Showing posts with label Buffalo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buffalo. Show all posts

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tailgate Time! - Football Celebration Cake

Today I woke up to chilly temperatures and a definite Fall-like feel to the morning. While the days still feel like summer, the mornings and evenings are beginning to take a turn toward Autumn. In the US, nothing says Fall more clearly than the start of football season. 

This past weekend was the opening of regular season football. Last week I created a few recipes for your tailgating party, today I bring you something to get you ready for the end of the season! It's time to think big for your team and plan your playoff celebration cake!  Being a Buffalo girl I find it a little difficult to even think about calling this a playoff celebration cake, but you can always dream!

I made this cake to celebrate the Buffalo Bills. The layering of colors in this cake is reminiscent of the team logo, with a red stripe slashing across a blue buffalo. If you call yourself a fan of another football team, just swap out the colors for your own team colors! I made a custom blend of red, white and blue sprinkles from three bottles of single colors that I bought at a local cake supply shop. You can pick up your team colors at Michaels Arts & Crafts or online at Amazon.

The cake toppers are also super easy to make! I found a clipart image of a football and traced it onto wax paper. Melting some chocolate chips and transferring them to a zip-top bag with a small piping tip, I was able to draw out the chocolate football and endzone upright.

To keep the local spirit going, you should pair your celebration cake with a local brand of ice cream! Perry's is the local brand of choice in Western New York and I have paired my celebration cake with the "Sundae at the Ralph" flavor. The red and blue sprinkles in the ice cream go right along with my team color theme!

Go ahead and plan for the best, buy your sprinkles and food coloring and get ready to celebrate!  Or just enjoy practicing your layer cake skills and eating the delicious results.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Mallomars
Two Years Ago: S'mores Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Cookies Dough Stuffed French Toast
Four Years Ago: Southwest Chicken Burger
Five Years Ago: Baked Pears & Salad
Six Years Ago: White Chicken Chili

Friday, September 9, 2016

Tailgating Time! - Ice Cream Cookie Dip

The chilly days of tailgating are coming! Probably not this weekend, (it's going to be in the mid-80's this weekend in the tri-state area) but soon we'll be bundling up in layers and heading out to the game with thermoses of hot drinks.  If you are a football fan in the northern part of the country, this is your reality. There are approximately three weeks of comfortable football weather before the too chilly temperatures take over and make it impossible to enjoy a game without bringing a blanket. During these crisp Fall weeks, I think you should bring this to your outdoor tailgating party...

Yes! Ice Cream Cookie Dip! I'm sure you've seen the different types cookie dip floating around the internet. Most of these dips use cream cheese as a base and are all perfectly delicious. This cookie dip uses your favorite ice cream as a base! Basically, this is an excuse to eat a bunch of ice cream with an edible spoon.

The reason I suggest this recipe only to those in the northern states is because it will melt rather quickly at temperatures higher than 50 degrees! I used a bit of gelatin in this recipe to stabilize the dip, but it still is mostly ice cream and will turn into a pool of delicious melted ice cream if you sit it in the blistering sun. I suggest keeping this in a cooler until you are ready for dessert, then eat up! Unless you are in Buffalo, NY. You will have no problem setting this out on your tailgate in a few weeks! Winter is coming...

Continuing to celebrate my hometown and all things Buffalo Bills, I used the new Perry's Ice Cream - Sundae at the Ralph - to make my ice cream cookie dip. The ice cream has little peanut butter-filled footballs mixed in. These were a special bonus when scooping into the dip!

After working with this ice cream on several recipes, I find myself wanting to put on my old Zubaz pants. Unfortunately I haven't owned a pair of Zubaz since 1994. I think that either a. my mom has since donated them or b. I won't fit into my 13-year old self's pants. Disappointing.

Wait, I just checked... Zubaz still exists!  Time to go buy some and bring back the trend...

