apple custard cake

This cake is so pretty and I love the idea of pouring heaving cream over the finished batter.  It got me all excited.  It is supposed to turn into a custard-like cake, and it did.  But I’m not sure that custard on the bottom of a dense cake and softish apples on top is for me.  Or you.  It is so pretty, and I love the concept, but I guess I can’t really rec the cake.

So, why write?  Well, lately I’ve been making a lot of flops and well, I just didn’t want you to forget about me.  So enjoy this pretty pic and hopefully I’ll be back soon –


jimmies (chocolate sprinkles)

By now you know that I love ice cream and jimmies.  And not just any jimmy but real jimmies.  I’m sharing this with you so you too can enjoy the happiness I derive from my ice cream eating experience.  A lot of it has to do with the ice cream I know…but seriously (as serious as I can be about ice cream toppings) what you normally get at the supermarket or ice cream parlor is really not what I’m talking about when I say jimmies.

Soo…I did a taste test of my 3 favorites and I can’t choose.  I love them all so pick one and try.  You may find it hard from then on to enjoy a chocolate sprinkle anywhere else but in your home (or mine!)

Ingredients in a typical sprinkle are sugar, veggie oil, corn starch, corn syrup, soy lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavor, confectioners glaze, and carauba wax.

Ingredients in these jimmies are all similar but generally lists sugar (yeah, sorry that is first), cocoa liquor, cocoa powder, butter oil, milk powder, natural vanilla.

callebaut Belgian Chocolate

cocoa barry jimmies

guittard jimmies 

The links will take you to where you can buy – but search around for the best price.





be prepared to bake

Your shopping list might not seem as overwhelming if you generally stock some of the following items.  Just pay attention to how much you bake.  Many items in pantry and refrigerator expire (some sooner than later) so if you are not baking often, wait and shop as you need.  But if you are an avid baker, go for it.

Pantry: flour, sugar, brown sugar (more light than dark) baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa (natural and unsweetened, black cocoa), chocolate chips and chocolate bars (milk, semi, white, bitter, extra bitter, unsweetened) cornstarch, whole wheat flour, cake flour, oatmeal (quick cooking and old-fashioned), canola or vegetable oil, dried fruits, a variety of nuts, molasses, graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, shredded and flaked coconut, spices (cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, ground cloves, cardamom, ground nutmeg), instant espresso powder, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk…

Fridge: large eggs, unsalted butter, sour cream, plain yogurt, buttermilk, milk, heavy cream, block cream cheese, lemons and other assorted fruits

Freezer: frozen berries and stone fruits, puff pastry, fillo dough, ice cream

avoid dry and crumbly cookies

I found the difference between a heavily packed cup of flour and lightly packed cup o flour was a bit more than an ounce!  This is a lot in the baking world.  Go to baking tips to see how to measure flour and if you have a scale, use it.  Do you know how to use the “tare” button on your scale?  If not, read the directions or google it.  Makes baking life easy.  Your friends will thank you (for even better cookies and cakes)!


NOEMA chocolate

This chocolate is made without peanut, tree nuts, dairy, egg, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish, as well as sesame.  NOEMA stands for None Of the Eight Major Allergens.  You can be worry free if you or your family suffers with allergies.  The equipment is brand new and has never touched any of the ingredients above.

Check out their website here!

things i love


I love Chocolations in Mamaroneck.  Combine high quality chocolate, a warm and generous owner and chocolate maker, great staff and decent prices… well, what’s not to love?  They have so many delicious shaped chocolates (you can order almost any shape you want), barks, truffles and dipped yumminess that it is hard to pick.  I worked there for a second a few years ago and just wanted to share.

oreo ice cream (not exactly homemade btw)

Growing up I was always looking for sweets to eat.  Unlike my brother who could manage his dessert quantities, I could not.  My mom took to hiding the goodies which resulted in my own secret treasure hunt when I was alone in the house.  Or picking on all the sweets that were not hidden.  The pattern wasn’t good and I was always stressed and worried while I was nibbling and foraging.   I eventually figured it out.  Eat your food first (since I didn’t back then!)  Eat breakfast.  Eat lunch.  Eat dinner.  And eat dessert if you want it but make it very GOOD.  Oh, and not too much!

With all that in mind – the rule in our house is NO CRYING or COMPLAINING while eating your treat.  And don’t eat what isn’t good enough to eat.  Place what you want in a bowl or mug and sit.  Enjoy.  The kids all do this, but Andy oreosometimes inhales his dessert – but well, he is sitting, not crying or complaining.  I just feel like it goes so fast – but I guess not my business.

IMG_7159Onto the ice cream.  I made my own (kind of) Oreo ice cream for Sylvie because I wanted her to enjoy her little mug to the max.  You get the drift.  Some brands often taste really good but have very few big chunks of cookie.  Good problem to have I know.  Some brands taste artificial.  Some brands have so many ingredients that it bums me out.  So I bought Fresh Market’s vanilla (because it has so few additives but also isn’t as rich as the haagan daaz’s and ben and jerry’s).  Turkey Hill is also good.  And I bought Oreos.  Put them together and you make the very best Oreo cookie ice cream you can have.

To make:

Very simple.  Let the ice cream sit on the counter for 10-20 minutes or so.  And/or place in microwave on defrost for a few minutes.  You want to soften it, but not melt it.

While it is chilln (well the opposite of chilling) – bag up a bunch of Oreos and place in a plastic bag.  Crunch them with the bottom of a pan, or with a rolling pin.  Or grind them in a processor.

Place the ice cream and Oreo crumbs in the mixer and with the paddle attachment – beat well.  The ice cream will soften more and start to look less vanilla-y and more Oreo cookie-like.

You can also do this by hand – but the ice cream needs to be softer and you have to get your muscles on board.

Remove ice cream and place a layer of it back in the container.  Now add big chunks of Oreo cookies (as much or as little as you personally want since this is your treat!)  And continue to layer and add.

When done.  Place the lid back on and label it 🙂

Enjoy –


chocolate covered pretzels

Another love – the chocolate covered pretzels from Enjou Chocolate.  These are my favorites because the chocolate is sooooo good and the pretzels are firm and fresh.  And although dipped generously, it is not overdone.  As usual, pricey – but def worth it!

You can find them here.



baking smart

Pre-heat oven and let it reach baking temperature for best results.  Try to bake using the upper and lower thirds of the oven racks.  And remember it is best to rotate baked goods halfway through cooking.

Taste batters.  Just a little.  You may have forgotten the sugar – or something else and when you taste it – it can help you remember.  This happened to me once at the hotel.  I forgot the sugar and the chocolate batter tasted awful.  Luckily I was able to add the sugar (albeit out of order) but was able to salvage the dessert and the cost of the chocolate.  Also taste for spices and salt.  You can add more or less depending on your taste.  Try to develop the desserts as you like them.

Wash fruits before you bake with them.  Especially when you are using the fruit’s zest.  Try to use only the colored part of the zest – do not dig down with your microplane or grater because the white part – under the skin is very bitter.

guittard superchips

I love these chips.  My sis in law Kathy introduced us (me and chip) about a year and a half ago.  They are bigger than a Nestle chip, but flatter and stay softer in baked goods.  But I do love Nestle and Ghiradelli and many more!

I searched the web (because I can’t find them locally) and found them at Chososphere!  I love this site – so many awesome products and chocolates.  And you can buy in bulk!

Again, no money for me here in this rec – just sharing!

Here is the direct link.  And they sell in larger amounts and so many other products – you will get lost in a chocolate haven.

more chocolate