From Stem To Peel Inspired By The Kitchen

I was watching an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games on Monday, and I saw that someone utilized celery root an unexpected way: they used both the root itself as well as the tops in a slaw. I knew you could use most parts of certain vegetables, including the roots, stems, leaves, and or tops, but I didn’t know you could do that with celery root until now. I’ve always use both the florets and stems of broccoli, but that’s really it. I want to start using more vegetables “from stem to peel” as they say on The Kitchen because I want to find interesting ways to use those parts that people normally toss. For example, I decided to use beet greens two weekends ago as a part of Sophie’s Healthy Spinach Tortillas With Sweet, Sour, And Sticky Balsamic-Tomato-Glazed Roasted Beet Yogurt And Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, but only as a garnish, uncooked. I think it would be great one day to actually cook it, and incorporate it into a salad or a hearty soup or as a stuffing for a protein (which I’ve never done with anything (except pesto, but I want to actually stuff it with something instead of just spreading something inside it and rolling it up, and you can put healthy things inside the stuffing in addition to vegetables like what I mentioned a second ago, like nuts and seeds and such), but now I want to because I’ve seen it on tv, and it looks good, and you’re adding more flavor)), or even just as a side. Carrot and or radish tops I think could be great, too, for Asian dishes especially, like in a pesto or a green herbaceous oil or something like that drizzled on top as a sauce. Anyway, I’m glad that I’m coming up with these creative ideas, and I’m going to use them ASAP!!!!!


Healthy Eating, Part 2: Vegetarian And Vegan Inspiration

Now that my mom wants me eating healthier, I’m trying my best to do so, but for someone like me, it’s kind of difficult, and no, it’s not because of my dietary restrictions, which I no longer have anymore, so…yeah; it’s because I’m only a teenager, and sure, I eat healthy when I want to, but as someone who’s almost 16, I don’t always eat so well. I mean, who doesn’t want crispy pan-fried noodles from an awesome Chinese restaurant or a slice of pizza with all the topping you could imagine on a Friday night? You know what I mean? I don’t eat 100% healthy on a daily basis, but I do enjoy eating healthy when I do, and like I said, I’m really trying now, and I’m doing ok. Before I was the weight I am now, so, in other words, before Monday, I would be eating abnormally: I would come home from school five days a week, eat a whole box, or close to it, of Parmesan Garlic TRISCUITS, which, if you don’t know, is a flavor of these crackers that I love, and then, I would have something else, like Sophie’s Kale Caesar Salad, which is one of my favorites, and then, by the time I stopped eating, it would almost be time for dinner. My mom said that I have to space out my meals like a normal person, so I’ve been trying, and I’m not doing so bad. Anyway, now that I’m eating healthy, I want to get inspired by vegetarian and vegan recipes. For example, fried mushrooms are a great vegan dish to swap in for fried chicken, and grilled mushrooms (specifically portobellos because they hold up well on the grill and are nice and meaty (in general, mushrooms are one of the meatiest vegetables there is, which is why it’s a great substitute for meat and poultry)), marinated if that’s how you like it (or your grilled chicken), can be a succulent and delicious bite instead of grilled chicken. It’s not necessarily better for you to eliminate that protein, and I’m not going to 100% do that to myself (even though I don’t often eat meat regardless (just because I never want it)), but I just like this idea, this concept. As another example more like this, there are healthy grains that you can make substitutions with, such as farro and or quinoa. Salads are also good if you like your veggies, and you can add whatever you want, some of which can include your choice of protein, textural elements, such as nuts, etc. And, those are just three vegetarian options; there’s a whole world of possibilities out there, plus vegan substitutions as well. I also like these different kinds of bowls, like burrito bowls, but you can certainly make them vegetarian or vegan, like grain bowls with an abundance of fresh vegetables and such, almost like a deconstructed grain salad kind of thing. So, like I said in the beginning, I’m going to try, and get inspired by these kinds of recipes, and I’m going to start right now!!!!! Bye!!!!!

Pasta Alternatives And Healthy Eating

This post is long overdue because I’ve been into pasta alternatives for some time now, and Katie Lee on The Kitchen loves them as well, and on yesterday’s new episode, which was all about pasta, not just Katie, but Jeff and Geoffrey also each highlighted a pasta alternative. Katie, of course, talked about lentil pasta, which she’s talked about a lot in the past, Jeff talked about black bean pasta, and Geoffrey talked about chickpea pasta, all of which I like. Not only are they healthier, but they taste just like regular pasta does. The only thing that you should know, though, is that when you make a pasta dish with one of them, and you put it in the refrigerator, it’ll break down; it won’t make it taste bad or anything, but when I say that it breaks down, I mean that the pasta just breaks into pieces instead of staying whole. Oh yeah, anyway, I complete forgot that pasta alternatives made from vegetables are just as great, too; spiralized zucchini, squash, and more not only work well but taste delicious also. Just in general, healthy eating is better for you; my mom wants me to start working to maintain my weight when it comes to eating because I just got weighed at the pulmonologist on Monday, and for someone who’s 4’9″-4’10”, we think my weight is pretty good. I’ve always tried to eat healthy, and most of the time I do, but if you’ve ever heard of something called dessert, well, you know the deal. Regardless of that, I like these pasta alternatives like I said before, and I like making salads a lot, but again, dessert is my downfall. If any of you guys know me, you guys know that I make desserts for school often to give to the life skills kids and sometimes, if I have enough, I’ll offer to my other friends and my teachers, and, of course, I’m going take one because why wouldn’t I take one? No one I know doesn’t like dessert, including me. So, speaking of dessert, well, technically breakfast in this case, I’m working on one sweet and one savory crepe recipe, and the base ingredients of all my crepe recipes are going to be healthy. I’m going to use different types of flour, such as almond flour or chickpea flour, different types of sweeteners if I’m using one, such as honey, agave nectar, or coconut sugar, different types of milk, such as almond milk or coconut milk, and different types of fats, such as coconut oil or avocado oil. I’m going to use healthy filling, some or all encompassing Greek yogurt, and additionally, even though I’m not a vegan, I’ve seen that people use chickpea water, or any kind of bean water, in fact, called aquafaba, as a substitute for egg whites, but being that I like to be creative, I want to find new and inventive ways to use it (other than when I figure out how to make Italian meringue buttercream frosting; and use it for that, only because I won’t be scared about anyone consuming raw egg whites), but I’m going to try not to use it too much because eggs are a good source of protein. I’m excited to try out my spins on crepes and to continue eating healthy (including those pasta alternatives that I mentioned at the beginning) as much as I can!!!!!

My Take On Desserts With Savory Ingredients

When you think of desserts with savory ingredients, what do you think of? My first thought is the classic carrot cake, which we all know is actually pretty sweet. There’s also a riff on that, zucchini cake, inspired by zucchini bread. This has also kind of inspired sweet breakfasts, including mash ups, such Sophie’s Spiced Carrot Cake Muffins With Sweet Potato Filling And Spiced Oat And Nut Streusel. That’s also an example of an item that, often sweet, can be made either sweet or savory. In addition to muffins, this also includes other common breakfast items that we all know of, such as pancakes and waffles, etc., plus things like biscuits, maybe scones, and even dessert pizzas are a thing. And, how about dessert imposter? They’re awesome desserts masquerading as savory dishes, and it’s the challenge that make Kids Baking Championship Kids Baking Championship. Now, I find that putting savory ingredients in desserts is a fun little trend, seemingly new, although I doubt it, common in Japanese cooking/baking (you’ll see more about that as you read on). For example, I saw on A Measured Life, Chickpea Blondies. Those sound good to me? Why? Because I saw Melissa D’Arabian make a red bean paste cake on Guy’s Grocery Games, and I like beans. They’re a good source of protein, chickpeas especially. I mean, hummus is not my favorite, but it’s pretty good, and I use chickpeas in lots of other things, too, whether they’re there to add a crispy textural element to the dish or whatever. Anyway, they’re still sweet, they still have sugar in them, even though they have chickpeas in them, but it adds something. Like in this Chocolate Beet Cake that I saw on Holiday Baking Championship. The beets are there to add moisture to the cake, and the chocolate for the typical flavor that you want. The sweetness of the chocolate probably overpowers the beet flavor so that all you’re getting is a nice, moist chocolate cake. Avocado mousse is a common one, too. I hate avocado, but regardless, this dish is still a good example. It often has chocolate in it, and the avocado is there to add this different note of creaminess that you’re looking for in a mousse. I like this idea/philosophy/concept/whatever you want to call it. There’s also mash ups like I mentioned earlier, especially in things like cupcakes, cream puffs, and eclairs, even some doughnuts. The combination of maple and bacon goes great in cupcakes and doughnuts, and then, you have something like churro cupcakes, that pretty much combines two of those desserts that I mentioned, except being that they’re churros and not eclairs, it doesn’t, but still. They’re both made from the same dough, plus [the] cream puffs. Then, there are little ways to incorporate savory flavors into dessert, such as savory spices and fresh herbs and pairing them with flavors that you know go well with them, just like you would do in savory cooking. For example, tomato tart, but that’s more savory on a baked pastry crust that’s not actually very sweet, although tomatoes are somewhat acidic and often benefit from some sweetness when put into savory dishes, including sauces and such. There’s also something like Chinese five-spice, a combination of five sweet and savory spices (Szechuan peppercorns, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise, I think, but I read that it commonly includes fennel seed, with ginger as an optional add-in, Sichuan peppercorns instead of Szechuan peppercorns (I feel like they’re the same because their spelling look the same, so the probably are, but whatever; I spell it how I spell it) and Chinese cinnamon instead of regular cinnamon (I don’t know the difference, but there’s definitely a difference because one’s Chinese, and one’s not)) often used as a rub for meat or a seasoning in a flavorful sauce, soup, or stew. However, what I think of more with this is lemon-thyme/basil, such as in ice cream or cookies, or black pepper or ginger in a cake. But, that red bean paste cake that I mentioned earlier is really what kind of inspired this post. I want to use that idea in my desserts, such as in a miso paste or black bean paste cake, not a big cake, though: more of a petit-four sort of thing, like basically mini cakes that’s aren’t cupcakes. Instead, they’re shaped in silicone molds and usually have some kind of glaze poured over them, such as poured fondant. I was going to just top them with fruits, whether sliced up in their natural form or in some kind of sauce, or something to bring out the flavor of whatever “secret ingredient” I choose to put in it. I think that it could either add an unexpected not salty but umami flavor to the dish by offsetting the sweetness of the sugar that would still be put in the cakes, or it could bring out the sweetness as flavors that pair with it often do. I mean, think about it: why do we add salt to desserts? Because it’s supposed to take away from some of that sweetness, so it’s not too sweet, but, even then, you never really taste salt in desserts, only sweetness, which is why this is very interesting to me because then, when you add something salty to sort of act as the star flavor, it changes everything. At the same time, though, there’s a difference between the flavors of salty and umami, but even umami adds a different flavor. But, I also think that no matter what flavors are present in the cakes, I have confidence that whenever I make them, they’re going to taste awesome, and I’m excited that I’m going to get to make something daring, and experience new flavors that I’ve never tried before!!!!!

Diner Favorites Inspired By The Kitchen

Today’s new episode of The Kitchen was their diner favorites show. Jeff made The Greatest American Patty Melt in the Country, next was the Kitchen Helpline with Sunny’s 1-2-3 Hollandaise Sauce and Katie’s Crispy Hash Browns answering people’s questions, then was Geoffrey’s Lemon Meringue Pie, then Sunny’s Loaded Disco Fries and Jeff’s Tangy and Sweet Diner Slaw answered more of people’s questions on how to recreate their favorite diner food at home. Finally, Katie changed Sunny’s disco fries into Pizza Disco Fries, and Sunny made her Chocolate PB and J Shake. This all not only made me hungry, but it also reminded me of how much I used to love diner food as a kid. There’s this diner right by my house called the On Parade Diner, and on occasion, my family and I would go there for lunch, and being that I love brunch food, I’m not surprised that I like the food there. I don’t really remember what I would order, but I know that the food was good. What are your favorite diner foods? Feel free to respond in the Comment section.

Quick And Easy Shortcuts Inspired By The Kitchen

Season 3, Episode 9: Kitchen Confessions

Marcela: store-bought salsa

Sunny: pancake mix

Katie: whipped topping, but she doctors it up with sour cream

Jeff: whipped cream in a can

Geoffrey: peeled garlic

These are the shortcuts that the stars of the Food Network show, The Kitchen, use in their cooking when they need to get something on the table fast, and don’t have time to whip up all the components from scratch. (For those of you who watch the show, this is an old episode that I was watching the other day; Marcela is no longer on the show now.) They were very ashamed of these secrets, and I was hysterical laughing as I watched this segment. Anyway, they might be ashamed of them, but they don’t mean they’re not good chefs; I mean, I might not be a chef on Food Network, but I am a teen chef who uses shortcuts a lot (mainly because my mom doesn’t want me to make more of a mess than I already do, but still, some are just better for all of us). There’s canned beans (something that most of us probably use often because we don’t want to bother soaking dried beans overnight and letting them cook the next day for multiple hours), canned/frozen fruits and vegetables (certain canned ones actually taste good; I like canned corn, artichokes, hearts of palm, peaches, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc., and there are frozen fruit/veggie mixes made for smoothies and stir-fries, etc.), pre-made pie crust (I bet most of you use it just like me; I make homemade pie crust every once in a while, but it’s just not something that I want to make all the time because it can be time consuming), jarred sauces (I make some of them homemade a lot now, like marinara and basil pesto (my favorite), but I use these ones on occasion, very little, though), condiments (so, you can certainly make homemade mayonnaise and ketchup and barbecue sauce and stuff like that, but so far, I haven’t, so you don’t have to either, although I have made flavored mayos for sandwich spreads and sauces, and I’ve also made a sauce similar to barbecue sauce, but it has some different flavors to it), etc. These are just a few of so many different kitchen shortcuts you can take, some of which are farfetched, so just know that (I’m talking about the condiments). Speaking of which, when it comes to making sauces, I learned a trick from Guy’s Grocery Games (well, I saw it on an episode, but I probably had the trick in my arsenal before then): when you can’t afford a lot of things or whatever it is, you can always use some store-bought sauces to create your own sauces, and I find that it goes beyond just doctoring it up sometimes (sometimes, not always, but still: I think this could be helpful). So, yeah, I find that these are just great tips, and definitely, when it comes to cooking, shortcuts are the way to go if you want to make things that are quick and easy, and I think that especially for people who are really busy, which I think is most of us, these would be most helpful.

A New Perspective On The Science Of Baking

So, as most of you know, I like to do my own thing and kind of experiment in my baking, and I’ve previously said that I wanted to work with fondant and start branching out into working with more tools and things to just have more fun and become a better decorator. As of now, I’ve worked with fondant, marzipan, an ISI cream whipper (siphon), and I have a spiralizer in my house (it’s for cooking, but still), as well as a food saver (it keeps food for a longer period of time by sucking air into it, and you can use it instead of a vacuum sealer to infuse flavor into food (it’s great for marinating) in seconds; it’s also less expensive), but the molecular gastronomy episode of Kids Baking Championship (season 3, episode 9, titled Molecular Kidstronomy) that I just rewatched at a few hours earlier (there was a marathon on all day today because the first episode of season 4 is airing right now; I’m currently watching it) has inspired me to want to do more. I want to start working isomalt, which is a sugar substitute, and just sugar in general, like making caramel and candies and stuff, which means I’m going to be working with a candy thermometer as well, which, now, I don’t think I’ll be against. I also want to work more in depth with chocolate, like tempering chocolate, using different types of chocolate, like different percentages, different colors of coating chocolate, and different colored candy melts (it’s not exactly chocolate, but still…), modeling chocolate, maybe even making it because from what I’ve seen, it’s not that hard, and in order to do that, I’m might start working with a corn syrup. I think I’ve always not used it and would always rather use honey because I just don’t really keep corn syrup as a staple in my house, but we always keep honey in my house. If I don’t want to do that, then I might just experiment with using simple syrup to see if it works the same way, which is just equal parts sugar and water (I make it for all my cakes, and apply it before the frosting because it makes the cake extra moist). Anyway, I also already tried one of the techniques shown on KBC yesterday: I worked with tapioca maltodextrin, which dehydrates fats when grinded with them and resembles snow that tastes like whatever fat you use. Spherification chemicals is another one that I want to try. It creates little pearls, “caviar”, out of liquid by using sodium alginate and calcium chloride. I also want to create foams, gels, and gelées, etc., and work more with gelatin and other gelling agents, like agar agar, xanthan gum, versawhip, etc., as well as with the siphon. So, I think that’s all I got for this post. This is all really cool, and I’m excited to see what other baking ideas I can come up with in my free time!!!!!

Brunch, Baby: I’m A Brunch Girl Now!!!!!

I just got back from Florida where I spent my week’s worth of winter bread with my grandparents, my sister, and one of my brothers. I got to spend time with my aunts and uncles and cousins that I don’t see all the time, and it was a lot of fun!!!!! As usual, I sat in front of the TV day in and day out whenever I wasn’t playing golf and tennis or eating lunch at the country club in our development or going out to dinner at various restaurants. Speaking of which, the country club in the development where I stay, called the Polo Club, has great places for us to eat lunch. While you can eat outside at the Barefoot Cafe, most people prefer eating inside at the popular lunch place there called Steeple Chase, and it’s no surprise considering their awesome buffet. All you have to do is get a table, order drinks, and off to the buffet you go, with its array of delicious choices, from a special of pancakes or waffles every day to an omelet bar where the chef cooks it right in front of you, and you can tell him what you want in it to a salad bar with a variety of options. I swear, it’s so hard to choose. I mean, not only that, there’s bacon, sausages sometimes, sometimes mashed potatoes and mac and cheese, these are foods that change every day. One day, I remember it was Asian with chicken and rice and all sorts of stuff, and then, there was the Christmas brunch, and they also have soups every day, like matzoh ball soup, as well as sandwiches, and, of course, a dessert bar. You just can’t have this kind of a buffet without a dessert bar, right? And, that’s as good as it gets, but it’s really good. I got the special of pancakes or waffles, depending on what it was that day, every day, except for the last day when we were rushing because we had to get to the airport to fly back home, and I wasn’t in the mood for my usual lunch, so I got a hot crab po’boy instead. For those of you who don’t know, a po’boy is a New Orleans, Louisiana sandwich that usually consists of meat or seafood and sometimes a remoulade sauce. Mine just had crab and ooey gooey melty cheese. It actually reminded me of grilled cheese, just with an addition of crab, and I love shellfish now, so, of course, I loved it. So, the reason I say now that I’m a brunch girl is because I occasionally watch Brunch @ Bobby’s, and now, I’m obsessed with Beat Bobby Flay, so I figured that I might as well start watching it more because I like him more (I’m also obsessed with this new show, The Bobby And Damaris Show, because, I mean, you have Bobby, the Iron Chef, and Damaris, the nut job who I always get a laugh from, and they just work so well together)…well, that, and the fact that the food that I got at the club every has helped me rediscover how much I love brunch food. I never eat breakfast in the morning because either I don’t have time, or I’m not in the mood for it, or whatever, but now, I’m starting to remember how much I love this stuff. I just saw an episode this morning called The Savory Side Of Brunch, where Bobby added savory flavors to sweet brunch items, which is right up my alley because I like savory food more than I do sweet. He made things that I just wanted to eat right through the TV: of course, he made a cocktail, a verde mary, the one thing I didn’t want because I’m only 15, but what I did want was everything else he made, which consisted of stuffed French toast with Gruyere, mustard greens and double-smoked bacon that just looked like a savory French toast sandwich with a spicy crème fraîche Dijon spread and caramelized red onions soaked in a Parmesan custard with the perfect choice of sourdough bread, McFlay McScones that were biscuit-shaped, flavored with smoked ham and Muenster cheese, and turned into a sandwich (which is what I was hoping for) with herby oven-roasted plum tomatoes, watercress, and, of course, you can’t have a Bobby Flay brunch sandwich without a fried egg, and a savory yogurt bowl with chickpeas, cucumbers and beets, made extra healthy and delicious with tahini, acid from lemon juice and vinegar, and spices and herbs, and he used this Icelandic-style Greek yogurt, something I’ve never heard of before, but it looked good. Now, I don’t know if I’d be into the yogurt bowl, but my mom sure would, as for the McFlay McScones, I surprisingly don’t really like fried eggs, so take those off the sandwiches, and I’ll probably eat a few, and when it comes to the stuffed French toast, I would probably just eat it as a sandwich without soaking it in the custard and pan-frying it, but I also might try it that way because it seems kind of cool. So, that’s my story for today, and I’m going to be posting a few New Years creations later. I’m having some of my friends over and so are my parents and my sister and my brothers, and I’m really excited!!!!! Happy New Year, everyone!!!!!

Eat, Drink, and End Hunger at the NYCWFF

OMG!!!!!  I’m finally going to get to tell you about the best day of my life: today, I went with my mom to the New York City Wine And Food Festival sponsored by Food Network and Cooking Channel.  All proceeds go to the Food Bank For New York City and No Kid Hungry.  It was their 10th anniversary, and for the first time, there was a section of events for families for the first time this year called Family Fun!, so people of all ages could go; you didn’t have to be at least 21.  The event that my mom and I went to was Culinary Demonstrations Only at the Grand Tasting presented by Shoprite.  There were tons of food to eat, people to see, books to sign, and so much more!!!!!

I started off the day at 12:30 seeing a cooking demo by Jason Smith, the most recent Holiday Baking Champion and Food Network Star.  He made pan-seared pork chops with apple chutney, that, of course, included bourbon.  His Southern charm makes everyone smile, and I was so glad when I got the opportunity to have him sign my NYCWFF shirt that I bought and take a picture with me.

Next was Debi Mazar and her husband, Gabriele Corcos.  They have a show on Cooking Channel that I don’t really watch because I’m more into Food Network, so I didn’t go to their demo, but I love seeing Debi play Maggie on one of my favorite TV shows, Younger.  I went to their book signing where they, also, signed the back of my shirt and took a picture with me.

Then, Alex Guarnaschelli, The Queen, if you will, as the other superstars refer to her on Guy’s Grocery Games during his Superstar Tournaments.  I mean, she’s the Iron Chef, ICAG they called her (short for Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli), she’s a Chopped judge, she’s just a legend in the cooking world.  I had to choose between her and Marc Murphy’s demos because of the conflicting times, but I planned to go to both of their book signings anyway, so I went to Alex’s demo.  She made some chicken breasts with a sauce and pineapple upside-down cake with pink peppercorn caramel.

I was going to Marc Muphy’s book signing, another Chopped judge, but a guy said that he already left, and Alex’s started a little bit early, right after her demo.  Since I was going to Alex’s signing anyway, I still went to hers, and as I expected, the line was really long, but my mom and I still waited in it because I really wanted to meet her (oh, and she was wearing an ICAG shirt, from, of course, Guy Fieri, and a family of three was also wearing #ICAG shirts: lolz).  She, too, signed my shirt, and we took a picture together.  She also signed a piece of paper for Gabby because we were talking yesterday, and she asked me to try and get a signature from Alex for her.

