Let’s Cook: Cooking Classy’s Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Hello everyone! With the coming of fall so has come a HUGE assortment of pumpkin flavored treats. Pumpkin scones, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin shakes, and the mecca of them all the pumpkin pie. Now I hate to say it, but I’m actually not that big a fan of pumpkin flavor – I’m much bigger into peppermint chocolate flavors of Christmas. However, I’ve found that whenever I make sweets at home I enjoy them much more than when I just go out and buy a box from my local grocer. So I figured, why not see if that holds true for pumpkin flavored things? And you know what guys, it totally does!

This cookie recipe immediately popped out at me on Pinterest because of just how beautiful the cookies looked. The recipe was originally made by Jaclyn of Cooking Classy – who’s blog I really recommend you visit because it is filled with absolutely delicious foods ranging from drinks to desserts. Jaclyn’s passion for cooking really shines through her absolutely gorgeous photography!! Every recipe is plated beautifully and gives you a feel for the care that’s put into every dish. After looking around her blog, Jaclyn has inspired me to keep on working toward becoming a better chef. So, with that in mind, let’s get started!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting by Cooking Classy

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Let’s Cook: Zoella’s Funfetti Cupcakes

One of my favorite YouTuber’s, Zoella, recently posted a video of her recipe for funfetti cupcakes. So of course I decided I had to try them out – which was awesome because I LOVE cupcakes and terribly daunting because I’m awful at baking. So I started where any reasonable person would start and wrote down the recipe. After which, I quickly realized all the measurements were done to UK standards so I had to convert them before I started baking. This was an oddly cathartic process because literally all I was doing was typing numbers into google for conversion, but the process of doing so made me feel super smart! So that’s a thing I guess. Next I checked that I had all the ingredients and bought any that were missing. I also had to buy icing tips because I haven’t ever iced anything – ever. So yes, I suppose this also present the perfect opportunity for me to learn how to ice… things. To say the least I was skeptical, but it turns out even if I had completed botched these in the beauty department it would have all been okay because they taste incredible!

Funfetti Cupcakes by Zoella

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Let’s Cook: Extra-Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken with “Delta” Sauce

Before I learned of my gluten intolerance my favorite fast food was Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen fried chicken. I remember going there after volleyball tournaments with friends and family to counteract all the exercise we’d put hours and hours into beforehand, seriously happy times. So since one of my best friends, Arenia, is in town we decided to try our hands at making a Popeyes-esk fried chicken recipe from the blog The Way Food Should Be. Since neither Arenia nor I can do gluten, we altered the recipe to be gluten free and guys I’ll be honest… it was freaking delicious.

Instead of posting the recipe I’m going to post pictures of each step and allow you to check out Malcolm Bedell’s post here.

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As always, here are the changes I made to the original recipe. I used my go to gluten free flour, King Arthur’s All Purpose Flour, to substitute for wheat flour. The batter turned out great; it stuck well to the chicken and had a nice crispy finish. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re thinking of battering up some delicious gluten free fried chicken after reading this post. The only other change I made was to the egg wash. I used Frank’s Red Hot sauce and only added half a cup because I had some guests would weren’t super keen on spicy food. Although the chicken was spicy, I’d definitely recommend using the full cup of hot sauce for the egg wash if you love spicy foods. Also I’m going to have to go buy the recommended hot sauce (Texas Pete) to try out sometime because I felt the Frank’s Red Hot added a bit too much acidity where there should have been a smoky, pepper flavor to the chicken.  So do feel free to substitute flour, but think about the underlying flavors in your hot sauce before throwing it into the egg wash.

What else can I say? This recipe makes cooking Popeyes-esk fried chicken fairly simple and straightforward. I’d recommend using a thermometer while cooking to keep an eye on your oil temperature. And don’t be discouraged from trying this out if you don’t own a deep fryer! A deep pot will work just as well, I used my cast iron Dutch oven and the world did not explode. The end result came out moist, crunchy, and spicy – basically everything you could ask for in a piece of fried chicken! I’ll definitely be making this whenever I get a craving for Popeyes from now on. So approximately once a week, honestly I owe Bedell a life debt or something for coming up with the recipe. (^-^;;) And before I finish, I owe a big big big big huge thanks to Arenia, whose blog you can check out here, for all her help cooking and to everyone reading – I hope you enjoy!

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Let’s Cook: Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I have my friend Amos to thank for introducing me to this magnificent recipe. I will say that I was extremely skeptical of when it was first shown to me. What Amos emailed me was a pictographic recipe he had found on Pinterest (which I almost never trust), so perhaps you can understand my concerns. Knowing I needed more information I tracked the original blog post down and found a much more detailed version of the recipe on RECIPEgirl. However, I still had my concerns. How exactly did you avoid a burnt, goopy mess after flipping the pancake onto its cinnamon filled side? Well in my case you didn’t, but no matter how awful these pancakes end up looking they more than deliver in the taste department.

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes by RECIPEgirl

  1. 2015-01-24 17.50.52Before starting your pancakes make the cinnamon filling and cream cheese drizzle. Set your cinnamon filling aside in a closed Ziploc to cool (I put mine in the refrigerator) until it has a toothpaste like thickness.
  2. Using the recipe provided by RECIPEgirl or your own favorite pancake mix create the pancake batter. I used King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix (15oz pack).
  3. Pour 1/3 cup batter into a well-greased non-stick skillet or griddle. Cook on medium to medium low heat.
  4. Allow the pancake to cook enough to form bubbles then add a swirl of the cinnamon filling. Stay close to the center to keep the filling from leaking out.
  5. Using a thin metal spatula, flip the pancake quickly and carefully.
  6. Set aside once finished and wipe your cooking surface clean in between pancakes.
  7. Stack up your pancakes, drizzle with your cream cheese icing, and enjoy!

