Finally! I have reunited with my family! For those of you who didn't already know, my family moved to America during the summer, but I stayed in Japan so I could finish up my senior year. By that I mean, stay back and graduate early! Last Thursday I graduated high school and the day after I got on a plane to America!

My family just moved into their new house and I am loving the kitchen so far! There is so much counter space and cool gadgets for me to experiment with!  I have decided my new years resolution for 2014: post more, and create more delicious recipes to share with you guys! But, I thought I should get a head start, so this morning, after working out at 6am due to jetlag...I decided to make my brother breakfast. I don't think I have cooked him breakfast since it was fun to be in the kitchen and hangout with him again (: 

This morning he was in the mood for waffles, but not usual waffles. For some reason, today he wanted buttermilk waffles...don't ask me why. So I opened our pantry and grabbed a breakfast cookbook and found the perfect recipe for buttermilk pancakes! The cookbook is from Williams-Sonoma and its their Essentials to Breakfast and Brunch cookbook. Check it out! I love this cookbook, it has so many different options for breakfast and they all look super delicious! 
Now for the recipe, it makes 4 waffles but I decided to make half of the recipe because I didn't think my brother would eat 4 waffles and my parents weren't hungry. I also made a SnapGuide, if you prefer to look at the recipe that way. I personally love SnapGuide because the step-by-step instructions include pictures. Now, I could add all the pictures from the SnapGuide onto this post, but I feel like it would be too know what, what the heck, I'll add them on here too (: But check out the link for the guide here! 
FYI: I didn't have actual buttermilk, so I made my own using lemon juice, its a 1 cup to 1 tablespoon ratio of milk to lemon juice.

-Dry Ingredients
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 5/8 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Wet Ingredients
• 3/4 cup milk ( I used 1/2 cup low fat milk and 1/4 cup whole milk)
• 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice 
• 1 egg
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons melted butter (unsalted)

Cook the waffle for 4-5 minutes, but check on it to make sure it doesn't burn! 
Repeat the steps for the second half of the mix (: 
My brother likes his waffles topped with butter and maple syrup. I forgot to soften the butter beforehand so it was a little difficult to spread it around. Oh well, he said they were still DELICIOUS! 
This is another out of the bread book I use- I've never had a problem with its recipes! 
This loaf tastes like a typical rye bread. Its got an edge to it from the lager and with the addition of caraway seeds and molasses- it's a pretty complex tasting loaf. It'd do really well for sandwiches, but even just alone it's something great. I've been pretty impressed with the way dough has been rising in my favour every time I've worked with it, and this thing more than doubled in size from the original skinny ball of dough I had placed on the tray! It was extremely pillowy after the second rise. The resulting loaf had a really good grain to it, and a nice crunchy crust. 

- 2 1/2  tsp dried yeast dissolved in 4 tbsp lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp molasses 
- 1 tbsp caraway seeds
- 2 tsp salt 
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil + a little extra 
- 250ml lager
- 250g rye flour
- 175g strong white bread flour
- polenta or cornmeal (for dusting )
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Place the dissolved yeast, molasses, two-thirds of the caraway seeds, salt and oil into a bowl. Then, pour in the lager and stir in the rye flour, mixing well with your hands. Gradually add the white flour, still mixing with your hands, until a soft and slightly sticky dough is formed. 

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead for 8-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea-towel, leaving it in a warm place to rise until doubled, (1 1/2 - 2  hours). 

Sprinkle a baking sheet with polenta. On a floured surface, knock back the dough and then re-cover to rest for a further 5 mins. Then, pat the dough into an oval. Give it some length by rolling the dough back and forth on the surface, to then taper it at the ends. 

Transfer the loaf to the polenta sprinkled baking sheet and cover again. Leave it in a warm place for a further 45 minutes until doubled once again. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 190 C (170 C fan-forced, 375 F). Brush the egg white over the loaf to glaze once risen, and then sprinkle on the remaining caraway seeds. Press them lightly into the dough with the palm of your hand. 

With a sharp knife, make 3 diagonal slashes about 5mm (1/4 inch) deep. 
Bake for 50-55 mins until well browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before slicing and eating. 
Tis' the season to be baking. Fa la la la la lala lala. (: 
This week (like I said before) my friends and I decided to do a Secret Santa gift exchange to make the week go by faster. A quick recap--I had Caera as my Secret Person (I had to give her presents). For day three of our gift exchange we had to bake something and so I decided to bake something Christmas-y and festive--Pumpkin Scones. Now I know that pumpkin is usually associated with fall weather, but who cares. 

I've only made scones a few times, so I wasn't quite sure on how to approach the baking process, but it was surprisingly simple. (:  The dough formed easily, and I had no trouble with it being too sticky or too dry. 

I was sooooo tempted to taste these after they came out of the oven, but sadly they aren't gluten free. Bummer. But to all the gluten-free readers out there, fear not. When I get to my new house in Texas, I will be sure to whip up a batch of these babies using gluten free flour. I promise. 

The icing--or glaze--on top of the scones will harden after it is left to sit. The crumbly, crunchy glaze adds the perfect texture balance to the moist, fluffy scones. It also adds amazing flavor since the glaze calls for cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. 

According to Caera, these scones were, and I quote "Fricking insanely good". So I'm guessing I did a pretty good job. haha. I was very eager to try and make these scones look as presentable as I could so I tried making a little design out of the icing, which turned out quite nice. 

Guide on how to make these scones! 
Pumpkin Scones with Spice Glaze 
Serves 8
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 7 Tablespoons Sugar
• 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
• 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
• 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
• 1/4 Teaspoon Cloves
• 6 Tablespoons Cold Butter (283g)
• 1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin (Pumpkin Puree)
• 3 Tablespoons Milk
• 1 Egg

• 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
•2 Tablespoons Milk
• 1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg
• 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
• 1 Pinch Cloves 

Baking Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and all spices
  3. Cut the 6 tablespoons of butter into small cubes and add to dry mix. 
  4. Using a fork, cut the butter into the dry mixture. Make sure the butter is not visible 
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk and egg. Then add to dry mixture
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to make the dough. You might want to use your hands after a while so all the flour combines with the wet ingredients.
  7. Flour your work surface
  8. Place dough on a flat surface, and shape into a 1 inch thick rectangle. 
  9. Cut the dough using a pizza cutter or a knife into about 8 sections. 
  10. Place scones on the baking sheet and bake for 16 minutes. 
  11. Take out and let cool. 
  12. While the scones are cooling, in a small bowl mix together the milk and powdered sugar. This will be used as the first glaze layer. Don't use all of the glaze at once because the left overs will be used to make the spiced glaze that goes on afterwards.
  13. Once the scones are cool, spoon the base layer of glaze onto the scones. Make sure to evenly coat the scones because the spiced glaze will stick to the base glaze. 
  14. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to the remaining glaze and drizzle over scones. 
Hey! Hannah here! Mmmm I love the smell of freshly baked granola. My mom makes Alton Brown’s granola and it is the bomb. At my house, there is always a container of homemade pecan and coconut granola in the pantry so my brother and I can top our yogurt with it or have it as cereal for breakfast. I don’t remember the last time I didn’t see the Tupperware container full of granola…

My friends and I are doing Secret Santa this week and Tuesday’s gift was suppose to be something homemade. My secret person happened to be Caera! What are the odds of that1 likes granola, so I thought it was the perfect thing to make! Although I didn’t know my moms granola recipe, I found one in Self Magazine that looked delicious! The recipe was super easy to follow and according to the magazine it’s a low-calorie, low fat granola recipe. It contains “the skinny” 130 calories per ¼ cup of granola. 

When the granola came out of the oven, I was so temped to try it so I let myself go. It was SO DELICIOUS! The sweet and salty flavor is at a perfect balance and the fruit and nuts add an extra crunch and texture to the oats. I am totally making this recipe again, but I am not a fan of dried fruit in granola, so I might omit that ingredient and replace it with coconut or a different type of nut. The recipe from the magazine didn’t have almonds as an ingredient, but I thought it was a good idea to add a little more protein to my mix. Plus, who doesn’t love roasted almonds in their granola?

The next morning I had a bowl of plain yogurt topped with the delicious spiced granola I made! It was amazing! 

this post was copied from my gluten free blog  :)


• 1/4 cup honey

• 1/4 cup brown sugar

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/4 tsp cinnamon

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

• 2 1/2 Cup Rolled Oats 

• 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (I used 1/4 pumpkin and 1/4 sunflower)

• 1/3 cup dried cranberries 

• Handful of raw almonds 


• Preheat oven to 300˚F

• Combine all ingredients except oats and seeds. 

