Posts made in July, 2012

Rose Water Macaroons & Pistachio Custard

Posted by on Jul 28, 2012 in Recipes | 0 comments

I recently came across a delicious frozen pistachio custard recipe, and I decided that rose water macaroons would be a perfect combination for this! Naturally, I headed over to my kitchen and started to experiment with ingredients. A lot of times, I bake without using measurements ( in Armenian, we say this is measuring by eye, or “achkee chapov”), but this time I paid attention so that I could share the recipe! I also don’t have a huge sweet tooth, so I tend to go light on any added sugar. I made this recipe Paleo friendly by using raw coconut crystals instead of white sugar! This is also safe for diabetics! Shakar Bakery’s Rose Water Macaroons 1 1/3 cup dessicated coconut (this is finely ground coconut) *1/4 cup raw coconut crystals 3 eggs whites 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 tbsp rose water extract Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. I did not whip the egg whites first, but you may if you wish. Once mixed thoroughly, scoop rounded balls of the mixture onto a baking sheet. Insert into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. *I use raw coconut crystals instead of regular sugar because I love coconut (and want my macaroons extra coconutty!), and it’s much healthier than regular sugar. You can substitute it with white sugar using a 1:1 ratio (this means you place the same amount of white sugar as you would coconut crystals).  I also don’t like my macaroons super sweet, so feel free to add more sugar if you’d like! The following recipe for the frozen pistachio custard is from Chef Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia. For the frozen pistachio custard: 2 cups heavy cream 1/3 cup water *3/4 cup sugar 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk 1/2 cup ground pistachios 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract * Again, I don’t have a super sweet tooth, so I would reduce this to 1/2 cup of sugar (just a suggestion!) in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Immediately place in the refrigerator. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Wash and dry the whisk attachment and fit the mixer with the whisk. In a clean bowl, beat the whole eggs and egg yolk on medium-high speed until frothy. Add sugar-water mixture, the pistachios and vanilla and continue beating until cool, about 5 minutes. Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and gently fold in one-third of the egg mixture at a time until combined. Transfer the custard to sixteen 4-oz. ramekins or disposable aluminum cups and freeze overnight. To serve, remove the custards from the ramekins and place 1 custard in each individual bowl. Enjoy! Let me know how you like it! I already ate two macaroons by the end of this post 🙂 🙂 Happy...

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Aurora, Colorado Fundraiser 2012

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Fundraisers | 0 comments

On July 20th, one of the most horrendous crimes was committed in Aurora, Colorado. 12 people were shot and killed by a gunman who opened fire 30 minutes after The Dark Knight ‘s opening night took place. Dozens more were injured in this senseless and cruel act. Many of the victims lack health care coverage, and many of the families are too poor to cover any financial cost that resulted from this tragedy. I want to help, and I want to get all of you involved! I decided to create a line of Chocolate Oreo Cookies in a fundraiser to support these families. I found a great donation site who will contribute 100% of the proceeds directly to the families. If you prefer to donate directly to them, go ahead and visit their site! (COVA wants to remind everyone that if you wish to donate to the Aurora Tragedy you can mail a check to COVA at: 90 Galapago St Denver CO 80223 with “Aurora Tragedy” in the memo line) If you prefer to get delicious Oreo cookies while donating, then go ahead and contact me to place an order! I will send you an invoice to pay securely via an internet site.Normally I’d use PayPal, but I don’t want the 3% fee to interfere with the amount of money raised! As usual, I will donate 2/3 of the proceeds to the cause! I do not pocket the 1/3- I am using that money to cover shipping and delivery only! All other material cost is coming out of pocket! One last note: Since I will be baking for so many people, I will contact you as soon as your order is ready! Be at ease, your money is still going straight to the donation center!! Thanks for your support! To order, please state how many dozen cookies you would like in the Contact form. In the subject field state “Aurora Fundraiser” Prices: 1/2 Dozen: $20 Full Dozen:...

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From Loss Springs Hope for Change

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in A Piece of Cake- Blog | 0 comments

A Piece of Cake: From Loss Springs Hope for Change Posted By Shantal Der Boghosian On July 26, 2012 @ 11:14 am In Opinion | 1 Comment Classic Vanilla Cupcakes 1 cup butter, softened 1 tbsp. baking powder ¾ cup granular sugar ½ tbsp. salt 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract 4 large eggs Pink Frosting ½ cup butter, softened pink food coloring 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 2 tsp. filtered water Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place paper baking cups in cupcake pan. Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth, about 4-5 minutes. Fill the baking cups 2/3 with the cupcake batter. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake will come out clean. Remove from oven, and allow cupcakes to cool before frosting. Prepare frosting by first creaming the butter with an electric mixer, and then combining the rest of the ingredients. Color the frosting to your desired shade of pink, and frost your cooled cupcakes! Cupcakes will keep up to 2 days in an airtight container. This pink cupcake recipe is dedicated to Nataline Sarkisyan’s memory. Nataline Sarkisyan was a teenage girl full of aspirations of becoming a fashion designer, filling her sketchbook with dozens of design ideas that would one day come to life by the talented designer Pol Atteu. She also loved pink cupcakes! I never knew Nataline personally, but her story is one that has shaken many, and one that helped bring America’s broken healthcare system to the limelight. Nataline was diagnosed with leukemia at age 14, and after 2 years of treatment, the cancer went into remission. But in the summer of 2007, the cancer returned, and Nataline received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. Unfortunately, she developed complications from the radiation and chemo prior to the bone marrow transplant, and as a result, her liver began to fail. This year I had the pleasure of meeting Hilda Sarkisyan when my bakery, Shakar Bakery, was asked to donate a cake for the Nataline Sarkisyan Fashion Legacy 5. It was Dec. 20, 2007 when I watched an emotional mother, Hilda Sarkisyan, on the news, protesting in front of the CIGNA Health Care building. “The reason I’m here today is to fight the health insurance company, CIGNA, for denial of my daughter’s coverage for the liver transplant. They’re the ones who told us to go to UCLA to get a bone marrow transplant, and that they will cover it. But now, there are complications, she needs a liver.” Dozens of nurses, doctors, and supporters attended the protest, chanting “No more denial,” angry and frustrated that the life of one person rested in the hands of a health insurance company, instead of where it belonged: with the doctors. Nataline’s doctors gave her a 65 percent chance of survival with the liver transplant, and on Dec, 14, 2007, they found a perfect liver match. In a perfect world, Nataline would have had the liver surgery, and would have been given that 65 percent chance to live. But that was not the case. CIGNA denied coverage of the liver transplant, saying that the surgery was an “experimental, investigational, and unproven service.” Pressured by nurses, doctors, Nataline’s parents, and many supporters, on Dec. 20, 2007, CIGNA decided to reverse its decision and opted to cover the transplant. As happy as it made those attending the protest, and those watching the news, like me, everyone felt the full impact of “It’s too late” when a few hours after CIGNA’s announcement, news spread that Nataline Sarkisyan had passed away. Why did CIGNA need public pressure to make the right decision and help save a 17-year-old’s life? The Sarkisyans lost their daughter, but her death led them to the forefront of the health care reform battle. As her mother likes to say, “They messed with the wrong mother.” Hilda Sarkisyan is a familiar face amongst Washington Congressmen, where she fights to repeal the Employee Retirement...

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