Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oreo Cookie Cupcakes

Are you an oreo cookies fan? My brother in law 'Leonardo' is the biggest oreo fan I have ever seen. There is never enough oreos in the world for him. No matter what flavor - double stuffed or not. He loves himself some oreos  : - )

Just the other day I decided to make oreo cookie cupcakes and boy! Oh boy! did they come out delicious. I crushed up some redo and put it in the batter and I made a vanilla icing on top and then topped it off with 1 whole oreo cookie. Really yummy; they tasted just like an oreo cookie cake. Here is how you can make your own.

1 pack oreo cookies
1 cups powdered confectionary sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp clear vanilla extract

How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350F. Follow my basic cake recipe then: Take half of your oreo cookies packet and scrape off the inside (the filling) from all of your cookies and take only the chocolate cookies itself and crumb them up and throw them into your cake batter once you are completely done following the recipe above. Mix it all in and put them into your muffin trays. Bake in cupcake trays for 25 minutes in the oven. (Do Not over bake or it will harden) ( if you are not making muffins, then just put it into a cake tin and bake in the oven as usual, exactly as is described on the basic cake recipe above)

While your cupcakes are baking in the oven work on making the icing. In a big bowl using an electronic mixer. Mix in your confectionary sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Mix it well until it is like a frosting. Frost the top of your cupcake with it once its done and then top it off with your oreo cupcakes and your done.
From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Orange cupcake

Picture this: An orange flavored cupcake filled with soft milk chocolate and covered with a really good cream cheese frosting; decorated with an orange chocolate leaf on top.This was really, really fun to make and didn't take much time to do at all. You can do the same but flavor your cupcake, filling and frosting however you want. To get your own unique blend of flavors. I absolutely loved mine.

Play with your cake flavors, why only try vanilla cake when there are a world of flavors out there. Take this basic cake recipe which I use for almost anything and add vanilla extract to make it vanilla, add chocolate or strawberry powder to make it that flavor or even replace the milk for your pinnacle or orange juice to make it that flavor.

To make this orange cake. Follow my basic cake recipe just DO NOT ADD VANILLA EXTRACT and in the place of the milk add instead 1 cup orange juice. Put your cake in muffin pans and bake in the oven for 25 min. Once they are done use a cupcake filler and pipe in your filling. 
After you filled it, make your cream cheese frosting by following the recipe here  and use this frosting to pipe nicely on top of your cupcakes. If you don't have the cake tips or pipping bags like mine. Be creative and make a small hole in the cake and add in your filling and for the frosting use a knife and spread your frosting on top.

Then what I did was I got a chocolate mold and used orange colored chocolate chips and melted it in the microwave for 30 seconds and put it on the mold, and placed it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to create these shapes and designs; and put it nicely on top of the cupcake. Look at these cool cupcakes.

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Basic Cake Recipe

This basic cake recipe can be used for almost any cake. You can add to it or take away from it in order to get the flavor you desire. Here is your recipe: It comes out nice and super fluffy. Really an irresistible cake.

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F, in a mixing bowl put in your butter and sugar and mix well until smooth, then add in your eggs and mix again until nice and creamy, add flour and mix, add baking powder and mix again then add in your vanilla and mix and lastly add your milk and mix it well.

Butter and flour your cake pan and pour in your mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 min.
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Friday, April 4, 2014

Honey Citrus Salmon

Quick and easy with very minimal ingredients.

2 Boneless Salmon fillet
1/2 tsp Honey
1 Orange
1 Lemon
Seasonings (salt, white pepper, garlic powder)

Simply season your salmon to perfection with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Once its seasoned, in a frying pan under medium-low heat, pan fry your salmon for 3 minutes on each side.
'Do Not Overcook your salmon or else it will get tough.' Set it aside while you work on your sauce.

Take your lemon and your orange, squeeze out as much juice as you can from each of them. Put that juice into a small pot; and cook on medium heat, until it starts to boil. Once boiling take your add in your honey, mix and cook for about 8 minutes until the sauce thickens into a syrup. Coat your fish with this sauce or serve it on the side.
Print Recipe
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ideas on plating the food

Presentation is the key. If you worked hard at making it, then work hard at presenting it to show how hard you actually worked at it. One thing I learned in culinary school is that a person will buy something first with their eyes. Take yourself for instance when you go to a bakery, restaurant or anywhere that serves of sells food. How do you know what you want. In most cases you see it and fall in love with its appearance or how delicious it looks that you end up getting it. You don't know how it tastes yet. But you already love it.
Get this by placing your food in the center of the plate and lightly drizzling the sauce & oils all around your food

Then you buy it and you either  love it or hate it after you take your first few bites. Sometimes you'll hate it. You think it tastes horrible, nothing compared to how it looked etc. But you bought it. Because of how it looked.
take your food and neatly decorate it cater-cornered on your plate, use different colored vegetables ( raw or cooked) to get the vibrant colors you like and cut up tiny pieces of chives or baby spring onions or any herb. To create the line.

