The food part of this blog has moved to I'll see all you foodies over there!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Daring Bakers: Flourless Chocolate Cake

This month's Daring Baker's Challenge: Flourless Chocolate Cake and Homemade Ice Cream. Perfect for Valentine's Day, except that I didn't plan right and couldn't make it that day. So as usual, it was a last-minute job today.
I had never made flourless cake before, so I was intrigued. I've heard about them before but it's one of those things that's hard to fathom until I see and taste one with my own two eyes.
The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef. We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.
The cake was a little overbaked, the edges were a little burnt. So the cake was a little on the dry side. I was hoping for something "brownie-ish" but it wasn't. I used bittersweet chocolate, perhaps dark or semi-sweet chocolate would of been better. But it was very simple to make.
I chose Wendy's ice cream recipe, a Philadelphia style vanilla ice cream. Since I've made the cooked, custard-style vanilla ice cream before I went with her recipe to try something different. There were no eggs and not cooked. How simple.
The cake was served with the vanilla ice cream drizzle with caramel sauce and some blueberries on the side.
Here's the recipes:
Chocolate Valentino
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
16 ounces (1 pound) (454 grams) of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
½ cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons (146 grams total) of unsalted butter
5 large eggs separated
1. Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and melt, stirring often.
2. While your chocolate butter mixture is cooling. Butter your pan and line with a parchment circle then butter the parchment.
3. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and put into two medium/large bowls.
4. Whip the egg whites in a medium/large grease free bowl until stiff peaks are formed (do not over-whip or the cake will be dry).
5. With the same beater beat the egg yolks together.
6. Add the egg yolks to the cooled chocolate.
7. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and follow with remaining 2/3rds. Fold until no white remains without deflating the batter.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan, the batter should fill the pan 3/4 of the way full, and bake at 375F/190C
9. Bake for 25 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 140F/60C. Note – If you do not have an instant read thermometer, the top of the cake will look similar to a brownie and a cake tester will appear wet.
10. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes then unmold.
Wendy's Ice Cream Recipe
Vanilla Philadelphia Style Recipe
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
2 cups (473 ml) of half and half (1 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of whole, full fat milk)
1 cup (237 ml) heavy cream
2/3 (128 grams) cup sugarDash of salt
1 (12 grams) tablespoon of vanilla
Mix all ingredients together (we do this in a plastic pitcher and mix with an emulsifier hand blender-whisking works too). Refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. Mix in your ice cream maker as directed.
Check out some more neat creations by the rest of the gang.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Visual Art Day at IAA

Abby had a field trip to IAA and got to do some art. The kids were divided into three groups and had the opportunity to participate in two of the three arts: ceramics, painting, and photography. Her first one was ceramics. They got to make trivets which were pretty cool.

Next was painting. They painted designs on pieces of randomly shaped cardboard which was put together by a couple artists into a big (by popular vote) "Crazy Town." Pretty neat.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Another visit from the Velocitramp, making us laugh as usual. ^_^

Monday, February 16, 2009

Some More Siren Goodies

Here's the latest stuff I printed for Siren, a track jacket, more tees, and a tote bag. I really like the design on this one, Mary did a great job.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels

I used to buy these from Trader Joe's, dark chocolate covered caramels. Oh these are soooo good. The caramels are bigger and just makes you go MMMMM when you bite into them. However they're about $3.50 for a small container which disappear way too fast. I tried making these a little over a year ago, but the caramels came out too soft and didn't hold their shape when they got dipped into the chocolate. So this time I cooked them a little longer. Maybe a tad too long, they're a little tough, but delicious nonetheless. Found a recipe that uses condensed milk, which I had some that needed to be used, so everything worked out. One batch made about 56 pieces, for about $4.

I then dipped them into some dark chocolate (got to use my new chocolate tempering spatula ^_^). Found a big bar for about $3.

Look at all these chocolates! Oh yeah!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Matcha Ice Cream

It's freezing cold but I still crave ice cream. This time I tried making Matcha Ice Cream. Matcha is Japanese green tea powder, very good but a little pricey. So I subbed some green tea drink powder instead for a third of it. I think that caused the ice cream not to turn that nice green color but it still tasted like green tea and I was satisfied. Recipe by David Lebovitz, if you're a fan of homemade ice cream, I highly recommend checking out his book "The Perfect Scoop."


We've been dogsitting Marmu, Velocitramp's dog since Thursday. Him and David's off to Tucson, AZ for a 24-hr bike race (can't believe they have a race on Valentine's Day....) She's this really cute dog, about 4-yrs-old, I believe a black lab and German shepard mix. She's a good dog, very quiet and calm, and can even sing (which is the funniest thing) and even say "I love you". She'll be with us till about Tuesday. The kids have been enjoying her a lot.

Here she is chillin' and enjoying the peacefulness.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And There is More?!

Woke up this morning to find our pipes froze and we had no water. And then it hit me, I can just melt snow!
I needed to get some work done, but also needed to use my power washer which was out of the question. So instead I went outside and dug snow for hours and hours. Wasn't fun, but it needed to be done. Boy, my body is so sore.

