Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bilbo's Seed Cakes Recipe

"Come along in, and have some tea!" he managed to say after taking a deep breath. 
"A little beer would suit me better, if it is all the same to you, my good sir," said Balin with the white beard. "But I don't mind some cake-seed-cake, if you have any." 
"Lots!" Bilbo found himself answering, to his own surprise; and he found himself scuttling off, too, to the cellar to fill a pint beer-mug, and to the pantry to fetch two beautiful round seed-cakes which he had baked that afternoon for his after-supper morsel.  
Creating this recipe brought me back to the time when I first read The Hobbit and I just couldn't get out of my mind what on earth a seed cake was.  This delicious treat was brought back to my attention when I created a Lord of the Rings dinner for the restaurant I worked in a few years ago.  The addition of caraway seeds were fascinating to me and it brought me more surprise when I found out that seed cakes date back to the 16th - 17th century.

With so much history, I didn't want to simple create a pound cake with caraway seeds.  The traditional recipe was more bread like and was round to look like a round shield.  This recipe I have here for you today is baked in mini loaf pans but for authenticity, feel free to bake it in a round cake tin.  This recipe is similar to a tea cake and the addition of caraway seeds makes this a great pairing with tea in the afternoon.

I hope you enjoy this really simple recipe for seed cakes. I hear it's a hit with the dwarves!

Bilbo's Seed Cales Recipe

Bilbo's Seed Cakes Recipe
A recipe for Bilbo Baggin's Seed Cakes from Tolkien's The Hobbit.
  • 180g butter, room temp.
  • 180g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large lemon zest
  • 200g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100g almond meal
  • 1 1/2 tbsp caraway seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350F2. With paddle attachment, mixer butter and sugar until pale.3. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract. Mix and scrape.4. Add the almond meal in two additions.5. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt in three additions. Make sure to scrape the bottom and side of the bowl in between each addition.6. Add your caraway seeds and mix until combined.7. Scoop the batter into lightly greased mini loaf pans, or small cake rounds, until it/s 3/4 of the way full.8. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.9. Cool on cooling rack and serve with some fresh cream and jam.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 mini loafs

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Homer Simpson's Donut Recipe

Lard Lad's Doughnut Recipe

It seems as nothing can get more iconic than this simple yet so beautiful pink donut with sprinkles.  As a child, I remember wanting nothing more than to experience and taste one of Homer's pink icing donuts.  He made them look irresistible.

The donuts are from Lard Lad, a donut store in Springfield that has a just as iconic mascot of a boy holding up a large donut.  I've played around with this recipe a few times trying to figure out how I wanted them.  Many of the Simpsons donut recipes out there have baked donuts in which you need to purchase a donut mold for.  I don't have enough space for a donut mold in my kitchen so I thought it was only right I fried them.  It won't look as perfect or "cartoony" as the baked ones but I feel it's only right to fry a Simpsons donut.

Enjoy and keep reading to see a few playful photos I took in regards to certain episodes from the show.

Homer Simpson's Donuts

Homer Simpson's Donuts
A recipe for Homer Simpson's famous donuts.
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 35g butter, metled and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g all purpose flour
  • 3 t baking powder
  • large pinch salt
  • 114g milk
  • for shallow frying canola oil
  • Pink Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • as desired red food coloring
  • as needed sprinkles
1. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, paddle your eggs, sugar, and melted butter. 2. Whip on medium speed until pale yellow. Add your vanilla extract.3. Add your sifted flour, baking powder, and salt in three additions. Scrape each time.4. Add your milk and scrape.5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it sit and rest for 30-45 minutes.6. 5 minutes before you roll out the dough, heat your canola oil on medium heat. You do not want the oil to heat higher than 350F.7. After the dough has rested, take it out and place it on a floured surface. Roll it out to 1/4" thick.8. Start punching out donut rounds with a large cookie cutter. My cutter is 4.38" in diameter.9. Punch out a smaller hole in the center, I used a 1" in diameter cutter.10. Once your oil has heated up to 350F, gently lay your donuts in the oil to fry. You want a golden brown color.11. Let the donuts cool on a rack while you make the icing.12. For the icing, add your powdered sugar, melted butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Paddle until the sugar is fully hydrated.13. Add your red food coloring, gradually build up to your desired color. The Simpsons donut is hot pink.14. Bag your icing in a zip lock or pipping bag. The Simpsons icing is not perfectly round so make the edges a bit squiggly. You can use a toothpick to even out the icing. Finish with sprinkles and enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12

