Thursday, May 9, 2013

Meet Rachael!

Since I was a little girl, I have had a love for baking. It started by making cookies from scratch, with the help of my grandmother, who always let me lick the beaters. I had my own apron, my own special whisk, and a nagging sweet tooth. I continued to bake over the years and fell in love with cake decorating. A few years ago, I founded La Dolce Vita Cakery, where I create custom cakes for clients.

In addition to cake decorating, I also work part-time from home as a Medical Billing Specialist. I have a wonderful husband and a sweet 17-month-old boy (and another little one on the way)! In my spare time, I enjoy doing photography, reading, cooking and being outdoors.

I became more interested in cooking a couple years ago when I joined a group on Facebook called Cook my Book. It's a group of about 15 people who each choose a cookbook of their own to pass around. Every person gets a couple weeks to cook whatever they want from that book, post photos to the group and talk about the recipes, then they pass it along to the next person. When you get your "cooked book" back, it's full of notes, tips, signatures... and the occasional food stain. Thanks to that group, I have moved on from my easy and repetitive recipes and tried so many new things.

I love food, and cooking has become one of my most favorite hobbies, thanks to 37 Cooks! I'm honored to be a part of this awesome group, where I am constantly challenged and always striving to become a better cook.

Here is my favorite recipe; a regular around our house.

Spicy Thai Peanut Noodle Salad
adapted from: The Food Chronicles

Peanut sauce:
1 Tablespoon
 + 1 teaspoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken broth
4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons corn syrup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or to taste

Noodle salad:
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
10 ounces matchstick carrots
10 ounces broccoli slaw
1/4 cup water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 cup sliced green onions
7 ounces pasta swirls, cooked and drained

Peanut sauce:
Heat the peanut oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic and sauté. Add the peanut butter and stir until well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Noodle Salad:
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté. Add the carrots and broccoli slaw. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and chicken bouillon cubes, stir to dissolve.

Remove from the heat, stir in the green onions and noodles, and toss. Drizzle with the peanut sauce, as desired. (The more, the better!)


  1. Great story, Rachael! I never knew you did custom cakes. Such a cute photo of you and your little one! Thanks for sharing.