Author Archives: wallflourgirl

About wallflourgirl

Hi! I'm Ala, an English grad student who loves to tell stories through half-baked ideas and fully-baked treats. My motto? The plot thickens. Just add cornstarch.

Life Updates and a KIND Snacks Giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by KIND Snacks. I received a sample box for review purposes but was not financially compensated for this post. And as always, these opinions are 110% my own!

A billion and one things have been all kinds of crazy here lately. Can you tell?

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 3--081514

No, perhaps not–but it’s been all sorts of insanity! This is my utterly grateful recovery post. This month has been one green light to the next, racking up my traveling miles and teleporting from one zany distance to the next. At one point, I even coughed up a whopping $40 for an Uber trip that got me nothing but terrible traffic and one ballsy driver who asked me if I was single–and get this, he asked me in the first 15 minutes of our trip while I was sitting in the front seat. 

Moral of the story: never sit in the front seat while riding a taxi service, no matter how casual it seems.

Moral #2: 6 miles never feels longer than when you are awkwardly stuck in an enclosed vehicle with a stranger who wants to know your relationship status right off the bat.

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 2--081514

And that, my friends, is why I am so glad THESE came. I now dub thee “Sanity Keeper Bars,” a.k.a. KIND Snacks. Raise your hand if you love ‘em as much as I do!

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 10--081514

When the wonderful rep K got in touch with me about sampling, reviewing, and giving away KIND bars on my blog, I jumped three feet in the air and immediately tagged in. I’d consumed plenty of KIND bars before the sampler box, but mostly on campus where the vending machine selection is limited to Almond Cranberry (a very good choice–but by no means a gateway to the snackers’ haven that I was about to receive).

And I couldn’t have asked for better timing: what with one of the most insanely pressing, time-crunched months this year, and several unexpected events to shake things up in my personal life, I can hardly find time to haul myself into the kitchen these days (sorry, abandoned oven!), much less prep something satisfying for myself to gnaw on.

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 11--081514 KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 5--081514

Luckily, that’s where this box kicked in! K from KIND sent me an awesome sample: 3 huge packs of granola, a handful of snack squares, and a variety of about 8 assorted bars in every flavor I had wanted to try. #starvinggradstudent’s paradise? I think so.

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 6--081514

I polished off the majority of these snacks on my post-run, pre-work days, when I needed to refuel but didn’t have time for any sort of fancy knifework or yogurt-spooning. And let me tell you know: they are such a treat after a workout! I’m supposed to be working towards my very first half-marathon at the end of this month (haven’t ran outdoors since mid-July though, oops…) and these bars are helping me stay in tip-top shape. Or so I’d gladly believe! They are, however, definitely keeping me and my on-the-go lifestyle sane. So what’s the verdict, you ask?

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 8--081514

Well, while I loved every single bar that came my way, my Top Three Favorite Sampled KIND Bars were…

#3: Almond and Coconut

It tasted like Hawaii had up and thrown a party in my mouth. Uh-may-zing! This is probably the bar I could eat most frequently without ever getting tired of it. It’s just light & refreshing enough with a sweet zap of coconut flavor to brighten up my day after a workout!

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 7--081514

#2: Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

I have been obsessed with salty&sweet lately, so it’s no surprise I fell for these bars right away–and fell hard. By the time I’d finished this bar (in about 7.25 seconds, mind you), I was gnawing on my fingers trying to imagine that there was still more of this bar left for consumption. So yeah, I loved the dark chocolate and sea salt combo loads! And finally…

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 4--081514

#1: Caramel Almond and Sea Salt

Did I mention I love sea salt? No, but seriously. If you are at all a fan of salted caramel, you will love this bar. In other words, I am asking you here and now if you are a human being. Because salted caramel, folks. Please do not try and convince me that it could be anything other than a GREAT BAR.

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 9--081514

So while I step aside and attempt to recover from these past few cray-cray weeks (thankfully, I still have quite a bit of granola left with which to nourish myself–hooray!), I’m going to let you enter for a giveaway from KIND Snacks. Eight delicious bars could be headed to your doorstep within the week: just make sure you do all these easy entries for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

KIND Snacks Review and Giveaway 1--081514

22 Comments

Filed under Giveaways, Snacks

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

By the way, this cake? Is BOMB. So don’t forget to bookmark and Pin it before you read on: just because I’m straying off-topic today (and I will be you’ll see), doesn’t mean this cake wasn’t devoured in about two seconds to the highest accolade. Did I mention it’s probably in my Top 5 Recipes for this year? 

My blog is my Pensieve, and you are all the unfortunate captive witnesses to my unfiltered thoughts. Muahahaha.

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 2--080714

Well I mean, not “captive,” really. It’s not like I can actually keep you here–unless you find my charm so overwhelmingly paralyzing that your eyeballs stay glued to the screen in spite of your concerted efforts to tear them away. I bet this is a major problem for most of you, right? Right.

Today’s post is going to be a ramblepost…in case your gut didn’t inform you already.

However, I should mention before I continue that today’s post is also a #SundaySupper post with the way-talented SS bloggers! And the theme is Saving Summer, which is why I’m sharing lemons. The best thing about lemons is that you can “save” them by freezing them and simply popping them into the microwave for a few seconds when you need fresh juice/zest! Neat trick, right?

Okay, #continueramble…

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake gif 2

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake gif 4

The funny thing about my rambles and writing this food blog is that I’m not actually really into writing about food. Okay, so when it comes to picking recipes from the bajillion-and-fifty-two that live on the interwebs, awesome descriptions about how your (say, random example) Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake features a tangy, sweet, incredibly moist, savor-every-bite crumb topping with the perfect balance of vanilla drizzle might convince someone that they actually want to make your recipe.

But while I could (and probably should) be writing things of that nature on a FOOD BLOG, I’m just standing over here at my computer going YawnyYawnYawnittyYaaaawn.

“Selling” my recipes to you reminds me too much of my marketing days. I’d much rather be doing things other than raving to you about how insanely quickly this coffee cake was eaten up by all my friends.

So many other things, I’m sure.

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 5--080714

Seriously. I don’t feel like talking about it, okay? I mean, look at those gifs and these photos. Who would want to talk about them ALL DAY?

Apophasis, people. English major says: Look it up.

