Plating Pixels

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze - www. platingpixels.com #thanksgiving #pumpkinbread #recipe

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze

Fall is here, and along with it golden color palletes all about in nature, as well as crisp, fresh evenings. I haven’t quite transitioned yet. In California the seasons aren’t so obvious; as a warm day brought me to the beach last weekend and a barbecue with friends today was necessary. Change is good and brings about new things. I was doing some thinking and realized this food blog should at least reflect the season. That means the unavoidable is here: a pumpkin recipe. I am so happy to share this Pumpkin Bread with Maple...

Mushroom, Spinach and Ham Quiche - www.platingpixels.com

Mushroom, Spinach and Ham Quiche

Breakfast quiches have always been on my to-do list. We all have those lists right? Things we’d like to get done and yet somehow manage to always add more to the list. This keeps life interesting and engaging. Speaking of a plethora of events happing, I recently moved. It was a local move less than an hour away, but still manages to be a lot of work regardless of distance. I’m getting settled and hope to get back to my recipe development and food photography soon. I’ll be learning the lighting of my new location...

Steak Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam - www.platingpixels.com

Steak Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam

I’m all for decadent recipes that are simple enough to cook, and make you look like superstar chef in the process. This Steak Bruschetta with Creamy Goat Cheese and Tomato Jam will do just that. That goal of this blog is to help you become a better cook. It doesn’t matter if you are just learning or have lived in the kitchen most of your life; there is always ways to improve. My recipes cover a range of techniques, but are simple enough to follow (I hope) that anyone can try them. I try to...

Udon Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce - www.platingpixels.com

Udon Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

It’s fun when you can create a piece of art with your food. I’m sure you grew up being told not to play with your food, but where’s the fun in that. This recipes lets your creative spirit soar with healthy, colorful ingredients. Please be an artist when you make this, delicately arranging each vibrant vegetable into a yummy pallete on your plate. It’s only a few colors short of the entire rainbow spectrum, but these complimentary colors work well together. If you can think of a blue or purple vegetable to add, then hats...

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Butter Fudge Cake - www.platingpixels.com

Double Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake

If you decide to commit to something I say go for it whole-heartedly. Pour your desire and focus into it, and don’t take any shortcuts along the way. Your efforts and hard work will often lead to something you never could have imagined. That was a deep introduction, but that’s how I feel about life, as well as this Double Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cake. What started as a seemingly simple chocolate cake recipe morphed into a rich, decadent, fudgy cake. How’s that for unexpected outcomes? Based on the list of ingredients, (in life this would...

Rustic Herbed Skillet Chicken and Vegetables

Rustic Herbed Skillet Chicken and Vegetables

There’s something genuinely rustic about cooking in a cast-iron skillet. Whether it’s sweet or savory, fried or baked, it morphs into a dish that harkens back to the tradition of classic cooking. With the spatter of sizzling oil singing to your ears, a wave of childhood wonder often washes over you. Try it yourself; make something in a skillet and I guarantee you will smile, and that’s even before you taste the results. I recently found the joys of cooking in a skillet. There are numerous benefits to owning a quality skillet: With proper care it will last...

Mediterranean Shrimp Tacos - www.platingpixels.com

Mediterranean Shrimp Tacos with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

As a graphic designer, unexpected inspiration sometimes comes at the right moment. That’s in an ideal world, when everything is flowing smoothly. I like this creative flow in the kitchen as well; when you look in the fridge and a fully formed recipe pops in your mind. Rare, but it does happen. The best way to increase the chances of this creative, subconscious inspiration is to always be filling your mind with knowledge and practice your skills, whatever field you are in. If you want to learn to paint, go to museums and study other...

Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Mushroom Skewers - www.platingpixels.com

Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Mushrooms Skewers

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Maybe I’d prefer not to cope with the fact the summer is making it’s gradual transition into the fall. It’s like a good friend you know is moving and you’re trying to get as much quality time in as possible before the inevitable. With all things that transition to another period, you often try to cherish the current times. I’ve been barbecuing often, and recently created these Ginger Garlic Teriyaki Mushrooms Skewers. The name is pretty self explanatory, but what’s the fun in leaving it at that. I’ll do what any...

