Thursday, December 15, 2011

A New Show I Like to Watch

I like watching people cook and this love started with me watching my mother cook great asian meals and in the afternoons watching Julia Childs before my nap. Today, I like watching all things food even when I've been stuffed to the gills. I will watch everything from Bizarre Foods, all things Food Network, Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, public tv cooking shows and now I have also added to my viewing pleasure David Rocco's Dolce Vita show from the Cooking Channel.

What I like most about David's show is how he truly incorporates his culture into each episode, whether it is speaking in his native tongue, featuring his Italian friends/family with their recipes or best of all making everyday Italian food look and sound delicious and easy to make. It also doesn't hurt that David has a soothing instructional voice. With each episode I get more and more excited about visiting Italy some day. Maybe take a culinary tour?

Well, I found this video on YouTube of David making Potato Croquets. Yesterday I watched an episode where he was in the Amalfi coast and he made some meatballs, Polpette Di Peppe, and a very regional old world pasta called Dunderi. Both recipes looked easy to make and probably tastes amazing.


For more information on David Rocco's Dolce Vita.

(YouTube via Dysan8003)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cinema Sentinel: Waste Land (2010)

Want to watch a film that actually makes sense and is worth the time watching?

I would like to recommend the documentary film, Waste Land. This is truly an inspirational film that documents Brazilian artist Vik Muniz's journey as an artist and as another human being making a lasting impact on others through his craft.

It is an uplifting film and makes you really think about your own impact in this world and what you can do to make it better for another person or persons. I was lucky enough to have this in Instant Play on my Netflix. I'm not usually impressed with the selection of Instant Play movies but when it comes to documentaries, Netflix is quite impressive.

For more on Waste Land.
For more on Vik Muniz.

Hope you had a great day!

Monday, December 5, 2011

How I Could Enjoy Eggnog

My husband LOVES eggnog. It is the one thing he will make a trip to the grocery store for during the holidays. (Back story...going to the grocery store for him isn't his idea of a good time. However for me, I love grocery stores and outdoor markets.)

Anyway, I've had normal eggnog, soy milk eggnog and Southern Comfort Eggnog. Meh. Not really impressed.

But with this recipe, George Washington's Eggnog recipe, I do believe this might be the nog for me. This recipe is via AssociatedPress's YouTube Channel with Chef Lauren Braun Costello (The Competent Cook), owner of Gotham Caterers in New York City.

I watched the video and read some good feedback. Can't wait to try it. Hope you enjoy the video. Merry Monday to you!

(via AssociatedPress)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Traditional Butter Cookies

This recipe today comes from the kitchen of Michelle Gesse via Penzey's Spices' December catalogue. If you don't know what Penzey's Spices is, well it's time you get acquainted with this company and their goods. I've known of them for YEARS, since my days in the midwest.

When I read stories of merchants bringing spices from exotic lands, I imagine being in such a market whenever I visit a Penzey's store. If you haven't been to a Penzey's store, I urge you to make a trip. You will not be disappointed. If the cashier offers you to join their mailing for a catalogue, say yes. Every catalogue features a cook, their passion for food and what recipes they have to share.

I'm so glad I made this recipe for my christmas cookies this year. It will certainly become one of our family favorites. It has the sweetness of a sugar cookie but with a buttery finish and melt-in-your mouth texture. It tastes more exquisite I think than a regular sugar cookie.

The ingredients used are half the quantity of the original recipe. There is also a bit of flavoring I added as a personal preference. Hope you enjoy it!

Traditional Butter Cookies
Recipe and instructions adapted from Michelle Gesse via Penzey's Spices. Yields approx 2 dozen.

1 cup  Salted Butter (softened)
1 cup  Powdered Sugar
2 Egg yolks
1 teaspoon  Vanilla extract (Madagascar vanilla used)
1/4 teaspoon  Orange flavor extract
2 1/2 cup  Sifted Flour
Wax paper
Cooling racks
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix well. 
  • Add egg yolks, on at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add vanilla and orange extracts, mix well.
  • Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  • Divide dough and pat into discs, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Work with one disc at a time. Lay wax paper and place dough on paper, lay another layer of wax paper on top of dough. Roll out dough to desired thickness and have fun with creating cookie shapes.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. Or bake until lightly golden. Carefully remove cookie and let cool on racks. Decorate cookies with a glaze when warm or let cool completely and have fun!

For more Penzey's Spices.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fun Christmas Videos

Happy Thursday! I can't believe it but I'm so excited that it's December already. Have you found the perfect gifts for your loved ones? Or are you just going to deliver a lumps of coal this season? Either way, while you are doing all that, hope you enjoy these videos that might get you in the mood, naughty or nice.

(via MuppetsStudio)

(via SesameStreet)

Not a seasonal song, however, I can't help but admire his spirit. Cute kid.

(via brandonator10)

*I removed two videos today (12/02) because they were not playing due to WMG rights. But I posted
The Grinch Song and 12 Days of Christmas. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Cookie Ideas via YouTube

The Christmas season is upon us now and I've already recovered from Thanksgiving. So now that I have space in my stomach to think about cooking, I've decided I'd share some videos that I thought would be yummy christmas cookie ideas. Hope you enjoy them and try to bake some of them this holiday season.

