Monthly Archives: August 2012

Tempura Mushroom Sushi Roll

Warning: This post contains variable degrees of geekiness that may be unsuitable for some acculturated persons. Continue reading at your own discretion. Those with posh taste, a preference for late nights with sophisticated glasses of swirled cognac, and/or an inexplicable aversion to to Nintendo game systems (i.e. stalwart Playstation fans) should take extreme caution in reading the following content.

I love playing with my food.

Now, I’m not talking about the making-mashed-potato-and-gravy-volcanoes or broccoli forests kind of playing with my food. No siree, you can bet your bonny buttons my mom taught me better than that.

I am huge, however, on playing mental games with my food.

No, I don’t psychologize my celery or wax poetic about my peas, if that what you’re thinking.

I do, however, love making associations. (I should probably go back to doing that at some point.)

So let’s talk about mushrooms. I made some on Thursday for our gals’ book club night out to see an in-canyon theater performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. I always use the fact that I’ve never seen/read this play as a great “Never Have I Ever…” item with my literature crew, but I guess I’ll have to find a new one now.

I’ve never ordered delivery takeout before. Does that count?

Anyway, we’re talking about mushrooms.

Remember this oversized shroom-head? If you’ve ever mashed an A button, cursed your friends for sending out an untimely lightning bolt in the middle of a race, or been inspired with paralyzing fear at the sound of an approaching spiny shell as the finish line looms into view…you’ll know who I’m talking about.

Yup. That’s Toad, the useless light-weight eunuch with the vocal range of a high soprano.

He loses a balloon in battle mode when he gets rammed by anyone by Yoshi (the other light-weight).… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Lunch & Dinner, Rice, Vegetarian

National Catch-Up-on-Desserts Day: Peach Pie, Banana Split, and Cherry Popsicle Days

Absolutely abysmal! I promised these good people timely posts on their National Eat Dessert First Month entries, and then went ahead and landed myself in a place with as much internet access as Andromeda. Nice going, Ala. *virtual fail high five*

Anyway, here’s a recap of all the lovely national dessert days that have passed us by:

August 24th: National Peach Pie Day (kueken23 & Amanda)

August 25th: National Banana Split Day (Alicia)

August 26th: National Cherry Popsicle Day (Bob)

For the recipes and mouth-watering photos, take the jump!


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Stuffed Surprise Cookies–The Magic of Oreos and Cookie Butter

The best things in life always come in pairs.

Think about it: Batman and Robin.

Okay, that’s a terrible example to start with. For one thing, Robin was not the most useful sidekick to have hanging around the crime scene. From what I remember, he mostly just loitered around like a creepy, muscular elf in his red-and-green get-up. Am I right, or am I right?

(Dear DC Comic fans–please don’t kill me. Thanks.)

What about Romeo and Juliet?

Every time somebody says something like, “She’s the Juliet to my Romeo,” or vice versa, it takes a massive effort for me not to snort and reply, “Well, we all know how that one ended up.”

Right. That pair’s a definite dud.

That being said, though, some of the best things in life definitely come in pairs.

Take these cookies, for example. I call them “stuffed surprise cookies”–surprise! They’re stuffed!

Yeah…not much of a surprise, was that?

I was going to call them “pregnant cookies,” because they’re, you know, kind of pregnant with filling, but somehow that sounds kind of like you’re devouring a life-bearing specimen for dessert or something. And that’s wrong. I also imagined it’d be a little awkward to say.

Unknown Friend: What are you eating there?

Me or You: Oh, no much–just these delicious pregnant cookies.

Unknown Friend Maybe-Not-Such-A-Friend-Anymore: ….Uh, excuse me.

Yeah. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

I imagine that if you really ate cookie-bearing cookies, you would probably feel like a despicable human being and immediately lapse into a post-cookie-eating bout of depression.

Sort of like this:

(Caption: “What a Monster–Cookie Baby Eater Spirals into Depression.”)

Just kidding. The actual title is “The Binge,” a.k.a. “Cookie Monster Overdose.” And yes, I actually own this bag from woot–my lovely friend gave it to me as a birthday present last year.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cookies

Honey Peanut Butter

How many of you have ever grabbed a spoon, dunked it in an obliging jar of peanut butter, and called the rest history? Anyone?

I would raise my hand, but it’s busy alternately typing and scooping up yet another spoonful of this creamy homemade honey peanut butter. Think I’m lying? Try me.

Wait, no. You can try me in about ten minutes, when I’ve stopped eating this addicting nut butter and washed my hands. Then you can try me.

While you’re waiting for me to get my gunky fingers licked clean, I want to tell you about LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. My friend from Berkeley was visiting this weekend, and we randomly came across the most amazing and unexpected thing! Well, not the most amazing (Disneyland has that superlative covered, thank you very much) or most unexpected (it was a museum of, er, art, after all), but it was a close one. 

It was Magritte’s famous picture: The Treachery of Images, also known by its caption, Ceci n’est pas une pipe (or “This is not a pipe”).

