Friday, 30 September 2011

Sometimes Something's Just Not For You.....

So a year or two ago, I saw the London episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. On it, he eat's at Fergus Henderson's St. John, where his favourite thing ever, apparently, is served to him. Roasted beef marrow on toast with salt and parsley caper salad. Since that day, I've been dying to try this. A year ago, I actually bought one piece of bone marrow, but it never made it to the oven, it was freezer burned. So yesterday, I decided to go for one more piece, since my grocery store happened to have them, and they only cost around $2.50 anyway.

The way I saw it, if it was Bourdain's favourite meal ever, I pretty much was destined to love it also. You can check out a good chunk of that episode below, including where he eats this:

So if YOU are interested in trying this delicacy, you essentially roast it on 450° for 15 to 20 minutes until it starts getting oozy, and serve it with the parsley salad and bread. The recipe is all over the place. 

We sit down to the meal, and I am feeling really hesitant looking at what lies in front of me. My husband reminds me that I am the one who always says to have an open mind. Oh my god. I hated this. I actually spit it out. It felt like I took some chunky slimy Crisco and rubbed it all over the inside of my mouth. I just shuddered as I wrote that. This was not for me. Oh well. Now I know. Lesson learned: Bourdain's word is not the word of God and I will not always love everything he idealizes.

On the bright side, my dinner was delicious! But I left my camera on, plugged into the computer like a genius (it's probably the 4th time this month) and we have no batteries, and I didn't get any pics of it. I'll have to make it again soon, it will become a regular thing for sure. Brick squashed chicken in a caste-iron frying pan. In the meantime, you can check out Michael Smith's recipe that I used. 

Click this link for the recipe!
Have a great day!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

A Good Idea...

So my plan today was to write about these sort of Middle-Eastern/Mediterranean-ish spiced cabbage rolls I made yesterday. It was a vegetarian recipe I'd been wanting to make for years. Every once in a while, though, a recipe is simply not good. That was the case here, and it was tremendously disappointing to me. We ended up using McDonald's coupons. SIGH.....

On the bright side, though, I did end up starting my meal with a very good idea that took about five minutes to put together. Not so much a recipe, but just something that can be thrown together and altered depending on what you have in the house. This is sort of along the lines of a BLT, if you can imagine Basil being a substitute for lettuce. Little did I know, it turned out to be a starter to my Big Mac trio.

Here's my recipe (if you can call it that), it's for two people:

4 pieces of melba toast
1 handful of cherry tomatoes (or about half a big tomato) chopped up
2 pieces of bacon, diced and fried
4-6 fresh basil leaves (or a pinch of dried basil)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or a pinch of dried oregano)
a splash of white (or red) wine vinegar
a drizzle of really good extra virgin olive oil

Here's the oil I used, it's an award winner that I've mentioned in the past, and is really fantastic. 

Really and truly, you just need to mix it up, spoon it onto the melba toasts, or any other good toasted bread, and maybe give it another drizzle of olive oil just for extra loveliness. 

That's all there is to it! Even my non-tomato adoring husband really liked these. I think they're a great example of how you can incorporate small amounts of meat without them being the main part of the meal, yet another Mediterranean Diet principle. Just as long as you don't follow them up with a Big Mac...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Chickpea Orzo Salad

The following salad is really among my favourite go-to recipes. I don't make it as often as I'd like, as my husband is not that huge on cold salads, but when I do, it's a real winner. Not to mention that if you double it, it is great to bring to a potluck. This is not an original recipe, I must confess. My mom got it from a healthy recipe magazine of some kind, but sadly, I do not know which one.

Here's the recipe:

1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 19once can chickpeas, drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic

This recipe is really quick to make. While you're boiling the pasta in salted water, chop up all of the green onions, feta, and dill in whatever you'd like to mix your ingredients in. I also put the garlic, water, oil, lemon and salt into the container too... For the most part, I feel like making dressing in a separate dish is kind of a waste of a dirty dish... I've been using those glass containers with plastic lids for everything these days. I even threw out most of my plastic containers. 

Sadly, I tried to use my new pot with one of those deep colanders that you leave in the pot of water and then just slowly lift out when the pasta is done, but the orzo mostly just came sliding out of the wholes. I ended up draining the pasta in one of those really small... I can't think of the name. You know, the strainers that you'd use to rince off berries or whatever? 

Then, just mix in the orzo once it's cooled off for a few minutes. How easy is that? I really love this salad... I hope it inspires you to make it at home. It's healthy and delicious, and that's what the Mediterranean Diet is really all about. 

