Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Dessert - Pumpkin Tiramisu

Alright, now I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of my 'sweet creation', but at that moment, the Thanksgiving dinner is slowing turning into a food coma and I was too exhausted (from cleaning and helping out) to whip out my camera. But I swear. I DID make this pumpkin tiramisu.

I wanted to break away from the conservative 'pumpkin pie' mode and lucky that I did because the host of the family (my mom and I were invited to her friend's house) baked THREE pies - pumpkin, apple, and sweet potatoes. I figured that everyone is going to expect some sort of pie at the dinner table, but I really wanted to celebrate one of my favorite squashes and how could you go wrong with tiramisu?! And there's no baking involved, especially since the stove is preoccupied almost the entire time to prep for dinner. So, I researched on the Internet and came up with my own little creation (since I couldn't find any mascarpone cheese at my local supermarket and by Thanksgiving Day, most markets across the Tri-State areas are practically bare!) Without further ado, here's the recipe. Actually, since I still have some ingredient remnants in the fridge, I might just make another one. :)

Pumpkin Tiramisu (chill for 8-24 hours)

- 2 tablespoon of honey mixed in 1/4 cup of hot water and let it cool
- a 15 oz can of pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese (but I used ricotta cheese, so whip it up to create a creamier consistency)
- 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar
- ladyfingers (or sponge cake, depends on what you've on hand)


1 - For filling: combine pumpkin, all the spices. In another bowl, beat whipping cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.
2 - For topping: in another bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in 1/2 cup of whipping cream until thickened.
3 - Now to assemble: layer the ladyfingers or thinly sliced sponge cake on the bottom of a pan. Drizzle a bit of the honey syrup on top. Using a spatula, spread some of the filling on top. Not too thick though. Now repeat the same process - layer the cake part, drizzle some honey water, then spread the filling again. The last layer should be the whipped cream. If you like, you can sprinkle some cinnamon on the final top. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

Once the tiramisu has firmed up, just slice it up and serve. The adults at the party actually prefer my cool and light dessert is a satisfying ending after a heavy meal.

Enjoy and hope you all had a wonderul and fulfilling Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CANstruction - Feed the arts and the hunger

CANstruction is a charity among the architecture and design elites. From their website,

CANstruction is "a foundation of the Society for Design Administration (SDA), Canstruction® is a Trademarked design/build competition currently held in cities throughout North America Australia and cities from around the world will soon be participating . Teams of architects, engineers, and students mentored by these professionals, compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food. It takes 8-12 weeks and thousands of cans of food to create a structure."

I visited this event a few years ago and that was still in the Curry Hill location. This year in NY, it's heald in the World Trade Center building. Perhaps a better idea as it's more accessible to both tourists and the locals.

On views were statues of themes created with...of course, canned (and some bottled) goods. Some were really fun to analyze or to ponder upon, yet some did lack a bit of creativity. One of the structure that stood out to me was the pumpkin pie, especially since Thanksgiving is arriving soon, though I was perplexed why didn't the design firm use pumpkin cans. I looked a little closer without stepping over the rope boundary, the 'pumpkin pie' was built with Bush's brand of beans. Is that because pumpkin cans are in short resource lately?

PS I was also a good citizen and donated a can of tomato sauce as well. Check out the website! This meaningful charity is held throughout different cities!
PPS You can check out the rest of the structure in my Flickr collection.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A simple vegetarian meal

Sometimes it's nice to just make a 'melting pot' of meal, you know, the kind that's everything but the kitchen sink. I don't prefer an elaborate dinner meal because I'm an early sleeper, so indulging in a 5 course meal would just tax my sleep. I prefer a meal based on greens with a little protein and carbohydrates, but mainly vegetables. Tonight I'm dining solo, so instead of making a pot of rice, I decided to create a tofu pot. It's not the most photogenic picture, but I felt healthy after eating my dinner. Now I'm ready for dessert. :)