January 31, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes: goodeats

Two birthdays last weekend gave me an excuse to bake something sweet. Who doesn't like the fattiest of of all cupcakes....red velvet with cream cheese frosting!

The cake was from a fantastic cupcake blog and the frosting was from Paula Dean (duh). I was satisfied with the texture of the cake, moist and tasty, but when it came to the frosting I had to drastically reduce the amount of powdered sugar that Paula called for.  Also, after tasting one cupcake, I will definitely reduce the amount of butter for the next batch as well.  All in all, it was a tad bit too heavy for my taste...but what do you expect from mama Paula, the queen of  "more butta yall!"
 Paula dressed up as butter for Halloween......gross

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. red food coloring(two bottles)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners
2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Be careful as it will fizz so don't do it in a shallow bowl. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under 3/4 full. I ended up with about 25 cupcakes. Place muffin tins in your preheated oven. Bake for approximately 20, rotating pans halfway through. The cupcakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up. If it sinks down they are not yet complete. Or you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake in the center of the tin and if it comes out clean they are done!
5. Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream cheese Frosting, courtesy of FattyMcButterson
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened (I would recommend reducing this to 1 and 1/2 sticks)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (but really, 2.5 cups will do the trick)
After the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost away! I garnished half of mine with raspberries and the other half with crumbled cupcake pieces.  Enjoy!

January 29, 2010

Betty Boop Crocker: kitchen-candy

I've been pining hard for a dutch oven for quite some time now.  I think I've said the phrase "well, if I had a dutch oven I could make...." on the daily.  I asked for one for Christmas...didn't happen.  I entered a sweepstakes on LuckyMagazine.com forcing a few other people to enter on my behalf...didn't win.  I even looked on craigslist and eBay, but the thought of receiving a hand-me down dutch oven that could have been exposed to potential neglect and abuse completely turned me off.  I was tired of being dutchoven-less.

So after weeks of contemplation,  I finally took the plunge and splurged on the Godmother of all dutch ovens... ahem, French-ovens.  Introducing....

Le Creuset's Enameled Cast Iron "French" Oven AKA Betty Boop Crocker

Betty is of the Le Creuset family and boasts a wam-bam figure of 10 x 10.8 x 4 inches ; 10.5 pounds holding up to 5.5 quarts...yep, she's a curvy little minx.  Sporting a sexy, red enamel, Betty is perfect for all of your soups, meats, stews, casseroles and even baking needs due to versatility on top of the stove and inside the oven.  Hand finished, Betty will allure anything and everything you place under her lid, creating delicious meals time after time.  And best of yet, contrary to social stigmas, Betty is one sweet darling that only gets better with time and more usage. No wrinkles or sagging here! Take care of her, and she'll be taking care of you and yours for decades to come.

Betty will be a regular on buttermyjammy, so please acquaint yourselves

January 26, 2010

Mos Def: eyecandy

click click click

January 25, 2010

Games You Can Win- RJD2: fatbeats

Always an RJD2 fan, although I hear his newest album "The Colossus" is just alright. Eager to check out the rest of it, hopefully it will measure up to Deadringer & Since We Last Spoke.

January 22, 2010

January 20, 2010

Sincerely, Jacques Peppin: goodeats

The other night, Mr. T and I were chillin on the couch when this adorable little man popped onto the television screen

  It was Jacques Peppin! One of the most beloved French culinary masters of all time.  It's ok, at the time I also was an ignorant fool and had no idea who this bundle of joy was either.
Now, when I say adorable, think thick French accent muddled with a slight lisp...it's to DIE for.  Pair that with old man charm and mean knife skills, and yes... you've got yourself a serious bundle of joy
Last night's dinner was thanks to Jacques...and it was BOMB! 

Jacques' Lime Skirt Steak w/ sauted Mustard Greens
-Skirt Steak
-Fresh lime juice
-Garlic, chopped
-Scallions, chopped
-Heat some EVOO in the good o'l cast iron pan Generously season the steak on both sides with salt and fresh cracked pepper and a bit of lime juice.   Cook the steak for a few minutes on each side depending on how rare you like your meat.  For medium-rare, it will be about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Remove the meat from the pan and let it rest.  Lower the heat and add in chopped scallions and garlic.  Deglaze the goodness from the pan with some lime juice and a few tablespoons of water.  Top the glaze onto the meat. 
 Sauteed Mustard Greens
-Fresh bundle of mustard greens
-Onions, sliced
-Garlic, chopped
-Italian sausage, de-cased and torn into bite size pieces (optional.  This is for the side dish so the extra meat with the mustard greens isn't necessary)
-Saute the Italian sausage in some EVOO and add in onions mid way.  Season with a bit of S&P and add in garlic.  After sauteing for a few minutes, add in the mustard greens.  It should be flowing out of the pan, but fear not...mustard greens is like spinach and it will shrink down significantly.  Put a lid on the pan to help the shrinkage move right along.

I had some big, beautiful portobellos left over from lasagna the other night, so we decided to throw some stuffed portobellos onto the menu along with the greens and steak.  Portobello mushrooms is like bread to a sandwich...you can literally stuff it with whatever combination you want, stick it in the oven, and it will be everything you imagined and more.  These particular mushrooms were just a mixture of what I had on hand in the fridge, and they came out pretty tasty!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms 
-2 Portobello Mushrooms
-Sundried tomatoes, chopped,
-Garlic, chopped
-Onions, chopped
-Fresh spinach (frozen works too if that's all you have)
-Low fat cream cheeese (or ricotta cheese, mozarella cheese, sour cream...anything white and creamy.  However, if you use ricotta or mozarella, you probably need to throw an egg in there to make sure everything holds)
-Parmesan cheese, grated
-Panko bread crumbs
-Garlic powder
-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  De-stem the mushrooms and gently wipe clean with a damp papertowel.  Do not wash the mushrooms.  Mushrooms are super absorbent will soak up the water leaving you with soggy mush.  Generously rub with EVOO and throw on the grill pan, cap faced down first, for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onions and garlic.  Add in spinach until all of it wilts.  Mix together with cream cheese, S&P, garlic powder and parmesan cheese. Flip caps over and begin to grill the outside for another 2-3 minutes. Scoop stuffing into the caps and top with a little bit of panko and more parmesan.  Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until panko is brown and stuffing is bubbling.

 Merci Jacques!

Aroma Coffee & Tea, Studio City: goodeats

yep, all real

Classic eggs benedict from Aroma Coffee and Tea in Studio City.  This place is exactly like Alcove Cafe in Los Feliz.  Cute little restaurant in a cute little house surrounded by a cute little garden.

 Salmon scramble with cream cheese and capers

Ambiance: B
-Again, very quaint and cute.  Personally, I think Alcove Cafe does a better job of embodying the "breakfast at a friend's" feel, but Aroma Cafe tries. Great outdoor seating
Food: B
-Pretty standard, nothing spectacular or extraordinary.  The food wasn't terrible, but not very memorable either.  I leave it at a solid B thanks to the picture perfect fruit :)
Perfect For...
-A fall back brunch spot if you happen to be in Studio City

4350 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City, CA 91640

January 18, 2010

rainy monday, pet grief: fatbeats

the perfect rainy day album. 

Chef Cristobal's Pride & Joy: goodeats

My brother was kind enough to share this simple and delicious recipe.  I've made it a few times and tweaked it just a bit everytime.  He calls it "Chef Cristobal's Middle Eastern Halel Chicken and Rice" and claims it's an original recipe courtesy of himself.  Apparently it took him dozens of trial runs and hours in the kitchen to find the perfect blend of spices and ingredients to create THE perfect recipe, but I don't really believe him....

White Cream Sauce
1/2 CUP of sour cream
1/2 CUP of Mayo
1/4 CUP of water (less water for thicker sauce, more for thinner)
1/2 tsp of horseradish
1/2 tsp of black pepper
2 tbsp of fresh chopped dill
1 tbsp of dried dill
1 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of sugar
2 tsp of lemon juice
4 tbsp of vinegar
**Mix all ingredients**

Halal Blessed Chicken w/ Rice  (2 large servings)
Boneless Chicken Thighs (1 pack - 6pcs) You could use chicken breast if you want a healthier dish, but dark meat works best in this dish.
1 Can of Tomato juice
1 Onion, thinly sliced
Garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp Cumin
3 Tbsp Curry
1 Tbs Paprika
Olive Oil
Fresh spinach

1.  Cut the chicken into delightful, bite-size pieces and coat with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously some freshly ground pepper and salt
2.  Place chicken into a large bowl and add in thinly sliced onions and crushed garlic.
3.  Add in cumin, curry powder, paprika and tomato juice.
4.  Mix the special concoction thoroughly and then store in refrigerator for 1 hour to marinate.  (optional)
6.  Cook the marinated chicken on high heat until meat is cooked through.  Add in fresh spinach until it wilts.
5.  Plate the cooked chicken and pour white sauce on top.  You can never have too much white sauce!

I like to serve this dish with saffron basmati rice and roasted veggies.  Roasted tomatoes and zucchini with garlic and parmasean was on the menu that night.   Here they are before they hit the oven

Here's the final dish taken from a bb, excuse the quality.  I also forgot to add the white sauce on top before we took the photo...

You will definitely have some white cream sauce left over.  It makes a great salad dressing or even a veggie dip.  I ended up using the extra sauce for tuna sandwiches the next day subbing the mayo for the sauce.  Enjoy!

January 13, 2010

90's music is the bomb

The Arsenal on Pico plays the best music.  I hadn't been there since college but even then, Arsenal was the place for old school hip hop and r&b.  I was there this past weekend and probably yelled "I LOVE THIS SONG!" during every single song the dj played (I know ...annoying).  We had Biggie, Tupac, Tribe, LL Cool J, Bone Thugs, Common Sense, Mase, Lauryn Hill, Blackstreet and so on.  Needless to say, it was a damn good time and it reminded me of one of my favorites...TLC's Red Light Special. Let's talk about sex baby?

I first heard this song when my family went camping with all of my dad's college alums and their families. The much older boy I had a crush on was jamming out to this song on his hand-held CD player wearing an oversized Nautica parka and let me listen to it (swoooon)....It was an inappropriate song for an 11 year old and I had no idea what a red light special was (actually, I still have no idea ), but I credit this song for making my first real childhood crush that much more memorable.  Oh the 90's!

January 11, 2010

God Bless Oldies 101.1: fatbeats

I heard this song THREE times today on the radio...it was a buttermyjammy sign.  A definite karaoke favorite....

Stratego...just as good as Scrabble

Last week, Tim came over for dinner and a friendly game of Stratego.  A little back story....I LOVE this game, it holds a lot of sentimental value because I used to play it all the time when I was a camp counselor at Bruin Woods.  I had forgotten all about it, so when I saw it at Target I thought of it as the perfect elephant gift.  Long story short, I brought it to my family Christmas party and ended up stealing it from every person that got their hands on it.  I knew when I bought it, it was actually a gift for myself. heh-heh

Dinner: chicken mango sausage pasta with veggies

I won't lie....Tim beat me good.
Till the next time!

January 8, 2010

good reads hit the big screen!

I've been waiting for this to hit book stores for awhile now and I just read in today's Variety that James Cameron is actually interested in it as a potential new project.  If you haven't seen Avatar yet, you've been living in a hole and should just consider yourself not of the human race. Available January 19th.

Anna introduced me to this book years ago when we were in high school and it's become one of my all time favorites.  Since the film is out with luke-warm reviews, I decided to torture myself and re-read it before seeing it on the big screen.  If you're interested in a good read/sob fest, read this book.  It's easy and entertaining but is a total heart breaker. Have your box of tissues handy.

I haven't gotten around to picking this book up, but the film was beautiful.  Tom Ford recently made his debut as a director and took this novel as his first project.  My goodness...that man is a creative genius, ruling the fashion world with Gucci and now taking Hollywood, one gay film at a time. The cinematography is reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai and of course the production/costume design is flawless.  It's definitely apparent that a man who knows fashion had a little something to do with this film....anxious to read the book and see how it compares! 

