Monday, July 28, 2014

Macaroni and Brie with Crab

I know I am not supposed to relieve stress with food, but desperate times call for desperate measures. My husband (Jacob) and I are about to relocate our entire lives. We are changing schools, cities, and jobs all at once.  Portland is a giant place, much larger than the quiet town of Corvallis that we are used to.  As much as I complain that there isn't a whole lot to do in Corvallis, I am going to miss its beautiful brick buildings and friendly people.

Moving is tough: saying goodbye to friends, getting used to new streets, shops, and people...the unfamiliarity of it is unsettling.

We are moving farther away from my family than ever before, and into city life...which I don't necessarily appreciate.  I can see myself on a small farm in the future, living the simple life, but for now I join the rat race of the city. I know that my life is about to change, so for today comfort food is the answer, maybe tomorrow there will be room for optimism.

Macaroni and Brie with Crab
Servings: 6-8


1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves crushed garlic

5 tablespoons salted butter

1 pound uncooked pasta, macaroni noodles
( I like fresh egg pasta)

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons dried dill 

3 cups chicken broth or milk

½ pound Brie cheese, trimmed and chopped
(reserve 8 small wedges for topping, if desired)

½ pound White Cheddar cheese, chopped  

1 pound can claw crab meat
(drained, flaked, and any cartilage removed)

Few sprigs of fresh dill 


1. In large skillet cook garlic and onion in butter over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.

2. Add flour, salt, dried dill, and pepper to onion in skillet; stir until combined, about 1 minute. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Gradually add chopped cheese; cook over medium-low heat until cheese melts. Stir into pasta. Fold in crab. Transfer to serving dishes, garnish with dill and brie.Bon Appetit!

How do YOU deal with stressful times? Comment below! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chocolate Dunked Bananas Foster Ice Cream Bars

  It has been so hot this summer, especially compared to the normal weather patterns here in the Willamette Valley. To stay cool I have resorted to consuming mostly Popsicles; they are about the only thing that sounds good! Healthy, I know. Because of this, I recently went out and bought Popsicle molds to make my own. I figure this way I can feel less guilty by knowing exactly what each treat contains, and cut down on costs as well.

My husband and I LOVE Disney. Every time we go to Disneyland/World my husband makes sure to snag a frozen banana. I would go so far to say it is his favorite summer time snack. This recipe pays homage to that wonderful Disney tradition. Bon Appetit!

Chocolate Dunked Bananas Foster Bars:
makes about 1 quart of ice cream


For Ice Cream:

6 large bananas
1 tbsp lime juice
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup 100% maple syrup
2 tbsp sea salt caramel sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp rum or rum extract
(add more if you like!)
1 tsp vanilla extract

 For Chocolate Shell:

3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate 
2 tbsp refined coconut oil 
chocolate sprinkles for dipping

Peel and place bananas in freezer and freeze overnight. Remove bananas from freezer and allow to thaw for 45 minutes to 1 hour (makes for MUCH creamier ice cream! TRUST ME). Place bananas in bowl of food processor along with the lime juice. Puree for 10 to 15 seconds. Add maple syrup, caramel,  rum, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and turn processor on. Slowly pour in the heavy cream. Process until smooth. Add whole milk, mix until well blended. Chill mixture in refrigerator until it reaches 40 degrees. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according the manufacturer's instructions (usually 30-45 minutes). Spoon mixture into Popsicle molds and place in the freezer for at least 3 hours, or until frozen solid. Place the remaining mixture  in an airtight container and freeze for 3 to 6 hours before serving (this is if there are left overs, or if just making ice cream). 

About 20 minutes before popsicles are finished freezing, prepare the chocolate shell mixture. Melt 7 oz of chocolate (chocolate chips will do) and add 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil. Mix together well. 
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove Popsicles from freezer and pop out of molds. Dip each Popsicle in the prepared chocolate. Wait about 30 seconds then place on the parchment. Wrap with plastic and put in freezer until ready to eat!

What is YOUR favorite Disneyland treat?! Comment below :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

4th of July Cherry Blueberry Tarts

Independence day in America is almost upon us, and if you are still wondering what to make for your celebration, look no further! These were so fun to make, and oh so simple! The Mr. and I are possibly headed to sunny California this year for the 4th. My family is having  a  family reunion down thing is for sure: chaos will ensue. I just hope the food is good enough to make up for it :). Until next time, bon appetit!

Cherry Blueberry Tarts:
Makes 6 tarts

For pastry:

1 ¾ cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp salt
10 tbsp cold salted butter*, diced
5-7 tbsp cold water

For the filling:

2 cups wild blueberries
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp cherry jam
2 tbsp butter (cut into 6 pieces)

*Powdered sugar for garnishing

For whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
½ tsp almond extract
½ tsp vanilla


Combine flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Then add butter, pulsing until a coarse meal develops. Then slowly add water one tbsp at a time until a dough forms. Turn dough out into a floured surface. Form into an oval, and cut into six equal sized pieces.

Roll out to about 6 in circle. Place tart tin on top upside down. Draw a circle around the tin with a pairing knife, allowing a 1" border. Press dough into tins, folding over edges into the tin to create a thicker crust along the side. Roll out the dough that is left, cut out 6 stars.

Place tins and stars on a parchment lined baking sheet. Put in the freezer for 15 mins.

Next prepare the filling: place blueberries in a bowl and toss well with lime juice, sugar and flour.

Remove baking sheet from the freezer and fill each one with 1 tbsp cherry jam, and a few spoons of berries (don't fill to the top, stop about ¾ way or it will over flow with juice while baking) then top with 1 pat of butter.

Place in oven for 15 minutes. Remove the stars when they are golden brown. Continue baking the tarts for another 20 minutes or until tart crust is golden brown and berries emit their juice and are bubbling.
While the tarts are baking prepare the whipped cream. Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until slightly stiff peaks form.

Allow tarts to cool completely. These are best served a room temperature or chilled.
Before serving dust a tiny amount of powdered sugar on the centers of the stars. Serve the tarts with a dollop of whipped cream in the center, and top with a star.

What is YOUR favorite way to celebrate Independence day?! Comment below :)
To get your own perfect mini tart pans I highly recommend these:
4.75 Inch Round Tart Pan, Set of 6

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cinnamon Maple Coffee Cake

Hello! Welcome to my blog! My name is Dayna and I love all things sweet.  I have a wonderful new husband (the piggy in the relationship), and three beautiful cats.  I am a recent college grad attempting to go to graduate school, but most importantly I am a hobby baker.  I hope you decide to follow me as I begin this exciting new food journey and blog! Bon appetit!

Cinnamon Maple Coffee Cake
makes 6-8 servings

For the cake:

1 1/2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt (secret ingredient!!!)
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the streusel:

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons natural maple flavor
1/4 teaspoon salt 
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a bunt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs, then add the vanilla and yogurt. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, maple and 3 tbsp of butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the pecans. Reserve the 2 extra tbsp of butter for later.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle with about 2/3 of the streusel. Place pats of the remaining butter over the middle strreusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate.

Mix the powdered sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of milk if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a knife.

Severed best warm with a cafe a lait! 

What do YOU think I should make next?! Comment Below! :)
To get your own amazing bunt pan, I recommend this one, I love the simplicity of it!

Chicago Non-Stick 2-Piece Angel Food Cake Pan with Feet