Four Years Ago: Ramen Vegetable Soup
Five Years Ago: French Croissants

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Vegan Sponge Candy

I have been meaning to test out a vegan sponge candy for years. Many friends and family are either vegetarian or vegan and cannot enjoy the deliciousness of sponge candy. Most candies out there don't have this problem, but my version of sponge candy requires gelatin for proper aeration. It took a few tries to get the candy close to the original. I have a few tweaks left to try, but I wanted to share this first success with you.

The bubbles in this vegan sponge candy are a little larger than in my traditional sponge candy. I am still doing a bit of scientific research into the difference in the protein structures of agar agar and gelatin, but it seems that the agar agar protein is not a strong as the gelatin protein. The bubbles in the vegan version are more akin to that of a Violet Crumble or Crunchie candy bar. It's still delicious, just not quite as smooth!

To make this GMO-free, I used French glucose that was prepared from wheat (This brand). Generally, all corn syrup that is produced in the US is made using GMO corn. As a chemist, I have no problem using GMO-derived corn syrup. Chemically, the corn syrup from GMO or non-GMO corn is exactly the same. The DNA of the corn will have no effect on the corn syrup product. However, if you do not want to support GMOs, use the wheat glucose! It's definitely more expensive, but glucose has so many uses in candy-making and baking.

Since this is a vegan version, I decided to coat my candy in orange chocolate! I melted a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips, added 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon orange extract. This is a small batch of sponge candy, just the perfect amount to be able to make and eat it in less than 1 week. Keeping the candy around for any longer is tricky in high humidity. Sponge candy tends to melt when it meets too much water.  

Full disclosure - Since I coated the candy in semi-sweet chocolate, it wasn't completely vegan. There was milk in the chocolate! Vegan friends, you know your options when it comes to vegan chocolate. Simply go with a vegan chocolate for the coating.

All my vegan and vegetarian friends, you can now enjoy some traditional Buffalo Sponge Candy!

Once Year Ago: Homemade Oreo Cookies
Two Years Ago: Potato, Spinach & Asparagus Quiche with Cumin
Three Years Ago: Granola Cookie Wedges
Four Years Ago: Gorgonzola Soup
Five Years Ago: Banana Mallow Cups

Friday, January 30, 2015

Football Party Foods!

Personally, I'm not heading to a Superbowl party this year. I think the last one I attended was in 2007, living in Wisconsin as a graduate student. I'm not really a fan of the football, but it might not surprise you that I enjoy the food!

Looking for something delicious to make or bring to a party on Sunday? Here are some of my favorites...

What do you like to chow down on at a Super Bowl party? Do you need dessert? Is it all about the chips and dips? Are adult beverages a necessity? Tell me your plans!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Loganberry Mallomars

It's time for more marshmallow fun!  This time it's a Buffalo-themed marshmallow.  Don't worry, I'm not making you chicken wing flavored marshmallow, that might be a little weird.  Today I'm introducing you to Loganberry!

I have lived in several different places around the United States and have only ever seen Loganberry in Western New York.  Is it a unique item to the Buffalo region?  Do you have Loganberry soda in your town?  When I asked some of my coworkers, they asked if it was the stuff you can get at Ikea.  No, that's lingonberry. Surprisingly, this soda is bottled by PepsiCo.  Though since it's a WNY drink, I suppose I should call it "pop".

Loganberry soda is a completely impossible flavor to explain.  It's incredibly sweet and tastes like some sort of berry.  According to the smidge of internet research I did, a loganberry is an actual berry that was cultivated in California in the 1880's.  It's a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry.  Californians hated it, but it found success as a soda at the Crystal Beach resort in Buffalo. I visited Crystal Beach as a child and have a photograph of my mom and I riding these umbrella gondolas over the beach.  Crystal Beach closed years ago, but loganberry lives on.

I wanted to celebrate my hometown and create a mallomar that incorporates one of it's most unique flavors. In one of my purchases, I bought a case of Loganberry soda (along with so many of my favorite hometown foods!). I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the soda, I just knew I wasn't going to be drinking it.  It's sooooo sweet!