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 8--080714

But let’s be serious for a second here. One thing I’ve never really had a chance to talk about here is that I’m not the stereotypical food blogger. I certainly never considered turning it into a career or more than a really great hobby. In fact, I’m totally a writer first, baker second, social media guru third, photographer fourth, and lord-oh-lord-me an editor/administrative/organized human being disaster last. So when people find out I’m a food blogger and tell me I must looooove baking & taking pics & everything, I’m all just like

Yeah that stuff’s aight

and we all move on with our lives. Maybe eat a slice of lemon curd cake while we write children’s picture books and nonsense stories (which would be my dream line of work someday–now I just need to find someone who will pay me to write little tales and eat homemade desserts all day).

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 11--080714

But that being said,

There is also something indescribably wonderful about being part of a blogging community.

I do love baking, and I do love photographing and being all uppity on my social media. I love the idea of doing all these things, but there are things about it I don’t love: I certainly don’t relish having to wait until my dinner is cold to eat it because I spent the previous hour shooting it in the twilight lighting. I type so much, my carpal tunnel is much worse now and I’m fighting tooth & nail to keep it at bay (this is probably one of the worst job hazards). And let’s face it, my jeans could probably do without the gallons of butter and margarine and delicious enriching refined ingredients that go into a large chunk of my baked goods.

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake gif 6

However, blogging is more than the sum of its parts for me and when I cobble it all together a la peach cobbler,

I lurve it

Like, a lot.

It’s the writing AND the baking AND the photographing AND the communities AND the people AND the life experiences that make blogging so exciting. Just like a sack of flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, milk, and baking soda all sitting on your counter, nothing about it is inherently exciting…that is, until you combine them and measure them and bake them with care, and you step back to realize that you’ve created a masterpiece.

Sort of like this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake. Amiright? (By the way, you totally saw that tacky glorious metaphor coming, didn’t you? Ha!)

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 13--080714

That’s why, after this totally off-topic post, I’m still totally happy to rave to you about this Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake, which has been ten years in the making.

Yes, that’s a lot of time spent on one coffee cake. When we were young, my mom would buy this glorious lemon curd coffee cake from Safeway. It isn’t just nostalgia: I loved this cake to pieces. Crumbly, moist pieces. My mom stopped buying it as we got a little older, but I still dream about it a few times a month. It wasn’t until this month, when my mom sent me back with a whole tubful of lemons–yay for SUMMER–that I finally sat down and thought to myself: finally. Lemon Curd Coffee Cake, here I come!

I paired the very best lemon curd recipe I’ve made with the very best coffee cake recipe I’ve made, so it was a sure recipe for success. Combine that with the fact that I tweaked for extra crumb / vanilla drizzle, and you’ll know exactly why my friends absolutely plowed through the 9-inch cake I made last week.

I’ve got big gifs and I cannot lie.

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake 15--080714

I’m sharing this save-the-summer dessert with my very favorite #SundaySupper crew today, so don’t forget to check out all the amazing stuff they’ve come up with to save this summer!

Ala

Learn how to …

Sip sunny cocktails and smoothies

Scoop up special salsas and sauces

Jump into jellies, jams and preserves

Pucker up for pickles

Slurp and spoon soup and a side dish

Dive into divine desserts

Lemon Curd Coffee Crumb Cake for #SundaySupper

This is the ONLY way to make and serve coffee cake. With a super intense crumb topping and a lusciously tart&sweet lemon curd filling, this decadent dessert will get gobbled up ASAP at any time of day! A personal favorite. Lemon curd recipe adapted from Allrecipes. Coffee crumb cake recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Ingredients

    For the lemon curd:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 3 lemons (I used approximately 1/4 cup zest)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • For the coffee crumb cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • For the vanilla glaze drizzle:
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon milk, added only as needed

Instructions

    For the lemon curd:
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients.
  2. Heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals, stirring in between each interval. Continue heating until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 4-5 minutes total).
  3. Cover bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to two weeks).
  4. For the coffee crumb cake:
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of this mixture.
  7. Mix baking powder and baking soda into the remaining large bowl of flour mixture. Add buttermilk, egg, and vanilla, and mix vigorously until batter is smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. (Sally notes here that it should resemble frosting.) Pour half of the batter into prepared pan, then spread 2/3 of the lemon curd in dollops over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top; dollop with remaining lemon curd.
  8. To make the crumb: Mix brown sugar into the reserved flour mixture. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the cake batter and lemon curd.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  10. For the vanilla glaze:
  11. Combine sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add up to 1 tablespoon of milk (as needed to reach drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the top of your cooled coffee cake and enjoy!

Notes

Buttermilk substitute: Instead of the 3/4 cup buttermilk in the recipe, you can make your own buttermilk by using 11 tablespoons of milk/soy milk/coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/08/10/lemon-curd-coffee-crumb-cake-sundaysupper/

Sunday Supper Movement

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here—>Sunday Supper Movement.

68 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Fruit Desserts

Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 12

Last week included one of my favorite days of the year: Cheesecake Day! So of course, it’s been a good two weeks since we last met…

For daily updates about my favorite recipes and bloggers each week, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. If it’s your first time here–welcome, I love meeting new faces! I hope you poke around my blog to see more fun features and lively recipes.

Scallion pancakes make everything better–and I mean everything. Don’t believe me? Check out these AMAZING Scallion Pancake Tacos via my new friend Shelley’s blog, Bacon Egg Cheese(cake)!

I actually went out and bought chia seeds for the very first time (the dots in them creep me out, sorry….) after seeing this fantastic innovative Chocolate Chia Ice Cream via Top with Cinnamon! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Chocolate Chia Ice Cream 029

I get the feeling I’d burn down the house if I attempted this at home….but Tieghan is a pro, and these Inside Out Peanut Butter and Nutella Banana S’mores via Half-Baked Harvest are everything I need right now!

Inside Out Peanut Butter and Nutella Banana S'mores | halfbakedharvest.com

 I’ve always loved Julie’s recipes, and while it’s hard to get around to every blog nowadays, hers NEVER disappoint. This Caramelized Banana Coconut Upside-Down Cake & Coconut Whipped Cream via Willow Bird Baking is SO on my next to-do list!

