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Showing posts from 2011

The End of the Beginning: The Last Ackbar

It was November 15th, 2011 - a day the admiral and his friends wouldn't soon forget.  "Hey, guys, look what came for us! It's a Jelly Belly dispenser from Lucasfilm," said Spidey. "Interesting," replied Ackbar. "Put it down then," said Ironman impatiently.  "Okay, okay," Spidey grunted.  The dispenser hit the ground with a thud.  "You should do the honors, since it's from your homeland, Admiral." "Lucasfilm makes the coolest stuff! I can't believe they'd send something like this!" Ackbar said excitedly. "Ooh, what is it?" Lizzie asked. "Only one way to find out," Ironman grinned, staring down at the shiny ball that emerged from the dispenser. Ironman gasped as he saw the horror that the capsule contained. "You're killing me, Ironman! What is it?!" shrieked Ackbar. "It can't be that bad... can it?" questioned Spidey, his voice full of worry

Matcha Green Tea Chocolates

Thought I'd do some more matcha green tea flavored white chocolates for the holidays. Stacey's Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Ingredients 16 oz Guittard white chocolate couverture 0.5 oz matcha green tea powder 4-8 oz Guittard 38% milk chocolate couverture I tempered the chocolate and then sprinkled in the green tea powder a little bit at a time, to avoid clumping.  I also made sure to crush any lumps in the powder with a spoon beforehand. I used the leaf and seashell molds.  For the seashell molds (18 count), I added some milk chocolate to the bottom for a nice two-toned effect. I tempered the milk chocolate after filling with the matcha white chocolate and so when I topped off with the milk chocolate, the white was already mostly set. Also, it's best to tap the mold as you fill each cavity to release any bubbles and make sure the chocolate fills the molds evenly.  I usually just use a teaspoon to fill each mold.  Once they'd cooled for several hours at room t

Matcha Chocolate Covered Caramels

I took a break in November to try to do Nanowrimo (and failed again, sigh ) but I'm back! I thought I'd try a little caramel variation. I made my regular caramel recipe and then I covered it in a mixture of white chocolate couverture and some matcha green tea powder. I can't remember exactly how much green tea powder, but I think I could have gone a little stronger. I think it was something like this: 2 cups Guittard white chocolate couverture discs 1-2 tsp matcha green tea powder, organic Hawaiian Black Sea Salt Caramels El Rey Semisweet dark chocolate I put a layer of the dark chocolate on the bottom so it would be easier for dipping (like in the original recipe). Then I tempered the white chocolate, gently mixed in the matcha powder, and dipped some rectangles of caramel in it with a dipping fork.  I finished them with a sprinkling of Hawaiian Black Sea Salt.  It was pretty yummy, but I definitely think more matcha next time.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I got this super cute Halloween chocolate mold so I made a bunch of little Halloween chocolates. But then I didn't know what to do with them, so I opted for making cupcakes for a pumpkin carving party that I was going to, and using the little chocolates as decorations. :) Stacey's Pumpkin Cupcake Ingredients: 1c unbleached white flour, organic 3/4c whole wheat flour, organic 1/4c brown rice flour, organic 1tbs cornstarch 3/4c dark brown sugar, organic 1tsp baking soda 1tsp baking powder 1tsp salt 1tbs cinnamon 1/2tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 can pumpkin, organic (15 oz) 2 eggs, organic 2 tsp vanilla bean paste 1/2c nonfat yogurt, organic 1/2c butter, salted, organic (1 stick) 1/4c whole milk, organic 1 tsp fresh grated ginger For the frosting, I thought I'd try using Neufchâtel. I think I will use regular cream cheese next time because it looked a little grainy. Stacey's Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients: 8oz Neufchâtel cheese 1/2c butter, s

Halloween Makeup 2011

Sephora posted a bunch of cool instructions for Halloween this year and I decided to try one out. Zombie: Trial Run This is the version just as is from the Sephora instructions.  Black and green around the eyes, green to take out any red tones, powder finish, light foundation on the lips, shadows under the cheekbones.    I also tried out an additional bit of red lipstick and some brown liner (to make it look a little dried) since I didn't have any fake blood. Zombie: Yaboo! For Yaboo! (Yahoo!'s Halloween extravaganza) though, I opted to just go without the "blood." I scared people. :) Zombie: Brain Taste Trial Despite the makeup, still don't like eating brains.  And that pesky skull gets in the way.  Happy Halloween! ((^-^)) UPDATE:  Decided to put on some more makeup for the trick-or-treaters tonight. :) This one's for you Heart. [Props to you if you get the reference without clicking the link. :D ] Dog & Butterfly

Honey Almond Spice Cake

I'm what you would call a honey junkie.  If there is honey at a farmers' market, 9 times out of 10, I will buy it.  I'm pretty sure all the honey vendors have a picture of me with a caption on it that says, "(Honey) Sucker."  If they give me a sample, I'm pretty much honey in their hands.  The 1 out of 10 times I don't buy it is probably because I don't have enough cash on me and I feel like it's wrong in some way to go home with no produce yet still weighed down by giant glass jars of heaven in syrup form. Let's just say I'm only one dimension away from being a cartoon bear stuck in a tree. I'm already chunky and yellow and enjoy tight T-shirts.  Here is some of my massive honey collection: In case anyone is curious, from top to bottom, left to right: Orange Blossom honey from the Alemany Farmers' Market - yummy and floral in a good way (vs the bad way where it tastes like soap - I'm looking at YOU, disgusting rose candy)

Zoo Chocopops

Heading down to the mothership today for Halloween festivities at Yaboo! where I will get to see some of my co-workers kiddies all dressed up.  Thought I'd make a few kid friendly treats for the occasion. Stacey's Zoo Chocopops Ingredients: Guittard white chocolate couverture Guittard milk chocolate couverture Hardware: Zoo mold Lollipop sticks Chopstick First I tempered the milk chocolate.  For some reason I've found that if you go dark to light when applying chocolate, it will remain tempered but if you try and go light to dark (i.e. put white chocolate down first, then put dark chocolate on top of it), the lighter chocolate will become untempered and will have fat bloom.  In any case... I used the chopstick to apply milk chocolate for a giraffe's spots and a lion's mane.  Then I used all milk chocolate for a monkey and an elephant (applying the sticks to these).  Once I poured in the white chocolate to the giraffe and lion, I put the sticks there too.

Ackbar's Adventures: San Francisco

Lizzie and I decided to take a little trip into the city.  We had heard BART was an interesting experience, so we went to the nearest station.  Little did we know that the journey would be fraught with danger. Still, we had heard many good things about this beautiful city by the bay, so despite the threats to our safety, we waited patiently for a train to arrive. And waited... We thought perhaps there was some sort of sensor that might need to be triggered by a larger entity to make the train come, so we decided to hitch a ride in what we heard was called a "hoodie."   The ride into the city was long and arduous.  Lizzie and I passed the time by staring out the window. I asked our hoodie if it would be much longer.  He said he wasn't quite sure, but that he was getting hungry. I took that as a warning and tried to keep my distance. When our hoodie got off the train and finally stopped, we appeared to be on some sort of platform.  Lizzie saw a silo of wha