Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Strawberry Arbor Mist Cake

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I wanted to try something different for Labor Day. I loved the Champagne Cake I did but I wanted something fruity too.

So I used Arbor Mist… Strawberry Flavor and substituted it for the milk in my yellow cake recipe and I used Strawberry Yogurt instead of sour cream.

My biggest error was using Almond Extract… not that anybody else that ate it cared… but I did. I am not a fan of Almond and too me it overpowered the strawberry.  But the cake was gone in 2 minutes… so I guess it was just me and my Almond extract disliking ways.

The cake was a beautiful pink inside… I forgot to get pictures of it when it was cut! We all know it is hard to get a great pink when making strawberry cake so I added a few drops of food coloring to make that pink pop.

I filled it with fresh strawberries… so pretty… thanks to the help of hubby who sliced them up for me!

I did a rustic decoration job with Buttercream. I LOVE RUSTIC CAKES!!! So bakery looking delicious!! I must do more ….

Again… so pretty… I had to share….

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Force is totally with this.

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Luka requested YODA for his birthday and Luka got Yoda for his birthday.

After a brief hiatus from cakes I had fun with this one. Total satisfaction.

YODA was 20 percent lemon cake. My new oven proved a little challenging with the shape of the bowl that I used for this one. I needed to use a carved bowl and I had my old oven temperament down to a “T”. This oven is a newbie… so despite using the same recipe as I did with Elmo’s Lemon cake… this oven said patooey. It tasted the same but had some settling that I didn’t like. However, YODA still over-ruled.  The rest of the cake was vanilla. In total YODA was 7 layers of cake goodness filled with buttercream.

HOWEVER, the hardest part of the cake was easy to me and the easy part was hard. Why for? Sooo not sure… but that is the world of cake. Unpredictable.

I was terrified of sculpting YODA’s face… and it was so easy… like I did it before… but hadn’t.

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I was over confident in doing his cape and ears.  Well, they ended up being the hardest part.

Trying to drape the cape was difficult… and the ears well, lets say they tried to defy gravity more then once.

But, it came together. And despite some minor disasters… especially in travelling to get him to the lucky birthday boy’s party in the park… I was proud of him. Thank goodness for travelling with some  extra fondant and a rolling pin and some edible glue. With the crowd of children that surrounded me while I was repairing made me more nervous then YODA himself.

He was seriously so realistic that I felt I was on the set of Star Wars. It was eerily weird.

My children reacted the same way. One running the opposite way when he saw it…and the other screaming.

Luka thank you for choosing YODA… cool… totally dude.

 

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fish Chowder for the Soul

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I love Trader Joes… who doesn’t?? They offer package foods that are also healthy. Yeah, its possible to get package foods with no preservatives these days. Funny how you pay more for food that has no added bad stuff huh? But, TJ’s is quite reasonable in the price arena.


I usually have items that I pick up from TJ’s without fail. Included in that list is Vegetable Chips… shoot for $1.99 a bag you can’t go wrong. They have these awesome baked chips, I love getting the flex seed tortilla chips (ohhh dip them in a pineapple salsa from Harry and Davids…mixed with cream cheese..heaven). Along with their Feta Cheese, Naan, Mandarin Chicken and nut mixes I have a small list just to keep it all under control at TJ’s. That is very hard to do.


This week I bought cod. I love cod fish but get bored eating it the same way. This package was about 4 bucks for a pound of cod. And low and behold there was a recipe on the label. SCORE~


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EASY FISH CHOWDER


adapted from Trader Joes Cod Pieces label


1/2 stick of unsalted butter


1 large onion


1 to 2 cloves of chopped garlic


1 large potato peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes


2 tbsp flour


2 cup vegetable or chicken broth


2 cup milk or half and half


1 lb cod pieces


salt and pepper to taste


I also added: Baby Bella mushrooms, Old Bay Seafood Seasoning


Directions



Melt butter in 2 qt saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic (and mushrooms if you are adding them) until soft. Add Potato and cook over low heat until potato begins to soften. Season with salt and pepper (and Old Bay) to taste. Sprinkle flour and stir gently over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add liquids and cook over low heat until soup begins to thicken. Gently stir in cod and continue cooking until fish is completely cooked. Taste for seasoning and add addition salt and pepper if necessary.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zucchini and Yellow Squash and Onions, OH MY!

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recipe adapted from: allrecipes.com


Yeah, okay follow the trend setting here. I am trying to eat a little better. Yes indeed. I bake so much that if my family can eat a little better during the day then I wont feel guilty about have cake and other baked goods around for them devour.


I also now enjoy Spinning and Zumba. But that's another blog.


Carrying on… Publix had a sale on Zucchini and Yellow Squash and I couldn’t resist. I wanted to do something different other then the normal marinate in Italian dressing and grill them on the George. I searched in the oh so famous allrecipes.com and found this.


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“Grilled Lemon Pepper Zucchini”, but I didn’t grill it I baked it. and I didn’t have red bell peppers so I used some salsa… that sold me… the salsa was the kicker.


Recipe


Ingredients

2 small yellow squash, sliced


2 small zucchini sliced, sliced


1 small onion, diced


1 red bell pepper, minced ( I used salsa)


1 1/2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil ( I didn’t measure any of my seasonings. Bad habit I have)


1 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning


Directions


Preheat Grill (or oven to 350 degrees)


Combine all ingredients and wrap in aluminum foil and seal into a packet.


Place packet on grill and cook 30 minutes turning every 5 to 10 mins. Or bake in oven for 40 mins.


Take out and enjoy. I warn you when you sample a zucchini you may not want to stop eating them.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lentils are good

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stew recipe adapted from: Fresh paint Blogspot


Despite the fact that you all may not think so. But I do. I am a convert. As you can tell.. my blog loves lentils just as much as it likes cakes. I have Lentil Loaf and Lentil Patties you can find on this blog. I even Stuffed Zucchini with lovely lentils. Now here I am presenting Lentil Stew.


Lentil Stew is pretty much anything you throw together with Lentils and it takes a stew like appearance. There are no rules. Seriously. 1 2 3 and you are there. Lentil heaven.


For this one I had a cup of lentils and cut up some baby bella mushrooms (my fave) and chopped some onion. I seasoned it with Rosemary, Oregano, Basil (loads of basil…yum), a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and sea salt and black pepper. Oh I add a Maggie cube for some FLAVA opps I mean flavor.


I cooked these in the microwave! Gasp!! Yes I did… I just added 3 cups of water to the lentil mix in a Pyrex dish and heated them at 70 percent power for 30 minutes. I checked after that to see if the water had dried up (it didn’t, but if so add some more) then did another 20 minutes at 70 percent power.


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There are soooo many variations for this stew just like any stew or soup. Stewed tomatoes can also be added for that extra pop. I would have added them but didn’t have any in the pantry.


Now go ahead and make you some of these here lentils… and throw them down with some healthy brown rice…


Yeah, I got to eat healthy every now and then. Have to offset the over consumption of the cakes.