7-minute marshmallow frosting

Remember those birthday cupcakes I mentioned in my last post? Well, I’m going to start by sharing my recipe for the best marshmallow frosting ever. Even better? It only takes seven minutes to make (no joke). Think of this as a cupcake cliffhanger.

Six years ago when creating that ring ding cake for Mikey, I made a seven-minute icing to use as the filling. What I loved most about the recipe is that it was no-cook. Most seven-minute icing recipes call for making a simple syrup of water and sugar, then drizzling it into the egg whites while beating them. I don’t like extra, unnecessary steps, and this is one case when it’s really wasteful from a time perspective. Cleaning dishes is also one of my least favorite chores, so if I can save time and have one less pot to wash, then it’s a double win. Continue reading »

tangerine tea cakes | the weekend baker

I’ve got to keep reminding myself it’s only Tuesday. After 10 days home with the kids, yesterday felt like the longest Monday on record. The snowpocalypse here resulted in school being cancelled for an entire week. There’s much speculation about the ineptitude of the D.C. area to handle snow removal, and as a lifelong New Yorker who’s weathered many storms, I can’t help but let out a few harrumphs myself. In my 20s I believed a native New Yorker could survive anywhere. I mean, growing up in a rough, rugged city (or at least it used to be), any place else would be a cake walk. I’ve been proven wrong. It’s harder because the bar is set so high, but I’m going off on a tangent here. Let’s get back to the real reason I’m popping in today. Continue reading »

clementine, honey & olive oil cake

I’ve lost my mojo—remember that line from one of the Austin Power’s movies? This never used to be a problem, and it frustrates me to no end when it happens now. I’ve yet to find a steady footing these last few years. The kitchen has provided much solace, especially during the more challenging moments in life. It was a place I could always count on to find a sense of self, and control. Right now, something is amiss, my circuits a little frazzled, and wires crossed. Some nights, I have to dig deeper than I ever thought just to put dinner on the table, to shake the numbness away from my core. Continue reading »

galette des rois

We learned a lot about French holidays during Isabella’s time in a French Dual Language program back at our old elementary school in Brooklyn. One of my favorites is surely enjoying Galette des rois, a puff pastry cake with a creamy almond filling, served on January 6th to celebrate the Epiphany (the arrival of the Three Kings to visit Jesus). My friend who grew up in the south of France used to make a yeasty, candied fruit cake, which is more common in that region. I’ve never had that version, and will have to one day give that recipe a try. Continue reading »

light rough puff pastry

I know what you’re thinking. Me, too. I made some, um, let’s not call them resolutions—suggestions, yes, that sounds better. I made some suggestions to myself to let go of the decadence December brought to my eating habits. I also decided I needed to get much better about being physically active. I never had to think about that when I lived in a city. Ever since leaving Brooklyn two years ago, physical activity beyond the steps taken from apartment door to car door, is something I have to plan. But see, that’s where this recipe for Light Rough Puff Pastry comes in. Life is supposed to be lived in moderation, right? Continue reading »

favorite christmas breakfast recipes

T-minus two days until Christmas. While I’m fine with it not being a white one, since there’s lots of driving to be done, I would’ve loved a little cooler weather. We have baked ziti on the menu for Christmas Day, and I may need to run the air conditioner in order to turn on the oven. There’s still some baking to be done today, the kids presents left to wrap, and a last minute run to Whole Foods to pick up shrimp to make shrimp cocktail for tomorrow night. But on Christmas Day, I hope to curl up with a book, and decompress a bit before getting in the car to drive to New Jersey to celebrate our first Christmas with my guy’s family. With that in mind, I’m going to keep Christmas breakfast on the simple side. The great thing about most of my recipes, is that they come together pretty effortlessly. If I decide on waffles or scones, I can mix all the dry ingredients the night before, then just add the wet ingredients in the morning (note to self: remember to buy bacon at Whole Foods). And if I veer in a savory direction, eggs require little energy. Here’s a few more of my favorites recipes for a relaxing Christmas morning, in case you’re looking for a few ideas of what to make.

I’ll be sharing a special Christmas Eve Thankful Thursdays post tomorrow, so keep an eye out for it (and here’s the link if you want to subscribe to my emails). Merry Christmas to you all. May the day be filled with love and peace. Continue reading »

Peppermint Fudge Brownies

One thing I never had to worry about back in Brooklyn, or even Woodstock for that matter, was too many sweets. I used to show up in the school yard to pick up the kids, armed with containers or baggies full of goodies. No one ever argued when I asked if they’d like to help me out by taking the day’s recipe testing treats home to sample. Things are quite different now, here in Maryland. I spend my days, hermit-like in my apartment cooking, baking, and writing. The only neighbor I know is my guy who lives next door, and a sweet gal who lives below me, and babysits the girls from time to time. I bring treats to the doormen, but that’s not nearly enough to help purge all the brownies that flowed from my kitchen this week. Continue reading »

grain-free peppermint fudge brownies

Consider these minty grain-free fudge brownies second cousins to my Peppermint Fudge Brownies, and third cousins to my Milk Chocolate Brownies. If you’d like to make them dairy-free, swap in 1/4 cup of oil (grapeseed or canola) for the butter. Next up on my testing list is to give these a try substituting granulated maple sugar for the cane sugar. If you want to give it a try, keep in mind that maple sugar is sweeter, so I would try 2/3 cup in my first round of testing. Let me know if you give it a go, and leave a note in the comments. Oh, one last note. If you’re not a fan of mint, just use all milk or dark chocolate chips (for a total of 9 ounces / 252 grams).

xo-Jennie Continue reading »

italian rainbow cookies

For a few years now, I’ve watched Instagram come alive with the surprise of sweet, mysterious cookie deliveries as part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. And every single year I’ve missed the sign up deadline, my mind occupied with other things. Better late than never is how the saying goes, right? It felt like a win-win when I discovered the information for it on Julie’s blog in time to get my name into the mix this year. I loved spreading cheer with home baked love, and yes, getting cookies was wonderful, too. The other great news is that each person who participates makes a donation to a very worthy cause, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, and the #FBCookieSwap corporate partners match the donations. Continue reading »

gingerbread scones

I was well into my 20s before I’d tasted my first scone. That notion makes me chuckle a bit because they’re something my girls have grown up—a must at tea parties for everyone, including the stuffies. Now, mind you I was not deprived. My world just revolved around all the goodies you’d find at an Italian-American bakery or pastry shop. Cannoli, sfogliatelle, and rainbow cookies, oh my!

Gingerbread Scones| Continue reading »