Flan De Queso

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Flan de Queso
Story and photos by Holly Basaldu

Johanna Magee, a child of both Mexico and New York, shares with us her favorite dishes, some imprinted cooking experiences and an insight into why cooking is a part of her identity. A sophomore international relations and political science double-major at St. Mary’s University, Magee embraces cooking as a way to feel at home.

Studying far from home, Magee explains her aunt’s friend, an alumnus of St. Mary’s, recommended her to the university’s English program to assist her in bridging the gap between English and Spanish.

She also loves the home environment that St. Mary’s provides. Geography plays into another big part being close to Mexico—she’s never too far from her Mother.

“My mom’s food led me into the kitchen…I wouldn’t like the way she cooked something so I would end up going into the kitchen to see if I could redo it my own way,” she says.

My mother “is my inspiration. She is why I started into the kitchen in the first place,” Magee explains.

Influenced by the Italian family environment, Magee’s favorite type of dishes are pasta-dependent, which include lasagna and Penne de Vodka—a penne pasta with a tomato vodka sauce that has a creamy, rich taste.

Cooking helps her distress and results in having a delicious treat in the end. Enjoying time in the kitchen, she shows how to make Flan.

“This is the dish my mom taught me when I was young, and this is my favorite dessert,” she says.

 

Tools

Aluminum Foil

Baking Pan 9″x9″

Blender

Can Opener

Knife

Measuring Cups (½ cup)

Oven Mitten

Wisk

Ingredients

Condensed Milk- 1 Can (14oz)

Cream Cheese- 1 Bar (4oz)

Eggs- 4 (large)

Evaporated Milk- 1 Can (12oz)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 2tsp or Non-stick cooking spray

Milk- ½ Cup

Sugar- ½ Cup

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 350°F .Drizzle EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) or spray with non-stick cooking spray and Sugar on the bottom of the Baking Pan. Heat the pan over the stove top on medium (this makes a sugary glaze on top) or put into oven for 3-5 minutes (till golden brown). Combine the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend on high till you get a thick consistency. Pour the mixture into the pan over the sugary glaze. Cover the pan with Aluminum Foil. Bake at 350°F for 35m-45m, till golden brown (it will puff up and rise during the baking). Let cool at room temperature for 35m. Carefully in a knife along the edges, then flip the Pan onto a serving plate.

6th Magazine Launch Party

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The sixth Taste of StMU magazine launch hosted over 85 people to try the dishes of 14 different chefs on Wednesday, April 12 in UC-A. Each chef was invited by one of the graphic design students in Brother Dennis Bautista’s graphic design course.

Bautista, professor of English and communication studies, teaches his graphic design course every other semester. Throughout the course of the semester, the students prepare for their magazines. The course begins by offering several tutorials on the programs needed to produce the magazine. After the tutorials, photojournalism tips, gathered content and much needed collaboration from classmates, a magazine is born.

This year the students each created a 12-page, full color magazine. The featured dishes at this year’s magazine launch included Sopa de Letra, Flan de Queso, Canoas, Siracha Chicken Alfredo, Southern Fried Cabbage, Cheezy Pizza Roll-Up, Quickie Chili, Bibimbap, Enchiladas Verdes, Dragon Roll Sushi, Strawberry Jelly Cake, Meatloaf, Tinga and Pizza Rolls.

Along with the graphic design students, faculty, staff and alumni, there were also five professional graphic designer judges in attendance. The five judges included Emily Harris, graphic designer at St. Mary’s; Kristen Cadena, graphic designer at St. Mary’s; Martha Dixon, alumna (B.A. in English communication arts) and founder of 50-foot Creative Design and Marketing; Amanda Rodriguez, alumna (B.A. in English communication arts) and marketing programs developer at Southwest Business Corporation; and Charles Ramirez, alumnus (B.A. in English communication arts) and graphic design coordinator or the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Each judge was invited to attend the event by Bautista. The professional designers were in charge of going through all 14 magazines and voting on the “Professionals’ Choice Award” winner. Everyone else who attended the event also had the opprotunity to cast a vote for the “People’s Choice Award” winner.

