Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Into the Vietnamese Kitchen

Now that my kitchen is fully operational again, I had the opportunity to dive into my newest cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen by Andrea Nguyen. I decided to start with an easy recipe, Garlicky Oven-Roasted Chicken or Ga Roti.

I made the marinade on Saturday by combining soy sauce, sugar, black pepper, soy sauce and canola oil. I let the chicken marinade in the fridge overnight rotating it occasionally to make sure that it was evenly coated. Sunday evening I baked the chicken at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes starting with the skin-side down and flipping it after the first 15 minutes.
The Marinated Chicken Before Baking

The finished chicken was delicious and was perfect for lunch the next day. For dinner, I paired it with rice and sauteed broccoli. I loved how quick and easy this recipe was and it is a great addition to my arsenal of go-to meals during the work week.

The Finished Product

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our New Kitchen

With our love of cooking and entertaining, the kitchen is truly the heart of our house and the most used room by far. Since moving into our house about three years ago, it has been on our list of projects we would like to tackle. We were lucky to be able to finally make that dream happen (Thanks, Honey!). Our kitchen had great bones with good cabinets, lots of storage space and a functional layout. All we needed to do was get rid of the linoleum and update the countertops. We found a great local company that completed the job on-time and on-budget and we are absolutely thrilled with results.

We wanted something different and selected a porcelain tile that looks like hardwood, a dark granite with lots of grays and beige and we tied everything together with a glass tile and stone backsplash. Since our kitchen doesn't get much light, we painted the walls a super pale blue. We polished everything off with new sink and faucet. It is amazing the difference that those little details make.


Our Ugly Laminate Countertop
A Close Up of the New Granite

The Linoleum Floor

The New Tile Floor

Sunday, January 29, 2012

One Last Hurrah

Before we embarked on our kitchen remodel, I needed to make one last batch of cupcakes in my "old" kitchen sort of like one last hurrah. So I decided to tackle a project that I had been on my to-do list for quite a long time -- making a homemade version of the delicious creme-filled cupcakes that I grew up eating.

As the base, I used my standby Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake recipe and then I made my own mix of Marshmallow Fluff, sugar and heavy creme for the filling and this amazing chocolate ganache for the top.

I used a pastry bag with a round tip to add the filling to the cupcakes after they cooled. It is really important to make sure that the cupcakes are completely cooled otherwise the filling will melt. After the cupcakes were filled I dipped them in the cooled ganache and put them in the refrigerator to set.

The results were awesome and I would definitely make these again. I was really impressed at how easy this project was and how well the finished cupcakes turned out. Most importantly, everyone loved them!

Dry Ingredients

Cupcake Batter
Star Wars Cupcake Liners Especially for The Boys
Filled Cupcakes

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What is Confection?

According to Merriam-Webster, confection is -

1: the act or process of confecting (putting together from varied material)
2: something confected: as
: a fancy dish or sweetmeat; also : a sweet food
: a medicinal preparation usually made with sugar, syrup, or honey
: a work of fine or elaborate craftsmanship
: a light but entertaining theatrical, cinematic, or literary work

This is my confection - full of foods, clothing, accessories and all of those details that make life especially sweet.
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