Have a great day!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Beet Salad

Whoa! How has a whole week gone by since my last post? It's been one of those weeks. Only had time to quickly check email and facebook and then off to the races!!!

So getting back into it, I still have had lots of beets to use up. After going to a new little cafe that recently opened up where I live, I was inspired to make a beet salad using an ingredient you wouldn't expect to go so well with beets: oregano. My replication was pretty similar, and it made enough to last me the week, which is great to do since they do last a little longer than your average salad.

Here's my recipe:

5-6 whole beets
1/4-1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tbsp good olive oil
1-2 tbsp red vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Optional: crumbled goat cheese or feta

So I simply boiled the beets until they were fork tender. I let them cool down and then peeled them, which is so much easier when they are cooked. I cut them sort of like you would potatoes for a chunkier french fry. 

Then it was all about dumping the ingredients in and tossing them up.

I 've been eating then both with and without the optional cheese, but honestly, I'm not sure which I like better. You can't really go wrong with goat cheese, though, can you?

That's all for today, have a great one!

Monday, 19 September 2011

An Accidental Experiment: Beet Bread

So... Keeping with my seasonality theme, I was wanting to do some baking with the carrots I bought. Seeing as I did by 30 lbs of vegetables if you include the beets and potatoes I bought, I didn't really think it would be such a bad thing to leave them out. I figure, hey, that's how you buy them in the store, so why not? Well... I've been noticing a little bit of a fruit fly problem lately, which isn't shocking, because anyone who leaves fruit out to ripen in the summer has dealt with this on some level.

Anyway, so I have this carrot bread that I adore, so when there were no subbing jobs on Friday, I figured it would be a good idea to make this fantastic bread. I open up my bag of carrots, and to my surprise, a whole freakin' family of fruit flies comes storming out of the carrot bag, leaving behind about 9 lbs of carrots with black spots on them. Needless to say, the carrot bread did not make it to the menu.

I did have 10 lbs of beets to play with, however. And recently, I heard you can grate raw beets into a salad like you do carrots, so I thought, why not just replace the carrots with beets in my delicious bread???

So I did! And it turned out great! I'll have to post the carrot bread recipe another time. I also changed up the seasoning, because, well, I just did.

Here's my recipe for a 2 lb loaf:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I ended up using a good 1/4 to 1/2 extra)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup finely shredded raw beet - 1 good sized beet
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter or oil
1/2 to 1 tsp dried thyme (depending if you like a strong thyme flavour or not)
1/4 tsp ground nutmet
2 1/2 tsp yeast

So I dumped all of this into the dough cycle on my bread machine, and it was a beautiful pink. I always feel like I'm making something good when the result is an intense, but natural colour like this.

Then I rolled it out much in the same way I would to make French Baguette, only shorter, because I was looking for a fatter loaf.

I rolled it up, put it on a pizza pan with some cornmeal, and then let it rise for about 40 minutes. I made some slits in the dough after this, just to let some air escape.

I baked the bread in a preheated oven on 400°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until it sort of sounds hollow all over when you knock on it gently. This is how it came out. My husband told me he thought it sort of looked like ground beef... I can't really disagree. It does sort of look like meatloaf when it's raw. 

ANYway, this turned out great. I loved this recipe and would definitely make it again. The strange thing about this bread is that, while the crust stays nice and pink, the inside sort of loses it's colour. Oh well, not that that would make it taste any different, but the idea of eating red bread was appealing to me. Sunday morning, I turned it into a bacon and egg sandwich with roasted red peppers, a little mayo and HP sauce... It was very excellent, I must say. 

I would definitely recommend trying this, if nothing else, for the novelty of having pink bread. Not to mention, it's a fantastic little loaf. 

Have a great day!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Feature Friday

Hi there folks. Welcome to another Feature Friday, in which I feature a fantastic recipe that I feel goes along with the principals of Mediterranean Living. This morning I came across a fantastic recipe for Gazpacho Soup. Michele over at My Italian Grandmother is someone who I follow, and I always think her recipes look fantastic. She lives in New Jersey, but is originally from Brooklyn. She really knows a thing or two about Italian cooking since... she IS Italian!!! 

My Italian Grandmother

Anyhow, this recipe is simple, authentic, and looks delicious. In this case the theme she was going for was more Californian, and she served it for a dinner group. I've always said I'd love to have a dinner group, maybe one day I'll make it happen... I have been known to host a theme party or two. You should really check her out, not only for this great looking Gazpacho, but also for the other delicious recipes she's created and graciously shared with us. 

