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Category Archives: Sweetness

Strawberry Shortcake Cream on Top!

I said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m OBSESSED with cake! But often times I find that my funds are low so on many occasions I have to bypass the spots where I can get my cake fix. When I’m really going through withdrawal and my addiction gets the best of me, I do what I gotta do. That means I head to the kitchen, cookbook in hand, and I raid the cabinets for ingredients that can be combined into something that will suffice.

Claude DeLucca served as my savior in my latest breakdown. Her book¬†68 Original and Authentic Desserts and Recipes¬†served as my scripture. There was nothing I needed more than 68 options for dessert. However, I must admit, I feel like DeLucca should’ve incorporated the word “pudding” into her cookbook title because about half of the recipes are pudding recipes. Pudding is great but I’m no Bill Cosby when it comes to it. I’m more of a pastry girl so I found the recipes for “Maria’s Strawberry Shortcake” much more feasible for my purpose.

The recipe was short and sweet, just how I like it. It called for:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

*Butter or shortening can be used as a substitute for lard.

Bake ten or fifteen minutes in a good hot oven. Split and fill with mashed and sweetened berries. Cover with whipped cream and garnish with whole berries.

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Voila! Sweet tooth satisfaction!

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Desserts, Spring Treats, Sweetness

 

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Cupcakes– My Addiction

Cupcakes-- My Addiction

I was running around SoHo today after work and I stumbled across Georgetown Cupcakes. I had no idea that they had an NYC location! Anyway, it was only right for me to try one since I’ve watched the show all watery mouthed. It was AMAZING!! I’ll be back soon.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Cupcakes, Desserts, Spring Treats, Sweetness

 

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Kickoff Spring With Cupcakes!

No food screams Spring to me more than cupcakes. Granted, I eat cupcakes year round because I have a serious cake obsession, but Spring and Summer is when I really go in.

This semester has been nothing short of hectic for me. I’m running myself into the ground with two jobs and what seems like a million credits and honestly I’m looking forward to Spring Break to rejuvenate. Flowers are budding and trees are blooming so I too need to refresh myself during this new season.

I’ve set aside some time to revisit one of my favorite hobbies– baking. While everyone else is busy cleaning, I’ll be focused on learning how to relax and take a break from being a workaholic. Oh yeah, and naturally I’ll be looking for new foods to experiment with.

 A few weeks ago (or months, I lose track of time) I downloaded 25 Delicious Cupcake Recipes- Delicious and Easy Cupcake Recipes for Every Occasion. I wanted to try something refreshing since spring is a refreshing time of year. I opted for the Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes. They were something different, something Springy, and that in my mind, that first big burst of sunshine to let you know winter is well on its way.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1. ¬†Preheat oven to 350¬įF. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar, beating on medium high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients in small batches alternately with the sour cream. Fold in the blueberries.
  5. Divide the batter in the prepared pans and bake at¬†350¬įF for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10  minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with your favorite buttercream or cream cheese icing.

FYI– I added some fresh squeezed lemon juice to my batter just to bring out the lemon flavor.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Cupcakes, Desserts, Spring Treats, Sweetness

 

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V-DAY: Red, White, and Pink All Over

02.14; V-Day; The Day of Love; Valentine’s Day‚Ķ..Whatever you want to call it, that day is approaching rapidly. Every year around this time I get sickened at the sight of those overly emotional and mushy couples that go to extremes in an attempt to display their love and affection. It is not jealousy or loneliness that sparks these repulsive feelings I have towards Valentine’s Day. I just feel like it is a pointless holiday. I mean, if your in love then everyday should be Valentine’s Day right? My boyfriend of almost five long years cannot wrap his head around the fact that I don’t like Valentine’s Day. He likes celebrating the holiday and all its ridiculousness so for him I try to put my feelings to the side and be a team player.

I thought it might be nice to read something that might get me into the Valentine’s Day spirit so I downloaded a free short story from Amazon entitled The Panty Dropper by Liv Morris. With a name like that, I thought “Okay, this has to be good.”

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The story is about 26 year old Emily who, like me, hates Valentine’s Day. She confesses:

           When the calendar turns to February, I dread the upcoming parade of roses and candy. And stupid red hearts appearing everywhere, seeming to mock me and my singleness.

Her and her best friend, Monica, plan a Valentine’s Day pity party for two but things diverge for Emily when the Panty Dropper unexpectedly shows up. Download the story and read it for yourself if you care to know what goes down!

So I broke down after all and decided to do something “cute,” “sweet,” and terribly cliche for Valentine’s Day. I decided that I would give my honey chocolates. But it would be done in my own fashion and I would get something out of this too. I decided to make chocolate lollipops instead of giving generic store bought ones. He gets his chocolate and I get to have fun making them.

Sometime ago, I purchased some candy molds for dirt cheap. There was some Valentine’s Day ones mixed in the bunch and they actually came in handy.

Candy Mold

The rest was pretty simple. I purchased some chocolate candy melts from a local store, melted them, then let my artistic side take control. 

Let’s hope my hard work doesn’t go unappreciated!

3BearsIII

‚̧Happy Valentine’s Day! ‚̧

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Chocolate, Desserts, Sweetness

 

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An Ode to Oreo

If this is your favorite cookie of all time, I’m sorry to disappoint, but we do not share a common interest. In all honesty, I can only eat this cookie in one of two ways: either Double Stuffed with lots of water to chase the intense chocolatey flavor, or crunched up in some Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream (under no circumstance will I eat cookies and cream flavored ice cream‚ĶNO! I MUST mash the cookies up myself and put it in my own ice cream). However, I do respect my elders. And seeing that the Oreo cookie has celebrated its 100th birthday earlier this year, why not give it some shine?

