Today I had my graduation party (or going away to medical school party). Of course in my family, our parties are never short of food; to the contrary, we always have way too much and have to end up sending them home with the guests. It made my day to see so many friends and family before I start school. As stressful was it was to plan everything and get ready for today, it was definitely worth it when I was able to hang out with everyone, even if it was just for a little bit.
My mom found these super cute mini fillo shells at the local market. We never go around to using them so I thought that they would be great for my go-to cheesecake recipe. I mean…flaky crust and creamy cheesecake filling topped with fresh whipped cream? My mouth waters just thinking about that. So here is my newest (and successful among my taste testers!) recipe! I have begun to venture out into the world of manipulating recipes and making my own. Here’s to a new chapter in my baking life!
Recipe: Mini Cheesecake Shells
Ingredients:
For the crust:
Mini Fillo Shells
For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
Bake defrosted mini fillo shells for 3-5 minutes.
For the filling, beat softened cream cheese and egg in a medium bowl until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and sugar, beating until well blended. Spoon onto crust, filling each cup almost to the top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes 375 ° For until tops are no longer glossy or the cheese begins to crack.
Allow cheesecake to chill before garnishing and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Garnish with extra graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream. OR Heat any type of berries with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar over medium low heat in a small saucepan. Allow to cool before topping cheesecake with spoonfuls of the mixture.
Source: (http://cravingchronicles.com/2009/07/06/mini-ways-to-celebrate-4th-of-july/)
Recipe: Whipped Cream
Ingredients:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Dash of salt
3/4 cup sugar
Directions:
Using an electric mixer (you can also do it by hand with a whisk, but be prepared to have an arm workout), beat the cream, salt, and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
Chill in fridge until ready to use.
Source: (http://thedabble.com/blog/shoes-apparently-walking-graham-cracker-lemon-bars/)

Today I had my graduation party (or going away to medical school party). Of course in my family, our parties are never short of food; to the contrary, we always have way too much and have to end up sending them home with the guests. It made my day to see so many friends and family before I start school. As stressful was it was to plan everything and get ready for today, it was definitely worth it when I was able to hang out with everyone, even if it was just for a little bit.

My mom found these super cute mini fillo shells at the local market. We never go around to using them so I thought that they would be great for my go-to cheesecake recipe. I mean…flaky crust and creamy cheesecake filling topped with fresh whipped cream? My mouth waters just thinking about that. So here is my newest (and successful among my taste testers!) recipe! I have begun to venture out into the world of manipulating recipes and making my own. Here’s to a new chapter in my baking life!

Recipe: Mini Cheesecake Shells

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • Mini Fillo Shells

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
  2. Bake defrosted mini fillo shells for 3-5 minutes.
  3. For the filling, beat softened cream cheese and egg in a medium bowl until smooth and thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and sugar, beating until well blended. Spoon onto crust, filling each cup almost to the top.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes 375 ° For until tops are no longer glossy or the cheese begins to crack.
  5. Allow cheesecake to chill before garnishing and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. Garnish with extra graham cracker crumbs and whipped cream. OR Heat any type of berries with 2-3 tablespoons of sugar over medium low heat in a small saucepan. Allow to cool before topping cheesecake with spoonfuls of the mixture.

Source: (http://cravingchronicles.com/2009/07/06/mini-ways-to-celebrate-4th-of-july/)

Recipe: Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Using an electric mixer (you can also do it by hand with a whisk, but be prepared to have an arm workout), beat the cream, salt, and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
  2. Chill in fridge until ready to use.

Source: (http://thedabble.com/blog/shoes-apparently-walking-graham-cracker-lemon-bars/)

Meghan got me the cutest ring ever: a cupcake with frosting in the shape of a heart! It was her gift to me before she left for Japan for a year and before I start medical school. Not only do I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, but she also got it for me as a reminder - to remind me that even with everything that will happen in medical school, I will always remember my passions and what makes me who I am.
Oddly enough, today at my graduation party, I discovered that my neighbor (a pediatric neurologist at LLU) also likes baking! Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be a pediatric cardiologist who has a bakery on the side. Hmm we’ll see! ;)

Meghan got me the cutest ring ever: a cupcake with frosting in the shape of a heart! It was her gift to me before she left for Japan for a year and before I start medical school. Not only do I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, but she also got it for me as a reminder - to remind me that even with everything that will happen in medical school, I will always remember my passions and what makes me who I am.

Oddly enough, today at my graduation party, I discovered that my neighbor (a pediatric neurologist at LLU) also likes baking! Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be a pediatric cardiologist who has a bakery on the side. Hmm we’ll see! ;)

I baked my first apple pie =) For some reason, my mom likes to bring home apples from work under the pretense that she’ll eat them eventually. But to no avail. They just end up sitting in a basket in the kitchen until they go bad…or until I receive some inspiration to use them! We brought the pie and some spaghetti with my homemade turkey meatballs stuffed with mozzarella to my sister’s house for dinner! Yum =) Perfect timing because I had to move all my stuff over to her house before I start school in about a week and a half…eeek! 
It’s surprisingly easy to bake a pie, so I will definitely be making more of these in the future! I adjusted the recipe because I don’t usually like pie crusts. It wasn’t perfect, but I think I know how to figure out what to do for the next time.
Recipe: Apple PIe
Ingredients:
For the crust:
1 3/4 sticks melted, unsalted butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
For the topping:
1/3 cup sugar 
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 apples sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
For the crust, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Spread 1/2 of the dough evenly at the bottom of a pie pan and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Save and roll out the other half of the dough for the lattice. Cut in strips and place in refrigerator while preparing apples.
For the topping, cut and core the apples and mix in lemon juice to prevent browning. In a bowl, combine sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Mix in with apples and lemon juice, making sure the mixture covers all the apples evenly.
Once the crust is baked, pour the filling over the crust and decorate the top with the remaining dough. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before topping with vanilla ice cream!
Source: (http://www.foodlibrarian.com/2012/05/meyer-lemon-bars.html and (http://www.simoneanne.com/journal/2012/06/apple-pie/)

I baked my first apple pie =) For some reason, my mom likes to bring home apples from work under the pretense that she’ll eat them eventually. But to no avail. They just end up sitting in a basket in the kitchen until they go bad…or until I receive some inspiration to use them! We brought the pie and some spaghetti with my homemade turkey meatballs stuffed with mozzarella to my sister’s house for dinner! Yum =) Perfect timing because I had to move all my stuff over to her house before I start school in about a week and a half…eeek! 

It’s surprisingly easy to bake a pie, so I will definitely be making more of these in the future! I adjusted the recipe because I don’t usually like pie crusts. It wasn’t perfect, but I think I know how to figure out what to do for the next time.

Recipe: Apple PIe

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1 3/4 sticks melted, unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 apples sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. For the crust, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Spread 1/2 of the dough evenly at the bottom of a pie pan and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Save and roll out the other half of the dough for the lattice. Cut in strips and place in refrigerator while preparing apples.
  3. For the topping, cut and core the apples and mix in lemon juice to prevent browning. In a bowl, combine sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Mix in with apples and lemon juice, making sure the mixture covers all the apples evenly.
  4. Once the crust is baked, pour the filling over the crust and decorate the top with the remaining dough. Bake an additional 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Let cool completely before topping with vanilla ice cream!

Source: (http://www.foodlibrarian.com/2012/05/meyer-lemon-bars.html and (http://www.simoneanne.com/journal/2012/06/apple-pie/)

I finally got a pretty picture of my lemon bars :) AND, I have discovered the perfect lemon bar recipe…score. The crust is surprisingly delicious. Usually, I’m not a big fan of pie crusts because they’re either super flaky and not flavorful, or too buttery and not flaky enough. This recipe is the perfect combination of flaky and buttery! I, for one, will be using this in the future if I ever decide to venture out further into the pie baking world. 

My brother-in-law’s parents have this lemon tree back home in San Jose. I don’t know what they do, or what is in the dirt up there, but let me tell you that they have SO MANY lemons! They’re not the normal sized ones either. They’re literally the size of grapefruits, and the ones that big always seem to be extremely sweet. Point in case, I have a picture of a lemon with a baby lemon inside! Let me tell you that I was freaking out when I juiced the lemon and found another inside. It was like the lemon was inside out because it had the part you zest on the inside as well as outside. WEIRD. 

Anyhoo, here is the recipe I discovered from Food Librarian. It calls for Meyer Lemons, and I must shamefully admit that I have no idea what that means. However, I used the lemons that we had, so I’m sure it doesn’t matter THAT much.

Recipe: Meyer Lemon Bars

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 7 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

For the topping:

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons sugar (I was extremely generous when measuring ;))
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (the fresher, the tastier!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
  2. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with foil, creating a sling. (I forgot to do this, but luckily my pan was non-stick, so I’m assuming this is optional hehe)
  3. For the crust, combine the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Spread evenly at the bottom of the pan and bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  4. For the topping, stir the sugar and zest until the oils are released. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the eggs. Add lemon juice and stir until combined.
  5. Once the crust is baked, turn the oven down to 300 °F. Pour the filling over the crust and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until the center is set and no longer jiggles. Let cool completely before topping with powdered sugar and/or whipped cream.

Source: (http://www.foodlibrarian.com/2012/05/meyer-lemon-bars.html)

Recipe: Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Dash of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Using an electric mixer (you can also do it by hand with a whisk, but be prepared to have an arm workout), beat the cream, salt, and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
  2. Chill in fridge until ready to use.

