Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm posting this at 12:59am. Tired is an understatement. Thank goodness all aspects of this cake are done. It's not completely assembled but it's done. It'll be assembled on site. Now... onto cake #2 due Sunday, actually Sat. night because I have another order due Sunday. Can I scream insanity?!? Anyway- here's pictures of me loosing my mind :)

The White Rabbit:

The back of the topsy turvy cake. Figurines will be assembled on top:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Caterpillar

Ok- so the blue caterpillar is done. Now I just need to do Alice (kinda a major one) and the white rabbit. The white rabbit makes me nervous. So many details on that one. I think I might start him tomorrow.

I'm sure some of you die hard Alice in Wonderland fans are wondering where the pipe is. Well, it's for a 5 year old's birthday. I didn't think a pipe was appropriate. But I think that the caterpillar's personality comes through anyway.


Cookies are tedious and time consuming... I'd rather be doing fondant work. But alas, I must do what the customer wants. Here's some of what I've been working on. Some of the cookies are still wet, but I do need to work with fondant now so I wanted to get pics up right away.

Baking Craziness

This past week has been a little bit insane for me. My little sister in law was visiting last week so we were out of the house a lot. And this week is filled with a really big cake order and cookie orders. So I'm totally busy and stressing. Lots of stuff to do! My kitchen looks like a bakery bomb went off- there's powdered sugar everywhere- and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere! I have 50 or so cookies covered and wrapped securely. Royal icing bowls. Yep. Just insanity. Then add in the kids and their activities. It's enough to make a woman loose her mind! I'll post pics soon of some fondant figurines I'm going to be doing. I'm sculpting Alice, the White Rabbit and the Caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland! I'm looking forward to that! But in the mean time I'll leave you with a link to a really cute food blog I found:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family Traditions: Ebelskivers

Do you know what an Ebelskiver is?? It's a puffy Danish pancake. And it's a ball shape. It can be filled too! It can be a very yummy breakfast or a delicious desert! Our whole family loves them and I think yours will too!

My husband's grandmother made Ebelskivers when he was a young boy. He had wonderful memories of them and insisted I buy a pan when we got married. I eventually inherited his grandmother's Ebelskiver pan which we were both very happy about. There's something special about using his grandmother's pan to pass on a family tradition to our kids. Here's a picture of my kid's breakfast this morning:


To make Ebelskivers you need an Ebelskiver pan. They sell them at Williams-Sonoma. This is a picture of my cast iron pan. I haven't seen any of these on the market. The one I purchased from Williams-Sonoma was a non-stick pan and much lighter. It worked great though! The pan is what makes the shape and it looks like this:

And here's a scrumptious recipe from Williams-Sonoma:

Cinnamon-Bun Filled Pancakes

With their fragrant cinnamon-sugar filling and drizzle of cream cheese frosting on top, these pancakes evoke all the sweet flavor and nostalgia of that bakery favorite: warm cinnamon buns. The pancakes make a comforting dish on cold winter mornings.


For the cinnamon filling:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes,
    at room temperature

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 3 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tbs. milk

For the pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for cooking


To make the cinnamon filling, in a bowl, still together the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and, using the back of a spoon, mash the butter into the flour mixture until all of it is absorbed into the butter, forming a paste. Set the cinnamon filling aside.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, reduce the speed to low and beat until combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add 3 Tbs. of the milk and beat until combined, about 1 minute. The frosting should be thick but still pourable; add more milk if needed to thin it. Transfer the frosting to a small bowl; set aside.

To make the pancakes, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar. In another bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk and the 4 Tbs. melted butter. Whisk the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture until well combined; the batter will be lumpy. Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.

Put 1/8 tsp. melted butter in each well of a filled-pancake pan. Set over medium heat and heat until the butter begins to bubble. Pour 1 Tbs. batter into each well. Spoon 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon filling into the center of each pancake and top with 1 Tbs. batter. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Using 2 skewers, flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and crispy, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the pancakes to a plate. Repeat with the remaining batter and filling.

