Log in

No account? Create an account
The Community Design Photo Contest is still underway!
We don't have many entries, so I am extending the deadline by one week.

Entries are now due by Tuesday, February 3rd 2015 @ 11:59PM EST. :)

Little Mermaid Cake

Known and loved by many polish honey layered cake - this time in the shape of Little Mermaid. As many of you know, I don't take orders for the cakes anymore - no time baby! But for my favourite niece's birthday I am prepared to stay up all night :)
Little Mermaid Cake
Read more...Collapse )

Community Design Photo Contest

Before the holidays, I was contacted by LiveJournal about working with them to create a new (professional!) design for cooking that was more user-friendly, organized and attractive. They'd also like to help us promote the community on LJ in other communities and sites (including promotional placement on the LJ homepage).

On the topic of the design, though; we'd like to hold a photo contest here so that the community is represented in the design as well! Photos will be arranged in a collage for the header of the community. We will need at least five photos for this, and the exact number will be based on how many submissions (and therefore placements) we receive.

  1. Submitted photos must be photos you took yourself.

  2. Submitted photos must be cooking/food-related and not have a promotion or advertisement of any kind.

  3. Each person may submit up to two (2) photos in a comment to this post. All comments are screened.

  4. Photos should be at least 800px wide.

  5. Retouching is permitted for things like contrast, brightening, etc. but try not to go overboard with it.

  6. Photos must be submitted before 11:59PM EST on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 Tuesday, February 24th 2015 @ 11:59PM EST (will extend if needed).

The top 3 entrants will receive a free paid account that lasts a year! \o/

Submission form for submitting one photo:

Submission form for submitting two photos:

Almond Coconut Pastry Braid

I'm a little braid-crazy right now. I can't help it; this dough is the BEST EVER to work with. No chilling needed and it rolls out beautifully with minimal flour and minimal effort. If you're afraid of working with dough, THIS is the perfect beginner recipe for you! And look how pretty it is!

I stuffed this braid with a butter-almond-coconut concoction that is absolutely delicious. Enjoy!

recipe + photoCollapse )

To see photos showing how to fold the braid, read about how critically embarrassed middle schoolers can be, and see more photos of the finished product, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Vegan vegetable vindaloo.

Vegan vegetable vindaloo with homemade curry paste.

Read more...Collapse )

I LOVE pimento cheese and sometimes I get the biggest craving for a pimento-cheese-on-white-bread sandwich and a Coke. I have realized that homemade pimento cheese is VASTLY superior to the weird-orange store-bought kind (don't get me wrong, I love that crazy neon stuff too), and I've spent quite awhile perfecting the recipe!

This is simply the best pimento cheese ever: extra sharp cheddar, pimentos, perfect seasoning, and a jalapeño kick! Making this in the food processor will result in a more puréed condiment, while mixing by hand will leave things textured. I prefer the latter for presentation's sake, but the former when I'm in a hurry. Either way, this pimento cheese is ALWAYS better after being allowed to sit and meld in the fridge for a day before serving.

If you want to click over to the blog, I also include a recipe for Olive Cream Cheese in honor of a friend, Edward, who just passed away. It was his nostalgic childhood favorite.

What's your favorite simple sandwich?

recipe + photoCollapse )

To grab the Olive Cream Cheese recipe, read about Edward, and see more photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, cookingupastorm

Lemon Cheesecake Braid

It's another pastry braid!! Because I'm obsessed.

This is actually my favorite braid so far, and that's saying a lot. I'm a huge fan of lemon, and this Lemon Cheesecake Braid is the perfect breakfast or dessert. The pastry gets crisp and and the filling is absolutely sublime. Again, these braids look totally fancy and will impress guests, but they're shockingly easy to make.

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about the precious family I used to babysit for and their current struggle, get braid assembly help, and see more photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

I got it as a gift and it smells just wonderful, btu I ahven't used it yet. I thought using it to replace the normal amount of sugar I use for making muffins would be a good idea, butis that wise? will it be too strong compared to normal sugar?

also, random, but sometimes (not always) while my muffins come out great and puddy and lovely, they kind of deflate a bit after I take them out. Thgey are still spft and moist and wonderful, but the top ends up kinda flattish (and not all of them, just some)...any idea why? and how to stop it?


Honey-Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid

If you're having a New Year's Eve party (or even if you're just staying home in your jammies), this has to be on your table! This Honey-Drizzled Cranberry Brie Pastry Braid is totally gorgeous, absolutely delicious, shockingly easy! No, really, it's super simple to make.

Toast pecans for this recipe by baking them on a baking sheet for 4-6 minutes at 350 degrees F, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. If you wish, you can prepare this braid in advance: just complete all steps to assemble the braid, cover it with plastic wrap on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate overnight. Set it out on the counter in the morning as the oven preheats, egg wash it, and then bake as usual. I included some photos on the blog that show the process of marking and assembling a Raspberry Almond Braid as an example. It’s super easy to do, but a little fiddly to explain in just words, so hopefully the photos will help.

