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Category ... Photos

Icing Smiles--an Inspiration

Jul 29, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2017

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My friend, Lenny Taub, send me these photos of cakes created by his friend Aimee Lambing for a special charity. He wrote that Aimee has never had a baking lesson but loves to bake and took a cake decorating class at a community college. Not only is the quality of her work impressive, her generosity is on equal par: She is creating these cakes for a charity called Icing Smiles that delivers cakes to critically ill children.

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My Top Favorite Photo & Travel Adventure

Mar 11, 2017 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories 2017

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CHEF HIROSHI YOSHIKAWA

Over the years, I have had many wonderful travel experiences, but if there had been just one to choose from, without hesitation it would be my visit to the Sakumas in Kyoto.

Yoko Sakuma was my student when I ran the Cordon Rose Cooking School. She took several of the classes more than once, and when I asked her why, she explained in her now exquisite English: There were two reasons. First, you were so kind and patient to teach an actually novice like me at baking. So, I did not hesitate to avail myself of the opportunity to learn till I understood what you taught. Second, as I had just begun NY life and could not understand English well, your baking classes were also English classes for me. You were not only a teacher of baking but also an excellent English teacher though you might not recognize it. Accordingly, I could learn more English than in the actual English class at NYU.

Never have I met a more dignified, truly sweet, and beautifully spiritual soul, who became my life-long friend. When finally Yoko and Ushio returned to Japan, Yoko wrote to me that they would be living for a very short time in Kyoto--exquisite city of artisans. She explained that the apartments were very small and that the only oven she would have room for was a toaster oven, which either burned the bottom of the cake or the top. She said that she could not live too many years in a place which had no oven, and urged me to come and visit them while they were still there. I promised that I would and that when I came, I would teach her how to bake a cake in a toaster oven.

When I arrived, Yoko presented me with a carefully detailed itinerary of my stay, saying that it was not a rigid schedule and that if I wanted to change anything that would be fine. I did not! What followed was more than a week of amazing dinners and trips including to Nara, and to a visit to Horyuji--the oldest wooden temple in the world that exists at present, dating back to 607 AD.

The dining experience that was most profoundly unforgettable was at a tiny sushi restaurant "Matsu (pine tree) Sushi." There were only 5 seats, all at the counter, and we three watched in fascination as the sushi was prepared. Yoko and Ushio explained to me that the fish, which was white on the outside and black on the inside, was called Sayori. Mr. Hiroshi Yoshikawa told them that there was a phrase of "Sayori beauty? in Kyoto. According to him, "Sayori beauty" means a woman who is very beautiful but malicious at heart. Sayori is very beautiful lean silver fish but its inside color is ugly black.

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Mr. Hiroshi Yoshikawa, the master, did not speak english so the Sakumas carefully translated everything. They explained that his father before him owned the restaurant and was so respected he had access to the best fish which was a rarity for this inland city. But Mr. Yoshikawa would not allow his son to take over because he felt he did not have the proper spirit.

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It was when he was deftly shaping one of the sushis, and his hands curved around it like a dancer's, that I started taking photos, hoping to catch that exact moment. I must have tried about 5 times as that was before digital cameras so I had no way of knowing if I had gotten the shot until he said something emphatic which was translated as "she got it!" He had intuited what I was hoping for and with the precision of a Zen archer who can shoot an arrow into his target with eyes closed, knew when it had arrived. Before leaving he asked the Sakumas if I would send him my book which, of course, I was honored to do on my return to the US.

Mr. Yoshikawa is now over eighty years old. He has been saying that the climate change has had a serious effect on fish, shellfish, and other seafood. They are often too small or too big, and accordingly not tasty, but also are not caught by fishermen or bay men in the right season. So he has decided the time has come to close the restaurant.

Now for the solution to that toaster oven which had two levels. If baking on the higher level the top of the cake burned; if baking on the lower level, the bottom of the cake burned. So I suggested that we try double panning to protect the bottom and to bake on the lower level to protect the top of the cake. It worked.

The most special treasure I brought back was this antique traveling sake cup gifted to me by Ushio after we visited a sake manufacturer and museum. The metal stand enables it to swing back and forth so that the sake doesn't spill a single drop during a train ride!

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Elizabeth Andoh, a former New Yorker and much esteemed colleague who has been living in Tokyo most of her life, writing wonderful books on Japanese cooking, once told me a story which I cherish. She said that there was to be a contest of two renowned culinary sensei (master teachers) but only one showed up. The other sent his best student. If I were in that position I would send Yoko.