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Egg Sandwich

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Egg Sandwich

Sometime you want to wake up on the weekend and just stay in your jammies, cozied up with a cup of coffee and a nice book. Well, I do at least. There have been plenty of busy weekends lately working on the blog and personal projects. I recently my How to Start a Food Blog page last weekend. It’s extremely helpful for those who are looking for inspiration and tips towards starting your dream of being a food blogger. Blogging takes a lot of dedication, but super fun and helps you stay focused. If you’ve ever...

Cookies and Cream Raspberry Parfait - www.platingpixels.com

Homemade Cookies and Cream Raspberry Parfait

Running a food blog is an effective way to find your food preference. You slowly start to realize what types of food you truly like, as well as what ingredients you’re comfortable using and eating. I’ve learned that I generally prefer more natural foods; notice I didn’t say healthy. While that is important, I feel it’s also important to be able to treat yourself, and enjoy things like this Cookies and Cream Raspberry Parfait every now and then. Yum! Chocolate cookies can be a common ingredient for crusts and desserts; which this recipe features. Oreo’s are an...

How to Recover Seized Chocolate

How to Recover Seized Chocolate: Fun with Food Science #3

Welcome back to Fun with Food Science. In today’s lesson we’ll learn How to Recover Seized Chocolate By the way, melting chocolate in a double boiler is easy: Add about an inch of water to a small sauce pan. Place a metal bowl over that is large enough to sit on top, but not touch the water below. Add chocolate and turn heat to medium low. Heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is evenly melted. Use immediately.   Back Story: The first time I melted chocolate over a double boiler it seized up and hardened! Quite...

Lemon and Dill Barbecued Salmon Kabob

Lemon and Dill Barbecue Salmon Kabobs

We’re reaching the end of summer here in California. My opinion is that it’s always a perfect time for a barbecue, even if it’s a bit muggy and humid lately (which is rare). If you’re passionate about food like I am, then a little off weather won’t put a dent in your plans to enjoy grilled food. These Lemon and Dill Salmon Kabobs are splendid for grilling, rain or shine. That’s not a typo or some embarrassing iPhone auto-correct in that last sentence by the way; we’re cooking salmon kabobs in this recipe. Typically I’ve...

Ham and Brie Pizza with Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

Ham and Brie Pizza with Homemade Honey Mustard Sauce

Five-ingredient recipes seem to be all the rave with cookbooks and in the food blogging world. I’m totally a fan of this simple concept that creates yummy recipes, while saving the hassle of shopping. I’m sure a lot of people would prefer not to fill their shopping cart full of obscure ingredients too often as well. It’s more relaxing to simply cook a quick yet tasty weeknight meal sometimes. I set out to take the concept even further with my homemade four-ingredient honey mustard sauce for this Ham and Brie Pizza. That’s right, I just...

How to Make the Perfect Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet

How to Make the Perfect Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet: Fun with Food Science #2

Food science is not only an interesting conversation subject, it’s useful for creating flavorful, perfectly cooked recipes. It’s one thing to read a recipe and follow it step-by-step. However, understanding why things are made and prepared a certain way will help you become a better cook, not just a direction follower. This allows you to improvise, change, and expand recipes to your liking. This blog will help you do that. I will be focusing more on the why’s and food science in many of my recipes, so read each post carefully for tips and more...

Watermelon Mint Martini

Watermelon Mint Martini

It’s National Watermelon Day! I literally just found this out, but somehow happened to make and photograph this refreshing Watermelon Mint Martini last night. Talk about subconscious planing, phew! There’s actually a food holiday every day of the year in America. Show’s how much we love our food, right? Obviously it would be difficult to post a food holiday recipe every day, but maybe that would be a good ultimate blogging challenge. Watermelon is a joyous summer treat, and it was important for me to share this recipe with you on it’s national holiday. Fruit...

Creamy White Sauce and Crab Enchiladas

Creamy White Sauce and Crab Enchiladas

I was always under the impression that making enchiladas was an all-day affair. I’m not too clear where this information came from, I’ve just heard stories of people having to set aside calendar time to make this beloved Hispanic food. Well, preconceived notions can now be cast aside with this time-saving recipe for Creamy White Sauce Crab Enchiladas. If you were to tell me it’s possible to prep an enchilada recipe that fed at least six people, in less than 20 minutes, I’d say you were crazy and come back once you had something rational...

Roasted Onion and Parmesan Baked Potato Chips

Roasted Onion and Parmesan Baked Potato Chips

Baked potato chips? Yes please! These are a quick, healthy (mostly) and flavorful snack/side you can’t resist making. Make these and I dare you to only eat a few; it’s impossible, so I’m warning you up front. The simplicity of this recipe combined with the rewarding results makes this a must. Can you tell I like these? I love potatoes in all forms: baked sweet potato fries, barbecued potato wedges, mashed potatoes, bacon and potato soup, baked potato chips. What’s not to love? Potatoes often receive a bad wrap. They are a vegetable remember? It’s...

No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are my weakness. The unlimited flavor combination creates an endless backlog of recipes to try and create. Not complaining here, I just know I have some work cut out in populating recipes for this blog. Chocolate or fruit flavored cheesecakes are a popular go-to, when you combine the two it’s even better! Another great combo is peanut butter and chocolate. View my popular Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes post for that recipe. This No-Bake Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake has the best of both worlds. Rich chocolaty crust with a layer of silky-smooth chocolate...

Fun with Food Science

Fun with Food Science #1: Introduction

Fun with Food Science is a series that will cover the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of cooking and baking. This will expand beyond simply following a recipe, and instead explain the WHY of a recipe or cooking method. It will include examples and tips to become a better chef. Want to know why cooking meats at a lower temperature is usually better than a high heat? How to properly melt chocolate? Cook the perfect omelet? Why salty marinades work best to create flavorful and tender meat? These topics and so much more will be explained in this...

Healthy & Easy Bruschetta Fish

Healthy and Easy Bruschetta Fish

Recently I posted a recipe for Quick and Easy Bruschetta. This might be one of my favorite appetizers. It’s healthy and packs strong flavor with just a few ingredients. Turns out it doesn’t have to be just an appetizer. It’s traditionally used on toasted bread, but did you know you can put it on top of fish (in case your mind was just blown feel free to pause a bit and let the endless possibilities wash over you). Tilapia is a versatile fish that is suitable for many uses. It has the right amount of flavor...

Strawberry Sweet Cream Fruit Pizza Pie

Strawberry Sweet Cream Fruit Pizza Pie

It’s a delightful surprise when you find a new local grocery that sells fresh produce right down the street from your home. My girlfriend and I were on our way to Spanish class last week (I like to keep myself busy) and had some time to spare before. Out of the corner of my eye I saw what looked like fruit stands outside a storefront. This required investigation; sure enough, it was a wonderful market that had fresh and organic produce, as well as other ethnic foods, all at reasonable prices. Needless to say I’ll...

Sweet and Spicy Beer Barbecue Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Beer Barbecue Chicken

Happy 4th of July Weekend! I noticed most food blogs have already posted holiday recipes; especially red, white and blue themed desserts. The simplest way to do this is a dessert with strawberries or raspberries, and blueberries. I even made frozen custard like this recently, but the recipe still needs developing (looks like that will be featured during next year’s holiday). While these recipes are certainly fun, another staple for celebrating our independence is a good old-fashioned barbecue! This Sweet and Spicy Beer Barbecue Chicken is my spin on a 4th of July recipe. Beer...

White Bean and Spinach Quinoa Salad

White Bean and Spinach Quinoa Salad

The entire weekend was spent working on elements for this blog; literally the entire weekend. You may have noticed the shiny new graphic on the sidebar, which is a direct result of all that diligent work. It’s a free eCookbook for your enjoyment! Plating Pixels Top 10 Summer Potluck & Barbecue Recipes. I decided to put together an eBook to help promote my blog, and finally finished it this weekend! If you’re interested (I know you are), all you need to do is sign-up with an email and download. That’s it, and you’ll stay updated...

Toasted Coconut Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

Toasted Coconut Ginger Oatmeal Cookies

There’s something about good old-fashion cookies. Maybe it’s the timeless quality of these beloved desserts. The same recipe that a great-grandmother once cooked can be just as appealing and satisfying today; not much needs to be changed (except I’d suggest switching to butter instead of shortening for a lot of classic recipes). These time-tested recipes provide comfort, nostalgia, and happiness, all with the simple sweet smell during baking and a joyous bite into a warm, soft cookie. Growing up, my wonderful mother would cook almost every night to feed a hungry family of five children....

