March 16-31 links

I hope you all had a good Purim, St. Patrick’s Day, and overall, a good March!

  1. Chains take a bite out of mini-dessert trend
  2. Modern Flavors Transform a Purim Tradition
  3. The Fresh, Homey Appeal of the Breakfast Party
  4. Commentary: Food trucks lead the way in culinary innovation
  5. Let’s twist again: Pretzels make a comeback
  6. Go on and indulge in nutritious and tasty between-meal snacks

 

March 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge: Yeasted Merigue Coffee Cake

The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast. Ria and Jamie challenged The Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.

This was my first time baking a cake like this. I have made cinnamon buns, which are similar in that they are yeasted, and have the same cinnamon-sugar-chocolate chip (and nut) filling, but what makes this different is the meringue and the shape.

I think it came out well and since I am typing this while they bake, I can only tell that they smell delicious already! The Daring Bakers also offered a different filling, one that used saffron and other spices. I stuck to the typical filling since this was my first time to make it, and those ingredients are just a bit cheaper.

Continue reading

C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me!

Purim was celebrated on Saturday and what a day it was!

In the morning, I ran with the Jews For Run group in their Pacing For Purim “race”. It was the first time I went running (other than going to the gym) and I had a great time (even getting drenched in the rain)! It was motivational to run in a group and to get inspiration from runners of all kinds of experience.

The main highlight of the day was Purim Palooza (see pictures here -I’m in some!) I went to the show at Temple Emanu-el as Cookie Monster, but took the hat off that made the costume, and became just someone in a onesie at the after party at the Rockit Room. Anyway, as Cookie Monster, I thought it was a good idea to show up with a bunch of cookies, and since it was Purim, I decided on Hamentashen. I used the same recipe as before, and used chocolate chips as the filling and put some poppy seeds in the dough. I found that the ones that were more closed tasted better, since you got chocolate in each bite.

This post was brought to you by the letter H, for Hamentashen!

The Cookie Experiment

I did a baking experiment about the difference between baking powder and baking soda. For this experiment, I baked chocolate chip cookies.

I made four varieties:

  1. with no leaveners
  2. with only baking powder
  3. with only baking soda
  4. with both baking soda and baking powder

The recipe called for baking soda only, so I guess you could call that the “control” of the experiment. The 3rd and 4th varieties were chewier and tastier than the 1st and 2nd varieties. Below are the pictures representing each variety. You can tell that the baking powder creates a cookie that doesn’t spread as much and kept more of a dome shape, while the baking soda created a flatter, more spread out cookie.

no leaveners used

only baking powder used

only baking soda used

both baking powder and baking soda used

“…and in the morning, I’m making WAFFLES.”

This post’s title/quote comes from the first (and best, IMO) Shrek movie.

I bought the waffle iron from a garage sale that was down the street from me. It’s old, but works great. I added cinnamon, maple sugar, and some toasted, chopped pecans to the batter made from scratch. They came out well and I hope that the ones that I froze will reheat well and taste just as good as the fresh ones. This is the first time I’ve made frozen waffles from scratch, so I hope they’re just as good (if not better) than Egos/Bisquick. Continue reading

March 1-15 links

Welcome to March! Spring is around the corner and the days are starting to get warmer and longer. Hopefully, all that snow is starting to melt away…sorry, living in San Francisco has given me a new perspective on “Nor’easter”; one where that term means nothing to me anymore…(did it ever REALLY have a meaning?) Anyway, warm up and enjoy these articles while you get ready for Spring:

  1. Chef, artists collaborate on new culinary experience
  2. Consider vanilla
  3. Consumers moving away from comfort
  4. Pop-Tarts any way you want them
  5. Chef builds kitchen of chocolate and sugar
  6. Celebrating The Pies Of March
  7. Even in cold weather, adult milkshakes remain hot
  8. Matzo Balls Meet Bacon At Top Chef’s Restaurant

I’ve got a feeling that SHABBAT’s gonna be a good night…

The title of this post inspired by this video…I am hosting a Shabbat Dinner tonight and it’s gonna be a good night. The dinner will be paid for by the Birthright Israel NEXT team. I am making vegetable matzo ball soup, roasted chicken, lasagna, some veggie sides, and of course, some awesome dessert including a pumpkin pie and chocolate cake. Recipes are either from Gourmet or Bon Appetit magazine or from other blogs or from my mother’s old recipes. (click on links for more information) This is the first dinner I am hosting, and hopefully not my last.

thanks to Rob, Zoe, Staci, Jason, Michele, Peter, and Aaron for making this night a special Shabbat to remember!