I stood in front of this picture for at least five minutes. Pretty neat to think about though, huh? I’ve always loved studying ideas of representation and deconstruction, so this painting is right up my alley. (Wikipedia has some cool stuff to say about it, too.)

I remember seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time in seventh grade and feeling really, really underwhelmed. Not so with my dear friend Magritte!

Yet another A-list hard-hitter was the original Andy Warhol tomato can series exhibit. I don’t know why I didn’t expect this stuff in a huge museum of art, but I was pretty much floored when I suddenly found myself nose-to-nose with the paintings, which were hanging there just like everything else.… Read more


Filed under Dips/Spreads

A Pondering Post from the Hundred Acre Woods

I am not and have never been officially affiliated with the Walt Disney Company, or any of its previous forms.

Of course, if you know me for more than 15 minutes, you’ll known how badly I want to change that. As badly as Pooh wants hunny, and I’m sure it’s been haunting my thoughts just as frequently of late, if not more so.

That is why, when I visited Anaheim Disneyland with my friend on Friday,

Did I mention that I’ve been reading the Unofficial (but Officially Fantastic) Disneyland Encyclopedia? It’s a spot-on reference guide written by Disneyland frequenter Chris Strodder, who lives in the area and knows the history, layout, culture, and characters behind everything Disney. I’d say he even knows it better than he knows the back of his own hand, but that would be a highly inaccurate statement. How many people “know” the back of their own hand? I certainly don’t. I have better things to be doing. And so does Strodder, apparently. Like learning Disneyland by rote, for example. Now there’s a worthwhile ambition.

Another ambition I have is to make this cake. It’s the Unbirthday Cake from Alice in Wonderland, and since I absolutely adore anything Alice-related (who doesn’t love a mad cat and company?), I would love an excuse to make this one day. Just hand me an excuse. I dare you. Please?

In fact, I was going to make this cake earlier this year for the Edible Book Festival hosted by my school, but I ended up making a Dr. Seuss-themed cake instead (I’m a children’s lit gal, so as long as it’s related, I’m happy):

It was my first time using fondant under very difficult circumstances–this was a six-layer topsy-turvy cake, and much more difficult to frost/cover than a regular sheet cake–but things ended well anyway.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts

NEDFM Day 17 Challenge: National Vanilla Custard Day

It was the seventeenth day of National Eat Dessert First! Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to a different themed dessert but, more importantly, getting those desserts onto our plates and palates! Each day will feature a new guest chef’s photos and recipes for each theme. If you’re interested in joining in for a dessert-tastic month, read the details at the Dessert Month Challenge post. It’s never too late to start!


Courtesy of: rebecky_mo!

Original post: here

Hello again, b3! Time for my third (and final) claimed day for August. This recipe has been hanging out in my mom’s massive ‘to try’ list since 1997, when it debuted in Canada’s annual Dairy calendar (you can now find it on their website). I figured after 15 years, it wasn’t gonna happen, sooooooo…YOINK! I had to do a little switching around in this recipe; I couldn’t find a 10-inch pie shell or any McIntosh or Spy apples! I settled for 2 9-inch shells and Red Delicious apples, which unfortunately had them remaining crunchy after baking. It also seemed like 8 apples was a little too much; I had more than enough for 2 pie shells! The taste of the pie is still very good though, so I hope to try it again with the proper apples.

Without further ado, I give you Apple Custard Crumble Pie:

recipe and image from

Apple Custard Crumble Pie

10 inch (25 cm) 1 deep-dish pie shell, unbaked
8 Ontario apples (McIntosh or Spy)
2 tbsp (30 ml) packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) ground cinnamon

1 cup (250 ml) Milk
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream 35 %
1/4 cup (60 ml) all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup (80 ml) sugar
2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
2 tsp (10 ml) grated lemon zest

1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (180 ml) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter, cubed
1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Canadian Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (125 ml) quick-cooking oats

– Preheat oven to 425 °F (225 °C).Partially bake the pie crust for 8 minutes.… Read more

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Julia Child’s 100th Birthday Celebration and NEDFM Day 15: Lemon Meringue Pie

Do you know who my favorite superhero is?

No, it’s not Superman. It’s not Spiderman. It’s not Batman, or Catwoman, or the Incredible Hulk, or even Captain Underpants (although he’s pretty darn cool).

No, my favorite superhero is far less bionic than any of the above heroes. Heck, he’s even more useless than Aquaman, whose greatest superpower is his ability to talk to dolphins and company. Of course, he might’ve given Dory and Marlin a break if he’d made a guest appearance in Finding Nemo, but that would just be silly, plus we would’ve then missed out on possibly the best animated scene of all time (which, in case you didn’t know, is this–Ellen DeGeneres, I love you so much).

My favorite superhero? <<cue dramatic groundhog music>>

It’s…CAPTAIN OBVIOUS! Dah dah dah!