The collective favorite dessert in our household is tiramisu OR ice cream, so it’s no wonder I swooned when I saw this Tiramisu Ice Cream via The White Ramekins! Lordy oh lord, yes please?

tiramisu ice cream

Recipes I’m digging this week:

Banana Blizzard via Minimalist Baker

Blackberry Dulce de Leche Crumb Bars via Bakerita

Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake via Wishes and Dishes

Caramlitas via Bakerita

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cheesecake via Savvy Eats

Choquettes via uTry.it

Coconut Sugar Cookie via Crazy for Crust

Crockpot Apple Dump Cake via Crazy for Crust

Elvis Waffles via Bacon Egg Cheese(cake)

Frittaffles via Real Food by Dad

Low Carb Coconut Cheesecake via All Day I Dream About Food

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake via Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Strawberries & Cream Cake via Sally’s Baking Addiction

Twix Truffle Brownie Bars via Chef in Training

Ultimate S’mores Recipe via Shared Appetite

Vegan Asian Lettuce Wraps via Jessiker Bakes

Vegan Samoa Ice Cream via Pancake Princess

Yeasted Waffles with Whole Wheat and Roasted Maple Figs via East of Eden Cooking

Blogs I’ve recently discovered and LOVE:

In case you missed recipes featured on Wallflour Girl these past weeks:

Thank you for stopping by! If you have favorite blog recipes from this week that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a link or two of loving in the comments!

Ala

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Chocolate Cake/Brownies (GF, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, & Weird-Free)

Hi there. Yeah, you. I think you’re a really smart and charming person.

No, really! I mean it. And if you leave me a note after reading this post, I’ll take the time to personally tell you what’s great about you, too.

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 2--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)But now stop and think for a moment: when was the last time you accepted a compliment?

And I mean honest-to-goodness, wholehearted, modesty-exempt acceptance?

Was it yesterday?

Was it a few weeks ago?

Was it just now, when I told you you were charming and smart and a wonderful human being who has somehow found this hideaway blog of mine?

(And if it was that last one–good on you!)

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 5--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

Recently I watched this video about the power of accepting compliments. I am a complete sucker for Making Life Meaningful clips. In the video, these social science-y folks do an experiment where couples split up and the one with lower self-esteem gets complimented–genuine compliments, mind you–by their partner.

And here’s the best part: the first person has to accept the compliment with only the words, “thank you.”

The idea behind this experiment is that accepting genuine compliments is a) hard for people who tend to have lower self-esteem, and b) great for boosting self-confidence, since the act of acceptance allows us to reflect on ourselves positively.Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 17--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

Now, I can honestly tell you that I suck at accepting compliments. My ability to accept them is inversely proportional to the amount of chocolate I have consumed on any given day, so if you have the godforsaken misfortune to catch me on a day sans Chocolat, be prepared to have your compliments shot down to the point of awkward embarrassment. I usually enter any conversation armed with an arsenal of “no’s,” “it’s really not’s,” and “no seriously, it’s nothing’s.”

It’s not Compliment Fishing. I’d rather call it Anti-Compliment Defense Ballistics.

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownie gif

I’m not (yet) great at accepting praise I don’t think I’ve earned, which is 95% of the time, and I’m pretty sure I cultivated this defense system because I grew up hearing about how So-And-So had gotten the title of Valedictorian while I had received an A- in Art, Lord have mercy on my subpar soul.

Don’t even get me started on the number of guys who were “paying compliments” wayyy before I had any idea what was going on, just because it never registered that anyone would ever want to do such a thing.

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 16--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

But before you start thinking I have a complete and concerning inferiority complex, I certainly am getting better at accepting compliments now that I know what to look for. The most frequent one I receive is still mildly (but really only mildly) embarassing: it’s about how much I smile.

Total strangers (usually older folk) will come up to me and tell me that I need to keep up that smile. Recently, a friend told me that I make her feel awesome because I always smile, no matter how incredibly dumb a thing she has just said. And one time I went swing dancing at a downtown venue and my partner shouted to me as he spun me around, “That SMILE! Just look at you!”

Most of the time when I hear this now, I’ll just grin even wider, maybe shuffle my shoes, and not say anything at all. Inside I feel pretty self-conscious, but really, it’s high time I learned to take the compliment, not overthink, and just roll with it.

Yeah, I smile. And yeah, I’ll take that compliment!

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 8--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

 

That’s why I was a good girl when it came to accepting compliments about today’s recipe. This weekend, I made Lemon Curd Coffee Crumble Cake (recipe coming next Sunday!), some of the Gochujang Peanut Pasta you all loved, and these Healthy Sticky Brownies I adapted from the inestimable Izy over at Top with Cinnamon, whose blog I consider in my Top 10 Favorites. If for some incredible reason (say,  alien abduction) you haven’t visited her blog before, you need to. This girl pulls out all the stops with her photography and stunning, inventive recipes.

So when my friends all swooned over this incredibly moist recipe and told me it tasted like a chocolatey heaven with the texture of a Fig Newton, I was ecstatic. Rather than gunning down their praise, I smiled and simply said, “Thank you.”

Because deep down inside, I know that they’re right. And it’s not such a bad thing sometimes to let others make you feel good about yourself. This is why I love baking and blogging so much–talk about affirmation community central!

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 11--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

 

And of course, the chocolate always helps.

Don’t skip out on this easy peasy, oh-so healthy but not-too-sweet chocolatey recipe and all the compliments it will bring your way!Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 14--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

 

So…what compliment can I pay you today? Leave a comment, I’d be so happy to meet your charming lovely self!

Ala

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Chocolate Cake/Brownies (GF, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, & Weird-Free)

Incredibly sticky and moist, this healthified chocolate cake/brownie features no weird ingredients and a superstar chocolatey taste! Sure to convert even the wariest of friends into healthy dessert addicts. Adapted from Top with Cinnamon

Ingredients

  • 6-7 tablespoons honey (or substitute agave), to taste
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons applesauce (or pumpkin puree)
  • 2 tablespoons cookie butter or Biscoff spread (which I used for a nut-free alternative) OR cashew/almond/nut butter (Izy's original recipe)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two mini-3x5 loaf pans, or one larger 5x7 loaf pan, and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together honey, egg, vanilla, applesauce, and cookie/nut butter until smooth.
  3. Add flax, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in until just incorporated into wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide batter between two mini pans or pour directly into larger loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes (mini pans) or 20-25 minutes (loaf pan). Cool completely before cutting into bars/squares, and enjoy!
  5. PS: you rock!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/08/04/healthy-sticky-fudgy-chocolate-cakebrownies-gf-dairy-free-nut-free-weird-free/

19 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates, Cakes & Cupcakes

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake for #cheesecakeday

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 2--073014

 

July 30th: Cheesecake Day.

Otherwise known as the day on which my daily obsession becomes a justified necessity. Oh cheesecake, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake gif

If you’ve been following Wallflour Girl for any time, you’ll know that I have been writing and philosophizing and waxing poetic about a bunch of abstract topics lately. So if you’re looking for really elegant expostulations on the state of the human race and our speckle of presence in the wide universe, you’ll want to read those posts I’ve cited.