Quick and Easy Bruschetta

Quick and Easy Bruschetta in 10 Minutes

  Growing up I helped my father run a small plant nursery from our back yard. You’d think this would give someone lasting agricultural knowledge and a natural green thumb, however apparently some things don’t stick with you the same way learning to ride a bike does. I love to use fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, rosemary and mint in cooking but find it inconvenient to buy bunches of herbs every few days. I tried many times to grow basil indoors; as soon as I brought it home it would suffer away in a...

Bacon and Egg Cornbread Muffins

Bacon and Egg Cornbread Muffins

This Southern comfort inspired recipe combines all the breakfast classics into one cute little muffin. Cornbread muffin batter swirled with corn kernels and scrambled eggs, then topped with crisp bacon and melted cheese. Basically you make a full breakfast and pour it into a muffin, how cool is that? Make sure to keep the cooked bacon on top, instead of mixed in, to keep it crispy while baking. Adding bacon on top before cooking melds the pieces into the batter as it forms into muffins. It’s like have a full meal on the go, but in the...

Creamy Garlic Vermouth Chicken with Capers

Creamy Garlic Vermouth Chicken with Capers

With my love of food and enjoying cooking for years, I was surprised when I realized there are some common ingredients I’ve yet to cook with. This includes capers, brussels sprouts, lemon grass, bulgur and orzo. Sure there’s more, but that’s all I’m comfortable admitting right now; it’s a little embarrassing since I’m running a food blog now. However, it’s exciting there is such a plethora of food left to try and experiment with. That’s part of the joy of this project, it’s a continual process to learn and experience new foods. It depends on...

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes

Peanut butter turns into something special when you bake it in desserts. It’s great in sandwiches, such as the classic PB & J or peanut butter, banana and honey. However, bake it into bars or as a cheesecake and something divine happens. There’s a rich, nutty, sweet and savory tone, all at the same time. Cocoa powder in this crust creates a stronger chocolate taste and helps complement the sweetness of the cheesecake filling and ganache topping. This type of recipe is featured in different cookbooks and websites. I just had to try it out and...

Veracruz Shrimp with Green Olives

Veracruz Shrimp with Green Olives

This is one of my favorite dishes to make. Each ingredient adds a specific flavor and creates a bold, rich and healthy dish. It’s a complete meal made of vegetables, shrimp and rice. You can actually taste each element. The tomato adds savory saltiness, jalapeños and roasted green chilies give just the right amount of spice, manzanilla olives add a buttery brininess, and the tangy lime juice balances all this out with a little citrus. Garnish with fresh cilantro and avocado to round it all out. Most of the flavor sensations, besides sweetness, are covered....

Campfire Style Nutella S’mores Pie

Campfire Style Nutella S’mores Pie

Summer is almost here and for me that means beaches, hikes, barbeques and camping. I prefer car camping, which is in a tent outdoors, with the luxury of having your car within walking distance. It’s the best of both worlds. You’re still in the outdoors, but don’t have to carry 50 pounds of gear and food on your back to get to your campsite. This allows one to camp and cook gourmet meals at the same time. Want to cook steak with bacon-wrapped mushrooms as a side, no problem. How about bringing a cooler full...

Beef Stir-Fry with Roasted Asparagus and Peppers

Beef Stir-Fry with Roasted Asparagus and Peppers

Food entertains all the senses, not just taste or smell. Along this cooking and food photography journey I’ve learned that food entices in many possible ways. Taste, smell, touch, visuals and even sound are all important. Produce should be fresh and colorful, meats should be tender and juicy, breads have a crunch when you bite into them, and a kitchen should smell with recognizable quality ingredients during preparation and cooking. One of my favorite sensations is stepping outside for something while I’m cooking (or walking into a house while someone is making a meal) then...

Salmon and Cream Cheese Pizza with Dill

Salmon and Cream Cheese Pizza with Dill

Some things go hand-in-hand. It’s like the inseparable couple that is meant for each other. Once they meet it’s impossible to imagine them apart. All relationships should strive for that (with a healthy balance of personal goals and free time of course). This isn’t a relationship advice blog, but I could go on a lot more on the subject. The focus of this blog is quality recipes, food photography tips and food science techniques; therefore I’ll keep it at that. By the way, I’m playing around with some ideas for more focused food science posts,...

Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Roasted Red Pepper and Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Some things are best home-made. I created this dish from scratch, which often leads to new favorite comfort foods. I was looking for a dish to make with chicken last night and thought it would pair nicely with roasted red peppers in a pasta bake. This simple hearty dish is easy to make on a weeknight and feeds a group or hungry family. You can use store bought spaghetti sauce, but I prefer to have more control over the flavor of my dishes. I found this simple mixture of tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs creates a...

Bell Pepper and Green Onion Egg Bakes

Healthy Bell Pepper and Green Onion Egg Bake

Memorial Weekend has passed and as usual I ate entirely too much. There’s something about holidays and vacations that encourages people to eat, or maybe it’s just me. I love cooking and food, so any excuse to absorb more than my comfortable allotment is welcome. To offset this beloved, yet sometimes unwholesome, passion I make sure to exercise regularly and eat healthy as often as possible. This way I don’t feel bad about the cheat meals, and actually welcome them with delightful excitement. This Bell Pepper and Green Onion Egg Bake is something you can...

Barbecue Chicken Kebabs with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce

Barbecue Chicken Kebabs with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce

It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means it’s time to barbecue! I hope everyone is enjoying this special time, spending it with friends and loved ones, eating good food with a cold drink in hand. In that past I’ve used the long weekend to go camping in the lush forest of the Sierra Mountains, spend the day at the beach, or just stay local to avoid traffic and barbecue with friends. This year I’m going with the latter, and enjoying a nice relaxing weekend. Of course I’m taking advantage of the time and working on recipes and...

Sesame Salmon Burgers with Apricot Soy Sauce Glaze

Sesame Salmon Burger with Apricot Soy Sauce Glaze

This is another dish inspired by my recent vacation to Kauai. The fact that it’s a seafood burger with sesame and soy sauce is tropical enough for me to claim it as Hawaiian. There is a wide variety of seafood, sushi and Japanese food available on the island, which is the basis for this recipe idea. I will be creating and posting more recipes from this vast source of culinary inspiration, so keep coming back for more. With only four ingredients in the glaze, each compliments each other perfectly. The sweet and salty apricot soy...

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Orange Butter

White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Orange Butter

It might take a while for the recipe title to sink in. Go ahead and re-read, I’ll wait… Recently I traveled to Kauai to visit family and take a vacation. It’s a beautifully unique place that is a visual feast for the eyes. To name a few recommendations; boat tours of the world’s second highest coastal mountainside known as the Na Pali Coast, snorkeling at the many beautiful beaches, sight-seeing or hiking Waimea Canyon (often called Hawaii’s Grand Canyon), waterfall and swimming-hole hikes, and simply just relaxing on the beach. There’s a variety of food...

Matthew Ivan | Plating Pixels

Herbed Goat Cheese Cream Puffs

This recipe is inspired from a Meetup cooking event I attended. I have been voraciously experimenting with culinary arts to improve my skills and create content for this blog. Among practicing, creating recipes, reading cookbooks and other blogs, I decided a group cooking event would be a good experience. I highly recommend this as a method to becoming a better cook. You get to meet like-minded people who share your passion, and have fun at the same time. Host one yourself or find an event where you live. By the way, I have a recipe for Chocolate...

Strawberries and Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Strawberries and Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ice cream for dinner! This is my 10th blog post so I’ll count it as a celebratory meal and a treat to myself. Hey, ice cream and celebrations go together. Since starting food photography and this blog my cooking and eating habits have changed. I am now more aware of ingredients that I use and why they work in recipes. I am also more adventurous with my cooking, confidently changing ingredients to make the most flavorful dishes. The biggest change is once I’ve made the meal. With the scene and camera prepped it’s a mad dash...

Matthew Ivan | Plating Pixels

Tangy Tofu and Mushroom Soup

Sometimes a dish you make doesn’t come out the way you’d expect it to. I’ll be honest and not ashamed to admit this. What’s nice is when you realize you can change it into another dish, and a better one at that. This recipe was initially a stir-fry served over rice. I found that after following the recipe there was too much liquid and it didn’t cook down properly. Adding more stock and changing some of the ingredients created a rich, tangy and slightly sweet tofu soup. The mushroom and tofu has a soft texture...