If you have a recipe you'd like included on my Feature Friday, I'd love to hear all about it!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

What-You-Eat Wednesday

So folks, I've had a request to bring back What-You-Eat Wednesdays. This is the day that I list ingredients of a mystery food, and have you, dear readers, guess at what it is. I sort of let the last two that I did slide, and never got around to telling you what they were. So I'd like to take this opportunity to re-post them, but then let you know what they were.

Mystery Food # 1:


Need a clue? In its regular state, this food is a condiment that I think makes a bad day better.... You can scroll down to find the answer.

Mystery Food # 2 :
Water, Glucose-Fructose/Sugar, Citric Acid, Simulated Flavours, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose , Less than 1/10 of 1% Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate , Colour  Red # 40, Blue # 1, and Yellow # 6, 
Your clue here: This is a 100 calorie treat that I love after a workout, even though it's filled with chemicals.

So, what are these foods?

Mystery Food # 1 is:

All I can say is... ew. So not worth it.

Mystery Food # 2 is:

Yum... evil, but still... So refreshing.

Mysteries solved!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A Simple Cream of Carrot Soup

So, in typical French fashion, I like to be very seasonal in the ingredients that I buy. During the summer I enjoyed the strawberries and asparagus, then the peaches and tomatoes, and now, along with apples and pears, root vegetables are starting to pop up, at amazing prices too. So how could I resist buying copious amounts of carrots, beets and potatoes. I ended up buying 30 pounds of vegetables for under six dollars! 

So, needless to say, I need to get busy and make some great things with these vegetables. They are taking up so much space that I didn't even try to put them away. I just have them lying neatly up next to my kitchen island. 

I know that Cream of Carrot Soup is eaten all over the place, but for some reason this kind of thing, sometimes called a Potage, is very Quebecois. In Quebec, possibly the most adored chef is named Ricardo Larrivée. He is the only chef I can think of that has a popular French AND English show, plus he has a magazine to top it off. Anyhow, so last year, I caught an episode of his show, and he was making the easiest carrot soup. I loved the colour and the flavours were so simple, yet worked so well together. 

And here's the recipe:

4 cups sliced carrots (about 6 or 7)
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
5 cups milk
1 pinch salt and pepper

So I chopped everything up...

Then I sautéed the carrots and onion in the two tbsps of butter for about 5 minutes. I added in the milk, salt and pepper, and brought it to a boil and simmered for about 20-25 minutes. Yes, the milk did burn on the pot a little bit... Not sure how to get around that exactly, but it didn't effect the taste of the soup. 

I just wanted to mention, that the first time I made this recipe, I was concerned that I would need to add some kind of additional seasoning. I mean, there's not a lot going into this soup. Just trust me, there is plenty of flavour, and in this case simplicity is key. This soup is fantastic. At this point, the carrots were tender. Ricardo says to put this in a blender or food processor, but I was feeling lazy, so I used a hand blender. I also like to strain this soup for an extra smooth consistency. It's not pretty, but makes a big difference. 

That's all there is to it! Stir in a little cream, you can even get fancy and write the first letter of peoples names. I did that last time, but this time, I was home by myself and just making lunch for me, so I opted for a pretty swirl. Delish... I ate this and then two pieces of Melba Toast with some goat cheese on it. What a nice lunch!

Have a great day!

Monday, 12 September 2011

And The Winner IS....

Congratulations to Andie Jaye, from Crayon Freckles. Picked totally at random (literally, picked a name out of a bag), Andie Jaye is the winner of my first giveaway. She won this cute little picture and frame:

Also, I just discovered that if you want to link up to Andie, you can do so at her link party, which you can check out (which I shall happily be doing) here:

Andie, please contact me with your address and I'll happily send you your prize!

That's all for today folks.
Have a great day!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

French Herb Potato Salad

Before I begin, I'd like to also give a quick reminder that this is the last day of my giveaway. Hope you'll join me, I'll be picking the winner tonight, and will announce it tomorrow. Check it out here:

So for Labour Day Weekend, my friends hosted a BBQ, which they held in their fantastic backyard since the weather was great. It was a perfect day. Swimming, our closest friends, wine, food and a campfire to top it off. So along with some store bought wine and pasta  salad, I decided to make something very Mediterranean. Ina Garten's French Potato Salad. The way I see it, if there's someone you're going to turn to for a recipe like potato salad, you cannot go wrong with the Barefoot Contessa. While she is not a qualified chef, her recipes are only fantastic. This recipe was great, I just wanted to eat more and more of it. But of course I didn't, because that wouldn't be very Mediterranean of me, would it?

