Month: March 2012

Shabbos Specials: Italian Rum Cake

All right, here it is – your last chance to get rid of chametz before Passover, and this recipe is a doozie! Not only will you be able to get rid of flour, this recipe uses corn syrup and rum! You’ve gotta love the Italians. Their food style isn’t really about this balance of ingredients that come together perfectly and create magic. Nope, they find really simple things they like and say “hey, we should combine all these together!” That’s pretty much what happened with this cake. I can imagine it now (in my best Buddy impersonation): “Sponge cake is boring, but rum is good, let’s soak the sponge cake with rum. Custard is also good, let’s layer it with custard. You know what I also like? Whipped cream. We should do something about that. You know what whipped cream reminds me of? An ice cream sundae, and a sundae ain’t a sundae without chopped nuts. So bang, I put some around the sides!” I hope you are getting the picture here. This cake is …

DIY Bunting Tutorial

This DIY project I am bringing you today cost me $0.00. You heard that right. Not only did it cost me no money, I got to use all the fabric that has been lying around my house. The event world is ablaze with a bunting obsession. I wrote about it a couple years ago, and I have never had opportunity to use it. The entire time I kept thinking “this looks so easy and looks to take no time at all, why on earth would people need tutorials on bunting?” Right, I bet you’re thinking the same thing! Little did I know how much time and energy this stuff took! Now, granted I did make 262 feet of the stuff, which may had been the labor problem. I know what you’re thinking: “Miri, why on earth would you need 262 feet of bunting? – this must be some big event!” Um, well – it’s for Slumdog Pesach. I explained to Matt that I was going to have a carnival theme for Slumdog Pesach. Here’s how …

I Won Something!

In case you haven’t heard by now I am the official winner of the Sunset Magazine Best Butter Cake Recipe Photo Contest! Sunset Magazine believes their butter cake recipe is the best base recipe for any number of creative cakes and challenged their readers to submit a recipe and photo of what they came up with. Knowing that my Lavender Vanilla cake was such a hit in the past, I decided to change it up a little bit and make a Lavender Chamomile Cake. Below is the winning photo I took of the cake (now the property of Sunset Magazine). I am so honored to have been chosen as the winner of this contest. I think it is the first contest I’ve ever won! The most remarkable thing is what the editors wrote about me “The use of fresh and unusual ingredients (culinary lavender! chamomile tea!) and experienced level of skill and technique required to assemble the recipe made it stand out.” EXPERIENCED LEVEL OF SKILL AND TECHNIQUE… WOW! I love all the praises I …

Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe

And the countdown to Pesach continues! Today I bring you another recipe release some of that chametz out of your life and doing it in a tasty fashion. There are a few things I always seem to have around my house: 1. Flour 2. Yeast 3. Garlic 4. Cheese and 5. Tomato Sauce. Sounds like a meal to me! CHEESY GARLIC BREAD (adapted from Lauren’s Latest) Ingredients: 1 cup warm water 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar) 2 teaspoons salt 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil 3 cups bread flour (give or take 1/2 cup…depending on the heat & humidity) 2 tablespoons softened salted butter 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) grated mozzarella cheese salt & pepper, if desired Directions:In a large mixing bowl stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour …

Review: Griffith Park and the Old Zoo

One of the best parts of living in Los Angeles is that there is never nothing to do. There are so many activities, places to go, and a lot of them for free. One day I was lurking around my design blog roll and came across a wedding at the Old Zoo. The Old Zoo? What the heck is that? Apparently Los Angeles had this zoo that opened sometime around the turn of the century, and due to some inhumane conditions for animals and probably some other reasons the zoo moved to its current location. Here’s the thing – the old cages were never taken down! The skeleton of the Old Zoo still remains abandoned, and it makes sense – I mean, instant movie set right? Matt and I went with Roman and Alaina. Even though it was record-breaking heat in Los Angeles that day, Roman still chose to wear his signature flannel. The Old Zoo is located in Griffith Park just beyond the carousel. It is pretty hard to find, I’m not gonna lie. …

Shabbos Specials: Strawberry Cake

Growing up Strawberry Shortcake was one of my favorite cartoons. My cousin Melissa had the entire collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls and dollhouse and I was soooo jealous! My Grandma Ruby would record on VHS various things she thought he grandchildren would enjoy, and on one particular tape there was an episode of my beloved cartoon. I watched the show so much my dad quotes it to this day. Every once in a while he will just exclaim “The light’s on, but nobody’s home” in the same voice one of the characters said one time, and he just clung onto it. 🙂 I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley (read “Corporate Farmville USA”). When April rolled around, My mom would buy these huge flats of strawberries from the side of the road. When I moved to Los Angeles it was October and someone brought a little box of strawberries to some gathering I was at. “Look, strawberries! And they are only $5 a pound!” I was perplexed. First off, who eats strawberries in October? …

If I Had a Million Dollars

Well, I’ve been buried under piles of DIY projects for the past few days, have had about 4 cake orders for the weekend of the 1st, and meanwhile the reality of Passover coming up and spring cleaning have been been looming over my head. I saw this video posted on Facebook yesterday, and thought you might enjoy it too. I’ve been in a “reset” mode over the past few weeks, analyzing what it is I want to do with my life, establishing a big vision, and trying my darndest to figure out a way to make it happen. Many members of my friends and family have been pushing me towards a creative career in either baking or blogging or DIY projects or SOMETHING! – something other than the same old administrative jobs I’ve been doing for the past eight years. Don’t get me wrong, the administrative jobs are okay, but it is true I can spend hours on end working on baking or my blog stuff. It is apparent where my passions lie. The other …

DIY Air Freshener Tutorial

Y’all asked for it, and I am obliging – I’m going to try and make Wednesdays “Do It Yourself Wednesdays.” Crafts people, you gotta love it!  There is a family in Orange County I used to live with – lovely caring people. One night the mother and her daughter hosted a lotion/essential oil party, kind of like a Tupperware party but with smelly stuff. There were these really relaxing foot baths and hand massages. Basically this was the best party ever. Perhaps I am hyping this party too much, but it seemed that the next morning and every day thereafter the couches and the carpets seeped the sweet smell of those essential oils. I would go over to visit and just melt into their couches. There is something about essential oils that just smells different than everything else and also infiltrates the very essence of everything it touches. I’m certain that the essential oil sweetness stayed because the daughter of this duo eventually became a licensed massage therapist and would practice in her living room! …

Neat Things I Found on the Internet

I used to read my blog roll religiously – RELIGIOUSLY! But you know ever since Pinterest came around, I haven’t been as faithful to my favorite bloggers. In a way I feel like I have gone too much in the loop for some things and really out of touch with others. Knowing how much work and time go into blogging I committed myself to reading everything on my blog roll from the last 24 hours, and wouldn’t you know it? – I found some pretty cool stuff! Princess Laserton, you make my heart sing. I would like to remind everyone that my birthday is coming up (April 30th) (HINT!) These are whisks! Yep, birthday. New meme starting – Jesus from a Jewish Guilt Perspective! I often have fantasies of dressing my kids in mature muted colors and making them look like little adults. These Pantone Tarts made my mouth water – maybe inspiration for some of my creations in the future? Ruffled featured a Mid-Century inspired wedding that totally plucked at my heartstrings. Joy of …

Brazilian Cheese Biscuits (Fogo de Chao Knock-Off)

Confession: Though I have a kosher kitchen and would never ever dream of ever eating pork or shellfish outside my home, I do eat at non-kosher restaurants. I have my own personal reasons for this, but there are blogger reasons for this as well. Typically in any given town across these United States when you come across a kosher restaurant it is usually a falafel place. Perhaps if you are living in a more urban area you can run across a kosher deli. The reasons (I believe) for this is usually just because it’s easier – those cuisines typically don’t require dairy. And think of this, if you come from a long line of religious people who have only ever eaten kosher food, this is all the food you have exposure to, not knowing what’s out there – what kosher food COULD taste like. Living in Los Angeles, we do have the advantage of kosher cuisine being influenced by a variety of ethnicities, so there is access to Kosher Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, BBQ, Italian, …