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21
Jun, 2012

It's Summer And That Means One Thing: Milk

OK, maybe it also means school’s out, family vacations and omg I have a lot of cellulite I’m never putting on a swimsuit again, but there are also some awesome things you can make and chomp with milk this summer.

My friend and super awesome milk-loving blogger, Marsha Takeda Morrison, and I attended a cooking class sponsored by the fab Got Milk folks. Now those of you who know me know that I love to bake. Cook… not so much. I’m a good cook and can follow almost any recipe, but I’m no stranger to a package of Top Ramen (“Oriental flavor” is my fave. I know.) only because I really don’t like to cook. I was a little concerned about the hands-on aspect of this event as I’m more of a mouth-on person when it comes to food, but I can honestly say, I had a blast! Especially since we made desserts! YUM!

We paired up with a cooking buddy at our own cooking stations and first made Swiss merengue topped chocolate pudding tarts with Danielle Keene from Top Chef! Danielle was awesome, but the best part was getting to torch the top of the merengue AND I still have my eyebrows. Phew.

They look good enough to eat, don’t you think? We thought so, and we did. YUM! (I’m going to use the word “yum” a lot, fyi.)

Then my favorite part came next! Michelle Quilles of Blooming Gelatin Art taught us how to make GELATIN ART with milk based, colored gelatin injected into clear flavored gelatin using hypodermic syringes! Seriously one of the coolest culinary things I have ever seen! She made these gelatin flowers right in front of our eyes in just a matter of minutes:

Then I tried my hand at making the easiest flower, a chrysanthemum. Gosh, I’ve always wondered how to spell that and now I know. Onward… here’s what I made. Not bad for a first timer:

The next morning, Aubrey and I ate it at breakfast and it was delicious!

Of course, the Got Milk people treated us to a delicious lunch and a table full of other amazing milky summer desserts, my favorites being the Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Berry Caramel Sauce (YES you read it right) and the Coffee Banana Malt Ball Milk Shake. These sound pretty fancy-schmancy, but you’d be surprised how easy they are to make right at home. Here are a couple recipes for you to try, because I love you so much. Oh, and thanks to Eatz for letting us mess up your kitchen.

Cheers to summer eats and don’t forget your lactaid if you’re Asian. xo Amy

 

Lavender Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

 with Berry Caramel Sauce

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 ¼ tsp. dried lavender
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 tbsp. powdered gelatin

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring vanilla bean, lavender, sugar, ½ cup milk and 1 ½ cups of heavy cream to a simmer.  Cover, remove from heat and set aside to steep for 30 minutes.   In a separate bowl, mix gelatin powder in remaining ½ cup milk to hydrate.  Reheat vanilla mixture and pour over gelatin mixture.  Whisk until combined and gelatin is dissolved.  Whisk in crème fraiche and strain.  Cool to room temperature.

With an electric mixer, whisk remaining 1 ½ cups of heavy cream to soft peaks.  Gently fold in vanilla bean mixture in two parts.  Pour into small greased ramekins and chill for 6 hours or overnight.  Unmold and serve with blueberry caramel and fresh fruit.

Berry Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh berries (in season), pureed
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Berry Caramel Directions:

In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar and water.  Boil until mixture is an amber color. Add berry puree and butter.  Whisk until dissolved.  Strain and serve over panna cotta.

 

Coffee Banana Malt Ball Milkshake

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint premium-quality coffee ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • ¼ cup malt balls
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate sauce (optional)

Directions:

Combine ice cream, milk, bananas and malt balls in a blender until smooth.  In a tall glass, top the milkshake with whipped cream, malt balls and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Optional:  Before pouring milkshake, line glass with chocolate sauce for added touch.

(Amy’s Optional Touch: ADD SOME KAHLUA OR BAILEYS!! HELLO SUMMER!)

 

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15
Jan, 2010

Holiday Lattes, Episencial, Fresh & Easy - I'm Fat & My Baby Is SmoothSmooth!

Here are the rest of the holiday events I got to take part in over, duh, the holidays. So much fun and so much to write about…which is why I’m so far behind. I hope you see something here that you like! Well, who doesn’t like milk, cookies, wine and lotion?! Sounds like a night of fun to me. Go on people… CONSUME!

2) GOT MILK Holiday Latte Event

OK, so I’m Asian and I’m in my 30s – the lactose intolerance has definitely kicked in over the last couple years, but I was adopted by white people in the Midwest and I grew up drinking 2% milk as a beverage at every meal. I love me some dairy and the GOT MILK people really know how to get their moo on.

Their Holiday Latte event was held at Le Pain Quotidien (HELLO YUM!) in L.A. and it was so much fun! We had delicious pastries and cookies and of course the lattes. My favorite was the eggnog latte – spiked, of course. Really delicious. I also had a pumpkin latte and an amazing hand/arm massage. There were fun wintery themed crafts for the kids and a raffle drawing and goodie bags. The venue was a little crowded so I’m glad Aubrey wasn’t with me, but a fun time was had by all!
A giant thanks to Anglina Valencia, our gracious host, for putting together such a great event for all of us. She is one of those people who always makes you smile and remembers your name and face. It was a great way to kick off the holiday treat consumption (like I need an excuse) and it was totally worth the gas (both in my car and in my… well, you know what I mean).
3) Episencial / SproutBaby.com’s Sensational Mom Spa Event
When I’m not bribing my child with popsicles to do her poo-poo in the potty or telling jokes in Pennsylvania, I’m hanging out with fancy people at swanky house parties in the Hollywood Hills. Well, maybe not all THAT often, but on December 8, I actually was. Episencial and SproutBaby.com threw a wonderful party to show off Episencial’s new babies and children line of skin care products.
The party was really cool – complimentary massages, infant massage demo, delicious vegetarian nosh, fun crafts for the little ones and my favorite part (since I missed the massages) – a sit down with Dr Alan Greene, an amazing “green” pediatrician and author of the terrific book, Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green. He talked about EVERYTHING moms of little ones want to know. Food allergies, organic foods, soy milk, air cleaning plants, picky eaters and food imprinting… he was absolutely fascinating and full of useful knowledge. We also received an autographed copy of Raising Baby Green. Woo-hoo!
Before I go any further, let me tell you that my daughter has had persistent and fairly serious eczema for over a year. I received a tube of Episencial’s “Soothing Cream” in my goodie bag and I’m hooked! It has been the best thing I’ve used on her eczema and she loves the Eric Carle illustration on the tube. We call it “caterpillar lotion”! Cute, huh? Yes, the smart Episencial folks made a sweet deal with Eric Carle and all of their products are designed with his famous, beloved illustrations.
I can’t say enough good things about these products. A couple of the highlights:
– VERY reasonably priced
– no synthetic chemicals
– scented with real fruit juice extracts – not fragrances
– all natural ingredients and lots of organics
– packaged in recycled and sustainable materials, phthalate & BpA free
– manufactured under solar power!
Please check out their products and their Facebook Fan Page today!
4) Fresh & Easy – HELL YEAH!
I have been singing the praises of Fresh & Easy since I learned about them last summer. As much as I’d like to keep their store in Van Nuys my own little secret, I can’t stop blabbing on and on about them. They have a nice big parking lot (unlike Trader Joe’s) and I haven’t set foot in a TJ’s in ages.
Last month, I was treated to a special holiday sampling of Fresh & Easy’s sweets and wines! In order from left to right:
Cranberry & Nut Popcorn Clusters ($4.99): YUM! My daughter begged to eat these from the second she saw them. She LOVES popcorn and, being only two and a half, had never sampled popcorn drenched in a sticky, crunchy, sugary sauce before. Definitely a hit. My boyfriend polished off most of the container and he gives it two thumbs up!
Vine Yard Cabernet Franc ($7.99) & Ogio Prosecco Spumante ($8.99): The man and I drank the cab Franc and really enjoyed it. I’m not a wine connoisseur, but Mr Boyfriend is. While he wouldn’t say it was an AWESOME bottle of Cab Franc, it was easy to drink and nice for a casual dinner at home. Bottom line – and I’m a bottom line kind of gal – it costs $8!! WHAAA?!! Even if you hate wine, what the heck? We haven’t popped the Prosecco yet, but soon. Soon!
Sweet Boutique Gourmet Swiss Chocolate Assortment ($7.99): I brought this box of yum (and the next biscuits) out at a holiday party and they went over well. There were milk & dark chocolate pieces and while some were a little too sweet or “gourmet” tasting for my personal tastes, overall, very delicious and beautifully packaged. Don’t ask me though because I dig a Twix bar like none other… and would eat one off the ground if I were lucky enough to find one.
Sweet Boutique Belgian Biscuit Collection ($7.99): I really loved this one and so did my party guests… and my daughter when she snuck one behind my back at our annual holiday party. Cookies covered in chocolate in a pretty gold tin for only eight bucks… Enough said.
Fresh & Easy is awesome and this isn’t the last you’ll hear about them on my blog. The employees at my local store are always kind, polite and helpful. The food is great and most of all affordable. I especially love the way they are taking simple steps to conserve energy, help the environment and ultimately, save you $$!! Simple. Great! Thanks F&E!

