Raspberry White Chocolate Cake

I am pretty sure I love cake. This is the latest recipe that made it’s first Thanksgiving appearance. I am in love with the appearance, and the flavors were delicious!

Ingredients and supplies:

  •  Grease and flour 2 8″ or 9″ inch cake pans
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean-split and scraped
  • 3 cups flour- sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1 jar of raspberry jam
  • 1 pint of raspeberries


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and set aside
  • Blend butter with oil, – it will look clumpy- don’t worry
  • Slowly add sugar and add vanilla bean
  • Add eggs one at a time
  • Add flour and buttermilk a little at a time

Bake for 40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Run a knife along edge to loosen- invert on rack and let set for about 10-15 minutes, remove pan and continue to cool.

White Chocolate Frosting:

1 cup butter room temperature

12 ounces white chocolate

4 -6 cups powdered sugar

1/8 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Mix butter using paddle attachment
  • Melt white chocolate in microwave for about 1 1/2 minute at 50% heat, and continue until melted. Cool slightly
  • Add sugar slowly to butter
  • Add chocolate
  • Add vanilla and milk just to get the right consistancy

Now to assemble your cake!

Take your first layer, add frosting, building a small wall around the cake. Add the jam, and place top layer. Crumb coat the cake, refrigerate, then frost. I added raspberries to the top, with a rosemary sprig, some cinnamon sticks and a bit of powdered sugar. Enjoy!








Peppermint Bark

Greetings from San Francisco! It has been a while since i have blogged. I keep promising that I will get back to it.  What I really wanted to do was get some holiday recipes in before another season goes by.

I am going to share my recipe for peppermint bark. I was telling my girlfriend that this recipe is shamefully easy to make, but so tasty. Trust me, there is nothing fancy about this, except the taste!

Supplies and ingredients

  • 2 heat proof glass bowls
  • 8 ounces of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces of dark chocolate chips
  • 12 ounces of white chocolate chips
  • 4 candy canes crushed (the standard size ones, not the minis)
  • Parchment lined baking sheet


  • In first bowl, mix the semi sweet and dark chocolate chips together
  • Place white chocolate chips in second bowl
  • Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 and a half minutes in 50% high heat
  • Toss chocolate, and heat again for about 45 seconds on 50 % heat
  • Stir chocolate until mixed. If it hasn’t melted, heat again at 50% heat, for bout 20 seconds. You’ll note that I heat the chocolate slowly. I don’t want to scorch, I just want it melted.
  • Once melted, repeat with the white chocolate
  • While the white chocolate is melting, pour the chocolate mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet. Spread evenly.
  • Once the white chocolate has melted, spoon onto the chocolate mixture in uniform lines
  • Sprinkle crushed candy cane onto the entire mix and with a knife, swirl the mix together. Refrigerate for about ten minutes until it just sets and then cut into squares. Refrigerate until set.
  • I place them into airtight mason jars where they can be enjoyed anytime.

These make amazing gifts for friends, family and especially teachers. I asked my husband to taste test and he said this tastes like Christmas!

*Note, you can add peppermint extract, but I find the candy canes are sufficient, but if you want more peppermint flavor, by all means, add it.



Shrimp, Crab and Hot Link Gumbo

Can I just say that it has been a heck of a week! The week was met with struggles and a very dear friend (more like family that we got pick) passed away, unexpectedly. I’m not a stress eater, but I do know when a nice comfort meal is a fabulous, albeit temporary fix for an achy heart. Tonight I decided that with the official opening of dungeness  crab season, gumbo would be on the menu. Here is a recipe that I have been using for many years. (PS – it helps that this girl lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and definitely have a true love for all things Louisiana – that’s Loosiana)

  • Dice the following:
  • 1 onion
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 each red, green and orange bell pepper
  • Making the roux:
  • Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil and 1/4 cup butter
  • Add onions and celery until nicely sauteed.
  • Add the bell peppers
  • Slowly sprinkle in 1/2 cup of flour and whisk
  • Toast the roux to  nice chocolate brown color- and DO NOT walk away as you don’t want to burn this or you will have to start over.
  • Remove from heat and add slowly warmed chicken broth. (you will need to have 6 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of beef broth)
  • By about the 4 cup mark, return to heat and continue to add the liquid and bring to a nice simmer
  • At this point, add 1-2 tablespoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, 1 bay leaf and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
  • Simmer on low heat for several hours
  • About and hour before serving, add 4 sliced hot links and bring to a just before a boil.
  • Add a cup of raw shrimp and a cup (or 2 of blanched okra) You can use frozen okra in a pinch
  • Heat until shrimp are pink
  • In a bowl, put a serving of hot white rice
  • Add cooked crab ( I don’t put the crab in the gumbo, as I don’t want it to get “lost”)
  • Ladle the hot gumbo over rice and crab
  • Sprinkle  gumbo file and chopped green onions over the gumbo
  • Serve with hot sauce and a warm heart.

Enjoy and hug your loved ones super tight. xoxo

Corned Beef Hash

Top o’ the mornin to ya! Ok, actually, it’s after 8:00 PM, and everyone is probably out pubbing this evening. It seems like everyone is eating corned beef and cabbage tonight. Since cabbage doesn’t agree with me, and everyone in the household loves corned beef hash and eggs, I thought that would be an ideal meal tonight. Here is my version, and it is by no means traditional, but it tastes good.

