Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

I love a good birthday! It’s a great excuse to cater a cake to the birthday lady or gent’s tastes! Like my Lemon Persimmon Butter Cream Cake that I made for my stepmama or, like this decadent chocolate one!

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Bake Time: 30 Minutes (if you have 2 cake pans, 60 Minutes if you’re reusing 1)
Total Time: 60 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Cake

All Purpose Flour (2 cups)
White Sugar (2 cups)
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (3/4 cup)
Baking Powder (2 tsp)
Baking Soda (1 1/2 tsp)
Fresh Rosemary (1 tsp, finely chopped)
Salt (1 tsp)
Almond Milk (3/4 cup)
Blood Orange Juice (1/2 cup. That’s the juice from about 3 oranges. Zest one and save it for the topping)
Vegetable Oil (1/2 cup)
Eggs (2)
Pure Vanilla Extract (2 tsp)
Butter (for coating your cake pan)

Chai Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Unsalted Butter (2 sticks, softened)
Unsweetened Cocoa (3/4 cup)
Powdered Sugar (4 cups)
Almond Milk (1/2 cup)
Chai Tea Concentrate (3 tbsp)
Cayenne (1 tsp)

Toppings

Almonds (1/2 cup, roughly chopped)
Almonds (12 whole for decorating)
Almond (1)
Fresh Rosemary
Milk Chocolate Bar (2 oz, cold)
Blood Orange Zest (from 1 orange)

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

KITCHEN ITEMS

Large Mixing Bowl
Medium Mixing Bowl (2)
6″ Baking Pan (2. Or bake one at a time and then reuse your pan)
Baking Sheet (optional)
Microplane
Cutting Board
Chef’s Knife
Whisk
Electric Hand Mixer
Rubber Spatula
Cooling Rack

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

1. ALL THINGS DRYin your large mixing bowl, combine your flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, rosemary and salt.

Use your rubber spatula to mix them all together.

2. WET: in your medium mixing bowl, combine your blood orange juice, almond milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs.

Use your whisk to mix them all together.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

3. WHEN TWO BECOME ONE: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pour your wet mixture into your dry mixture in your large mixing bowl.

Use your rubber spatula to thoroughly mix them together until you have one smooth and even chocolaty mixture.

Liberally coat your baking pan with butter and place it on your baking sheet.

Putting your cake pan on your baking sheet makes it easier to take your cake in and out of the oven.

Pour half of your mixture into your 6 inch cake pan.

Bake for 30 minutes—or until when you stick a toothpick into the center of your cake only crumbs come out.

Cautiously, transfer your cake to your cooling rack. Let it sit until it has completely cooled to room temperature.

If you have two cake pans, go ahead and bake your second half of batter at the same time. If you’re like me, once you take your cake out of the oven, clean the cake pan, re-butter it, fill it with your remaining batter and allow it to bake for 30 minutes.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

4. I’M FROSTY in a clean medium sized mixing bowl, combine your cocoa, powdered sugar, butter, almond milk, chai and cayenne.

Use your electric hand mixer to mix it all together until you have a smooth and even frosting.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

5. LET’S GET NUTSuse your rubber spatula to liberally coat the top of your bottom layer of your cake.

Sprinkle your roughly chopped almonds evenly across it.

Plop on another scoop of frosting in the middle of your cake on top of your almonds.

This second plop will act as glue for when you add on your next layer of cake.

Place your second layer of cake on top of your almond coated frosted one.

Use your rubber spatula to liberally coat the top and sides of your entire cake.

Blood Orange Chocolate Chai Cake

6. TOP IT OFF: sprinkle your orange zest and 10 leaves of rosemary over the top of your cake.

Use your microplane to shred your milk chocolate over the top of your cake.

Then shred your single almond over that chocolate.

Place your 12 almonds in groups of three around the top of your cake and then flank them with little bunches of rosemary.

Aaaaannnnddd, we’re all done! Stick a knife in is and let’s get a eatin’!

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Clinking Cocktails at Tasting Table’s Test Kitchen

Clinking Cocktails at Tasting Table's Test Kitchen

Being a big fan and avid reader of Tasting Table, I was so excited to get an invite to their “A Big Night In Cocktail Party with Food Should Taste Good” event. From the plastic surgeon sipping on a glass of wine and telling funny stories in the corner there as his friend’s plus one, to the tastemaking food bloggers exploring behind the scenes of a company that has grown to be part of their everyday lives, the room was overtaken with the sounds of happy conversations, food debates, the scrapes of forks hitting plates and clinking of glasses against one another.

Clinking Cocktails at Tasting Table's Test Kitchen

The night was filled with delicious eats! There were the rockin’ Fluke Crudo bites that sat on top of the Food Should Taste Good Sea Salt Brown Rice Crackers, the gorgeous Lamb Croquette coated in Food Should Taste Good’s Multigrain Tortilla, Deviled Eggs with Onions and a piece of Food Should Taste Good’s Blue Corn Tortilla Chip and so much more! In case you didn’t catch it, Food Should Taste Good was a huge part of this event.

Entering their test kitchen was my absolute favorite part. At first, I felt like a baby deer curiously toeing an ice covered pond, “am I going to make it? Will someone notice? Am I allowed to be here?”—yes, I picture all deers thinking like humans with complex internal monologues, like Bambi!

