Blog world meet Kayla!  She’s an Old English Sheepdog that will be 12 this June.  She just completed her first ever doggy walk.  We trained for it for about 2 weeks.  The goal was to walk a grueling 1 mile, but with the walk to the car added in, we did a total of 1.4 miles.  This may not seem like a lot, but it was amazing for her!




Anyway, we are now back to more Jewish holiday recipes!  Unlike some of the Passover recipes, Hamentaschen cookies are great for anyone.  You can make them with virtually any flavor!  My favorite is usually the cherry filling.  I made them for my dad when he came back from vacation and he surprised me by requesting poppyseed.  Totally out of left field.  I definitely thought he would have preferred apricot or something to poppyseed!  I’m definitely more of a cherry, strawberry, chocolate person.

Don’t worry about the orange juice in the recipe if you’re not an orange juice person!  I personally hate the smell, let alone the taste, and I couldn’t taste it in the cookies.  For the filling, I used the small jars of pie filling that you can find at any grocery store.  I bought a cherry and a strawberry flavor.  I also bought a jar of blackberry jam to use as my third flavor.  As you can see in the picture (blue plate), the cookies with the blackberry jam didn’t hold together as well.  This was due to the extra liquid in the jam versus the pie fillings.  But just because they didn’t look the best doesn’t mean that they still didn’t taste good!  The cookies were solid, but they were more of an open face than a strict triangle cookie.  The nice thing about Hamentaschen is that they don’t have to be perfect, just generally triangular!  These cookies were definitely devoured in my house!  Hence the 2nd batch and the request for poppyseed!




Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on how big you make them

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ~4 cups of white rice flour (you may need more or less depending on the stickiness of the dough) + 1 cup for rolling the dough
  • 1 1/4 cup of potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • Fillings of your choice (I used 3 jars)


Hamentaschen 2


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 3 large baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl
  3. Add the eggs and mix until smooth
  4. Stir in the orange juice and the vanilla
  5. In another large bowl, fold together the white rice flour, potato starch, salt, and baking powder
  6. Fold the flour mixture into the other liquid mixture to form a soft dough
  7. Transfer this to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough down.  Cover, and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes
  8. Divide the dough into 3 flattened discs and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch
  9. Use a cup with a diameter of 2.5 in to cut out the cirlces
  10. Place roughly a tablespoon (I like to use a lot of filling) into the middle and then pinch the three sides together.  This will form a triangular shaped cookie that is representative of Hamen’s hat
  11. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet and sprinkle with some of the remaining sugar
  12. Bake for 12-15 minutes and then cool on a wire rack

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes

We’re officially done with Passover recipes for this year!  Yay!  At least St. Patrick’s Day is still less than a month behind us, so this post is THAT late.  Ha!  Just wait until I post the Hanukkah latkes from December.  Yep, I definitely fell behind.


Anyway, I love holidays and events where I can decorate cupcakes with things.  I love themes.  I go overboard.  It’s a problem.  Sorry I’m not sorry!  For St. Patrick’s Day I swirled the white icing with green icing and made little chocolate four leaf clovers.  I suppose going overboard would have been themed cupcake liners, but I really wanted to focus on the tops.  I mean look how cute!


Irish Cupcakes



These are white chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  I think I’ve been on a white chocolate cream cheese frosting kick and only just noticed it.  Oh well, you’re okay with it right?


White Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 21 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/3 cup of butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 oz of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of milk (I used 2%)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line the muffin pans with liners of your choice
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl
  3. In a microwaveable bowl, melt the white chocolate chips by heating for 30 seconds and then stirring, repeating twice
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time
  6. Mix in the white chocolate and vanilla extract
  7. Splitting the flour mixture and milk into 3 sections, add each to the mixture, alternating each time.  Be sure to end with the flour
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared liners and cook for 20-22 minutes and cool


Irish Cupcakes2




White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 oz of cream cheese, at room temperature (I used the Laughing Cow cream cheese wedges)
  • 1/4 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1 oz of white chocolate chips, melted (same process as above)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp of milk (I used 2%)
  • 2-3 cups of powdered sugar
  • Green food coloring or gel
  1. While the cupcakes are in the oven, prepare the frosting by creaming together the cream cheese, butter, and melted white chocolate in a large bowl
  2. Add the vanilla and milk and beat
  3. Add in the powdered sugar slowly until the frosting is fluffy
  4. Separate the frosting into two bowls and add the green dye to one bowl until the desired color is reached
  5. Spoon each frosting into its own plastic bag.  I used two ziploc bags and taped them together to achieve the swirl look
  6. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes by starting on the outside rim and circling to the middle


Irish Cupcakes Batch



White Chocolate Four Leaf Clovers

  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips
  • Green food coloring or gel
  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave using the same 30 second and stirring method.
  3. Add in the dye (I used gel because it gave it a deeper color), and mix
  4. Spoon the now green chocolate into a plastic bag
  5. “Draw” the four leaf clovers by piping the chocolate onto the parchment paper.  If you don’t want to freehand the clovers, print out a stencil and slide it between the baking tray and the wax paper and trace the image
  6. Freeze for roughly 15-30 minutes.  The clovers should slide off of the parchment paper easily
  7. Place on the cupcake


Irish Cupcake 3




These got great reviews from everyone that I gave them out to.  They were also so much fun to make!  The hardest part was squeezing the two frostings out at the same speed but it only took 2 practice cupcakes to get the hang of it!

Flourless Chocolate and Caramel Cake

For our seder we had so many desserts!  Mainly because I went a little overboard, my mom bought a lot of the typical store bought desserts, and my uncle’s girlfriend brought  few things.  Another standard Passover dessert is the flourless chocolate cake.  Since I had made a batch of salted caramel for a different (failed) dessert, I substituted that for what this recipe called for.  I think it gave it an extra kick.  As well as turning me into SUCH a fan of salted caramel.  Seriously it’s soooo good.  I know, I’m late to the party.  For some reason this Passover was just calling to me to make different types of caramel!


uncle johnny cake


It was also my uncle’s birthday, hence the candles!  The other pictures were taken after the cake had been refrigerated which is why the caramel color is different later on.  Still tasted the same though!



  • 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Lightly grease an 8″ round cake pan (I used Pam) and then cut a circle with an 8″ diameter out of parchment paper to put on the bottom of the pan.  Lightly spray that too
  3. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave.  I microwaved both ingredients for 30 seconds, stirred, and repeated two more times until completely mixed together
  4. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla by stirring
  5. Add the eggs and beat quickly until smooth
  6. Add the cocoa powder and mix until it is combined.  The mixture should be “soupy”
  7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes.  The top will have  very thin crust that looks crispy
  8. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes (the cake will fall) and then loosen the sides in order to flip onto the serving plate

While the cake is cooling, prepare the ganache (sounds fancy but is really easy!)





  • 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  1. Pour the chocolate chips into a small microwaveable bowl and set aside
  2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to simmer
  3. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let it melt the chocolate for about 3 minutes
  4. Stir until the mixture is combined and smooth
  5. Once the cake is completely cooled, spoon the chocolate over the cake so that it sets



Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of unsalted butter cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 3/4 tsp of sea salt
  1. Measure out all of the ingredients and have them ready to go
  2.  Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Stir the sugar mixture to help it dissolve, but once it comes to a boil, stop stirring and swirl the saucepan occasionally if you’re worried about burning the carmel
  4. Once the mixture turns a dark amber color, add the butter to the pan.  It will foam up but whisk the mixture until the butter has melted, and then take the pan off of the heat
  5. Add the heavy cream and the mixture will foam up again but continue to whisk
  6. Add the sea salt and whisk again until the caramel sauce is smooth
  7. Let the caramel sauce cool in the pan for a few minutes and then pour into a glass container (I used a regular glass cup)
  8. While the caramel is lukewarm, add it to the top of the cake and use a spreader to coat the top of the cake


Inside cake

Chocolate and Caramel Covered Matzo

One of the best desserts over Passover besides the typical flourless chocolate cake (yes, that recipe will be coming soon), is chocolate covered matzo.  Usually I use my mom’s grandmother’s chocolate frosting and just cover the matzo.  This year I decided to kick it up a notch.  Why not add a layer of caramel?!  I’ve never made caramel before so this was interesting.  It was actually incredibly easy and I didn’t even have to use a candy thermometer!  Basically you just pay close attention to the caramel while it’s cooking.  I gave pieces of matzo away to so many people and they all loved it!  Also, the pictures are from my phone since everyone devoured the pieces so quickly, so excuse the quality!




  • 6 slices of gluten free matzo (Yehuda brand is *amazing*)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups of white chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 toothpick




  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and find two baking pans with rims
  2. Cover the pans with aluminum foil and then add a piece of parchment paper.  This makes the clean up incredibly easy
  3. Cover the pans with that squares of matzo.  I was able to fit 2 whole square pieces and then about 1 piece broken into pieces to fill in the holes.  Don’t worry if the pieces aren’t perfectly covering the pan because the caramel will hold the smaller broken pieces together
  4. Using a large heavy bottomed saucepan, melt the brown sugar and butter over medium heat.  Use a wooden spoon and stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil (about 3 minutes).  Keep stirring for another 3 minutes after it boils, and the butter and sugar should come together
  5. Pour the caramel over the matzo and use a metal spatula to spread into an even layer
  6. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes
  7. After removing the matzo, sprinkle the salt over the caramel
  8. Then add the chocolate chips over the caramel and white for a few minutes so that you can spread the chocolate with the metal spatula
  9. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave.  I do a series of microwaving for 30 seconds and then stirring in between.  I did this about 3 times
  10. Pour the melted chocolate into a plastic bag in order to pipe onto the matzo
  11. In order to make the marbled pattern, you are going to pipe the chocolate in two directions.  Start in one corner and make diagonal lines without lifting the pipe.  Start in the opposite corner and repeat.  Then, use a toothpick and drag it through the chocolate in the same straight lines that you piped in chocolate
  12. I cooled the matzo for a few hours in the refrigerator and then cut/broke the matzo into pieces




My family literally devoured this.  The upgraded version for next year?  Salted caramel layer.  Yes.  It’s going to happen.

BBQ Chicken Cauliflower Pizza

So what do you do when you’re gluten free, a vegetarian, an Ashkenazi Jew on Passover, and you’re cooking for someone else who is also keeping kosher for Passover and is lactose intolerant?  Use cauliflower for the crust.  And lactose free cheese.  And avoid the chicken when you eat the pizza.  Seriously hardest birthday dinner ever!

As I’m sure we are all gluten free here, let me explain how Passover affects me.  Since I follow conservative Ashkenazi rules, that means that I can’t have flour (duh, not that I could!), but also can’t have any of the five grains or derivatives like corn and rice.  What?!  That’s 2/3 of the main staples in my diet.  Basically Passover becomes lots of veggies, fruit, some fish, and potatoes.  Usually its the hardest week of the year, but luckily this year there was gluten free kosher for Passover pasta.  Amazing!

Anyway back to the pizza.  This pizza crust was fantastic.  Unfortunately, it is incredibly time consuming and I had to enlist help to squeeze all of the water out of the cauliflower.  I tried a second time, thought I got ALL of the water out, but didn’t.  The crust does hold up for small pieces or with a knife and fork.  We’re talking like 2×2 inch pieces of pizza.  Still so good!




Pizza Crust:

  • 1 large cauliflower head (riced)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of cheddar cheese (whatever kind you like, I used Cabot’s sharp cheddar since it’s lactose free)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Chop the cauliflower stem off and place the bunches into a food processor.  Pulse the machine several times until the cauliflower turns into tiny pieces resembling rice.  I did about 2-3 batches to make sure that all of the pieces were “riced” and not pulverized into a mush or paste
  3. Fill a large pot with about an inch of water and boil
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and cover for 4-5 minutes
  5. Drain the mixture into a fine strainer and push as much water out as you can
  6. I used a combination of cheese cloths, paper towels, and dish towels to drain as much water as I could.  I twisted the cauliflower into the cheese cloths (I separated the amount of cauliflower into 3 batches).  I squeezed as much water out as I could with paper towels, and then would switch to squeezing with the towels, still keeping the cauliflower in cheese cloths.
  7. In a large bowl, add the rice, beaten egg, cheese, and oregano and mix.  Its okay to use your hands, this mixture definitely won’t seem like dough!
  8. Place the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and shape into a pizza
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, the cauliflower will be a nice golden color.




BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  1. Combine all of the ingredients into one bowl and mix well
  2. Spread as much sauce as desired on the pizza after it is pulled out of the oven
  3. I only used about half of the recipe for the size of the pizza, but the sauce should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week


  • 1 cup of  shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/4 cup of red onion
  • 1 cup of pepperjack cheese (once again I used the Cabot brand)
  1. Increase the oven temperature to 475 degrees F
  2. Spread the onions on top of the sauce layer
  3. Next, layer the chicken on top of the onions and then top with the cheese
  4. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes




I served this both for dinner and again for appetizers for the NCAA tournament.  I found that it was best to cut into small squares to serve.  That way the crust won’t fall apart should you try to pick up a regular slice with your hands.  This pizza definitely has a lot of toppings packed in!

Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Hi everyone!  I can’t believe I haven’t posted in months.  I graduated from my Master’s program in December and ever since moving back home I have been plagued with the worst stomach pains and nausea.  I mean THE. WORST.  I think I’ve been to 3 doctors (with another appointment this week) and to the ER twice.  Needless to say, being in the kitchen hasn’t been very easy for me!

I missed baking and cooking so much though!  Especially since missing Hanukkah, Valentine’s Day, Purim, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.  Luckily I did manage to bake a few things when I was feeling somewhat okay.  I have all of those recipes saved and will be posting them daily from now on!  I decided that I’m going to work my way backwards, starting with the most recent recipes.  Yes, I’ll be posting things like latkes, hamentaschen, and raspberry cupcakes in April, but let’s be real.  Who doesn’t enjoy holiday treats year round?!

Today’s recipe are some spring cupcakes that I made as a thank you and happy birthday gift for a family friend.  I used some fancy spring flower liners that I have been DYING to use!  They’re adorable.  If you have an allergy to things pink and floral…well…you may be on the wrong blog!


Makes 12 cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcake

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 + 3/8 cup of gluten free flour
  • 3/8 cup of cocoa powder (I used dutch processed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/4 cup of extra light virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line one cupcake pan with white liners (I added the decorative ones after)
  2. Using a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  3. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, olive oil, and vanilla.
  4. Add the other bowl of dry ingredients using a low speed until completely mixed
  5. Add the boiling water and mix briefly.  The batter will be slightly thinner than typical cupcake batter
  6. Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes and then cool


White Chocolate Frosting

  • 4 oz of softened cream cheese (I used the new Laughing Cow cream cheese)
  • 1/4 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 oz of a white chocolate bar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of pink pearls (optional)
  1. While the cupcakes are baking, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave by melting it for 30 seconds, stirring, and then another 30 seconds.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  3. Add the chocolate and butter to the cream cheese and mix
  4. Add the sugar gradually until the mixture is light and fluffy before adding more sugar
  5. Frost the cupcakes and add the pink pearls on top.
  6. Drop into the decorative liners and viola!


Seriously so cute!  And you can never have too much chocolate!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

As a last night being roommate activity, my roommate and I watched a movie and baked chocolate chip cookies.  We ended up making soooo many and giving them to some people in our program.  The cookies were great!  I made them really large and they were soft and chewy, just the way I like them!


2 cups of gluten free flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of sugar
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 ½ cups of chocolate hips
1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper
2.  Using a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt
3.  Using a stand mixer, beat together the brown sugar, sugar, and melted butter (cooled to warm) until smooth
4.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat
5.  Add the flour mixture and mix and then stir in the chocolate chips
6.  Roll the dough into small balls and place at least 2 inches apart
7.  Bake the cookies until the edges begin to turn a light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes

Spanakopita Inspired Quinoa

The last week has been crazy with a trip home and now I’m graduating.  We have our ceremony tomorrow even though my finals go until Friday.  We’ve also been going out to eat so I really haven’t cooked that much lately.  Rather, nothing fancy enough to go on the blog🙂


I’ve been craving spanakopita lately.  I used to loooove it.  I haven’t mastered a filo dough recipe yet so the actual recreation will have to wait.  I’m also trying to use up the food that I have left in the house before I move back home.  But if you like spinach and quinoa this is really simple and easy.

1 package of frozen spinach

1 cup of quinoa

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 eggs, scrambled

1/4 cup of feta

1. Defrost the spinach according to the package instructions

2. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions

3. Saute the garlic in the olive oil quickly and then add the spinach.  Cook for about 5 minutes

4. Scramble the eggs (I used my egg beaters) and pour into the frying pan with the spinach and stir.  The spinach mixture will become “creamy”

5. Add the feta to the mixture and cook until the feta begins to melt


Totally satisfied my craving!

Halloween Cake Balls

Happy Halloween!  I made these cake balls for our trick-or-treaters this year.  They’re really funny to make and easy. And of course I used the liners and sprinkles that my sister gave me!



1 cup of sugar

1.5 cups of flour

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/8 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 cup of water

1 tablespoon of vinegar

1/4 cup of oil



200g (less than 1 package) of cream cheese

1 stick of butter (1/2 of a cup)

1/2 cup of powdered sugar

2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2.  Butter a cake pan (8×8)

3.  In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients

4.  Add the water, vinegar, and oil and mix well

5.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and let cool completely

6.  While the cake is baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting.  Combine the cream cheese with butter and sugar, and mix well

7.  When the cake is cool, crumble the chocolate cake into a large bowl

8.  Add the cream cheese frosting and mix well, I used my hands

9.  Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls. Lay the balls into a baking sheet and refrigerate for several hours to chill or put them in the freezer for no more than 1 hour

10.  Melt the chocolate chips by microwaving for 30 seconds and stirring in between.  Try not to burn the chocolate by over-microwaving

11.  Roll the balls in chocolate, top with sprinkles, and lay on wax paper until firm

12.  Refrigerate until ready to serve


Baked Pumpkin French Toast

My mom usually bakes this baked french toast recipe with challah.  Since being gluten free, I haven’t had this dish in almost 2 years.  Its a family favorite so I know what I’m missing out on.  I found this pumpkin baked french toast recipe, and decided to make it this week when my roommate’s mom was visiting.  It turned out really really well!  Even with using gluten free bread instead of challah.  As you can see, we all dug into it before I could even get a picture!



2 loaves of gluten free bread (I used two since the slices are so small)
6 eggs
2.5 cups of milk
1 cup of pumpkin puree
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1 (heaping) teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of cold butter


1. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray

2. Slice the bread into chunks (I cut it into a block of 3×3 pieces) and place into the pan.  The bread will overflowing so shape it into a mound

3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then pour over the bread.  I used my hands to squish down the bread into the liquid so that everything could be absorbed

4. Wrap in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight

5. In a small bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt

6. Cut the butter into pieces and cut into the dry mixture using a fork or your hands. It should resemble sand with some larger pieces

7. Cover and place in the refrigerator as well

8. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees

9. Sprinkle with the topping and bake for 45 minutes (will be golden brown, otherwise continue until 55 min)