Caramel apple streusel cake

Posted By mattantonino / June, 23, 2011 / 2 comments

I’d love to tell you that I made this Warm Caramel Apple Cake and shot that for today’s food.  That’s what I want to do.

It looks awesome.  I can imagine how it tastes and I want to try it.  I will, soon.  Then I’ll post that.  Today is one of those “eh, I’m a photographer, not a cook” days.

So I cheated.

I know … don’t look at me like that!  It doesn’t happen as often anymore!

Ultimately, I’m just a food photographer.  I need to shoot, even when I don’t want my hair all full of flour 3 hours before a meeting with a potential bride to shoot her wedding.  I still need to make, shoot and eat food.

Today’s excellent cheat is a straight-out-of-the-box Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Streusel. Follow instructions. Maybe cut up an apple into bite sized bits and add it.  This recipe is sweet, delicious and moist.  I actually *really* love it and will eat it again.

Yes, I know I used a pan that was too big. Guess I have to do it again.

Darn.

apple caramel cake

apple caramel cake texture

apple streusel

apple streusel

inside carmel apple streusel

Sunday I’ll be back with something special for the blog and Tuesday I’ll post up my famous tilapia parmesan.  Fish & cheese?  Seriously. Tuesday.

 

Gooey double chocolate chip cookies

Posted By mattantonino / June, 19, 2011 / 0 comments

Even though I once posted my soft gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe on StartingtoCook, I don’t often post cookies.  There is a reason for that.  My mom is a certified chocoholic.  She makes cookies.  Not good cookies, not great cookies. She makes fantastic cookies.  So if I want a cookie, I want her to make it. I don’t like to compete with fantastic since I’m a somewhat-new cook (but getting better!)

When I found this double chocolate chip cookie recipe, it seemed simple enough. Hoping and praying, I made it.

Yum.

Some cookies last in this house. Not long, mind you, but they last.  At least a moment.

Yum.

Not these.  *scarf*  Double chocolate chip cookies barely last long enough to type the words double chocolate chip cookies!

Yum.

Photos, recipe … you know how these food blog things go.

cookie batter

spoonful of cookie batter

cookie batter on tray

pile of chocolate chunk cookies on a plate over white

closeup chocolate chunk cookie

one plate of chocolate chunk cookies in a stack with traditional background

batch of double chocolate cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (or slightly more)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used chocolate chunks)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars and vanilla.
  2. Beat in egg. Add cocoa and milk.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder; fold into creamed mixture with chocolate chips.
  4. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls; place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool.

Yum.

Cinco de Mayo means… tortillas!

Posted By mattantonino / May, 6, 2011 / 5 comments

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

So a week ago I was contacted by TortillaLand with an offer to ship some tortilla to me if I’d make up some nice Cinco de holiday recipes and blog about the TortillaLand product.  That’s the disclosure part.  The rest of this entry is the “yum” part.

Let’s talk about the tortillas.  They are uncooked, fresh tortilla. I can’t imagine how they could be any softer or fresher. They arrived in a cooler and were still chilled when I opened the box. I unwrapped some and immediately wanted to try one. I quickly cooked one up, ate it with egg and it was delicious!  I started thinking about what I wanted to make for Cinco de Mayo.

I assumed (rightfully, it seems) that many people would make dinners, wraps, burritos, etc.  I knew that was out for me. I have wanted to do some homemade tortilla chips for quite awhile but hadn’t found the time (or motivation) so that was definitely on the list.  I did want to throw a bit of Mex spirit in so I knew I’d at least rock out a couple cheese quesadillas as well.

What I didn’t know even 3 days ago was that I would be blogging a *dessert* made with TortillaLand flour tortillas.  But yes, I did dessert.  Why?  Because it’s FREAKING DELICIOUS.  That’s why.

So here are the photos.  First few are just the tortilla cooking (and puffing.  They puffed GREAT!)  The next few are some fried bananas I quickly heated.  Assembly included adding some chocolate chips, warming in the microwave and rolling the finished product into a dessert wrap.  I’ve included a few quesadilla and homemade tortilla chip photos as well, just so you can see the variety of foods I’ve made with my tortillas.

I will accept any sponsor offers people want to send but I’ll always be honest about the product. In this case, that’s SUPER easy.  The TortillaLand tortillas were probably the best I’ve ever eaten (and my step-dad is Mexican so that’s a lot of eating.)  I actually wish I could make them like this. I’d have to own a farm to keep myself in stock on flour, though. They’re that good.  And yes, I’m having another egg wrap tortilla tomorrow for breakfast.

TortillaLand tortilla puffing in the frying pan

cooking a fresh tortilla

fried bananas sizzling in a pan

fried banana on a tortilla waiting for chocolate

TortillaLand fresh tortilla with fried banana and chocolate

fried banana chocolate wrap for Cinco de Mayo

cheese quesadillas for Cinco de Mayo using fresh TortillaLand tortillas

homemade tortilla chips

pile of fresh tortilla chips

Perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Posted By mattantonino / January, 8, 2011 / 4 comments

One of my best friends found out he (may be) is gluten intolerant and had eaten boring, flavorless foods for a few months.  He mentioned “not having tasted anything good” in awhile so I went in search of the perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe.

We made this recipe and the cookies were as moist as cookies get.  They stayed moist for days!  If you are in search of the perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe, this may be it.  It’s definitely the most moist and tasty.

As always, recipe after the jump.

Continue reading…

Incredible Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Posted By mattantonino / December, 21, 2010 / 0 comments

Yes, I obviously love dessert. Fried banana torts, pies all the time, perfect gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and checkerboard cookies.  Yeah, just to name a few.  My favorite?  This…by FAR.

No words can do justice to the beauty, taste and incredibleness that is a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake.  Everyone knows I’m still “starting to cook” so I clearly am not nearly this good.  But the recipe?  That is!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake on Erin’s Food Files

All I can tell you is to make this for your next party.  You.will.win.

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

red velvet cheesecake cake

Checkerboard cookies

Posted By mattantonino / December, 12, 2010 / 0 comments

When I saw these cookies on Elissa’s blog at 17 and Baking I knew I had to make them.  These are everything I look for in a recipe to shoot.  Interesting looking, easy arrangement, not going to wilt, wither or die on me if it takes an hour to shoot… it’s a perfect food to shoot!  I did have a bit of trouble with these the first time and Elissa was kind enough to give me a few tips.  Thanks!!

These are old fashioned cookies.  They aren’t super sugary or sweet but they have that great old world taste.  They look amazing and everyone wants to try them.

(Recipe after the jump!)

chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cookies

chocolate and vanilla checkerboard cookies closeup

rows of checkerboard cookies

isolated plate of checkerboard cookies

isolated plate of checkerboard cookies

Continue reading…

Creme Brulee

Posted By mattantonino / November, 4, 2010 / 1 comments

I have never made creme brulee before.  This happens when you’re starting to cook and really “learningtocook.com” may have been a better site name.  Ha!

Anyhoo – moving on – I found a Youtube video for creme brulee that made it look *so* easy I had to try it.  And really, it was!  My picky brother’s response to this creme brulee? “You have to make more.  And make me like a salad bowl sized one this time.”  So, it’s good.

So watch the video above and enjoy my few creme brulee photos.  (If you need to buy a creme brulee torch and kit, try this.)

two ramekins of creme brulee

two ramekins with toasted creme brulee dessert

toasted burned topping on a creme brulee super closeup

S’mores Truffles

Posted By mattantonino / April, 6, 2010 / 11 comments

I know what you’re thinking right now – shut up and give me the recipe, Matt. HA! No, I’m going to make you read about it! I want to make sure this puts to rest those nasty rumors that I only shoot healthy food.

So yes, I made s’mores truffles. To say these tasted good would be to say the sun “may be a bit warm today.” Family reaction was exactly the same – make…MORE.

I actually found the first recipe I wanted to use on one particular site but the author was so INCREDIBLY snooty that I went out and found another one to use just to hopefully support someone ELSE with my link! That search actually led me to a blog I really love: Visions of Sugar Plum. The truffle recipe is actually here. I made no changes except to double the mini-marsmallows (therefore 48 of them) instead of 24 mini-marshmallows. I’m not posting the recipe under Read More since it’s virtually exact.

I will, however, give you some photos to drool over before you leave to go make these.

Photographically these were actually REALLY easy to shoot. I used a setup like my bacon & sundried tomato pasta (http://startingtocook.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/foodshoot3260059.jpg) The plate I used reflected almost nothing so I didn’t have to worry much about that – I removed a few specks from the plate in post processing due to dropping them off the s’mores balls. The graham cracker crust didn’t stick quite enough to move them around a lot and not have crumbs.

So far the first image is online at my stock sites. I wouldn’t say it’s making money hand over fist but I’ll probably have both batches of ingredients paid off by the end of the day today or tomorrow and then every image that ever sells from this shoot moving forward is profit from it. I anticipate editing about 15-20 s’mores truffles photos, uploading them and making $50-150 over the life of this project. Plus I got to eat (with my family) chocolate s’mores truffles. YUM!

http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com