Cooking Basics..Everything you need to know about cooking

{July 10, 2010}   Butternut Squash Tortelleni!

Hey everyone! Tonight I made butternut squash tortlleni! Okay, so I made homemade pasta dough (and I didn’t roll the dough out thin enough, it was a tad bit thick!). Luckily I had wonton wrappers, so those wonton wrappers saved the day! 🙂 The filling was very good, but I had a lot left, which I froze! They still tasted pretty good, so don’t be afraid to try the recipe! And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! 🙂

First Step: Start off with butternut squash (the one I used was VERY big, make sure it is washed and peeled)

Step 2: Cut the squash in half

Step 3: Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.

Step 4: Cut into chunks!

Step 5: Bake @ 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Step 6: For filling: Mash butternut squash. Now add in 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp granulated garlic, and 1 tsp red pepper.

Step 6: Fill Wonton wrappers with filling. Using your finger, spread a little bit of water around the borders, and fold over.

Step 7: Brush water all over wonton, and fold each side, you will have a shape that looks like tortelleni! 🙂

Step 8: Boil in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes!

Step 9: Bon appetit! 🙂


{July 8, 2010}   Thank You!

Hi everyone,

I’ve had a great past few days! First I emailed Amelia from! She mentioned my website on her blog, so I would like to give her a really, really, big thanks for that! I also emailed Kamran from, for mentioning my blog in a “tweet!” Speaking of Tweets, I just made a twitter page,! I’m actually not done with thank yous yet! I have one more! I got an email from Kristina, who has the lovely site, emailed me, and ASKED ME TO MAKE A COMPLETLY ORGINAL RECIPE FOR HER SITE! AHHH! When you see this amazing amazing site, you will understand why I am so happy! And also, we got 329 views today! I am typing this at 10:52 AM, it’s not even 11:00 AM yet! Thank you everyone, and also the people who found my website and told their friends about it! More recipes to come!



{July 7, 2010}   Chicken Parmesan

Tonight I made chicken parmesan! Yes chicken parmesan! Very simple, but oh so delicious! I had chicken at home and my mom told me. She asked if I felt like cooking, because she wouldn’t mind doing the cooking. What type of question is that, how could I not feel like cooking? Of course I told her, what type of question is that! She laughed and I came home and whipped up dinner in  about 30 minutes, no problem!

Usually, when I cook chicken parm, I bake it. This time, I was ready to do something different! So I cooked the breaded chicken in olive oil. It was SO good like that! It tasted like fried chicken, but Italian style. So, enough of me telling you how good this chicken was, it’s time for me to give you the recipe so you can make it for your wonderful families!

First step: Season 4 chicken breasts with 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp season-all, and 1 tsp dried oregano. (Sorry, didn’t take a picture)

Second step: Now whisk one egg and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. In another bowl, combine 1 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs. Dip chicken breasts in egg, then dip in chicken.

Third step: In a pool of olive oil, put chicken breasts down, and cook for about 7 minutes (meduim heat).Right before flipping sprinkle with desired amount of parmesan cheese.

Step Four: In a small skillet, saute 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms in olive oil for 7 minutes, or until tender. (Sorry, no picture)

Step 5: Place chicken breasts on a plate. TURN THE HEAT TO LOW. Now add 1 cup marinara sauce and shitake mushrooms.

Step 6: Add chicken breasts and simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 7: Serve with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

Bon appetit! 🙂

This the day-after-Fourth-of-July, my friend and I had the cooking bug! We decided to make chocolate-hazelnut ravioli and pinwheel carbonara (I will write about that further down  this post)! The chocolate nutella ravioli was easy to make, all you have to do is fill wonton wrappers with nutella, put water around the edges, fold over, and fry in canola oil! They were very good, and very delicious! It is my version of Giada de Laurentis’ chocolate hazelnut ravioli

First step: Fill the wonton wrappers with nutella (or any other chocoalte-hazelnut filling). Brush water on the edges, and fold over.

Second step: Fry the ravioli’s in canola oil.

Third step: Now they are done!  Put them on a plate with a paper towel to take off grease!

Fourth step: Dust them with powdered sugar and make them look pretty! 🙂

Now for the pinwheel carbonara. It was well, very good! It wasn’t heavy surprisingly and tasted just right! Who knew carbonara is really an egg-based dish (in which the eggs are barely cooked) and not a dish with a base of heavy cream! Shocker, right? Now, here are the steps!

