Thursday, October 18, 2012

Just when I was missing home...

my favorite :)

the BOOtiful cake 
(aka my famous chocolate cake with meringue ghosts)

someone likes it ;)

one of the best cooks in Sandbridge

What a great weekend home with great food, friends, & family.



Saturday, October 6, 2012


                                                           STEP ONE
The Batter

                                                      ALL BAKED!!!

In celebration for my roommates 20th birthday I made an Oreo Chocolate cake! she has yet to get a chance to eat it but I am sure she will soon.. All the time and love that went into this cake was meant for someone special!  Literally a 5 hour+ cake! All done by hand and all homemade! Please try! So so so worth it!  

It combines a bunch of different recipes that I have tweaked (as always) to make it my own!

Martha Stewart's Devil's Food Cake:


  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee 
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in center of oven. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment. Dust bottoms and sides of pans with cocoa powder; tap out any excess. Sift cocoa into a medium bowl, and whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides twice.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of each layer comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans for even baking. Transfer layers to wire racks; let cool, 15 minutes. Turn out cakes, and return to racks, tops up, until completely cool.
  5. Remove parchment from bottoms of cakes. Reserve the prettiest layer for the top. Place one cake layer on a serving platter; spread 1 1/2 cups chocolate frosting over the top. Add the second cake layer, and spread with another 1 1/2 cups frosting. Top with third cake layer. Cover outside of cake with the remaining 3 cups frosting. Serve.
Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature (4 sticks)*
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
6 Tbsp heavy cream 
2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear if desired)

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, using the paddle or whisk attachment whip butter on medium high speed until nearly white and very fluffy, about 7 - 8 minutes, frequently scrapping down the sides of the bowl. Add in powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until blended, then increase speed to medium and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 - 6 minutes, frequently scraping down the sides of the bowl. Immediately spread over cooled cake or cupcakes. 

Note: if you want an alternate flavor of frosting, coconut or almond extract would be a great substitute for the vanilla extract, just add it to taste.

                                          FATTY WANTS SOME CAKE
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c butter
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate
For the ganache:
  • Heat cream and butter in a saucepan until melted and remove before it starts to boil.
  • Place chocolate morsels in a small bowl and pour cream on top. Let sit for a few seconds and whisk by hand until completely incorporated and smooth.
  • Let cool until thick and pourable.
  • The ganache can take a bit to thicken. You can make it before the buttercream, to save time. Just use a wire whisk to stir it every few minutes and keep it smooth

The birthday girl...
Love for the baker :)

This cake turned out amazing! I highly recommend it! Happy Birthday to my roomie :D

xoxo Rachel

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Busy Bee Me

So so soooo sorry I have not posted in FOREVER!! But good news, I will be creating something absolutely divine tomorrow for a very good friend of mine so be ready!

Tonight I did make a delicious baked dish with eggplant, spinach and a white wine sauce.  It turned out great so I'v included the recipe!

375 degree oven for 30 mins

1 eggplant (cut in round and skinned)
1 cup of Panko Italian style breadcrumbs
1 cup of parmesan
1 egg
1/4 c milk
2 cups of spinach
1/2 cup of choped onion
1/4 a stick of butter
1 T of olive oil
2 gloves of garlic (minced)
1/2c (or more) milk
3 T or more of Flour
1/2 c white wine
1 t red pepper
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of parmesan

first skin and cut the eggplant into rounds
dip in egg and milk mixture that is beaten and coat with breadcrumbs
set aside

cook sauce starting with butter and olive oil in pan. melt.
add onions and cook until translucent.
add flour and milk alternately (sort of like making a white sauce)
once this has thickened to desired consistency add white wine slowly and stir constantly.
add red pepper, salt, pepper, and parmesan until hot and all melted/blended

Next in a glass pan coated with butter or nonstick spray line the bottm with a layer of fresh spinach, then a small amount of sauce, then eggplant, spinach, sauce egglpant, spinach and top with rest of sauce.  Top with 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, some parmesan and 1 T of butter (in small pieces)

Bake for about 30 minutes until brown and the cheese is melted.

Bon Appetit !

xoxo Rachel

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo

Feliz Cinco de Mayo todo el mundo!!!!!

I cannot wait to celebrate Cinco de Mayo tomorrow.  I have studied Spanish for 8 years of my life and away at college not taking any more Spanish.  So tomorrow, my mexican side will be unleashed! :)

recipes I use tomorrow are to come, seeing as I have not made them yet.  I am thinking fajitas, tacos, drinks of some sort, and gaucomole (secret family recipe I cannot share! )

more to come tomorrow!! Stay tuned!

xoxo Rachel

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pictures of my creations! (as promised)

Thought I would include some photos from my latest recipes & creations!
The cookie that turned into a brownie.
Of course I added more chocolate to that skillet cookie recipe.  Therefore turning it into more of a rich moist brownie than a cookie.  

Picture of the carbonara recipe.  I stuck to the recipe for this one.  Not something to mess with.  IT was PERFECT :D

                       Some of the Rugby guys [ one on the right is mine  :) ]
                                     with Benny Marzano's 32-inch pizza

                            My love with a breakfast bunny :) Happy Easter!

