When someone requests a French dessert, I normally reach for my madeleine recipe before any other. They require relatively few and simple ingredients, they bake quickly, and they are a melt-in-your-mouth kind of amazing! 


You can call a madeleine a cookie for its size and shape, but it’s really much more like a cake. They’re soft and spongey on the inside with just the slightest bit of crispiness on the outside (think muffin tops). The flavor is light and buttery with just a hint of almond. View below for step-by-step photos and the full recipe:  (more…)

My beginnings

The summer I turned 15, I studied abroad in France and took courses in culture & cuisine and photography. For this experience, I bought my first dSLR camera and formally learned to cook and I haven’t stopped with either hobby since. Below are some pictures from my time in the south of France. france 2011 (1)

Even just the simple things caught my eyes: flowers were everywhere and the smallest of candy shops looked gourmet. france 2011 (117)

With my culture and cuisine class, I learned to make a wide variety of dishes from professional French chefs.   (more…)

Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar cookies, when made right, are amazing and beautiful and colorful, but they take foreverrrrr to make. Especially if you are making a big batch and you want to decorate each one individually.Sugar cookie bars.7

These, at least, were my thoughts Thursday night at 10 when I realized that I hadn’t made the cookies that I promised for my brother’s Valentine’s Day party at school the next day.

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I had to quickly think of something else I could make that was equally as amazing, beautiful, colorful (and delicious) as my regular sugar cookie recipe, so I jumped on making sugar cookie bars.  (more…)

French Apple Cake

In my house, apples are a staple fruit year-round. Of course, they are not always eaten when they should be and, throughout the year, I end up having to try out all kinds of apple recipes so that none are put to waste. French Apple Cake.3

And this recipe is definitely a way to put apples to good use! It is light and sweet, while also being loaded with layers and layers of thinly cut apples. French Apple Cake.5

It has a soft crunch on the outer layer, similar to that of a bakery-style muffin, and is soft on the inside. A little bit of rum and vanilla also perfectly complement the apples for amazing flavor.  (more…)

Chocolate Snacking Cake + Fika Review

When it comes to cake, it really is no question that chocolate wins as the best flavor ever. Plus, there are so many different varieties and options when it comes to chocolate that it is impossible for a person not to find something they love.chocolate snacking cake.5

For me, just about any well-prepared chocolate recipe will do, but I think this one deserves a special place in my kitchen. To make this recipe, the eggs were whipped an extra amount, leaving the cake super light and spongy. The chocolate ganache adds richness to the cake, and the coconut adds another layer of flavor.IMG_4337

The recipe was adapted from a book called fika by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall. “Fika” is the Swedish coffee break and this book is full of recipes that will go great with an afternoon cup. (more…)

Banana Bread Pancakes

Bananas are definitely a staple fruit in my house, but they are also the only fruit that seems to always be going bad. Maybe “going bad” is the wrong expression, but none of us like to eat them once they turn too soft and brown. Banana Bread Pancakes.4

Of course, brown bananas are amazing for many reason. Reason number being this pancake recipe. These pancakes are light and fluffy but also have the full flavor of the aromatic banana bread that we all know and love. Banana Bread Pancakes.7

In a lot of ways, these pancakes are even better than the classic bread. First of all, there’s the instant gratification: no need to wait an hour for this to bake and no need at all to wait for it to cool (because pancakes are also hotcakes).  (more…)

Golden Yogurt Cake + Yogurt Cookbook Review

Technically, summer doesn’t end until September 22nd, and summer berries are still at the grocery stores, so I’d say that now is as good a time as ever to take advantage.


And if you decide to make this cake after berries have long gone out of season, don’t worry! This can be served with any of your favorite fruits, or you could even make a berry syrup from frozen berries. IMG_4258

But really, the fruit is just a side note. This cake here is the star of the show. It’s soft and spongy, due to a generous serving of yogurt in its batter. It’s also got a sweet, buttery, citrusy flavor to it. Basically, it’s a perfect coffee cake to have on any occasion. (more…)

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

In my house, the back-to-school season means a lot of things. It means checking off every item of the endless lists of mandatory supplies. It means going shopping for new jeans, hoping they’ll last at least the first semester. It means cleaning up the house, because we all know that if it doesn’t get cleaned during the summer, there’s no way anyone will have time during the school year. chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.4
But, along with all the boring stuff, it means baking. Cookies for back-to-school cookouts, brownies for the first club meetings, and cupcakes for everything else. Plus, everyone needs something nice to pack in their lunch sacks, right? Other than just the regular overly-sweet and super artificial prepackaged snacks. 

chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.3Cookies, of course, are the standard item. They’re the easiest to package, easiest to make, easiest to store. And if you don’t have a classic oatmeal chocolate chip recipe in your repertoire, you need to add this one to it right now.  (more…)

Eggplant Rice Bowls + Salad Love Review

eggplant rice bowl

Eggplant Rice Bowls: Unless you often make vegetables your main course, you probably haven’t tried this combination. The bowl has rice on the bottom (seasoned to your liking), a thick layer of eggplant cooked with onions and green beans, and is topped with sweet potato, to even out the flavors.


It’s not exactly what I’d consider a salad, but the recipe is based off one found in Salad Love by David Bez. Maybe what makes this a salad is the fact that it has a dressing — olive oil infused with crushed red pepper. (more…)

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies + Cookie Love Review

Earlier this summer we gained new neighbors, but our street’s pretty quiet and my family and I hadn’t had a chance to meet the new kids on the block until this past week. Luckily for this family, I’m a baker and every time anyone new moves in nearby, they’re greeted with some kind of fresh pastry delivered to their doorstep.

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These neighbors really lucked out with these chocolate crinkle cookies. They’re similar to brownie cookies, with their slightly crunchy exterior and soft and fudgy center, but they’ve also got a coating of powdered sugar baked into them. This amazing concoction is adapted from a recipe from the book Cookie Love.


Though the book is based on one of the most basic things you can bake, cookies are also one of the most versatile and adaptable pastries out there. They can be as simple as a three-ingredient shortbread, or as complex as Cookie Love’s cover photo of spiced double-chocolate cookies (and even more complex if you decide to make the marshmallows from scratch). (more…)

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