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 5--073014

There is nothing abstract about this post.

It is 100% pure chocolatey creamy cheesecake frosted tangible goodness, thank you very much.

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 8--073014
Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 10--073014

When I found out about the #cheesecakeday round-up these wonderful bloggers were doing on Facebook, I was thrilled, hungry, busy–and extremely nervous. It was Thursday, and I had exactly 6 days to develop, make, photograph, edit, and write about the perfect recipe. Six days. What’s a girl to do with six measly cheesecakey days, I ask you?

I hope you realize that question was a rhetorical one.

Make a damn good seven-layer fusion cheesecake…that’s what. This may be my favorite cheesecake, ever. Period.

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 13--073014

This cheesecake was born of an innocuous Friday night conversation over two plates of free Jewish diner cake. My friend and I had just watched Boyhood in theaters, so by the time we sat through 180 minutes of angst-laden adolescent and walked out at 10:30 PM, of course we had a big bad case of the HANGRAYS.

Luckily, our movie tickets got us free dessert with the purchase of a meal, so we ordered up a storm from the menu and promptly terrorized the bakery manager by raiding the huge desserts display outside the restaurant. This place has everything–red velvet cake, blackout cake, decker cake–but most of all, it had German chocolate cake, at which point I was all like “OH YEAH I LOVE THAT STUFF IT’S TOTALLY MY JAM Y’KNOW.”

Okay, so I had never tried German chocolate cake in my life. But it’s just one of those things you can’t imagine hating, ever, even if it kidnapped your pet turtle and gave you a massive wedgie. German chocolate cake is like a baby panda.

You don’t hate on something as epic and universally acclaimed as cake and baby pandas. You just don’t.

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 16--073014

As we chatted, my friend asked me if I had ever heard of a chantilly cake: he described it as a classic Hawaiian dessert that resembled German chocolate cake, with a custardy frosting and fluffy chocolate base but without the coconut. And of course, this sweet conversation got us talking about what I was planning to make for Cheesecake Day, which is how this epic layer cheesecake cake was born.

This is a creamy seven-layer cake with

four layers of insanely fluffy moist chocolate chiffon cake,

three layers of perfectly creamy, smooth New York style cheesecake,

a generous coating of cool, not-too-sweet chocolate whipped cream frosting,

a custardy smooth chantilly frosting, and

nicely toasted crunchy sweet coconut.

 

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake 19--073014

This is, hands down, the best cheesecake layer cake I have ever made, and possibly in my top 5 desserts ever!

Sink your fork into absolute cheesecake indulgence today–or tomorrow, or the day after, or for all time eternal–and find out why we’re all SO excited to be celebrating Cheesecake Day over here today. Trust me, you NEED this recipe in your book!

Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake for #cheesecakeday

8-inch springform pan; 7-layer cake

This creamy twist on a Hawaiian classic cake beats out any cheesecake I've ever tried! With a perfectly textured cheesecake sandwiched between layers of fluffy rich chocolate cake, tempered by a cool whipped chocolate cream & chantilly frosting, this cake only gets moister with time. Don't be daunted by the multiple steps--it only took me 4 hours from start to finish. An instant Wallflour Favorite!

Ingredients

    New York Style Cheesecake Layer
  • Adapted from Allrecipes
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + tablespoon milk or soy milk
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt (or low/full-fat; may also sub sour cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Chocolate Chiffon Cake
  • Adapted from Taste of Home
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules (optional)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup + 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanhilla extract
  • Chantilly Frosting
  • Original recipe from Guava Rose
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Whipped Chocolate Frosting:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

Instructions

    For the cheesecake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, with no lumps remaining.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, stirring in until just incorporated. DO NOT OVERBEAT.
  5. Stir in yogurt, vanilla, and flour until mixture is just combined and smooth.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and place the pan inside a larger one (to catch leaks). Bake in preheated oven for 55 minutes, then turn off oven and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Allow cheesecake to sit inside oven for another hour before removing and placing in refrigerator; the gradual cooling will prevent your cheesecake from cracking. (If your cheesecake does crack, though, there's nothing to worry about: it'll be stuffed inside scrumptious layers anyway!)
  7. Allow to chill completely (at least 3 hours) before assembling cake.
  8. For the chocolate cake:
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside.
  10. In a medium bowl, stir cocoa powder and coffee granules into hot water until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
  11. Using a colander, sift flour and cornstarch together into a large bowl. Mix in sugar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  12. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, and vanilla. Gently fold this mixture, along with the cooled cocoa mixture, into the dry ingredients until smooth.
  13. In another grease-free bowl, beat egg whites with a hand mixer until they form stiff peaks, about 3-4 minutes. Fold egg whites into batter.
  14. Pour 1/4 cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool before removing to a cooling rack, then refill with another 1/4 batter and repeat until you have four prepared cake layers. (Alternatively, you may bake all your batter at once, but make sure you adjust baking time accordingly!)
  15. Wrap cooled cakes in cling wrap and place in freezer until ready to use.
  16. For chantilly frosting:
  17. Combine all ingredients except cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  18. Allow mixture to come to come to a slow boil, then continue stirring occasionally and boil mixture for 2 minutes before removing from heat.
  19. Quickly whisk in cornstarch, taking care to continue whisking until mixture is completely smooth. If lumps appear, strain your mixture through a sieve.
  20. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.
  21. For whipped chocolate frosting:
  22. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend for about 15 seconds, until frosting stiffens and becomes just spreadable.
  23. For assembly:
  24. Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (at 250 degrees) for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until flakes become golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool as you assemble your cake.
  25. Remove all cake and cheesecake layers from refrigerator/freezer. You should have 4 chocolate cake layers and 3 cheesecake layers. (If you do not, use a serrated knife at this time to slice your cakes into the appropriate number of layers.)
  26. Place one chocolate cake layer onto a large serving plate. Carefully top with a cheesecake layer, then continue layering until you have seven alternating layers.
  27. Frost entire cake with whipped chocolate frosting using an offset spatula. If desired, frost a circle around the top of the cake to hold in the chantilly frosting, which may leak slightly.
  28. Gently spread chantilly frosting on top of frosted cake.
  29. Top with toasted coconut flakes.
  30. Store cake in fridge or slice immediately for instant creamy gratification! Happy cheesecake day!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/30/hawaiian-chantilly-layer-cheesecake-cake-cheesecakeday/

Need your cheesecake kick on Cheesecake Day? Check out these awesome features from other #cheesecakeday bloggers!

Baked Cheesecakes:

60 Comments

Filed under Cakes & Cupcakes, Cheesecakes

Salty Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars–and On Being A Wallflower/flour

“Because you saw me when I was invisible.”

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 2--071614

I was thinking about this post last week and Googled that quote, expecting to be smothered by a deluge of cliche love saying sites and poems written by angsty teens with next-to-nil metrical know-how. Instead, I was thrown into a Flashback Friday moment when images like this and this popped up one after another, reminding me of why I liked The Princess Diaries so much in the first place: because who doesn’t feel like they’re an invisible little nobody some days?

I know some people who thrive on being invisible. They would Avada Kedavra the holy hippogriffs out of somebody to own an Invisibility Cloak. (Excuse me, I have Harry Potter on the mind lately–clearly.)

Then there’s me–I need attention and notice like Robin needs Batman, a.k.a. a lot. It would not be inaccurate to say that I am a human dog except much less adorable. (Debatable: I know.)

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 5--071614

 

I’m not talking about wanting negative attention or experiencing desperate withdrawals in my room’s darkest corner, but there’s no doubt that my parents raised a bouncing baby extrovert. I’m the only one in my family who feeds off human energy the way the monsters in Sailor Moon do: fervidly and unceasingly (seriously, do they never give up?).

What even my closest friends may not know is that I can also be super self-conscious about my hyper-enthusiasm. I’ll laugh if you tell me with a straight face that I am way too excited (because yeah, I am), but if you tell me that in an aw-look-how-cute-it-is-that-she’s-excited or deadpan way chances are I’d like nothing better than to punch you in the face.

Just kidding–I don’t like to get my knuckles dirty. But you’d probably see me skulking around a dark alleyway later that night, all brooding and Edward Cullen-like.

Okay, I wouldn’t. But you get the point.

Ala = super self-conscious ball of physics-defying energy who likes attention.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 8--071614

Do any of you out there feel the same way? I’ve always just assumed that the road to food bloggerdom is paved with extroverts, because who else would spend half their waking hours publicly documenting the other half of their life, but that’s probably not true. Even as an extrovert, I loved writing because it didn’t require me to be “on” all the time or think of unparalleled witticisms on the spot (by the way, I suck at instant witticisms so if we ever meet in person, you’ll probably want to start the conversation on a particularly slooooow note). I don’t think I’m an awe-inspiring writer or anything, but I most certainly wouldn’t consider myself a natural A-game talker, either.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 17--071614

I am dreadful at mingling at parties or among large confident groups of people–hence the “wallflower girl” nomenclature–and even when it seems like I am totally in my element, I am probably gauging every facial tick and restless eye twitch for disinterest from my listener. I actually do think of my interactions in terms of the Relationship Meter from the Sims game, which may not be an accurate representation of how relationships work in real life.

And when I’m the only one who’s not holding a drink or laughing along like hurr-hurr-hurr at some dumb humor joke that everyone has managed to find funny, I’d like nothing better than to melt into the wallpaper behind me like that creepy Clay Aiken creature who invisibly watches you in your room and serenades you with the suggestion that he could be your perfect man.

Yeah, I never understood that song either.

Whenever I start to feel particularly Clay Aiken-y, though, I have to remind myself that the total number of people in the room who probably notice my awkwardness is one: me.

Judgy folks will still judge, but being awkward is sort of like being a fart–yes, people notice, but most of the time nobody will say anything and everybody will forget about it, unless you’re a particularly big silent smelly fart, in which case people won’t forget but then again you should’ve known better than to go back for seconds on the refried beans anyway.

If we ever meet in person, these are the types of terrible, not particularly reassuring metaphors toward which you can look forward. Enjoy.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 20--071614

But let’s go back to where I started when I first wrote this rambling post: invisibility. As far as I know (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong), there are two types of social invisibles in this world: those who like being invisible, and those who think they are invisible.

One of the reasons I took up baking in the first place was because I wanted the friends and acquaintances in my life to feel noticed. Trust me: it can be difficult, creepy, not to mention imposing to walk up to a lonely wallflower and tell them that they aren’t as invisible as they may think. Do I walk up to the person who just farted and start small talk while pretending to ignore the doomsday fumes enveloping their three-foot bubble?

That’s probably the last thing a farter needs at that mortifyingly awkward moment: company. But if you plop a little bag of home-baked cookie bars with a nice note on their desk for them to find the next day,  it’s a gesture that they’d probably appreciate. That bag of bars says, Hey so this has nothing to do with you farting at the party last night not that I noticed or anything but I just wanted to say that we should be friends, so yay, let’s be friends through cookies.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 15--071614

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through Facebook and found some posts by a good friend whom I haven’t seen in a long time but who is also one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. From what I read, it sounded like she was having a tough time at her new job–it was one of those nonchalant-but-really-not-nonchalant status updates that wants to be noticed, but is afraid to ask.

“We accept the love we think we deserve,” that wonderful novel-turned-film The Perks of Being a Wallflower reminds us. Apart from my family (and even then, sometimes), I am terrible at accepting love, but I do believe that everyone deserves it, especially when we think that nobody notices how badly we need it. Some people like being invisible, but nobody likes feeling invisible. That night after we chatted, I made these wonderful salted oatmeal cookie bars, packed them up, and shipped them up north the next day.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 23--071614

Then of course I forgot all about them, until I opened up my Facebook a few days later and found this awesome, surprising message:

What a super surprise! Thank you!!! You, you, you Big Sweetie!”

And then this Facebook status she posted:

“Wow! I came home yesterday, tired and low, when I discovered a package of salty chocolate granola bars made by the amazing Ala, child lit scholar/master chef!! What a wonderful surprise! (You can check out her web page at wallflourgirl.com)

If awkwardness is like farting, then giving is like giving your kid a five-dollar bill at the carnival prize booth–they run off with a greenback and come back with their arms so laden with STUFF (they still give out those giant inflatable hammer toys?!) that you can hardly believe all that came out of a measly slip of paper currency. I read my friend’s message with a huge grin and danced around the room for a few minutes, because giving rocks. And the funny thing about giving to others is that you’re not just letting them know you notice them: chances are, they’ll notice you a little bit more in return, too.

Salted Oatmeal Cookie Chocolate Bars 29--071614

So that’s the story behind these salty oat bars, which were my first experiment with using coarse sea salt (by the way, I am a total convert now–it’s so cheap! Bought a huge box at the dollar store). My friend loves chocolate so I threw in a few handfuls for good measure, then whipped up a batch of good ol’ chewy chunky oat bars and sprinkled it with a liberal dose of sea salt for good measure.

