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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Muffin tops are better than Abs

One of my ABsolute favourite treats is lemon-poppy seed muffins.  When I lived in South Africa I would have them all the time because it was readily available.  I could not make them in Korea previously because I did not have poppy seeds.  Fortunately, I have a mom who loves making me happy.  She brought me a big bag of poppy seeds when she visited me.  The next step was finding the perfect recipe.  I tried a few but it wasn’t anything to write about.  Finally, while searching for a pumpkin pie recipe, on Pinterest, I stumbled upon a treasure of a recipe.

My first attempt at it produced a flat, dry, cake.  I was extremely disappointed.  I felt like I had failed a big test.  To paraphrase a famous saying, “if at first you don’t succeed, eat img_55801the bad muffins, and make a new batch.”  That’s exactly what I did.
My second attempt produced an amazing, thick, lemon fragrant batter.  From that alone I knew that these muffins were going to be a hit.  I stood in front of the oven watching them cook, like a little child.  20 minutes later I had beautiful, fluffy lemon-poppy seed muffins.  It’s full of flavor and comfort.

Try it for yourself, the proof is definitely in the eating.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter (4 tablespoons/57g)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
  •  2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup plain fat free greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (add more if you like)
  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Method:  Mix the ingredients in the order they appear.  Bake for 20 minimg_55781utes, at 180 degrees celcius.  Check if the muffins are done with a toothpick.  Lower the heat and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes if the muffins require more time in the oven.

*Souce: http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/08/lemon-poppyseed-muffins.html