Posts Tagged ‘tinx’

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.

Pictures of dogs R2 has sent me

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

There are more dogs than children in San Francisco. So, the collection of pictures of dogs that R2 has texted me is a well-curated one. It’s not like any old puppers can make the cut. Since they arrive in my phone without accompanying narration, I have to infer what it is about each pup that has stricken his fancy. I will share my thoughts on what I think his thoughts were with you now.

First, the dog pictured top. Obvy! The dog has two different colored eyes, stupid! Upon closer inspection, though, maybe it’s the fact that if you look at it right, it looks like a weird three-legged species of dog, and also its fuck-you expression is adorbs.

I keep telling him that this breed is called a French Bulldog, and that many famous people have them, like Martha Stewart. But every time R2 sees one he gets all excited like it’s a strange-looking mutt that is very cute and sends me a picture.

R2 is a sucker for dogs that are sitting politely even when it’s obvious that they want to freak out.

This dog looks either very old or very Asian. R2 is also a sucker for wise-soul-looking dogs, and also dogs that look very patient.

Haha awesome. Maybe he was trying to give me material for my dogs-that-should-be-named-Oreo post. Or, maybe he was actually trying to get a picture of its owner, who looks suspiciously Doctor Who-esque in his apparel.

I’m sure it was this pup’s “OK, so what the fuck do you want?” expression that caught R2′s eye. Also, he likes black-muzzled dogs. Also, free dog!

R2 knows I heart heart heart Corgis, and if it is a mutt that has some Corgi in it, even better! This puppy looks like a cross between a Corgi and Patrick Dempsey (see below) so it is ultimate cute.

This is Patrick Dempsey, the charmer that hangs out in the Animal Company pet store. He is a Bernese Mountain Dog, which ranks #2 after Corgis for me. Many a time have I dug both of my hands into his belly and relished his softness. He is extremely lazy and chill and puts up with this for as long as I want.

As a general rule, R2 does not like purebred dogs, so I’m not sure why he sent this to me. Maybe he didn’t have his glasses on and thought it was a Corgi. Dumbass.

Oh, how did this get in here? This is the late Vernon, cat of R2′s late grandpa. RIP. Vernon was both blind and deaf, but somehow he knew when it was 5 am because then he would start meowing SO LOUD like a banshee. I still hearted him, though, and I would say “I heart Vernon!” and R2 would say, “No one hearts Vernon!” but he was just saying that. I know for a fact that Tinx also hearted Vernon.

If it’s a Corgi, he will send me a picture, no matter how far away the photo has to be taken from.

He also really likes boids. The plumper, the better. I like how this one is like, “Yeah what?”

Update: Apparently Tinx sent me this. Sometimes I get them confused, even though it should be easy to tell them apart – one is a ginger with a nice rack, the other is usually practicing karate kicks with a Green Lantern ring on while telling me a really long synopsis of a Doctor Who episode.

This one is a toughie. Why did he center the one dog to the neglect of the other? The one on the left looks much sillier, and I remember that we laughed sooo hard at this post of 22 dogs that look like they’re high. I’m guessing that the dog on the right fell into the “patient-looking” category that he loves so much.

This is just a weird-looking wee dog.

Hee hee he’s so round and fat! R2 has a “fat and at Starbucks” meme with some of his dog photos.

This is another. He particularly loves pugs. He says it is because their faces are so weird but I suspect it also has something to do with Men in Black.

A+ for effort, but fucking F for safety! I do love how this dog is sitting like he’s just a human.

My all-time favorite, and sums up many of R2′s pupperson-love memes. (1) At Starbucks. (2) Old-looking, even though it is clearly a puppy. (3) Round. (4) Patient. (5) Silly.

Slimy the Salad Slug

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Fuck Imma vom writing this post because I have to look at the above picture. Plus it’s going to be on the start page of my Chrome for weeks now.

I was in LA recently, and on Sunday I went with Tinx and DJ Deer and Daniel to the Brentwood Farmer’s Market. We were a hot mess from partying till 4:30 am the night before. But the morning wasn’t going to get any better.

DJ Deer: [fiddling on phone] I’m going to check in for my flight now.

Me: [Hurting from the effort of small talk] Good idea.

DJ Deer: Wait, what’s today’s date?

Me: Sunday.

DJ Deer: I mean the DATE.

Daniel: The 27th.

DJ Deer: I did something really stupid.