These bars are the perfect way to show a friend that he or she’s not invisible! They’re a wonderful, addicting mix of salty and slightly sweet, with a perfect balance of chocolate heartiness for care packages. What do you think–is there anyone you can think of who needs a little noticing today?

Ala

19 Comments

Filed under Bars

Friday Wallflavourites: Edition 11

I’ve decided that I have more to say and share when I update my Wallflavourites biweekly rather than weekly–and I’m nothing if not flexible, so here’s a biweekly edition of Friday Wallflavourites! Hallooooo, happy Friday!

This has been an amazing week–especially with my very first #SundaySupper. You can read about and meet the lovely SS folk in this blog post! AND it was my 2nd blogiversary, which I missed–what what?

For daily updates about my favorite recipes and bloggers each week, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. If it’s your first time here–welcome, I love meeting new faces! I hope you poke around my blog to see more fun features and lively recipes.

I could do with more Meatless Everyday recipes like this one! I was kicking floorboards with joy over this awesome Vegan Meat(less) Sauce via One Ingredient Chef!

Vegan_Meat_Sauce

UM. So if you’ve been here any amount of time, you’ll know I’m obsessed with cookie butter. Well, Amanda from A Cookie Named Desire has lived up to her blog name, because this Snickerdoodle Cookie Butter is nothing but pure desire in my books…

Snickerdoodle Cookie Butter

Salted Caramel Pots de Creme that should really speak for themselves. I mean, look at this gorgeous photography (and recipe) from Adventures in Cooking!

Salted Caramel & Apricot Pots de Creme | Adventures in Cooking

It’s been such a no-bake month around here. Have you noticed? Ergh. That’s why I was totally inspired when I caught this Healthy No-Baked Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars via Half-Baked Harvest–plus I’ve been addicted to the salted cookie scene!

 Healthy No-Bake Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookie Bars | halfbakedharvest.com

And I really can’t get over Shelley’s gorgeous photography–I’m so glad I met her over at Bacon, Egg, Cheese(cake) because she’s a lovely writer & blogger to boot–and who wouldn’t NEED these delectable Strawberry Scones, amIright?

Recipes I’m digging this week:

Asian Orange Glazed Tofu via Jessiker Bakes

B52 Layer Cake via Gotta Get Baked

Brioche Plum Tart via East of Eden Cooking

Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake via Averie Cooks

Chocolate & Cherry Meringue Stack Cake via Top with Cinnamon

Creamy Vegan Lemon Asparagus Pasta via Minimalist Baker

Healthy Berry Streusel Bars via Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie via Jelly Toast Blog

Profriteroles with Bourbon Ice Cream and Berry Coulis via A Cookie Named Desire

Salted Bourbon Vanilla Granola and Caramlelized Figs Parfaits via How Sweet It Is

Shakshuka (Vegetarian) via Neighbor Food

Blogs I’ve recently discovered and LOVE:

A Cookie Named Desire

A Mama, Baby, and Shar-pei in the Kitchen

Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen

Hot Momma’s Kitchen Chaos

La Bella Vita Cucina

The Messy Baker

Rhubarb and Honey

Simply Gourmet

In case you missed recipes featured on Wallflour Girl these past weeks:

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to Me!

Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta: A #SundaySupper Post

A Guest Post from Jessiker Bakes: Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

A Guest Post from Neighbor Food: S’more Cake Pops

Thank you for stopping by! If you have favorite blog recipes from this week that you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a link or two of loving in the comments!

Ala

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Guest Post from Jessiker Bakes: Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

So about three weeks ago I reached out to the inestimable Jessica from Jessiker Bakes about doing a guest post for me because I was going a little cray-cray with my personal life. Two weeks later, I click through my blog feed and read this post and immediately start shrieking at my computer, “Oh my gosh, girl, CONGRATS. AHHHH!!!” (For those of you who didn’t click through the link: yes, Jessica is ENGAGED!)

So that’s the sort of relationship I have with her blog. Unparalleled and borderline hysterical adoration.

I’m so lucky to bring her over today to post for you guys! She is a psychic superstar because I have had lemon on the mind all. Week. Long. No joke. And she’s one of the most personable folks on the blogosphere ever, period, so you definitely need to check out her blog if you know what’s good for you!

But let me shut my drooling trap before I get myself into a wagonful of trouble. Here’s Jess for ya, folks!

Blueberry Scones 1

Hey there, I’m Jessica from Jessiker Bakes! Over on my blog I love sharing simple, healthy and delicious recipes. I’ll be sharing one of my favourite scones with you that I managed to cut the fat in half but keep the ridiculously delicious flavour – these Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze. These scones mean business. They are so moist, and packed with the flavours of lemon and blueberries. And I love me some lemon. I think the addition of the yogurt in place of fat made a huge difference in the moistness level that I loved completely, as well as making this seem even more suitable to chow down on of breakfast.

IMG_2763

I used half whole wheat flour and half pastry flour, which I think added even more to the feel of a breakfast pastry over cake, making this a hearty and delicious meal. Oh I mean, dessert. I mean breakfast. I had it for breakfast. Yes, breakfast! But this was not only perfectly suitable but so delicious!

IMG_2767

I don’t even need to justify it to you. You just need to try it. It’s delicious with or without the glaze, but the glaze added that extra touch of new-favourite-scone to it. Enjoy!

Healthier Lemon Blueberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon (about 1⁄3 cup) and zest
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
  • 1⁄4 cup yogurt, plain or greek
  • 1⁄2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • Glaze
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 cup sifted powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour (except the 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
  3. Using a pastry/dough blender, cut in the butter until butter is incorporated except for a few spots of butter. You could also use a fork to cut the butter in.
  4. Add the lemon juice, yogurt, milk and egg in a separate bowl, mixing.
  5. Add this mixture to the dough and mix until it just comes together. The dough should be thick.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss the blueberries with the 1 tablespoon of flour to coat. Stir in the blueberries carefully into the dough.
  7. Place dough unto cookie sheet and form into a circle, evening out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick.
  8. Cut the dough equally into 8 pieces (I usually cut in half, then into four, then six, then eight).
  9. Bake for 17 minutes.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and prepare glaze.
  11. Glaze
  12. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth (run through a food processor if necessary). If too runny, add 1 tablespoon at a time of powdered sugar. If too thick, add 1 teaspoon at a time of milk.
  13. Drizzle over the scones.
  14. Enjoy!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/22/guest-post-jessiker-bakes-healthier-lemon-blueberry-scones-lemon-cream-cheese-glaze/

If you are not dripping saliva all over your keyboard, I will slap you silly with what is left of my unfrosted dignity.