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02
Nov, 2009

We GOT CHOCOLATE MILK and More!

Monkey and Mommy safe from the rain in the Got Chocolate Milk tent!

Hey All! I have been SO consumed with my daughter’s new found neurosis (post coming soon) that I have been super procrastinating on some posts about events I have gone to recently. So, here goes…

On October 13, little Aubrey and I had the great pleasure of attending the Got CHOCOLATE Milk Halloween Party to announce Angie Harmon as the newest Got Milk campaign spokesperson at the Los Angeles Paramount Studios. Got Milk is the campaign of the Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP) and they did a real knock out job throwing a killer Halloween party (pardon the cheesy pun).
October 13, 2009 was one of the rare Los Angeles days where it was monsoon raining so I had to run my 24 pound monkey (my 2 yr old was actually dressed like a monkey – I don’t actually have a monkey) the equivalent of a couple city blocks to the safety of the tented party area, but the soak was worth it.
There was trick-or-treating on the brownstone NYC street set (we missed it because of my daughter’s late nap time), chocolate milk, LOTS of yummy milk based treats like chocolate pudding in cute Halloween mugs, brownie bites dipped in milk chocolate, cookies and more. It was a sweet tooth’s dream come true.
I will admit that I was a little taken aback by all the sweets at the party since it was geared towards families with young children, but I did learn that an 8 oz serving of chocolate milk has 300 mg of calcium which is a third of the recommended daily allowance. Also, studies show that children who drink chocolate or other flavored milks have a higher calcium intake than children who don’t drink milk and they also tend to avoid sodas and other higher sugar/chemical based beverages. So, it’s not all bad and I think I’ll be a little more likely to allow chocolate milk as a special treat now. I would LOVE for her to dislike soda pop, PLEASE!
On that note, yes, that is my monkey child gnawing down on a white milk chocolate covered ghost decorated brownie bite above. I rarely let her have sweets, but this was a special day – her first Halloween party! AND proud mama is happy to report she only ate one bite. I think it was too sweet for her. She also only wanted to eat the pretzel stick in the pudding cup. What a little freak, huh? I LOVE it!
In addition to the edible treats, there was also a photo booth that took chocolate milk mustache pics (bummed we missed that too), a magician and a face painter (Aubrey still talks about the banana she got painted on her cheek), games and the swag bags were awesome with matching adult and kid “got chocolate milk” t-shirts and Ultra Flip Video cameras – an item I’ve always wanted but was too cheap to buy. Thanks CA Milk Processor Board! We LOVE it!
I am really REALLY wet & happy
The decorations were to die for (more cheesy puns), the staff was friendly and it really was an awesome Halloween bash. The rain was the only downer (more stupid puns – I swear I’m not trying) but this lactose intolerant mama says it was all worth it. We had a blast and milk is already my daughter’s favorite beverage – this may be only because she’s half caucasian and hasn’t tried a Bahama Mama yet – but 2% is great for now.

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