Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yay. Today I received a package from the UK, from a fellow blogger, Gypsie Sister. She has an etsy store, so to support her, I purchase these hair bands that are super cool. I recently had a similar one from Birchbox which I lost during my FoamFest. I love them because they looked like cool bracelets when you wear them on your wrist (so hip) but they function as a hair tie. Aw yeah... Now I have 3 :)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Food Time: Vietnamese Iced Coffee

drink me!!
This is one of my weakness: Ice Cold Coffee. Some of my friends think coffee with ice is weird (ok you hardcore coffee drinkers!), but I LOVE me some chilly coffee. Every time I go to a Pho restaurant, I have to refrain myself from getting this delish beverage. Why? Because the coffee taste is strong and it's all full of SUGAR. But, hey... I love sugar. Haha. Making this fine thing is sooo easy, I can drink these instead of water at home (oh uh, not good).

All you need is:
  • A Coffee Filter (in my case, I use a French Press by Bodum)
  • 2/3 Cup of Boiling Water (if you don't want your coffee to be too strong, you can make it 1 cup of water)
  • A Glass of Ice
  • 2 tbsp of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp of dark-roast ground coffee (preferred those Vietnamese Coffee, such as Trung Nguyen or Cafe Du Monde Coffee --> the Yellow Can!)
First, you steep the coffee in the boiling water in a heatproof container (in my case, the French Press) and let it sit for 4 minutes. Pour coffee through filter (or press your French Press. Yay) in to a heatproof glass. Then stir in Condensed Milk until blended. Don't drink it like this. Why? It's HELLA sweet. Then, add your Ice and ENJOY. 

I decided to pour it in to a glass jar and sip it through a neon straw. I don't have those cute stripey straws (yet). 

i believe this is the knock-off of Cafe Du Monde, but it did its justice
I drank it in less than 3 minutes. It was that good. I think anything with condensed milk deserves a standing ovation.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Food Time: Blue Velvet Cake with Strawberry & Cream Cheese Frosting

So I got lucky and had a 4 day weekend for Memorial Weekend. Pretty rare but awesome. After recuperating and relaxing with my love, Rob, after he left on Monday, I decided to bake. And this time I challenged myself to make a cake. Man, it's pretty different that cupcake. The frosting part was pretty difficult to me. Mind you, the recipe calls for 2 9" round cake. The first cake became weird and failed :( So I was left with only 1 9" round cake... Hence, a short cake. And I wasn't patient enough for the cake to cool down completely (I should've just let it cool then put it in the fridge) and I frosted it. It's hard to frost a soft cake! Damn! Haha... You learn from the first right?

As for the recipe, I follow the exact way that Sprinkle Bakes did hers. For the cupcakes, it bakes for 25 - 30 min, but for the cake, I baked it for about 35 - 40 minutes. Use your own judgement. Since I did no adjustments, you can click here for the recipe.

As for me, I had left over strawberries waiting to rot (hah), I decided to slice them and layered them in the cake with the frosting. It became a Red, White & Blue Cake! Perfect timing for Memorial Day.

Excuse my frosting technique. This is my first time so hence the blue crumbs in the frosting, haha. I'm really more for the taste versus the look. But of course, presentation is a biggie. I SHALL LEARN!

Red, White & Blue!


I really need to take cake decor classes!

My friend, Marilyn, stopped by because I told her I had cake. I gave her 1/2 of the cake! Haha... Since no one at home is a big cake fan, I might kill this cake myself. The cake is so moist, it got me giddy. I used that Baking Strip that my friend, Gloria, recommended... and it did work! My cake baked evenly without the dome too! I highly recommend that thing!

Well at least I crossed another thing on my 12 things List this year. Yay.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Monday, May 28, 2012

Things I Love Monday: week 21 (Foam Edition)

Hello Bunnies!

I hope everyone is having a great memorial day weekend, because I need for sure I did. 

Since week 21 was a blur (work work work and I had to take someone's Call again *smh*). I got to hang out with my bff, Marilyn, on Tuesday since she's in town. We got to try some good food (Dino's Chicken in Pomona and of course, the Back Abbey! Burgers & Beers!) and did some retail therapy and also discovered the awesome Biscoff

In the excitement of my upcoming 5K, I decided to splurge (I swear I have a weakness for technology) on a GoPro Camera. That thing is awesome. Not only it's so small & portable, it's capability to shoot great video/pictures on the move is great. For the run, I used the Head Mount and we took turns on taking pictures/recording videos.

So the 5K Foam Fest was held in Vail Lake, in Temecula, CA. All 4 of us, Akira (I got this for his upcoming birthday, which is today!! SHOUT OUT: HAPPY BDAY!), Robert (I got this for him because  I want him to go with me, hehe), Lina (I bought an extra ticket and she was the first one to response on the freebie) and I were sooo excited. We head out to Temecula full of excitement and anticipation. None of us ever did a MudRun so of course we didn't know what to expect. One thing for sure, it was FUN. I really recommend this run. Even though I'm not that fit and the hills were KILLER, the mud and foam beat the calf burns. 

I can't explain how cool the event was so here I share you pictures. Most of them were from the GoPro but there are several that were taken by my buddy, Tim Baker, my cousin's beau, who with her (Elaine) came along to support us. They came right on the perfect time. Oh, and there's video too :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Biscoff Spread

Alright, remember when I reviewed about the awesomeness of Trader Joe's Cookie Butter? Well, it has found it's partner in crime: Lotus's Biscoff Spread. For those who don't know, Biscoff is this biscuit/cookie that they give out for free in Airplanes (so far, I've flown domestic, and noticed they give out this cookies). They're crunchy, as far as I remember has that brown sugar & cinnamon flavor. It's really great to dunk in your coffee/tea. Seriously. Yum.

So on Tuesday when I went to one of my favorite stores of all time, Cost Plus World Market, and browsing around the food aisle (I get really, REALLY, excited just being in that section), I saw this little jar hanging out. I got excited. Really excited. I immediately grasp the jar and held it in my hand for a long time. There were 2 types, crunchy and smooth (just like your Peanut Butter), but I opted for Crunchy because I was curious about the texture.

Mind you, it was mind-blowing (in my world). Unlike peanut, the crunch was CRUSHED BISCUITS. YUMYUMYUM. This thing was delish on ANYTHING. I even munched it with saltine crackers. Salty and Sweet? I can deal with that. 

The taste is VERY similar to Cookie Butter, since both is Speculoos based. I guess, if you have a hard time locating the Biscoff, Cookie Butter would be a GREAT alternative. Either or, both are soooo good. 

One cool fact: 100% Vegan. No animal products are in this jar of awesomeness. All of the ingredients is plant oil base. So, for me, no guilt here! No animals were harm in enjoying this superb spread :)

FYI: Biscoff Spread is Made in Belgium. Gotta love European greatness.

You know what would top my world? 2 slices of (wheat) bread, spread with either of these butter and NUTELLA with a layer of Bananas. I'm in Delish Heaven. 

Bro & Sis 4eva.
If you have tried any of these, please do share!! OR, if you have tried ANY other cool butter/spreads, OMG, help a sister out! I gotz to try!!!

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Failed! (no. 2)

My on-going attempt to master the art of Bolu Kukus continues. After work today I decided to give this puppy another try. It's getting there. I was very happy to see it "blossomed" but it was still dense in the bottom half of each cupcake. *sad face* It also shrank right after I take them out of the steamer. I did my research so attempt #3 will happen soon. So far the taste was great (esp with the touch of Santan [coconut milk])... And this time I used the infamous emulsifier that  most of the recipes calls for. It's optional, but I really wanted to know why most of them use it and I know why... It helps with the blossoming of the cake. Weird. 

from Soulhunting
moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Things I Love Monday, week 19 - 20

If you're living in Southern California, you will understand my grief dealing with the PMS-ing weather. You'll get a HOT day following with a COLD night, or a super cold morning then ending with a warm night. Yin Yang. Front Back. Up Down. You get it. Hence why I'm feeling under the weather today. Well for the past 3 days :(

Reflecting back on the past 2 weeks, pretty cool things happened:
  • Cha-Cha Family 17th Birthday. If you haven't read or don't really know about my past, feel free to read about my sisterhood here.
  • Getting Call Backs at work, these 2 past Saturdays. It's ok... Looking back now, not only I saved 4 lives, but I made bank. Hahaha.
  • Finally tried the SoCal known Bruxië. It's really good and worth the wait in line. Yum. Bruxië is a Belgium Waffle joint that pretty much takes waffles in to a whole another level. The waffles was to perfection, the crisps was great and the sweetness was mild. I got the Buttermilk Chicken & Waffles while my Rob stayed with the sweet side of Nutella & Banana. We shared a Mint Chocolate Shake that was superb. Man, waistline expansion. 
  • Walking around Old Town Orange (we went to the Bruxië here). I've never been there before. I really love old downtowns and this one was an addition to my favorite old towns. They have great restaurants around there, also vintage stores. There's this one Vintage store for Men and I adore their vintage camera collection (as you may not know, I have this thing for old cameras. I collect about 15 cameras, old & new, working and non-working. haha)
  • The Avengers. I am proud to say that I contributed of making The Avengers the most-grossing movie Disney's ever made. Worth the 2.5 hours spent on laughing, oohs & aahs, and lusting over the hotness of Iron Man, Captain America & Thor. Iron Man will always have a soft spot in my heart (there's a story to that)
  • Picking up my mother that came home from her 1 month trip in Indonesia. Glad she had fun (I hope  you enjoyed my birthday/mother's day gift to you, MAH). I'm glad she brought some cool stuff for me. She got me this Batik dress (that I wore to church this past Saturday) and some other cool food. Man, she makes me miss Indonesia. Rob & I are planning to go, one day. Haha... well we have other plans to accomplish though *wink*
  • My attempt to make bolu kukus. And I tried again today. This time it did blossomed but still dense. Damn... Will try again!
  • Rob & I forgot our 4 year anniversary! Hahaha... Good thing we both forgot. Well, we're both busy people and I suddenly remembered because my friend, Torrey, told me she's gonna celebrate her 4 year annie with her husband (and we both have the same date). I was like, "O.M.G" And Torrey asked me "What?" Then I told her how I totally forgot that May 18th (this past Friday) was our anniversary. I texted Rob right away (we were both at work) and he said he also forgot hahaha... So he asked me if I wanted dinner, and of course I said Yes (Rima never refuses food). He actually drove all the way from Irvine to come to my area and picked me up & take me out for dinner. We eventually ended up in the same complex where it all happened (the original restaurant closed down and is now a new place... but I wasn't feelin' for Mexican Food at the time) and opted for some Japanese Teppan. It was a nice dinner and we both had a great time. Thanks for the 4 years together, love. I can't wait to spend more years ahead with you *kisses*
  • Bonding time, over Durian, with my beloved pregnant Sister, Icha. She was craving Durian, so we satisfied that craving this past Saturday. With the momentarily interruption of my call back, we manage to catch up over durian (which her husband HATES) and talked all the way til 1130pm. Just like old times. She's the only sister that LOVES durian as much as I do. Hence she's my Soul Sister.
  • Thanks to Pugly Pixel, she got me infatuated all over again with Korean Stationaries. I just purchased a diary/planner/journal, JUST BECAUSE. I have a tendency to not finish a journal/notebook because of the cuteness of other books that I see and buy. Damn. But I can't help it. It's damn cute. I also bought like 6 washi tapes. I am bad.
  • I felt crafty for a moment so I made cupcake toppers for an upcoming cupcake order. My friend, Gaby, is graduating, so the toppers were like grad-theme. Not too hard. Just my back hurts :(
So with all the graduation that's happening (soon), I would like to congrats the class of 2012. 10 years ago I graduated High School. That went by super quick. Wow.

Now some pictorials.

Friday, May 18, 2012


*insert bummed face here*

So my first attempt to make Bolu Kukus was a weird one. In a way it did rised and "broke" (I don't know how to explain it) but not in the uniform way that it is known for. I've browsed around and stumbled upon lots of Indonesian cooking blogs and most of them said that it's a hit & miss, trial & error kinda thing.

This one for sure was a hit & miss. Lots of learning to do. 

Inspiration to never quit!

moonbeams & bunny kisses, 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: TJ's Cookie Butter

Look at that thing. 

I'm sure at first you're like, "really? Cookie Butter?" I was with you on that. A friend of mine posted this on facebook and stated that she regrets buying this SINful jar, because it is indeed SINFUL. It's addicting to the point that your love handles will hate you. So when I went to Trader Joe's and saw a stack of these, I couldn't help but purchase a jar of Cookie Butter. Underneath the name is says, "A deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits."

First, they had me at Cookie. Second, Gingerbread. Third, Biscuits. Gawd, A cookie based spread? SOLD. Seriously, if you're a baker, you WILL NOT regret buying this.

Once I got home, I got so giddy, I literally dropped all my groceries, grab this jar and open the lid. I inhaled the scent of it, and my mouth starts to salivate. I grabbed a spoon and scooped a spoonful and I was seriously in cookie heaven. It really tastes like gingerbread, but this one... melts in your mouth. I cut up some gala apples, and started spreading this fine butter all over each apple piece. I seriously sat there in the middle of my kitchen floor, admiring the taste of the butter and the crunch of the apples. Next thing you know, I grabbed 2 slices of wheat bread and a banana, smothered the butter all of the breads and sliced the banana, creating a sandwich for my breakfast. Luckily (or maybe not?) I had a small piece of the banana cuts left, smothered them with the butter and indulged in pure banana-gingerbread heaven. NOMNOMNOM indeed. 

Today at work I couldn't stop talking about this spread. I was THAT excited. I'm gonna bring it and have them taste the awesomeness of this butter. 

If you have a Trader Joe's near by, I really recommend getting a jar, or two or three, of the Cookie Butter. You will not regret!

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

ps: TJ is not endorsing me on this review. I'm reviewing because I WANT YOU TO THE THIS JAR OF MOUTHGASM!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This will happen!

From Ariya
I know what I'm going to do on Tuesday.
The blog's name is inspired by this Cake. I can't wait.
One of my favorite Indonesian snack.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Happy Birthday to CCF

Dinda, Nia, Rima, JeJe, Icha, & Ocha
If you knew me since the ice age, you would know that I have 5 non-blood related sisters. 5 of us were BFFs since Elementary school, with 1 joining our sisterhood in Jr. High. I've known these girls in & out... We went through ups and downs, ins and outs, front & back, you get the gist.

We were all together til Jr High. The picture above was probably the only picture of all 6 of us together for the last time before we went our separate ways for High School. 2 moved to the US, 2 went to public schools and 2 continued in the same school as our Jr. High. We haven't have the opportunity yet to have all 6 of us in the same room!

Then college years, 2 remained in Jakarta, 1 went to the Philippines, the other 2 remained in the US, with 1 following their steps to achieve the American Dream.

Amazingly with the power of the internet, we were able to stay in touch through emails. We created a forum to keep track on our daily lives, share our hopes, dreams and fear, asking for advices on men & family drama, resolved conflict amongst each other... that forum was our lifeline. Then came along facebook. We were able to do more life sharing, amazingly able to update each others through photos.

Fast forward, it's been 17 years that we stick together like glue. We are all in the same land, USA, though separated by states (3 in California, 1 in Arizona, 1 in Washington State, and 1 in Colorado). We blossomed from innocent girls in Elementary school, became the popular clique in Jr. High, separated and befriended other people/cliques in High School, achieved our career goals in College, and look, we're already in Adulthood.

I'm so proud of my sisters. I thank God each year we celebrate the birthday of our sisterhood, Cha-Cha Family. I thank Him for introducing me to 5 amazing women that meant the world to me. Even though we're now busy with our own life (3 of us have our own family now), we still have each other's back.

I would like to thank each one of them.

Jeje... The Big Sister. One of the wisest person that I've known. She's the one I go to for advice. And she is now my only sister in SoCal since Icha got married and left to Central Cali. She's nurturing and caring and if one day I get sick, I hope she's there to be my advocate. Haha, one nurse to another.

Nia! She was my first friend when I moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, because she was the only one that spoke English! She's super cheerful, very curious and I know for sure a great mum to her uber cute baby, Cameron. Even though she's in Arizona, she comes to visit from time to time. But for sure we need to see baby Cam soon.

Icha! She's my BFF. We go through thick and thin. She's been my soul sister since back in the days. She was the one that took me home to my new house when I moved to Tanjung Barat (and she was the new kid in school) after waiting for my ride home, to find out that no one was there, because they were still moving stuff from Cinere. Lots of miscommunications between me and my parents (there were no cellphones back then) yet she waited with me and with her loving family, took me under their wings until my parents picked me up. Our love for her & her family started from there. Our parents and brothers became BFFs. We had TONS of sleep overs, gossiping, crying, laughing, you name it. She's my rock. And now she's pregnant with her first child, and I can NOT wait to meet my nephew. I'm gonna spoiled that little brat like no other. Baby A, MiMa can't wait to meet you!

Dinda... She entered our life in Junior High. She was my chair mate for 3 years. She was cool and so smart, we gladly accepted her easily to the family. Quirky in her own way, I love her for her straightforwardness and honest opinion. She has the brain and a strong faith in God that I really admire. Pursuing her masters, I give props to this sister of mine.

Ocha... The youngest yet the bravest. This girl is the survivor of us all. She's been through a lot of things yet she always has a smile to her face. I'm so happy that she finally made it to the US, making it complete of all of us in one soil. Very independent and hard worker, I can not but help to admire this little one. Loves to eat but never gains a pound, I envy her weight. Hahahaha... I hope she gets the purchase the home of her dreams and establish the goals she wants to achieve.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. Phil 1:3-4

Happy 17th year to us.

We still have yet to reunite. I hope soon. With husbands/partners/boyfriends/babies and all.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

PS: Do any of you have a close friend, or two, or a sisterhood that you've been friends since like, forever? Please do share. I want to know. Yes, Ya-Ya Sisterhood or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants do exist :)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Verse To Share

As my Sabbath ends, I would like to share you a verse that helped me through some rough times. 
Thanks to Ashley B from Pencilled Daydream, she reminded me how amazing God is. If you have a prayer request, click here. It doesn't hurt to have a random stranger pray for you. Prayer works. 

moonbeams & bunny kisses, 


Hi Folks.

It's a Saturday and I didn't go to church :( Well, the reason why is that I'm on call and I want to take advantage of resting (Sabbath is the day of Rest) with the anticipation of getting called in for a case. Despite that it's Mother's Day celebration at church, another reason why I didn't wanted to go because my mum is not here. She's flying home tomorrow from Jakarta and will be arriving on Monday, so I didn't feel the spirit of Mum's Day. Good thing is while I'm writing this, my baby Chimmy is sleeping right next to me, his human mum.

Also you may have noticed (if you've been following), the blog is going thru some facelift with some here-and-there additions. I'm going thru some experimenting on the format and layout of the blog, so please do expect some changes.

It's nice to finally have a day where I can relax and just take a breath in and smile.

Still at awe with the amazing single serve less than 2 minute cake, I decided to make mine today in my favorite coffee mug. Gone in 2 minutes!

Hope you guys have a nice weekend. 

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Friday, May 11, 2012

a love/hate situation

Chimmy, my beloved pomeranian, has this obsession about buns.

Yes, hamburger buns. Especially the ones from In-N-Out or Arby's. He'll usually eat 1/2 of the burger and 1 bun and will secretly sneak the other bun in to a secret hiding stash and will guard that area until he finish nibbles that one bun. If you try to take it away from him, he will, I mean WILL, attack you.

It's cute, yet annoying. Why? Sometimes he'll bring the bun and hang out in the middle of the way, obstructing the pathway to out. You'll come close by to the area, he'll automatically guards it and starts growling. One point you think it's cute, the other you're like, "WTH, will he bite me?"

I teased him one time, and I literally got bitten and bled. True Story. Never tease a protective dog.

As proof, here's a video of my Dad teasing the Dog to the point he started coughing (poor thing...)

Gotta love this crazy dog.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

So Currently I am...

So I was browsing around and found this mini-survey from Imaginary Fiction, and I decided that I want to participate. In a way it's my way for sorting things out of my mind. I remember doing this often back in xanga/myspace time (oh the ancient blogging days!) and I kinda miss doing this. Expect occasion life stories of Rima :)

Obsessing Over: Bohemian and Gypsy lifestyle. Ok, I'm not gonna lie but I've always love the idea of traveling around, cheaply, and just pretty much enjoy life. Like there's nothing in this world that could bother me. For a moment I wish I can just quit what I do and buy a caravan and roam around America. Haha... But I don't think that would happen. Also I'm obsessed on looking for another job. I don't know, it looks like I have this complex where I want to try something else with my Nursing career. I love action and I like trying something new. So far I have a background in Emergency and now Interventional Radiology. What's great about those department is that everyday I'll encounter with something different. I can't stick to the same routine everyday. Gah, that's not loving-your-job in my world. But we'll see. Currently I'm browsing around towards Orange County (I see my future there, tee hee). Also I'm obsessing about getting more sleep. Don't ask. 

Thinking About: how to save money for my future plans (read: wedding & baking classes)... how in the world can I clean my dog's teeth :( 

Anticipating: my mom returning from Indonesia. I can't wait for the gifts she's bringing me. Oh and can't wait to see how Chimmy will react when we pick her up at the airport. I expect crazy barking. 

Drinking: WATER, which I lack of. Sad, but true.

Wishing: that I really don't have to work my butt off to support my family... that I have a better paying job where I don't have to work full-time yet still can support my family and to do something that I'm really passionate about, baking!

So what are you currently doing?

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Food Time: Under 2 Minutes Nutella Chocolate Cake

FIRST THINGS FIRST: SORRY for the poor quality of the pictures. I was too excited to make this, I was like, "I don't care" when I was snip-snapping my iPhone to take the pictures.

Anyhoo... Are you one of those people who are too tired after work, BUT crave for something awesome as a reward without wracking your wallet? (I sound like a bad marketing person). Whatevs, but I was so happy when I stumbled upon this recipe online. The little baker in me wants to make something, but since I'm on-call for work, I can't make a full-on cupcake entry (imagine the disaster, mid-mixing, getting a call from work to come in!). So I browsed around (hello, Google) and found this amazing recipe. Great thing was that the ingredients are common in anyone's own kitchen, no need to get anything special.

Are you excited? I was excited. The awesome part was that the cake came out YUMMY. You can't complain eating a fresh "baked" cake out of a MICROWAVE. Yes, the mighty microwave. Gotta love the power of the micro. 

These are the perfect cake for us women when we're in the PMS time of the month. Craving for chocolate? Let's go. Get your whisk and bowl and mix this baby in 30 seconds, pop it in the microwave, and INDULGE. Trust me, I'm in that moment now and this made me & my nerves happy.

FYI: Serves 1-2. Awww yeaa... Portion control!

Warning: As mention by the source, this recipe calls for 1 egg. Yes, it gets cooked in a microwave, but maybe not long enough to fully cook the egg. The longer you cook the cake, the drier it gets. So make them at your own risk. Make sure you know the source of your eggs to prevent any salmonella exposure. Other than that, try it. 

This beats my PMS habit of eating a spoonful (or two) of Nutella cream. 

Under 2 Minutes Nutella Chocolate Cake
adapted from Bake to the Roots

You will need (and rejoice!):
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • optional: you may add 1/8tsp of Cinnamon if you want that kick.

1. In a bowl, dump all the ingredients and whisk all the way until the batter is fully mix. Important!

2. Grab a ramekin (I used a medium size one; if you have small ones, grab 2. Please do share!), grease it and pour batter in to it. You can even use any ceramic coffee mug. Cute, huh?

3. Microwave ramekin(s) on 70% power for about 30 seconds. You will see the batter rise like lava (don't freak out!). If you think the batter is not fully cook yet, add 10 seconds more. As a reminder, the more you add seconds, the drier the cake will be. 

4. ENJOY. Dollop them with whipped cream, cream cheese, chocolate syrup, leftover frosting, ice cream (!!!) or anything. In my case, I had tapioca pudding, and I was like, "meh, that will do!"

Once again I'm sorry for the poor picture quality. Other than that, NO REGRETS. Hahaha.

moonbeams & bunny kisses,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Food Time: Baked Penne with Turkey Bacon & Spinach

Yes! I have promised you with a recipe entry and so here it is. Today is my day off (gotta love any day off, right?) so after roaming around the gym trying to break a sweat, I decided I wanted to bake (what's new?) but this time something savory. I've made this before, but that was years ago and I didn't remember the ingredients. Good thing I remember I got this from Real Simple website long time ago, and with the power of the internet, I had the recipe in my hand. Liberating. 

I doubled the recipe, thinking I can use some leftovers, but ahoy, it made plenty for  a 1 week leftover. Hahaha. Good thing I have people at work who can use some food. Why not bring it. It's Nurse's Week. 

Baked Penne With Turkey Bacon & Spinach
adapted from Real Simple
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped. The more the merrier for me, because I am a garlic fan.
  • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp of dried crushed chili pepper *optional* I love my pasta spicy.
  • 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 24 ounces penne 
  • 8 slices of Turkey Bacon, cooked and chopped into small bits and pieces
  • 1 12 oz bag of ready to use Spinach
  • 16 ounces mozzarella, grated (about 4 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan (about 1 ounce)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Get your baking dish, in my case I used 2 of my medium size Pyrex, and with that I still had some leftovers to place in ramekins. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion until fragrant and slight transparent. Then add the garlic, crushed chili peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes.
  3. Cut up the whole tomatoes in the can with scissors or food processor. Add to the saucepan with the vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. You may add more salt/pepper to your taste.
  4. In the mean time, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the penne for half the package directions’ recommended time. Why half? Because the penne will continue to cook while baking. 
  5. Add the spinach to the sauce and cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the chopped bacons, stir. Add the drained pasta and toss to combine. 
  6. Fill up your baking dish half way with the pasta mix and sprinkle with 1-2 cups of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining pasta and sprinkle with the remaining cups mozzarella and Parmesan.
  7. Place the baking dish and bake until bubbling and beginning to brown (OMG THE SMELL WAS AMAZING), 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Serve warm and pair it with your favorite (alcoholic) beverage.

fresh out of the oven. OMG.

Afterwards, my kitchen was a hot mess, literally. I couldn't wait to eat them, so I ate some pre-baked ones and they were delish :) I can't wait for dinner to eat the baked ones. Call me a fatty. But, hey! I worked out today. I deserve an award. Haha.

If you do make these, let me know! I want feedbacks :)

moonbeams & bunny kisses,