This blog is a hodgepodge of things I want to share, from the good deals I find to my newfound cake decorating hobby and everything in between. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Baby Shower Cake: Baby Blocks

We had a baby shower at work and I was asked to make the cake. Apparently, I am getting quite the reputation around the office for being the "cake boss". 

I went with the theme of the shower, which was blue and brown (for the future little baby boy!) and owls.

The baby blocks were formed with rice crispy treats, and the owls, bow and polka dots were made using fondant. I had a few problems (like the blocks drooping and the bow cracking) but overall it turned out really cute.

The cake itself was chocolate with raspberry filling (the guest of honor's favorite). I used chocolate cake from a box and frozen raspberries. For awhile after I put the raspberries on the cake, the cake looked as if it was bleeding out the bottom. Next time I may have to drain the frozen fruit first, however I did get a lot of good review on the taste of it and how moist it was since the raspberry juice soaked the bottom layer.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Month 8 (2011) - Sushi

When I first started the new year's resolution to let my husband pick a meal once a month, my only rule to him was no sushi. After my Seattle sushi experience, I decided I was ready to give it a try.

We went to Sushi Station. I researched what I wanted to eat before I got there, but ended up getting some other things as well.

For an appetizer, I got Shrimp Crispers: Crunchy deep fried shrimp made with lightly seasoned rice flour wrap. These were good, and of course I like them, I love shrimp.

The first roll I tried was the Spicy Tuna Roll: Minced tuna with spicy sauce. I didn't expect to like this one, but it was actually one of my favorites!

Next I tried a Hanako Roll: Cream cheese, tempura crumbs, imitation crab and green onions topped with mayo and teriyaki sauce. This roll was just OK, but not bad.

Then I got the Shrimp Tempura Roll: Shrimp tempura, cucumber, masago and tempura crumbs drizzled with unagi sauce. 

After this, I got the Paradise Roll: Shrimp tempura, toasted coconut flakes and avocado. Also one of my favorites! It tasted very tropical.

The last one I got was the Phoenix Roll: Spicy tuna, tempura crumbs and masago. I figured, since I like the Spicy tuna roll so much, I would like this one because it was basically the same but with some tempura.

Overall, it was very fun to pick sushi off of a rotating conveyor belt and I give this meal a 9 out of 10.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Guinness Cake (inside and out)

Last night we had a going away party for a friend who is going to study in Ireland. I decided to make a Guinness cake for the celebration. When researching photos online of cakes shaped like a Guinness glass, I found a recipe for chocolate cake made with Guinness! Here is the recipe I used:

2 c. guinness
2 c. (4 sticks) butter
1 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 c. flour
4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 1/3 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring stout and butter to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add  coco powder and whisk until smooth. Cool Slightly. Wisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to blend. Using a mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl. Add stout-chocolate mixture to the eggs and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Bake about 35 min.

This recipe is supposed to make 3 8-inch round pans. I used a 9x13 pan, and needed to up the baking time. I also had a lot of extra batter, so I made a small 6-inch round pan with the extra, which my husband took to work! If I did this again, I would half the recipe and use a 9x13 pan.

For frosting, I made Wilton's chocolate butter-cream. I also made a batch of non-chocolate butter-cream for decorating.

I couldn't be happier with the end result, I think it looked like a Guinness glass, and the cake tasted very delicious and moist!


I think my new favorite food is Crepes. After eating at an amazing creperie in Seattle, I decided to try making these at home. As it turns out, a week after I got home, there was a recipe in the tribune! They can be made in two different ways, savory or sweet.

For savory crepes:
2c. milk
1c. flour
3 eggs
1/4 c. melted butter (plus a bit extra to grease the pan/griddle)
Using a mixer, blend the ingredients together until smooth. Use a 1/4 size measuring cup and pour batter into a buttered pan or griddle (my preference). Cook about 4 minutes. Add toppings. Enjoy!

Normally I only make half of the batter- which will make 4 good size crepes. This is perfect for two people to each have a savory crepe for dinner, and a sweet crepe for dessert

Disclaimer: The original instructions state that you should cook 2 minutes, flip and then cook the other side for another minute. I have learned from trial and error, that crepes are VERY hard to flip and keep in one piece. I have also learned, they are so thin, that if you leave them on for about 4 minutes they will cook all the way through and still taste the same.

I made my savory crepes with cut up chicken breast (cooked first), mozzarella cheese,and a garlic and melted butter spread. My husband added tomatoes to his. Be creative, you can add anything you want and they make a delicious dinner!

For sweet crepes:
(add the following to the savory crepe recipe)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. vanilla extract

My favorite sweet crepe is Banana Nutella, SO YUMMY! Again, be creative. When we had friends over for dessert my husband and the other guy added peanut butter M&Ms to their banana crepe.