Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hey Kevin, how come your mom lets you have TWO birthday cakes?

BF/protofiancee's birthday today (he's 24), so I made these for him. The one with writing is for him to take to work and show me off, the other one is for us.Chocolate cakes, with chocolate mousse and raspberry jam filling, and ganache glaze.

The cake recipe is the Midnight Chocolate Cake from this book. Turned out well, and not hard! The mousse and ganache are according to Johnson&Wales instruction.

Actually made without a cake turntable, believe it or not. Would have preferred to have one, but oh well...


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade Chinese Food: Worth It

A couple nights ago, I made scallion pancakes and pork dumplings in appreciation of the new computer I have, courtesy of BF, because there is nothing better than fried appetizers as the main course. Two and a half hours to make all this, but worth doing once in a while.

The Chinese restaurant my family regularly bought from when we wanted Chinese food had pork dumplings with the most wonderful, substantial dough wrappings, that I have never found anywhere else - most places use thin wonton wrappers, and I've finally nailed down the way to replicate that kind of thick, chewy outside. The recipe linked above is what I use for the dough, but while it claims to make 60 dumplings from one batch of dough, I make 24-30, and change the filling recipe to compensate: same proportions of meat, soy sauce, rice wine (or rice vinegar, because I had no wine), garlic, ginger, scallion, sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and one cup of whatever else you put in (recipe suggests bamboo shoots and napa cabbage; I used carrots because they were on hand.

Order of operations: Dumpling dough first, scallion pancake dough second, then dumpling filling and chopping scallions while doughs are resting. Shape pancakes, then shape dumplings. Fry pancakes while dumplings are boiling, then fry dumplings while pancakes are draining off the excess oil.

That dipping sauce recipe on the scallion pancakes page works equally well for pork dumplings, too, and must be remembered.

If I were having company over, I would make these to go along with a stir fry - shape, boil, and store ahead of time, then fry just before it's time to eat.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chicken picatta

So yeah, it's not really my field, but I'm okay with the culinary side in addition to sweets... and I wanted to try some new meals that BF and I would both like now that I've moved into his apartment, so I figured I'd start off with this one.


I didn't have an ovenproof skillet, but transferring the chicken to a greased nonstick baking dish worked just as well. The green beans are sauteed in olive oil and worked great as an accompaniment, and went very well with the sauce.

Cons: Lemon flavor was a little strong. Next time I will use half as much lemon juice. Pros: Overall, so good I can hardly believe I made it myself, not even very hard, and not a pain to clean up after seeing as it only requires two pans to wash by hand with everything else in the dishwasher.

Seriously, make this. It's so good.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Aaaaaaand cakes!

As promised, the cake table at the "Greatest Day Of Fun..."

First, several sheet cakes representing various campus activities and the school itself. WIGIS stands for "Wildcat Interest Groups for Incoming Students," and yes, the school mascot really does have a lazy eye:


All of these flanked the massive, multi-tier affair that my cookie cake toppers adorned. I was largely uninvolved with the creation of these cakes except for the SGA cake (that's my writing) and the main attraction (put red fondant on top tier, and helped three other people apply dots). The mustached chef in back is Emmerich Zach, the man who organized it all and who taught me to make these kinds of cakes and cookies - the Greek, DECA, and Nutrition Society cakes are his work.

 The rest of the cookies got put on trays at either end of the table. Turns out I wasn't even the only one doing the loose ones... so many cookies!

Hungry now. Time to partake of the feast.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Back to the kitchen

Pastry student is graduating with associate's degree this month!

I was also approached last week by a chef instructor, asking for help with making cakes and cookies for a campus event that happens tomorrow, so I spent six hours in the kitchen today putting icing onto shortbread cookies. See!

The ones with wooden skewers in them are cake toppers. The rest are representing the majors offered at this school (Culinary, Baking&Pastry, Criminal Justice, Business, and Fashion), the school's organized sports, some party/spring themed designs, the Johnson & Wales crest with its griffin mascot, and, by request, Snoopy and a camel.

I'll get photos of the cakes tomorrow when everything is set up.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More Fish!

Last time I posted about fish, it was after I made an awesome lime and garlic tilapia.

Today, I made fish again. Simply, the next two pieces out of a total of 7 we bought. (the next experiment will be 3 pieces instead of 2)

Anyway, I found this recipe online and decided that because it was fish wrapped in BACON, what could go wrong? NOTHING, RIGHT?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lime Butter Garlic Tilapia

Let's start this off with a picture.

Hubby and I have recently decided to add more fish to our diet. We previously ate zero fish and are going up to at least one fish meal per week.  I was a scaredy cat at first and only bought frozen prepared fish,  but decided to confront my fish-fear and buy fresh fish.

I made a meal tonight which was absolutely beautiful and delicious. Here is the recipe.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My First Cake Wreck

Oy vey.

Okay, so we're going to my cousin's for Easter. We usually go every year and everyone brings something.  They didn't ask me to bring anything, but being in a baking mood, I offered to bake a cake.  They agreed, so it was decided.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sugar Photos, Volume 2

Because a lot didn't get finished until today... some photos of new stuff and the display tables:

And the other class's work -

Look, Don't Touch

The results of my last lab course needed for my associate's degree: Sugar Artistry.

...No, seriously, don't friggin touch it. These things break given the slightest excuse. They don't even taste that good - they're just for show.

My classmates' work below...

And the other class's work: