Monday, January 6

Any Reason to Start Again

Well readers I hope you all had a wonderful Christmahanakwanzikasolstice. I did I managed to donate my toys for Toys for Tots before the deadline; not argue with any family members; fed friends and family; and generally, just had a good time.

New Year's Eve I took it easy. Rather than party, I stayed at home with my sister and watched bad public domain horror movies, ate pizza, and drank champagne at midnight.

I haven't written awhile, because I had nothing to say (what else is new). Ever since Food Rush I have been busy and got the flu. Don't worry I pretty much baked in a hazmat suit.  I'm a major germaphobe.

So I worked hard and my website http://www.Pastryprophet.com/ is up and running. You can order from the site by the way!

I did a lot in 2013. There's still so much for me to do. Which brings me to my new topic:

New Year Resolutions 
(yes, it's late who cares?)


  • Lose 20 pounds
  • Go on more dates
  • Volunteer my time (regularly - not just one)
  • Work on my freelance writing
  • Build up my social media following
  • Learn a new skill
  • Appreciate what I have
  • Stop holding grudges
  • Stop taking everything personally
  • Learn to let things go


Well I think that's good mix of superficial and serious goals.

Okay 2014 let's see what you got in ya!



Sunday, December 1

I May Be Down, But I'm Not Out!

So I lost the Cookie Competition.

I did my absolute best and there isn't anything I would have done differently. In the after interview that was my exact answer. Usually I second guess everything, but this is first time where I feel I nailed the challenge.

Then what happened? That answer I'll never know. The judges gave me wonderful praise and decided to award the prize to my competitor. Does the answer really matter now? Will it change my life in one iota? Most likely not. Therefore I will file this adventure in my life in the "interesting moments of 2013" and move on.

Speaking of 2013, I have to say not only am I proud of going the distance in Food Rush, but I also opened my own dessert catering business. All in all, I really don't think I could have gone as far as I have without my insane loving family and friends. They have to be special to suffer through my drama queen nonsense.

Last Sunday I held a business launch party at Zesty's in Manayunk. Friends, friends of friends, and acquaintances came throughout the Delaware Valley to join me. I could not have asked for a better turnout. I definitely feel like a winner and could have drowned in the encouragement and love.

Gluten Free Cupcakes
Gluten Free Chocolate & Carrot Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes
Vanilla Cupcakes

Blondies With White Chocolate Chips 
Jamaica Rum Cookies
Lemon Bars


Do I regret competing on television? Absolutely not. Is there anything I would have done differently on the show? Not at all. Although my way of baking was considered "too traditional" by the judges, I stand by what I know my customers like. 

Wednesday, November 27

Food Rush Cookie Recipes

After the Food Rush Cookie episode so many people are Tweeting and emailing about the recipes I used during the competitions. Without further adieu ...

Gran Keer's Uber Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies

    Ingredients Print Recipe

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each -  allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, nutmeg
  • 4-5 cups AP flour You may need more or less depending on how moist your dry your dough is.
Cream Cheese Filling
  •  6 ounces butter, softened
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions

1. For gingerbread men, in a large bowl beat sugar, molasses, eggs and butter at low speed.
2. Add the spices and baking soda to 3 cups of flour until mixed.
3. Scrape with a rubber spatula.
4. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
5. With a wooden spoon stir in 4 to 5 cups of flour to make stiff dough. You may need more or less depending on how moist your dry your dough is.
    Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap.
    Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
6. Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thickness.
7. Cut out the men and place on greased cookie sheet.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
9. Bake for 12 minutes or bake until the edges are firm.
10. Loosen cookies and remove to a wire rack to cool.
11. For cream cheese filling, blend together all the ingredients. Chill in refrigerator to preferred consistency.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate morsels
  • 1/4 cup semi sweet morsels
  • Caramel sauce (recipe below)

Directions

1. To make the cookies, cream together the sugars and butter until smooth.2. Add the vanilla, egg and pumpkin puree and blend until combined.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients and add to the mixture until incorporated.
4. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips.
5. On a parchment lined baking sheet in a 350 degree oven bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.
6. Remove to a rack and cool.
Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine all the ingredients and stir until combined.
2. Continue to cook until mixture bubbles and thickens.
Assembly
1. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the cooled cookies.


Monday, November 18

A Food Rush

Major lapse in my blogging. The past several months have been a whirlwind to say the least. As I mentioned in a previous post I was asked to compete on Food Rush, a show on the Live Well Network. I applied mostly to quiet my friends. They had wanted me to apply to other realty shows, but I was frightened.

Plain in simple. I was afraid.

Of what? Judgement, looking like a fool, just the usual paranoid thoughts.

So I applied.

The producers asked me to fill out an application and present of video of why I should be on the show.

I had an interview.

Congratulations to me ... I was selected.

I was off to San Francisco. Yes, my four blog readers. My favorite city on the west coast.



There are three baking competitions: Candy, Cake, and Cookie. I competed in the Cookie Battle. I have to say this experience was the most exciting moment of my life. Never have I ever dreamed that I would be on a food cooking show.

Food Rush gave me the confidence to make The Pastry Prophet into a business. I know I talked about it for a long time. Once again that fear of failure and mockery held me back. I finally know what it feels like to take a chance and see something great come out of it.

I've told everyone and anyone who gives me the time of day about my time at Food Rush. I gained more than a free trip to San Francisco. I met lovely people - the crew of Food Rush and especially my producer who kept me sane and blogger of Home Beccanomics and her mother. Becca and her mom deserve their own travel show!

Surprised on how far I've come? Look at where I plan to go!

Food-Rush-Live-Well Network-Cookie-Contestant-Dana-Prophet
I have come here to chew bubblegum and bake cookies …and I’m all out of bubblegum.


See what I can do Tuesday, November 26th at 8:30 EST

Until then here's the Food Rush Holiday commercial.

Tuesday, October 8

Off Topic IX: Trends

I hate trends.

Okay that is not entirely true. I hate trends that beat nice items into ... the... ground.

At one time pomegranates and blueberries could be purchased at reasonable, if not cheap prices. Then their anti-oxidant properties were discovered. Ah... supply and demand. Demand went up. Prices soared. I'm paying more for my Pom Juice and fresh blueberries on my Wheat Chex.

I'm sorry honey. No matter how much no amount of juice will not smooth out your age and weather damaged skin.

Don't *#$# with my blueberries.

Everything has a trend: clothing, movies, and of course, desserts.

Cupcakes and bacon-on-everything stand aside. Meet the new kid in town: Cronuts™.

  • People are standing in lines for hours in New York City.
  • There are opportunities to earn money by stand in queue for the people with a desperate sweet tooth and little time
  • There are more knock off Cronuts™ in production than fake Louis Vutton bags

So when I strolled into my local Paris Baguette, I noticed between the chocolate croissant and the red bean donut stood gleaming in the display case lights a Croissant Donut (a.k.a bootleg Cronut™).

Alright I know I said I hated trends, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity.

For $3 I walked out with my own Croissant Donut. I could have eaten it there or in my car, but I wanted to try it undisturbed by follow diners and Sunday morning after-church traffic.

cronut, croissant donut, paris baguette, cronut knockoff
Paris Baguette saved me from a 3 hour wait.
It was tasty. 

Granted this is not the authentic Cronut™, but I'm assuming there's not that much of a difference. This Croissant Donut had light and buttery layers you would expect from a handmade croissant. A delicious vanilla pastry cream filling surprised me. To top it off my donut had a flavorful fresh lemon flavored icing on top and a light sweet glaze encompassing the entire pastry.

Pros: I didn't have to travel to New York City, stand in line with hipsters and Park Avenue moms for a tasty treat.

Cons: I still don't know what a real Cronut™ tastes like.

If you have the chance grab your own. Philadelphia is like 2-10 years behind NYC. I'm guessing within a few years, I can rent out my time saving a space for you in line.





Tuesday, October 1

The Pastry Prophet Coming Soon to Your TV

So I competed on a baking competition show...

It was phenomenal!

I entered because my friends encouraged me to do so. Casting calls for Top Chef: Desserts and Hell's Kitchen came and went. I didn't think I had what reality television was looking for. When my local ABC affiliate asked for people to apply for their holiday bake off- I applied.

Lo and behold I soon found myself whisked off to sunny San Francisco. My favorite city within the continental United States.

This December as you decorate your homes for Christmas, Hanukkah, and maybe Kwanzaa, you may flick your cable to the Live Well Network's Food Rush and see my Cheshire Cat grin.

I didn't know how I would perform in front of cameras. To tell you the truth, I soon forgot about them and focused on the moment.

Now my annoying laugh and snarky attitude will be available for all to see.


Tuesday, September 24

Let the Battle Begin

Today is the first part of the cookie competition. I'm excited and only a little nervous.

Here's my vlog for the day:
video