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June 2012

May 2012

mothers day brunch pt2

Blueberry trifle (3 of 5)

these were a cute little addition to our brunch menu. working in layers made these mini "fruit cup" extra special.

Blueberry trifle (5 of 5)
Blueberry trifle (2 of 5)

see how simple? i made these mini trifles using my orange olive oil loaf that i cubed into bite size pieces, mascarpone vanilla bean whipped cream, and blueberries (my favorite!)


last up on the brunch menu is something i have been dreaming about for awhile, and all that dreaming paid off because the almond toast was hit!

Almond toast (1 of 3)
each slice of thick bread gets a generous helping helping of the almond mixture

Almond toast (2 of 3)
sprinkled with almond slivers before a quick trip in the oven.

Almond toast (3 of 3)
voila! sprinkle with some confectioner sugar and it's done. to me this is the american version of an almond croissant, you capture all the rich buttery almond flavor but in half the time. if there is any interest i may do a recipe blog post for it, but for now the recipe remains in my heart.

i'm a sucker for almond desserts, and pastries. almond croissants, bear claws, marzipan..yes please!

anyone else out there a sucker too?




mothers day brunch pt1

Mothers day brunch (1 of 4)

this year's mother's day we celebrated with brunch for 4 moms and one birthday boy. although our stay in brunch was planned on short notice, i was in no short supply of menu ideas! you see..i kinda sorta totally am in love with breakfast. it's just a fact. it's the only meal of the day where you can have a sweet or savory meal, and more than often it's a combination of both, especially when it comes to brunch!

Mothers day brunch (3 of 4)
Mothers day brunch (4 of 4)

pretty decent spread if i don't say so myself! we are a hungry kinda bunch.


Berry pancakes (1 of 2)
Berry pancakes (2 of 3)

browned butter buttermilk pancakes. mm mm do you see those brown flecks? those are flecks of yumminess.

Berry pancakes (1 of 4)


the slowly cooked berry compote was THE perfect pairing for the buttermilk pancakes. i could day dream breakfast ideas for hours..sigh. told you i was in love.




st. louis gooey butter cake

another test bake, this gooey butter cake i made was straight up insane!

Buttercake (1 of 4)
Buttercake (2 of 4)

it's a two layer situation you see...

Buttercake (3 of 4)
Buttercake (4 of 4)

bottom layer think buttermilk cake doughnut, top layer think warm gooey butter candy with a crunch!

cravable stuff.

paula deen would be proud of the amount of butter i used in this crazy cake. not to mention this was only round 1, just wait for round #2. return of the butter bars will be bigger and even better!




the Foodcourt: Grouchy John's coffee (food truck)


the food truck scene has been sweeping the vegas streats and i am gladly reaping the benefits! i tried my first grouchy java treat at a First Friday earlier this year but have since made several repeat grouch mobile visits. unlike a lot of popular west coast cities vegas has very few local GOOD coffee shops and with Grouchy John's mobile caffeine success they have had the opportunity to open a recent store front. this is amazing to me! i love seeing vegas growing in this direction.

another delicious addition to add to the collection of tasty eats.


coffee date? see you there.







mothers day brunch instagram sneak peek

3 days before mother's day we didn't even have a menu, but something special was definitely dreamed up fast..

instantly in love with instagram.

for the small moments ya know?


garlic brie

roasted garlic + brie on parmesan cheese bread.


my tiny trifle

my mini trifle! orange olive loaf + mascarpone vanilla bean cream + blueberries.


almond toast

almond toast for the win. i have literally been obsessing over making this it just needed it's proper entrance and what better day than mothers day!


more photos to come.





testing testing..chocolate covered bacon, cookies?

baking with a purpose has been one of my 2012's goals! a lot of  baking experiments as of late have been for research for a special project. i hope to be able to incorporate my project in my blog in the future but for right now it's in the baby stages. test baking has it's advantages, especially for friends and family, and makes for yummy photos!

these cookies were brought to life for an old friend's birthday, he is a male friend so you can understand why i thought chocolate covered bacon cookies were the way to go.

Chocolate covered bacon
look familiar? heh

Chocolate bacon cookies
Chocolate bacon cookies 2
Chocolate bacon cookies 3

the best cookie for those who crave the salty & sweet and i call them the boyfriend cookie.


care to try a bite?




recipe box: carrot cake pancakes

a handful of my favorite bloggers really gave me extra motivation to be proactive in creating RitabakeZ, one of which is favorite foodie  Joy the baker, maybe you have heard of her? she recently released a cookbook filled with a 100 simple and comforting recipes like chocolate bourbon spiked banana bread, peach cobbler muffins and how to make the best cup of hot chocolate! but as soon as i saw her carrot cake pancakes i knew it had to be the first recipe to try. because seriously..cake, for breakfast? i am all about awesome ladies who can find me interesting ways to make it okay for me to eat CAKE for breakfast. did i mention she also has a recipe for oatmeal cookie pancakes too? cake and cookies for breakfast?! madness! but oh so good.


you do not even understand how delicious these were! this is how you are going to want to start your day.

Carrot (3 of 3)

Carrot (1 of 3)

thanks for an amazing breakfast Joy, this definitely will not be the last time we cook together.




recipe makes 12 to 16 small pancakes

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for the pancakes:

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

generous pinch of ground ginger (i used 1/4 of a teaspoon)

1 egg

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups finely grated carrots

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts & raisins (optional)

3 tablespoons butter or nonstick cooking spray


for the cream cheese spread:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

dash of ground cinnamon


    to make pancakes; in a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and if so desired, nuts and raisins.

    in a small bowl whisk together egg, brown sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. stir in the carrots.

    pour the buttermilk mixture, all at once, into the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. let rest for 5 minutes while you make the cream cheese spread.

    to make cream cheese spread; in a small bowl, whisk the cream cheese until soft and pliable and no lumps remain. whisk in powdered sugar, milk, vanill, and cinnamon. set aside to top the pancakes.

    over medium heat in a greased skillet. spoon 2 tablespoons of batter into the hot pan and cook flipping once, until pancakes are golden brown on either side.


the Foodcourt: Casey's Cupcakes

this is the introductory post of my first blog feature, The Foodcourt. i am obsessed with trying new cupcake shops, bakeries, restaurants, food trucks, cafes, specialty foods shops, buffets...pretty much any place selling food! i've been eating in all types of different food settings my whole life all thanks to my dad and his job that had me and my family moving around the globe every few years. i made so many memories from all of my experiences and now i have the perfect opportunity to properly keep adding to my "collection". 



Caseys Cupcakes

this year we celebrated my sister's birthday by taking a much needed quick spa weekend away from Vegas. this was actually my first spa visit and let me tell was heavenly. wow! we stayed at the beautiful Mission Inn and attached to our hotel & spa was the cutest cupcake shop!


Caseys Cupcakes2
i'm pretty sure this was the most girlie-st cupcake shop i have ever been to!

Caseys Cupcakes3

a variety of flavors choices and they only use whipped cream frosting. this is my best's favorite frosting and i had her in mind with the first bite.

Caseys Cupcakes4
Caseys Cupcakes7

Caseys Cupcakes5

too pretty to eat..almost.

Caseys Cupcakes10

pink & black menu board

Caseys Cupcakes11 Caseys Cupcakes9
merchandise + self serving candy station.

Caseys Cupcakes12

she even had her own sweetly themed bath product line!

Caseys Cupcakes14

indulging in your girlie side is a must upon entering, don't forget to check this cupcake shop out if you ever find yourself in riverside, ca.