Tag Archives: homemade

Recipe: Vanilla Panna Cotta

Hello everyone! I apologize for the long hiatus from WordPress! It’s applications time for me right now, so I’ve had more on my plate than I already do in grad school 😦 Thank you for being patient with me as I take longer periods of time to put something together for you to read ❤

screen-shot-2017-03-03-at-11-23-26-pm

Today, I want to share a dessert recipe that I made! Have you ever had panna cotta before? It’s an Italian dessert made with sweetened cream and thickened with gelatin so it has that nice firm, but melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s deeeeeeelicious, I promise! For the recipe I used, I actually made two batches to see how it would taste and how firm it would get, so feel free to experiment!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of skim milk
  • 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 envelope (whatever that means), or .25oz of unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar (I’m sure you can use cane sugar or brown sugar to be slightly “healthier”)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

According to this recipe, it can make 6 servings! I followed that recipe blindly and ended up making a HUGE sweet batch that I just could’t finish in one sitting! Even my roommate helped me, but it was just so sweet… so I tweaked it and the modified recipe is below (to make approximately 2-3 servings):

  • 2 tbsp and 2 tsp of skim milk
  • 3 tsp of lemon jello mix (Yes, you got that right…I couldn’t find unflavored gelatin at my grocery store, so I had to improvise! Since I only used a little bit, it barely affected the flavor, thankfully)
  • 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup of cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (My first batch was SUPER sweet, so I wanted to tone down some of the sweet factor)

I always thought panna cotta was super difficult to make since it’s often served at higher-end restaurants that I’ve dined in, but it actually wasn’t too bad! There are generally 3 steps (the 2nd step is the longest), which I’ll list out below:

  1. Pour the milk and gelatin into a bowl and mix it together as best you can to dissolve the gelatin powder.
  2. Turn on your stove to medium heat, and add the heavy cream and sugar into a pot and stir them together.
  3. Cover the pot and watch carefully until your mixture has started to bubble! **You don’t want one or two bubbles, you want the whole surface to start bubbling**
  4. Add the milk and gelatin mix into the pot and stir it vigorously for a full minute.
  5. Quickly remove the pot from heat, and add the vanilla extract.
  6. Pour the mixture into whatever containers you like. **the recipe calls for ramekins, but I used stemless wine glasses since it looks fancy heh**
  7. Let the panna cotta mix cool, uncovered, until it gets to room temerature.
  8. When it’s cool, cover it up in saran wrap, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours. For best results, leave it in the fridge overnight and enjoy it the next day!
  9. BONUS: As an added touch, if you have any berries lying around, you can heat up a small pot, add the berries, a bit of water, and some sugar, and let it simmer until it turns into a berry sauce. Drizzle that on top of your now-cool panna cotta and enjoy the sweet and acidic sweetness of your berry sauce!

Hope you enjoyed reading and will try out this yummy recipe 🙂

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram ❤

Recipe: Hearty, Homemade Chili

Ever since I can remember, Wendy’s chili was one of my most favorite meals. It was hearty, flavorful, and could warm you up with your first bite! I’ve been determined to work on making chili that can be somewhat comparable to this fast food chain restaurant (since they closed down by my home back in NY haha) and I think I’ve got a pretty close recipe that I want to share 🙂

belindas-homemade-chili

This recipe is awesome for when the weather gets chilly (haha, get it?!) and you can make a pretty decent portion to last you a few days!

I’ve made this recipe twice, one with ground meat, and one without, so this is definitely a recipe that will suit both meat enthusiasts and vegetarians.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 green bell peppers
  • 1-2 red onions (you can use white onions too, I just prefer the red ones since they don’t make my eyes water up as much loll)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 big tomatoes (you can also buy canned tomatoes and tomato paste, but if you have the option to make something with fresh ingredients, your meal might taste better :P)
  • 1/2 pack of ground beef or pork (optional)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (optional if you need a meat substitute, thanks to my friend’s suggestion!)
  • a bowl of red kidney beans
  • 2-3 serrano peppers (or any spicy kick you want in your chili)
  • seasonings (I used garlic salt, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, dried oregano, dried basil)

I followed a recipe from Food Network realllly roughly (their recipe seems so much more complicated than mine haha) and then winged it since my intuition and taste buds never steered me wrong 🙂

Steps:

