Sweet Sundays: Oreo Chocolate Madness!!!

Chocolate Oreo Madness :-)

Chocolate Oreo Madness 🙂

Hola My Foodie Lovers and Friends! ESPECIALLy the Sweet Tooths :-)!

First off hope everyone had an amazing weekend, hopefully filled with fun, good food, and of course some much needed REST! I know for myself my weekend was pretty decent and it actually taught me a lot (I know how can two days really teach you anything, but it did!). Lately I have been feeling that I am at a crossroads. There are so many different opportunities to choose from and with a busy yet pretty much redundant schedule I was losing my love for life. In other words I felt like I was stuck in a HUGE rut! People around me seem to have a lot more going while me was same old same old! Than I realized that I cannot just sit there and let life pass me by, but rather create new opportunities and experiences for me. I almost thought that running away from this place was the best option but I realized that it would not help my situation of my lack for lust of life. So I decided to LIVE, LIVE, LIVE. I am expose myself to new and more exciting experiences and hope that it will cure this “ailment” so to speak LOL. Only time will tell but I will DEFINITELY keep you in the know 😉

This week I was inspired to bake because not only had it been a while, but I wanted something to pick me up from my “funk”. Cooking as I have said before is one of my forms of therapy and I love to go through the pantry and create new dishes or treats that I know my family and coworkers would enjoy. Thats when I decided to make a cake with crushed Oreo’s and a yummy chocolate drizzle. Decadent I know but oh so yummy! I even cheated a little bit from my clean “diet” and had a small slice just to test it out of course. This cake recipe is simple and oh so delicious and is HIGHLY recommended for the chocolate lover 🙂

Ingredients:

  • For  Cake:
    • 1 box of Betty Crocker Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
    • 3 Eggs
    • 1-1/4 cup of Milk (I used 2%)
    • 1/2 cup of cooled melted Butter
    • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
    • 1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
    • 1-1 1/2 cups of crushed Oreo Cookies
  • For Oreo & Chocolate Drizzle/Ganache Topping
    • 9 ounces of Bittersweet or Semisweet Chocolate Chips
    • 1 cup of Heavy Cream
    • 1 cup of crushed Oreo Cookies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine dry ingredients: cake mix and pudding mix and set aside.
    Cake and Pudding Mix

    Cake and Pudding Mix

     Also crush your Oreos for both the cake and your cake topping and set aside.

    Crush Oreo Goodness!

    Crush Oreo Goodness!

  3. In a medium-large size bowl whisk together your eggs, milk, and melted butter till combined.
    Egg Mixture

    Egg Mixture

    Than pour your cake mix into the egg mixture and whisk till combined and smooth.

  4. Pour in your crush Oreos and fold into your cake batter till combined.

    Oreos folded into cake batter

    Oreos folded into cake batter

  5. Spray your tube cake pan with baking non stick spray and pour in your batter. (I was lucky enough to find and aluminum angel food cake pan so cleaning was essentially a breeze!)

    Cake batter in pan

    Cake batter in pan

  6. Bake the cake for 20 to 30 minutes or until center of the cake is baked (toothpick test).
  7. Once bake remove from pan and let the cake cool till cold to touch.

    Delicious and warm cake!

    Delicious and warm cake!

  8. Meanwhile you can make your chocolate ganache: add your chocolate chips into a medium size heat proof bowl and set aside. Add your heavy cream into a small sauce pan and heat till simmering (small bubbles in the corners). Than pour your heavy cream to your chocolate chips and whisk till combined and has a velvety texture. (This recipe makes about 2 cups so you can use the amount desired for your cake!)
  9. Once cake is cooled pour about half your ganache onto your cake (I use a cup to pour the ganache to make it easier). Than add your crushed Oreos and pour the rest onto your cake (Make a drizzle effect).

    Finishing of a ganache and drizzle oreo cake

    Finishing of a ganache and drizzle oreo cake

  10. Let this set for about 20-30 minutes before serving.
  11. Slice this yummy cake and ENJOY!

    Sliced deliciousness :-)

    Sliced deliciousness 🙂

This cake was yummy and I think it came out pretty awesome! It was moist and soo delicious and it was gone in about an hour at work. I wanted to put up this recipe because its deliciously homemade and easy enough for any baker who is just starting. It does not matter that the starter is a cake mix, creativity makes anything yours. So go out and buy any cake mix and add some delicious add ins! You never know what you can create 😉

Love you all and hope you have a happy and yummy rest of your Sunday and a great week!

Norah 🙂

Life Motto [Image from: www.verybestquotes.com]

Life Motto [Image from: http://www.verybestquotes.com]

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The Beauty of a Hand

The Beauty of a Heart

The hand can hold the talent to create some beautiful things…

Hey my friends,

I wanted to take a new approach to poetry by writing a recipe within a poem. It was a bit tricky but I think it came out unique yet beautiful. Hope you enjoy 🙂

The Beauty of a Hand

These hands

These overused yet simple hands

Sometimes manicured to perfection

But most of the time simple and ordinary

No polish on the fingers

Nails tend to get long

Your simple yet beautiful hands

 

They tend to create a beautiful thing

A beautiful thing you say…

Yes a beautiful thing..

It can start with the opening of a simple cookie mix…

That leads to the mixing and intertwining of something simple yet beautiful…

The marriage of an egg, stick of butter and of course lots of sweet chocolate chips

Creating a dough so rich yet a bit grainy to the tip

The beauty of a simple dough

The beauty of a simple dough

 

The use of this hand can shape a simple yet perfect heart

Perfect like a heart shape pan

Butter it up with sweet nothings

Tell me secrets that you have never shared

Press them down towards my soul like dough to a pan

Let it sink in into every corner like my heart

Show my heart the true joy of knowing you

Light a fire like you would and oven

Engulf me in your heat 350 degrees

Let me settle in your warmth

Love me not only for 10 to 15 minutes

But love me for a lifetime

 

Perfect shaped heart <3

Perfect shaped heart ❤

 

Let this beauty cool till cold to the touch

Awing at the perfect form

Love comes in all types of forms

It can be showered in words, actions, even a simple gesture

But for these hands they shower love in pink icing

The sweetness so decadent it is covered and written on this beautiful heart

Use these hands…

To show me how you love me

To show me how you care

Actions clearly speak louder than words…

 

Your hands

Your simple yet beautiful hands…

They have created

They have used

These hands have shown kindness

These hands have shown strength

 

My beautiful hands tell a story

Sometimes pure

Sometimes dark

But with a simple idea

They create not only beauty

They create…

Love

 

Love can be shown in any form

Love can be shown in any form

 

 

 

What A Sweet Surprise! Valentine’s Day Highlights and Super Sweet Blogging Award!

VDay Highlights

V-Day Highlights!!!

Hello My Wonderful Fellow Foodies!

Hope you guys had an amazing week and a sweet Valentine’s Day! I had made lots of yummy treats for friends and family such as a rum cake for my mother (did a new recipe and she LOVED it!), cookie cakes (I will make a recipe post very soon 🙂 and truffles for my friends and coworkers. I know lots and lots of baking!

My baking highlights :-)

My baking highlights 🙂

I have been bestowed with such an amazing honor of being nominated with the Super Sweet Blogging Award by Samantha from her amazing blog Food Flavor Fascination . Her blog is full of unique and fascinating recipes and if you take the time to look and read her blog, you will see why her blog is AMAZING! Thanks so much for the great honor Samantha 🙂

Super Sweet Blogging Award!

Super Sweet Blogging Award!

I decided to partake in this awesome award and if you are nominated here are the rules:

Rules for Super Sweet Blogging Award include:

1  Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you.
2  Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back.
3 Answer the “Super Sweet” questions.
4  Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (= 13)** blogs the award, a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.
5  Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere.

Super Sweet Questions:

1. Cookies or Cake?     

Even though I LOVEEE both, I am more of a cookie girl 🙂

2. Chocolate or Vanilla?

I love chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!!!

3. What is your favorite sweet treat?     

Honestly ice cream with some form of chocolate and caramel, I love the combination of caramel and chocolate in any kind of treat. But with my recent health kick I love dark chocolate with almonds.

4. When do you crave sweet things the most?     

After reading sweet and delicious dessert postings or after a long and hard day of work honestly LOL. 

5. If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?     

Hmm this is a toughy…maybe caramel because I loveee caramel and its sweet and velvety lol.

Here are My Nominations for the Baker’s Dozen!

Food Flavor Fascination

At Margareta’s Haus

Food For The Soul

Inspire and Indulge

Sweet Presicion

SweetRevelations

Fleur De Sel

Just Enough Sugar

Bossy in a Bowl

Uni Homemaker

The Reluctant Weight Watchers Foodie

A Sweeter Thing

GlutenFreeGus.com

All the blogs I picked are blogs that inspire me to be a better baker and chef! Each are filled with amazing recipes and the creativity alone is enough for each an every one of them to be nominated! Thank you guys! I have to say since starting this blog I have dedicated myself to really going for my passions in both cooking and baking and I hope by reading each and every post you are inspired in even a small way. I know by reading the endless amount of blogs I find inspirations to do better as a person wether is is food, fitness, baking, fashion, poetry, photography, the categories are endless! I thank all my bloggers especially the ones I nominated and follow for inspiring me EVERYDAY 🙂

Life As A Culinary Girl Saying :-)

Life As A Culinary Girl Saying 🙂

 

Sweet and Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies With a Hint of Nutella

Chocolate and Nutella Gold

Instagram Photo: Chocolate and Nutella Gold

Happy Sunday My Sweet Toothed Foodies,

I hope you all are having a great sunday, mine of course was traditional and relaxing with church and brunch with the family. Nothing beats my sunday morning than a great service followed by some yummy food! After brunch I was lucky enough to whip up a quick batch of cookies and I thought why not play with it. I had a Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and I was  OF COURSE craving cookies. This by far is one of my favorite mixes not only because the results are some yummy cookies but you can make the mix your own with your own variations.

Image from bettycrocker,com

Image from bettycrocker,com

As you all know I love to experiment with all kinds of food products so of course I had to make these cookies with a twist, Nutella!!! Now if you know me I am a LOVER OF NUTELLA! I grew up eating Nutella when a family member brought a jar overseas or was lucky enough to find it in a store. I remember countless times eating Nutella on toast or bagels while watching cartoons or movies to now baking Nutella into cupcakes and delicious creme frostings. Basically Nutella is an honoree family member in my family who must always be in my house (aka in my pantry LOL). Now on to the recipe, this is just my version of making quick and easy chocolate chip cookies with a delicious Nutella swirl!

Heaven on EARTHH!

Heaven on EARTHH!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 softened stick of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbsp of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 -1 cup of Mini Hershey Kiss Chocolate Chips or any kind of Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of Nutella (Hazelnut Chocolate Spread)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium size bowl combine your chocolate chip cookie mix, one egg, unsalted butter (chopped into pieces), vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, and chocolate chips
    Pre-Mix Cookie Dough

    Pre-Mix Cookie Dough

    and mixed till combined. (I like to mix it with my hands but a wooden spoon will do)

    nutella2

    Mixed Cookie Dough

  3. Split your cookie dough is half and scoop in some Nutella and swirl it with the cookie dough.

    Swirled Nutella Cookie Dough

    Swirled Nutella Cookie Dough

  4. Use an ice scooper and scoop on some dough and place on your baking pan to bake for 10-12 minutes (**Cookies will be done when you can lift the corner slightly)

    nutella4

    Chocolate Chip and Nutella Swirl Cookie Dough

  5. Remove and let them cool slightly or like many others just enjoy the soft and warm cookie fresh out of the oven!

    Finished Product...delicious cookieness!

    Finished Product…delicious cookieness!

Now that you got the gist of how to make simple and easy Chocolate Chip Nutella Swirl Cookies now go and make your own! This is definitely a crowd pleaser and the kids will love this as well. So next time you pick up a cookie mix get creative 🙂

Creativity is Key :-)

Creativity is Key 🙂

Happy Baking 🙂

When Distraction Leads to New Creations… Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake

Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake!

Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake!

Hey My Sweet Tooths and Chocoholics (I admit I am one of each!)

I am finally making my first baking post in a looong time! I guess when you get consumed with work and life you tend to not have time to do what you love! Well I finally took the time to test out a recipe that I have been trying to make for the longest! Well it all started when I stumbled on the recipe online while looking for a new cake recipe to try out. The recipe ended up on allrecipes.com. I have to say allrecipes.com is one of my top sites to look for recipes because it not only has all kinds of sweet and savory recipes but the reviews are honest and really helpful. While on the cake hunt I happen to have found a recipe called “Better than Sex Cake”. The name alone would make anyone stop and be like for real?! So I looked through the recipe and I thought why not give it a try! The combination of chocolate and caramel with sweetened condensed milk, I was like that’s my kinda combo!

Example of Better Than Sex Cake : allrecipes.com Image from Erica

Example of Better Than Sex Cake : allrecipes.com Image from Erica

I decided to make it with my sister as something fun to do on a cold day. The process was a lot of fun to make but heres the thing. I kinda winged the recipe LOL. I had thought I memorized the recipe in my head but I did not make the exact recipe and made something entirely different! (I blame it on my sister for making me laugh and distracting me LOL) I have to say I still like the results and the cake was flavorful and very rich. So without further ado here is Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of Carnation Whole Milk
  • 1 can of Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2 cup of Melted (Unsalted) Butter or Margarine (cooled)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 box of Chocolate Fudge Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 jar of Caramel Sauce
  • (Optional) 1/2-1 cup of Chocolate Chips to melt for chocolate drizzle
  • Utensils and Gadgets
    • Whisk
    • Rubber Spatula
    • Wooden or Plastic Mixing Spoon
    • Baking Nonstick Spray w/ Flour
    • Large and Medium Mixing bowls
    • Standard Bundt Pan
    • Wire Cooling Racks
    • (Optional) Decorative Squeeze Bottles for chocolate and caramel (Can be found in craft stores such as Michaels and AC Moore)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven at 350 degrees F and spray your Bundt Pan
  2. In a Large Bowl add in your dry ingredients: Chocolate Cake and pudding mix and mix together with a whisk till combined

    Cake and Pudding Mix

    Cake and Pudding Mix

  3. In a Medium Size bowl add your wet ingredients: Whole Milk, Melted Butter, Eggs, and Vanilla Extract and whisk till combined

    Egg and Milk Mixture

    Egg and Milk Mixture

  4. Pour your milk and egg mixture to your cake mix bowl and mix till combined**cake batter will be very thick. (**The reason why I like this method of combining your dry and wet ingredients is your cake batter will mix more efficiently and your cake will have a fine texture)

    Chocolate Cake Batter

    Chocolate Cake Batter

  5. Pour Cake batter in your greased bundt pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or till cake springs back when you touch it or toothpick method

    Before Baked

    Before Baked

  6. After it is Baked

    After it is Baked

    Once cake is done remove from oven and poke holes throughout cake with either a toothpick or knife and pour sweetened condensed milk. Once soaked in take your wire rack or even your cake plate and flip cake over (**WARNING!!!: By mistake I had left the cake soaked in the sweet condensed milk for WAY t0o long and it had become stuck in the pan! (I told you my sister distracted me!) So my friends if your cake does become stuck, DO NOT PANIC! Just simple put your pan carefully in a hot water bath for a couple of minutes and your cake will come right out unharmed. DO NOT FORCE IT OUT!)

    Sweet Condensed Milk being poured into cake

    Sweet Condensed Milk being poured into cake

  7. Once cake is ready and cooled, drizzle both caramel and chocolate onto the cake. I used my decorative tubes to make the drizzle easier and there a great investment for any baking project!
  8. Serve and enjoy!

    Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake!

    Chocolate Caramel Bundt Cake!

The chocolate cake is rich with flavor and quite delicious. I had made a cake for my family and for my coworkers and they had both enjoyed the cake very much. I hope some of you may even try out this recipe and let me know what you think! I have to say I had a lot of fun making this with my sister. During that time we caught up with stuff going on in our lives, joked around A LOT and I even taught her a couple baking tips. So next time you bake, do it with someone you love, whether your sibling, child, significant other, or a friend; you will see how much fun you will really have! So my friends hope you get inspired with a new baking recipe and even if you get distracted you never know what delicious creations you come up with!

Happy Baking 🙂

Baking quote <3

Baking quote ❤ (Image from pininterest.com)

I Am Alive And Ready For Change!!!

Hello world! So its been sooo long since I wrote a post and its so weird but feels great to write again. Its funny how life can direct us in different directions whether we like it to or not. A lot has happened since the end of 2011 that has caused me to drift from the things I loved. When my grandmother had passed away last summer it had affected me more than I even thought it had. I started to slowly not about the things that I had made a huge part of my life such as starting my business, fitness, and even my health. Sometimes we tend to be mask soo much by our sadness that we do not notice we sabotage ourselves. But thankfully with the help of family and friends I noticed that and slowly went back to my old self. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss my grandma, but I know in my heart she would want nothing but the best for me. Becoming strong and fighting my demons is not only for myself but for her. And I am happy to say I’m slowly becoming excited for the future.

Lately I have been really looking into what I really want to do and where I want to be in my life. One of the exciting things that is happening is the fact that I’m in my last semester of my culinary program! I’m finally filing for graduation next week and it feels great! Its so crazy on how much I’ve learned and grown as a cook and to become a chef and to really start working on what I love to do is so wild! I’m also getting a big head start on starting my own catering company and hope to be involved in a couple of fun projects this summer.

Another thing is I’m going back to changing my diet and revamping my fitness regimen. I have lately stop caring about what I put in my mouth and unfortunately gained the weight I worked so hard to lose! That is why I am going to start a new diet called, “The Dukan Diet”. Many of you have heard of it and I have researched and have become fascinated by the whole concept. I plan to follow it till I get to my target weight and hope to share with you my journey 🙂

Now that I’ve got my “blogging mojo” back lol I will be posting a lot more and hope to share you a little bit about my journey. I will post a lot of stuff about my classes, my Dukan Diet journey, and of course my fave recipes, I hope to inspire some people and can’t wait to start. So hope you all stay tuned 🙂

PS… here are a couple of yummy pics from the foods I made this week in class 🙂

Professional Baking - Chocolate Torte w/ Apricot Filling

Professional Baking – Chocolate Torte w/ Apricot Filling

Breaded Chicken Cutlet w/ roasted peppers and Mozzerella Cheese

Breaded Chicken Cutlet w/ roasted peppers and Mozzerella Cheese

Pate Choux made w/ Basil Herb and Egg Salad Filling

Pate Choux made w/ Basil Herb and Egg Salad Filling

Pate Choux Display Table

Pate Choux Display Table

Let Them Eat Crumbs!

So I’m at work today and it is pure boredom! So I decided to write about my experience at Crumbs a bakery in Manhattan. Their famous items are their pretty large cupcakes that come in yummy flavors like fudge sundae and creme brulee. I was pretty excited and decided to go try out their cookies & cream cupcake. While I like the concept and the cupcake was pretty decent, I expected more. The frosting was hard and the cake was average. The only thing I really liked was their decor was like a lil cafe and their employees were all helpful and very nice. I will come back to maybe try a different item like a cookie or something else. So overall review, I give them a: Average style bakery. So my quest for my fave bakery in the city continues!

Cookies & Creme cupcake

Cookies & Creme cupcake

Baking the Night Away…

So last night after watching my sister’s ballet recital DVD (I already went but my sister wanted to relive it AGAIN) I made some cupcakes and cookies as a start to what I would be selling for my catering business. I decided to go real simple and did triple chocolate fudge and vanilla cake. I also did basic vanilla and fudge icing.

Baking is something that I honestly love soo much. Whether its for family, friends, or even profit there is something about making either a cake or pastry that I love. I cannot wait to go deeper into the world of pastries and desserts and I would like to try a different recipe at least 1-2 times a week. My schedule is crazy but I would hope that I can fit it all in. The cupcakes were light and delish and I will later on play around with different types of cakes and frostings. Meantime enjoy the pics 🙂

Cupcakes before they were baked

Cupcakes before they were baked

Vanilla cupcake before icing

Vanilla cupcake before icing

Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting (yummm)

Vanilla Cupcake with Vanilla Frosting (yummm)

Cookies before baked

Cookies before baked

Double Chocolate (Melt in you mouth) Cookies

Double Chocolate (Melt in you mouth) Cookies