31 May 2005

Fraudulent Emails - Where to Send them! 1

I recieved this wonderful news today. Seems I am a winner, and when I win - I win REAL BIG money:

Subject: congratulations..........................
Date: 4/3/2005 5:37:14 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time
From: jjhen@i12.com
Reply To:
Sent on:

Sent from the Internet (Details)
Internet Address Card Attached



Congratulations to you as we bring to your notice, the results of the Third
Category draws of ALFA CONSULT BV.PROMOTIONS We are happy to inform you that
you have emerged a winner under the Third Category, which is part of our
promotional draws. The draws were held on the Match 2, 2005 and results are
being officially announced today April 3 2005. Participants were selected
through a computer ballot system drawn from 40,000 names/email addresses of
individuals and companies from Africa, America,Asia,
Australia,Canada, Europe, Middle East, and New Zealand as part of our
International Promotions Program.You/Your company, attached to ticket number
1811-5-742, with serial number 89-63 drew the lucky
numbers 19, 21, 25, 30, 41, 44 (22), and consequently won in the Third

You have therefore been awarded a lump sum pay out of
US$1,500,000.00 (One Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars) in cash, which is the winning
payout for Third Category winners. This is from the
total prize money of US$6,000,000.00 shared among the
4 international winners in the Third category.

Your fund is now deposited with ALFA CONSULT BV. GROUP insured
in your name.In your best interest and also to avoid mix up of numbers and
names of any kind,we request that you keep the entire details of your award
strictly from public notice
until the process of transferring your claims has been completed,
and your funds remitted to your account.
This is part of our security protocol to avoid double
claiming or unscrupulous acts by
participants/nonparticipants of this program.
We also wish to bring to your notice our mid year
(2005) high stakes where you stand a chance of winning
up to US$1.5 Billion, we hope that with a part of your
prize you will participate.

Please contact your claims agent immediately, to begin
your claims process;

MR Henry Ford
ALFA CONSULT BV. Blakelands House, Yeomans Drive,
Milton Keynes, MK14 5HG.uk
EMAIL : henhill4@yahoo.com

For due processing and remittance of your prize money
to a designated account of your choice.
Remember, you must contact your claim agent not later
than 31st June 2005. After this date, all funds will
be returned as unclaimed.
NOTE: For easy reference and identification, Find
below your reference and Batch numbers, remember to
quote these numbers in every one of your
correspondence with your claims agent.

Congratulations once again from all our staff and
thank you for being part of our promotions program.

MR Henry Ford
ALFA CONSULT BV. Blakelands House, Yeomans Drive,
Milton Keynes, MK14 5HG.uk
EMAIL : henhill4@yahoo.com

N.B. Any breach of confidentiality on the part of the
winners will result to disqualification.
Please reply to this email or Contact your claims agent

I quickly googled "BV. Promotions" and I found this site : 419 Legal.org - Law Enforcement
Which is home for South African Police Services. This site is great, I strongly urge anyone to check out their services. Plus the more of us out there who contribute this "spam" to their archives, the better evidence they will have to continue their investigations. Here is the mission statement from their website:

419 Legal is a website dedicated to fighting 419 Advance Fee Fraud.

We collect information on fraudsters, their methods, their victims and the tools they use. Much of this information is supplied by a dedicated group of informers who's information has helped to get many fake websites taken down and save people from falling victim to these scams.

This website is also acting as a discussion point between Law Enforcement, Anonymous Informers and Business Professionals in order to fight this type of fraud more effectively.

In order to contact us or report a scam, please send an e-mail to 419@419legal.org , Scam letters can also be sent.

I myself have been overwhelmed by spam as of late. I hope you find the email addresses & site info helpful.

Down with spam - fight to ban!!!

30 May 2005

Seduction by Savory souffle... 0

Cheese & Asparagus Souffle: This delicious souffle serves 2 ; )

With such beautiful coloring, you may not want to dig in, but a bounty of flavor hides beyond the browned top. Tender and wonderful, you will surely want to eat every bite.

Béchamel :

  • 1/4 Cup milk

    • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
    • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • salt & freshly ground black pepper,to taste
    • pinch of nutmeg
    • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature (you will only need 2 egg whites)


    • 2 egg whites, at room temperature (this is in addition to the 2 above)
    • pinch of cream tartar
    • pinch of salt
    • 3/4 Cup grated, imported Gruyere cheese
    • 1/4 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed, steamed 5 minutes, sliced 1/2 inch thick.