Drizzle the pancakes with the frosting and serve immediately. Makes 35 to 40.

Monday, April 19, 2010

San Diego Perks

A definite perk of living in San Diego is that if you live here long enough you get to know some famous people. My hubby somehow gets to know a lot of them because he's in the shipping business in a very nice part of town. One day I told my hubby that I wanted to skateboard again. I must have been feeling rambunctious that day! It's been maybe 10 years or so since I've been on a skateboard. Well, he says "I'll ask a friend if he has any extra boards." I'm thinking yea right... I say"who?" He says, "I'll ask Bucky Lasek." I'm thinking are you joking me?! Do you even know him? But I just say, "o...kay" while trying not to let any sarcasm creep into my tone. Guess what, a few weeks later my hubby, Jordan walks in the door with two signed skateboards by Bucky Lasek. WOW! Insert mental image of me standing in the kitchen with my mouth hanging open like a codfish.

We put trucks, which are basically the wheels, on one. We mounted the other one on the wall. It's now a conversation piece, and I have to say, I think it's a pretty cool one at that!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

There's something about homemade soup that is so comforting. And most soup recipes don't have a ton of ingredients, which is great for a weeknight meal. Tonight's dinner Broccoli & Cheddar Soup with Beer Bread (recipe for easy beer bread: Due to the demands of my Facebook friends :) here's the soup recipe:

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup:
2 cups of chopped cooked broccoli (I use frozen and just steam it)
1/2 Stick of butter
1-2 large Shallots (you can substitute any medium sized onion)
1 garlic clove (put through a press or dice it really fine and smash with a knife)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
ground pepper to taste
1/3 c. flour
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (I use Wolfgang Puck Veg. Stock and water it down a lil- bc it's really dark, rich stock)
1 c. milk
1 1/2 full cups grated cheddar cheese (I like Sharp Cheddar)

Cook and chop broccoli and set aside. Melt butter in a large soup pot, add chopped onion/shallot, cook over med-high heat until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a moment, then sprinkle in flour, stirring until well blended. Keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes (get's rid of floury taste). Slowly add your stock. Stir constantly, then bring ot a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until thick. Add the milk, then the broccoli, bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, and stir in cheese and keep stirring until melted. It's ready to serve. Serves 4-6. But if you really LOVE soup- double the recipe :)

Recipe adapted from a Susan Branch Recipe.

Great Book Update

Back in January I did a post series called Rainy Day Spotlight. I posted on some unique books that I love. One of my posts was on the Feather Series by Abra Ebner. Which is an amazing series and I highly recommend it! Well, she's been hard at work and recently released the first book in her new series Knight Angels. I plan on picking up my own copy very soon! Here's a link to her website:

I recently read her other book called Parallel. I recommend this one too! It's a great book and totally unique! I'm not a huge sci-fi fan so I was hesitant at first to read a book that involved any time travel. Silly me. It's a love story! It's a brilliantly laid out love story! The characters in the book are figuring out the story and clues while the reader is. Fair warning: Parallel will suck you in and you might have trouble putting it down. This book is great for mature teens and adults. Pick it up!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My day...

When I have a cake order due I stress. I hate sitting and waiting. I need to be doing- aka- baking. Until I can get in the kitchen and be productive I stress. Must be the control freak in me... The next 3 weekends are full with cake/cupcake orders. This week, lots of stressing. Next week will be less stress but very busy. I need to get started on the fondant figurines due May 1st. Add on a custom cookie order of about 50 cookies and I can feel the late night exhaustion already. This might be my last weekend of sanity.... I say might because I have 2 birthday parties, one luncheon with friends, a grocery shopping trip and a lil-sis in-law arriving at the airport this weekend. Might be a sane weekend.... I'm not counting on it.

Where's the cherry on top of my day???? I nearly brake my finger trying to shake a paint can. Yes, I feel like a complete imbecile. How on Earth can I sculpt with a finger cast on?! It's hard enough typing with this finger brace. And yes, I have a brace because it's pretty bad. I'm actually not 100% sure it's not broken. But if it is- it's broken in a reasonably ok spot. I should be ok to sculpt by next week. I managed to smash my wedding ring finger at the end of the finger. First thing my hubby said was "GET THE RINGS OFF NOW!" My response: "oh yea, thanks babe." followed by some pathetic mice like squeaking noises.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Finally! It's hit me! If you're wondering what I'm talking about it's spring cleaning time! During the winter I do all the typical house chores. But come Jan-March the clutter starts to bug me. I can't bring myself to go super commando organization freak on it though. I need that energy that hits me in spring. And it's finally hit me! Yay!!! All this week I'm going to organize my house. It feels good to have everything in it's place and labeled. I love that. It doesn't last very long -- only for those first few weeks. It makes me very happy though. Here's my new favorite friend: my blue sticky tape and a good sharpie marker.

Here's a pic of a clean area in the playroom. I'm so happy there's one clean to tackle the rest!

And a pic of how many storage bins I have already organized. Some have holiday decorations in them. And this is only maybe 1/5 of how many I own in my garage. Now that I say that I wonder if I have a storage bin obsession. Hmmm...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shucking Peas

I have lots of memories from my childhood. Some of them involved our annual trips to Texas. I was born in Texas and all our family is in Texas. Each year, usually around Christmas we'd load up the car and take one heck of a long road trip to Texas from California. Some of my most favorite times were when my mom's whole family was squished into a little 2 bedroom house about the size of a double trailer. The black eyed peas with ham hock would be cooking on the stove. There'd be tons and tons of food. My Grandby (we always called my Grandma this) was convinced we were too skinny (always an ego boost). And my little white haired Great Granny would be rocking away in her rocking chair making a blanket while chewing on her toothpick. She was as blind as could be yet somehow she still managed to make blankets that had beautiful images on them- I have no idea how that's possible. And she'd periodically go check on the black eyed peas. Again... amazing. My Grandby would give me the job of shucking peas and I'd sit on the little kitchen floor and happily shuck peas. I loved those times. That itty bitty house was filled with such amazing smells and so much love.

I got word last night that my Grandby is in kidney failure. This morning she's incoherent and just being made comfortable. The doctors say it could be any time. When my mom called this morning to let me know Grandby's status, she said she was able to talk to her last night. And she said my Grandby is excited to see Paepaw (my Grandpa who passed almost 20 years ago). She said he was coming for her and she was so excited to see him. This was when I started bawiling.

I hope I can live a life like she did. I hope my kids and grandkids have happy memories from my house filled with family and food. I wish my kids could've met her, I regret that they didn't get that chance. Someday, when it's my time I hope someone I love will come to get me. Grandby - I know you can't read this but I love you so much. I'll miss you more than I think anyone knows. Your hand print will always be on my heart.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dinner tonight

Tonight's dinner I'm branching out. I'm cooking with polenta and chickpeas, not my typical repertoire. I typically make polenta a couple times a year and when I came across this recipe it looked intriguing. I read through this recipe and it looks like it could be really yummy! I'm not sure if my kids will eat it- but I'll make some chicken nuggets as backup- lol! Anyway, it looks quick and easy which is perfect for a weeknight meal! This recipe is by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.

This picture is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

Polenta with Lemony Asparagus and Chickpeas

(printer-friendly version)


2 1/4 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
1 cup polenta
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil


1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest (peel), freshly grated
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
1/4 cup water


12 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lemon peel, freshly grated
lemon juice, to taste
coarse or flaky salt (such as Maldon), to taste
4 teaspoons pine nuts (lightly toasted)

Bring the 2 1/4 cups water and the 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil in a pressure cooker. Add the polenta while stirring. Stir in the garlic and basil, lock the lid in place, and bring to high pressure. Reduce heat but maintain high pressure for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally. Stir well, salt to taste, and keep warm until ready to serve. (No pressure cooker? See note below)

While the polenta is cooking, sauté the onion in a medium-sized sauce pan until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and drained chickpeas and stir for another minute. Add the broth, basil, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lemon peel and juice. Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and add it to the pan. Cook over medium low heat until slightly thickened. Keep warm.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch asparagus for 2 minutes. Drain well and toss with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, and coarse salt to taste. Divide the polenta among 4 plates, and top each with a quarter of the chickpeas and asparagus. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of toasted pine nuts over each serving.

NOTE: To make polenta without a pressure cooker, use 2 cups broth and 1 cup water. Bring liquids to a boil in a heavy, deep saucepan, and slowly stir in polenta, garlic, and basil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until very thick (about 30 minutes). (Be careful and use a long-handled spoon because mixture can bubble and spit hot corn meal on your hand.) Add salt to taste and keep warm until ready to serve.

Servings: 4

Monday, April 5, 2010

Clean up

I know a holiday is over when my china is stacked up on the table waiting to go back into the china cabinet. When I see it sitting there it brings back all the wonderful memories from the day before. I absolutely love holidays!

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Ours was filled with chocolate, candies, great food, wine and an absurd amount of stickers :) But just like China, stickers don't stay out forever. Eventually I pick them up off the ground and peel them off the windows. They signify a happy time. And I don't mind cleaning them up. I know that my kids won't be into stickers forever and that this is a special time in both theirs and my life.

As a side note: The deviled eggs should be paired with salmon- otherwise limit the amount tarragon, it can be a bit overpowering. But the other food was awesome! The soup is so delicious! And the salad is to die for! Seriously, that's my new favorite salad ever! The roasted potatoes and artichokes were really yummy. And I did use the Pillsbury bread stick dough for the rolls. I rolled Parmesan and thyme into the dough as I was rolling them into rolls. I think my brother in law ate 6 of those- and I can't blame him, they were pretty darn great if I do say so myself :) We all could barely manage a bite of the berry napoleon because we were all so full when it was time for desert. Now off to plan the next big adventure!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

It definitely feels like Easter in our house. Last night I hard boiled 60 eggs. I know what your thinking- 60 EGGS!?!?!? I heard from my sister that I am crazy. I'm sure this might be a tad much but last night my hubby ate 4 of them. And this morning he took 2 to work. That means I'm down to 54. Then, the kids dyed 12. Now I'm down to 42 usable eggs to make deviled eggs with. Let alone, should my hubby want some hard boiled eggs after Sunday....see? It's not that many. And we have family coming to our Easter feast tomorrow. Trust me, they'll be gone!

I love Easter! I also love all the veggies that are available in the spring. I found artichokes on sale and that made me so happy! It's the little stuff for me....which now that I said it sounds kinda pathetic. On a side note- the Gorgonzola Vinegrette is delicious. I made it last night and actually found myself wanting to eat the dressing! Amazing. If you missed that blog post the recipe is at:

If you want to do a fun Easter craft with your kids, here's what we did this morning. We made hand flowers. All you need is some pipe cleaner and some paper.
1) Traced the kids hands on paper. 4 hand prints per flower.
2)Cut out the hand prints.
3) Erase any pencil lines.
3) Arrange the hands in a cross pattern ( + ) that way it's even petal distribution.
4) Poke a hole in the middle and put the pipe cleaner through.
5) Create a stem and a stamen with the pipe cleaner. Very easy to do.

Regardless of what crafts or recipes or traditions you do for Easter. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wild Animal Park

Here's some pictures from our trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. This park is so peaceful and has so many different plants. It's kinda like gardens and a zoo all in one. It's gorgeous.

My son's favorite animal:

My hubby's favorite animal- Okapi:

One of my favorite birds (it's like 4 feet tall) - The Secretary:

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