My Author Portraits by Matthew Septimus

Nov 19, 2016 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

January, 2010, the Fashion Institute of Technology featured me in their first bi-annual magazine to feature graduates who ended up with a career in the food world. They assigned photographer Matthew Septimus to do the portrait. I told FIT that I had many press photos so there was no need to waste everyone's time with yet another one, but they insisted that Matthew was so gifted it would be worth doing it. And boy was I glad they did. He shot this candid photo which I have been using ever since because it was the only one that managed to capture the mischievous side of my personality! In parting, Matthew said that it was his hope that someday we would work together.

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Seven years later, I chose Matthew to become the photographer for our upcoming Rose's Baking Basics. He has driven all the way from Brooklyn, NYC to Hope, New Jersey for 21 days of step-by-step photo shoots, usually three days a week. And he took this new portrait for the upcoming book.

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When we were enjoying our end of the day espresso and desserts, Woody tried to take a photo of Matthew and me together but Matthew, ever humble, resisted.

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If you'd like to see a sampling of his exceptional work you can view his site.

And here is my favorite photos of him and his son Ezra.
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Hector's Magnificent Xmas Cake

Dec 25, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

A work of art!

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A "take" on my Deep Chocolate Passion cake made with avocado oil instead of canola oil.

Flourless Nut Torte Technique Photos

Mar 28, 2015 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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While going through and editing out over 2000 of my photos on the computer I discovered this great series of step-by-step photos, taken by Woody, of the Hungarian Jancsi Torta from Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

As I have just posted a coffee pecan version of the cake, we thought it would be helpful to share the technique photos that are essentially the same.

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GROUND WALNUTS

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CHOPPED CHOCOLATE PRIOR TO MIXING

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MIXED CHOCOLATE AND WALNUTS

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EGG YOLKS AND SUGAR TO BE BEATEN

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EGG YOLKS RIBBONY

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STIRRING IN CHOCOLATE AND WALNUTS

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YOLKS, WALNUTS, AND CHOCOLATE MIXED

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VERY STIFFLY BEATEN EGG WHITES

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WHITES FOLDED IN

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PREPARED PAN WITH PARCHMENT IF UNDER 3 INCHES HIGH

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BATTER BEFORE BAKING

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FULLY BAKED AND DOMED CAKE

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CAKE OUT OF OVEN AND BEGINNING TO SINK

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UNMOLDED

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COOLING

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THE CUT CAKE

Judging a Pie Contest at Gramercy Tavern NYC 11-25-14

Nov 27, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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Talk about fun: 17 pies to taste, all made by the delightful staff at Gramercy Tavern and orchestrated by pastry chef Miro. More details to come!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! may your pies be wonderful.

One Special Cookie

Aug 19, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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I have a wonderful friend, Marko Gnann, who travels the world and brings or sends back, among other things, some great baking ideas. It was he who introduced me to the Kouign Amann which now graces the cover of my upcoming book The Baking Bible.

Marko's latest contribution is this adorable cookie from Barcelona. He reports that the cookie consisted of "a very nicely balanced shortbread with the right amount of salt and then the chocolate for a sweeter section." Last I visited the city I was stunned by the creativity taking place in the bakeries throughout the city. Thought you'd all enjoy this photo.

The Hot Weather Bread!

Jun 17, 2014 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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Hawaii Part Seven (Seventh Heaven)

Mar 09, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Visit to The Keck Telescopes--Luca Rizzi Day

The long-awaited day finally arrived. Hector and his partner Christopher, Woody, and I, and Hector's good friend Luca Rizzi set out for the long and gradual ascent up to Mauna Kea, elevation 13,600 ft. It is here that Hector photographed one of his first "Hector's Takes on My Cakes," and it is the first time that it is being posted in this extraordinary top of the world setting. Cake_at_Manua-Kea.jpg

Luca is an astronomer who works in a complex near Hilo and at the W. M. Keck Observatory. The observatory houses two identical telescopes. The first was built in 1993 and the second one was completed in 1996. Luca explained that the observatory looks more like a mechanical shop and warehouse with some computer rooms, than a pristine scientific laboratory. Each telescope weighs over 300 tons. The 36 hexagonal segments required to compose the primary mirrors make these telescopes the largest observable telescopes in the world.
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On the telescopes, each segment is kept stable by a system of active optics, which uses extremely rigid support structures in combination with adjustable warping harnesses. During observation, a computer-controlled system of sensors and actuators adjusts the position of each segment, relative to its neighbors, to an accuracy of four nanometers. This twice-per-second adjustment counters the effect of gravity as the telescope moves, in addition to other environmental effects that can affect the mirror shape.

