Monday, May 31, 2010

Miniature Cakes with Fondant

159. My most recent adventure was working with fondant. Now, I am no Duff Goldman or Buddy from "Cake Boss". Fondant is fantastic but tricky to work with.

For a recent event, a sweet friend, who works at Front Street Bakery agreed to help me with a cake decorating project. She came up with an idea to make individual cakes. Our event was to celebrate 8 special young ladies who would be graduating from a special program called Stars Club. They would be crowned as Honor Stars. So our theme was stars with the colors of blue and white!
Rachel ordered pre-baked cakes, which we measured out and cut to make the individual layered cakes. Our cakes were 4"x4".
We placed them on small 5inch round display boards.
We frosted each layer
Then placed a second layer on and covered everything with a thin layer of frosting.
Next we used fondant.
I have never worked with fondant but was so excited to learn.

Rachel had white and blue fondant, which she colored to match our theme.
The kneading process was fantastic. It felt similar to play dough and the texture changed as you worked with it. We kept our hands dusted with powdered sugar to keep the fondant from becoming sticky. When I tasted the fondant it was very similar to the taste of marshmallow.
After rolling out the fondant, we then took the chilled miniature cakes and placed the fondant over. The ability to take a round piece of fondant and form it to a square cake is an art. On our first cake we showed our lack of experience. But as we worked with each cake our skills improved.
In keeping with our theme, we cut out small stars and applied them to the cakes.
Rachel piped little star bursts to enhance each cake.
My daughter and I made little star bursts for the top of each cake from fiber optic strings bound together with little star stickers on each end. They helped to finish off each cake so perfectly. What a wonderful experience this was. And to work along with Rachel was wonderful! Thanks for all your help Rachel...You are the best!
The cakes were a lovely addition to our celebration.

"You have to remain open while creating a cake. You want it to look like your original concept, your drawing, but you can't get stuck in it.
Sometimes the cake is going to go a different way, and you just have to let it."
~ Duff Goldman the Ace of Cakes

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kitchen Remodel

158. I'm sure you are wondering why I haven't posted is because my kitchen looks like this!!!
We are having our kitchen remodeled and the kitchen is closed temporarily.
One of the best changes will be a new floor...this tile floor was very hard on my feet and ankles.
But the new ceiling is up and very soon I will be posting pictures of the finished product...I hope! I can't wait!

"Anyone that has ever had their kitchen done over
knows that it never, never gets done as soon as you wish it would."
~ Ronald Reagan

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lemonade Stand

157. What constitutes the makings of a successful Lemonade Stand? When my daughter and her friend came up with the exciting plan to have a Lemonade Stand today, I was a bit skeptical.
I stated to them emphatically, "People going to the beach don't take money with them...and people walking their dogs around the neighborhood don't carry their wallets either." My plan was to discourage them from the task...secretly knowing that my efforts would be required. But, I gave in and the girls set up their Lemonade Stand. They rolled out a cart, mixed up lemonade in a pitcher...scavenged for cups and made an adorable sign. Just watching their excitement was enjoyable.

I was unsure how they would do until the neighbors walked over and laid down $3.00 for 3 cups of lemonade. They were so excited, they ran in the house to announce they had made their first sale.

Now, Queen Martha would have besmirched this feeble effort because the cups were Christmas cups and a few purple cups from Easter. The lemonade was a mix poured into water and the sign was hand drawn. She would not have used anything but fresh Meyer lemons picked from a lemon tree in the backyard and hand squeezed for freshness. Mixed in a newly purchased pitcher that matched the cups impeccably. With a large sign made from grade-A paper using a very bold font. And the children would have matching outfits to compliment the impeccably matching cups and pitcher which holds the freshly squeezed lemon juice from Meyer lemons picked from the lemon tree in the backyard.

I'm so glad you can have fun and exercise your entrepreneurial spirit even when nothing is perfectly matched!

The girls had a blast! And the lemonade was delicious!! There was also a car that pulled up, and a lady stepped out only to hand them a $5.00 bill for two cups of lemonade! She said, "Keep the change girls."
They had to make 2 batches and replenish the ice several times.
When the customers would taper off, the girls would revert to wrestling or running around the lemonade stand.
But when the 2 hours of shouting, "Fresh, Ice-cold Lemonade and Water Here", "Don't Miss It", "Fresh Lemonade Today ONLY", the girls emptied their pockets onto the table
and the day's intake totaled $20.47!
Not bad for a spur-of-the-moment thought. And, they had fun!

Great job girls!

"You have not lived a perfect day,even though you have earned your money,
unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you."
~ R. Smeltzer

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homemade Fettucini

156. Wonderful, fresh homemade pasta. There is nothing like it!
Homemade fettucini was on the menu tonight along with fresh asparagus.

Fettucini and Asparagus

1 lb cooked fettucini pasta
8 ounces bacon, fried till crispy, crumble, set aside
1 large bunch of asparagus, washed and cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
5 green scallions, washed and thinly sliced,
2 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 cup finely grated Romano Cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Reserve about 1 Tablespoon of the bacon drippings and saute' the asparagus for about 3 minutes. Add half of the green scallions and the garlic. Continue to saute' for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Add the Romano cheese, heavy cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, parsley and basil. Stir together. Add about 1/3 cup of hot pasta water. Bring to a simmer and allow the mixture to thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Fill each individual pasta bowl with a sufficient amount of fettucini. Pour the Asparagus Cream Sauce over hot pasta. Sprinkle each bowl with crumbled bacon and fresh grated Romano cheese.

“One of the delights of life is eating with friends,
second to that is talking about eating.
And, for an unsurpassed double whammy,
there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”
~ Laurie Colwin


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