Sunday, January 31, 2021

Kahlúa Truffles #GoodCookieFoodBloggers #Valentines #HelpingCookies #Sponsored

  This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the #GoodCookieFoodBloggers sponsors.
I received complimentary products as a thank you for my participation in this event,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.


So, I think I know why my family never buys me chocolates! They know I have a less than typical palate and like my confections funky, boozy, or both. Ha. It's a good thing I can make my own. Happy Valentines' Day to me!

The Cause

Here we are at the fifth annual Good Cookie Food Bloggers' Valentines' Event hosted, again, by the amazing Julie of The Little Kitchen who wants to make a different in the fight against pediatric cancer. This fun event crosses borders with bloggers from all over and raises fund for Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease.

Did you know that cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S.? There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now. With less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute's budget going to all childhood cancer combined, I knew it was important for me to get involved.

Our goal is to raise at least $3000. Because these three companies: OXO, Mediavine and Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000! That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4! Our $3000 will become $1200. Thank you to so many of you who have already donated, please help us reach our goal so we can get the full matching donations and help us make an even huge difference! Every little bit helps! Donate here today.

Also, please be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in the Valentine’s Day event and check out their recipes!


Kahlúa Truffles

I love pairing chocolate and liqueurs. So, for my Valentines' truffles this year, I decided to make a Kahlúa version.

Ingredients
makes approximately 2 dozen truffles

Truffles
  • 1-1/2 cups 60% cacao chocolate, chopped or chips (a higher percentage of cacao is great, too!)
  • 1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon Kahlúa or other coffee liqueur
  • Also needed: saucepan, bowl that fits snugly in the saucepan, balloon whisk

Finishing
  • 1-1/2 cups 60% cacao chocolate, chopped or chips (a higher percentage of cacao is great, too!), divided
  • raw sugar for garnish
Procedure

Truffles
Place chocolate and butter in a large mixing bowl.  In a medium saucepan, heat cream to steaming. Pour cream over the chocolate.  Let sit for three minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the Kahlúa, then refrigerate until firm - at least four hours.


Now all you need to do is scoop the ganache into truffles...and dip them in tempered chocolate.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a spoon or scoop, scoop chilled truffle ganache from your bowl and place on the lined tray. Refrigerate for a minimum of 15 minutes. (I let them chill for about 30 minutes.)


Finishing
You will want to temper your chocolate. Here's how...

Place half of your chipped chocolate in a double-boiler and, over low heat, warm until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the other half of the chocolate. Set aside until the chocolate begins to lose its shine; it's beginning to crystallize. Then, return the chocolate to the double-boiler and warm, over very low heat, until smooth and glossy.


Dip chilled truffles in the melted chocolate, one at a time.  You may use a candy dipping tool, but I just use a two-toothpick combo. Dip the truffle quickly into the melted chocolate and shake off the excess.  Place on the lined tray and use another toothpick to nudge the truffle off of the toothpick. Dip the toothpick back into the melted chocolate and use a dab of chocolate to cover up any imperfections.

Immediately after chocolate dipping, sprinkle the truffle with a pinch of raw sugar as garnish.  Repeat with remaining truffles. Let the chocolate set. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge. Let come to room temperature for serving.


*Disclosure: I received product for free from the sponsor for participating in this event, 
however, I have received no additional compensation for my post. 
My opinion is 100% my own and 100% accurate.

Smoke and Mirrors Hand-Rolled Pasta #YouAreNotAloneParty #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of authors Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen and publisher St. Martin's Press. I received a complimentary book for the purpose of review, but all opinions are honest and they are my own. No additional compensation for this post was provided; this page may contain affiliate links.

This week I am excited to be taking part in a virtual book release party for You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen* hosted by The Book Club Cookbook. The hardcover book was released last year, but it coming out in paperback this week. I received an advance copy to enjoy and be inspired into the kitchen to create a dish.

You can see the party page! You may also search for the hashtag #YouAreNotAloneParty on social media to find the posts. But to make it easy, I'm also linking to my fellow bloggers'; I will add their direct posts once everyone is live. Please take a look...

The #YouAreNotAloneParty Recipes 
The Book Blondie
The Book Cook NYC
Books and Bites Roc
Smoke and Mirrors Hand-Rolled Pasta by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Chicken Hummus by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Herby Feta  Dip by Kahakai Kitchen
Living My Best Book Life
Falafel with Tahini Sauce by The Book Club Cookbook

On the Page

So, I'll start with this: I was completely unfamiliar with the works of Hendricks and Pekkanen; also, I guess I'm not much into the thriller genre. I used to be...when I was a teenager and into my early 20s.

The premise sounded interesting. From the book jacket...

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
 
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.
 
Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

But clique-y women make me twitch which is probably because I was never part of the clique! From the get-go, these picture perfect women gave me the creeps and - without spoiling the fun - rightly so. Still I found myself vacillating between rooting for Shay and inwardly screaming at her for making ridiculous decisions. I will, however, call the book a success in the sense that I felt the characters were real enough to merit such a visceral reaction from me.

In the Bowl

Without giving away too much, the clique leaders were experts at creating an illusion, veritable masters of smoke and mirrors. That got me thinking about using smoked paprika in a dish. And characterizing Shay as being in hot water for most of book had me pondering poaching or boiling something. I landed on homemade smoked paprika pasta with a spicy meat sauce.

Ingredients serves 6 to 8

  • 200 grams semolina flour plus more for rolling
  • 150 grams pasta flour plus more for rolling
  • 2 ounces pepper puree or sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • Also  needed: rolling pin, olive oil, pasta sauce for serving, hard cheese for serving

Procedure

Place all of the dry ingredients medium mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Whisk until it comes together in a shaggy ball. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and knead until smooth and elastic, approximately 5 minutes. 


Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for, at least, 30 minutes at room temperature.

Once the dough has rested, slice your dough ball into quarters. Cover the portions you aren't rolling. Turn the rested dough out onto a lightly dusted board and roll out as thinly as you can. I found that rolling it into a long rectangle make the most even strips.

Once the pasta dough is as thin as you can get it, starting at one (short) end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a cylinder.

With a sharp knife, hand cut the roll into pieces whose width is the width you want for your pasta. I went with a wide fettuccine. 

Carefully unroll the strips and lightly dust them with semolina flour. Set aside until you are ready to cook them. 

To  cook, bring water to a boil and lower in your pasta in batches, as needed. They will cook in about 3 minutes.


Place drained pasta in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil to keep them from sticking to each other. Serve hot, topped with your favorite pasta sauce. Allow diners to grate cheese over the top of their own individual bowls.


Many Thanks...
To the Publisher, St. Martin's Press, on Twitter
To Greer Hendricks on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter
To Sarah Pekkanen on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter
To the Book Club Cookbook on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Pinterest

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

I have also added this to #FoodieReads.
Click to see what everyone else read in January 2021: here.

Sneak Peek: The #ItalianFWT Bloggers Look at Italian Wines to Go With Meat Braises and Stews

 

This month, I am hosting the Italian Food Wine Travel blogging group. I asked the #ItalianFWT  bloggers to share Italian wines with braised meats or stews. Perfect for these chilly winter months, right? You can read my invitation: here.

Here's what the bloggers are sharing for the theme...


And if you are reading this early enough, feel free to join the group in a live Twitter chat on Saturday, February 6th at 8am Pacific time. Just follow the hashtag #ItalianFWT and be sure to add that to any tweets you post so we can see them. Cin cin!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Sourdough Croissants #SundayFunday

 

If you've been following along, you'll know that we just kicked off a Sunday Funday blogging group Thanks to Stacy of Food Lust People Love, Sue of Palatable Pastime, Rebekah of Making Miracles, and Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm for coordinating this low-stress group. In the months that there's a 5th Sunday, I will be hosting. Since January 30th is National Croissant Day, I asked the group to share favorite recipes for either making croissants or just using already made croissants. Think croissant bread pudding!

In any case, here's the line-up of how the #SundayFunday bloggers are celebrating croissants...


Sourdough Croissants

Croissants are not new to my blog or my kitchen. I've made several of variations or just pastries made with laminated dough, including Pain au Jambon, Pomegranate Kouign Amann, Italian Cornetti, and Croissants aux Framboises. But it wasn't until recently that I decided to tackle using my sourdough starter in my croissant dough. It's not as light and airy as my regular yeasted croissants, but I love the toothiness of this pastry. And it's nice to have other ways to use my starter.

Ingredients makes a dozen

  • 200 grams sourdough starter
  • 500 grams flour plus more for rolling
  • 60 grams organic granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs for the dough plus 1 egg for baking
  • 160 grams warm water
  • 2 sticks butter, cold
  • Also needed: rolling pin, waxed paper, baking sheet, silicone brush for the egg wash


Procedure

Place all of the ingredients (but only 2 eggs!) through the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Use a wooden spoon to blend until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured workspace and knead until smooth and well-combined, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.

Place the dough in a covered container and refrigerate for at 4 hours or overnight. Once you're ready to make the croissants, remove the dough from the fridge and let stand at room temperature while you prepare the butter.

Flour a piece of wax paper and pound each stick of butter into rectangle on that paper. Some people use a ruler and make it very precise. I am less precise. Wrap the pounded butter and chill.


When you're ready, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with flour and place dough on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 12"x 20". Remember, I'm less than precise, but it was around that size.


Remove one rectangle of butter from the fridge and lay it in the middle of the dough. Fold the corners of the dough in to form an envelope. It should look like this...


Using the rolling pin, roll it out to 12" x 20" again. Place the second rectangle of butter on the dough and make another envelope. Then roll it out to the 12" x 20" rectangle, but this time, fold one third of the dough over the other third, like folding a letter. 


Now you have to turn the dough. Turning the dough, by rolling and folding, creates very thin layers of butter and dough. This recipe needs to be turned 4 times. If the butter pushes through a layer of dough, rub it with a little flour. If the butter seems to be melting, chill the dough between each turn. Keep the parchment, the rolling pin, and the surface of the pastry well-floured.

To turn: Rotate the package of dough and butter so that the narrower, open end is facing you, like the pages of a book. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up, again like a letter. Rotate the dough 90 degrees so that the open end is again facing you. Repeat. Roll the dough out to a rectangle and fold the top third down and the bottom third up. That's 2 turns. Repeat two more times.

Place the dough in the fridge and let rest for 30 minutes. 


Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out to approximately 1/4" thick. Then cut a zigzag pattern to create ten to twelve thin triangles


Starting at the base of the triangle, roll all the way up and place the croissants on a baking sheet.


Beat the second egg and brush the egg over the top of the croissants.


Let rise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the croissants in the oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.


Pastries are finished when the tops are deep golden and the tips look as if they might be just starting to burn.


Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the sheet but be sure remove them after that. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.


Best served the day they are baked. These don't last long in our house!


That's a wrap for the Sunday Funday celebration of National Croissant Day. We'll be back next week as  Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm leads the discussion for Lunar New Year.

You're Invited: Spirited Away #FoodNFlix

 
imdb.com

Next month, February 2021, I am hosting Food'N'Flix, the movie-watching, food-making group rallied by Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. So for the second month of the new year, I chose Spirited Away.

I was able to access the movie on Amazon Prime. I hope everyone who wishes to participate can find a way to access it. 

Let me start with this: I had never heard of this movie until my boys purchased it on Amazon. They have long been fans of Studio Ghibli movies though I have never watched any of the movies with them.

However, the first time they watched it, both commented that I should suggest it to my foodie movie group. I largely ignored that suggestion until I was reading through a list of top twenty-five films that food lovers have to watch. Okay. I was convinced and asked Heather if I could host it for a month. Done.

To Whet Your Appetite
For those unfamiliar, as I was, Hayao Miyazaki is the Japanese animator, writer, director, producer, and filmmaker whose work with Studio Ghibli has resulted in creative and influential animated films, including: Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, The Wind Rises, and this month's Food'N'Flix pick, Spirited Away, among many others. Released in 2001, Spirited Away won that year's Academy Away for Best Animated Feature and is Japan's highest-grossing film of all time.

Set in the mountain village of Juifen, in Northeastern Taiwan, Spirited Away tells the story of a girl named Chihiro who finds herself trapped in a spirit world. A witch named Yubaba has cast a spell on Chihiro's parents, for gluttony, and transformed them into pigs. Chihiro meets Haku who helps her navigate the world in which she finds herself. In order to save her parents, she works in Yubaba's bathhouse - a veritable spa for fanciful and oddball spirits - while working to free her parents.

When I finally sat down to watch the movie, sources - and my boys - were correct. The food is animated in amazing detail. Everything from the onigiri (rice balls) to the konpeito (sugar candies) to the ishi-yaki-imo (stone-roasted sweet potatoes) made my mouth water.

The food in Spirited Away is animated with intricate detail. Some of it is Japanese: Chihiro noshes on onigiri (rice balls) with her parents; Lin feeds konpeito (traditional, brightly colored Japanese sugar candies) to the animate soot balls; and even ishi-yaki-imo (stone-roasted sweet potatoes) appear on screen. Food is also powerful and magical. Haku warns Chihiro that she must keep eating the spirit world's food or she won't be able to stay in the world. Think reverse Persephone! And, it's a magical cake that restores Haku and No-Face to their pre-cursed forms.

I know we haven't watched any anime for Food'N'Flix; even animated movies are few and far between. I hope that you'll be intrigued enough to give it a try!


How to Participate
I hope you'll join the fun. Watch the movie, then post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and to Food'N'Flix. Use of the logo is optional.

Your post must be current (during month of film). And of course we don't mind if your post is linked to other events...the more the merrier. Have fun with it!

Email your entries to me at: constantmotioncamilla [at] gmail [dot] com and include...

  • Your name
  • Your blog's name and URL
  • The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you're submitting
  • Attach a photo of any size (or just give me permission to "pull" one from your post)
  • Indicate "Food 'n Flix Submission" in the subject line
  • Deadline for submission: February 25th. I will have the round-up posted by the 28th.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Chun Juan (Spring Rolls) for Lunar New Year


Next weekend, the #SundayFunday bloggers are sharing recipes for the Lunar New Year. So, we had some fun creating different dishes. Spring rolls, known as 'Chun Juan', in Chinese, are eaten during the Lunar New Year as a symbol of wealth and prosperity because they resemble gold bars. The lucky saying for eating spring rolls is Hwung-Jin Wan-Lyang, which translates to 'a ton of gold.'

These are certainly not totally traditional. Other recipes include mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. We went with a more basic filling that included ground pork, carrots, celery, green beans, and onions. And I had the Kitchen Elves help me roll.

Ingredients makes approximately 2 dozen
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • wrappers (I found ours frozen at a local Asian market - they told me to get the round ones), defrosted and separated
  • water
  • oil for cooking (I used a canola oil)
Procedure

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Add in the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onions are slightly softened and the carrots are fork tender. Stir in the pork and green beans; cook until no pink remains in the pork. Spoon the filling into a colander - over a bowl - and let drain until nothing drips when you press down on the filling. Now you're ready to roll. Keep the wrappers covered so they stay pliable while you roll and have a small bowl of water nearby to seal the Spring rolls.


Place a wrapper on a plate. Place about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of filling on the wrapper. Fold in the edges and roll it as tightly as you can without breaking the wrapper. But, if you happen to tear one, don't worry. Double wrap it and that one will just have extra crispy goodness around it!


Wet the edge of the wrapper and you complete the roll and place the roll, seam-side down, while you finish wrapping the rest.


To cook, heat oil in a rimmed skillet. Use tongs to gently lower the Spring roll into the hot oil. Turn them as they brown and crisp. Once they are nicely crisped, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Move to a serving platter and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.


Stay tuned for more of my Lunar New Year posts. And definitely check out the #SundayFunday group next weekend.

Monday, January 25, 2021

DIY Taco Seasoning #CulinaryCam

  This page contains affiliate links , however, all opinions expressed here are my own.

I love to make my own spice blends for a couple of reasons. First, I can blend just what I need for a few dishes so the spice blends stay fresh. Second, because I am making the blend, I control what's in it. There are no fillers, sugars, or salts.

I recently posted the process on our CulinaryCam YouTube channel; I started with my DIY Taco Seasoning. Click to watch the video here!

I love getting my spices from Thrive Market because they are organic, non-GMO. And because it's their own label, the prices are very affordable! 


From time to time, I will point out products or services that I use and recommend. And I will link them in the video description. Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Using the links don’t cost you anything extra, but it does help to give us a little bit of money so we can continue to create fun videos for you. We really appreciate the support!

 * Get 25% off your first Thrive Market order: here *

Ingredients


Procedure

Place all the spices in a clean, dry mason jar. Cover with a lid and shake until well-combined. Label and use the spice blend within three months.


You'll be seeing this blend in my quick and easy soft tacos coming up soon! Stay tuned.


Thrive Market

Thrive Market offers the best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices through an annual membership. Think Costco meets Whole Foods online, and for every paid membership Thrive donates one membership to a low-income American family.