Luca methodically went over safety precautions and possible health effects of the extremely high altitude, checking on us from time to time. We walked and moved around in slow motion to minimize any possible effects in the 50˚F/10˚C temperature designed to mirror the outside environment.

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We were dwarfed by the over-two story tall sphere structure of the telescope. Luca explained various telescope apparati that are stationed around a walkway surrounding the telescopes, which can be attached to the telescopes for particular experiments. One spectrometer was cooled to just above absolute zero -456˚F/-273˚C.

Hector put together this spectacular slide show of our visit to the Keck Telescopes.

Continue reading "Hawaii Part Seven (Seventh Heaven)" »

Hawaii Part Six

Mar 02, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Touring around The Big Island

Back in Kona we were eagerly anticipating the tour that Hector had been planning over the past 7 years awaiting our visit.

We had been hearing about Ken Love and were greatly looking forward to meeting him. Ken Love is a larger than life person and it would take a book to do him justice. In a macadamia nut shell, he travels around the world researching and giving lectures. KenLove.jpg

Love wears many hats. He is president of Love Family Farms on the Big Island and has been growing pineapple, and numerous other tropical fruit for nearly 30 years. He is vice president of the Kona Kohala Chefs Association ACF. As president of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers he is instrumental in the development of prototype sustainable agriculture systems for farmers in Hawaii. He assists growers with market development for unusual tropical fruit by establishing farmer chef relations and agtourism options. Most recently Love has recently performed a feasibility study on marketing Kona coffee in South India and is currently assisting with avocado market research and managing fig variety trials. He has just completed filming a documentary with Bill Pullman, called "The Fruit Hunter."
So you can imagine how at lunch with him at the Nasturtium Café, over bison burger, chicken with mango chutney, and fish quesadillas, we were all spellbound by his contributions and accomplishments.

After lunch Ken invited us for a tour of his amazing farm. In the front yard we got to taste an orange from a tree that is the oldest orange tree in the United States, planted in 1792 by botanist Archibold Menzies. KenLove+oldest_tree.jpeg

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We followed Ken through the gardens tasting all manor of exotic tropical fruits including mangosteens, noni (a South American cure-all fruit), dragon fruit, white fruit with black seeds, huge ugli fruit, Tahitian gooseberries, bilimbi (used for salad oils and pestos), guava, bread fruit (sought after in the story of Mutiny on the Bounty), and rambutan.

Continue reading "Hawaii Part Six" »

Hawaii Part Five

Feb 23, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Last Day in Honolulu Brunch at Hector and Visit to Pearl Harbor


On our last day in Honolulu, Hector wanted us to meet as many of his friends and family as possible given the size of the apartment. Eight people attended, each bringing a special dish. Debbie Story, who offered to pick us up from the hotel along with cups of coffee, made fabulous spinach, mushroom, gruyère, and poached egg casserole (she gave me permission to post the recipe in future). Hector-breakfast-and-us.jpg

The buffet table was laden with goodies from pastries to Chinese dim sum to Portuguese sausages. Hector_Breakfast.jpg

Kevin Kawahara brought delicious squares of pumpkin mochi. He also brought a jar of mango chutney and of lilikoi butter (passion curd) prepared by the students at the Punahou School where he works as part of the IT staff and where President Obama was once a student. Kevin explained to us the special story behind the preserves:
The students make these preserves each year to sell at the Punahou Carnival held on the first weekend of February. The carnival is put on by the junior class and parents, and supported by the entire Punahou community. All proceeds from carnival are used to help fund the financial aid budget - the same fund that helped put Barack Obama through Punahou! One of the more popular and famous parts of Carnival is the Mango Chutney. Just before all the mangoes start to ripen, students and parents collect green mangoes and spend hours and hours peeling, slicing, cooking, and canning the chutney to sell. It is only available twice a year - once at the Christmas craft fair, and then at the carnival. People wait in line for hours to buy as little as a single jar. While almost everyone knows about Punahou Carnival Mango Chutney, the lilikoi butter is in much shorter supply, and arguably more desirable - it disappears before the chutney.

Continue reading "Hawaii Part Five" »

Hawaii Part Four

Feb 16, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

The Culinary Demo at the Leeward Community College, Honolulu and Hector's Yellow Kitchen

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I was thrilled when Hayley Matson Mathes invited me to give a baking demo in Honolulu. Hayley is executive director of the Hawaii Culinary Educational Foundation, a charitable organization that brings in chefs from all over the world to give classes and workshops to culinary students. She and her charming husband Mike were the best of hosts. They picked Woody and me up at the Honolulu airport and brought us to the Halekulani 5 star hotel at Waikiki beach, with a glorious ocean view from every room, where Haley arranged for us to stay for two nights.

Hector picked us up for dinner at his apartment, home of The Yellow Kitchen, where we met his delightful partner Christopher Obenchain. Christopher is a free lance actor, who occasionally does commercials. He is also working on his PHD in education. He gave us a short viewing of his cameo appearance as a waiter in one of my very favorite movies "Dirty Dancing!"

I don't know how Hector managed it, having been with us in Kona up until that morning and doing most of the prep for the upcoming baking class, then making us a tasty Peruvian dinner of Hake fish with rice and a sauce of Aji Panca marinade: vinegar, cumin, garlic, oregano,aji panca, and a touch of soy sauce. (Aji panca is a Peruvian dried chili pepper which gives a dark red color and has almost no taste. It is similar to paprika.), and onion salad. For dessert, the "Hector's Take on My Cake" chocolate oblivion made with avocado instead of butter. If I hadn't spotted a tiny bit of avocado green I never would have suspected it was there!

In the Yellow Kitchen, Hector has established his personal signature with as many appliances and tools as possible in yellow. Christopher even painted the frig yellow and made a hanging ceiling light from a yellow colander.photo 1-1.jpg

The second bedroom is set up as a baking studio. It was quite amazing to see how much Hector could fit into this space. Even the inside of the cabinet doors have brackets for tools to make more storage. photo 2-2.jpg

Continue reading "Hawaii Part Four" »

Hawaii Part Three

Feb 09, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Hawaiian Home
Our home base for the entire visit to Hawaii was at Patti and Marty Kimball's beautiful home high in the Kona Mountains with a panoramic view of the ocean below.Ocean liners and their entourage of smaller boats looked like toy boats in one's bathtub.

The first thing we both noticed before entering the house was this stunning 'dinosaur egg' cement planter made by Marty's brother Mark Kimball.

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Imagine being able to go out into one's half acre yard to pick passion fruit, several varieties of avocado (Marty explained that the most delicious, the large and plump Kahalu'u variety cannot be exported because of it's loose pit that shakes around during transport damaging the flesh), mangoes, oranges, apple bananas, papaya, pineapple, star fruit, and all manner of vegetables. Truly we had landed in tropical paradise. A paradise with no snakes as years ago the mongoose population wiped them out, however, the Coqui frogs, which have no other natural predators, abound. We were serenaded by their bird-like chirping all night until the roosters took over at 4:00 am (Many Hawaiians have a slightly different opinion of this concert!). This created a life-style of early to bed and early to rise--ideal as the best time for ocean swims to prevent sunburn is before the sun rises too high.

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During our swim at Kahalu'u, a favorite of the locals, we saw many of the fish that I had seen growing up in my cousin's aquarium. Hector held up a rock to attract them. The black, white, and yellow angelfish and butterfly fish with their long streamers, the bright yellow tang fish, and blue parrotfish all flocked to him.

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After our swim we went to Sam Choy's for lunch, recommended by my dear friend Leslie Harlib, formerly food editor of the Marin County News. She said it was the best view on the Big Island but she didn't know at the time about the view we were to have chez Kimballs! The food was quite good. We had our first fish, poke, two ways: marinated, w/onions and chives, and fried w/cabbage. We also sampled another of Hector's favorite fish, ono w/ brown rice and purple sweet potatoes.

Continue reading "Hawaii Part Three" »

Hawaii Part Two

Feb 02, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

Culinary Event at the Fairmont


Things started off with a bang: We were invited to a special event at the Fairmont Hotel, coordinated by Hector's friend chef Patti Kimball. It was the Culinary & Wine Extravaganza Charity Event for the Kitchen Campaign Palamanui to buy equipment for the school. Hector arranged to have three of my cookbooks at the auction!

On the way to the Fairmont Hotel we were treated to a landscape of black lava, decorated with personal messages written with small white rocks. We thought about bringing some lava rock home as souvenirs but were warned by Hector that the goddess Pele would bring bad luck to anybody who does this. As we drove up to the hotel it seemed strangely familiar. It took a few days to discover that Elliott and I had stayed there 18 years ago when it was called the Ritz.

The hotel was decorated for Christmas which included this unusual gingerbread house.
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The first person we met turned out to be a colleague of mine I hadn't seen since she moved to Hawaii: The chairwoman of the event Jean W. Hull (pictured with Hector below, at breakfast the next morning)

Hector describes Jean as the Grand Dame of Hawaii Culinary. She wrote the curriculum for the West Hawaii Culinary College and now is a consultant for major culinary events

Out in the garden, chef students helped man the booths. After meeting our host Patti Kimball, we raced around to try to taste everything!
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Favorites were the ginger chicken salad, wild boar meatballs, and eggplant cake frosted with avocado.
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We met and were charmed by French born chef Fernand Guiot who opened a bakery in New York in 1980 and a few years later opened a bakery in Hawaii. He now teaches at the culinary school. It was his students who made the gingerbread house above and several other ones, under his supervision.
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The next morning we were treated to the brunch buffet and were blown away by chef Curtis Lea making omelets. Not only were the omelets made with Portuguese sausages, cheddar and spinach so good we had to go back for seconds, Breakfast_Fairmont.jpeg
what impressed us still more was when he volunteered that having a metal prosthesis served as a great advantage. He never worries about burning or cutting his left hand or arm, and can run the metal device under boiling water to sterilize it. (Talk about silver linings!) Patti told us later that she and he were in culinary school together and the students all took up a collection to buy him a better prosthesis. Curtis_Lea.jpg

Hector and Jean at Breakfast

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Before departing for Patti's home we walked to the hotel beach and learned that the white sand was imported from California. A few of the beaches in Hawaii are black sand, but there are also beaches of plain rock, lava rock, and white sand. The Fairmont is located in an area where there is a mixed landscape of all these forms and colors.

Finally Meeting Hector Wong in Hawaii

Jan 26, 2013 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

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Hector Wong and I first met over the internet in December of 2006 when he posted a question on my blog about Panettone. Since that time we have had an enormous influence over each other's lives. Hector baked his way through many of the recipes in The Cake Bible and all of the recipes in Rose's Heavenly Cakes. He read through all of my books and became intimately familiar with my work and in the process became a masterful baker. His renditions of my cakes were so stunning I gave him a spot on the blog called "Hector's Take on My Cake." And Hector taught me how to make the leap from a PC to a Mac and innumerable techniques on the computer. He also edited and posted over 150 of my video and tv appearances on YouTube so that every one could benefit. He also often jumps in to answer questions on the blog. It hardly seems possible that we have been friends for 6 years, only having spoken once on the phone, but having exchanged hundreds of e-mails.

Hector has been inviting me for several years to come to visit him in Hawaii. Finally the time came this past December to meet in person. It took a lot of planning on all our parts and even included a culinary demo at Leeward Community College, arranged by another wonderful new friend Haley MatsonMathes.

The 10 day visit was the trip of a lifetime. And for Hector, it meant achieving several of his wishes:
A chance to interview me over the period of many days and long car trips
The chance to do a drop dead mis en place for my demo
The perfect opportunities to show off his baking and culinary skills
Getting me to taste his avocado rendition of my chocolate oblivion
And to work together to create a Hawaiian adaptation of one of my favorite recipes that will be in the upcoming book.

The trip included so many special highlights that I've divided it into several postings to share with all of you and I hope that you will feel almost as if you were there. Truly it was an embarrassment of riches: the people, the fruit, the demo, the landscape, swimming in the ocean. The most unusual highlight, the visit to the Keck Telescopes on Mauna Kea, arranged and led by the astronomer himself, Hector's close friend Luca Rizzi, was video taped by Hector along with appropriate music. It will be posted in the posting about touring in a few weeks time. Do Not Miss It!!!

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Woody flew out of the Twin Cities, Minnesota, which had 14 inches of snow
I from out of cloudy gray, 40˚F/4˚C New York City
We both arrived to 80˚F/27˚C sunny Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

L'Heure Bleu au Claire de la Lune

Sep 29, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

I've always loved this French expression for twilight which translates as the blue hour. One early evening I had the good fortune to captured it on film just as the moon was beginning to rise out of the east, behind some buildings of Manhattan, as seen from my window.

