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Everything posted by Sugarella

  1. Woo hoo!!!!!! Never would have thought of that in a million years Nicole....thanks. I don't have a microwave in my workspace but they're cheap enough I can get one. (Don't have one at home for that matter.) Any ideas how long I should zap them for?
  2. These days when I need herb leaves deep fried I just do them in a shallow pan, then save the oil in the freezer. I do keep oil batches seperate, because obviously I don't want my basil frying oil tasting like mint, or vice versa. For those of you doing this often though, how do you go about it? I think it'd be a giant pain to use one deep fryer then have to clean the oil out between herbs. Not to mention that it'd be unbelievably time comsuming. Do you actually do it this way, or do you have several small deep fryers ready and waiting, or is there some other way I'm missing? Thanks.....
  3. I think the chocolate torte is a geat idea but it'll take at best an hour to put together, even if they're really slow. So you'll need something else. Like the others said I would find out what their skill level is and how much interest they've got in learning new things. Maybe they'll just suggest cookies, or maybe they've made so many cookies they're dying to learn something else. Assuming they askedfor the baking lesson.... I'd start with pate choux, bake them off, assemble the torte and bake, while that's baking come back to make the pastry cream etc. and finish off the puffs.
  4. Sugarella

    Honey Jelly

    Ok I got one....hurry up and post your base recipe so I can try this.... Fig honey jelly.....with a splash of Mead.
  5. Nostalgic for me, because this is one of the first things I ever cooked for myself when I was first on my own, and it was a happy accident. Cubed bacon fried til just cooked, removed from pan, drain most of the fat. Scallops and diced raddicchio are then sauteed in the same pan. All of the above tossed with fresh spinach until it's just warmed and starting to wilt, then an oil-less dressing of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic, tossed again. The garlic MUST be raw. Then add sliced mushrooms, avacado, cherry tomatoes, lima beans, and whatever else is handy. ....and then the one I eat most often is spinach, hard boiled egg, Krab-with-a-K, mushrooms, cheese cubes, and canned drained veggies like hearts of palm if I have them. Dressing for that is olive oil & lemon juice. (Because I suspect the bacon fat salad dressing isn't really all that good for me.) Edit: typoo.
  6. Saw Hells' Kitchen on Monday too. Or should we be calling it "The Muppet Show?" Ok, is it just me, or did Tom totally fake that burn? Heather went off to the hospital with her burn, so I think he faked one then kept working to show he was tougher. Then started sulking and moping around because he wasn't getting any attention for it. My money's on Sara, because she's exactly like GR. She's a perfectionist, takes no shit from anybody, has no tolerance for useless people, and can't stand whiners. I'm just waiting for her to haul off and smack somebody. Edit: Looks like they're already casting for next season, if anyone's interested.
  7. I also agree with this. If he's big enough to go to the restaurant all by himself, he's big enough to know to tip. He'll see the bill with no tip included and will probably figure it out....
  8. Interesting choice of words...... Actually, I wouldn't necessarily look at what that pastry chef did as showboating because I don't have enough infomation as to her motivation. It's not like she tried to sneak her pastries into the competition without anyone noticing. Perhaps she just brought some new items she'd been working on in hopes of garnering some additional publicity outside of the actual competition part, and being the previous year's winner this doesn't seem at all inappropriate to me. If there was the off chance she'd be interviewed because she was the former winner, then why not have something new to say about yourself? And if that's the case, wearing the chef's whites would also be appropriate, to ensure she was perceived as the creator of the pastries, instead of being mistaken for a waitress carrying a tray. First of all, Anthony, don't sweat it. You did fine. But I think I've experienced enough life to understand these are not curable diseases in our lifetimes. Sexism I'm especially sure of. As a species, we really haven't evolved that much in the last 50 years, and blatant prejudices have just given way to disguised intolerances that are harder to prove. The difference however, is that those of us who feel we are the recipient always have the option to go over someone's head or to go elsewhere to get what we want, and we of course now have the right to tell a perpetrator to F-off, too. The "effort in the right direction," as you put it, starts and continues by having dialogue like this.
  9. Now see I always though the ice water had something to do with causing the leaveners to give a higher rise, same theory as using icewater in Japanese tempura batter. Shows you what I know ... (er, don't know)
  10. ..... And that little blond brat that keeps breaking into the house and then has the nerve to bitch about how my husband's porridge is too hot and my porridge is too cold and then she just sits there and eats my kid's porridge.
