Tag Archives: baking

Fresh Mango Banana Bread

Mango Banana Bread

It took a few weeks for all of my blog supplies to arrive in Hawaii, but my set-up is finally here – and I couldn’t be more excited to share my first recipe from my new home. One of my favorite things about living in Hawaii is the abundance of tropical fruit, which I simply can’t get enough of. And although I’ve been gobbling up fresh pineapples, papaya and mango, these tropical fruits are perfect for baking, too.  Continue reading


Fresh Rhubarb, Strawberry & Ginger Scones

Fresh Rhubarb Strawberry Ginger Scones

In the midst of packing, I had a rhubarb-induced panic attack. As in, oh my god I just remembered Rhubarb doesn’t grow in Hawaii- based hysteria. It wasn’t a problem growing up because I had no idea was I was missing. Now that I’ve been enlightened, I’m not quite sure how I’m going to cope with the loss when I move to Hawaii in 2 weeks. Naturally I’ve gone into rhubarb-everything mode and stocked up at the farmer’s market this weekend. Is it possible to have too much rhubarb in the fridge? Definitely not. Especially when it comes to these Fresh Rhubarb, Strawberry and Ginger Scones. Continue reading


Melting Hot Chocolate Souffles

chocolate soufflesThere is a fancy schmancy restaurant chain in Hawaii called Roys. Growing up, it was reserved for super special occasions, like my 21st birthday dinner, and our engagement celebration. Roys is known for its fabulous seafood and tropical cocktails, but the item I most look forward to is their Chocolate Souffle.

Have y’all had one of these warm, goey bowls of chocolate overload? It’s kinda like the best brownie you’ve ever had, warmed up and filled with chocolate sauce. In the restaurant, you have to order the souffle at the same time you order your dinner to allow the chef time to whip one up. So, naturally, you spend dinner thinking about dessert. But, it’s so incredibly worth it.

chocolate souffle 2Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon THE Roys Chocolate Souffle recipe. I thought about throwing it away to save my future waistline, but instead am posting it here to live on forever. Mwahaha. There are still a few months before bathing suit season, right? Oi.

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Baked Margarita Donuts

Baked Margarita Donut

Is it ever too early for tequila? No way, jose.

Let me clue you in to two of my latest obsessions: my donut pan. And tequila. Okay, okay. Technically tequila has been on the list for a while. But who’s counting? Here’s the problem: you can’t add tequila to your coffee. Luckily, I figured out another way to add it to my morning routine. This is normal behavior, right?

Baked Margarita DonutsBaked Margarita Donuts

My husband maaaay have been slightly concerned about me when he came home to discover tequila-infused breakfast food on the counter – but one bite and he was hooked. The thing about these donuts is that they aren’t super boozy. They are light and citrusy and delicious. For those of you who loved my coconut banana bread scones with lime glaze, these  donuts will be your new fave. Promise.

Baked Margarita Donuts


Baked Margarita Donuts
Yields 12

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For the donuts
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lime zest
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T butter, melted

For the glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp tequila
Lime zest and course salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 425F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Add buttermilk, eggs, butter and lime zest. Beat until combined. Fill each donut cup 2/3 full and bake for 7-9 minutes. While donuts are baking, whip up the glaze, whisking the powdered sugar, lime juice and tequila together. When donuts are ready, dunk into the glaze and let cool on a baking rack. Garnish with lime zest and course salt before glaze cools completely.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/


Homemade Doggie {BIRTHDAY} Donuts

Doggie Birthday Donuts

I’ve already told you all about the slight obsession I have with my puppy.

It’s hard to believe, but April marks Lola’s first birthday. To my surprise she really has seemed to mellow out a few notches, practically overnight. Could the puppy-to-dog transition really happen that quickly? Either way, I’m so in love.

Birthday Dog Donuts

Birthday Dog Donuts

Although we don’t know her specific birth day (she was rescued from a puppy mill at 4 months and didn’t have much paperwork), we kicked off the month with a big old treat. And, because she is my daughter pet, I knew just what she wanted for her birthday: DESSERT.

Birthday Dog Donuts
Birthday Dog Donuts

These doggie donuts were a huge hit for Lola (and all her dog friends in our apartment building). The base of the donut was actually delicious and totally human-edible (Sam and I definitely snacked on the piece that was “accidentally” broken.). Basically a granola bar of sorts. The pink frosting was made by mixing cooked beets and yogurt – and although this part of the treat wasn’t too appealing to the humans, it sure did complete the look of the birthday treat. And Lola sure seemed to love it. And, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I thought the veggie “sprinkles” were pretty darn cute.

Birthday Dog Donuts Birthday Dog Donuts
Birthday Dog Donuts
Homemade Doggie Donuts {Puppy’s 1st Birthday!}

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Makes 6-8 donuts
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut + 1/2 cup for topping
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup agave syrup
1 roasted red beet
6 oz plain yogurt
1/2 mixed colorful vegetables, minced (I used broccoli and carrot slaw as a base)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the oats, coconut and cinnamon in a bowl. Combine peanut butter and agave in a separate bowl and mix with a fork. Then pour into dry mixture and continue mixing/mashing with a fork (or, feel free to throw it into your Kitchenaid if you prefer). Scoop and mash into greased donut pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, and let cool in pan slightly before removing to ensure mixture sets. In the meantime, puree beet and yogurt in food processor until smooth. Pour into a large ziplock bag and cut off the tip to dispense frosting. Decorate with frosting and sprinkles!

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/


Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

I have this theory that bite-sized treats don’t count. Take these mini cornbread muffins, for instance. This recipe is packed with chunks of corn, honey that helps caramelize the edges, and is topped with springs of rosemary for an earthy flavor. It is – dare I say it – the best cornbread muffin you will ever eat. And it doesn’t count! Because it’s mini.

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

Seriously though, my father-in-law will eat a whole tray of these – and he doesn’t even like cornbread. I think that says a lot. Try these mini cornbread treats with soup, chili or a salad. Or just on their own 🙂

Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins
Mini Rosemary Cornbread Muffins

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1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
2 springs of rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a mini muffin tray (note: lining will prevent the caramelizing). In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder. Blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Fill each muffin tray up 3/4 full with batter. Top with a few rosemary leaves. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Adapted from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cornbread-muffins-i/Detail.aspx
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/cornbread-muffins-i/Detail.aspx
Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/



Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies (Gluten Free AND Vegan!)

I think I may be the only person in Portland without dietary restrictions. I swear, everyone here is either vegetarian or flexitarian or gluten intolerant… it’s like an episode of Portlandia. But real life.

I recently made dessert for a get-together where I knew there would be vegan and gluten-free eaters. Now, I make tons of recipes that are gluten free. Or vegan. But not both – and I figured out why when I was trying to decide what to bring to the party. It’s hard to find a good recipe that follows both restrictions! Luckily I found a yummy-looking thumbprint cookie recipe after some intense google searching, and put my own twist on it – including adding the homemade apple butter that I can’t get enough of.

And seriously, you wouldn’t have known these treats were vegan or gluten free! They were a huge hit, and I can’t wait to make them again with different jam and butter flavors.

Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free + Vegan Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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2 1/2 cups Arrowhead Gluten-free all purpose baking mix
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp course salt
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1 T agave nectar
2 T Bob’s Redmill egg replacer mixed with 6 T warm water until frothy (should be equivalent of 2 eggs)
3-5 T vanilla almond milk (can replace with soy or whatever you have on hand)
About 1 cup of apple butter for filling

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat in shortening, sugar, vanilla, agave and egg replacer. Add in almond milk as needed to make dough smooth. Cover dough and let chill for 1 hour. In the meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F. Once dough is chilled, roll small balls of dough (approx 1 heaping T) and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Gently press down on the ball with your thumb to form an indent, and dollop your apple butter – or jam of any kind – into the indent. Bake for 20-23 minutes until cookies are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Recipe adapted from the Gluten-Free Goddess’ Thumbprint Cookies with Buckwheat Flour and Brown Sugar.


Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze

Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze

I miss living in France most on weekday mornings, while I’m eating oatmeal but dreaming of pastries and espresso.

Sam would rather have a super hearty breakfast, so we’ve gotten in the habit of making large brunches on the weekends. Pancakes to omelets, waffles and bacon, we’ve done it all. But this weekend I had a mad craving for homemade scones.

Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze

Trying to get ahead of the game, I set to it on Friday night so that the scones would be ready to eat on Saturday morning. But as it so often happens, I realized too late that I was out of eggs. You think I’d learn to triple check ingredients before diving in, but noooo. I swear this happens once a week!

The good news was that I had ripe bananas, so I swapped one in in lieu of the egg. Since I was modifying the recipe anyway, I threw in some leftover coconut from my thai lettuce wraps. And because sometimes I just get carried away, I whipped up a simple lime glaze to finish it off.

Holy tropical goodness.

Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze
Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze

The scones are definitely less dry than classic scones, but not as cakey as typical banana bread… they are sorta the perfect combination of the two. You’ll want to eat these babies for breakfast, snack time, and dessert.

Let’s just say that they did not last long in our home.

Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze
Coconut Banana Bread Scones with Lime Glaze

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Scone Ingredients
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp course salt
8 T unsalted butter, frozen and grated
1 medium banana, mashed
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sour cream

Glaze Ingredients
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 T lime juice (approx. 1/2 of one juicy lime)

Preheat oven to 400F. Put all ingredients in a large bowl. Use fork to stir together until large clumps form. Press dough into a large ball. Move ball to a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a 7-8 inch circle, 3/4 inch thick. Slice into 8 pieces, stopping just short of cutting all the way through dough. Bake for 15-17 minutes. While scones are baking, whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice. Pour glaze over freshly baked scones and enjoy while hot!

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/


Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup

I know it’s silly, but I like Valentine’s Day. Sure it’s totally commercialized and overdone, but I appreciate the reminder to tell my nearest and dearest that I love and appreciate them. And it never gets old to hear the same from others.

Besides feelin the love, it certainly doesn’t hurt that I have a major sweet tooth – and there are always delicious treats for Valentine’s Day. Below I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites. If you’re running behind, you have a few days to get your act together!

How are you celebrating?

Valentine's Day dessert recipes

Raspberries and cream beer floats

Brownie marshmallow sandwiches with strawberry syrup

Dark chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies

Rhubarb citrus frozen yogurt

Conversation heart cookies


Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Sauce

Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Sauce

Brownies were, by far, my all-time favorite treat growing up. As in, made-from-a-box, just-add-eggs-and-water brownie. To this day, I always have a box of brownie mix in my cupboard. Just in case.

And it sure came in handy when I got inspired to create a decadent treat for my Valentine. I’m a little obsessed with making homemade marshmallows, and have had my fair share of hot chocolate and marshmallows this winter. It’s also one of Sam’s favorite combos.Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Syrup

Playing on the chocolate-marshmallow combo, I baked brownies and whipped up a sheet of vanilla marshmallows.

Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Syrup

With a large heart-shaped cookie cutter, I stamped hearts out of both the brownie and marshmallow sheets. Then I stacked the cut outs into layers. And because I just couldn’t help myself, I whipped up some strawberry syrup to drizzle over. Looks romantic-ish, right?

Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Syrup

What I didn’t plan for was coming down with a pretty bad cold. Sam wouldn’t come anywhere near me. In his defense, I would have done the same thing had the roles been reversed.

Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry SyrupSo to make him a bit more… comfortable, I was able to squeeze out a few smaller desserts using the sheets of marshmallows and brownies I had already made, and a smaller cookie cutter.

Brownie Marshmallow Sandwich with Strawberry Syrup

We both thoroughly enjoyed this taste of Valentine’s Day. Even if it was from separate plates 🙂

Brownie Sandwich with Vanilla Marshmallow and Strawberry Sauce

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1 box of brownie mix and necessary add-ins
cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 T light corn syrup
4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
2 cups strawberry
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 T fresh squeezed lemon

Brownies: Follow instructions on box and bake in 13×9 baking pan. Once baked and cooled, stamp with heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Vanilla Marshmallows
Coat an 13×9 square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside. Beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour mixture into lined pan. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours. Stamp with cookie cutter.
Strawberry Syrup: Cream strawberries, powdered sugar and lemon in food processor until smooth.
Stack brownie and marshmallow cut outs, and top with strawberry syrup.

Margaritas in the Rain http://margaritasintherain.com/

Strawberry Syrup adapted from this recipe for Raspberry Sauce.