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about how I was an accidental jerk in fourth grade, see braid assembly photos, and continue to bask in the glow of my blog redesign, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Rum Baba

I often cook pastry with my son. We usually work in a kind of tandem. He loves to play with dough, and I like to eat it all.

To say the truth, it has become kind of tradition. And the initiative in most cases comes from my little son.

We have already cooked Gugelhupf with him, and we make Tiramisu very often, as well as lots of other desserts.

There are several recipes I brought from my trip to Armenia still waiting to be uploaded.

The procedure is usually the following: we sit down on a sofa with my laptop and my son chooses a dish by a photo. And the next day we cook it after buying all ingredients necessary.

This time my son has chosen this splendid Rum Baba: a great dessert on the Christmas Eve. One can enjoy it with a bottle of fine wine (but don’t give it to your child, OK?).

Dough ingredients:

  • 150 g flour

  • 6 g fresh (pressed) yeast

  • 65 g milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 60 g raisins

  • 20 g sugar

  • 20 g rum

  • 35 g butter


  • 1 l water

  • 500 g sugar

  • 100 g rum

  • 1 vanilla bean

  • Mint


  1. Prepare syrup first and then allow it to cool down, because hot rum baba shall be put in cold syrup.

  2. To prepare syrup, put water in a saucepan, add sugar, vanilla and mint.

  3. Bring to the boil, cook for 4-5 minutes, put aside to cool down.

  4. To prepare dough, mix all dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt) and put in a deep bowl.

  5. Warm the milk up to30ºC (86ºF), add yeast, eggs, rum and mix thoroughly.

  6. Add liquid composition to flour and mix for 15 minutes.

  7. The dough shall be elastic and not sticky.

  8. Finally, add butter previously warmed up to room temperature and cut in small pieces.

  9. Leave dough in a warm place (up to 40ºC, 104ºF) for 1 hour.

  10. After the dough has risen and become 3 times bigger, punch it down and put into baking cups (either silicone or metal).

  11. Leave the dough to rise once more (it will take about 20-30 minutes) and put into the oven for 35 minutes at 180ºC (356ºF).

  12. Babas shall become golden brown.

  13. Take hot pastry out of the forms and put immediately in cooled syrup.

  14. Turn babas over from time to time and syrup them, allowing syrup to soak in.

  15. Then put pastry on a metal grid, allowing extra syrup to drain away.

  16. Rum baba is best served well cooled with berries and mint syrup in a plate.

  17. And bon appetite! ... With love :)

Read more interesting recipes at blog.foodnchef.com

Over-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos

Over-the-Top Loaded Potato Nachos: roasted potatoes with tangy nacho cheese sauce. Perfect as a New Year’s Eve party appetizer! Orrr for eating all by yourself if you're stingy with your nachos.

recipeCollapse )

To read about my (lack of) social skills, hear about two other bloggers I love, and see more photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake
My blog has just had a huge makeover! The new design includes a slideshow of featured recipes, a beautiful hand-painted logo, and an amazing new Recipe Index with photo galleries! I'm in love. Please come see if you're interested.

In the meantime, CAKE. This beautiful and simple cake is glazed right out of the oven. It’s the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and would be ideal for breakfast or dessert.

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about how this year of teaching compares with last year and see more cake photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

This reminds me VERY much of Field Roast's apple and sage breakfast links, except I added in pulsed mushrooms, onions and cranberries.

Read more...Collapse )

Due to some relation to food, I’m suffering from extra weight. And I think, after visiting my blog that offers recipes of the world best chefs you can understand me.

To say the truth, I’m still looking for a solution of the problem how to keep myself fit. A diet? It’s boring. Sport? It’s difficult, considering the fact I travel a lot.

Eight Awesome Recipes from a Michelin Starred Executive Chef

There’s one more option: to eat tasty and healthy food. And the best places, where one can enjoy tasty food are Michelin starred restaurants. But what is to be done, if you don’t have time for this or just want to cook something by yourself? That’s why I’d like to offer one of 8 recipes from the best Michelin star chefs – participants of my Food’n’Chef project.

Are these dishes healthy? Sure they are! Since it was the main criterion of my choice.

But please note: some recipes are difficult to cook, and you’ll spend just half an hour for the other.

So, here they are:

Roe Deer Loin with Piedmont Aromatic Cheese Fondue and Foie Gras

Roe Deer Loin with Piedmont Aromatic Cheese Fondue and Foie Gras by Umberto BOMBANA, Chef of the 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA (3 Michelin stars) Hong Kong.

If you want something that is impossible to cook well without visiting the coolest deli in the city, without wandering through the benches with cheeses and not only – this recipe is for you. It’s also for you if in the freezer roe deer loin is waiting for its 15 minutes of fame. It by itself is a delicacy, and in combination with a dozen other ingredients – will be that culinary ghost, whose taste will be pursued for a long time and remembered when you have a regular meal again.

