Thursday, October 30, 2014

Caramelized Sugar and Fish Sauce Chicken

I love quick and easy recipes that require no thinking...wouldn't you agree??

I love anything involving caramelizing sugar, so this recipe was a no brainer. It's slightly sweet, slightly salty, and pairs beautifully with some white rice and papaya salad!


5-6 chicken thighs with skin on and bone in

1 block (59 grams) of palm sugar (may sub for granulated sugar)

3 cloves of chopped garlic

1/4 cup of water

3 Tbsp of fish sauce

1/4 tsp of black pepper

1/4 tsp of onion powder

1/4 tsp of msg (optional)

pinch of salt


1. Wash you chicken and then pat them dry with paper towels. Place them into a large, shallow mixing bowl and add in your chopped garlic.
2. In a small separate mixing bowl, add in your water, fish sauce, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and msg (if using). Mix well and then pour this mixture all over your chicken.
3. Coat your chicken with the marinade and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. On medium heat, melt your palm sugar. Make sure you use a heavy bottom skillet or pan, or else your sugar will not caramelize properly. Do not disturb or attempt to stir your palm sugar, until most of it has melted.
5. Give your palm sugar a quick stir, turn up the heat to medium high, and then carefully add in your chicken SKIN SIDE DOWN. Do not add in the juices from the marinade, just yet.
6. Let your chicken cook for about 3 minutes.
7. Add in the juices from your chicken, and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
8. Turn your chicken over, and continue to cook the other side for another 4-5 minutes.
9. Place your chicken into a baking dish, along with the juices, and bake in a preheated 425 degree F oven for about 25-30 minutes. Make sure to baste your chicken at least 2-3 times.
10. Serve immediately with rice and papaya salad! YUM!

NOTES: If you are using white granulated sugar instead of palm sugar, you may need to use a bit of water to get your sugar to caramelize.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rustic Apple Tart

Who doesn't love fall?? It's probably one of my favorite seasons, EVER. I just love everything about it; fall leaves, rain, apples, and pumpkins.


Today's recipe is an easy, rustic apple tart, packed with tons of flavor!


1 homemade pie crust (get the recipe here)

3 golden delicious apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1/3 cup of sugar

1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg

pinch of salt

the juice from half a lemon

1 Tbsp of cornstarch

For the egg wash:

1 egg white mixed with a bit of water

You will also need:

raw sugar/turbinado sugar

melted butter (you may use apple or apricot jelly, microwaved until spreadable)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

1. Place your apples into a mixing bowl. Add in your sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt. Gently, toss to coat.

2. Put your lemon juice into a small mixing bowl, along with your cornstarch. Whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture onto your sliced apples, and toss to coat. Set aside.

3. Remove your pie crust from the refrigerator, and place it on a large piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle a little flour over your pie crust, and also on your rolling pin. Using the rolling pin, give your pie crust a few whacks to soften it a bit. Start at the center of your dough, and then work your way outwards to the edge. Slightly rotate your crust, and begin the same process, again and again, until your pie crust is about a 16 inch circle, that's no more than 1/4 thick.

4. Transfer your parchment paper, along with the dough, onto a large baking sheet.

5. Arrange your apples onto your dough, making sure to leave a 1/2 inch border to allow for the folding over of the crust. (If you are taking the time to neatly assemble your apple slices, make sure to pour the juices from the apple mixture last, to prevent a soggy crust)

6. Fold the dough, up and over the apples to create a pie crust.

7. Brush the crust with your egg wash and sprinkle it some raw sugar.

8. Stir the juices from your apple mixture and pour it over your assembled apples.

9. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, rotating half way through, until your crust is golden brown.

10. Fresh out of the oven, brush some melted butter (or apricot jelly) over your apple tart.

11. Allow the apple tart to cool slightly on the baking sheet, and then place it on a wire rack to cool completely or serve warm with some ice cream and/or whipped cream.

Homemade Pie Crust

Homemade pie crust is the most easiest thing to make on the planet! I bake A LOT during the fall months, and this recipe is a staple in my home.

I use this recipe for so many things; mini caramelized onion tarts, fruit pies, and chicken pot pies, just to name a few!


2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1/4 tsp plus a pinch of salt

3 Tbsp of sugar

2 sticks (8 ounces total) of COLD cubed salted butter

1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of iced cold water


Cube your cold butter and place it into the freezer for about 15 minutes. Place your flour, sugar, and salt into your food processor. Throw in your cold, cubed butter and pulse for about 15-30 seconds until crumbly. Slowly stream in your ice cold water just until it starts to form a ball and pull away from the sides. On a lightly floured surface, form your dough into a flat disc (or divide in half and make two) and tightly wrap it with saran wrap. Chill in the fridge for an hour or in the freezer for 30 minutes.

*Don't have a food processor? You may do it all by hand by just using a fork to mash your cold butter into your flour mixture, or use a pastry cutter.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake

This recipe was created to help celebrate Cinnamon Toast Crunch's 30th Birthday. I had the brilliant idea of using the cereal as the crust to my cheesecake, and well...the rest is history!

This cheesecake is creamy and not overly sweet, and the slight tang from the raspberry topping gives it the perfect balance of sweet and tang.

3 cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch

4 Tbsp of melted butter

1 tsp of sugar

2 (8 ounce) packages of softened cream cheese

3/4 cup of caster sugar

2 Tbsp of sour cream

2 large egg yolks

1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 Tbsp of prepared gelatin (see below)

1 1/2 tsp of unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup of hot water

4 ounces of raspberries

1/4 cup of sugar

2 Tbsp of prepared gelatin

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

1. Grease a 6 inch pan with a removable bottom (or spring form pan) with baking spray. Set aside.
2. Place your cinnamon toast crunch and sugar into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add in your melted butter and pulse until combined.
3. Press mixture firmly onto the bottom of your pan.
4. Bake crust for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow it to cool slightly.
5. In a small bowl, mix your gelatin with hot water and stir until fully dissolved. Set aside.
6. Using a paddle attachment, beat your cream cheese and sugar until smooth and free of lumps. Add in your egg yolks, vanilla extract, sour cream, and 2 Tbsp of your prepared gelatin, and mix just until incorporated. DO NOT OVER MIX.
7. Pour the filling into your pan.
8. Set your cheesecake pan on top of a large piece of foil, and fold up the sides around it. Repeat steps with 2 more pieces of foil. (Using good foil is key)
9. Place your cheesecake pan in an oven safe roasting pan, and place it in your oven. Pour some boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about half way up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
10. Bake for about 55 minutes, or until the center has a slight jiggle.
11. Turn off oven, crack the door open, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour.
12. Into a mini food processor, add in your raspberries, sugar, and your remaining gelatin mixture. Pulse until smooth. Strain. Place into fridge to thicken slightly.
13. Carefully remove your cheesecake from the roasting pan, discard water, and allow the cheesecake to cool down slightly before topping with your raspberry sauce.
14. Once cooled, top with your raspberry sauce, cover with saran wrap, and allow it to chill overnight (or at least 6 hours). Chilling sets the cheesecake and the raspberry layer.
15. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan using a thin metal spatula around the inside of the rim. Transfer to a cake plate and serve!

NOTES: Check for any leakage after your cheesecake is done baking. If any water has seeped into the foil, carefully discard foil, remove and wipe down excess water, replace with new 3 layers of foil, and then place the pan back into the oven so it can finish cooling in the oven.

*This recipe was created in partnership with Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

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