Happy Birthday - My 1 year Blogiversary

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the NuM NuM. My baby turned one today - such a proud parent I am! Wow, I can't believe I've been blogging for a full year now. That's a whole lotta recipes if you think about it. Lots of nums :) and lots of horizontal expansion in the waist area :( My love for cooking which I thought was a blessing has now become my curse. But of course I had to make something sweet to celebrate. Hell, you can't have a birthday without cake - that would just be sacrilegious.

For my blogiversary I made Julia Child's Reine de Saba cake from the movie "Julie and Julia." I didn't know what the name of the cake was but basically if you've seen the movie, it's the cake Julie and her husband are shoveling into their mouths with their bare hands. They made it look amazingly delicious and I was so excited to make it. However, I was rather disappointed with the cake and was extremely bummed since I made it for my one year celebration. There was nothing specifically wrong with the cake per se, it had a nice richness and texture, but it tasted like marzipan and I hate marzipan. Oh well, what can you do?!

Anyway, I'd like to thank my peeps (I have a whopping twelve "followers" ya know - I'm officially in the double digits...woo hoo - but who's counting) for following me through my journey of Num's and putting up with my ooh's and ahhh's over all the meals I've gotten excited about that made me want to do my "happy dance." Therefore to commemorate this momentous occasion, I've made a list of my Top 10 recipes from the past year that I'd make over and over again - which says a lot coming from me since I usually don't like making the same thing twice. So I hope you'll be inspired and continue to enjoy the recipes from this blog and hopefully you too will be doing the "happy dance" more often and staying cute in the face but not thick in the waist. NuM NuM ^_^

- "Burger Throwdown" Winning Recipe
- Blackened Fish Tacos with Mango Jicama Salad
- Salmon Burgers with Soy Mayo and Sesame Slaw
- Hazelnut Chocolate Coffee Chip Ice Cream
- Fancy Shmancy "Piggy in a Blanket"
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Almond Toffee Chocolate Brittle CRACK
- Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding
- Butterflied Cuban Style Pork Chops

Um...I couldn't pick just 10 and had to add three more
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheescake Brownies
- Pear Crostata with Honey, Blue Cheese, and Almonds
- Zuni Cafe's Roast Chicken

Reine de Saba (The Queen of Sheeba cake)
Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking


3 ounces sweet baking chocolate, chopped

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons strong coffee

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened

1/2 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

3 egg whites

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup blanched almonds pulverized with 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup plain bleached cake flour, in a sifter set on wax paper

1. Set the oven at 325 degrees. Set the rack in the lower middle level. Butter and flour an 8- by 1 1/2-inch round cake pan.

2. In a double boiler or bowl set over a pan of 2 or 3 inches of water, combine the sweet and unsweetened chocolates with the coffee. Bring water to a simmer,cover, and let chocolate melt,stirring until smooth. Turn off the heat.

3. In a 3-quart mixing bowl, use a hand-held electric mixer to cream the butter until soft and fluffy, then add the 1/2 cup sugar. Beat 1 minute, then beat in the yolks.

4. In another mixing bowl, beat the whites until foaming, beat in the cream of tartar and salt, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until stiff, shining peaks form.

5. Blend the warm melted chocolate into the yolk mixture, then blend in the almonds and almond extract. Stir a quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten it. Scoop the rest of the whites over the chocolate and, alternating with sprinkles of the flour, rapidly and delicately fold in the whites.

6. Immediately turn the batter into the prepared pan, tilting it in all directions to run it up to the rim, and set it in the oven.

7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cake has puffed to the top of the pan and a toothpick plunged into it 2 and 3 inches from the edges comes out clean. (The center should move slightly when the pan is gently shaken.

8. Remove the pan to a rack and let it cool for 15 minutes, then unmold onto the rack. Let it cool completely, at least 2 hours, before storing or icing.


2 ounces sweet chocolate, chopped

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons rum or strong coffee

Pinch of salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1. In a double boiler or bowl set over a pan of 2 or 3 inches of water, combine both chocolates with the rum or coffee, bring water to a simmer, cover, and let chocolate melt, stirring until smooth. Turn off the heat.

2. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the salt into the melted chocolate, then beat in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating over cold water until icing is firm enough to spread. Turn the icing onto the top of the cake and spread it evenly over the top and sides.