Recipe from Jean-Pierre Jacob: Roasted Salmon steak, carrot ginger

Roasted Salmon Steak, Carrot Ginger, Herbs Juice by 2 Michelin star Chef, Jean-Pierre Jacob, chef of “Le Bateau Ivre” restaurant (France)

Roasted salmon steak with carrot ginger and herbs juice. Three simple ingredients. This dish has beautiful colors. It’s very simple, without fat, cream, butter, because while cooking Chef Jean-Pierre Jacob always thinks about the figure of women, since he doesn’t want them to grow fat!

Recipe from Lau Yiu Fai: Poached Lobster with Bird’s Nest and

Poached Lobster with Bird’s Nest and Egg White by Lau Yiu Fai, Executive Chef of 欣圖軒 Yan Toh Heen (the 1-Michelin star Cantonese restaurant at InterContinental, Hong Kong)

The Chef is proud of this dish since their Yan Toh Heen team worked together to create it. They showcased this dish at the HKTB (Hong Kong Tourism Board) “Best of the Best” Culinary Awards in Fall 2012 and the dish won a gold medal.

It’s easy to prepare this dish at home. But there’s one condition: you should find Bird’s Nest – favourite Chinese delicates – in your town.


Squid with Fennel, Trumpets (Mushrooms), and Black Sausage by Oriol Ivern, by Oriol Ivern, Chef of the Hisop, Spain (1 Michelin Star)

The Chef has chosen this dish because it’s very typical for the Catalan cuisine to mix meat and fish and in Barcelona they call it “mar i muntanya” that means “sea and mountain”. But in this case Oriol tried to get the best from the squid and add some fresh ingredients to balance black Spanish sausage and the fennel.


Steamed Whole Fresh Crab Claw with Winter Melon by Lai Yau Tim, Chef of the Tim’s Kitchen, Hong Kong (1 Michelin Star)

Winter Melon / Wax gourd is the mysterious fruit, because exteriorly and by the taste it looks like a vegetable. It is often used in Asian cuisine, and another mystery is that it doesn’t taste like a melon or a pumpkin, but more like the most common grandma’s squash. So goes the world.

We won’t describe crab flavouring properties, because it’s a little torture to think about it without eating.

Hokkaido-Sea-Scallop-Carpaccio-Slow-Cooked-Egg-and-White-Truffle-Dressing копия

Scallop Carpaccio, Soft Cooked Egg and White Truffle Dressing by Harlan Goldstein, Chef of the Gold by Harlan Goldstein, Hong Kong (2 Michelin Star)

This dish was created for the opening of the Gold restaurant. It has now become the signature dish. The sweetness of the Hokkaido Scallop, the texture of the 52 degree slow-cooked Italian egg and the fragrant taste of the white truffle dressing just make you heart go boom boom boom.

Black and white cuttlefish by Luigi Taglienti, Chef of the Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala

Cuttlefish Black and White by Luigi Taglienti, Chef of the Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, Italy (1 Michelin Star)

When Luigi brought me this dish, I thought: ‘Oh my God, what on Earth is this? Some kind of Italian Yin and Yang? How will I shoot this?

But this is how sees modern recipes and the result of his culinary path. And this dish is also very popular in Luigi’s restaurant. Come to Milano, enjoy this dish, you can’t but fall for it! Or you can cook it at home. Here’s its recipe :)

Ravioli filled with ricotta and lemon from Amalfi by De Berardinis Luca, Chef of the Ristorante IL MILIONE_HD_1

Ravioli filled with ricotta and lemon from Amalfi by De Berardinis Luca, Ristorante IL MILIONE (1 Michelin Star), Italy.

There’s only one reason to envy a food-photographer. No, actually two. The first reason is the fact that food-photographers do what they love. And the second reason is that a food-photographer can eat for free in Michelin-starred restaurants.

But you shouldn’t be envy at least today. Since you have an opportunity to cook this splendid dish of this great, but very modest Michelin-starred Chef De Berardinis Luca.

Super Fancy Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

This recipes combines a moist, rich layer cake with a tangy chocolate cheesecake to make a super fancy, super delicious holiday masterpiece. If you love chocolate, this is your dessert! We ate this for Thanksgiving dessert, but it's perfect for a Christmas table too.


recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about why my Christmas spirit has been hard to find, join me on the island of misfit toys, and see more cake photos, come see the full post on Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Just today I’ve encountered an excellent idea of how to celebrate the New Year. Dispose randomly all seven deadly sins from the Bible in your company and enjoy them the whole night long.

And we started to discuss all these seven sins with my friends to find out the choice of each other. Well, I think you understand why it was me who chose gluttony.

And all of us came to the same conclusion, that it would be a bad luck for a person to get envy sin. Just try to imagine how difficult it might be to remain the only envy person, while everyone is enjoying their sins.

Well then…

There’s only one reason to envy a food-photographer. No, actually two. The first reason is the fact that food-photographers do what they love, while you’re wearing out the seat of your trousers in the office. It’s roughly speaking, in case you’re really envy. Remember, envy is a bad thing:)

And the second reason is that a food-photographer can eat for free in Michelin-starred restaurants. And believe me, we do it with a really great pleasure. But gluttony has a by-effect. You gain weight really fast. I’ve already wrote about this here and here.

