Food

Bacon Chocolate

  • Posted on May 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm

bacon_chocolate

I found this chocolate bar while waiting in the checkout line of Binny’s. While I love bacon & chocolate, I was just too horrified by the combination to buy Mo’s Bacon Bar. If you aren’t repulsed by the combo, then you might enjoy the flying bacon-chocolate pig also made by Vosges.

Halloween Cupcakes

  • Posted on October 31, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Happy Halloween!  In order to make up for canceling my Halloween party, I baked 4 dozen Halloween cupcakes to share with friends.  They were a huge hit and really easy to make so I thought I would share how make them.

Spider Cupcakes

Halloween Spider Cupcakes
1) Bake and cool your cupcakes in wrappers. I found the spider themed cupcake wrappers at a local party store.
2) Make (or buy your icing). In the picture above the dark icing is a chocolate fudge and the orange icing is cream cheese. I used some of the cream cheese icing for the webs.
3) Ice your cupcakes just like you normally would ice a cupcake. Try to get it smooth but it does not have to be perfect.
4) Create a make-shift decorating bag by filling a sturdy ziploc bag (best to use the freezer ones) with cream cheese icing. It took me about 1 cup of icing for 4 dozen webs. Leave the bag open and mush the icing into one corner. Twist at the bag closed at the top of the icing so it does not squeeze out the top. Clip a small corner of the bag to allow the icing to squeeze out.
5) Make the spokes of the web by drawing a line across the diameter of the cupcake. Drawn two more lines like this that divide the top of the cupcake into six pie shaped pieces.
6) Start just a hair from the center and make a hexagon around the spokes. Move out just a hair and drawn another one. Then drawn a third slightly bigger. A few times the cupcake looked liked it needed a 4th but 3 was typically good.
7) Stick a spider ring into the cupcake. These are those cheap plastic rings you had as a kid and they are available at party supply stores and a lot of places that carry Halloween stuff. Make sure you washed it first.

Rice Krispy Barad-Dur

  • Posted on June 3, 2008 at 6:45 pm

This awesome Rice Krispy Barad-Dur (from the Lord of the Rings) was made by Six. It was made as a going away gift for one of his co-workers. Thanks for the picture.

barad-dur

Happy Mother’s Day

  • Posted on May 11, 2008 at 6:45 pm

This fresh fruit flower basket was presented to my mother-in-law today. The basket is composed of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, blueberries, and pineapple.

Mother's Day FlowersMother's Day Flowers 2

I also made Dio a flower out of some of the extras.
Extra Flower

Gaming Food Recipes – part 2 Packman Cheese Tray

  • Posted on May 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Packman Cheese Tray

Shopping List:
*round cheese wheel – cheddar because it is the perfect color – If your store does not carry a cheese wheel, you can ask the person behind the lunch meat counter to cut a chunk off of one of the cheddar logs. Ask for it to be cut about 1 to 1.5 inches thick.
*goat cheese soft
*assorted Hard Meats sliced about ¼ inch thick – pepperoni, hard salami, and beef summer sausage were my picks
*curry spice
*olive oil
*black olives
*red pepper
*cherries (if they are out of season get maraschino with stems)
*strawberries
*mini bananas
*white cheddar cheese puffs
*crackers
*candy eyes (optional – mine were sugar molds for $1 per 12 pack)

Prep work:
1. Drain your can of olives. Slice two or three olives in half so that they look like circles. Slicing 3 will give you an extra eye if something goes wrong. You can discard (or eat) the side with a hole. Store the sliced olives in a zip lock bag in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your tray. They can be stored like this easily for one week.

2. The next thing you can prepare ahead of time is the ghosts. If you don’t have a cookie cutter the shape of a Packman ghost then you can improvise and hand cut them out with a knife. If you buy a zigzag cutter it is a major help for the bottoms. Place the cut meat and cheese ghosts in separate (by type of food) zip lock bags and store in the fridge.