So here's the recipe:

  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes
  • 1 pound small red boiling potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar  (couldn't find it, so I used white wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

So essentially, this was a pretty quick recipe to make. I washed and boiled the potatoes whole for about 25 minutes (they suggested 20-30) until you can feel they are ready with a fork. It also said to steam them afterwards for 10 minutes, but my potatoes were fully cooked. If I cooked them a minute longer they would have been overdone. 

While they were boiling, I chopped up all of my herbs and put them in a bowl. I was a little iffy about the 
combination of dill and basil, but with everything else it was just perfect. Sort of pickley.

So after that, I let them cool and quartered or halved my potato depending on their size. The strange part is that next, you're to mix in the chicken stock and wine. I did it, and it sort of makes sense, since potatoes soak up liquid when they're hot. It just made them extra tasty. I whisked together the vinegrette by drizzling in the olive oil to the mustard, vinegar, and half the salt and pepper. Actually I forgot to mention I didn't have any kosher or sea salt, so I ended up using about half the amount of regular old table salt. Don't forget, it's a much more concentrated flavour, so you don't need as much. I mixed the vinegrette, herbs and remaining s & p into the potatoes,  and ended up with this great, fresh tasting salad. As I suspected I didn't need ALL the vinegrette, but I suggest you make it as directed for the first time like I did, and then judge for yourself. 

Have a great day!  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A Work In Progress...

So the topics I've been choosing for this blog over the last month or so have not so much been related to the Mediterranean Diet, but more the parties and such that I've been going to and the projects that go along with them. It's not that I've been doing nothing but partying and haven't been focused, or even that I've been off in my eating habits, but more that I've had some frustrations that I'm dealing with in terms of my weight loss. NO, this is not one of those diet-blog posts of a frantic dieter confessing his or her sins, only to vow that they will only eat salad and carrot soup for the next month (although I'd be lying if I said the thought never crossed my mind...), but more of a reflection of what's hard about this diet, what's working, and what I need to tweak for my own personal situation. Because that's what this blog is all about: me adapting the ideas of this lifestyle into my own personal life.

If you've read my intro, you know that I lost some weight with Weight Watchers about a year ago, and have kept it off for over a year by following the principals of the Mediterranean Diet, which you can check out by following the Basics link above. And, although I've continued following it over the last month as usual, an extra five pounds just seemed to cling onto me out of nowhere. Week one, I was mystified. I've been exercising more than ever. Week two I decided to contribute it that great monthly excuse women have for putting on weight (a perfectly valid excuse, I might add). Week three, I realized that, as a teacher, although I've been bumping up my exercise routine, instead of running after a bunch of 6 year olds all day, I've been basically sitting on the couch or on the computer blogging over the summer holidays. Not to mention a great stay-cation, multiple birthdays (including my own) and bbqs and other wonderful summer festivities. Basically, this summer I payed the price for sitting on my butt all day and didn't burn enough calories.

No matter what eating plan you follow, the basic formula is always the same: calories in versus calories out. So, now that school's back on, I'd like to gear down and figure out what tweaking I need to do to make sure I'm doing my best. Today: How To Eat. Sounds too simple. But it's so important. I've been reading Laura Calder's French Taste, And she outline's this very topic, as do many other books focused on Mediterranean Eating.

French Taste: Elegant Everyday Eating

She says:

  • As much as possible, buy good, natural ingredients (i.e. whole foods), and cook from scratch
  • Never eat alone if you can avoid it.
  • The only other activities to engage in while eating are talking and drinking.
  • Always eat sitting down.
  • Never lay a guilt trip on your appetite.
  • Relish every bite.

This pretty much sums it up, huh? I do find this to be a challenge. I find it hard to not sit in front of the TV while eating and pretty much tuning out everything else, especially after a long day of work. This is something I really want to work on. Focusing on what I'm eating, and the company around me. It's almost an unnatural thing in North America to eat this way, TV or not. I also feel sort of challenged by the fact that my husband grew up in one of those households where you look at your meal or the tv, shovel the food in as fast as possible, and then get on in life. He's game to try and do pretty much anything I ask him to (which I am blessed to have), but that makes this kind of thing totally unnatural to him. We've been living together for years, but this was never really a focus. I do feel like this is a challenge I want to get into, though, because it does make such a difference in how much you eat, and the way you feel after eating. I know this from experience, I just have to make it a habit. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if not watching TV while eating or rushing through meals is a challenge you find really difficult also. 

