Thursday, October 31, 2013

Marble Chiffon Cake

The Marble Chiffon Cake is delicious! It looks delicious too, right?

We made this cake in class earlier this week and I just have to share it with you guys. It's not as sweet as cakes you see from the store, which I personally like. It tastes great too. I plan on recreating this cake later on to bring to parties. I know that it will be a big hit.

I do warn you that the beating of the egg whites is really important. It is what gives some structure to the cake. In this culinary class, we are learning some of the science behind cooking and baking as well, which I love! Anyway, here is the recipe and I hope you guys enjoy this cake!
By the way, don't you love how we marbled the cake?

  • 1/3 cup cocoa 
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 Tbsp sugar  
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder  
  • ½ tsp salt 
  • 7 egg yolks, at room temperature 
  • ¾ cup water 
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 7 egg whites, at room tempera­ture 
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar 

1.      Preheat oven to 325°F.
2.      In a small bowl, combine cocoa, 2 table­spoons sugar, ¼ cup water, and 2 tablespoons oil until smooth; set aside.
3.      In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, baking powder and salt; add ½ cup oil, egg yolks, ¾ cup water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are com­bined. Beat 5 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl several times.
4.      Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and beat, using clean beaters, until stiff peaks form.
5.      Pour batter in a thin stream over the entire surface of egg whites; fold together gently. Remove a third of the batter to another bowl; gently fold in the chocolate mixture. Pour half the vanilla batter into an ungreased tube pan; spread half the chocolate batter over the vanilla batter.
6.      Repeat layers; gently insert a spatula or knife into the batters and swirl gently for a marbled effect. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes; or until cake springs back when touched gently.
7.      Remove cake from the oven; invert the pan until completely cool. Loosen the cake around the edges and middle of the pan; remove insert; loosen the bottom of the cake from the pan and invert onto a cake plate for serving.
I hope you guys enjoy this cake. Make it tonight!

What's your favorite type of cake?
I personally love angel food cake, ice cream cake or sponge cake. My most favorite are the ones from the Chinese bakery! I really don't like cakes that are too sweet. 
Do you prefer having your cakes decently sweetened or really sweet?

Happy Halloween and Cheese Soufflé Recipe

Happy Halloween everyone!

I hope you guys enjoy your Halloween. If you're going trick-or-treating, be sure to stay safe! And remember, don't overindulge on candy (oh, and chocolate too!).

Anyway, on the topic of food, we made Cheese Soufflé in class the other day. I admit, I personally don't like soufflé but it looked delicious. There were people in my class that like this soufflé.

So, here's the recipe!


  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard 
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese 
  • 5 egg yolks, slightly beaten 
  • 5 egg whites 
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine 
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar 
  • 3 Tbsp flour 
  • 1/8 tsp salt 
  • 1 1/4 cup milk 
  • Pinch of red cayenne pepper 
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Prepare soufflé dish. Butter bottom and sides of a soufflé dish. Coat with a thorough dusting of flour or dry grated cheese (for example, parmesan cheese). 
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Blend in flour and salt; cook 1 minute to make a blonde roux. Add milk slowly whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  
  4. Increase heat to medium high and whisk constantly until white sauce is thickened.  Add cheeses, cayenne pepper and dry mus­tard. Remove sauce from heat.
  5.  Gradually add a small amount (3 tbsp) of hot cheese mixture to egg yolks (this is called “tempering”); stir well; add egg yolk mixture back to cheese sauce in pan. Cover and set aside.
  6. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar to stiff peak stage. Gently fold 1/4 into cheese mixture. Add the cheese mixture gently into the bowl with the egg whites and gently fold to combine.
  7. Pour into the prepared dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean.  
I hope you guys enjoy this soufflé. 

Have a safe and happy Halloween! 

How do you celebrate Halloween (if you celebrate it)? 
What's your favorite candy?  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tip of the Week: Start a Routine

Buenos dias, todos. Good morning, everyone. How are you guys doing today? I'm doing fine, thank you very much.
This week's tip  is something you all should think about. Do you find it hard to find time to exercise or to cook healthy meals?
Then, make exercise a routine. Exercise at a certain time each day. Once you make it a habit, it will come as second nature to you. Usually, exercising the first thing in the morning is easy to make a habit. All you have to do is lay out your workout clothes the night before. Right when you get up, change into your exercise clothes and exercise.
As for healthy meals, make it a routine to do meal preparation every week. That way, you will have healthy foods that you can grab on the go.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Food Education and the Food School Environment

The talk I attended on Food Day was Food Education and the Food School Environment.

The main point I learned from this talk/panel is that food education is really important when it comes to food choices children make. 

Food education can be about many topics, including Food Literacy, Farming, Nutrition, and Cooking. However, when it comes to making healthy food choices, Food Literacy is one of the most important things, along with cooking.

The California Food Literacy Center offers community food education classes. They reported that at the beginning of their course, almost none of the children wanted to eat the fruits or vegetables. By the end of their 13 week curriculum, 92% of the kids liked eating the fruits and vegetables.

I was amazed by how children are not exposed to fruits and vegetables at such an early age. Food habits develop as children are young. Most of the time, children eat what their parents eat. If parents don't introduce the foods to their children at an early age or if the parents don't eat these foods, it can have an impact on the food choices the kids will make. Food habits are hard to change as people grow older. However, it's not just about the food choices the parents make but also their peers as well.

There was this one incident Amber Stott, the founder of the California Food Literacy Center, told us about, how peers can influence food choices. There was this one little boy who was in the 2nd year of the program. There was this other little girl who was just starting her first year in that program. They were talking and the little girl said that she hates vegetables and won't eat them. In response, the little boy said, "I love vegetables!" and stuffed a mouthful of raw spinach into his mouth and started eating it. It was so cute! After that, the little girl started picking up a piece of veggies and tried it. It's hard to believe that peers can really influence the choices you make!

Kirk Bergstrom, the Executive Director of Nourish, was also there as a panelist. His program and the California Food Literacy Center's program are pretty much similar. It is about educating children about food and nutrition. However, Nourish also focuses on the farming and agriculture. They have materials in the Spanish language, since some of the children work on the farm when they are not in school. It's about connecting to nature.

The last panelist was Gail Feenstra and she talked about the Farm to School movement. The school budget is really tight and yet, we want to serve healthier school meals to children. The limited equipment limits how much cooking from scratch cooks can do. Most of the equipment is used for heating up food. The ingredients can be a problem too as well as the incentive for farmers to want to bring these foods to the schools. It costs more money to regulate it. On top of that, children don't normally like the meals the school serves.

Cooks really love to cook but they are limited to what they can do. However, the cooks can be a resource as well. They can help educate the kids. They can hold cooking lessons. If they talk to the Nutrition Director, they may be able to cook food items that are not traditionally in school menus.

One example Feenstra gave was that a cook wanted to make her own burritos to serve as breakfast for the kids. She was excited about how the schools were promoting healthier school meals and cooking. Now, normally, most kids don't participate in school breakfast. However, when she made these burritos, there was a whole line of kids wanting to eat these burritos! They were freshly made burritos that she normally makes at home!

We have to make healthier food choices sound appealing. Not only that, they have to be educated too.

The panelist all mentioned the words "Food Literacy".

What does this mean to you? 

Weekly Goals

Setting goals is something that keeps me going. It makes me feel like I am actually doing something productive or useful. I don't know about you guys but that is how I feel. It's that little feeling of accomplishment that keeps me going. 

Anyway, here's how I did on my goals for last week. I did incorporate more yoga stretches into my routine. I did some yoga stretches after workouts. Yesterday, I did my own yoga session, while playing music from Yo-Yo Ma. It was relaxing. It really does help. Even if you are short on time, stretching after a workout is important! 

On the other hand, I've yet to learn to play one part of the Final Countdown. I just haven't had the time too. It's sad because I've been trying to learn to play the song by ear since my freshman year of high school! Then again, I haven't been consistent with learning how to play it. Life, school and other things kept getting in the way. As for the the posting recipes, I am getting there. There are two more recipes that I will post today. I hope you guys like fudgy cookies and egg souffle. 

Here are this week's goals. 

The past week, I also tried something new from Fluid. It was a Japanese Eggplant Empanada with some goat cheese, pesto and other veggies. It came with a spinach salad with strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette. It was so good! 
Have a great week, you guys! Have a safe and happy Halloween! Enjoy your candy but not too much. ;)

What are your goals for this week? 
Do you plan on going trick-or-treating for Halloween? 

Friday, October 25, 2013

"What's your excuse?"

A few weeks ago, Maria Kang received a lot of criticism about her facebook picture, with the words, "What's your excuse?" The picture included Kang posing with her children and showing off her washboard abs.

Comments went from saying she was "fat-shaming" other women, to encouraging comments, saying that they admired that she is able to balance fitness, kids, and work. I admire her for that. She left herself out to criticism. That really does take strength.

No matter how busy your lives are, there is always time to keep track of your health. Kang, for example, wakes up early to workout before her kids wake up. That is dedication. Trust me on this. I have been waking up at 5 in the morning for the past 3 or 4 years now. It takes time getting used to.

Many Americans do not like waking up early to, nevertheless, to workout! Most Americans I know love sleeping in. They say they will find time during the day to exercise, but at the end, their schedule gets too busy or they are "exhausted" or "tired" by the end of the day to workout. You know what, maybe the exercise can give you the energy you need! Exercise after work. Take the time to get up early and exercise. You can start off with just walking and yoga. Build it up from there. If you have kids, just play at the park with them. That is also exercise, especially if you are carrying your kids up to the slides or running around the grass with them. You can also go for a run while your kids play at the park.

Think about it this way. Do you want to be overweight and sitting there with no energy, watching your kids play at the park? Or do you want to have the energy to run around and play?

Another message is that eating healthy is important for the family as well. She does not just eat healthy for herself. She feeds healthy foods to her children. Get your children involved with cooking from an early age. That way, they get to experience cooking food. Kids also love to eat the foods they help cook. If you introduce healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, at an early age, they are less likely to eat unhealthy foods later on in life. You get to help prevent childhood obesity, improve their health and yours as well.

Kang is really inspiring. She is a local (in my area) and I have to say, the weather is great here until the winter. Weather can make a difference with food availability (due to agriculture) as well as working out outside. I have to admit that the way she could have expressed her message should have been different. Saying "What's your excuse?" can really offend people. Using softer language would have been better.

I admit, I was jealous when I first saw the picture. My body looks no where like hers and yet, she has been through three pregnancies. However, I do understand the message she was trying to give.

I have not answered her question yet, have I? What's my excuse? Apparently, I do not have one. My excuse to work out is for my health and for my physical and mental well-being. Exercising helps me relieve stress. What's my excuse to not workout? Quite frankly, I just want to live life.
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