So the plan was to come home and make myself a nice Oreo milkshake. I came home to two packages of Oreos but no Haagen-Dazs. Guess who was NOT going back outside just for some ice cream! But I did have some other scraps, like pancake mix‚Ķ.So I devised a plan B, something I’ve never attempted, or even tasted before‚ĶFRIED OREOS!!

The recipe was not tedious or time consuming at all. Unless, you follow it and make 30 cookies. Since I don’t have an army to feed, just myself, I only made six.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/deep-fried-oreos/

I must say, these things tasted better than I was expecting! Not something I would eat on a daily basis, but a nice little retreat from the norm. And the best part is that I can make it myself! Shove that street fairs!

While we’re on the subject, I figured this would be a great opportunity for me to digress and talk a little bit about one of my favorite books of all time, coincidently titled,¬†Oreo,¬†by Fran Ross. This book is an oldie but goodie! It was published in 1974, before I was even a thought in anyone’s mind. The main character, Oreo, is a half-Jewish, half-black teenage girl with a kick-ass attitude who sets out on a Theseus-like journey to find her father. Along her journey, she encounters all types of weird characters that she must defend herself against, namely Parnell the pimp. Oreo is not the least bit intimidated by any of them and unleashes the wrath of her self-created hwip-as karate on anyone who asks for it. Embedded in every chapter is pure comedy.¬†All I can say is that this book is hilarious and it should be on every reader’s bucket list (for those who don’t know, that things to do before you kick the bucket). About two years ago, there was speculation about this book being turned into film and my heart sang with joy but sadly, I’ve heard no more about it. While I’m partially upset that I got my hopes up for nothing, I’d be even more angry if they just threw some half-ass movie out there for such an amazing book. So they can keep it until they have plans to do it right! Until then, I advise everyone to read this book while enjoying “Milk’s Favorite Cookie.”

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2012 in Cookies, Desserts, Sweetness

 

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Almond Moon Cookies and Me

Before I begin, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ameena and I have a mean sweet tooth. I might be the only person I know that gets a toothache from NOT eating sweets…thats how real it is. I’m no master chef, but I love to experiment, even if it goes terribly wrong (which it does from time to time). Above all, I’m just a skinny black girl with a bottomless pit for a stomach.

So, today was an unfulfilling day………..okay let me be real: IT WAS BORING AS ALL HELL!!! The weather depressed me and made me wish I was home in my bed taking a 3-hour nap, waking up to eat, use the bathroom, and then going back to sleep! Work was dead!! Like really! It was freezing cold in that office and just too quiet for me. If it wasn’t for the computer in front of me and the occasional phone ring, I might have thought I was in an Alaskan mortuary! Smh. I tried to hang in there but I couldn’t do it. I did something I’m ashamed to admit but phuket these things happen……I fell asleep at work. My coworker passed by and woke me up (lucky for me she’s also my cousin) and we just laughed. If it were anyone else I would’ve had to be quick on my toes and try to play it off. (I always thought that if I ever got caught sleeping I would just say “In Jesus name, AMEN” and told whoever that I was just saying a short prayer. Who can argue with that?)

So in an attempt to stay awake, I went on amazon.com and browsed through the Top 100 Free Kindle Books.¬†Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every¬†Occasion¬†by Sarah Levy was somewhere in the top ten, so I figured why not? Free and informative; can’t beat that.

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So I had the book, I began flipping through the pages, only half interested because one, my kindle is in black and white and that took all the thrill out of the pictures and two, because I was half asleep and not in much of a mood to read a black and white cookbook. But anyway, I flipped to the recipes and I had to laugh at the first recipe I stumbled upon, The Almond Moon Cookie.

I wasn’t laughing at the recipe itself, or the name of it. I was laughing at the opening line on the page. “Do you sometimes feel sluggish in the late afternoon? These¬†almond moon cookies will give you just the jolt you need.” Smh, Sarah boo I need these like right now!

So I leave work early, still depressed because I have to go home and do a ish load of homework. Now, little miss Sarah said that her moms’¬†almond moon cookies give you energy right? Great! I think I’ll put them to the test! If she lied, I shall sue her….just kidding……….maybe.

So I gather all my supplies….

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and I say to myself “It’s about to go DOWN!” (Kevin Hart voice)

I’m getting my chef Boyardee on, when suddenly tragedy strikes..

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one of the damn whisk on the hand mixer breaks! Granny is NOT going to be happy when she finds out about this! But I can’t stop now! One whisk just gotta do the work of two! Like Granny always says, “One monkey don’t stop no show.”

So I keep doing my thing, following miss Sarah Levy’s directions…..well not exactly, she said to make them into nice round balls (pause) so they resemble a full moon, but I really didn’t feel like it, not tonight….

ImageSo at this point, I’m looking at these unbaked cookies thinking that this was a bad idea. I tasted the cookie dough and I was not pleased at all. It tasted bland as hell. But I went too far to not finish the job. So into the oven they go!

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Imageabout thirty five minutes later, they come out looking good and smelling good too! Who would’ve thought?

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I let them cool, and put the finishing touches on these bad boys….

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I call in my test dummy…..

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She gives me two thumbs up, and I pat myself on the back. But before I gloat too much… I have to see for myself….

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Seal of Approval! Can’t speak for the energy part yet but the cookie itself is mmm mmm good!

 

Here’s the link to Sarah Levy’s website and the recipe for Almond Moon Cookies for those of you who want to try it yourselves.

http://slevyfoods.com/favorite-recipes/moms-almond-moon-cookies/

 

Oh yeah, before I go I gotta say R.I.P. to the homie B&D. Gone but not forgotten.

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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Cookies, Desserts, Sweetness

 

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