Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My First Fondant Cake

I took a cake-making class last week and it was tons of fun! I think I annoyed the teacher because I was so slow that I ended up taking an extra hour after class was over (plus I was his only student that day). Hey, you can't rush a perfectionist.

One thing I learned is that you have to work quickly or else the fondant will start cracking. It's also an advantage to have naturally warm hands, as mine were so cold that I couldn't get the fondant to soften no matter how hard I rolled and rubbed!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bacon and Waffles

There are two things I have really come to love recently--weekends (though yesterday I had to work) and Trader Joe's Baking Mix.

Since I'm an early riser that also suffers from insomnia, and Superhusband is the polar opposite, it means I can wake up before him on weekends and make him breakfast. This breakfast was a combination of our favorite breakfast items (I love waffles and he loves bacon).

Long ago, I stopped ordering waffles at a restaurant. The idea that it costs $6+ for no expertise has always been a mystery to me. I've been using the same waffle iron ($16 from Amazon) for the past few months now (with the batter from Trader Joe's mix added with a generous spoonful of sugar), and it always delivers crispy but tender perfection.

To Assemble:
1) Lay a waffle on a plate.
2) Sprinkle powdered sugar (I always use a flour sifter to get rid of the lumps).
3) Lay four crispy pieces of bacon on top.
4) Pour fresh syrup (I prefer Grade B) as desired.

I don't even like bacon that much and I LOVED this (and of course, Superhusband was making devouring sounds). Definitely try it. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cocoa Cupcakes with Matcha (Green Tea) Frosting

I didn't like the recipe that much, so I'm not going to share it. These were pretty good but after the third one, I got sick of them.

One thing I did learn though--when the recipe calls for matcha POWDER, it does not mean that I should go the cheap way and crumble the green tea leaves we have at home by hand. First of all, my fingers were green and sore after crumbling dried leaves for an hour (welcome back, tendonitis). Second of all, the green tea flavor was not consistent throughout the topping. Ah well, lesson learned.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bon Appétit Changes Logo


I'll leave my opinions out of this one. But I liked what this writer said:

The announcement by Bon Appétit that they were going to court younger readers by adjusting its logo was greeted with plenty of amusement earlier today, but the reality is even grimmer than it sounds: Not only is Bon Appétit trying to skew younger, but it’s trying to differentiate itself from other food magazines. The truth is that Bon Appétit will never be any hipper or friskier than it is, because no magazine about upscale entertaining can ever speak to people that don’t have big houses and plenty of time on their hands. Even among such magazines, Bon Appétit is the most boring, an ad-packed Nembutal calling to mind the "women's pages" where newspapers used to publish their party recipes. With the Food Network, the Internet, and a dozen more interesting magazines at their disposal, there's no way we can imagine someone under 40 reading Bon Appétit.

The current Bon App is wall-to-wall recipes: goat-cheese crostini with blood-orange marmalade, beef tenderloin with port sauce, chocolate-panna-cotta layer cake. There is some travel and restaurant stuff and a few token “fast easy fresh” recipes, but basically this is the same stuff Gourmet was publishing in the sixties, plus lemongrass. There should be more about chefs and trends and ingredients and culinary culture. Bon Appétit chronicles the same fine-dining ghetto that people have been running away from at full speed for the last ten years.

So is it possible for a cooking magazine to be hip and frisky? Chow tries, but we still think the original concept behind it, which was to be Maxim with food instead of girls, remains the great untried experiment. Once a magazine is a repository for recipes, it stops being exciting, unless someone figures out a way to attach it to the outside world. Bon Appétit is for people who eat in. No new typeface is going to fix that problem.