So it turns out that he had booked his flight for the following week, which is just silly because that wasn’t even the right MONTH. While he freaked out about that, my eyes were sparkling because the Brentwood farmer’s market is one of those where there are proper food stalls, not just bullshit veggies.

Tinky chose pupusas. Basically a fatty quesadilla, but with the stuff actually incorporated into the masa. Here look:

Superb…looking. I didn’t taste it, since my attention was solely focused on my lamb gyro. Not content with one huge serving of food, I asked Daniel if he wanted to also share a falafel platter. He said yes, of course, and this is precisely why I keep him around.

My gyro was perfection. The lamb shards were crisp on the edges, the tzatziki was cool and creamy, and the whole thing was damn near impossible to pick up, which is the mark of a good gyro. It replenished whatever vitamins and minerals I had lost the night before and I was feelin’ ACE!

Onwards! I flipped open the falafel plate container and handed it to Daniel to hold in his lap (we were plopped down on a curb) so I would have two hands: one to pick up and dip the falafel, the other to make perfect salad bites with proper proportions of olive, feta, lettuce, and onion.

The falafel was a little bit dry, and besides, nothing beats Bella Pita fresh-fried falafel. I ate maybe a fourth of it and said “I’m done with that” to Daniel.

But then I remembered I had to take my Metamucil pills (don’t pretend like travel doesn’t gum up your insides too) which, on account of their horseyness, must be washed down with food. So I re-flipped open the container and started stabbing at it while Daniel held it for me.

Olive, feta, lettuce, onion, eyeball.

Wait, two eyeballs.

Wait, EYEBALLS?

I screamed EEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAEEEEERHHHH and ran fifteen feet away.

Tinky also started screaming out of confusion, and DJ Deer a little bit too.

“There’s A! … BAD! … THING!” I cried.

Daniel started pivoting back and forth, not knowing what to do or what I was talking about.

“DON’T MOVE! DO NOT! DO NOT MOVE! DON’T MOVE!” I shrieked.

Just then, a random man walked through our cluster of chaos, looked into the salad, and said, “Oh that’s not good.”

“You’ll get a refund for sure,” he continued. “Better that they know so they can fix it,” and sauntered off.

WHO CARES MOTHERFUCKER? At that point, the slug had crawled up and over the lip of the container and was hanging by a centimenter of its own slime.

Daniel started moving again, making it swing back and forth like a pendulum.

“DON’T! MOVE! DO NOT! DO NOT!” we all screamed at him.

Finally it plopped down on the ground and DJ Deer ran in like a paparazzo, took a picture, and ran away again.

“Should I…throw this away?” Daniel asked, PTSD-style.

“YES!” I yelled, and experienced the most massive shudder from my toes up to my head.

Ugh. Terrible. How did we not notice it the entire time we were eating it? And did I stab it with my fork, and thus did I imbibe slug fluids? What if I stabbed it through its sexual organs, and what if I imbibed its SEXUAL FLUIDS GAHHHHHH.

These thoughts are not productive nor realistic. I gotta stop.

To wash the slug semen out of our mouths, we went to Cafe Luxxe. It is a legit coffee joint where people come from miles and miles away. Their baristas always win foam competitions and stuff. Indeed, the heart-flower did soothe my horror-struck psyche a little bit.

And then we impulse-shopped Alfajor cookies. They had just 5 ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, cream, and salt.

Just looking at them, you can already tell their texture. Crumbly in the most toe-curling way:

The center was not chocolate like you’d think if you were a dumbass and didn’t read what I just wrote. It was a caramel goo which was doggone outrageous.

So with that, my psychological slug-shaped wounds were healed. But then fucking DJ Deer uploaded the picture to Facebook with the caption “Slimy the Salad Slug” and we looked at it (why!) and were traumatized all over again.

Slug
Hopefully dead and in hell
Otherwise, at the Brentwood Farmer’s Market
Gretna Green Way, Brentwood, LA

Cafe Luxxe
11975 San Vicente Blvd
Brentwood, CA 90049
310.394.2222

MTFB goes bicoastal

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Hooo now that I’m recovered from the dizziness from that effing cheese skirt photo, I has an announcement to make! The extreme busyness to which Daniel is referring was a series of interviews for faculty positions in universities all over North America. After a grueling three months of these shenanigans, I’ve finally decided on a top-notch university in the lovely and beautiful… New Jersey!