Here's a huge mound of snow outside our front door, so high that Abby could sit on it and touch the icicles.
They say school is opening again tomorrow, but David says there are inches of ice on the hwy. Might have to stay home again. And then I hear more snow this weekend?!

Monday, February 09, 2009

This Wasn't Supposed to Happen!

Right when I was getting used to the warm winter we get slammed with a pretty big snow storm.
The plow hadn't come yet this morning, and there was too much snow on the road for me to attempt driving, so the kids stayed home from school. Good thing, school eventually closed and parents got the call to come pick up their kids early.
And school is cancelled again tomorrow. Our kids went, "Yeaaaayy!! I can stay up!"

There is so much snow piling up on our deck, about 1.5 feet, which got to about 2 feet now.

So much snow that Sage climbed up on the mound of snow and could reach the rim and pretend he slam-dunked!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wonton Ravioli

I made some lasagna a couple weeks ago and had some of the ricotta mixture (ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan) left over. There wasn't enough to make another lasagna, so I used them to make some ravioli. I remembered my sister-in-law telling me how she makes ravioli with wonton wrappers. Really?! I asked with a tone of disbelief. Yeah, it's really easy and tastes good too. So here I went.
We used the round gyoza wrappers, folded them in half instead of making one big disk.
Helper #1
Helper (?) #2

They cooked really quick, like a minute or so. Made some meatball marinara sauce, and wa-la! Ravioli! And yes, she was right... very easy and good. Sure beats rolling out pasta dough. ^_^

Monday, February 02, 2009

One Year Later...

Super Bowl Sunday marks our one year mark since making our first t-shirt on Super Bowl Sunday last year. We've come far in one year, had over 10 jobs, made shirts for Siren and the Tour Divide, had booths at two bike expos, set up a few shops online, and created about 20 designs. This year, we plan on doing more bike expos, one of which will be at a fundraiser race for Project Rwanda, and possibly starting our own website . I also hope to start creating more designs that aren't bike related and expand our products.

Our first shirt, one year ago...

Apple Raisin Crunch

Today was one of those days that what needs to be eaten determines what I bake. There were some apples going bad so I made some Apple raisin crunch to go with some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Mmmm, it was good. ^_^
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Grease 2 pt. baking pan.
Cut 4 medium apples into 1/4" pieces. Combine with 1 c. golden raisins, 2 T brown sugar, 1t grated orange rind, 1/4 c. orange juice, and 1 t. ground allspice. (I used cinnamon instead.) Place in pan.
In medium bowl, mix together, 1c. flour, 1c. brown sugar, 3/4 c. oats, 1/2 t. cinnamon. Cut in 1/2 c. butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on top of apple/raisin mixture.
Bake 30 minutes or golden. (For really decadent crunch, drizzle a few tablespoons melted butter over top before popping in oven. I tried this and yes, it definitely made the top crunchier.)

Happy Groundhog Day!

It is that time of year again for the eccentric holiday known as Groundhog Day.
Feb. 2 is the day “Punxsutawney Phil” emerges from his underground burrow to look for his shadow and predict if spring is right around the corner or if the country is in store for six more weeks of winter.
The holiday has roots that extend throughout the centuries in various cultures, but is believed to have been brought to America by German settlers in Pennsylvania.
According to, Pennsylvania’s earliest settlers were Germans and they determined that the groundhog, resembling the European hedgehog, was a most intelligent and sensible animal and therefore decided that if the sun did appear on Feb. 2, so wise an animal as the groundhog would see its shadow and hurry back into its underground home for another six weeks of winter.
“Punxsutawney Phil” was made famous by the Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper, which published the first prediction in 1886.
Since then, thousands of people have flocked to Gobbler’s Knob in the small Pennsylvania town to watch Phil make his annual prediction. (Kerrville Daily Times, Conor Harrison.)
For us, Groundhog Day has another meaning. It's the day David and I first started dating 13 years ago. And coincidentally, the first movie we saw together (when we were just friends) was "Groundhog Day." Having it land on a "holiday" makes it easier to remember, like our wedding anniversay which is on Flag Day.
Oh, and I believe that groundhog saw its shadow, so six more weeks of winter.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Our Super Bowl food today: bbq ribs, baked potatoes, veggie dip, rolls, fried wontons, skewered salted gizzards, homemade tortilla chips with salsa and a new one: spinach artichoke dip. It was rich and good. My girls loved it. The only change I might make next time, mixing in the mozzarella cheese into the dip instead of sprinkling on top that created a "crust" which made it a little harder to dip. Recipe by Allrecipes.

Coffee Walnut Muffins

The other day I had a sudden urge to bake. But I only had an hour before having to pick up my kids. I wanted to make a quickbread but since I didn't have enough time, I made muffins instead. I had never made coffee muffins before and if they taste like what I had imagined, they would of been very good. Unfortunately, they weren't even close, you couldn't really taste any coffee. Bummer.