Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More animation work I've done . . .

I'm an in house contracted motion graphics artist and animator at Google. It's awesome. I absolutely appreciate that I work in a field that I love and enjoy so much. So with that here is some of my favorite animated piece . . .

Grandmother's Guide to Video Chat

Have you looked at Blogger lately?

Call phones from Gmail

Today, a new Chrome video was released . . . 


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday Dinners

One of my favorite things my roomie Rosie and I have begun doing for a while now with our closest friends is Sunday Dinner. It's usually a small group of us and it's time well spent with our friends. I love cooking for people and its something I've picked up from my parents. My dad would always cook more than enough food with the expectation that if people stopped by, which they did quite a bit, we could feed them. Maybe its a Portuguese thing or maybe because my dad use to be a chef during his time in the military in the Azores and so he cooks like he is serving an army. Regardless, I love my parents for passing on that passion to me. Considering many of us go back to our work grind the next day, I like to think that Sunday dinner is a good way to end the weekend with full bellies and good quality time with friends.

Both myself and Rosie have made various types of meals from New York steaks, tri tip, oysters, fried chicken, salmon, breaded chicken, and homemade mac and cheese to name a few. My friend Candy gifted me The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl for Christmas, so I am very excited to make some Sunday dinners featuring the recipes in the book!

Here are some pictures of Sunday dinners past. I'm going to try and include the recipes from here on out as well . . .

Friday, January 6, 2012

Oh yea, I animate too . . .

My latest animation: Signing into Chrome!

Banana Cream Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Ok. This is serious. Banana and Nutella were meant for each other. Banana. Chocolate. Hazelnut. Banana pudding cream in the center. Are you drooling yet?

I made these for my very good friend and coworker, Manuel, who's love for bananas is almost scary, it only seemed right to make him these cupcakes for his birthday.

I pulled 2 different recipes for these cupcakes. One for the cupcake and one for the frosting.  This was also my first attempt and making a cream filled cupcake.

I think the birthday boy was happy . . .

Banana Cream Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
Cupcake and filling recipe adapted from Landee See, Landee Do

Banana Cupcake

2 ½ cups flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup plain yogurt
Crushed cinnamon graham crackers
Banana slices for garnish

Banana Filling

1 package instant banana pudding
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla

Nutella Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp nutella

Make the filling and frosting first and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before it is used.

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and set aside.

In mixer, cream butter with sugars until it becomes light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternating with bananas and yogurt, mix on low until just moistened. The batter may be lumpy, but do not over mix.

Bake 20-25 min.

Cool 5 min in pan then remove to a rack.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, remove a piece of the center to add the pudding. Fill with banana pudding and top with Nutella frosting.

Garnish with crushed graham crackers, and bananas if desired. If you top the cupcakes with banana, make sure to place the slices in some lemon juice so they do not turn brown. Keep the cupcakes chilled, but remove 20 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

After being asked many a times by my roomie and BFFF Rosie, I finally made chocolate chip cookies! I haven't made these since I was really young with my mom. There are so many different ways to make chocolate chip cookies. Some people, like myself, love the chewy, soft cookie and some like a crunchy cookie. These are not crunchy. They are chewy, soft, nice and melted chocolate chip cookies. Basically the kind that leave chocolate all over your lips. Delicious.

Various cooking and baking blogs, and in particular A Tender Crumb, have written about and baked Jacque Torres' famous secret chocolate chip cookie recipe. Although the recipe does call for very good chocolate, I ended up using Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate chips.

I used 2 bags. For half the recipe.

Did I mention how the chocolate would end on your lips when you bit into them?

This recipe is hands down the best chocolate chip recipe I've ever come across.

Keep in mind, this is the full recipe. I halved it.

Jacques Torres's Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from A Tender Crumb and Martha Stewart.

1 pound unsalted butter1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 bags extra dark chocolate chips

Keep the dough in the fridge for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.

With the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mix.

Set the speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate; mix until well combined.

Scoop small balls of cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. 

Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 12-15 minutes for smaller cookies. 

Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

These were the Chocolate Whoopie Pies I made for my coworker, Cas' birthday. It was my first time making chocolate whoopie pies. Most recipes call for a marshmallow frosting center, but instead I chose to use a vanilla cream cheese filling.

Unfortunately, because I waited so long to post these, I can't find the recipe I used! I'll have to do a more extensive search for the recipe so I can make them again.

Happy Birthday Cas!