Let me know if you are interested in any recipes! 

xoxo Rachel

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Weekend cooking session!

 Easter Weekend festivities!
1 VT rugby team pizza dinner with Benny Marzano's 
   pizza and a special surprise :)

2 Church (of course! it is EASTER )

3 Carbonara recipe to experiment with from my sort  
   0f/ almost grandma/ adopted parents (Rose & Joe)

4 A visit from the Easter bunny.. can you say 
   chocolates, BIG SKILLET COOKIE or my famous   



Serves 1 person

2 Tbls. Olive oil
½ cup ground or finely diced prosciutto
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. minced garlic
¼ cup chopped pitted black olives or sundried tomatoes
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup broth
Chopped parsley
Pepper to taste
1 whole egg
6 Tbls. Grated parmesan
¼-1/3 lb. cooked pasta

Saute prosciutto in oil.  Add mushrooms, garlic, olives and sauté until mushrooms are half done.  Now, add wine and broth.  Reduce liquids and sprinkle in parsley.  Pepper to taste.  Do not add salt because prosciutto gives enough salt-taste.  When liquid has reduced and it is very hot, break in egg and quickly stir until egg is cooked.  Add parmesan cheese, toss with pasta al dente and serve immediately.

I think ½ lb pasta is good for two people and then double the other ingredients.  It is a little better if you add a little cream, but it is good either way and healthier without the cream, of course.

My love of may be the cause of my desire to eat and MAKE. MORE. DESSERTS!

Like this...
One Pan Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie (adapted from
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I recommend at least 60% cacao)
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a cast iron skillet, melt the stick of butter under medium heat. Add the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and mix until melted and well incorporated.
  3. Remove from heat until the mixture is just warm and not hot (about 5 minutes). Once cooled down a bit, add the egg and whisk until everything is well blended. Then add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir slowly and carefully! Then mix in the chocolate chips.
  4. Bake it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges and top are starting to turn golden brown. I would start checking on the cookie after about 15 minutes of baking but for my cookie it took closer to 25 minutes to bake all the way through.
  5. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

I am MORE than excited! Easter weekend with my lovely boyfriend, rugby, cooking AND baking?! Nothing, NOTHING could be better! 

xoxo Rachel

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NOT ENOUGH BLOGGING & too much homework

So sorry for my readers to say that I am booked with work and have not been able to blog.  I miss my cooking and am currently at a stand still.

I did however make a really good pizza last weekend, different from anything I have ever made before.  It consisted of a white sauce that I played around with ( as my boyfriend calls me the "sauce queen") I added white wine, milk, cream cheese, dustings of flour, garlic, salt, pepper and PERFECTION was created.  It was creamy and a tad sweet with the white wine.

Not only was the sauce delicious but put it on a freshly baked pizza crust coated with parmesan and spices, and THEN top it with artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and olives... SIMPLE PERFECTION ! I cannot explain anymore, as I am getting hungry just thinking about it.

I'll give you my rough recipe :)


4 tablespoons of butter
1 ½ cups of 2% or whole milk
4 tablespoons of Flour or more ( just to get it thickened)
½ cup parmesan
3 cloves of garlic
¼-1/2 white wine
¼ t red pepper
salt & pepper to taste

sundried tomatoes
artichokes hearts (quartered)
gouda cheese

i hope you try it & enjoy it as much as I did!!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lover's Day

So excited for this day.  After years of cooking with my mom, getting Valentine's day gifts from my parents AND my boyfriend, I love giving as well as receiving. So this Valentine's Day I am at Virginia Tech away from family and doing something extra special for my significant other :)

can you say an cookie heart cake with little brownies hearts and PERSONALIZED m&ms. As well as pink pasta for dinner on the weekend :) ill make this holiday last longer than it should :) as I do with every holiday.

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pasta & brownies: WHAT on earth could be better???

That is right nothing better than the combination of pasta for dinner and brownies for dessert.

The pasta: Stuffed shells with mushrooms ,onion ,sausage,spinach, ricotta, a little bit of cream cheese, parmesan, a hint of red pepper, and tomato sauce to finish.  Bake it for about 25 minutes and you have an Italian lover's dream dinner.  They were so good i swear my boyfriend ate 10 of them, and as leftovers even better!

The brownies: my famous recipe as listed in a previous blog BUT this time caramel delight ice cream to top the warm gooeyness.  HEAVEN on EARTH!

So to say the least I satisfied my cravings for one weekend.


Monday, January 16, 2012

missing my cooking

I miss my cooking already..

last night i was lucky enough to have dinner made for me by my boyfriend :)  It included a small spinach salad and italian sausage cooked with onions and peppers.. So simple but so amazingly good.



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back home

I am glad to be home again and getting a chance to cook.  Tonight I am making a roast chicken with a honey and orange glaze.  It is something new I have never tried before and am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.  Also I am trying a new recipe I have discovered on called "hassel back potatoes" but I am (of course) putting my own spin on things.

I can put the recipe up if anyone is interested :) keep reading and COOKING

all my love