    Preheat the oven for 375° F. Place rack on lower level of oven.

    Butter (2) 8oz. ramekins, dust sides & bottoms with 1 Tbs. Parmesan , each.

    To make Béchamel : Warm milk in saucepan. Melt butter in second saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with wooden spoon; allow to bubble but not brown.

  • Take pan off heat, whisk in warm milk and return to heat; whisk vigorously, scraping bottom and sides to prevent scorching. When mixture simmers, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often from sides and bottom, 5 minutes, or until thick. Season with salt & pepper & nutmeg. Remove from heat; stir 1 minute more. Beat in 3 egg yolks, one at a time.

    To make Souffle: Using electric beaters (i.e kitchenaide hand mixer), beat 4 egg whites in a bowl, starting at low speed and slowly increasing speed until they begin to foam. Add cream of tartar and salt, beating until satiny peaks form & hold their shape; Do not over beat.

    Combine remaining cheeses. Using a rubber spatula, stir one-fourth of beaten egg whites, and fold together. With each fold, sprinkle in a handful of cheese mixture & a handful of asparagus, giving bowl a quarter turn. When everything is added, the mixture is uniform, carefully spoon into souffle dishes (ramekins). Put a baking sheet on bottom rack.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffy and browned; do not overcook ---centers should be slightly runny. Enjoy!

    29 May 2005

    Chocolate cake with swag... 0

    Chocolate w/ swag, originally uploaded by Culinarynovice.

    did this friday. More to come.

    28 May 2005

    Baking theory Notes: Chemical leavening; Dough strengthener; Crumb softeners 0

    Chemical leavening

    1. Reaction of Sodium bicarbonate (baking Soda) & An Acid
    2. [Acid + Salt + Water = Carbon dioxide gas]
    3. Baking Powder is this Formula plus a filler to retard reaction.
    1. Double Acting Baking Powder is 2 acids

    - Substances that react like acids:

    1. [buttermilk]
    2. [chocolate] { kill reaction (rise) made by baking soda, that is why these are commonly used in cookie formulas}
    3. [lemon/citrus juice] { kill reaction (rise) made by baking soda, that is why these are commonly used in cookie formulas}

    Dough strengthener

    1. Eggs
    2. Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C) [only additive allowed in European Production of Baguettes/French bread]
    3. Potassium Bromate ---> {outlawed in most countries , NOT the U.S} carcinogenic = causes cancer
    Basic formula for bread {100% flour + 60% water + 2% salt + 2% yeast)

    Crumb Softeners {click here for more info}

    Surfactants, through complexly with flour protein(gluten) break the surface tension between non mixable substances.

    1. Give longer shelf life in bread [yeast raised products]
    2. emulsifier & surfactants retard the Staling.

    Two ways of Staling
    1. starch molecules change & become rigid
    2. loose moisture in product becomes dry.

    27 May 2005

    The Culinary Equipment Fairies...Blessed me With a Baking bounty! 0

    queue the "sugar plum fairy theme"..... The curtain draws, the house lights flicker and fade. In front of you - a stage, the set painted and built to resemble a porch?

    As I had described in earlier posts, I had posted a blurb in the "wanted" section of craig's List . Mentioning my need to find culinary/baking things, used, at a discounted price.

    Because let's face it, being a student is not cheap, but let alone having to pay childcare on top of the normal expenses is even more devastating to finances.

    The response I got was great. A local caterer was willing to sell me ALLOT of baking things for $25 total. [You can read about what I got
    here.... ] I had been using my Cuisinart Custom prep Food Processor , that I got 3 years ago for a wedding gift, to mix. It works fine for non finicky doughs.

    But I had wanted a kitchen aide for a long time. Money was not playing into my favor. Someone offered to sell me one for $50 dollars. [You can read about that here...]

    Someone who wanted to remain anonymous, sent me an email. She had offered to give me a copy of Professional Baking , for free. So I was not going to turn that down. My daughter was ill so I had my husband go pick it up. And when he got there, there was a box on the porch that said "Have Fun Amber!", the box was full of cool things :

    A baking Bounty

    a Stoneware loaf pan; A Black n' Decker "Handy chopper" ; A wire cake cutter ; 4 other baking related books ; 3 large cake molds ; A set of Canape molds ; Unopened - artichoke pesto, almond paste,marzipan, poppy seeds ;A large unopened bag of instant yeast ;a large bag of bay leaves ; A large can of Gum - Tex; A Cream Whipper/filler;

    A copy of The Naked Chef - Jamie Oliver ;

    Jamie Oliver

    A brand new-in box , Zenker "Super Cake Baking Tin - Which I love!

    Hp Zenker

    Her generosity blew me away. I was not asking for charity by any means. I had items listed in my post , which if buying brand new , retail for pretty spendy prices. I specifically noted in the post I would like to purchase used items, at a discounted price. And here I was blessed with this baking bounty.

    How can I convey how great these culinary equipment fairies are??? We humans tend to get caught up in our own pursuits, forgetting there is a world out there. That there are caring people. It is so easy to feel alone, to feel soured by images we see plastered all over the news & television screen. You almost have to grow a hardened shell, retreat into your own little world, to deflect that.

    A Big Thanks To those who have been so kind! Also to my readers, for listening....

    (originally blogged March 22nd, 2005)

    26 May 2005

    Beater 0

    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    This is a close up of a beater for my kitchen aide

    25 May 2005

    Photography : Endless bench 0

    Endless bench
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    24 May 2005

    Photography : Vivid Blues 0

    Blue sky
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    I captured this shot, it was a beautiful sunny spring like day.

    23 May 2005

    Photography : macro shot of whipped cream. 0

    macro shot of whipped cream.
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    I love the texture.

    22 May 2005

    Photography : 16 lb Scales 1

    16 lb Scales
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    Scale, Scale, Scale --> That is what encompasses most of your time in a scratch bakery. Scaling out every ingredient, so as to have the right percentage in your formula. If your scaling is off -- then your product will lack in quality and quantity.

    21 May 2005

    Formula : Chocolate Souffles w/ orange white chocolate sauce 2

    Picture from Godiva.com

    There are many variations for Classique chocolate souffles, this is one of them.
    These can be made in advance, 1 hour before bake off. Serves 6. It is best to use a good quality European, or comparable chocolate. Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine.

    • 6 0z plain Callebaut or Guittard Chocolate
    • 5 1/2 ounce unsalted butter,cut into small pieces
    • 4 large eggs, separated
    • 2 Tbsp orange liqueur (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
    • 3 Tbsp caster sugar

    Generously butter six 2/3 cup ramekins. Sprinkle each with a little caster sugar & tap out the excess. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.

    In a heavy saucepan over a very low heat, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat - let cool slightly, then beat in the egg yolks & orange liqueur. Set aside, stir occasionally.

    Preheat oven to 425°F . In a clean, grease free bowl whisk egg whites slowly until frothy. Add cream of tartar, increase the speed of whisk until they form soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle over the sugar - 1 Tbsp at a time, whisking until the whites are stiff & glossy.

    Stir a third of the whites into the cooled chocolate mixture to lighten it, then pour the chocolate mixture over the remaining whites. Using a rubber spatula or a large metal spoon, gently fold the same sauce into the whites. (don't worry if not completely blended) Spoon into the ramekins.

    Bake Souffles for 10 -12 minutes until risen & set, but still slightly wobbly in the center.

    Dust with icing sugar & decorate with currant sprig & white chocolate rose. Serve white chocolate separately.

    • icing sugar for dusting
    • sprig of red currants & white chocolate roses for garnish

    For the white chocolate sauce:

    Cream the white chocolate pieces into a small sauce pan. Place over a low heat & cook, stirring constantly until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the orange liqueur & orange zest . Pour into a serving jug & keep warm.

    20 May 2005

    The Foodie Manifesto 0

    What is this thing that drives us to savor the cooking or baking practices? Is it cultural traditions - handed down through the ages, surpassing technological advances - famine, war, natural disaster?

    OR does our soul manifest it's self into the gentle rhythms; The pungent aromas; The melding of hands into ingredients, that in turn evolved from soil & wildness?

    Do we as a race feel a longing , not shaped, but materialized into our relationship with the products we make, which will not be satisfied until we can impart the very essence of emotions into our cooking or baking?

    Are we lost - our connections to each other vast and fettered across shallow electronic landscape, lacking personable warmth, which has us chasing a kindred dreamscape of tended dishes & ovens?

    It is not an uncomplicated mess, this revelry we weave. Our hearts , minds and bodies, echo the sentiments we have unearthed in our kitchens; our bakeries; our restaurants.

    We are not fashionable - with our apron strings and bleached towels. Nor are we trendy wearing our food stained hearts on our sleeves. But the tasting --- that is where the poetry awakens.

    --- By Amber © March 06,2005 .All Rights Reserved

    19 May 2005

    Recipe: Orange marinated Fish Fillets w/ Carrots 3

    This Also can be used with chicken, or added to vegetables on the grill.If you are craving something flavorful - with a twist, this will delight your taste buds.

    Orange Marinated Fish Fillets w/ Carrots:

    • 4 catfish or tilapia fillets (6 oz each)
    • 2 TB canola oil
    • salt to taste

    Orange Marinade:

    • 1/2 Cup freshly squeezed orange juice
    • 2 TB white wine
    • 2 Tb lime juice
    • 1 TB olive oil
    • 1/4 Cup minced red onion
    • 1 1/2 TB chopped fresh cilantro leaves

    Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add fish fillets. Marinade for up to one hour.

    Heat a nonstick cooking pan over medium high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat. Remove fish from marinade and pat dry , reserving the marinade. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pan-fry the fillets until browned & crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn fillets & cover with carrots. Reduce the heat and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens. Serve hot.

    Serves 4.

    18 May 2005

    Poetry: Bonds 0

    Where has the wind carried you?

    The distance is chilling me.
    Yet our bonds cannot be severed.

    My heart aches with such a stone -cold.
    The sun cannot dull it.

    For it is etched eternally
    across either of our hands.

    Like a scar, jagged and incomplete in shape.
    Yet, familiar.

    In it's own right...
    ...It makes each of us complete.

    Amber ©Jan. 13, 1998
    All Rights Reserved

    17 May 2005

    I am a frikin baking zombie! 0

    Thursday was a great day. Not only was there harmony in the bakery but there was an overall anticipation.

    Wed. was test day, much earlier than other stations. But I was at ease,
    for the most part - I did get a little careless on my center cuts, but for the
    most part the end product was good.
    As the day progressed, I scaled liquids for the days formulas, started mixing my first formula, (a coffee cake)that would make (14) 9" pans. I was happy to grab the mixer "collar" [used to convert the 60 quart to a 40 quart] that did not dance & girate violently once the bowl was agitated. There were no obnoxious grinding sounds and the soft rythmic echoes of paddle on bowl were almost soothing. I thought about the 4 a.m wakeups, for I was in the early morning station, and how today that would all cease. It was a good feeling. I had been getting 5 hrs of sleep a night, with a lingering cold {3 weeks}, sinus is agitated, my ears are plugged up so communicating is very interesting. All this stress on my body & taking care of the family, was making me turn into some kind of zombie.

    When you have a toddler - rarely do they just go to bed when you want them to. My daughter is no exception. So most nights she has trouble sleeping & wants to climb into bed with us. Well she doesn't lay there light a rug, no she thrashes all over the place in her sleep - It is like being in the ring, her eyes shut, somewhere a bell goes off, she starts throwing punches , elbows fly, then in a martial arts fashion - legs & feet make quick jabs, lethal to anyone near enough for the sparring to make contact. And I am usually victim - no part of my body is immune. Needless to say, I wish she would sleep in her bed.

    16 May 2005

    Formula : Pumpkin Crunch coffee Cake 8

    This is for production ( 14 - 15 cakes ), so if wanting to make at home please use a 1/4 of this recipe.

    This cake is very airy & moist, not to sweet and the right amount of spice. Very good crumb.

    Pumpkin crunch Coffee Cake

    Best done in a 20 QT Mixer.
    Formula key: [1# = 1lb] 

    Pumpkin Crunch
    • 1 # cake shortening
    • 1# 8oz. Cake Flour
    Cream shortening and flour on first speed for 3 minutes.
    • 1# 8 oz. Pumpkin
    Add pumpkin, and mix till blended.
    • 3# Sugar
    • 1# Pastry Flour
    • 1 1/2 oz. Salt
    • 2 1/2 oz. Baking Powder
    • 2 oz. Non-Fat milk
    • 3/4 oz. Cinnamon
    • 1/4 oz. Ginger
    • 1/2 oz. Baking soda
    Add sugar, Pastry flour, salt, baking powder, non-fat milk, cinnamon, ginger and baking soda - mix for 3 minutes in 1st speed.
    • 1# 8 oz. Whole eggs
    Add eggs, unbeaten and mix for 3 minutes in 1st speed.
    • 1# Water
    • 8 oz. Molasses
    Add water and molasses slowly, and mix in 2nd speed for 5 minutes, scrape bowl down.


    Using 9 inch pie pans, lightly spray with pan prep, fill with 11 oz of mix. (makes 14 -15 coffee cakes)

    Top with very fine struesel {no large clumps} - they will collapse the batter during bake.

    Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

    For muffins:

    Scoop with a #16 ice-cream scoop .Use paper liners (or parchment) and spray the top of the muffin tin. Finish with streusel on top (as instructed above).

    15 May 2005

    Recipe: Green Tea Sesame Sauce 4

    O.k I live for asian flavors. I love green tea , & I partake in the tea drinking ceremony atleast twice a day. Here is a recipe that combines some of my favorite ingredients - green tea, garlic, chives & chili pepper. This is not so much a fire in your belly, but a gentle warmth. Serve among good friends.

    Green-tea Sesame Suace
    This is great with chicken, seafood or tofu.

    • 1/4 Cup tahini, well stirred
    • 1 TB exstra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 Cup brewed green tea
    • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
    • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
    • 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
    • 2 TB chives, minced.
    • 1 tsp fresh chilli pepper, minced
    • salt & pepper to taste

    Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. For thinner sauce add more green tea.

    14 May 2005

    Recipe: Mango-Ginger Salsa 7

    Makes 2 1/2 cups:

    Great for grilled vegetables & tofu, or as a dip for chips/crackers. YUMMY!

    • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
    • 1 small red onion, minced (about 1/4 cup)
    • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
    • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 Cup chopped watercress
    • salt & pepper to taste

    In a medium-sized bowl, mix together all ingredients. Serve.

    13 May 2005

    Photography : so-so vs. more like it - danish pastry 0

    so-so vs. more like it - danish pastry
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    12 May 2005

    Pumpernickel Bread 3

    Pumpernickel Bread, originally uploaded by Culinarynovice.

    Bread from the oven cooling.

    11 May 2005

    Phtography : shaping Danish pastry 0

    shaping Danish pastry
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    10 May 2005

    Photography : bench scraper incision 0

    bench scraper incision
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    09 May 2005

    Phtography : bread dough shaping 0

    bread dough shaping
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    08 May 2005

    Photography : take it and shape it! 0

    take it and shape it!
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    Dough is scaled to the proper wieght & ready for shaping. Next it will be put on bread boards & allowed to rise.

    07 May 2005

    Hazelnut -currant bread 0

    Hazelnut -currant bread, originally uploaded by Culinarynovice.

    Fresh from the oven. Falling from the peel into a perferated pan to let cool.

    06 May 2005

    Photography : scaling bread dough 0

    scaling bread dough
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    05 May 2005

    Poetry : The Long Ferment 0

    My thoughts are a cloudy mess
    gluten like epiphanies,
    that meld into a thick opaqueness.

    A forever state of
    complex biochemical changes
    slowly dampen my sweetness.

    A rough life
    my emotions inflate
    leaching into alcoholic fumes.

    I am stretched
    into delicate webbing,
    threatening to break.

    A formula of years
    tears moist yet salty
    friction makes for uniformity.

    Lay me down
    let the realizations
    multiply and engulf me.

    Stowed internally
    eventually I peak,

    Constant reshaping
    proofing the layers
    which precede me.

    I am thick skinned
    yet vulnerable to
    each harsh action.

    Watch my color

    the sheen ---
    the splendor---

    a dull reflection.

    Amber © May 05, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

    04 May 2005

    Photography : Bread dough is patted down to ready for scaling. 0

    Bread dough is patted down to ready for scaling.
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    IF you aren't careful, the dough will hurl it's self off of the work table [bench] so don't position it near the edge! Once you scrape it out of the mixing bowl, you need to gently pat it (bottem edges to top) & into a uniform blob, to then cut it with a bench scraper using a "hot dog cut" [left to right]. A hamburger cut is [up then down].

    If you are scaling large batches it is much easier to divide the dough into halves or thirds, then cut the amount needed for scaling from the smaller portion.

    Plus you aren't spending ineffecient time fumbling with unruly dough. (speed is always a plus when working with anything dough containing yeast - it will proof (rise) prematurely & you cannot fix that. It will ruin your bread or pastry quality.)

    03 May 2005

    5 Strand, braided Challah 0

    5 Strand, braided Chalah, originally uploaded by Culinarynovice.

    Some of the beautiful challah we made today.

    02 May 2005

    Photography : checking dough for gluten development 1

    checking dough for gluten development
    Originally uploaded by abstract2concrete.

    I took some photos of my class mates & the baking in action.

    And For those of you new to the baking bread world -- you might have heard the term "window" , you will find out more about the mixing & fermentation process of bread dough Here.In my archives.

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