Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holidays in Review

Since I've not been very good about blogging recently, I left out a few of the major things that I have made for the past few holidays. I do have to say that the green river and the festivities of Chicago were much missed this year. I had a hard time finding anything St. Pat's related in my new home and thankfully still had some green sprinkles leftover to decorate my cupcakes!
So, here's a pictorial review of the past few holidays. Note, there is nothing for Valentines Day as I was flying through the sky on my way home from Korea at the time....

First up, and most recently, we were invited over to my BIL's Parents for Easter. I couldn't decide what to bring but was assigned dessert. After much deliberation, I settled on lemon bars and a Spring Fling cake. I failed to take pictures of the lemon bars but here is the Spring Fling cake. This picture was post glaze on the fruit....
From Easter

And this is pre-glaze. Yes, I am aware that the frosting job looks rather messy. One is not supposed to frost the side of this cake. I made a half attempt at trying to with the extra frosting I had. In retrospect, probably not a good move. But oh well.
From Easter

So, like I said, no lemon bar pictures, but here is one more shot of the cutie cake pops that I made....
From Easter

Continuing backward in the holiday tour, we have to make an un-holiday pit stop. We were invited to a fish fry sometime in March and were asked to bring dessert. Hmm, are you noticing a trend here? In response, I whipped together the Hershey chocolate cupcakes. We and I say we because my husband who is quite creative decided he wanted in on the decorating fun, frosted the wonderful chocolate cupcakes with chocolate dream-whip frosting and with vanilla buttercream. Of course, we only have shots of half of what we made, so here are the chocolate frosted cupcakes.
From Easter

Going back to oh, the 17th of March, for St. Patrick's Day, and to finish the un-celebrated culinary holidays on my blog, I bring you chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's Irish cream frosting...

From Easter

And, for those that maybe cannot have any liquor, I also whipped up some of the cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. Much to my dismay, the stores here don't really think anyone celebrates St. Patty's day, so I have some very boring sprinkles on top to set the mood!

A SUPER DUPER close up:
From Easter

And, a few more with my unread pile of mail.
From Easter

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter to everyone!!

Once again, it has been a long time since I have updated my blog. I don't know why, I just haven't. However, a couple of my latest projects are too cute to not share.

From easter_baking

I got the idea from Bakerella and then put some of my own twists into the mix. These are cake. Yes, there is cake underneath all of that cuteness. Each and every one is entirely edible. And, according to my side kick, they taste good too! Bunnies, carrots and chicks. The definition of Spring!! At least to me.

From easter_baking

While I haven't updated my blog, I've still been baking away. I wish I could harness the energy and focus that I have for all things creative into taking a certain pesky test that I am still trying to pass. I know that if I could find a way to channel that energy my chances of passing would be much greater!
This is the inside of the cake pop. I used cherry chip cake cause that is what I had around the house. They are suprisingly moist.

From easter_baking

The cutest little bunny behinds!
From easter_baking

Don't you just want to squeeze this little cutie!
From easter_baking

I am blinded by the carrot!
From easter_baking

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Korean Impressions

I have not kept a daily journal on this trip to Seoul Korea like I did when I went to Russia. I have however collected my thoughts and reactions to what I have experienced here. I’ll cover as many as I can here:

Soju-This is a traditional Korean alcohol, that has a high alcohol content, somewhere in the 20%+ range. But it is smooth and goes great in a Hite or Max, 2 of the local beers in Seoul. I am bringing some home. The best part about it, it is SOOO cheap. A bottle costs less than $1USD. And no, that amount is not a typo nor is it missing a zero. Cheapest hang over I’ll ever get.

Heated toilet seats-this is something that the US should adopt. That’s right, sitting down to use the toilet and instead of being greeted by a freezing cold seat, there is a nicely warm but not too hot seat to rest your bum on. Makes me want to hang out in the bathroom for much longer than I should!

Fog-Out of the 13 days I was here, 12 of them were foggy and the one that wasn’t foggy was rainy. Pouring actually. I didn’t expect that.

Service-Service here is phenomenal. Everyone is very friendly and even if they cannot speak English, they will still attempt to help you.

Kimchi-Every meal has kimchi. That’s right, kimchi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kimchi is pickled cabbage I think. I’m not sure to tell you the truth but whatever it is it is pickled and then steeped in chili paste.

Coffee, Not Tea- I was expecting tea to be the drink of choice and I was excited because I am a lover of tea. Not so much. Coffee is on every corner and is the standard for the working crowd.

Meal Sides- As I said above, kimchi comes with every meal. Along with kimchi there are typically other sides, sometimes it is bean sprouts with chili sauce, sometimes it is radish with chili sauce. The constant is chili sauce. I had an interesting “kimchi” offering while I was here. I ordered pasta one night (yes, I ordered Italian in Korea) and as a side to go along with my olive oil and basil pasta I got bread and butter pickle slices. Strange combo.

Markets-The markets have everything from bottled ginseng, to dried fish, and any knick knack that you can think of. You could get lost at them for hours or find every random treasure that your heart desires.

Boxing Gloves on Motorcycles-Scooters and motorcycles are pretty common here and they all come affixed with gigantic gloves on the handlebars that resemble boxing gloves. I haven’t quite figured out what they are used for; warmth? Maybe. Protection? Maybe. To look tough? Maybe. They make me giggle every time I see them.

Reversing-Have you ever driven down a highway in the US and seen someone reversing down the shoulder of the road? Have you ever said to yourself what a dumbass, I hope they get hit? Well, I have found myself saying that when I see someone reversing down the shoulder as I’m driving 60 to 70 mph past them. I’ve also always found myself asking why one would ever put themselves at risk like that. Well, I’m not so proud to say that yesterday, while I was a PASSENGER in a car, a van actually, the driver missed the exit. Instead of proceeding to the next exit and turning around, what does he do? Pulls over to the shoulder and puts the van in reverse. Oh my God, one of my worst fears come true (and there wasn’t anything I could do).

Hazard Lights- Hazard lights are seldom used at home. Maybe you pop them on if you pull over into a fire zone to go grab a coffee or your dry cleaning just to let the next person know that you don’t plan to be there long. In my various rides around the greater Seoul area, I learned that hazards are used in another form here. When one slams on his/her brakes he/she subsequently turns on the hazard lights of the car to warn the cars behind him/her of the impending slow down and/or stop. I’ve never thought about using my hazards that way!

Mandu- And this is my own theory but so far has held true: when one wants to consume a mandu, which is sort of like a dumpling, the pinched mandu are savory and those that are smooth or unpinched are sweet-with bean paste in them. I couldn’t find a Korean to verify this theory for me but it held true for every mandu that I ate.

Juice-Aloe cures sunburns and is quite soothing. Did you know that it is a delicious juice too? I’m hooked and can’t wait to find some at home.