Tuesdays with Dorie Finishes Book - Thank you Dorie & TWD

Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesdays with Dorie Collage
Just some of the delicious recipes made during Tuesdays with Dorie...

This past week, the baking group Tuesdays with Dorie completed making all the recipes in Dorie Greenspan's wonderful book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I wasn't able to participate each week, but I have made a majority of the recipes in the book. Aside from the butter, flour and chocolate, the Tuesdays with Dorie group changed my life in so many positive ways. I've made new friends and felt such a sense of community and friendship in this vast online world. TWD has helped me discover blogs and inspired me to bake each week! I learned new skills and gained confidence in my baking. Thank you Dorie Greenspan for being supportive of our group (getting a comment from The Dorie Greenspan on your post is such a thrill) and answering our questions. Dorie would give us hints and explanations...she's awesome! Thank you Laurie (who started the group) and Jules (who helped with  coordination) for keeping us organized and on track!

My new year's resolutions is to join the group going through Dorie's classic, Baking with Julia!

I'm sad this round of Tuesdays with Dorie has ended...but I know I have a book full of great recipes and notes, friendships and inspiration to carry me for many years to come.

Please read this Washington Post article about the group!

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Mochi Mochi Mochi - Mochitsuki 2011

Mochi Day 2011
It's that time again! My family and friends got together on December 26th for our annual mochi making day!

These unsweetened rice cakes are eaten on New Year's Day in a special soup called ozoni to bring about good fortune and health and all that jazz. Our family has been getting together since 1955 to make mochi. We have two electric machines and a bunch of gas steamers to cook the special Koda Farms Sho-Chiku-Bai sweet rice (old school method is with a pound it by hand with a mallet.)

I think this year was a record - 190 pounds of rice! That took about three hours alone just to wash and soak on Christmas day (thanks Mom for doing that!)

Mochi Making - 2011
Rice is steamed in steamers then poured into the machine. It comes out piping hot! Little bits are cut off and shaped into rounds. They are cooled on racks and then dusted with mochiko (rice flour).

Mochi Making 2011 - collage
All hands on deck for mochi making! Often, this is the one time a year we see some of our aunts, uncles, cousins and their growing children so it is a very important tradition for my family. And, of course, we have a bouncy house...just like our ancestors had I'm sure...

Mochi - Food 1 - collage
Um, we had two food tables and one salad table...making mochi definitely stirs the appetite!

Mochi - Food 2
Yum! Yum! Yum!

Mochi Day 2011
Mochi - Desserts
And this year lots of my friends dropped by!

We can't forget the desserts too! My auntie made this delicious cookie tray, JustJenn brought delicious and cute cupcakes and my cousin made these fried cookies.

Days later, my cousin and I are still cleaning the house and putting back things (we need to clear out three rooms of the house for mochi day). Of course, the benefit is that I'm eating fresh toasted mochi every day!

Looking forward to joining JustJenn's family for her annual New Year's feast...featuring our mochi for the ozoni soup! :)

Happy New Year everyone! 2012 is going to ROCK! - mary the food librarian

Other mochi-related posts: 2010, 2008, 2007 family event, sweet mochi with red beans, zunda mochi from sendai, blueberry mochi cake.
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Merry Christmas from the Food Librarian & Cidney the Dog

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cidney the Girl Dog Christmas 2011
Why yes, my cousin and I did dress up Cidney the Girl Dog. After the graduation hat and Halloween sessions where Cidney just pretty much sat there, you can expect lots of torture, I mean, fun with the dog.

Cidney Christmas 2012
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!

On Monday, my family descends and we make 150 pounds of mochi!

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

- mary the food librarian

Cidney the Girl Dog Christmas 2011
"Okay, I'm done until the next costume. Where's my biscuit?"
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Holiday Treats from the Food Librarian

Friday, December 16, 2011

Here are a few holiday treats you might want to make for your friends and family this holiday season. I can't believe the holidays are here already!

Please click on the link to go to the original post and recipe :)

Broken Glass Christmas Jello - Food Librarian
Always a huge hit and so easy to make. Give yourself at least a day in advance to let the Jello set up...but your hands-on labor is only about 15 minutes!

Cafe Beaujolais' Buttermilk-Cinnamon Coffeecake
This is a great coffee cake to have on hand for visitors or overnight guests during the holiday. It feeds a lot of people and is simple to make...you may have all the ingredients handy. Last year, my uncle ate three pieces during our mochi making!

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins - Everyday Food
Pumpkin pie is great and all...but these little donut-y muffins are divine. Have the kids help you roll them in cinnamon sugar...Santa will want to grab a few of these.

Noodle Kugel
My friend's mom makes this delicious noodle kugel for Hanukkah! (Note to Mrs. S - I miss you and hope to see you soon!!!)

Crispy Chocolate-Marshmallow Treats - Everyday Food
Dressed up rice krispies. Yum! You can make these while the kids are running around. Hey, make they work a bit by stirring together this easy treat.

Happy Holidays! - mary
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Barefoot Contessa's Apple Cake Tatin

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Barefoot Contessa Apple Cake "Tatin"
Barefoot Contessa's Apple Cake Tatin

I'm there.

This is the Barefoot Contessa / Ina Garten's Apple Cake Tatin. Instead of the usual pie crust topping, she covers the apples and caramel with a cake.

Apple Cake Tatin collage 1
I used these beautiful sweet/tart apples from Ha's Apple Farm (available at many So Cal farmer's markets). Ina's recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, but these worked fine and were delicious.

Caramelized sugar is made (I'm always amazed that water and sugar can be heated to make this!) and tops the cut apples. I judged it by color and didn't use the thermometer. The presentation of the cake is very pretty, no?

Barefoot Contessa Apple Cake "Tatin"
Um, how can you not want this?!

Apple Cake Tatin collage 2
The "cake" part is very delicious. Soft and light...I like it much more than a traditional apple tatin, but then I love upside down fruit cakes!

Barefoot Contessa Apple Cake "Tatin"
This fall/winter, if you have a few extra apples, make this lovely cake. You won't be disappointed...nor will your guests!

Barefoot Contessa's Apple Cake Tatin
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Torrance Turkey Trot 5K

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

City of Torrance Turkey Trot 5K
Torrance Turkey Trot 5K

My running buddy and long-time UCLA friend, Dave and I ran the Torrance Turkey Trot again. Last year, it was my first 5K! After a year of running on and off, my endurance still sucks, but I'm plugging away. Next year, I hope I can finish without walking.

The City of Torrance's run is pretty big for a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Trot (almost 4,000 people). I took some photos of these runners who dressed up for the holiday!

I love the Turkey Trot because it's basically an all-you-can-eat pass for the day. ;)

I'm signing up for the Manhattan Beach Christmas Day evening beach run (everyone gets a glo necklace!) so I can eat lots more pie. Hee hee.
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2011 L.A. Cancer Challenge - Halloween 5K

My friend Dave, I mean Fred - 2011 L.A. Cancer Challenge - Halloween 5K
2011 L.A. Cancer Challenge - Halloween 5K

I'm way late in posting this, but I want to keep track of my 5Ks! Near Halloween, my friend Dave and I ran the 2011 L.A. Cancer Challenge. This run raised funds for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

5K Run - Los Angeles - Halloween
They had a 10K and 5K...my friend Dave (of the marathon Davey Pops) ran BOTH. First the 10K, then a short rest and ran the 5K with me! Amazing. And he did it dressed up as Fred Flintstone! My cardio needs much improvement so I walked up most of the hills around the VA in West LA.

Finally, this poster for Team Linda reminds us why the were all there. Cancer, you suck.
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