{kitchen de ferrer} st. patty's day noms.

What can I say, I'm a sucker for gimmicky holidays. St. Patty's Day no exception. Here are some quick and easy leprechaun snackaroos that my festive little self made throughout the week of. And yah, I'm well aware I'm just now posting this. Procrastinator, I am. Or am I ... uber early? =P

st. patty's day noms.
st. patty's day noms.

1 -- Shamrock Chips with Hummus.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas just blows me away, like this recipe from Zakka Life. Simplicity at it's finest. Literally took me less than 10 minutes to make! Serve with your favorite hummus and life is good.

st. patty's day noms.

2 -- Mini Green Tea Buttermilk Cuppycakes.

Started off as Mini Green Tea Donuts adapted from A Beautiful Mess's version but had to scrap the whole mini donut idea after a few attempts. There were just too many issues to deal with and in the end, the mini donuts looked like mini cupcakes. So I proceeded down the mini cuppycake route instead. Glad I switched pans! Pot of gold right here, green tea cupcake addicts! I've been trying to find the perfect green tea cupcake recipe for the longest time and this *pointing at pic* is def a keeper. I'm still on the hunt for a light and fluffy green tea frosting recipe, so if ya know of one, send it to this gal. But for now, this Matcha Buttercream Frosting from Matcha Source is actually pretty matchalicious.

Note: The quality of matcha green tea powder does matter! Give Teavana's matcha a go. One of the best powders you'll ever bake with. A bit pricey, but so worth it! Don't thank me. Thank Teavana. ;-)

st. patty's day noms.

3 -- Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Greener and slightly more scrumptious looking pancakes can be seen here by Love and Olive Oil. This pancake griddlin' business, man. It's truly a skill. One I have no patience for. But for those who are like me and can't stand cooking/baking for more than 30 minutes - bad news. There really is no way out of this one. (As if my pic evidence wasn't enough.) So turn that high heat down to medium and wait it out!

Note: Go on and add more mint extract than what the recipe calls for if you're into mint as much as I am. The amount of mint in the recipe was a little too subtle for my liking. So mint away!

st. patty's day noms.
st. patty's day noms.

4 -- Lucky Charms + Matcha Green Tea Latte.

This really needs no words. Another simple idea with a huge holiday impact. And why not take that green milk to the next level with a Green Tea Latte? Don't skip out on the green food coloring if your green needs a lil pop! 

These green foodie noms are lookin' like leprechaun bait, innit? Happy belated (or uber early! hah!) St. Patty's Day, homies!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} heart-shaped valentine noms.

What started off as a fun twist to our homemade Valentine's Day dinner about 6ish years ago has become a yearly tradition for me + V. We really turned this heart-shaped foodie thayng into a sport, with each year more ambitious than the last. This heart-shaped challenge is the reason why Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays of the year! Straight from our kitchen, here are Jincent's heart-shaped foodie noms of 2013:

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

1 -- Mini Red Velvet Cupcakes with Arrow. 

I love this cupid's arrow concept from the original cakepopster genius, herself, Miss Bakerella!  A few changes from the Bakerella tutorial were made, like using skewers instead of lollipop sticks, as well as using a heart craft punch for the bigger hearts. The little hearts were quickly hand-drafted, then cut out. A gold sharpie to draw in the feather lines, tape to adhere the hearts to the skewers andVoila!

From simple to spruced up cuppycake in minutes!

valentine lunch 2013.

2 -- Heart-Shaped Strawberry Kabob. 

These need no explaining. They really do look that easy!

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

3 -- Angel Sweet Tomato Hearts. 

Another heart idea that needs no explaining. The 'recipe' by Eye Candy originally called for Cherry tomatoes, but our local grocery store didn't have any on hand. So we went with the next best thing. Still worked out! Looks like Cherry tomatoes, anyways!

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

4 -- Heart-Shaped Carrots. 

