Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Sunday, April 19, 2015


It's been 6 months since I posted last and so much has happened!

  • My husband and I got married in January!

  • We're expecting our baby girl in early July!

  • I'm graduating from my MBA program in early August!

It's definitely been an incredible whirlwind over the past few months, and Mike and I have enjoyed every step of the way. We are beyond excited to meet our beautiful baby girl in just a few weeks (12 more to go!)

Asian Marinated Salmon!

Last night I was in the mood for something flavorful and a little different. I looked up an Asian marinade for meat and decided to use it on salmon. I loved the freshness of the ginger and garlic, paired with the syrupy goodness of the honey, sesame oil, and soy sauce. I toasted some sesame seeds to top the salmon with, and roasted diced zucchini and yellow squash to accompany the fish and white rice. Delicious!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer Vegetable Quiche!

This may be the 5th quiche post on this blog, but it is such an easy and tasty dish to make really for any season or meal. A quiche can be extra eggy for breakfast, full of protein for lunch, or elegantly decorated with roasted veggies for dinner.

My new favorite blog, Sally's Baking Addiction, recently featured a low calorie version of a crust-less quiche. Needless to say I made some in my tart tins and the result was tasty and light.

Recipe link here.

-I sliced up some yellow squash, zucchini, yellow onion, and garlic, and sauteed them until soft in olive oil over medium heat.

-I whisked together 3 whole eggs plus 3 egg whites, milk, salt, and pepper.

-In another bowl, I grated small hunks of sharp cheddar, havarti, parmesan, and gouda cheeses, and mixed it in with the egg/milk mixture.

-Once the veggies cooled, I mixed it all together, and poured it into Pam-sprayed tart tins. They baked for about 40 min in a 350F oven.

My boss at work had the ingenious idea of decorating her lunch plate with cherry tomatoes and raspberries, it had such a gorgeous summer look!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blueberry Cupcakes With Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting!

Blueberries and lemon - this is the perfect spring or summer combination of bright fresh berry flavor and tart citrusy goodness. These cupcakes are perfect for those who do not like chocolate or red velvet, as they have a plain vanilla base. This recipe is so versatile, you can substitute the blueberries for any other berry since lemon goes so well with fruit flavor.

This recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction blog.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes With Bailey's Cream Cheese Frosting!

These are definitely in my top three list of favorite cupcakes to make! My go-to recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker's blog and it is easy and delicious (I do not use the whiskey ganache, however).

Although I would categorize these cupcakes as an 'autumn' recipe, nothing stops me from whipping up a batch in summertime.

Guinness stout, melted butter, and rich dark chocolate come together to form a moist cake that is not too dense and certainly not too sweet. Whipped Bailey's Irish cream and cream cheese make a frosting that is to die for. I highly recommend these!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes With Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting!

Last week, we celebrated the birthday of a close family friend. Every year I ask her to tell me what she would like for her birthday dessert and this year she just said, CHOCOLATE! After asking a few more questions to establish preference of frosting, I knew it was time to incorporate Nutella somewhere into my standard chocolate cupcake.

The result was beautiful - the frosting is perfectly chocolatey but not sickly sweet, and the cake came out moist and rich.

Frosting recipe can be found here!

Strawberry Shortcake Parfaits!

I love making layered desserts that can be served in any type of glass whether it's a water glass, wine glass, or funky serving dish. They are easy to make, look beautiful, and taste great!

Strawberry shortcake parfaits are my go-to dessert because they are so simple. I'll buy a box of strawberries, heavy whipping cream, and a pound cake. After whipping the cream with some sugar and slicing the strawberries and cake, I begin the layering.

In this instance, I used graham crackers, pureed with butter and sugar as the dense base instead of sliced pound cake. Delicious!

Pancakes ... it's what's for breakfast!

I've been on a pancake kick lately. Since I've been home more, I've taken to making my squishy breakfast after he rides his bicycle on his mornings off.

First ... blueberry pancakes!

Next ... banana walnut buttermilk pancakes!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday Baking!

Happy December! These are red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, topped with sprinkle-coated decorative marshmallows.

Baby Salted Caramel Cheesecakes!

This is possibly one of the best desserts I have ever made. Mini salted caramel cheesecake cupcakes .... you need to make them.

Baby cheesecakes are SO easy to make and they taste very fancy! They are also super versatile - you can add cocoa powder or food coloring to the actual cheesecake part to change up the flavor, and then top them with anything ranging from candy, fruit jelly, whipped cream, frosting, etc. 


Birthday Cupcakes!

I made these fun, beach-themed Kahlua cupcakes for one of my good friends at work last month. The decorations were my favorite part!

Halloween Cupcakes!

Vanilla bean pumpkin cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin Ale Cupcakes!

Pumpkin ale cupcakes are a dream. A beer-enriched chocolatey batter and a pumpkin spice-flavored heady buttercream to tie all the flavors together.

Recipe courtesy of My Baking Addiction.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Hearty and healthy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins! Recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes!

Happy October! It is most definitely the season of pumpkin. To kick off the pumpkin baking, I started with basic pumpkin spiced cupcakes and cream cheese frosting - a classically delicious combination. Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Guiness Cupcakes with Bailey's Frosting!

These were made in honor of a special Irish-American friend's birthday - Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting! I adapted the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, essentially just removing the whiskey ganache filling part. I topped the frosting with a dark chocolate espresso bean. Yum!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom's birthday cupcake request this year was a bit odd - she requested chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's frosting. Nothing wrong with that combo (nice one Mom!), but it was a bit out of character for my fruit-loving, booze-shunning mamma. Regardless, the birthday girl had it her way!

Espresso Chocolate Cupcakes with Pink Bailey's Buttercream (rosette themed)!

Mac n' Chese Cupcakes!

For a co-worker without a sweet tooth (gasp!), I had so much fun playing around with a savory cupcake recipe. These mac and cheese 'cupcakes' were delicious and adorable - the baked breadcrumb topping really set them off!

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes!

For a very special co-worker birthday, I made chocolate Kahlua cupcakes. The batter contained Kahlua and so did the cream cheesey buttercream, and both came out fabulous! I topped each one with a milk chocolate-covered pretzel for garnish. Yum! Why are boozy cupcakes the best?!

Mini Donut Cupcakes!

In a team as big as mine, it is always somebody's birthday at work, it seems. This time, I decided to make mini donut cupcakes - with a simple vanilla base, and coffee-flavored creme glaze, and topped with a perfectly miniature sized donut. These bring 'coffee & donuts' to a whole new level!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Caramel Frosting!

I didn't even know that Bailey's came in caramel-flavor, but once I made this happy discovery (quite accidentally), I knew it needed to be incorporated in frosting, and soon. I decided to make a super chocolatey cake and top with a chocolate buttercream frosting with plenty of Bailey's caramel. Topped with a dark chocolate chip!

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes!

Dulce de leche cupcakes ... the occasion being yet another co-coworker's departure. I baked the dulce de leche into the cake to make it moist and fluffy, and topped the dulce de leche-infused buttercream with a little extra of the deliciously thick sauce. Needless to say, these were quite decadent!

Gender Reveal Party!

One of my good friends recently had a Gender Reveal party to find out the sex of her baby. It was a wonderful idea and so much fun. Since we (of course) did not know ahead of time, I made two sets of Vanilla Latte Cupcakes - customized with 'boy' or 'girl' accents.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

For daddy's birthday this past June, I made his favorite, plain vanilla. I made a vanilla mascarpone buttercream, which was made light and fluffy by adding plenty of heavy whipping cream. Some sweet sugar pearls sealed the deal!

Mother-in-law's Birthday!

I made these fun, simple lemony vanilla cupcakes to celebrate my mom-in-law's birthday back in May. They were cute and easy, using pink food coloring and rainbow sprinkles.

Starbucks Inspired!

I made these mocha macchiato cupcakes with butterscotch drizzle for a co-worker's going away party back in May. I did not use a frosting tip, and was pleased with the thick swirl result. I used a bottle of butterscotch topping for ice cream as a drizzle, much like Starbucks would over a freshly made latte. Yum!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes!

A few weeks ago I baked up some lemon raspberry cupcakes for a pool party with friends. I saw the idea on Pinterest and loved the cute little white cups to bake them in (recipe from Pastry Affair). These were perfect for a hot summer day here in South Florida - light, creamy, and full of fresh fruit flavor.

Margarita Cupcakes! (A Second Time)

Ah the delicious world of boozy cupcakes ... I think they may be my favorite kind to make! They are just so fun and people are always pleasantly surprised to hear that, yes, there is alcohol baked right in!

Margarita cupcakes are a revelation ... I first made them for Cinco de Mayo last year (check them out here). I used the same recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, but I went for a different frosting. Instead of a tequila-infused buttercream, I went for a more basic, lighter heavy cream-based frosting infused with lime zest and freshly-squeezed lime juice. The lightness of the airy frosting was a complement to the cupcake.

Piña Colada Cupcakes!

A few days ago I decided to bake up some Piña Colada cupcakes, recipe courtesy of the always interesting Cupcake Project. I was intrigued by her recipe which included coconut milk, pineapple juice, shredded coconut, and actual chunks of crushed pineapple. The frosting was a cream cheese based frosting with a dash of coconut cream. The amount of coconut rum in this recipe is small but the flavor definitely comes through. I enjoyed them but next time would go without the chunky bits of pineapple; although they resulted in a really moist cupcake, the cake was a bit too dense for me, although this was many of my co-worker's favorite aspect of the dessert.