Lard Lad's Simpsons Doughnut

Don't forget other variations as well! One of my favorites is the Forbidden Donut from Treehouse of Horror IV.  Homer purposely does not finish the last piece of donut so the Devil, or Ned Flanders, cannot take his soul. Unfortunately, a hungry and sleepy Homer wakes up in the middle of the night to finish the last bite.
"Hey, if I don't finish this last bite you don't own my soul, do you?" - Homer
Lard Lad Tree House of Horror Doughnut

And the Candy Rack Donut. 
“You’ve clearly taken items from the candy rack and placed them on top of the donut in an attempt to pass them off as sprinkles.” – Apu
Candy Rack Donut Simpsons

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Lord of the Rings: Lembas

The Hobbit Recipes Elvish
The Lord of the Rings: Lembas
Lembas is easily one of the most popular recipes from The Lord of the Rings so when I created a recipe for it I wanted it be perfect. There is an incredible amount of history tied to lembas and creating this recipe felt like I was digging a recipe out of the history books.

"Lembas, Elvish waybread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man"

Lembas translates to journey bread and has said to leave a man filled for an entire days journey.  This waybread is supposedly tastier than cram and the recipe was closely guarded and was only given to outsiders once, the fellowship.  

The leaves from the Mallorn tree in Lothlorien wraps and keeps the lembas fresh for days if kept unbroken.  Mallorn trees grew in Lothlorien and the leaves turned gold in the autumn.  In this recipe I decided to use banana leaves because it helps keep the lembas fresh longer and and it helps impart flavor.  Keep reading to see how I wrapped the lembas.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Hobbit Inspired: Cram

The Hobbit Cram
Cram, Inspired by The Hobbit
Far over the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day,
To find our long-forgotten gold
- Misty Mountains
 Tolkien described cram as a biscuity type of food that was suppose to sustain you for very long journeys.  It wasn't the tastiest of foods and it was described as chewy but the important thing was that cram was able to help sustain and energize you.  So much so that the dwarves took some with them on their journey to The Lonely Mountains.
“If you want to know what cram is, I can only say that I don’t know the recipe; but it is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.” - Tolkien 
Though cram was very similar to lembas from the elves, it was supposedly not has flavorful. What immediately came to my head was that these sounded like energy bars.  It's suppose to be jam packed with ingredients that would fill and sustain and grown man or in this case, a dwarf.  While these are quite flavorful, I felt it fit the guidelines of cram.  It's sustaining, chewy, and has a long shelf life. Enjoy!

The Hobbit Cram

Monday, April 20, 2015

Beyond: Two Souls Dinner Scene Inspired: Chicken Curry

Beyond Two Souls Dinner Scene Chicken Curry
Ever since I was born, I've been linked to an entity.  His name is Aiden and he's always with me... He's here right now. - Jodie Holmes

Here's another gaming recipe for you guys out there and this week it's Chicken Curry from Beyond: Two Souls. This is another awesome game by Quantic Dream that I just finished and one thing that makes their games just so much more immersive and better than any other game is that you get to decide how to play and where your player ends up.  That being said, there are many difficult decisions I had to make that I hopefully never have to experience in real life but that's what makes it so good.

