Beach Town Baking

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Barnes and Noble Book Signing this Saturday

Hi everyone,

I’ll be at Barnes and Noble Irvine Spectrum this Saturday (5/6/17) from 2pm to 4pm signing my cookbooks including my latest one, FARM-TO-TABLE DESSERTS.

Hope to see you there!

728 Spectrum Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618


beach town baking

The book that started it all…

Big day folks! The book that started it all, Beach House Baking, is released today into the ethereal world of paperback reprint! This newly updated reprint has TEN new recipes that are perfect for the start of summer. Order your fresh copy on Amazon here.

Happy Baking!




A strawberry daiquiri was the first cocktail I ever tried. I was vacationing in Saint Thomas recklessly laying on the beach without sun block (ah to be 21 again) and snorkeling the clear blue waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands.   At the end of each full day of water adventure, I treated myself to one of the most refreshing blended cocktails out there.

Just like its cocktail version, these strawberry daiquiri cupcakes combine strawberries, sugar, lime and rum to make a sweet treat that can be enjoyed any time of day. Roasting the strawberries ahead of time intensifies not only their sweet flavor but also their beautiful red color eliminating the need for any artificial coloring or additives.

This recipe yields 14 booze infused cupcakes topped with a heaping mound of vanilla whipped cream.

Btw, this recipe can also be found in the upcoming reprint of my first cookbook Beach House Baking. You can pre-order it on Amazon here!



beach town baking



  • 12oz strawberries (hulled and quartered)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour (sifted)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3oz unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Medium lime (zested)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons rum (i prefer bacardi)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with 14 paper liners and set aside.
Combine the strawberries and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring once halfway. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth and set aside.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, lime zest and vanilla on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, scraping well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the milk and dry ingredients alternately, beginning with the milk and ending with the flour. Mix in the rum and the strawberry puree. Scrape bowl well.
Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them up to the rim. (I use a 2.6-ounce ice cream scoop.) Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pan, and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting: Combine all ingredients in a mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Beat on low speed until the mixture begins to thicken. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing until cream is stiff yet smooth. Transfer to a piping bag and frost the cooled cupcakes.



I have some great news. My first cookbook, Beach House Baking, has been queued up for a reprint!

I’ve been asked to create 10 delicious new recipes for the reprint to make it even bigger, badder and beachier!

These buttery almond squares have definitely made the cut, and I’m excited for all of you to try them.


They are quite easy to make and quick to bake. They keep well in an airtight container stored in the refrigerator but trust me, they won’t last very long because it’s hard to stop eating them.

While the cake bakes, you cook a butter almond sauce over the stove until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture thickens. The sauce is then poured over the warm, just-baked cake and broiled until the almond topping caramelizes to perfection.


When the cake has cooled, cut it into squares and enjoy!

beach town baking





Almond Squares


  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (soft)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13x2-inch pan and set aside.
Combine the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until thick, about 2 minutes. Mix in 1 cup melted butter and 1 cup flour until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Combine 1/2 cup soft butter, almonds, 1 tablespoon flour and milk in a small pot and cook over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens. Spread the mixture over the cake right after it comes out of the oven. Adjust the oven to high broil and caramelize the topping for 6 minutes, rotating every couple minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Beach House Brunch available for pre-order on Amazon

Hi everyone!

Just a heads up that you can now pre-order my second cookbook Beach House Brunch on Amazon. Just click here to get to Amazon.

And….Rumor is that even though its official release is June 21, Amazon is shipping orders ahead of schedule 🙂

Beach House Brunch 9781510702899

I’m super excited about this cookbook. I love the photographs that Chau and Brent took and there are 100 recipes for beverages, egg dishes, salads, casseroles, pastries and of course desserts that you will love.

Thanks everyone!

beach town baking

Sauteed Kale

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Happy 2016!

If you’re like me, you’ve made a resolution to eat healthier this year. Who knows how long that will last, but for the moment I’m going to try.

Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, kale is a superfood that should be a staple in your diet. It’s a budget friendly vegetable, too. For suppers, I like to saute kale as it’s quick to prepare and it pairs well with many different proteins. In addition to garlic, salt and pepper, I like to season kale with dried basil which pairs really well with the green, leafy vegetable. Try out my recipe and you’ll see!


beach town baking

Sauteed Kale


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 bunch kale (washed and de-stemmed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Small chop/ chiffonade the kale leaves and add them to the pan. Cover with lid and cook for 1 minute undisturbed. Remove lid and stir. Cover with lid and cook for 1 minute. Remove lid and stir as leaves wilt.
Stir in the dried basil, salt and pepper. Continue cooking over low to medium heat for another minute. Stir in the stock. Let cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the red wine vinegar and cook for 30 seconds more. Cover. Remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Season with more salt and pepper if desired.

Sweet Deal for Beach House Baking


Hi everyone! Just wanted to share a super sweet deal that’s running on Amazon. For a limited time, you can purchase the Kindle ebook edition of my book Beach House Baking for only $1.99! Click here to check it out. If you do make a purchase, please take a few minutes to write a review on Amazon. Thanks and Happy Baking!


Beach House Baking_FINAL

Basil and Mint Mojito



photo 2 (9)

Nothing is more welcoming on a summer day than an ice cold beverage to quiet the heat. One of my favorite summertime beverages is the mojito, a Cuban beverage made with rum and mint.

I happened to have some leftover basil from a batch of recipe testing I did for my second book (Beach House Brunch which comes out next year) so I decided to try and replace some of the mint in my mojito with the basil. Lo and behold, it worked out wonderfully!  The basil paired perfectly with the mint while mellowing out its intensity and also created a beautiful chartreuse hue. Gorgeous and delicious!


photo 1 (9)


beach town baking






Basil and Mint Mojito


  • 1 lime (quartered)
  • 6 basil leaves (torn)
  • 6 mint leaves (torn)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cups white rum
  • extrabasil and mint leaves (for garnish)
  • 3/4 cups club soda


Add lime quarters, basil and mint leaves and sugar to shaker. Muddle them together to squeeze out the lime juice. Add the rum and shake well.
Fill two glasses with ice and some mint and basil leaves. Pour rum mixture evenly into the two glasses. Divide club soda evenly into the two glasses. Garnish with some more leaves.

Roasted Strawberry Jam

photo 1

Hello my Friends! I must apologize because I have been a total blog slacker these days. The thing is, I got a second book deal (yippee!) and I’ve been developing recipes for Beach House Brunch like a mad woman. It’s going to be released May 2016, but of course that means I only have a few months to write it before it goes through final recipe tests, photographed, edited, designed and sent off to get printed overseas.

No pressure, right? Geez Louise.

Anyhow, enough with the excuses.

Here in southern California, freshly picked strawberries are just starting to make their appearance. While their taste isn’t anything to rave about just yet, they are still the first of the season so that in itself is pretty exciting. One way to brighten up their flavor is to slowly roast them with some sugar. The result? A delicious roasted strawberry jam that will blow your mind. The strawberries cook in their own juices and turn into a sweet jam that I love to serve with everything from pancakes to scones to biscuits.

In addition to sugar, I like to roast strawberries with balsamic vinegar, Cointreau and black pepper. The balsamic adds a nice acidic touch while the pepper provides a lingering heat on your palate. And while the Cointreau can be an optional ingredient, it is quite complementary to strawberry.

photo 2



beach town baking





Roasted Strawberry Jam


  • 1lb strawberries (hulled and halved)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cointreau
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine all ingredients in a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until juices thicken and fruit cooks down. Stir every 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on counter. When completely cool, stir to break up larger chunks of strawberry and store in a container in refrigerator.
Enjoy on toast, scones or biscuits!

Creamy and Delicious Nutella Frosting Recipe


Nutella always seems to make everything taste better, especially desserts.

I developed a Nutella frosting today at my bakery and just had to share cuz it’s that goooood.

I wanted my frosting to be thin enough to spread yet thick enough to hold its shape when piped on a cake.


When you read through my recipe, you’ll notice that I added a little bit of salt in the end to cut the sweetness.  It’s not a crucial step, but I sure do like the dimension it adds.

Have fun with this frosting. You can put it on almost anything and it will taste delicious. For those of you who have my book Beach House Baking, try this frosting on my Guinness Cupcakes for a special treat 😉

How did I use it, you ask?

Well, I was asked to donate a cake this weekend to a local women’s club fundraising event. I ended up making a milk chocolate sponge cake and serving it with my Nutella frosting and gorgeous fresh raspberries. Hopefully, my cake will raise a lot of money for a great organization!


beach town baking

Creamy and Delicious Nutella Frosting


  • 1lb unsalted butter (soft)
  • 4 Cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


In a KitchenAid bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the Nutella and mix on medium speed for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl well. Add the vanilla and salt. Mix for one minute on medium speed to incorporate air.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yield; about 4 to 5 cups frosting


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