…Okay, yeah. Dud. I know. And no, you can’t throw a virtual tomato at me.

You can, however, throw a real tomato into your mixing bowl, because I have a real winner summer salad recipe for you here. (Ha!Not bad for a relatively contrived segue, eh?)

I made this for our in-celebration-of-Julia Child afternoon–we put on Julie & Julia and proceeded to feast in her name while singing praises of her and Paul Child’s love. Seriously. Those two were like, I don’t know, that really stubborn egg that you’re trying to separate but just will not separate. You know the one I’m talking about. The egg where the whites and yolk are like the same freakin’ entity. That’s what Julia and Paul Child were. An inseparable, heads-over-yolk in love pair.

My friend even made this from Julia’s desserts section (I’ll have to look up the name and get back to you on it, unless anyone recognizes it–it involves cherries!):

The Captain Obvious point was initially related, I swear.… Read more


Filed under Appetizers, Baked Goods and Desserts, National Eat Dessert First Month, Salads, Vegetarian

NEDFM Challenge Day 13: National Trail Mix Day

 It’s the thirteenth day (already!) of National Eat Dessert First! Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to a different themed dessert but, more importantly, getting those desserts onto our plates and palates! Each day will feature a new guest chef’s photos and recipes for each theme. If you’re interested in joining in for a dessert-tastic month, read the details at the Dessert Month Challenge post. It’s never too late to start!

Our decadent Day 13 entry features every health nut’s dessert dream–Trail Mix Cookies!


Courtesy of: doubletake!)

Source of original post:

Nom nom nom

Trail Mix Cookies!

These hearty, chewy, crunchy cookies are wonderful for a mid-day snack or a picnic lunch in the middle of a hike–just like traditional GORP or trail mix, there’s lots of fiber to keep you feeling full, plus healthy fats and protein from the seeds and nuts…and of course, delicious, delicious carbs for energy.

They may not look like much (especially through my cell’s camera, sorry) but these were the most popular cookie we made at the pastry school I went to–topping even the Ginger Valrhona cookies, which is a difficult feat!



August 14, 2012 · 4:52 am

A (Bon-Bon) Birthday Bash

It’s probably rather belated to be announcing this via the world wide ether, but since yesterday (August 12th) was my birthday, I’m claiming my birthday-ial prerogative to say what I want, and–

–and there goes the punch line. Oops. My friends always did tell me I was the worst joke-teller in the world. Guess these things don’t really change with age, huh?

Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Me!

I never really understood the people who get really, really melancholic when their birthday tumbles around like a jolly rolly-poly each year. The only living creature that’s allowed to get marginally depressed about a day that’s all about celebrating you, in my opinion, is Eeyore, and that’s only because he A.A. Milne is a genius, may he rest in peace. Plus, he–that is, the donkey–is just so darn cute.

Of course, I can only imagine what Eeyore would say in that slow, gloomy voice of his if he saw this cake (I’ll tell you why in a second):

Okay, here’s the secret: I didn’t actually get to eat any yet.

Thanks, Eeyore. I can feel your gloomy sympathetic vibrations. (Haunted Mansion reference, anyone? No? Okay, never mind…I’ve obviously been reading too much of the amazing Disneyland Encyclopedia I got myself as an early “birthday present.”)

This is the world’s best, most nostalgia-filled ice cream cake ever known to mankind. I exaggerate. And again, I cite my belated-birthday-prerogative to do so. It’s the best. Period. Mocha almond fudge ice cream stuffed inside a smooth, I-don’t-know-to-this-day-how-they-do-it-chocolate-ganache/frosting with green icing and frosted with chopped nuts. YUM.

If anyone has any ideas about how I can put Baskin Robbins out of business by replicating this frosting, I would not be opposed at all.

That being said, as a very loyal customer…ahem…

I ask for this cake every single year we’re at home for my birthday.… Read more


Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Frozen Desserts

NEDFM Challenge Day 12: Toasted Almond Bars

It’s the twelfth day (already!) of National Eat Dessert First! Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to a different themed dessert but, more importantly, getting those desserts onto our plates and palates! Each day will feature a new guest chef’s photos and recipes for each theme. If you’re interested in joining in for a dessert-tastic month, read the details at the Dessert Month Challenge post. It’s never too late to start!

Our decadent Day 12 entry features a creative spin on the standard toasted almond bar–wait for it…Buttery Toasted Almond Birthday Cappuccino Oatmeal Bars!

Even though he’s all the way up north, my friend Bob made these in celebration of–yes–my birthday! It was an all-around sweet dessert–sweet & thoughtful, but also sweet & delicious, I’m sure! Thanks so much, Bob!

Great for a new baker, yeah?

THEMED ENTRY #10:  Buttery Toasted Almond Birthday Cappuccino Oatmeal Bars

Courtesy of: Bob the Baker

Aw, Bob spoils me so much :) thank you~

Inspired by Toasted Almond-Cappuccino-Oatmeal Bars



Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts