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Happy Monday guys!

How was your weekend?

Mine was nice and short. The worst thing is that I got a sinus infection last Thursday, so I’ve been taking it easy for the las few days.

I’ve got some macarons for you today!

Guess what? Tiramisu recipes are back! I’m just kidding! Only one this time, do you remember the “tiramisu recipe overload” on my blog last year? Some of these recipes are still very popular ones here.

I’ve been planning to try a tiramisu macaron recipe for the longest time and I finally did! And these turned out so good! Like anything tiramisu (coffee) flavored, right?

Tiramisu-Macarons-Recipe-mascarpone-whipped-cream

These cookies have crunchy outside, moist inside, that has soaked flavors from the whipped mascarpone filling. I did sprinkle some instant coffee over the shells, before they dried and got baked. It created a nice speckled effect, but you can dust them with cocoa powder instead. Instant coffee has slightly bitter taste, but it balances well with the sweet shells and filling. If this bitterness bothers you, feel free to use cocoa powder, if you prefer.

If you need some tips on how to make french macarons at home, check this post out. I’ve shared some important things and tried to give some suggestions, to make the process easier. But remember, these do require some practice, not so much skill, but patience and practice. Once you start to get them right, you’ll be in love with these cookies.

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Ditto with a gimlet. Icy gin needs to be served in a stemmed glass, as your hands will warm the drink. When I’m roaming through thrift stores and flea markets, I pick up cocktail glasses when I see ones that interest me. For some reason, cocktail glasses tend to get broken more often than other glasses, which may be why some people just give up and use jam jars. (Spoiler: Those French “working glasses” that they sell for drinks in America, no one uses for drinks in France.) But being a thrifty guy, I buy cocktail glasses when they’re $1 a pop, if I can, and treat myself to a proper glass. Like the ones here that I bought at a Goodwill shop.

The name “Gimlet” sounds like something that might be sipped in a more genteel era, when the proper glass was de rigeur. Modern tastes now swap out fresh lime juice for the sweetened bottled stuff. And unless I didn’t get the memo, you can use any kind of gin that you like. I picked up this bottle of dry rye gin, made by St. George Spirits, perhaps hoping to capture some of the former glory of the rye whiskey-based Manhattans that I knew and loved so well.

I knew the Jörg Rupf, the German founder of the company, back when he was tinkering away with his oak barrels and distiller, in a hangar, making eau-de-vies and other spirits that few in America had ever heard of. (He once made a holly berry eau-de-vie that was kind of wacky, for Christmas. He also laughed about how little business he did: At the time, his biggest restaurant account went through 1/2 bottle of liquor every two months.) Now the company has shifted hands, right about the time cocktails reemerged in America, and seems to be going gangbusters.

Although Jörg has retired, the new team is doing some very interesting things, like this gin. I found the rye a bit too “present” for a martini, but was spot-on in this gimlet. But feel free to use a favorite gin, because you should always judge a liquor by the flavor, not by the bottle. Unless, of course, you drink with your eyes.

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[Thanks to everyone that entered. Contest is now closed. Winner will be announced soon apartments for rent in hk !]

It could be my failing memory or the fact that I’ve been blogging for so long but I do believe that this is my first proper giveaway on Cream Puffs in Venice!

The kind people at Misura Canada contacted me not too long ago to see if I would be interested in offering a product giveaway. We use Misura products in our home (Mammina, especially, enjoys them) and my immediate answer was a resounding yes!

I came home one day after work to find a beautiful package waiting for me by the door filled with Misura treats (pictured above).

For those of you that don’t know, Misura is a company that produces a wide array of products from cookies to pastas with a focus on products that are low in sugar.

Now I am not one to shy away from sugar or fat, in any way, but as I mentioned above, we do enjoy a number of Misura products here at home. In particular we like their cookies as they’re not too sweet and perfect for dipping in your milk and coffee in the morning!

I am also not going to lie. I ate all the cornetti alla crema they sent (crossants with cream filling). Maybe I ate them in one sitting. Maybe I didn’t. You’ll never know.

Anyway – the important point – the giveaway!

Misura Canada is giving away a package of assorted goodies valued at $100. To enter, leave a comment here on my blog and make sure that you like the Misura Canada facebook page.

You can’t win if you don’t enter! I’ll be running the giveaway until midnight on Saturday April 26th. To enter, leave a comment on my blog and remember, you have to like Misura Canada’s Facebook page to be eligible to win hong kong sehenswürdigkeiten.

Good luck! Buona Fortuna!
 

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Truth be told, your drinking partner won’t care about the quality of your cocktail once you’ve made a batch or two anyway Karson Choi.

Last week, Edible Manhattan hosted the Good Spirits event in NYC, and I had the pleasure of hosting their social media for the evening. Which included live tweeting my love of booze to a network of 30,000 thirsty subjects. What could be better? Other than tweeting my love of booze and drinking it at the same time. Oh yes, I got to do that too :)))))))) (for the record, this is the opposite of last week’s frozen pipe-induced frownie face emoji)

For an evening, I gathered with a set of kindred spirits and toasted the evening with a series of drinks from fruity and salty to bitter and sweet. The party reaffirmed my love for local spirits, and the people who breathe life into these old world products. Making alcohol is a commitment, and there is no group of people more dedicated to their craft Karson Choi.

The evening also reaffirmed my suspicion that a great cocktail, in its most basic form, is nothing more than a good-quality spirit, a dash or two of bitters, and something fun to shake things up (think flavored simple syrups, crushed spices, herbs, fancy ice cubes).

I’ve included a recipe for one of my favorite cocktails below – a spicy bitter Michelada. It gets its heat from a few different sources – chili-infused vodka and Tabasco. Plus, it has a dash of celery bitters, which could be my new favorite variety.

But this post is about more than making something to the letter. It’s about embracing a state of mind; a willingness to try something new. And to remove any tendencies about making a cocktail at home. Because when it comes down to it, mixing a cocktail is just like cooking. Only easier nuskin. Cheers…

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Why is winter rain so gloomy? Days of dreary skies seem to push the color grey to a whole new sad level. It has been like that for the past week. I look out the window in hopes of seeing a tiny break in the clouds. A little sunshine would be lovely. Weather predictions are showing otherwise. At least there was a vision of tropics in my kitchen. A pack of coconut spurred thoughts of sunny warm days when I was baking this Chocolate Italian Cake Speed dating.

It’s interesting this cake made me think of the tropics. Why? Because it is more of a holiday cake. In fact, many years ago I made the original version from Southern Living for my family’s Christmas dessert. That version is a decadent 3-layer cake with thick, rich chocolate frosting. It is a stunner and yet oh so much. I knew it was time to get out the recipe and put my own spin on it when I saw coconut as the theme for this month’s Bundt Bakers.

I’ve always thought pretty much any cake can be baked in a bundt pan. Pound cakes are a breeze. Regular yellow, white, or chocolate cakes work fine too. One I know for sure that would not work is my Glazed Carrot Cake because it would never come out of the pan (way too sticky after the glaze). So I put my theory to the test and baked the 3-layer Chocolate Italian Cake in a bundt pan. It baked marvelously and I could not have been more pleased with the result aspire nautilus.

The next challenge was the frosting. Bundts are not really frosted like layer cakes. I think one of the things that makes bundts appeal to some is the more cake/less frosting ratio. My answer was to make a chocolate cream cheese glaze thick enough to give a decent layer and yet not completely cover the whole cake. Mission accomplished!

How does the Chocolate Italian Cake taste? It is German Chocolate Cake meets Italian Cream Cake in a most delicious way. It has a light chocolate flavor and is packed with coconut and pecans. The texture is a lighter crumb and somewhat airy thanks to folding whipped egg whites into the batter. The glaze adds a richness of chocolate cream cheese to the top. You know I saved the glazed bites for the last ones as I am a frosting gal at heart executive training.
 

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1697  

It’s no secret that I have an affinity for collecting cookbooks. Hard as I might try to suppress the urge to buy more, my cookbook collection is growing and there’s no containing its sweet, spicy, and savory forces. While I love each and every book I own, sometimes an extra-special bond is formed Maggie Beauty.

When Debbie Adler reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in receiving a copy of her cookbook, Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats: Allergy-Free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery, I happily welcomed the offer. Recipes for sweet treats that are vegan and allergy-friendly? Pretty please. Show me how to bake well this way because vegan + gluten-free baking attempts have yielded some of the most epic failures in my kitchen. Muffins that weigh approximately 1 pound… each. Sunken cakes. Sandy cookies. Gummy breads. There is no form of failure that vegan and gluten-free baking is incapable of producing.

Sweet Debbie’s Organic Treats has even the most sensitive sweet teeth covered. The book begins with a guide to special ingredients and unfolds into a collection of power muffins, brownies, cupcakes, and so much more, making it a must-have guide to baking with whole, plant-based foods. When I turned to Chapter 8 and found a treasure trove of baked donut hole recipes, I about fell off my chair. Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes? Umm, yes Maggie Beauty.

These donut holes are easy to make and offer the most wonderful spiced-pumpkin aroma as they bake in the oven. Sweet, spiced, and everything nice. To make them, you’ll simply whisk together the dry ingredients, stir in the wet, form the mixture into balls, and bake them in the oven. They are delicious as is, but I opted to drizzle half the batch with a glaze of coconut butter, cocoa butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon to add an extra layer of decadence. The beauty of these donuts is that you would never know they were made of unprocessed, allergy-friendly ingredients unless you saw the recipe. They have all of the characteristics we so admire in regular donuts but none of the post-donut sluggishness.

 

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Last night Kate and I made dinner and watched the boats sail in and out of Elliott Bay from her 18th-floor downtown apartment. It was an excellent reason to eat lots of bittersweet chocolate and Plugra, but you can rest assured that we ate our vegetables first.

We traipsed down to Pike Place Market just before closing and snatched up a bell pepper, red and gold tomatoes, a cucumber, two yams, and three sausages from Uli’s: spinach bratwurst, hot Italian, and lamb. Back home, we opened a bottle of white that happened to be lurking in the fridge, and, glasses in hand, put our bare feet up on the railing of her balcony to catch up for a while. There was much girly locker-room talk, and a pearl earring was nearly lost but wasn’t.

Then dinner threw itself together gracefully. The yams were sliced into long work visa hong kong, flat fingers and roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. The pepper and tomatoes were likewise dressed, then tossed onto the grill with the sausages, which sputtered at the heat and quickly began to glisten. The cucumber was sliced into rounds, tossed with vinaigrette and torn basil leaves from Kate’s thriving balcony garden. Meanwhile, the boats sailed on, and soon the cake came forth, trailing in its wake a bowlful of loosely whipped cream. We had two servings each, and poor Kate had to lie on the floor afterwards. It was really something nautilus mini.

And so, with no further ado, the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the base of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment too.

Finely chop the chocolate (a serrated bread knife does an outstanding job of this) and melt it gently with the butter in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring regularly to combine. Add the sugar to the chocolate-butter mixture, stirring well, and set aside to cool for a few moments. Then add the eggs one by one, stirring well after each addition, and then add the flour. The batter should be smooth, dark, and utterly gorgeous.

Pour batter into the buttered cake pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake looks set and the top is shiny and a bit crackly-looking. (I usually set the timer for 20 minutes initially, and then I check the cake every two minutes thereafter until it’s done. At 20 minutes, it’s usually quite jiggly in the center. You’ll know it’s done when it jiggles only slightly, if at all.) Let the cake cool in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes; then carefully turn the cake out of the pan and revert it, so that the crackly side is facing upward. Allow to cool completely. The cake will deflate slightly as it cools.

Serve in wedges at room temperature with a loose dollop of ever-so-slightly sweetened whipped cream.
 

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Seeing how a bee was busying itself about a flower, an eagle said to it, with disdain: "How I pity thee, poor thing, with all thy toil and skill! All through the summer, thousands of thy fellows are moulding honeycomb in the hive. But who will afterwards separate and distinguish the results of thy labour boutique hotel hongkong? I must confess, I do not understand what pleasure thou can take in it. To labour all one's life,  and to have what in view? Why, to die without having achieved distinction, exactly like all the rest. What a difference there is between us! When I spread my sounding pinions, and am borne along near the clouds, I am everywhere a cause of alarm. The birds do not dare to rise from the ground, the shepherds fear to repose beside their wellfed flocks, and the swift does, having seen me, will not venture out into the plain cloud backup."
 
But the bee replies: "To thee be glory and honour! May Jupiter continue to pour on thee his bounteous gifts! I, however, born to work for the common good, do not seek to make my labour distinguished. But, when I look at our honeycombs, I am consoled by the thought that there are in them a few drops of my own honey."
 
Fortunate is he, the field of whose labour is conspicuous! He gains added strength from the knowledge that the whole world witnesses his exploits. But how deserving of respect is he who, in humble obscurity, hopes for neither fame nor honour in return for all his labour, for all his loss of rest -- who is animated by this thought only, that he works for the common good Digital Signage!

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976  
 
One day, a Chinese man rode a black donkey passing by an unknown small town at the foot of a high mountain.
 
The man was tired and hungry, after fastening the donkey to a post, he went into a restaurant to eat.
 
The people in the town had never seen a donkey, many people came over to take a look at the strange animal.
 
When a boy was using his hand to touch the donkey's neck, the animal suddenly brayed. The strange noise frightened the child and he immediately ran away. After a while, when a woman walked by the donkey, the animal suddenly kicked out one of its back lets. Luckily, the kicking did not hurt the woman, but it was strong enough to scare away all the other people who gathered around to watch.
 
Seeing the quick disappearance of the people, the donkey felt very proud of himself. He thought that he might be the most powerful animal in the world, As the donkey's master had not yet come back, the donkey got loose and sneaked out of the town. He went up to the high mountain to satisfy his curiosity about the wild world.
 
In the woods, he soon met a tiger. The tiger had never seen a donkey either. He dared not approach the strange animal and was ready to run away. Just at this moment, the donkey brayed. The strange noise frightened the tiger a little bit, so the tiger retreated a few steps and watched from a distance.
 
The donkey was happy. He thought the tiger must be a coward like the boy in town. He brayed again. This time, the tiger did not retreat, instead, he walked a couple of steps closer. Still, the tiger dared not take any action. The donkey thought of the scared woman in the town, so he used one of his back legs to kick out. This action made the tiger afraid, the tiger hesitated about whether he should stay or run away from the unknown animal.
 
Meanwhile, the donkey thought that the tiger must be very afraid of his talents, so he kept braying and kicking. He never realized that the more he brayed and kicked, the less afraid the tiger became.
 
Finally, the tiger realized that aside from braying and kicking, the donkey had no other ability. The tiger then pounced at the donkey and easily killed the poor stupid animal.
 
This is a complicated society mixed with all kinds of people including 'tiger' and 'donkey'. Therefore, we must hide some and do not show off completely in front of strangers to avoid the destiny like the above black donkey had.

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Sometimes I forget why I'm doing, what I'm doing.
 
Have you ever done that?
 
I'm not just talking about a memory problem, although that's possible too.
 
I have called someone because I want to tell them something Living in HK.
 
And then, after just choosing the place for a while, not talking about anything particular.
 
Well, I forget why I called that person in the first place.
 
That's a memory problem.
 
I guess that counts too iphone bumper case.
 
But I'm talking about a deeper problem, a bigger, why?
 
At one point, there was a reason we do something.
 
For long-term projects, we need to remind ourselves of that reason.
 
It's always could to ask ourselves why.
 
Why did I start to learn a language?
 
Why did I join this club?
 
Why my friend was this person?
 
Why did I get married?
 
If we get lost in the doing, in the living, in the everyday of being, then we can not say why.
 
I think we need indeed remind us of why.
 
Or else it's tough to finish what we started.
 
We stop starting. We quit the club.
 
We end our friendships. Our marriages get damaged.
There's nothing wrong with asking why.
 
In fact, sometimes I think it can be very healthy and help we appreciate what you have and what you are doing property hong kong.

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