Painting Class

Over the break my a few of my engineering friends and I decided we were going to take a stab at being artsy! Just imagine the difficulty 4 engineers had in trying to break away from straight lines and thinking inside a box…

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My Painting

I’d say we did an awesome job 🙂

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Turtle Cookie Noms

I know I have posted these cookies up before..but this time I made them. I cant emphasize on how delicious they are.

I used a wilton squirt bottle this time to do the chocolate drizzle on top…much easier than using a spoon….

Highlight: I took these cookies to a cookie swap party and totally got 1st place for best looking cookie 😀

Imagehttp://www.momontimeout.com/2012/10/turtle-thumbprint-cookies-recipe/

 

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#24

Glassdoor just released its top 25 companies to work for in 2014! My employer made it in at #24 🙂

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-companies-to-work-for-in-2014-glassdoor-2013-12?op=1

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I have been wanting to figure out how to make those adorable sugar cookies with the some what harder icing on them. Mixing what I learned in the 2nd level of Wilton classes and google….I think I have figured it out slightly. I got a mix of sugar cookie dough from the store and a big box of cookie cutters to make this a fun activity for the nephews!

Royal Icing information/Recipe

They turned out pretty cute 🙂 I needed to thin them out more if I wanted to fill it in. The bottles were a bit tough to squeeze the icing out of due to the consistency being too thick.+

dino cookie              butterfly cookie

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Bali Nostalgic

With the holidays coming up I have been itching to do some traveling. Although, this year’s travels were better than amazing. One of my favorite moments of the year was our climb up Mt. Batur at 4 am at a distance of 6km. This was, hands down, the most physically challenging thing  I have ever done. But, the breathtaking views from the top and the feelings of accomplishing such a feat, have no real price.

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First Thanksgiving

My sister and I usually do a nontraditional Thanksgiving where we invite our friends since our family is usually scattered around. Somehow this year, our whole family, my sisters’ in laws, and my future in laws were all in Houston. BUT we still didn’t do Thanksgiving on Thursday..we celebrated on Saturday! Hey..it’s the thought that counts, eh?

So this year I was in charge of the night! Boy was I tired at the end of it!

Here’s the menu:

Needless to say, we had MORE than enough food.

thanksgiving tbale

thanksgivingdessert

Some notes on the recipes.

Cranberry Sauce: I pulsed it a few times with a hand blender to make it less chunky. Definitely liked it better that way!

Stuffing: I used probably 4 different recipes at the end to make the best combination for spices and add ins. The corn bread was awesome in the stuffing.

Green Bean Casserole: AWESOME RECIPE. the family and fiance LOVED this one.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: I never use a recipe for this and kinda go by taste with a mixture of sour creme, buttermilk, salt, pepper, chives, roasted garlic, butter

Salad: we ended up making a basic salad and leaving the cranberries, grapes, cheese in bowls on the side as add ins for the diverse palette of our guests.

Pumpkin Bars: I added in chocolate chips into this. it gave amazing texture with the bananas. Also I drizzled some of the extra chocolate from the turtle cookies for a finishing touch.

Pictures to Come!

Fresh Strawberry Cake with Lemon Curd Filling

I had to make a cake for my cake decor class, so I decided I could try out a new recipe at the same time. I did a three layer fresh strawberry cake, a lemon curd filling between the layers, and iced with a butter cream frosting.

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Fresh Strawberry Cake (http://sugarywinzy.com/fresh-strawberry-cake/)

  • 1 ¼ cups pureed strawberries
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray three or five 8-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Puree fresh strawberries in food processor until very smooth and free of lumps, enough to make 1 ¼ cups in its pureed form.
  3. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. On medium speed, with a flat beater attachment, beat the butter until smooth.
  5. Still on medium speed, gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
  6. Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  7. Add in strawberry puree and continue mixing on low speed until fully mixed.
  8. Add in vanilla extract until fully mixed.
  9. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake for 35 minutes/until cooked. Check with a toothpick in the middle.
  10. Remove from oven and place on cooling racks to cool completely.

The only problem I found with this recipe was that it didnt have a strong flavor of strawberry since i used a lemon filling. Need to find a way to enhance the flavoring!

Lemon Curd (http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/micahs-birthday-cake/)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tbs finely grated lemon peel
  • 8 Tbs butter (temp doesnt matter)
  1. In a sauce pan with no heat, mix the sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel, and eggs.
  2. On medium heat, add in the butter and allow the mixture to warm up, melt, and mix together. Stir frequently. Don’t let it boil.
  3. In about ten minutes, the mixture should have a thicker consistency to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a strainer.
  5. Place the mixture in an ice bath immediately to allow curd to cool (15 min).
  6. Store in fridge.

side note. I love lemon curd!

Pressure Test

So, I’ve recently started watching Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef..and I am absolutely amazed by these people. The past few weeks of cooking/baking I’ve realized..I like to take my time and be relaxed when I am in the kitchen. I can not imagine cooking 30 some sunny side up eggs in 15 minutes while Gordon Ramsey, Joe, and Graham breathing down my shoulders. WHAT A NIGHTMARE.

Today in the Lesson Two of Wilson cake decor class, we brought withus 8 inch cakes, filling, and two consistencies of icing. So since it’s also Eid (www.whatiseid.com) today, I decided to make a nice cake out of this lesson (recipes in next post)!

We had 2 hours (!!!!!!!!) to level, tort, fill, ice, learn a few piping techniques, use a gel transfer method, and decorate our cakes. My smart self decided to do a three layer cake since I had extra batter (took more time -_-). For me, THIS WAS PRESSURE! Trying to learn how to do everything and trying to perfect it in just two hours is a challenge.

BUT, I guess….not bad….for my first try at this whole thang.

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Cool things I learned with this lesson:

  1. When using a filling in between layers, using a tip 12 to make a border along edge of cake before putting the filling down will help with not having the filling oooooz out.
  2. Colors in butter cream get messy if you’re in a rush, changing piping tips, bags, colors, etc.
  3. When leveling the cake, not only saw the tool back and forth but turn the cake at the same time to help get a cleaner cut.
  4. That gel transfer stuff is pretty legit. tracing a design and copying it over to the cake!!!
  5. Let the cakes initial icing sit for a while before decorating so it has time to set.

Definitely will need to practice these techniques…but my biggest problem is..what do I do with all these desserts?!?!

Being Domestic and Shii

So today was my first class at Joann’s!

We did Lesson 1 of the Wilson Decorating course. With about a month to go before committing the next chunk of my life to corporate America, it feels good to start doing some “me” things.

We learned some basic information about cake baking and used a star tip 18 to decorate some cookies with buttercream icing.

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Enjoy.

The Opening

This is just gonna be a place for me to keep up with the different projects/cooking I do post graduating from school as an engineer!

Enjoy :)