Archive for the ‘FOOD’ Category



there are few things more indulgent or festive then homemade egg nog around the holidays. and it’s even better if it’s spiked. my mom has been making this recipe for years and it’s always a hit. don’t be scared off by your previous egg nog experiences, this is delicious and easy to make and tastes nothing like the store bought version. - joanie


what you’ll need: 

• 2 eggs, well-beaten
• 1/3 can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 quart whole milk
• 1 pint whipping cream
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• Kahlúa (optional)

• beat the heavy whipping cream, adding in the 2 tablespoons of sugar, until it forms a loose whipped cream consistency.

• in a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then mix with the condensed milk, vanilla, salt and milk. fold in half of the whipped cream.

• divide the egg nog into 5 glasses, add kahlua, if desired. we added about 1 ounces per glass. top with whipped cream and dust with nut meg.


(photos by sheila gim for designlovefest)



“The holidays are the perfect time to make desserts that are a little more decadent than usual. You add a little more booze to everything, most things end up coated in chocolate, and the most dessert-oriented nouns that be crammed into a sweet’s title, the better. This cake follows along with that idea, and incorporates melted chocolate and Dutch-processed cocoa in the batter. The buttercream, however, is a striking white and combines sweet and salty with a salted peppermint flavoring. The result is a cake that satisfies everyone’s sweet tooth and tastes entirely of the season.” – Eva

Peppermint Chocolate Cake with Salted Peppermint Buttercream
By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Chocolate Peppermint Cake
• 2 cups sugar
• 2 cups flour
• 2/3 cup dutch process cocoa
• 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 6 ounces dark chocolate
• 2/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
• 4 eggs, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/4 cup whole milk

Salted Peppermint Buttercream
• 1 cup butter, softened
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 3 tablespoons heavy cream
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and lightly flour 3 (8-inch) cake pans and set aside.

• In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-blended. Set aside.

• In the top of a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the oil, vanilla, and peppermint. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating between adding the flour mixture and the water. Add the milk and stir until a batter has formed.

• Evenly distribute the batter between the three cake pans and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the pans comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing the cake from the
pan and allowing the layers to cool on a wire rack.

• While the cake is baking and cooling, you can prepare the buttercream. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together all ingredients until a smooth, whipped buttercream forms.

• Once the cakes have cooled, lightly frost each layer and then the entire cake.  Serve immediately.

(recipe + photos by Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking for designlovefest– want more food posts? go here!)



happy holidays! today, we’re sharing a recipe for these festive cocktails. i love the deep red color with the accent of floating cranberries. and, as an added bonus you can freeze the cranberries ahead of time to help keep the cocktails cool!

we made a slight adaptation on this recipe. we created the mint infused syrup but we also added floating fresh mint leaves and frozen cranberries before serving. they were delicious and the hint of lemon in the cocktail keeps it tasting light and refreshing.

what are some of your favorite holiday cocktails? i’ve been wanting to make homemade egg nog, i’m not a fan of the store bought kind but i’ve heard that the homemade version is completely different. do you have any recipes to share?

(photos by sheila gim for designlovefest)



we think pasta is the quintessential comfort food. look up “comfort food” on wikipedia, and you’ll find a hearty debate on the validity, origin, cultural acceptance/rejection of the term.  memories and food go hand in hand, so for us, comfort food just means food that brings back memories, while making us feel good and nurtured when we eat it.

we thought it would be fun to team up with roomforty and show you how to make your OWN pasta from scratch. we recommend the following: a good soundtrack, a good work surface—(smooth, at least 3 feet long, no grouted counters), an apron, a glass of vino, and the recipe below. memories and goodness will be close behind. cheers!

some notes before you start:

• The key to fresh pasta is using the right flour. We use 00 (double 0)  Flour, which can be purchased at specialty food shops, (for L.A. residents, Surfas or Gourmet Imports carries 00 flour). Whole Foods carries semolina flour but does not carry 00. Do not bother going through the trouble of making fresh pasta if you’re going to use all-purpose flour.

• The recipe below is for filled pasta—agnolotti, or ravioli.

• In the spirit of simplicity, we make our dough in a standing mixer. It works great, makes less of a mess—but of course, isn’t as fun for the kids. So if you do want to get the gooey/sticky hand thing going, go for it! Pour your flour on a work surface, make a well in the middle, put the wet ingredients into the well, mix and knead until baby bum texture is achieved.

• Pasta recipes are not exact science due to the varying sizes of egg yolks. Some yolks are large, resulting in dough that is more wet, while some yolks are smaller resulting in drier dough. Keep a few tablespoons of water on hand to balance the moisture.

• You can use any filling for filled pasta—vegetable purees, mixtures of cheeses, meats. Just remember for the actual pasta you’re using a pinch of salt for all of the pasta—so filling needs to be very seasoned so that you maintain flavor when your filling is covered with the pasta.



• 1 lb. 00 Flour
• Pinch of Salt (kosher or sea salt)
• 23 Egg Yolks
• ¼ Cup of White Wine (the secret!)
• 1/8 Cup of Olive Oil
• Egg Wash:
• 3 Egg Yolks
• 1 Tbsp Water

Step 1: Put flour and salt into standing mixer bowl. Add yolks, olive oil, and white wine. Mix at medium speed for 4 minutes using the dough hook attachment.

Step 2: Form dough into ball shape.

Step 3: Cover dough ball with plastic wrap or damp towel. Dough always needs to be moist, and needs to be prevented from drying and cracking.

Step 4: The dough needs to rest. We recommend at least 2 to 3 hours, covered in a refrigerator. You can let the dough rest in the fridge up to 3 days.

Step 5: Slice 1/8 of the ball into your portion. Whatever dough is un-used can be frozen. Thaw at room temperature before using.

Step 6: Flatten dough portion with a rolling pin so that it can be fed through pasta machine.

Step 7:  Set pasta crank on “1” and feed dough through pasta machine. You will have a long rectangle.

Step 8: Take one end of the rectangle, and fold into the middle of the dough. Take the other end and fold into the middle of the rectangle. Take the “3-layered” rectangle and pass through pasta machine again with the thickness setting at “2”.

Step 9: Set thickness dial to “3”, and pass pasta through. Set thickness dial to “4” and repeat.

Step 10: Place filling in a pastry bag.

Step 11:  Place long pasta rectangle on work floured work surface. Tim round edges to form straight ends. Fold the pasta sheet in half to find your halfway point.  You will only be working on half the pasta sheet because the other half will end up being the top of your ravioli. Make an indention with the large ring mold into the pasta sheet.  Pipe about 2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the indention —if you want to break it here, you can—I could go either way

Step 12: You’re going to be folding the pasta onto itself. The egg wash is the glue. Mix 3 egg yolks and 1 tbsp of water to form egg wash and brush egg wash in the shape of a square around the piped filling.

Step 13: Fold the pasta sheet onto its self and use a smaller ring mold to press the pasta sheet down around the filling.

Step 14:  Now take the large ring mold you used earlier to make the indention and punch out the raviolis.  Make sure your filling is centered in the middle of the ring mold before you press down.

Step 15: If you’re cooking right away, place raviolis into boiling salted water for 4 minutes or until just al dente. If you are saving for later, spread semolina flour (or corn meal) onto a baking sheet, and dry raviolis on baking sheet for 15 minutes before placing into the fridge or freezer.

Frozen pasta needs to completely de-frost before cooking. Do not drop frozen agnolotti or ravioli into boiling water. 

Step 16: Simple sauces rule with filled pasta. A little butter, fresh shaved reggiano and chives are killer.

Buon Appetito!
The roomforty family

(photos by brittany wood, recipes by roomforty, want more food posts? go here!))



“The pinchingly chilly breezes of November signal a tangier, brighter time for our taste buds. Yes, the time of the cranberry has arrived. It’s almost impossible to find fresh cranberries outside of November and December, so I always take full advantage of them while they’re here. And my favorite way to do so is through baked goods.”

“Cranberries have this wonderful sweet-sour flavor to them that pairs incredibly well with sweet desserts. Here I’ve paired them with a rich yellow cake that has a bit of cream cheese beaten into the cake batter for some extra richness. The rich cream cheese pairs with the tangy cranberries perfectly, and the sweet cake contrasts with the sour elements of the cranberries in the most delightful way. You could also top these with a cream cheese buttercream if you’d like, but I like eating them as-is because you get to see the beautiful colors of the berries, and they’re decadent enough without the added frosting. So enjoy these little beauties, and let them add a ray of color and flavor to your Thanksgiving dessert table.” -Eva

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins
By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking
yields 14 muffins

• 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 3/4 cup flour
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 5 eggs
• 1 cup fresh ripe cranberries

• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with oven-safe liners and set it aside.

• In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and cream cheese at medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the oil and sugars and continue beating until fluffy. Set aside.

• In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing at medium low speed until just incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. After the eggs have been added the batter should be light, fluffy, and airy.

• Stir in the cranberries.

• Evenly distribute the batter between the liners in the cupcake pan, filling each about 3/4 full. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

(recipe + photos by Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking for designlovefest– want more food posts? go here!)

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Why hello there designlovefest readers! Welcome to my place of inspiration + creation. Thanks for stopping by. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so if at any time you see work that is improperly recognized, please send me quick note and I’ll gladly update the information.

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