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Your disappointing purchases from Costco

I saw that in their mailer. Too bad.

May 13, 2014
cortezhill in Chains

Your disappointing purchases from Costco

I did not think the sushi was any worse than pre-made sushi that are typically sold at Japanese grocery stores in San Diego. Trader Joe's is worse (or worst), mushiest rice in the's more like rice cake.

My disappointing Costco purchase yesterday was the sliced fresh mangoes that come in a clear bowl. I purposely went to Costco to pick up some peeled and already sliced mangoes and a bag of organic greens (these are great). Anyway, the mangoes they used to have were tasty and addicting. Now they are flavorless, and sliced too big, half a mango cheek, you'd have to cut it up into more slender slices.

Mar 26, 2014
cortezhill in Chains

Biscoff Spread (aka Speculoos): A serious addiction!

Make cookies w/ spread that is made of cookies. Haha!

Oct 18, 2013
cortezhill in General Topics

Babycakes NYC cookbook -vanilla frosting

I have made this 3 times in the last 2 weeks.

The first time I followed the recipe except I used half veg shortening (Spectrum) and half coconut oil. This is because I wanted to stabilize it more as it was really warm that day. I also used maple syrup because I happened to only have Raw dark agave at hand and was not sure if I wanted that flavor in the frosting. It came out like an runny milkshake. And surprise, after 6 hours it did thicken! It still was not the consistency I'm used to seeing such as with regular buttercream. However, leaving it in the fridge after a couple of days made it even thicker! It's almost like you can't spread or pipe it but as with coconut oil, its melting point is pretty low so it does soften up pretty quickly after taking out from the fridge. It is important to really follow the slow oil drizzle and alternating it with lemon juice. It's almost like making mayonnaise, if you don't follow the technique it will not whip up to a thick consistency.

The second time I made it (a week later), I confused the 1-1/2 C soy milk and 3/4 C soy milk powder and ended up putting 1-1/2 C soy milk powder so I decided I'll just make two recipes. I think I cut back on the coconut oil thinking less liquid will make it thicker. I also substituted part of the coconut oil w/ vegan butter because I did not want it to taste too much like coconut. It came out runnier than the first time I made it, I wonder why! I was in a bit of a hurry to make it work because I needed it the same day so I decided I will add powdered sugar to it to thicken it more.

And it went downhill from there. Do not try at home. Erase that last paragraph from your memory! Anyway I think I learned to not skimp on the coconut oil that time because this is one of the main ingredients that gives it structure.

An hour later (this would be my third try) I just did it the same as the first one except I did use Light Agave. It was a bit soft after only 4-5 hours but I needed to use it that afternoon for the 4th of July festivities. I was thinking this will not work. I am used to making cupcakes w/ piped or spatula'd buttercream (made w/ earth balance) or tofu ganache frosting that's at least 1.5" high. Good amount. Which is why I am interested in this recipe in the first place, that it does not have 1 pound of sugar...Anyway, because it was a warm afternoon and I was afraid it will just melt, I ended up doing a simple swirled frosting on top of the cupcake w/ a star tip, half the diameter of the cupcake top and probably an inch high max. It actually made the cupcake look dainty and pretty. the edges of the swirl rounded out a bit even before I left the house and it smoothed out even more when I got to the park. But from then on the frosting held up pretty well even if it was outside on the cupcake stand. Thankfully it did not melt and run on the sides like I feared. It was a hit.

Oh and I used it over carrot cupcakes and red beet velvet cake (the tanginess of the lemon was a great combination w/ either cakes, similar to cream cheese frosting).

Sorry this turned out to be quite the novel. I think next time I will try using 3/4 C soy milk per the Martha Stewart post instead of 1-1/2 C as published in the Babycakes cookbook. I am also curious what the flavor differences are between the rice and soy milk versions.

Cheers and good luck to you happy bakers!

Jul 08, 2013
cortezhill in Home Cooking