Pastel de Tres Leches con Fresas

Lordy lordy look what is insanely delicious....

I loved The Pioneer Woman before, but good lord. This cake. THIS. CAKE. 

I've heard of Tres Leches cake before and I'd thought about it from time to time, but I'd never had it. For about two weeks, though, it has been on my mind. Oh, my, how I wanted this cake. Finally, an early morning jaunt about in a mist of rain led me to Aldi, where the low low price of sweetened condensed milk told me that, well, today was a good a day as any other.

So, between that and the iced vanilla coffee that I'd gone there for, the brioche from the Red Hen Bakery, and some bacon...I was ready to experience the wonders.

I halved the recipe from The Pioneer Woman (while using three egg whites/egg yolks) and then made a quick whipped topping out of whipping cream and sugar, with sliced strawberries on top. Here are the measurements for the whole cake, rather than my halving. 

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 5 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar, Divided
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ⅓ cups Milk
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • ¼ cups Heavy Cream

You want to set your oven to 350 F.

Beat the yolks with 3/4 cup of sugar until it is pale yellow, then stir in the milk and vanilla. I actually used soy milk, as we were out of cow milk, and it was delicious.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour the yolk-milk mixture over this and gently mix together.

Now, beat your egg whites until soft peaks form. Pour in the remaining sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff, but not dry. Fold this into the batter. Pour into your prepared pan (9 x 13 inch, buttered or sprayed or whatever) and then bake for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

This smelled incredible. 
I may or may not have later broken off a teensy-tinsy bite.  

Now, put it on a cooling rack to, you know, cool.

While it is cooling, mix together the sweetened condensed milk, the evaporated milk, and the heavy cream. I didn't used the entire amount, I just mixed in equal parts - about a half cup of each - and then mixed it together.

Move the cake to a rimmed plate or something. Use a fork to prick the top of your cake a bajillion times and then pour this mixture liberally over the entire cake - be sure to get the edges!!

 Look at that cake, half drowned. It's already soaked up a lot.
At this point, I wanted to just dig in.

It'll pour around the cake but the cake just soaks it right up. You'll see.

While it does that, make your whipped topping. If you want to top it with fruit or not, that's up to you. Either way, this baby is DELICIOUS. Seriously. It stays moist and tasty for days, although it was epic willpower that kept me from eating this whole thing in the first twenty-four hours.

 Even at this point, you could just eat it all. Seriously.

I am going to make this a billion more times. I can't wait to experiment with it, but also just to really enjoy this recipe. It's so easy and delicious! Enjoy!!


Chicken ala King. Should that be Dethroned King?

Mmmm...creamy, peppery, chickeny goodness!
Takes me back, oh yes indeed.

I have a pretty strong memory of the first time I ever ate this dish. Or, anyway, the first time I remember eating it. I was both annoyed and baffled by this not-at-all-a-potpie that my dad had whipped up. I'm sure there were loads of veggies and I'm pretty sure he made drop biscuits. I remember standing in the kitchen and being somehow very confused by the whole sequence of events. I liked it. I did not daydream about it. I was Team Potpie.

Since then, of course, I've really enjoyed the goodness that is chicken ala king. It's just so pleasing and warming! I still tend to make potpie as my creamy-chickeny vehicle (or a pasta) but the other day, I really could just not get this out of my mind. I wanted it. I craved it. I was having A Very Bad Day and I knew this would make everything better.

I swung by Jewel, gathered maybe three or four items, came home and ate some pasta that my roommate had made and went to sleep.


Actually, that is how the night went, but the next day I embarked on a huge bake-a-thon and this was my dinner afterwards. Chicken ala Dethroned King. Dethroned because, well, I was broke and the lack of bell peppers and peas and everything clues you in on that. I also took the easy way out and used insta-biscuits from a can.

Still. It was delicious.

- two chicken breasts, cut up into bite-size bits (you can also steam or poach or whichen and shred it)
- four carrots, sliced
- handful of mushrooms, sliced
- splash of white wine
- garlic, minced
- onion, chopped
- paprika, salt, pepper, basil
- one cup heavy cream
- half cup chicken broth
(more or less as desired or needed, I'm pretty sure these were my measurements)
- approx. a tablespoon of tapioca starch to thicken the sauce

Boozey veg! My favorite.

 Now, what you want to do is cook the chicken in some olive oil and butter - unless, of course, you've steamed or poached it. Season with pepper and basil and salt. Add in the onion, garlic, and veg. Splash in some white wine and let cook down. Season to taste, then add the chicken broth and the cream (or half and half or even milk!). After about ten minutes, sprinkle in the starch while stirring swiftly the whole time. Go slowly until you've reached the desired thickness. Season with paprika and any additional flavors you may want.

Serve on a biscuit! May I suggest cheese? :) 


Ali, Cake, and Limited Time.

I have a roommate named Ali.

She is moving out soon, but she's still our friend and for now! She is still our roommate.

She also likes to bake. And craft. And dance. We all get along and she and I have a tin-can phone between our rooms, since we share a wall, and a joke about how we must share brainwaves.

Recently, Ali made this cake! It's a delicious orange flavored cake with a chocolate frosting with pecans decorating.

It's even two colors!

She's a very wonderful baker. And while I don't have the recipe for this, I thought I'd share. I'd say this is a yellow cake with orange flavor. I know the chocolate frosting is more a ganache - she melted down chocolate and blended it in heavy whipping cream. DELICIOUS.

Believe me, this was amazing.

I'm trying now to get the recipe from her, but this is still pretty! :)

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Completely delicious! 
Oh yes, a birthday marvel.  

For ages now, I've made cupcakes for Matt's birthday (and for others as well) and this year was no exception. I ask what he wants and he gives me a flavor profile, usually, and this year he asked for lavender and vanilla and macadamia nut. He was slightly more specific, but I know him and his tastes and knew exactly what to do. 'Cause that's how we roll, here. With understanding.

Now, macadmia nuts - as pricey as they are - come in bulk at Whole Foods and so I was able to get just a handful of them. My dad had given me loads of dried lavender when I was in Ohio last, so I had that, and so it was really just a simple matter of how I was going to do it without having that soapy-lavender taste that happens. Since only one person called them "bubble-bath-cakes" (although, they did say they were the most delicious "bubble-bath cakes I've ever had"), not to mention that people really killed these and the birthday boy himself apparently ate four of them...

A win!

And simple.

To make the lavender butter, simply take your dried lavender and use the flower bits, not the stems or sticks, and chuck it in a saucepan of melting butter. I did about two tablespoons, but maybe a little less would be fine. I used one stick of butter.

Mmmm...naturally dried lavender and delicious butter.
My father is so proud. 

Melt down, turn heat to super low, stir and make sure it doesn't burn while you cook it for ten to fifteen minutes. Strain. You can use cheese cloth or a seive or something - I had a tea strainer that was mug-sized, so I used that and pressed the lavender with a spoon to get all the butter out.

Lavender butter! 


- one stick of lavender butter, melted but cooled
- one cup of flour
- half cup of sugar
- one vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- teaspoon baking powder
- two eggs
- splash of milk (if the batter doesn't come together)

Now. Mix all those together. I did the butter, vanilla, and sugar first. Beat until combined, then add the eggs and beat. Add the flour and baking powder and eggs and beat again. If not battery, add milk.

You should have a delicious batter! Taste it and see if it needs anything - more sugar or vanilla are the likely culprits.

Pour into baking cups in your muffin pan and cook at 350 F for about twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting

- one stick of softened butter
- splash vanilla
- chopped up macadamia nuts
- one and half  to two cups powdered sugar


Blend on high util the butter and powdered sugar is creamy, add vanilla and macadmia nuts. Blend. If too thin, add powdered sugar. Taste. Now. If it is too sweet, either add a little more butter and/or splash in some milk. If it is too buttery, add some powdered sugar.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost and give to pleased individuals.

Still delish.
And of course feel free to use adorable cupcake holders....


They really add something, if you ask me.

Then again. I'm always looking for cute ones. Even if I don't get a direct chance to use them!



I'm not even kidding.
This is the only picture I was able to take, so it is by default the best.
I apologize. Picture something delicious.
THERE. That is now "how tasty my taquitos are". 

Effortless would almost be the word best used to describe this recipe, except for the fact that I accidentally left the broiler on and burnt up my first batch. This did not stop anyone from devouring them, though, which I took as a note of confidence as I made sure to guard over the next batch.

Um, about the broiler. It's how we pre-heat our oven. It isn't even on the list of things to fix about this place - rather, "awesome oven" is on the list for Things For Next Apartment. If I told you what else was on that list, you'd shake your heads, so instead I'll say: if you, too, have an oven like this - wanna start a support group?


I made these easy taquitos! There were both chicken and vegetarian (black refried beans, with extra veg) options. So simple. See how easy?


- flour tortillas
- two chicken breasts
- one can of vegetarian refried black beans
- four cloves garlic
- diced onion
- diced tomato
- diced bell pepper
- salsa
- sour cream
- guacamole
- basil, salt, pepper, etc etc
- olive oil
- shredded cheese

You'll want to steam the chicken, so shake some basil, salt, and pepper over the breasts and then steam away. While your kitchen starts to smell amazing, heat up the beans in a pan, using a bit of oil, about half the garlic, and season as you wish. You'll just be cooking it up a bit so it is hot.

Shred the cooked-through chicken. Add garlic, a little salsa (a few tbs), some of the onion, and anything else you'd like. Now. Take a tortilla. Rub a little oil onto each side and then, fill the inside with some shredded chicken mixture and cheese. Roll up tightly then place in a baking dish (or on a cookie sheet). Repeat.

For the vegetarian ones, you'll want to put the bean mixture in the inside, with some onion and tomato and cheese, then roll up.

Bake for fifteen minutes at 350 F, or until the tops are crisp and golden-brown and the insides are hot and melty. If you want to broil briefly at the end to get a golden-brownier top, please do.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and anything else you want. I imagine that "serve" usually involves plates.

Ours didn't make it farther from the baking dish than our mouths. OH THE LIFE.