Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cookies for A Rainy Day

Butterfinger Candy Cookies
1 stick butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

1. Cream butter and sugars. Add in egg and blend well. Add peanut butter and vanilla.

2. In a seperate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture.

3. Chop Butterfinger candy bars and add to the dough.

4. Bake at 350*F on parchment paper for 12-14 minutes.

New Writing Gig...

My recent neglect to the blog has been due to the fact that I started writing for examiner.com and my alias is: Torrance Restaurant Examiner. A pretty cool title, if you ask me! Anywho, the site claims they are the "insider source for everything local." This means they hire locals to write relevant articles about anything from food & drinks to style, news, religion, and dating. Pretty much anything interesting to read about, you can be an "examiner" for.

The pay rate is interesting too. Sort of like commission for writing; meaning you get paid based upon the number of articles you write, how much traffic your page gets, how many subscriptions you obtain, and how many user comments are left. Then they clearly state in nice bold print: THERE IS NO MINIMUM PAY.


So, despite all odds, I decided to give it a try (for the experience I suppose?) and am now your local Torrance Restaurant Examiner! And as you can see, I would really appreciate some page traffic and even a subscription or two so I can earn enough to get me a Big Mac meal at McDonald's next week :)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

School's Back in Session

After many months of anticipation, I finally had brunch at Blackboard Bistro in Seal Beach. This quaint cafe is designed around a school theme in every aspect but the food. Thankfully, the food is nothing like the casseroles and frozen entrees scooped up and served to you on cardboard trays in elementary school. Rather, the menu here offers a wide selection of choices for Homeroom (breakfast), Recess (lunch), and After School Specials (dinner).

Although it is early January, we are fortunate enough to have wonderful sunny weather practically year round and opted to sit outside on the patio. I ordered one of the breakfast combinations cleverly called "The Playground" because it came with your choice of a little bit of everything. I went for the blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. The large pancakes were fluffy and filled and topped with an abundance of wild blueberries. They were served with warm syrup and a blueberry puree. The sausages were seared crispy on the outside and were perfectly juicy on the inside.

Great for small groups and dates, Blackboard Bistro is a great place to satisfy any appetite for good old Californian-American fare.

Blackboard Bistro
1198 Pacific Coast Highway
Seal Beach, 90740

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ten Tips for 2010

Happy New Year everyone! It seems like many people had a rough 2009...so here's to a fun, fresh, and fabulous 2010! To kick off the new decade right, here are 10 helpful tips to use next time you're in the kitchen:

  1. When baking, a sifter should be your new best friend! Sifting flour can make all the difference between a dense, heavy cake or a light and fluffy cake with the perfect crumb.
  2. Baking something that requires softened or room-temperature butter and you forgot to let it sit out ahead of time? Toss a stick of butter in the microwave for 10 seconds and it'll be good to go.
  3. Recipe calls for chopped nuts? Instead of running your knife through whole nuts, put them in a gallon sized zip top bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. This breaks up the nuts so you don't dull out your knife.
  4. To extend the life of green onions, gently wrap them in a paper towel after washing and then into a zip top bag. They'll keep 3-4 days longer in the fridge.
  5. Frying something and don't know if the oil is hot enough? Simply sprinkle in a few breadcrumbs or panko into the oil - if they sink to the bottom, the oil's still too cold. If they fry up and float to the top, the oil is ready for frying!
  6. Need to thinly slice beef (or any other protein)? Toss the meat in your freezer for about 30 minutes to firm it up and slicing should be a breeze.
  7. When cutting anything sticky (brownies, rice krispie treats, etc.) use a plastic knife instead of a metal one...the food won't stick!
  8. Unless a recipe says otherwise, ALWAYS preheat your oven! Cooking foods at temperatures lower than required causes uneven cooking and longer cooking times.
  9. To see if an egg is hard boiled or raw without cracking it, spin it on a flat surface. If it spins quickly, it is hard boiled. If it wobbles, it's still raw!
  10. Lastly, never cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink - it will make all the difference in your end product!

Happy cooking :)