First step: Finely chop 2 leeks and put them in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. This way the sand/grit gets off easily. After they are done with the water bath, put them through a fine sieve so all the water gets out and you don’t loose any bits of leek (s).

Second step: Cook 4 slices of turkey bacon. Leave all the grease. Set aside. Now, cook the leeks in the turkey bacon grease (you may need some olive oil if there isn’t enough grease to coat the leeks). Cook for 5 minutes, or until the leeks or tender. Now crumble pieces of bacon and add them to the leeks.

Third Step: Combine 2 eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp garlic salt, and 1 tsp dried oregano. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step:)

Fourth Step: Toss in 10 oz pinwheels pasta. Turn off the heat. Now stir in egg mixture (yes, I know barely cooked eggs! My friend said, “Isn’t it like unhealthy to eat pretty much raw egg?” I responsed, “It’s kind of cooked! The cooked pasta, leeks, and turkey bacon, cooks the egg.”)

Have an amazing week everyone! 🙂

{July 4, 2010}   Red and Blue Sugar Cookies

This week I had my friend Anabelle over, and since today was 4th of July and we didn’t want to go to a 4th of July party empty handed, we made red and blue sugar cookies. It was really fun, and really easy as well! They taste amazing! Perfectly sweet and buttery, they are delish! I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown, and we really loved these cookies! We are about to go to the party now, so I am rushing to write down this recipe! It is very simple and tastes delish! The dough takes about 35 minutes in the freezer to firm up, so that adds a little bit of time.

Red and Blue Sugar Cookies (Adapted from Alton Brown’s Recipe)

You Will Need:
– 2 sticks of butter, room tempature

– 1 cup granulated sugar

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 tb heavy cream (or milk)

– 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

– 3/4 tsp baking powder

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 1 egg

– blue food coloring

– red food coloring


1. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder. In a small custard bowl, combine heavy cream and egg. Now, in an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Now add in egg and cream mixture. Now, 1/2 cup at a time, add in flour mixture.

2. Get out another medium bowl. Now take out half of the sugar cookie mixture. In one bowl, combine red food coloring (enough to make a nice red color) with dough. In the other bowl, combine blue food color (enough to make a nice blue color) with dough. Place bowls in the freezer for about 30-35 minutes, or until dough is firm.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Now, using a cookie scooper, roll out balls. Flatten the balls with your fingers.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies pass the fork/toothpick test.

{July 1, 2010}   I Baked You A Cake

This cake is delicious. Fresh out of the oven goodness. I’m taking bites into this warm heavenly dish right now. I got this recipe from Orangette.  The orginal recipe is for French Yogurt Cake with Lemon. I didn’t do lemon, instead I did strawberries. Now let’s talk about the strawberries. The strawberries in the cake was kind of a drain. So, I am going to put the recipe without the strawberries on here. But the cake, the cake. There was just something special about the cake. It tasted like buttery goodness. Except, there wasn’t any butter in it, there was yogurt! I was extremly skeptical when I thought of yogurt in a cake, no butter, how is this going to turn out? But it was delicious. It was just what I needed! I had no butter, no chocolate, and I just had to bake something. So this cake was amazing for me! I used Greek yogurt, and last time I used regular yogurt, but I pretty much perferred the cake using the Greek yogurt. Please, oh please make this cake! It’s delicious! And there’s no butter, thumbs up! Ahhh the house has that fresh baked cake smell 🙂

Simple Yogurt Cake

You will need:

– 1/2 cup canola oil

– 3 large eggs

– 1/2 cup yogurt (I like Greek, and 1/2 cup should be one small container)

– 1  cup sugar

– 1 1/2 cups flour

– 2 tsp baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Whisk the yogurt, canola oil, sugar, and eggs. Mix until the mixture is well blended.

2. Now add in flour and baking powder, just enough to combine all of the ingredients.

3. Pour into a greased (I just use pam butter spray) cake pan.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

5. Bon appetit! 🙂

Ever since my mom got me Skinny Italian, I have been obessed with creating different types of pizza! It’s so much fun! And please believe me when I say making real Italian pizza is not hard, and soooo much better for you! It’s not loaded with processed cheese, like the pizza you would get from Pizza Hut or Dominos or Papa Johns (Not saying it doesn’t taste good, but think of all that grease loaded on the pizza!)  I learned SO many facts from that cookbook! So please, please, please, PLEASE, go out to your bookstore and buy Skinny Italian by Teresa Guiduice (yes, the table flipper from Housewives of New Jersey, love her!) This pizza recipe isn’t in Teresa’s cookbook, I made it up, although I used her amazing recipe for pizza dough, scroll down, and the recipe will be there). Chicken, carmelized onions, and anchovies, woah, love!!! You could also have fun with this, I have done a carmelized onion and roasted garlic pizza, YUMMY!! I do change around Teresa’s pizza recipe just a tad bit, so here is my version! Same ingredients, slightly different techniques!

