New plan for the new year

As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 begins, I have a few goals for myself and for the site.  2014 has been a good year where several food related things were learned and I plan to expand on those experiences in the coming year, as well as learn a few more tricks.

My plan for the coming year will be to share with you my experiences in baking, brewing (and maybe even roasting) coffee, smoking (and curing?) meats, and cheesemaking.

I am not a trained chef, baker, barista, or cheese monger but I do love these foods! What I know I learn from other sources and love to practice so I will be using this website to share my successes and failures with others who may be interested.  I have a passion for the processes and love the ‘making’ as much as I do the eating and sharing.

If you would like to get in touch, please do so – I would love to hear from you!


nick (at)

DIY Chocolate Pudding

Seeing as I have somewhat of a sweet tooth, I was happy to try my hand at pudding today.  I’ve made my fair share of packaged box pudding, so I was happy to find the time and inspiration to make it from scratch at home tonight.  I’ve replaced the whole milk for skim and took out about 1/4 of the sugar that the original recipe calls for so this is a “light” pudding.  This recipe is easy to make, delicious, and is great to do ahead.  And, everyone loves pudding!  The hardest part is waiting for it to cool in the fridge!  Makes 4 servings and is adapted from the mouth watering Bon Appetit Desserts book.


  • 1/2 cup sugar (or Spenda?)
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (or chips)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Sift sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt into a medium saucepan.
  • Slowly add the milk and wish until the mixture is fully incorporated.
  • Move the pan to the stove and turn it on medium.  Whisk away until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Take the pudding off the heat and whisk in the choco chips and vanilla extract.
  • Use a silicon spatula to scrape the pudding in to small ramekins and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours if you can wait that long!

Cleanup for this recipe is a piece of cake too so go ahead and make it, clean up, and enjoy!

Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Poofs)

It has taken me nearly two months to come up with an article that I think can truly capture the essence of what I think I want think website to be!  In the future, I would like this site to be a place where you can come to find recipes that help make your kitchen life just a bit more…interesting. There are lots of websites dedicated to cooking and baking out there, and I really hope that this website can add a little multicultural je ne sais quoi.

I am Brazilian by birth and one of my all-time favorite treats at gatherings with friends, or when I go home to visit family, is a small little poof of utter joy that is called “Pão de Queijo”.  The literal translation is “bread of cheese”, but don’t be fooled – these poofs have no yeast and aren’t really all that bready, but they do have a warm and cheesy flavor that will leave you wanting more.  These are the things I think about when I hear people say “I bet you can’t eat just one”.  These are the snacks that I picture in my head when I have a craving for something savory.  These are the snacks that I remember and these are the snacks that I love!


  • 1 bag (500 grams) of tapioca flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 small/medium eggs
  • 1 cup grated parmesean, asiago or other hard/salty cheese of your choice


  • In a large pot, bring the oil, milk, and salt to medium heat.  Once the liquid is hot, slowly add the flour and stir to make sure it all gets nicely incorporated in the mixture.  Be advised that this flour has the potential to cause a big mess!  Once incorporated, let cool.
  • Once cool, use a mixer or spool and add the eggs to the mixture.  Make sure they’re worked in completely.  Add the cheese and mix well.  At the end of all the mixing, the dough should have a semi-firm consistency.  That is, it should not be runny.  When I made my last batch, I ended up using another 1/4-1/2 cup of flour as my eggs were extra large.
  • Using a scoop or your hands, make balls slightly smaller than golf balls and place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until the tops start to turn golden brown.

They will smell amazing…let it cool a little so you don’t burn yourself and I bet you can’t eat just one!