Archive | April, 2010

Side Blog of Noteworthy Links

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Let’s Keep It Simple: Easy + Absolutely Delish Yogurt Cake for Relaxing on a Sunday

After the recent website troubles, I finally got some decent sleep (aka passing out beside the cat after a hearty dim sum lunch) and now it’s back to things that adults need to do: taxes! Before I get knee deep into that, I thought I’d share with you what has now become a favorite recipe the past 2 weeks, from which I’ve baked 3 successful and well-devoured cakes.

Don't you just love it when a recipe works each time you make it? I do. Not everyone has a backup plan...or a backup recipe for lazy Sundays.

I’d like to keep it simple today. No complications. This cake is straight up mix and bake. Add the syrup if you want to do something a little fancy, but this cake can shine on its own. I love that I have the option to do the least possible work, and add some spark to it when I’m feeling a little fancy. I suggest you make this right now. It’s really easy and you will find it a good complement to a restful and lazy Sunday. Even if your Sunday is hectic, it’s nice to know that with a few strokes of the hand and 15 minutes in the kitchen, you’re all set for a satisfying snack or dessert.

Go. Make it. Now.

I plucked the recipe out of my new favorite food magazine, a new find: Waitrose Food Illustrated. I will talk more about that publication on a separate post, because I love it so. If you’ve ever chanced upon that at your bookstore or magazine spot, know that the higher price tag is worth it.

HAPPY SUNDAY!

P.S. If you haven’t yet, check out the “A(wesome)-List” on the right, where I constantly add recipes and food-related blogs that I’m currently digging. Share the good karma and say Hi to them when you hop over. I think you just might find a treasure and a treat. :-)

   Get the recipe for this Easy Yogurt Cake

Posted in baking, cakes, dairy, dessert, snacks18 Comments

Aaaand…We’re Back On

After what seems like forever, the site is back up and running. Sorry folks!

For those who missed it (whew), it all happened so fast. The next thing I knew the site was down because of an unknown database connection error and an unknown reason for it to happen (to me) because  didn’t make any change to site (front- and back-end). All I know is that for more than 24 hours, I’ve been told by my previous host to wait for them to resolve it. I’ve called numerous times during the day and I kept hearing the same thing: “We do not have an update yet, but rest assured our administrators are working on it.” Until finally I got: “The issue has been resolved.” And yet, my sites were still down. How is that resolved? I put a temporary page up to notify site visitors of the problem, and two people from the hosting company said that they see my site has been fixed. I rest my case.

I switched to another host and restored most of everything already, but if something doesn’t work, please do let me know! Oh, and one other thing…I lost all comments since March 19. That is actually a more positive prognosis than the original heartbreak I had felt at the possibility of losing all comments. I almost couldn’t continue working when I saw that my most recent database backup did not have comments. It was the worst feeling in the world. Who knew I could be so attached to comments? It was like losing some very important memento. Well, you know what, they are. You are. What would the past 2 years be without all of you?

Moral of this mishap: Back up. Back up your blog/database. Back up your files. And something to note about backing up your WordPress blog: use the Export tool (that exports an xml file) to make your life less complicated should you need to install a new WordPress on your site and restore your blog. I restored everything using my .sql backups, but it would have been much quicker if I had the xml file.

I should have known better. I got lazy at some point and thought my web hosting company could not do much harm. Alas, I was wrong. And what a costly price to pay. Lost comments, and lost sleep.

Ah, well. Lesson learned.

Back to our regular programming. And for me, time to face the tax papers.

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Side Blog of Noteworthy Links

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Cracker Recipe

Cracker Recipe

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Chocolate Wafers

Chocolate Wafers

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Raspberry Jelly Candies

Raspberry Jelly Candies

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Recipe for German Chocolate Cake and our Olympic Mitts Winner

Olympic Mitts

Remember about our Olympic giveaway last month? After compiling all entries from comments, Facebook fans, and (mostly) newsletter subscribers, we ended up with 442 entries. Whew!

So what I did to randomize the process in the fairest manner I could make it, is to have all entries on a spreadsheet.

There were double entries for the subscribers and fans, and single ones for the comments–as stated in the ‘rules’.

I added an additional column for the randomized sequence, which I generated through the Sequence Generator. Then I copied the resulting list into the new column, so that each entry will have a random number assigned to it. Sounds fancy, but it’s really simple.

I picked one random winner through Random.org again…and the winner is — Shawna, a longtime newsletter subscriber!

You will receive an email from me. :) Congratulations!!!

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Now let’s move on to the German Chocolate Cake that doesn’t have anything to do with Germany, but has everything to do with chocolate and caramel decadence.

German Chocolate Cake

I'm sorry if I just met you! Clearly it's a sign that I should make up for all the lost years and make you every month. (Good thing my doctor doesn't read this blog.)

Hail be to Samuel German who created Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate for the Baker’s Chocolate brand, for which this recipe was created. Got it? Eventually the ‘s was dropped. [This convolution reminds me of none other than Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Mmm...]

So you see friends, if you are like me, you can stop wondering why in the world Germans have some coconut in their cake. Excuse my ignorance. The first time I ate this cake was right after I baked it. No joke.

German Chocolate Cake

It might not look like much, that light brown on dark brown action. I have to say, I have mistakenly underestimated this cake before I took a bite.

Was I the last person to discover this cake? It’s okay. You can tell me the truth. I’m totally fine with that. As long as you think it’s completely alright that I make this several times a month to make you jealous until you make it yourself. If not, head over to Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle which, according to @Lovelylanvin, makes a really good one!

Because. What could be better than moist and fluffy chocolate cake layers with custard-y caramel filling with coconut and pecans?

German Chocolate Cake

Four of my most favorite things in the world--chocolate cake + condensed milk cooked with eggs + coconut + pecans--in one life-altering bite.

I just could not stop eating it. I blame the cake entirely. I haven’t been on a scale since this cake was baked, but I’ve gone back to running regularly. That’s how guilty I feel, but oh so good! It’s a required indulgence.

The recipe for this cake was adapted from this lovely, lovely book:

Rose’s Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum (she blogs!)

I love Rose’s meticulously detailed recipes that hold your hand through the whole process of preparing, baking, and assembling the cakes. I’ve made a few already from this book and I highly recommend it! No, this is not your last-minute go-to cake book. You need to plan ahead, not only to read the recipe carefully and check that you have all the ingredients, but also for making the cakes. They’re not quick fixes, but you will be rewarded with cakes that you didn’t think could possibly come from your own kitchen. They are indeed heavenly…amazing! cakes.
Go get it if you really want to bake cakes that impress.

Get the recipe for the German Chocolate here (PDF download included)

Posted in baking, books and publications, cakes, chocolate, coffee buddy, contest, dessert13 Comments

Candied Carrot Curls

Candied Carrot Curls

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Indoor Pulled Pork

This is “faux” barbecue pulled pork at its finest. There’s no need to barbecue pork outside for hours, just do it right in your oven! Liquid smoke in brine and spice rub lend those smoky flavors in the meat. Serve it in a tortilla for carnitas, between two slices of baguette bánh mì-style, or with grains (it goes great with rice and scrambled eggs) and you’re good to go. For me, I like it Filipino-style, in soft, sweet pan de sal buns!

I love barbecue pork, pulled pork, bánh mì Vietnamese sandwiches, and the only sandwiches I truly, absolutely enjoy are those with warm meat in between toasted soft buns. I will eat cold cuts sandwiches, but I won’t crave for it. Now the pulled, barbecued kind? I dream of it.

Indoor Pulled Pork

Simply delicious. That's all I can say.

As soon as I saw this recipe on my Cook’s Illustrated magazine (one of the very few magazines with recipes I can rely on), I knew instantly that I have to make it. Dan made it first and said, “Oh god.” I didn’t need an explanation after that, because no sooner was I saying the same thing, perhaps with a little profanity peppered in. Holy ****.

Indoor Pulled Pork

If the looks alone won't hook you, the first bite will. It is just a piece of heaven in sweet pan de sal. We get ours from Aling Mary's.

This will be on the menu again in the near future and the recipe will be doubled, so I can freeze half to enjoy whenever I crave for it.

I just don’t have anything else to say other than: Make it. It’s good for you.

   Get the recipe for Indoor Pulled Pork here (PDF download included)

Posted in main dishes, pork3 Comments