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Finally, I'm back!  I meant to kick off the new year with a list of resolutions, but first things first: Winner Celebration Party is one year old!  Yes, somewhere between a quiet New Year's Day and what my doctor suspects was a short-lived virus, I forgot that on January 1, 2011, I began this pet project.  Lo and behold, I'm still going.

WCP arose out of a cliche, pull-my-hair-out moment of frustration, in which I bemoaned the lack of creative outlets in my life.  Some people need their daily hour at the gym or their eight hours of sleep.  I need to create things, even if pedestrian.  I chose food because everyone has to eat, and even I had to admit I no longer have much time to dance, draw, or play music.


Last year brought insights: Simple dishes are good.  Being able to feed people is even better.  The term foodie should be banished from popular culture, as should intellectualized, romanticized food (I'm a culprit).  Finally, taking photos of food is hard.

This year, I plan to write about something besides recipes and to post at least once a week.  This seems manageable, at least until the bar exam.  I have personal resolutions, too: Get rid of non-essentials,  spend less social time on the Internet, and spend more time doing nothing.  

Thank you for reading WCP and for bearing with its growing pains.  It befuddles me that anyone but my five best friends would read this, but hey, I will not probe the questions of the universe.  In return, I promise lots of comfort food, amateur food photos, and my rambling sentences.

Persimmon Galette, a story

I prepared half of Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe.  I thinly sliced some ripe Fuyu persimmons and simmered them in a solution of water and sugar, adding sliced ginger and a bit of cinnamon.  Once the persimmons were soft, I strained them and set them aside in a bowl.  I tossed the fruit with a haphazard combination of white sugar, brown sugar, and agave nectar.  I then removed the pie dough from the fridge and rolled it out to about 1/4" thickness.  After transferring the dough to a baking sheet, I spread some agave nectar in the center of the dough, leaving one inch bare all around.  Finally, I spread the persimmon slices over the agave nectar, folding the edges of the dough over the fruit, forming pleats with my hands.  This went into the oven until the crust looked golden brown.  Honestly, I can't remember how long.  Somewhere between 25 minutes and 45 minutes.  My memory is awful, I know.  Just use your judgment.

The verdict: This galette tasted amazing.  It's simple in form but lacks nothing in flavor and texture.
  I normally like Fuyu persimmon raw, but I couldn't stop eating this galette.  I got the idea of ginger and cinnamon from soojongwah, a Korean persimmon beverage that I drank as a child.  The poaching, in my opinion, transforms the subtle flavor of raw persimmon into an indulgent, dessert-worthy thing.  I will definitely make this again.




Happy Friday, folks!  If you're looking for a weekend recipe for bulgogi empanadas, check out my guest post over at MyReci, a brand spankin' new startup co-founded by my
food-obsessed* friend, Vijay Nathan.

MyReci is my new favorite online tool.  I read lots of food blogs, lots, and I bookmark recipes on a daily basis.  Now MyReci has made recipe storage extremely easy.  As in, a single-click-of-the-mouse easy.  This makes Luddites like me very happy.

In short, MyReci is an easy and attractive way to store your recipes online.  Save recipes from blogs and websites to your MyReci page with a single click of a toolbar button.  MyReci automatically pulls all the relevant information and stores it for you.  Some websites are not yet supported, but you can still save a URL link to the recipe.  Finally, you can email photos of recipes from hard-copy magazines and books, and they're added to your MyReci.  It's like having your own virtual cookbook, without the work.

I strongly recommend MyReci for anyone who cooks or bakes, or who just hopes to get into the kitchen.   To go out on a limb, I venture to say that MyReci might make you get in the kitchen and cook more. Yes, I said it; it’s true. 

MyReci is still in private beta mode, but they're offering you all a special advance invitation.  Just click this link to give them a try.  To learn more, follow MyReci on Twitter (@MyReci) or on Facebook.

Good luck, and happy cooking!

Sarah

P.S.  This enthusiasm is all my own.  Vijay did not entice me with homemade meals or extra friend points, despite my love of both.

Three Reasons Why MyReci Rocks:

  1. You can store recipes online with a single click of the button.  All recipes end up in the same place, instantly.  No forgetting to go back through your bookmarks, no rummaging through the bookmarks to find that obscure cauliflower soup recipe.

  2. Your recipes are arranged in an attractive visual layout.  MyReci automatically pulls the ingredients, instructions, and photos from your favorite recipes and organizes it all into a reader-friendly format.  It’s like having your own virtual cookbook.  Which leads me to my last point...

  3. You can organize your recipes with ease.  Create “cookbooks” and add your recipes to as many different books as you want.  You can quickly look up a cookie recipe or a one-pot dish for dinner.  Mine include "Holidays," "Baking," and "Rice" (frankly, every Asian needs a cookbook called Rice). 


Check out Winner Celebration Party in Lifeyo's new promotional video!  Shot, edited, and narrated by Lifeyo founder Mike Kai.*

<iframe title="Youtube video player" class="ly_video_embed" width="425" height="344" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wKTvacZ9oek" mce_src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/wKTvacZ9oek" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

Lifeyo is a website builder that makes it super easy to create a website.  I use Lifeyo for Winner Celebration Party because I am ignorant and impatient when it comes to computers and technology.  Example: I still don't know what an operating system is, not really, at least.  I just want things to work, and to work quickly.  With Lifeyo, you don't need to know a single thing about HTML coding or web design to make your website look polished and professional.  Also, it's free, unless you would like to purchase your own domain name.  Yes, really! 

Lifeyo makes it easy to customize your content and add in features you want, the way you want them to look.  Add multiple pages, photo galleries, a blog, maps, social media, and more. 

If you've been thinking about making a website for any reason, I recommend you check out Lifeyo.

Consider this my shameless plug.

Sarah

* Full Disclosure: Mike Kai happens to be my boyfriend.  He makes a mean poached egg and can catch, clean, filet, debone, and slice a fish like no other.  But that's not why I use Lifeyo.  Not entirely why, at least. :-)

a good morning greeting, before settling in to work

brown rice, pesto chicken, broccoli with lemon juice
(and a few stray grains of rice)

Just a friendly PSA reminder to eat your vegetables.  In the time it takes for you to whine about not having time to cook, you can rinse some broccoli, hack it into pieces, toss it in a hot pan, and sprinkle some lemon juice over the whole thing.  If you marinate meat and cook your rice beforehand, you will be eating in less time than it takes to go to Jack in the Box and back.  Forget how tempting chicken strips are.  Treat yourself right.  And buy yourself some flowers.

Thanks to my friend Natalia for the completely unexpected yet much needed set of dishes (featured).  You might have seen her in a fall 2010 Subaru commercial (yes, she's really moving to Wyoming) or at a play near you in Los Angeles.  She also happens to be a choreographer and one of my former fashion models (pictured above). 

Does converting Winner into a gerund constitute a celebrity copycat?

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