September 28, 2010

Dr. Koci’s Tips for Happiness and Eternal Bliss

Disclaimer: That might be a slight exaggeration.

We’re changing things up today here at La Kocinera! After weeks and weeks of mostly food-related posts, I was getting a little tired of the same routine, plus I’d always meant to include more real life stories and posts about things other than food in this blog. It’s just that many of my thoughts do revolve around food, which makes things slightly cumbersome.

September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Abstract Sugar Cookies

I’ve come to the conclusion that the Daring Baker’s organization must be run by a band of wizards. Ridiculously talented, cookie-frosting, cake-baking wizards. They use their magical powers to bend the elements of the universe to their will, enabling them to flawlessly decorate sugar cookies with intricate designs while spilling nary a drop of royal icing.

If you’re able to do this as well, you’ve obviously been endowed with some of their wizard powers and are refusing to tell me how to get some for myself. That’s okay, because I have a secret weapon up my sleeve for those of us who are not artistically inclined (read: wizards).

September 22, 2010

A Spicy Interlude


So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.– Willy Wonka


This week has found me totally swamped with homework. I have no idea when or where all of these responsibilities popped up, all I know is that I have things to do.

Lots of things.

Doing lots of things also has the tendency to interfere in my precious cooking and blogging time, which is why I deplore doing things.

Okay, I’ll stop saying “things.”

September 19, 2010

Simple Salad with Goat Cheese Croutons

Reading the above post title has probably provoked one of two reactions in you. One, if you are as obsessed with all things goat cheese as I am, you are incredibly excited and starting to drool. Two, if goat cheese makes you feel the same way as looking at a picture of yourself in the height of adolescence—cringy and emotionally unstable—you’re probably a little wary of this recipe.

I’m happy to report that this dish will satisfy both the craving for crispy bites of creamy chevre and the desperate hope for a tasty dressing that will make up for such a cheese-laden salad.

September 16, 2010

Dijon Potato Salad

Has it cooled off in your part of the world? I’ve heard tales of faraway lands that have things called “seasons.”

What are seasons?

People have told me that there are temperatures cooler than ninety degrees. That in some places you can feel the wind blow and step outside without breaking a sweat. That people wear…sweaters!

September 14, 2010

Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam


Is it odd that the above photo makes my little heart swell with pride? That Strawberry Rhubarb Jam is just so shiny and pretty. It tasted so sweet with just a little tangy bite. Spread on top of homemade Pan de Mallorca, and you’ve got something truly lovely.
You also have an outdoor photo shoot that occurred at record speed, seeing as it was 97 degrees outside and that powdered sugar was melting faster by the minute.

September 12, 2010

Baked Alaska: A Disaster Revisited

Sometimes my level of obsessive, stubborn persistence truly astonishes me. Less than a day after posting my horrendous rendition of the August Daring Bakers’ challenge Baked Alaska, I had decided to give it one more try, insisting that I had to get it right at least once. Beyond my own determination, I had also actually won a kitchen torch the day after that tragic post.

Now that, my friends, is what I call irony.

September 9, 2010

Texas Caviar

Now that September has rolled around and we’re seeing the beginning of the end of summer, I thought it’d be a great idea to squeeze in a few more warm weather favorites before things get cold. Or if you live in Houston, before things get less-sweltering.

Not to mention the fact that this dish is ridiculously easy to prepare. That’s nice, too.

We Have a Winner!

Le Creuset Tart Dish

Alright everyone, the time has come to announce the winner of my first giveaway! After popping over to ye olde random number generator, we have a proud new owner of a Le Creuset tart pan. Are you ready find out who it is?

Drum roll please…

Aaaaand the winner is…Foodies at Home!

Congratulations, Foodies at Home! I’ll be getting in touch with you soon with the details of how you can collect your prize.

Also I want to say a big “thank you” to each and every one of you who entered. I hope to have many more giveaways and contests here on La Kocinera in the future. Besides, not only do I like to give you presents, but I also just love hearing from you, so stick around and see what goodies I can come up with!

September 6, 2010

Koci’s Favorite Granola Bars


I must admit, there are few snacks that I love more than a nice, well-balanced granola bar. After scheduling my classes around and during lunch time—mainly because I’m definitely not a morning person—granola bars have become my staple for a quick bite in between classes to stave off a rumbly tummy during Economics.

While I’d normally pick up a box of Luna bars or something from Kashi, I was never a big fan of all the extra ingredients and additives. So, after perusing a few cookbooks and recipes, I got together an idea of what I’d like my own granola bars to be like, namely, something with plenty of fruits and nuts—especially cherries and almonds—as well as something that didn’t have too much sugar and that was easy to throw together. After a bit of trial and error, I think I’ve come up with a winner.

September 2, 2010

Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins

These are freaking amazing!!!

Now this is what I’m talking about! Finally the trauma and utter madness that is the first week of school is past me and I’m back to making bunches of lovely goodies.

Did I mention that my school week only lasts four days? Thursdays are my Fridays. And yes, I realize that I actually don’t have much to complain about. I just don’t like going to school. As I’m sure you all know by now, I am a highly sensitive and creative soul that cannot be confined to the traditional institutions of academia, especially when those institutions no longer allow me to park in the library parking lot, making my journey to class a very long one.

On the bright side, I’ve decided that all that extra walking must be burning exorbitant amounts of calories, calories that I must make up for by gobbling up copious amounts of chocolate chip mini muffins.

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