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Hector's Birthday Cake

Jun 23, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

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Hector never fails to amaze me with his unending stream of creativity, and imagination, and skill to engineer one exquisite cake after another. This latest one was for his own birthday in May. Here is his enchantingly delightful description:

"For my 43rd birthday, I baked my own cake with my own recipe. This cake is inspired from Rose's Tropical Wedding Cake, and what an experience it is!

I celebrated my birthday on 5/19 at a friend's house, who I graciously asked to cook dinner for us! We were 18 guests and I kindly asked that in lieu of gifts, to please bring money to pay the cost of dinner. I offered to bring the cake (indeed nobody had a second thought on this). We turned to be 25 guests, and what a blast we had. The food was peruvian and plenty. We ate for close to 3 hours and we managed to finish this cake which normally feeds 110 people.

The cake was flourless. And in my opinion, unbelievable to achieve. I don't have much to report yet, but all I can say, is that you can eat cake without using flour. Currently, I am experimenting with a straight substitution of flour with corn starch and by using a different mixing method. The resulting cake tends to dry out faster, however the taste is PERFECT and it melts in your mouth. I am so pleased and can't wait to one day write The Corn Starch Cake Bible ...Rose approves...

The cake is frosted with coconut buttercream, and you can find the recipe on myyellowkitchen.

From Hector, with love, to my friends and family who shared my 43rd birthday dinner, here is a banana cake with coconut buttercream, baked on a pair of 12" and 8" heart cake pans, stacked off center, and decorated with fresh coconut and white chocolate pearls. The buttercream is infused with Koloa brand dark rum."

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My New Top of the World Office Tree House in Hope

Jan 21, 2012 | From the kitchen of Rose in Special Stories

My office in Hope was a 6 foot deep space at the end of a narrow cat walk. If I had gained 5 pounds I would no longer have been able to squeeze into the space between the back of my desk chair and the front of my desk. It never seemed like a good time to commit to construction but this summer, in between book projects, it seemed like it was now or never.

My friend Patty Maertons asked her husband Edgar for a recommendation as he is the local dry wall expert. He suggested Chris Smigel, saying everyone has wonderful things to say about him. Now I know why! Not only did he go above and beyond my expectations, he and his team cleaned up so thoroughly every Friday that when we arrived for the weekend it was almost as though no one had been there. And how exciting it was each week to see the latest transformations. (It was Chris who recommended the delightful architect Art Demarest.)

Another friend, Margaret Kurzman, who lives in nearby Blairstown and also New York City, and has had vast professional experience in renovations, offered excellent advice and moral support. No matter how wonderful the contractor, having your home "invaded" has to be one of life's most unsettling experiences.

There are always new decisions that have to be made along the way and plans that don't work out quite as expected but the only real drama was being awakened one night by not one but two bats that had made their way into the house and into the bedroom! Was I hysterical? Of course--I'm still somewhat of a city girl when it comes to things like that but I've been working on myself to think of them as my friends as they are known to eat mosquitoes and hopefully their taste will turn to stink bugs as well!

I may have lost most of the summer being so involved in the renovation but it was worth it. The new office is truly paradise.

Here are a few before and after photos.

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Extending the office 20 feet over the porch turned out to require hand drilling into the boulders to create secure footings. The area was too small to bring in heavy machinery so this took longer than a day and much effort.

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We hadn't planned for a lofted ceiling but when I saw the framing I fell in love with the feeling of airy spaciousness. Chris said he knew when I saw it I'd feel that way and he agreed. He made it happen.

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The completed office.

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Found the perfect fan out of 100's on line.

A Stunning Holiday Cake Roll

Dec 27, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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Fellow blogger Suzanne Lenzer shared with us this impressive chocolate roll spread with apricot and glazed with lacquer glaze--all components from Rose's Heavenly Cakes except for the flourless chocolate roll from The Cake BIble.

Congratulations Suzanne!

Hector's Take on My Cake Collage

Dec 18, 2011 | From the kitchen of Rose in Photos

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Hector has put together an amazing photo collection of all the cakes he made from his personal bake through of Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

If you click on this link you will see each photo in a drop down line and each one can be opened for larger viewing plus more photos and comments about the specific cake.

Has any cookbook author ever received greater validation of her (or his) work?! I live happy.

Rose's Chocolate Baking Essentials on Craftsy

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