• Fold in oats and seeds to the liquid mix. Add almonds 

• Spread the mix onto a greased or lined baking sheet. Make sure it is laid out evenly. 

• Bake for 35 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes to prevent the granola from burning 

• Remove from oven after the granola is golden brown in color. Add dried cranberries and let cool. 

• Store in an air tight container for later or eat now (: 

This recipe makes 16 servings 

Check out the SnapGuide for the Granola I made!  
It's Christmas tree time in the Hirsch household! Due to circumstances, we're having an early Sunday Christmas lunch (that doesn't mean we won't be having another on Christmas Day) We've got turkey and a bunch of mixed roasted veg crisping up nicely in the oven, and every little extra addition that entails a typical christmas lunch.
And of course, the tree is currently being assembled. Fun times!

But dessert is where this post is at. These individual tiramisu in glasses are the prettiest desserts to serve after a lunch like this. Not to mention that they're so moreish! With the slight warmth of the alcohol, the coffee and chocolate, with the smooth, rich cream..... It's just as well that they're individually portioned! It's a pretty simple dessert to put together, and it tastes as though much more work has gone into it- they make for an impressive display to end off a nice lunch. You could even play around with some chocolate and create some stylish toppings to jazz this dessert up even more! 
In the rush of getting the dessert to the table, I didn't get the photos I wanted taken, so excuse the slightly blurred image, and lack of any others! 

From Karen Martini: Cooking at Home


300ml espresso coffee
3 1/2 tbsp marsala
1 1/2 tbsp brandy
1 1/2 tbsp Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 free-range eggs, separated 
75g caster sugar 
300g mascarpone
20g cocoa powder
100g good quality dark chocolate chips 
150g savoiardi biscuits 

Chill six fancy 300ml glasses. In a large bowl, combine the coffee, marsala, Kahlua, brandy and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and caster sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Then, fold in the mascarpone cheese. If lumpy, use the electric mixer to smooth the mixture out some more. 

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold these into the yolk mixture too. 

Dust the base of the glasses with a little cocoa powder, and sprinkle on some of the chocolate, too. Add a generous spoonful of mascarpone mixture to each glass. 

Dip the biscuits into the coffee mixture for 3 seconds, a few at a time, cut them in half and then place criss-crossed onto the mascarpone. Take a teaspoonful of the coffee and drizzle onto the biscuits.

Then, repeat with the cocoa, chocolate, mascarpone, and then biscuit. Gauge the number of layers that the mixture will reach for the glasses, making sure to save a small dollop of mascarpone, some cocoa and chocolate for the top when they're done. 

Serve with fresh strawberries! 

Caera here!
So, I had something to bake in mind, and everything on the ingredient list but EGGS. We had no eggs! Usually, they are crucial.
I did some searching, and found that melting moments don't require any eggs. With that problem being solved, then arose the lack of custard powder. I've never even used it before. However, I later found that that can be replaced with cornstarch. With everything looking good to go, I had no other problems to deal with, apart from finding something to fill these guys with. 
It came down to apricot jam, which has the ideal tang to it (we had no raspberry jam left), and a combination of mascarpone, cream cheese and icing sugar to make a super quick and creamy icing. Then it came to assembling and they turned out really nicely! Yup, they tasted way too good. I should really start baking smaller batches of everything because the rate at which we get through it all is quite amazing... and not good!
Anyway, technically easy, and ultimately super tasty, this is nice recipe to have around when you feel like something small but excitingly tasty. They're fun to make, too. This batch made 30 melting moments, all of which were devoured by 4 people in 2 days.... woah. 

190g salted butter, room temperature
60g icing sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract (or essence)
40g cornflour
210g plain flour
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/4-1/3  cup icing sugar
1/4 smooth apricot jam


Preheat oven to 150 C/ 140 fan-forced/ 300 F and line two baking trays with baking paper. 

In a medium bowl, and using an electric beater, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Scrape down the sides halfway through. 

Once smooth, add the cornflour and mix with a spoon until incorporated. Then, add the plain flour and do the same. Once all flour is incorporated, you can use the beaters, for a few seconds, to make sure everything is thoroughly combined, creating a dough. 

