Thursday, July 31, 2008

Head Banging it with the Mötley Men

If I keep posting life experiences like these I might get released from some of my 3 callings at church.

We went to "CrüeFest" last night. Yes, it is best that adults only attended. There were lots of unique event go-er's there as well. But I think I looked cute in my little Brett Michaels hat. (the fact that I know who Brett Michaels is should bar me from youth related activities)

The family that Head-bangs together, stays together. Dave said the fact that he was wearing the Ozzy shirt gave him complete credibility for being there. He was also wearing a "Callaway" golf hat that
, I think, kinda negated that fact. Most people were too drunk to notice anyway.
People Watching at its Finest:
This guy was all about the beer. The lady on the ground in the background was passed out from an early start with beer. I tried to get a shot of the two guys fist fighting next to us, but my camera didn't shoot right. (Brace yourselves now for the photo that follows this one.)
These two sweet young things were so much fun to watch. Wow, could they dance. (lol) You can read all about what I think about muffin top in an older post.
The Crüe, had a cool Larry King-ish set.

Tommy Lee looked svelte and fit.

Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil all looked very good as well; Vince looked sorta fat, okay and Mick looked like hell, but Nikki was hot. Vince's parents live here in Utah.

I grew up listening to Mötley Crüe and...Disco.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Filbert Gateau- July Daring Bakers

My Second Challenge

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Carol Walter's
Great Cakes page 378

Chris at Mele Cotte was in charge of the July Daring Bakers Challenge. This was an Advanced baking challenge. It involved 5 or 6 separate recipes before one could even assemble the cake.

First I roasted and skinned the hazelnuts.
Then I made a hazelnut praline candy.

Then I made it into a paste so that I could make the Hazelnut Buttercream
. This for me was a convoluted screw-job. I think my wire whisk for my Kitchen-Aid mixer was accidentally thrown away and it was necessary to make the Swiss Buttercream. So I had to go to the garage and steal the one out of my daughters that she bought for herself at Kohl's after Thanksgiving Sale last year.
I don't have a hand mixer which was needed for the double boiler part of the Swiss Merengue for the Buttercream. So I had to go out and buy one of those, which I am glad I did, cause I really like it.
All the tags you see in the book are the recipes and techniques needed just to assemble the cake.
Then after the Hazelnut Praline Buttercream was made I had to put the Hazelnut Genoise together. A Genoise is a sponge cake made with tons of eggs and a very small amount of flour. This Genoise was different than the classic Genoise because of the large amount of nuts it contains. They had to be folded in with a 3 inch spatula. It was baked ever so carefully! Then the cake was cut into 3 layers and moistened with a sugar syrup, Swiss buttercream spread on top, repeated and then coated with an apricot glaze to prepare the cake to recieve the glorious ganache that was poured on top. Lastly, decorated with more buttercream.

This cake was tricky. There was lots of whipping of egg whites, yolks, processing, caramelizing, folding, but the trickiest part was the spliting of the single cake into 3 layers. All and all it took me about 10 hours in total, that I divided into 2 days. The hazelnuts were $7.oo a pound. Not too bad considering what some of the DB's around the globe were paying.

All and all what did I think of the cake? It was a major pain in the tush. And my family didn't like it all that much. I actually had a whole other design on it, but it looked bad, so I removed it, ran a steaming hot knife over the ganache and started over with the same design from the book. "A" for effort, "C-" for creativity. But it had a nice flavor, once the cake sat for a few days. I did not use the alcohol the recipe called for; the orange peel was just the right amount of fruity taste.

I may not make this cake again, but the Swiss Buttercream was a new technique for me, and it is one that I WILL create again and again!!! Awesome.see the recipe below

Gateau Recipe

Filbert Gateau with Praline Buttercream
From Great Cakes by Carol Walter

1 Filbert Genoise
1 recipe sugar syrup, flavored with dark rum
1 recipe Praline Buttercream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 recipe Apricot Glaze
1 recipe Ganache Glaze, prepared just before using
3 tablespoons filberts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Filbert Genoise

Because of the amount of nuts in the recipe, this preparation is different from a classic genoise.

1 ½ cups hazelnuts, toasted/skinned
2/3 cup cake flour, unsifted
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
7 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided ¼ & ¾ cups
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. grated lemon rind
5 lg. egg whites
¼ cup warm, clarified butter (100 – 110 degrees)

Position rack in the lower 3rd of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10” X 2” inch round cake pan.

Using a food processor, process nuts, cake flour, and cornstarch for about 30 seconds. Then, pulse the mixture about 10 times to get a fine, powdery mixture. You’ll know the nuts are ready when they begin to gather together around the sides of the bowl. While you want to make sure there aren’t any large pieces, don’t over-process. Set aside.

Put the yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, and beat until thick and light in color, about 3-4 minutes on med-high speed. Slowly, add ¾ cup of sugar. It is best to do so by adding a tablespoon at a time, taking about 3 minutes for this step. When finished, the mixture should be ribbony. Blend in the vanilla and grated lemon rind. Remove and set aside.

Place egg whites in a large, clean bowl of the electric mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed, until soft peaks. Increase to med-high speed and slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, over 15-20 seconds or so. Continue to beat for another ½ minute.
Add the yolk mixture to the whites and whisk for 1 minute.

Pour the warm butter in a liquid measure cup (or a spouted container). * It must be a deep bottom bowl and work must be fast.* Put the nut meal in a mesh strainer (or use your hand – working quickly) and sprinkle it in about 2 tablespoons at a time – folding it carefully for about 40 folds. Be sure to exclude any large chunks/pieces of nuts. Again, work quickly and carefully as to not deflate the mixture. When all but about 2 Tbsp. of nut meal remain, quickly and steadily pour the warm butter over the batter. Then, with the remaining nut meal, fold the batter to incorporate, about 13 or so folds.

With a rubber spatula, transfer the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with the spatula or back of a spoon. **If collected butter remains at the bottom of the bowl, do not add it to the batter! It will impede the cake rising while baking.

Tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You’ll know the cake is done when it is springy to the touch and it separates itself from the side of the pan. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto a cake rack sprayed with nonstick coating, removing the pan. Cool the cake completely.

*If not using the cake right away, wrap thoroughly in plastic wrap, then in a plastic bag, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If freezing, wrap in foil, then the bag and use within 2-3 months.

Sugar Syrup
Makes 1 cup, good for one 10-inch cake – split into 3 layers

1 cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. dark rum or orange flavored liqueur

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add the liqueur. Cool slightly before using on the cake. *Can be made in advance.

Praline Buttercream
1 recipe Swiss Buttercream
1/3 cup praline paste
1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. Jamaican rum (optional)

Blend ½ cup buttercream into the paste, then add to the remaining buttercream. Whip briefly on med-low speed to combine. Blend in rum.

Swiss Buttercream
4 lg. egg whites
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 ½ -2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier or liqueur of your choice
1 tsp. vanilla

Place the egg whites in a lg/ bowl of a elevtric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until the whites are foamy and they begin to thicken (just before the soft peak stage). Set the bowl over a saucepan filled with about 2 inches of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Then, whisk in the sugar by adding 1-2 tablespoon of sugar at a time over a minutes time. Continue beating 2-3 minutes or until the whites are warm (about 120 degrees) and the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should look thick and like whipped marshmallows.
Remove from pan and with either the paddle or whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on med-high until its a thick, cool meringue – about 5-7 minutes. *Do not overbeat*. Set aside.

Place the butter in a separate clean mixing bowl and, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 40-60 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. *Do not overbeat or the butter will become toooooo soft.*

On med-low speed, blend the meringue into the butter, about 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, over 1 minute. Add the liqueur and vanilla and mix for 30-45 seconds longer, until thick and creamy.

Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before using.

Wait! My buttercream won’t come together! Reheat the buttercream briefly over simmering water for about 5 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Be careful and do not overbeat. The mixture will look broken with some liquid at the bottom of the bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and whip on medium speed just until the cream comes back together.

Wait! My buttercream is too soft! Chill the buttercream in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes and rewhip. If that doesn’t work, cream an additional 2-4 Tbsp. of butter in a small bowl– making sure the butter is not as soft as the original amount, so make sure is cool and smooth. On low speed, quickly add the creamed butter to the buttercream, 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for up to 6 months. If freezing, store in 2 16-oz. plastic containers and thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for several hours.

Praline Paste
1 cup (4 ½ oz.) Hazelnuts, toasted/skinless
2/3 cup Sugar
Line a jelly roll pan with parchment and lightly butter.

Put the sugar in a heavy 10-inch skillet. Heat on low flame for about 10-20 min until the sugar melts around the edges. Do not stir the sugar. Swirl the pan if necessary to prevent the melted sugar from burning. Brush the sides of the pan with water to remove sugar crystals. If the sugar in the center does not melt, stir briefly. When the sugar is completely melted and caramel in color, remove from heat. Stir in the nuts with a wooden spoon and separate the clusters. Return to low heat and stir to coat the nuts on all sides. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble. **Remember – extremely hot mixture.** Then onto the parchment lined sheet and spread as evenly as possible. As it cools, it will harden into brittle. Break the candied nuts into pieces and place them in the food processor. Pulse into a medium-fine crunch or process until the brittle turns into a powder. To make paste, process for several minutes. Store in an airtight container and store in a cook dry place. Do not refrigerate.

Apricot Glaze
Good for one 10-inch cake

2/3 cup thick apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. water

In a small, yet heavy saucepan, bring the water and preserves to a slow boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, add water as needed.

Remove from heat and, using a strainer, press the mixture through the mesh and discard any remnants. With a pastry brush, apply the glaze onto the cake while the cake is still warm. If the glaze is too thick, thin to a preferred consistency with drops of water.

Ganache Glaze
Makes about 1 cup, enough to cover the top and sides of a 9 or 10 inch layer or tube cake

**Ganache can take on many forms. While warm – great fudge sauce. While cool or lukewarm – semisweet glaze. Slightly chilled – can be whipped into a filling/frosting. Cold & solid – the base of candied chocolate truffles.

6 oz. (good) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, like Lindt
6 oz. (¾ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 Tbsp. Grand Marnier, Cointreay, or dark Jamaican rum (optional)
¾ tsp. vanilla
½ - 1 tsp. hot water, if needed

Blend vanilla and liqueur/rum together and set aside.

Break the chocolate into 1-inch pieces and place in the basket of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer into a medium sized bowl and set aside.

Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan, on low, until it reached a gentle boil. Once to the gently boil, immediately and carefully pour over the chocolate. Leave it alone for one minute, then slowly stir and mix the chocolate and cream together until the chocolate is melted and incorporated into the cream. Carefully blend in vanilla mixture. If the surface seems oily, add ½ - 1 tsp hot water. The glaze will thicken, but should still be pourable. If it doesn’t thicken, refrigerate for about 5 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t get too cold!

Assembling Cake

Cut a cardboard disk slightly smaller than the cake. Divide the cake into 3 layers and place the first layer top-side down on the disk. Using a pastry brush, moisten the layer with 3-4 Tbsp. of warm sugar syrup. Measure out 1 cup of praline buttercream and set aside.

Spread the bottom layer with a ¼-inch thickness of the remaining buttercream. Cover with ½ of the whipped cream, leaving ¼-inch border around the edge of the cake. Place the middle layer over the first, brush with sugar syrup, spreading with buttercream. Cover with the remaining whipped cream.

Moisten the cut side of the third layer with additional sugar syrup and place cut side down on the cake. Gently, press the sides of the cake to align the layers. Refrigerate to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Lift the cake by sliding your palm under the cardboard. Holding a serrated or very sharp night with an 8-ich blade held parallel to the sides of the cake, trim the sides so that they are perfectly straight. Cut a slight bevel at the top to help the glaze drip over the edge. Brush the top and sides of the cake with warm apricot glaze, sealing the cut areas completely. Chill while you prepare the ganache.

Place a rack over a large shallow pan to catch the ganache drippings. Remove the gateau from the refrigerator and put it the rack. With a metal spatula in hand, and holding the saucepan about 10 inches above the cake, pour the ganache onto the cake’s center. Move the spatula over the top of the ganache about 4 times to get a smooth and mirror-like appearance. The ganache should cover the top and run down the sides of the cake. When the ganache has been poured and is coating the cake, lift one side of the rack and bang it once on the counter to help spread the ganache evenly and break any air bubbles. (Work fast before setting starts.) Patch any bare spots on the sides with a smaller spatula, but do not touch the top after the “bang”. Let the cake stand at least 15 minutes to set after glazing.

To garnish the cake, fit a 12 – 14-inch pastry bag with a #114 large leaf tip. Fill the bag with the reserved praline cream. Stating ½ inch from the outer edge of the cake, position the pastry tube at a 90 degree angle with the top almost touching the top of the cake. Apply pressure to the pastry bag, moving it slightly toward the center of the cake. As the buttercream flows on the cake, reverse the movement backward toward the edge of the cake and finish by pulling the bag again to the center. Stop applying pressure and press the bag downward, then quickly pull the tip up to break the flow of frosting. Repeat, making 12 leaves evenly spaced around the surface of the cake.

Make a second row of leaves on the top of the first row, moving the pastry bag about ¾ inch closer to the center. The leaves should overlap. Make a 3rd row, moving closer and closer to the center. Add a 4th row if you have the room. But, leave a 2-inch space in the center for a chopped filbert garnish. Refrigerate uncovered for 3-4 hours to allow the cake to set. Remove the cake from the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.

Leftover cake can be covered with foil and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Last edited by Mele Cotte (2008-07-13 06:52:12)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rack 'em up Baby

No I am not talking about my rack. Or a pool table rack. This is one of the items I requested for my birthday and it is so HOT!
The guy aint' bad neither;) Although he does look a little bit like Jack Nicholson coming through that door in The Shining.
The rest of the story I leave to your own imagination!!!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friends Supporting Friends

I have a friends who have made world wide news recently. One in a really great way, and one in a not so great way. I support them... they know who they are.

I have friends who are sick and afflicted. I love them dearly. Especially S.R. she knows it too. And one new friend J.Y. she'll beat it.

I have friends who are questioning their faith. I pray for them. I need to make sure they know I love and don't judge them.

I have friends who have gone through ugly divorces. I hope they find happiness soon. They will, they are terrific people.

Best of all, I have friends who love me and over look my MANY faults. Yeah!

What the Craps!!??!!

Prize goes to the first respondee who can tell me how I paid for this Cole Haan Bag!! My best friends know orange is my favorite color. I was ecstatic when I saw this purse, and I had to have it.

Viva Las Vegas !!

What's a trip to Vegas without lots of food?!!

We went to see Ka -- a Cirque du Soleil branch of fun.

We didn't do too much sight seeing. We were there for the food and the shopping! One of my favorite things to do is people watch. Could that be a form of stalking?

Vegas is fun, but I wouldn't want to live there~~

Glad Housewife's Glamour Do's and Dont's

Here is my latest beef (MOOOO!!!) Will you look at this girl up on the top row in the white shirt! Why do some girls want to look like this? Her shirt was so tight you could see the belly button outline. WHY, WHY,WHY? I think it is a fad, they want to attract attention any way they can. If it's mean to say that... too stinkin' bad. Remember this blog is my therapy and my excuse to RANT!!!

Now look at the stunner on the bottow row with the navy tank and camos. This is a curvy girl with an apple bottom and an itty bitty waist. Do you SEE a muffin top on her? I don't think so. She don't drink no soda pop, she go to the gym, Shawty looking fine.
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Since Nobody Reads This Blog.....

Okay, there's a fun game going around. Let's give it a try.

1. Leave one memory that you and I had together, as a comment on my blog. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

....I don't expect too many responses.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Glad Birthday

What is a birthday without a pedicure I ask you?!! If they rush, or don't do a good job. Complain. My gal needed an attitude adjustment and she got it from this old bird. I have had some of the best pedicures in the world and she tried to get one past me, and ha, I set her straight.

Me and my boyfriend in the dark, dark movie theater.
Sixth in line for "Batman the Dark Knight"

It was soooo good. Christian Bale is so handsome!!

Jordan and Malaina bought me this artisan glass hummingbird feeder. It is stunning. They got it at the Utah Arts Festival. Tiny made me the small birdhouse. And YEA!!! I got a bike rack for my Ford. I cannot wait to do the Bonneville Trail!

I cannot recall when I have had such a wonderful day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Everybody's All American Day

Okay kids, this is the quintessential American pre-game meal!
Made by yours truly and Bush's baked beans

Then off the third child's softball game.
Will you just look at those mountains and clouds!??!
This is also Jordan's famous "scowl-smile" face.

Look at these All Americans warming the bench!

Then celebrating being a happy family at Iceberg Drive-in for shakes and huge onion rings. Get a load of "Princess Christina"

I don't get the camera pointed at me too often because look what I do when it is!!

We saw this cute dog in a passing car. She loved me.
There it is folks. Burgers, softball games, ice cream and dogs. It doesn't get much better than that!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Camp Jeremiah Johnson 2008

Our Activity Day Girls went to Day Camp up Hobble Creek Canyon today.

Linda and Me
enjoying the day.

The Fab Four leaders in the back. The cute girls in the front.

Breaking the rules, unbeknown to us; I told them to climb the hill and I would get a picture of everyone. We got yelled at. My bad.
We missed two girls who couldn't be there, our group was 13 girls and 4 leaders.
It was pure chaotic fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Heart and Camp

While she was camping we were playing. At a concert that is. We went to see Cheap Trick, Heart and Journey. We got there late for Cheap Trick, I would have liked to see more. Heart was EXCELLENT. Nancy Wilson sounds the exact same as she did in the 70's. Journey was so terrible that we left early. They had a new frontman,who was okay, but Journey is not the same without Steve Parry. Their sound system was so bad. I could not hear the guitar riffs, it was so quiet that Dave and I could talk and still hear each other. USANA is a nice theater, but it is INSANE to get there! Go two hours early if you dare.

Our good friends Craig and Sherri met us there. Going to out door concerts is no fun unless you go with friends.
Now on to Young Women's Camp........

Okay, does this look like a girl who hated camp?

This was how she looked just off the bus.
Happy to see me? Maybe. But, just happy!!!