Whoa, this is a crazy long post... My friend the Littlest Crafter is so shaking her head at me as she read's this... Next time, less venting, but I had lots to get out of my head!! Progress reports to come soon!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Zucchini Flowers....Mmmmm

So today, I'd like to send you over to my buddy The Littlest Crafter's blog. She'll tell you all about the awesome lazy weekend we had a few weeks back, and the good, garden-fresh stuff we came up with, including the most delectable zucchini flowers we bbqed. 

Definitely one of the best things we ate all year. It was one of those moments of eating in slow motion, and the recipe was one I sort of made up depending what I saw on online recipes mixed with what I found in their fridge. Go check it out! There may still be some of these left in your garden!

Before you go though, don't forget to check out my giveaway!

Have a great day!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Barbie Cake Part 3 - The Decorating

So this is the third and final part of my Barbie Cake series. Today I'll be giving you some tips on how to actually decorate a barbie cake, and how to use fondant. One thing I'll say is that I mis-measured, and so my barbie dress ended up too big for the cake base, so I ended up with two separate cakes, but I did tie them in together. But before I begin, don't forget to check out my giveaway! Sit back and have a cocktail, this is going to be one long post! 

Ok, so as you saw in parts one and two, I made the marshmallow fondant and rice krispie base ahead of time, just to make life easier. Decorating day required me to make a batch of buttercream icing. Now, in the past couple of years, I've switched my recipe for something a bit different if I'm actually decorating. Often if I'm just making cupcakes for the family or something like that, I'll use the Betty Crocker Buttercream Recipe. Actually, taste wise my hubby prefers it. However, the Wilton Buttercream Recipe is a much better recipe for decorating, because of the consistency. It really does whatever you want it to, and sticks in place. I think it's because of the Crisco. I know, it's gross to think of putting vegetable shortening in your icing, but it just works, and I think it tastes just as good personally. That being said, on to the decorating.

I made the icing purple, because I figured if I did the whole thing pink, it would look like a hot pink mess... toooo much. After baking and cooling an 11" cake, I iced both the cake and the rice krispies with what's called a "crumb layer" of icing. This basically means a very thin layer of icing that you let set for a while. This serves a few purposes. First, it means that when you're doing your properly icing your cake, it puts a barrier between messy looking crumbs and your icing. Second, it gives the fondant or piped icing something to stick to.  

At this point I'll explain the dress first, then the cake later on. So I've often been asked how to make the dress look like it has waves in it. The secret? Big hunks of fondant rolled into a sort of cylinder shape, but rolled really thin at one end. I made five of them, just because.  

I wanted to make sure I spread them out at least somewhat evenly, so I made small marks with a knife on the icing, and then stuck them on with a bit of a firm hand. 

Next was the cover. To make this, first knead the fondant you will be using for a few minutes to make sure it's good and malleable. What I do is measure the cake from one end to the other, bottom to top to bottom, and then make sure my rolled out fondant gives me a few extra inches. BUT: make sure you roll it out on icing sugar, and that you lift the fondant very frequently to re-spread the icing sugar. I do this, but I tend to always just take it a bit to far without lifting, and I end up ripping my fondant off the table. I think this has happened to me just about every time I've made a cake... Argh!!!

Once the fondant is the right size, lift it up and try to centre it over the cake, or in this case rice krispies. One tip I heard when I first started really helped me out. My instinct would have been to try to smooth down the fondant over cake, but instead, you should be sort of pushing up and making the fondant cup around the cake, not spreading it down, because it will stretch and tear. You'll see what I mean once you do it. When shapes are not following the natural progression of the fondant, like the waves, always lift the fondant a little and cup it in, forcing it to fit the shape properly. It will do this as long as you don't stretch it out, even if it seems unnatural. If there are large surfaces that need smoothing, you can use a fondant smoother, I usually do, they do a great job!

Trim the fondant, but not too close to the cake, because then it will peak through. Then you can dip your finger in a little water and smooth out the rough edges. 

I decided to have a bit of a flowery theme here, just because I have some flower shaped fondant cutters. So I decorated the base with 5 leaves. Then I added a couple of flowers to the base to tie it all in. Some people won't like this, but I've found the best way to make fondant stick on fondant is by rubbing the tiniest amount of vodka on the back. Sorry peeps, it just is. I do mean tiny though. Nothing that would hurt anyone.

For the actual Barbie top, which you can find in most good decorating stores, that part is a little challenging. What I did was cut out two of the same shape that connected at the shoulders. Then I stuck them together and smushed them. Another blogger, I'm really sorry but I don't remember who, gave the tip that a little Crisco will smooth out imperfections in fondant, so I used that to make the shoulders a little smoother. I was sure I took pics of this process, but apparently not. I tied it all together by using some of the darker fondant to make a twisted looking waste type thing (that's the technical term, I think) and then put a flower on the chest to finish it off.

As for the actual cake, I used a technique that I love, in which you pipe little star shaped flowers onto the cake, and it makes everything look a little bit fluffy. I've done other cakes like this and generally find them less stressful than fondant, like this superman cake I made for a good friend some time ago.

So what I did was put some more icing on the top of the cake, and smoothed it out as much as possible with a knife made for icing cakes. Then I piped the icing on the sides.

Again, wanting to tie in the two cakes, I decided to print out a pic of a crown, which I used to trace onto some rolled out fondant and cut around it.

Instead of the circles on top of the crown pic, I added small flowers to match the dress, and stuck it on the buttercream. I used a pic to trace where I wanted to pipe the words out, and then piped it on. I added two fondant hearts because Katie is two years old, and then I just topped it with some crown candles.

I also had a fondant crown for the Barbie, but that seems to be missing too.. Me thinks I forgot to download a couple of pics of the ol' camera, but this post is getting way to long, so I think I'll stop here. Hope this will help some novice cake decorators out, I had lots of fun sharing. Now back to the Mediterranean Diet!!!!!

Have a great day!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Barbie Cake Part 2 - Rice Krispies!

Welcome to part 2 of my Barbie Cake Project! It's been a few days, because I've been so busy decorating that I really didn't have any energy left to post. Today, I'll be showing you how I made Barbie's dress. It is really not complicated at all. But first, just a reminder. I am one week in to my two week giveaway! You should check it out here. All you need to do is become a follower, and up for grabs is this cute skittles picture frame idea I came up with:

On to the Barbie cake. So, as I was saying last time, this is my second Barbie Cake. Last time, it was a bride, but this time is a princess. So I actually have the cake pan for the dress mold, which looks like this:

You'll have to excuse the cake mess in the background, but whenever I make a cake it's like a tornado hits. I should have a post just about the mess it makes!!! Ok maybe not, but I'll be for sure showing you the messy pics. It's too ridiculous not to.

This is a Wilton pan. Wilton makes all the good stuff, and has all the good recipes....don't ya think? Anyway, last time, I tried to make an actual cake in this pan, following all the directions, only to have the cake rip in half as I was carefully taking it out of the mold. My cake was too delicate. After wiping of the tears, I realized that this was one of those cases, just like you see on Ace of Cakes, that it's not worth using cake, and rice krispie treats are a much better way to go. Anyway, who doesn't like rice krispie treats? And since it all goes on a cake base anyway, you end up with two desserts in one! 

If you want the official Kellogg's recipe, you can get it here
Ok, so there is no genious work in making rice krispie treats (I keep wanting to say squares, but this is not a square at all!) I melted up my marshmallows in the microwave with some butter.

Once they were melty, I added in some pink food colouring just for fun. Then I used a huge bowl to mix in the rice krispies. 

I buttered my pan, lined it with plastic wrap, and then buttered the plastic wrap too. I then dumped the mix into the pan, and with buttered hands (ok, so just deal with it, it's not that bad), I patted it down hard. 

With a little cleverness, I made just enough to get myself an 8 x 8 pan filled with extras, most of which was gone by the time I dropped off the cake last night. I actually just had some more for breakfast... mmmm... Isn't it weird how the lighting of these two pics makes such a difference in the colour?

Ok people... I wasn't going to do this. But I just can't wait to show you what the barbie part of this cake ended up looking like. Since I ended up with two cakes, I think I can justify doing this.. Here it is... one of two big reveals!!!! 

The best part of this cake was, aside from my friend's reaction, that three people stopped me (actually one couple stopped their car in the middle of the street to ask) where I got the cake and they freaked out when they found out I made it. It's a great feeling, and makes it all worth the effort.... 

That's all for today folks.. Oh. Did you notice more of my cake-making-mess? I told you... It's impossible to avoid. 

Have a great day, and to my Canadian readers, enjoy this Labour Day Weekend!