Recipe: Sriracha and Curry Roasted Chickpeas (A Great Travel Snack!)

Last month I was going on an eleven-and-a-half-hour-long car ride to Michigan with my family. Normally we stock up on usual snacks: Twizzlers, Chex Mix, Cheetos… all the sorts. This time around I opted for something a little different… I decided that I was going to be the one to cook all of the snacks! And the first on that list? These amazing babies:

What we have here is something called “Sriracha and Lime Roasted Chickpeas.” I’m not the biggest fan of chickpeas because of their texture, but these passed my test! They tasted phenomenal. The chickpeas still had heir soft texture inside like that as if they were not roasted, but the outside peeled and got an incredibly toasty flavor (along with the Sriracha-Lime flavor as well!)


How could one resist something that looks so incredibly delicious?! They were incredibly easy to make. I essentially threw all the ingredients in a bowl, mixed them with the chickpeas, and then threw them in the oven!


Just a heads up… The super dark, toasty ones? Those are the yummiest.
DSC00298You can find the recipe here at The Simple Veganista, one of my favorite blogs to read!

I Made Myself My Own Birthday Cake??

And I’m extremely proud of it.
It, as in making my own “birthday cake.”
I won’t really call it a birthday cake though… It wasn’t shaped like a normal birthday cake. It didn’t taste like a normal birthday cake. It didn’t have candles like a birthday cake does! (Though, shout out to my best friend Cassidy for buying my a 2 and a 1 candle… cause I turned 21!)

No… this was a special kind of cake. A cake from my pinterest board called “I can make this?” A board where I store hundreds of complicated looking recipes that I challenge myself to do!

I would have to say. This was quite a successful recipe.


Now enter: Angel Food Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream and a Grapefruit Syrup!

DSC00220Just look at how magnificent this turned out! And it was quite the experience to make. Not only was it the first cake I’ve made from scratch in years, but it was also the first ever ANGEL FOOD cake that I’ve ever made. Not the easiest way to start out a challenge…. But still fun.

The cake itself did not rise enough. I blame that on not whipping the egg whites enough. The only other struggle I had with making the cake base was that the recipe called for Cake Flour… which I had none of. Instead I substituted regular flour with some Baking Powder… something I found on Pinterest. Thank you, Pinterest.

DSC00218The grapefruit syrup was really easy to make, but honestly not my favourite. It was too sweet and not grapefruity enough! Next time I make this– Because I am SO TOTALLY MAKING THIS AGAIN– I will definitely add more grapefruit juice and not reduce it as much as I did. With the amount of reducing I gave the syrup, it turned into a “grapefruit flavoured liquid sugar” rather than a “grapefruit syrup.” Lesson learned.

DSC00212The absolute most fun part of this cake making experience was definitely making the coconut whipped cream. I needed full fat coconut milk which I then cooled in the fridge overnight. Afterwards, I was instructed to flip the can upside down and take the coconut fat that had separated from the water) and whip it to the desired consistency.

Let me tell you guys…

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

The coconut milk didn’t separate as well as the pictures showed it would. It wasn’t whipping how I expected it to. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking for! But after a while I decided to wing it, and added a little confectioner’s sugar to the mix. Not sure if that’s what helped or not, but some sort of switch flipped in the process and BAM! I was left with delicious coconut whipped cream.


So to sum up all new experiences I had in just this one recipe:

-I learned to whip egg whites.

-I learned to make Angel Food Cake from scratch.

-I learned to make superfine sugar (one of the ingredients)

-I learned to make home-made cake flour.

-I learned how to make coconut whipped cream.

-I learned how to make simple syrup.

Look at that… that’s 6 new things I learned in the process of making ONE recipe. It’s great to step out of your comfort zone because there is always a chance to learn new things around every corner. And even with the problems I faced I had such a blast making this recipe!

I enjoyed the cake with the whipped cream alone. My family enjoyed smothering it in the syrup. I’m definitely going to make this one of my staple recipes.

If you want the recipe, you can find it here!

Let’s Travel to France: Tarte au Citron!

It was a very weird day in my baking life. New activities were coming at me left and right, and that was just with this recipe alone…


Version 3

This was such a fun experience… looking back at my baking history, I believe it is in fact the first tart I’ve ever made! And a lemon tart at that!

I did not know until after I made this that Lemon Curd just so happens to be one of my family’s favourite things in the entire world: Lemon tarts, lemon curd, lemon meringue pie… anything lemon and you’ve got my family’s attention.

The recipe was a bit interesting. I know when a pie crust (or tart crust, in this case) is made, you are supposed to let it sit when it’s done being processed. Usually recipes I follow say a few hours, but I know the bakers where I work let them chill overnight. This was a weird recipe… calling for me to boil oil, salt, butter, and sugar all together in the oven before adding it to the dry ingredients… And then using it right away.

Mind you: I’m not as experienced as the bakers I work with, but I found no flavor difference. They found it odd that the instructions told to use it right away.

And for the curd part… delicious. I just wish I let it cook at least two minutes longer… it was a bit soft on the inside.

Oh well! I added it to my “make again” list. This was a fantastic recipe, and a great way to start off my new goal: Bake at least one sweet every week.

If you want the recipe, you can find it here


Recipe: Paneer Makhani (Butter Paneer)

Can we all just get a look at this.

DSC00181I have to admit, making this dish has been one of my favourite dishes I’ve made to date. It was super easy, and so satisfying for such a cold, winter day.

My mother loves Indian food. It’s not my cup of tea, but for her… well… I’ll do anything. We decided that during our snow storm we were going to try and make a paneer dish to fulfill all of our needs: We wanted something vegetarian… We wanted something cheesy… We wanted something saucy…

And this? Well… this was all of those things.

We altered it quite a bit for what we had with us and what our taste preferences were. For the original recipe from Serious Eats, click here.

Also check out my experience of making this delicious paneer cheese here!


DSC00190Paneer Makhani (Butter Paneer)
This is my adaptation from Serious Eat's "Easy Butter Paneer with Spinach"
Annie T.:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 (1.5-inch) knob of ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 10 Ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ¾ soft paneer, diced into cubes
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add onion, ginger, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
  2. While it cooks, begin to hand crush the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, and honey to the saucepan. Continue to press tomatoes to crush them more. Cook, uncovered, until the sauce thickens so there is only a little liquid left. This should be around 12 minutes.
  3. : Transfer sauce to a bowl and use an immersion blender to puree until it becomes smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a blender. Strain the puree back into the pot and add salt, cream, and garam masala.
  4. Stir the spinach into the sauce, then add the cubed paneer. If using soft paneer, spoon liquid on top to insure no breakage. Warm for 5 minutes, then serve with a side of rice or naan.


My First Creamery Experience: Working (Theoretically) with the MilkMaid! (Part 4)

Cheese, cheese, is good for your heart.

Well… maybe it is. Actually, thinking about it… too much cheese is unfortunately not the best. But that never stops me!

There was a heavy snowfall. My mother was on her break, and WestConn was closed due to the weather. Doesn’t this just seem like the best time to do some family bonding? My mother and I always bond best by doing two things: Watching Netflix, and cooking.

As some of you may know, cheese just so happens to be our favourite thing in the entire world.

I kid you not! I was a vegan at one point in time… And I could do it. I really could… Except there was no way that I could give up cheese for more than a week. I digress…

We decided to open up Louella Hill’s book yet again, and decided to skip forward and challenge ourselves a tad. Instead of making simple yogurt (Lying: that wasn’t simple) or fromage blanc, we decided to challenge ourselves with a bit of a harder recipe…


Paneer is in the beginning of the book, so it couldn’t be too hard to make… right? Well… it still was a bit of a challenge, but all worth it in the end.

The recipe started with the usual: Get a gallon of milk and warm it up. Last time we did this, a large film of burnt milk coated the bottom of our pot… and unfortunately it occurred DSC00149again. We were not going to let one small bump in the road faze us.

This recipe called for lemon juice as the acid to separate the whey and the curds. I was skeptical at first, but watching it happen right in front of my eyes was quite a shock. NEVER have I seen something so cool. I felt like a little kid doing a science experiment!

After the curds separated, it was time to strain it through a cheese cloth. This is where it got complicated… It just would not strain. And we had no idea why! Recipe called for straining for just a few minutes. I think we let the cheese strain for a few hours, going back every few minutes to potentially squeeze out whatever excess liquid we could.

Remember how I said it was snowing? Well, the kitchen was cold. My hands were cold. So holding and wringing out this cheese in the cheese cloth was no party on my hands. I could feel them get a little more dry every time I washed the excess liquid from my fingers.

