Monday, March 31, 2008

More shortbread

My Dad regards the jam thumbprint as the "Mac daddy" of all cookies! Filled with raspberry preserves and sometimes a covering of chopped almonds, the cookie has to have a tender crumb and a melt-in- your-mouth consistency. Savouring this simple confection can very well be your "saviour" to a "me moment."
Half cup and 1 tbsp of organic sugar( Repunzel) or any sugar you desire. 8oz European unsalted butter. Beat these two ingredients until creamy and you no longer feel the sugar in the mixture. Add a pinch of kosher salt and 2 tsp vanilla( from Santo Domingo preferably). Sift together one and three quarter cup all purpose and a quarter cup corn starch and then fold this mixture into butter and sugar mixture. Do not over work. You can mix all you like but the minute you fold the flour into any mixture, the less you have to handle the dough! unless of course you are making bread where you want to develop the gluten! Roll into small balls, flatten a little and imprint a thumb print and fill with your favorite preserve. Bake at 350 for 25 mins or until you smell the aroma of the cookie. A good baker can tell when something is done just by that sense of smell!
Variation: Bake the cookies with the thumb print and when cool fill with melted Lindt chocolate.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Old fashioned farmhouse bar

This bar of soap has a special type of "feel" to it if you will. It is so smooth and I can either make it in an oatmeal, milk and honey fragrance or a fresh pure grapefruit fragrance. It has goats milk, shea butter, black seed oil....etc
Whenever I use this soap, I imagine myself in one of those old tubs in a " spaghetti western movie". Try it and you may just cross over into yesteryear!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Birds custard( pudding)

Hurrah! to the English for coming up with pudding. No need for a stiff upper lip here to enjoy that silky, smooth texture, just dig in and satisfy your salivation. Pudding will remain unostentatious but showy enough to compete with the creme brulee any day. This modest creation is comforting enough for a mere peasant to a pope!
Ladyfingers, birds custard, milk, vanilla, cream and chocolate are all the ingredients you need to make this smashing dessert.

This was my very first recipe that I "made up" years ago and people always want me to make it above all the other complicated dessets.

Baked butternut with a touch of brown sugar

As you have most probably noticed, I love almost all things caramelized and golden brown!
This is no exception! So easy peasy, just sprinkle butternut with a little brown sugar, "smear with some pounded fresh garlic, a little roasted bell pepper seeds and some cinnamon and a tiny bit of kosher salt and last but not least a pat of unsalted butter and bake in the oven until tender and brown. To serve, stuff the little cavity with some basmati and chives.

Stuffed jalapenos with a roasted poblano and corn soup

Soup will fix anything that ails ya! The crunch echoes in your ears when you bite into these cornmeal chillies!

Saute' one medium onion( small dice) with 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic, 1/4 c chopped red bell pepper and one tablespoon of olive oil until caramelized. Roast 2 poblanos with a pinch of kosher salt and a tablespoon of olive oil in the oven, until skins are blistered. Peel off the blackened skin, remove vein and seeds and set aside. Cut kernels of 3 ears of corn off the cob and add to onions and saute' further until corn is tender or you can use corn in the can. Blend a small can of creamed corn and add to this mixture as well.( this will thicken soup). Season with kosher salt to taste and then add about 1 cup of water or chicken stock and simmer for another 10 mins. Add the roasted poblanos and a bit of chopped cilantro and cook for another 10 mins. If you think the soup is too thick, then just add some more water.

I took the whole green chillies ( jalapenos) in the can and stuffed them with a sauteed mixture of panko, garlic, chopped red bell peppers, green onions.and chopped cilantro. Cool this panko mixture, add grated pepper jack and then stuff the chillies and close with tooth picks. Dust with some potato starch or flour, dip in beaten egg and then roll into corn meal or panko and shallow fry. These chillies would serve as the "croutons."

Garnish with chopped fresh tomato and a sprinkling of kosher salt.

For a gluten-free version: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes instead of panko.


LJ and Don's story.

I'd like to say that I played a little part in the union and now the coming of the little one of LJ and Don. From the delicate white chocolate heavy whipping cream mousse frosting on the wedding cake and the making of the wedding bouquet to that same frosting on the baby shower cake and fondant bears and not forgetting the chocolate mousse frosting on the inside. It was indeed a nail biting long ride to the venues to deliver these cakes, but sooooo worth that feeling of accomplishment. As you know I did not attend a culinary school so I am not that elaborate with decorations, but I would hope to think that the mousse frosting would count for something!
I piped a little baby " frill" around the edge. 11" by 15"

A fresh strawberry sauce accompanied this cake. Served 100 people.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bridal soap favors

These bridal soaps has a lot of detail. Brides and bridesmaids love this quaint little gift!

Savon de marseilles

This was the very first bar of soap I made. Martha Stewart made this soap in a milk carton and it looked so luxurious and good for the skin that I decided to try the art of saponification. It has shea butter, olive oil, green clay .....etc. There was also a segment of her and her niece Sophie where the both of them were laughing uncontrollably. Her niece said to use a "hoe" to smooth the soap instead of pantyhose!
I have been making soap ever since and have about 40 different designs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My nephew's son, K.

Just like "Mannequin P.." in Brussels!

There is something about Florida and the whole Disney thing that just makes a guy goofy especially when you are from Colorado. I'll say it now, like I said it way back then that skiing is not my thing. On the other hand, the sun, surf, the swamp and not forgetting those real-life cartoons makes you feel uninhibited. So give me a break if I cannot wait for the bathroom! So little time, so much to see, makes a kid like me just wanna be freeee!


Monday, March 24, 2008

To ski or to snowboard ?

