Saturday, June 29, 2013

Something Saturdays (6/29/13)

Don't forget...
Google Reader goes away July 1st (Monday!)
To keep getting my blog updates, Follow me on Bloglovin (or Feedly) or just subscribe via email! Thanks all!

Also, if you follow me on facebook--you might not be getting all my updates! To see more from my page you can follow the easy 2 click process detailed here: http://iambaker.net/how-to-see-all-updates-in-facebook/ or you can just click on the "liked" button then "Settings" and finally click "All Updates". That's it!

This video confirms it, contrary to my actual age...I am old.
I relate so much more to this "32" parody video than the original song "22" *sigh*.


Big news: Tomorrow I attend my first foodie conference! I'll be going to the Summer Fancy Food Show (courtesy of the tickets I won from the wonderful Walkers Shortbread people) with my super cool cousin Emily, and I'm SO excited! Expect to see some photos/updates on here, twitter, instagram, someplace!

Oh yeah and um, remember that online series Rock-Star Cafe that I'm in? Well here are episodes 6 and 7 (7 features a musical number by me! Woot!)



Friday, June 28, 2013

Breadcrumb Crusted Cod

Breadcrumb Crusted Cod
I do not like seafood. It is true. I do not like fish. I do not like it in a dish...ok let's not let this devolve into a Seuss-y blog post...I don't have the ryhming skills for more than a line or two, at most...

hehe.

Anyway. I hate all fish and seafood. People tend to get fairly weirded out by this (my mom doesn't like it either! My dad however, adores it all.), and yes, I promise, I've tried it. I wish I liked fish! It's pretty good for you 'n' stuff! I just...don't. The smell, the texture, the taste...none of it is for me.

However, other people totally love it. Including my boyfriend. And the poor guy barely ever gets it, because I'm a mean lady who doesn't cook it for him ;).

After his best friend visited and cooked him some Indian inspired fish recipe, we had some leftover cod fillets in our freezer. And one day I decided to be nice and use it to make something, and oh look how handy, there was a recipe on the bag! And we had all the ingredients! So, nice girl that I am, I made it. And Michael loved it. And so maybe you will too?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles and @ZokuHQ Review

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles
Generally, I don't like fruits in my desserts. This is the exact opposite of Michael, he pretty much could always do with a strawberry or raspberry or some such thrown in. Where we meet in the middle is chocolate covered strawberries. Ahhh yes. Nothing better than that, really, now is there? I remember for our 1 year anniversary (which was a picnic at Chelsea Piers) we had chocolate covered strawberries that I made and they were pretty much a major highlight of the day.

Now I know you're probably thinking "Yeah, Kayle, those are great. But um...we're looking at pictures of popsicles."

You're absolutely right. We are. Because, thanks to homemade magic shell and the Zoku Single Quick Pop Maker, I was able to make chocolate covered strawberry popsicles. Welcome to summer.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles
Oh hey and these popsicles are likely to be way better for you than the kind you buy at the store. We're talking just strawberries and water...and then chocolate. Yes, you can add sugar (Michael requested it), but you don't need to. They're refreshing, pretty (hello pretty pretty red color!), and just like "ahhh."

Can't you just imagine lounging by a pool, enjoying your super tasty chocolate covered strawberry popsicle?

Yeah, me too.

And, since it's just Michael and I, the single quick pop maker worked out perfectly. We were able to make 2 or 3 popsicles at a time, and just stored the rest of the strawberry mix in the refrigerator between popsicle uses. Also, if we made more popsicles then we wanted right then, we could just throw the extras in an airtight container and put that in the freezer until we get a hankerin' for some frozen goodness.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popsicles
Let's talk about the popsicle maker that made this all possible, shall we?

The Zoku Quick Pop Maker (one of many Zoku products) freezes pops in as little as 7 minutes (usually it takes me around 15, but it's hot in my apartment) and is super easy to use! You just need to keep the pop maker in your freezer for at least 24 hours before using (I usually just always keep it in there), put in one of the 3 popsicle sticks your kit comes with, and then pour in whatever juice, etc. you're using to make the popsicles. Then you just wait for a little while. Once ready you use this cool, aptly named, "Super Tool" to loosen the popsicle, and you lift it out. Put on a drip guard (which also comes with it) in case you're messy, like me. And we have popsicles! Woot!

