The things I made while I was MIA part 2

I'm back!  I told you there's going to be a part 2.  I may disappear for a while but trust me- I could be cooking/baking up a storm while I was away and will be back to share my creations.  And just like so, here's the random rundown of what I made while I was MIA-part 2: 

Black Seafood Mix Paella- the seafood mix happens when finding/gathering the whole fresh seafood ensemble via one-stop shopping is difficult so Costco Seafood Mix is the answer. Not the freshest but I do make up for it by using good "the rest of the ingredients."  The result is nothing short of scrumptious. 
Baked Penne and Meatballs in Arrabiata Sauce and Burrata Cheese.  Hmmm ... love at first Burrata bite! Now I always have the cheese in our fridge; a treat even with just olive oil, a dash of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. My dream is to make my own --- because dreams are free so I might as well dream big!  
Pineapple Upside Down Chiffon Cake - I was curious how it will turn out as I'm used to making the cake using a mixture of apf and cornmeal.  Such a tedious undertaking because I used fresh pineapple which I had to pare and slice into rings.  I am positive I bought a pineapple corer but it was nowhere to be found just when I needed it.  I ran out of pineapple flavoring so I pureed some but the flavor needs some enhancement from my favorite pineapple extract. 
FRUIT COCKTAIL TRIFLE - It was supposed to be Vanilla Chiffon Cake with Whipped Cream and Fruit Filling but I made a booboo.   I don't know what came over me but I forgot to transfer the cake to a platter before spreading the filling.  It just hit me when it was done and I realized the cake is still on top of the cooling rack.  It was too tall and huge to slide into a plate but I still tried and it was like the parting of the sea.  I almost cried but looking at my trifle dish told me I can still save it.  I had to make vanilla custard to layer the cubed cake; topped it with more Mandarin orange segments and cherries.  Ain't that beautiful?  And to top it off- it was such a big hit in our potluck for my boss's birthday.

4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 level tbsp cornstarch
a pinch of salt
4 extra large egg yolks
1 tbsp Madagascar extract
3 tbsp unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt until it comes to a gentle boil.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks then slowly whisk in half of the hot mixture a tablespoon at a time to prevent curdling. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook stirring continuously until it thickens.  It should be ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove from stove and stir in vanilla and butter.Transfer to a bowl cool then cover with Saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
I'd be lying if I tell you this is going to be the last.  Here's hoping for a cool friendly weekend contrary to the Africa-hot forecast I heard on the radio.  I got delicious plans and I hope nothing derails them.


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