Look at me, I’m all growed up! I’m gonna teach undergrads (and obsessively check ratemyprofessors.com)! I’m gonna have a lab and a lab website that starts with my last name and ends in -lab.com! I’m gonna stay up nights worrying about tenure!

Ahhh twill be the life.

I’ll also be within striking distance of New York City and all the glorious eats contained therein! Fuck. Yeah.

Ut oh this means I have a giant fucking backlog that I have to clear. This means: HAIKUS!

So so so much hype

Meatballs should be decadent

These were just meh, yo

OMG that’s fish!

Tuna with spaghetti, WHAT?

Chewy crunchy NOMS

Burninated kale

Puffy crust, umami blast

Well done, A16

A16 | 2355 Chestnut Street SF | 415.771.2216

So hungry at 5

Happy hour half price – heart!

Truffled popcorn, fuck

Flatbread half price too

Ham, Burratta, broccoli

Nectar Wine Lounge mmm

Nectar | 3330 Steiner Street SF | 415.345.1377

Tea leaf salad, god

Haunts me in my dreams, oh god

God almighty yum

Some sort of noodle

Should have ordered two Tea Leafs

Nice eggy-ness though

Poodi is curry

Funny name so we got it

Burma Superstar

Burma Superstar | 309 Clement St SF | 415.387.2147

This is Croque Madame

I got a yucky club, shit

R2 wins this one

Chouquet’s | 2500 Washington SF | 415.359.0075

Now I’m in LA

Watermelon apple juice

“Everything Nice” gulp!

I love jicama

No mayo tuna salad

Too healthy bad choice

Wrong one delivered

Worth the wait Havarti nom

Crunchy mouth-roof ouch!

What is this sammy?

Tinky got it – Caprese?

Look at that baguette!

Coral Tree Cafe | 11645 San Vicente Blvd LA | 310.979.8733

Deep fried chickpea app

Spicy crunchy addictive

Eat them with Beano

Embarras de richess

Brown Bear Ale was my fav’rite

Taste all beers for 10

Veggie paella

Just as good as fishy kind

Wait I miss sausage

Grilled Bistro filet

Chimichurri sauce and blood

Carnivore hard-on

Thirsty Bear | 661 Howard St SF | 415.974.0905

Oh Mamacita

Duck tacos be still my heart

Way too pricey, loud

Mamacita | 2317 Chestnut St SF | 415.346.8494

Lamb meatballs, sauces

A16′s can suck it dude

What are smaller balls?

Words cannot explain

Egg and cheese and meaty bliss

Ristobar my love

Ristobar | 2300 Chestnut St SF | 415.923.6464

Sebo sashimi

Anthony Bourdain went there

No Reservations

Only dab the soy!

Sushi platter broke the bank

Blackboard Eats thank god

Sebo | 517 Hayes St SF | 415.864-2181

Yay it’s Sharisa

Tacolicious Paloma

Festive red sugar

Top one was the best

Middle not spicy don’t fret

Bottom is mango

Fish and carnitas

I’ll miss these in Jersey, sigh

More, more cilantro!

Tacolicious | 2031 Chestnut St SF | 415.346.1966

Miso-glazed black cod

Tempura maitake

Thrillingly scrumptious

Butterfish special

So good but made me vomit

Got on R2′s sock

Umami | 2909 Webster St SF | 415.346.3431

Back in LA now

Pre-dinner snack of fried squid

Slurped up all the sauce

Deep fried corn fritters

Just like Cornell Chariot’s

Sweet, crispy, fatty

Three cheeses, goat too

Came with tomato soup shot

Eyes roll back in head

They’re famous for this

Braised short rib so soft, silky

Eat it with a spoon

Mini ice cream cones

Of course I did not eat it

People loved it though

Upper West | 3321 Pico Blvd LA | 415.586.1111

Where did I eat this?

Somewhere in Noe I know

Breakfast burrito

???? | 24th St SF | ????

Fresh shucked on the Wharf

Sliding down my throat oh yeah

Oysters are my crack

One of the stands | Fisherman’s Wharf, SF

Happy Hatch Day MTFB!

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

We missed it last year but not this year! September 5th is www.morethanafoodblog.com’s hatch day, and we are celebrating by torturing animals, and, failing that, using inanimate objects more amenable to photoshoots.

In case you want to torture your own beloved pets, Daniel has made this downloadable hat! Download it here.

