Category Archives: Dessert

Mango ice cream – How do you take pictures of this?


Well now I understand why you see all these beautiful pics of ice cream on the cone. No one ever takes pics of the custard base or hot cream mixed with sugar that decides to separate and look like watery froth. There’s no time for pics when you have to whisk patiently and anxiously await the magical 170 degrees pre-custard straining (geez that sounds gross).  But it’s all okay because it turned out great!!!!

So here’s two pics and my secrets to success. This was my third time making ice cream this summer, and here are my (not that qualified) tips for success. THIS epicurious ice cream base is phenomenal. I used it to make peach ice cream earlier this summer and it came in handy for my dad and grandma’s favorite, mangoooo. If you haven’t noticed, mangoes are on sale lately, so take advantage!

Ok, don’t forget to freeze your ice cream canister in the freezer for “awhile” before making it so that it will totally freeze in a short period of time. Make sure to let the cream base cool completely before putting in the fridge. DO NOT put chunks of fruit in the ice cream machine, they’ll turn to ice. Instead, use puree! Here I pureed mangoes with a bit of sugar and the juice of two limes (from some recipe I cannot find…)

Lastly, taste develops more the second day after you’ve made it!



So this is what my kitchen looks like after making this…basically a warning that yes this is messy!


Mango puree

DSCF4092Mango ice cream


On that Midnight Train to Berry Cornmeal Breakfast Cake



What do you do with leftover corn? I already had some black bean corn salsa, and really wasn’t in the mood to make tacos or another corn salad, hence, the midnight train to corn cake. I was thinking about how much I love brown sugar in cornbread and thought it would be the most delicious breakfast to have a moist sweet corn muffin with my coffee. Only wish I would have thought of this before 10:45 on Sunday night. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about this cake, but I think it’s because I didn’t cook it quite long enough.

I know corn might not be everyone’s cup of tea in a sweet cake, but you know, I seriously miss the corn cookie I had at Milk Bar in New York and am SOOOO eager to make Jill Donenfeld’s corn ice cream with blueberries and cinnamon. This sufficed for now!

Thank you NaturallyElla for this Blueberry Maple Corn Cake recipe, slightly adapted with frozen mixed berries instead of blueberries and one ear of corn added. In this case, I actually did have walnut oil. I must say I was very surprised at the delicious mix of flavors (omg I almost wrote infusion of flavors, who am I?) of cornmeal, walnut oil, and maple syrup. The cake already has two eggs that add moisture, but the walnut oil left no room for drying out.

I think I also thought I could get away with late-night baking on a weeknight because I’m now a toaster-oven-baker. It’s so small I feel like I’m using an Easy-bake!… A broken oven is no reason to stop baking.





(Flour on the berries helps them disperse in the mix)



hey there, close up

BeetsMe goes Bananas for Pie


photo (42)

Perfect Saturday afternoon bake-out. Sometimes I think cloudy skies are a call to bakers everywhere, saying, “YES! It is okay for you to stay inside and spend the time getting that pie crust right!” Well, in our case it was a vanilla wafer crust, so I mean, didn’t totally take that much to get it right. Which of course means we spent less time trying to perfect and messed up a few of the steps :). Head over to JoytheBaker’s cookbook for this Banana Coconut Cream Pie recipe.

At 5 pm this made a good pre-dinner dessert and was the perfect welcome home present for my Grandma who recently returned from a trip to see my cousins. After a fun dinner catching up on our family and her travels, I felt comfortable taking her home knowing she had a cup of decaf and a slice of pie to decompress. Tomorrow morning, I can’t wait to have another slice for breakfast!!

Watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and baking pie with Cessie? What more could I ask for. THANKFUL ❤ CAS.


Mixing the ingredients for the crust. We made the mistake of adding ALL the coconut to the nilla wafers and sugar, wooops. So to fix it, we sifted the coconut to get out the sugar and nilla wafers. Then we crushed up some more wafers to add. Everything turned out ok wheww. See above for the crust pressed into the pan…saw this tip on a blog I think…take the bottom of a glass and use to smooth out a crumb-based pie crust!

photo (41)

photo (43)This is the weird egg-yolk sugar, cornstarch, salt mix that goes into the custard. Another tip I can’t believe I never tried was separating egg yolks and whites using your hands instead of the shell. WORKS LIKE MAGIC I don’t know why I’ve been using the shell for so long, but it’s seriously foolproof.

photo (44)Mixing the custard is by far the hardest part. Tempering eggs always makes me nervous (when you add some of the hot cream in the eggs to make sure they don’t curdle when you add into the pan) but it really went okay. This is why it is definitely better to have two people, at least, when you’re working on time-constrained recipes. The only thing that really stinks about this part is the smell of warm milk, no thank you.

photo (45)Ta-da! Custard cooled in the fridge for a few hours. Folded in bananas and some more of the salvaged toasted coconut.

photo (46)Home-made cool HHHWHIP

photo (47)Some more sprinkled coconut on top. PS I used a mix of unsweetened and sweetened coconut and it turned out well.

photo (48)Pie!

Popcorn cookies to share



**This one goes out to you Coffield**

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe ever since I got the Smitten Kitchen cookbook back in December. After reading Deb’s hysterical writing on how she decided to add popcorn to a cookie recipe, I couldn’t help but feel that maybe I was in on the funny story too? Like I was actually in on the joke with her. So as I’m making this cookies, I was smiling to myself about this joke that I have with Deb Perelman but now that I’m thinking about it, I was just unnaturally happy because Deb and I weren’t laughing back and forth together….in fact, I just made the cookies by myself.



Well I certainly didn’t eat them by myself! I whipped these up for the first summer barbeque back in Atlanta for a reunion of sorts. Though I wanted to make a pie or some sort of fruit dessert to contribute to the pulled pork, buttermilk chicken, and cheese grits dinner, these were the easiest to transport. And you know, since we’re only two months or so out from the Great Cake Toppling of 2013, I’m still recovering. Recap: cookies are easy to drive over to a friend’s house. Or, when you’re sharing a car with my popular sister, they’re easy to carry in the passenger seat when you’re getting dropped off.

These cookies made my house smell so good, from the lingering buttery popcorn smell to that quintessential creamed butter and sugar marriage that brings a smile to my face. There was no wasting in this recipe either. Though my sister decided she didn’t want to join me in baking, the smell of popcorn is sure to lure her out of her room. Those extra popcorn pieces really brought us together!

I think these were recieved quite well, however I would like to add chocolate chunks to the recipe next time. I think they needed some more flavor along with the crunchiness of the popcorn. Let me know what you think if you’ve also tried this recipe! The next day, I made some cracker-jack-salty-peanut-chocolate cookies to remedy my longing for chocolate.








Riding in Cars with Cakes (sorry boys)



Note to self: Never decorate a cake on a square plate and try to carry it in a round cake carrier. LOL. but really, what an experience. The lovely Annie B turned 22 last week, and I THOUGHT I’d be able to deliver this baby in full-form to her dinner partay pre-Corey Smith concert.

On the car ride over however, I proceeded to show the decoration to my friend sitting next to me in a teeny convertible backseat and TIPPPPED the cake over directly into the air vent and back seat. Silence…..(keep this going a few more seconds) All five of us in the car turn and look at each other, each with another apprehensive smile. My brain is thinking “Noooo I have to clean this car tomorrow!!!” I think everyone else is wondering if I’m going to cry or not. 

One person starts laughing and we tipped it back to some sort of stability on the plate. While it looked mangled, I was happy as long as people were going to eat it. My dear friend next to me helped the situation by eating much of the icing covering the air vent (thanks Liz) and we brushed it off until we got there.

Moral of the story is, if you do spend hours making a cake and it does in fact fall over, PEOPLE WILL STILL EAT IT (if it tastes good obvi)!! Clearly I’ve got a ways to go when it comes to baking cakes for travel, but for a first big cake, at least the taste was a success! 

Plus, if it’s chocolate, the few dots of icing leftover from spilling on your chest or foot make for great stories at bars later or for a midnight snack 🙂

Here’s the recipe if you feel daring enough to attempt!