Saturday, October 30, 2010

Devil's Food Cupcakes

As much as I could love to say that I'm finally done studying for midterms for a while, after taking three midterms within the last 2 weeks, I can't. :( Midterms are already back! I essentially have midterms every week until Thanksgiving. Oy Caloy!! Sounds fun, huh? Due to this, I haven't been baking as much, haven't been reading up on the blogs I follow, haven't caught up on my love for reality shows, haven't been watching the Food Network and haven't been eating a whole lot. That's why this week it's all about Devil's Food Cupcakes! I think Midterms are the devil! lol. Well, that and Halloween is tomorrow and I need something kind-of, sort-of, semi-ish Halloween related. ha. It only seems right to do. So, Happy Halloween!

Now I have to go do something scary....Homework and Studying! I bet you jumped right out of your seat just now. hehe.

-The batter will be quite thin but don't worry about it. It will become a moist cupcake after baking.
-Fill the cupcake liners to about 2/3 of the way up to prevent "stick-age" to the pan
-My Cupcakes baked in about 20 min

Taste: The taste was good, not great. The cupcake itself needs an extra chocolate boost. It had a mellow chocolate flavor instead of a deep intense flavor that I wanted. The frosting needed an extra chocolate boost as well. Perhaps, about a tablespoon more cocoa powder to enhance the cake and about a teaspoon of cocoa powder to enhance the frosting will do the trick. 

Texture: An EXTREMELY MOIST cupcake!! There is definitely no dryness to this cupcake recipe. It's soft and fluffy and with that creamy chocolate buttercream, can you ask for anything more?

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream
Recipe's are Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake and Milk Chocolate Buttercream by Anne Thornton
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

5 sticks (2 1/2 cups) butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups milk chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until thin knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

Frosting: In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the butter, salt, and 2 cups of the confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate, vanilla, and remaining sugar. Whisk on medium-high until smooth and fluffy.

Once the cupcakes are cool, frost the cupcakes.

-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
Facebook Fan Page

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Forget all the times I've said a recipe is the "easiest ever!" because this one is by far the easiest of all! haha. Why is it this easiest? Well, it only uses TWO ingredients (Not counting a pinch of salt)!! Say Whaaaa?! TWO ingredients is all you need for this "dessert". What is it you ask? Palmiers aka Elephant Ears!! While we're on the subject of Elephant Ears, when I was younger my brother used to call me Dumbo after the elephant named Dumbo in the Disney movie. The reason behind this? Well, I had huge ears and I was able to wiggle (more like flap) them just like Dumbo. To this day, I still can wiggle/flap them! They are not as huge as before though. hehe. Can you even believe I was able to win a mini laptop at UW with this hidden talent? It's TRUE!! Enough of my random tangents. haha. Like I said, this is the easiest recipe ever. Take sugar and puff pastry, roll out the puff pastry with sugar, fold , slice and bake. Believe me now? You can change up the flavor by adding different spices such as cinnamon. A perfect cookie to whip up in no time. Here's my results, tips and the recipe!

Taste: Simply sweet and buttery

Texture: Crisp and crunchy with an outer layer of sugar

-No time to bake Palmiers after rolling and folding the dough? Freeze it for later use! I actually slice them prior to freezing to make it even easier

-I found that baking the sliced Palmiers pretty close together prevents excessive unraveling.

-Don't try to work in all the sugar. If there's too much sugar when baking, it creates a caramel which I had.

Recipe from Ina Garten

2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1 cup of the sugar/salt mixture on a flat surface such as wooden board or marble. Unfold each sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. This is not about sprinkling, it's about an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it's 13 by 13-inches square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place the second sheet of pastry on the sugared board, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar mixture, and continue as above. (There will be quite a bit of sugar left over on the board.) Slice and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Palmiers on Foodista
-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
Facebook Fan Page

Friday, October 22, 2010

And The Winner Is.....