  11. Yep, you definitely need to use boards under each tier! Boy, I'm suprised it wasn't a lot worse. Never let a cake tier take the weight of the tier(s) above it..... the supports are to do ALL of the work. The sort of boards you'll want to use are either the foil covered cake cardboards made by bakerycrafts, the foil covered masonite sheets made by cornish cakeboards (I will ONLY use these but they do get pricey) or you can even get plastic plates, made by wilton et al. Just don't use the wax coated brown cardboard things you can get everywhere....they're useless. For future reference, when you do dowel make sure you place the dowels in a circle about 1.5" from the perimeter of the tier above it. That'll give you the best support. And don't put a dowel in the centre....otherwise the weight of the tier above will rest on the centre one and you'll end up with a leaning cake that way too. Wilton has a system where you use 2 plastic plates with columns, then dowel inside the cake. This is an extremely popular system, but I DO NOT recommend it one bit. The plates and colums aren't actually attached to anything and it really isn't sturdy. I'm only warning you about these because I suspect you're buying your supplies from a walmart or michaels or someplace because you're fairly new to this..... and the readily available stuff isn't necessarily very good. The push in pillars I think are a good bet for you, being you'll be working on your 3rd cake. They're cheap enough and they're reusable, and will do the job well for a 3 tier cake. (Anything taller and you should use a sturdier system.) They look like this (starting 5th item down) and come in 7" or 9" lengths. Depending on the height of your tier (3" or 4") the remaining length will stick up out of the tier and you lock your plate system into them. Hope that helps.
  12. Fondant and royal icing dry solid so of course once they're dry they're on there permanently. Fake butercream like the one I posted above with an oily base will remain soft in that kind of heat, unless you've given it a chance to dry out beforehand. Just remember that if you depict your wedding cakes as being able to hold up in that kind of heat, customers will expect real cakes with real icings will be able to also, which is not the case.
  13. The heat would have had nothing to do with leaning. It might make the icing slide down to the bottoms of the tiers but it wouldn't affect the structure any. I can see from the pic it's leaning. That's likely due to improper dowelling (please tell me you used cake decorating dowels and not hardware store dowels!) but I can also see it looks as though each tier itself isn't level. If you look closely at the bottom tier you can see the left side is lower than the right side.....looks like your tops weren't cut straight. So that'll explain why each tier above was crooked and getting worse as time went on. If the weight of a cake above is heavier on one side than it is on the other, it'll push down and outwards on the dowels below it, causing them to collaspe inside their tier. Hope that makes sense. Improper dowelling .... the darned things go in looking like their straight up and down and when you go to cut the cake you find they're on an angle. The grapes are just on the top, whereas the daisies are just on the tiers. If you'd mixed grapes with daisies and daisies with grapes all over things would have looked much more proportionate. Don't use dowels with plates and pillars for a cake contructed that way; it's just not stable. Use push-in pillars, where the pillar is long and goes down into the tier acting as a dowel also. Which support system are you using? (wilton, sps?)
  14. How on earth would they end up with green yolks?
  15. And don't you forget it honey! To be perfectly honest, I really do think a lot of men consider anything regarding "decorating" to be either women's work or the domain of the homosexual. I really do. Takes a big man to call himself a decorator in society. If we generally referred to it as cake sculpture instead of decorating I bet you'd find more men comfortable saying they're really into it. That happens everywhere though, not just in business, and both men and women are guilty of doing it, too. Just recently I was out to dinner with my Dad and posed a question to my female server, and she of course turned, looked him in the eye, and answered him. A lot of people like to think they're not sexist but it just isn't the case. No point getting upset about it though, because we can't change it and it'll always be like that. Better to just work around it. A couple of years ago I had Groom's mother (I do wedding cakes and pastry catering) be frustrated with the final cake I delivered. (She wasn't in on the design and it was exactly what the couple wanted and paid for - a little sugar baby hidden amongst the flowers so they could make the announcement at the reception.) She demanded that I get my boss on the phone and when I told I was the boss, she demanded to speak to my husband! (..... I don't have a husband.... and I was sooooo sorry to have to disappoint her too. ) Edited to add: I agree with chiantiglace that this sure doesn't need to be a heated argument. I'm not heated.... But what people fail to understand is that there are plenty of occupations where women don't get the recognition or go as far as men. It's true everywhere, not just in the food industry. You can blame it on girls being raised to not make noise for themselves, you can blame it on sexism, you can blame it on family dynamics where women have kids chained to their ankles and can't just pick up and go to a new job for the sake of bettering their career, you can blame it on women actually not being as talented, if you want to. But the fact remains that you can't blame anyone else for your own situation, and you also can't credit anyone else for your own situation. You either make the best of your experiences and do the best job you can and try to do something new and different, or you don't.
