Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Guest Post: Rainbow Doodle Cake!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

My stick figures are as true-to-life as it gets.

While Janet was in Japan getting her cultural heritage on with R2 in tow, I spent my days baking a beautiful cake.   Ok, it was only 2 days, and the cake is by no means beautiful.  But it has a great personality.  Sort of a butterface, or in this case, a butterfondant.  

This seems to happen to me a lot.  I love baking, and the stuff I make tastes really fucking good, but I’m kind of a failure when it comes to decorating.  Case in point: Giant Cuppycake.  That one tasted bad too, but whatevs.  A couple months ago I went crazy for a party Logo and I were hosting and made a shit-ton of desserts and the results were astoundingly lovely.  Alas, that was not the case this time.   

I decided to make this cake after a request from Eggroll to make a glorious dessert for a weekend away in Arrowhead for the Tough Mudder and Lisa’s/David’s birthdays.  For those who don’t know, the Tough Mudder is a ridiculous display of manliness and stupidity under the guise of a 10 miles race with obstacles.  Obstacles like diving in ice water and running through electrical wires charged with 10,000 volts.  SUPER FUN!!!!1!  

My inspiration for this cake was the amazingly beautiful Canuck cake blog Sweetapolita.  That woman makes some gorgeous cakes.  And gorgeous babies, just look at the pictures of her children on there!  And she married a gorgeous man.  Some people have all the luck.  I figured it would be fun to make a fun, surprising cake and have everyone write all over the pristine, smoothly fondant-ed outside. 

Not my cake.

I made the cake part of the cake the Wednesday before the weekend because I didn’t want to bake at high altitude–tried that in Mammoth without making adjustments and the cake was deflated and dry.  Still edible, but this one had to be gorgeous and thus I baked the cakes early and froze them.  The recipe is super easy.  I used cake flour instead of regular flour because I wanted to and mine says it’s expired so I need to use it up.  Apparently cake flour is treated with chlorine so it’s really soft and results in a lovely, soft, light crumb.  I subbed 1 c. + 2 T. of cake flour for each cup of regular flour and it worked out fine. 

Rewind to my initial preparations for this cake.  I went to the only cake decorating supply place in West LA, Gloria’s (silly side note: their URL spells it “suplys” hehe).  I think it was under construction because the right side of the store looked like a bomb had exploded.  Still, the place had everything!  I enjoyed rummaging immensely and spent a lot of time looking at the gel food colors.  SO pretty.  Ended up with the Americolor “school training kit,” so I’ll be set if I ever go to cake school.  AND I got these awesome food coloring markers so everyone could draw on the cake. 

Pretty colors!!

There was no way I was going to make my own fondant so I bought a fancier-looking one than Wilton because Wilton is the cake decorating devil and they’ve taken over everything with their cheapy fondant cutters and shit!  I made a good choice, too, because this fondant was actually tasty instead of tasting like sweet plastic. 

Fancy French name means it’s better.

After making the batter, you have to weigh it and then split it into 6 bowls for dyeing.  I thought this would be pretty difficult but it went quickly, though I used all of our cereal bowls and all of our forks for stirring the colors.  Logo was like “what happened I just did dishes?!” and I was like “Sorrrryyyyyy……”   Good story, huh?  Here’s a picture of the pretty batter.   Some of it, at least.

 Blue + yellow = green.  Lessons in color chemistry.

And here’s a couple pictures of the cakes cooling.  The layers are super super thin so I was glad I parchment-papered the bottoms of the pans to prevent any cake-butt loss.  The blue layer is missing because I had to rescue it from overcooking due its runtiness.  I’m like the mom that pushes aside that baby that won’t make it because it’s too small.  But the purple layer looks blue so pretend it’s both blue AND purple!  Yay! 

I obviously didn’t bake them in rainbow order.

Ignore the finger gouge in the green. 

I wrapped each layer in plastic wrap after cooling and realized when I stacked them that one of my cake pans was actually a pie pan and was slightly less than 9″.  So two layers were littler than the others on top of blue being super thin and yellow having a weird hump.  Not an auspicious beginning.  At least the colors are vibrant, right? 

Always use protection.

Fast-forward to assembling the cake: everyone was at the Tough Mudder except me and Stosh.  We went to breakfast (I had chicken-fried steak and eggs–I won) while the layers defrosted and then I made cream cheese frosting–Lisa’s favorite!–and frosted the cake.  I forgot to take pictures of this part, probably because I was having major issues getting it smooth because the layers were so lopsided.  Eventually I gave up, figuring that it didn’t have to look good since I was just going to cover it in fondant.  That was a poor decision.  Just so you know, fondant will form to whatever shape is underneath it.  Even weird cake lumps and gooshy frosting.  

The P-sug went into every crevice of the wooden table.  Whoops.

I did ok rolling the fondant out because it was very pliable and easy to work with.  But then when I put it on the cake, I didn’t cut off the excess soon enough and the bottom slowly ripped off, leaving a large hole in the fondant.  I tried using the remaining fondant to make another layer, but I didn’t have quite enough. 

First layer.  Not as ugly with flash.

That’s when I got the brilliant idea to make a bow!  It didn’t turn out half bad, but while I was making it the fondant already on the cake continued to settle and got lumpier and lumpier.  Eventually, the bottom of the cake looked like cellulite and when I tried to smooth it, the frosting underneath would squish out around the bottom.  Grossssss and delicious on my fingers nom. 

Ghett-bow!  Punny.

Everyone else said the cake was lovely, but they’re just nice friends.  They dutifully signed it and drew some fun pictures, including a lovely peen drawn by Eggroll’s brother. 

Complete with veins and hair.

Please compare my decorating skillz to those of my sister-in-law, who made the cake below for her friend’s wedding.  It’s breathtaking–all buttercream!!  Such sharp edges!  But then I learned that it took like 27 hours to do and she ended up crying in the kitchen more than once and I felt better about my 3-hour cake.   I could make it perfect if I spent 27 hours too!   

The story of this cake’s inception would make a good chick flick.

We FINALLY got to cut into the cake after all those hours of labor, and it was truly beautiful.  All the nasty fondant was forgotten and the cake was deliciously sweet and vanilla-ey.  With everyone getting drunker as the evening progressed, appetites increased and the cake slowly disappeared.  Aftermath.  Looks nom.

Ultimately, it was a success.  A delicious, colorful, lumpy success.  Make this shit for a fun time and an impressive reveal.

Top 10 Posts of TWENTY DIME!

Friday, December 31st, 2010

AHA! Thought you’d sneak by and end the year without hearing from me again? Sorry friend(enemy?), but you’re out of luck. Janet is busy doing important work pertaining to the real world so I’ve been asked to step up and close out the year by rounding up the top 10 posts of 2010. I’m drunk with the sheer power of it! Or you know, just drunk. Anyway, I present to you, our faithful readers, Twenty Dime’s top 10 posts!

1. Bootie: Without a doubt the best post EVAR that fulfills the “More Than” part of MTFB, with probably the best aminal pic skills to date. R2 commented, “It’s a quintessentially creative synthesis of two of my favorite things – MTFB and the Boot – and a reflection of my two favorite ladies.” Well said!

2. Fucking ENCOUNTER restaurant: Because when else were we gonna get the chance to eat there?! Verdict: Go for the free short-term parking… stay if you want to miss your flight.

3. Susiecakes vs. Kara’s: Because we understand that choosing the right cupcakery is serious business, and the last thing we want is for our readers to be paralyzed with indecision. Also, because I am unabashedly proud of my/our first foray into macro food pics.

4. Portland Report(land): A giant crab. A City of Books. Voodoo Doughnut. Baby octopi. And The Beginning of the End. I guess Oregon isn’t just about bowling and Chocobeer.

5. Iguanas Burritozilla: Because it’s a story of the future… and the past! More importantly, it’s proof that I actually contribute to MTFB. And because I ate nearly 3lbs of burrito in one sitting. I hurt just thinking about it.

6. Espana Part II: Toledo: Between the two of them, R2 and Janet nominated almost all the parts of the Spain series for top 10 status. I didn’t go to Spain, so what’s a guy to do but pick the one with castles? Because castles are effing cool, amiright?! Seriously though, you should read all of the Spain posts here. Muy Bueno.

7. Segway Tour of San Francisco: Because you haven’t experienced San Francisco until you’ve seen it from atop a Segway named Special Sauce.

8. Raku: Because you know it’s good when Janet spends an entire paragraph describing just the tofu. And because it’s apparently the first time “Janet = warm & fuzzy & feeling like a real blogger.” Taste the happy!

9. Lemon Blender Pie: Because what good is a food blog if we don’t occasionally throw in a recipe now and then? This one is SUPER easy!

10. Alembic: Because it’s the top post that should have made the top 10 posts of 2009 but was written in 2010. And because not everything goes right in foodie land, no matter how much you love the pink quail eggs.

There you have it! Please remember that today is the last day you can refer to the current year as “Twenty Dime”, so try to drop it into every sentence you use. I’ve found that whispering it creepily at the end has been astoundingly effective. Rumor has it that we’re going to make a push to call next year Twenty Chop (because the 11 looks like a pair of chopsticks), so keep an eye out for that, too. And now Janet and I (and the rest of the MTFB team of contributors) wish you a safe and happy New Year!

There and Back Again… or the Ghetto McGriddle

Friday, May 14th, 2010
I is just resting my eyes.

You found me!

o Hai! I’m back! Janet ruined my surprise by asking me to post and asking guest bloggers to come in; I had actually planned on posting quite a bit while she was gone. You know, coz then she couldn’t censor me. Fight the man! or woman, in this case.

