Archive | Captivating Sweets RSS feed for this section

Banana Bread

30 Dec

Family Recipe for Banana Bread

3/4 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1 egg
1/2 t. salt
1 c. banana
2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla/almond

Cream together sugar and butter, add egg. Mash bananas, add all together. 1 hour, 350 degrees.

Mix dry in one bowl and wet in another. Add chocolate chips as desired.


Best Birthday Cake Ever: Almond, Mascarpone, Lemon and Blueberries

25 Feb

This past Monday was my coworker’s birthday. Being a newbie around here, I’ve observed that the thing to do is to bake for your coworker’s birthday.

So I resolved to do just that. After a heated discussion with Jenna at Modern Domestic over what DC cupcakeries are really worth our time and money – and of course – a debate over their various frostings, I requested a suggestion for a not-to-sweet cake recipe for this very birthday occasion of which I am speaking.

Jenna sent me the Almond Birthday Cake with Lemon Curd, Blueberries and Mascarpone Frosting that she made for her mom’s birthday. Not only are her photos just absolutely stunning, the cake stood up to all of its promises. And as a new girl at work – let’s just say – thank goodness!! Continue reading

Dinner and Dessert on a Weeknight

26 Aug

Orange Chicken and Potato Gratin

I’m always looking for something easy to make after work that still requires enough effort to make it feel gourmet without just throwing pasta and sauce together in a bowl.

This combination of new recipes by Melissa d’Arabian (the new Food Network star) and a little spin on an old French classic is the perfect weeknight dinner. The ingredients are simple but the results are outstanding, which is always the benchmart of a great meal for me!  But also, the timing was right. Everything was ready in about the perfect amount of time for me not to have to waste time waiting for one side dish to be done before kicking the oven up a notch.

So here’s how to manage your time for the following three recipes and how to get dinner on the table and dessert in the oven in an hour and a half. I mean seriously, dessert is included!

Here’s the menu: Crispy-skinned Chicken a l’Orange with 5 Minute Individual Potato Gratins and a side salad, followed by a French Apple and Cream Cheese Tart. It’s plenty for four people or enough for lunch the next day! Continue reading

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

10 Aug

Glazed lemon ricotta cookies

This weekend when I was getting my hair cut, the salon’s receptionist and I connected over curly hair and studying abroad. She told me about lemon ricotta cookies that she used to eat all of the time in Italy, and she went on, and on about how incredible they were. They seemed simple, light and intriguing, so I looked them up right when I got home.

Spread them out! More than this!

As it turns out, Giada has a rendition of her own. While I think this recipe was incredible and I would make it once a week, it has a few flaws (I had to separate giant uni-cookies with a knife and none of the cookies were round or even the same shape. Steve nicknamed one the Superman cookie). Hopefully my notes below will make your attempt seamless, but any other suggestions to keep the cookies separate would be appreciated. Continue reading

Feast your Eyes on Lollipop Pies

4 Aug

Occasionally, there’s just something out there so incredibly random that I’ve found, that I don’t even know how to tell you how I found it. This is one of those occasions.

I highly recommend you take a moment to look through whatever this blog may be and let it inspire you. But warning to the wise, you might need to wipe the drool off your computer when you’re done.

(Give it a second to load – or maybe 20 minutes – her pictures are freaking huge, but it’s worth it.)

Little Pillows of Heaven – Make at Least 8 Dozen – And freeze!

31 Jul

gooey butter cookies have a tendency to disappear quickly!

I shouldn’t give away all my secrets, but this one is too good to leave out. These little “pillows of heaven” as they have been dubbed are as light as you can imagine, which perhaps helps explain why they absolutely fly straight out of the oven. No one can wait for these cookies to cool down. Roommates have been known to take them out of the oven half-cooked due to lack of patience. You must make at least 8 dozen if you plan to have enough for everyone who is going to want 8-12 of them. You may have to ration them otherwise! Continue reading

My Favorite Dessert – Best When Run Over by a Car

13 Jul

This is my favorite dessert, ever. My mom was first served this recipe at an adult dinner party 20 years ago, but when she brought it home to us kids, we absolutely fell in love. Not only is it incredibly delightful – you’ll understand once you hear the ingredients – but it’s also incredibly fun to make, for kids or adults. How fun is it to serve this and tell your guests you ran over the ingredients with your car before whipping it all up?

oreo cookie dessert

Continue reading