3. Next you can make the goat cheese round. The soft goat cheese can be shaped into a circle about 1.5 inches thick (yes, I know that makes it a cylinder). Next mix curry spice with a little bit of olive oil (very little oil) to make a thick paste. Rub the curry paste over the goat cheese circle to give it the color. This can safely sit in the fridge for a few days.

4. Next you can clean and slice in half the strawberries. I would advise not doing this more than one day in advance. Also if you found fresh cherries rather than jarred ones, you need to wash them. One advantage to jarred cherries is that they lack pits.

5. The last piece that can be prepared ahead of time is Mrs. Packman’s Bow. First clean the red pepper and cut out the seeds. Take a slice of the red pepper and cut and hour glass shaped “bow.” This can be stored in the fridge but should not be prepared more than 1 day in advance.

6. The last step is assembly. Begin by cutting a wedge out of both of the cheese circles to form the Packman mouth. Then place the cheese rounds on the tray. You can use my picture as an example or do your own arrangement. Next place the black olive eyes on the cheese rounds. Place the red pepper bow on your Mrs. Packman. Dump your cheese puff balls into a bowl to set next to the tray. Additionally it is nice to set out a plate of crackers even thought they really are not apart of the theme (you could substitute round crackers for the “dots”). Now arrange a row of the cheese puff balls and fruit in front of both of the Packmans. Include one ghost in each row and if you have candy eyes place them on these ghosts. Lastly place extra ghosts and fruit on the tray to fill in.

Gaming Food Recipes – Part 1

  • Posted on April 28, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I have had several requests for instructions on how to make the food from Dio’s Birthday party. So here is part 1. I will get around to the Packman Cheese Tray and Marioland another time.

Katamari Ball Cake
Katamari ball

Shopping List:
Rice Krispy Cereal
marshmallows
butter
1 bag of chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
fun shaped candles (if making it a b-day cake)
tons of object shaped candy: recommend animal cookies, gummi anything, misc shaped sprinkles, licorice shaped anything, sweat tart legos, Teddy Grahms (just have fun and explore your grocery isles and candy shops)

Directions:

1. Make Rice Krispy treats. You do this by melting 3 TBSP butter in a fair sized pan and adding in 40 oz marshmallows (typically one bag). You want to be careful not to burn the mixture so keep it on a low flame and stir. It does not take long. Then dump in 10 cups of rice krispy ceral. This is more than the box will tell you (6 cups) but it makes it less sweet and a better base. Stir this up until the marshmallow mixture is evenly coating the cereal.

2. Form the ball. Use a little butter on your hands and start mashing the rice krispy mix into a ball. Careful as it can be hot. The butter should help it from sticking to you as you form the ball. Let the ball cool to room temperature.

3. Coat your ball in chocolate. If you have a double-boiler, use it. If you don’t, or have no clue what a double boiler is, then melt your chocolate chips in a pan over VERY low heat while stirring constantly. Have a piece of wax paper cut and ready nearby to set the ball in. Once you have melted the chocolate use a spoon to roll your rice krispy ball in the chocolate. When you have the ball completely covered, set it on the wax paper. Sprinkle your shaped sprinkles over the surface and place the ball in your fridge to harden the chocolate.

3. Next add the candy. If your chocolate hardened in the pan, re-melt it. Then dip one side of your candy in the chocolate. Press the candy onto the ball and wait for the chocolate to set a bit. When it looks like it will stay in place, repeat until you cover the whole surface in candy shapes. Things can be sticking out in all directions. Don’t worry about stacking things on top of each other either. If you have seen the game it should look like you just rolled it around in a tray of candy. (Something I would suggest but I tried it. Getting things to stick IRL didn’t work like it did in the game.)

4. Add candles. If it is a birthday cake you can add fun shaped candles the same way you added your candy. Make sure you tell people that they are candles. While wax won’t kill you, it does not taste good.

Triforce Cheesecake
Triforce Cheesecake

Shopping List:
plain cheesecake
dark cocoa powder

Directions:
1. Get a plain cheesecake. You can make it or buy it. I just am not typing out a recipe.

2. Cut the cheesecake into an equilateral (all sides equal) triangle. This takes a bit of measuring so that you get it to be equilateral. I had a few stirring sticks that I laid down on the cheesecake to use as cutting guidelines. A large non serrated knife works best.

3. Mask off the center section. Again this takes a bit of measuring. I use paper towels (no texture) and smooth them down on the surface of the cheesecake masking off from the center of each edge of the triangle forming a smaller equilateral triangle in the center. You can also use wax paper but it is important to have it smoothed against the surface of the cheesecake because it is about to block cocoa powder.

4. Dust with dark cocoa powder. Use a pastry brush (or your clean and washed finger) to dust the triangle center of the cheesecake. Be careful not to force any under the edges of your paper towel (or wax paper).

5. Make cuts around the design. Just take your non serrated knife and make about a ¼ inch slice into the cheese cake right along the edge of the cocoa triangle. This will give the design sharper lines and more depth.

Mario Fireflower Veggie Tray
Fireflower Veggie Tray

Shopping list:
black olives
dill dip (or ranch) – I made mine but you can easily buy yours
cucumber
Yellow veggies: yellow peppers, yellow mini tomatoes
Red Veggies: radishes, cherry tomatoes, red peppers
Green Veggies: broccoli, green peppers
(note: you can substitute other veggies that are in the same color set)

Directions:
1. Clean and prepare your veggies following standard procedures with these few guidelines. Leave the skin on the cucumbers and slice into disks. Cut all of the peppers into about 1 inch pieces. Break broccoli into pieces no larger than 1 inch cubes. Slice 1 black olive in half long ways.

2. Fill a small round (preferably clear) bowl full of dip. Place the two black olives in the center as eyes.

3. Using the photo of my Fireflower veggie tray as a guideline, place the yellow veggies around the dip bowl.

4. Now circle the yellow veggies with the red veggies.

5. Lay the sliced cucumber down the center of the tray and fan out the slices a bit.

6. Add the green veggies as leaves.

Diomedes’s Birthday

  • Posted on April 19, 2008 at 6:46 pm

For Dio’s Birthday this year he requested video game themed party. All of the food (except the liquor) was made to fit this request.

Marioland Assorted Desserts

Goomba Cupcake
The whole theme revolved around Dio’s request to have “1-up cakes” at his birthday party (the green mushrooms in Mario games). So in addition to making the 1-ups, I also made cupcake growth mushrooms (red mushrooms), cupcake Goombas (the little browns enemies), pineapple vodka Jell-o jiggler stars, rice krispy treat blocks, cupcake turtles, cupcake pipes (made in green ice cream cones), and garnished the landscape with gold foil covered chocolate coins and a bubble gum disk with a picture of Mario and Luigi.

Packman Cheese Tray

Packman Cheese Tray
Packman was made from a cheddar cheese wheel with black olive eye. Mrs. Packman was made from goat cheese pressed into a wheel then covered with curry spices with an olive eye and a red pepper bow. Ghosts are made from MEEEAAAT and provolone cheese. Pirate’s cannon balls are white cheddar cheese puffs that make up the little white dots. Strawberries, brandy dipped cherries, and mini bananas for the super point fruits. Yeah, the crackers really aren’t apart of the theme.

Katamari Ball Cake

Katamari Ball
The cake is a lie. It is a rice krispy ball dipped in chocolate. Chocolate is then used to adhere the candy objects. I then added animal shaped candles. If you ever make one of these don’t explain to the lady at the candy store why you are hunting down sweettart legos and gummy soldiers, they will give you very strange looks when you explain that a katamari ball is a sticky ball that eventually gets large enough to roll over Japanese school girls.

