August links

Has it been a hot summer for you? Are you ready for cooler fall weather? Here are the articles I read throughout the month of August:

  1. Gotham gets its just desserts
  2. Egg-Free Ice Cream Lets Flavors Bloom
  3. LudoBites 5.0, Pop-Up Dining in Los Angeles
  4. Chelsea’s wedding cake, a gluten-free masterpiece
  5. A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them
  6. New food-truck trend rolls into Akron
  7. Gerard Pangaud’s tomato desserts
  8. Universal Studios Hollywood chef aims to stir up some excitement
  9. The upside-down gets around
  10. Defend the bagel’s honor: Make your own!
  11. Plastic’s now off the menu
  12. Cobbler Lady: Pam Wright finds a recipe for business success
  13. Having our cake and eating it, too! (Look! It’s almost the title of my blog! :))
  14. Watermelons Get Small
  15. For Some Foods, You Just Had to Be There
  16. Focaccia: Easier than expected, tastier than you knew
  17. The Baker’s Apprentice: French Yogurt Cake
  18. Soaring temperatures call for cool, stylish desserts
  19. Cookies get their just desserts
  20. Gourmet Food Trucks Racing To Serve You Lunch
  21. No plain vanilla here
  22. Food That Looks So Messy, It’s Irresistible
  23. Trader Joe’s: Successful, But Secretive
  24. How to make American pies
  25. Grill That Dough, Stack That Bread

August Daring Baker’s Challenge

I think the most challenging thing for me this month was finding time to complete it! Otherwise, the pound cake and  ice cream were pretty simple. It is just a basic recipe for each. The only different (challenging) parts were browning the butter (since I’ve only done it a few times), and freezing the ice cream, since I do not have an ice cream machine (yet!).

Since I made the ice cream (custard) and just let it freeze over night (no stirring involved) and I took it out the next morning and paddled it on the electric mixer for a few minutes to aerate it and help to somewhat melt out the ice crystals that formed. This help make it look more like vanilla ice cream. Before it “churned” it was just yellow and the vanilla bean had all sunk to the bottom of the container. Literally, just frozen custard. After, it was white and the little “dots” of vanilla were disbursed throughout. It was more creamy, and less icy, but still not perfect. I think the smooth, non-icy texture can only be achieved with a real way of churning it while it freezes. Not bad though, for homemade ice cream without any sort of ice cream machine.

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

I made the petit fours (but did not make/use the chocolate glaze). I think they’re good just as they are!

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SF Chefs 2010

Thanks to Foodbuzz for letting me into SF Chefs 2010 and setting up an interview with Chef Kory Stewart of Americano restaurant.
I was able to walk around the SF Chefs tent before going to the demo and the interview and it was really awesome to see and taste the food and wine offered in the bay area.

The cooking demo with Chef Kory was great-it was about mozzarella and ricotta cheese. We tried the fresh mozzarella, served with bread and tomato; it was delicious. He also made fried squash blossoms that were stuffed with the ricotta and some Parmesan cheese. I had not tried squash blossom before (though I’ve seen them at the farmer’s market) and they were good, too.

It was my first interview that I had with a chef (in which I was the interviewer and not the interviewee) I wasn’t sure what to ask, but I think I did alright (I got some inspiration from Bon Appetit magazine)… Continue reading

Schmoozing in Sonoma

I went on a Sonoma wine tour with Birthright Israel/Bay Area Tribe. The “theme” of this year’s trip was “I heard it through the grapevine.” We (sorta) learned a bit about gossip/it’s connection to Judaism, hence the title of this post, “Schmoozing in Sonoma”. Also, it’s just what happens when you get a bunch of (tipsy) Jews together. :)
Yes, it has nothing to do with dessert (though there was really good gelato) but it does have to do with food, so I felt like it was okay to add to my blog. :)
There were almost 200 people on the trip, so we were divided up into four different buses. Each bus went to two wineries and all of us met up for lunch at an olive oil company. (this is where the gelato comes in)
My bus went to Landmark and Mayo wineries.

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The first was bigger (I think) and had better wine. Though, my judgment might have been thrown off a bit because it was about 11:45am and I had not really eaten anything before we left. The other winery we went to after a quick lunch-catered by Beautifull!-so I only had one (half) glass and it was only okay. But, based on others’ reviews, I would say that overall, the first wines really were better. Also, at lunch, there was wine on from a keg (like beer) made by this guy. It was a cool experience overall. I would’ve liked some sort of tour/more background about the wine, and not just tasting, but I guess there was not enough time for all of that. I’ll have to find time and a way to get back there again someday.