Cooking Basics..Everything you need to know about cooking

{May 2, 2011}   Baked Cod

Aloha! I’m back I’m back! I just got back from California, and decided to whip up this really easy cod. It’s great as a light dinner– I had it with a little salad. I’m so happy to be back and posting recipes again! Thanks for being so patient and I hope you enjoy this recipe.

(P.S. I made one cod filet, but I am making the recipe so it is good for 4 servings)

Baked Cod

4 Servings

You Will Need:
– 4 cod filets

– 2-3 tablespoons of butter, diced

– 1 tablespoon Old Bay

– 1 teaspoon dried basil

– the juice of one lemon

– 2 tsp dried minced onions

– 1/2 tsp black pepper

– 1 1/4 tsp garlic salt

1) Pour lemon juice over both sides of fish. Season each side of fish with the garlic salt, dried basil, old bay, black pepper, and minced onions. Let marinade for at least an hour.

2) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle butter cubes on the fish and bake the fish for 15-20 minutes.

3) Bon appetit!

The pictures really don’t do the fish much justice, but it is packed with flavor! Do yourself a favor and try it 🙂


(More recipes coming soon!)

{April 30, 2011}   Under Construction!

Ello, mates:) I’m backkkkk! The site is under construction, and I will be back on May 1, 2011 (bigger and better than ever). Look forward to a new recipe! Until then, check out my German Chocolate Cake recipe featured on Design Sponge!


First of all, today’s 9/11. 9/11 is such a sad and special day for me. I didn’t lose anybody I know, thank God, but I know so many innocent people were attacked today, 9 years ago. Take a second, watch some videos on 9/11, and you will really realize how sad it is. I live in DC, and on my way to school, I pass the Pentagon everyday. Today I had a soccer game, and passed the Pentagon, and I think I may have shed a tear or two. It was beautiful seeing all of the flags today. I think DC and New York were the places to be today, to pay tribute to 9/11 and all of the victims.

Anyways, on a lighter note, this week I made Mongolian Beef, I got the recipe from I really love this recipe, it’s fairly quick, and very easy. Serve it on top of rice and voila, a wonderful meal.

Can I tell you guys something? I really, really, hate that I am such a terrible food photographer. I look at all these fab websites’ food photos, and then I look at mine and feel really bad. Sorry, about that. I hope I can improve for you guys! 🙂

Mongolian Beef

You Will Need:

– 1 cup soy sauce

– 1/2 cup water

– 1 lb flank steak, cut into thin strips

– a dash of red pepper flakes

– 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

– 2 tablespoons minced ginger

– 2 tsp minced garlic

– scant 3/4 cup brown sugar (it’s a sweet dish, cut the sugar down a little if it’s too much for you)

–  1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

– 1/4 cup cornstarch

– canola oil


1. Coat flank steak strips with cornstarch for 10 minutes.

2. Heat sesame oil. Add in ginger and garlic, and cook on medium low heat for about 2 minutes, or until translucent.

3.  Turn heat down, and quickly add in soy sauce and water.

4. Add in red pepper flakes, and put heat on medium. Let come to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. It should look slightly thickened.

5. Heat oil (enough to coat the meat)  in a wok. Add in flank steak pieces, and cook for 2 1/2 minutes (don’t worry about cooking it totally through, it will cook a little longer with the sauce.)

6. On a paper plate, place paper towels, and take off the grease from steak. Pour the oil out of the pan.

7. Pour the sauce into the wok, and gently stir in green onions. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Serve over rice.

This is officially one of my favorite recipes. It’s one that would be featured on Rachel Ray’s “30 Minute Meals” Thanks for reading, and have an amazing week:)

{August 25, 2010}   Sugar Cookies, Once Againn !

Hey dolls! How are you guys ? I really have a “thing ” for these sugar cookies! They are Alton Brown’s recipe, and they are to die for! We just add a little bit extra vanilla, for some yummy vanilla flavor! The recipe is already up, under Red and Blue Sugar Cookies (although, this time, we didn’t use food coloring). I got these adorable glass slipper and daisy cookie cutters ! My best friend, Anabelle, (the one who I made them with for 4th of July)

Anabelle did the daisies, and I did the glass slippers! We love, loved these ! We also did a really simple chocolate glaze (sorry, can’t post the recipe, I add wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much glaze left! ) Anyways, I strongly reccomend this recipe!

