Monthly Archives: June 2012

bacon spaghetti

Has anyone ever put bacon in substitution of ground beef before? My sister thought it was the greatest idea so we made bacon spaghetti. I finally learned how to cut carrots into small stripes. If you’re new to the blog, you should know that I cannot cut vegetables for the life of me. When I cook, I do the cooking not the prepping. I’ve never been a prepping kind of person. To me, the process just takes way too long. Which is why when I cook for myself I always make the simple things. That way it doesn’t take too long.

Here’s the recipe..
Bacon Spaghetti
1 box thin spaghetti noodles cooked according to instructions
2 12oz cans of tomato sauce
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon basil
2 eggs
6-8 strips of bacon fried and cut into little squares
garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste
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1. In a medium pot, heat tomato sauce and add in bacon.
2. Stir until the bacon is thoroughly incorporated in the sauce.
3. Add mozzarella cheese and stir until it fully melts into the sauce.
4. Add an egg at a time and stir the entire time. You don’t want egg chunks in your sauce.
5. Add thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil and stir again.
6. Add garlic salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to taste. Don’t skimp on the red pepper flakes. It brings out a ton of flavor in the sauce. Feel free to add more seasoning to suit your taste. Make a quick salad and you have an easy meal.
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Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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apple turnovers

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I love apple turnovers. They are de-li-cious. I’ve been wanting to make them since I saw this recipe on Lawfully Wedded Wife. They seemed easy enough. They turned out pretty well. It sort of reminded me of bavlava.

Here’s the recipe..
Apple Turnovers (adapted from Lawfully Wedded Wife)
1 sheet puff pastry (store or homemade! I used store bought)
1 packet turbinado sugar
1 large apple cut into chunks
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
flour for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter.
3. Once butter is melted add in the apples. Stir to coat the apples in the butter.
4. Add brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to coat and let cook for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and pour into apple mixture. Stir to combine and wait until mixture thickens. It should look similar to thick gravy. Once it thickens, let it cool while you prepare the puff pastry.
6. Lightly flour a surface area and unroll puff pastry. Cut the sheet into four even squares.
7. Use the 1/4 cup to measure 1/4 of apple mixture and pour onto the squares. Each square gets 1/4 cup of apple mixture.
8. Break an egg into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, line the edges of the squares with egg mixture. Seal each square so it looks like a triangle.
9. Beat egg and add in the milk. Beat until combined.
10. Using the same pastry brush, brush the top of each square with the egg mixture to produce a nice golden brown shine.
11. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the squares to provide a nice crunch.
12. Place squares in a baking dish or parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes.
13. Let cool for 15 minutes before eating. I couldn’t resist but learned the hard way. Nearly burned my tongue trying to eat a piece of apple!
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That’s what the inside looks like 🙂 Enjoy em. I love the puff pastry texture. I’m thinking of making cherry tarts with them or egg tarts. We shall see what summer has in store. Finally finished my inventory for the day!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

white chocolate cream cheese devil’s food cupcakes

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I bought these American flags a while back to make cupcakes for Veteran’s Day. I ended up having an extra bag and thought they would be great for decorating. It’s also an excellent July 4th recipe. I’m starting early! 🙂 While the cupcakes were baking I didn’t know how to decorate them. I was looking all over for my jimmies but came to the sad conclusion that I must have used them all. Sad, indeed. I was reading blogs because the recipe for the white chocolate cream cheese frosting was on a blog I subscribe to (Jeremie’s Kitchen). I also saw that I got a reply from Nate. This inspired me to make festive cupcakes and decorate them with flags. If anyone follows Operation Homefront or the USO San Diego they’ll know who Nate is. There’s only one. He received the United States Navy Military Child of The Year award. This boy is nine years old people. While I am in awe of him, I’m also jealous. I wish I did things like that back when I was his age. But then again, I’m not sure if internet was this savy back then. Were there computers back then? I’m only 23 just in case you’re wondering! 😛 The reason why I bring up the internet thing is because Nate has his own blog. You can follow his adventures at natethegreatamilitarybrat.wordpress.com! My big brother’s a marine. His big brother’s also a marine. We have to stick together. Marine brats all the way! 🙂 Coming back to my recipe…devil’s food was calling my name. It said Justina, you need to get off your butt and make some darn devil’s food cupcakes. So I did, and they were spankin delicious. I used a white chocolate cream cheese icing that I mentioned earlier.

