Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So, Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations was in town. Of course, other than being a chef, a tv host of TV show and guest judge for several other reality shows; he's also a writer.

That said, last night at the Jones Hall talking to a sold out crowd. There are people from all walks of life that was there. I'm presuming that it is really because of his show, honestly I was hoping more foodie there. Whose to say that they're not, but from some of the questions in q&a you can tell that they're there because of his show. (Yes, I'm a snob, so sued me)

Anyway, this 'speaking engagement' was really good, in my opinion. Now, albeit that I am not a food nerd that goes out to buy his books and watch every show he's on. But from what I heard the entire speaking engagement was almost verbatim of the book. To me, it's a good rambling from him. He has some good stories to tell and some sidebar antidote.

Some reviews I've read were harsh as though, you don't need to waste your money to see him live just read the book for $19.99. Here's the thing, not that I don't like to read, or his books (haven't gave it an honest try yet), but the real thing is not the same as words on pages. So, as pissed as these people are, I don't agree. It's like would you like to hear a story at storytime or would you rather sit there and read it yourself? Well... ok then.

So, after he talked for over an hour, about how to be a greatful American traveling aboard rather than the stereotypical ugly American with those ugly shorts with black socks with white sneakers. Go eat what the locals eat. One of the stories he told was that he was sent to a restaurant that is spotless with several other foreigners. That's a sign that you should run the other way because that's not where the locals go. He said he passed by a taco truck that is at some construction site with 50 people lined up waiting in line, THAT's the place you want to be at.

The Q&A that was annoying... some people were like, I want your job how can I get it? Urm... you're not that lucky. There's this one girl was basically doing self-promotion when she got a chance to ask him a question, that's just annoying... dude... it's about the guy, his book, his show, his experience, not to promote your own agenda. Grrr. Some people was asking dumb things like how to eat good meat without bone. WTF?! Urm... yeah.

Overall, I enjoyed his talk. He made sure to ham things up and not be a generic asshole act that I know that he is capable of doing. Even if the show is verbatim of his book. I take a dose of the real Bourdain any day over words on pages.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Let's talk macaron, shall we? Not the coconut w/ chocolate ones, but the French ones... you know the one w/ only one 'o' instead of 2.
Anyway, the recipe I tried this weekend is here. This is a better recipe that I've tried. I think too that since I know how to do it, I did alot of prep work overnight. First thing you should do ahead of time is set the egg whites aside ahead of time. And take it from me, using pre-made egg white yield to a very different result. This time I used real eggs and separated them apart the night before.

I was baking something else and I thought while I was at it, I also went ahead and sift the flour ahead of time. Here's another tip for you, do not use the sifter that has 2 layer sift. In theory, that was a good idea, but in reality, you can't clean that thing. What's more ridiculous was that I was searching online if there's any info on how to clean, some people say don't clean it. WTF??? You need to have to have a way to clean it because stuff gets stuck and it will remain stuck in between the layers. Bleh! Either use a grinder style to sift or use a tamis. A tamis will be a pain, and your arm will hate you the following day, but it will get the job done and cheap.

That said, this time around, I didn't achieve the 'feet' that a French Macaron would. Unlike last time w/ the beginners luck. However, the taste of the cookie was not shabby. The consistency was good. According to recipe, it was supposed to bake for 11-13 mins. Personally, I left them in there while working on piping the batter and about 16 mins or so, and that was nice and golden brown. Now, I have yet to try to add food coloring in there, so that obviously will come into play. But for plain janes, wait till they are golden brown.

The whole piping thing too, there's a trick to it. I used a size 12 piping tip and as someone described, its like making a chocolate kiss and have that little tip on top. When it bakes, the tip disappear. So, don't worry.

That said, I did space them out, and made them smaller. Last time I made them too big. But, because there's nothing in the batter to raise the dough, it won't expand more than what you pipe out. Oh, and parchment paper, saved my butt. If it's golden brown, it'll pop out nice and easy. If it's not golden brown (read: under baked) it will stick. As a matter of fact, it sticks together even a day after it's been out of the oven.

Another thing to note, the recipe only called for 4 ingredients, but when in fact, they had left out granulated sugar. You need granulated sugar in order to whip the egg white (and a pinch of salt) to nice and stiff peaks. From my research, 2 tsp of sugar slowly added will do the trick.

Now, on to the filling. This recipe has a nice little ganache filling. I must say, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it'd be. It came out pretty nice too. I'd figured that it'd be over empowering-ly sweet. But it came out nice and easy. When you put it between the two almond cookies, it balances out nicely.

One thing I would say on that recipe is that it yielded way too much ganache. Now, maybe I'm not generous enough with the filling, which I didn't think that was the case because I squish them nicely and neatly. Not alot of overages coming out of the cookie. So, don't know. But let me tell you, when I was done w/ the cookies, I had to throw away half of the ganache batch, I felt very sad. :(

All in all, great recipe. If I were to do this again, this will be my go-to. It has only 5 ingredients that you can easily locate. Yes, you do have prep work to do ahead of time. But if you do half of them the day before you bake, it came out to be pretty easy.

Don't forget the sifting tip, don't forget your granulated sugar, cut the ganache recipe in half, and you're good to go!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gluten Free Oreo Cookie

So my husband is on the gluten free diet. The problem is that not alot of good dessert is out there that's not dried and cardboard tasting. I am on these blogs and found this recipe from Wise Bread.

That said, I didn't follow the recipe
to a T. First of all, it calls for the gluten free all purpose flower. And while I know in theory, it's 3 parts of this, 3 parts of that, 2 part of something, and 1 part of something else or another... So, instead of making the mixture, because I don't want to do the match to divide them out to 1 1/4 cup of that mixture. I went to the trustee Pamela's Pancake mix.
My thinking was, if majority of ingredient is already in that pancake mix, why not just use that. Of course, in my mind, they are the same portion w/ all the ingredients... not having a clue if that's true or not.

That said, next time, if I were to do it again, I may go w/ Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free all purpose flour. I'm just curious how the consistency will come out.

This time, to me, it's a little grain-y.
The shortening made a very good cream in the middle. The review I've gotten were that it looks like moon-pie and definitely too big to dip into any glass of milk.

In reality, it doesn't taste super chocolatey like Oreos, you can definitely tell there's chocolate in there. I would rather it be smoother. The filling wasn't bad, so I wouldn't change that. Maybe just lesser portion.

I think I may try a different recipe if I were to do the oreo-like cookies again. And by the way, because they call for gluten free flour, they do burn easily, so keep an eye on it.