For the dough: (makes enough for about 5 delish mini pizzas, I wouldn’t spilt the recipe in half, if you have extra balls of dough left, put them in the freezer after it has doubled in size and take them out the night before you’re ready to use them)

-4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (Teresa uses bread flour, but the dough works out fine when I use all-purpose, and that’s what I usually have at home, so that’s good!)  NOTE: You Will need more than 4 1/2 cups of flour, this is the starter amount. You will have to add more, as the dough will be sticky.

– 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan for the dough balls

– 1 3/4 cups water

– 1 1/2 tsp salt

– 1 1/4 tsp fast-rising yeast

Directions: (I use my handheld electric mixer, but you can also make it by hand by using a whisk)

1. Whisk olive oil, water, yeast, and salt. Now mix in 1 cup of flour.

2. Whisk in another cup of flour.

3. Whisk in yet another cup of flour

4. Whisk in another cup of flour. Now whisk in 1/2 cup of flour.

5. The dough will be nice and sticky, so add in more flour, a little at a time, so the dough is not sticky, but elastic and smooth.

6. Form the dough into about 5 (or maybe you’ll get 6) equal balls, and put into a pan greased with olive oil. Place in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours.

7. Heat the oven to it’s highest setting. Place the dough balls on the counter right above the oven. This way, the dough will double in size quicker. Leave it there until it has doubled in size, or about 1 1/2 hours! After they double in size, you can freeze any extra balls of dough.

8. You are ready to make whatever pizza what you want!

For the Pizza:

– 2 onions (yes, 2! They shrink when they carmelize), sliced into rings.

– 2 tablespoons butter

– 4 anchovies (I use ones with olive oil), chopped finely

– 1 already cooked and seasoned chicken breast, cut into small pieces

– 1 ball pizza dough

– 2 tb parmesan cheese

– 1 tb olive oil

– 1 tsp sugar (my secret!)


1. Melt butter in a frying pan on meduim heat. Turn the heat down to low, and add onions. Sautee on low for about 10 minutes. Now add sugar. Let cook on low for another 45 minutes, or until the onions are softened and have a light brown color.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees (yes, I know this is kinda low, but I love how it still tastes slightly dough and crunchy when it is cooked like this)

3. Roll out the dough. Place the dough on a pan greased with olive oil. Now add carmelized onions, anchovies, and chicken, leaving a little border. (hard to explain, but you’ll get it when you’re at this stage) Drizzle with parmesan cheese For the orgenao-garlic border: Combine 2 tb dried oregano, 1 tsp garlic salt, and about 3 tb olive oil. Combine all together. If it is too thick, add more olive oil. Using a brush, brush mixture on the pizza dough)

4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until dough looks completely done


{June 24, 2010}   Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish! Actually, it’s not an authnetic Italian dish, but it’s still pretty amazing! I always thought it was an Italian dish, until I read Teresa Guiduice’s (from Housewives of New Jersey) cookbook Skinny Italian. I strongly suggest you go out and buy that cookbook, because it has some pretty awesome recipes! I love her recipe for marinara sauce (which I use for the sauce, making only one change, which is adding one small can of tomato sauce so I get more sauce for the spaghetti and meatballs). If you want to impress people, this is the way to go. The homemade meatballs are to die for! This is real homemade spaghetti and meatballs, we’re not using frozen premade meatballs or already made marinara sauce, trust me, you won’t go back! The funny thing about this is, it is not hard to make! The only hard part is letting the sauce simmer for a good 1 1/2 hours, to let all the flavors really come out! I took pictures of this step by step, so you know EXACTLY what to do!

1. Saute 2 tablespoons fresh basil, 1 meduim finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and about 1/2 cup chopped portabella mushrooms for about 3 minutes, or until veggies look tender.

2. Add one 6 oz can tomato paste, one 8 oz can tomato sauce, one 28 oz can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup hearty red wine (you can barely taste it, but it adds some awesome flavor, however, you can omit it), and 3 1 /2 tablespoons sugar. Let simmer.

3. Combine 1 pound turkey, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/4 cup aged parmesan cheese, and one package Lipton onion soup mix (the lipton onion soup mix is the key to sucess!) Form into meatballs, I like to make fairly small ones, but you can do big ones if you wish.

3. Sear the meatballs in 3 tablespoons olive oil, about 2 minutes on each side, or until each sides have a brown color.

4. Add the meatballs to the sauce, and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Whens sauce is done simmering, add 1 lb cooked spaghetti and bon appetit!

{June 23, 2010}   Shrimp Scampi!

Another scampi recipe! This is actually pretty good! My friend and I both loveddd it! It’s ultra-delish and tasted great! It doesn’t use loads of butter, which is always good! You need to marinade the shrimp overnight, so make this ahead of time! If you don’t have enough time to marinade overnight, marinade it for about 1 1/2 hours before making.

You Will Need:
– 1/2 pound shrimp (shells off)

– 4 tablespoons butter, cut into 8 small cubes

– 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (optional)

– 3 tablespoons garlic salt (divided)

– 2 cloves garlic

– 3  1/2 tablespoons old bay

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– salty chicken broth (Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, now add one chicken bouillon cube. DO THIS INSTEAD OF CHICKEN BROTH IN A CAN! It’s saltier, and tastes better)

– 1 tablespoon black pepper

– 2 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1 tsp red pepper flakes

– 1 lb linguine (cooked)

– 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs


1. In a bowl, mix together cubed butter, old bay, basil, black pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt, shrimp, and lemon juice. Cover and let marinade overnight (or at least 1 1/2 hours).

2. Sautee garlic in olive oil and add 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic salt as well as red pepper flakes. Now add in shrimp/butter mixture and let cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until shrimp is well cooked. Now add in enough salty chicken broth to make a sauce. Stir in bread crumbs.

3. Toss in warm pasta until it is coated in the sauce.

4. Bon appetit!

Hey guys! Last time I was on here I promised to post everyday! Sorry, sorry, sorry! I don’t think I even told you guys about my petetion, please sign! I am trying to get a show on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). I applied, but I was too young to submit my form *sigh*. So please do your part and sign the petetion! I know, it asks for your address, you can just go head and make up one!

I edited Giada de Laurentis’ recipe for chocolate chip mascrapone cupcakes. Sounds delish, doesn’t it? It was 🙂 Tastes just like the ones at Georgetown Cupcake! YUM! It’s super chocolatey, and taste amazingg!

There’s the picture I took, not the prettiest cupcake on the planet, but who cares, IT TASTES GOOD!!! 🙂

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

Makes about 25-26 cupcakes

You Will Need:

For Cupcakes:
– 1/2 cup mascrapone cheese (room temp)

– 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate

– 1 cup water

– 1 tsp salt

– 3 cups flour

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 3 large eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil

–  2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar

-1 tsp vanilla extract

– 1 cup chocolate chips

For ganache:
 – 2/3 cup heavy cream

– 1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.

2. In a small saucepan, add 1 cup water, and 5 oz of chopped bittersweet chocolate, over meduim heat. Let cook until chocolate is melted, and there are no chocolate chunks. Now stir in mascrapone cheese, and whisk together until mixture is well blended.

3. In a seperate bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder,chocolate chips, and baking soda.

4. In a large bowl (the whole batter will be in this bowl, so make sure the bowl is pretty big) whisk together sugar, vanilla, eggs, and vegetable oil until smooth, and there are no lumps. Now stir in chocolate-mascrapone mixture.

5. Now add in flour mixture (in three batches, so everything is well combined).

6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill batter into cupcake liners about 3/4 full (remeber, the batter will rise!). Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes (check on it when it has been baking for 15 minutes, it may be done) or until a toothpick or fork comes out clean. Let cool for about 1 hour.

7. For ganache: Heat cream with vanilla. You want to HEAT the cream, not boil it. You know it is done when little bubbles appear on the rim of the pan. Now pour cream mixture on the chocolate chips. LET SIT FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS, BEFORE COMBINING. Now using a fork, gently whisk mixture.

8. When mixture has cooled for about 5 minutes, using a spoon, gently glaze the cupcake with ganache (just use enough to coat the entire cupcake.) Let the cupcakes set in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

9. Bon appetit!

Enjoy! And remeber please sign!!


et cetera