Collaboration Kitchen Behind the Scenes

Amy Pinn

My friend Amy Pinn

For several years, I have volunteered down in San Diego with a great group of volunteer chefs and guest chefs at a monthly pop-up dinner called “Collaboration Kitchen,” with all proceeds going to children’s charities. Here is Amy Pinn’s write-up on the January pop-up. Source: Collaboration Kitchen Behind the Scenes

Easy 5-Ingredient Death-By-Chocolate Cake Uses Only One Tablespoon of Flour!

Chocolate Cake SliceIngredients:
7 oz Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
7 oz Best Quality Unsalted Butter (high butterfat European preferred), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 C Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tbsp Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
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Easy Banana Fritters Recipe

JONS Marketplace near me, currently has bananas at 3 lbs/$.99 until November 17th! So, why not make some Banana Fritters? 
Banana Fritters
Wet ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
Dry ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
* * *
1 quart oil for frying
1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
Mix Wet ingredients in one bowl, and Dry ingredents in another bowl. Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or heavy bottomed pan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Drop batter by spoonfuls into hot oil, and cook, turning once, until browned, 2 to 8 minutes. Drain on paper towels and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Why McDonald’s Changing To “Cage-Free” Eggs Is Merely A Step In The Right Direction

NPR recently reported, “McDonald’s USA announced that in the near future, it will no longer buy eggs from chickens that live in cages. Those cages are still the industry standard, and 90 percent of America’s eggs come from chickens that live in them.”

For more on this story, see NPR’s “The Latest Scramble In The Egg Industry: McDonald’s Is Going Cage-Free

Cage-Free Eggs, Photo Credit - Dan Charles, NPR

Cage-free chickens in a barn near Hershey, Pa., get to roam and perch on steel rods, but they don’t go outside. This week, McDonald’s became the latest big buyer to demand cage-free eggs.

Also, see why “Cage-Free” isn’t really as humane as they promote it to be; and, why they should be shooting for “Free-Range” or “Pastured” chickens!

Custard Tarts, Chinese Bakeries, and a 178 Year Old Portugese Recipe

Eastern Bakery San FranciscoDahn Tat Eastern Bakery via Yelp
You may have tried the ubiquitous Custard Tart, or “Dahn Tat,” found in almost every Asian bakery. On the west coast of the U.S., they originally appeared in chinese bakeries like the Eastern Bakery, the oldest chinese bakery (1924) in North America located in San Francisco (above) and Phoenix Bakery, the oldest chinese bakery (1938) in Los Angeles (below). These pastries are much unlike the other baked and steamed delicacies from China, and no doubt were the result of influence by the portuguese bakeries in Macau. The chinese version has a delicate golden, flakey crust and custard so light it seems steamed rather than baked.
Phoenix BakeryDahn Tat from Phoenix Bakery Los Angeles Kimberly K. attributed
The portugese version is a bit different, and called Pasteis de Nata. The most famous bakery in Portugal is Pasteis De Belem in Lisbon. Their recipe is over 178 years old – – the bakery’s founder bought the recipe from a monastery in 1837! The pastry chef here (and founder’s son-in-law) started working here at age 15, and dedicated his life to making the “perfect custard tart.” He is now 76 years old, and people make a pilgrimage from around the world to eat his custard tarts – – as evidenced by the long lines every week. They sell 10,000 daily and 20,000 on bank holidays. In contrast to the chinese version, their crust has a light crispy crunch and a richer creamy custard. I hope you put this place on your bucket list and let me know when you try them!
Pasteis De Belem via ExpediaPasteis de Nata from Pasteis de Belem via Delphine Fortin
Watch this short video on the history and how they make (by hand!) the Pasteis de Nata at Pasteis De Belem!

How the Rest of the World Eats Bread

I believe that one of the best parts of travel is learning how people live in other countries. One of the ways to do that is to eat the local food. To help familiarize you, I’ve posted this great infographic showing the variety of styles of bread that can be found around the world, originally posted in Huffpost Taste.

This Is How The Rest Of The World Eats Bread enhanced

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

You only need FIVE ingredients to make this Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie
recipe courtesy of Kevin {&} Amanda!


  • 1 package (about 36) whole Oreos
  •  1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, divided
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 (12 oz) bag dark chocolate chips


  1. Finely crush the Oreos with a food processor or blender. Stir crumbs together with 8 tablespoons melted butter until well combined. Press into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Freeze crust for 10 minutes until set.
  2. Combine remaining 8 tablespoons butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup heavy whipping cream until smooth. Cool caramel about 15 minutes. Pour the caramel over the Oreo crust, then return to freezer for about 30-45 minutes until just chilled and set. (You don’t want the caramel to fully freeze.)
  3. Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup heavy whipping cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel and freeze for a final 30 minutes, until just chilled and set. OR refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle the top with a flaky sea salt like kosher salt or Fleur De Sel.

Makes: 8-12 servings. Note: Store covered in the refrigerator and serve chilled.


You can see step-by-step photos at

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