12.12.2008

Christmas Breakfast- BMC 2008


Menu:
Petite Spinach Quiche
Blueberry and Cream Cheese Blintzers with Apple Or strawberry Topping
Roasted garlic Potatoes with Red & Green Bell Pepper
Cream Puffs Christmas Tree
Fresh Fruit Bowl
Fuji Apples
Hot Chocolate W/ Marshmallows, whipped cream, Cinnamon and Chocolate sticks
Coffee W/ Condiments and Hazelnut & French Vanilla Creamers
Prepping for the Cream Puffs Christmas Tree & Chocolate-dipped Strawberry Tree

To make the above Cream Puffs Tree, check out these websites:
www.baking911.com/recipes/pastry/croquembouche.htm
www.deboerfood.com/minidessert_ideabook.html
members.coz.net/jjschnebel/crqmbche.html



Before the set-up of food:



The Final Set-up with chafing dishes, and food...









Everyone received a Candy cane - with individualized holiday greeting...
Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration
Is being wreathed in smiles :)

And now these three remain:
Faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13
Christmas is not as much
about opening our presents
As opening our hearts.
-Jani
ce Maeditere

It is Christmas in the heart
That puts Christmas in the air.
- W.T. Ellis
May Peace be your gift at Christmas
And your blessing all year through.
May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.Christmas is not as much
about opening our presents
As opening our hearts.
Merry Christmas!! :)

12.07.2008

Christmas

is coming! :) It is a much-anticipated time of the year when I would pull out Christmas CD or reminiscent beautiful memories of the holidays. This website~http://pandora.com/ is able to play any selection of Christmas songs I fancy and I am listening to it as I type this sentence now. :)

We just did a Christmas party that the Nursing Director of LLUBMC threw for her Nurse managers. One of the items is Specialty breads basket. There are times when ordinary breads will do. And there are times when only extraordinary will suffice. Times like...holiday parties. And hence, I went to 3 stores to purchase these breads...

with homemade spreads~ fresh apple butter, whipped peanut butter, maple butter and jelly...
Made-to-order burrito wrapped by head chef on-site. Filling option includes sausage, egg, hash, potatoes. Tortilla options are sundried tomato, white and whole wheat.
I thought I would post up the thank-you notes from the director and her assistant as it serves as a reminder to constantly provide the best customer service and going the extra mile. :)
~~:~~
The Nursing director sent an email of thanks, "Hi Cherry, Thank you for setting us up today. That was very special breakfast. I truly enjoy working with you. Sincerely, Norie
~~:~~
Her assistant's email read, "Cherry and Kristine, thanks so much to both of you and your staff for really making our little party very special!! Your hard work and dedication to your craft really shows in everything that was done to make our party really awesome! Please know how appreciated you all are! Much gratitude, Traci"
~~:~~

Bridal shower


We threw a party for Kristine as she was getting married in a couple of weeks.

I made a vegan cream cheese cake, strawberry cupcakes and chocolate coated peanut butter rice balls.

Several staff made different dishes for the potluck~ like Indian Tandoori Tikka chicken, salsa and chips, stir-fry broccoli...etc...

A. made a refreshing (Latino) dessert~ a mixture of fruits and cream cheese.
It was so simple to make that it took me 5 minutes to throw it together for church potluck.

To make, simply beat 1 block of cream cheese with the syrup of 3 cans of cocktail. Toss together. Serve chilled.

12.01.2008

Apple Kuchen

If you don't know what Kuchen is, it is a German word for Cake. A simple recipe that anyone can make quickly. This recipe was shared with me by C. and was slightly modified by the addition of vanilla essence, and the amount of liquid mixture topping to allow it to be more moist.

Ingredients:
-yellow cake mix ( 1 box)
-1 stick butter
-1/2 cup coconut, shredded
-5-6 granny smith apples (peeled, seeded, sliced thinely)
-1 cup fat-free sour cream ( up to 1 1/2 -2 cup)
-1 egg (2 egg)
-1 cup brown sugar
-3 t cinnamon
-2 Tbsp vanilla essence
Directions
-Cut 1 stick butter into 1 box yellow cake mix until crumbly
- Stir in 1/2 cup coconut
-Spread in 9x 13 in greased pan
- Bake at 350F for 10 min
-Lay sliced apples on crust
-Beat sour cream, egg, sugar
-Sprinkle cinnamon on apple and drizzle sour cream mix
- Bake 20 minutes @ 350F
- Remove and sprinkle some ( 2T) sugar on top and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Cut while warm

11.30.2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are many things to be thankful for. Simple things. Big things. I feel extremely blessed and thankful to God for everything.
Over this weekend, J lent me a movie called "The Secret." It is a vcd that shares the "secret" to life or rather, a new-age philosphy. Some parts of the movie were thought-provoking.

For example, several lives were turned around when they started to make a list of the things they were grateful for. The first few waking thoughts were of gratefulness and thankfulness. ( It is similar to Christians who pray in the morning. It should not be a routine to pray but to feel the feelings of gratitude to God). It is human nature to wallow in negativity but it has to be combated.

