Saturday, May 31, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Last week I received this message from some friends and ex-coworkers in Utah via Gmail chat:
Dear Becky, One year ago, this Friday, the IKEA in Draper opened to much praise from individuals like yourself. In celebration, **** and I challenge you to a cake-off. -****
Then a few days later I got the official rules.
Becky, I'll have you know this is one 'cake-off' you are likely to never forget. Official Cake-Off Rules: 1. Object MUST be a cake. 2. Said object must also be in some way related to IKEA or fit to the standards and aims of the IKEA/design gods. 3. You have until Friday to complete the challenge. 4. (This blog is rated PG and rule #4 was not PG.)
So without further adieu here are the details of my IKEA cake:
*Swedish IKEA colors, IKEA building, IKEA meatballs
*There are many--vanilla with whipped cream filling, devils food with vanilla, devils food with chocolate filling and chocolate chips.
What I want you to notice:
*Mount Meatball and the stucco finish on the IKEA building base
What I really want you to notice:
* I did this without all my cake decorating supplies
So please join me in reminiscing on one of my favorites: the savory brulee. For those of you who may be wondering..I purchased my ramekins, pan and torch at Williams-Sonoma in 2006. I'm pretty sure they still sell the set inside (pan not included)...oh and pictures proudly taken a la me.
White cheddar cheese, a key ingredient.
Steamed broccoli, sauteed red bell peppers and green onions are placed in the ramekins.
Next, the egg and heavy cream are added and topped with cheese and sourdough bread cubes.
After baking the brulee it is topped with Parmesan cheese and browned with a culinary torch!
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Father's Day will be here before you know it...so to get your creative juices flowing I dedicate this post to you, the child that has no idea what they are going to get papa or the hubby.
Whether he's a sport's enthusiast needing a renewed subscription to SI or a self-proclaimed gourmet guru that would love a cooking class at Sur La Table--these gifts are sure to please and range from $9.95 to to $79. Click on each picture to find out details.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
During a little NYU/Washington Square Park jaunt--I found Crumbs. My hubby didn't want to go and I said, "Trust me, you'll thank me later." And he did. All I'm going to say is look at these pictures below. My fave was the red velvet!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Something Usable: Kristin E.
Something Delectable: Sara S.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day tomorrow. Let us remember those men and women who have served our country and gone before us.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Junior's hails itself as New York's Most Fabulous Cheesecake--and um...I second that. Unfortunately, I won't be spending my entire life here in the city eating slice after slice after a fabulous Broadway show. However, I would like to hone my cheesecake-making skills. I think purchasing one of their cookbooks will set me in the right direction.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
A SoHo find for me, these products are made by LUSH a fresh handmade cosmetics company. The employees were peppy and happy to demonstrate all their products. My favorites include butterball, avobath and honeybee. Whether you're needing an after exercise soak or a romantic bath of bubbly, these bath bombs will do the trick. But be sure to check out the happy pill, I can't begin to tell you how citris-sy it smells.
Click here to see if a LUSH is near you.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
These are perfect for a movie or circus-themed birthday party....or even a movie night with teenagers and adults. Oh, did I mention this is a cupcake!? Here are step-by-step instructions.
The only adjustments, or rather updates I would recommend are 1) Make the "bags" on Adobe Illustrator or another computer program, then print on heavy paper or card stock. 2) Cut an "x" in the marshmallows to achieve a more realistic popcorn feel. I thought Wilton had online instructions for this but I couldn't find them.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I just changed my blade and had a really good shave this morning. It got me thinking about what products I use. For years I've been loyal to Gillette's Venus and never had any complaints. Tahitian Noni's Moe Spa Body Wash is my "cream" of choice. I'm currently using the Tahitian Lime and Papya, but my favorite scent is the Tahitian Vanilla & Gardenia.
What does everyone else use?
Friday, May 16, 2008
Basic Wilton Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
1/2 cup solid veg. shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine ( I use unsalted butter)
1 teaspoon Wilton clear vanilla extract ( I usually use 3 tsp--I love vanilla)
4 cups SIFTED confectioner's sugar (sifting makes all the difference!)
2 Tablespoons milk
Cream Butter and shortening with electric mixture. (MAKE SURE YOU CREAM IT WELL) Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in , icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Yields 3 cups.
To make Nutella Buttercream Filling
To use as a filling, depending on cake size. I take about half of the Wilton Vanilla Buttercream and add about 3/4 - 1 cup of Nutella. Mix with a regular butter knife.
Instead of spreading it on the cake I usual get a small ball and flatten it with my hands then place it on the area, repeating until cake is covered. I've found it is very thick and doesn't spread well.
If you want it thinner just use less Nutella, especially if you plan to use it for the top of cupcakes or for covering an entire cake. I’d say about a 1/3-1/2 cup.
Click here for one of my most favorite places for cake filling inspiration. I'm anxious to play with her Chai Spice Buttercream concept.