Recipe: Caramel Iced Coffee

Recently, my family bought a new Ninja coffee maker, and it conveniently came with a guide book of a few coffee and tea recipes. After flipping through it, I found one that was quick, easy, and also tasty (these were necessities since this was my first time making coffee). But, even though I was sure this recipe was going to taste nice on its own, I decided to spice it up a little bit, and add my own special twist.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of ground coffee
  • milk
  • ice
  • sugar
  • whipped cream
  • caramel drizzle

Recipe:

As you set your coffee to begin brewing, you first, put your desired amount of ice cubes into your cup. Then, fill your cup about halfway with milk of any kind (I used whole milk). Once your coffee is finished, then pour it directly into your cup, and mix it altogether. Once you finish making the base of your coffee, it’s time to add in all the extras to make your coffee look (and taste) extra yummy! First, I added in a few teaspoons of sugar. The amount of sugar can vary based on how sweet you want it to be. Once that’s all mixed in, I proceed to make a nice whipped cream swirl on the top, and then drizzle the caramel drizzle on the whipped cream. Lastly, just for kicks, I sprinkled some sprinkles on the whipped cream to make it look Instagram-worthy. Once you’re done admiring how great your iced coffee looks, it’s finally time to drink it! You could simply just stick a straw in it, and start drinking it, or you could do what I do: mix in the whipped cream just so that all the yummy whipped cream and caramel get infused into the coffee, giving you that sweet sugar rush.

Recipe: The Ultimate Dog Birthday Cake (That Humans Love Too)

So what’s new? Just last week, my family and I celebrated our dog’s 4th birthday!  I saw this as an awesome opportunity to explore the world of gourmet doggie treats and meals. After several days of research and dabbling in the kitchen I came up with an amazing recipe for a healthy doggy birthday cake. It’s easy put together.It’s also a carrot cake-inspired recipe. 

The biggest upside to this recipe is that not only did our dog love it but so did my mom, dad and sister. This Doggie Birthday cake recipe is totally a human-friendly cake too, because of the choice of ingredients and nut free.

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 40 mins

Serving size: 6 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup peanut butter (optional)
  • ¼ cup cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup honey (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup whole wheat or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Secret ingredient: ½ cup precooked bacon bits (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and grease a 6-inch round pan. Combine the egg, oil, vanilla, and honey in a large bowl, and blend well. Mix in the carrots thoroughly. Then, sift together the flour and baking soda and incorporate carefully into the mixture. Then, put the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top cracks, and then let the cake cool in the pan for 8 minutes after coming out of the oven.

Let’s talk about the secret ingredient: bacon bits. The bacon bits create a nice contrast to the sweetening flavor that comes from the carrots. 

Regarding toppings, cinnamon or sprinkles, for the slices served to humans work well.

One last thought, this cake is not intended to be seasonal, so consider it an opportunity to come together, as family, to celebrate how much you love your furry BFF, even if it is not a birthday you are celebrating.

Recipe: Homemade Doughnuts

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Prep time: 8 mins

Cook time: 5 minutes per doughnut

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of pancake mix
  • 1 ½ tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin spice
  • 2 tbsp self-rising flour
  • Optional 1 handful of frozen blueberries, frozen raspberries, or frozen fruit (finely chopped) 

Optional Toppings:

  • Powdered Sugar
  • Golden Brown Sugar
  • Icing Glaze (premade) and Sprinkles
  • Be creative

Instructions:

Mix one serving of pancake mix, then add cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Once even, add 1 ½ tbsp of cooking oil, followed by 2 tbsp of self-rising flour. Let stand for 1-2 min. Meanwhile, on the stovetop, prepare a pan with ½ inch deep cooking oil and heat at medium-high. As the oil is heating, gently fold in variations of your choice, for example blueberries, if you choose and then pour the doughnut mixture into a sealable plastic sandwich bag. Seal and cut a single bottom corner off of the sealable plastic sandwich bag. When oil ready, squeeze out the doughnut mix into the pan to form a circular doughnut shape. When the bottom of the doughnut appears golden brown, flip and fry the alternate side until golden brown. Remove doughnut when both sides are evenly cooked. 

Once the doughnuts are removed and still warm, immediately decorate with optional toppings.

Let cool for 10 mins and serve.

Review: Online Summer Camp S’mores Bars

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Because of COVID-19, my parent’s company started virtual summer camps for kids. My mom had signed me up for a cooking class, where we made S’mores Bars. The whole class was done by Zoom, and originally, I thought it would be hard to cook on a Zoom call. But it actually wasn’t as difficult or confusing as I thought. And best of all, the food came out GREAT!

Ingredients:

  • one 11 x 9 aluminum disposable tray
  • graham crackers crushed to crumbs
  • 1 cup of salted butter
  • 6 cups of mini marshmallows
  • chocolate chips of any kind (milk, dark, white, etc.)

First, mix together the butter and the crushed graham crackers. Don’t mix in all the graham crackers – save some for the end! Then, put your graham cracker and butter mix into the tray, and smooth it along the bottom. Lastly, bake it in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 to 10 minutes. After it’s done, take it out of the oven, and put a layer of marshmallows on top of the crust. Make sure the marshmallows cover the whole crust surface. Put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes at the same temperature. Once your marshmallows have completely melted , take them out of the oven, and put a layer of chocolate chips on top of the melted marshmallows and then top if off with those crushed graham crackers you saved. Then, stick it back in the oven for another 5 minutes at the 325 degrees. When you take it out, let it sit for 3 minutes, and then you can eat it hot and fresh out of the oven, or you could stick it in the fridge for a while, and eat it cold. I prefer it cold, but I think that eating it hot would also taste good.

Review: TeaDrops

AKT Review: 5 WOWS!!!

My dad, unlike me, doesn’t really like tea. And in my attempts to get him to like it, I bought him TeaDrops as a Fathers Day gift, and I, of course, had to try them. So, I got the boiled water, and put in the matcha flavoring. It came in a teeny tiny little package, and when you opened it, you saw tea leaves bunched together in a cute little shape. It was also super easy to use since you really just dropped the TeaDrops into the mug.

So, my personal favorite so far is the matcha one, since I’m completely obsessed with it. Just the plain TeaDrop is kind of bland, so I add a teaspoon of sugar. Honestly, for me, a teaspoon is actually very little, so I think that you don’t need to much sugar to make it taste good, but just enough so it doesn’t taste too bland. Overall, I would highly recommend these as a gift, or even just for yourself.

Takeout During Corona?

During COVID-19, there has been the ongoing question: is it okay to eat out?

Well today, my family and I decided to just go for it. We haven’t eaten out in around 3 months, and we figured that we probably weren’t going to get a chance to eat out again. So, we decided to order some Cheesecake Factory. We got the Chicken Bellagio, the Orange Chicken, the Chicken Pot Stickers, and a kids pizza with bacon on top.

When the food arrived, my parents decided to stick it all in the oven to try and kill all of the possible germs on it. This made the food taste a little different than usual, but it had the same overall taste.

So, my answer to this ongoing question, would be to pace yourself. If you want to eat out once a month, go for it. But I wouldn’t do it excessively so that you can prevent getting sick.

Recipe: Edible Cookie Dough

AKT Rating: 4 WOWS!

Today, during quarantine, I was extremely bored. So, I decided to make some edible cookie dough:

  • 3/4 cups of butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of baked flour
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

First mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Then, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in the chocolate chips. Once complete, pour into a pyrex dish, and refrigerate overnight.

But since my family wants to conserve our food supply, I used half of what all the ingredients asked for. After mixing, I put it in the fridge for a day or so, and it turned out really really crumbly. Though this wasn’t totally the ideal outcome of the cookie dough, I think I know the reason behind it. I should’ve added more milk and butter. Usually, the wet ingredients stick the dry ones together, and since it came out super crumbly, I can infer that the dry ingredients needed to stick together more. The milk and butter might’ve made it a bit smoother and it would’ve stuck it together more. But, overlooking the fact that it was super crumbly, and was basically falling apart, it tasted great. I would definitely use this recipe again, except with more milk or butter.

This is a picture of the cookie dough, along with most of the ingredients

Review: Ruby Thai Kitchen

AKT Rating: 5 WOWS!

Today, I went to the mall with my friend. And while scouring the food court for someplace yummy to eat, we fount the Ruby Thai Kitchen.

First, we got the Thai Fried Rice. It was delicious fried rice with corn, peas, and carrots, and the rice was a nice, tender consistency, and had a great taste. We also had some sweet and sour chicken, and fried shrimp and veggies, which was also delicious.

Another great thing is that they had Apple Pay all set up. You could pay with your phone, and it was quick and easy to do.

I really enjoyed the Ruby Thai Kitchen, and would definitley go back a second time.

Image result for ruby thai kitchen

Review: Chick-Fil-A

AKT Rating: 3 WOWS!!!

Yesterday, while on the road with my family, my Dad insisted that we try Chick-Fil-A for the first time. Now, I knew that Chick-Fil-A had been getting a lot of hype in the past year, but I had never tried it. So, I figured that this was my opportunity to figure out what the hype was all about.

So, after we ordered takeout, and we began to eat, I realized that Chick-Fil-A really isn’t all that. Though the chicken strips there aren’t actually that bad, the foods that incorporate the chicken with other ingredients, for example the spicy chicken sandwich, could’ve been executed a little better, and could’ve tasted a little better too. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of their waffle fries, or their mac’n cheese. I thought the whole things was average or below average in terms of taste and presentation. Overall, I thought there were also WAY too many pickles! In every sandwich there were pickles. And for a non-pickle-lover like me, it’s not the most convenient. In conclusion, I probably wouldn’t eat there again, unless it was a dire emergency.