The winning number is 16. That means that Michael wins the $55 Gift Certificate to CSN Stores. Congrats!! I will contact you about your prize.  This is the second time Michael has won so he will not be eligible to enter the next TWO giveaways. Seriously, what are the chances for winning twice?! I'm in shock just as much as you are! Anywho, I guess that's about it for this post. Thank you to everyone who entered and thanks to CSN Stores for allowing me to do this giveaway. Who knows what other surprises are in store?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Giveaway Entrants And Your Numbers

Here we go. I numbered the entries myself again. Look for your name and numbers and Good Luck!! The winner will be announced shortly!

J_feng: 1

Blake: 2

Domestic Diva: 3

Mamipdx: 4, 5, 6, 7

An Open Book: 8

Elaine: 9

Dee: 10, 11, 12, 13

Daphne: 14

Michael: 15, 16, 17

Liz: 18, 19, 20, 21

Debbie: 22, 23, 24

Meeyeehere: 25, 26, 27

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coconut Cupcakes

These last couple of weeks, I've been bombarded with a plethora of school work! (Don't you just love my sophisticated language? ha). From readings, to assignments, to labs and post labs and now midterms, I have been super busy. I've been SOOOO determined to do extremely well in my full load of classes though so hopefully it will be worth it. Also, I have narrowed my major down to two choices! Either Biochemistry/Pharmacy or Pre-Nursing. I guess we'll find out what I choose by the end of the year! :)

Back to this week's post for Coconut Cupcakes. If you have a facebook account, you may have noticed, in the last couple of weeks, that your friends may be posting a status that says 'I like it on the ___(Fill In The Blank)___". In addition, you may have noticed that only females were posting this. I'm about to de-mystify what this means! So what was this about? Breast Cancer Awareness Month..Duhhhh! lol. How this status relates to Breast Cancer Awareness, I have no clue, but the message does have us ask "Why the status?" and thus, it brings awareness. To bring awareness to Breast Cancer, I made Coconut Cupcakes with a Pink Buttercream. I only felt it would be right to do something for Breast Cancer Awareness since it is this month. Plus, since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, you definitely have to have something Pink inspired. ha. How will you honor Breast Cancer Awareness?

Also, if you still haven't entered my giveaway for a $55 Gift Certificate for CSN Stores, just check out my post for "Love Potion #31 Cookies". You can enter until October 20th.

Taste: The cake had a distinct almond-vanilla flavor which brings out the flavor of the coconut. I wasn't able to test out the cream cheese frosting however...

Texture: Not exactly a soft and fluffy cake. More dense than a regular cupcake but not as dense as a pound cake. The coconut that was mixed into the batter gave a nice textural difference to the cake. 

-I did not fill the cupcake liners to the top as the recipe says. If you do, your cupcakes will rise too much and bake onto the cupcake pan. I filled mine with about 3 tbsp of batter so about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up.

-Other people have variations of this recipe. I even saw some using toasted coconut instead! :)

Coconut Cupcakes (Makes 24 Cupcakes)
Recipe by Ina Garten
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
14 ounces sweetened, shredded coconut

For the frosting:
1 pound cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in 7 ounces of coconut.

Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each liner to the top with batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and almond extracts. Add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

-Aaron John

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love Potion #31 And A Giveaway

Oh Seattle weather, how you ruin my pictures by hiding the sun with your clouds... haha

I guess today's your lucky day because it's once again time for another Giveaway courtesy of CSN Stores. Woot! I guess this is my thank you to you for helping me out in the Project Food Blog Competion.Like I've said many times before, CSN stores has so many great products to buy. Whether you need some new Bed Sets or even a kitchen table, they've got it. Seriously, if you still haven't checked out CSN yet (even though I've said it multiple times), go and do it! ha. Plus, you can think of what you can buy with this Gift Certificate! :)

Let's get back to the giveaway a little later. This post is going to be somewhat short since I have so much work to do! lol. But, in continuation of my "Ice Cream Into Cookies" project, I decided to do another cookie. This cookie is mirrored after Baskin Robbins "Love Potion #31" Ice Cream. In honor of that ice cream, this "Love Potion #31" cookie is simply a chocolate chip cookie dough mixed with white and milk chocolate chips and is baked with raspberry jam in the center. Think of it as a chocolate chip cookie meets a thumbprint cookie.

Now, back to what you've all been waiting for, the giveaway. Like I said before, I was approached by CSN to do a giveaway. This time, CSN Stores is giving you the chance to win a $55 Gift Certificate for any of their online stores! I repeat, $55 Gift Certificate!! Here's how to enter:

You must be a follower of "AJ's Cooking Secrets" through the Google Friend Connect located on the left side bar of my blog to enter this giveaway. If you are not a follower, your entry and/or entries will not be counted.

You have FOUR chances to enter!!
1. Leave a comment stating what you would like to buy from CSN Stores with the $55 Gift Certificate, along with your email.
2. Follow my other blog, AJ's Food Adventure, and leave a comment below stating that you have become a follower. If you are already a follower of my other blog, leave a comment stating that you are.
3. Become a fan/liker of my Facebook Fan Page : AJ's Cooking Secrets and leave a comment below stating that you have become a fan/liker. If you are already a fan/liker of my FB Fan Page, leave a comment stating that you are.
4. Follow me on Twitter @aaronjohn04 and leave a comment below stating that you have become a follower. If you are already a follower of my twitter page, leave a comment stating that you are.

**If entering all four times, leave four different comments.

Important Guidelines:
-Must be a follower of this blog, "AJ's Cooking Secrets", through Google Friend Connect located on the left side bar for your entry/entries to count. Anyone who "enters" without being a follower of this blog will not be entered into the drawing.
-The Giveaway will last until Sunday, October 20, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. The winner will be drawn using The winner will then be announced in a blog post, on my facebook page and emailed that they are the winner. From there, the winner will be contacted by CSN Stores where you will receive a Gift Certificate Code.

Taste: Combination of the classic milk chocolate flavor and vanilla flavored white chocolate topped off with tart raspberry jam to cut the sweetness

Texture: Classic chewiness from the cookie but with an extra added chewiness from the raspberry jam that cooked in the oven.

-There aren't really many tips to this cookie, I guess a key tip is to not overfill each scoop of cookie dough with chocolate chips? You're probably saying to yourself, "Whaaa? You're crazy! I want my chocolate!" but seriously, it helps when you go to make an indentation for the jam.

"Love Potion #31" Cookie (Makes 1 Dozen 5 inch Cookies or 4 Dozen Mini Cookies)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup Raspberry Jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips using the spatula.

To form the cookies, scoop about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into your hands and roll it around into a ball; place them about 3-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets; you should get about 4 cookies on each pan. Press down the tops of the dough slightly and make an indentation in the center. Fill the center with about 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam. Bake until the cookies are light brown, 12 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 15 minutes for crispy cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough/cookie sheets.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Cake

The Project Food Blog Competition has now ended for me
Sad to say, but it just had to be
So, one last rhyme to end it right
Since the road to make it this far was quite a sight
Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way
Without you, I would have nothing to say
You voted and turned my hearts into the color of red
Even when you could've voted for others instead
I'm so grateful for the opportunities the competition gave
It allowed me to improve and the experiences I will save
It's bittersweet to be out so fast
But, the competition was definitely a blast 
To be honest, this competition gave me stress
Trying to finish a post and impress
Barely finishing on time because of school
At the end of the day it was all cool
I discovered new blogs to follow and read
Even new twitter followers, yes indeed!
Now I'm back to my usual blogging days, 
Focusing on school and cooking whenever I may
Once again Thank you so much for all your help because it was a lot of fun
PFB 2010, for me, is officially done.

Yes, you've read right. I've been eliminated out of the Project Food Blog 2010 Competition. Sad. ha. But I think the timing was right for me. My work for classes is increasing by the days and I don't know how much longer I would have been able to keep up with the competition and school work at the same time. I mean, I start everyday by waking up at 5:30 AM and don't sleep until all my work is done which is usually at midnight every night. This cycle repeats over and over. A bit much don't ya' think? In fact, after I make this blog post, it's back to getting all this work done. Oh college...