Form the dough into 2.5 cm balls and place about 5 cm apart on the baking trays. Then, using a fork, gently make an imprint on each ball of dough, flattening out the ball into a biscuit shape- try and keep a bit of height on them. 

Place the trays in the preheated oven and bake for 20- 25 minutes, until JUST starting to get some colour on the bottom. You want very little colour, quite a pale tan, in order for a soft biscuit. Remove from the trays from the oven, and let the biscuits cool. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat together the mascarpone, and cream cheese until well combined and smooth. Then, add half of the sugar, beat well until smooth, and taste to see if it needs to be sweeter. This is entirely up to you, because the biscuits are pretty sweet in themselves, even sweeter with the jam. 

Once the biscuits are cooled, pair them up and place a small drop of jam in the centre of one half, and a larger dollop of mascarpone filling on the other. Then, sandwich them together, pressing only lightly. 

Sprinkle with icing sugar, and serve with a nice cup of tea!  
Savour the moment! 

Quick post! 
Hannah here! Since fall is coming to an end, I decided it was time for me to finally use a pumpkin to make something! Since I have a lot of homework tonight, pumpkin seeds were the quickest and healthiest snack I could think of that involved pumpkins. In total it took me about 30 minutes from cutting the pumpkin to tasting the seeds fresh out of the oven.  I am sure you can spice the seeds in a variety of ways, but since this was my first time I decided to play it safe and just use salt. Let me know if you have any ideas for a flavored version! 

Taken from:

~ 1 Pumpkin

~ 1 tsp salt

~ 1 tsp olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 325

2. Cut open your pumpkin and remove all the seeds and guts. Place seeds in a bowl as you are removing them. Try to remove all the guts from the seeds themselves as you go. 

3. Place seeds in a strainer and rinse under water to remove the slimy texture and residual guts

4. Set on a paper towel to dry

5. In a medium sauce pan, add water and 1tsp salt and bring to a boil

6. Once water is boiling, add pumpkin seeds and simmer for 10 minutes. This gives the seeds a crunchy texture after they come out of the oven. 

7. On a baking sheet, spread 1 tsp olive oil around so the seeds won’t stick

8. Place seeds on baking sheet. Spread out to make one even layer

9. Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 10 minutes

10. Remove from oven and stir around

11. Put the seeds back in the oven for 10 more minutes

12. Take out of the oven, and eat up! 

 I diverted from my usual breakfast and opted for a slice of this yummy loaf instead- nicely toasted with a generous spread of cream cheese.  It was so good! I must point out that this, hence the "quick....bread" in the title, is actually a soda bread, which means no yeast! It also means that this is a much faster and easier loaf to make!
Breads that have vegetables like pumpkin incorporated into them tend to have a much denser consistency. I love this aspect about them, but that doesn't mean I'm pushing the lighter, fluffier loaves to the side. Those are pretty spectacular in themselves, too! For breakfast especially, though, a denser loaf is more filling and because of the vegetables incorporated into it, it's slightly more nutritious than a plain flour loaf. I nice hearty, filling breakfast is the best way to start a day!
Pumpkin and sage, yet another pair of ingredients that are so commonly seen together. I can't really say that the pumpkin is all that obvious when it comes to the taste of this loaf, but it sure does give it a welcoming colour. The addition of pumpkin seeds give it a good crunch, alongside the crunchy crust, and the sage brings out the pumpkin that, without it, isn't so strong in flavour.

Keep in mind though that quick-breads, soda breads, are best eaten within a day or two of making them. They don't store as well as yeast breads, and definitely not as well as store bought loaves; they're not supposed to!
300g  (10 1/2 oz) plain flour
100g (3 1/2 oz) wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
small handful fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
120g (4 1/2 oz) pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and roughly grated
30g (1 oz) pumpkin seeds
300ml (10 fl oz) buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fanforced/ 425ºF). In a bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate, and salt. 

Add the grated pumpkin, seeds, and sage, and stir well to combine so that no clumps remain. 

Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk. Stir together to form a dough.

Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a ball, then turn out onto a floured surface. 
Knead the dough for 2 minutes until it forms a smooth mass. You may beed to add flour. 

Shape the dough into a round 15cm (6inch) in diameter. Place on a lined baking tray. 

Use a sharp knife to slash a cross into the top. This helps the bread to rise when baking. 
Cook for 30 mins in the centre of the oven until risen. Reduce to 200ºC( 180ºC Fanforced/ 400ºF).