Payback obviously hates it (see top). What about newcomer pet to MTFB, Tinx’s brudder‘s genetically defective (giving him long hair even though he’s a bulldog squeeeee!) puppersons Panda!

I like the four hands/arms and half of a toe that were required to make this photograph happen. Thank you Tinx and your family lol.

Anyway, some new embellishments to MTFB that you might notice and like. First, let’s get them out of the way. Ads. Click ‘em if they strike your fancy. Second. The randnom button! Speaking of Buttins, here she is, with her favorite munch target monkey:

She is SO PROSH she looks just like the How to Train Your Dragon dragooooon!

As you are clicking the randnom buttin, you might be confused. You might happen upon old posts with broken picture links. I’m working on fixing those. Also, you might stumble on references to Consumermachine, which was the old name of this blog. Don’t be scared it’s no big deal.

Another new thing is the tag cloud, to the right. If you are one of my friends, just click on your name and you will be taken to all (or almost all – also working on that) the posts of which you were a part. <3 Mouse over and it will show the number of posts you have been tagged in. Feel free to start wars with people.

Thank you to Daniel for instituting all of these changes.

Happy Second Birthday, MTFB! Happy fourth birthday to my self-indulgent little corner of the interweb, and thank you to all MTFB readers. I better click publish before midnight!

Susiecakes vs Kara’s

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Daniel visited me a couple weeks ago, and I was like, “I has a Daniel nao wat i do wit it?”

We already had plans to do a super schmance dinner (Michael Mina) and we already had plans to dress up like we were in a dance krew and go to Step Up 3-D, so I was at a loss.

Then – inspiration.

“Do you want to has a cupcake-off between Kara’s and Susiecakes?”

“YES!”

So we went to Kara’s first, and decided we needed to taste-off the basics for sure, so we got a regular with vanilla frosting. Specifically, the fancy name: Sweet Vanilla – vanilla cupcake with sweet madagascar bourbon vanilla frosting. We also got a passion fruit one – vanilla cupcake with passion fruit filling and vanilla buttercream.

We carried the box down the street to Susiecakes, where the chick eyed our pink package but didn’t say anything. There, we got vanilla, Luscious Lemon, red velvet, and mint chocolate. I am not sure why we got four here as opposed to two there.

Oh, an important note: Daniel is now the proud owner of a fatty macro lens. Yessss. Now MTFB can be a legit depth-of-field-ey type blog! I mean, LOOK what he did with Payback’s ears!

And our mimosa at Squat and Gobble!

So yeah. We were as excited to photograph our new purchases as we were to eat them. I knew that they would look smashing on my kitchen table, which is ice-green/blue and reflective.

Oh, Daniel is now explaining that we chose the vanilla and red velvet first, and then he wanted to try the chocolate mint as a mini, but they didn’t have any, so he got the big one, and then I was like you should get another to fill the box, so we got the lemon one for Tinx (who was driving up from LA later that night). [Note: Apparently she never ate it, as when I asked her for comments for this post she said "I liked the Kara's one but I only had one bite I don't even remember what kind it was." Kara's - ie not the lemon one we got her. Fail.]

[in Heidi voice] Let’s start the show.

Not bad, Daniel.

As for the competition-

Box: Kara’s wins, because (a) it is a cuter color; (b) the sticker is used strategically to close the box; (c) the box is designed better – the flaps fold into itself, whereas Susiecakes the flaps stick out and they use janky scotch tape to keep the box closed; and (d) -

Cuppycake holsters so they’ll stay upright. Susiecakes just rolled around – ugh a pet peeve of mine.

Selection: Although both Kara’s and Susiecakes’ have t-shirts and big cakes, Susiecakes also has whoopie pies, silky and rich-looking puddings, mini cupcakes, and  cheesecakes. So Susie wins.

Cake: Kara’s wins. Moist yet light and vanilla-ey; neither of these described Susie, though “buttery” did.

Frosting: Susiecakes pulled this one out, though it could have been because we tasted four rather than two. So, not a fair matchup. But the Luscious Lemon frosting hit that perfect note of tart and sweet and toe-tingly.

Store decor: Kara’s is cute and sleek, not to mention they have a sweet-ass van that rolls around the neighborhood, frustratedly looking for parking all the time. Susiecakes is all pastels and whites, which is fine I guess.

Convenience: Kara’s has the aforementioned van, not to mention curbside service, and they are open for more hours. Derr.

Yumminess when drunk: Based on the carnage the following day, perhaps a draw.

Lasting power: But the next morning, we thought that Kara’s tasted almost as lovely as they had the day before – not so with the dried out Susiecakes.

Overall taste: Kara’s.

Overall weeeeener~! Kara’s!

I will leave you with Daniel’s master shot of the day - this gratuitous picture of a single sprinkle in focus~

Gratuitous!

Susiecakes
2109 Chestnut St
SF CA 94123

Kara’s Cupcakes [thank you for not making your name "Kupkakes"]
3249 Scott St
SF CA 94123
[Note: I do approve of you calling it your "Karavan."]

Guest Post 1(d): Homemade Pop Tarts

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Roasty Toasty

This is post 1(d) for Daniel being gone this time, get it?!  Hahaha so clever?!?!?!  Ok fine.

I have recently become obsessed with another food blog (blasphemous, I know).  In my defense, it focuses only on recipes (rather than restaurants) that the blog owner likes then makes and perfects before putting them up with beeeeeoooootiful pictures.  A few weeks ago, a post popped up on my Google Reader that caught my attention right away: homemade POP TARTS!! OMG!!!1!

I luuuurve pop tarts.  Fave flavors=frosted strawb and brown sugar cinnamon, of course.  I think they are far superior to Toaster Strudel, that evil, floppy-even-when-toasted twin that tastes strongly of oil and burns your mouth with its lava-hot, overly runny filling.  Anyway.  Pop tarts.  I think they’re awesome even when not toasted, but some people think they are a bit too hard and chalky when cold.   Thus, the excitement when I came across this recipe that claimed to be the perfect compromise between a pastry and a pop tart.

These pop tarts came into fruition about two weeks ago.  I made them on a Sunday morning and I was looking forward to them so much.  But let me tell you, they were a pain in the butt to make!  It took me almost two hours to get them in the oven.  Probably because I decided to make mini pop tarts with four different fillings: raspberry jam, brown sugar cinnamon, white chocolate macadamia, and parmesan black pepper. First up: preparing the fillings.

Om nom nom.  Jam tendrils.

I made minuscule amounts of each since the recipe only makes around 16 2″ x 3″ pop tarts.  For the jam filling, you just cook the jam down with some cornstarch and then strain the seeds (skip this step if you have seedless jam) and let it cool.  The other fillings are pretty self-explanatory–mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and some flour; cheese and pepper; and chop up white chocolate and macadamia nuts.  I set aside my pretty bowls of fillings and started on the dough.

This dough has SO. MUCH. BUTTER.  Well, only one stick.  But it seemed ridiculous when I pulled them out of the oven and the butter in the dough had oozed out all over the pan.  You can even see it in my crappy iPhone pictures, see?  More on that later.

Ok, maybe it’s not that obvious.  Look closely for glisteny bits.

So, the dough.  You make the dough and then roll it out into two rectangles of 9″ x 12,” which you then cut into your desired amount of pop tart rectangles.  I had some issues rolling my pizza cutter in a straight line, so some p-tarts were a bit wonky and small, but whatevs.  Then you brush one set of tarts with egg wash, spoon filling in, cover with the other side, and use a fork to crimp the edges and poke holes in the top for steam escape-age.

So raw.  So real.

I had some issues with the dough being suuuuper sticky, but not sticking together when I tried crimping it?  Weird and annoying.  But I put sugar on the jam tarts and pepper on the parmesan ones and they looked soooo cute when I was ready to put them in the oven!  BUT WAIT.  Must refrigerate for 30 minutes (arbitrary, much?  why is this necessary?).  So, after waiting 30 more minutes, in which time I stuffed my face with lunch, I popped them in the oven and waited for happiness to emerge.

Let me give you a warning: do not make these after you’ve had a fatty meal.  I had just eaten leftover chicken madeira from Cheesecake Factory (if you’ve never had it, it’s chicken with some sort of eggy coating covered in mozzarella and madeira sauce) and by the time the pop tarts came out of the oven, the sheer amount of butter in them made me gag a little.  I tried a bite of each kind, and was HUGELY underwhelmed.  The recipe just didn’t quite work out.  The pastry was wayyy too overwhelming and I hadn’t put enough filling in some of the tarts.  The best was the jam filling, but it still wasn’t great.  Maybe I just was too full to appreciate them?  In any case, they keep for a week in an airtight container, so I waited a few days and tried again.  Better, but still not nearly up to par with the original pop tart.  CRY.  These babies are still in the tupperware on my counter, untouched beyond my exploratory nibbles.  Disappointing, overall, especially because every recipe I’ve tried from that other food blog has been fantastical.  These were so un-fantastical that I didn’t even want anyone to taste them.