The People’s Choice award went to Madison Perales, sophomore communication studies major, and her chef, Ricardo Garcia, who is a senior psychology major. They earned a total of 81 votes from the people who attended the event.

This year, the Professionals’ Choice Award went to Xuanzi Elly Liu [see magazine], exchange student from Beihang University and current junior English major. Her chef was Jsiu Lim, student from south Korea.

Both winning chefs were presented with an appreciation apron that had the Taste of Stmu logo on it. All chefs were also presented with a $25 gift card from one of the sponsors of the event, Fratello’s Deli.

The other sponsor of the event, Henry’s Puffy Tacos, also made the event possible with their generous donations; Aramark also assisted with the event by providing all the heating equipment for the dishes being served.

Everyone enjoyed looking at the magazines, taking a break from their busy day and having a bite to eat from the 14 chefs.

 

5th Annual Magazine Launch Party

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Chicago-style pizza, Oreo cheesecake cookies, pasta e fagioli and mature graphic design—the 5th annual Taste of StMU launch party provided plenty in which to indulge.

Over the course of the fall semester, students in Brother Dennis Bautista’s graphic design class donned the hat of Editor-in-Chief and scrambled to design, produce and publish their own cooking magazines for the Friday, Nov. 21 launch party in UC A.

Professional volunteer judges selected Mariajose Romero (see magazine) as the winner of the “Professionals’ Choice” award. Their respective “chefs” also received aprons imprinted with the Taste of StMU logo. The some 50 alumni, faculty, staff and Marianists who attended this unique event voted Kyra Littlejohn (see magazine) as the winner of the “People’s Choice” awards.

The magazine launch party gave graphic design students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the semester by editing and creating their own 20-page edition of Taste of StMU magazine, complete with ads, photographs and stories. The chefs featured in their magazines provided the food for attendees of the event to share.

On the menu were gateway tofu, chicago-style pizza, pasta e fagioli, Tex-Mex breakfast pizza, stir-fried chicken, margherita pizza, lemon pepper salmon, sopa de lima con pollo y elote, ombré swirl cake, crepes, Oreo cheesecake cookies and chocolate marble cake. See Flickr photo album.

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

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Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake
Story and Photos by Chrystalla Georghiou 

At the age of 23, Victoria De La Fuente found out that her life will no longer be filled with sweets. De La Fuente, a graduate student at St. Mary’s University studying for an MBA, learned recently that she was allergic to the one ingredient most often found in desserts: gluten.

After graduating from St. Mary’s with her bachelor’s degree in business, De La Fuente decided to continue with graduate studies at the university. “I’ve always loved the small community feel of St. Mary’s–coming from a small town, it’s just what I wanted in a school,” she says.

“I wanted to start cooking gluten-free foods because my doctor told me I am allergic. I decided that I want to live a gluten free-lifestyle whether my doctor tells me that it’s ok to eat gluten-free foods or not. Gluten is not something that the human body was designed to digest, therefore it is not healthy for people to eat food which contains that ingredient,” says De La Fuente.

Gluten intolerance, also known as Celiac disease (or Coeliac disease) is a genetic disorder that makes one intolerant to gluten. It is caused by a reaction to gliadin (a gluten protein found in wheat) and affect all types of people; however, it seems to be more prevalent among those of Northern European descent. In the U.S., about one in 133 people suffer from Celiac disease.

Since learning of her condition, De La Fuente has given up some her favorite foods like pasta, grilled cheese sandwiches and red velvet cake. “Luckily I don’t have to give up tortillas. I think I would not be able to survive if I had to give up tortillas,” says De La Fuente.

Because most desserts contain some form of gluten, gluten-free desserts are among the most difficult to prepare. De la Fuente says that the most challenging part of a gluten-free diet is the selection of gluten-free foods. When cooking a red velvet cake, De La Fuente believes that “following the recipe matters more than anything else. All it takes is one simple mistake to ruin a whole cake.”

Some tips De La Fuente advises to young chefs include always making sure to preheat the oven, cleaning up as you go and never eating the frosting before the cake finishes cooking.

“I chose this recipe because it is gluten-free and I love red velvet cake. It’s not every day that I get to eat desserts, therefore, I was so excited to see that I could have my cake and eat it too,” De La Fuente concludes.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 c brown rice flour
  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 3/4 c tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1 c canola oil
  • 1 1/2 c white sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 oz red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans with gluten-free flour. In a bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, coconut flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat canola oil and sugar until thoroughly combined, and beat the eggs in one at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the applesauce. Beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, in several additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix the remaining 1 T of cocoa powder with the red food coloring and vanilla extract to make a paste; gently stir into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting. Makes 12 servings.



		

	

2nd Annual Magazine Launch Party

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The sweet smell of success came not only from the food being served in Treadaway Hall but also from two students who won awards for their graphic design final projects at the second annual Taste of StMU magazine launch on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011.

Volunteer judges who work in the graphic design field selected Emily Scruggs (see magazine) as the winner of the “Professionals’ Choice” award. Her respective “chef” also received an apron imprinted with the Taste of StMU logo. Nearly 40 alumni, faculty and staff attended this event and voted Brissa Renteria as the winner of the “People’s Choice” award.

The magazine launch party gave graphic design students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the semester by editing and creating their own 20-page edition of Taste of StMU magazine, complete with ads, photographs and stories. The chefs featured in their magazines provided the food for the event.

On the menu were arroz con gandules, cheese enchiladas, Cuban lechon asado, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, flan, peanut butter chocolate chip brownies, no-bake strawberry frosted cheesecake, grey poupon steak with garlic mashed potatoes, gluten-free red velvet cake, seven layer dip, enchiladas, rojas, spinach and ricotta stuffed shells, steaming spaghetti with meat sauce, swedish meatballs and grilled chicken breast with mango salsa.

This project also was featured on the December 2011 issue of E-Talk from St. Mary’s University. See Flickr photo album.

1st Annual Magazine Launch Party

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The sweet smell of success came not only from the food being served in Treadaway Hall but also from four students who won awards for their graphic design final projects at the first annual Taste of StMU magazine launch on Dec. 1, 2010.

Volunteer judges who work in the graphic design field selected Denice Hernandez and Sarah Mills (see magazine) as the winners of the “Professionals’ Choice” awards. Their respective “chefs” also received aprons imprinted with the Taste of StMU logo. From among the 20 alumni, faculty, staff and Marianists who attended this unique event, they voted Oscar Maguregui and Megan Foster as winners of the “People’s Choice” awards.

The magazine launch party gave graphic design students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the semester by editing and creating their own 20-page edition of Taste of StMU magazine, complete with ads, photographs and stories. The chefs featured in their magazines provided the food for the event.

On the menu were rice, tropical pineapple cupcakes with citrus cream frosting, shrimp scampi, chicken salad, crusted baked chicken, pizza, arroz con pollo, honey barbecue chicken sandwich, eggrolls, lasagna, brisket, Spanish rice, tortilla soup, charro beans, oatmeal cookies, apple pie, fruit smoothies, chili and sushi.

See photos of the magazine launch on the Flickr album.

Welcome to the Taste of StMU

Welcome/bienvenidos to the official Taste of St. Mary’s University (StMU) blog showcasing the work of graphic design and multimedia students.  We are gradually building an online cookbook as well as a community of students, staff, faculty, family, friends, Marianists, alumni, local businesses, media professionals and foodies through this special project.

Recipes, photos, videos and announcements will be posted hereafter. We encourage you to subscribe to our blog so you can get a Taste of StMU!