Neapolitan Checkered Cake

Neapolitan Checkered Cake

I’ve always wondered what Neapolitan Ice Cream was named after and on further research, I found out that it relates to culture, food and people from Naples.

Neapolitan ice cream reminds me of my visits with Popo as a child. This was not an ice cream flavor my parents usually had in the freezer, but it was always something I could expect at her house. I loved the three flavors combined together. One could not be without the other and I would always try to scoop out the perfect proportion of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. She always had Breyers, and the elongated shape of the container was ideal for even scooping. I haven’t eaten this flavor of ice cream since I was a kid but those three flavors have always stuck with me. Whether it was the flavor, colors or company I was eating it with, I can almost taste it if I think about those warm memories.

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Yin Yang Cookies

Yin Yang Cookies

My Hapkido friends and I have a lot of fun devising intriguing treats that complement our martial arts practice.

Once the inspiration of these Yin Yang cookies came about, it was hard to resist creating them. There had to be a way to make this symbol come to life—and here is how you can do it! If you do not have a friend who has access to a 3D printer, yin yang cookie cutters are available on the Internet via a quick Google search. We used cutters that did not include the dots and pressed in the dots on top by ourselves by hand. I imagine this was a less frustrating process than cutting them out individually or having to get the dots out of the cutter each time. It was loads of fun putting the two halves together and adding in the dots of the yin yang symbol. They don’t spread out too much while baking, so you needn’t worry about wonky-looking yin-yang symbols.

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Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

This is the cake of my mint chocolate chip dreams. 

If you are a newcomer around here, mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite flavors and has been since I was a kid. It's always and absolutely mint chocolate chip ice cream, especially if it's the green kind. You might also not know that I'm very, very much a big fan of #teampie. Generally, cakes are for special occasions and I am very picky when it comes to cake texture, frosting, the combination of flavors... so basically everything. Cakes don't show their face around here too much and the last cake I baked was for my birthday in October.

So is this a special occasion? In a way, yes. I had intentions of making this cake to celebrate this blog's 3rd year of existence but then it turned into making a cake for the joy of making a cake and that felt more appropriate. 

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Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

As I suspected, if you Google "upside down", one of two things shows up.

It is either Jack Johnson's song Upside Down or (and most obviously to me) anything and everything Stranger Things. Although I watched Stranger Things 2 months ago, I'm currently watching Beyond Stranger Things and it is the greatest. I love behind the scenes anything. As someone who is creating constantly, it's interesting to see how others go about their creative methods. What are their stories, their processes, their ups and their downs? 

So, here, I'll walk you through what goes on in my kitchen and how I decide to make the things I make even if they turn out to be a complete and utter mistake like these bars. 

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The Pink Pie

The Pink Pie

For the past few months, I wondered how a Pomegranate Meringue Pie would look and taste.

Lemon Meringue Pie (or this Yuzu rendition that is on this blog), is my all-time favorite type of pie. After a short period over the holidays of not being happy with meringue pies because of my soggy crust insecurities, I was ready to bake a meringue pie again. I needed a bit of a break after the four I made during the holiday season, and Pi Day (that's March 14th aka 3.14 for all you math fanatics), seemed like the most obvious day to try my greatest food curiosity as of late. The day before, I decided this was the day to figure out all of the questions I ever had about Pomegranate Meringue Pies.

Some of these questions included the following. Would the filling turn brown or pink? Would pomegranate juice be tart enough to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue as lemon juice does? Would it lack flavor without any citrus zest? How to differentiate this pie from its classic lemon counterpart? 

 

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Pane Bianco Star Bread

Pane Bianco Star Bread

Dear King Arthur Flour, I've unintentionally accomplished two of your BakeAlong challenges in one go. 

The first time I made a star-shaped bread was with a few Hapkido friends about a year and a half ago. It was at the beginning of summer when the weather was quickly turning too warm to make bread but we were determined. Straight out of the oven, it was gushing Nutella, pillowy, chocolatey and mmm, mmm, mmm. It is definitely on my list of things to remake (as soon as I clear out more sweets). But who knows, I keep telling myself that almost every week before I make something new.

Since the holidays were only a few weeks prior to when I made this at the beginning of January, I decided to go for a more savory option. As is usual in the KBC kitchen, I was of course, trying to use up something. This time it was sun-dried tomatoes which I have been meaning to incorporate into bread for a while now. As is also usual, I was running about a hundred different scenarios of how this bread could be. Would it be a pizza? Something kind of like a savory babka or other loaf-type bread? And what other accompaniments? Meat? Cheese? Herbs? etc etc... Sometimes this goes on too long so I just have to decide on something. Other times, I finally decide on something only to change my mind and go in a completely different direction.  

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Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

I started a new section in the sidebar of this blog titled 'Fun Foods'.

Not that all food isn't fun—because it certainly is! As of late, I have found myself gravitating towards foods that are more "nerdy",  geometrically pleasing or delve into my graphic design background. Plus, these types of foods are a lot of fun to make and the feedback is incredibly more enthusiastic.

Pro-tip: If someone you know loves a certain character or game or movie etc., and you bake them something related to that favorite character, game, movie, they will be so overcome with joy you cannot help but smile as you make their unexpected dreams come true. 

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Triforce Linzer Cookies

Triforce Linzer Cookies

I made these for my coworker, Lydia, whose father passed away last week. 

As is the nature of my office, we all decided to do something for her when she returned to work. The first thing was decorating her desk with a forest of flowers. Since Lydia loves Zelda, anything Triforce-related and dessert, it was almost too good to pass up combining the three of those things into one. The birth of these cookies came to me in a moment of pure joy and excitement and I knew I just had to make them come to life. I think it's actually pretty perfect that Lydia was born the year the first Legend of Zelda game was released and that her dad knew that game through and through. Kind of crazy how the universe is like that sometimes. 

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