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Bake For the Quake Raised More Than $7,000

bakeforthequake_2

Our little bake sale that could that left us with little sleep to live on for three weeks, in fact, made:

$7,136

Exceeding our $5K goal by more than $2,000!

WE DID IT, VANCOUVER!!! You raised all that in 2.5 hours.

In the beginning there were doubts of filling up the space and having enough bakers to provide the goodies. It was down to the wire as they signed up following strict guidelines and tight deadlines.

Everything came together in the end: we had a long line of eager sweet-toothed patrons before we could even open our doors to the public. Our bakers wowed us with a spectacular array of baked goods and treats, our generous sponsors provided their amazing services and even more baked goods and prizes to raise dollars, and our dependable volunteers put on their warmest smiles and practiced utmost patience to instill some sort of order among the 650+ strong band of supporters from the Lower Mainland.

BFTQ_2

Our initial concern of how to bring in the crowds, turned into crowd control. At the last minute we secured clickers/counters to help adhere to occupancy rules at the Roundhouse Centre. As for the food, we ended up having  to assure everyone that there is enough food by the time they get inside.

Amazing!

BFTQ_3

I do believe in the good in people. I believe that if you give the community the opportunity to help in a way that is meaningful and exciting to them, it will step up. And Vancouver…leaped! For a city that is sometimes called clique-y, we can all work together for a great common cause. A city inundated with oft petty “complainers” flocked and lined up patiently for almost an hour, in the cold, and under the drizzle of the Pacific Northwest’s spring weather. This is progress.

Vancouver, you slay me with your warmth, generosity, support, kindness, and enthusiasm. The Roundhouse Community Centre was the place to be last Wednesday and it’s all because a lot of you showed up. Imagine that.

BFTQ_1

Sweet-teeth from all ages. And there's my partner-in-crime, Melody Fury of GourmetFury.com, ready with her paper bag!

Melody and I could not be more proud. We all did it. We worked together and something good happened.

THANK YOU.

And let’s not stop here. What could we do next? :-)

[All photos were taken by Gourmeted-Dad!]

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Bake For The Quake

Even now as I look at the screen to type, I’m still not sure what to say. The past month has been a trip through rolling hills of yays and nays, that the line between living in the moment and  is one big-pixel Gaussian blur. Geeky. There’s drama, action and catching something and almost missed it, suspense, there were fits of impatience, and then there’s one grand patriarch of the family who is ailing. Then you have the fantastical news (yes, I’m being sarcastic), from wars to natural disasters.

I was still going to stay mum about these things, but there is something as human as being compelled to act in spite of one’s suffering, to help another. I’m talking about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which hit close to ‘home’ — Asia, where we have a lot of friends and family. I read and watched the news as it happened that early Friday morning, one horrifying update after another. It was during that time on Twitter that Melody ( a fellow Vancouver blogger) and I got to talking about doing something to help. Social media is a powerful thing and what better way to use it than for good? So what do food bloggers do to help? Doing what we do best and do something with the food we love: Have a bake sale!

It’s been a few weeks of planning, but it’s for a very worthy cause! We’re going to have Vancouver’s finest bakers come on board for an evening of baked yumminess. No, it’s not a reference to 4/20 (ha), but I’m talking about some real fine, freshly baked goods that warm the heart: they’re good for you and they’re good for the people we will be helping.

If you would like to join in as a Baker, check the Baker Guidelines and shoot me an email at gourmeted /AT/ gmail /DOT/ com.

If you would like to Sponsor the event, get in touch with Melody at mel /AT/ gourmetfury /DOT/ com.

If you would like to help in any other way, send either of us an email. We’ll be posting more details on the Bake For The Quake website.

You can also donate directly to our Doctors Without Borders fundraising page.

Please spread the word and get involved!
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, FRIENDS!

Mmm...peanut butter brownies...

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Donut Pan Winners!

For once I am actually on time to announce the winners of the Donut Pans!

Congrats, Esi and Naomi! I’ll email you both for your mailing addresses. Cheers!

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The Missing Donuts

I’m sorry, I promised you donuts and then you didn’t get any donuts. At least, the recipe, as promised. There was a series of events that involved bringing my backup external hard drive with photos of recipes to post and I didn’t bring the appropriate cord that would connect to the computer I brought. Since I was the only Mac user, there was no alternative source for that elusive connector. I could have said “unfortunate events”, but they are not. Things just happen and this is one of those times when I just raise my arms, shrug, and laugh. Unforeseen circumstances will always come up, but now, I’m back to normalcy. Kind of.

I will post the recipe tomorrow. Right now my hands are wrist deep in cookie batter. But see? The donuts do exist. It’s just a matter of writing the recipe. :)

Thanks for staying put and have a good first week of DECEMBER. Do you hear the carols playing?

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Mighty Make-From-Scratch List or Mondo Beyondo Cooking Edition

I love lists. I enjoy making lists and they make me feel half accomplished. I also love organizing lists, Things To do, Life Lists, Things to do in year 2010, Places to go to, etc. I also have a list of things I’d love to someday make/cook/bake. So. In the tradition of Maggie’s Mighty List and as an extension of my Mondo Beyondo List, here’s my ever growing list of things I want to make from scratch — without harming anyone in the process, and with results that are actually edible, worth repeating, and most especially, non-toxic:

  1. Croissants
  2. Turkish Delight
  3. Puff Pastry
  4. Oreos
  5. Mozzarella Cheese
  6. Other homemade Soft Cheese
  7. Lavash
  8. Sourdough Starter
  9. Fruit Leather
  10. Peanut Butter Cups (with homemade peanut butter)
  11. Canned Fruit Jams
  12. Ratatouille
  13. Graham Crackers
  14. Fortune Cookies
  15. Baked Donuts (it was a fail this past January)
  16. Authentic Black Forest Cake
  17. Chinese Congee
  18. A failed attempt at baked donuts at the beginning of 2010. It was nothing close to a donut, except for the shape.

    The next items on the list are Filipino dishes and delicacies.

  19. Sans Rival
  20. Puto (Filipino Steamed Rice Cake)
  21. Puto Bumbong (Filipino Steamed Sticky Rice Cake cooked in bamboo tubes)
  22. Sapin-sapin
  23. Ube Halaya
  24. Bibingka
  25. Pastillas
  26. Bopis
  27. Cassava Cake
  28. Pichi-pichi
  29. Sisig

This are just the ones off the top of my head. I’ll add more to this when I have time. :

Here are the things I’ve already crossed out since I’ve started this blog:

Mamon, Marshmallows, Scones, Flaky pie crust, Palitaw (Filipino boiled rice cakes), Filipino Empanada, Food For the Gods, Igado, Frozen Yogurt, Macarons, Biscotti, Raw Cake, Kinder Surprise Eggs, Homemade Pasta and Lasagna, Vegetable Stock, Roast Turkey, Neapolitan Style Pizza Crust, Wine Lollipops

Care to share YOUR Mighty Make-From-Scratch OR Cooking/Bakings lists? C’mon now. :) Maybe we can all share recipes and techniques to get through each others lists. I’d love to cross out at least 10 off mine by the end of this year!

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Stop! And Read.

Life Manifesto

I couldn’t have said it better.

Thanks to Amy for leading me to Holstee, who wrote this a-w-e-s-o-m-e manifesto. Now go forth and wear your passion! Happy Monday!

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Hello World!

I’m back after a few weeks of going MIA, which in reality was a result of a tax-preparation frenzy, a computer-less vacation, then another semi-vacation. I am not like the other bloggers who prepare their absence in advance

All I have for you right now, while I start to flex my blogging muscles is…

The sun rising from a golf course in Florida.

The truth is, although I have quite a number of photos to share with you, but they are still in my camera. Oh, the camera is 222 kilometers away because I (in)conveniently forgot it.

I have a lot of catching up to do! How is everyone? What did I miss? I hope you’re having a smashing summer!

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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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A Few Announcements: Newsletter, Giveaway, Mail Exchange, Facebook and Feeds

Hello, friends! We have some announcements to make:

1. Our February-March 2010 Newsletter is out! Subscribe here to get it in your mailbox, or view past issues.

Gourmeted February-March 2010 Newsletter

February-March Issue

2) Red maple mittsRemember those red maple leaf mitts during the Olympics?  We’re giving away a pair of medium ones!

 

 

3) Finally, the sequel to the Secret Santa Food exchange last December: Tête-à-Tea: An Online Tea Exchange Party

Tête-à-Tea

Come join us for tea!

4) We have a Facebook Page now, too. We hope you’ll join us there!

5. And lastly: we are switching to partial feeds for the recipe posts. We’re doing this for two reasons: 1) To prevent content theft; and 2) To shorten the main page with the long posts. The new RSS feed format will let you read the bulk of the each post. What is behind the ‘cut’ is the recipe. Those who want to read and download the recipe can do so by clicking the Read More link. We’ve had this system on our first year, and it worked quite well. I’m still working on a way so that the continuation will appear on the same page and not bring you to another, so it will be a win-win situation.

I know some people will only subscribe to feeds that offer full RSS feed, and we respect that. We hope that you understand our reasons behind this change and really wish that you will reconsider. We’d love to keep you. :)

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Neapolitan-Style Pizza Dough Recipe and Some Exciting News

I’ve been participating in, and hosting, snail mail exchanges online since 2001. Last December, we had the Secret Santa Foodie, where everybody got together to spread some holiday cheer. I ‘met’ a lot of new people, including Adrienne Mitra, who owns a travel agency with her husband. What’s so interesting is that they offer fully-customized culinary travel tours. Food and travelwhat’s not to love? It’s impossible to have someone you know at every travel destination, who can point you to to the good eats or the best classes where you can learn to cook the regional fare. Guidebooks can only take you so far and it’s rare to have an unlimited vacation time to figure everything out. That’s where they come in. CITTravel runs through Adrienne’s veins and she loves good food. She is passionate about helping people plan their vacation according to how they want it, and not according to set “packages” (that term makes her cringe). And if there’s one thing I can attest to about Adrienne, she gets things done and she is on top of things — okay, that’s two! After talking and emailing with her, teaming up with them just seemed like an organic thing to do. So I’m very happy to introduce Celebrations International Travel to you guys! Please join us in welcoming them! Check out their site and their blog. You will learn more about them in the coming weeks and months. I’ll be inviting Adrienne to do a guest post about their culinary tours.

This is right up our alley, don’t you think? As the busy travel and vacation season begins, and as some of us scramble to make plans for the rest of the year (ahem, Me!), I can’t wait to find out what they have in store!

———

Now onto the recipe!

Neapolitan PIzza

MMM…pizza! Whether it be for any meal (yes, even breakfast — admit it!), a casual get-together or game night, the beloved pizza is welcome in our homes and in our bellies. Of course, there’s the debate about which is better: deep-dish or thin crust pizza, but we’ll leave that alone. For now, I’ll talk about my kind of pizza: thin, light, and beautifully blistered pizzas. You heard me: blistered. I get excited over the perfect thin crust!

Neapolitan-style pizza

We’ve been to the much-talked about Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and my love for that pizza is right up there with Itzhak Perlman — that’s a high pedestal. The long line to get into the main restaurant is something I’d rather forget, though.

The following crust is no Pizzeria Bianco, and I can’t say it tastes the same as the A16 restaurant’s pizza (I haven’t eaten there), but one thing is for sure, this dough has earned top place among the pizza dough recipes I’ve tried.

pizza dough

Being at the top means there are also no compromises, especially when it comes to time. The A16 Neapolitan pizza dough takes the most number of days to make: three, realistically. But you can definitely make it in two if you plan ahead after reading the recipe. Raise your hand if you sometimes don’t carefully read the recipe before deciding to make it. Who does that? Hah.

I don’t have more “after” photos because I was busy stretching the pizza, filling it, transferring it to to oven, and preparing the next pie while that cooks for 7 minutes. Whew. I ran a tight ship and by the time I finished rolling out 4 pizzas, I just had enough to eat and hunger beat food porn. Plus, it’s something that can wait to be eaten. It was incredibly satisfying and even with all the work and wait involved, this is worth making again and again!

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