But you shouldn’t be envy at least today. Since you have an opportunity to cook this splendid dish of this great, but very modest Michelin-starred Chef De Berardinis Luca.

And I’ve got some more good news for you. You can hardly gain any weight with this dish.


  • 3 eggs

  • 200 grs flour 200 grs ricotta - 10 grs preserved lemon

  • 1 lemon (zest)

  • 100 grs crabmeat

  • 1 broccoli

  • 4 tomatoes (confit)

  • Aromatics herbs

  • 100 grs ricotta


  1. Mix the ricotta cheese with salt, pepper, candy lemon and fresh lemon zest.

  2. Roll out the dough and fill with the ricotta cheese.

  3. On the side, prepare a cream of broccoli, and keep aside some broccoli cream.

  4. Blanch the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and put in the oven to dry.

  5. Cook the pasta and mix with the crab meat.

  6. Dispose the dish like mentioned on the picture.

Read more interesting recipes here blog.foodnchef.com

Arroz del Senyoret or Arroz a banda

Lots of tourists came to Spain solely for its paella. And I can say, its unforgettable taste is really worth travelling half-way round the world. To say the truth, I tasted the best paella for tourists, as it’s named by Jorge – creative and charismatic Spanish chef who shared the recipe of his dish for..

And I think, that this is the dish that’s cooked perfectly well everywhere in Spain. A bit better in some places and a bit worse in other. But it’s great everywhere.

I was lucky. I didn’t have to travel to Spain to taste real (not tourist) paella (although I would gladly enjoy beauty of this country). Jorge de Angel Moliner came to me to Odessa. And cooked this splendid dish.

And now, I’d like to share recipe of Arroz a banda, which can be literary translated as Rice apart. This is Valencia speciality, solely for locals. Plainly speaking, this is a taste of real Valencia.

Simple and tasty. This is real Spain!


  • 150 g Rice Bomba (Arroz Bomba)

  • 700 g prawn stock (or white fish stock)

  • 100 g angler

  • 150 g prawns 16/20, fresh-frozen

  • 100 g cuttlefish

  • 30 g Pomito

  • 8 g garlic

  • 1 Noras pepper

  • 1 g smoked bell pepper

  • Saffron or food colouring

  • Salt


  1. Roast chopped garlic in olive oil.

  2. Add seafood and fish and fry for 2-3 minutes, then put prawns aside.

  3. Add pomito and roast till they become orange.

  4. Add bell and Noras peppers, stir and add stock at once.

  5. Bring to the boil, add salt and saffron.

  6. Cook for 5 minutes and add rice.

  7. Cook until the rice absorbs the whole stock.

  8. Serve with aioli.

Lamb Roll

Everything is relative. There are no bad and no good things. There is only our perception of the situation.

You might make an objection, of course, and ask: ‘Will it be bad or good, if your friend misses a plane causing a problem for the whole system of non-refundable tickets?’ My answer will be ‘Bad’.

But what if I say, there was a plane crash? Will the fact that my friend missed the plane be bad or good then?

So, the situation is neutral. And we impose negative or positive connotation basing on our knowledge and the case itself.

The same is with Armenia.

Armenians like to joke that all their products are natural or ‘eco’, as people like to say nowadays. But they immediately add, they simply have no money for chemicals.

Is it good or bad? Yes! It’s good! It means, I can come to a friendly and picturesque country and enjoy natural cheap products!

But is it good for a farmer?

Globalisation is very slow and reluctant in Armenia. This highland and magic country respects traditions of local cuisine. French and Italian restaurants are still something unusual.
But there are plenty of restaurants and cafés with local and, take my word, delicious cuisine.

Is it good or bad?

Everything is relative.

And I want to start revealing Armenia not with a traditional recipe. To be precise, I want to show Armenia as a developing country that at the same time preserves local traditions.

That’s why, today’s dish is traditional for Armenia, but contains elements of French cuisine and serving.

Is it good or bad? Please welcome: Lamb Roll from Edgar Yeganyan – a charismatic Chef at Charles Restaurant.

P.S.: You can learn more about Armenian Roll from my travel notes about Armenia.


  • 200 g lamb fillet

  • 20 g lamb kidneys

  • 30 g egg-plants

  • 20 g tomatoes

  • 15 g onion

  • Basil, estragon, thyme, dill, parsley


  • 20 g courgettes

  • 30 g carrots

  • 150 g spinach

  • 20 g olive oil

  • Salt, ground black pepper


  1. Fry egg-plants and tomatoes in a pan for 5 minutes.

  2. Then put them on the meat and add lamb kidneys and chopped onion.

  3. Make a roll.

  4. Put into the heated oven at the temperature of 180C (356F).

  5. And leave for 20 minutes.


  1. Roast chopped courgettes, carrots and spinach in olive oil for about 5 minutes.

  2. Put garnish on the middle of a plate and add lamb roll on top.

Foie gras custard with crispy shallot

Pate is one of my vices. Strong coffee, aromatic roll, smell of freshly cut flowers put in a vase on the table and pate which is spread on the piece of bread by someone you love – this is the best and the most romantic breakfast.