Anyway, what better way to have UW spirit than making a cake with our school colors, Purple and Gold?! A blueberry crumb cake that is bursting with purple blueberries and surrounded with a golden cake and streusel. YUM!! Even though I'm bombarded with school work, I still have the school spirit!! :D Everything I'm going through now will be worth it in the end.

-Taste: The lemon in the cake added just enough flavor without overpowering the whole cake. The blueberries gave a tartness which cut down on some of the sweetness. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a sweet cake but the added blueberries worked well with the lemon. The cake was just sweet enough. In the streusel, you can definitely taste the nutmeg and it wasn't too sweet either. Great combo of flavors!

-Texture: Streusel gave a crunchy layer that worked well in contrast to the soft, fluffy and moist cake. However, the streusel was dry. It may have been because I had to bake the cake longer or I would simply reduce the flour to 1 cup.

-I added a bit more lemon zest than what was called for to have more flavor. Usually the zest of one lemon has a little over 1/2 tsp of lemon zest so I went ahead and used the zest of one lemon instead.

-Toss your blueberries in flour before adding to the batter. Supposedly it's supposed to prevent the blueberries from sinking but that didn't help with mine. ha

-Feel free to use frozen blueberries. However, don't over mix because your batter WILL begin to turn blue-ish in color. I would even suggest to not mix the blueberries into the batter. Instead, pour the batter into the pan, spread it out, sprinkle in the blueberries over the top and press the blueberries gently into the batter until they are covered. I think this would also help in "suspending" the blueberries in the batter. In addition, it will cook a little longer. Mine cooked for about an hour instead of the 40-50 min since I used the frozen.

-Some people suggest to use a spring form pan instead of a cake pan for a "nicer" presentation and losing less streusel but I made mine in a cake pan and I had no problem. I only lost about a tablespoon of streusel while inverting the cake so it wasn't a problem. I would say either method would work fine.

-When using a regular cake pan and inverting the cake, first take something flat such as a plate of cardboard cake round, and place it on top. Invert the cake quickly so that now, the streusel is on the bottom. Next take your cooking rack, place that on top, and invert the cake a second time to finish off the cooling. Once cooled, you can easily pick up the cake and place it on your serving platter.

Blueberry Crumb Cake (6-8 Servings)
Recipe by Ina Garten
For the streusel:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,

crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar.

-Aaron John

Monday, October 4, 2010

1, 2, 3...It's Easy Just Vote For Me...In The Competition Called PFB...

Voting Ends October 7th

Can you believe that I made it to Round 3 of the Project Food Blog Competition?! Me neither!! But, since I did make it, it's that time of week again. Time to Vote! ha. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me the past two rounds! Now, I need your help once again. You have until October 7 to cast your vote for me so that I can make it past the the third round!! :D

Have you seen my Third Round Entry? No? No worries, here it is Project Food Blog: "Luxury Dinner Party". Hopefully you liked my "upscaling" of "American Comfort Food" classics. It's a simple meal that is packed with flavor! So, show me that you're packed with love and turn my dull grey heart into a vibrant red heart on FoodBuzz!! 

Go to FoodBuzz, create an account if you haven't already, and vote for my blog entry. Simply click the heart and by the magic of the internet, it will magically turn red. haha. Just go here to vote. You can also go to my Project Food Blog Profile and vote from there. Every vote counts!! Thanks!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Project Food Blog: "Luxury Dinner Party"

Yo DJ, Spin That Track!

"Hey, have you heard that you made it to Round Three?"
"OMG! Are you serious?! You all chose me?!"
No words can express how grateful I am
I'm serious, ya'll are just like fam
How great it feels to make it through
*Teardrop* I think I need a tissue
I was debating whether to end the rhymes
But I'm just having a grand ol' time
So here's another rhyme just for you
Hopefully, you'll like this one too
In this competition, I feel like an underdog
Struggling to survive and glad that you all read my blog
To be honest, I was completely in shock
Now, I'm standing my ground and ready to rock!
Have a Luxury Dinner Party and make a post
You, yourself, will be the host
Create a menu and invite some guests
Sounds intimidating? Just do your best
Be comfortable with who you are as a cook
Don't cook a meal from the fanciest of books
Stay true to what you know
Your efforts will definitely show
Your guests will be impressed with what you serve
The compliments, you will surely deserve
All that matters is to have fun with those you care about
So, while you're in the kitchen, don't freak out
You took the time to create a fantastic meal
The memories you make will be unreal

Don't you love parties? The whole passing out invites, calling people and creating events on Facebook to spread the word gets exciting! There's just something about parties that bring back so many memories. Being with family and friends, eating all the food you can eat (buffet style) and of course, singing karaoke, a filipino staple event. When everyone is loud and you are able to hear laughter from everywhere in the house, you definitely know it's a fantastic party. Sometimes our Filipino parties last until 2 AM!! We do whatever it takes to have a great time! Us Filipinos do it big. ha.

For challenge #3 of this competition, I think Ina Garten said it best when hosting dinner parties, "Keep it simple". Who wants to be in the kitchen cooking during a party anyway? Just because a dinner menu is simple, it doesn't mean it can't be delicious. It can be just as delicious, or even more delicious, as the half-dollar sized food you get at fancy restaurants. As long as you have great food and great people around, memories are bound to be made. That's my definition of a "Luxury Dinner Party". There's no need to stress about having a dinner party. Have confidence in yourself and you'll do fine. Even if you burn the meal, you still get points for effort!

What did I plan for this special event? An "american comfort food" dinner with a twist. This twist being a little upscaling of the meal. Don't be worried when I say "upscaling". It's simple, really. You make a concept for a meal and you simply change the components of some of the dishes so it's not the same ol' dish anymore. For instance, instead of a salad dressed with maybe "Thousand Island Dressing", try a vinaigrette instead and even use a variety of lettuces. Mashed potatoes? Change it up and roast baby yukon gold potatoes. These little changes can change up the whole meal instantly and it makes you look even more gourmet than before, not to mention, it can even save you time. I also decided to keep with the "Filipino Tradition" and keep the main course Buffet Style!!

Pesto Crostini 
Make a pesto crostini the way you want it. Extra Pesto? Extra Garlic? It's up to you.

Mixed Green Salad
Tender, crisp lettuces, crisp and nutty almonds, tart and fruity cranberries, salty feta cheese dressed with a tangy yet sweet white balsamic dressing

I just noticed, with the crostini and salad  already eaten, it's kind of empty. ha. Oh well, we were full on the inside. lol

All American Pot Roast
A delicious, mouthwatering, piece of pot roast that has been cooked until fork tender. Cooked with carrots, celery, leeks and red wine. Served with roasted rosemary potatoes that are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside and simple roasted green asparagus 

Apple Crisp
An All-American Dessert For An All-American Dinner. Tender yet al dente apples that are cooked with cinnamon and nutmeg. Topped with a buttery sweet and crunchy streusel that is to die for.

Tips/Advice For Dinner Parties 
-Make something you can handle. Don't make something you've seen in a magazine and "decide" to make that day. Using guests as guinea pigs is not a great idea at all. 

-When creating a menu, start with the main course and work your way around it to create a theme.

-When prepping for the party, think of what you can do in advance. Whether it be chopping vegetables, making the dessert and whatnot. Luckily for me, my dishes didn't need that much prep work! YAY!!

-Making everything from scratch is not needed. Take all the help you can get and take short cuts along the way. For instance, pre-made salad mixes have really improved over the years. 

-If your friend/relative offers to bring a dish, let them. Why not? At every filipino at my house, there are at least 3 or 4 dishes brought by someone. The more food the merrier, I always say! ha.

-Most importantly, have fun! There's nothing worse than guests seeing you stressed out.

Don't forget to vote again from October 4 to 7. 
It's simple. Just go to my PFB Profile HERE during those dates. 
Thanks for the support! :)

-Aaron John


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