March 28, 2010

Jezebel has thought up an amazing March Madness pool for Foodies.

In this kitchen stadium, cake and pie battle to see who will reign supreme in the ultimate dessert challenge. Now this is a March Madness pool I can really sink my teeth into!

This was their original bracket:
Dessert lovers everywhere voted and revealed the final sixteen:

I think there are some serious upsets here: Wedding Cake over Pineapple Upside down cake?! Come on, who actually eats wedding cakes? They are purely for decoration. And how did a classic fruit pie like Cherry not win?

My final four bracket choices were Coffee, Carrot, Pecan and Cheesecake. I had a tough time deciding between Pecan vs. Banana Cream and Pumpkin vs. Lemon Meringue. If I had to choose, I would say pie should win hands down. You can't beat amazing pies like Banana Cream, Key Lime, Apple and Cheesecake (yes, Cheesecake is a PIE). Follow along with the bracket picks at Jezebel to see who will win this throwdown.
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March 26, 2010

Last night we learned a ton of new things at cake class, like how to ice roses, flowers, star flowers, and shell borders. We also learned how to make these adorable little clowns as a cake centerpeice:

My friend and I had a lot of fun at this week's class and we both found the activity a great stress reliever. At one point in the class, my friend giggled in delight and exclaimed, "I love this!"

Here is a picture of my clown cake:

An improvement from last week, but I still need a lot of practice. I think my icing was too soft as well, so my patterns kept melting. But, if at first you don't succeed....
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March 25, 2010

We bought some delicious ginger beef dumplings at the Market on the weekend, so we were inspired to make our own version of dumplings. And it was suprisingly easy...except for a ton of folding, but well worth the effort!

1. One package of won ton wrappers (we found them at our local grocery store)
2. 1 package of ground pork/beef or whatever filling you would like
3. 1 cup of choppped green onion
4. 2-3 tbsp bread crumbs
5. 1-2 tbsp olive oil
6. Spices/herbs (2 tbsp grated ginger, 1 cloves worth of chopped garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, sage, pepper, chili powder)
7. Sauces to taste (Sesame Oil, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Chili Garlic Sauce)

1. Combine meat, chopped green onions, olive oil, spices, sauces, and breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix together.

2. Sautee everything until meat is cooked and golden brown
3. Now you're ready to start folding! Place wrapper on cutting board in a triangle direction. Have a bowl of water nearby to wet your fingers. The water will help the wrappers stick. Dip your finger in the water and draw a line of water around the edges of the wrapper. Put about a tsp of filling on the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over and pinch the edges. Make as many dumplings as you need.

4. Put dumplings into a pot of boiling water. Leave in for about 5 minutes. If you wish, you can also pan fry them for a few minutes after they have been boiled. If you want to freeze some of the dumplings for later, make sure you don't fry them first, as they will not keep as well.
5. If you have too much filling left over, fry up some spinach and green onions with it. Then add BBQ sauce. Makes a great filling for wraps or sandwiches!

6. To make a dipping sauce, combine Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil and a dab of Chili Garlic sauce.
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March 24, 2010

Last night, I decided to practice what I learned at my last cake class.

After a few tries, my piping improved dramatically. I'm getting used to holding the icing bags and applying the right pressure. I am hoping to be more prepared and comfortable decorating this week. Last week was my first attempt at cake icing EVER.

My Mom's Birthday is on Thursday, so I am dedicating this week's cake to her. I will post a picture of my second masterpeice. Thank goodness for practice boards.

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March 19, 2010

Last night was Cake Class #2 and I have to say I was a little discouraged.

The cake I made came out really crumbly and sticky, so I had a hard time icing it. My cake kind of looked speckled and crumbly, probably not a desired effect.

Then, when I went to class, everyone had perfectly iced cakes in lovely cake carriers. I brought my cake in on an old pizza box.

We learned how to fill and hold the icing bags and some decorating basics, like stars, waves and lettering.

The Wilton star technique

 Basic lettering

My hands were also covered in food colouring and icing by the end of the class.

The cake was supposed to look like this:

Mine looked like this:

But as my Dad always says, "if it was easy, everyone would do it." So, I am not going to get discouraged after the first attempt. I am going to practice and show everyone that I can be a "Cake Boss!"

My cake got eaten very quickly in my house, so I'm hoping that's a good sign.
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