Source: (http://thedabble.com/blog/shoes-apparently-walking-graham-cracker-lemon-bars/)

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Toffee

Slowly but surely everyone is turning 22. It feels like a domino effect…once someone turns 22, EVERYONE turns 22. This is how I felt last year when everyone was turning 21. The only difference is that this time, 22 isn’t as big of a deal as it was turning 21. So I don’t feel as left out as I used to. It’s funny how I don’t really even notice the age difference anymore as opposed to when everyone first turned 21. It will soon be my turn though! I can’t wait until my birthday! Okay way to many numbers just now…my brain already hurts from studying for finals!
So for Daniella’s birthday I had initially decided to give her a pie from Julian. I bought one for a fundraiser so they delivered it to me on Pi Day! It would have been perfect to give to her today, but it was too hard to resist. I mean…it’s Julian Pie. I don’t know what they do or what they put in their pie, but it is to die for. I still remember the first time we went to Julian to get pie. It was beneath a huge scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Oh myyy. I want to go back! 
Anyhoo. During one of my Tumblr procrastinating moments, I discovered this picture: (http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltbkkoAyhd1qcns3io1_500.jpg). So long story short, Daniella is a lover of all things British, and anglophile if you want to get technical. She is currently in her One Direction phase, so what better to surprise her with a cake of the British flag! 
I think seeing her face when we surprised her and I came up running to her with the cake is the one of the best feelings I get from baking. I would even go as far as to say that reactions like that are the reason why I bake in the first place. She was extremely happy and everyone said it tasted good! Double points for mee! I think this is one of my favorite and more memorable baked goods. We’ll see if I can top this one day, which I must say will be a tough feat indeed.

Slowly but surely everyone is turning 22. It feels like a domino effect…once someone turns 22, EVERYONE turns 22. This is how I felt last year when everyone was turning 21. The only difference is that this time, 22 isn’t as big of a deal as it was turning 21. So I don’t feel as left out as I used to. It’s funny how I don’t really even notice the age difference anymore as opposed to when everyone first turned 21. It will soon be my turn though! I can’t wait until my birthday! Okay way to many numbers just now…my brain already hurts from studying for finals!

So for Daniella’s birthday I had initially decided to give her a pie from Julian. I bought one for a fundraiser so they delivered it to me on Pi Day! It would have been perfect to give to her today, but it was too hard to resist. I mean…it’s Julian Pie. I don’t know what they do or what they put in their pie, but it is to die for. I still remember the first time we went to Julian to get pie. It was beneath a huge scoop of cinnamon ice cream. Oh myyy. I want to go back! 

Anyhoo. During one of my Tumblr procrastinating moments, I discovered this picture: (http://28.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ltbkkoAyhd1qcns3io1_500.jpg). So long story short, Daniella is a lover of all things British, and anglophile if you want to get technical. She is currently in her One Direction phase, so what better to surprise her with a cake of the British flag! 

I think seeing her face when we surprised her and I came up running to her with the cake is the one of the best feelings I get from baking. I would even go as far as to say that reactions like that are the reason why I bake in the first place. She was extremely happy and everyone said it tasted good! Double points for mee! I think this is one of my favorite and more memorable baked goods. We’ll see if I can top this one day, which I must say will be a tough feat indeed.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Swirls for David’s 19th Birthday

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Swirls for David’s 19th Birthday

(Source: )

Chocolate Chip Lava Cake. Thanks to Knock-a-no for sending me the recipe!

Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ganache Drizzle

Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Ganache Drizzle

Peaches and Cream: Yellow Cake with Meringue, Cream Cheese Frosting, and Peaches!

Peaches and Cream: Yellow Cake with Meringue, Cream Cheese Frosting, and Peaches!

Thanksgiving 2010? Double layer pumpkin pie, mini cream cheese cupcakes with whipped cream, and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Thanksgiving 2010? Double layer pumpkin pie, mini cream cheese cupcakes with whipped cream, and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Grand Marnier Souffle. Not as hard as I thought it would be to make!

Grand Marnier Souffle. Not as hard as I thought it would be to make!

Lemon Bars! I can’t find prettier pictures. Guess I’ll have to make more soon!
I made it as a lemon pie too, essentially a lemon bar in a pie tin covered with whipped cream. Here’s the after photo of it from Eric’s 21st birthday…that is, AFTER, I kind of dropped it in Jimmy’s car. I have warned you. It’s not even close to as pretty as it was before that little accident so I ended up getting him a huge red velvet cupcake from Ralph’s. We still ate it though and accident and all it was still delicious! I definitely have to make it again since I have two bad photos!

Lemon Bars! I can’t find prettier pictures. Guess I’ll have to make more soon!

I made it as a lemon pie too, essentially a lemon bar in a pie tin covered with whipped cream. Here’s the after photo of it from Eric’s 21st birthday…that is, AFTER, I kind of dropped it in Jimmy’s car. I have warned you. It’s not even close to as pretty as it was before that little accident so I ended up getting him a huge red velvet cupcake from Ralph’s. We still ate it though and accident and all it was still delicious! I definitely have to make it again since I have two bad photos!

Valentine’s Day Goodies for my many Valentines <3 Funfetti cupcakes and cookies 

Valentine’s Day Goodies for my many Valentines <3 Funfetti cupcakes and cookies 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting