Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pão de Queijo

Pão de queijo is Brazilian cheese bread.  If you’ve never had it then please make a batch of this recipe, buy the mix, or buy the frozen dough balls because they are delicious.  Over the holidays I decided to make these savory snacks from scratch since I am not a fan of box mixes.  They were such a hit this recipe was made four times in 2 weeks.  I’m surprised I even have a picture of them baked since every time I turned around to grab more from the oven a bunch of the ones I already placed on the plate or bowl were missing. =)
Although I made my cousin promise never to share this recipe or show how to make it, I decided to post the link to the recipe I used.  I did this primarily because it is not my personal recipe.  Second, I was going to write that it is a basic recipe and similar to all recipes on the Internet, but I did some research to verify this statement and I was incorrect.  Although I have not made any of the other recipes, based solely on the pictures and ingredients alone, the recipe below seems closer to the pão de queijo I am familiar with.  It’s so good I want everyone to know it!
Recipe from Sonia Portuguese.
dough Dough once all ingredients have been incorporated.
ballsFormed into balls…or as close as my cousin and I could get it.
baked Some of the baked pão de queijo.
Although any tapioca flour will work, buy from an Asian store as it is WAY cheaper.  I think I bought my tapioca starch for less than $2, but Bob’s Red Mill’s taopica flour is around $5-$6.  In Brazil, they supposedly use manioc flour*, which tapioca flour comes from, so I bought some from a Brazilian store to test out flavor and texture differences.  I also bought a box of Yoki pão de queijo mix to test as well.    I’ll post those pictures at a later date when I get to actually conducting the experiments.
*Here’s a great article on the difference between manioc v tapioca flour.
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Food, Savory Dishes


Mini Birthday Cakes

Can you tell I like mini cakes?  They’re just so much more fun since unlike one large cake you can decorate several.  I say that now, but when I was making these at 3AM I was kicking myself for not making a large cake instead.  AND I was really mad when the person I made them for didn’t even attend the party!  There were supposed to be mini red velvet (gross) cakes along with this, but there was a mishap and since it was already 3AM I gave up and made cupcakes at work and bought them from there instead.  I don’t have a picture of the cupcakes though.
Mini Cakes
Disregard the food wrap in the background.  I was rushing out to go to the party and had no time to clear space out.  My favorites are the three pouches (green and gold, brown and green, and striped).  I was going for the “I’m going to wrap this large candle with cellophane and scrunch it all at the top and tie with ribbon look”, but came away with what looks to me like old coin purses instead, which I liked better. ^_^  The brown and green pouch seems like it’s dirty in this picture, but it’s actually pearl dust that my camera has a hard time capturing correctly.
Mini Cake
This was my reject because it didn’t fit in the box and because I tried to make it shiny with said pearl dust and lemon extract but it was too strong (as can be seen by the glare it kept bouncing back from the flash).
The cakes: white cake with coffee neoclassic buttercream (Cake Bible)
Fondant: combination of Chocopan and Satin Ice since Vegas weather makes it difficult to work with Chocopan alone.
Colors: Americolor Teal and Green, Wilton Brown
Accents: Soft Gold pearl dust, Old Gold pearl dust, Super Pearl Powder
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Posted by on March 4, 2011 in Cupcakes and Mini Cakes, Food


Holiday Cakes

Ugh, yes, I am still trying to catch up on posting all of my holiday baking.  Here are the mini cakes I made for my sister and cousins.  The round ones are chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, the square ones are white cake with buttercream, and the wreaths are red velvet with cream cheese icing (left over batter baked into mini bundt pans and icing from the red velvet balls).
Holiday Cakes
I had to make the fondant from scratch and it wasn’t as easy to work with as bought fondant.  I wasn’t happy with all of them, but most of them came out really well.  I especially loved the wreaths.
Okay, so all that’s left is pao de quiejo and ube cakes and then no more holiday posts.  I’m hoping to get to my baking projects once I’m all caught up with postings.  I really want to make massa sovada. ^_^


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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Cupcakes and Mini Cakes, Food



I know people usually say their mom makes the best [insert food here], but my mom makes amazing palabok.  It’s so addicting…I can’t stop eating it until I’m bursting, which is why I only eat it when I’m home for the holidays.  For those who don’t know what palabok is, it is a Filipino noodle dish consisting primarily of ground pork, shrimp, noodles, onions, garlic, green onions, hard boiled egg, and crushed pork rinds.  You can find it in almost any Filipino restaurant since it’s a comfort food and extremely popular.
My mom’s version is technically called pansit luglug because she uses thick, luglug noodles instead of the thin palabok noodles, but I’ve never heard anyone call it pansit luglug.  They’re both pretty much called palabok, regardless of the noodles used.  And because it is my mother’s recipe I cannot include the recipe because she won’t let me. LOL.  But here are some pictures and some of the cooking methods.  It’s pretty basic and probably the same as most palabok recipes…I’m just biased because she’s my mom.
Here are the ingredients:
Palabok Ingredients
So, you saute your onions and minced garlic to golden brown.  Then, add your ground pork and cook until browned.  Add ground pepper and the Mama Sita mix (or whatever palabok mix you prefer) and the recommended water or as much water to your liking (my mom doesn’t exactly measure).  Then add the achute (annatto) powder until you reach a dark burnt orange color.  Simmer for a few minutes and your sauce is complete.
Cook your noodles until they are soft, hard boil eggs, and saute the peeled shrimp with some achute powder for color.
Achute Shrimp umm…I went a little overboard with the achute here since I didn’t want any leftover powder and just dumped the rest in hence the clumps of achute powder.
Combine noodles and sauce, cover with ground pork rinds, and decorate with sliced eggs, shrimp, and sliced green onions.
Finished Palabok
Ta-da!  My mom’s is definitely prettier, but I don’t think it’s so bad.  To prevent the yolks from breaking like mine boil the eggs the day before and let harden in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a few hours.
Here’s my single (um double serving) of palabok:
Single Serving (um ok probably at least double serving)
I know it’s like being a tease by not posting the recipe, but I just had to share this since I was so proud I made it so well.  I think it’s better than my mom’s ::gasp:: People who ate it loved it and someone wanted to pay me to make it! Woot!!


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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Food, Savory Dishes


First Pop-up Card

For my friend Paige’s birthday I wanted to do a more girly, fun card.  Originally, I was going to make a topsy-turvy cake card, but when I saw a cake pop-up card I knew I just had to make that instead.  So, I followed the instructions from Dawn’s Stamping Studio and since I do not own any die cutters, I clicked on the flyer link and used the diagram as a stencil for my pop-up card.  Unfortunately, I think my proportions were a little off since my cake looks nothing like hers…or I just suck at pop-up cards.  Let’s just say halfway though I was kicking myself for not going for the easier topsy-turvy cake.  The final result is not what I was expecting, but it isn’t horrible either.  My next one (if there ever is one lol) will be better for sure.

Here it is:


And, um, yes…she’s obviously turning 26…sorry to let the world know Paige ^_^
Recollections Cardstock (Black and Red)
Patterned Paper Carstock (Girls Night Out Theme)
K&Company (Mini Flower Accents)
ki Memories Funky Paper Pad II (pink paper)
Jelly Roll pink star pen
Elegant Writer 2.5mm calligraphy pen
It’s actually a simple process…just a little frustrating.  I seriously think my proportions were off since my cake layers were a little lopsided and the strips kept unsticking.  i just hope when she gets it it’ll still be in one piece :/

Hope yours is better than mine. ^_^

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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Cards, Paper Crafts