Desserts,Holiday Favorites

The Bestest Apple Pie Ever!

27 Dec , 2006  

photo by KungFoodie

What more could one ask for than a triple apple rum raisin pie to top off your holiday dinner? Not much I say…’cept maybe some whip cream of course. Mmmmm…. How can you beat hot baked raisins soaked in rum? And layers of sweet Golden delicious and tart McIntosh apples coated in brown sugar and butter?

Being that I am a self-proclaimed pie eating addict, I do formally declare THIS to the world’s best apple pie recipe ever!

Crafting It,Daily Specials,Gingerbread Bites,Holiday Favorites

Patterns for Gingerbread Houses & Beyond

6 Dec , 2006  

Gingerbread Patterns

photo by Look at My Photos

Here’s the great big Kung Foodie collection of gingerbread links!

I’ve spent a number of hours combing the web for the best house pattern links. This is an edited list of the ones I found to be the most unique and/or well documented. The King Arthur Flour website has probably the easiest and most detailed tutorial on building gingerbread houses. If you’re a beginner this is the best place to start.

Unusual Creations

Advanced Patterns

Traditional Plans

*recommended by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks

Gingerbread Books

Baking Tips

  • Place aluminum foil or parchment under dough before rolling and cutting pieces. You can then easily move the foil/parchment to a baking pan without having to touch the dough. Just start with a fresh piece of foil for each batch.
  • Roll your dough thin. Gingerbread will puff up a bit as a cooks. The thicker the pieces the harder it is to match edges, as well as keep your structure from falling apart due to weight.
  • If your edges have curled while cooking you can quickly use a pizza cutter to trim them.
  • Gingerbread fresh out of the oven is often still soft and can be molded into shape by placing on cans or other objects while cooling.

Frosting Tips

  • If you feel safe making a batch of caramelized sugar glacee this holds much better than royal icing as a base mortar (although I wouldn’t recommend this if you have kids helping as it gets very hot and can easily cause burns).
  • Make plenty of royal icing* ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than running out in the middle of mortaring a wall or frosting decorations.
  • Ziploc baggies are great to use if you run out of disposable pastry bags while piping frosting. The mini sizes work perfectly if you just need a small amount of colored icing.
  • Shuna at Eggbeater once showed me a great pastry bag trick during a cooking class she instructed. Just use a clothespin to pinch the cut end of the pastry bag shut if you need to stop in the middle of working. A small spring paperclip would also work (tho it’s not as cool).

* I prefer to use an eggless royal icing recipe which calls for meringue powder, which I get at my local baking supply shop. It’s possible that any store which carries Wilton products will have it as well.

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Crafting It,Gingerbread Bites,Holiday Favorites

This Old Gingerbread House

1 Dec , 2006  

It’s that time of year again people! Time for gum drop walkways, candy cane fences, and cinnamon graham shingles.

Gingerbread Dog House

While my first effort with gingerbread house building last year didn’t go exactly as planned, it certainly was memorable and resulted in one extremely large edible dog house (finally consumed amongst a whirlwind orgy of ravenous New Year’s Eve partiers). The poor marshmallow poodles never knew what hit them.

In celebration of holiday sugar-highs I’ve decided to showcase a series of posts on Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about creating your own gingerbread homes. From plans and patterns to decorating ideas, and maybe even a special gingerbread trick or two.

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Dinner Ideas,Holiday Favorites

A Fog City Thanksgiving Menu

23 Nov , 2006  

Best wishes to all of you for a love filled Thanksgiving gathering.
Bon Appetit!

Thanksgiving San Francisco

Persimmons

Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Olive Tapenade
Blue Cheese & Pecan Spread
Carmelized Onion Phyllo Bites

Butternut Squash Soup
Mixed Greens with Homemade Garlic Vinaigrette

Tubitini Salad
Rosemary Lime Sweet Potatoes
Chanterelle Mushroom & Chestnut Stuffing
Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with Hazelnuts
Roast Turkey & Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Mint Sauce
Cornbread Biscuits

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
German Stollen