This summer I spent with a week with my Granny and Nonno, you see Granny likes to be called Granny and Nonno likes to go with his Italian roots and be called Nonno Nonno- Grandfather.

Anyways, my Granny has a true love for cooking. She is an amazing baker as well as a chef. Her kitchen is very well stocked. She said to me, “Would you like to bake a cheesecake?” Of course I wanted to bake a cheesecake but replied, “I would like to, but I don’t want you to have to go to the grocery store.” She replied, “Oh no don’t worry, I have all of the ingredients!” Now I don’t know about you guys, but if I’m planning to make a cheesecake, I have to run to the grocery store, get the cream cheese and the graham cracker crumbs and everything else! But nooo, Granny has her kitchen stocked! Oh and one more thing about Granny and her well-stocked kitchen, she has at least 4 pounds of butter available at all times. ‘Nuff said!

This week we made several things: shrimp scampi served on homemade linguine pasta, tabouille salad with homemade pita bread, Maryland crab cakes, Mongolian beef, cinnamon rolls (which are in the fridge right now, we’re baking them tomorrow), and pirogues cooked with butter and onions! I have never made so many delicious things in one week! Don’t worry, I’ll give you most of the recipes!

Now now, the cream puffs! The cream puffs are so cute and easy to make! Just bake ’em, and scoop out the little doughy part in the center, let that cool, then put in the custard! The custard is ah-mazing! It’s really just a creamy vanilla pudding, but I think custard sounds more fancy, don’t ya agree? The custard does require tempering, yes you’re enemy right? Well worry no longer about tempering! It is very easy (especially if you have a little helper to pour out half of the hot custard into the eggs). My secret for tempering: Make sure you’re already whisking your eggs and then when the custard comes on, give it a nice little whisk, pour it back in the pot, and you’re good! Leaving without any scratches! 🙂   Pictures of cream puffs coming soon!

Cream Puffs (Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook)

You Will Need:
– 1 cup water

1/2 cup butter (one stick)
– 1 cup all-purpose flour

– 4 eggs

– 1 recipe custard filling (if you really, I mean really don’t want to make the filling yourself…you can use a pudding mix..)


1. Heat oven to 400° degrees. Heat water and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour.

2. Stir over low heat (you can’t leave here, you gotta stand by) until the mixture forms into a ball for about 1 minute.

3. Beat in eggs (I use an electric mixer), one at a time, continue beating until smooth. Drop dough by scant 1/4 cup cupfuls about three inches apart NOTE: If you need smaller ones for a party, just use a spoon to spoon out the dough.(if not using a sillpat, make sure to grease your pan). Bake for 35-40 minutes (they will look puffed and golden).

4. Cut off tops, and pull out any signs of soft dough in the middle (be careful not to break the cream puffs)

5. Let cool.

Custard (If you don’t want to make the custard, just use a pudding mix)

You Will need:

– 1/3 cup sugar

–  2 tablespoons cornstarch

– 1/8 tsp salt

– 2 cups milk

– 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

– 2 tb butter, softened

– 2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.

2. Now, make sure you are whisking your egg yolks already, and add in half of the custard. Stir the mixture into the saucepan. Boul and stir one minute, remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla, set aside to cool.

3. Fill chilled cream puffs with chilled pudding. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (these are served cold)

Oh and I have one more recipe for Tabboli/Tabouli/Tabbouleh/Tabouleh(so many different ways to spell it)

It was pretty good the first day, and the second day, woah, it got even better after it had time for the flavors to really marinade. Soo, I would say make it the day before for the best results.

Tabboli/Tabouli/Tabbouleh/Tabouleh Salad

You Will Need:

– 2 cups fine bulgar (#1 grind)

– 2 cups boiling water

– 1 bunch green onion, sliced finely

– 1 medium onion, chopped finely

– 1 bunch parsley, stems removed

– 1 bunch fresh mint lives

– 2 large tomatoes, chopped, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

– 1/4 cup olive oil (Extra-Virgin of course)

– 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

– 1 lemons, juiced

– 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce Read the rest of this entry »

{August 1, 2010}   Homemade Pop Tarts!

Hey everyone! I haven’t really cooked anything since I’ve been back from sleep-away camp, so I was very excited to hop in the kitchen and crank out some pop tarts. There’s just something about a flaky-buttery pie crust with a strawberry filling. Of course you can play with the fillings, but I liked keeping it simple with some strawberry jam. I tweaked a pie crust recipe from All Recipes, and I was pretty happy with it! Feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe as well! I found this pie crust VERY easy, unlike most pie crusts I’ve tried, and fun to work with! Now, I did have one little trick up my sleeve to make this crust very flaky. COLD EVERYTHING. The night before, I put the rolling pin in the fridge so it would be nice and cold! However, you can also put it in the freezer (the day of) for about 15 minutes if you don’t have time to prep the night before.  This recipe is very, very easy, just roll out the dough, fill it with jam, and you’re good!  When I made this, it made 3 pop tarts, which was good, but I will double it for you guys! Also, I’m going on vacation tomorrow, so I will be gone for a couple fo days!

Homemade Pop Tarts

Makes: 12 pop tarts

For the dough (adapted from All Recipes)

– 2 1/2 cups flour

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 tb sugar

– 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, cold and cubed

– 1/2 cup water (you may need more)


– Strawberry Jam

To Finish:

Egg wash– 1 egg whisked with 1 tsp milk or water

Sugar– 1 tsp for each pop tart


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees,

2. In a meduim bowl whisk flour, salt, and sugar. “Cut” cold butter into mixture. Note: I just used a potato masher! “Cut” until the pieces of butter are very small.

3. Add in 1/2 cup water. The dough will probably need about 1 tablespoon more water, but don’t add until you’ve stireed in the 1/2 cup water and see it needs more water. Put the dough into 2 balls. Place dough in the fridge for 10 minutes, so it can firm up a little.

4. Lightly flour a surface. Form the dough  into a some sort of a rectangle. (See below)

5. Roll out the dough into a rectangle.

6. When you have a rectangle shape, trim off the excess pie pieces so you have a perfect little rectangle.

7. Try to cut equal rectangle, trimming off pieces so the rectangles are equal.

8. Fill each rectangle with a scant 1 tablespoon strawberry filling, if you put anymore, the filling will ooze out!

9. Place one rectangle over each rectangle, and brush with the egg wash and sprinkle over 1 tsp sugar.

9. Bake for 20- 25 minutes.

Happy eating! 🙂

{July 24, 2010}   I’m Back!

Hi everyone!

I’m back from camp! YAY! I’ve missed cooking. A lot!  Today I’m making a German Chocolate Cake but I have to post the recipe to another amazing website,, so I’m not really sure if I will be able to post the recipe to this website! Anyways, what do you want me all to post a recipe for next? I need YOU GUYS to tell me! So please please please comment!

ALSO, look forward to some better pictures, because I am DETERMINED to give you all amazing photos of food!

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! :

EDIT: Please check out

Also, the German Chocolate Cake turned out GREAT! Like amazing. Hopefully, the recipe will be on Design Sponge soon!

This weekend, I decided it would be nice to bake something special since I am going away to camp for 5 days tomorrow ! I will be gone for a week but I pinky promise to make something amazingly awesome when I get back! Also, guess what? When I get back I plan on submitting a video to the Wendy Williams Show so I could be on cooking for Wendy! 🙂 Anyway, on to the bagels. They were amazing fresh out of the oven with a little bit of butter. Let’s just say, I will be making them again! This is my own recipe, so if you do use this recipe on your blog or somewhere, please credit me! 🙂

Homemade Asiago and Chive Bagels

Yields 5 large bagels or 10 mini bagels (I did some large and same mini)

You Will Need:
– 3 1/2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting your surface

– 1 1/2 cups water for dough

– 3/4 cup warm (not boiling, or this will kill the yeast) water for yeast mixture

– 1/2 cup asiago cheese, shredded

– 1/4 cup finely chopped chives

– 1 tsp garlic salt

– 1 tsp sugar

– egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water)


1. Combine the 1/4 cup warm water with yeast and sugar, mix and let sit for 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl combine bread flour,  1 1/2 cups water, yeast mixture, Asiago cheese, and chives, making sure to blend everything in.

3. Divide dough into 5 pieces. Let rise, covered, for 10 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

5. For mini bagels: Divide ball in half. Once each piece is in a nice ball, poke your finger through the circle and stretch it out a little. In the pic below, its not really close up so you can’t really see the holes.

6. Boil some water (enough to hold at least 3 mini bagels or 2 full size-ones) and add in bagels. Boil for 1 minute.

7. Put on a greased pan, brush with egg wash, and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown!

Hello my fab readers! Tonight I made baked carbonara! It was really, really, good! Think, the goodness of carbonara, baked with chives, fresh linguine (I used fresh pasta from the grocery store and it was REALLY good), chives, leeks, chicken, and asiago cheese instead of parmesan! I really liked using the asiago instead of parmesan, because it has a bit of a really nice salty flavor. I didn’t take pictures, yes I know! However, it tastes really good! The smell is really good, you can’t wait to take out of the oven!

Fettucine Carbonara with Chives, Leeks, Chicken, and Asiago Cheese

You will need:
– 9 oz fresh fettucine

– 2 eggs (3 if you like a cream carbonara)

– 4 slices turkey bacon

– 1 leek, finely chopped

– 1/4 cup finely chopped chives

– 3/4 cup asiago cheese, plus extra

– 1 tsp garlic salt

– 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

– bread crumbs

– 1 tsp black pepper

– 1 tb olive oil

– 4 slices turkey bacon (or regular bacon)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook turkey bacon until it is crispy, about 5 minutes (make sure to flip the bacon). Take turkey bacon out of the pain, and cook leeks with the olive oil for about 5 minutes.

3. Boil the water for the fresh pasta. Add salt and pasta. Cook for about 3 minutes, then drain.

4. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish. Pour over egg mixture and chicken and toss. Sprinkle bread crumbs and extra parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 10 minutes.

{July 10, 2010}   Oatmeal Cookies!

I’ve always a had a special love for oatmeal cookies. Taking a bite into chewy cookies with the warm taste of oatmeal was just heaven! I always hated oatmeal-raisin cookies and oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies, because the oatmeal was never the star! I never liked oatmeal cookies with too much cinnamon, or oatmeal cookies where I could taste the specks of oatmeal. My friend’s mom always made the best oatmeal cookies. Once I asked her what her secret was and she smiled and said “pulsing the oatmeal in a blender until it looks like flour”. I then wanted to make them. But then, I forgot all about them! Until today, when it was a rainy day and I was in the house with my friend and we were watching TV. The perfect thing, I decided, would be oatmeal cookies. I didn’t have a proper recipe for oatmeal cookies, I just knew I would be creaming butter and sugar and pulsing oatmeal in the blender. Enough about these chewy oatmeal cookies that just came out of the oven and taste simply delicious, I’ll tell you how to make these.

And today is my friend Julia’s birthday, so these cookies are named after her!

Julia’s Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 17 Cookies

Step 1: Cream 1 stick softened butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar for about 2 minutes or until mixture is well blended and there are no chunks of brown sugar.

Step 2: Add one egg to the mixture and mix. The mixture should look very smooth.

Step 3: In a blender blend about 1 1/3 cup oats. Pour into a large mixing bowl. Now add in 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking powder.

Step 4: A little bit at a time, pour flour/oat mixture into the butter mixture. Now you will have a dough that is a tad bit sticky!

Step 5: Using a cookie scooper, scoop out some of the cookie mixture,roll into a little ball, and place on  a grease pan. Make sure you leave plenty of space for the cookies so they have space.

Step 5: Bake at 375 degrees for 8-1o minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

I’m very excited, because usually for baked goods, I use other people’s recipes, but now, I am NEVER using anyone else’s recipe again!

et cetera