Add a long kiss, tender touch and a sweet promising smile… Well, I’ve got somehow carried away. So let’s start cooking fantastic French pate of Malay style as offered by the most modest and one of the greatest chefs of Kuala Lumpur.

A royal dessertKhanom Mor Kaeng Khai is the most ancient Thai dessert originated since Sri Ayutthaya period. It was first found in the ancient foreign dispatch that Chow Phaya Vichayen’s wife taught Thais to make Khanom Mor Kaeng. It was baked in a curry pot (Mor Kaeng) in that time. Later trays were used instead.


  • 200 g duck foie gras, de-veined

  • 5 duck egg

  • 250 ml coconut milk

  • 125 ml cream

  • 150 g palm sugar

  • 5 pandanus leaves

  • 2 tbsp crisp fried shallot


  1. Blend the duck foie gras with 2 tbsp of crisp fried shallot and cream until its smooth, set aside.

  2. Break all the eggs into a bowl, add sugar and coconut milk.

  3. Mix thoroughly by kneading with the pandanus leaves until the sugar has dissolved.

  4. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, add foie gras mixture, and mix well.

  5. Pour into baking pan and bake in an oven at 350F for 30 minutes or until the custard is done and the surface is golden brown.

  6. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool.

  7. Sprinkle with the crisp fried shallot, and cut into pieces to serve.

Find more interesting recipes here: blog.foodnchef.com

Gingerbread Quick Bread with Lemon Glaze

If you do homemade gifts for Christmas, here's the perfect idea! The foil steaming technique means that this gingerbread quick bread is moist and delicious, and the lemon glaze is the perfect sweet zing on top! I may or may not have eaten my slice with a scoop of lemon ice cream (I did.)

recipe + photoCollapse )

To talk about how to accomplish productive dialogue, how to be an ally, and see more photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Beef Squares

I can bet your quests will never guess what are you serving them! Easy and fast to make, tasty and unusual - beef squares. Beef could be substituted with any other ground meat - turkey, chiken or even ground fish. As you would see on the pictures-  made by Alissa - yes, those tiny hands are not mine - so, you have no excuse for not trying them!
Foody Thursday - Beef Squares - Ready to go
Read more...Collapse )


Sooooo . . . I've heard a million times that gingerbread and lemon is a perfect flavor combination, but I didn't really believe it until I was eating a gingerbread slice at Starbucks one day and tasted the lemon note. REVELATION. I will never eat gingerbread without lemon again. (BTW, if you know how I am at detecting "flavor notes" in wine, you will realize this incident was a miracle.)

This gooey butter cake is my favorite thing I've made recently. The gingerbread flavor is Christmassy and delicious, and the pile of crisp, tart lemon ice cream is the perfect complement. Be sure to grab some really amazing lemon ice cream somewhere, because it definitely makes a difference. I used GaGa Lemon.

By the way, I'm on the Plugra Butter Brigade again this year! Woohoo! So this recipe was developed for them.

recipe + photoCollapse )

To discuss whether you're the stellar-gift-giver or terrible-gift-giver of your family (no shame), give me gift ideas, and see more photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake
I recently got a chance to visit ALDI headquarters near Chicago. I've written a couple of posts on the experience, and this one involves how brands create a "screen of expectation" in you that makes you more likely to enjoy (and therefore buy!) their product. This doesn't bother me, but I do like for it to be transparent. I also don't always want to pay for it -- ALDI strips some of that away and thereby strips costs. Pretty cool. I'm new to ALDI, but it has sort of a cult following if my readers are any indication! Do you guys shop there?

I also made you these Gingerbread Cookie Cups with Orange Cream. They start with rich, spicy gingerbread cups that are gooey on the inside. Light and sweet orange cream is piped over top. They are incredible!

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about my trip to ALDI headquarters, learn about how your "screen of expectation" affects what you buy, and see more photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

Brown Butter Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Ugh, I'm getting behind again! This is simply the best mashed potato recipe ever. And yes, I've tried Pioneer Woman's epic mashed potato recipe, so that's saying something. Brown butter just does WILD things to potatoes that you really must experience.

I missed posting this for you before Thanksgiving, but it'll be perfect on a Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus/Monday dinner table as well :)

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about why ice packs are middle school kids' love language and see more potato photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake

48-Hour Cooked Short Ribs, Rocoto Mustard

Hong-Kong reveals itself gradually. First, you are stunned with a huge amount of people and its multi-nationality. Then you notice its greatness. Huge skyscrapers, magnificent parks…

And it’s only then, after you’ve enjoyed the beauty of big things, when you start noticing small ones: the details you are surrounded with in any area of the city, preserved parts of the buildings of colonial period and new constructions mindfully created by the city authorities.

This is what I can say in respect of the streets. But if you want to go out and visit some restaurants, the situation is quite as interesting. Hong-Kong is a port city, attracting representatives of different nationalities that can’t but fall in love with it.

And today you’re a guest of a great Scandinavian – Oyvind Naesheim, Nobu Chef. This is due to him that the restaurant has a Michelin star.

Modest and charming, he creates splendid and a bit complicated dishes. And today’s recipe is no exception.

If you can be patient enough, try to cook his extremely tasty and popular dish: 48-Hour Cooked Short Ribs, Rocoto Mustard.


  • 400g boneless short-ribs, trimmed of excess fat,

  • 4 florets of broccoli

  • 4 shitake (mushrooms) (Star cut)

  • 1 Japanese eggplant

Soy glace

  • 2 Tablespoons Sake

  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons Soy sauce

Rocoto Mustard

  • 1 teaspoon Rocoto paste (or other hot chili paste)

  • 2 Table spoons Dijon Mustard


  1. Vacuum pack the short ribs, and cook sous vide for 48 hours at 60C.

  2. Once ready, plunge in ice water. Store in the fridge until use (for up to 3 days).

  3. When ready to use, remove meat from the bag and leave on bench for 30 min.

  4. Then place the meat in an oven at 180C for about 10 minutes.

  5. Use a thermometer and check core temperature. It should reach 50C.

  6. Then remove from the oven and place in a hot pan with the combined soy glace.

  7. Let the mix reduce and then glace all sides of the meat.

  8. Once finished, set aside and rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thick slices.

  9. Roast the eggplant, broccoli and shitake (mushrooms) in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper.

  10. For the rocoto mustard, combine the ingredients and place directly in a small dipping bowl with one for each guest.

  11. First place the meat on the plate; then arrange the beef nicely, so it leans on the vegetables.

  12. Serve the rocoto mustard on the side.

Sausage with fried potatoes-garlic, salt&pepper and colby jack cheese on top for dinner tonight

Thanksgiving Turkey

Cities and times, they all got mixed up on a plate. All that’s left to do is to dress them up with some smiley sauce and washed it down with a glass of Beaujolais nouveau to the accompaniment of my beloved Frank Sinatra.

This American dish is a must for Thanksgiving dinner, which is held on the fourth Thursday of November. Try making it yourself and you’ll agree that you’ve never tasted a better turkey!


  • 1 whole turkey (9 to 40 lb.)

Stuffing (for 2 lb. of turkey):

  • 150 g chicken fillet

  • 150 g pork leg

  • 50 g walnuts

  • 20 g raisins

  • 50 g sweet peas

  • 50 g sweet pepper

  • 50 g onion

  • 25 g carrot

  • 1 egg (60 g)

  • 100 g cream (30%)

  • 5 g pepper, freshly ground

  • 20 g sea salt

  • 5 g sugar

Side dish (per person):

  • 100 g potatoes

  • 40 g Brussels sprouts

  • 30 g sweet peas

  • 30 g baby carrot

  • 15 g clarified butter

  • 3 g sea salt

  • 1 g pepper, freshly ground

Sauce (for 100 g):

  • 100 g cranberries

  • 10 g Demi-glace

  • 10 g sugar

  • 3 g salt

  • 10 g clarified butter

  • 3 g balsamic glacé

  • 20 g dry red wine


  1. Rub the turkey liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic.

  2. Grind all the ingredients for stuffing, add eggs and spices, and mix well.

  3. Stuff the turkey with the prepared mixture.

  4. Marinate for one hour.

  5. Place the stuffed turkey into a plastic baking bag and bake for two hours at 300F.

  6. Remove the bag, cover the turkey with sugar syrup and bake for 5-7 minutes at 410F.

Side dish:

  1. Cut previously boiled potatoes into cubes and fry in butter. By turns, add boiled Brussels sprouts, carrot, and peas, season to taste.


  1. Purée cranberries in a blender, then strain.

  2. Combine all sauce ingredients (except butter and cranberries) in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then add cranberry purée and bring to a boil again. Season to taste, add cold butter, remove from the heat, and mix thoroughly with a whisk.


  1. On a large plate, arrange vegetables in a circle; place a piece of stuffing in the center and cover it with slices of turkey breast and pieces of thigh or wing. Pour cranberry sauce over the meat.

Author: http://blog.foodnchef.com/
Hi all.

Due to some bank and payroll errors with my SOs paycheck(s), we're in a bit of a bind for cash this month and the next. We'll receive back pay for these troubles, but while we are low on cash, I'm in search of some cheep meals for the next month or two. Preferably casseroles, soups, stews, one-pots, bakes, etc. that I can make a lot of and eat leftover for a few days. Other options are welcome though!

No allergies or dietary restrictions, though suggestions that aren't completely unhealthy would be super. Or even ideas to help the standard low cost starchy pasta/potato/rice dishes be a bit more nutritious would be great!

Thanks in advance to anyone who has suggestions, I really appreciate the help. :)

ETA: I've never done much with beans or lentils, but I like both, so would be very interested in learning something to do with them! I'd like to buy some dry beans and go from there, so if you have knowledge, tips, or recipies in that department, I'd be doubly grateful.

Fancy Thanksgiving Sides Ideas

Hi!  It's Thanksgiving time again and I'm heading over to my boyfriend's parents' home for Thanksgiving Dinner.