A huge THANK YOU to my loveliest newly-engaged friend Jess–congrats, you wonderful woman, you!

Loving what you read today? Connect with Jessica!

Blog: theblog.jessikerbakes.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessikerbakes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessikerbakes

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jessiker101

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jessikerbakes/

16 Comments

Filed under Breakfast & Brunch

Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta for #SundaySupper

It’s my first post as part of the Sunday Supper family! If you are stopping by because you’re a #SundaySupper member, be warned: I MIGHT  LOVE YOU ALREADY.

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 2--070814

Remember how I told you guys about my Smile a Day wall over on my good friend Nancy’s blog? Well, this group most certainly qualifies for an entire Smile-A-Day wall of its own–I hadn’t even officially scheduled my first post and last Wednesday I received this outpouring of #SundaySupper love:

sundaysuppertweets

 

They’re like the children’s lit scholars of the academic world: bubbly, personable, excited about what they do, and thrilled to share the experience with everyone they know. Forget Platinum Club Exclusive Blogging: these folks want their members to feel welcome–and what’s more, they’re eager to be all like, “Hey, we’re pretty cool, mebbe you should join us?”

So yeah, I’m pretty stoked to be here–oh and if you are pumped as well, you can learn all about Sunday Supper here. The actual logistics are a little confusing at first, so feel free to message me if you have questions!

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 14--070814

Each Sunday, the group gathers virtually to share a bunch of awesome recipes based on the week’s theme. Today’s theme calls for firing up those grills and embracing the lackadaisical summer heat: it’s Summer BBQ!

I first discovered #SundaySupper through the inestimable Liz, whose blog That Skinny Chick Can Bake I’ve been following since the dawn of time (or like a year ago). She’s been my awesome mentor and walked me through every step of Sunday Supper, so here’s my yodel to her! Yodelethankyou! My good friend Courtney from Neighbor Food has also been super helpful–thanks, girls!

My inaugural host: Melanie from Melanie Makes. THANK YOU. You will forever go down in history as the wonderful blogger who paved my foray into the wonderful world of Sundays. (Yeah, I told you I’d get creepy!)

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 4--070814

The skies are screaming sunshine like a hyper five-year old kid after ten pounds of sugar on Halloween, but I’ll be honest: it doesn’t feel like summer. It felt like summer three months ago, when I moseyed down to the farmer’s market every week loading up my hardcore backpack and bike basket with an overflowing abundance of fresh fruits and veggies.

Ahh, the paradoxical life of a grad student. Now that summer is officially in full swing, things are busier than ever! Apart from trying to crank out research and recover from the post-conference travel slump, circumstances have mandated that I am no longer cooking any of my own meals on the weekdays. Without the kitchen in my everyday life, cooking has become to me what flying is to this kiwi. And I make every excuse I can to make this pasta when I cook these days.

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 7--070814

I am dreaming of summer BBQ’s.

And guys, I am 110% dreaming of this fusion dish, which takes all of 20 minutes to whip up and is hands down one of my favorite go-to recipes on this blog. I have yet to make it for a BBQ, but the endless combination of fresh produce and refreshing, lighter fusion flavors make it an instant recipe-requested hit at any event your little heart desires/requires. And right now, my heart desires a lot of summer BBQ’ing before the summer whisks itself away again.

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 9--070814

The vegetables you use in this pasta are pretty much up to you: I used sweet potatoes (a great choice–totally different and recommended!), onions, green onions, wilted kale, and baby carrots–but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. The hearty, nutty taste of the whole wheat pasta is also a great idea!

But the sauce is what sends this recipe over the top, making it one of my most requested recipes ever: it’s a

creamy

nutty

mildly

sweet

subtly tangy

sauce with a kick

from the Korean red pepper / gochujang sauce that I did not own until this year and now LOVE. I use it in everything except my cookies, and those may become my next gochujang victim (because siracha cookies are already a thing, right?). You guys need to order a tub if you’ve never used it (though for those of you who wouldn’t buy a tub just for this recipe, you can sub dried red pepper flakes and a smidge of chili sauce/sweet chili sauce or omit the heat completely).

Gochujang Peanut Asian Style Pasta 11--070814

But here I am singing praises over this ol’ humble superstar dish when you have loads of fellow #SundaySupper folks’ recipes to check out–and speaking which, I have a monumental task ahead of me getting to know all these lovely new friends. So toodles for now–and have yourself a very merry summer!

Gochujang Peanut Asian-Style Pasta

This recipe is a cinch to pull together in 30 minutes and a perfect twist on ordinary, boring pasta! With a slightly sweet, definitely nutty taste, the small kick of spice from gochujang sauce lends it a unique flavor that will have folks lining up for your recipe! Note: Use any produce you have on hand for this dish!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. whole wheat pasta
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks green onion
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • Other produce/ingredient ideas: tempeh, tofu, broccoli, spinach, bell pepper
  • For the gochujang peanut sauce:
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cuip honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang sauce (if you absolutely cannot purchase gochujang, you may substitute a smidge of red pepper flakes and chili sauce--taste may change)
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked al dente. Strain and set aside.
  2. As your pasta cooks, prepare and slice up all of your produce into bite-size pieces.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sweet potato strips onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil as desired. Set aside.
  4. Set a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onion, green onion, and kale (you may use a tablespoon of vegetable oil to cook if you'd like--I simply used a dry saucepan and stirred frequently to prevent burning.) Set cooked vegetables aside.
  5. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Boil baby carrots until tender. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together cooked pasta, vegetables, and sauce (recipe below). Serve and enjoy your summer BBQ!
  7. For the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Feel free to double recipe if you'd like for a creamier taste--I frequently do!
http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/07/20/gochujang-peanut-asian-style-pasta/

So if you’re as creepily in love with the idea behind #SundaySupper as I am, you’ll definitely want to check out these features from other SS folks! I will be. Every. Single. One.

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here—>Sunday Supper Movement.

74 Comments

Filed under Lunch & Dinner

A 2nd Blogiversary Post & A Huge Wallflour Girl Thank You

Raise your hand if you completely missed your two-year blogiversary and didn’t even notice. Anybody? Nobody?

Oh. Oh.

Whoops.

Baked Brownie 2--050914

Not that I had anything crazy awesome-killer-fantastimazing up my sleeve with which to wow y’all anyway (do I ever?), but it would’ve been nice to celebrate my blogiversary properly on July 7th. As things go these busy days, however, I resent that it’s mid-July without my knowing how it came to be that way already. If America was really the democratically-premised republic it claims to be, we’d all vote for it to be early June again and that’d be that. None of this summer-is-half-gone hodge-podge I hear from the mindless masses whom I call my friends these days.