So my carrot hearts didn't come out as nicely as Sophistimom's.  But that's ok. I like my wonky geometric hearts. They kinda look like V's. V for Vince. ;-)

valentine lunch 2013.
valentine lunch 2013.

5 -- Heart-Shaped Beef Pinwheels. (With Heart-Shaped Quinoa.)

This was all V. He was inspired by a heart-shaped cinnamon roll that I had stumbled upon and wanted to do a savory version. Shallot + Chive cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, plank steak. All rolled into a heart-shaped pinwheel. Held together with toothpicks. A little ambitious for me, but like the aspiring gourmet chef that V is, he made it look easy. And it turned out ... well, let's just say I heart it. ;-)

Hope this inspires your own homemade Valentine's meal in the future! Keep it fun + heartilicious, my peoples!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} ombre valentine cake push pops.

ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.
ombre valentine cake push pops.

It's no secret I would rather take pictures of my food (and eat them!) than bake/cook them. And it's no secret I take even more pics when I actually do bake/cook. Hard work can do that to ya. In this case (if you couldn't already tell from the multitude of aftermath visuals), I worked hard! And pretty dang proud of it. =D

The making of a cake push pop, it seems, is pretty straightforward. Bake a sheet cake, level it off, cut circles out with push pop container, pipe in cream cheese icing in between cake layers. Sounds easy enough! The Jin version is slightly different. Bake mini cupcakes using a mini muffin pan instead! Once cooled, cut off the cupcake tops, leaving the bottom portions (perfect height and width!) to be squeezed into the push pop containers. No need to level off!

As for the ombre part, I opted for various Duncan Hines cake flavors. Red velvet, strawberry and yellow cake. Half the yellow cake batter I added food coloring (red, orange + yellow) to get that nice bright red color.

Aaand construct away! Cake, icing, cake, icing, etc. Top off with lip sprinkles. Perhaps take the decor step further with some washi tape fun. Makes for 'derrricious-looking' (as Hanh puts it) and 'what the hell these push pops are delicious' (as Eric puts it) Valentine treats for Jincent's closest Austin friends!

besos ... jin.

{kitchen de ferrer} gingerbread cheesecake bites.

gingerbread cheesecake bites.

It's that time of year again. 'Christmas In A Box' time. Oh yes. It's totally what you think. But better and yummier. Almost every year I would put together and give away Christmas favor boxes to close friends. And almost every year I would bake something new. Still bite-size, of course. ;-) So what did I put in these boxes? Well, one of them is this nomlicious mini gingerbread cheesecake recipe I found a few weeks ago. It was love at first bake. And it was so good I had to bake it again to share with friends. The recipe! It's so freakin' easy! Be sure to top off the bites with chocolate chip morsels - it's so much more tastier!

 

Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites adapted from Created By Diana

1 (30 oz) package Pillsbury Gingerbread Cookie Dough (refrigerated section)

4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup flour

A bag of semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels

 

1 -- Let's make the filling first, shall we. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. Put filling into a piping bag or ziplock bag. Cut off the tip of plastic bag and place in fridge.

2 -- Mix flour into the cookie dough. This will make the dough firmer, resulting in less puffing when baking and less collapsing when cooling.

3 -- Roll 2 teaspoons of gingerbread dough into balls. I used a small ice cream scooper to make the process a little faster. Depending on how big your ice cream scooper is, you may need 1.5 to 2 scoops for a good-size ball. Place balls into a mini cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners.

4 -- Make a well or indentation into each ball. To do this, place the end of a mini rolling pin or a wine cork and press into the dough.

5 -- Fill each well halfway with cream cheese filling. This will help the dough from rising too much.

6 -- Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

7 -- Let the bites cool before filling them up with more cream cheese. Top off with chocolate chip morsels.

gingerbread cheesecake bites.
gingerbread cheesecake bites.
gingerbread cheesecake bites.

Share. Or not. We don't judge. It really is that good!

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}