His mom will be making the turkey and I'm assuming stuffing (she does both inside/outside bird stuffing), she's asked if we could bring some "fancy" Thanksgiving side dishes.

We're pretty creative n' all, but I'm poking around online and trying to get some ideas for fancy sides.  There's so many possibilities out there.

This is going to probably have to feed a dozen people.

Got any "fancy" suggetions?

Thanks folks!


Do you want to lose some weight? Actually, this is not the case, if one of your friends is Sergei Borodkin, great pastry Chef from Israel. His weapon, his heavy artillery is bread and buns.
A few days ago I watched an excellent video on Tedx.com about overuse of the word ‘awesome’. They say there are, in fact, not so many awesome things in our life.
Sergei’s pastry is awesome. Actually, no. It’s AWESOME!
And I’ve got a great number of these splendid and, believe me, very tasty recipes. All you have to do is to check this blog from time to time for focaccia or, for example, chocolate brioche…
And meanwhile just enjoy this excellent Gugelhupf. It’s veeery tasty!
Gugelhupf is a southern German, Austrian, Swiss and Alsatian term for a marble cake, cooked of yeast. Combination of eggs, butter and sugar creates rich taste. In Jewish culinary, Gugelhupfhas has its analogue named ‘babka’.
flour - 400 g
yeast - 20 g
water - 80 ml
2 eggs
butter - 60 g
sugar - 60g
salt - 10 g
cream - 80 g
butter - 50 g
bitter chocolate - 100 g
Sift out flavour, add sugar and salt while stirring.
Add yeast, dissolved previously in water.
Add small chunks of cold butter and eggs then, while stirring.
Wrap in a cling film and let the dough rise at room temperature.
Prepare chocolate stuffing by dissolving chocolate and butter in cream.
Roll out the dough into thin rectangular layer, spread chocolate stuffing over it and roll the dough.
Cut the roll in 15-cm pieces and put in a circle into Gugelhupf baking dish, preliminary oiled and covered with flaked almonds.
Cover dish with towel and let the dough rise for around 20-30 minutes, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 180-200 degrees.

Mini burger platter (Chicken and Beef)

You can find almost everything in Hong-Kong with its diversity. There are restaurants of various nationalities, there are restaurants with beautiful sceneries opening from terraces, there are Michelin restaurants, restaurants of stars and famous people.
And in Kowloon near Tsim Sha Tsui underground station there’s hidden Charlie Brown Café that looks small outside, but is really big inside. I wish you could see, my dear reader, the excitement with which children and adults enter this restaurant. Old grandpas with grey hair say that it’s a part of many tourist routes, marked as must-see.
I was lucky to make shooting for this place. What a pleasure it was to watch small and big children – customers of my chef.
Chicken patty
90 gms ground chicken
1 egg
3.2 ml milk
2.5 gms bread crumbs
8 gms peeled shallots
0.12 gms thyme
0.08 gms parsley
A little salt, sugar and black pepper
Beef patty
90 gms ground beef
1 egg
2.6 ml milk
1.5 gms bread crumbs
10 gms chopped onion
0.5 gms garlic
0.08 gms thyme
A little salt, sugar and black pepper
10 gms mixed veggie
5 gms cherry tomato
5 gms balsamic vinegar
Potato Wedge
150 gms potato wedge
1 gm canjun powder
For the mini rolls :
2 mini rolls
2 sliced tomato
1 sliced cucumber
2 sliced lettuce
2 pcs sweet pickles
Mix the 2 patties ingredients seperately
Cook the patties under grill till both sides turned golden, then into oven for 6 min. (180F)
Split the rolls and toast the cut surfaces lightly
Spread butter on the bottom halves
Add lettuce, 1 sliced tomato, 2 pcs sweet pickles and beef patty
Add lettuce, 1 sliced tomato & cucumber, and chicken patty
Finally, the top half of the roll

Lemon cookies - INQUIRY

So I have seen many various recipes throughout my search to make some lemon cookies today, all with about the same ingredients, and these seem to be very simple to make. My issue is, they all call for UNSALTED butter.. my butter is not. Is there any way to use the basic lemon cookie recipe, using the salted butter, and possibly modifiying the amount of sugar to compensate for the salted butter?

I appreciate any and all feedback.. and if you happen to have a lemon cookie recipe (using only fresh lemon, not extract) please feel free to share with me :) THANKS!!

Kitchen Gadgets

I was wondering if y'all could give me some advice regarding food processors and hand mixers. Primarily, I'm looking for recommendations for well made versions of either that would be good for a small kitchen. I'd also like your opinions on food processors vs. blenders as well as stand mixers vs. hand mixers (as some of the various department stores such as Wal-Mart have stand mixers for pretty cheap lately).

Microwave chocolate cake

Who's up for a group project?

Yesterday I was experimenting with microwave chocolate cakes and I decided to try a new thing. Most of the recipes I've seen call for eggs but I didn't have them so I tried something new:

1 part self-raising flour
1 part cocoa powder
1 part natural yogurt
sugar to taste (I guess no need if you use sweetened yogurt)

Microwave on high until it stops growing (depends on quantity).

