Back from a day full of classes in Red Deer – prepping for an early morning Halloween show on BT and party at W’s school – I’ve just made vats of icing (and while doing so stained my fingers a deep indigo) and divvied up little baggies of candies and shoestring licorice (for the chocolate truffle spiders) – and in my absence Mike made me a meat hand. Is that love or what? But I was thinking on the drive back about beet cake – what else does your mind wander to on the highway? George Clooney? (Perhaps he was delivering me the beet cake for my breakfast in bed.. ) And I realized a lot of you asked for it but I didn’t post it. Here it is. (W decorated this one, and found it difficult to evenly distribute the sprinkles atop the cake.) I’ll be wearing a whoopie cushion suit on BT tomorrow morning. (In approximately 6 hours.) I can’t wait to askContinue reading
Sorry – I have more sweets for you. This time it’s cake, because today we managed to pull off our first chocolate dragon. W had a small birthday party – just cousins, aunts, grandmas and grandad and a few friends. He wanted hot dogs and Cheezies. We added mini burgers, peaches, blueberries and a tray of veg (tiny local carrots, radishes and pea pods) with garlic & basil Swiss dressing from Mary and Ernie – all easy stuff and not much in the way of cooking, so there isn’t much to pass on. As he is currently obsessed with the movie How to Train Your Dragon he requested a dragon cake. Mike baked the layers, and having reviewed a few photos of other homemade dragon cakes for guidance, we went at it with a knife first thing this morning. One cake was cut in half and then put side by side for the body (a tip I took from here), and the tail, head, neck,Continue reading
I remember the day it occurred to me that being born in August meant never getting to bring cupcakes to school on your birthday. W was due the end of July, born on August 4. This sad fact occurred to me sometime around May, and I was crushed. I mean seriously crushed. Panicked, even. I cried, partially due to the raging hormones I’m sure, over cupcakes. Or the lack of opportunity to make them to mark the most important event in the year of a little kid. I got over it – kind of. Most everyone is away on the first long weekend of August, which sucks a bit every time W’s birthday rolls around. And he hasn’t started school yet. But today was his preschool’s May pole party – a performance for which parents were asked to bring a little smackerel of something when we arrived at 11 am. Last time we were asked to such an event – on Valentines’ Day – theContinue reading
Aw, I’m all verklempt. I’m so glad to have you guys here, cheering me on, balancing things out, telling me what I need to hear when I can’t see past my thighs. (Especially my right one, which is inexplicably two inches bigger than my left one.) It’s silly, isn’t it? The hungry part of my brain easily convinces the part that controls my hands and mouth that life is too short to worry about aesthetics, that I shouldn’t waste my time caring about my hair or what I can or can’t wear and who might see me, but rather seize the day (and the donut) and appreciate what I have. Which is all true. Especially when news comes of the death of someone close to many friends and colleagues, and another old friend is suddenly admitted to the ICU. What better salve than a comforting meal shared with people you love? To obsess about that extra piece of buttered toast with tea before bed seemsContinue reading
Good news! We have a ton of freezer space now. Bad news! Mike unplugged it last week when he had to replace the stairs he had to tear out in order to get the new furnace in. I’ve been digging stuff out of the upstairs freezer a lot this week, mostly in order to feed the boys before ditching them and heading to Red Deer. Tonight was my third of four classes at The Cooking Room, and I timed it just exactly so that I would be one of hundreds detoured off the main highway to the 2A so that they could clear up the 40 or so (I’m not even exaggerating) collisions and pull vehicles from the ditch. I left Calgary at 3, and arrived in Red Deer (typically an hour and a quarter away) at 7:20. At one point I didn’t make it out of first gear for 2 1/2 hours. Bored, I ate everything within reach in the car – Jelly BellysContinue reading
Happy third birthday, W. I’ll fast-forward to the punchline: Lou ate the cake. Or rather W fed it to him, which is understandable; he was just trying to share. It was a blueberry-buckwheat Bundt cake; I had stumbled upon a recipe for pancakes in cake form on Orangette, and since W is such a huge fan of pancakes and most of his party guests were under 4, it seemed like a good pick. (As a bonus, this cake actually improves after sitting for a day or two, which makes it perfect for events for which you do not want to be baking a cake the morning of.) So I baked it yesterday, thinking that pumpkin ice cream might not make a bad pairing (a recipe I had to test anyway), and within an hour discovered it half eaten on the kitchen counter. I tried a chunk of it that hadn’t been tainted by dog lick, and it was pretty good, if not a little dense, plainContinue reading
Happy birthday Dad. It was a potluck last night for my Dad’s birthday; ribs by his request, and potato salad, and we filled it out with corn and greens and asparagus. To be honest, I passed on the potato salad, which my sister had thoughtfully made with fat-free Miracle Whip in consideration of my Dad’s high cholesterol, and which as a result had that unappealing translucent sheen to it. It did remind me though that I need to make roasted potato salad soon in order to illustrate my favourite cooking method for potato salad: roasting, which not only adds far more flavour and a better texture than boiling (which would you rather eat on its own?) but creates this crispy crust that doesn’t allow the potatoes to absorb as much mayo as they otherwise would, had they been boiled. If you really want to win friends and influence people, you could cook a few slices of bacon and then roll the potato chunks around in some oil andContinue reading
Ganache is just a fancy word for chocolate melted with cream, and in this case, honey. It’s the same mixture you’d use to make truffles, only more liquidy. It’s actually easier to make than frosting.