So let’s fast forward now. It took so long to strain that we ended up actually letting our cheese sit and strain ovDSC00157er night. It was cold, remember? I had no fear of it growing any creepy bacteria in below thirty degree weather.

So, next morning. We wrung it out as much as we could, then placed a plate on top of it with some weights. That made it so that the cheese would be a little firmer, which is just what we wanted.

And that was that. Afterwards we simply unwrapped the cheesecloth, and voila! Our masterpiece. Our first round of (decently) hard cheese.


The review:

It was pretty good. For the amount of time it took to make, I wish it was a little better. Especially a little harder. We let it press for three hours and the recipe said to let it sit for around two hours.

Friendly reminder that this is a VERY plain cheese. It almost reminded me of a soft tofu, but after using it an actual dish, I fell in love. I think I want to try making this again. Maybe next time it’ll be a little better.

We ended up using this batch for an easy butter paneer recipe. Find it here!


Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini Swirl and Potato Bread Croutons

Much Yums
Much Yums

Well, it has been quite some time since I have made a home cooked meal. School is Monday Through Thursday and then I work 8 hour shifts Friday through Sunday. On top of that, my dad had knee surgery. It’s been quite a busy few weeks! So busy that I’ve barely made it onto my blog. Oops. Broke a promise to myself.

Anyways, yesterday was different. I told myself I would get back into my blogging! I made an outfit of the day video (click here!) for youtube, I took pictures for upcoming blog posts, and I even decided that I would cook a home-cooked meal… something I haven’t done in quite some time.

It’s summer, but the evenings are starting to feel like fall, so I decided that I would cook my favourite course ever: A soup. Roasted Red Pepper soup, to be more specific.

I’ve never made a roasted red pepper soup before, but the head baker where I work makes it all the time and convinced me that I should try making my own. Why not? I love red peppers as it is. Fantastic way to eat healthy!

I followed along with connoisseurusveg‘s “Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini Swirl and Garlic Bread Croutons” recipe, super excited to finally make something people rave about all the time.

Fun fact about me: When I’m doing a recipe for the first time, I follow the recipe exactly. Just something I do the first time around! After that? Yeah, sure I’ll change things up and alter them. But the first time has to be just-like-the-recipe.

When I cook with my mother? She doesn’t understand that and alters it all the time. It drives me crazy. Today I was cooking alone and was excited to go step by step perfectly.

Checked over the ingredients. Had everything except the peppers. Wonderful. Just had to grab some after class and I’d be all set. I did that, got home, and it was then time to start.

Roasted Garlic
Roasted Garlic

Shall I explain my love for roasted garlic? It’s hands down one of my most favourite things in the world. It smells amazing, and the bite it taken away leaving just this amazing taste. If I didn’t mind the breath, I could probably eat one of these babies whole. Alright, maybe not. But you get it. It’s delicious. And it’s such a satisfying feeling to squeeze all of the garlic out of its wrappings!

I did come to a few problems as I worked through the recipe. Two actually. I realized after getting home from the super market and preparing ingredients that I didn’t think everything through fully. I only had the one head of garlic… a rare occasion to only have one in my refrigerator. I also did not have any hearty bread for the croutons! Super wild seeing how I work in a bread bakery. I only had store-bought soft potato bread. My laziness was kicking in. I wasn’t going to go out again. I had to make due with what I had.

Potato Bread Makeshift Croutons
Potato Bread Makeshift Croutons

So there went the amazing rustic croutons. Instead I used potato bread and granulated garlic. Even so… I have to say that they came out fantastically! At least they did for a last minute resort that they were.



I also was getting anxious after roasting the veggies. I just wanted to eat! So I kind of skipped over reading the instructions when it came to blending and added all  of the vegetable stock into the blender instead of keeping some to reheat with the soup. Oops. At this time I didn’t care. I was getting hangry. All I had had earlier was an apple and a small bowl of pasta salad. I hadn’t had a good home cooked meal in so long, I just wanted it all!

And I finally got it.

Enter: My first ever Roasted Garlic Soup with Tahini Swirl and Potato Bread Croutons

I don’t know about you guys, but even just in the bowl it looks fantastic. The colour is bright, it looks smooth, and the croutons look beast as well.

It was a pretty good soup as well. It tasted incredibly similar to another soup I make year round. I think it’s because of the tahini. But I can’t wait to have this tomorrow after it sits over night!

Rating: 4 out of 5, if I do say so myself.


Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini Swirl and Potato Bread Croutons
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A good hearty soup to try, quite similar to a staple soup I make year-round! An adapted version of ConnoisseurusVeg's Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini Swirl and Garlic Croutons. This is what happens when you think you have all the ingredients, but it turns out you don't!
Annie T.:
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 3-4 servings
  • ---(For the Roasted Red Pepper Soup)---
  • 4 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme, if not more!
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ---(For the Tahini Sauce)---
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • a little more than ¼ cup of water
  • ---(For the Potato Bread Croutons)---
  • 2 slices of potato bread cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. ---To Make the Roasted Red Pepper Soup---
  2. For the Peppers and Onion: Preheat the oven to 400º F. Place the peppers and onion into a bowl and drizzle with ½ tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread on a roasting pan
  3. For the Garlic: Cut the top off of the bulb enough so that the tops of the garlic cloves are exposed. Set onto a sheet of foil, and drizzle with the remaining ½ tbsp olive oil. Wrap the olive oil in foil.
  4. Place the peppers, onion, and garlic into the oven. Roast the peppers and onion for 35-40 minutes. Roast the garlic for 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the garlic sit for another 5-10 minutes in the cooling oven. Remove from the oven and allow all to cool.
  5. Place half the peppers and onions into a blender. Squeeze the garlic bulb to release the roasted garlic and add half to the blender. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend until very smooth. Repeat with remaining peppers, onions, garlic, and vegetable broth.
  6. Transfer mixture to a medium sauce pan. Add remaining lemon juice, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place over medium heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally again. Remove from heat.
  7. ---To Make the Tahini Sauce---
  8. While vegetables roast, whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl, using as much water as needed to reach desired consistency
  9. ---To Make the Potato Bread Croutons---
  10. Place Croutons on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over, then add granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss the croutons, then broil until just browned. Don't let them burn!
  11. ---To Assemble---
  12. Spoon your soup into a bowl. Add a swirl of Tahini Sauce, then top with croutons and more thyme. Enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from ConnoisseurusVeg's original recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Tahini Swirl and Garlic Bread Croutons. Check out her original recipe here:



Connoisseurusveg’s blog

Original recipe

A New Experience: My Wild Adventures with Finding a New Camera

You know it’s time to buy a new camera when your smartphone takes better pictures than your digital camera.

When I decided to start this blog, I had a lot of excitement in my mind of posting pictures every day of my food experiences, crafts, friends, family, everything. It was when I was making my cheese and yogurt that I realized something: My camera sucks.

Let’s see. My Sony camera that I got back when I was in middle school (So, at least 6 years ago) was not up to my smartphone’s camera standards. And when HTC made my phone, like every other HTC One, they accidentally made it so the camera easily overheats and everything turns purple (as you can see in my granola pictures.) I’ve been stealing my mom’s smartphone every time I need a decent picture, and I just wasn’t having it anymore. I had to get a new camera.

After doing some research, I thought the best camera for me was a Sony NEX 5T. I was super excited, and as I went onto Amazon to get it I found there was only one left in stock. I bought it right then and there without even giving it a second thought.

A week later, it arrived at my doorstep.

As I anxiously opened the Amazon box, I noticed something a little off. The camera box itself had a small tear, and it looked as if it had already been opened once and then closed with scotch tape. There was even a sticker saying that it was amazon warehouse inspected.  I remember thinking to myself “did I buy a used camera?” When I checked, I had not.

But apparently, I had. Not only had it already been opened and the box was damaged, but the camera didn’t come with the most important parts: The adapter cable and the camera charging cord. Frustrated and tired, I packed everything back up, printed a return form, and headed to the UPS store.

The next day came, and I went to Best Buy in hopes of finding an NEX 5t there. Well… there were no NEX series. Then I checked PC Richard & Son. They didn’t even have any Sony cameras there (Mind you: When I have my mind set for something I want, I won’t take anything other than that. That meant Sony camera, or no camera at all.) I then decided to try target, but before I even decided to leave and use up the gas to get there, I sat in my car and checked Sony’s website. They didn’t even produce the NEX series anymore, which meant no NEX series anywhere I would be going.

I went back to Best Buy, just to begin pricing out my options. That’s when I looked hard, and found a Sony Alpha 5000. I quickly researched it a bit, and then decided Why not? And got it!

And I’m super happy that I did. The pictures are amazing, and I can’t wait to try taking videos with it, either! It was, by far, one of the best investments that have happened recently!