To use the Loganberry soda, I poured six cans of the soda into a wide pan and boiled it, for about thirty minutes, until I had 2 cups of syrup.  I used the syrup as the flavor base for my marshmallows.  The finished marshmallows have that distinct Loganberry flavor that I wanted.  My only problem with these?  The Loganberry is made with high fructose corn syrup.  These marshmallows are a combination of sucrose, glucose and fructose.  But seriously, they are sugar bombs any way you make them.  I ate a whole bunch and didn't regret a single pink marshmallow!

One Year AgoYogurt Protein Smoothie
Two Years AgoTart au Chocolate au Lait
Three Years AgoButtermilk Cornbread

Almond Cookies
A Wilde Original

1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar and salt until smooth.  Add almond flour and vanilla and beat until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the edges.  Add egg and combine.  Finally, add flour slowly until completely mixed.

Scrape batter out of the bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap.  Fold over plastic wrap and press dough out a little.  Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.  Place dough sheet on a baking sheet and set in the fridge to chill for 1 hour.

Remove dough sheet from the fridge and peel back the top layer of plastic wrap. Stamp out 2-inch circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter.  Place dough circles on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.  Collect dough scraps and re-roll between the plastic wrap.  Chill if necessary and continue stamping out 2-inch circles.

Preheat oven to 350 F and bake cookies for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet on a wire rack.  Remove from the baking sheet and allow cookies to cool completely before adding marshmallow.

Loganberry Marshmallows
A Wilde Original

6 cans loganberry soda

4 tablespoons powdered gelatin

1/2 cup water
3/4 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups sugar

Pour loganberry soda into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 2 cups.

Combine gelatin with 1 1/4 cups loganberry concentrate in the bowl of your stand mixer.  Let bloom while you prepare the marshmallow syrup.

Combine 3/4 cup loganberry concentrate, water, corn syrup and sugar in a 4-quart pot.  Clip on candy thermometer and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Do not stir the sugar solution while it boils.  Let the temperature rise to 250 ºF.  Remove from the heat.

Using the whip attachment, turn on the stand mixer to low speed.  Slowly stream in sugar syrup.  Once all of the syrup is added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes.  Increase speed to high and whip for another 5 minutes.  The marshmallow batter should be fluffy, shiny and pink.  If your marshmallow batter has reached soft peak stage, transfer some of the batter to a piping bag (or ziploc bag).

To Assemble Mallomars

Almond cookie rounds
Loganberry marshmallow in a piping bag with a 1-cm round tip
Pink sanding sugar

Pipe blogs of marshmallow on top of your cookie rounds.  Let set for 15 minutes.  Pour sanding sugar into a bowl.  Dip marshmallow topped cookies into sanding sugar, coat all of the marshmallow so it's not sticky anymore!  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Restaurant Wars 2013 - Swiss Chalet

My friends north of the border and those lucky ones in the border states know exactly what I'm talking about when I mention Swiss Chalet. Images of rotisserie chicken, golden fries and that classic Chalet sauce all come to mind. 

I grew up in Western New York, just a hop away from Canada, and we had several Swiss Chalet restaurants in town. My mom actually worked at the Chalet before I was born, so it must be in my blood. Having lunch at the Chalet was always on my list of things to do when I come home for a visit.  The BF and I even walked two miles once to get some chicken while visiting Canada on a cruise!

This all changed three years ago when all of the WNY Swiss Chalets closed.  Not only did they close, but they razed the buildings to the ground.  (I kind of wished the burnt them down.  With all the chicken grease in the walls, those buildings would have gone up in a second!)  Now the only way for Buffalonians to enjoy the Chalet is to take a trip across the border, and they do.  My parents head across the bridge a few times a year for dinner.

Even with the inside information from my mom, there was very little chance that I could duplicate the classic Chalet sauce.  According to my mom, the restaurant receives a bag of spices from headquarters.  They then mix the spices with water and simmer for hours.  Even the employees don't know what's in the sauce.

Luckily you too can buy the spice packages!  Just in a much more manageable size.  This sauce is available in Canadian grocery stores, some border stores and a few websites.  After hearing about during a hockey game, I checked it out and stocked up on all my hometown favorites.  Loganberry soda, Anchor Bar wing sauce and Swiss Chalet dipping sauce!

Nothing in this meal is overly tricky.  Grilled chicken (because the grocery store was out of rotisserie chickens!) and fries with a big bowl of Chalet sauce.  I was concerned that the sauce would pale in comparison to the restaurant stuff, but it was spot on!  I need to order more because it brought me right home.

Order yourself some Chalet sauce and enjoy a little taste of Canada!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wilde Taste Tester

What do you do for the man who has everything when his birthday rolls around?  Why, you make him Charlie and bring him to is own Chocolate Factory.  Or as it was in this case - Dad and the Perry's Ice Cream Factory!

That's right, I'm the best daughter in the world and I took my dad to his most favorite place in the world for his birthday - the Perry's Ice Cream Factory in Akron, NY. 

Now I can't take all the credit for thinking up this amazing birthday trip.  In reality, it was kismet, fate, destiny or just plain luck, that Perry's Ice Cream invited me (and a special guest) to come visit the factory for their first ever - Perry's Taste Testing event.  The tour and taste testing happened to land on my dads birthday weekend, so I flew home to celebrate (and eat lots of ice cream) with him at Perry's.

If you're not a local Western New Yorker, you might not be familiar with Perry's Ice Cream.  It's a local brand that fills the freezer cases at TOPS and Wegmans in my hometown.  It's the ice cream that our local schools carried when we were kids (get them hooked young!).  Perry's is what you find at local ice cream stands.  If you happen to live near a Wegmans grocery store (except that new one in Boston), you can buy Perry's Ice Cream.  If you are outside of their distribution region, you can come visit me.  I have lots in my freezer.

Perry's is still run by a Perry actually.  See that guy above?  That's Brian Perry, executive vice president and fourth generation Perry's ice cream worker.  During our trip to the factory, we actually got to look down on the factory floor and watch the ice cream being made (sorry, no pics allowed!).  Cartons of ice cream were zipping around all over the place.  Huge silver drums processed the ingredients and immediately distributed the product into containers and sent them to the freezer.  The front of the room was dominated by a machine dedicated to making ice cream sandwiches.  It was totally fascinating.

My dad and I weren't alone in our visit to Perry's.  A few other bloggers were there (Hello to Ashley and Brette!) as well as some local press and other businesses (Including a girl I totally graduated high school with.  But she either didn't recognize me, or is still too cool for school.).  There's me in my bright green pants, standing next to my dad, who is so excited to be there.

A quick group shot with Brian Perry (jammed in the back behind my bright green legs) and some questions from the press (did you know Perry's recycles/reuses/re-purposes just about everything that comes in their doors?) and we were finally off to the most important part - the taste testing!

Now this was going to be a big job.  We weren't there to just eat the ice cream.  We were there to taste test it and give our opinions.  The great ladies at Perry's gave us a presentation about how to taste test.  We had to think about the following things...

1. Texture
2. Flavor
3. Aroma

Lactose-Free Vanilla
Texture is pretty straightforward - Perry's pasteurizes their ice cream low and slow rather than a hot flash pasteurization.  This leads to a smoother, creamier ice cream.  It's devoid of large ice crystals, unless you leave it in the freezer for months, but who is going to do that!  Texture is also touched upon when the ice cream has inclusions - or little bits of something else.  Inclusions vary from nuts to chocolate to candies. 
Oh My, Cherry Pie!
Flavor is where it gets tricky.  First - dairy.  Someone from the South might not like Perry's because you can definitely taste the dairy in the ice cream.  Southerners tend to prefer a sweeter ice cream rather than one with a lot of dairy notes.  Us Northern ice cream eaters like to taste the dairy notes, then the flavors and sweetness.
Movie Time

 Flavor gets more complicated as you add extracts, fruits, chocolates and inclusions.  Did you know there are four different types of vanilla?  Or that you can describe the taste of chocolate in over 20 different ways?  From roasted to nutty, burnt to barny, chocolate is very complex. 

Sponge Candy
Finally comes aroma.  When you plan a taste testing event, be sure to avoid wearing perfumes, lighting scented candles or eating/drinking anything else for about 20 minutes.  You want a clean palate.  Drink plenty of water in between flavors and go from lightest to heaviest flavor (we went from vanilla to dark chocolate).  Be sure your ice cream has a few minutes to warm up from the freezer, other wise you'll just taste cold.  
Queen of Hearts
We taste tested seven different flavors.  Let me tell you, it was a hard task.  I know, I know.  "Eating all that ice cream must have been terrible!"  It was not terrible, I was just very full.  I was a little confused by the Movie Time flavor (Popcorn flavored ice cream with swirls of sea salt caramel and caramel truffles).  It smelled like movie theater popcorn, but tasted like caramel.  Yet it had the aftertaste of popcorn.  My dad loved it and finished mine.

All Natural Black Cherry
I fell in love with the Queen of Hearts flavor (Dark chocolate ice cream with a raspberry swirl and fudge filled hearts).  Most of the men in the room didn't like this one, while the ladies were more partial to it.  I think women tend to lean more toward dark chocolate than to men.  There was also a local flavor - Sponge candy!  Something to get the WNYers excited about summer and bring out the local aspect of Perry's. 

Party Sandwich!
We even got to try their newest novelty - the Party Sandwich.  This will be a bit hit with the under 12 crowd.  Cake batter ice cream, filled with rainbow sprinkles, sandwiched between two vanilla cookies.  They were fun, but sadly the last thing we had for the day.  I couldn't come anywhere near finishing it.

We wrote down all our comments, using our new flavor words like cultured, smoky, caramelized and buttery and handed our comment cards to the Perry's Team.  Hopefully our comments will help make more delicious flavors?  I'd totally be willing to come back and try some more flavors!


The only thing I'm bummed about?  We got to take home a few pints of our favorites, but since I flew to Buffalo, my dad took ownership of all my ice cream!  Plus, all the flavors we tried that day are ice cream stand flavors - not available in the stores!  I guess I'll just have to make another trip to WNY this summer and get a scoop or two by the river.

Before we left, the Perry's team offered to take us into their freezer.  This is not your traditional, basement freezer with a few half gallons of ice cream.  The Perry's freezer is a warehouse, kept at 25 degrees below zero, filled from floor to ceiling with pallets and pallets of ice cream.  My dad wanted to back the truck up to the loading dock and load up a few pallets for himself.

I took the picture on the left just after we got into the freezer.  My dad took a picture of me after spending about a minute in the freezer.  His hands were shaking so bad, all three images he took looked like this!  The freezer workers laughed at us when we came out to warm back up.  But at least I look awesome in a hard hat.  It matched my pants.

This summer I'll have to try to a few of these flavors in my little machine.  It will be a little hard in my home kitchen, but I'm up for the challenge!  I think sponge candy would make an amazing ice cream sandwich (hint hint!).

I there a local brand of ice cream in your part of the country?  Do you prefer it over the big guys?

Photo Credits - Photos 3-6, 15 & 16 are credited to Yuka Photo Art (all the rest are from my iPhone)

Note - While Perry's did provide samples for taste testing, there was no financial compensation for the trip or this post.  I like to write about Perry's because they are one of my local hometown businesses. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wilde Week #9

1. Being a child of the nineties, there are so many things to miss! I really miss #23. Remember those tiny floaty bubbles in Orbitz? They were awesome.

2. I'm spending the weekend in Amherst, NY! It's not only my dads birthday, but I was invited to Perry's ice cream to be a taste tester! I brought my dad with me (As his birthday present. I'm cheap!) and I'm also enjoying all the foods that Western New York has to offer!

Izzy and Bella say hi!

Dad and I spent a few hours with Perry's ice cream taste testing the new flavors!

A quick stop at Watson's chocolates is always necessary!

Ted 's versus Theodore's?  Each local has their opinion.

Bella is ready for Easter!

3. Eight miles to run today, I hope it stops snowing!  I am ready for the cold weather with my new hat, but slogging eight miles over snow covered streets doesn't really appeal to me!  First week of springing Buffalo and three inches of snow fell yesterday. I met someone at the airport who was also flying to Buffalo. He asked how warm it would be this weekend and was surprised when I told him it would be just above freezing. But it's spring!  He said. I laughed and told him spring starts in Mayin Buffalo. The businessman across from us laughed. He knew. 

4. Let it be known BF took this weekend of me being away to go and visit his parents. In Florida. He keeps posting pics on facebook of sunny skies. I'm super jealous/hate him. 

5. I've got nothing else today, I'm so full of ice cream and hot dogs!  What do you like to pig out on when you visit your hometown?  I'm looking forward to a chicken finger sub this weekend! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wegmans Buffalo Chicken

I'm ready to go on vacation, it's been a long few weeks at work!  Yesterday was another long day in the lab and at my desk.  Before we sail away into the Alaskan wild tomorrow, I have a few things to accomplish at work.  I'm always responsible for doing chemistry and making new compounds every week.  In addition to that, this week I have to finish making a presentation so that it's ready for when I return from vacation.  Since I don't want to do too much work while on vacation, I'm working long hours this week!

At least I've finished packing my suitcase!  I keep going back to it and trying to decide if I have enough layers, socks and workout clothes.  Boyfriend was very jealous that all of my stuff fit into my suitcase, with room to spare.  That's the bonus of being a girl, our clothes are smaller so we can pack more! 

The cameras are charged, lenses are cleaned, my Kindle is stocked with new literature (chick lit and fashion magazines) and the apartment is almost ready for us to go away.  Just a few more turns around the house to clean up and empty out the fridge.  Not that we have much in the fridge this week anyways, I bought bananas at the grocery store this week, but I don't really want to return to fuzzy limes and milk that is more yogurt than milk.  Luckily, dinner was made up of items that I always have in the house.  And it's one of boyfriends favorite meals (minus the carrots).

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buffalo Sponge Candy Cake

Today we're celebrating Wilde in the Kitchen's second birthday!  It's hard to believe that just over two years ago I was talking with my friends, trying to decide on a name for my blog.  I had fallen for the food blogging world and wanted to join in on the fun.  I had no idea where this little place on the internet would take me.

Over the past two years I have gone through more pounds of sugar than I had in the previous twenty-eight years...

I have learned that nothing is out of reach in your home kitchen...


This past year seemed to be the year of the salad...


So much has changed in my life in the past two years as well.  The blog originated in Boulder, Colorado, in my mountainview apartment.  The kitchen was a mere two weeks away from getting packed up and shipped to New Haven, Connecticut.  The cooking tools available to me were simple and low tech, a whisk or two, a small kitchen scale and a demonic hand mixer.

When the boxes labeled "kitchen" were piled in my brand new, New Haven apartment, their contents overflowed the studios kitchen space.  With only 350 square feet to my name, the cooking and baking supplies took over every free space they could find.  The Sundays that I spent cooking there were some of the busiest times in my apartment, preparing all of my meals and treats for the week.

Around this time last year I made my most recent and most important move.  I got my first real-world job and moved to New Jersey to live with boyfriend.  With my new, much larger kitchen, normalized work hours and second human being to feed, WITK started to become more well rounded and offer more dinners and savory options, but still maintaining the occasional sweet post.

My life and this site have changed so much over the past two years, who knows where it will be in two years more!  I'm mostly grateful for everyone out there who stops by to say hi, comment on a post or try out one of my recipes.  The food-blogging community that I'm a part of is a huge reason behind why I keep going.  Of course I love writing, baking and cooking, but I seriously love the interaction with my like-minded foodies out there in the interwebs.

Thank you all for making this such a fun place for me come every week.  To celebrate WITK's two year, I made us all a cake!  Three layers of cloud-soft sponge cake, filled with sweet caramel frosting and coated in a rich chocolate glaze.  It's like a giant piece of Buffalo sponge candy.  Perfectly appropriate for WITK's birthday.  Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for the fun!  Here's to a fulfilling, savory, exciting and sweet next year!

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