Sometimes you go through all the hard work of preparing the food but then because you don't know how to properly plate it  you end up having your food presentation looking a mess. In this post I am going to teach you different ways that you can actually fix the food on the plate. To make it look more than amazing. Amazing enough where people don't want to touch it because it looks like a work of art as in these pictures below will show it.  To be honest even I myself need to take more time to plate the food better than I do.
Stack your rice, meat and veggies all in layers in the center of your plate and with your meat or veggie sauce/oils or any dressing, dipping sauce you want create this half circle by lightly drizzling it in place around your stacked food.
Kkkkk…. My husband is to blame for that kkkkk…. I love fixing the plate as in these pictures but he gets anxious to eat the delicious food that he won't wait for me to make it look nice on a plate. He could care less for the presentation. But look at it… I am one who really, really does care for presentation. though everyone is different I am sure that the biggest majority is of those who do care how their food is presented on a plate. Call me picky if you want but if the food does not look presentable. I am not touching it. If I do touch it ; its with a lot of ahhhhhhh….. I wish I didn't have to.
Do this with your food or dessert using any type of sauces or liquids. In this picture they were creative in using caramel. Just squeezing it out of the bottle in a zig zag motion will do the job. To make it a thicker consistency try refrigerating it a little to make it a bit harder before squeezing.
Pay attention to all the detail in these pictures. You can use any food, or anything edible to create these designs, colors and shapes on your plate. Play around with ideas. Uses sauces, creams, fruit, vegetables, oils etc. to create these swirly lines or funny dipping shapes and designs.
Look at this one. Absolutely genius. It looks as if someone just poured this light caramel sauce all over the plate. But look how gorgeous. You can lightly pour it on your plate neatly cleaning around the edges with paper towel to define the pour. Then place your food or dessert all around the poured out sauce.
Looking at these pictures above. If you have money and go to a restaurant just by the look of these amazing plating skills you would pay top dollar no matter how much it is just to try it. Because look how gorgeous it is. All of these things can be easily done at home. There is no huge secret or machines that make it look this nicely. Its just creativity and a person using their hands to make it as beautiful as they see it to be.
Take spoonful of your creamy styled sauce, mustard or anything you will use and put a big drop on your plate. Now with the back part of your spoon, push downward and drag forward to make this sideward droop look. Now plate your dish all around the droops 
So next time you cook don't ever just serve your food straight from the pot or just throw it on a plate with a wooden spoon, or just sit in front of the TV eating it any kind of way. It took your time to cook this great dish. Serve it whether it be to yourself or to others with beauty. This gives you much more joy and pleasure in eating this 5 star dish made from home.
I love this one, here you have what seems to be a perfectly cooked piece of salmon and instead of laying it flat on the plate as usual it is standing on its side. Laying on a bed of fresh vegetables and decorated with edible flowers. Brilliant.

From my kitchen to yours

Ideas on setting the table

Sometimes you go through all the hard work of preparing the food but then because you don't know how to properly  set the table you end up having your presentation looking a mess. In this post I am going to teach you different ways that you can actually set your table. To make it look more than amazing. Amazing enough where people don't want to touch it because it looks like a work of art as in these pictures below.

After your food is all done and cooked. Be creative with fixing your table. Get some nice flowers, candles or anything you have to decorate and use as a center piece to your table. Look for your best dishes, the nicest ones. The best cups, forks, knives and spoons you have at home. and place it there on the table with love. One thing that really frustrates me is when people forget to put napkins on the table. Everyone needs napkins. I hate sitting to eat and then I need to wipe my mouth and there are no napkins. Ahhhhhh…… so annoying. So make sure you put napkins to clean the mouth, put some placemats.

If you don't have placemats look for some decorative paper, pillow cases or whatever you have at home to make it look nice. Be creative. If you don't have the money look around the house for what you think would work. If you do have the money then go out and get these timings. Its a necessity for when serving anyone from family to guests to well… Yourself… People I've lived with in the past laugh at me because even when I cook for myself if my husband is not home. I will set the table the same way and cook the best meal for myself. Hey! I deserve it too… : -)

So go all out and set up your table first even before the cooking  of the food and before the plating for the food. You need to have a well set table. Pay attention to the detail on all of the table settings. Notice they have a center piece, something drawing your attention on the table. Then notice they all have matching cups, utensils and plates, Notice how they are placed on the table. Mix and match your colors. Each table arrangement is different. Try your own way and do what you can with what you have.

If you want to go one step further you can even decorate your napkins into tons of different fun shapes, colors and designs. Check out this blog post on napkin folds

There is never no set design of how your table should be set. This is where creativity comes to play. Don't ever limit yourself. If you find it try to make it work, use a pretty sheet to cover your table if you don't have a table cloth and have no money, and different colored pillow cases as your placemat. You see. No one has an excuse to have a poorly set table. Try your hardest. The more joy you put into creating this master piece the prettier it will come out. If you have the money then go be creative and find a color theme, set it up with different colored pebbles, rose peddles, marbles, flowers, candles or anything else. 

Another nice thing to do is leave a treat on top of each nicely folded napkin. Whether it be a nice note, a mint, chocolate a small gift or anything else. Depending on the occasion go the extra mile. Especially for guests. Be hospitable and give your all. But to have a properly served table shouldn't be only when you have guests come over. You should constantly have a set table when eating. As I mentioned above. Whether it be just for you yourself , family or for a group of people.

From my kitchen to yours

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Neapolitan Cake

Just the other day I made a cake with 3 flavors in the batter. Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. Boy oh boy was it good, and look how cool it looks with all the swirls. I chose these 3 flavors cause its what I had at home and I thought it would look cool but you can choose whatever colors you want and you can use as many colors as you see fit; and make it a super cool rainbow cake. kkkkk…. just don't mind the hideous florescent blue icing I used kkkk… its all I had at home and I didn't feel like running to the store to get food coloring or anything else. So blue icing it is. The point is that the neapolitan cake was amazingly good blue icing or not : - )

To get this cake all you need to do is make a fresh batch of cake from scratch. Here is one of my basic cake recipes. Then you will separate your cake batter into as many bowls you want ( each bowl will be colored a different color) You will use food coloring/ food dye to color your cake batter each a different color. I used pink, brown and yellow ( but I didn't have food coloring so what I did instead was use chocolate powder, strawberry powder and vanilla to make my flavors Neapolitan as well as to make the colors different.

Preheat your oven to 350F or 175C and After mixing in your colors to each bowl. Grease and flour your cake tin and then you need to carefully layer your colors on top of each other in the tin one at a time until its all done. For example: Put one layer of pink,  then on top of that yellow,  on top of that brown then go again pink, yellow, brown  or whatever colors you are using. etc. until the entire batter is gone. Do not mix in your colors AT ALL once in the tin. Follow the cake recipe above and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until done. Your done and ready to serve. Eat it just as it is or frost it and serve,Once you cut into the middle you will get to see your rainbow design. 

Try using a variety of bright colors to get a really nice, fun, colorful cake.
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

how to make the ultimate 'Grits N Eggs'

Every time I eat this, people who are not american look at me like ' what is that' kkkk… it is an ultimate traditional American breakfast. Grits is ground up hominy corn. It is filling, delicious and gives you a great boost of energy and brain strength for the rest of your day. Here is some trivia for you: For those of you who don't know. Americans are really breakfast people we normally eat a heavy breakfast, slightly heavy lunch and a light dinner as to other cultures who eat an extremely light breakfast, heavy lunch and even heavier dinner : - )

But this grits n eggs is one of my favorite breakfast foods. Here is how you can make it.

Simply take your grits which looks like small pieces of rice and put 1 cup water to boil. add a pinch of salt to your water. Once your water is boiled add in your 1/2 cup grits and cook for about 7 minutes on medium low heat and your done. Separately make some scrambled eggs and add a little cheddar cheese to your eggs and plate both things as pictured above. Your done. it takes no longer than 10 minutes for this yummy breakfast.
Serve with a pinch of butter . mmmmmm.

Check out this awesome blog by my sister

From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fat Free Flan (Pudim de Leite)

Normally an entire flan is about 3490 calories making each slice about 218 calories.But this healthier one is about 2750 calories for the whole thing and about 172 calories per slice. We managed to knock out about 700+  calories and still keep the same great taste just by using healthier ingredients.

This version is:
2750 calories
0 fat
15mg cholesterol
586g carbohydrate

Per slice / 16 slices
172 calories
0g fat
Less than 1mg cholesterol
37g carbohydrate
Not bad hummm
Using these items below
Regular Flan
3490 calories
95g fat
1100mg cholesterol
521g carbohydrate

Per slice/ 16 slices
218 calories
6g fat
69mg cholesterol
33g carbohydrate

Check out the amount of Cholesterol

This recipe makes a double batch for the flan to be bigger. But you can do half the recipe if you would like. It will just be smaller.