AT LLUBMC, we had a special thanksgiving meal for patients and employees.
~Menu~
-Gardean Chicken style Breast w/ home made Roasted Sage Gravy
-Turkey Slice with Gravy & Cranberry sauce
-Stuffing
-Mashed potatoes w/ gravy
-Green bean casserole
-Corn
- Roasted butternut squash soup
-Candied yams
-Salad bar w/ homemade ranch or Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressings
-Potato Roll w/ Margarine
-Fresh pumpkin Pie w/ Whipped topping
-Apple Torte Cake
-Apple Juice
Gratitude is the way to bring more into your life. We become what we think about. Focus on the positive.
Thank you Lord for family, friends and so many intangible things in life! :)

11.26.2008

Bake Sale @ LLUBMC


Apple Walnut Raisin Cake
Freshly Whipped apple cream to go along with the apple cake.
Zuchinni Bread

These recipes were passed down from K's great grandmother and hence, it is a tradiiton to have it at holiday events. I love these breads and they really taste delicious. She shared with me the recipe and I have promised to keep it a secret. :)

11.24.2008

~Salsa~

What is the first thing that comes to mind when "SAL-SA" is heard? A food fanatic will think of a spicy sauce of chopped vegetables or fruit, especially tomatoes, onions and peppers used as a condiment. Music fanatics would think of Latin-American dance with elements of jazz and rock.

I am a food fanatic and hence, salsa reminds me of a spicy dip that can be eaten with chips. It's really good if you know how to make the right sauces...

IDDA ( Inland District Dietetic Association) had a salsa session and it was an informal gathering where many dietitians met. I have listed some of the ingredients of our several salsas. To make the chips, slice the tortilla and fry them in very hot oil.

Pineapple, Mango, Papaya Salsa- my favorite! :)
6 tomatoes, core and dice
1 fresh pineapple, diced
2 fresh papayas, diced
3 fresh mangoes, diced
20 green onions, sliced
2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
6 jalapeno, seeded and minced
juice from 5 limes
salt and pepper
Black Bean salsa
1 #1`0 can of black beans, drain well
2 red onions, chopped small dice
1 bunch of chopped cilantro
2 green bell pepper, diced small
2 red pepper, diced small
6 jalapenos, seeded and minced
10 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt and pepper
White bean salsa
1 #19 cans of white bean, drained
5 tomatoes
2 red onions
2 jalapenos
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
3 limes, juice only
2 cups cilantro
10 cloves garlic
salt and pepper
Roasted vegetable Salsa
3 carrots ( cut in half)
1 zucchini (cut in half)
6 tomatoes
2 yellow squash
6 jalapenos
3 red peppers
3 green peppers
10 garlic
2 cups chopped cilantro
2 limes
salt and pepper
- Place all vegetables on sheet pan with parchment paper. Toss the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast until tender. Cool. Dice small. Mix and serve chilled.
~~ ENJOY!~~

11.07.2008

Torte Caprese

This enticing advert made me sign up for the cooking class in LA..."Craving yummy dessert? Need a spectacular item for entertaining? This class will show you how easy it is to turn that craving into a scrumptious treat. Learn to make a beautiful Marjolaine Almond Cake, Espresso Cream Cake, Torte Caprese, Fallen Chocolate SoufflĂ© Cake (perfect to make ahead), Whipped Cream Pound Cake with Citrus Icing, Light Triple Layer Coconut Cream Cake, Traditional and Delicious Carrot Cake with Icing, and Devil’s Food Cake with Milk Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting. Have a dessert party for your friends with these new and delightful recipes or just make them for your family!"

The method of teaching cooking classes in LA is quite different from Singapore.
My partner and I made a torte caprese. "Torte" is a thin cake with nuts. "Caprese" is named after the island Caprese. Hence, as the name suggests, this fluffy and light cake has nuts in it. It is a winner recipe...which I modified a little.
Ingredients:
Butter, brown sugar, bittersweet chocolate (melted), almonds (ground), flour, eggs (separated).
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour one 10 inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter and flour.
2. Cream butter and half of the sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the COOLED melted chocolate. Mix to combine. With the machine on low speed, add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
3. With a spatula, gently add the ground almonds and flour to the chocolate mixture.
4. In a clean, bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar while constantly beating until soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate base 1/3 " at a time. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes.
5. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool slightly. When completely cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Halloween Party & Step -it-Up Event

Well, I am not an advocate for Halloween-type parties where gory costumes or atmosphere scare my wits. However, I do enjoy making fun foods i.e. Halloween- type foods. :p We did a fun event for the Child and Adolescent unit at LLUBMC.

Muddy Chocolate pudding

Cheese pizza with olives in the shape of a spider

Pop corn monster hands ( the tips are candy corn)

Green punch

They get to decorate their own cupcakes with fun toppings!
I did not expect the kids to enjoy it so much. They did a hand-made card to thank the department for the special lunch and snacks they received. The administrative director of Youth Services and Social Services also sent us an email of thanks...
"Cherry & dietary team,
Thank you so much for the special treats for the kids for Halloween. They absolutely loved the cupcake decorating table, great decorations, special foods, and the cauldron of punch. It was fun to see how much the kids enjoyed it – and the staff too. Several staff commented on how special it was and how much it meant to the kids.
You and your team made the kids feel special – and that is so important to kids in the hospital. Thank you!"


A nice quote to remember to be all that you can be...you'll never know when you're making a difference to someone!
"To the world, you might be one person...but to one person, you might be the world!" -anonymous

As for the cafeteria, we had ready-made cupcakes.

STEP -IT-UP AWARDS!
~ Encourage all BMC employees to walk and the person/ team with the highest number wins!

We did the catering for them...and one of the highlights was-

FAT-FREE brownies~



People loved it...it was moist and chocolate-rich. *YUM* Comparing the calories between the regular one and fat-free one is astounding. 9 CAL vs 54 CAL for an 11 gm brownie.

Secret trick- add apple sauce instead of oil to the box of brownies mix. :)
I made a TARO fresh cream cake just for Reed :)
Disclaimer: All the recipes posted are for my personal references and/or adapted from mentioned instructors or books. They/I reserve the rights to it. Please remember to cite your sources! Thank you.