Have you eaten yet?

Blog on food, travel, and the search to answer the question, have you eaten yet?

Safari Birthday January 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 10:38 pm

What do for birthday boy who loves animals?  Throw him a safari birthday filled with animal wishes and some mischievous monkeys!

You have to keep an eye on those monkeys!!  They get their hands into everything…

The cake is made out of 6″, 8″, and 10″ rounds.  It is covered with Massa Grischuna fondant and decorated with handmade gum paste figures and decorations.

Cake is a three layered carrot cake with vanilla bean buttercream.

 

Winter Blossoms

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 10:13 pm

Winter blue cherry blossom wedding cake

Five tiers covered with with Massa Grischuna fondant and decorated with hand made gum paste cherry blossom branches and blooms with antique luster dust.  Pair of love birds supplied by bride.

Cake is a five layer chocolate chiffon with whipped cream, berries, and vanilla buttercream.

 

Holiday Bake Sale!!! November 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 5:16 am

HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who made the first Team In Training Bake Sale a BIG SUCCESS!!  You all helped to contribute to the $40,000+ funds raised to further leukemia and lymphoma research and patient services.  However, the journey doesn’t end there!  My honored teammate, Mrs. Ponce, is now in remission from stage 4 lymphoma (YAY x infinity!!), and plans to walk or run the next event!  How incredibly AWESOME is that?!?!?!!!  She is a super warrior!  In honor of her and all blood cancer warriors out there, I will continue to train for the next marathon and hope to walk/run with Mrs. Ponce. :D

So are you all EXCITED about the Holiday Bake Sale?!???!  I sure am!! And I hope to raise even more $$$$$ for LLS! :)


Order now!!!!
Please email your order to cecilia@cecicakesla.com by Friday, December 17.

Items may be picked up or delivered to you during the week of December19-24 ☺ (Free delivery to anywhere in SGV)
100% of proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
All tax-deductible contributions are welcomed.

$6    “better than getting coal in your stockings”
4 oz. (by weight) candies/treats

  • peppermint bark
  • dark chocolate almond buttercrunch
  • pistachio cherry nougat

$12     “WWHS? (What Would Homer Say?) Doh!”
by the dozen

  • cinnamon raisin rolls
  • bourbon fig sticky buns
  • meyer lemon blueberry scones
  • harvest squash muffins A healthy alternative made with a blend of unbleached wheat flour, whole wheat flour, and flaxseed meal and sweetened by succanat and slow roasted kabocha squash

$15    “the naughty or nice dozen”
bars

  • brownies
  • brown butter blondies
  • nutella krispies
  • rainbow inspired by Brooklyn’s Italian bakeries…three moist layers of almond cake with raspberry jam and apricot preserves nestled in between and topped with chocolate glaze

cookies

  • linzer                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               filled with homemade raspberry jam and/or kumquat preserves
  • ginger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             spiced with flecks of crystallized ginger
  • alfajores                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  homemade dulce de leche sandwiched between delicate butter cookies
  • pecan polvorones                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         tossed with powdered sugar and cinnamon

$40    “sharing is caring”
serves 12-15 people
buche de noel

  • gingerbread with pumpkin mousse and chocolate buttercream
  • carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting
  • egg nog bread pudding with flamin’ pineapple caramel sauce and pineapple sorbet

$50    “santa’s helper” green gift bag
choice of one 4 oz. treat, three cookies or bars(half dozen of each), a loaf of homemade challah or bacon brioche, and café au lait confiture in an eco-friendly cecicakes canvas bag!

 

BAKE SALE!!! July 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 5:10 pm


Order now!!!!
Place order by Saturday, August 21.

Items will be delivered to you during the week of Aug 29-Sept 5 ☺

Free delivery to anywhere in San Gabriel Valley!
100% of proceeds go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
All tax-deductible contributions are welcomed.

$6    “non-committal”
4 oz. (weighted) candies/treats

  • fleur de sel caramels
  • vanilla bean marshmallows (ready to commit? Pick up some homemade graham crackers,  and you got yo’self s’mores!)
  • coffee marshmallows (made with café du monde chicory coffee)

$10     “quit loafin’ around and donate already”
loaf (6-8 servings)

  • meyer lemon pound cake
  • zucchini walnut cake
  • chocolate banana cake

$12     “the dirty dozen”
bars

  • brownies
  • brown butter blondies
  • lemon bars

scones

  • ginger
  • maple walnut
  • meyer lemon blueberry
  • chocolate hazelnut

cookies

  • chocolate chip
  • oatmeal raisin
  • white chocolate cherry
  • cinnamon palmier
  • graham crackers

$16     “sharing is caring”
crisp (8 servings) Note: crisp topping contains nuts

  • apple
  • berry
  • “the gambler” (whatever fruit I find at the farmers’ market)

tart (8 servings)

  • lemon
  • fresh fruit

To place order please email cecicakes@yahoo.com for order form.  Thank you so much for your support!

 

Summertime…perfect for homemade limoncello July 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 7:13 pm

Ahh…how time has flown.  Six months have already passed since I received gifts of Meyer lemons picked straight from my friends’ backyards.  Patience proves to be a virtue, as tested by waiting for my first batch of limoncello.  The first few weeks I watched as the thin delicate ribbons of lemon skin sat afloat in the Everclear.  After many shakes, swirls, and sniffs at the bottle, the supple dark yellow hues began to give way to the alcohol releasing its oils and aroma and changing the clear liquid to a mandarin orange.  It is now time to strain.  I also made a Meyer lemon syrup for extra flavor intensity.  Now, I just have to wait another week as it sits in its new home in the refrigerator.

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of my first batch.  Compared to store bought limoncello, it lacks clarity in its appearance, however it makes up in flavor and smooth finish a thousand fold.

I can’t wait for this coming December…with sharp paring knife in hand.

Limoncello

Yields 2 – 750 ml bottles

60 Meyer lemon skin, sans pith (more instruction on this to follow)

1 bottle of Everclear(found at BevMo)

1 sterilized glass bottle or jar, preferably with wide mouth

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup Meyer lemon zest

2 sterilized glass bottles with tightly sealed caps(recommend the swing caps)

1. Be sure to use a sharp paring knife.  Carefully peel skin with knife.  Place skin side down with white pith facing up.  Use knife to carefully take off pith.  The skin should be paper thin.  (yes, this can be tedious…so you may want to do this over the course of a week.  By the way, I LOVE the oils give my hands a floral perfumey lemon scent…YUM!)

2. Place skins in sterilized glass bottle or jar.  Cover with 1 bottle of Everclear.  Seal jar tightly and store in cool, dry, dark place.  Allow it to steep for at least 6 months.

3.  Once alcohol is ready…the skins should be white and the alcohol a dark yellow or orange hue, strain through a chinois. (or use a regular strainer with coffee filter)

4. Place water and sugar in pot. Bring it to a boil.

5.  Remove from heat.  Add lemon zest.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow zest to steep.

6.  Once Meyer syrup has cooled strain it through chinois.

7.  Combine with alcohol and place in sterilized glass bottle.

8.  Store in refrigerator or freezer for at least a week.

Enjoy!

P.S. You may use the same method to create Lime-cello, as well as flavor limocello with herbs, spices, etc.  I have another batching steeping with vanilla bean.  Rosemary, thyme, or lavendar would pair beautifully with it as well.

 

A Windfall of Lemons January 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 6:57 am

I love fall and winter…cozy sweaters and coats to envelope in, snowfall, and my favorite citrus.  This season I amassed a fortune of Meyer lemons from my friend’s tree.  One person’s trash is another’s treasure?  Baffled by the abundance of this year’s crop my friend didn’t know how to use up all the lemons and wished that it would only yield what was needed.  No problem, I am here to resolve her dilemma.
An hour later I looked down into my extra large brown paper bag with a huge smile…the rotund Meyer lemons dancing in my head…dreaming of all the possibilities.  I quickly drove home to zest and juice the little treasures.  Their wonderful sweet oil permeated the air.
The Meyer lemon is native to China.  Prized for its thin skin, sweet flavor, aromatic scent, and high juice yield compared to other varietal of lemons, it has become a well-known fruit.
As I zested, I couldn’t wait to make my staple lemon curd.  This time I incorporate it into a Lemon Blueberry Tiramisu for a friend’s housewarming. ☺

Lemon Curd (from Sherry Yard’s The Secret of Baking)

2/3 cup  sugar

2 T          Meyer lemon zest

3             eggs

4             yolks

3/4 cup Meyer lemon juice

4 T         unsalted butter, cubed

1. Place sugar and lemon zest in a bowl.  Rub lemon zest in sugar to release the oils.

2. Whisk eggs and yolks into sugar mixture.

3. Set bowl over a hot water bath and whisk vigorously for 3-5 minutes or until sugar crystals have melted.

4. Slowly stream lemon juice into bowl and continue whisking for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens(nappe).