Here’s the recipe..
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Cupcakes:
1 box devil’s food cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)

1. Bake according to instructions. If you’d like a moist cupcake then you could add 1 cup sour cream and 1 box chocolate pudding. Only if you’re feeling dangerous.

Icing (adapted from Jeremie’s Kitchen)
1 package cream cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup white chocolate chips melted

1. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave using 30 second intervals. Stir after every 30 seconds until all chips are melted. You’ll want this to be liquid like because if you leave unmelted chips, it’s going to ruin your icing later.
2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Mix until light and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla and salt and mix again.
4. Add the melted white chocolate and mix again.
5. Add the powdered sugar and mix one final time. The icing should be very thick after you pour the powdered sugar in. It’s supposed to be like that.
6. Frost your cupcakes and enjoy! 🙂 I’m definitely keeping this cream cheese icing recipe. It’s delicious.
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It feels so good to have something to add to the blog in terms of recipes! I’ve had a ton of pictures of me, flowers, anything but food! Hopefully I’ll get to make some awesome grub this summer. I’m really craving bbq food. Anyone having a bbq? I want to join! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

graduation/fathers day

I’m probably super late on this but Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there! 🙂 I’ve been so blessed to have such an amazing man whom I call my daddy. Today was my graduation from UCI. The only thing I can still remember while typing this is that it was so hot! Those gowns are stuffy as heck. I was really excited to graduate because now I can begin a new chapter of my life as a UCI alumni. Rock on Class of 2012! 🙂
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This is my baba (father)! Happy Fathers Day BaBa 🙂 I hope I have made you proud.
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This is my grandma. She is one of the strongest women I know. She has always inspired me to do amazing things and make a difference. I’m glad I was able to share my special day with her.
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This one is of my family. Without their love and support I would not be where I am today.
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This is me sweating like crazy under the black gown while waiting for my ceremony to start! I guess I should have looked into water proof make up.
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This is our zot, zot, zot signs. Only because UCI’s mascot is an anteater. It’s not a rock out sign, although it resembles it very closely. You have to pull your thumb back more and it’ll be an anteater! 🙂 Happy reading.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

another graduation photoshoot

Wowzers, I just realized I haven’t blogged in almost three weeks. I miss the blogging world but school has kept me busy like no other. Since I am graduating this week, I’ve had tons to do. Every class has a final paper in addition to final exams so I’ve been dedicating the past three weeks to three papers and studying for quizzes and exams. Oh and doing extra credit experiments. Who knew that would be so time consuming? 😦 To be quite honest, I can’t remember the last time I cooked. I’m not even going to try to lie about that. As I’m browsing other blogs I’m super jealous because they’re packed with delicious recipes and I’m still eating take out because I don’t have time to cook! 😦

Last week my friend Francesca did a photoshoot for me. Her boyfriend is a professional photographer and I loved the photos she took of my coworkers. We actually work at the same place but we knew each other before that. The pictures she took are gorgeous. They’re very natural and earthy which is what I love in pictures. I’m not very into the photoshop thing but the natural tones of the picture. I think editing is important but at the same time every picture shouldn’t have too much editing because it takes away the beauty of the picture. But then again, I’m no professional. It’s just my opinion.

These pictures were taken at William R. Mason Regional Park in Irvine, CA. It’s absolutely gorgeous! The park is huge and there’s so much space to lounge around and soak up the sun. Parking isn’t free but you can do what college students do and park across the street in the visitors section of Harvard Manor Apartments. The visitors section is open after 8am and before 10pm.

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The last one happens to be my favorite! 🙂 Hope you enjoy the post. I will gone for the week to study for finals as I am graduating this Sunday. I’m not sure if I’m working down here or working back home this summer. Hopefully I get some good pictures. I’ve been working more on my photography than my cooking skills.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina