Grown Up Temper Tantrums

“There is no such thing” you might think.  But even I am prone to those.  Actually, I just calmed myself down from one of them to be perfectly honest.  I will share with you the reason of my temper tantrum today and how you could have a temper tantrum in a productive way.

The place, work.  The time, 11:30am.  The feeling, sheer happiness at the fact that I just ordered my lunch and will get to eat it in about 30 min.  12:00pm comes and goes and now I am staring down at 12:30 with a growling stomach an unfocused mind and rage nearly bursting out of my ears.  At 12:39 I’ve had enough, I will complain and the world will hear me.  I draft the following email:

“I have a complaint to make.  I find it a bit sad and insulting that on your website you ask me to specify the time frame in which I would like my meal to be delivered and not have it delivered on that time frame.  Then I call the hale and hearty from where I ordered my meal, as instructed, and spoke to someone who told me that the website states that the time frame for delivery is an hour.  I suppose that hale and hearty employees think that customers are not bright enough to go back and check the website.  Newsflash: We are smart enough!.  I will be sincere, I hate ordering from your website. The majority of the time my meal arrives later than stated on the website.

I’m sorry that this email is so harsh, but you see, I’m still hungry. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Because I have yet to receive my meal!!!

Sincerely,

Hungry costumer.”

Why the temper tantrum? Because I was hungry and dieting and you better believe that when I want to eat my lunch 12:00pm, I will be eating my lunch at said time.  I know you are thinking I’m not over the issue, but I assure you, I am just fine.  I received my lunch at 12:39.  Not happy about that at all.  But right now I’m not hungry anymore so I feel much better.

How to deal with the feeling of throwing a tantrum? Take action.  Zero in on what is bothering you and do something about it.  Coworker in the next cubicle gets on your nerves?  Find a straw take a piece of tissue and a generous amount of your saliva… I don’t need to tell you what to do next, do I?

Keep yourself satisfied (food wise anyways)

“What You Say About My Bagels?”

I know I should first address the fact that I haven’t shown myself here in months, but I will not.  I will also not apologize for it because, lets face it, you guys have not been checking my blog anyways.

I have a friend, Lisa, she spends a lot of time talking about food.  Her most recent obsession has been bagels.  She was trying to find the perfect bagel recipe.  She worked on many recipes to try to find it.  I usually wouldn’t notice the difference between bagels from one place to another; I just know that I don’t like bagels from Dunkin’ Donuts.

From my constant exposure to bagelmania I decided to look up a bagel recipe myself.  It was very much by accident, as I am the type of person that eats for fuel (might be the reason I don’t enjoy beer.  Yeah, yeah I know “How can she not like beer?”) and not the through enjoyment of flavors, colors and such.  In any case, I found myself at my public library and saw “Jewish Holiday Cookbook” by Joan Nathan on the shelf and thought, certainly there must be a good bagel recipe in a Jewish cookbook. Indeed there was!  On pages 184-186.  I decided to make the bagels on Saturday.

As I am boiling the bagels I hear “Eww, that is gross”.  My response?, “huh?”.  I hear nothing back.  Then I say “What you say about my bagels?” My brother then rectified his statement “The dough for the bagels looks gross”.  What nerves of that boy (soon to be married).  Then we proceeded to have a funny conversation that I can not remember for the life of me.

Anyways, bagels are not very difficult to make.  You mix your dry ingredients into you wet ones making a dough you can knead.  Then you put it in a greased bowl for an hour (I was not that patient, 45 min for me.  Shhhh)  to let it rise.  Then you knead it again, at least in the recipe I had.

Then you shape them like bagels.  Let them rise for 10 min.

Bagel-shaped dough waiting to "rise to the occasion"

Throw them in boiling water.  Once you put it in, the boiling will subside, once it comes to a boil, turn the bagel to the other side until the water begins to boil again.

Gross bagel? Me thinks not!

Place them in cookie sheet (make sure to grease it!), add seeds of your liking.

Not the best looking bagel

Throw them in the oven for 30min or until golden.

In the oven 🙂

And there you have it beautiful bagels.

Move over Mr. Bagels, there is a new sheriff in town!

I was disappointed with the outcome of my bagels.  They weren’t the best.  But considering that it was my first time, I didn’t do too bad.  My mom had one of my bagels and thought it was good.  “We should open a business together because anything you do tastes amazing” says my mother.  She is all about business.

Bread making is not my thing, but one should always try to new things.  The full recipe for these bagels is below.

Keep yourselves adventurous.

Adapted from Joan Nathan’s “Jewish Holiday Cookbook” (Schocken Books)

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk, scalded
2 scant tablespoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar (for yeast)
2 cups warm water
8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately)
1 tablespoon salt
3 quarts water>2 tablespoons kosher salt>Sesame, poppy or caraway seeds>1 cup chopped scallions

  1. Melt the butter in the scalded milk.
  2. Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in the warm water.
  3. After allowing the milk to cool somewhat so that it doesn’t kill the yeast, combine the two liquid mixtures in a large bowl and gradually blend in the flour and the salt and scallions until a soft, sticky dough is formed. (A food processor is fine to start this.) Knead well and place in a bowl greased with the olive oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Boil the 3 quarts water with the kosher salt.
  5. Knead the dough again on a floured board. Break off a piece about the size of a plum and roll out into a 5 1/2-inch-long snakelike shape, tapering the dough at each end. Twist into a circle and press the ends together. Place on a floured board. Continue until all the dough is used up. Let stand, uncovered, until the dough begins to rise, about 10 minutes. If at this point your hole has closed due to rising, feel free to poke a new one.
  6. Drop the bagels one by one into the boiling salted water, boiling a few at a time. Cover and wait until the water boils again. With a slotted spoon, turn the bagels, cover again and wait until the water boils, about 2 minutes. (The water gives the bagels a crunchy crust.) Remove to a greased cookie sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with sesame, poppy or caraway seeds and more salt and bake about 30 minutes, or until golden. These bagels freeze well.

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/13450/#ixzz1MNsymXUd

Cake Insanity

I made this cake twice in the span of 5 days.  I made a Coffee Pecan Cake with Coffee Mascarpone Cream as a filling and Swiss Meringue Frosting.  I haven’t had it yet, but I think it will taste awesome.  The first one I made was the cake the Coffee Mascarpone cream as the filling and the frosting and that was good.

The cake was adapted from Bon Appetite’s Jan 2007 (Coffee Walnut Cake with Coffee Mascarpone Cream).  I did this twice today to make four cakes.

Cake

  • 1 cup walnuts (about 4 ounces), toasted, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Coffee-Walnut-Cake-with-Coffee-Mascarpone-Cream-236891#ixzz19MHWT2ro

Macarpone filling

1 8-ounce container mascarpone
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (Deb note: I used brandy)
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I forgot to add this to the cake :))

For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy (Note: I used Kahlua)

Swiss Butter Cream

For a 9-inch cake (plus filling, or some to spare)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Here are some pictures of what I did.

First cake with mascarpone filling and frosting.

Second cake. Isn't she pretty?

The mascarpone and swiss meringue recipe I got from http://smittenkitchen.com/.  I think she is amazing.  I’ve only read her blog a couple of times but what I’ve had so far is making me want to make more of  the recipes she has posted.

I know I seem very short today and the reason is because I finished the cake above about three hours ago, which means I can go eat it in a couple of minutes.

Well Keep yourselves…. mmmm… I can’t think of anything. 😉

P.S.  Maybe I’ll post a picture of a slice of it.

Exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes later:

Yumm!

Everyone at home thought it was a really good cake.  I’ve never made buttercream with egg whites, but I have to say that it was really sturdy and light.  Lisa was right!

The End of an Obsession and the Beginning of a New One.

Obsession is a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling.  In my case it was the idea part of it.  My brother proposed to his fiancé over the weekend.  It was going to be a pretty busy weekend to say the least.  He proposed on Saturday and were decided to have a family dinner to introduce her to rest of the family and I was asked to make dessert.  Then on Sunday we were going to have friends over, for which I was asked to make dessert as well. 

My obsession at the time was with that apple spiced cake.  But I thought that I should make something that my brother’s girlfriend would like.  I was told that she loved chocolate so I made a chocolate fudge cake covered with ganache. 

The recipe for the cake is from Toba Garrett’s, The Well-Decorated Cake.  Making thee batter was easy enough, but they were delicate after they were cooked.  Both of them broke.   The only thing that held them together was the ganache which hardens when cold. 

The chocolate ganache recipe came from a book I own from a bakery I used to work for in Manhattan.  Bruce’s bakery.  They have very yummy treats.  This was my first time making ganache.  It is amazingly simple.  It only has three ingredients; semisweet chocolate, heavy cream and sugar. 

Pretty batter right? I filled the pans with too much batter.  I was holding my breath the whole time. 

All dress up with ganache. 

 

How did the cake do on Saturday?  Not too well.  I sadly have to report that most of the people didn’t like it.  The main complaint: too much chocolate!  How can anyone complain about too much chocolate?  I’m not even going to get into that. 

The chocolate fudge cake is not the new obsession, if that is what you thought. 

For Sunday I decided to make something more my speed.  I took the recipe of a Chocolate Melt-Away Coffee Cake and decided to make it into a layer cake and cover it with coffee buttercream.  It was a drier cake but inside the cake was filled with pieces of chocolate, pecans and light brown sugar.  It was delicious or at least I thought so.  I didn’t take pictures of it before I cut it.  Here is the picture of one slice. 

:p

 

It doesn’t look great there but it was really good.   Good enough that people didn’t even miss the ice cream. 

Ever since I ate a slice of this cake, all I want to do is eat more of it.  I’m saving a slice for a friend, I’m just not quite sure if it will make it to her. 

And there it is my new obsession.  I will most likely make this cake again… soon, very soon. 

Keep it slim , Jim

Feeling Down

What do you do when you feel sad?  Some cry, others read a book or books, some watch a movie or eat a pint or gallon of ice cream.  Me, I baked a cake.  Sunday wasn’t such a great day for me.  Nothing major happened but non-the-less it bothered me.  I won’t give details of the situation because just thinking about it makes me feel sad and embarrassed at the same time.

The cake…

Was the same old apple spiced cake which I posted about a couple of weeks ago.  But instead of making that orange zest cream cheese toping I made a coffee butter cream.  Which was awesome!  There is something about making butter cream that I just LOVE.  Supper therapeutic.

I was going to make a two tier cake but I didn’t buy enough ingredients due to… you guess it, the budget! “Check out Being Held Down by the Man” posted a few weeks ago.  In any case it kind of looks like a two tier cake.  Not too pretty though.  I think I’m going to pick a day in October to do nothing but to bake a super big cake!  It may be ambitious, but you have to grab the bull by the horns.

Keep yourselves… chubby?  Maybe not.  The diet starts on Monday…. urr next Monday!

The Best Fruit: CAKE! :0)

Warning: Due to the nature of the post, please make sure to cover your keyboard with some sort of plastic.  I can not be held responsible for damage of electronic devices due to drooling over said devices.

I love cake.  Not only are they easy to make but they are delicious if you can bake it just right.  On Friday I baked an apple spice cake.  It was a the first time I tried this particular recipe.  I will have to make modifications to it because it came out a bit too heavy for my taste.  I wanted it to be lighter, more fluffy, more scrumptious… please stop salivating over your keyboard (read warning above).

The cake was made with your usual suspects, flour, butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla (which I did not add) & eggs.  What made it an apple spice cake was apple sauce, ginger powder, clove powder, cinnamon powder & nutmeg powder.  Once the cake was baked it had a really nice spice like aroma.  I was making this cake for some friends that were coming over to our place on Saturday.  I have to say it almost didn’t make it.  My dad was threating the life of the cake saying that it was taunting him.

To accompany the cake I made a nice orange cream cheese butter cream.  The cream consisted of cream cheese (11 oz), powdered sugar (sifted after measuring 3-3 3/4 cups), finely grated orange zest (2 1/2 teaspoons), finely grated lemon zest (1 1/4 teaspoons), lemon juice (1 tablespoon), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon).  It was simple enough, just mix all ingredients until well blended and free of lumps.

If you are interested, the recipes I used are found in the recipe book The All-American Dessert Book.

I haven’t checked on my guest to see if they are still alive, but since I ate  two slices and I’m here to report on the cake, I can assume that all is well.  All my guest enjoyed the cake, some even had two slices (JFR) I was counting ;). Others loved it all (AM).  And some enjoyed the frosting the most (SM).  My parents enjoyed it as well, but I’m sure that my mom won’t ask me to make it again since she has her all time favorite dessert.  I will post what it is in October.

I know that some of you didn’t taste it, but make sure to enjoy the picture! LOL

Yum 🙂

Staying round and happy with cake consumption.