Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A letter I was thrilled to send

Subj: A Long Overdue Update

Hello Fellow Food Bank Supporters!

I have now received all donations to the food bank, and as a result of the fundraiser dinner, I am able to transfer donations (including independent paypal contributions in my name) in the amount of $375 USD! I'm sure I don't have to tell you how amazing this is!

I'm really proud of everyone who contributed....I asked everyone to donate $10, and I suspect that most gave at least twice that!

I am SOOOO excited to be able to play a part in the success of the food bank, and also to be a tool in spreading the word of Chef Wasson's good work! I have already received follow up notes from a some people who attended the fundraiser, expressing their interest in continuing to support the food bank independently....This is humbling, and also makes me so proud!!!

As stated before, I fully intend to hold more fundraiser events....I may be able to get my workplace to donate groceries, which would be amazing.

Thank you so much for being a part of such a great cause...It means so much to have found an organization that I believe in and can help out!

Much Love and Thanks!!!


Monday, May 09, 2011

Not Quite Done....

As you all know by now, The Tagum City Food Bank is near and dear to my heart. My Good friend, Chef David Wasson opened the first ever food bank in The Philippines last year. The Tagum City Food Bank is dedicated to feeding the severely malnourished children of Mindanao, and educating mothers on nutrition and maintaining healthy weight in their children. The organization has had many amazing successes, but they still need our help!

A...HEM.....SO!!! Please come out to a fundraiser dinner for The Tagum City Food Bank! I'll be making some delicious pork adobo, along with various other traditional dishes from The Phillippines, and my good friend Michel will be making her amazing lumpia, using her mother's authentic recipe! Please bring an appetite, as well as $10 (per person). Anything above and beyond the cost of ingredients will be donated directly to the food bank! (and 100% of all donations are used to buy rice for the kids! Win WIN, People!!!)

For more information about the food bank, and to donate independently, please go to the website:

At this point, the event will be held at my home, but depending on the number of RSVP's, it may be moved to a more suitable and roomy location! Please make sure to RSVP so that we know how much food to make, and also if the location needs to be changed!

I hope you all can make it out to catch up, enjoy some delicious food, and most importantly, to help David Wasson in his amazing efforts!


Friday, June 24 · 5:30pm - 8:30pm

If you want to come out and support this amazing cause, please comment below and I will make sure you get the address!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lend a Helping Hand

My Good friend, Chef David Wasson opened the first ever food bank in The Philippines last year. The Tagum City Food Bank is dedicated to feeding the severely malnourished children of Mindanao, and educating mothers on nutrition and maintaining healthy weight in their children. The organization has had many amazing successes, but they still need our help!

thought it would be helpful to get an exact idea of how little it takes to make a difference, and where exactly your donations would be going. Here's what Chef Wasson had to say:

"5 usd = 8 kilos of rice (we get the governments charity price for rice). Enough to feed a child for almost 3 weeks. 100% of all donations buys rice. It takes 10 to 12 weeks to completely restore a severely mal nourished child (down 40% of their body weight!!!!) to normal weight. So twenty dollars completely restores one child. This is the site where they can donate thru pay pal."

Please join me in helping Chef Wasson in his important work!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Alright, here's the list, for your reading and shopping pleasure:

Dressy Winter Coat
Mastering The At of French Cooking by Julia Child
Sock Monkey Hat
Amazing Grace Shampoo and Conditioner by Philosophy
A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Any Books by Heather B Armstrong
Fat Chances by Erin Shaw (my friend! She just published her book, and it's available in paperback!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

And Den? NO AND DEN!!!

So, it took me three tries to get logged into my blog account. I guess it's been awhile...If you're reading this, congratulations on holding out for THE AWESOME.

As usual, a lot has happened since my last post. Rather than continuing to avoid posting because I'm so overwhelmed by how much has gone on, I'm going to focus on the most recent events.

I graduated from pastry school! My last day of school was in August, but I still miss it every day. For my final showpiece project, I created an edible version of Starry Starry Night by Van Gogh - I think it turned out well.

After that, I had to take a performance test. I had two days, a total of 8 hours to make a 4-layer poured ganache genoise cake with chocolate filagree, 12 croissant, 6 plated mousse desserts with a sauce, garnish and tuille decoration, and 6 creme brulee. It was a lot of work, but amazing in the end. I decided to do a picnic theme, complete with sunflowers, red and white tablecloth, butterfly decorations and black plastic ant accents!

After a short but fun stint, the bakery closed down. There were several reasons things didn't work out, which I won't bore you with here. You just need to know that it was very sad for all of us who helped create such a wonderful space. The owners are going to keep the space for wholesale business, but have closed the retail side down due to limited retail business.

In the mean time...I found another job! I am now working at The Essential Baking Company, in the dessert production department. It is a great job, and I love everyone that I work with...jury is still out on whether this is the right place for me, long term. It's definitely a production focused job - great job security, and plenty of hours, but I'm still figuring out if the large scale stuff is really my cup of tea. Perhaps after the holidays when things are back to normal I can make a balanced judgment.

Nick and I celebrated our 5 year dating anniversary in August! Dare I say we are still as happy as the day we met??? Perhaps even MORE SO????? As usual, our Halloween costumes will be talked about for years to come. I'm still not sure how we come up with such great ideas at the last minute!

Nick is in the midst of his last year of law school at UW, and the most supportive of boyfriends when I come home ready to DIE after a 12 hour day on my feet. I've learned that he is amazing at hand massages, and really handy with a bottle of wine and an empty glass.

This week, during the busiest week of the busiest time of the baking year, Seattle got hit with a giant snow storm! I think most areas got 4 inches at most, YET it was pure insanity. Make fun all you want, but we have crazy crazy hills in Seattle, so driving is disastrous, no matter how well prepared drivers and the city may be. Sunday morning it started snowing, but didn't amount to much. Monday morning I awoke to an inch or so on the ground, but figured the work commute wouldn't be too much of an issue. I was an hour late to work due to bus schedules, but that was NOTHING compared to the commute home! Traffic was a total nightmare once the snow really started coming down...took me 4.5 hours to get home! First, the buses weren't running by my work, so I wound up WALKING about 3 miles to get into downtown Seattle, where I could catch a bus home....Finally got downtown, walking against the wind with ice pellets hitting me the entire time..brutal! So glad Nick talked me into wearing thermals under my clothing that morning, especially after I found out that the windchill brought the temp down to 9 degrees!

I managed to get a bus home, but I5 was totally gridlocked - My bus alternated between total standstill, and going about 2 mph. At one point we passed two vehicles sitting in the middle of the freeway, one giving the other a jump, because their battery had died in traffic! Then, one of the guys on the bus asked if he could step off to go to the bathroom, since we weren't moving anyway. Unfortunately the driver couldn't let him off because we were on the freeway, but the poor guy was so desperate. Someone on the bus offered him a water bottle to pee into! The driver made an announcement, and his very understanding and amused travel companions moved away from the back of the bus so that he could have some privacy.

The driver finally decided to detour and took an early exit....where we got stuck behind a stalled car. The bus driver got out and helped push the car out of the way. As she was walking back to the bus, two cars cut in front of us, and they proceeded to also stall! Oy!!! We FINALLY got out of that mess, and were making pretty good speed down the road, when the bus got stuck on a bit of an incline....we all packed on the back of the bus to try to weigh down the back wheels to help with traction, which seemed to be helping, but then the chains broke! I was a few miles from home at this point, and Nick came and saved me (he's currently driving an all wheel drive vehicle, thank goodness!)

Once home and warm, Nick made me a chili dog, and poured me a glass of wine! Such a pleasant way to end that commute!

And now? Now we prepare for Thanksgiving! Nick's parents are doing most of the cooking, but I am in charge of a dessert item, and Nick is in charge of a side. I wanted to make a less traditional dessert, so I'll be going with a chocolate peanut butter cream pie, and Nick wanted to do a slightly less heavy side, so orzo salad it is!

What are you thankful for this year? I'm thankful for the off-route bus driver who took pity on my cold, nearly lifeless body after work, and also for Nick's skills at making BLTs. Mmmmmm.

Friday, May 28, 2010

An Update on What I've Been Doing

The bakery is open! Our soft open was today, and it was quite the success! I had school during the early afternoon, so I wasn't at the bakery to help out until 2pm, but from the sounds of things, we had several rushes and put out a lot of product!

There are **3** articles that have already been published - we're a hit!

The West Seattle Herald


The West Seattle Blog

If you're in the Seattle area and in the mood for a treat, please stop by and check out the amazing space!

Hours of Operation:
Wed-Sat 7a-7p
Sun 7a-3p

2604 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Amusing Story, and then Part II of my Age Trilogy

Nick and I took a trip to San Diego to visit his grandmother for Christmas this year. Nick's mom was kind enough to purchase our tickets, knowing we were poor students with some time to kill.

While we were there I had the opportunity to meet some of Nick's mom's highschool friends. One friend in particular she was really excited to see, as it had been many many years since their last reunion. I asked her to describe her friend. She reflected for a moment and said, "She is like the finest leather handbag."

I realized quickly after meeting this person, that she couldn't have been described better on more than one level. She the type of person that you appreciate and never want to part with. She also happens to have the skin of a fine leather handbag. Years of salt water and sun from surfing on the most beautiful beaches have left her looking about 20 years older than Nick's mom.

Segue to ME.