I got a nice, somewhat moist crumbly texture, but I feel it can be improved.
Would anyone be willing to try this out and see what can be done different for a perfect result?
The idea is to make it easy, memorable and flexible for different quantities (instead of fixed measures).

They're not really bad yet, but they're no longer in that 'enjoyable-for-salad' state, and while they for sure can be used mashed or in a soup, I don't anticipate any dishes with that in the immediate future.see, my mom's married to a guy with his own produce so there's never a shortage of goodies, sometimes more than we know what to do with or give to friends- I've taken to dicing up stuff like spring onions, celery, zucchini and such other goodies and they keep awesomely well in the freezer, so whenever I do have the time to make soup I have already the goodies set to go... I guess what I'm asking here is what would be more advisable?

I don't think the carrots are in a state they will grate without difficulty, so my remaining options (since I don't want the trouble of it) is:

a) process them: I always do these with carrots before adding them to sauces, I was thinking of doing that, put them in a bad and freeze them, then add it to a soup for color flavor and a bit of 'body'. I think there should be no problem with this?

b) just dice them up in little chunks and freeze them, then just add that to an hypothetical future soup or mashed goodness.

Would that work? or do you guys have any other ideas for carrots that are a little too soft for grating?

Christmas dinner rituals

Hello, dear cooks. I come to you with an inquiry.

Every year on the first Saturday night in December, I host what I call "dinner with a Christmas tree." Meaning: I invite about 10 of my nearest and dearest friends to drive to my little tiny old creaky house in the country. We sit for about an hour enjoying appetizers and wine around the fire in the stove. Then we sit down and I serve a semi-formal dinner. Sometimes I follow a tradition such as a Hanukkah dinner with latkes and brisket. Other times I make a hearty wintertime meal like cassoulet or choucroute. I try to decorate the table accordingly. The Christmas tree twinkles in the corner of the room. It's festive without presents or obligations. This year is a combination of foods I like and that I think my guests will like too - advocaat (a Dutch eggnog made by me), garlicky roast beef with latkes, glazed carrots, panna cotta.

Once in a while I try to incorporate a small ritual or other element to make it memorable. When I had the Hanukkah dinner, I asked a friend to tell the story of the Festival of Lights; she went above and beyond by memorizing the prayer in Hebrew. I scattered gelt across the blue-and-silver table and we lit a sorta-menorah. Another year I handed out Christmas crackers and there was a lot of screeching and laughing as they exploded, and some of the prizes scattered all over the room.

My guest have known each other through good times (mostly) and some very bad times, where we have been there for each other. The list includes Christians, agnostics, gay, straight, single, married, Democrats, Republicans. We are our own inner circle. I would like to include a small, short... something. Maybe a Q&A. Maybe a small ritual that incorporates the holiday theme.

So I come to you this year and ask: what is a fun and simple tradition you might include in a non-denominational dinner to observe the season?

X-posted to food

Perfect Oreo Dessert

1 package Oreos
½ stick butter
One 8 ounce pkg cream cheese, softened
1 small package vanilla instant pudding
One 8 ounce container of Cool Whip
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar

Crush Oreos in a 9×13 pan (save a few for topping).
Melt butter and pour over Oreos.
Mix together pudding mix, milk, cream cheese, and sugar.
Fold in cool whip. Spread over Oreos.
Sprinkle remaining crushed Oreos on top.
Chill before serving.

Recipe credit here.

Pumpkin and Pecan Pie Pastry Braid

Looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert (or even, let's be real, breakfast)? Forget choosing between pumpkin pie and pecan pie, because I just combined them in this pastry braid!

You can even prepare this braid in advance: just complete all steps to assemble the braid, cover it with plastic wrap on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate overnight. Set it out on the counter in the morning as the oven preheats, egg wash it, and then bake as usual. I included some photos below the recipe on my blog that show the process of marking and assembling a Raspberry Almond Braid to show the process of assembly. It's super easy to do, but a little fiddly to explain in just words. So click over if you need to see the photos.

recipe + photoCollapse )

To read about my upcoming travels, advise me about what to do/WEAR in Chicago, and see more photos (include example process photos), please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, cooking, bakebakebake
Hello everyone! I was wondering if anyone had any really great bacon and cheddar potato recipes that use California baby gold potatoes? I have a bag and I'd like to use it up before it goes bad. I would like if the recipes do not have ranch or any eggs in the as I am allergic to them.

The only recipe I know of takes 10-12 hours in the slow cooker on low and obviously I do not have that kind of time before dinner tonight. If I was going to make that recipe in the oven does anyone know what temp and how long I'd need to cook them for?


Roasted Vegetables

I'm a big fan of roasted vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, garlic...). I know I have made them in the past and have gotten a really nice uniform, crispy exterior. Problem is, I can never figure out how to replicate that.

I've tried all sorts of temperatures from 350 to 450, with various amounts of turning every few minutes to barely turning at all, and I have yet to come across the perfect method.

Anyone have any tips?


Latest Month

September 2017

Page Summary


RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow