ramblings from my little kitchen

I’m back

This was absolutely divine. It was inspired by some amazing ice cream we had at a local shop.  The salty sweet ice cream was delicious even without the oreos, then the crunch of the cookies added an extra dimension. Perfection!

Salted Oreo Ice Cream


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 20 crushed oreo cookies


In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer on low speed to combine the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla and salt. Turn the machine on; pour the mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes, then add crushed oreos and mix 5 more minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture and a delicious crunch from the cookies.

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Apple Dumplings

The soda may seem a bit strange, but the lemony limey goodness really makes this tasty!  It couldn’t be easier.

this is just before going in the oven… the after picture is lost amidst the hoards of baby photos…

  • 2 whole green apples
  • 2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew
  • 1/4 tsp salt


core apples. Cut each apple into 8-10 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place into a buttered pan. if you have extra apple slices, stuff them between the crescent rolls.

Melt butter, then add sugar and stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

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Frosted Brownies

Also, I ran 3 miles and carted my kid around the entire zoo yesterday and he still won’t come out… I figure I should relish this time.  AND I had the stomach flu last weekend and lost 6#.  Cheers to eating too much!  Oh, AND Matt’s on call, again, so I’m lonely.


i can’t see my feet

frosting is good

cute kid

freshly baked brownies


The fatness continues….

These should be illegal. Seriously.  Who came up with frosting a brownie?  I have no idea.  But theses brownies are perfect naked, add amazing chocolate buttercream and something beyond fabulous is born.

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 milk chocolate bar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus extra)
1 tablespoon half and half
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup half and half
3 tablespoons Ovaltine chocolate malt powder


Preheat oven to 350.

Melt butter and chocolate together over a double boiler or in the microwave until smooth.  Add brown and while sugar and whisk until smooth.  Sprinkle in salt and vanilla extract.  Add the eggs one at a time whisking mixture until the egg is fully integrated into the batter. Last, add the flour.

butter an 8X8 pan.  pour half of the batter into the pan then layer the chocolate bar (broken into pieces) over top.  Cover the candy layer with the rest of the brownie batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until brownie is set but gooey.  Allow brownies to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make some fabulous frosting.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes (mixture will be thick).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate the sugar, and while the mixer is running, slowly add the 1TBS half and half and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, beating until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

in a small bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup half and half and the Ovaltine. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and pour the mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined. Then add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time for a stiffer frosting.

frost your brownies. and eat them.

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Strawberry Cupcakes

My sister raved about these cupcakes and I have been wanting to use some of the wonderful spring berries I keep lying around.  They didn’t disappoint.  I made a few adjustments, but this is basically the Sprinkles Cupcake that you can buy at the swanky bakery in downtown LA.



  • 2/3 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder if at high altitude, otherwise 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Place strawberries in a small food processor; process until pureed. You should have about 1/3 cup of puree, add a few more strawberries if necessary or save any extra puree for frosting; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together milk, vanilla, and strawberry puree; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and slowly add egg and egg whites until blended.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add half the flour mixture; mix until just blended. Add the milk mixture; mix until just blended. Slowly add remaining flour mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary, until just blended.
  6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Transfer muffin tin to oven and bake until tops are just dry to the touch, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool completely before icing.



  • 1/2 cup whole strawberries
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1TBS strawberry jam


Place strawberries in  a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree and strawberry jam; mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

Ice cupcakes and garnish with fresh strawberry wedges. So delicious!


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quadruple chocolate chip cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies

A friend of mine brought us some delicious double chocolate chip cookies that she sprinkled with sea salt.  They were to die for.  We ate the whole batch in 5 days. I wanted to recreate it with some ingredients I had on hand.  Here is my take on these cookies.  They turned out pretty fantastic.  I love the combo of crunchy m&ms, semi-sweet chocolate and dark chocolate. These are extremely rich and decadent.  You can omit the sea salt if you aren’t a huge fan of salty sweet, but I loved the salty bite with such a rich chocolate cookie.

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 cup white sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup dutch process cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. coarse salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup m&ms

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips and m&ms with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are combined.

Spoon the batter onto the parchment paper into even balls, sprinkle with sea salt and push lightly to flatten.  Bake for 13-16 minutes depending on the size of your cookies.  Serve with a large glass of ice cold milk and enjoy!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Oh my.  I don’t believe I have ever tasted a cupcake so delicious, so amazing.  Please make these as soon as possible and eat them all.  WOW!

so, the icing looks weird because I accidentally put the leaf tip on my icing bag and didn’t realize it until the bag was full… no turning back.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes
For the filling:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
2 TBS milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
1tsp vanilla

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2.5-3.25 cups powdered sugar
1 cup whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

To make the filling, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined.  Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (at least 24) and set aside.

To make the cake batter, combine the flour, dutch cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside.  In another bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.

Spoon two TBS of batter into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  Place a ball of the peanut butter filling in each cupcake well and top with the remaining batter so that all the cups are filled.  Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the vanilla, cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Fold in the whipped cream until smooth and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

adapted from Annies-eats

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best brownies ever

these are rich and delicious.  i probably made 10 pans until i found the perfect combination of gooey, chocolaty, fabulous-ness.  

1 1/4 cups flour 
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp ground instant espresso
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
12 tablespoons butter cut into six pices
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
 2-3 candy bars of choice- I like SKOR or symphony the best

1. preheat oven to 325, spray a 9×13 inch pan with non stick cooking spray.
3. in a medium bowl, whisk the flour, espresso powder and salt together until combined,
4. melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl either in the microwave on high for 45 seconds then take out to stir and do another 45 seconds until melted and combined, or place heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir constantly until melted and combined.
5. once chocolate and butter are completely melted add sugar and whisk well, add eggs one at a time whisking for one minute after each addition, then add vanilla.
6. add flour mixture and mix well.
7. transfer half batter to greased pan, layer candy bar, cover with rest of batter, then bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

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Carmelita Bars

When I first started experimenting in the kitchen, I made these.  Then I made them for everyone I know, then I made more for me. I also gained 10 pounds.  Scrumptious.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
2 cups quick-cooking oats
14 ounces caramel candies, unwrapped
½ cup evaporated milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans


1- Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish.

2- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3- Cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Add the oats and mix on low briefly to just combine.

4- Transfer approximately half of the dough mixture to the baking dish. Spread and press the dough into the baking dish until you have an even layer with no cracks or crumbles. Bake for 10 minutes.

5- While the dough is baking, combine the evaporated milk and caramels in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture constantly until all the caramels are melted and you have a thick sauce. Allow to cool until cookie base comes out of the oven.

6- Once out of the oven, sprinkle the cookie base evenly with chocolate chips and pecans, and then carefully pour the caramel sauce over the cookie base, nuts, and chocolate. Use an offset spatula to spread the caramel sauce into an even layer.

7- Sprinkle the remaining cookie dough over the top of the caramel-chocolate-nut mixture a handful at a time, making sure to get an even coating over the whole dish.

8- Return the dish to the oven, baking until the topping is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

9- serve with vanilla ice cream.

10- run 10 miles

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Crepe Fakeout

i love crepes.  I think I probably had one every night we were in paris.  I am usually lazy after dinner, so this is a great way to pretend you are in Paris.  The best part?!  It takes less than 5 minutes. 


plain tortillas (white or wheat)



shredded coconut

1TBS butter

chocolate ice cream


Spread nutella on half of tortilla, top with coconut and banana slices. place crepe into hot buttered pan and fold in half. cook on each side for about 2 minutes until ingredients are warmed through.  Serve with a scoop of chocolate ice cream!  YUM!

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S’mores Brownie Bars

These are sinful.  I made these a few months back for a friend right after she had her baby.  I think she said she ate half the batch in one sitting.  They are dangerous. Really rich, but really delicious!

1.5 cups graham crackers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 tablespoons sugar

brownie layer:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

20 large marshmallows; cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter in a bowl and mix until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Cool crust.
3. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees and prepare the brownie layer.
4. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.
5. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.
6. Let cool completely, then lift out using the foil and place brownies onto a broiler safe pan. Move your oven rack about 6 inches from your broiler and preheat your broiler to low.
7. Layer marshmallows (sticky side down) across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, about 2 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

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