  1. (A day before) Soak your beans of choice in water overnight it’s easier to digest and so you won’t be gassy after you eat your yummy chili. How many of y’all knew to soak beans before this?! I never really cooked with beans before so this was a new fun fact!
  2. Prep your mise en place (learned this on Worst Cooks in America, which BTW is the most entertaining cooking competition show, hands down!) by dicing your tomatoes in large cubes, and green bell peppers, onions, garlic, and peppers into smaller cubes. When they cook down, they’ll be hardly discernible, but it’s definitely up to you how chunky you want them to be.
    img_5722
  3. IF you want meat in your chili: Start your fire on medium and add the ground meat and “chop” it up in the pot so it’ll be fine little pieces and cook quickly.
  4. Set your fire on low, and add your bell peppers, onions, and garlic in and stir it around and let it sit for a few minutes until they look almost cooked. **I was pretty eager to get my chili to start cooking, so I threw everything in besides the quinoa and beans and let it cook down for about half an hour**
  5. Add your tomatoes and hot peppers, stir again, and cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour.
    img_5723
  6. Add seasonings to taste, and then add the beans (they take FOREVER to cook if you don’t soak them, so please remember that!)
  7. If you are substituting meat for quinoa, add 1 part quinoa and 2 parts water to a separate pot (i.e. 1 cup of quinoa, and 2 cups of water, according to the box) and let it cook for about 15 minutes and turn off the fire.
  8. You can decide how long you want the chili to stew, but I would say give it about another hour or two (depending how soft you want your beans to be).
  9. At the very end, you can add your quinoa!
belindas-homemade-chili-1

My first time cooking with quinoa, and it was a success! 🙂

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram ❤

Recipe: Homemade Garlic Bread

Can y’all believe it’s almost November?! Time has really flown by since I moved down to Baltimore, and I’m already about to start my second term in school. Since moving, I made it a point to cook at least 3-4 times a week so I didn’t rely on instant foods (i.e. ramen or canned soup haha).

If you have been following my blog since the start, you’ll know I’m a sucker for foods with garlic. Whenever my family goes to restaurants or does take-out, I always try to order garlic bread (especially when we order from pizza shops!) If you didn’t get to see my recipes for garlic monkey bread and spinach artichoke dip stuffed garlic bread, now’s your chance 🙂

My homemade garlic bread recipe was oh-so easy, and I’m so happy I purchased a freshly baked baguette when I visited the local farmers’ market.

homemade-garlic-bread

Ingredients:

  • baguette
  • garlic cloves
  • olive oil
  • butter (I purchased one with olive oil and sea salt, it elevated my bread by 100000x)
  • dried parsley flakes

Steps:

  1. Pre-heat your pan on medium heat.IMG_5445.JPG
  2. Slice your bread in the desired shape–I did mine diagonally because they look prettier haha 🙂
  3. Dice up as many garlic cloves as you want to use for your bread. I used probably 4-5 cloves!
  4. Spread butter on both sides of the bread, and then sprinkle parsley and garlic on one side.
  5. Place the bread onto the pan (garlic-sprinkled side down so it can “cook into” the bread) IMG_5447.JPGcarefully so all the garlic won’t spill all over the place (like mine did heh)
  6. Depending how high your fire is and how crispy golden you want your bread, you can flip it when you’re ready, sprinkling any other garlic pieces to the bare side.
  7. When you’re satisfied with the level of crisp and brown of your bread, take them out and wolf them down (or share… if you’re feeling generous haha)

Hope you enjoyed reading!

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram ❤

Recipe: Strawberry Cream Cheese Pastry

Ready for a deliciously sweet summer pastry? This 5-ingredient recipe to make strawberry cream cheese pastries will be a definite hit for your friends and family when you invite them over for a get-together on a summer day! The steps may be a little bit tedious, but I promise, it’s well-worth it once you take a bite out of your pastry!

strawberry.jpg

Ingredients (to make about 20 3×4 inch pastries):

  • firm, ripe red strawberries, chopped 13578663_3367853839104_233057731_n(more is better in case some are smaller than you want for presentation)
  • 8oz cream cheese at room temperature (you only need 6oz unless you want it really cheesy)
  • 6 tbsp of sugar (I used brown sugar, but I’m sure you can use white)
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract (feel free to use more if you love the vanilla flavor and don’t mind it extra sweet)
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 medium/large egg, beaten (this is used to glaze over the pastry so it has a nice golden-brown color after baking)

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice your strawberries to the thickness of your preference **since this was my first time, some of mine came out looking weird since I used suuuuper small pieces haha**
  3. Beat 6oz of cream cheese FIRST (that was where I made my mistake -.- my mixture came out all clumpy since I added my sugar and vanilla altogether with my cream cheese and mixed)
    13563624_3367853919106_987086554_n
  4. Add the sugar and vanilla after the cream cheese is a smooth texture, and again beat it until it’s smooooooth!
  5. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and put the puff pastries on top; slice the pastries into however many pastries you need (I cut them so there were about 20)!
    13553313_3367854159112_1200287666_n
  6. Use a fork and poke holes on the edges (see picture).
  7. Beat the egg and then brush the egg on the edges of the pastries.
  8. Put the cream cheese mix in the center of each pastry, and lay strawberries on top in whatever pattern your heart desires 🙂
    13578859_3367853999108_1337406111_n
  9. Pop them in the oven for 15-17 minutes until you see the top of your pastries start to look golden brown!
  10. Let them cool for an hour or so, and if you want, you can dust them with powdered sugar before serving 🙂

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter  ❤

Recipe: Tortilla Pizzas

As I’m prepping for grad school, I want to think of all the potential recipes I can try at home (trial and error, hehe) and bring along with me when I’m living on my own for the first time! I’ve seen many recipes for using tortilla skins for things other than quesadillas or wraps, and I’ve always wanted to try the multipurpose route… so why not try using it for pizza and make a tortizza? (and if you’re wondering, yes, it’s legit, I looked it up after combining the words to see if I just created a new word for the dictionary LOL)

13493328_3365537661201_870097958_o

Here are the ingredients I used, but feel free to go outside the box and use as many toppings as you want for yours!13523759_3365537781204_495765943_o

  • pasta sauce (garlic and herb)
  • cheese
  • pepperoni slices
  • flour tortilla skins
  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried oregano
  • garlic and pepper seasoning

Making a tortizza is literally one of the easiest recipes you can do…it took less than 2 minutes of prep time, and 5 minutes of cook time (more if you want your skin to be more crisp!). Here were my steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lay out your tortilla skin and spread out as much tomato sauce as you want (the more, the merrier AND tastier ;))
  3. Add your toppings and get creative!
    13509294_3365537741203_2022507805_o

    This was my traditional tortizza with pepperoni and cheese

  4. Pop them into the oven on a baking sheet, pizza tray, or just on aluminum foil itself for about 5 minutes or until you’re satisfied with your “crust” crispiness.

Let me tell you, I was itching to try this out for over a month now, and I am SO glad I did! It came out even better than I imagined it to be and I think it’s a super simple dinner idea if you’re short on time or just really tired after school or work! If you don’t have an oven, you can easily place your tortizza onto a pan over the stove and heat until your tortilla skin starts to crisp and the cheese is melted 🙂

 

13523970_3365537621200_2037069989_o

Seriously, the fast food pizza chain stores have nothing on these tortizzas made by yours truly! 😉 I even have my jalapeño pepper as an added touch!

This is a great idea for when you want to have guests over, or if you want to cook with your family but want something easy to make! It also makes for a cute date night idea ^_^ HAVE FUN and go wild with your toppings!

ALL PHOTOS ARE ©magnetically aesthetic. Please do not steal, edit, or use these pictures in any way without my permission. Thank you!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter  ❤

 

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Chicken Soup (from scratch)

I don’t know where you live, but today in NYC, it was in the low 20s (Fahrenheit), but felt like a bone-chilling 10 degrees!!! I spent my day hanging out with someone I was fortunate enough to meet through the Macaulay Honors Program through CUNY, and we ate at this fancy brunch spot called Cafeteria–go for their lemon ricotta pancakes, OMG delicious…but I will save that for another day (when I eventually learn how to make that divine whipped ricotta cream hehe).

Time flew by until it was almost the evening since we spent the day catching up and talking about Public Health (I am super stoked I have a buddy I can talk to about anything and everything related to this since she’s on a similar career trajectory 🙂 ). It was super cold and I wanted something quick and easy to make when I got home. Lucky for me, there’s a supermarket right where I get off the train, so I ran in, bought a “bag of chickens” (basically a whole chicken stripped of the wings, breasts, legs and thighs, but still has some meat leftover and great for making stew!)

When I got home, I quickly fed my dogs and took them out, and then I got to work…

Here are the 3 simple ingredients I used:

  • chicken **I got 3 whole chickens for only $1.77!!!**
  • a head of garlic
  • dried Chinese mushrooms

Depending on the amount of time you have, you can follow my steps or omit the second step!

  1. Boil a little less than half a pot of water (and add a bit of salt to get the water to boil faster).
  2. Separate the garlic bulbs and peel them.
  3. Soak the mushrooms until they are soft (and cut them in halves if they are large if you want!).
  4. Add the garlic and the mushrooms into the water.
  5. Take out your chicken and cut out the excess fat and skin from your chicken.
  6. Wash the chicken of any blood and put it into the pot.
  7. Stew for at least an hour. **I recommend at least 2-3 hours so the flavor of the chicken is stronger in the soup, and you can always add salt to taste**
  8. OPTIONAL: Cook some noodles to go with your soup for the perfect chicken noodle soup 🙂

This soup is perfect for the cold, wintry weather and it’s really easy to make. It does take some time to make, but trust me, it is soooo worth it over canned soup or packaged Lipton chicken noodle soup!

Stay connected with me: Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter ❤