Monday, October 31, 2011

The Halloween Cake

As promised here are the Halloween cakes I sent to work:

Owen's work minicake

Cake for my work

The bones, skulls, zombie arm and ghosts I made out of gumpaste. The pumpkins were bought at the candy isle and made into jack-o-lanterns with edible markers. The gravestones are chocolate mint cookies with white chocolate writing.

They were a huge hit at work, but the best part was when you cut into the cake as I had hid gummy worms between the layers!

And Abbey the Angel says Happy Halloween. Have a spooktacular night!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Menu: October 31 - November 4

Happy Halloween folks! I can't believe October is almost over, yikes. It seems like only a couple days ago it was September. Oh well, here is goes for a menu:

Monday: Egg McMuffins
Tuesday: Leftovers/Fridge Fallout
Wednesday: Calzones
Thursday: Chicken Soup
Friday: Tacos

Snacks: Apples with caramel Cheesecake dip, pumpkin pie yogurt, apple stars, crackers, veggies and dip, fruit,

Baking: Apple muffins/loaf or cake and possibly caramel apples or apple cider caramels (I have a bunch of apples that need to get used up)

Happy Halloween!

I have been keeping busy in the kitchen this Halloween (and around the house - I finally have a yard to decorate!).

First up were my Tiger Tiger cupcakes - based of the classic ice cream flavour! They were a big hit (as long as you liked black licorice flavour).

To make them a little more in the spirit of things, I added little white chocolate skulls (made using a candy mold).

Then I had these cute cupcake holders around, and couldn't resist making some cupcake skulls with brains! I have a new favorite strawberry frosting recipe now as well, yum!

I also made some tombstones for front yard and carved a pumpkin:

And lastly here is a sneak peak for the Halloween graveyard cakes!

I had fun playing with the gumpaste for this cake - pictures to come tomorrow (trying to keep it a surprise for the folks at work!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu October 24 - 28

Alright, I am a little late with this again - I have no idea how I am so busy all the time, oops.

Anyways we aren't doing anything special this week, but at least we don't have so much going on that I am not cooking at all!

Monday: Grilled cheese/ leftovers
Tuesday: Pepperoni Feta Pizza
Wednesday: Lasagna soup
Thursday: Sausage and potatoes
Friday: Tarragon Chicken (new recipe!)

Snacks: Fresh fruit and vegetables, antipasto and corn chips, pumpkin pie yogurt, rice pudding.

Baking: Tiger Tiger Cupcakes (Hope they work out!).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cake Decorating

In September a friend from work and I decided to take a Wilton Cake Decorating course. It was 4 week of Decorating basics and was great to learn how to do some basic flowers and borders. Below is my work from each class (sorry about the horrible photos - the lighting in my house is horrible at 9pm and I never had any leftovers after work the following day).

Class 1: Cookies and piping basics. I didn't take pictures of these, oops.

Class 2: 2D decorating on a cake (I am not very good at this)

This was a spice cake with an apple butter filling. It was great.

Class 3: Cupcakes with Pom Pom flowers and Shaggy Mums

These were gingerbread cupcakes with a peach cream cheese filling. They turned out really nice and balanced out the sweetness from all the buttercream on top.

Class 4: Final Cake - Ribbon Rose, Wilton Rose and writing

It was a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. The middle of the cake really wowed people. It was made with my tasty fill wilton pans. The middle was a raspberry mouse.

We had so much fun with the first class, we have decided to do the Flowers and Cake Design class starting tomorrow!

Menu: October 17-21

So first let me appalagise for the lack of a menu last week. We ended up eating variations of leftovers from thanksgiving supper for most of the week.

This week is going to be a little weird food wise as well. I have to leave early for a class on Monday night and Owen has a clinic on Tuesday night. Then on Wednesday and Thursday I am at a conference and will be home late. That leaves us with basically Friday night for an actual sit down supper, yikes!

Monday: Stirfry
Tuesday: Egg Hashbrown Bake
Wednesday: O's Choice
Thursday: O's Choice
Friday: Stew or Pizza (depending on how work out from the week we are).

Snacks: Fresh fruit and veggies, hummus, fresh salsa, banana bread

Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu: October 3 - 7

Sorry for the delay, this weekend was a little busy with making apple juice and antipasto. So without delay here is this week's menu.

Monday: Sausage and spaghetti
Tuesday: Beef Roast and potatoes
Wednesday: Burgers and Corn
Thursday: Goose Breast and green beans
Friday: Meatballs and potatoes

Breakfasts = bagels and smoothies
Snacks = antipasto, fresh salsa, fresh peach dessert, veggies and dip, cookie dough hummus.

This week will also include a bit of baking getting ready for thanksgiving. I am doing all of thanksgiving supper this year - so I am going to try and at least get the desserts done early, so I also see some pumpkin in our future this week.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Peach Vanilla Bean Jam

Vanilla Bean Peach Jam

I started making jam a couple years ago when my inlaws sent me a bunch of fruit. However I had always made jam using the pectin that you can buy in the store and the recipes they provided. This makes pretty good jam, but I have found that we end up with too much and it is a little sweet for me - tasting more like sugar sometimes than the fruit. So this year I decided to make jam without adding pectin. My first attempt (here) didn’t go so well and I ended up with fruit butter almost. But I kept going and ended up with this great jam from Smells like Home.

3 lbs pealed, pitted and roughly chopped peaches
3 ½ cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeded
1 lemon (juice of)

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot combine all of the ingredients. If you don’t like chunks of fruit in your jam I suggest mashing the peaches a little.
2. Cook the jam on a slow simmer until the temperature reaches 120F (this could take a couple of hours depending on the sugar content and amount of juice in your peaches).
3. Remove the vanilla bean pods.
4. At this time I used an immersion blender to get rid of any chunks, but this is not necessary.
5. Ladle the jam into hot sterile jars and top with lid and ring.
6. Process if necessary by boiling for 10 - 15 min.
7. Check to insure jars sealed, if they didn’t just pop it into the fridge and eat it within the next few weeks.

Such pretty jam and it made the kitchen smell fantastic. It also tastes great, and you can really taste the peaches rather than just sugar that I find with most jams.