  • One corned beef with the little spice packet
  • One bottle of dark beer (I am partial to New Castle)
  • Place corned beef in dutch oven and sprinkle the spice packet over the top.
  • Pour beer over the beef and place in a preheated 350 degree oven
  • Bake for about 4-5 hours or until fork tender. About every hour, flip the meat over so that it doesn’t dry out
  • Reserve about a cup of the beer broth
  • Let meat cool and dice the meat.
  • Bake an entire package of frozen O’Brien potatoes at 450 degrees for 30 minutes
  • While potatoes are baking, chop an onion and saute in large skillet in bacon fat
  • Add the meat and saute. Add the potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Add the beer broth until the mixture is moist

Serve with eggs and toast. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

Creamy Mac and Cheese w/Bacon

I have been craving macaroni and cheese for a few days. The thing is, when you order it at restaurants, it tends to come out dry. I don’t like dry anything unless it’s  delicious red wine. But when it come to food, I like creamy, saucy or moist. Here is my version of creamy mac and cheese:

  • 1/2 package of bacon cooked, crumbled and set aside
  • 12 ounces of elbow macaroni – cooked al dente and set aside
  • Make a roux with 3/4 of a stick of butter and about 1/4 cup flour
  • Slowly add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 and 3/4 cup of milk to the roux to make a nice Bechamel sauce.
  • Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese aand 1/4 cup of cream cheese
  • Season with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg
  • Stir in the macaroni
  • Add bacon
  • Sprinkle with sliced green onions



Coconut Chia Custard

I have a friend who developed some food issues. It has really made a huge impact on her. Especially since she loves food and cocktails more than I do. And that’s saying a lot! I am trying to create desserts that are delicious but with limited ingredients. This is my first attempt.

-In a glass jar, add 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds to 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut water and set aside.

-Heat one can of coconut milk with a scraped vanilla bean and 1/4 cup of honey (you can use agave, or sugar as well. Note, if using sugar, 2 tablespoons is plenty)

-Whisk 4 eggs in a large bowl

-Whisk 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of coconut water and mix with the egg yolks

-Temper the yolks with the hot coconut milk mixture and cook until the mixture starts to bubble, whisking constantly. Remove from heat once it bubbles.

-Stir in the chia seeds and mix well.

-Place cling wrap directly on top of the custard and chill

Serve with fresh cubed mango or fruit of your choice. I prefer mango, but this custard is delicious as a stand alone. Enjoy!




Vietnamese Pork and Egg Stew-Thit Heo Kho Trung

Ok- I am going back to my native roots. Most people don’t know that I was born in Vietnam. I came to America when I was very young. I am thankful for being born a girl and having to help out in the kitchen. Mom has since passed on, but she also passed on the knowledge of what to do in the kitchen. I am appreciative that I am able to create amazing food and one of my greatest pleasures in life is to share my kitchen creations with family and friends. Here is a favorite that we enjoy during the Lunar New Year. But I make it a few times a year when requested.

-Boil 8 eggs, peel and set aside

-2 slabs of pork belly with the skin peeled off the fat. Set skin (rind)aside*

-Cube pork and put in large mixing bowl

-2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons pepper

-1 tablespoon brown sugar

-1 tablespoon maggi

-1 tablespoon fish sauce

-1 can unsweetened coconut water, 2 cups water

-Mix all ingredients together except coconut water and water

-Heat large pot with about a teaspoon of oil. Sear meat. Add coconut water and 2 cups water. Bring to almost a boil and turn down the heat and simmer for at least 2 hours or until almost fork tender. Add eggs and simmer until meat is tender.

Serve with pickled vegetables and steamed rice.

*Cut pork rind into strips. Season with salt and pepper / or whatever seasoning you wish. Bake rind in heavy bottom baking pan with baking rack inside, rind side up at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp. About an hour or so. Place on paper towels to drain. Enjoy!





Scotch Eggs

Greetings from San Francisco. I’ve been meaning to blog for a while and now that I am stuck at home, it would seem like a good time to catch up on my blogging.

I made Scotch Eggs at the request of my oldest daughter. I thought it was a fantastic attempt.

Step one- make soft boiled eggs. (see here) https://kitchenkimmi.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/soft-boiled-eggs/

-Mix one pound of breakfast sausage with the following:

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon mustard

-Place on cling wrap and flatten to about 1/4 inch thick

-In 3 seperate bowls, place flour, egg wash and panko in each bowl

-In another bowl, add cold water

-Divide meat to amount of eggs.

-Wet hands and work meat to create a “blanket” for the egg. Wrap egg entirely in the sausage mix

-Dip meat in flour mixture, then beaten egg then panko

-Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat.

-You can either deep fry right away or you can wrap and cook next day. I’ve done both.

-Serve on bed of mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Mustard Aoili:

Mix 1/4 cup dijon mustard with 1/4 cup mayonaise.

Season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste and place a dollop of the aoli on each plate.



Soft Boiled Eggs


Okay. I’m getting back on the blog wagon. I posted Scotch Eggs on my Facebook page earlier today. However I didn’t post a blog on how to make it. In fact, I didn’t even post how to boil an egg, let alone how to soft boil an egg.

Soft boiled eggs seem quite daunting. Let me tell you something. Easiest thing I’ve ever done. Here goes…

  • Boil about and inch and a half of water with the lid on in a pot.
  • Whenwater comes to a boil, add eggs to pot using tongs. Please note, I use tongs and place eggs in very carefully so they don’t break
  • boil/steam for six (6) minutes.
  • Have a large bowl of ice cold water in sink*
  • After six minutes. Remove eggs and place in ice water.
  • Run water in bowl with eggs
  • With a teaspoon, under running cold water, tap egg all over to break shell
  • Carefully peel eggs
  • Cut eggs in half and serve with fresh salt and freshly cracked pepper

*Most recipes say to run cold water with eggs in hot pan, I don’t see the sense in this as the pan is hot and the object is to stop the eggs from cooking.