Author: Jasmine Lukuku

Crowdfunding-a-cookbook-self-publishing

Crowdfunding a Cookbook

Have you ever dreamed of self-publishing a cookbook? There are many reasons for a blogger or food professional to produce a cookbook. It can help strengthen your brand. It can serve as a marketing tool, a way to gain a new audience for your blog or business. It can fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing yourself in print. It gives your readers a way to support you and take a piece of you home. In the olden days, you had to wait for a publisher to offer you a deal or put up your own cash to produce a book. Now, thanks to the rise of crowdfunding, you can self-publish a cookbook without taking a huge financial risk. In 2013, my partner and I worked with Japanese cooking instructor Hana Dethlefsen to produce her first cookbook. Together, we created a crowdfunding campaign that exceeded our expectations. We reached 200% of our goal, raising $14,000 for printing and production. At the time, she did not have a significant social media following or an established blog. You …

how-to-make-pineapple-flowers

How to Make Pineapple Flowers

If you are looking for a beautiful and natural way to decorate a cake, you should watch this video tutorial on how to make pineapple flowers. It’s really easy but you want to make sure you make them the day before you need them because they have to dry out. I leave them on the counter overnight, uncovered and they end up looking great. I used mine to decorate my popular raw vegan carrot cake. I love the natural and organic look. They also make a fantastic snack, but I warn you they go fast. You might want to make a double batch, especially if you have to share. Don’t they look amazing? I love the way the texture in the centre looks so realistic! Pineapple Flowers   Serves: 12 flowers Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 2 mins Total time: 7 mins Print   Ingredients 1 large pineapple Instructions Preheat your oven to 220F Remove the top, bottom and outside peel of the pineapple with a sharp knife. Scoop out the “eyes” of the …

Nutella-cupcake

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

Have you every tried to make cupcakes from scratch in under 45 minutes? On stage? In front of a live audience? With cameras in your face? I have and I’ve lived to tell! I competed in a cupcake competition at the Everything Food Conference in Salt Lake City with fellow blogger Jessica from JessicaGavin.com.  Our team was called Bake-A-Saurus and our cupcake of choice was a chocolate hazelnut crunch cupcake with nutella buttercream. Oh lawd! The picture you see here is one of my practice batches. I’m happy to say that the cupcakes we produced in the competition were just as pretty. Our cupcake was inspired by Ferrero Rocher chocolates. We filled them with chocolate ganache and crushed hazelnuts for texture. Those little round balls you see on top are chocolate covered cereal crisps. Crunch! Are you hungry yet? Want the recipe? I’m going to make you check out Jessica Gavin’s site to get it. She has much lovelier photos and a really great recap of events so check it out: Ferrero Rocher Inspired Cupcakes with …

chocolate-tart-filling

Easy Chocolate Tarts and Vitamix Giveaway!

This Easy Chocolate Tart recipe includes a chance to win a Vitamix! The Vitamix company has provided the prize that will be awarded to the contest winner.  I am a tiny bit obsessed with my Vitamix. When I first bought mine, I was so enamoured that I splurged on a second one to give my mom for Mother's Day. I knew she would love it as much as I did. She has declared it the "best gift ever" and she will often call or text me telling me about the awesome soup she made or a smoothie she whipped up. Mother's Day is just around the corner and this year I've partnered with some of my favourite food bloggers to bring you this Vitamix giveaway.  One lucky reader will be selected to win a Black Vitamix 5200. Before I share my Easy Chocolate Tart recipe, be sure to enter the contest. I'll wait while you fill out the form below. a Rafflecopter giveaway Terms: This giveaway is open to residents of the continental United States and Canada (void …
kombucha-caramel

Recipe Fail – Kombucha Caramel

This my friends is what you call a "work in progress". Sometimes I get inspired by a flavour idea and I rush to the kitchen before thinking things through. When it comes to working with caramel, you want to be on top of your game. Caramel, when handled incorrectly can crystallize. That is what you see in the photo above; a pan full of crystallized caramel. I made a ginger syrup and mixed it with kombucha. I then reduced that mixture before adding butter, sugar and cream. Everything seemed to be going well, but clearly I made a misstep. There are a number of things that could have gone wrong. I may have overheated the ginger/kombucha syrup, there may have been impurities in the mix (ginger particles) or I could have accidentally incorporated some crystallized caramel when I poured it into the pan. Oh well, at least I didn't burn myself. All was not lost, I mixed some of the crystallized caramel into my baked apples and severed it over yogurt with granola. Really excellent! …