Saturday, April 29, 2006

Two Cupcakes Cupcake Royale in Seattle!

Cupcake Royale Cupcakes! Yellow cake with lemon frosting. Vanilla cake with pink vanilla frosting.
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Mexican Food Fiesta! Cinco de Mayo loving it!

Mexican Food Fiesta continues with Shrimp and monterey jack cheese enchiladas with beans and rice and Rib Eye Steak with mashed potatoes and veggies!
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Mexican Food Fiesta! Cinco de Mayo!

Tonight we went out for Mexican Food in honor of Cinco de Mayo this coming week! We started out with chips and salsa and than had a seared sea scallops appetizer garnished with tortilla chips, tomatoes,and chiles.
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Friday, April 28, 2006

Peking Duck!

We had such a good time last night at the Japanese restaurant that we decided to go out for Chinese food tonight. We ordered the Peking Duck and it was succulent.
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Peanut Butter Fudge

2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cream
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

Lightly brush an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan with waxed paper, extending over 2 sides. Combine the sugar, cream, corn syrup and the salt in a medium heavy-based pan. Stir the mixture over low heat without boiling until all the sugar has dissolved.
Increase the heat slightly, until the mixture begins to simmer, then cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the lid and clean the sugar from the sides with a wet pastry brush. Do not stir the mixture. Continue to boil the mixture for 10 minutes or until it reaches the soft ball stage or 240 degrees F on sugar thermometer.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the vanilla extract and peanut butter. Beat with electric beaters for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture loses its gloss and begins to thicken. Quickly pour into the pan and smooth the surface. Cover and allow to set. Cut into small squares. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sukiyaki made with Kobe beef!

Sukiyaki Up-Close
Tonight we went out for Japanese food and we ordered Sukiyaki made with Kobe beef! It was incredible! I highly recommend ordering Sukiyaki when eating at a Japanese restaurant.
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Tonight I went out to dinner with my Dad and he ordered Sushi. He had the Alaskan Salmon and Avocado rolls and the California rolls with fresh crabmeat. They were garnished with ginger and wasabi.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Top Chef Wedding Bell Blues Episode 8

The couple decided from the concepts each chef came up with for the short challenge and decided to go with Leann's menu. The Top Chef contestants decided to make a wedding cake out of store bought cake mix. Tom Colicchio caught Tiffani with a box of cake mix. She came clean and said that it was a group decision to use the cake mix boxes. Stephen wanted no part of the wedding cake box mix dillema or the desserts and focused of course on the wine and the front of the house. He also prepared a dish in the back, but neglected to peel the stickers off of his serving spoons. Instead he just kept disappearing. Leann won the short challenge, so they were following her menu. Harold was concentrating on his salmon with salad dish, but was unhappy with how it tasted. Dave's dish went out to the diner's first and than he kept jumping in to help everyone. This was not Dave's first catered affair or wedding, so he had the most experience in this type of event. Tiffani worked on her dish and helped out with the other dishes and kept quiet except to ask where is Stephen? Tiffani's big problem is when she says something stupid at the elimination table about her opinions, that is the time to stay quiet. She obviously has strong beliefs. Harold on the other hand is almost always quiet, except tonight he said he would pick Stephen to go home not Leann. Everyone on the team had the same thought Stephen needs to pack his knives and go, but that was up to the judges. Would they send Leann home for not guiding the team through her vision or Harold for messing up the salmon? They were only given 24 hours real hours not the show 24 hours to pull together a very nice wedding reception. I think for the time allotted it appeared like beautiful food, but I was not there to taste it. I could just tell from the judges and the look on their faces that the wedding cake was a disaster too sweet. They paired the cake with a very sweet curd. The salmon was considered the worst dish by the couple and that was Harold's dish. Tom Colicchio believes in Harold and know he can cook. Who was asked to go this week? Yeah it's Stephen! Pack your knives and go. He gives this speech where he is going to be the best chef in America and he is going to change everything. He sounded like he was giving a Miss America speech. I can not stand Stephen! He is so arrogant and full of himself. Were down to Leann, Tiffani, Harold and Dave. Who do you think will win Top Chef and the $100,000 dollars plus prizes?

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Click here for the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts!

I have been a member of eGullet for a few months and I recommend it for anyone who is in culinary school, is a chef, cook, pastry chef, baker or just likes to learn more about food. There are forum discussion boards where you can post responses or read about what is going on. Tonight I was reading about Top Chef and the episode that aired on Bravo where the Top Chef contestants had to cater a wedding in 24 hours. They resorted to using white cake mix out of the box for the wedding cake. It is strange how not one of them can make a cake. I guess my pastry chef that taught me to bake is right baking is more of a science than cooking. What do you think?
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Coca-Cola-Blak was released April 3rd, I was wondering if anyone has tried it yet? A combination of Coca-Cola with coffee essence will it sell? In 1984, Pepsi market tested Pepsi Kona, but that never appeared on shelves. Starbucks has tried to partner with Pepsi to bring out a coffee product called Mazagran. Since, it was a Starbucks beverage some people bought it once, but the taste did not leave customers coming back for more. Any thoughts will Coca-Cola-Blak make it or bomb?
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Rhubarb Tart

No Sugar Added Rhubarb Tart

Ingredients for filling:
4 cups chopped Rhubarb
1/2 cup sugar free strawberry jam
2 ounces blueberry concentrate
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon butter

Procedure for filling:
In a saucepan on the stovetop on medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon butter until melted. Then add the orange juice and blueberry concentrate. Next add the sugar free strawberry jam. Gently add the 4 cups chopped Rhubarb. Mix in the 2 Tablespoons of flour. Bring to a boil and than reduce heat to low. Cool and refrigerate until the tart crust is ready.

Ingredients for tart crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks and 4 tablespoons very cold butter
8 Tablespoons of ice cold water
3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed orange juice

Procedure for tart crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl place flour and salt and mix. Than add 2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons of very cold butter. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips break up the butter into pea size pieces in the flour mixture. Add some of the ice cold water and the 3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed orange juice. Mix with pastry scraper and/or spatula until just combined. Add a couple more tablespoons of the ice cold water. All the water may not be needed or extra water may need to be added depending on the humidity. Form into a ball and flatten into a disc. Place dough in the refrigerator to rest for 1 hour. On a lightly floured board place the disc of tart dough and roll one direction at a time until rolled out into a 9 inch circle. Place the dough into the bottom of the tart pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Press down into the sides and cut edges off to protect from burning. Pre bake in 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with egg wash. Place in oven for 2 more minutes. Remove from oven and fill with the rhubarb mixture. Bake for 45-50 minutes depending on oven temperature.
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Click here to go to the World's 50 Best Restaurants 2006!

French Laundry in Napa Valley, California is on the list at number 4. I have heard that you have to make reservations months in advance to eat there. They also have a garden there to grow their own foods. I went to culinary school with someone who works there now and he not only cooks, but plants herbs and vegetables in the back of the restaurant. Talk about farm to table. Maybe one day I will eat there. I should put it on a list. You know how people make list of things they want to do during their lifetime. However, I think I would rather eat at number 18 Daniel in New York City, because than I could visit New York again and eat at a restaurant run by a top chef in the country. On the other hand, number 15 is Alain Ducasse-Plaza Athenee in Paris, France. That would be something to put on a list. Which restaurant would you want to eat?
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Smoked Salmon Appetizer

Last weekend my trip to Portland, Oregon was great to get away. My dad ordered this appetizer and I could not help notice the beautiful presentation and good knife skills of the chef. Meanwhile still giving him an adequate portion. These days it is not unusual to go to a restaurant and walk away hungry. The goal of white space on the plate, minimalism, and artistic presentation sometimes leave the patrons hungry. What do you think. Is less more or do you want more for your money?
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Word of the Day for Wednesday April 26, 2006

Genoise is a type of egg-foam cake known as a whole egg foam or sponge cake in which whole eggs are warmed and beaten with sugar until thick and then folded into dry ingredients, usually with the addition of melted butter. The interior of this cake is layered with genoise cake and the top of the cake is layered with genoise rolled with jam.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Grand Ghiradelli Chocolate Gift Basket

I just purchased this fabulous chocolate gift basket with Ghiradelli Chocolates for my brother's 33rd birthday and he loved it.
Grand Ghirardelli Chocolate Gift Basket

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Word of the Day for Tuesday April 25, 2006

Star anise is a dried fruit of a chinese tree, lllicium verum, which has the appearance of an eight-pointed star, each point containing one seed. It has a sweetish liquorice and aniseed flavor and is often used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. I use star anise as a flavoring for poached pears in wine and when I make a Sunday roast dinner.
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Monday, April 24, 2006

Hell's Kitchen

I was not very impressed by the Next Food Network Star? I found it boring and everyone got along so well that there was no drama, therefore making it like watching an episode of Friends. However, Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay is full of drama and chaos like a real kitchen. I am looking forward to the Season 2 premiere Monday June 12 on Fox at 9PM. I loved Season 1 it has fire and most of that comes from Gordon Ramsay's attitude and perfectionism ways. If some one is doing something wrong he is not shy to tell them that their plate looks like crap or their vegetables are overcooked and undersauced. Has anyone noticed that I never blogged about Celebrity Cooking Showdown on NBC the reason it sucked. Excuse my French, but it had to be one of the worst cooking reality shows in history. I heard it was cancelled after a week. I am glad it is not coming back the whole premise of a celebrity cooking was stupidity, since most don't even cook at all. For now, I am waiting for Hell's Kitchen.
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