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Cover: Founding Flavors

31Mar 13

Use Your Five Senses To Become a Dessert Connoisseur

I have recently been retraining myself to slow down when I eat for the purpose of truly appreciating what I’m consuming.  I’m not talking about enjoying the act of eating.  Rather, I’m referring to the use of all my senses to taste food, more specifically desserts, so that my awareness of the texture, color, smell, flavor, and ingredients used enable me to recall them later on when I’m experimenting in the kitchen. It’s amazing how taking a little extra time to savor a dessert helps you discover a new level of complexity in something as simple as a chocolate chip cookie.  All of sudden, you realize that your taste buds pick up something salty before the sweetness of cookie dough and chocolate spread across your palate.  Or, you realize that the reason you enjoy the cookie so much is that it is a little crunchier from the outside and gooey […]

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17Mar 13

Stracciatella Marshmallows

It is true that one can find creative inspiration everywhere but I never expected Peeps to serve as my muse for the creation of Stracciatella Marshmallows.  You read correctly…Peeps…those little marshmallow candies that bombard every grocery store and pharmacy aisle in America about this time of year.  As we become hypnotized by their bright yellow and pink colors, we start to tell ourselves “who cares that they are not truly representative of what a Spring chicken or bunny should look like and why bother contemplating why these sugary treats never seem to melt regardless of how long they are in the microwave.”  For those that think I might be exaggerating, might I point out that only a few weeks ago when our politicians were debating the fiscal future of our country with budget cuts, the Washington Post was announcing calls for participants to join the Seventh Annual Peeps Diorama Contest.  […]

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03Mar 13

14 Must-have Supplies for Making Memorable Homemade Desserts

The more I bake, the more I’m convinced that anyone is capable of creating wonderful and impressive homemade desserts.  The secret is ensuring you have the proper equipment and use top-notch ingredients.  But, accumulating the proper supplies can be overwhelming, especially when you are new to baking.  There are so many products on the market and, often times, they are sold as items exclusively used for making one particular kind of baked good.  The reality is that you can produce an array of desserts from donuts to croissants to lemon meringue pie with the same 14 must-have baking supplies listed on www.foundingflavors.com. Enjoy! Sonia

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18Feb 13

Expand Flavors in Your Culinary Repertoire

We all do it.  You walk into your kitchen and decide to whip up a dish using whatever you have in your pantry.  Sometimes your efforts to improvise leave you feeling rather impressed with your natural culinary talent.  And, other times, not even your mother could tell you how good your creation is with a straight face. A few weeks ago, I pulled out a sponge cake from the oven, drizzled simple syrup over it, and proceeded to open the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator looking for inspiration.  As I sliced fresh strawberries to place in between the sponge layers, I whipped up coffee flavored cream to spread over the sponge cake.   Since the combination of flavors sounded perfectly normal to me, I was a little taken aback when a friend came over and inquired as to whether these two items actually go together.  The question had never crossed my mind!  […]

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18Feb 13

Kiwi Sorbet

I’ve been practicing making various sorbets with my latest creation being a delicious, all natural Kiwi sorbet.  While I’ll expound upon the Kiwi sorbet recipe I used, I want to take a minute to discuss some of the lessons I’ve learned about making sorbet. For starters, unlike ice cream, it is not necessary to use a thermometer when heating up the mixture.  Instead, you simply mix sugar and water in a saucepan and allow it to boil.  The second thing to consider when making sorbet is whether you are going to use fruit juice or fruit puree.  Either is fine, but the consistency of the sorbet will differ depending on which one you use.  Fruit juice usually does not contain sufficient fruit fibers, which means that the sorbet is a little icy once frozen.  If, however, your preference is a sorbet with a smoother texture, you can add an egg […]

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30Dec 12

Happy Holidays and For Heaven’s Sake Buy an Oven Thermometer!

This Christmas, I learned the importance of ensuring that your oven temperature is accurate when I attempted to make Black Forest Cake.  I was so excited as I navigated through the grocery aisles looking for sour cherries, powdered sugar, and chocolate.  I had found the perfect recipe so my fear of a disaster or having to endure several trails and errors was completely eliminated.  I could already hear the oohs and awes of family and friends as I walked in with my Black Forest Cake.  And, once I started beating the eggs with sugar and folding in the sifted flour, I took care to listen to the sound of the batter as it thickened to ensure it was just right. I felt très Julia Child, waltzing around in my festive apron and opening the oven to bake the chocolate sponge cake layers at 325°F.  After exactly 15 minutes, I pulled […]

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16Dec 12

A Delicious Stroll Through the Marienplatz Christmas Market in Munich

This year, I embarked on a holiday journey to Germany to experience the tradition of European Christmas markets.  My only expectation was that I’d encounter a healthy overdose of everything related to Christmas, trying all sorts of goodies along the way.  While I made various stops in markets throughout Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich, my favorite was a Christmas market in Munich.  Situated in the heart of Munich, the Christmas market in Marienplatz provided a magical experience with the gothic New Town Hall building serving as the backdrop for an illuminated Christmas tree towering over the market.  Walking through the various booths filled with Christmas trinkets and food stands selling mulled wine known as Glühwein, bratwurst, and a gloriously overwhelming selection of sweets, one easily comes to understand why so many people flock to Germany each year to partake in the holiday celebrations. While most of my behavior was rather civilized, […]

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09Dec 12

Kick-off Your Holiday Party with Eggnog!

If you want a quick and simple way to add a personal touch to your holiday party this year, try making eggnog from scratch.  This recipe makes roughly 6-8 servings. Enjoy! Sonia www.foundingflavors.com           Ingredients: Sugar: ½ cup Egg yolks: 4 Milk, skim: 1 cup Milk, whole: 2 cups Heavy cream: ½ cup Nutmeg, ground: ¾ teaspoon Anise star: 1 Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon Ground cloves: 1/8 teaspoon Vanilla extract: 1 tablespoon Rum: ¼ to ½ cup Instructions: 1.Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl and then set aside. 2. Place skim milk, whole milk, heavy cream, anise, cinnamon, ground cloves, and ½ teaspoon of the nutmeg in a medium saucepan and turn the stove on to a medium range.  Stir occasionally, as you let the mixture start to simmer. 3. Now, pour a little bit of the heated mixture into the egg and sugar mix […]

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02Dec 12

Canela-Apple Cookies

The holidays are my favorite time of year.  Not just because everyone seems to be a little friendlier or because of the endless decorations and music, but because it brings me back home.  Sometimes physically and other times mentally.  This past week it was the latter that brought back memories of my grandmother’s holiday baking.  Growing up, my grandparent’s house was always well stocked with all sorts of goodies but the most coveted treats were her perfectly pressed cinnamon and sugar cookies.  The second she’d place them out, one-by-one we’d suddenly appear in the kitchen, as if by coincidence.  As I started thinking about these cookies, I also remembered several of her other desserts, including apple filled empanadas.  And, that’s how I got inspired to combine a bit of the two and create the Canela-Apple Cookie.   It has an outer cookie layer that resembles the flavors in her cinnamon and […]

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02Dec 12

Heavenly Dark Chocolate Gelato

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on a quest to make a flavorful homemade gelato that maintains the creamy texture of store-bought brands.  I tried endless recipes, which called for various combinations of skim milk, whole milk, heavy cream, and half-and-half.  The results ranged from flavorless to icy to a soft custard and then finally to a heavenly dark chocolate gelato that made the frustrations of the past two weeks well worth it. Enjoy! Sonia www.foundingflavors.com   Equipment: Ice cream machine Ingredients: Chocolate shavings, preferably with 65% cacao content: ½ cup Cocoa powder, unsweetened: ¾ cup Cognac: 2 tablespoons Egg yolks: 4 Half-and-half: 2 cups (2 cups of whole milk can be substituted but it will not be as creamy.) Heavy cream: 1 cup Powdered milk, skim: ¼ cup Sugar: 1 cup Instructions: 1. Place sugar and one cup of half-and-half in a medium saucepan and let it simmer […]

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