  16. Well considering this is a conversation about women and only nicole has chimed in so far with a "huh" I figured I'd add a female perspective, albeit a female working as an independent rather than for someone else..... And at the risk of having my head ripped off because everything I've said on eG this week seems to infuriate people..... Without making this about sexual harassment (which it isn't) I do feel the need to mention that men are more likely allowed to get the pushing done, or their work environment is conducive to letting them not only think outside the box, but utilize their employer's equipment and time in order to do so. Although I definitely think there's also something to be said for where women are working and what kind of attention they're able to attract as a result, as stated above. Edited to add: Regardless, it's up to each of us as individuals to create our own success, rather than wait for someone else to give the opportunity. And I do believe plenty of people, male and female, just don't bother to make enough noise for themselves.
  17. I realy hope you read this before tomorrow...... Please don't stick the stems directly into the cake. Florists' water, which your flowers will have soaked in at some point, is laced with formaldehyde to help keep the flowers fresh. Formaldehyde is toxic to humans, so you will inevitably be getting some into the food you'll be serving. I know that many people who do wedding cakes like Martha Stewart say to put stems directly into a cake but they are just plain wrong. Please just put the flowers atop the cake, with something between the flowers and the cake like parchment, so whatever leaks out of the cut stems can't come in conact with the food.
  18. Just to warn you, there's a good chance you won't be able to get anyone to do this for you, just because the logo is copyright to the team and they can't legally reproduce it without permission. That is, if your local bakery happens to be aware of and abides by copyright law. That's such a unique shade of red I'd worry you'll have trouble reproducing it exactly right by mixing colour into fondant or buttercream. It'd be much easier to airbrush it, and so long as you're airbrushing onto fondant you can get away with a $35 Badger airbrush for that. And airbrushed colour doesn't stain teeth! If you're not going to go the airbrush route, use Americolor pastes to mix your colours. Those wilton colours really aren't very good and/or potent, although their pinks and lavenders are ok.
  19. I haven't worked in food service in quite a number of years, but I had some serious crap happen at each job I did have. My first job ever outside of a paper route, when I was 14, I worked as the dish pig at a local diner. We did have a hose and dishwasher, but one day the dishwasher broke down and all of the dishes had to be washed by hand. We're talking thousands of plates on an 8 hour shift here. The owner filled the triple sinks with water, emptied an entire 5 gallons of bleach into the first one and told me to dig in. I spent the entire shift up to my elbows in bleach water without any gloves. The next morning there was so much blood plasma leaking out and crusting onto my skin I actually had to take the bedsheet into the bathroom to soak the damn thing off my hand. My third job ever I worked on the beltline in the kitchen of a palliative care hospital. That part was okay, but part of my job was to clean up afer service and it was always left to me to clean the dried crusted food off the blade of the electric meat slicer, which the cooking staff just left there. I used to get week kneed and nauseous whenever I had to try and scrub at that blade, and my hands were always shaking so terribly it's a wonder I never sliced my hand off. I was raised to be grateful to have a job and never to question authority, so it never occured to me to complain or even that bosses were doing anything wrong. There's no way these days I'd ever take that kind of shit. That same hospital used to be a full service hospital that was later converted, so the new kitchen we worked in was built in the basement right next to the old morgue. All of the equipment was still in there (shiny and clean; I'm pretty sure they didn't do autopsies there anymore) but every time you walked past to go to the kitchen fridges you could plainly see the wall fridges in the morgue. I never dared open them, but was always aware of and freaked out by them. Edited to add: And I've had a lot of customer services jobs through the years, (including being a server) but the absolute WORST food related customer service job is working the checkout at a supermarket. Those people were truly the most EVIL.
  20. By "tub" can I assume you mean 500 mL?
  21. Yes, it was bleeped on FTVC. I don't expect FTVC bleeped it, I think they just get the show that way and air it as is, which explains the difference between the shows. Too bad, because we're allowed to hear swear words up here.
  22. Ah, Sir Screamy McBastardson at his finest. My first intro to Ramsey was last year's Hell's Kitchen too, then after that I did see several episodes of Kitchen Nightmares. Wow what a difference in this guy! I won't be watching to see which "chef" (and I use that term loosely of course) wins their own restaurant, I'll be watching (again) because I admire Ramsey's unabashed perfectionism, and his demand for perfectionism in everyone around him. No, I don't think one has to be abusive to achieve it, but it's still interesting to watch, just because the guy is the way he is.
  23. Not married or engaged, but the gift registry would definitely be the added bonus, wouldn't it!? Doing wedding cakes for a (side) living though, I can tell you that some customers have reported that they're paring down their initial wedidng budgets to purchase items for themselves later on instead. Some stores offer up to 25% off the price of items leftover on the registry, for a year after the wedding date.
  24. Impulse Savory - Miss Vickie's Kettle chips - Lime and Black Pepper. MUST be accompanied by an entire 1/2 kg tub of full fat sour cream. Impulse Sweet - Planter's Peanut Butter Bites ... they kick Reese peanut butter cups' ass.
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