Innards!

Fast forward to tonight, when I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Sweet Tooth on Food Network and one of the things was a pop tart from Michael’s Genuine in Miami Beach.  They looked sooo good so I might try to make these puppies again.  However, I would use my favorite pie crust recipe (that’s a bomb-ass apple pie, btw) and try to make a fresh fruity-jammy filling of some sort.  And fill the crap out them.  And roll the dough out super thin so it’s not overwhelming.  And not make mini tarts so I can get enough filling in there.  I guess I have to make them again!  Or I could make the super-secret-super-delish recipe for Sour Cherry Pie that I got from my cousin’s gf that she hasn’t shared in 15 YEARS but she shared it with ME.  Damn, I’m special.

Homemade Pop Tarts
Recipe can be found
here.

Guest Post #1: Sauce & the SF Ballet

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

So I think Janet and R2 are in Toledo, Spain right now (I deduced this from R2′s facebook status: “Holy Toledo”).  While she has been nomming away on delicious ham and canned seafood, I have been enjoying my summer vacation since I finished my first year of law school two weeks ago!  Last time I had a vacation was spring break in March, during which I went up to SF to visit Janet for a few days.  Best spring break evar!!  R2 kept taking us out to dinner and drinks and awesome times and we got a tour of Lucasfilm and we went to the Exploratorium and what can beat all that?!?!1!  Maybe I should have been studying.  Oh well.

Anyway… during that trip we went to Sauce(!) before seeing The Little Mermaid at the SF Ballet.  I was hyped up for this meal since Janet kept talking it up and I looked it up on my handy Yelp! iPhone app and it got good reviews (currently 3.5 stars).  And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!  I guess the food genre is re-imagined American classics–oh so clever–but it really was quite delicious.  When we sat down, R2 promptly said “I like girly drinks, any suggestions?” to the waiter, who half-giggled and suggested the pink lemonade: muddled lemon, cranberry, and Ketel citroen. I had the Elderflower Kiss: St. Germain, Belvedere, and Prosecco! Yum!!  We promptly got drunk from these delightful libations, which might explain how much we ate.

We started off with a few of their “social plates:”  scallops wrapped in bacon on a bed of Brussels sprouts with balsamic bacon tomato sauce (pictured top); portobello mushroom fries with fat boy ranch dipping sauce; and the daily slider, which that day was a ham and cheese slider.

I swear I’m not a pile of turds!

Oh.Em.Gee.  The portobello fries.  Holy craptastic happiness in my mouth.  If you look at the picture, they don’t look like anything special–in fact, they kind of look like someone who ate corn just took a dump.  But they were so much more than a good poo.  They had this crispy, herbacious breading that somehow managed to be airy and substantial at the same time.  Portobellos are meaty by nature, but these were juicy and toothsome and the perfect contrast to the crispy coating.  However, the scene-stealer was the RANCH!  I know, right??  I am a believer in Hidden Valley Ranch.  Only two house-made ranches have ever beaten its flavor for me: Hole in the Wall in Santa Monica because they put dill in their ranch and I adore dill; and THIS ONE!!  Oh man.  It was so good that when they took the empty plate after we devoured the fries I think I squeaked out “Wait!!” and grabbed the ranch to put it on the sliders.  And everything else.

Tiny breadnom, huge tub o’ butter.

Oh yeah, sliders and scallops.  Forgot about those.  The scallops were awesome, duh.  They had bacon around them.  And the sliders were also good, with thick-sliced ham, melty cheddar, and mustard on the rolls they gave us at the beginning.  Oh wait!  I forgot to mention the breadnom too!  Cute little round-topped rolls that were so promising, but sadly were cold and thus no fun on their own.  Good as a slider though.

Perfectly burninated.

On to the entrees!  Janet had the baked mac & cheese: David’s old world ham and ham hock, Tillamook cheddar and four cheese cream sauce, served with green beans and bacon. Bacon seems to have been a theme to this dinner.  No wonder everything was so tasty.  I only had a few bites as I tend to have adverse reactions to creamy mac n’ cheese (sad times for me, since cheese is like my favorite food ever) and I didn’t want to be in the bathroom during the ballet.  But the bites I did have were quite delightful, though nothing super memorable.

