“In the end, on…

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

I realize that I have not posted in over 3 years. A lot of things have changed and this year I have made the resolution to find what makes me happy. We get so lost in the everyday tasks of life and we are always constantly in a hurry to find the next big thing that we all forget to breathe and be happy. So here is to my new year resolution! I will post up anything from activities to my thoughts that day or recipes and food adventures! Hopefully along the way I will gain some new friends and find happiness.

xoxo

Advertisements

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

I am BACK!

I attended the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot located in Walt Disney World Florida and can I just say YUM!

During the Food and Wine Festival Epcot introduces a even wider variety of cuisine found around the world. Little food kiosks serving tapas style are set up all around the International Parkway and I tried them all…well MOST of them! Here are a few of my favorites!

Canada show cased a pretty spectacular menu for there taste test plates! I tried the delicious Maple-Glazed Salmon with Lentil Salad. The lentil salad was refreshing and so tasty. It was delicious with little bursts of sweet corn that complimented the delicious buttery salmon. I also tried the Canadian cheddar cheese soup and it was heavenly creamy and I really liked the tanginess of the sharp cheddar. I couldn’t help but also try there Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta. The sweet corn polenta cooled down the spicy chicken chipotle sausage and gave it this sweet and salty flavor!

 

Next on our culinary adventure we stopped at the French pavilion to try what they had to offer.

In France I found myself drueling over the Creme Brulee…O But it wasn’t any Creme Brulee it was CHOCOLATE! I’ll give you a play by play. As I cracked the delicious sugar shell on top and let my spoon slowly slip into the airy chocolatey custard I knew I would be in heaven. I was right…just as the smooth chocolate hit my tongue and I tasted the crunch of the sugar I fell in love. Alright Alright its cheezy but you love it. I also tried the Parmentier de Boeuf Braise au Cabernet let me translate for you delicious creamy mashed potatoes with a delicious fall of the fork tender braised beef center. Yea… need I go on…

 

As I was hauled away from France and away from the chocolate creme brulee we breezed by and saw Belgium one of my husbands many homelands. Unfortunatly there are no pictures of the dishes when we were in Belgium because we were too excited for our freshly baked waffle with berry compote and whipped cream. YES we gobbled it all up. YES it was delicious.

NEXT!

Although this isn’t too out of the ordinary we wanted a taste of the familiar and when we stopped in Japan for a quick visit of course the first thought was SUSHI! well…my first thought was NOODLES! but its all good.

Yea I know nothing out of the norm just your regular spicy tuna roll and of course the beloved california roll but there were samauria  guys running around flying in the air and fighting godzilla while all this was happening. Well of course I’m just kidding I just wanted to get ya’ll pumped up for the next country!

 

Now in Germany they were celebrating Oktoberfest and so we celebrated right along with a flight of beers and of course some sausage.

Well…I guess we had a flight too many and must have forgotten to take pictures of our delicious food. Let’s see we had the Spaetzle Gratin with ham and cheese and the Nurnberger Sausage in a pretzel roll. Now I just love saying SPATZLE GRATIN! That dish was different but I LOVED IT! It was like a take on our traditional macaroni and cheese but throw in some au gratin potatoes add some more cheese and cube up some pieces of ham and VIOLA you can SPATZLE GRATIN anytime!

 

Our adventure took us to South Korea next.


Growing up with an asian background I have tried most asian cuisine and was happy to see bbq short ribs with steamed rice and a cucumber kimchi and there lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw. The kimchi was not a traditional cabbage kimichi but still delicious there are something about pickled vegetables that I just love. The bbq short ribs were nice a spicy but honestly I just wanted some yummy rice. The lettuce wraps was packed with so much flavor that I wanted to keep going back for more!

 

The experience of all these different types of cuisine was amazing. Truly I was in heaven. If you ever find yourself needing a vacation this would be something to look into for your next escape. Although the Food and Wine Festival is over now at Disney there will always be next year to go on a culinary adventure of your own!

 

And as always my cupcakes!

Bon Apetite!

 

 

Dutch Apple Bread

There is something about fall that makes me crave cinnamon stuffed sweets. As a child my family moved around a whole lot and when we lived in Park Ridge I use to go down to this little mom and pop grocery store for the most delicious dutch apple bread.

 

 

Dutch Apple Bread

 

Now this bread was moist and heavenly filled with delightfully sweet and tangy apples and bursts of cinnamon in every bite. Each time around this year I just want to curl up in a woven throw with a nice cup of hot chocolate and a slice of this apple bread.

 

 

Dutch Apple Bread

 

I thought I would share this recipe with everyone so that you too could be wrapped in the warmth of one of my favorite comfort foods.