I'm turning 30 in just under 2 months! July 24, to be exact. I have needs! Age related needs, if you will. I have recently come to the realization that everything I desire for my birthday is directly related to skin care. I blame it on my girlfriend who is an Aesthetician. (I need a new camera lens too, but let's FOCUS**, People!)

1. Skin Ceuticals Gentle Cleanser
2. Phytomer Rosee Visage Toner
3. Phytomer Purifying Serum
4. Phytomer Instant Moisture Cream
5. Skin Ceuticals Daily Sun Defense
6. MD Forte Hydra Mask
7. Skin Ceuticals Eye Renewal Gel

So, there it is. You know what to do. I left links out because I don't know the cheapest place to find these products - I trust your Google skills.

**Pun TOTALLY unintentional...didn't even realize it was there until I went back to re-read my post!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Advanced Deco: Fancy Cakes Edition

Apparently I am on a flower kick, because I just can't get enough of these:

This cake has imprinted fondant sides and is covered with white poured ganache. Decorated with marzipan roses.

Triple chocolate ganache cake decorated with modeling chocolate roses.

This is a flower arrangement I made for my theory class. Gumpaste flowers, a rye dough basket and modeling chocolate "tissue paper" and bow.

A close-up of my flowers.

Monday, May 03, 2010

What I've Been Doing

So, it's been a little crazy. Crazy *exciting*, that is! I have a job! At a real live bakery! Well, almost. First the bakery has to open. That's right, I'm helping open a bakery!

I count my lucky stars that I stayed in touch with someone who graduated from my program last summer. She and I have become good friends since, and I was the first person she thought of when she and her boss decided to expand from selling pretzels at farmers' markets to opening a retail space.

Queue: Heavenly Pastry and Cake

It has been a fun process, and more work than I ever could have imagined. We took over an old newspaper office, so much needed to be done to fit into the owner's vision. Walls were taken down, new walls put in, plumbing installed, painting, name it! We're done with all the painting, and currently the space is being taken over by contractors of every kind imaginable. Once all the "dusty" work is done we can get to work finishing the tables and chairs!

Open date is slated for May 15th - confirmation and more info to come!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Staying Home To Make Pancakes > Going To School

Yet another recipe, courtesy of Orangette:

Oatmeal Pancakes

Adapted from the Inn at Fordhook Farm

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. table salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted but not hot
Vegetable oil or spray, for greasing the pan
Maple syrup, for serving

The night before: Combine the oats and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Stir to mix. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The morning of: Take the bowl of buttermilk and oats out of the fridge. Set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Add the eggs and melted butter to the oat mixture, and stir well. Add the flour mixture, and stir to blend. The batter will be very thick.

Warm a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and brush (or spray) with vegetable oil. Scoop the batter, about a scant ¼ cup at a time, onto the pan, taking care not to crowd them. When the underside is nicely browned and the top looks set around the edges, flip the pancakes. Cook until the second side has browned. Re-grease the skillet, and repeat with more batter. If you find that the pancakes are browning too quickly, dial the heat back to medium.

Serve hot, with maple syrup.

Yield: about 12 pancakes, or 3 to 4 servings

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In Loving Memory

Daniel Janzer - 10/4/1950 - 3/25/2010. A great friend and step-father who had a true sense of adventure.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day

Chance meeting: over moving boxes and a crock pot.

1st Date: "sometime in August", 2005 - a party at Golden Gardens park with a late night/early morning breakfast at Minnie's Cafe. Conversation included, "I'll get this, and you can pay next time.".

4.5 years.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Delicious Day Off

Thanks to my mom's post about stuffed french toast, Nick and I simply couldn't go on without making some of our own. Since I didn't have any cream cheese on hand, I went with the un-stuffed variety, but next time around I'll make sure I have the cream cheese!

A few points:

My mom followed the recipe over at The Flour Alchemist, which calls for blending vanilla extract in with the cream cheese. If you're using cherry topping like my mom did, I would definitely recommend using almond extract instead of vanilla - cherry and almond go beautifully together! Also, I would probably blend some of the strained cherries into the filling, then just use the juice as a syrup on top - I love a chunky filling!

Now, for my un-stuffed version, I decided to use a topping that I learned at school, homemade moreno cherries. The most amazing thing you've ever tasted - it will change your life, I promise.

Moreno Cherries

3 cups frozen cherries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon almond extract

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved and sauce is thickened.

I served this on top of my french toast, but it would also be excellent on ice cream or cheese cake. It also saves really well in the refrigerator.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Favorite Site!

Via Jewshi:

"I could almost cry brothy tears just thinking about that fact that the majority of Americans think ramen is nothing more than a 10 cent packet of culinary desperation, eaten primarily and shamefully by college students who'd rather spend their parent-supplied grocery money on cases of Keystone Ice."