Valerie Bertinelli: what can I say about her?  I think she’s one of my new favorite chefs on FN, as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, and, I mean, she went from actress to Food Network chef, and even though I didn’t see her act on any shows, I really enjoy watching Valerie’s Home Cooking.  Her fights with plastic wrap always get me riled up.  Lolz.  She’s also a co-host of Kids Baking Championship, which I love to watch.  Anyway, my grandma got me one of her old books, which I think at the time had been her most recent (her latest book was just released a few days ago), so I brought it for her to sign in addition to my shirt.  For her demo, she made scalloped potatoes.  When she asked if we wanted to have some, I went up, but by the time I got up there, they’d unfortunately ran out of it.  Once again, she signed my copy of her book that I told you I got, and just like everyone else, she signed my shirt, and we took a picture together.  And, just like Alex, my other friend, Hannah, wanted a signature from her, so she wrote one on a piece of paper for her.

Finally was Katie Lee, Southern gal and co-host of The Kitchen.  She made cauliflower chicken fried rice with a little help from her Z100 friend, Elvis Duran.  I went to her book signing, and she was so sweet, not that everyone else wasn’t.  She signed my shirt, took a picture with me, and then, that was the end of my day.

During each demo, people had asked questions that were answered by the chefs that were cooking, and in between each event, we, of course, walked around and sampled food, everything from spinach and kale pesto to cheesecake to arancini balls and pizza.  It was all sooooo good!!!!!

I thanked my mom over and over again because it was truly an amazing experience to get to meet all my favorite chefs, and I just had such a great time.  I was even put on the NYCWFF website!!!!!  Oh…and I forgot to tell you guys, at each person’s book signing, I gave them my business card.  Yeah, I have a business card that I created for this blog.  It’s in the collage that I used for this post’s picture.  Anyway, that was my unbelievable day!!!!!  Next year, I hope Gabby can come with me; I think she would’ve really enjoyed this.  Bye.

Crazy For Cream Puffs And Or Macaron Madness

When it comes to French pastry, we all know how I feel about it if you’ve read my past posts.  Now, I’ve decided that I’m still going to go through with making that croquembouche over the holidays that I told you about, but I’m not going to make macarons just yet on my own.  Here’s why:

1. Pâte à choux can be used to make more than just cream puffs, eclairs, and profiteroles.  It can also be used to make churros, Persian gnocchi, and so much more, so once I master it, I can make multiple things.

2. The piping is easier.  With cream puffs, you can pipe simply using a star tip or something to create that shape, or you can do the swirly frosting-a-cupcake design kind of thing.  I like the cupcake one because I’ve tried it before, and it just looks more decorative to me.  With macarons, you have to keep your piping bag straight up, and come off of it in a certain way and stuff or else you won’t get “feet”, and piping that is harder for me to control, I guess I could say.

3. With pâte à choux, you can make everything right away.  While you have to watch the consistency when you add the eggs, as long as you have the right amounts of each ingredient and the right baking temperature and time, you’re good to go.  With macarons, you have to wait for the meringue to be done whipping, you have to fold the batter a certain way, so it doesn’t deflate, you have to pipe a certain way, you have to let the macarons air dry before you bake them, it’s just a lot of baking labor in my opinion, as opposed to pâte à choux where you kind of get more freedom as to everything, except for the technique.

If I do it right, both would be impressive, and I love the taste of both, but I think just the fact that I’m going to attempt cream puffs, and try to turn it into a croquembouche is really cool.  And, it seems a little easier to me than macarons just because of the issues that I have with them that I mentioned above.  So, when the time comes to do it, I’ll be posting it, and hopefully, it’ll turn out exactly how I imagine.  If Katie Lee, the southern comfort food chef and co-host on The Kitchen on Food Network can do it, then I think I can, too.  Wish me luck!!!!!