Monday, June 25, 2007

My First Gumpaste Flower

Gumpaste? What IS that?? Well, basically it is like play dough made out of sugar and a few other things. It sticks to your hands (at least my hands) when you're trying to work with it and so far it's a pain in the butt. I was trying to work in the food coloring and it made a huge mess. Folks use it to make everything from fancy flowers to little dots or whatever you want to decorate a cake. Hopefully it will be easier next time. At any rate, here are my very first flowers.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Peanut Butter & Jelly Mini Cupcakes

My friend Katharine gave me a very nice book for my birthday: it's simply called "Cupcakes" by Susanna Tee. I used the Peanut Butter cupcake recipe in that book plus the Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting recipe in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World to make these bite-sized treats. I also used my new Kitchen Aid mixer for the very first time and it did make things a lot easier.

Before frosting, I injected seedless blackberry jam with a piping bag inside each one. These came out really good. I started working on my first gum paste flower (purple) but they need to dry over night : ( Need to make time for those babies, but I'll let you know how they turn out.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's heeeeeeeeerre!

The word "obsessed" is so played out. It's joined the ranks of "amazing" and "surreal." So, how shall I put this? I am fixated, preoccupied if you will, with cupcakes. I mean, when my boyfriend is talking about something totally non-related to cupcakes, a typical response from me is "That peanut butter and jelly cupcake from Yummy cupcakes had peanut butter cake, right?" (that actually happened).

So, you an imagine my pleasure when the postman dropped off my new WILTON CUPCAKE TOWER!! Did I really NEED this? no. But in a way I do. I offered to bake up to a 100 cupcakes for a friend's birthday party, and you know a sister needs a tower for that!

Also, I went and bought Wilton's gum paste flower kit. It will help me make pretty, delicate flowers for all my sweet cakes. Don't worry, I will keep you posted.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Phoreign: Fabulous Pho

Pho Reign on UrbanspoonThere is a little stretch of Sawtelle Blvd in Los Angeles with a wealth of Asian restaurants, shops, grocery markets, cafes, etc. In this area is my favorite place for Vietnamese Pho (pronounced "fuh"). While the chicken is pretty good, the best one is the BBQ beef and shrimp. Unlike many places with beef Pho, this beef is grilled with a delicious sauce instead of just boiled. The broth is yummy and flavorful. Add in your sprouts, herbs, lime and whatever sauces you fancy, and dive in!

Also here, for an appetizer, the BBQ beef and shrimp fresh* spring rolls and the roast pork fresh* spring rolls are great. Both have a lot more flavor than the usual spring rolls that contain plain shrimp or tofu.

* When I say fresh, I mean that these spring rolls themselves are not cooked. Instead, the herbs, veggies and meats are rolled in moistened rice paper and served with a tasty sweet dipping sauce.

2123 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

A Journey of a Million Miles..

One of my favorite quotes of all time I actually heard in an episode of Roseanne, one of my favorite TV programs of all time. It is: "A Journey of a Million Miles Begins with One Step." It was said by Jacqui, Roseanne's skinny and loveably messed up sister. Not that a blog should seem like a million miles, something insanely daunting and not fun, but somehow it seemed like a good start to things. Basically, this will be my food blog. I know, I know, who needs another food blog? No one does, that's who. But I felt the need to create one because I love food. I also like reading a few blogs. So, maybe this will be fun.

I was going to make a blog about healthy food, but not everything I want to post would technically be "healthy" (whatever that is). So, I thought "happy" would be a better word to use. So, some things are healthy, some are not, but all of them should be yummy and all of them should make you happy, like a rainbow makes you happy* (* If a rainbow doesn't make you happy, then you might have some problems).

Some of the posts and photos will be food from local establishments. I live on LA's west side, and there is a lot of good food here. One can only try to to refrain from taking a picture of her plate with her Hello Kitty pink bling cell phone to the utter dismay of her dining companions. But, it needs to be done. Some of the food will be stuff I make, in which case I will certainly post the recipe IF I can remember what I put in it by the time I am done. I wouldn't want to post some shoddy estimate and have you try it and then post nasty comments in my fresh new blog.

Well, I am off!

Amendment 1: Sometimes I will post about other things just because I feel like it.
Amendment 2: I am fully aware that there are lots of great moderate to expensive priced restaurants in my area. I purposely write about the lower to moderate costing ones. I don't think I am cheap, and I am not poor. I just think you shouldn't have to spend too much to eat great food. We go to fancy restaurants on birthdays, anniversaries, times like that. Plus, don't you think it's more of a challenge finding affordable yummies?