 

Ingredients

    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened 

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk don’t fret! Measure out 1/3 cup of milk and put 1 tbsp of vinegar into the milk, mix it and then let it sit for 5 minutes.)
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled apple (Use a nice baking apple like McIntosh)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • TOPPING:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine(If you love crumbly toppings like me! You can double the topping recipe)

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
  3. Fold in apple and nuts.
  4. Pour into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. x 3-in. loaf pan.
  5. For topping, combine the first four ingredients; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle half of the mixture over batter (this will let some of the topping sink in a little) Then sprinkle in the other half of topping mixture half way into baking time.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes or until bread tests done.
  7. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

 

 

Dutch Apple Bread

 

So what are you waiting for get in the kitchen and start baking my cupcakes!

Bon Appetit!!!

Dubuque, Iowa

Just returned from a weekend trip to Dubuque, Iowa! It was a nice 3 hour road trip where we passed the most beautiful scenery’s.

Dubuque, Iowa is a small town with city comforts. While I was touring the city I was awestruck with the beautiful architecture and loved the mansions up on the hills looking out to the beautiful Mississippi river. I quickly looked up all of the special events and happenings going on in town and decided to check out there farmers market.

As we parked I couldn’t help but feel excited to check everything out! There was a ever expanding variety of pumpkins laid on the streets, on tables, and in every crook and cranny. I was in heaven! Scattered along the streets with street food carts selling breakfast burritos, shaved ice (although it was quite chilly for that), and a delightful vegetarian egg roll that I just adored. There is something about street food that just makes me feel right at home.

I of course immediately started scoping out bakery stands and VIOLA! I was greeted with homemade pies of all  kinds and breads filled with delicious nuts and cinnamon sugar crusts. If I hadn’t died already while sampling all the different street food carts I surely just found myself stepping into heaven. I wanted to buy and try everything!

I had bought a rhubarb bread with a sugary crust and a banana nut bread from Josa’s Country Store. I had never tried rhubarb before and it intrigued me. It was quite different yet refreshing. I liked the hints of sugary crust intermingled with the rhubarb bread which made it lusciously delicious.

Before leaving the farmers market carrying loads of miniature pumpkins and sweets I had to stop by one more bakery stand. The Moundside Bakery caught my attention with their vast array of assorted cookies. There were delicious snicker-doodles, mouth watering chocolate chip, tempting oatmeal, and many more cookies stacked high. Their pies looked delicious with chunks of fruits and a flaky and buttery looking crust! While I made my way back to my car I had a sudden feeling to run back and to join the fun again but there was a town to be explored and festivals to attend.

I have been waiting excitedly to go to the Czipar’s Orchard for their annual Apple Festival that is held the last weekend of September! I was greeted with the warm smell of apple cider and to my delight a sea of apples. I had a hard time choosing what type of apple I wanted to buy. Should I go with the honey crisp or the McIntosh! In the end I picked McIntosh for there wonderful sweet tanginess and there divine taste and wonderful texture for pie making.

As I wondered around the festival I spotted a wine tasting that I just had to try!

Have any of you ever tried apple wine?

It is delicious! The wine connoisseur served it both hot and cold. The hot apple wine was truly different. It was like drinking warm apple cider with the fermenting taste of wine. I preferred it served cold for the reason that you could taste the sweetness of the apples. The wine was so smooth and aromatic that I purchased a bottle to bring home to share with friends and family.

With all of the excitement my mini vacation came to an end. I was sad to leave Dubuque. This charming little town had captured and wrapped me up in all of its warmth and as I made my way back onto the highway crossing the big bridge that had just welcomed me a few days ago I had an achy feeling of farewell. I will definitely be back soon to get lost again in the magic that Dubuque has created for me.

An unanticipated warmth of inspiration flooded me.

I cannot wait to get in the kitchen to start creating my apple desserts for fall!

And as always my sweet cupcakes. Bon-Appetite.

Pumpkin Delights!

Hello Cupcakes! Just returned from Dubuque, Ia and will be posting my adventures soon! However, I thought I’d tie all of you over with a delicious pumpkin cupcake!

Oh! The pumpkin goodness! This tasty creamy pumpkin spiced cupcake is filled with organic pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. The cupcake is moist and pairs nicely with a pumpkin and cream cheese swirl frosting. The tanginess of the cream cheese fuses the sweetness of the cupcakes together and your taste buds explode with all of the flavors of fall.

The best part…

sinking your teeth into the soft delectable cream cheese frosting and pleasantly scrumptious cake.

Falling into Fall Yet?

Bon-Appetite

Jump Into Fall

There is something about fall that makes me just want to bake! My craving taste buds screaming for comfort and something familiar and warm. The only remedies are rich and silky pumpkin pies and  apple tarts. Cinnamon and nutmeg sirens calling my name tempting me to bake.

And so I do

Inspired by William Sonoma’s new fall leaf cut outs I decided to dab in the art of pie making! But of course I love miniature no hassle pies! Who needs a fork and a plate to enjoy some delightful desserts.

And you guessed it!

Pumpkin Pie!

Aren’t the leaves cute!

Now those are a pile of leaves I don’t mind raking!

Did I mention how buttery and delicious they are!

Of course next time I’m going to try and make mini sized pies for the perfect bite size desserts.

Inspired yet?
Lets Fall into Fall! Bon-Appetite!