Friday, September 16, 2011

back in the land of blogging.

I don't know who said 95% of life is showing up. But whoever it was probably thinks I am a bad blogger. Truth be told, I was showing up in my daily life just not on the international interweb. After almost a year of focusing on doing everything I could to help my 4 year old's developmental delays... I am jumping back on the cyber horse.

Here is my latest article:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Puffy (not P Diddy) and Delectable.

This week I embarked on an Italian pastry cooking class because nothing cures Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) quite like a sugar high with added fat content (BUTTER). I am proficient in the language of cupcakes and cookies... but pastries? In Italian no less?

I am here to tell you after my first attempt at making bigne- or what we call profiteroles or cream puffs- that they are not so darned difficult.

Actually, these puffy little pastries are not difficult AT ALL. I made them with vanilla pastry cream- but they are super versatile. You can add ice cream and chocolate sauce or sauteed broccoli and sausage. Nutella and cream cheese or a lox, eggs and onions mini omelet. There is no sugar in the  recipe so sweet or savory stuffings both work well.

Here's the deal:
125 grams of butter
125 grams of water
125 grams of flour
2 pinches of sea salt
4 eggs

Heat the butter, water and salt in a saucepan until butter melts. Add flour and stir constantly- the consistency is rather doughy. When the dough starts to stick to the pan and you hear crackling (about three minutes) take from heat and put in a mixer. Add 1 egg at a time. Mix for 3-5 minutes.

Put the dough in a pastry bag (or a Zip-Lock and cut the corner). On a paper lined cookie sheet, begin to squeeze out small and evenly spaced pastries (try to make them all the same size for even cooking). Cook them for 15-18 minutes on 180 C or 360 F. They literally puff up and are filled with air. Once they've cooled, poke a whole in the bottom so they are ready to be filled (Or slice for a savory pastry)

For the cream:
1 liter milk
300 g sugar
10 egg yolks
100 g flour
1/4 paste and stalk from vanilla bean
*** cut  1/4 of stalk then cut long ways a scrape out seeds (paste)with knife

Bring milk, HALF the sugar 150 g and vanilla to boil.

In a bowl mix 10 yolks with 150 g sugar. Then add flour.

When milk is boiling, remove from heat and add 3/4 of contents to the bowl with the eggs. Mix.

Then, pour the 'egg' bowl back in to the saucepan and return to heat. Stir with whisk until you get the consistency of cream. Remove from heat, wrap in plastic and chill.

To assemble: Put chilled cream in a pastry bag and fill pastries one by one. Garnish with powdered sugar.
Yields about 50 impressive pastry with cream to spare.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Like the Republicans 'Family Values' schpiel only funnier.

arton22670 7dd1d Berlusconi e Mazzocchi: nel cuore della cristianità si incontrano i nostri valori
This billboard was just put up on my corner. Now that the US is being bombarded with Berlusconi and his 'bunga bunga'... I thought some of you might get a kick out of this.

Berlusconi and one of his cronies are holding their second national political convention- the theme: 
"In the heart of Christianity you will convene with our values."
In the heart (or crotch) of the Church we can now find philandering, twice divorced johns who prefer under aged chicks? I guess that's more fun than pedophilia.

Please note the paper cut outs- That's  Berlusconi with three prostitutes. The little ones are underaged. 

Monday, January 17, 2011