This weekend the startup I work for, Decisive Health, won the Livestrong Big C Competition! It was a competition for healthcare startups who are innovating patient-centered care and we were chosen as the People’s Choice winner and final winner receiving $25K in funding! Now you can’t have a celebration without cake, so I decided to make a yummy chocolate cake. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any buttermilk, but I did have a bottle of red wine that was gifted to me. I’m not a drinker, but I definitely am a big baker and scientist! Buttermilk is usually used in cake recipes as it is acidic and it reacts with the baking soda creating tiny little bubbles giving you a nice tender cake. Well, red wine is also acidic, so there is my substitute. The alcohol bakes off in the high temperatures and you’re left with this fudgy delicious cake. The dark chocolate ganache added a little richness to the cake and it turned out so frickin’ good! My co-workers practically inhaled this stuff. So if you have a bottle of wine and don’t know what to do with it, turn it into a cake. Cake > wine. At least in my world.
In a large bowl, cream the butter until it's smooth. Add the brown and white sugar and continue creaming for 2 minutes until fluffy. Add eggs, red wine, and vanilla extract and mix well. You batter will look a little weird here, don't worry about it!
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into the butter mixture. Mix until the batter is well combined and smooth.
Pour the batter into a greased 9 inch round cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.
While the cake cools,heat up the heavy cream over the stove until it stats to simmer. Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of chocolate and let this sit for 2 minutes. Stir the mixture until it turns into a silky chocolate mixture. Set aside to cool.
Once the cake and ganache are cool, pour the ganache over the cake and spread evenly. Refrigerate to set the ganache. You can serve your cake with a side of whipped cream like I did, or on it's own. Enjoy!
I received a free week of Blue Apron meals from fellow blogger! I actually tried them a few months ago and canceled because I thought their vegetarian meals were too bland. I guess Indian food has spoiled me. I decided it wouldn’t hurt to try again and I was pretty happy I did. This soup was one of the best meals of the week! It sounded like such a fancy schmancy soup, because fennel to me is a fancy schmancy vegetable. Fennel seeds are the only fennel product ever used in Indian food, so I never actually worked with the vegetable before. This recipe takes advantage of all the parts of the plant, pollen, fronds, bulb and stem! I was worried the fennel flavor would take over, but it was quite subtle. It’s full of different flavors and textures. Sweet, savory, crunchy and tender all take your mouth on this crazy ride. As usual, I added more garlic, because in my world there can never be enough. This hearty soup is great for fall and it only takes 30 minutes to make!
Bring a medium pot of salt water to boil. Drain and rinse beans. Mince garlic. Cut the kernels off the corn and save the cob for the stock! Pick off the fennel fronds (green thin strings) from the bulb and thinly slice the stems and small dice the bulb. Cut the dark top and root off the leek and cut in half lengthwise. Rinse with water to get rid of any dirt. Thinly slice leeks. Dice the potato with the skin into small cubes.
Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a large pot, heat 2 tsp of olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add garlic, fennel stems, diced fennel bulb, leek and fennel seeds and season with salt and pepper. Cook while stirring for 4 minutes.
Add the corncob, buttermilk, beans, 2.5 cups of water, half the corn kernels, and half the parmesan cheese to the large pot and stir. Bring to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and stir. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the pasta is cooked.
While the soup cooks, in a small bowl, mix the potatoes, fennel fronds, fennel pollen, rest of the corn kernels and parmesan cheese with a glug of olive oil and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. This is your relish!
Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with the potato relish. Serve while hot and enjoy!
Rosemary, from the Nish Kitchen, asked me to do a guest post about an Indian snack that isn’t really known to most people. I shared my mom’s recipe for kichu aka padi nu lot with her. It’s a simple and delicious Gujarati recipe that you have to try! Sticky, spicy, warm, and comforting. Check it out on the Nish Kitchen!
I went to Hong Kong earlier this summer and became hugely obsessed with bubble tea. It’s such a weird texture that you can’t help but enjoy it. To continue with my pumpkin spice extravaganza (check out my Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles and Pumpkin Spice Caramel posts!), I decided to marry my two favorite things in the world. I bought my tapioca pearls and jumbo straws on Amazon and got to work! The flavor of the black tea and pumpkin spice works really well together and it’s super easy to make! In addition, you can increase or decrease the amount of milk, tea, and tapioca pearls to match your preference. Try it for yourself!
In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add tapioca pearls. Boil for 20 minutes. Turn off stove and cover for 15 minutes.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir ½ cup of hot water with brown sugar until all the brown sugar is dissolved to create a simple syrup.
Drain the tapioca pearls and wash with cold water. Place pearls in the bowl with the simple syrup. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring 2.5 cups water to boil. Add tea bag and pumpkin spice. Boil for 5 minutes.
Place 4 tablespoons of tapioca pearls into each glass. Top with ice cubes and pour equal amounts of tea into each cup, leaving room for milk. Pour your choice of milk into each glass. Stir with your straw and enjoy!
Tips: If you want you drink to be sweeter- just add some simple syrup from the tapioca pearls into your drink and stir!
You can store left over tapioca pearls in simple syrup in your fridge for a few days. They might dry out a big, but you can pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to soften up.
You ever bite off more than you can chew? I did that with Tomoson. Tomoson is a website that connects bloggers with companies so that bloggers can try out their products. I recently signed up hoping to find some new and fun food items! Well, I got a little too excited and went nuts on kitchen tools. My bad. This time I got this pretty dual salt and pepper grinder. Look at it….isn’t it pretty? Stainless steel, black and white, it’s just so aesthetically pleasing. Which is exactly why I signed up to review it. Does it work? Yes- pretty damn well actually. And I’m not going to lie, but I’m kind of loving the fact that I can use one tool to season my food versus two. Efficiency for the win!
So what did I make with this eye-pleasing gadget? Cacio e Pepe aka pasta, cheese, pepper and salt. Nothing can be easier than this. Anyone can make this meal…ANYone. I made this fresh and mildly spicy pasta from CHOW and changed it so it feeds 2 people, rather than the Brady Bunch. Try it for yourself when your taste buds need a break or need some simple and fresh!
Mmmm.. cheeeseee. It is the sole reason why I’m not a vegan. It’s warming, inviting, cozy, and everything good in the world. This month is Non-GMO month and to celebrate Rumiano
cheese sent me 5 coupons for free cheese! Yes, I was THAT girl in the check out line with $30 bucks worth of cheese handing over coupons holding everyone up.
They make their cheese in my current home-state of California and are the oldest family-owned cheese company here. This cheese is super vegetarian safe as they don’t use any animal rennet in making their cheese. Instead they use an organic microbial coagulant. (The science nerd in me was intrigued here, but I’ll save you from all my nerdyness). Rumiano cheese can be found pretty much everywhere. I bought mine at Safeway, but you can also find them in Whole Foods.
Now to the good stuff, pizza. Being a Jersey girl means I have probably eaten 10x my weight in pizza over my lifespan. The reason why pizza is so amazing out there is the thin crust and amazing tomato sauce. But all that goodness isn’t the healthiest. So I tried to make my own healthy version of pizza using lavash bread. It only takes 15 minutes! A nice quick dinner or appetizer on one of those nights where you’re feeling lazy, which in my case is pretty much every other day.
Now Rumiano Cheese has been kind enough to let me host a giveaway! One luck winner (within the 48 contiguous states) will win 5 coupons for FREE Rumiano cheese and be able to spend their nights like this:
Enter below! (Ends October 13th @ midnight)
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com
. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Check out my guest post at 8Balloons! I shared a delicious recipe for pumpkin spice caramel, perfect for drizzling on ice cream, cake, or you can be like me and it it by the spoonfuls! On the other hand, Julie, from 8Balloons sent me these cute fall gift tags from Mooseberry! Check it out!