Simple syrups are often found behind your favorite bar, used to flavor and add a bit of sweetness to your cocktails. Equal parts sugar and water (or liquid), they can be flavored with a multitude of things, but if you aren't mixing up cocktails every night, what else can you use them for?
I grew to love almond milk in college, back when I discovered it on the shelf at the small market where I worked. I enjoy the taste of almond milk, and love adding it to smoothies, oatmeal or pastries. Lately there's been debate over just how healthy it is, but if you're lactose intolerant, the fact ... More >>
Popsicles also known by their new trendier name, palettas, have become uber hip. A rainbow of paletas is popping up all over the place in funky flavors, making it easier to get your lick on. But as with most things, I want to make them myself.
I fell in love with cheese at my first job out of culinary school. In many restaurants, the pastry department is responsible for cheese plates, and Bouchon was no different. The first time I placed Humboldt Fog in my mouth, my world expanded. A whole new world of flavors and textures lay before me, ... More >>
Ice cream holds some magical power over me. It could be a winter wonderland outside and I will be ready to put down a pint of my favorite gelato. Stracciatella is similar to a "chip" ice cream, made by drizzling warm chocolate into frozen ice cream, to create irregular chips through out the mixtur ... More >>
As a pastry chef, I create sweet treats, and sugar is my chosen artistic medium. More and more though I have people passing by my table at the farmers market, lamenting that they can only look because they can't have sugar on their current diet. What's a sweet treat peddler to do? I'll be honest, m ... More >>
Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite, easiest go-to dinner-party desserts. It can be made ahead and is easy to dress up. Little do most people know, it is one of the simplest desserts to make, but this dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free version is so fast, and has only two ingredients (well, thre ... More >>
A few years back I took cheese making classes in Vermont. Back on the west coast afterwards, I visited with one of my friends from cheese class to make some cheese and that is when she introduced me to making your own yogurt, allowing me to take her new yogurt maker for a spin. I loved the idea of ... More >>
I love sweets, obviously. But when I was in culinary school, I craved salt. I needed to balance all the sweet I was eating. Typically I was getting my sodium fix through French fries or potato chips, but why not change over some favorite sweet pastries to get some savory options? Lately my pastry ... More >>
I'm busy, it's hot, and I need a dessert for the dinner thing this weekend. If you saw our post on 5 Summertime No-Bake Desserts, we gave you some options for desserts that don't require oven work. Don't get me wrong I love bringing the dessert to a dinner party. It gives me a chance to test some ... More >>
I love excellent packaging on the products I buy. Even when I'm baking up a few nibbles for my family and friends, I want my goodies to look fabulous. You can find a wide variety of colored and patterned disposable baking cups and loaf pans, but here are a few that stand out to us, and where you can ... More >>
A couple of years ago, my future husband and I were gifted with a bottle of wine from a small Arizona winery. It was delicious, and we were very impressed. About a month ago, my husband contacted the winery to join its wine club and ask whether we could visit. We secured an invite to the winery's pl ... More >>
It's midnight on a Tuesday. You have promised to bake up your amazing chocolate cupcakes for the office tomorrow. After ripping apart your refrigerator for the fifth time, you realize that dozen eggs you thought you had is only two eggs. Now what? This happens to me more often than I'd like to admi ... More >>
My husband arrived home with some crumpled printed pages from a website. Bold orange highlighter illuminated some of the words. He handed them to me. Just a few pastry ideas for me from his South African friend at work, Elwin. After seeing my article on Lamingtons, Elwin wanted to pass along some i ... More >>
Lowbrow - n. One having uncultivated tastes. When I was a kid, let's say 8 years old, I would often spend the night at my grandma's house. She lived in a duplex and her house was locked with skeleton keys. There was a hug collection of costume jewelry and scarves for playtime, and she would let me ... More >>
Monday, Sugar Rush shared a primer explaining just what buttercream is -- and how many different kinds there are. Today: Make your own in eight steps.
I received an email order request the other day. It started like this: "I just had one of your chocolate and whipped cream cupcakes at the market." No whipped cream here, folks, just real buttercream. No shortening, no emulsifiers. Butter. European butter.
My husband thinks Pinterest is dumb. I honestly don't think he even really knows what it is, considering Facebook and ESPN are the only apps on his phone. However I believe his dislike comes from wondering where I am at midnight, only to find me in my office, aggressively "pinning" dream kitchens an ... More >>
Who doesn't have a list of "don'ts" at work? Today's the pastry chef's turn. We love making people happy with sweet concoctions and we work hard to make that happen. Here are some tips to remember when dining on sweets that will keep your pastry chef from turning into a sourpuss.
Last summer, Wisconsin named the kringle as the state's official pastry -- not to be confused with their proposed state dessert, the cream puff. A kringle is a Scandinavian flaky pastry, similar to a danish pastry in texture, then filled with nuts, fruit filling or custard. Since Racine, Wisconsin i ... More >>
Before I knew Mardi Gras was associated with copious alcohol consumption or showing breasts for beads, it was all about the cake. Tucked away in the loft of a Lutheran church, my grade-school French class would indulge in yeasty cinnamon cake every snowy February. I would cross my fingers under my ... More >>
It was my birthday last week. I love my birthday, but it never really turns out how I imagine. For my 12th birthday, I asked for Donnie Wahlberg, to no avail. For my 18th birthday, my girlfriends tried to plan a surprise party for me, which I ruined mid-car ride to the surprise, trying to get my mom ... More >>
My husband stormed into the bedroom the other night in a rage. I know you are starting to think you clicked the wrong link and that this is Katie Johnson's awesome Jackalope Ranch column, Courting Disaster, in which she writes about sexual exploits. Nope, just a cake pop hater here in this Sugar Rus ... More >>
Holiday tunes are blaring on the radio as I walk the aisles of every store. Parking lots become asphalt spaces of rage. Christmas tree lots have popped up everywhere. Lights twinkle strung in gaudy heaps on every outdoor yard item. The holidays have arrived, and with them the numerous holiday par ... More >>
From time to time here at Chow Bella, we challenge one another to a showdown. This fall's theme, naturally, was pumpkin. Damn you, pumpkin-infused Kahlua and pumpkin-flavored Pringles -- you're ruining it for the rest of the pumpkin goodness out there, like the dishes our colleagues prepared for us ... More >>
From time to time, Chow Bella's contributors challenge one another to a showdown: Make the best dish you can, using one common ingredient. This time (naturally), it was pumpkin. For the next few weeks, we'll be sharing the results, and at the end, we'll let you know who won. Today, we begin with o ... More >>
Quiche, it isn't just for breakfast anymore. Truth is, quiche can be eaten for just about any meal. Eggs, milk, perhaps a bit of sour cream, veggies, bacon or sausage, flaky pie crust. What's not to love? Everyone has their own style and concoction for the perfect quiche, our two competitors inclu ... More >>
Lost in nature. Quiet surrounds. Campfire blazes and crackles. Tents flap in the breeze. Chairs dragged closer to the fire as the wind picks up. S'mores appear. Beer flows. Camping. To some, this is heaven. To me, it is hell. There are some aspects I can appreciate. The beauty of the red rocks ... More >>
Normally, we don't see pavlova's popping up on the dessert menu at many restaurants. In fact, the only place you may have seen this beauty is on the glossy pages of a food magazine. Perhaps you've dismissed the pavlova for its simplicity or it could be that you have never tasted the fabulous texture ... More >>
Tostadas appear on many a Mexican or Tex-Mex menu, fried tortilla swathed with beans, chopped meat, cheese or sometimes with ceviche. The word "tostada" in Spanish means "toasted," harkening to the crisp tortilla that stands as the base. Tostadas dishes give new life to stale tortillas, where afte ... More >>
My grandmother, Gloria, should have lived to be 120. She didn't drink soda, refused processed food, exercised, watched her salt & sugar consumption, and controlled her portions. While my siblings and I would stuff our faces at family picnics with hunks of rich sugary cake, she would eat a small sliv ... More >>
Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed. Arizona's First Ste ... More >>
After the chocolate chip cookie search, a request came in for where to get an iced cookie in the Phoenix area. Iced cookies may not always be on the shelf at your local bakery, as they are typically iced up to celebrate holidays or occasions. I found three iced cookies that are on the pastry rack th ... More >>
Tarts tins. Ring molds. Loaf pans. Mini tart tins. Pastry bags. Pastry tips. All of varying sizes and shapes. Cake plates. Pie plates. Muffin tins. Madeleine tins. Bundt pans. Sheet pans. A multitude of small wares for manipulating fondant. Cannoli tubes. Chocolate molds. Silpats. Rolling pins. The ... More >>
Mojito - white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water, and mint. Refreshing on a hot summer's day. Necessity when you are a prominent author sipping them in a Cuban bar called La Bodeguita del Medio. Cheers, Hemingway! Made famous by Ernest Hemingway, the birthplace of the mojito is suspected to b ... More >>
The chocolate chip cookie is no fad. This beloved American treat is a go-to sweet treat, and cookies in the pastry case always sell. Chocolate chip cookies come in so many different shapes, sizes, thickness, sweetness levels, shades of browning, and textures. They are their own chemistry experimen ... More >>
Gyros may not be the most beautiful, photogenic food, but nothing sends more happiness to our hearts and grumbles to our bellies than a moist, slightly crisp pile of meat on a warm pita that has been slathered with tzatziki. Both gyro places featured today boasted stints in Chicago, before landing ... More >>
The breakfast sandwich. Made popular by the fast food industry, perfected and customized in small breakfast joints around the corner from home, this is a morning choice we want on our plate. A meal designed to be eaten on the go, it is that epic melding of eggs, breakfast meat, and bread. For the da ... More >>
Lately, I have been filling out my farmers market forms, to get my pastry business a booth in some of the fall markets. Page after page of questions, rules, and regulations are mulled over with a glass of wine, but there is one that leaves me a little befuddled, pondering how to best answer. The s ... More >>
As the monsoon storms roll in to smother the dry heat, Phoenix inhabitants have begun to hibernate in the chill of their air-conditioned homes. Transporting frosty treats is near impossible, as they melt into puddles before we can puzzle-piece them into our already packed freezers. I'm a custard ... More >>
After Chow Bella fried up some of the ever popular Cronuts™ a few weeks back, we have had our ears to the ground, waiting to see who would attempt this trendy treat locally. The Cronut™ craze has slowly trickled outside of New York City, from Dominique Ansel Bakery, into neighborhood bakeries ... More >>
What sweet does a pastry chef crave in her non-sweet surround off-hours? Ice cream! Better yet, ice cream sandwiches. Housemade ice cream on freshly baked cookies is the ultimate summertime treat. There are a few ice cream mavens churning up the cold, creamy goods in the Valley, this battle between ... More >>
Peach season in metro Phoenix has come to a close, the leafy green trees now bare of their hued orange baubles. To be honest, the crowds, lines, and number of things to do at Schnepf was a little overwhelming. While visions of peach jam, pie, and ice cream danced around my brain, children loaded ont ... More >>
Is it a fad or here to stay? In the month since they debuted in a New York City bakery, cronuts have established their own black-market. The LA Times issued an open letter to their local pastry chefs to help relieve the city of "cronut fever envy." See also: - 10 Favorite Bakeries in Metro Phoenix
I love sweets. Obviously. As a pastry chef, I fully understand giving the people what they want. But I also believe in challenging the diner to try something new, expanding their taste buds and minds. See also: - Sugar Rush: Confessions of a Wild West Pastry Chef, and the Launch of a New Column ... More >>
You might know her from her incredible s'mores at Caramelpalooza, or from her blog, Croissant in the City. In any case, you're about to learn a lot more about this pastry chef. Chow Bella is excited to welcome Rachel Miller to our fold. I am a pastry chef. When people hear what I do, they freak ... More >>
As the chefs competing in Smeeks and Chow Bella's fourth annual Caramelpalooza -- coming 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, at UNION -- get out the candy thermometers, we've got our pens ready to introduce you to the faces behind the caramel. For Rachel Miller, there's nothing more delicious than yesteryear. ... More >>
We are practically in a sugar coma, just thinking about the line-up for Caramelpalooza 2013 -- the biggest and best ever, if you ask us. See also: - Caramelpalooza 2012: The Winners!