Kiss My Bundt

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Help Us Feed Families on Christmas Eve

Every Christmas Eve, a group of volunteers for Operation Santa North Hollywood get together to deliver christmas wishes to children in the Valley communities. Some families opt to pick up their gifts and take a photo with Santa and his elves.

After speaking with many family members over the years, we learned that food insecurity is an issue our families face in addition to the inability to buy gifts for their children.

2014 will be the second Christmas Eve where we will be providing food and gifts to our network of families.  And, we still need your help!


Three Ways To Help

(1) You can donate money by clicking this link.  Chrysta will use 100% of the funds to purchase ingredients to prepare the Christmas eve meal.        

(if you need the donation to be tax deductible, contact Chrysta for the link to donate through Los Angeles Valley College, our fiscal sponsor)


(2) You can also donate any of the following food items and get them to Chrysta by Tuesday December 23th.

  • 200 paper plates
  • 200 spoons, knives, forks
  • 200 napkins
  • 48 cupcakes (1 volunteer)
  • 48 cupcakes (1 volunteer)
  • 48 cupcakes (1 volunteer)
  • 48 cupcakes (1 volunteer)
  • 24 sterno cans


(3) You can also volunteer with me on Wednesday December 24th between 8am-1:30pm.  The Volunteer location is Los Angeles Valley College.   Address will be provided to volunteers.

As an on-site volunteer, you can come for any time commitment you'd like.  You will be doing tasks, such as:

  • Drop off packaged food items or serving items that you purchased(paper plates, cups, cupcakes, etc)
  • Help us decorate the food service areas (set up tables and chairs, set up buffet area)
  • Help us prepare food items for an on-site Christmas Eve Buffet from 11:30am-1:00pm.
  • Help us serve our families from 11:30am-1:00pm

Dishing on Movies: Hangover Hash!

On this week's episode of Dishing on Movies, we make the perfect dish to get you through your next hangover





Hash Ingredients

4 medium sized potatoes (sweet potatoes or white potatoes)

Cooled bacon-wrapped turkey meatloaf (recipe below)

1 diced onion

1 diced bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange)

4 eggs, cooked over easy.



Hash Directons:


1.  Dice Potatoes.  Place diced potatoes into a bowl of cold water until all potatoes are diced.  This prevents browning.


2.  Boil Potatoes:  place potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook until al dente.


3.  Dry Potatoes:  pat potatoes dry with a towel. 


4.  Saute Veggies:  Add diced onion, pepper, into a hot pan with oil.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until softened.


5.  Brown Potatoes:  Place a thin layer of potatoes into a well-oiled cast iron skillet.  Cook for 5 minutes on this side, then flip over to get brown crust.  Add more oil if required.


6.  Assemble:  Place potato hash on a plate, then the slice of bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and finished with a fried egg.   Garnish with chives if you like.



Recipe for Bacon-wrapped Turkey Meatloaf



20-ounce lean turkey

½ cup diced onion

½ cup diced colored bell pepper (yellow, red, or orange)

2 cloves garlic minced

1 egg

1 tbsp olive oil

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon salt, if desired

6 strips of bacon


1.  Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.


2.  Over medium heat, with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, sauté the onion and bell peppers for 2 minutes, or until softened.  Add the garlic and cook another two minutes.  Set aside to cool.


3.  In a large bowl, add the cooled vegetables, egg, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper, into the turkey.  Mix until well combined.


4.  Line a loaf pan with strips of bacon so bacon strips “hang over” the side of the pan.  



5.  Fill the bacon-lined loaf pan with the meat mixture, and then fold the bacon over the top of the turkey meat mixture.


6.  Bake for 40 hour, pull from oven and carefully drain off the fat. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more, or until the internal temperature is 155-degrees F, and the bacon is done.


7.  Remove from the oven to a cutting board and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


*This meatloaf recipe doesn’t contain breadcrumbs like most recipes because we decided to cut those calories out and to have a denser meatloaf to compliment to potato hash.

Dishing on Movies: Planet of the Apes Monkey Break

This week, we make a delicious Monkey Bread, which is a simple baked treat that uses canned biscuits, pecans, cinnamon, and brown sugar to make a caramel-y gooey delicious treat perfect for your next brunch.  We top if off with brûléed bananas that just sent this treat over the top!


Learn how to make below!




3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (pillsbury)

1 cup Sugar

2 tsp Cinnamon

2 sticks Butter

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Open cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.

3. In a ziplock bag, combine the white sugar with cinnamon.

4. Put biscuit quarters into the cinnamon-sugar mix. Seal bag and shake to coat each piece of dough.

5. Spray bundt pan with a baking spray with flour. Place a layer of dough nuggets in the bottom, then sprinkle with chopped pecans. Continue this layering until the dough is used up.

6. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt 2 sticks of butter with ½ cup of brown sugar. Cook butter/sugar mixture until combined into a sauce.

7. Pour sugar mixture over the biscuits.

8. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until the top is browned.

9. Remove from oven and let cool 10-15 minutes before inverting on a plate.

Serve alone or topped with brûléed bananas*

To make bruleed bananas: slide bananas into rounds, then sprinkle with granulated white sugar. Then brûlée, or melt the sugar until is turns brown and bubbly. Wait a moment before eating, allowing the sugar to cool and form a crackly crust.

Dishing on Movies: TMNT No Rise Pizza

I was one of the few girls that I know who watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid.  One things those Turtle Dudes loves more than April or Master Shredder was Pizza.  So, we decided to make a no-rise pizza crust so that you can learn how to make a pizza faster than delivery!  Customized with #TMNT toppings, this pizza was as fun to make as it was to eat!


Citrus Marinated Chicken Thighs

We're always looking for an easy dinner, and we're often looking for a new way to jazz up chicken.  This new recipe for Cirtus Marinated Chicken Thighs is that new jazzy technique.


6 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup of oil

1/2 cup of soy sauce 

Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 lime
4 grated cloves of garlic (use jarred if you want)

1 small shallot, minced.
1 scallion, sliced on the bias

1. Add oil, soy sauce, garlic, and all citrus juice and zest into a ziplock bag and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Remove chicken from marinade and place on foil-lined sheet pan. Reserve marinade.

3. Place in pre-heated 400 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes, then under the broiler (500 degrees) for 3 mins. (Cook times mar vary: Cook chicken until internal temp is 160 and juice run clear)

4. Pour the remaining marinade (in the ziplock Bag) and shallot into a small pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to medium heat and cook another 6 minutes until thickened and reduced. This high heat cooking will enable you to use the marinade as a sauce–boiling it raised the temp. to above 160 degrees since raw chicken was present in the marinade pre-cooking.

Remove chicken from oven, place chicken on a platter, pour sauce over chicken, and garnish with sliced scallion. Delicious!!

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Want an easy, bread-less, not-too-sweet dessert?  What about a dessert that can be made 2 days in advance?  Well, this, my friends, may be it!


Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
 Serves: 6
  • 4½ c half and half
  • 1½ tbsp powdered gelatin
  • ⅔ c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 jars or ramekins
  • Paper towels
  • cooking spray or melted butter
  • 2-quart saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Thin knife
  1. Lightly grease the ramekins: Spray the ramekins with cooking spray or melted butter, then use a paper towel to wipe out most of the oil, leaving only a light residue. This will help the panna cotta release if that’s how you choose to serve the dessert. If you’ll serve the dessert in the jars, then you don’t need to grease the jars.
  2. Bloom the gelatin: Pour the half and half into the saucepan and sprinkle the powdered gelatin evenly over top. Let soften for 5 minutes or until the surface of the milk is wrinkled and the gelatin grains look wet and slightly dissolved.
  3. Dissolve the gelatin over low heat: Set the saucepan over low heat and warm the milk gently, stirring or whisking frequently. The milk should never boil or simmer. If the mixture starts to steam, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down. Milk should be hot, but not boiling. Gelatin melts at body temperature, so you don't need the half and half to boil to melt the gelatin.
  4. Check to make sure the gelatin is dissolved: The mixture should be smooth. Either touch the mixture and rub half and half between your fingers to see if it’s gritty, or dip a spoon in the half and half to see if you can detect grains/grit in the half and half.
  5. Dissolve the sugar: Stir the sugar into the half and half and continue warming until it dissolves. It should take about 3-5 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Remember not to boil the mixture, as it will break down the “gelling” ability of the gelatin.
  6. Whisk in Vanilla and the Salt: Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the vanilla bean paste and the salt.
  7. Pour half and half mixture into the ramekins or jars and chill: Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared ramekins or jars and put in the refrigerator to chill.
  8. It will take about 4 hours to set if you will invert the panna cotta. If you’ll serve from the jars, you only need to set the mixture for about 2 hours. They can be chilled over night.
  9. To serve “plated”, here’s what you to Fill a large bowl with warm water. Wipe a dessert plate with a damp paper towel. To release the panna cotta edge from the cup, run a thin knife carefully around the sides of a ramekin. Dip the ramekin in the warm water up to its rim, and hold it there for about 5 seconds.
  10. Invert the ramekin over the plate and shake gently to help the panna cotta fall out. It should fall out on the plate easily. (If it does not, return to the warm water bath in increments of 2 seconds.) Reposition on the plate if desired—because you wet the plate, it should be easy. Serve immediately,
  11. Or, serve in a clear jar! You can serve the panna cotta in jar for a rustic treat, topped with macerated strawberries.
For the Balsamic Macerated Strawberries, take 1 pound of strawberries, that have been washed and hulled. Quarter the strawberries and the place in a bowl with 4 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze. Stir and set aside for 30 minutes, so the flavors have a chance to develop. Spoon on top of panna cotta and serve.