I only had one bite of R2′s meal: cornmeal crusted Hawaiian butterfish with cauliflower and whipped potato puree, brussels sprouts leaves, and caramelized red onion salad. My bite was of the cauliflower puree, and it was gooood.  I love anything mixed with potatoes.  I didn’t try the butterfish, both because Janet ate most of it and I play favorites– Roy’s misoyaki butterfish will always have a special place in my heart.

My entree was the braised boneless beef short rib “pot roast” with roasted rainbow carrots, yukon gold potatoes, shallot & garlic, finished with fresh herbs, peeled baby roma tomatoes, and pan demi gloss gravy. Pretty fancy description for what was basically a large hunk of short rib on a pile of veggies.  Nonetheless, it was pretty awesome, though I prefer my short ribs melty and not quite as stringy.

Diabeetus.

Besides the mushroom fries, though, the highlight of the meal was dessert.  I am a dessert fiend, so of course I went ahead and ordered the Sauce sampler: PB&J cake, cinnamon sugar donuts, strawberries, and cream, and ice cream smash. I never realized how delicious PB&J can be when it’s sandwiched between vanilla pound cake and ice cream.  Also, the donuts!  Light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth, with the most amazing vanilla bourbon dipping sauce. Even after 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, and Janet’s aversion to dessert, we still decimated the plate.  High fives all around.  Good job, Sauce, you were awesome.

So then we walked 4 blocks (I think) in the bitter-freezing-icy-cold wind to the Opera House, just in time for the Little Mermaid: CREEPIEST BALLET EVER.   It was originally commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet to be performed for the Queen in celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday.  If I were the queen, I would be like “What the fuck Hans Christian Andersen?  Why did you write such fucked-up stories?”  In the real fairy tale, the Little Mermaid doesn’t get the guy–instead, he marries someone else, and at the end she turns into “airy mist” and will eventually get to heaven.  So, she learns that unrequited love sucks, and she’s basically stuck in purgatory watching her prince be happy with someone else.  Awesome story, dude.

I’m sure you can imagine how horribly tragic that would be if performed in pretty tutus like a classic ballet, but then throw in a modern composer and choreographer and you get this:

I’m pasty white because I live in the ocean.

Scary Asian ballerina who does freaky arm movements and flaps around in her large pillowcases/pants/”fins.”  The music was also creeptastic–very eerie and clashy, with only a few major chords to ease the tension.  I mean, yeah, I enjoyed the dancing because it was artistic and cool, but this probably wasn’t the best ballet to pop my profesh ballet cherry.  There were only a few moments of pretty pointe shoes, and the rest was angry jumping and spasming.  Sighs.  Next time, we’re seeing something classic like Swan Lake.

Sauce
131 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

 

 

 

SF Ballet
Tickets available at sfballet.org

 

 

 

 

Four Winds II: Snorkeling Cruise to Molokini

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Tinx iPhoning, me dying

Simon, Tinx, and DJ Deer and I went to Maui a couple weeks ago.  The flight was a gift from Simon for gradumacating and the condo was a free timeshare donated to us by Simon’s auntie.  YESSSS!

Most of our trip was being lazy.  In Tinx’s case, it was wake up, eat breakfast, take a nap, wake up, eat lunch, take a nap, wake up, eat dinner, go to bed early.  The one activity that hypertron DJ Deer and Slothasaur Tinx could agree on was a snorkeling cruise.

We looked through our guidebook and found one that they recommended – the Four Winds II.  There was some stuff about how they stay at Molokini (a crescent-shaped island 2 miles out from Maui) the longest, and how their BBQ was delicious, but our eyes didn’t light up until we read the part about how the Four Winds II “has the longest open bar out of all the Molokini boats.”  Done and done.

Should we have trusted a guidebook?  One that had the actual line “What do sea turtles eat? Dolphins.”  They’re either seriously misinformed or else they have a shitty sense of humor.  Either way.

Anyway, we were told by Simon’s overbearing dad that we should get there an hour early because parking at the marina fills up.  The cruise left at 7, so we woke up at 5:30 and got there super early.  We yelled, “THERE’S ONE!!!” at the first open parking spot and burnt rubber into it.  And then walked a quarter of a mile to the actual ship, past probably 100 open parking spots.  Fail.