Here's the trailer:

January 6, 2010

every man's dream woman: fatbeats

 CocoRosie- By Your Side
sweet song....too bad I snore.

three layers of goodness: goodeats

I'm usually not a fan of sweets, but I've been craving something to satiate my sweet tooth this week. One of my favorite cakes is the Triple Berry Shortcake from Sweet Lady Jane Bakery on Melrose. It's a yellow butter cake filled with three layers of slightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Frosting kills cake, but whipped cream...that's what really makes this cake delicious.

If you're ever in need of a delicious cake, check out the triple berry shortcake from the sweetest lady in town, it's a little pricey but oh so worth it.

Sweet Lady Jane Bakery
8360 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90069-6519
(323) 653-7145

January 5, 2010

best covers: fatbeats

I have a mild obsession with awesome covers.  Here are a few favorites: 

Madonna & Massive Attack covering Marvin Gaye- I Want You

Bilal covering Radiohead- High & Dry

Seu Jorge covering David Bowie- Life on Mars from The Life Aquatic

up there with the originals in my opinion

Ginger me Seabass! goodeats

After two weeks of eating whatever I saw, a healthy dinner was in order.  We decided to go with ginger sea bass and Japanese style cold soba noodles.  Cold soba noodles is one of my favorite summer dishes, light & fresh with great texture thanks to the thick buckwheat noodles and grated daikon..and since it's hitting high 70's in LA in January, I guess cold soba noodles can be a year round favorite.  The fish recipe was sent to me via one of those recipe chain mails (they really work if everyone participates, ahem). We added a few ingredients and also steamed it differently.  You really can't go wrong with sea bass, but this dish is super light so I suggest being liberal with all the ingredients. 

Ginger Sea Bass
-sea bass fillets
-grated ginger
-sliced garlic
-sliced ginger
-sliced green onion for garnish
-soy sauce

Salt & pepper both sides of the fish.  Rub grated ginger generously. Create a foil pouch and line the bottom with sliced ginger and sliced garlic. Place the fish in the pouch and drizzle soy sauce on top. Close the foil pouch and place in steamer for about 12-15 minutes depending on size of the fish.  It's finished when it is white and flaky. Garnish with green onion slices.

Japanese Cold Soba Noodles
-buckwheat soba noodles
-soba sauce (found at any Japanese or Korean market)
-grated daikon
-sliced green onion

Cook soba noodles and rinse in cold water.  Set aside in serving dish.  Combine sauce, wasabe, grated daikon and sliced green onions in separate bowl. Dip soba noodles in sauce bite by bite, yum.

This meal is super quick and easy and is the perfect post gym meal to keep your health kick going!

January 4, 2010

dumbfoundead: fatbeats

my brother turned me onto this guy awhile back. He's three of my favorite things...korean, native angeleno and crazy talented.  All of his beats and rhymes are great, check them out at http://www.youtube.com/user/dumbfoundead.

Look out for dumbfoundead, definitely gonna make it big...

January 3, 2010

Eminem's gone Hipster:fat beats

no doubt The XX are a great band... but I cannot take this video seriously!  I get it, this song is about the angst of losing a lover, but could this video be any more contrived and awkward?  It also doesn't help that the lead singer looks like Eminem.  I suggest you cover your eyes and listen...

679:433 Reunion- Lake Tahoe

I was lucky enough to spend a part of the holidays in Lake Tahoe with some of my best friends from college.  We were missing a few key players, but partied like it was 2006 all over again...

ok, maybe it wasn't QUITE like 2006...no broken windows and doors, no cops, no hugging the toilet at 3AM, no frantic "WHERE'S INNIE?!" phone calls, no balls on Gabe's face, no "I think I'm dying from alcohol poisoning" speeches and NO requests for Vaseline and swim caps whatsoever.  I guess we've grown up since then....

We did manage to play every single drinking game possible and of course the dancing never stopped.  Just a few highlights:

pre Tahoe in Granite Bay

make it rain!

girls scheming in quarters

dancing queens

Homewood, Tahoe CA

view from our back patio

2010 destination....Costa Rica!