Tap, Tap, Tap – Is This Thing On?
When life gets in the way, and you can’t possibly get to everything on your to-do list (like…um…say…blogging) – make a cake. And make it a pound cake.
It’s been a bit since I shared a delectable treat with you all. Instead of running down all the reasons why, I’d rather offer you an apology in the form of a cake. But not just any cake as this is simply the best kind of cake – Pound Cake.
There are so many reason to love pound cake. Dump all the ingredients into one pan (check). Said pan barely takes up any room in your kitchen (check). When it’s finished baking, no need to frost (check), layer (check) or decorate (check). Simply slice and enjoy (check) or tear into it with your fingers (check, check). And if it makes it out of your home, it could not be easier to transport (check). Read more
Given the unseasonable warm temperatures we have had recently, I felt like I had to wait until temps were below 60 degrees in NYC before I could share this recipe. (Although I could enjoy this no just about any time.) So with temps taking a slight dip this weekend, I can’t think of a better time to wrap your hands around a comforting warm bowl of soup.
Potato Leek Soup is as classic as you can get when it comes to soup recipes. It’s also as easy and simple as you can get without skimping on flavor. I used a recipe by Melissa Clark as my road map but most recipes call for just three main ingredients – potatoes, leeks and stock. I subbed olive oil where she used butter and topped mine with fresh cracked pepper. (I even got a little carb happy and dipped crusty bread into the bowl when I had it for dinner.) Read more
Over the last few years, I have attended my fair share of cookbook signings. My most recent was The Pioneer Woman’s first stop on the tour for her highly anticipated second cookbook, which was last night in New York City.
As with many of the signings I have attended, the date was in my calendar since it was first announced. I planned what I was going to say to the Country Queen when I got to the front of the line. I planned to wear something “cute” and have my curls not be a a frizzy mess. And as has happened with most of the signings I have attended, I practically lost my ability to speak in complete sentences when I was in front of the woman, my hair was pulled back in a disastrous bun and my outfit – let’s just say far from cute. Oy!
The beauty, however, was that when I got to the front of the line last night none of that mattered. Ree was all smiles and gracious to every single person in attendance – from the first person until the last, which was almost three hours after she started signing books. She personalized each book and spent time talking to each and every single fan, she even remembered me from last year, when I attended the signing for her novel. I was beyond flattered.
I’d love to say that I have had the same experience at all of the previous book signings I have attended but it has not been the case. The most disappointing was one for Ina Garten where fans were passed through a conveyor belt of people before finally seeing Ina who did not personalize books, spend much time with fans or even pose for pics. I was crushed.
Thankfully, this was not the case last night. Thanks Ree for spending time with all of us that love and adore you. And thanks for showing us how much you appreciate your fans. YOU ROCK!
Today I am celebrating Dominican Republic’s Day of Independence on A Chica Bakes. Last year I commemorated the day with tostones, which will forever be one of my favorite things to eat. This year, I’m givin ya’ll something sweet, courtesy of my favorite (and the BEST) Latin restaurant in New York – Ideya.
Now I have to start off by saying that I do not enjoy eating out at Latin restaurants. I’m spoiled and come from a family of some of the best cooks I know. They don’t measure, read cookbooks or watch cooking shows. They just COOK THEIR BUTTS OFF. I have never found food in a Latin restaurant that came anywhere close to what I enjoyed at home. But that all changed almost 10 years ago when I first stepped foot in Ideya. It was love at first bite.
What first drew me into Ideya was how much it reminded me of home. From its colorful decor to their cafe con leche (made with Bustelo, of course), so much of it was familiar and authentic. But what has kept me going year after year is how much of it is new. Ideya’s Chef Isaac Reyes has perfected the flavors of Latin Caribbean cuisine. But in all of its dishes you will find flavors spanning the entire globe, including Chef Isaac’s’ native Mexico. It’s homey Latin food kicked up a few notches. And did I mention they have THE BEST MOJITO IN NUEVA YORK?