I ski and my husband snowboards and we maintain that if you practically live in the backyard of the most popular ski resort then it would be a shame not to ride those majestic slopes. We go often either with family or friends or just by ourselves when nobody wants to venture out in the cold. I love when it snows because there is that extra soft blanket of snow to cushion your b.... when you wipe out!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shortbread frangipane( almond cream) custard tart..

" Do not call me a tart?"
"Look at me, I have smooth almond cream with a decadent layer of custard and glossy red lipstick colored strawberries and please do not forget my angelic, sugary Halo."
So even though every body's lips are always on me, I am still ' the lady Baltimore' amongst all the other bourgeoisie of confections!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sea shell soaps

"She sells sea shells on the sandy sea-shore."
These soaps hang from a string of pearls and look exquisite in a beautiful ocean theme bathroom or just any bathroom for that matter. This soap is indicative of a luxury spa!
They are made from goats milk and essential oils and has all the butters and smell divine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuna frikadels(patties).

"Hierdie frikadele is baie lekker."
" Enigiemand wat nie met my saamstem nie, kommentaar asseblief" !
These tuna patties are loaded with sauteed onions, red bell peppers, garlic and ginger and then spices, panko, green onions and lemon zest....etc are added before it gets a quick sear and finished off in the oven. Accompanied by a Malaysian kerabu(vegetable slaw) and finally a homemade coconut, cilantro chutney. These ingredients are really inexpensive and the final product by no means cheap on taste.

Makowiec( Polish coffee bread)

This may look like a familiar " ciastko kawowe" ( coffee bread) to you, but it in actuality it is very Polish. I learned how to make this yeast bread with a poppy seed filling and almonds because my husband is Polish and grew up with this delicacy. I do not make it too often, but when I do, he always says that he ( MIL'OS'E') loves it more than the one in Poland.
Do you think that he is only saying this because he would very much love to eat well for the rest of his life? You decide! LOL!

This segment is for you and your parents and the nostalgia of Poland !


Makowitch------- 3 c organic white bread flour.

½ teasp. Kosher salt

2 tablespoons Bakers sugar ( fine sugar)

2 pkts. Active dry Fleischmann’s yeast

½ c lukewarm milk + ¼ c lukewarm milk

1 egg lightly beaten

¼ c melted unsalted butter.

Flaked almonds

For the filling: 1 can ready poppy seed filling (bought at Target)

¼ c butter

½ c raisins

1 pkt sunmaid fruit bits

½ c ground almonds

½ teasp ground cinnamon

For the icing 1 c powdered sugar

1 tables. Lemon juice fresh

3 teasp. H2O

Method: cream the yeast by mixing with the lukewarm milk and the 1 tablesp. bakers sugar and let sit until you see the bubbles and frothy mixture. Sift flour, salt and place in the kitchen aid, add the remaining 1 tablesp. Bakers sugar, and mix on low with dough hook. add egg and melted butter, and the add the yeast mixture. I normally knead right in the kitchen aid for 10 mins with the dough hook of course. Let rise for 1- 11/2 until double in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clear oiled film and a cloth. Meanwhile for the filling dump the poppy seed filling, the butter into a saucepan and cook 2 mins. until loose consistency, remove from heat and add the rest of ingredients and then cool. Knock back dough and roll out into big rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the filling onto dough within ¾ inch of the edges. Roll up the dough, starting by the long edge, tucking in the edges to seal. Place seam side down onto lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for 30 mins.or until double. Bake in preheat. Oven 375 degrees for 30 mins or until golden. Warm the ingredients of the icing gently and decorate like I did in the picture.



From the unbaked pie to the baked cheesy gooey messy sauce and crispy crust. I make this with whole wheat flour and cake flour or A p flour and the sauce with good tomatoes, spices and herbs. As you can see from the pictures, the crust has an abundance of herbs in it as well and unlike other pizza crusts which are sometimes half eaten, mine are fought over and devoured up until the last crumb. The' pizza rolls' has the same sauce and grilled chicken on the inside. I decided to just put the mozzarella on the top of the rolls. ( It was a culinary error and I just' rolled' with it ever since.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Brunch delectables.

Sure I can dream of tropical beaches in this very frigid conditions a glass that is! No reason not to have a party.

I am soooooooo! not a morning person! Every " so now and again" I have to spice up my morning with my " eternally alpine" smoothie ( Alpine indicative of up north and has boiled and blended almonds and pineapple as the more prominent ingredients ( hence the name) and also coconut milk, papaya, pineapple juice , banana, passion fruit and peaches ) and delectable filled pancakes ( which has mascarpone, strawberries, bananas etc....) I will either make one or the other never both on the same day because these are filling. When I have to cater a breakfast and people see these pancakes, they tell me that they never want to go back to boring, old doughnuts again!

Monday, March 10, 2008

White chocolate, heavy cream frosting with dark chocolate inside

Birthday cake for:
Luke ( A "hardcore ski bum)
Nurie ( An aspiring one)

Goats milk and honey soap

"Goats milk and honey" bar is my favorite soap because I love the oats which does double duty ie: it exfoliates and makes the skin soft. This bar is loaded with shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, almond oil and goats milk.

Did Cleopatra really bathe in milk?


Sunday, March 9, 2008


This tiramisu has no liquor. It has mascarpone, heavy cream, layers of ladyfingers and dark chocolate and espresso etc.... It is not exactly a light dessert so easy does it! In fact all my desserts are not overly sweet. When a recipe calls for a cup of sugar, I normally would only use a third cup and use something like vanilla for that extra burst of flavor. I am extremely anal about small portions and sometimes this gets me in trouble. People normally want to "hog" the bowl! ( like Sara)