August 17, 2014


Summertime Blueberries
This is an image that I captured while on a photo shoot for The Happy Film Company.

June 6, 2014

Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Happy Friday Everyone!!

Check out my post over at Mother Earth Living, if you want to try your hand at homemade yogurt!  The perfect pairing for summer's berries & stone fruit.

Support your local farmers.  Here in Washington, we have a handful of delicious choices:

Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy
Pride & Joy Dairy (Raw Milk)
Pure Eire Dairy (100% Grass-Fed)
Sea Breeze Farm

May 3, 2014

Dutch Baby

Sneak peek....

April 22, 2014

Making Mochi Cake

Spongy and somewhat gummy, the classic texture of mochi hails from the glutinous, short-grain, sticky rice reserved for delectable desserts and sauces.  This cake is a delightful gluten-free alternative to any homemade chocolate cake. T and I had a slice (shhhhh....don't tell anyone, but I think we each had 3 slices) at a friend's birthday party a few weeks ago and lucky for us we walked away with the recipe.  If you are a fan of the texture of mochi ice cream then I think you will enjoy this cake especially served with a big dollop of your favorite frozen treat!

As most of you know, I love bittersweet chocolate, therefore I had to add a bit more chocolate and of course 70% to the batter, rather than the semisweet.....semisweet works just fine if you only have chips on hand.  Also, you can certainly use fresh whole milk rather than the called for evaporated milk, however the texture will not be as gummy or mochi-like which is what makes this dessert so unique.

Thank you Grace for sharing your recipe!  Grace believes this recipe came from the old Honolulu Star-Bulletin, she recommends using Koda Farms Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour as other sweet rice flours don't seem to yield the proper texture.  My alterations are in parenthesis.  This recipe halves well and bakes up beautifully in a smaller pan, just keep in mind the baking time will shorten drastically if you halve.  For example, I baked a half batch in a 9"-tart pan for 38 minutes.

Grace's Chocolate Mochi Cake
2 cups Mochiko sweet rice flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking soda
(1/2 teaspoon sea salt)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, divided)
2-12-ounce cans of evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(1/3 cup powdered sugar)

Lightly butter and dust with rice flour a 9"X13" baking pan and set aside.
Sift together the Mochiko flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
Combine the butter and chocolate (if using 2 cups of chips, then use only 1 cup in this step and reserve the rest for later.  If using 1 cup of chips then melt all of the chips with the butter) in a heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of gently simmering water, stir until melted.
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.
Pour the melted chocolate into the milk mixture and stir until well combined.
Mix in the flour blend and stir until smooth.
If using 2 cups of chocolate chips, then fold in the remaining 1 cup of chips at this point.
Pour into the prepped 9"X13" pan.
Bake at 350 F for approximately 55 minutes or until baked through.
Cool to room temperature.
Lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.

April 4, 2014

Film: Quick Spring Meal (What to do with Garlic Paste)

Are you wondering what to do with the garlic paste that I featured in my first video?  Why not toss in a little rosemary and olive oil and marinate meat?  In this new video I feature lamb chops, however if you prefer beef, then try out your favorite steak.

Happy Spring & Buon Appetito!

March 28, 2014


I've had a craving for milk off and on for the last few months and have finally given in.  I was not a kid that liked milk, in fact our family doctor wanted me to drink milk when I was little, I had no intention of drinking it until he said that chocolate milk would do.  Oh my, CHOCOLATE + MILK = HEAVEN!  Yum, I had the best prescription ever!  

The only time as an adult that I really drink milk is in my cappuccino or chai and even at that I'm very selective about the source of my dairy and will often times opt for soy milk...have you noticed that many cafe's don't carry good quality milk?  

We typically have half-and-half in our house, unless of course I'm baking and absolutely need milk (baking never requires the entire quart or even pint) so unfortunately the rest of the milk goes to waste in our fridge, for this reason I refuse to buy it. The last handful of trips to the market, I have found myself standing in the milk aisle gazing longingly at the milk cartons and bottles and even going as far as putting one in my basket just to quickly pull it out and put it back on the shelf...I'd then head over to the yogurt and put one in my cart and be on my merry way...the yogurt worked to curb the craving for awhile, but alas, I gave in and bought a half gallon, for the two of us this is a lot of milk. I'm determined to finish this local, grass-fed, whole milk and not waste a drop.

So, how will I drink it?  I set out to make a grown-up version of chocolate, I'm not a picky eater, the fact that I didn't like milk on its' own when I was younger or even as an adult isn't that far fetched....but one flavor combination that I have never cared for as an adult, and this baffles many of my coffee drinking friends is chocolate and coffee, oddly enough, I have always loved chocolate desserts paired with a cup of coffee, but for some reason combining the two in a cup created a repugnant metallic flavor.  Now, if we go out for coffee, T is a mocha guy and I'm a vanilla latte or straight up cappuccino girl, well until now....This past summer we went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and Kona coffee is bright and acidic which was awful with vanilla or just sugar, so I took a sip of T's mocha and it was delicious, this time CHOCOLATE + MILK + ESPRESSO = HEAVEN! So, why not try it stateside?  Well it's taken me several months, but with this milk craving, I had to try it. CHOCOLATE + ESPRESSO + GRASS-FED ORGANIC MILK = HEAVEN!

So, as of late I've been annoying my local coffee shop, they carry a lovely coffee but then they ruin it with a non-organic milk, so I've been ordering a double shot with chocolate syrup and then I race home (we live right across the street) and add sustainable milk to it and it is quickly becoming a bad habit.

We still had quite a bit of milk left after having a few mochas, so I made my first batch of homemade yogurt.  The first test was not as tart nor as thick as I'd like it to be, but still delicious with a drizzling of honey and berries.  So, no waste here and in the future I'll just make yogurt if I think I won't drink it in time.  I'll share a proper recipe with you once I have it perfected.  For now, I give you photos.

March 20, 2014

Happy Spring

Today marks the first day of Spring.  The sun has decided to chase away the gray and now the sky is full of pudgy cumulus clouds.  For this sunny first day of spring, I give to you an earthy radish.
Eat this pungent veggie like the French, dipped into a creamy grass-fed cow's milk butter and sprinkled with fleur de sel.

Bon Appetit!

March 18, 2014

Film: How To Make Garlic Paste

Well, my friends, the time has finally come!  This Christmas, T gave me a gorgeous new camera that also takes video (Thank YOU honey!)  I've been having a blast with the camera and now I'm in the thick of shooting video!  Still so much to learn on the technical side....aspect ratios, fps, compression, video editing programs...oh my!

If you find yourself browsing on YouTube please stop by Honey Dumplings TV.

March 14, 2014

March 2, 2014

A Taste Of Summer: Tomato Soup

We've had a pleasantly dry winter here in the Pacific Northwest and have lucked out with a handful of early spring days...the sky has cleared to blue, the air has turned a bit sweet and flowers have begun to bloom.  However lately it seems that the chill won't quite bid adieu as the rain and perpetual gray have teamed up for a traditional maritime winter. 

Tomato soup suits this fickle time of year...sun-ripened tomatoes plucked from their vines preserving the warmth of summer days make for a cozy wintertime meal.

If you are in need of a little sunshine during this soggy time of year then reach for a jar of preserved tomatoes.  I prefer the fruity and sweet flavor of the Italian San Marzano, it is less acidic than other varieties that line the shelves.  Of course homemade preserves are even better!

Buon Appetito!

February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope that your day is a sweet one!

February 6, 2014

Valentine Sweets

Surprise your Valentine with a homemade treat.  I bake my pots de creme in oven-proof latte bowls, it's tres romantique when served with 2 spoons.  Top it off with Victoria's Salted Caramel Sauce, freshly whipped cream & grated chocolate.  Check out Chili Chocolate Pots de Creme for my full recipe.

January 21, 2014

Champagne + Pears

These blushing beauties are the perfect accompaniment to any meal. 
If you would like to make a batch for your next brunch or dessert, check out my recipe for Champagne Poached Pears at Mother Earth Living.
Bon Appetit!

January 17, 2014

Sneak Peek: Almond Scones

I'm in the thick of recipe testing....moving into phase three now with my Almond Scones...they are nutty, buttery and super flaky, delicious slathered with strawberry jelly, apple butter or fig jam.  So here is just a sneak peek into my cookbook.  Just in case you haven't guessed, there will be a bit of baking going on!

January 10, 2014

What To Do With Leftover Cookies....Besides The Obvious Choice

Once upon a time, I was a Pastry Chef...therefore you can guess that we don't keep many prepackaged cookies or sweets in our cupboards.  However, since the holidays we have somehow collected several boxes of gluten-free chocolate cookies.  So, I've decided to crush a batch of cookies to create a crunchy crust for these delectable mini cheesecakes.

In this recipe most cookies will suffice, you may need to adjust the sugar to your liking.  I've chosen a gluten-free version of Oreos.  If your cookies have frosting in the center then scrape it out prior to crushing into crumbs.  These little cuties should be made a day ahead of serving.

Victoria's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Makes 12

For the Crust:
1/3 cup GF chocolate cookies, crushed into crumbs
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 vanilla bean, scraped and seeded
1/3 cup creme fraiche, room temperature
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

For Garnish:
3/4 cup favorite jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, 2 teaspoons of sugar and melted butter.
Press the mixture into the bottom of each cup.
Bake until set, about 6-8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.
Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth.  Add the 3 1/2 tablespoons of sugar and the vanilla and beat until mixed together, about 1 minute.
With the mixer on low, add the egg and beat until mixed, scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the creme fraiche and salt and mix just until the mixture comes together and is smooth.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the prepared muffin cups, filling about 1/4-inch from the top.
Bake until the sides are set and the centers are still a bit wobbly, approximately 20 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, then wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Before serving, spoon about 1 tablespoon of your favorite jam over each cake and during the summer top with fresh berries.