2013 Operation Santa: Need donations to provide lunch to kids on Christmas Eve

Every Year, the North Hollywood Jaycees and LA Valley College partner up to create "Operation Santa".  [ ]

Operation Santa works with local public schools to find the children most in need of a good Christmas (e.g. gifts).   Here's how Operation Santa works:  Volunteers purchase gifts for children.  Then, on Christmas Eve, A Santa and an Elf drive a bag of gifts to a needy family, or, that family comes to LA Valley College to pick up gifts and take a photo with Santa.

Last year, I volunteered as an "elf" helping to distribute gifts. What I noticed (and even heard from kids) is that hunger is often an issue that these families face.   
Wanna Help?  There are two ways.
You can donate $1 or more today here by clicking this link:

Or you can volunteer:
  • Tuesday, December 24, 2013:  From 9am-1:30pmpm:  We will be cooking in the LA Valley college kitchen, finishing up dishes.  We will place the food items in disposable hotel pans and chafers to serve lunch 11:30am-1pm.
Tuesday 12/24
Volunteer Time Slots
  • 9am-10am (prepping food, setting up tables and food service area)
  • 10am-11am (prepping food, setting up tables and food service area)
  • 11am-12pm (prepping and serving food)
  • 12pm-1pm (serving food)
  • 1pm-1:30pm: (cleanup)







Perfectly Golden Sponge Cake: Secret to a Good Twinkie

On October 6th, you can join me at Surfas in Los Angeles to learn how to make the best homemade versions of store-bought treats.

In this 3-hour hands-on baking class, you will get to make each of the following recipes and take them home

  • Triple chocolate chip cookies
  • Homemade twinkies
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with marshmallow filling (like the Hostess ones!)
  • Orange Cupcakes filled with marshmallow cream
  • Apple handpies  


Here's a sneak peak into the baking secrets you'll learn in this Sunday's class:

A lot of people think that Twinkies are just a filled "butter cake", which is a traditional type of cake where butter and sugar are creamed together, then whole eggs are beat in, followed by flour and a leavening (rising) agent like baking powder, and lastly milk.  Butter cakes are denser than a Twinkie, which is actually a different type of cake called a "sponge cake".  

While sponge cakes use butter and eggs, sponge cake recipes call for whipping egg whites into the consistency of whipped cream, then mixing those fluffy whites (nearly a meringue) into the batter, which results in a lighter "spongy" type cake.    

If you buy a Hostess brand Twinkie bake pan, the recipe they provide in their kit is for a butter cake (not a sponge cake), which means that your homemade twinkies won't be as light as the real thing.  


Come to class this Sunday and actually make a butter cake and a sponge cake and see the delicious difference! And make a delicious version of the homemade Twinkie too!


Buy tickets today right  here:



Spaghetti *In* Meatballs

Everyone's had spaghetti and meatballs, but have you ever had Spaghetti *IN* Meatballs?  

On this week's episode of Dishing on Movies, Dale and I make these delicious spaghetti inside meatballs for the new feature film release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.

Here are a few of my meatball making tips not in the video:

  1. Make sure your meat is room temperature:  It's more malleable at this state.
  2. Make sure you freeze the noodles:  It helps stuffing the meatballs.  If you're not feeling up to that, you can also cram loose noodles in there (I've tried it and it works!)  It's not as pretty, and the meatballs end up a little bigger, but it totally works!
  3. Baking the meatballs in the oven helps you "Set it and forget it" :  however, you can saute on the stove top (be gentle) or even simmer and slow cook in a pot of marinara until the meatballs are fully cooked (about 45 minus)


Go make these meatballs and sneak them into #Cloudy2:  It beats $8 popcorn.


Better than Storebought: a New Hands on Cooking Class

You guys have been asking for it and it's now here!  

I've partnered with Surfas Los Angeles again!  The next hands-on baking class is going to feature the homemade versions of your favorite store-bought treats.  

You will learn to make these treats without using the ingredients that you can't pronounce.  Speaking of which, did you see that article where they listed the 37 ingredients in the storebought Twinkie?

Students will work in our test kitchen to make the following treats:

  • Triple chocolate chip cookies
  • Homemade twinkies
  • Chocolate Cupcakes with marshmallow filling (like the Hostess ones!)
  • Orange Cupcakes filled with marshmallow cream
  • Apple handpies  


Buy tickets online here:

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