DIY Slasher Tank

DIY Slasher Tank - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Slasher Tank – Candy Coated Culinista

I’m watching a lot of Halloween movies on AMC this month and I’m not even a horror fan. I love Halloween, but not so much these movies. When I was a kid I was always afraid, but now watching these movies in 2014 all they do is making me laugh out loud. My inspiration for this tank was definitely Freddy Krueger.

Difficulty level is: Easy & Fun

• 1 tank top
• 1 pair of sharp fabric scissors

1. Lay your tank top out flat with the back facing up and sketch out two lines that meet in the middle of the tank using a pen, pencil or chalk. (You can make any shape you want)
2. Make lines 2 cm apart vertically.
3. Cut along the lines using a fabric scissors.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Another great tank that cost me $2 on the clearance rack and now there is a little bit of personality. I can’t wait to wear this to the gym.

DIY Slasher Tank - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Slasher Tank – Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcake Decorating Practice #3

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

“He’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” “Silas Ramsbottom …. Bottom.” “ Bee Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo.” Believe it or not these have become a part of my vocabulary and I’m an adult … well sort of an adult. Since the first moment I saw Despicable Me I have fallen in love with these movies and I even have a plushie Agnes, Unicorn and Minions. As usual for Halloween I like to make a kid-friendly treat for the kids at church, but let’s face it the adults love them as much as the kids and sometimes even more. I wanted to make some Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes with cupcakes from scratch; but of course when I don’t want my cupcakes to rise, they rise the highest they ever have and also look a little anemic and lacked flavour. I think I shouldn’t have batched down a larger cupcake recipe of mine. Oh well this gives me time to practice on my decorating skills.

Yield/Serving: 24 cupcakes

• 1 pack of Halloween themed Wilton baking cups (cupcake liners)
• 1 box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe White Cake
• 3 extra large egg whites (per Duncan Hines box)
• 1 1/3 cup water (per Duncan Hines box)
• 2 tbsp canola oil (per Duncan Hines box)
• 1 box of Twinkies
• 99g Wilton Sparkle Gel, black
• Wilton Candy Eyeballs
• 1 – 450g Creamy Home-Style Vanilla frosting
• 1 Vial (teardrop) of blue food colouring
• 1A piping tip
• Piping bag
• Handful of brown jimmies, for hair

1. Bake the cupcakes per the box instructions and fill 24 cupcake liners.
2. Once baked, immediately remove from baking pans and move to wire racks to cool completely.
3. Unwrap the Twinkies and cut in half.
4. Using the black sparkle gel, draw on a line for the goggles and a bigger dot in the middle and adhere a candy eyeball in the top portion of the Twinkie half.
5. Draw on the mouths using sparkle gel and set aside.
6. Slowly pour and mix blue food colouring into the vanilla frosting.
7. Prepare the piping bag and pour in the frosting.
8. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes and top with your minions.
9. Add jimmies to the tops of some Twinkies to make hair.
10. There will be some cupcakes without Twinkies, just add an eyeball and some jimmies to the frosting.

• Ensure you don’t pipe right to the edges, as the frosting will spread when the Twinkies are pushed down into the frosting the frosting will spread to the edges.

Please Enjoy

The reviews from the adults were thumbs up and these are so cute and creative. The kids just ate them without any thanks as that’s how kids are lol; but their blue teeth, noses and cheeks said they were good.

My thoughts
I had so much fun making these. I even had to buy a new set of bigger piping tips and I’m so happy that I can finally make cloud frosting even if the set was expensive I will use these tips alot. I thoroughly enjoyed it every step of the way and it really didn’t take too long. My biggest issue was getting the cupcakes into the container (the Twinkies wouldn’t let me close the container for transporting). For $20 I have some pretty crafty and awesome cupcakes for the kids at church.

Despicable Me Plushies - Candy Coated Culinista

Despicable Me Plushies – Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

Zombie Infected Minion Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Fudge

Halloween Fudge - Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Fudge – Candy Coated Culinista

Orange & black are the colours of Halloween and I need a Halloween themed treat. These chocolatey melt in your hand fudge is decadent and scream Halloween to me.

Yield/Serving: 24 -30 pieces, depending on how big the squares
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk, divided
• 8 oz. white candy melts
• 2 to 4 drops orange paste food colouring

1. Line an 8” square pan with foil/wax paper and let over hang and set aside.
Bottom Brown Layer
2. Using a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and 1 cup of milk on high for 30 seconds and stir.
3. Repeat for another 30 seconds until smooth.
4. Pour into the pan and chill for 10 minutes.
Top Orange Layer
5. In another microwave-safe bowl, melt candy melts with the remaining milk and stir until smooth.
6. Add in the extract and food colouring and spread over the chocolate layer.
7. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour until firm.
8. Remove the fudge using the foil.
9. Cut into squares and serve.

• If your orange chocolate layer is a little stiff add a tablespoon of 2% milk to loosen it up.

My thoughts
Mr. C’s co-workers enjoyed them and Mr. C. was munching on these at home for the next few days. If you need a quick last minute Halloween treat make these.

Please Enjoy

Spiderweb Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Spiderweb Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

This Halloween themed dessert is filled with all the good seasonal ingredients to make it the perfect autumn treat. Also chocolate and cheese never hurts either right?

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1hr.
Difficulty level is: Medium

For Crust
• 2 cups chocolate cookies, crumbled
• ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
For Pumpkin Filling
• 3 eggs
• 1- 15oz. can of packed pumpkin puree
• ½ cup (1 can) condensed milk
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• 1/8 ground nutmeg
• ¼ tsp sea salt
For Cheesecake Filling
• 8oz. cream cheese
• ½ cup white sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg

For Crust
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Using a food processor, crumble chocolate cookie crumbs.
3. In a small prep bowl melt the butter using a microwave.
4. Add the butter into the cookie crumbs and combine until evenly coated.
5. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of 9” pie plate.
For Pumpkin Filling
6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and add pumpkin puree, condensed milk, spices and combine until smooth.
For Cheesecake Filling
7. Using an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment beat cream cheese until softened, add the sugar and incorporate the vanilla extract and egg.
8. Pour the pumpkin filling into the cookie crust.
9. Pour the cream cheese filling into a piping bag.
Make the Spider Web Design:
10. Pipe concentric circles of cream cheese around the pie.
11. Using a clean knife drag the blade of the knife 8 to 10 lines from the outside of the pie to the centre. (ensure you clean off the knife after each line is made)
12. Bake at 300°F for 60 minutes.
13. Let cool and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This tasted amazing from my reviews, but for me I was left disappointed. Towards the outside of the pie it had set, but the interior was still unset even though I gave it a day to set. I thought I was giving the pie enough time and the crust was stuck pretty well to the pie plate also. When I got home I put the leftovers in the freezer and it firmed up much better, so if I had a blast chiller this would have turned out great. I was really hoping for a prettier spider web then what I made, but for my first try at decorating a pie I can’t be too hard on myself, even though I like to be. I think overall the mixture was just a tad too runny and possible a smaller pie tray would help with the soft middle and maybe one less egg and more cream cheese.

The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

The Delicious Food Show

When: October 17-19 2014
Place: The CNE Exhibition Place

For the first time I visited The Delicious Food Show this year. I took Friday off work to ensure I arrived pretty close to the opening time, as I just didn’t want to have to deal with an insane amount of people. My goal today was really only one thing to get my copy of Molto Gusto by Mario Batali signed and also buy a copy of his new book America Farm to Table. The Friday Celebrity Chef line up included Tyler Florence, Mario Batali, Mark McEwen and Chuck Hughes (who I have met prior, first in line might I add). Chuck was signing his books along with a quick snapshot so I just hung around and took a few shots of him. I will say I learned a few things about Chuck hanging around: He grew up in Etobicoke for a time in his childhood. I thought he had always lived in Quebec and he also lived very close to Humber College my alma mater. I overheard all this information when two girls from the culinary program at Humber College asked him to say a few words to the culinary class. He grabbed the microphone faced the camera and told the students to stay in school; and that this is the time when they can burn all the food they want and it will be ok, so do it now. He made a quick joke and did a mini mic drop. He shook the girl’s hands and was so helpful, encouraging and personable and this is why I admire this man, so much.

Now cut to Mario Batali and this did not turn out as I had hoped. I didn’t mind waiting 20-30 extra minutes for him, but others in line were complaining and mentioning other chefs didn’t do this. The one bummer was he wouldn’t allow a quick photo and to add insult he barely said a word unless you said something to him, which I did. I just thanked him for coming to the show and seeing us. Short and sweet and he said you’re more than welcome. Fans were also handing our books a helper to speed up this whole signing process, so we were feet away from Mario when he was signing. In comparison you could get close to Chuck and he’d chat with you for a second and even shake your hand of give a hug. I really haven’t had a signature from any U.S.A. chefs except for Cake boss & Georgetown Cupcakes; which are two TV celebrities and Smitten Kitchen a blogger, so I don’t know if this is a thing or just his personality, but lots of us were left feeling cold and turned off. I grabbed my book and went exploring the foods. The only upside to that experience was I was second in line behind Julie a contestant from the premiere season of Masterchef Canada who was knocked out seventh on the show.

The delicious food floor.
I ran into alot of my usual Food truck fare restaurants, but in a booth form today, so I passed on them. Oysters seemed to be popular again as well as gourmet doughnuts and cured meats, cakes, cake pops, tequila in 3 incarnation from one booth. My cocktail of the show consisted of J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe Canadian Whiskey shaken with house-made sour mix topped with a splash of Jacobs Creek Shiraz. I don’t like wine but I love whiskey sours and this made me enjoy wine so much more. Of course I found Macarons from AG Macaron and left with 6 flavours and a sugar cookies from The Teeny Tiny Bakery. I also learned that Maille has over 6 flavours of mustard that can be found in Toronto in various store. I am now on the hunt for the fine herbs mustard and the and some delightful truffle flavored gouda cheese from the dairy farmers of Ontario section.

Exploring the floor I was wandering a little more and saw graphic tees. I looked at the designs and said I know this art; these are Pierre Lamielle’s designs from Top Chef Canada. I continued to look and choose what I was going to get and heard Pierre’s voice but the person didn’t look like him…he cut his trademark beard. I had seen him with a beard through Top Chef Canada and then many many months later on Chopped Canada, so I mentioned you are almost unrecognizable. To that he quipped – “my mother said you’re not my son” to his now absent beard. I choose a very culinary and totally cheeky tee and looked at some tea towels and went on my merry way. Pierre was a delight and just as funny and quirky as he was on TV.

My last stop of the day was the Tyler Florence demo to learn some tips as, I watch him on the Great Food Truck Race. I have learned following William Sonoma on Instagram that the two have a partnership together, so I made it a point to check this demo out. While he was cooking he answered questions and told us about his new book: Inside the Test Kitchen coming out at the end of the month. He even passed a copy of his book around for us to take a peek at, and showed us food pictures off his phone. Today he made an alternative to a Porchetta with a ham leg, buttered turnips and apple mustard. We were even treated to tasting the ham if we were willing to line up and wait. I will be trying this recipe on a smaller scale soon. Tyler showed so much passion and so endearing that I have become more than just a casual fan.

Overall the show wasn’t as big as I expected or that I hoped it to be. I went with the hopes of seeing and getting some tips and trick from some amazing chefs and that was definitely accomplished. I had a great time, even if I found the show rather small. I wouldn’t take a full day off work again for this unless I have a particular chef I want to see or am taking an exclusive chef series with a cooking personality. I left the show with a few more places on my quest and diaries list to try and an amazing peeler for those very hard to peel vegetables…I’m talking to you rutabaga.

Tyler Florence - The Delicious Food Show

Tyler Florence – The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards - The Delicious Food Show

Porchetta, Buttered Turnips & Apple Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Von Doughnuts The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes - The Delicious Food Show

Chuck hughes – The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes - The Delicious Food Show

Short & Sweet Cupcakes – The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats  - The Delicious Food Show

Cured Meats – The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

AG Macarons Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour  - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Purchases from The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali - The Delicious Food Show

Books Signed by Mario Batali – The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards  - The Delicious Food Show

Maille Mustards – The Delicious Food Show

Oysters - The Delicious Food Show

Oysters – The Delicious Food Show

Tequila - The Delicious Food Show

Tequila – The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour - The Delicious Food Show

The Toronto Sour – The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks - The Delicious Food Show

Food Trucks – The Delicious Food Show

Cantaloupe Sorbetto

Cantaloupe Sorbetto - Candy Coated Culinista

Cantaloupe Sorbetto – Candy Coated Culinista

Italian food is my second favourite type of food and yet I don’t own one purely Italian book yet. My book arrived last Saturday and I had to make something immediately from it. Fall is here and soon from now cantaloupe will be at a premium, so now is the best time while summer fruits are still readily available.

Molto Gusto – Mario Batali

Yield/Serving: 5 cups
Prep Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Simple Syrup
• 2 cup water
• 2 cup sugar
• 3 ½ cups cantaloupe juice, from 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
• 1 ½ cups simple syrup
• Juice from 1 lemon
• ½ tsp sea salt

Simple Syrup
1. Over medium heat, stir equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and boil until sugar has dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Pour into a container and let chill thoroughly.
4. Peel, seed and cut cantaloupe into cubes.
5. Place cantaloupe pieces into a blender along with the simple syrup and lemon juice on the juice setting and blend.
6. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, until thoroughly chilled.
7. Freeze the sorbet in an ice cream machine, according to the manufactures instructions.
8. Place into a container and freeze for 1 hour before serving.

• Syrup will keep for up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Surprisingly I found this to be sweet. I thought this would never happen but it has; I am starting to get used to the less refined sugars in my diet. Other than that I could taste the freshness of the cantaloupe. This is my third time making sorbet/sorbetto and each time the results varied. The first time the sorbet was rock hard (a fruit ice cube); the second time I think there was too much fruit and not enough sugar and this time too much sugar. I found that the sorbetto wouldn’t set even though I have a proper ice cream container for the freezer. I also think my freezer is too full not allowing enough cold air to blast the sorbetto. The mixture should taste a little sweet because as the freezing occurs it will lose some of its sweetness. I love the idea of a cantaloupe sorbetto and I will make this again adjusted to my new palette.

Cantaloupe Sorbetto - Candy Coated Culinista

Cantaloupe Sorbetto – Candy Coated Culinista

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup - Candy Coated Cullinista

French Onion Soup – Candy Coated Cullinista

A rich vegetable broth, served with artisan whole wheat bread sounds delish right? I have been practicing my knife skills and I thought making French onion soup would be a good idea after having a cutting board full of onions and my eyes full of some almost forming tears.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 2hrs & 45min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• ¼ cup vegetable margarine
• 1 onion, sliced lengthwise
• 1 sweet onion, sliced lengthwise
• 1 red onion, sliced lengthwise
• ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
• 900ml vegetable stock
• Ground black pepper, to taste
• Artisanal bread, cut into thick slices

1. Slice all the onions the lengthwise and then slice a few into half.
2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat and melt the margarine until it’s foamy.
3. Add in all the onions and coat with the margarine.
4. Add in the sea salt and mix.
5. Lower the temperature to medium-low and let onion mixture brown for 45 minutes, stirring frequently until they have turned a dark brown.
6. Pour in the vegetable stock and let boil for 5 minutes.
7. Finally turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 2 hours. (Cook longer if desired)
8. Season with black pepper and serve immediately with a few slices of artisan bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
My knife skills are improving; granted I am slower when I use the proper cutting form but I will speed up over time. Until the onions broke down the whole place smelt like onions and made my eyes burn. I’m not sure if I would make this again just based on this even if the soup tasted great. It was a lot of watching and waiting for some soup. I may try a version in the slow cooker and see if that is a possible way to make French onion soup. I have never had French onion soup before, but I was told by Mr. C. that it tasted like it should (he isn’t a fan of French Onion soup though). I always wondered why this soup could cost anywhere from $7 to $10 in the restaurants, but I never realized how much onions and time was put into this dish. Typically beef broth is used and topped with cheese, but I wanted to make a totally vegan option and I used vegetable margarine vs. butter.

Royal Gala Apple Sauce

Royal Gala Applesauce - Candy Coated Culinista

Royal Gala Applesauce – Candy Coated Culinista

The apples are getting mushy and mealy sweety … I like my apples crisp”. These are the words I heard that beckoned me to make some apple sauce. There’s no wasting happening at my place.

Yield/Serving: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 3 lbs or 6 cups royal gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
• ½ cup water
• 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
• 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
• 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• 1/8 tsp ground cloves
• 1 tbsp packed golden brown sugar
• 1 tbsp pure Canadian maple syrup

1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat and combine all ingredients, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes.
2. Using a food processor puree until smooth. (Split into as many portions as need as to not overfill the food processor.)
3. Store in mason jars and enjoy.

• Can be used with pork, pancakes, ice cream, oatmeal, granita, smoothies, cakes, muffins and more.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I am a big fan of Mott’s fruitsations since I was a child and this tastes just as good if not better. For the first time in many years I ate a humongous bowl all by myself.

Cupcake Diaries: Zoe’s Bakery Cafe

Zoe's Bakery Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Zoe’s Bakery Café – Candy Coated Culinista

Place: Zoe’s Bakery Cafe
Location: 548 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V1M3 (416)-504-4174
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30am – 6:30pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Prices: about $3.00

I have been passing by Zoe’s at least once a month for over a year now, and today I came here for the cupcakes, and to my dismay they are only on the menu based on availability, hmmm. I wasn’t going to waste a visit so I found another dessert to enjoy.

There wasn’t much selection at all considering “bakery” is in the name of the business. I had two options a jam square type thing and a tart. I choose the maple walnut tart and strawberry lemonade. This tart was not too sweet, and it was chewy, crumbly and had buttery crust. The walnuts were crunchy and well balanced within the tart. I could eat more than one and not feel that I had too many sweets or get a tooth ache. This was a pricy tart though and with the drink it came to $6.30. This would be a once and awhile thing, even though it was delicious.

Zoe's Bakery Café - Candy Coated Culinista

Zoe’s Bakery Café – Candy Coated Culinista

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