Gustoception and Chocolate Mousse

Back in April, I participated in an art show at The Museum of Human Achievement here in Austin, Texas. The art exhibit was called “In The Dark”, which was a multi-sensory exhibit minus the visuals. Basically, people were blindfolded and led through the museum in groups of four to experience pieces ranging from audioception to even thermoception.

In March, one of my best friends from Victoria called me and asked if I was interested in participating in this art exhibit at a new museum he was opening up with some friends. I was asked to write a proposal for the “gustoception” (taste) piece. As soon as I learned that I would get to feed blindfolded people, I was very intrigued. Immediately, I had so many ideas going through my head. I decided to go with a chocolate mousse with pop rocks as garnish. I wanted the bite to be tasty, yet surprising.

Needless to say, they happily accepted me into their exhibit and it was such a great experience. As the groups came to my station, I read this piece of prose (pictured below) to them, fed them, and they were on their way. The best part of all of this was seeing the look on everyone’s faces after they were spoon fed by yours truly. Some people really liked it, some people had squinty faces, and others had big smiles after they discovered the pop rocks.

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I had a couple of good friends come to the exhibit and listening to their experience after the fact was awesome. To be blindfolded and led through a building that you are unfamiliar with, with people that you have never seen before, will leave the imagination to so many things.

I recreated the recipe, wrote it down, and made it for my roommate’s birthday back in August, which is what you see photographed here. Mousse is super rich and decadent, so it’s not something I do very often, but I thought I would share this recipe anyway. The recipe here doesn’t use pop rocks, since that was just a garnish that I used for the purpose of the art exhibit.

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If you happen to find yourself interested, please feel free to read MOHA’s “In The Dark” showcase program.

Mousse(Click on the image to enlarge the recipe.) 

Photo Taking and Impulsive Baking

So far this year, my life has been pretty crazy.  The first half of the year came with many changes and misfortunes. The good news is that things are really starting to look up for me in some magical ways.

I haven’t blogged since March, isn’t that wild? Back in April, I was a part of an art exhibit where people were blindfolded and led through the museum in groups of four. I was the “gustoception” (taste) piece. I am going to dedicate my next blog to talking about that experience, because it was really interesting. The following weekend in April, my dad passed away. As a result, April was unexpectedly a busy month for me.

In May, I took my first photography course to learn my camera a little better and I’m so glad I did. The quality of my photos has improved tremendously. The class has already paid off and it has made me even more excited about my trips to Colorado and Europe. I plan on doing another food porn blog when I return from Europe in September. I just know I am going to consume lots of yummy food and wine.

I spent most of June helping my new boyfriend find a place/get settled in Austin. Now it’s July and it’s getting really hot in Texas. Maybe it’s because it’s my birthday month, but I have been baking a lot lately: cheesecake, blueberry muffins, cherry cobbler, cookies (of many varieties) and even a lemon blueberry cake.

Though I am not posting a new recipe here, I wanted to share a couple of photos from my photography class and re-blog the cookie recipe. During the first class, the instructor (Carlos Austin of Austin Photography) and I made a deal — if I brought food to the last class, he would show me how to photograph it. I showed him my post from the loaded oatmeal cookies that I like to make on the regular, and we both agreed that I needed better photos. Practice makes perfect, right?

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This is a photo of what we did to set up our station. I took this photo on my phone, so please don’t judge the quality. My real camera is the one you see on the tripod.

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This is the final product with my crazy cloth.  

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This is the final product on a black cloth, with interesting lighting techniques.

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This is a photo of the lemon blueberry cake I made for Natalie’s birthday earlier this month. Note the awesome photo quality. Thank you, Carlos, for the mad skills.

Those are candied lemon peels that I made for the garnish. I am thinking about posting this recipe, because it was super deLIZcious. I wish I would have taken a photo of it when it was sliced. That just might be a reason good enough to make it again. We’ll see, because blueberries are rocking right now.

My next post will be about the art exhibit that I was a part of back in April. I have already started it, just need to get my chocolate mousse recipe together. Chances are, you will see that post from me sometime in August. I am heading to Colorado this Saturday with my new boyfriend for a week. Should be back in full swing and hopefully posting monthly again when I return. Cheers and happy eating!

Vertical Pear Salad, Food

Liz:

I wouldn’t mind trying something like this! Grilled pear, maybe?

Originally posted on Ben Rogers Blog:

Vertical Pear Salad, Food
see the posting here

View original

Shrimp Bisque

Hello, Blogosphere. Oh, how I have missed thee. Sometimes life just happens and certain things have to go on the back burner. Among many big/recent changes in my life, I have recently taken on a new job/project that I am excited to be a part of. However, carrying a full-time and part-time job is very time consuming.

Regardless, I am excited to be blogging today. Today is a special day, because I am blogging. Now that I have adjusted to my new/crazy schedule, I think I can blog a little more often than every 3 1/2 months.

Also, I have an exciting food project coming up in about 2 weeks at a new art gallery opening up here in Austin. I don’t want to give too much away and I don’t have all the details yet, but more to come on that later.

With the crazy weather that we have been having in Austin, I figured it’s still not too late to post a “soup”. This shrimp bisque has helped me win friendships (Kevin, that’s you). Serve this up with toast points, because the broth is so good that you will need something to soak it up. Happy cooking, friends!

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Picture 1

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Seared Ahi Tuna Sushi Rolls, Food

Liz:

Gorgeous!

Originally posted on Ben Rogers Blog:

Seared Ahi Tuna Sushi Rolls, Food
see the posting here

View original

Pumpkin Carrot Cake

If you happen to be a fan of carrot cake and have some leftover (fresh) pumpkin, you are definitely going to enjoy this recipe. The only thing that I would do different to this, is add some big golden raisins to it. I opted out of raisins, because I have a friend that is not a fan.

Happy Thanksgiving! Gobble until you wobble.

IMG_2086[Photo Credit: Roy Peña Photography]

Recipe

Pumpkin Dip

When I first discovered pumpkin dip, it changed my life. Of course when I had it for the first time, the pumpkin came from a can, which I did not approve of. Though the dip was tasty, I knew it would be so much better if I used freshly cooked pumpkin. Also, when I had this dip in the past, it was prepared with cool whip. Since I am also not a fan of cool whip, I use the real stuff. Therefore, this recipe is simply a pumpkin whipped cream.

Like all of my other pumpkin recipes, I follow the Pumpkin Basics to cook the fairytale pumpkin (my favorite). The color of the pumpkin meat is a bright orange and the flavor is so delectable. This recipe is so easy, that it only took about 10 minutes to prepare it for a party (that is, if your pumpkin meat is already cooked).

Once you whip this pumpkin dip up, serve it with graham crackers. It is definitely a crowd pleaser. Happy pumpkin eating!

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Pumpkin Dip Recipe

pumpkin-dip

[I borrowed this photo from another website, since I forgot to take a photo with the graham crackers. For the photo & another version of this recipe, please click here.]

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

I realize that this is probably a beverage that I should have posted in the summer, so my apologies for just getting around to it. The good news is, I live in Texas, where it is almost always hot enough to make this refreshing beverage.

To spice things up, try this lemonade with vodka. This last time I made it, my friend Natalie mixed it with a little bit of white wine and it tasted very similar to Sangria. Both great ideas, if you feel that this beverage is a little too virgin for you.

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SBL Recipe

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Model Citizen-don’t leave home without it. Another way to devirginize your lemonade.

Pumpkin & Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin season is in full swing and I couldn’t be more excited. This season, I promised a few recipes, including pumpkin whipped cream, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cheesecake. I plan on getting to all of them, but when I had the idea to do this pumpkin & rum raisin bread pudding it was at the top of my list. I just knew it would be amazing and had to try it.

This recipe calls for 1 cup of cooked pumpkin. Take a look at my Pumpkin Basics blog post for instructions on cooking your own pumpkin. Also, I am biased to the fairytale pumpkin. Try it if you haven’t yet, it’s definitely a tasty pumpkin.

Since I knew the pumpkin would make for extra moisture, I used a little more bread than usual. It helped the bread pudding set beautifully. I am afraid that if I would have used less bread, I would have had a really mushy bread pudding. This recipe worked well for me and I hope it works for you too! In the words of Alton Brown, “I bid you good eating!”

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Bread Pudding [Click on the recipe to enlarge it.]

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Green Bean Casserole

Last night, I had the pleasure of entertaining two beautiful little girls in our kitchen. Steve, Kyle’s friend from work, brought his daughters over to help me make a green bean casserole. Shania and Ariana happen to love green bean casserole just as much as I do.

As soon as the girls came over, I had them help me trim and clean the green beans. They were thrilled to see the whole process. They were excited to stir, add the ingredients, but were most thrilled to eat the final product.

I have promised this recipe to a few people and I am happy to finally post it with some quality photos. The only part of this recipe that is not homemade is the French fried onions that top the casserole. Though I know how to do the onions, it would have added a lot of extra time onto the prep work.

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Green Bean Casserole Recipe

[Click on the photo to enlarge the recipe.]

GB Casserole

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The little ladies definitely enjoyed the casserole; they both asked for seconds. My apologies to their father, Steve, I am sure they will expect him to make it this way more often. The good news is, they both enjoyed helping and had a great time learning. Chances are, they will not let Steve do it alone.

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