I will most likely bake Nigella's Christmas Chocolate Cookies since my husband is a huge fan of the cocoa. Have a Thought-Provoking Tuesday!

I tried to link to the BBC YouTube channel but YouTube says it's not available in my country. Either way, for more of Nigella visit her official site

This next video was easy and fun to watch. It's produced well and they have a good sense of pacing when it comes to tutorials. Plus I appreciate their lighting! But even more than all those technical marks, this cookie is easy make, texture-rrific and customizable if the main ingredients aren't your favorite. I would add crushed pretzel and some Chex.

Visit Kathy's channel StartCooking for more recipes and awesome instructions!

This video was found whilst I was searching for Old World-kinda cookies. The measurements are not American standard but I'm sure you can figure it out faster than I could with a converter. Don't these babies look so tempting? I'm a sucker for fruit-filled confections during this season.

This video was posted by DeliriumReal. For more Christmas Cookie related videos by them, visit this video on YouTube and there should be a couple more tutorials on the sidebar.

The video below isn't an obvious christmas cookie but every now and then I like to break free my palette from the usual spiced or sugary treat and add a touch of citrus to the mix. With some red and green sprinkles, these lemon drop cookies will certainly be welcomed to any holiday party. When using Crisco for baking, I prefer to use their butter flavored shortening for cookies and pie crust. Thank you Lacy for that tip!

Visit Crisco's YouTube channel for more recipes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Animal Theme Baby Shower Cupcake

Baby showers are so fun to bake for. If it's a girl, you can go crazy with pink, damask, princess and all things girly-girl. If it's a boy, there are planes, trains, robots and all things boy. If you don't know or you want it unisex...then this cupcake decor of animals and pearly sprinkles is the perfect fit!

Yummy homemade white moist cake and homemade buttercream frosting. Made with love. Happy Monday! Hang in there just two more days till Thanksgiving break.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Using Sugar Paper for Cupcakes

Surprise your cupcakes eaters and get super creative with Sugar Sheets! Yep, that's what I just recently discovered this past week. I can't believe how much stuff is out there for cake decorating. I remember just being happy with piped roses and plastic balloons on birthday cakes. Today you can find just about anything.

These cupcakes that I made were for a baby shower this weekend. I knew it was a boy and I also knew his father loved robots and robot toys. Originally, I was ambitious enough to think I could create a Voltron this time. Voltron was more complex than I thought. I'll save that one for later.
So instead I drew inspiration from pics on Google images for "cute robots". Like this one. And this one....and this one.

For more information on Sugar Sheets.
For more information on Punch.Cut.Decorate!

What you will need:
1 Sugar Sheet
Circle stencil or use Wilton's Punch.Cut.Decorate! products
1 clean X-acto razor (if you don't have a shape punch out product)
Edible Color Markers
Cutting board (if using razor)
  • Cut out or Punch out a circular shape.
  • Use edible markers to create Robots and/or writings.
  • Gently place decorated sugar sheet shape onto pre-frosted cupcake.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To Roll or Not To Roll?

I rolled today. I craved cinnamon rolls and I enjoyed every moment of my Immaculate Baking Co. Cinnamon Rolls. I found this brand at Whole Foods market a couple days ago. It is all natural and very delicious indeed. If I wasn't so full I think would be able to finish all five rolls that come with each tube. I'm a consuming machine deep, deep, down inside. For more information on this company visit their site here or

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Morbid Yet Soooooo Cute

Have you ever had steamed buns filled with delicious veggies and meats? Perhaps you've had them homemade or at a dim sum eatery. But have you ever had them looking this cute and yet so morbid at the same time?

I'm not on a Halloween-morbid kick. But I've had this photo in my files for a long time and I thought it would be a great day to share it. Do you have any funny food pics like this? By the way, I found this food at a Thai convenience store two years ago. I couldn't resist. I think if I ever find it again, I will definitely have to try a nice hot steaming piggie bun. Sorry Babe.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Strawberry Yogurt Cheesecake

Happy Friday! I'm still riding the candy wave from trick or treating. In fact we just got rid of most our candy last night. (Thank you Dear Husband).

Well, I don't have the specific recipe for this cheesecake but I can tell you that it was delicious and completely homemade by my sister. The consistency reminded me of Jell-O pies that involve a packet of the particular pie flavor and whipped cream. I love Jell-O desserts, don't get me wrong, but this was truly something special. Much love was put into this cheesecake. Much love.

She used organic cream cheese, fresh whipping cream, organic strawberries, a cup of strawberry yogurt, less than a 1/2 cup of sugar and for the crust she used homemade pound cake. Chill overnight or a couple hours and Voila....AMAZING! Let me share with you some pics of her adorning this beauty.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkin Carving Night

Yeah! It was pumpkin carving night and what a blast we all had with some good wine, great company and some Tim Burton inspiration.

My little niece Lola was such a good helper removing slimy seeds and drawing faces on her tiny pumpkins. I can't wait to do this again next year!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Wicked Halloween Light Show

Hey, it's Monday but it doesn't mean it has to stink! I hope this video brings you some fun during your lunch break or while the kiddies are napping (my little niece Lola is getting her beauty nap on). I found this video from one of my friend's news feeds on Facebook. Hope you like it as much as Lola and I did. Have a great rest of the day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Cupcake Idea: Boiling Cauldron

I have an obsession with cotton candy and no matter how far in a diet I may be, I can't resist a little taste. So while I was shopping for some cupcake decorations, I came across a package of cotton candy specifically for Halloween in the flavor of Sour Apple. Nice. Now the question was what to do with this candy and how could I incorporate that into one of my cupcake ideas?

The only thing I could think of right off the bat was to make boiling cauldrons. So for today's idea, I would recommend you give yourself plenty of time to make these cauldrons. I'm sure there's an easier and more efficient way out there but who wants to make things easy? Right? Right. (I'll regret this later)

Let's make some magic:
  • Pre-made gum paste
  • Black food coloring gel
  • Paintbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Betty Crocker Icing in a can, Green and Chocolate 
  • Gum paste decorating tool
  • Pre-frosted cupcakes
  • Bag of cotton candy 
  • Non-stick spray, just a little to keep gum paste from sticking
Start by mixing a 1 1/2 inch ball of gum paste with some black food coloring gel. Use a toothpick to dip color. Mix gel and gum paste until it's charcoal grey (that's as dark as it got for me). Roll gum paste into ball. Have decorating tool ready. 

Place ball in the palm of your hand and gently push tool into gum paste. Roll tool in circular motion to create a hallow. Use the palm of your hand to maintain the shape of the sphere.

Place gum paste ball on work surface and continue to widen circular motion until you get your desired cauldron depth and width. Shape gum paste into a cauldron with the tops slightly curved out.

Paint cauldron with Black food coloring gel and let dry overnight. It might not even get completely dry overnight but as long as it's slightly dry you can proceed with the next steps. Next, fill cauldrons with green and chocolate icing. Mix colors with toothpick to create a swirl of both colors.

Now you're ready for the easy part. Cotton candy is quite finicky with temperature and you will lose the fluff and pizzazz over time. So I recommend you add the cotton candy when you're ready to serve and display. Take a piece of cotton candy and shape into a small flame. Gently place cotton candy on cauldron brew. Have fun and have a Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Cupcake Idea: Eyeball Cupcakes

Oooooooooh! Happy Thursday fellow cupcake lovers. Today's cupcake is yet again, easy and fun to create. It's one of the most perfect crowd-pleasing decor for any Halloween party. Who can ignore a giant eyeball staring you down? You simply must eat it or put it in the corner somewhere.

Let us begin:
  • Frosted cupcakes, white frosting for eyes unless you want go reptilian with yellow
  • Bag of Lifesaver Gummies
  • Red Betty Crocker Cookie Icing (Squeeze bag)
  • Black icing (Squeeze can) or Black flat, round candy

They see hungry people...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Cupcake Idea: Fun with Sixlets

I just recently tried a Sixlet. A little late in the game, I know. For those of you that don't know what a Sixlet is, you can find out via internet search or just know that they are made of chocolate on the inside with a light and crunchy candy coating on the outside. Colors will vary.

I'm so glad I never knew about this candy when I was in fourth grade (my chubby grade) because I would be double fisting Sixlets in one hand and Reese's Pieces in another while trying to beat Super Mario Bros 3 Level 8! Ahhhh fond memories of childhood...*drift drift*

Anyway, you can do a lot with these spheres, Sixlets or generic, and I just wanted to share a couple cupcake ideas that came to mind. Buy them at your local mall candy store and hopefully they have their Halloween/Fall section for you to have fun picking from. Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall/Thanksgiving Cupcake Idea: Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

This post was inspired by one of my top versatile veggies...the pumpkin. My dad was raised on pumpkin and since I was a child I've had all kinds of pumpkin dishes. But let's not talk savory, let's talk sweet and sour.

Put 'em together and have you got? Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo:
  • Frosted cupcakes, White frosting is what I used.
  • Pumpkin shaped candy
  • Green Betty Crocker Easy Flow Decorating Icing
  • Granulated white sugar
  • Piping skills (In my dreams I'm a world champion cake decorator)
You can purchase the pumpkin candy at a local candy store. I purchased mine at the mall. They had all their seasonal candy on display and ready for the picking. These taste like orange gummies, initially sour and finishes sweet and chewy. 

It takes some practice if you don't usually find yourself piping cakes. I know I had to conduct a couple test runs before I tackled the cupcakes. I used the two tips pictured below, one for the vines and another for the leaves. 

Place pumpkin candy in the middle of frosted cupcake. Pipe leaves and vines around pumpkin. Finally sprinkle sugar over the entire cupcake. Hold cupcake and gently shake off excess sugar. Ta-da!! You have your miniature pumpkin patch ready for the holidays. 

I just have to post this song...I can't resist...