The pop maker comes in red, blue, orange, lime green, or violet (like my pretty maker) and is BPA and Phthalate Free. My new best friend, guys. I'm having so much fun thinking of fun new popsicle ideas!

If you're looking for more Zoku pop maker info or great recipes, check out Zoku's blog, pinterest, twitter, and facebook!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell

Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell
I know.

I should have a picture of this magic shell doing it's crackly thing on top of some ice cream. I'm doing a major food blogger fail right now by not giving you all a photo of that. But um...I needed to share this recipe with you now, and as of this moment, I don't have a picture of that. Someday I will. And perhaps then I will update this post and show you. But trust me, this is the real deal. It is chocolatey goodness that hardens into a magical little shell as soon as it comes into contact with the wonderful coolness of your favorite frozen treat.

I just happened to use this for popsicles (recipes to come...one of which will be on Wednesday. Hence why I needed to share this recipe today). You guys are gonna be all in disbelief and think I'm lying, but seriously: homemade magic shell is sort of idiot proof. It's just chocolate and oil. The end.

And if you don't use it all right away-just store it at room temp. Now, in my case, it hardened up again on some chillier days, but no big: I just re-melted it. DUHN DUH DUH DUNNN.

Ta daaa. Magic. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Something Saturdays (6/22/13)

EEEEE! I had such an amazing day yesterday with Kristin, AKA Baker Bettie! We went to Chelsea Market, Heartland Brewery, Eataly, Levain Bakery, Central Park, Wafels and Dinges, Dylan's Candy Bar, and then her hotel to meet our new friend, the concierge (Gerald) and hang out. Then her awesome hubby Chris joined us, shortly thereafter followed by her sweet bestie Brady (Hi Brady! Yes, you're famous now!). Then the four of us crazy kids headed to the West Village to have a delicious dinner at the cutest restaurant, Olio e Piú. I adore Kristin and can't wait for her next visit!!!

Ok so...my cousin Kayla has the best pinterest board in the history of possibly ever. So much hilariousness. I seriously can't look at it because when I do I lose hours of my life.

This list is EXACTLY what my childhood looked like...plus it reminded me of parts of it I'd forgotten!

Alsooo...I got business cards made. My girl Stephie, from Eat Your Heart Out, was a complete doll and designed them for me! How do you think they turned out?


Friday, June 21, 2013

Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese

Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese
I've never made grilled cheese.

Well...if I have...I haven't made grilled cheese since I was like 11, anyway.

Anyway, I've never been a huge fan of it.
I know-I like bread, I like cheese, why don't I like grilled cheese??

Probably because I've only ever had it with wonder bread and those little packaged slices of American cheese. And uh...to me...that's not uber appetizing. But lately I've been dreaming of slices of good, homemade bread, grilled with brie (mmm so buttery), or...well...this sandwich. So one day I made myself some pesto. And English muffin bread. And then I bought some mozzarella. And made this. 

SO. GOOD.
Mozzarella and Pesto Grilled Cheese
I think I have officially hopped aboard the grilled cheese bandwagon, guys.

It's like me. It's like "Oh hey I'm an All American girl next door comforting thing, grilled cheese!" But then also "Oh I'm also kinda Italian and maybe a little fancier and a little bit of a surprise, not as predictable as you thought, huh?"....I'm actually not sure if that's the best description of me...it's definitely a good one for this sammy though. Comfort and sophisticated, all at the same time. Mmmm mmm good.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto
I'm totally into pesto-I mean, what's not to like? It's Italian, there's basil, Parmesan, and garlic: these are all things I like! But, I've always held off from making it for myself because I was lazy and didn't want to go looking for pine nuts. And then, the wonderful, talented Joan over at Chocolate Chocolate and More posted her recipe for a super simple, super awesome looking pesto: and it uses walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts! Huzzah! Pecans I have! Pecans I can use!
Basil Pesto
So I went to buy some basil. I'll tell you what, I have such garden envy. I want a garden with herbs (particularly basil) and maybe some veggies. I would love to just be able to walk outside and pick some leaves of basil or oregano, or grab a tomato for Michael's sandwiches, etc. etc. Buying produce and herbs is a pain, because everything goes bad so quickly! So yeah I'm totally into the idea of having a garden but...not working on it. I don't wanna weed and till and plant and water, I pretty much just wanna reap the benefits...

does that make me a bad person?
Basil Pesto
Whatever. I don't care.

I care about this pesto and how creamy and delicious it is and how many ways you can use it. Use it on pasta, spread it on bread, etc.! It's so incredibly easy to make too. Like. Crazy easy. Pretty much just throw in your food processor and go! The hardest part, for me, was grating the Parmesan cheese. And that wasn't even hard. So yeah.

PESTO!

(hehe sounds like "presto"...like a magic word...I crack myself up)

Monday, June 17, 2013

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread
I think this is Michael's favorite bread that I've ever made. It's soft, it's got air pockets, it's delicious, long story short: yummy. He loves English muffins, and I love the bread version because it's so much more versatile! Not only is this like...the perfect thing for toast, but it's also awesome for sandwiches and you know...whatever else you may use bread for. I even snuck some whole wheat flour into this, and it was super awesome, I couldn't even really tell that I'd done it.
English Muffin Bread
Just a stunning, golden brown loaf of bread, with soft fluffy insides studded with English muffin's trademark air pockets. Pretty pretty pretty.

I just adore bread. All of it. And I love baking it. I am totally not even a little bit afraid of yeast anymore. *Knock on wood* I have never had a bread recipe go wrong, I've never messed one up, everything always turns out wonderfully. And come on...what's better than the smell of fresh baked bread?
English Muffin Bread
Toast yourself a slice, slather it in butter and/or jam.
Make a grilled cheese.
Have a little BLT.

Make English muffin bread.

DOOO ITTT.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Something Saturdays (6/15/13)

DON'T FORGET: Google Reader ends on July 1st. So if you haven't already, follow me on Bloglovin (or the reader of your choice)


Also, as I mentioned Monday, I've dropped the ".blogspot" from my domain name, so if you'll look at your address bar you'll see it's just cookingactress.com now. Everything should run normally and just redirect from the old blogspot address, but if you have any problems or issues arise, please email me at cookingactress@yahoo.com


And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tomorrow is Father's Day! Woot! Good fathers are extremely precious, so if you have one-give him a big hug and tell him how grateful you are for him. And if you are a father-hey! Happy almost Father's Day! Good job! Eat some burgers n stuff.

Oh and here's a picture of me next to my dad's senior picture...quite a resemblance, huh?


Friday, June 14, 2013

No Bake Dessert Recipes Round Up

(Ok I wrote this post like a week or so ago when it was 80's & 90's...currently it's 60's and rainy but...bear with me. It's summer. It will be hot again soon...)

It's hot out you guys.
The AC is on.

Turning on the oven now results in a discomfort level that I don't care for.

So, since summer is here, I figure we should start looking to avoid the heat any way possible, and let's embrace and celebrate the wonder of summer. We don't need to sacrifice our sweets, we can just use some no bake options. So I've got a round up for youuuu.
No Bake Dessert Recipes Round Up








Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cream Puffs (from scratch)

Cream Puffs (from scratch)
So like...sometimes it's hard to choose between two things you love.
Hard rock and boy bands.
Kisses or hugs.
Chocolate or cookies.
Cream puffs with pastry cream or cream puffs with whipped cream.

Ya know?
Cream Puffs (from scratch)
I simultaneously have loved both types of cream puffs, while also never being fully pleased with either.

Turns out you totally don't need to choose at all.
This is THE BEST (I'm like...pretty sure) cream puff recipe, evah!

I was always intimidated by the idea of trying to make a cream puff recipe, because they seemed super fancy and like professional and such (everyone always says they're easy but I was still skeptical). Call me skeptic no more. These actually were pretty easy (aside from the multiple steps, but whatever! If you're feeling lazy just make boxed vanilla pudding and buy whipped cream to fill these. There. Happy?)
Cream Puffs (from scratch)
The result is a super light and airy pâte à choux and a delightful contrast of the rich pastry cream and light whipped cream. These are best fresh as far as texture for the pâte à choux goes, but I prefer my cream puffs chilled so I just ate em leftover, sogginess be damned! (It's really not bad, and they were super tasty!) Michael said he's not a huge fan of cream puffs, but when I caught him sneaking some and repeated that back to him he said that these he liked. He's nice :)

So are these cream puffs. Make them. You'll be sad you've lived this long without em!

Monday, June 10, 2013

4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pancakes

First of all-hurray! The blog is now parked at it's new domain www.cookingactress.com but don't worry, if you type in the old cookingactress.blogspot.com that will still work, it'll just redirect. As of right now if you type in just cookingactress.com (no www.) that will not work, but I'm hoping to rectify that. Anyway, if anything doesn't work normally, if you're not getting my posts in your RSS feeds, emails, etc. or if any links stop working, just let me know, drop me an email (cookingactress@yahoo.com), whatever! Thanks guys :)
Update: putting in just cookingactress.com should work now! Yay! Again, let me know if there are any problems!
4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pancakes
If I told you you could make healthy, tasty pancakes using only eggs, banana, and baking powder, you'd be like "Oh my crap! Let's get on board!" right!?

Um...well...you can make healthy pancakes using only eggs, banana, and baking powder.
It won't be easy. And it's gonna taste very strongly of...well...eggs and banana, but...you can do it.
4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Unfortunately for me, I actually don't like eggs. So end of the day, these poor pancakes didn't get eaten (Michael wasn't home, plus he doesn't like bananas). Luckily-I didn't use many ingredients to make em. 

Anyway, let's rewind. I'm not saying you should write these guys off. You just need to know what to expect. If you're cool with bananas and eggs, then we're off to a great start. You also just need to be very careful when cooking these, letting them cook a little slower and fully before flipping (and making sure to make small pancakes and using 2 spatulas, because these are very fragile and flipping is difficult). 

Once you follow those steps, you do have some pancakes that are pretty good-and you can feel good about eating! They're definitely worth trying. Like that dress you see at the store that normally wouldn't be your style but something about it is like clicking in your brain-you might as well try it on.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Something Saturdays (6/8/13)

Hey guys! It's another week, another Something Saturday. One thing that's new is if you look up there, I've added a "Sponsor/Advertise" tab. It's pretty cool and just gives a little info on ways you can work
with/advertise on "The Cooking Actress".

Also, oh um hi pinterest. This was a good idea-thank youu!

AND I was featured on mon.je's blog yesterday, check out their cool little interview with yours truly.

Finally, we wrapped shooting on the feature film I was doing. It was a lot of long days, but I had so much fun and it's always hard to part with such an awesome cast and crew. (You can view some photos of fake-prego me and keep up with news on Kins Productions fb page)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Avocado Brownies with @ZulkaSugar

Avocado Brownies
Alright guys! Today is the last day of my little unofficial Zulka Pure Cane Sugar week! If you wanna read more about it, check out Monday's post. Essentially, I've just been posting healthier sweets made with the pure, unprocessed deliciousness of morena sugar.
Avocado Brownies
So, I'm always semi-suspicious when I see a recipe for like brownies or some such with something weird and healthy in place of, say, butter. But when I saw the photos from the post featuring these avocado brownies, and read the author's passion over how delicious they were I figured-why not?

Um, well, they weren't bad.

They were um...kind of gummy in texture? And you were aware of something different in the flavor.
This doesn't mean that you won't necessarily like them-you may. I didn't mind them, they were kinda just like "eh" to me. I tried to pawn some off on one of the kids I babysit, but her family were not big fans (so then I had to redeem myself by bringing them these cookies the next week. They were much happier.)

The moral of the story is-avocado is not a miraculous replacement for butter or oil. But it's something to try.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with @ZulkaSugar

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

In case you didn't know, this week I'm posting some delicious, healthier, sweets! All featuring my new fave baking ingredient-Zulka Pure Cane Sugar. If you wanna read more about it, check out Monday's post. Suffice it to say-I now wanna use it for all of my granulated sugar needs!

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oh hello there chewy, underbaked cookies.
You have all the delicious comfort of any great chocolate chip cookie.
Hm...what's that?
You're made completely with whole wheat, you say??!

Whaaaaa??

Oh yes.
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies utilize the amazingness of aging dough (which we've discussed before) and-although they do have oats in them-they're a pretty classic chocolate chip cookie (the oats just give em some chew), and the whole wheat factor is pretty much a non-issue. Like...you can't really tell. They're just good.

And good cookies is what it's all about, right?

(Bonus: this recipe makes a bunch 'o' cookies, so you know what that means...LEFTOVERS! Hooray!)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Coffee Cake Muffins with @ZulkaSugar

Coffee Cake Muffins
Hey there guys! Happy Monday! I've got a little breakfast treat for you, and-on top of that-I'm gonna introduce you to my new favorite thing: Zulka Pure Cane Sugar.

You're probably all like-huh? What's that? Don't worry fair readers, I'm getting to that. Zulka Pure Cane Sugar is a Non-GMO Project verified “Morena” sugar. Morena sugar describes granulated sugars that do not undergo conventional refining processes, which remove the complexity and flavor in raw sugar cane after it has been pressed. So to sum up-it's like all natural n stuff AND you can use it to replace granulated sugar cup by cup (so a recipe calls for 1 cup granulated sugar? Use 1 cup Zulka. Simple.) for cooking, baking, beverages, in coffee...literally anything.

I've always been semi-skeptical about using natural sugars in my baking (WHAT IF IT DOESN'T TURN OUT RIGHT??!) but omg I am in love with Zulka Pure Cane Morena Sugar! It's completely revolutionary. I've been using it in everything, and all has turned out perfect (and tasting even better)! To celebrate the awesomeness, all 3 recipes I'll be sharing this week are featuring the Zulka Sugar (and they all have healthier twists to them). Fun right? So-Zulka is sold at major retailers nationwide, so you should be able to get your hands on it (trust me, you want to!) and you can also keep up with them via facebook and twitter!
Coffee Cake Muffins
Now, let's talk breakfast.
To be exact-muffins.
To be more exact-coffee cake muffins.

I threw these together a couple weeks ago, in preparation for my film shoot-I wanted to have something easy to grab in the mornings before self-reporting to Staten Island. And as we know, I'm quite fond of breakfasts that incorporate cinnamon/sugar. One of my handy dandy (but far too often forgotten) cookbooks provided me with this recipe, and then I just tweaked it a smidge to make them a bit healthier for mornings (whole wheat flour and-of course-the use of Zulka morena sugar. They were pretty low cal to begin with, however.)
Coffee Cake Muffins
These are absolutely the perfect mix of muffin and coffee cake-they have a wonderful crumb, and just the right amount of streusel. And they served me well for those crazy pre-shoot mornings. I'm sure they'd be equally (or even more) wonderful on a lazy morning with a mug of coffee/tea and a newspaper...or whatever people do in the mornings. Yeah.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Something Saturdays (6/1/13)

Well....I'm mostly done filming. I have 1 more (currently unscheduled) shoot date ahead, but for the most part we're done! Hooray! It was so much fun but omg sooo exhausting. I am sleep deprived.....zzZ

Seriously though...how cool is Bill Nye??!!

I'm loving this article-dispelling some marriage advice people like to give (btw how annoying is unsolicited advice?!)


Now, let's get serious about a super important cause (and a super fun event!):
The Partnership at Drugfree.org is having their 2nd ever All StarTasting event on Wednesday, June 26th in New York City.
Some chefs such as Ed Cotton (Executive Chef, David Burke Townhouse & runner-up on Season 7 of Bravo’s “Top Chef”) and Chef Johnny Iuzzini (Head judge of Bravo’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts”, James Beard Foundation award winner and one of the “10 Most Influential Pastry Chefs in America” by Forbes), will be featured at the event. It's gonna be super fun, all while supporting the critical work The Partnership does to help all kids live a life free of drug and alcohol abuse. The All Star Tasting Event will be at the Astor Center with the tasting starting at 7pm EST. Click here to purchase tickets. You can also click here to donate
Astor Center
399 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
VIP Reception 6:30 pm; All Star Tasting 7:00 pm
Business Casual Attire
Disclosure: I was contacted directly by DrugFree.org, who asked me to share this information. I received no compensation and was under no obligation. All opinions are always my own.


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