Tag Archives: cake

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I know, I know. I've been bad at blogging this year. But I've been great about everything else! I've been working hard at work, my book, some art projects, and oh yeah, a ginormous cake that totally blows away anything else I've ever made!!!

Star Wars, George Lucas, Empire strikes back, A new Hope, Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett, Helmet, Death Star, Fondant, birthday, marshmallow, sugar, buttercream, Starwars, Layers, chocolate, vanilla, nerd, geek, dork, cake

That's right. The most epic cake ever, and totally a surprise for Kevin's 26th birthday (he thought I was making a tardis cake! Could we get any nerdier?)

I started this on Sunday and finally stacked it on Friday. It consists of 12 separate cake layers (chocolate and vanilla alternating) with buttercream filling, and about six pounds of homemade marshmallow fondant. People seem surprised when they discover how expensive wedding cakes are. I will guess that this barely made it under $100, especially when I take into account all the extra tools and supplies from Michaels I needed. It's almost creepy how much butter and sugar is in that thing...

I designed it months ago, knowing that Kevin's birthday falls only three days after our one-year anniversary (we always joke about our poor planning). I of course knew right away that I wanted to do Star Wars, because I thought it would work perfectly for the ambitious, multi-tiered design I had in mind.  ...continue reading

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taco, taco cake, cake, cookie, snickerdoodle, shell, tortilla, dessert, candy, chocolate, sprinkles, sugar, treat, birthday, kids, activity, decorating, fun, party, fiesta, mexican, taco tuesday

What is Taco Tuesday (or T2), you might ask? 

Well, this alliterative holiday is a weekly ode to deliciously cheap tacos,and a great way to relax with your friends. I have been attending Taco Tuesday celebrations for over 2 years, and it's definitely nice to have something in the middle of the week to look forward to, so you're not just waiting for Friday to hurry up and get here.

We gather at the bar around 8 and partake of $1.00 tacos, play pool and darts, and hang out on the deck if it's nice outside.

At the center of this group is our faithful friend, Taco Dan. Dan is the genius behind the counter, the master of the grill, the wizard of the fryer. He has made us delicious tacos week after week for years, and he has patiently listened to more intoxicated ramblings than I care to remember.

taco, taco cake, cake, cookie, snickerdoodle, shell, tortilla, dessert, candy, chocolate, sprinkles, sugar, treat, birthday, kids, activity, decorating, fun, party, fiesta, mexican, taco tuesday

Well, Dan has moved on to bigger and better things. *sniff sniff* His final Taco Tuesday was last week, but a power outtage left me without the means to finish my surprise cake.

Yeah, go ahead and take a closer look at those pictures. They aren't real tacos... ...continue reading

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July, Fourth, 4th, cake, buttercream, berries, blueberry, blue, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, jame, independence day, summer, picnic, sweet, simple, fun, kids, colorful, red, white, blue, patriotic, flag, America,

Happy birthday to me,

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday dear Sarah,

Happy birthday to me!!!

That's right, my birthday is on the 4th of July! For many reasons, this makes it the ultimate birthday date ever. For one thing, it's pretty much as far away from Christmas as you can get, so there's no overlapping of presents. Another reason is that almost everyone has this day off!

And for my family, this means heading up to Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire, like we have been doing for over 20 years, hitting up the beach, having a barbecue, watching the fireworks, and relaxing. It's simply amazing to be surrounded by your family on your birthday, year after year, knowing that everyone is celebrating and having a good time.

My sister introducing my nephew Charlie to Lake Sunapee for the first time

So since I went strawberry picking for the first time this weekend with Kevin, I thought "why not use them to make the most epic red, white, and blue berry cake ever?"

...continue reading

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bundt cake, bundt pan, wine cake, cooking with wine, baking with wine, white wine, chardonnay, Chardonay, chardonnay bundt cake, chardonnay glaze, chardonnay frosting, Chablis, impress his family chardonnay cake, 100 recipes every girl should know

It's Chardonnay week!

That's my sad attempt to make a connection between sexy wine cake and rich and flavorful vegetable lasagna, both of which I made this past weekend. And both of which are out of this world amazing.

I'll post the lasagna later this week, but first can I get a round of applause? I successfully made my first moist and delicious cake from scratch! I attribute my success to the some of the ingredients I used: cake flour, pudding, and wine (of course!).

But I'm not joking when I say this recipe blew my mind. It's a white Bundt cake that uses a half cup of chardonnay right in the mix, which gives the sweetness a little bite. Then, after you cook it, you pour a chardonnay glaze onto the pan and let it seep into the cake, infusing it with more flavor and creating a nice sheen on the outside. Yum!

The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know by Cindi Leive. I've posted several recipes from there already (fried chicken, peppermint bark, chocolate and beer cupcakes with irish cream frosting), and I keep being pleasantly surprised by the recipes in her book. This cake in particular was called "Impress his family chardonnay cake," and when I brought it to Kevin's house for dinner I think I succeeded in impressing them. :) ...continue reading

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There are no recipes in this post. There aren't even any hints or techniques for decorating cakes. Because, let's be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing.

But neither does Ken, so I think we're pretty evenly matched.

I've been planning this little contest for a few months now, and with Valentine's day just around the corner, it seemed like the opportune time. The rules were simple: We would each bake and decorate a two-layer cake of our choosing. And we would post the pictures online and let people decide who won.

I baked a red velvet cake, and Ken chose a marble cake. Mine rose a little more than his, but it meant that I had to level mine.

 

We printed out these practice sheets, taped them to the table under a piece of wax paper, loaded up our piping bags and began practicing our techniques. I was confident that I would school him at this stage because I have years of art classes under my belt, but as it turns out, this is not intuitive at all. We both sucked at it (me a little more, I'll admit), and after 10 minutes we gave up and decided to wing it. ...continue reading

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zebra cakes, Little Debbie, snacks, homemade cakes, cakes, cupcakes, valentines day, Valentine's day, romantic cakes, fun cakes

Since I embarked on my cooking adventure, I've noticed several changes in my life. The first being that I started losing weight, which was astonishing to me because I cooked relatively unhealthy things with absurd quantities of butter. The second change was that my cholesterol plummeted. Literally, I went from having the cholesterol of a 60 year old obese chain-smoker to a healthy number in the "low-risk" group.

The third change, and the one that really made the biggest impact, was that I stopped buying and eating so much processed foods. Before I cooked, everything I ate came out of a can, or from the freezer, or from individually wrapped packages. Granted, I still partake in the occasional can of spaghettios, but my consumption of Tyson frozen chicken and Little Debbie snacks has nearly been reduced to zero.

But man, do I miss those Little Debbie snacks. I have so many childhood (ok, and adulthood) memories of eating package after package of oatmeal cream pies, cosmic brownies, and zebra cakes, and then having a stomachache and berating myself for my lack of self control.

When Ken and I started this cooking thing over the summer, when both of us were trying to drop 5-10 pounds and get healthier, we agreed upon a rule:

No junk food unless you make it yourself!

This simple rule has proven itself time and time again. It gives you the freedom to cook and eat what you want, as long as you make it from scratch! Feeling like eating mac and cheese? Make it yourself. Want to eat an entire batch of brownies? No problem, as long as they didn't come from a mix. Craving those Little Debbie snacks? Figure out a way to make them yourself :) ...continue reading