Clinking Cocktails at Tasting Table's Test Kitchen

Ohhhh, I was more than welcome! I love that! At the end of the event, I caught all of the night’s awesome chefs enjoying celebratory drinks. They looked so perfect—it was like they had been set up for a photo shoot. Sooo, I channeled my inner Richard Avedon, transformed the moment into a shoot, and gave the first direction that came to mind.

“Show me your best ‘Iron Chef'”

Yup, not surprised, they all nailed it!

Clinking Cocktails at Tasting Table's Test Kitchen

My next note…

“Now, show me your inner ‘woo girl'”

Bam!!!! They crushed that, too! They were too much fun! Awww man,  I should have asked them for their best “Top Model” (noted)!

Thank you all for the invite to where food should taste good aaaannndddd absolutely did—in fact, it was great!

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Through The Wire Vanilla Chai Shake

I met such a lovely woman in the hair salon last week and she had the most horrid story—which I didn’t hear but judging by the outcome it had to be horrid, keep reading, you’ll see. She was in town visiting with her daughter whose jaw had been recently wired shut after an accident. 

I tried to give comforting notes like “Kanye West wrote his hit song Through The Wire when his jaw was wired shut”. I’m so glad she found that as kind as I meant is and not how I look back on it as potentially obnoxious. Whew! She immediately texted my Kanye note to her daughter who quickly wrote back “he also said he wouldn’t wish this on his worst enemy”. Yikes. 

Well, with such a painful experience, I decided to make this shake—sans any pulp, of course, since it was made clear to me that she couldn’t drink regular smoothies yet because of the thicker textures—in hopes of bringing a smile to her face (unless it hurts to smile then, please don’t).

Hope this helps! Cheers!

Through The Wire Vanilla Chai Shake

INGREDIENTS

Creamy Vanilla Protein Powder (2 scoops—which is around 10 tbsp if you don’t have the scoop)
Chai Concentrate (2 tbsp)
Tangelo (2 tbsp of it’s juice)
Water (12oz, ice cold)

Through The Wire Vanilla Chai Shake

KITCHEN ITEMS

Blender Bottle (you can get this at a Vitamin Shoppe, GNC, etc)

Through The Wire Vanilla Chai Shake

1.  SHAKE IT OFF: in you blender bottle, combine your vanilla protein powder, chai, tangelo juice and water.

Shake. Shake. Shake

Once it’s all mixed, either drink it out of the blender bottle or pour it into a pretty glass with a fancy straw and enjoy!

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Simply Grilled Chicken

For all of those awesome salad recipes that taste better with a perfectly grilled piece of chicken!

Simply Grilled Chicken

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Cook Time: 6 Minutes
Bake Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 18 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Breasts (2)
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Rosemary (optional)
Fresh Thyme (optional)
Vegetable Oil

KITCHEN ITEMS

10″ Frying Pan
Spatula (or tongs, if you prefer)
Baking Sheet
Medium Mixing Bowl
Meat Thermometer

Simply Grilled Chicken

1. SEASON: put your chicken breasts in your mixing bowl.

Add in your salt, pepper and any additional seasonings.

Toss around until your chicken is fully and evenly coated.

Simply Grilled Chicken

2. FRY: preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Over medium-high heat, coat your frying pan with vegetable oil.

Once hot, add in your chicken.

You can test if your oil is ready by putting one piece of chicken on it. When it sizzles immediately, it’s ready.

Cook for 3 minutes and then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Transfer your chicken to your baking sheet.

Put it in the oven for 10 minutes—or until 155 degrees.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for at least 3 minutes.

FYI, the temperature to eat chicken at is 165 degrees. Since your chicken will continue to cook once your remove it from the oven test your chicken with your meat thermometer in its thickest part and once it has reached 155 degrees, stop your cooking process. This will keep it from over cooking and drying out.

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Avocado Baked Egg

Starting the week aaaaannnndddd day off right with a delicious breakfast that cooks while you’re getting dressed is more than practical, it’s awesome!

FYI. If you’re like me, you’ll get hooked and make it at least three times this week.

Avocado Baked Egg

Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Bake Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 37 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

Hass Avocado (1/2)
Egg (1)
Goat Cheese (1 tbsp, crumbled)
Baby Spinach (2 oz)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

Avocado Baked Egg

KITCHEN ITEMS

Cutting Board
Chef’s Knife
Baking Sheet
Silicone Brush
Frying Pan with Lid
Tongs

Avocado Baked Egg

1. AVOCADO: preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Lay the pit-less side of your avocado cut side up on your baking sheet.

Brush a light coating of olive oil over it.

Add salt and pepper.

2. EGG: crack your egg into the center of your avocado.

Add salt and pepper to your egg.

Bake for 35 minutes—or until the egg whites are fully cooked and your yolks are still soft.

Avocado Baked Egg

3. SPINACH: when you have 5 minutes left till your avocado and egg are finished baking, move onto your spinach.

Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in your frying pan over medium-low heat.

Add in your spinach, salt and pepper and cover your pan with it’s lid.

Steam for 4 minutes—or till your spinach is softened.

Use your tongs to transfer your spinach to your plate making sure to create a well in its center (for your avocado).

Then, still using your tongs, transfer your avocado baked egg into the well in your spinach.

Evenly sprinkle your goat cheese over your avocado, stick a fork in it and eat away!

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