Anyway….happy belated 2nd blogiversary to me?

BEST Tiramisu from America's Test Kitchen 2--101913

I did a Google search for what bloggers do to celebrate blogiversaries. I actually typed that in the search bar: “what do bloggers do to celebrate blogiversaries?” Well, remember how everyone loved you if you brought birthday cupcakes to class when you were little, and how starting around age 13 (about the same time Halloween became off-limits) it was suddenly uncool to bring cupcakes to celebrate a day that’s all about you, you, you?\

And then remember how as bright-eyed new participants in the food bloggy community, we all suddenly realized how stupid our 13 to pre-blogging-day-selves were for thinking cupcakes weren’t an acceptable celebratory treat, and rose up in a tidal mass to spread the Cupcake Gospel once more?

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars Gif 1

Well, I’ve decided I don’t want cupcakes.

I don’t even like cupcakes all that much, really. GaspIknowwhatdidshejustsay.

Sweet treats are awesome, but I didn’t feel like making any for you today. Ohnoshedidn’tjustsaythat!

Chyeah. I did. And it’s my blogiversary-ish-sort-of, so I’ll say what I like, thank ya very much.

Caramel 'Could Be Crack' Snack Mix 2--111113

Instead, my treat to all you lovely readers today (did I say thank you, by the way? Thank you!) is not an edible goodie but a collection of my favorite recipes (displayed in the photos throughout this post–they’re all clickable) and thoughts about why I do what I do. Because let’s face it…

Blogging is kind of an amazing thing.

My blog is a space where I get to do what I would normally do to people IRL, which is talk, share my half-baked ideas, and talk some more until somebody either implodes or sets loose an army of adorable orange kittens to march by right under my nose and distract me from my ceaseless chatter.

I enjoy blogging because it reminds me that I’m worth talking about

even if that is one of the hardest realizations I have had to face as a budding wallflour writer these past two years and eleven days. I love writing–I consider myself a writer first, baker/photographer/designer second–but I don’t like the thought of opening up more than needed, and certainly not to a bunch of sketchy web strangers–or so I thought.

Adorable Pop-'Em Cookie Butter Pancakes 2--021514

Best Chewy Biscoff Chocolate Chip Blondies 1--091713

Biscoff Oatmeal Cookie Pies with Whipped Coconut Filling 13--042414

Wallflour Girl has gone through some extraordinary changes in the past 2 years. Starting with my very first post published for a New Media class on July 7, 2012, Wallflour Girl has since attracted the eyes of tens, bordering on hundreds of thousands of readers, bloggers, and avid foodies from around the world. And it has opened its own exciting album of new, unforgettable memories that I’ll try to condense here into a few short lines:

Favorite Post: Mom’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie

This past Mother’s Day, I wrote a piece dedicated to all the things I haven’t said but wanted to put into words for my mom. She read every word, and what’s more: she liked loved it.

Mom's Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie 12--050914

Most Popular Recipe: Favorite Puffy Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

By far the most pinned, shared, viewed, and popular post on my blog to this day.

My Favorite Puffy, Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie 2--022114

Most Requested Recipe (by Friends): Saltine Toffee ‘Crack’-ers

The most addicting combo of salty, crunchy, & sweet–still the most requested recipe at all my family/friend gatherings.

Saltine Toffee 'Crack'-ers 4 (12.29.12)

Most Memorable Blogging Moment: This Meeting with One of My Readers, K (and the Coffee Cheesecake-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Kahlua Biscoff Frosting I made for her)

An amazing testimony to what a little bit of generosity, sharing, and luck can bring to our lives.

Coffee Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Mocha Biscoff Frosting 2--042914

 

Proudest Blogging/Baking Achievement: The Edible Book Festival 

Where my Calvin & Hobbes interactive cake entries won two awards: “Best Tasting” and “Best Student Entry.” Also, getting to meet the famed LA Times critic Jonathan Gold in person and receive his congratulations.

Edible Book Festival 6

 Other Memorable Posts:

  • WALL OF SMILES: Every night before I go to bed, I write down one thing that made me smile–just one tiny thing with an enormous meaning. (A guest post for my dear blogging friend Nancy at Gotta Get Baked)
  • THE WORLD’S GREATEST DAD: No other dad I know would take pride in waiting hour after hour, content, for his daughter–on the sidelines, my biggest fan.
  • DEFINING MY SELF-WORTH: One of my most honest posts to date–four years in the making, about my struggle to define self-worth during a period of my life haunted by doubt.
  • THE UN-RELATIONSHIP: On what it means to erase meaningless relationships and focus on yourself–just you.
  • SOME THOUGHTS ON LIFE: On fear, what it means to be afraid, being okay with insecurity, imposter syndrome, and every other conceivable thing that needs to be written about on a blog.
  • THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETING STRANGERS: It’s difficult to open up, but with cautious care, the worlds I have encountered through people I’ve never met before are boundless.

**********************************************************************************************

I can hardly admit it even now, but I’ve grown so much in the past two years–as a writer and baker, but also as a friend and individual. I’ve noticed that my writing has evolved along with my thoughts, so that I’m spending more time thinking through longer, more serious, but also more humorously and whimsically delightful (I hope) posts that showcase my love for written expression.

I’ve taken one of the biggest exams of my life, started my own care package order delivery service, experienced approximately 1,729 existential crisis attacks, spilled my guts about things that I thought would follow me to the dirt-and-mortar of my grave, and most of all I’ve learned that while my motives for starting blogging may have been purely selfish, blogging itself isn’t inherently selfish.

In fact, blogging is one of the most generous things anyone can do for the world, ever.

It’s like trusting tiny fragments of your soul with people you’ve never imagined from places you’ve never envisioned, and having faith that they’ll keep it safe in that tiny corner that you call your virtual home.

To put it less poetically: it’s like hacking your soul into a bunch of Horcruxes and praying to the dear gods that Voldemort won’t be the next one to mosey along the road.

And it’s something I’m privileged, glad, and completely honored to be able to share with you all today.

So let’s not talk about the 2 years that have led us to where we are–let’s raise a glass to the unforeseeable future and plenty more shared memories to come! Thank you all, dear readers, for your generosity and spirit!

Love,

Ala

“Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes a few minutes to burn, but it takes years to write.”

“Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles–it takes away today’s peace.”

 

17 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized