Entries Tagged as 'food'

recipe: easiest icebox cake

October 4th, 2013 · 4 Comments

Icebox Cake Sugarlaws 2

Some of you have been around long enough to remember that before I was a fashion blogger, I was a food blogger.  For the first year and a half of its existence, Sugarlaws was a place where I posted original recipes as I created them — and at the time, that’s how I thought it would stay.

It’s funny to remember those early days now, because obviously this blog has changed a lot since then.  But what I remember most is what a small community that food-blogger world was.  I remember reading a handful of blogs whose writers became my virtual friends — this was before the days of events and fashion week and my blogger friends becoming real-life friends, back when an online “friend” was someone you tweeted with every once in a while and maybe exchanged and email or two.  And, above all, we commented on each other’s blogs.  It was a small world back then, and I’m pretty sure my first hundred or so comments were from other food bloggers, encouraging me and sharing in my successes and failures (of which there were many). 

Some days, I kind of miss that.  The internet has gotten so vast and expansive that it’s easy to forget there are real people behind each website, and I find myself gravitating to the bloggers who don’t mind reminding you that they’re normal people with normal lives every now and again.  I always appreciate when bloggers are open and honest about their real lives — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and I’m making an effort to become one of them. 

Which is a long way of saying: this cake came into my head back in those days, in 2007 when I saw it for the first time on Smitten Kitchen.  I remember thinking it was so beautiful (it is) and Deb was so talented (she is), and that someday, I’d try one of my own.  And look: it only took me six years!


White Chocolate Icebox Cake


2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
6 ounces white chocolate discs (you could also use chips)
1 box (9 ounces) ginger wafer cookies (chocolate would be great too)
Raspberries, for decorating


Whip 1 1/2 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form.  Melt chocolate over simmering water until smooth and creamy; whisk in 1/2 cup cream.  Fold white chocolate mixture into whipped cream until incorporated.

Spread a small amount of the whipped cream onto the bottom of six cookies, and arrange them in a circle on a cake dish.  Place one additional cookie in the middle of the circle.  Spread the whipped cream mixture over the entire layer of cookies, spreading outwards to cover them up to the edges.  Layer another set of cookies on top of the whipped cream mixture in the same pattern, and repeat with another layer of whipped cream.  Repeat until you have reached the desired height, ending with a layer of whipped cream.  Top with a few raspberries or white chocolate shavings. 

Refrigerate cake at least 6 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.

Icebox Cake Sugarlaws 3

Tags: desserts · food

chocolate cake cookies

August 25th, 2013 · 2 Comments


So, the title of this post was originally “Royal Baby Chocolate Cake Cookies,” which is why I used our cute little Union Jack stools as backdrop.  But that probably tells you a little bit about how long this recipe sat in my “To Publish” folder, since that baby has probably had four People Magazine covers by now!

But these cookies?  Still totally great.  Cookies are one of my favorite things to bake — they’re not as time or labor-intensive as making a whole cake, but you still get that extra-special homemade touch.  And as an added bonus, Chad would prefer cookies over cake any day (sometimes it’s a major effort to stop him from eating the whole batch)! 

So if you’re looking for a yummy Sunday afternoon recipe, I definitely recommend these.  And congratulations to Will and Kate, a little bit late!


Chocolate Cake Cookies

1 1/4 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips
Powdered sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.  Add the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to the creamed mixture and mix thoroughly, then mix in the chocolate chips.  Drop dough by small spoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with Silipat or parchment paper.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies will be soft. Cool slightly on cookie sheet; remove from sheet onto wire rack to cool completely.  When the cookies are cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve.


Tags: desserts · food

recipe: homemade granola

June 13th, 2013 · 3 Comments


I made this granola a week or two ago, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys!  If you haven’t had homemade granola, you’re completely missing out — the store-bought kind tastes so processed and not nearly as yummy in comparison!  Truth be told, I’d usually pick cereal over granola in the supermarket, but homemade?  It beats anything, hands down.

And the best part about granola is that you probably have all the ingredients on hand!  We have so many bags of dried fruit, nuts, oatmeal and sweet syrups in our house, it’s a wonder I don’t make this every week.  Maybe I’ll start!

One trick that made this recipe so much better than my earlier attempts: not adding the dried fruit until after the granola had cooked!  I hated having extra-dry, overcooked raisins in prior tries, and this made so much of a difference.  Everything just tasted fresher and better!


Homemade Granola

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds
1/2 cup coardsely chopped raw walnuts
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp flaxseed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Water, if necessary

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Mix together the oats, almonds, walnuts, sugar, olive oil, honey, flaxseed, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Stir well so that everything is mixed through thoroughlt (if you don’t have enough liquid to cover everything, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to the mixture).

Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with Silipat or parchment paper.  Bake until golden, about 30 minutes, stirring the granola every 5-10 minutes with a spatula so it will cook evenly.  Remove from the oven and stir in the raisins and cranberries.  Serve warm or at room temperature, with milk or yogurt.


Tags: Breakfast and Brunch · food

recipe: perfect baked spinach and eggs

June 6th, 2013 · 9 Comments


Chad and I have been traveling a lot lately — some of it together, some of it on our own, and it’s been really rare that we have a break for a Whole. Entire. Weekend.  Which is essentially what happened on Saturday and Sunday.  We woke up in our house, looked around, and realized we could just… chill out.

Which, obviously, for me, meant the opposite of chilling: it meant cooking!  Breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a few snacks in between.  You guys may have seen some of these photos already on Instagram, but I wanted to give you the whole recipes!

So start with these yummy baked eggs, that just take a few minutes and a couple of fresh ingredients.  Healthy, easy, and absolutely delicious!


Perfect Baked Spinach and Eggs

10 oz baby spinach leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 tbsp spreadable cheese (I like Boursin)
2 large slices multigrain bread


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking dish and place two slices of bread inside.  Slather the bread with the spreadable cheese, and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small saute pot, mix the spinach, garlic powder, olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper together.  Cook until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. 

Spread the spinach over the slices of bread evenly.  Create a small indentation for each egg in the center of the bread.  Gently crack an egg into that indentation for each slice. 

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set.  Serve warm and enjoy!


Tags: breads · Breakfast and Brunch · food

recipe: artichoke and spinach quinoa

May 24th, 2013 · 5 Comments


A few weeks ago, Chad and I revamped our kitchen and eating habits — we’ve always eaten reasonably healthy, but we started to realize that we were consuming a LOT of junk food.  In New York, I’d usually stop by a grocery store once every few days, and there were always easy takeout options that we went to in a pinch.  In Houston, our routine is really different — we cook a lot more on a day-to-day basis, but since everything isn’t in walking distance of our house, we depend a lot on what we have on hand. 

Which… eventually became a lot of junk food.  We were caught in this cycle of me buying food, Chad not knowing what we had and grabbing less healthy options by default, and then I wouldn’t buy as many healthy options because we never ate them… big mess.  But a few weeks ago, we decided to make a major effort to be all-around healthier.

So I thought I’d share with you guys one of my new go-to recipes!  Quinoa is actually super easy to make — it only takes 15-20 minutes to cook and it’s a whole grain that’s packed with fiber.  Pair it with some easy staples like artichokes and fresh baby spinach, and you have a quick, simple dish that’s perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner!

And, yes, I still totally cheat — there’s still ice cream in our freezer and I’ll kick and scream before giving up flavor-blasted goldfish (love them!).  But overall, these are good, healthy steps in the right direction!


Artichoke and Spinach Quinoa


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder


Before cooking, rinse the quinoa thoroughly using a mesh strainer. 

Cook the quinoa according to package directions, but replace one cup of water with vegetable stock (so, if the package calls for 4 cups of water, use 1 cup of vegetable stock and 3 cups of water).  After the quinoa is cooked, stir in the artichokes, baby spinach, olive oil, garlic powder and lemon juice.  Leave the mixture on low heat, stirring frequently, for about 2-3 minutes or until heated through.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Tags: food · main dishes · side dishes