Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cupcake MADNESS!

So I'm off my crazed pie fixation for now... However, my new obsession is cupcakes. I mean it's just so friggan fun! Regular cake flavor in a cute little package, ch'yes! So these are carrot cake cupcakes with walnuts. However, the trick to moist cake texture in this case is crushed pineapple! Yessir, that's the key. And it works! Only 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple for a dozen, and you've got yourself a soft, moist cupcake.

Alas, the best part about this is the frosting. Brought to you by none other than the famous Karen S. Henwood, this is a fool proof cream cheese frosting. Not only is it extremely easy to make, but anything you make for this frosting is immediately unworthy! After-all, cupcakes are simply catalysts for delicious frosting!

That's all, I'm doing some more baking this weekend, so stay posted :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jewish Ho Ho's?

Greetings Bloggers!

It's been a while since I've blogged, but things have changed quite a bit for me in the past month or so. I've been engaging less in baking than I would otherwise, but getting back into the swing of things. I've returned from Oregon and have shifted gears a bit. I'm moving to San Francisco this upcoming week to start a job as a publications assistant at a non-for-profit publishing firm! It's very exciting for me professionally, but I'm mostly juiced about the food prospects that come with the city :)

This picture here was my most recent creation. My dear friend Alex just completed his LSAT on Saturday so I made him so home-made ho ho's to celebrate. This recipe caught my eye on none other than America's Test Kitchen publication. It was surprisingly easy, and friggan delicious! I'm starting to believe that the secret to all cake is 1) sour cream (duh!) and 2) espresso powder. Seriously, it deepens the flavor of the chocolate and makes for a great batter.

Also, the marshmallow cream was super easy to make. I used gelatin, butter, vanilla and some marshmallow creme. That stuff could probably survive a nuclear war, but taste brilliant in these little guys.

That's about all for today. I hope you're all enjoying the changing of the seasons and welcoming fall food fun!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Greetings Blogosphere!

I've been a horrible blogger as of late, I apologize. To be perfectly honest I have no excuse except that I've been exceptionally lazy. Alas, I've brought you some delicious stories and pictures.

This first one is a picture of a beauteous spread Jake and I made upon his arrival home from Oregon. The tomatoes, basil and plums were from my yard, the cucumbers were from the Farmer's Market and the berries came from a berry stand on the way home from Oregon. The rest is from Nugget and the Coop including a delicious Pinot Noir that complimented everything wonderfully. YUM! This kind of meal is perfect for summer dinner. Not only is it healthy, diverse and interesting in flavor combination, but it's not too shabby on the eyes either. Yay finger food!

So, the other day I was stressin' out and decided to do some baking to heal myself. But, I couldn't decide what to make. As I flipped through one of my various pastry books, I was inspired to make mini mille fueille, a traditional French pastry that features creme anglaise and fresh fruit. Off to the store I went for my ingredients, excited to create something lovely. However, I baked my puff pastry and realized they'd come out too salty, and I had to leave my project for the next day. I've been wanting tart pans since... well forever. They've been on my baking tools list (yes, I have one) for a long time, and so I thought I'd redeem my baking project with trusty AKT "foolproof" pie dough. Oh YES! I par-baked the tart crusts, filled them with my kick ass creme angliase and topped it all off with some fresh berries. They were truly sensational and I can't wait to work with the tart pans again.

Now, the second part of this success story lies in the puff pastry. I decided I'd use some cremini mushrooms to create a puff pastry appetizer. Cremini mushrooms are tasty little buggers, full of delicious flavor, and they work well in a variety of capacities. So I sauteed the mushrooms with some garlic, olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. I then shredded up some of my favorite cheese, black diamond chedder and mixed it all up together in a big bowl. I cut the pastries in half and stuffed them with the savory mushroom/cheese mixture and voila! This was probably one of the easiest, most delicious appetizers I'd ever invented.

I hope you're all enjoying summer and taking advantage of all the beautiful food we're so lucky to experience here in california! I'm getting ready to move up to Oregon and I'm SUPER excited to see what kind of culinary adventures I find myself wrapped up in there.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gardens Gardens everywhere!!!!!

Hello All!

Sorry I've been a terrible blogger the past few weeks. Alas, I have been traveling and rather lazy as I'm simply enjoying the relaxing times in the Davis heat.

However, I did do some cooking and baking the past few days. As you all know it's that time of the year when all is in bloom, and my folks' garden is no exception. We picked a bushel of tomatoes as well as basil of two varieties. So naturally Jake and I proceeded to make the most delightful lasagna with a homemade basil/spinach pesto, mozzarella, ricotta and beauteous sliced tomatoes. It was SUPER tasty!

Yesterday I visited my dear friend Cory Mann at his mom's house in Davis. Kim is a fabulous gardener and she graciously gave me a bag of delicious yellow peaches from their tree along with some zucchinis. I made a peach pie with my favorite pie crust recipe. "Fool Proof Pie Crust" from America's test Kitchen. If you don't know already, I love ATK, I think they are gods and I read almost everything they publish.

Anyway, hope you're all well.

Happy Eating!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Travels!

Hi Everyone!
Here are some pictures from my weekend in Humboldt County. It was my first time up there in my adult life, and of course the trip's mission was to see the sights, and eat delicious things of course. My favorite was Brio Breadworks, a cute little place on the corner of the plaza in Arcata, CA. The bakery has a European feel with artisan breads, and a plethora of unforgiving pastries, all of which is made in-house! We had a fruit danish, Egg's Benedict on a croissant, and a classic omelette with Emmental cheese and Chives. We also dined at Brick and Fire, a cute little cafe that prepares all of their food in a massive brick oven in the back. It was delicious! I tried two interesting dishes I'd never had, a polenta lasagna (very creative), and a refreshing mint-peach sorbet for dessert. Last but certainly not least, we went to the Lost Coast Brewery in Eureka! I've had plans to go there for a long time, and finally had lunch there this afternoon! My turkey burger was FANTASTIC! The picture you see here is a collection of 10 4 oz samples of all the brews. It was a fun way to end the trip, and I'm glad I got to experience some new foods and flavors, and spend some time in that part of the state.

Hope you're all exploring the culinary world through summer's bounty !

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Banana Muffcakes

Not sure if these are muffins are cupcakes, so they'll be a hybrid.

I had a few bananas about to go bad, and this is what I came up with. I made a really simple icing consisting of butter, confectioner's sugar and some soy milk to drizzle on top, as well as some raw almonds for garnish and crunch. I think they look pretty good and they taste amazing. They're super spongy and light, but not too sweet. The icing melts when you take a bite, which kind of brings all the textures and flavors together.

Interesting side note: Did you know you can make a substitute for buttermilk with milk and vinegar? ( 1 cup milk per 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice) What's even more interesting, is that you can use soy milk if you don't have regular milk and it works just as well! I didn't know, so that's cool.

More to come...
Happy Eating!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Key Lime Pineapple Pie!

I've plunged deep into a sick, twisted obsession in pie land for the past few months. I should probably move on...

With that said, here lies my most recent creation, Key Lime Pineapple Pie.

It didn't set up as well as the last key lime pie I made, but the flavor is akin to pure tropical paradise, and the texture is silky smooth. The crust is a simple graham cracker crust with a hint of cinnamon. Divine, if I do say so myself. It's the perfect balance of tart fruitiness and sweet cookie-ness.

More to come...

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food tour d'Berkeley!

I've just returned from one of my favorite cities in California. Jake, my lovely cuisine companion has spent little time in Berkeley and we'd been discussing a potential food tour for quite a long time. Berkeley Bowl, the mecca of all grocery stores was the inspiration for the trip, but I figured if we were already there, we'd attempt to eat our way through the entire bay area. We made a list of places to go, and began our journey at 9:30 this morning. Said list included; Bette's Ocean View Diner, The Cheeseboard Cooperative Bakery, Ici Ice Cream Shop, Intermezzo, and Berkeley Bowl. We indulged in amazing breakfast at the diner, committed to quality ice cream made from the freshest, most seasonal ingredients, and maxxed out our credit cards at the Bowl. While we didn't make it to all because of stomach size constraints, we did have a lovely time, and the weather was charming. Unfortunately I'm an idiot and I forgot my sd card for my camera, and failed on the photography portion of the trip, however we do have big plans for key lime and pineapple pie, so stay tuned.

Tasty Treats

So, I recently made this triple chocolate mousse cake, and it was just about the most heavenly thing I've ever tasted. The bottom is a bittersweet chocolate mousse crust, the middle is a milk chocolate mousse and the top is a white chocolate mousse. Epic.

Food Fondness

Hello Everyone!

My name is Yael, and I love food... Yes, I sound like an addict, and maybe I am, but frankly I don't care! I'm starting this blog as a way of documenting my culinary adventures around the great state of California, where I live, as well as some of the other places I have an hope to visit. I am an avid hobby baker, however I dabble in all other food preparation and exploration.

I went to school at the University of California at Santa Cruz where I did my bachelor's in Environmental Studies. My studies were focused on food systems, and while I've always been
interested in food, this only further encouraged my interest. I suppose what most intrigued me was the simple relationship people have with food. Everybody's gotta eat, right? Yet, I'm continuously perplexed by the complexity associated with growing, preparing and enjoying food, and I hope that through my constant engagement in food culture, I will one day understand it... Or become the most amply proportioned woman on the face of the earth. We'll see...

My favorite time is spent with friends who share the same love and passion for food, and I'm always curious to see what others are doing. I hope I can share with you some of the wonderful eats I've been lucky to experience, and that I can receive feedback and advice to further pursue the ongoing dialogue about food!

Happy Eating!