*AHEM* Sewing has indeed forsooth been my life for the past… 2 months? So that’s where I’ve been. That and tax season. You see, I wanted to make a labcoat and a hoodie but didn’t know how to sew, so I had to figure that out and then figure out how to sew. I know that’s not an excuse for not gracing you with my presence, but let’s not dwell in the past. Anyhoo, that will be a blog for some other time. Today we are talking about my breakfast!

Mmmmm breakfast. Normally my breakfast is an odwalla bar and several cups of coffee – generally because I can’t motivate myself to wake up in time to do anything more than grab an odwalla bar from the cupboard before heading off to work. Not today! Today I got sick of odwalla bars and decided to throw that thar breakfast monster together. Look at it! Ain’t it gorgeous?

Soooo what is it? If I recall McD’s has a thing called the McGriddle – some sort of breakfast sandwich thing with a sausage patty and cheese and perhaps egg between pancakes. Can you tell I did the research here? Anyway, I call my creation the Ghetto McGriddle. G McG for short. And it was DELICIOUS! Not only that, but it’s presumably hundreds of times healthier than a McGriddle. I know, I know, not really a high standard to begin with, but work with me here. I start with waffles – VEGAN whole wheat waffles. My mom recently decided to go vegan and foisted some extra homemade vegan waffles on me before she and my dad left to vacation in Japan.

Anyway, she made these waffles from scratch and froze them for me. They’re made of whole wheat flour and crushed walnuts. NOM. Between the waffles I put a slice of Tillamook medium cheddar and a Morningstar vegetarian “California Turk’y” patty. It was perfect!

This is a great way to start the day, and it only took a couple minutes to throw together (unless you have to make the waffles each day). Make your own G McG tomorrow!

What’s Cookin’? Stuffed Bell Peppers

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Yesterday I got a text from R2 just as I arrived at the office. It said: “R2 says: Blog!” and was accompanied by a menacing picture of him with his arm poised as if to backhand me through my phone all the way from SF. I would include the picture but I don’t want R2 (or the New Avengers) to come back at me for revealing his identity, so I’ve done this quick mock up/picture mash up in MS Paint, utilizing David Tennant (whom I think R2 looks remarkably similar to) and a cut out of R2′s actual arm. If you can figure out his real identity from his arm, well then you deserve it. Anyway, you see the final result above, with apologies for not having access to Photoshop.

This is all just to explain this sudden onslaught of posts from me (two posts = onslaught right?) so that you don’t get scared that you are in an alternate universe. Jumping to the subject of today’s post:

Stuffed Bellpeppers! Unbeknownst to me, I had decided to whip up these tasty creations on the same night Janet and R2 were living their (nom-tastic) Alembic nightmare. To make matters worse, I had sent Janet a photo of the finished product. Good times!

Here’s what these babies are packing (in Recipe form).

STUFFED BELLPEPPERS

Ingredients:

  •  4 large bellpeppers
  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey
  • 1 fire-roasted poblano, diced into quarter inch pieces
  • 2 hothouse tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (you can substitute minute rice if you want to save time)
  • Also: black pepper, salt, cayenne, basil, oregano, and some balsamic vinegar for seasoning. Done to taste.
  • Optional: 1 oz each of Pancetta and Spicy Capocolla, sliced thinly

You will also need:

  • Mozzarella cheese for the top
  • 3/4 Cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp of worstershire
  • a dash of Tapatio
  • 1/2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Okay, now you have all that stuff right?

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. If you haven’t already, start cooking your brown rice.
  3. In a skillet or large wok, fry the pancetta and capocolla (or use some olive oil) until you get a bit of the fat rendered down. This will add an extra layer of flavor when sauteing the onions and spinach.
  4. After the pancetta has rendered a bit, add in the onions and spinach and saute until onions are limp but not quite clear.
  5. Add in fire-roasted poblano and continue cooking for 1 minute.
  6. Add in the ground turkey and cook until brown. Drain excess oil.
  7. Season turkey with your choice of seasoning (or use the suggested ones in the list of ingredients).
  8. Mix in cooked brown rice and diced tomatoes and set aside.
  9. Wash the bellpeppers and cut off the tops, roughly 1 inch from the top. Remove seeds and submerge in salted boiling water for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes remove, drain, and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  10. In a small casserole dish, pour 1/4 cup of water.
  11. Carefully spoon turkey/rice mixture into peppers, distributing evenly. Place stuffed peppers in casserole dish, stuffing facing upward.
  12. In a small bowl, mix ketchup, tapatio, balsamic vinegar and worstershire with 1/8 cup of water. Spoon resulting sauce over the tops of the stuffed peppers.
  13. Place dish with stuffed peppers in oven for 25 minutes.
  14. After 25 minutes, turn oven to 400 degrees and sprinkle cheese over the top. Return to oven for five minutes or until cheese is completely melted and slightly browned.

And voila! Meat and veg literally exploding with flavor in your mouth. (Hehe.)

I served mine with a light spanish rice, but any starch will do I suppose. This recipe is a rough outline, so feel free to experiment, and let me know how it turns out!