5. Remove bowl from heat.

6. Whisk in butter.

7. Blend with hand blender.

8. Strain through a chinois.

9. Chill.
Lady Fingers

6            yolks

1/4 cup sugar

6            whites

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup     cake flour, sifted

1. Place yolks in mixing bowl with whisk attachment.  Whisk at medium speed.

2. Rain in sugar. Whisk until mixture thickens and has a pale yellow color(ribbon stage).

3. Remove bowl and set aside.

4. Place whites in a clean, dry mixing bowl with whisk attachment.  Whisk at medium speed until foamy.

5. Rain in sugar.  Whisk until medium stiff.

6. Gently fold egg white mixture(meringue) into yolk mixture with cake flour with a balloon whisk.

7. Place into pastry bag with plain tip.  Pipe onto sprayed parchment lined sheet pan.

8. Dust with powdered sugar.  Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes or until golden.
Mascarpone Cream

8 oz      cream cheese

8 oz      mascarpone cream

1           vanilla bean, scraped (save pod to make vanilla sugar)

8 oz      whipped cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Place cream cheese in mixing bowl with paddle attachment.  Whip on medium speed.

2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla bean seeds.

3. Add mascarpone cheese.

4. Remove mixing bowl and using a spatula fold in whipped cream.
Blueberry Compote

8 oz       frozen blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup white wine

1             bay leaf

1/2 t      Meyer lemon zest

1 T         Meyer lemon juice

1 pint    fresh blueberries

1. Place frozen blueberries, sugar, white wine, bay leaf, and lemon zest into a saucepot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and strain through chinois.

3. Allow to cool and add lemon juice.

4. Toss in fresh blueberries.
Potent Lemonade

1/4 cup  sugar

1/4 cup water

1 t         Meyer lemon zest

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice

1. Place sugar and water in saucepot.  Bring to a boil to make simple syrup.

2. Add zest and cover with plastic wrap.

3. Allow to cool.

4. Add lemon juice.

Tiramisu Assembly

1. Soak or brush ladyfingers with potent lemonade.

2. Line glass or trifle bowl with ladyfingers on the bottom and sides.

3. Spread mascarpone cream on top of ladyfingers.

4. Top with a layer of blueberry compote.

5. Layer with potent lemonade soaked ladyfingers.

6. Spread lemon curd.

7. Repeat steps 2-6.

8. Line top layer with potent lemonade soaked ladyfingers.

9. Top with blueberry compote. Chill before serving.


Next up…Preserved Lemons

P.S. In case you amass a fortune of Meyer lemons here’s a list of 100 things you can do with them.  http://www.latimes.com/features/la-fo-meyerlemons16jan16,0,5003872.story

 

My love for autumn and pumpkin pie November 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — sahsileeah @ 7:07 am

Dear friends…I apologize for neglecting my blog.  So much for setting the goal to post once a week…it seems that it is now once a season. :(  Now that the holidays are around and the weather is changing, I am much more inclined to bake…keep the house warm and cozy filled with scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cranberries, citrus, butter, and pumpkin…mmm!

Here is my favorite pumpkin pie recipe.  Diabetes unfortunately runs in my family, so this holiday I made a more diabetic friendly pumpkin pie.  It still came out delicious and custardy (as proof my aunt who rarely craves sweets had a second helping!).  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie (yields 3 – 9″ pies)

Crust

3 c              all purpose flour

2 t               salt

1 T              sugar

1 t               ground cinnamon

1 #              butter, cold, cubed

3/4 c          ice water

1/4 c          pecans, chopped

filling

3                 eggs

1/2 c          light brown sugar

1/2 c          agave nectar

1 1/2 c       half and half

1 can         Libby’s solid packed pumpkin puree

1/2 t         salt

1/4 t         ground nutmeg

1/4 t         ground cinnamon

1/4 t         ground ginger

1/4 t         orange zest

Whisk eggs in bowl.  Add all ingredients into bowl and whisk to combine.

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment.  Cut in cubed butter.  Slowly stream in water.  Add pecans.  Remove dough from bowl and knead together.  Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.  Roll out to desired size for pie tin.  Blind bake pie shells at 350 degree oven until golden.  Pour pumpkin pie filling into shells and bake 35 min or until set.

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