I used:
*2 cans fat -free sweetened condensed milk 
*2 cans fat free lactose free milk
*1 cup egg beaters (equivalent to 4 eggs)
*3 tbsp caramel (smucker's toppings)

Blend all ingredients (except for the caramel) together in a blender for about 20sec. Mix with a spoon, then blend for like a minute.
Spray a bundt form pan with PAM spray, then add the caramel. Over the caramel, pour the milk mix. Cover with aluminum foil tightly and bake in oven on 350*F in baño Maria for an hour.

Let cool for an hour or two.
Flip over and enjoy!

This recipe was actually done and given to me by my sister Elsie, she came up with this idea to find a way to make an equally delicious Flan but with few calories and less guilt whilst eating it. She is such a smarty and a great baker may I add. thanks sis for this amazing recipe. Your the best… By the way for those of you who might not know she also has a blog but hers is about dating the right way… those of you in a relationship or in need of finding the right one should definitely check out her blog. Its amazing. I'm married already and still read it because she makes some interesting points.

For the full fatty version click here:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun recipes that I can do with my kids...

Kids love to come in the kitchen and help their mommy cook. I created a few kid friendly colorful recipes that you and your little one can enjoy together. There are even some recipes that don't require cooking that they can do on their own and feel like they did the extraordinary and cooked or baked you a meal : - ) They all have 5 ingredients or less. Get your little ones to enjoy cooking at a young age so that when they get older this won't be a hard task for them to have to
learn. It'll be something natural to them.

A lady just asked me the other day for some tips on fun things she can do along with her little daughter. Here are a few yummy yet fun/ 30 minutes or less.

Open Top Pie (12 servings)

1 pack Puffy pastry pie dough
2 Chicken breasts
1 1/2  cup broccoli (chopped into bite size pieces)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350F. Then line your muffin try with all of your puff pastries similar to th picture above. Set it aside.

Take a pot and fill it half way with water and allow to boil while you take your chicken breast rinse it out and clean it with lemon. Then throw it into your boiling water and allow to cook for about 20  - 25 minutes or until thoroughly cooked with no pink.

Once cooked drain your water and with two forks shred your chicken

Once shredded return the chicken to a pot and cook on medium heat to allow it to lightly brown, add in your broccoli and cook for about 1 minute. Season your dish with either a chicken cube or salt, pepper, all purpose seasoning and garlic powder. Add in your heavy cream cover your pot and reduce heat to medium- low and cook for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is soft and the ingredients are all well blended together. It should not look dry. If it is a bit dry add in a little more heavy cream until it is nice and creamy. 
Though this picture is of something else, just take the idea of what I how to fill your trays. But I would suggest you fill it a little less, than in this picture.

Spoon your filling into each muffin tray ( fill it half way) and sprinkle the top with cheese and bake in the oven for about 15 - 20 minutes or until the pie crust if fully cooked or your cheese on top in nicely browned.

Remove it from the muffin pans and it should come out like little hand held open top pies. Really yummy and can be made in 30 min.

Pepperoni Pizza on Garlic Bread

Texas Toast Garlic bread (meaning thick sliced bread) or even regular sliced bread if you want
Tomato sauce
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
chopped up Pepperoni
1 veggie of your choice- can be diced spinach or leeks or shredded carrots

For this picture above, I made it a little differently where I put my pepperoni on the bottom but take the idea of the picture just to know what I mean but change it up a little more as I am mentioning below to make a more colorful, heart healthy, fun pizza with your little ones.

Preheat your oven to 400F, 

In a bowl toss together your diced or shredded vegetable and diced pepperoni

Simply take your bread and put 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce onto the bread. Then sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of the tomato sauce and throw on your chopped up toppings. Then sprinkle just a hint more of cheese on top  and bake it in the oven for about 5 minutes or less on 400F/ 200C until you see your cheese nicely melted and light brown
Just a tip: If you choose to use garlic bread. This takes a little longer to cook. So first put your garlic bread in the oven for 5 minutes then flip it over and put your toppings and cook it in the oven as instructed above.

Cookie Favors

You can also take simple cookies and use different things such as frosting, whipped cream, candy, fruits and all types of fun colorful things such as marshmallows, sprinkles etc. to for cars, clowns or whatever else you want.

Peach/Pineapple Tart

1 Can of pineapple with its juices drained
1 Can of Peaches with its syrup (not drained)
1 box yellow cake mix

Preheat your oven to 350F or 170C. Then Pour both of your cans into a pyrex that will go into the oven. (Remember to drain out the juice from the pineapples can only, but leave the syrup from the peach can) Then take your cake mix and sprinkle the entire box all over the top of the canned fruit.

Take spoons of butter and spread them out evenly all over the top of the cake mix.  Put it in the oven for about 40 - 50 minutes until it is nicely browned.

Slice and serve. I ate it hot out of the oven with some yummy vanilla ice cream.

Strawberry Shortcake (No cooking required)

Store bought Pound Cake or Angel Food Cake
strawberry jam
whipping cream spray
fresh cut strawberries

Cut into slices your cake (pound cake or angel food cake) then spread a thin layer of strawberry jam on top then spray your whipped cream on top of the jam. Lastly decorate it with a few pieces of fresh cut strawberry on top of the whipped cream for that added fresh taste and garnish.

Jello Cheesecake

Jello cheesecake mix
fresh fruit of your choice
canned cherry or strawberry pie filling

Follow the ingredients on the box for a 1-2-3 easy step cheesecake. Individually wrap your muffin trays with your muffin tins and put a thin layer of graham crackers on the bottom of each one then pour a small amount of your cheesecake into each muffin tray and refrigerate overnight.

The next day remove it from the fridge and decorate the top with fresh cut fruit on some of them and on the others you can put a small spoonful of your pie filling in the center of some of them… This way you have plain cheesecake or strawberry/cherry cheesecake.
From my kitchen to yours
God Bless

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blog viewers worldwide

Kendria from California tried the chicken wrapped in bacon recipe

Lisa from Cape Town, South Africa tried my Empadao recipe

Today I decided to go through all of my files and share with you all of the blog viewers to date who have tried my recipes or have paid attention to the cooking advise given on this blog to utilize their talents and expand their cooking skills. Congrats to you all for trying hard and going above and beyond your own expectations. There are many others who have been following the posts on my blog and congratulations to you as well.

If you have seen this blog help you, then comment below inspiring those who have not yet tried.

Wame from Botswana tried my recipe of Spaghetti and Meatballs

Leanne from Ireland made Flan

A person who has an open mind will never fail in life because they are always willing to learn something new. Keep an open mind and put into practice the thing you didn't know how to make. Only in this way will you truly be able to learn a new talent, develop a new skill and explore the cooking world  : - )
Amanda from Dallas made a fun Fruit Punch for her kids birthday party
Sulma from the Philippines made garlic bread
If you have been cooking with me, making some of these dishes or this blog has been helping you, share your testimonial and experience with me. So that I can also post your dishes and experiences later on in this blog. 

If you are one of those who simple pass by to read the blog but don't ever muster up the guts to actually try it; in the name of  'I Can't'… well, there is nothing else to say to you but get up and try. All of these people as well didn't know how to until they got up and tried.

Eunice from Dallas taught me how to make Flauntas
Happiness from New Jersey made a delicious chocolate covered strawberry cake
If all of these people could be creative and do these thing. Why can't you. I decided to share this with you all, just to make a point just to inspire those of you who haven't yet tried. Take a chance...

Mayela from Texas made a Choco Flan

 I had the greatest privilege to actually meet some of my international blog viewers. What a pleasure that was. Hopefully one day soon. I may meet some others:


Others wrote to me about their questions or experiences: 

Hello Mrs Elise, My name is Amelia and I am from  the Uk, the branch her in Finsbury ParkI have been looking at you blog and love the different recipes you have shared!!. I can almost taste it lol. Well just today I had made a Cooking Rota, on the days in which I will be cooking at home  ( I live with two of my close friends). I am down for Tuesday's and Sundays, and I wanted to do something special, tasty, healthy and filling. Not only for a week but constantly making tasty food to enjoy and not just to 'kill that hungry belly'.What do you suggest?I was thinking to make a lasagna, but not to sure of how to make it.
Looking forward to hear from you :-) xx

    Amelia Vicente

Dear Mrs Elise
My name is **** and currently stay in Cape Town (South Africa). I follow and read your blog and I am enjoying it. I stumbled across your blog while I was doing some research on your husband's book for a Godllywood task I was doing last year.
I would just like to know from you what are the basic things that need to be in a shopping list. For example, I am aspiring homemaker and cook, so what are the things that I need to have on my grocery list.
Secondly, what are the things that I need to have always in my kitchen, meaning utensils, materials, etc.
I enjoy your blog and learn many things from it, like cleaning chicken
I really hope to hear from you soon.
Many kisses

Here are others who also sent in their pictures:

If you want some of these recipe here they are:

Chicken wrapped in bacon
Empadao/ Brazilian Chicken Pie
Spaghetti and Meatballs

From my kitchen to yours
God bless

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