Cook for a further 20mins. The base should sound hollow when tapped.

Let cool, then slice and serve with some butter!

Hey There! It's been a while since I posted something, so I thought I should add a quick muffin recipe. They are nutritious and delicious! 
A few of my friends are doing the #Whole30 Paleo challenge this month and I keep seeing muffin pictures on Instagram. I decided to hop on the bandwagon and bake some muffins too, however the muffins I made have oats and therefore are not considered Paleo. 

This recipe was so simple! Unlike other gluten-free recipes that require a boat load of different types of flours and supplemental ingredients, this recipe only required steel cut oats. The oats have to be turned into Oat flour, but all you have to do is blend the oats in a food processor or a blender. 

I am writing this as the muffins are baking in the oven. The smell of banana bread is slowly moving from the kitchen to my bedroom and it’s making my mouth water! AHH. 

I took a lot of pictures when making the muffins so this is going to be a long post…my baddd. I take the pictures so I can add recipes to SnapGuide (if you guys don’t already have SnapGuide, I recommend you check it out! I love it and there are so many different things you can learn how to make!) If you want to follow me on SnapGuide here’s the link! Hannah’s SnapGuide 

Lets Begin:
Preheat oven to 350˚F 

Step 1: Add 1 cup of oat flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp salt into a bowl. Mix together and set aside. You will have left over oat flour still which will be added later. (: 

Step 2: In another bowl add 1 1/2 mashed bananas, 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (melt it first, I made the mistake of adding it unmelted), 1/6 cup +1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and the rest of the oat flour. 

Step 3: Blend the mashed banana mix until it is a smooth consistency. 

Step 4: Add the oat flour mix

Step 5: Blend on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until the batter is at a smooth consistency. 

Step 6: Line a muffin tin. You can also make a loaf of banana bread if you want. You just need to bake it for 40 minutes instead of 20.

Step 7: Add a heaping spoonful of the mix into each muffin tin

Step 8: Bake in the oven at 350˚F for 20 minutes

Step 9: Take out of oven and let cool 

Nutrition Information: Per 1 Muffin (Recipe makes 10)

• 77 Calories • 1.6g fat • 15.6g carbohydrates • 5.8g sugar • 1.7g protein 

Nutrition information calculated using Spark People Recipe Calculator 

Recipe adapted from Gary Rhodes, Great Fast Food

Roasted red peppers, or capsicum as I would call it, give dishes such a distinct taste. I fell in love with the addition of grilled peppers to dishes when we added them to our bolognese sauce some time in the past. Once peppers are roasted, they sweeten and get that delicious chargrilled smokiness about them, that actually shines through in dishes that include them. To pasta dishes like this especially, sauces or even soups- roasted peppers act like the chicken stock necessary for soups, or even those bay leaves. It's the tiny little touches that give depth to dishes- richness. 
Roasted pumpkin, in addition to peppers, are one of my go to vegetables- super versatile and comforting! 
And finally, the dish can only be improved with the addition of sweet and tender scallops! A recent crush of mine... they're so nice!
This is such a simple, quick and fresh pasta dish- not heavy on sauce at all! As far as pasta goes, it's pretty healthy!

450g large scallops
2 red peppers, quartered and de-seeded, cubed
175g pumpkin
400g spaghetti
1/2 tsp flaked dried chillies
zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 tbsp olive oil
6 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley, extra to serve
salt and pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
grated parmesan cheese, to serve

Preheat the grill to high. Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions. Drain and refresh (run under cold water)

Arrange the peppers, skin side up, on the grill tray. Grill for 6 minutes or until skins blacken. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Peel and dice once cooled. 

In a bowl, mix together the diced pepper, chilli, lemon zest and 2 tbsp oil. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 180ºC fan forced (200 C, 375ºF)

On another tray, lined with baking paper, place the diced pumpkin, and toss in a 1 tbsp of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes, until cooked through. Once cooked, set aside and let cool. 

Clean and prepare the scallops for cooking. Toss them in 1 tbsp oil and season. Heat a large frying pan and sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes turning once. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic for 1 minute on medium-low heat, then stir in the roasted pumpkin, and diced pepper mixture. Once warmed through add the scallops, lemon juice and spaghetti. Toss and season to taste, adding the parsley as well. 

 Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and lemon wedges.