Without giving away too much of the story, the game follows Jodi Holmes who you learn is born with two souls or another entity she calls Aiden.  As the gamer, you get to play as Jodi and Aiden and you soon realize that Aiden has the tendency to scare Jodi with his powers.  We learn more about this as we follow Jodi through her experiences of growing up with Aiden and how she deals with having such power..

In the game, there is a dinner scene where Jodi has invited Ryan, a man she's been interested in, over to her apartment for dinner.  You realize you have one hour to clean the apartment, put yourself together, and prepare dinner for him.  As you open the cookbook in the kitchen, you realize that you have three options of how to want the date to go.  You can pick chicken curry for a sexier more exotic date, asian beef for something a bit more elegant, and ordering a pizza for a casual date. And of course since this game is made by Quantic Dream, you go through the cooking process with Jodi will she chops and bakes the chicken curry in the oven.

Beyond Two Souls Dinner Scene Chicken Curry

So here it is, Chicken Curry from Beyond: Two Souls.  I hope you like the recipe as much as Ryan did during the date!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Game of Thrones Inspired: Milk of the Poppy - Lemon Rose Panna Cotta

Game of Thrones Milk of the Poppy Panna Cotta

If you came here expecting for the anesthetic medical drink, I'm sorry to break it to you that I don't have the recipe.  I do, however, have another more delicious, non-lucid version for you to enjoy! I'll admit that when I first heard someone say Milk of the Poppy, I thought they said milk of the puppy.  Thankfully, it wasn't from the puppy.

After the premiere of season five Game of Thrones last week, I heard that the first four episodes of the season were actually leaked. Who would do such a thing!?  I decided not to overindulge and I'm going to watch each episode with my normal anxiety ridden week in between.  

So here is my version of Milk of the Poppy from Game of Thrones.  Milk of the poppy is a medical drink used to ease the pain of injuries.  This however, is a lemon rose poppy seed panna cotta.  It's so delicious and simple to make.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lord of the Rings Inspired: Ent-Draught

The Lord of the Rings Ent Draught

This post is dedicated to the cutest pair in cinema history, Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings.  In one of the extended scenes from the Two Towers, Merry and Pippin have awaken and started to drink the water the nourishes Fangorn Forest.  The water not only healed their wounds and made them feel refreshed, it also made them taller.  Merry and Pippin were the tallest hobbits because of this and supposedly they were a whopping 3 inches taller than other hobbits.

There are two known versions of ent-draught. One version was refreshing and sent tingles throughout their body and another was nourishing and richer in taste.  The recipe today is for the refreshing version.  Now I know that the two versions were both clear but I want to stay true to the flavor and feeling you get from the drink, therefore, my version is actually not clear.  

Whether you're a fan of the movies or not, this drink is actually quite refreshing and healthy for everyday consumption.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and I'll see everyone on my next recipe!

The Lord of the Rings Ent Draught

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Game of Thrones Inspired: Bowl of Brown

Game of Thrones Bowl of Brown

As I pull myself out of bed, unwilling to face the fact the we do not get a new episode of The Walking Dead this Sunday, I realize that there is in fact light at the end of the tunnel.  Season five of HBO's Game of Thrones premieres this Sunday and I am ecstatic! 

To celebrate the premiere and to soothe my cold, I decided to make Bowl of Brown.  Bowl of brown is a stew made in the slums of Kings Landing.  It's a stew for the poor usually consists of unrecognizable pieces of meat, barley, carrots, and any other ingredients that they have on hand.  While I'm not adding rats, dogs, or foreign pieces of meat to this stew, it's a great way to use up some ingredients in your pantry and still be authentic. So please enjoy and cheers to the new season of Game of Thrones!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Mad Men's Don Draper's Old Fashioned Cocktail

Man Men Old Fashioned Cocktail

It's no secret that I want to live in the era of Don Draper and Peggy Olsen for a day but since that is quite impossible to do I wanted to recreate Don Draper's favorite drink, the Old Fashioned.  I am by no means a expert on mixing drinks but I can appreciate a good drink.  The Old Fashioned is basically sugar, bitters, whiskey, and citrus peel.  Everything else you add is essentially for show.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Walking Dead TellTale Game: Walt's Autumnal Legume Salad with a Peach roux

