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!