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Let’s first talk about one of the major differences between my version of this recipe and the original, the pancake batter. I used King Arthur Gluten Free Pancake Mix, while the recipe called for you to make your mix from scratch. I have a hunch that had I made my batter from scratch it may have turned out thicker and better able to hold the cinnamon filling. The next time I make these I’ll definitely be using the batter recipe on RECIPEgirl (while still substituting all-purpose flour for gluten free all-purpose flour).
Next thing I want to talk about are the tips I added onto my recipe cards. First off FOLLOW ALL THE TIPS GIVEN ON RECIPEgirl! I cannot stress this enough since these pancakes would have been extremely difficult to make had I ignored those tips. Now, the first tip I discovered on my own is to make sure the piping tip (or cut in your Ziploc) is as small as possible. I didn’t think about sizing beforehand and ended up with cinnamon turds instead of swirls. Not cute. Next tip, if you don’t make pancakes often (me) go in knowing that this is going to be a life lesson in the importance of flipping pancakes correctly. I still don’t know how to do it, but I am convinced that with a bit of practice I’ll go from splatting my pancakes onto my skillet to magically flipping them perfectly. I fully expect that the beautiful, fluffy, cinnamon swirly pancakes shown on the original recipe are possible; it will just take me many many attempts to achieve them.
Let me make one thing clear! I am not mourning the fact that I will have to make these little guys more than once… because they taste freaking fantastic. The flavor of the cinnamon filling permeates the entire pancake and some of the cinnamon crystalizes to give the pancakes a sweet sugary crunch. Oh man, also that cream cheese drizzle is to die for. Seriously, I’m thinking of giving up on syrup all together and making this a mainstay for whenever I make pancakes. Oh man or doughnuts. So many possibilities! *faints* So yes, I would definitely recommend making this recipe because no matter how awful the pancakes end up looking (cue glamour shots of mine) they will taste amazing.

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ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia

Let’s Cook: Kimchi Bokkeumbop

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this at Berkeley Bowl and passed on buying it because I’m terrified they’ve added soy sauce. They add soy sauce to everything and anything that resembles Asian food. I mean honestly! I know it’s a staple ingredient, but does every piece of fish in your sushi need to be marinated in it? I think not. At any rate, here I am attempting to create Maangchi’s kimchi fried rice because I’m paranoid and I needed to use up a jar of kimchi that’s been chillen in my fridge for a while. I LOVE watching her cooking videos. She is incredibly sweet in them and the food always has an authenticity to it that comes with being cooked from the heart. So here we go!

Kimchi Bokkeumbap by Maanchi

3 Cups Steamed Rice
1 Cup Chopped Kimchi2014-08-03 16.00.57
¼ Cup Kimchi Juice
¼ Cup Water
2-3 Tablespoons Gochujang
3 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Vegetable Oil
1 Green Onion (Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Roasted Sesame Seeds
1 Sheet of Kim (Roasted and Shredded)

  1. Heat up a pan. Add the vegetable oil.
  2. Add the kimchi and stir fry for 1 minute.

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  1. Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for about 7 minutes with a wooden spoon. Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.
  2. Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted gim, and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

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Alright, so I’m going to give my final thoughts on the dish a bit differently from the regular today. I’m starting with the things I didn’t have while cooking. The only ingredient I could not find was the gochujang or hot pepper paste. I was able to get a chili sauce, but I’m not sure if it even came close to replicating the taste of the hot pepper paste for two reasons. First because different peppers taste differently as well as have different heat intensities and I have no idea if chilis are the primary pepper used in hot pepper paste. Second, because the chili sauce was Chinese so additional spices in it may have been different than those used in the Korean hot pepper paste. Next run through I’m hoping I’ll be able to track down some gochujang to see if there were any differences. Alright next I would HIGHLY recommend you used a wok whilst making this. You may have noticed there are no pictures of me frying the rice with all the other ingredients, well that was because my entire stove top was a hot mess during that step. Okay, it wasn’t that crazy, but it was crazy enough that I was more focused on corralling ingredients than taking pictures. Now that I’ve wined a bit about the tiny hurdles I encountered let’s talk taste. I’m not going to lie to you, I was a little disappointed in how my bokkeumbop tasted. I think, though, that my disappointment was entirely subjective as I’m not the world’s biggest fan of flavored oils. When I say flavored oils I’m talking about sesame oil, truffle oil, olive oil… the types that have a distinctive taste to them. I find that it’s very easy to overpower more subtle flavors while cooking with these and I had a hard time getting past the amount of sesame oil in this recipe. Like I said, this is a me thing and may not apply to everyone. Now I know the next time I make kimchi bokkeumbop to add less sesame oil. Interestingly enough despite wanting less sesame oil I was wanting more sesame seeds because I really liked the crunch they gave to the fried rice. On that note I should mention I did mess up the directions a bit and thought I should be frying the green onion with the kimchi. Had my brain not farted out at that point, I think the onions would also have added a nice bit of crunch to the dish. I’d say that I was overall a fan of my kimchi bokkeumbop. I love the spicy, tangy flavor of kimchi (it’s one of those foods that leaves a bit of a tingle in your mouth) and that was definitely one of the stronger flavors in the rice. Not sure about you, but this is definitely one of those “s**t what am I making for dinner” dishes in my house because we always have kimchi on hand. Oh man, but I’m thinking I’ll make a point to make my kimchi fresh next time for added deliciousness. Ah but now I’m rambling so have a lovely day, I’m out!

ⓛⓞⓥⓔTricia