As if great cocktails and savory eats were not enough, then there’s dessert. And not just any dessert but a legendary tres leches cake. Yes, legendary. Read more
I know that in my last post I said that sometimes dessert is not enough. But we all know that sometimes all we want is a sweet, warm treat. At breakfast. To make you feel all warm and cozy on a chilly Sunday morning. When you are cuddled up on the couch along your hairy little dog and loving husband taking in the comforts of home.
So I’m keeping this one short and sweet so that you can gather up your ingredients to make these delightful muffins and enjoy them cuddled up next to someone you love this weekend. And enjoy the comfort of your home before the frenzy of the super bowl.
Think of this beauty of a muffin as a light and cakey slice of all the flavors we love pumpkin pie brightened up with a burst of fresh squeezed orange juice. Too easy to make (and delicious of course) for you to miss out on. Try ‘em out and see for yourself. Read more
As much as I love cookies, cake and ice cream, a smart chica can’t survive on sweets alone. That’s probably why some of the savory recipes I have recently featured here have been getting lots of amor lately. Here are some of my favorites.
Pernil (or roast pork shoulder) – enjoy this Latin delicacy the next time you’re in the mood for some down home roll up your sleeves good cooking. As far as I’m concerned, in my kitchen, it doesn’t get better than this. And the secret to my pernil is this seasoning blend, handed down to me by my mami.
To keep it authentic, have some Tostones (double fried green plantains) to go along with your pernil.
If Italian is more your idea of comfort food, then look no further than this Pasta Bolognese. It’s a labor of love to make but will give you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside like nothing else can.
Or try this 4-ingredient Tamari Roasted Salmon for something a bit more figure friendly. Healthy never tasted so good.
If you still want to bake, I’ve go two show stoppers for you. First, this Potato, Onion and Gruyere Galette. It’s potatoes, caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and pie crust – what’s not to love about that.
There’s also these Cheddar Black Pepper Biscuits. Because who doesn’t love a warm, fresh baked biscuit. They may not look like a show stopper. But they surely pack a flavor punch.
These doughnuts were inspired by what may become a new holiday tradition.
My family celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve and my husband’s on Christmas Day. However, this past season, my mother-in-law (aka The Cook) was away which meant that either I was cooking on both days or we were eating out on Christmas Day. Although it felt really strange, eating out of Christmas Day won.
We made a reservation at The Palm in Tribeca. I had never been but after just a few bites of my appetizer, knew I was in for a real treat and secretly hoped this would become a new holiday tradition. Every part of our meal from the apps, the steaks, the drinks and the service was incredible. And even better – dessert, which is often the forgotten course, was a delightful surprise.
The best part of dessert was my husband’s selection – a warm bag of doughnuts served with a raspberry and chocolate dipping sauce. He and I were immediately smitten. A warm doughnut hole that was crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside that was dusted in cinnamon sugar. Then you have your choice of dipping in either warm gooey chocolate or sweet and tart raspberry.
On the way home, my doughnut loving husband begged me to recreate the dessert at home. He continued to beg again, and again, and again. I finally obliged and was so happy I did. Read more
Cheesecake and I were not always the best of friends. If it wasn’t one this or another but I could just never get it right. My crust would fall apart. The top cracked. The water bath leaked into the spring form pan. The cheesecake contorted after I unmolded. You name it and it happened.
I recently decided I’d give it another try and this one was for all the marbles. If it didn’t work out, my quest for cheesecake perfection was over.
Along the way I learned a few things, which as you can see resulted in one stunning cheesecake. The individual steps of making cheesecake are not at all difficult. But the process requires tons of patience and restrain. Read more
Are you a soft and chewy cookie lover? Or do you prefer your cookies more crisp and crunchy?
I’m an “always seeking balance” Libra. )Which really means I can never make up my mind.) And so is the case for me and the cookie texture debate. I tend to like my cookies a bit on the crunchier side. But can’t deny the satisfaction of biting into a warm, gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookie, like this one.
Snickerdoodles are one of those cookies that most people enjoy on the softer side. When I gave this recipe a whirl, I took on a few too many tasks in the kitchen at the same time and ended up over-baking the cookies just a tad. I thought I had ruined them but to my surprise the chocolatey cinnamonny goodness was just as delicious on the crispier side. Read more