Galentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the suckiest day to ever be invented.  But thanks to Leslie Knope we have Galentine’s Day which is a million times better.tumblr_n0wcbmyieh1tpga0qo1_4001

Like many girls, I have experienced my share of heartache.  But, with it we learn that boys come and go, but girl friends are for life!

So, this year my gal pals and I decided to celebrate our love for each other as well as our love for food #foodbeforedudes.  We made tacos for dinner.

tacos

And I baked jam tarlets for dessert.

  • 125g butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used canola)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour

**We love eating so, I doubled the quantity of the ingredients and was able to make 2 dozens.**

Method

  1. Cream the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the oil and essence, and beat in the egg.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder, and knead into a soft dough.
  4. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the dough.
  5. I used a mug to cut circles.  The dough will rise so you can vary the size of your base.image2
  6. I placed my circles in a greased muffin tin, to make a cup shape.image1
  7. With a cocktail fork, I crimped the sides and punched holes into the crust.
  8. I used strawberry jam [because it’s my favourite and it’s red] for my filling.  I put 2 teaspoons per tartlet.image3
  9. To decorate the top, I cut dough into heart shapes to show some extra love to my gal pals.image5
  10. Bake at 180 degrees celcius, for 30 minutes.

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What does the fox say?

Being plain is boring.  I love being creative.  It’s something I encourage my students to do as well.

A recent creative passion for me as been cake decorating.  I’m by no means highly skilled in this area, but I made it a mission to teach myself little tricks.

I began by doing simple designs on cupcakes.  Over the holiday season, I made cute little snowmen.image2

And one bored Saturday afternoon, I made little hedgehogs.

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With shaking confidence, I decided to take on the challenge of decorating a big cake.  The first on being a mermaid tail.  My confidence built up when that turned out better than I expected.  My next project was a fox face.

My friend, Nicole, is a fan of this woodland creature so for her birthday I decided to surprise her with an edible fox.

For the cake, I used the Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe, which is also found at the back of the Hershey’s cocoa container.

I made a cream cheese frosting to decorate.

  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Dash of red and yellow food coloring (to make orange)
  1. Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar.  I used an electric mixer to help me get it super smooth. img-thing
  2. Separate into 2 bowls.
  3. Keep on bowl plain, and add color to the second.
  4. I used the star nose decorating tip

 

First, I sandwiched the two cakes with a thin layer of frosting. Then I coated the entire cake with the plain frosting.

Next, I used a skewer to outline the face, and filled in the cheek area with plain frosting.

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I covered the rest of the cake with orange frosting.

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For the ears, I used oreo cookies.  I cut into a cone shape and stuck it in with frosting.

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I used chocolate chips for the eyes, and a round candy for the nose.

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Mermaid Vibes

I am friends with a real life Mermaid.  Naturally, when her birthday rolled around, we had to throw her a mermaid themed birthday party.   My assistant, of course, was Pinterest.  I found a few ideas and added my personal spin to it.

We decided to surprise her on a Sunday afternoon, with a light lunch.

On the menu were:

Starfish sandwiches:  Toasted tuna and mayo cut up in the shape of stars.

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Sebastian the crab rangoon: crab meat mixed with cream cheese and chives, cased in pastry.

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Sea cucumbers and crab legs: Regular cucumbers and carrot sticks.

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Shark teeth: Cheese flavored Doritos

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Seaweed Dip: Spinach and cream cheese dip.

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  • 1 cup spinach [I used fresh spinach]
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup *low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  1. Cook the spinach as you regularly would.
  2. Create a creamy sauce by blending the cream cheese and milk on the stove. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  3. Mix the spinach into the creamy sauce.
  4. Pour the creamy spinach delight into a casserole dish, top with shredded cheese.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius  (350 F)

A mermaid party without cake is just a meeting. For the birthday cake,  I baked a hot milk sponge cake with pink frosting because our mermaid loves pink.

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  • 4 eggs
  • 300ml sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g butter
  1. Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy, then add the vanilla essence.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.
  3. On the stove, melt the butter into the milk **Do not boil!* Remove from the heat and add it to the mixing bowl.
  4. Pour the batter into 2 round baking tins.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

 

Frosting:

  • 125g butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 6 teaspoons milk
  • food color of your choice.

After the cakes cooled, I sandwiched them together with strawberry jam.  I used a piping bag with the round nose decorating tip to make a scale like
design around the cake.  Pipe a dot, then use a spoon  out one side creating an almost skid effect.wilton_decorating_tip_4_round_surlatable_com_o
For the tail, I drew a light outline using a skewer and piped the frosting in and around the outline, using the star nose decorating tip.

 

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Our surprise party was a success. After lunch, we spent the afternoon watching H2O: Mermaid Adventures on Netflix.

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