Triforce Cheesecake

Triforce Cheesecake
I have to confess that I didn’t have time so I bought my cheesecake and just did the decorations. In order to decorate this item, just cut it into a triangle, then section off the center section by pressing paper towels (no texture) over the corners, dust center with cocoa powder, and remove paper towels. I added lines at the edge of the cocoa powder to make it a sharper edge.

Mario Fireflower Veggie Tray

Fireflower Veggie Tray
The red section is a combination of radishes, red peppers, and strawberry tomatoes. In the yellow section I used yellow peppers and these small round yellow orange tomatoes. The white center is of course dip and I added black olive eyes (split them longways in half). The stem is a sliced up cucumber with leaves of broccoli and green peppers.

The Bar

The Bar
Featured mango margarita mix, absinthe, pineapple vodka jell-o shot stars, and voyant (a chai cream which was rather good) in addition to all of the standards.

Flower Bouquet

  • Posted on February 14, 2008 at 6:46 pm

For Dio’s Valentine’s Day dinner, I made a flower bouquet of assorted meats, cheeses, and vegetables.

Valentine's Day Food FlowersVDay Food Flowers 2

Hawaii Vacation

  • Posted on October 23, 2007 at 6:47 pm

This entry is long overdue so I am going to give up on finishing it and just post what I have. Maybe one day I will fill in the rest. I will eventually create a photo album of the trip and will link to it from here and from the photo page.

Dio and I went on vacation to Hawaii between May 30 and June 12, 2007 with 14 other members of my family on my father’s side. We spent a few days on land in Waikiki and then took a cruise around the different islands. The big island was definitely my favorite; we stopped at both Hilo and Kona.

Hilo

Hilo was the first of the stops and the motion of the ship had me feeling pretty during that day. During the first night I had a hard time sleeping because the hangers were making so much noise in the closet shifting across the pole they were hanging on and my luggage would roll across the floor. Despite not feeling tip top due to lack of sleep/boat motion, I really enjoyed the small farmer’s market and shops in Hilo. One of the store’s had art work done by an artist who had studied under 3 masters in China. Dio and I purchased a few of her watercolors. One is of beautiful cherry blossoms and the other is bamboo. We also had great sushi and the best mushroom tempura I have ever had for lunch there.

Maui

We had two days in Maui. On the first day we went scuba diving. It was Dio, my father, and me. On the boat ride over to the wrecked pier reef, we were accompanied by a school of dolphins. When we arrived at the reef, we were greeted by a school of goat fish that collected in the shadow of the boat. First we went through a training session before going on a 30 minute tour of the reef. The reef tour was amazing. We saw a giant turtle, a puffer fish, and a baby white tip shark among the other countess kinds of fish and coral that I don’t have names for.

Our second day in Maui was a walking tour of waterfalls. I was a little disappointed by this tour. Not only did it rain so we did not get as many pictures and videos of this as we were hoping but it was basically two very small waterfalls (due to the “drought” Maui was having) and it was only 2 miles basically on some guy’s 5 foot wide drive way. They made us wear these awful shoes that were rubber with old socks as the top portion. The shoes had a split between your big and little toes and I got a blister in between my toes and on the back of my heels. The highlight of the walk was getting to see a baby pineapple plant. I will get some picture up later when I have time so you can see it.

Kona

Our day in Kona was spent on the “Eruption of Flavor Tour.” The tour consisted of a Kona Coffee farm, the only Hawaiin chocolate farm, and the only US vanilla farm. I purchased a bunch of Kona coffee to share when I returned from work. I had never had peaberry coffee before. Only about 3-5% of a Kona coffee crop and they make an outstanding cup of coffee. The chocolate factory was interested to see too. They had a bunch of geckos running around the coffee trays. On the vanilla tour they don’t actually take you to see the orchids because they are so temperamental. Instead they showed you a video while we were served lunch consisting of things that are all made with vanilla. I bought a vanilla cookbook from them because their vanilla lemonade was so great.

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