Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Not impressed by the Candy Shop look of Trophy Cupcake, lacks a little in character. The cupcakes all lined up in a Stepford Wife sort-of-way, they didn't really appeal to me. My husband went ahead and ordered the Bourbon Eggnog and an espresso, then turned to me and said, "Do you want anything?" My heart said, No, but my eyes said, "Get the Red Velvet!"
My cousin Melissa and her boyfriend Toby were with us so they also ordered the adorable Chocolate Candy Cane cupcake.
OK, the taste test begins... First I sliced the Red Velvet into 4 pieces. In my opinion, dry and too crumbly. Nothing to brag to my sister Maria about, who is a devout Georgetown cupcake devotee and claims has the Best Red Velvet Cupcake on the planet.
Second...MMMMMMMM! Bourbon Eggnog. Moist. Sweet with a slight hint of Bourbon. Hands down winner.
Third, almost forgot, the Chocolate Candy Cane. Wait, wait, wait! The texture of the cake was perfect. Moist, bittersweet chocolate with thick, creamy peppermint frosting.
I am still giving the Bourbon Eggnog the winning "Trophy" for this cupcake tasting. Although the Chocolate Candy Cane was good, the flavor combination on the Bourbon Eggnog was the more original of the two...YUM!
Aritsanal has many "hot" antipasti that really compliment their pizza. The Veal meatballs were so tender and bursting with flavor!
Monday, December 28, 2009
My dad makes fruit salad for every holiday dinner. Actually, almost every Filipino family has a similar fruit salad on the buffet at most parties. What's in it? Well, there are many versions. Some people add sweetened condensed milk, others add cream cheese, it all depends on the salad maker.
Well, my dad makes the best version and it's delicious every time.
My Dad's Fruit Salad
2 - 16 oz cans of fruit cocktail, drained
1 - 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks, drained
2 - 12 oz can of sugar palm fruit
1 - jar of nata de coco (clear coconut cubes)
1 - jar of jackfruit, sliced
1 - jar of coconut macapuno
1 - jar sweetened shredded coconut
1 tub of Cool Whip
Mix this all together and chill. YUM!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
I saw Alton Brown's version of 'How to cook duck' on his Mighty Duck episode. After reading over his method and actually being able to see the segment twice. I think I can, I think I can, so here we go!! So, quarter, trim fat, brine, steam, sear in oven, done.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
My recipe makes a lot. I make about 20 large cookies and 25 more of several smaller versions. I make a bunch of different cookies and give to everyone on Christmas. I sent the alligators and cocktail cookies to my in laws in Florida to toast the New Year.
1 cup brown sugar, packed
Off to Florida with these gators, to deliver cocktails to my in laws.
Aren't they lovely little cookies!!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly butter 2 large baking sheets. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out pastry to 16 by 18 in. Cut pastry in thirds lengthwise and in half crosswise. With a wide spatula, transfer the 6 rectangles to baking sheets.
2. Core pears and cut into thin wedges. Arrange, slightly overlapping, on pastry rectangles, leaving a 1 1/2-in. border bare (angle slices if necessary). Warm marmalade in a microwave oven to melt, then brush over pears. Fold border over edge of pears, stretching slightly and pressing down to hold. Brush new edges with egg, then sprinkle turbinado sugar over tarts, especially pastry edges.
3. Bake until pastries are richly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
This salad was a big hit! We will definitely be making this again and again. We bought our squid or calamari at the Pike Place Market and I cleaned the squid myself.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound calamari, cleaned, sliced into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, zested
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
For the salad: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Season the calamari with salt and pepper and add to the skillet. Saute, stirring frequently, until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the mixture in a colander.
Transfer the calamari mixture to a serving bowl. Pour in the dressing and gently toss until all the ingredients are coated. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
1½ hours 20 min prep
2 lbs root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (use potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, beets)
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the root vegetables and onion in a roasting pan.
Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and salt to taste.
Do not crowd the vegetables.
Roast the mixture for a total of 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
After 30 minutes, scatter the garlic cloves in with the vegetables.
Continue stirring every 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned.
about 8 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 New York Roast (about 7 to 8 pounds)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and arrange a rack in the lower third.
Combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Rub the mixture all over the roast and set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.
Arrange the roast in a large roasting rack, bone side down. Roast until the meat is nicely browned, about 25 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and roast for another 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check the internal temperature registers 115 to 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. (Be sure the thermometer is exactly in the center of the roast.)
Remove the roast from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it tightly with aluminum foil and allow the meat to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Carve and transfer to a serving platter.
Sesame Cheddar Olive Poppers
— Adapted from "Dishing with Kathy Casey"
Makes about 24 poppers
1 cup (4 ounces) finely grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sifted flour
Dash cayenne pepper
1 jar (about 24) medium-Black olives, drained
1. Beat the cheese and butter together in a mixer or a food processor, then stir in the flour and cayenne.
2. Shape 1 heaping tablespoonful of dough around each olive, covering it well and forming the dough into a ball.
3. P lacethe balls on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve hot.