Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ice Skating Penguins

Ice Skating Penguins
Ice Skating Penguins - wee!!
Ice Skating Penguins
Ice Skating Penguins
I had my eye on these cute Ice Skating Penguins for months, and finally made them over the weekend. They are so adorable and fun to make. I made some round cookies using the pistachio sugar cookie recipe from my previous post, (Pistachio Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins) for this DIY. See pics and more details below.

They are so cute!
They are skating!
I used royal icing (turquoise, white, orange and black) to decorate the cookies and made penguins out of black jelly beans. I used orange royal icing for the beak and feet, and white for the belly and eyes. For the penguin eyes, I used a toothpick and dipped it into royal icing. To make the skate lines in the icing, I waited for it to dry and used a toothpick and made two lines.

Having fun on ice!
Ice Skating Penguins
Ice Skating Penguins
I made the penguin feet and to affix the penguin onto it, I used a brush lightly dipped in corn syrup on the bottom of it and pressed it onto the feet. I tried to affix one penguin with royal icing and it fell over so use the corn syrup. It works great as an adhesive. This would be a great DIY to do with kids so give it a try! It is really a fun project and easy too.

Ice Skating Penguins on ice
Ice Skating Penguins
Ice Skating Penguins
For the Ice Skating Penguins DIY, visit sheknows:

For the Pistachio Cookie Recipe, visit Ann Clark Cookie Cutters:

For the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial, visit Joy of Baking:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pistachio Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins

Pistachio Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins

Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins
Polar Bears and Penguins
I found a pistachio sugar cookie recipe on Pinterest, and last weekend I bought pistachios to try it out. I could not let winter leave without making arctic cookies of polar bears and penguins. I baked and decorated the cookies Saturday and it was pretty much my day. I used salted pistachios, so I did not add additional salt to the recipe. The pistachios need to be finely ground, and I use a coffee grinder just for nuts and spices and think it works better than a standard food processor. The pistachio sugar cookies are so yummy, not too sweet and have just the right amount of salt. You can taste the lemon zest and the pistachios give the cookie a great texture and flavor. If you use unsalted pistachios, add 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt. See recipe below.

Polar Bears
Yield: 5 1/2 Dozen Cookies (depending on cutter size)

5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour, sifted

1 1/2 cups Salted Pistachio Nuts, finely ground

1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

Zest of 2 Lemons

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into cubes

2 Eggs, cold

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract


Pulse pistachios in coffee grinder or food processor until finely ground.

In a large bowl combine grounded pistachios, sugar, and lemon zest; set aside.

Cream butter in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for a 10 seconds.

Add pistachio mixture, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Fat Penguins
Oval Penguins

With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Cut in half and roll dough into 2 balls, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight or for 30-45 minutes in the freezer if pressed for time.

Take half of the dough leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in fridge until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Polar Bear and Penguin
Polar Bear wearing a scarf and Penguin
Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Dip cutters in flour, shake off excess, and make shapes with cutters.

Place onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

Place cookie sheets in freezer for 10-15 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 12 minutes.

Wait 5 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

Polar Bear and Penguin
Penguin and  Polar Bear

Large Batch Royal Icing
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract


In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar, set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

Royal Icing and Wilton Food Writer
I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors needed for tinting.

I used AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Orange, Turquoise, and Super Black. Use 1-2 drops at a time until you reach the color desired.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

I transferred the icing immediately into squeeze bottles using a small funnel to prevent spilling.

I do an outline on each cookie first
If the royal icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spray a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I outlined the cookies first, waited 1/2 hour and then filled them.

Use a paintbrush or cookie stick to reach edges, and use tip of cookie stick or a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

If you are using sprinkles, confetti, sugar pearls, dragees, etc... add them over wet icing.

Congrats cookie for coworker who just completed his Ph.D.
If you want to write over the royal icing, let it dry first and then apply over the icing. I did this using a black Wilton Food Writer for the Congrats cookie I made for my coworker Ray who just earned his Ph.D. I added stars in different colors over wet royal icing. I used a little white luster dust with a small brush to make the cookie shimmer.

Let cookies dry overnight. This is essential so the icing does not stick together when you stack them or place in cookie tins for gifts.

If you are baking and it is humid, allow more time for the cookies to dry.

For the Pistachio Cookie Recipe, visit Ann Clark Cookie Cutters:

For the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial, visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Turkey Bolognese with Smokehaus Blues

Turkey Bolognese with Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce

Turkey Bolognese with Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce
I love making a hearty bolognese and for this quick, under 30 minute bolognese dinner, I use organic ground turkey since it is lean and tastes great when infused with the right amount of spices. I had 2 tablespoons left of Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce, and added it to my sauce. The pleasant yet medium heat of Smokehaus Blues highlights the bolognese, and adds a welcome touch of smokey flavor that does not overpower. Smokehaus Blues ingredients are: diced tomatoes (diced, tomato juice, salt), distilled vinegar, cayenne pepper, roasted garlic, Chipotle Chile, onion and lime juice. The fresh taste of Smokehaus Blues compliments the robust flavor profile, and with each bite you get a zesty kick from the Chipotle that lingers and makes you crave more. Smokehaus Blues is a versatile sauce and works great as an addition to many recipes. Allen consumed most of the bottle on pizza, eggs, turkey burgers, and breakfast burritos. Two Frys highly recommend Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce so see link below to order a bottle or two or three.

Turkey Bolognese and Garlic Bread

1 lb. Organic Ground Turkey

1 lb. Spaghetti (I use Barilla Spaghetti)

1 24 oz. Pasta Sauce Jar (I use Barilla or make homemade if you have time)

1 teaspoon Tomato Paste

2 tablespoons Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Yellow Onion, chopped

4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced

Coarse Salt

Cracked Black Pepper

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

Bunch fresh Parsley, roughly chopped

1 Bay Leaf

1 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Ground Turkey cooking

Roughly chop a bunch of parsley; set aside.

With a skillet on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and when hot add ground turkey, season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning; add onions and bay leaf.

Cover and cook for about 7 minutes stirring often, and then add garlic. Continue cooking.

After 5 minutes add pasta sauce, tomato paste, and Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce. Stir, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.

Sauce simmering
To make the spaghetti bring a large pot of water to boil.

Once the water boils add coarse salt and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

Add the spaghetti and cook to Al Dente, according to box directions.

Before draining spaghetti, reserve about 3/4 cup of starchy pasta water.

Drain spaghetti and return to pot.

Adding Born to Hula Smokehaus Blue to my sauce
Remove bay leaf and add turkey bolognese in skillet to pasta pot, then the reserved pasta water, and stir.

Add shredded Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese and combine.

Add parsley and combine.

Add more Parmesan cheese over the top and serve with garlic bread if desired.

To order Born to Hula Smokehaus Blues Hot Sauce and other fine products, visit:

"Like" Born to Hula Hot Sauce on Facebook:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Olón - Atlantic City Restaurant Week

Olón - Atlantic City Restaurant Week

Allen with his pork sandwich and fries
I am loving the decor
Menu for Atlantic City Restaurant Week
Chef Jose Garces grand opening of Olón was March 4, and we were there for lunch a few days later, March 7 to experience the Atlantic City Restaurant Week lunch menu. The name Olón (pronounced Ō-lon) is inspired by the beach town of Olón, Ecuador. This predominantly seafood oriented restaurant featuring Chef Garces' family recipes is an inviting beach-like experience with gorgeous decor, and cabanas (see picture) and out the windows, a sweeping view of the ocean and the Atlantic City boardwalk.

Guacamole with Plantain and Taro Chips
Close-up of Guacamole
Close-up of Plantain and Taro Chips
My Sofrito Salsa with Plantain and Taro Chips
As you enter Olón, there is a ceviche bar and lounge that is spectacular. The restaurant is large and the natural light and warm and open design concept brings you to the beach. There is even an outdoor deck with views of the beach to dine in once warm weather arrives.

My fish sandwich and fries
Close-up of my fish sandwich and slaw
My fries - yummy!

The lunch menu featured the following:
(Choose 1)
Guacamole - Avocado, Roasted Jalapeño, Cojita Cheese, Taro Chips

Sofrito Salsa - Plantain and Taro Chips

Cheese Empanada - Ricotta, Mozzarella

(Choose 1)
Chicken Sandwich - Gilled chicken, Bacon, Avocado, Huancaina Sauce, Tomato

Pork Sandwich - Pickled Jalapeño, Roasted Onions, Cilantro Mayo

Fish Sandwich - Yuzu Tartar Sauce, Butter Lettuce, Cabbage & Red Onion Slaw

(Choose 1)
Coconut Parfait - Mango Pearls, Pistachio Cream

Flan - Spiced Caramel Custard

Allen's pork sandwich and fries
Close-up of Allen's pork sandwich
Allen ordered the guacamole, pork sandwich and coconut parfait for dessert. The guacamole was spicy and so fresh tasting and the gourmet plantain and taro chips were thinly sliced and complimented the guacamole. The pork sandwich was tasty and the kick from the pickled jalapeños brought all the flavors together into a superb sandwich. The cilantro mayo complimented the bold pork seasoning. The coconut parfait brought you to the beach with lovely summer flavors of mango and coconut.

My flan
Allen's lovely coconut parfait
Close-up of Allen's coconut parfait
I ordered the sofrito salsa, fish sandwich and flan. The sofrito salsa was seasoned beautifully, and I loved the crunch of the plantain and taro chips. Each bite of the fish sandwich was super yummy with a crunch from the cabbage and red onion slaw, and a flavorful and creamy yuzu tartar sauce to top it off. The fries were seasoned and sliced thin and fried to perfection. The flan was refreshing and complimented the spiced caramel sauce laden over the top and all around the sides of the plate.

Nice restaurant logo
Decor is so nice and inviting
Love the cabana style dining area and the floors
This was a wonderful eating experience and everything we ate was superb. The flavors were bold, bright and the ingredients meshed perfectly. The food was a sublime symmetry of ingredients laden with the right amount of spices and flavors. The staff and waitress were friendly, and two managers came to our table and asked us how we were enjoying the food. We plan to return for dinner, and hope to dine outside in the deck next time we visit Tropicana.

Beachy feel, pretty chairs and tables
Love the floor

For further information, please visit:
Olón -

Olón at Tropicana -

-Sophia and Allen/Two Frys