The Walking Dead TellTale Peaches and Beans
Walt's Peaches and Beans
I don't really consider myself a gamer but when I do decide to sit down and commit a few days of my life to a game, I make sure that it's going to be worth my time.  As you can tell from my blog, I'm quite the Walking Dead fan and I couldn't wait for the second season of The Walking Dead Telltale episodes to come out.  What makes Telltale games so amazing is that you can basically pick and choose how you want to play a game.  The things you decide to say or do will alter the game so it's important to be quick on your toes and stay true to who you are.  The best thing, however, is that Telltale games have a way of pulling at your heartstrings.  I don't want to spoil anything but season one of the game left me so sad that it took me a long time to actually want to play season two. Do not let that deter you away though! The games are amazing and I hold it very close to my heart.

For today's recipe, I have Walt's autumnal legume salad with a peach roux, peaches and beans basically.  SPOILER ALERT! When Clementine and her new group arrive at the ski lodge and helps Walt cook dinner for everyone, he explains to her that the odd pot of food is actually canned peaches and beans.  A definite luxury during the apocalypse! So here it is, Walt's peaches and beans specialty!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feasts of O'ahu

On my recent trip to beautiful O'ahu, I prepared my mind and my stomach for some unbelievable food.  It was my first time there and I made sure to have a handy list ready of the top places I wanted to visit.  With a lot of research under my belt and a few great recommendations from friends and family, I started my adventure.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Classic Hummus

Like many others, one of my New Year's resolutions for 2015 was to eat better.  I didn't want to restrict myself from good food and create outrageous resolutions that I could possible fail and then feel terrible about myself so I decided to create small resolutions.  One of my weaknesses are snacks and anything crunchy.  So, it makes sense that one of my favorite go to recipe is garlic hummus.  It's flavorful and the satisfying and I hope you guys will like it as much as I do.

For the sake of time, I used canned garbanzo beans but feel free to start from scratch. Just knowing me, if it takes too many steps I will most likely never attempt the recipe again.  Now, though I have a set recipe, feel free to add or substitute any other flavors you can imagine.  Sun dried tomatoes, turmeric, paprika, or cayenne.  The list goes on and on.

Classic Garlic Hummus

yield : 4    total time : 5 min.
  • Garbanzo beans, canned    -    2 - 15.5oz ea.
  • Extra vigin olive oil    -    1/2 cup
  • Garlic cloves    -    2
  • Salt and Pepper    -    to taste
Drain and rinse the two cans of garbanzo beans under running water.  I find the liquid the beans are packed in can taste quite salty. 

I made the the hummus in my vitamix but feel free to to use your food processor.

Add your olive oil first and then add the beans.  Add your garlic cloves and blend.  Salt and pepper to taste and serve with crackers or vegetable sticks.


Monday, January 12, 2015

The Walt Disney Family Museum

One of the favorite spots in San Francisco is The Walt Disney Family Museum.  Being a big Disney fan, I frequently come here to learn more about Walt Disney  and how he came to be.  Surprisingly, not many people know about this museum and there are also those that expect a Disneyland museum but this is a place about Walt Disney and his life.  I bought my tickets for this weekend to see the All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt's Trains and thankfully it was quite quiet for a Sunday afternoon.  The exhibit was beautiful with artwork of trains along the walls as well as a few train models on display.  Unfortunately, I was unable to take photos but I'll leave that as a surprise for those that want to see the exhibit in person.  If you're in the area and if you're a Disney fan, you must visit the museum and the special train exhibit while it's on display. Tickets are $5 on top of general entrance and the trains exhibit is on display until 2/9/15.

Here are a few photos to whet your appetite and I hope everyone is having a great start to this new year.