Tag Archive for 'jane maynard'

BlogHer 10 Food-gaism and Alfajores (prounced al-fa-hor-es)

While I’d love to tell you that my time time at BlogHerFood 2010 #blogherfood was all about the sessions at the conference, that is not entirely true. In all honesty, it was also about the food and most importantly about the people. That is not in any way to minimize the quality sessions that I attended, I thought that the show organizers really put a lot of thought into making this event full of enrichment tracks and packed with speakers I couldn’t wait to hear. But at the end of the day, I know my experience was all the more satisfying because of what the people attending brought into the mix– the ‘social’ into ‘networking’; the element most often missed as we communicate on Twitter and FaceBook and LinkedIn.

For my second attendance at #blogherfood I wanted to bring something special to a few special people that I was fortunate enough to meet over the past few years. (The Ultimate Cappuccino Brownie was the treat I brought to BlogHer 09 Food – worth a try if you love the coffee and chocolate combo!) And I’d like to think these little colorful boxes, with home made treats inside, were coveted by those who received them and enjoyed by them as much as I enjoyed making them with my lovely friend Avanti Morocha.

Inside each box were four petite home baked alfajores. What is an alfajores you ask? Well it is something like a blond Oreo cookie stuffed with caramel sauce – the cookies are a soft butter cookie infused with orange zest, and drenched in powdered sugar, and well the rest is just yummy goodness.

While the word alfajor stems from the Arabic al-hasú, which means filled or stuffed, the history of this cookie can be traced to Andalusia Spain. Alfajores are popular in Argentina, Uruguay and Peru, although they can be found throughout South America in many different varieties.

Note: Immediately following the recipe post is my photo essay, which I hope reflects some of the great photo tips I learned from Todd Porter and and Diane Cu.

Avanti Morocha and Gina von

Avanti Morocha’s Soon-to-be-famous ALFAJORES

Ingredients

1¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup flour
2 tsps baking powder
3 TBS butter, room temperature
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp orange peel, zested
2 TBS milk (more if necessary)
1 cup manjar blanco (caramel), you can buy Nestle’s Dulce de Leche (13.5 oz) can

Directions

In a medium-size bowl, sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder. In a small-size bowl whip butter and sugar until well creamed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, while beating the butter mixture. Add sifted ingredients and orange peel.

Knead with hands, forming a ball. Cover with a cloth and set aside for 20 minutes. Often times, if the recipe is doubled, the mixture may seems too dry, and you will need to add additional milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Generously flour a flat surface and roll dough approximately 1/8 inch thick. Using a small cookie cutter, about the size of nickle. Cut circles and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until edges begin to color. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

To assemble, the caramel cookie sandwich, take one cookie and generously spread with manjar blanco/dules de leche. Cover with another cookie. Generously sprinkle with sifted confectioner’s sugar.

Don’t hold back, gobble them up! They are worthy of the work involved to make them.

Yields: 54 cookies, plus some tasters

Note: If you want to make the manjar blanco recipe, read on:

Ingredients

10 cups of milk
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or half of a stick of vanilla

Directions

In a medium-size sauce pan, lightly coated with water, boil the milk, stirring constantly. When the milk begins to boil, add the sugar and vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon being careful to not let it stick to the pan. When the mixture begins to stick to the spoon, and you start to see the bottom of the pan, move to a plate. The mixture should not be loose.

Continue to stir it, once it is removed from the heat so that the mixture softens slightly.
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BlogHer Food 10 Begins!

The party at Orson’s kicked off the Scharffenberger and TootiFoodie Chocolate Adventure Contest complete with a fun blind taste test of some of their previous adventure ingredients, and chocolate recipe sampling. Thank you to Marcia Gagliardi/Tablehopper, Scharffenberger, TuttiFoodie and Orson, it was a great way to start the fun and get those taste buds flowing.

Tour of a few of the Ferry Building’s Culinary Offerings

Back on the conference show floor, Chef Elizabeth Falkner invites attendees to cup cake decorating party gourmet-style.

La Petite Soirée was an event to behold, the foodie theme was SF food carts and each one was better than the next – Girl From Empanada, Sataysfied, Local Flavor, Good Eats + more! I wish it had been possible to bring a second stomach to this event, as I was stuffed and wished I could eat seconds! Thank you to Stefania Pomponi Butler, Helen McSweeney Kristen Doyle, and Jane Maynard.

Back at the show, the cooking demonstrations continued and so did the prizes.


Closing Key note was an inspirational treat with Shauna James Ahern, Michael Ruhlman , Molly Wizenberg

And for the foodie event crescendo (AKA the closing party), at the California Culinary Academy, home of Le Cordon Bleu, Elise Bauer, Jaden Hair, and Ree Drummond hosted the first all gluten free party I’ve ever attended. It proved to me that everyone could eat gluten free and not feel deprived; it was delicious! I am still dreaming about at least 6 of the recipes served. I am inspired!

Thanks to BlogHer for such a great conference! It was mentally stimulating, socially engaging and totally foodgasmic!

To read additional recaps of the conference, there are a few links to reference (and if you’d like to have your post added to the list, just send me an email at bowllicker@gmail.com):

The Italian Dish: BlogHer Food 2010 in San Francisco

Panini Happy: Memorable Moments from BlogHer Food ’10

Bay Area Bites: BlogHer Food Conference, Day 2

Celiacs in the House: BlogHer Food 2010

Celiac Teen: BlogHer Food and Irish Soda Buns

Chef Druck: 9 Cheap Props Every Budding Food Blogger Needs

Dine and Dish: Defining Success (Recipe: Slice and Bake Sugar Cookies)

Eat the Love: Don’t Forget the Homos! Blogher Food 2010

Everyday Alice (of SavorySweetLife): BlogHer Food 10 – My Blog Conference Take Away

Food Blogga: Nine Things I Learned at BlogHer Food 10 Conference

Food Woolf: How to Go to a Food Blogging Conference

In Jennie’s Kitchen: Chestnut Orange Crisps

Picky Palate: BlogHer Food Extravaganza

Steamy Kitchen: Oinker

Use Real Butter: something about best intentions + blogher food 2010 recap

What’s Gaby Cooking BlogHer Food and San Fran

Will Write for Food: BlogHer Food, the Love Fest

White on Rice: Appreciation- Speaking at Blogher Food 2010

***And last of all, for those whom might enjoy reading my take-aways from BlogHer 09 Food: The Denied Inner Cook (the monster post unwrapped) you may just see a few familiar faces. Enjoy!

Island Banana Boats & Coveted Norwegian Stick Bread



Tinsley Island Part II- Food to Camp By

This last visit to the island for the summer had me chomping at the bit. On our previous boat camping/cooking escapades, I had left with a long list of new ideas to bring to our next adventure.

While no one does a shoddy job of planning their meals at Tinsley Island, my challenge was to come up with a tantalizing new adventuresome, yet uncomplicated series of meals, that enabled us to make good use of our leftovers; so that nothing on the food front had to be carried home. I am pleased to say – mission accomplished! No leftovers and an ample amount of others circling the fire pit asking about our menu and meal preparations – most importantly, the feedback received from my toughest critics made it well worth my while.

This is my summer bonus post- yes, two recipes to let you know that while I’ve been a bit challenged on uploading my recent blog updates, it was not due to lack of wanting to tell you more.

I must admit, as I sat down to plan this out, I had to think of Jane Maynard’s site as it is no easy task to put together menus. I recently ran into her at BlogHer10 in New York, and she seemed pleased not only with my menu, BUT with my modifications to make an adult version of the banana boats.

Voila! My no-left over weekend menu plan and a few recipes to savor your eats in the great outdoors.

Banana Boats (and Special Adult Dessert Modifications)

Ingredients

1 banana, slit on the concave side and slit into rounds
1-2 TBS chocolate chips
6-8 mini marshmallows, or 1 large marshmallows cut into small pieces
heavy duty foil

**Adult version modifications**
rum
lemon, squeeze of lemon wedge
honey

Directions

Lay the banana on its “back” and peel slit the top open. While in the skin, cut banana rounds every half inch. You may need to take out a few slices to make a bit more room for the yummy filling.

Stuff chocolate chips and marshmallows between the pieces. Wrap in foil and cook approximately 7-10 minutes until outside of banana skin turns dark brown.

If making the adult version, you may want to substitute the chocolate chips for a generous splash of rum, a squeeze of lemon and honey.

Serving: 1

Photo: Jane Maynard

Norwegian Stick Bread

If you found Siri’s Norwegian Sweet Buns recipe charming, you must try her Coveted Norwegian Stick Bread Recipe. On her recent visit to the United States, we brought her with us to enjoy our version of camping, and her menu contribution was wonderful. So many islanders wanted the recipe, that she agreed that we had to post it!

Ingredients

8 cups flour (I used 4 cups white flour and 4 cups wheat flour)
4 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups water
1 TBS oil
3 tsp baking powder
four for dusting
sticks for cooking bread

Directions

Wash all sticks so that they are free of dirt. Make sure that stick is wet before wrapping dough around it so that the stick does not burn in the fire.

Mix all ingredients together, dusting hands with flour, take approximately 1/2 cup of dough and wrap around the stick. Place on grill and continue to move frequently until bread is browned equally on each side.

Servings: 8-10

Step 1- You will need a few good sticks.

Step 2- Take a piece of the dough.

Step 3- Wrap dough around sticks and place on grill or in fire.

Step 4- Cook the bread until brown on all sides.

** Weekend Menu**

Friday
-dinner: Norwegian Stick Bread, pork tenderloin in a honey soy sauce glaze, grilled pineapple, roasted bell peppers and onions, and heirloom tomatoes/red onions/focaccia crouton salad
-dessert: banana boats (adult and kid-a-fied)*

Saturday
-breakfast: blueberry pancakes with pineapple and pork tenderloin hash
-lunch: grilled veggie and Swiss cheese sandwiches on focaccia, fruit salad, green salad with grilled bell pepper and fresh basil
-dinner: seasoned tri-tip, corn on the cob, sauteed zucchini and onions, grilled portobello mushrooms
-dessert: s’mores

Sunday
-breakfast: portobello, zucchini and onion scrambled eggs with Pan Fried tri-tip and broiled tomatoes, skillet toast and fresh picked blackberries and left over s’mores

Cremas- A Haitian Indulgence


While we are nearly mid-way into 2010 I have surprisingly not had the time to post any of my recent cooking adventures- that said, many of the new ‘concepts’ have not been what I would deem as worthy successes. Happily, this morning when I logged onto email a post from my Twitter pal @ilinap hit me as the perfect post. I reached out to her and asked if she would share her thoughts/words/philanthropic outreach/recipe with all of you. Graciously, she said ‘yes!’.

This post is more than just a fun recipe, this post can help a group of people. Each comment on her site earns a dollar to help Haiti and you get to learn a bit more about a wonderful, sweet local beverage. What you may not know is that ‘Dirt and Noise’ has a regular Friday feature called 5:00 Friday where Ilina posts a fun new drink recipe. This week she took that concept and blended together (pun intended) a way to use her Friday indulgence to help others.

A bit of Ilina’s excerpted post:
I grappled with posting today. I mean, I feel kinda lousy throwing back a cool cocktail while millions of people are struggling for a simple glass of water in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It is hard to belt out a guffaw and embrace glee while I know so many people are hurting in the throes of despair. There’s not enough hyperbole to go around to adequately explain the situation down there. A mere 90 miles from our shores.

Today I’d like to use 5:00 Fridays to give a nod to Haiti’s culture. With this drink, you’d better make a couple batches and invite over the neighbors. Better yet, invite the neighbors and collect a cover charge at the door. Donate the cash to the people of Haiti. I’ll even donate a buck to UNICEF for every comment on this post.

This drink is like a delectable milkshake without the hassle of a blender. What I love is that the Haitians like to serve this rich concoction with pastries or cakes. I’m all about indulging my inner sweet tooth (and outer love handles).

Cremas

2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk
4 (12 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (NOT to be confused with coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 anise star
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 lime (zest and juice)
1/5 80 proof rum (You read that right. A fifth. The whole bottle)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg to fancy it up.

I raise a glass to the people of Haiti and all those reaching out and flying in to help them. Peace. Click her to

Thank you Ilina for your post. Friends and family, please click here to comment and donate (at no cost to you) one dollar to Hati.

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And if you want to do more- there are many ways to contribute (as taken from both Ilina’s site ‘Dirt & Noise‘ and Jane Maynard’s “This Week For Dinner‘:

Unicef

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
: (Text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross.)

Haiti Reborn: An local organization accepting donations to help earthquake relief efforts http://www.quixote.org/earthquake

Doctors Without Borders: Another organization already in Haiti and working directly with victims of the earthquake http://doctorswithoutborders.org

Partners in Health: Based in Boston, Partners in Health (PIH) have been working in Haiti for many years to establish rural health clinics http://www.pih.org for more information

Yéle Haiti: Wyclef Jean’s organization. They have many directly-linked projects to community groups in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. (You can text “yele” to 501501 to automatically donate $5 to the éle Haiti Earthquake Fund. The 5 bucks will be charged to your regular cell phone bill. It doesn’t get any easier than this.) or you can visit the website http://www.yele.org