The one thing the guidebook didn’t love about the Four Winds II (oh, by the way, it’s $100 a person, not the $80 that the guidebook says) was the incessant sales pitch.  We experienced this firsthand.  The barrage of shilling included waterproof disposable cameras, waterproof digital cameras, photographs of our tour, SNUBA, and, of course, a DVD of our snorkeling extravaganza, marketed exhaustingly to us by Trey the Videoooographer, a blonde surfer dude with a very weird vocal cadence.  ”HEY GUYS! IT’S ME, TREY, THE VIDEOOOOGRAPHER.  COME CHECK OUT THE COOL FOOTAGE I GOT OF YOU GUYSSSS!  WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY FOR A GREAT TIME SNORKELING HUH GUYS?  CHECK IT OUUUUT!  CHECK OUT THE GALLERYYYYY!”

Our captain, who continually referred to himself in the third person as “Cappy,” was a scraggly old dude reminiscent of the lecherous grandpa that everyone tolerates but would never, ever, under any circumstance, give a microphone and control of 180 people to.

Some notable things about Cappy – He pointed out the nude beach and said, “We’ll be heading over there after snorkeling.  Ladies, feel free to get ready now.  Fellas, let’s wait until we get there.”  He had a 2:00 tee time so he wanted us to be SURE we were dying before we called for help in the water.  He referred to Tinx continually as “Red.”  ”Hey Red, better get some sunscreen on that skiiiiin of yoursssss.”  He had fishing lines off the back of the boat so he unnecessarily took us around the rough side of the island so that he had a better chance of catching some tuna.  He had a fetish for tags sticking out of bikini bottoms and would announce over the entire ship’s broadcasting system when he spotted one.  Or, in our case, he said, “Hey!  Red!  Hey Red!  Your friend’s tag is sticking out!  Better fix it!  Yeah, you!  Better fix it!”

Anyway, we finally got to Molokini, which took almost two hours.  That’s 1 mile per hour.  Yeah.  

At that point I was very uncharacteristically seasick.  It could have been the extreme stench of birdshit blowing off the island and into my nostrils.  (The island itself is not open to people, but np – why the fuck would you want to go on that crap mountain?)

I figured when I got in the water it would be better…and indeed the snorkeling was amazing, astonishing, stunning, all of that.  Minus the part where TREY THE VIDEOOOOGRAPHER came around swimming with his underwater still and video cameras and made us pose like idiots.  Damn him.

So, usually seasickness gets better once one is in the ocean, right?  Not for me apparently.  The fish were so gorgeous and cute, though, so I stayed in as long as I could.  I stayed in until I knew in five seconds I was going to feed the fish with my vomit and they would likely eat my face off.  I scampered onto the boat in a hurry, where the crew was BBQing and some guy got a burger flipped into his face, haha.  I asked in a trembling voice for some Dramamine and Cappy said, “We don’t have any.”  WHAT AND CRY!  Why wouldn’t a cruise ship carry DRAMAMINE?!?  Cappy got onto the mic (his favorite) and asked if anyone had any extra, and a nice midwestern lady gave me … one tablet.  Lame.

I climbed up to the second story to live out my misery, passing an Indian family on the way who went snorkeling full-on in their saris, haha.  I spent the rest of the cruise getting sunburnt (no wherewithal to stay on top of the sunscreen sitch) and rolling around feeling awful.

I know, I know.  Wah wah I’m in Maui for free and I’m siiiick wahhh.

Not what we saw.

So there’s this place called Turtle Town that all the cruises go to.  Cappy said, “Screw that Turtle Town!  We’re going to Turtle UNIVERSE!” and took us to a place, cut the engine, and…crickets.  ”Hmmm.  Usually they’re a million around here…”  Everyone was craning their necks (except mine, which was lolled over the edge of the bench in agony), and finally – ONE TURTLE!  We saw maybe five total from pretty far away, causing DJ Deer to use “Turtle Universe” to refer to anything that sucked for the rest of the vacation.

In sum, fish rock but everything else about this cruise, including the fact that I didn’t get to take advantage of the open bar, was only so-so.  Also the fact that Cappy told us that the raffle prize was a sea turtle and a year’s worth of food (a year’s worth of DOLPHINS!??!) but he lied – it was just a T-shirt.  But still, the Four Winds II spends the longest amount of time at Molokini, so it’s probably worth it.

Even if you do have a leering Cappy staring at your ass the whole time…

Four Winds II

808.879.8188