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Leena Cooks and Bakes: Ella’s 2nd Birthday Party!

By on May 28, 2013 in Cookies, Cupcakes, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes, Leena Cooks, Meat, Pickles, Recipes | 0 comments

I can hardly believe that my baby, my first kid, my Ella has finally turned two. Except when she pitches the LOUDEST FIT EVER because I won’t let her do something obviously fun, like drive the car home from the grocery store or poke the cat with a stick like a pinata. Then I am pretty certain she is two. As much as I didn’t want Ella to become obsessed with licensed characters at an early age, somehow, probably during a road trip or a morning when I was sick on the couch, she discovered Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and of course, the infamous Minnie. The obsession came fast and fierce, and when I stumbled across a dress that looked exactly like a Minnie Mouse knock-off at Old Navy (aka–affordable!), I knew I had found her birthday party theme. In December. 5 months BEFORE her party. Some of my fellow mom friends thought I was being quite ambitious, starting party planning...

Leena Bakes: Banana Bourbon Chocolate Muffins!

By on Jan 25, 2012 in Breads, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes, Muffins, Recipes | 2 comments

Not too long ago, a pal and fellow food blogger Emily Hanhan of Nomnivorous hosted the first of many supper clubs called Whisky and Salt in the NYC area. In her awesome and drool-inducing post about it, she revealed that she made whisky and chocolate chip muffins as take home gifts from the supper club. I have been looking for an excuse to pop these bad boys out, and a small party with some fellow parents and babies on NYE gave the perfect excuse. But let’s be honest, vacuuming the living room is the perfect excuse for these muffins, they are that damn good. The recipe and heaps of food porn after the jump.         Banana Bourbon Chocolate Muffins : Inspired by a recipe from Very Small Anna http://verysmallanna.com/2011/01/a-balanced-breakfast/ 1 3/4 cup AP flour 3/4 cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 cup melted...

Leena Bakes: Soft Lemon Sugar Cookies for her growing bellah!

By on Feb 14, 2011 in Cookies, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 0 comments

Damn, I’ve been baking a lot of sweets lately, haven’t I? Apparently, this is the part of the pregnancy where women are encourage to go wild and eat to their heart’s delight. Which? I’m totally game for. I’m just afraid to ask who is gonna work on losing all this weight it’s packing on for me. In the mean time, let them eat cookies! I was craving something sweet and light, and these little citrus bombs really deliver–especially if you make sure to just barely bake them through (helps them stay nice and soft). Plenty of food porn and the recipe after the click. Recipe: Soft Lemon Sugar Cookies Summary: Based on a recipe from BakingBites.com Ingredients 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder ¼ + 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 cup butter, room temperature 3/4 cups sugar 1 tbsp lemon zest 1 large eggs 1/4 tsp vanilla extract 1-2 tbsp sugar, for rolling...

Leena Bakes: Dark chocolate pear cake with pistachio ice cream

By on Jan 31, 2011 in Cakes, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 3 comments

One of the worst things about being pregnant and me is that I can literally cook or bake ANYTHING I am craving at the time. Like cookies. And Chex Mix. And more cookies. It’s dangerous, really. Mainly because I hate sharing. I blame the baby for this. My cravings have definitely had a sweet edge to them, so when an old friend came into town, I used it as an excuse to make some delicious cake and ice cream. I have explored the use of this particular flavor combination, dark chocolate, pear and pistachio, in several desserts in the past, like this one and this one. I love the balance of the slightly bitter chocolate, the syrupy sweet pear and the salt from the pistachio, I figured it would be a good in cake form. For more food porn and the recipes, click on! For the cake recipe, I used this one from Smitten Kitchen–a fellow food blogger who always has killer and deliciously...

Leena Bakes: Ginger Cupcakes with Cranberry Cream Cheese frosting

By on Dec 20, 2010 in Cakes, Cupcakes, Desserts, Fruit, Leena Bakes | 1 comment

For the first three months of my pregnancy, I almost went crazy with pregnancy nausea, and cooking was the LAST thing on my mind. Once it finally did cross my mind, baked goods were about all that seemed appetizing. Enter my ginger cupcake with cranberry cream cheese frosting. The recipe and food porn after the click. Ginger Recipe: Ginger cupcake Summary: A great recipe from Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen cookbook Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon ground ginger 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon allspice 1 egg 1/2 cup molasses 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 cup buttermilk Instructions Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake papers. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg, molasses, sugar, and melted butter until thick....

Leena Bakes: the Best Damn Apple Pie EVER

By on Dec 17, 2010 in Fruit, Holidays, Leena Bakes, Pie | 0 comments

Please enjoy this last day of cooking for the holidays with one of my favorite apple pie recipes! Happy holidays! ******************************************* Apple pie–it’s something so simple and yet so satisfying, especially when served warm from the oven with a scoop of cold ice cream. This is the review of a recipe I made from FoodTV.com, and even though I had a bitch of a time with the dough (I don’t think I made it moist enough–it kept crumbling) this recipe still yielded a delicious, flakey crust and one helluva pie. For the recipe and more, click on! The biggest difference with this apple pie recipes and many others is the cooked filling. Most recipes have you layer raw, sugared apples into an unbaked pie crust, but I find this yields apples that have almost too much bite left in them, and a fair bit of tartness. This recipe has you cook the apples to...