Chocolate Coated Apricot Layered Cake Bars

Chocolate Coated Apricot Layered Cake Bars

My girlfriend and I are becoming obsessed with cooking and baking. Food photography is part of that interest as well. That’s why I felt it’s appropriate to start this blog and give myself something to focus my skills on. We are experimenting with meals, working through cookbooks, and love the tasty food that comes as a reward from this. To further our baking experience we attended a cooking Meetup that focused on cakes and cream puffs. By the way, I have a recipe for Herbed Goat Cheese Cream Puffs that was inspired from this event. We also...

Orange Cumin Chicken and Couscous

Orange Cumin Chicken Couscous

Recently I bought a 10 pound bag of couscous from Amazon. I’ve been little obsessed with purchases from the site, especially with my Prime account. Just because something is a good price and shipping is free, does it justify buying 10 pounds of couscous for personal use? Feel free to let me know in the comments. I remember my mother using couscous in a lot of her dishes but haven’t cooked with it myself, so I decided to go for it. For nostalgic purposes I brought a large tupperware of uncooked couscous to her when I visited for...

Honey Goat Cheese Bagel with Fig Preserve

Honey Goat Cheese Bagel with Fig Preserve

Honey. Goat cheese. Fig preserve. That’s a decadent trio. I’ve been infatuated with goat cheese and was ecstatic when I came across a recipe with these ingredients. The cheesy sweetness pairs well with cinnamon raisin bagels. Goat cheese adds a rich savory flavor and compliments a lot of dishes. You can use it with sweets, eggs, meats and pizza to name a few. I recently posted a Goat cheese and beet pizza recipe. I’ve been experimenting with this cheese lately, including a Spinach omelet with goat cheese, Roasted pepper and goat cheese stuffed chicken breast,...

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with Lime Zest

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins with Lime Zest

I love a recipe that is healthy enough to have for breakfast, but sweet enough to enjoy as a guilt-free snack. Lime zest adds the right amount of tangy kick to these moist muffins and makes you salivate for more. With less than a cup of sugar for the entire recipe, these Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins are a healthy way to enjoy baked goods. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of desserts, including brownies, cookies and pies (I’ll be posting these recipes soon). However, I like to keep things healthy as times.   Blueberries are known to have...

Goat Cheese and Beet Pizza with Toasted Walnuts

Goat Cheese and Beet Pizza with Toasted Walnuts

My sister-in-law has a special dish she makes for the holidays. It’s a dish I look forward to and reminds me of good times with loved ones. It’s a warm salad made with fresh beats, goat cheese and fresh basil. She bakes it as a casserole. It’s simple and elegant. This inspired me to make a pizza with similar ingredients. The toasted walnuts add a nice crunch and bring all the flavors together nicely. This recipe is easy to adjust toppings and change to your liking. Feel free to claim it as your own special family...

Strawberry Mint Parfait with Honey

Strawberry Mint Parfait with Honey

It’s spring and strawberries are in season. I was hungry for a healthy snack and saw the fresh mint growing in a pot near my kitchen. Strawberries and mint create a fresh, crisp flavor combo, so I decided to make a parfait based on this. The recipe is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes to make. If you’re lucky enough to have homemade granola it’s that much tastier (I’ll try some granola recipes and post one I like). Since there are so few ingredient, it’s best to find the freshest, highest quality items. You can enjoy this...

Black Forest Brownies with Toasted Almonds

Black Forest Brownies with Toasted Almonds

Black Forest cakes have been a beloved favorite of mine. Turns out you can make this in brownie form. You get the rich flavors of chocolate and cherry, with the chewiness of a brownie. The sliced almonds give an exquisite roasted nuttiness and adds a slight crunch. A delicious trick I discovered is to soak the cherries the night before in Amaretto liqueur. It adds more almond flavor and the brownies are still kid friendly. As an added bonus you get cherry almond flavored liqueur. Use this to make a wonderful martini that pairs well with these brownies. Go ahead treat yourself,...

Chocolate Pecan Cookies with Caramel Drops

Chocolate Pecan Cookies with Caramel Drops

These wonderful little cookies are great for any occasion, but are especially impressive for parties. They don’t require too much effort and present very well. The great thing is that they use baking cocoa for flavor, instead of chocolate chips. This creates a rich, dark chocolate taste that is just the right amount of sweetness. Pair this with the caramel center and you get a slightly sweet cookie with just a hint of savory saltiness. You can also change the size of the cookies as well as the indent, depending on how many you want...

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