Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Here is the baclava, I will post about it tomorrow

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and an Easter Eggstravaganza!

I love holidays!
Here we are dying Easter Eggs. My sisters and I really pulled out all the stops this year. More creative than ever, our eggs were quite inspiring. (As usual, we tried doing the lovely Martha Stuart eggs, comparing the two, I must say this year was a whole lot more successful than ever before, which I suppose does not say much of past years. However, we did do one thing quite well-Yoshi's eggs!! I hope you all LOVE nintendo/Wii/game consoles as much as I do or you won't appreciate these!

ps: I made this photo huge and you still can barely see the eggs. I'm sure our photographer was thinking about joining Newt's Moon Colony and therefore did not notice that the eggs were so tiny in the shots.

This year we forgot to have our egg wars. O has introduced my fam to this tradition and everyone loves it-the kids because they like to hit things (violent little souls) and the adults bc it gives them an excuse to throw away the eggs and not keep them around for weeks. Basically, each person holds and egg, one person hits the other person's egg and whichever egg becomes so cracked/out of commission first is the loser.

Easter day I was visited by two Easter Bunnies! Being married has some real perks :) One of the bunnies gave me a lot of soap and the other gave me a BK gift card (where I will go and get all greasy eating my Coke Icee ($1!!) and then go home and use the soap up) among other surprises :)

Who says Easter Egg Hunts are for kids?!
We always do an Adult Easter Egg Hunt. We all have to come up with services and put them in eggs. Then, after the hunt, we all go around and find out who we owe our services to. This year O did some of our old favs-Czech Dinner with O, Night of Revelry with O, my famous (in my mind) pizza, and also added some new ones. I included a blacklight dinner (I'm very excited about this, I saw it in the Martha Stuart Magazine) which of course everyone thought sounded scandalous (I said wear white, not, come show me your white booty), a glow in the dark experience (I'm quite excited about this one as well-I've got a whole show featuring Mt Dew and glow in the dark bubbles planned), and finally, some magic bean bags!! My mom got those and was extremely complimentary (though I think she was a little scared of them, you know, their healing properties and all). O and I received some fab services that I am going to certainly enjoy including a new CD mix, ice cream extravaganza, a custom party banner, homemade cookies, pumpkin pasties from the Earl, a car wash, and my nephew is going to come and make me soft pretzels!! I am such a lucky sort!

The Hunt was followed by a lovely Easter Dinner (actually, I think we ate first but the details hardly matter, right?)- ham of course, yummy potatoes, salad, ...and strawberry shortcake and sugar cookies.
Adult table

children's table with little Peter Rabbit dishes. I am only including this because the other day I jokingly asked O took look for a Peter Rabbit tablecloth for me in China (bc Pottery Barn had these really cute ones and I was acting like O would go over and just see Pottery Barn stuff everywhere) and O said "who's Peter Rabbit?"  I was like "you don't know who Peter Rabbit is?!?!?!?!?!?" and O was like "so I'll ask if anyone has any tablecloths with rabbits on them" And I thought (bc O had hung up) "Oh no".

I made the bunny-that is veggie dip inside. My bro-in-laws all said it looked like a vampire bunny with the guts spilling out, so appetizing.

 L-the amazingly crafty sister-in-law of mine-made deviled eggs that looked like little chicks-so cute!

 So this week we made the Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
My only advice: I would not recommend broiling your pie. As this was not actually part of the instructions, few of you will even consider doing this.
 My broiled pie. Yes, when I saw this, I nearly threw it away then and there.

 It looks much better cut up

The french dip sandwiches were awesome (that was why I turned the broiler on for 20 seconds), the pie was not. The pie crust was great though, I used an all butter crust and it was not difficult to work with at all (a super rarity when it comes to pie crusts!). Of course, as I am not a pie person (meaning, I would never consider eating more than one bite of pie-the filling first being scraped off the crust bc I do not like cooked fruity things-ever) perhaps I am not a good judge. However, I did have pie people at my house on the tasting panel. They said it was good. However, based on the fact that I had to throw half of it away after leaving it on the counter for 3 days to tempt people, it was obviously not as good as the chocolate concoction I made last week, which was gone after one afternoon on the counter. I'll be nice and blame it on the lack of rhubarb (oh yes, I think I forgot to mention that, I used mostly strawberries, a few blueberries, and raspberries thrown in, you could call it a Triple Berry Pie I suppose). I'll have to try it again sometime in my life and get my dad's opinion-he is a pie connoisseur because my grandma was a pie-maker extraordinaire, strawberry rhubarb and lemon meringue being her specialties.

this is a strawberry rhubarb pie that a) was not broiled, b) contained rhubarb, c) made by the lovely pie people of Village Inn, d) free because apparently Wednesday if free pie day at Village Inn, and e) better than mine.

Oh well, you win some you lose some. And I consider myself a winner because I got this one made before Wednesday night at 10 pm! It was so nice to not be stressed about getting into trouble for my tardiness that I will now go and make the next several recipes. You'll soon hear about them all.
Check out the real thing-an awesome looking pie and the recipe here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Choose Your Own Recipe Week

I continue to hang on in the baking club world, lets just hope my latest infraction doesn't get me axed :)

So this week we were supposed to make the chocolate blackout cake. For reasons which I shall not divulge here, I purchased all of the ingredients for the individual hot fudge pudding cakes instead. Upon coming home and studying the other cake recipe, I realized I could hardly make it in the time left (the pudding alone was going to take 4 hours) and therefore I proceeded with baking the wrong cake.  However, it was good, and it had coffee in it-which I replaced with hot chocolate-so I guess it might sort of halfway count. (I will have to make the chocolate blackout cake soon though-it looks just like the one at Cosco and my Dad thinks that is the best thing ever!)

Here is a photo:

check out the real chocolate cake at 

As per usual, L came over and did most of the baking while I ran around like an idiot-for example I made her put the incorrect amount of coco powder in (though in my defense, she should have followed the recipe instead of my voice) and had to throw out the first batch of batter. The best thing about this recipe-it took all of 15 minutes to put together! L thought it was good, though she said more than one bite would kill her (she says that about everything so I'm not sure how to take it). I thought it was great (though I also only had one bite, it was a bit on the dark side for my palate). I am a lover of all things sour patch kids so I'm not sure I'm the best one to review a chocolate cake anyways. Generally, I make the baking assignment, take a little taste and a token picture, then try for 3 days to lure O into tasting it (which he never does). I then have to throw the whole thing away (which is a shame because the all seem like such nice desserts). The past two weeks I have sent the dessert up to my fam and they all rave and rave over the stuff (does wonders for my self-esteem as a budding pastry chef). I think I'll have to continue with that in the future. This week was ultra fab as I had my first official taste test panel to give actual reviews. My aunt and cousins all found the cake to be awesome (though they did think it needed a little vanilla ice cream to balance it out). O even came home and tried one tinsy little bite (just so he could say he does try my cooking, I'm not giving him any points for that though) before he broke out the dessert he purchased for himself on Monday at the grocery store, a tiny little birthday cake.

O and his little cake. He first attempted to get an entire dozen awful looking cinnamon rolls which I vetoed (and suddenly realized why I don't take O to the grocery store, he is such a bad influence) and so I thought this small cake was a bit of a compromise.

O has sort of been all about making points lately. For example, the other day I told him he was not going to eat 20 chicken nuggets from McDonalds (that should have not even needed to be said). He insisted he would. He came home and of course ate 10. So, I laughed a bunch and told him to throw the others away. Instead, he insisted (once again) that he was going to eat them later. I was like "you don't eat McDonalds later". Against everything I stand for, he put them in the fridge. I thought "well, I'll just throw them away in a day or two, like I do for every leftover in the world that I myself don't eat" (actually, I probably said that out loud) (O is forever telling me that he loves leftovers etc but in our married life, I have only seen him eat leftovers 3 times. However, he has deluded himself so effectively that he insisted on saving all his leftovers, and therefore making me throw the away). Anyhow, as I told everyone about the chicken nuggets, he pulled them out and proceeded to eat them all (just to prove his point, I'm convinced). He even had the audacity to claim they are better the second day. I'll let you know how tonight goes-if you remember the time O ate a purple hot dog, you'll have a likely guess. (Poor O, you've never met a person who suffers from food poisoning so regularly, though I sort of think this time it might be his own fault. Come to think of it, I did gently point out to O that the hot dog thing was his fault too, while he was violently throwing up for hours. I don't think he appreciated my words at that time.)

Anyhow, I still have not got the photos of Disneyland nor have I got the photos of my fabulous Easter Eggstravaganza. I'll be getting those for sure and posting soon!!-this year my eggs superseded all of my past creations. I will say, one of my Easter bunnies this year was quite convinced I should start washing my face-I received more soaps than I would have believed existed. I have been looking shiny (no more is my complexion dull) and a bit nude (not used to not having layers of makeup on) ever since. I think it could become a habit :) I suppose vacationing with Easter bunnies exposes all of ones innermost secrets.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tres Leches Cake and Starving in San Diego

Well, I'm in danger of being kicked out of my baking club-for reals this time. There is a new policy in place-miss three posts (which means posting before midnight on Wednesday) all year and you are....OUT. Yes, I thought that was insane as well. In truth, I don't understand why anyone will a) know if I miss posting for a week or two-as I have sooooo many readers :), and b) care if I miss a week or two, but apparently some members of Bake 52 could give Kim Jong-un a lesson or two (well that might have been a bit harsh, after all, we have no idea if he will follow in his father's footsteps)

and of course j/k about the club, it has been fabulously fun, I just like complaining about rules :)

Anyways, I zipped straight home from work and made my Tres Leches cake (literally, I have even had to forego washing my hair and showering). I have never considered making this kind of cake before-wet soggy things are really not acceptable food sources in my mind. However, I'm glad I tried it!
I did not have time to let it sit in the fridge-I removed it from the oven, poured my milk mix right over it, let it sit for 5 min, then ate my piece. I must say, it was delish, though more than two bites will kill you.
I halved the recipe and omitted the cinnamon (as J recommended)
 See    for the recipe and a better looking cake than mine :)
Here is photo proof that I made this:

(if you think this looks messy, you have no idea what the other pieces looked like...)

What else have I been up to?
Actually quite a bit!

I went to San Diego for a conference all by my lonesome. I have not been there in recent memory and did not know quite what to expect. I learned a few things, mainly, STAY IN THE CONFERENCE HOTEL, yes, I am through with priceline after what happened to me this trip
 I was like here:

(at least I got to check out the new Dominos moon branch)

and the conference center was like here:
As you can imagine, it was kind of a hassle to get to and from the hotel.

and also, San Diego is not Hawaii.
 happy hour in Hawaii

happy hour in San Diego

The beach I was going to lounge on:

My hotel pool:
(it was cramped)

and ps, when I searched for pictures of Hawaii on Google images, I found a bunch of pics of a girl that used to work in our lab, it was a very strange coincidence.

For some reason, probably bc everyone acts like they go to the beach in San Diego, I thought I would be lounging on the beach during the trip. I never even saw a beach. Other than that, I could not find anything to eat in the entire town. I spent hours and hours walking through restaurants but it turns out, San Diego is all about seafood and happy hour. My first meal was a terribly doughy Chicago style pizza eaten on the bench waiting for my hotel shuttle (which I saw pass by several times before one finally stopped! (on second thought, I probably should have known better than to eat at the airport), my next meal was a pile of weeds masquerading as a $6 spring salad, the next was a chicken taco meal that started out OK until I found, after one bite, I was in a decidedly creeped-out-by-chicken mood (strikes when you least expect it), and I wrapped up with a philly cheesesteak sandwich, about which I have nothing to complain except for the large size. After these meals, I just started eating my cheese-snacks and Nilla wafers that I brought from home. (Whenever my dad helps me out to the car with my suitcase he always says it is soooo heavy. Of course it is heavy, I have to bring my own kitchen!) Other than the food, San Diego was delightful! I wish someone had been there with me to explore and sigh see, it would have been fabulous! I did not go anywhere except the gas lamp quarter, right across from the conference center, but it was charming. Full of little cafes and lots of people and fun shops. It reminded me quite a bit of Budapest actually. I could not find anything to eat there either.

Well, my trip to San Diego was short because I railed right down to Disneyland to meet my fam for a truly dreamy vacation-I'll be posting the FEW pics we got on Vati's iphone (can you believe he did not bring his camera?!?! I guess he mostly snaps people 5 and under these days) and all the details-it was just beyond wonderful- very soon!!!
beyond Disneyland (though it is hard to believe there is anything beyond Disneyland)
In other news, I survived April Fools day without making anyone cry, something of a success. Poor Vati did actually have to go to the hospital to have a cut looked at (so I could not really text anyone a joke about that) and O really did have a scare with lice (so when I told everyone to check their kids they thought I was only kidding and did not give themselves a heart attack) but all ended as well as possible-with those starting points.

And finally, today I saw a mime on the side of the road. He was a terrible mime, just waved at passing cars and occasionally did some weird dance moves. As far as I could tell he was not advertising for anything. I texted Merv and EP and about this and EP texts back "oh no, I forgot the sign I was supposed to be holding" EP just kills me sometimes and so in her honor, I'm posting one of her more memorable alter egos, Hillbilly Johnny.
Now I know why EP loved Billy Hill and the Hill Billies so much!
More to come on this when I get to the Dland post.
Until then!