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Monday, October 31, 2011

PPB: Great Pumpkin Pie

A short post to wish everyone a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

For a Halloween celebration at work I made the Great Pumpkin Pie from the Pie & Pastry Bible. I am not a big pumpkin fan but I had a lot of leftover pumpkin puree from making a Pumpkin Cheesecake a few weeks ago. Not wanting the puree to go to waste, I froze them, hoping I can use them again.

The pie turned out pretty good. It uses a butter crust and not the cream cheese pie crust that I love so much. I much prefer the taste of the cream cheese crust though. What's different about this pie is that it calls for processing gingersnap and pecans and putting it at the bottom of the crust.

As for the taste, I'm eating my piece and it is not bad. I can't get more excited than that, pumpkin is just not a flavor I like :).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Snap Thursday: Sidewalk

Fall is here and gone. The leaves have turned color and the trees are getting bald.

I captured these at the right time, as a few days later the temperature dropped and all those golden yellow leaves turned brown and unattractive.

Here is an up close photo of the leaves.

To join Snap Thursday: Post your photograph on your blog on Thursdays and leave your link in the comment section of my Snap Thursday post. Please also link back to my site. Click here to get your widget.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

We have mixed of participants this week. Only a couple of people made the Peanut Butter Ingots. The rest, having already made them, bake to catch up.

Jane, having already made the Peanut Butter Ingots, decided to tackle both the Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cakes and the Gingerbread Cheesecake. She was very excited about the Molten cake. This cake reminded her of a good Molten cake that she had when she was 11 years old, at Morton's Steakhouse in New York. Rose's cake had a lot to live up to, and unfortunately, it did not live up to the expectation. "Good but not worth the work or the wait or the anticipation.  I expected Morton's but instead I got Applebees. Maybe I've just built up the cakes in my mind since the first experience so that nothing can compare." 

For the Gingerbread Cheesecake, Jane went all out with a homemade crust. "The crust was part 1 and it ended up being particularly delicious." She had trouble with the caramel again, having to made 3 batches. I admire Jane's perseverance in her caramel-making adventure. It was all worth it. "The majority of my friends have tried almost every cake I've made in the past few months and they said it was seriously the best one yet.  The caramel on top was a delicious addition and the pumpkin in the middle wasn't too strong or too weak."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dilled Bean Salad

I love browsing recipes online and when I became a vegetarian, this blog: A Couple Cooks - got my attention.

Their Dilled Bean Salad recipe is easy, hearty, and healthy. I use dried beans and cook them. The rest of the recipe I followed their instruction.

As for the taste, hm.. it needs more spice :))). So I added some balsamic vinegar into the mix. And it really adds more punch and taste into it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

HCB: Peanut Butter Ingots

I have two things to celebrate this weekend. First, this is the last ingots I have to make. EVER! After 4 ingots, I now firmly 110% believes that I do not like them. And will never make them again.

Second celebration, I finished baking through Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Yes. Finished! 94 cakes plus 1 wedding cake.

I AM DONE! Are you reading this Marie? Rose?


And we are going to celebrate next week. Hubby is taking me to my favorite restaurant.

(As a clarification, I finished baking through the book. I have not finished blogging and hosting it. I still have 5 cakes to blog about).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

I apologize for a late LC NC summary. It's been a crazy week.

This is the week where everyone played catch up, as it seems like everyone has made this cake.
Mendy already made the Molten cake back in October last year. So for this week he made the Karmel cake. I love how Mendy breaks down what the Karmel cake is all about in a few words: "The idea behind this cake is pretty simple really. Caramel with cake batter." This is his first time using sugar thermometer and it took half an hour to make the caramel. He also made the caramel parve using soy milk and margarine. There's some holes in the finished product, Mendy blamed his baking powder math as he doubled the recipe. Fortunately it didn't affect the taste. "It was very good although the flavor was a bit subtle. Goes down right with a cup of coffee."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Snap Thursday: Mushrooms

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I saw a black and white photo of mushrooms by a professional photographer a while back and I thought, aha! I want to try that too. His was of sliced mushrooms but I thought I'd try the whole ones. I think this is one of those few vegetables that looks awesome in B&W.

To join Snap Thursday: Post your photograph on your blog on Thursdays and leave your link in the comment section of my Snap Thursday post. Please also link back to my site. Click here to get your widget.

Monday, October 17, 2011

HCB: Molten Chocolate Souffle and Lava Cake

My blog has a mind of its own this morning and decided to publish a post that is still at an early writing post, just as I was typing it! This happens to me sometimes when I typed email using my yahoo email account, but never with the blog before.

Anyway, this is my last cake from the baby cake chapter. I know it's kinda backwards because we still have the Peanut Butter Ingots next week. But see I made that baby a couple of months ago. The post is written and ready to go. So technically this is my last baby cake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Black Hawk

Last month on one of our road trips, we went to one of the state parks. We were unimpressed so there's nothing to report. But on the way back my husband suggested that we stopped by Black Hawk so I could at least have some nice pictures.

He was right, :).

Black Hawk is a small gambling city here. We don't gamble (I'd rather spend my money at the mall) but it was nice to visit and walk around.

I hope you liked the pictures!

Free tram goes around the city.
This hotel looks menacing in black & white, don't you agree?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Snap Thursday: Full moon

While driving home last night, I was trying to decide which picture to post for this week's Snap Thursday and then I saw the full moon. There was space to pull over, so I did and I stood there taking several snapshots.

Here's a cropped view of the moon.

To join Snap Thursday: Post your photograph on your blog on Thursdays and leave your link in the comment section of my Snap Thursday post. Please also link back to my site. Click here to get your widget.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

Only 1 person this week made the Angel Food Cake, but a couple of you did bake some catch up cakes up. Thank you!

Mendy made the Ginger Cheesecake as cupcakes. He prefers cheesecake as cupcakes as they are easier to make. Mendy's post is really short so I don't have much to report. The cheesecakes were really delicious and now that he knows how to make ginger juice he wants to try making lemon-zest ginger ice cream.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pasta alla Puttanesca

This is one of my favorite pasta dish. When I say favorite I mean that I used to make this a lot. I had since forgotten about it. Last weekend, feeling like having pasta for lunch. Since spaghetti and meat balls is out of the option now, I started looking at my recipe book for other pasta recipes and stumbled upon this one.

And it is so easy to make. The original recipe only calls for garlic and not onions, but I like onions so I added some.

Saute the onions until they look a bit wilted.

Then add garlic and red pepper flakes.

Continue sauteeing until the garlic is lightly golden.

Monday, October 10, 2011

HCB: Angel Food Cake

This is my 4th attempt at this cake. And while the result is less than perfect. I am scratching it off the list and calling it done.

This morning I looked for the pictures of the other 2 attempts that I photographed a while back and I could not find them! Note to self: Please get better at organization :).

So in lieu of pictures, let me tell you about all my attempts.

Attempt #1:
Having a large supply of egg whites in the freezer, I made a full size angel food cake. The cake bake up successfully. It rose high in the oven and looked good. Upon cooling upside down suspended over a bottle of red wine vinegar, the cake fell onto the counter top, where it cracked into 2. If you need a visual, it looked very similar to Marie's.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Snap Thursday: Waterfall

When I was taking pictures of the fall foliage last week, I hear some water flowing. Looking around a bit, I saw this. Not sure if this qualifies as a waterfall, as it is very short. But it was a good opportunity to practice water photography :).
To join Snap Thursday: Post your photograph on your blog on Thursdays and leave your link in the comment section of my Snap Thursday post. Please also link back to my site. Click here to get your widget.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Last Cake, Next Cake

3 bakers and 5 cakes. 4 bakers and 7 cakes. Yes that's right. Our speedy baker, Jane, made Rose's Red Velvet Cakes, Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake, and Chocolate Ingots. Jane made a 2-layer Red Velvet Cake and decorated the outside with colorful fondant. A little baffled at the amount of food coloring required to color the batter red, she proceeded and use the bottle of food coloring gel, resulting in a very red cake. "The cake was a success.  It was incredibly moist and the food coloring did not affect the taste at all." The Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake was a big success, as proven by Jane's housemate, Elizabeth, who couldn't wait until the party in the evening and wants to eat the cake for breakfast. Not wanting to miss out, Jane also had it for breakfast, 2 slices to be exact."It turns out that this was a spectacular cake and I'll definitely be keeping the recipe around.  I've already had four slices today." Lastly for Jane this week, the Chocolate Financier. It calls for cacao nibs, which she ordered from Amazon. Excitement turned into disappointment when she discovered that cacao nibs are bitter, but then it quickly turned into excitement when the nibs were caramelized. "I guess when you put caramel around anything it turns out alright." As for the financiers, "I liked the texture of the caramelized cacao nibs on top but the taste wasn't my favorite."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ma-Po Tofu with a twist and becoming a vegetarian

I am becoming a vegetarian. Ovo-lacto vegetarian because I'm still including eggs and dairy product in my diet. On the weekends when we go out to eat, I sometimes morphed into a pescetarian because I often order fish.

It all started about 2 years ago. After reading several articles by Michael Pollan on the NY Times's website (here and here). We really liked his philosophy "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

So we started adding more vegetables into our diet and it worked really well. Then we thought that maybe we should try to become vegetarian.

I lasted 2 days.

I was miserable. I didn't enjoy what I eat and I missed meat. But I think switching overnight was a big mistake. It was just too much. And especially since I didn't really know how and what to cook that doesn't include any form of meat.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

HCB Free Choice: Catalan Salt Pinch Cake

I had scratch this cake off my list as according to my notes I've made it back in April 5, 2010.

But when I was trying to look for the pictures to blog about it, I couldn't find the pictures. And I don't remember this as one of those cakes that I've made but didn't photograph. And I'm pretty organized, each cake from Rose's book has its own folder, filed under the book's name folder, filed under a folder called "food."