January 22, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Today’s post is going to be a little different. The topic is not baked treats or my dinner. The topic? Snow.
If you watch the news, you may have seen clips about snow across the country. You may have even seen footage about the snow storm in Seattle. I live in a city that borders Seattle and we are getting dumped on with snow. A lot of Seattlites have been complaining about this, so a few other states have been poking fun at us.
I honestly think it is hilarious. The main reason for my fellow Washingtonians’ complaints is the fact that we aren’t equipped to deal with these insane amounts of snow. To other states, this may not be a lot of snow, but to us it is. And to be honest, I love it. Bring on the snow, baby!
The one gripe I have with this snow storm is the fact that school has been cancelled all week. I have missed out on time in the kitchen and now have 2 weeks of homework to do… uh oh.
The most amusing thing for me is driving around and seeing the types of cars people are driving. You will mostly see 4WD vehicles, or 2WD vehicles with chains, but then you’ll see a car and wonder what they’re doing as you see them get stuck in the snow. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from driving around in the snow (with a 4WD truck, of course.)
January 16, 2012 § Leave a Comment
As of Tuesday, January 3rd, I am officially a culinary student! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am. Cooking and baking are both HUGE passions of mine, and I’m looking forward to getting some formal training in both. Once out of school, I’d like to start (or already be) working in a bakery and have a by-appointment cake business. My ultimate goal is to own a storefront bakery, specializing in custom wedding and celebration cakes with cupcakes and other pastries for sale.
I have self taught myself to bake and decorate desserts a lot through blogs, tutorials on Youtube, and forums, but I knew that I still had to get some training. The world of desserts is chalk full of competition and new businesses in general have a pretty high fail rate. Going into a new business adventure would not be advisable without training and education. That’s where culinary school comes in. My plan is to get my Associate’s degree in Baking Arts, and maybe take a few business classes after that. Fortunately, my school’s curriculum incorporates a lot of the business side of food establishments along with the cooking based classes.
Also, when I get out of baking school, I will have the training I need to take my Certified Pastry Culinarian exam through the American Culinary Federation. To be honest, I’m not sure how much that bumps up starting pay or if that is the only or best certification to have, but it’ll be great to start out with.
It’s funny to think how last January I was taking accounting classes. I honestly do still love finances, bookkeeping and accounting, but my passion is baking. I love getting covered in flour, and letting my creative juices flow. I love trying new techniques and making them my own. I also love creating surprises inside of cakes by swirling different color batters or layering different colored cakes.
I am so ecstatic for the future and what it holds. I wait patiently for the day I can create my first wedding cake, and hopefully you will be by my side.
January 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I totally just almost licked my plate. Few things that I eat make me want to lick my plate clean after. One of those few things is chocolate raspberry cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I think that if this cake was topped with raspberries, it would fill the void I have from time to time because of that cheesecake.
This cake has 2 different forms of chocolate in it. First you start with semisweet chocolate and later on mix in cocoa powder. Because this is a flourless cake, it does not have a leavening agent so it doesn’t rise much, if at all. It has a gooey brownie-like texture and rich flavor but is delicious and not overpowering.
The flavor is intense, but satisfies so you won’t want to eat the whole cake. It also tastes like it has a lot of calories but it’s relatively low-cal as far as desserts go. Especially plate-licking desserts.
January 11, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have been wanting to make spaghetti squash for a while now. I finally had the chance to try it this past November and really enjoyed it. The recipe my grandma used was a unique blend of ingredients and herbs. I decided to try the squash as a replacement of spaghetti with red sauce.
January 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today I am going to teach you the correct way to dice an onion. Yes, believe me there is a correct way. This may sound silly to you, but knowing the proper way to chop an onion will save you time and stress. If you try to cut up an onion haphazardly, you will end up with a mess and uneven sized pieces. You need the pieces of onion to be relatively the same size so that they cook evenly. Unless for some odd reason you like gnawing on raw onion. If that’s your thing, attack your onion.
First you need to gather your ingredients and equipment. You will need 3 things: a cutting board, a knife (preferably a chef knife), and an onion of course! Simple, right? I chose to go with a sweet onion for this demonstration but any onion will work. (Except maybe a red onion. I usually slice those in half moons or rings for salads, sandwiches and burgers, but that’s another lesson.
Grab your onion and slice it in half from root to tip!
December 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Red velvet cake is a classic. I use red velvet as a go-to cake when I don’t know what to bake or if I’m bringing cupcakes to a potluck. I haven’t met anyone who does not love red velvet cake.
This is an insanely easy cake recipe. Even if you aren’t baking inclined, this is something you will do well. The texture of this cake is perfect, even though you mix the wet ingredients first and incorporate all the dry at the same time. A typical cake will have you cream butter and sugar together, then add the wet and dry alternatively. This cake is unbelievably moist even though it lacks butter. The substitution of oil for butter is what makes this a classic southern red velvet cake recipe.
This recipe uses cake flour. A few of you may want to cut corners and use all-purpose flour instead of the cake flour, but if you do, I promise you will be disappointed. Cake flour is necessary to create a small crumb and light cake.
Gather your ingredients. Sift all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
December 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Enchiladas are one of my favorite comfort foods to make at home. Even though they are incredibly delicious, I am often regretful after eating them because of the calorie count. This recipe has changed that.
This recipe is not a typical enchilada recipe, in that you layer the tortillas flat instead of rolling them. I find this is a less messy way of serving and an easier way to distribute the filling as equally as possible. If you wish, you can roll the tortillas up and serve like traditional enchiladas.
Pour half of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9×13″ dish. Lay six (6) 5″ corn tortillas on the bottom of the dish.
Combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, onion and half of the mexican-blend cheese and spread evenly over tortillas.