Funnel Cake

Funnel cake has a very special space in my soul.

I’ve been obsessed with funnel cake ever since I was a kid. Whenever we attended any fair, amusement park, or outdoor event I would always beg to end the day with funnel cake. As I got older and America’s culinary world grew more creative I began to see new types of funnel cakes covered in pounds of whipped cream, strawberries, jam, and sometimes peanut butter. 

Nothing against those inventions, but I’m a funnel cake purist. Just powdered sugar will do it for me, thanks.

Funnel cake is ridiculously easy to make at home, and all of the ingredients are probably already chilling in your fridge and pantry. You can even get creative if you don’t have a funnel on hand. To get the squiggles for the frying step, I’ve been known to fill up a Ziploc bag with the batter and snip off the corner in order to squeeze it out. This is also a great method for piping frosting if you don’t own a pastry bag.

So here is how you make funnel cake at home. I’ve made this funnel cake recipe multiple times when I was craving something sweet, deep fried, and sugary and it hits the spot every time. Enjoy!

Easy Homemade Funnel Cakes
Serves 4
Light and fluffy fried funnel cakes
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups oil for frying
  2. 1 large egg
  3. ⅔ cup milk
  4. 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees. Reduce heat to medium to maintain the heat.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg and milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour batter into a funnel (with your finger over the tip), or spoon batter into a large plastic bag with a tip cut off.
  5. Pipe batter into the hot oil making a squiggly design and working from the center out. Fry funnel cake for two minutes on each side.
  6. Remove from oil onto paper towels to drain.
  7. Sprinkle powdered sugar over hot cakes.
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

So, I’m kinda really into salads now.

My recent trip to San Francisco was filled with every type of pastry, carb, and cream available to man, and after I came back home I found myself craving a really good, clean kale salad. So I went back to one of my go-to easy recipes that always hits the spot – Kale Farro Strawberry Fruit Salad with Blue Cheese. YUMMY!

I was inspired to recreate this salad recipe after visiting WeHo Bistro here in L.A., which had a very similar salad that I craved for days after I first tried it. When I say this salad is easy I mean it’s EASY with barely any cooking required. All you have to do is chop up the fruits, veggies, and cook up some farro, which only takes about 10 minutes. 

I like to top this salad with some chunks of blue cheese for extra flavor, but you can leave it out if you’re vegan. If you want to make homemade raspberry dressing to go with this, then good for you! I personally used a store bought version to save on time. 

I love every bite of this salad, and I hope you do, too! Let me know if you decide to try it 🙂

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StrawberryPancakesRecipe

StrawberryHealthyPancakes

I visited the Oxnard Strawberry Festival over the weekend and walked away with a belly filled with strawberry shortcake and delicious fried festival food. And of course, a nice pint of fresh, organic California-grown strawberries.

Being the wannabe chef I am, I knew right away that I wanted to cook with the strawberries, so I whipped up some Strawberry Greek Yogurt pancakes the next day.

These pancakes are nice and thick and fluffy, just how I like them. The secret to fluffy pancakes is to not overstir the batter. Use a whisk to incorporate everything just until all the ingredients come together, then put your whisk down and walk away. It’s okay if there are a few lumps left in the batter.

These pancakes are the perfect treat to add to your summer breakfast or brunch menu. I hope you get to try them!

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more butter for greasing)
  2. 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter first. Microwave or stovetop - either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You don't want it piping hot.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract together until combined. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk by hand gently to combine the ingredients. The batter is thick and a few lumps may remain. Very gently, fold in the strawberries.
  4. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with butter for each pancake or batch of pancakes.
  5. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

The only thing better than chocolate chip cookies, is mini chocolate chip cookies.

I nabbed this mini chocolate chip cookie recipe from Yammie’s Noshery and it is absolutely divine. I strategically made these the same day I attended a housewarming party so I wouldn’t be faced with the temptation of being left alone with three dozen cookies. They were a total hit and got gobbled up very quickly. Bottom line: you must bake these cookies!

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick of softened butter
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1/4 cup white sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  7. 1 cup cake flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift in the flours, salt, and soda. Mix until just combined and stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm, or throw it in the freezer (my dough took about 2 hours to firm up).
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF.
  3. Scoop cookie dough by 1/2 teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 5-8 minutes or until desired doneness is reached. Press some extra chocolate chips into the top at the end if desired.
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Adapted from Yammie's Noshery
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/
Mini Cookies Recipe Food Blog

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You guys.

This popcorn is special. Super special. All because you make it yourself. For an authentic homemade experience, start by planting the seeds in April, wait for fall to roll around and gather your husband and eight kids together to cut through the corn fields and shuck husk until their arms fall off. Well, maybe if you were born in the 1800s.

Today, you can buy a whole can of kernels in the grocery store for just a few bucks and it takes just minutes to make your own skillet popped popcorn. That’s just what I did, and I love it. I don’t think I can ever go back to using bagged popcorn again, because popping it in a pan is just so superior. Maybe I think it tastes better just because I put more work into it, or maybe it does just taste better 🙂

But I digress. You’re reading this because you want to cover your popcorn in all the caramel and chocolate and huff it down by the handful while cuddling on the couch in front of your favorite movie. If you love chocolate and candy, then this is for you. I adapted this a little from another recipe that I found on Pinterest that used Snickers. I don’t like Snickers, so I used Heath bars instead. You can really use any chocolate candy that you like, and I recommend using your favorite.

For this recipe you will need:

  • Plain, air or stovetop popped popcorn
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2-3 full sized candy bars
  • Melted semi-sweet chocolate chips to drizzle

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The first thing you need to do is acquire popcorn. I recommend using the stovetop method or using a popcorn machine, if you have one. This great snack starts with great popcorn, and you’ll want to treat yourself to the best. Just follow the directions that come on printed on your jar of kernels. I used just 1/3c of kernels, and it made more than enough popcorn to share with roommates.

The next thing you need to make is caramel. Don’t buy the pre-made stuff, just DON’T. Homemade caramel is so easy and takes just a few minutes to make.

Just toss the corn syrup, brown sugar, and butter in a saucepan and let it boil over medium heat for about five minutes. I only had dark corn syrup on hand so I used that but I would recommend using light corn syrup if you have it. The dark corn syrup is heavier, and makes a more viscous caramel that won’t spread over the popcorn as easily. Remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the baking soda.

Now here comes the fun part – pour the caramel over the popcorn and make sure it coats every last one of them evenly.

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Transfer the caramelized popcorn onto a large lined roasting pan and roast in a 200 degree oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. The popcorn will crisp up nicely and look good enough to eat 🙂

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In the meantime, coarsely chop up your candy bars into nice chunks. Two regular sized Heath bars was plenty for this amount of popcorn, but you can add as much or as little as you like.

Remove the popcorn from the oven and mix the candy in with the popcorn. Return to the oven for 3 more minutes, which is just enough time for the candy to stick to the popcorn and melt slightly.

Remove your beautiful popcorn-candy mixture from the oven and let it cool, or don’t if you can’t wait. I couldn’t. Drizzle the top with some melted chocolate. You’ll thank me if you do.

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Enjoy and thanks so much for reading!

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