Q&A with 19yr old baker Michael

My mum always says “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” Well, i think that she should add me to that proverb because am such a foodie and never ashamed of that. Want to hang out? Better have some snacks somewhere in that plan. That is why i was instantly attracted to this page. Michael Utrera is a Venezuelan 19 year old baker whose cakes and desserts give me all kinds of cravings on his Instagram page. He is my inspiration because he knew what makes him happy at such an early age and followed his dreams.

APW: What inspired you to pursue baking professionally?

Michael: When I was young I always wished to be a chef, that was my main dream! I started the cooking academy at the age of 13 years. That was really amazing for me, little by little I started understanding that my place is the bakery.

APW: What is your favorite pastry?

Michael: My favorite pastry is always the Italian pastries because I think they are really traditional, but of course I know many other new recipes.

APW: How and when did you start cake design?

Michael: When I was 16 years old, the cooking academy had to close due to government problems, so I went to a bakery in Venezuela, my native country, and there I started working as the assistant to the baker.

APW: What is one word to describe your cake designs?

Michael: Reformist! Even though I love all the traditional cakes and all, I am really conservative with the taste but with the design it is completely different. I try to be really creative with them and each day surprise more people with that.

APW: You make a ton of pastries, what is your favorite to make and eat?

Michael: I really love to make Fraiser it is an awesome dessert with strawberries really tasty and i am always happy to make this.

APW: My favorite cake flavor is black forest with cherries, what is yours?

Michael: I really prefer fruit flavor, that is much more natural and in my opinion they are the best taste, “strawberries mouse” and “passion fruit mouse” are a good selection for me.

APW: What is your all time favorite and memorable cake to make?

Michael: The most memorable cake for me is the Black Forest with strawberry jam, this was the first dessert I learnt in the bakery.

APW: What has been your biggest disaster in cake designing?

Michael: I left cakes on the oven and I forgot them haha

APW: What is your work day like?

Michael: My day work is very exciting and really fun for me. we are always trying to innovate the menu and be better and better each day, we are a theme of work

THANK YOU MICHAEL! Please find him on instagram @MichealUtrera1

xoxo

APW

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Baked Chili Cheese Fries with Bacon!!

Am a huge junk food lover.. am a foodie if i should add. Nothing makes me all tingly and happy than a plate of home fries and my favorite salad. I can eat fries any time on any day of the year. Call it a frie and i shall happily try it. So i have been trying new recipes and i found this amazingly delish fries-dish on FoodNetwork because that is one of my fave sites (no shock there!!) It is baked chili fries topped with cheese and bacon… Yes it is what it sounds like. HEAVENLY! Below is the recipe for your trial;

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch salt
  • 1 pound bag fingerling potatoes (or 2 medium russet potatoes)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon grill seasoning
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped chives
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • homemade ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. Mix together cornstarch, chili powders, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt. You can add red pepper flakes and a pinch of cayenne if you want, but I didn’t want to make these too spicy in case the kids wanted to try them.
  2. I did not have any regular potatoes, only fingerlings, so I gave them a half peel, and cut them into wedges. Add them to a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and grill seasoning.
  3. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the potatoes.
  4. Toss until the potatoes are completely coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray. Put the oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Give them a toss a few times during the cooking time.
  5. I transfered my potatoes to a cast iron skillet, but you can keep the fries on the baking sheet if you want.
  6. Cover the fries with cheese.
  7. And bacon.
  8. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Hope you love it like i do.

xoxo

APW

Chicken Fajitas

So i love to cook, bake and do anything that involves good food. This christmas season, i shall be sharing some of my favorite recipes, easy to make and convenient.

this is my recipe for my favorite chicken fajitas;

  1. Turn on oven to 200 deg celsius and wrap the tortillas in foil.
  2. Finely slice chicken, onion and pepper.
  3. Add these to a mixing bowl and then add the marinade ingredients in the listed order.
  4. Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot and put the tortillas in the oven wrapped in the foil. Add contents of the mixing bowl to the pan and keep them moving over a high heat using tongs so you get a nice charring effect. Be careful not to overcook the chicken as it can become dry. 10 seconds or so after you can no longer see any raw parts of chicken, find the thickest part and tear in half to check if it is cooked. It is often cooked a lot quicker than you think. the idea is to get chicken that is still moist but charred on the outside, which requires a high heat.
  5. Once cooked tip the pan contents into a large bowl and serve with the heated tortillas (they should have been in the oven around 8 mins), salad and salsa.

My little temptations


I love sweet treats so i indulge every time that i can. This year is for being a little more healthy, which means more rest, exercise, happiness and GREEN in my life so going more to greens and fresh vegies but a little indulgence can’t hurt 🙂 I love myself all these so every now and then i go for it since completely stopping might be a bit too harsh for me.. It starts in the mind so think healthy and happy all the time!
xoxo
APW

Fruit Up..


I just love fruits. To me, nothing is as refreshing as a good old bowl of mixed fruit salad. Most people do not like fruits that much, so that is why you can combine them with your favorite desserts like greek yoghurt, custard, pie and pudding mix. As the saying goes “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” These fruits are filled with the right vitamins and other minerals necessary for the body to function well and in a healthy way. So go and try out your favorite fruit salad mix today and Fruit Up!
xoxo
APW

Crave Some Fruit

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I love fruits and dairy products BUT the combination of the two is simply genius.Enjoy a healthy meal of froyo by adding your favorite berries or nuts (for mine,i like a bit of both) to a glass of frozen yoghurt to add a bit of healthy fruitiness to the mix. I like substituting a heavy meal for a light but filling froyo meal because it has all the ingredients you need, especially after a workout. Enjoy your froyo.
xoxo
APW