and I discovered that all I want to do all the time is bake, non-stop. Because of this recent addiction and the extremely tasty results (I must say), my sister Amber had convinced me that I needed to start a food blog, something to record all of my "delicious adventures" you could say. So here I am today, posting my first entry of Forever Flavorful, and I can admit I'm pretty pumped. For number one, sharing all my recipes and creations, and two, tasting all the treats I'll soon be making. I definitely can't wait for Forever Flavorful to quickly fill with anything and everything delicious!