Friday, April 9, 2010

Birthday and Macarons

A year ago today (April 8, 2009),  I received a Stem Cell Transplant.  I was diagnosed with a brain tumor when I was sixteen years old.  I was treated with surgery and radiation, and the tumor was gone.  Eversince then, the tumor has seemed to come back.  Thirteen years down the road, the tumor showed up in my spine and then after four years, it came back in the lower brain area.  I received chemotherapy during both those times.  Last year my doctor recommeded that I try a new procedure so the tumor won't replapse again.  Well, it has been a year and I am cancer free!  I am very blessed to have my family and friends who have supported and prayed for me throughout the difficult times in my life.  I am also very thankful for all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who have tooken care of me before, during and after my stay at the hospital.  I remember after receiving my transplant, my nurse came into my room and wished me "Happy Birthday".  She told me, "it's your birthday because you just received brand new cells and your body is just like a brand new baby".  So tonight I went out for dinner with my family to celebrate my first "birthday", technically.  We tried out a new Thai restaurant, nothing special to post about, I'm just happy that I am here and had the opportunity to have the Stem Cell Transplant.

Okay, so now about the macarons.  A few weeks ago, I finally had the chance to taste the delicious "macs".  I almost melted when I had my first bite at the macs.  It was nothing I had imagined.  It was the Fleur de Sel Caramel Macarons from La Provence Patisserie in Beverly Hills.

I live in the South Bay and I was eager to try the macaron again.  Good thing my sister(in-law), Bern, found this place in Lomita called Pastisserie Chantilly where they had macarons.  We were there as soon as she fouond it.  They only had three flavors when we went.  Sesame, Green Tea, and Vanilla.  I loved the sesame.  They were a bit smaller than the ones from La Provence, but still delicious.

After trying out the macarons, I have been researching about the macarons.  I've been wanting to give it a try and I did.  I will post on my next blog on how it went.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Eversince I found a really good recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies, which I will post at a later time. I've been on a mission looking for recipes that have peanut butter in them. I believe I have become a true peanut butter fan.

I have these bananas which have been sitting in a paper bag, getting really ripe. I stumbled on this recipe through Foodgawker. Foodgawker is a website that lets people posts pictures of beautiful food. I saw a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Bread, so I thought I would give it a try. I found the recipe

Overall, I thought the recipe was pretty decent. I wasn't really sure what to expect, was it going to be more banana flavor or a mixture of banana and peanut butter. I was hoping for more peanut butter. The texture was soft and it was moist. Next time, I will add more peanut butter and used oil instead of butter and add more salt.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

This is my go to recipe for Red Velvet Cupcakes. I made these cupcakes numerous times since I've been recently getting orders for these cupcakes.

Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 24

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt (use less if using table salt)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temp.
  • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk or sift together flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed , whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed for 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. I like to use a medium size ice cream scooper. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. (mine took 17 minutes) Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight container.
  5. When cupcakes are completely cool, frost cupcakes using a small offset spatula or you can fill a patry bag with frosting and use the desired tip to finish the cupcake.
Cream Cheese Frosting

I got the recipe from here
  • 1 -8 oz. package cream cheese , slightly softened
  • 2  teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted (I use 2 1/2 cups) 
Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add the sifted sugar slowly and blend after each addition of sugar. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add sugar to satisfaction.