Sunday, June 30, 2013

The solution to all the world's problems

...courtesy of The Little Niece. Too bad she encrypted it.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Statue headgear update

The earmuff-clad statue I previously posted about here has since donned a helmet.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Movie food

Two nights ago, I finally watched Steel Magnolias for the first time. It's one of the most well-known movies about female friendship, but I found it rather meh. Maybe it was because I was multitasking and not really paying attention? When I IMDBed it after watching (yes, I routinely do that), I discovered that I'd managed to miss an important plot point or two. 

Anyway, what did pique my attention was Truvy (Dolly Parton) saying

[...] you don't need a recipe. It's just a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a cup of fruit cocktail with the syrup [...]
and all of a sudden I found myself channeling Liz Lemon and "want[ing] to go to there."

I decided to attempt making Truvy's Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa last night, but didn't have any fruit cocktail handy. I did, however, have fruit cocktail syrup in my freezer that was left over from the last time I made fruit salad. The Filipino in me couldn't bear to just throw it away and I'd been looking for a way to use it. How's that for serendipity?

Why 5/8 cup? I wish I could say that there were complicated computations involved, but that's just the amount I happened to have. I added the baking powder so it wouldn't be too compact. I'd read some warnings that this would be very sweet --- the flour doesn't stand a chance against all that sugar and syrup --- so I was surprised that I didn't find it so yesterday, but had to revise my opinion today. Go figure. The whipped cream helps to cut the sweetness. In the movie, Truvy suggested using ice cream which made me go "Eh?" but I get it now.

I think the first time a movie inspired me to cook was when I watched Fried Green Tomatoes when I was 10 or 11 and you should be able to deduce what I made. Coincidentally, earlier this month, I prepared fried tomatoes again for I think the 2nd or 3rd time in my life, but still not green ones.

As for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, it's also a well-known celebration of female friendship and I know that I really liked it when I watched it eons ago, but can't really remember more than that. I think it may be time for a rewatch.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Evolution & Escalation

This was last year's Easter effort, a Lindt gold bunny and chopping boards to serve as sky and grass.

This year, I originally planned to make something like Bakerella's Miniature Easter Basket Cupcakes, but when she posted an adorable-but-apparently-relatively-easy-to-make Easter Bunny Cake Pop a couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to attempt that too.

On Saturday night, I got my supplies out.

For the cupcakes, I made half a batch each of Billy's Vanilla and Billy's Vanilla Buttercream and tinted the buttercream light green.

I didn't want wrapped chocolate on the cupcakes, so I was going to top them with Cadbury mini eggs and an unwrapped Lindt gold bunny, but I was thinking that a white chocolate bunny would work even better. Stumbled upon a white chocolate bunny at The English Shop and was going to content myself with buying just one because of the price. However, I was holding it in my hand while browsing and it melted, so I had to buy another one for cosmetic reasons. I ate the melted bunny on my train ride home.

I realized when I unwrapped the foil that the bunny hadn't fared too badly, but by then its fate was sealed. 

Anyway, here's how the cupcakes turned out. As you can see, the Lindt bunny and the chopping boards made a return appearance.

For the cake pops, I halved the ingredients for Bakerella's red velvet cupcakes and skipped the red food coloring. 

I frosted the cake and then saved half to be eaten as actual cake while the other half would continue on the journey to become cake pops.

I couldn't find jordan almonds for the ears, but luckily spotted chocolate almond eggs at the supermarket. 

Here's the finished cake pop.

Admittedly, it doesn't look like the original and is barely (if at all) identifiable as a bunny, but I think it's cute just the same. In hindsight, the ears would have been more bunny-like if I'd kept the almonds closer together and not pushed them in too deep. The store didn't have any black edible ink pens nor white candy melt, so I substituted glitter glaze and white chocolate buttons instead. The upside of using white chocolate buttons was that I could use the leftover chocolate to make myself a nice cup of hot white chocolate.

I took photos of my creations...

...and then loaded them into the cake caddy to share with The Nieces later in the day since it was already Easter Sunday by the time I was done. The Big Niece was suitably impressed.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I bought, I tasted, I puked (a little)

If you've read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies, you've probably read or heard about Bertie Bott's  Every Flavor Beans. I've been wanting to try them since I found out that they were actually being produced in the real world. When I discovered that the local American food store was carrying them, I thought the opportunity had finally arrived. However, they were always out of stock. Until this week, that is, when the stars aligned and all that jazz. While I was at it, I got the chocolate frog too. 

There isn't really much to say about the chocolate frog other than that: the frog isn't cutesy at all; it would have benefited from the addition of more crisped rice; and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't hollow like the Lindt chocolate bunnies.

And that brings us to the jelly beans...

I don't normally eat jelly beans. I remember tasting them as a child and disliking the texture, but I had to put that aside to satisfy my pseudo-scientific curiosity. I considered not eating the novelty flavors, but then, what would be the point of this little exercise? Then, I considered just eating the jelly beans at random, but that seemed too risky, so I organized them according to the legend on the back of the pack. Blueberry, Green Apple and Watermelon were missing, but all the novelty flavors were there. I put the doubles back in the box to share with The Brother.

Armed with a glass of soda and a glass of water and with a trashcan next to me, I began with Grass. It was okay. Sugary, was my only impression. 

Next I tried a normal flavor, Tutti Frutti, which almost made me a jelly bean convert.

Black Pepper was, as the name suggests, very peppery, but went down without any problems. 

Soap was strange because I expected it to be alkaline/bitter, which it wasn't, but it just smelled so soapy that I opted to spit it out. 

Dirt and Earthworm were up next. Dirt smelled like moist soil and I don't really know how to describe Earthworm. I just sort of nibbled like a quarter or less of each bean and still ended up spitting it out. It actually didn't taste that bad at first nibble, but then the flavor kicked in. Yech!

Rotten Egg was the worst hands down. Just one nibble had me running to the sink gagging. It didn't help to see my red-tinged spit (courtesy of Dirt and Earthworm).

At this point, I contemplated aborting this mission, but I figured I'd never be doing this again, so I might as well finish what I'd started.

I expected Sausage to work since it was actually food, but the combination of salty/fatty and sugary sweet also ended up in the spit bucket.

Earwax was actually not disgusting at all. Or maybe I'd gotten Marshmallow by mistake? Some of the flavors looked similar enough.

As for Booger, think salty and moist. What little of it that entered my mouth ultimately ended up in the spit bucket. I don't really know what to say about Vomit...I took a couple of teeny tiny nibbles and then spit it out. 

I made it through all of the disgusting flavors though! Yay me! Was just going to round up with Candyfloss, Cherry, and Cinnamon. However, remember what I said about mistaken identity jelly beans? That Cinnamon was, in fact, Earthworm. Double Blech!

When it was all done, I puked a little. A tooth-brushing and two throat lozenges later, I still wasn't over it. Why did I subject myself to this again?

Monday, January 14, 2013

It has begun...

Ate my first semla of the year today. Wonder how many of these I'll manage to eat before semla season ends.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Just popping in to say...

Happy New Year! Also, Happy Birthday reader from Masbate! :p