My turkey cake platter

Ever since I started baking, I’ve heard: “Why don’t you make a TURKEY CAKE for Thanksgiving? Oh, you know what would be a really creative idea for Thanksgiving? OMG if you made a cake that looked like a TURKEY! You should TOTALLY make a turkey cake. Turkey cake turkey cake turkey cake!”

Well, I succumbed and made it.  Ta daaaaaa:

Top view of my turkey cake and stuffing platter

For the Thanksgivings that preceded this eventful turkey cake, I kept responding with, “Um… it’s going to take a lot of time…” And surprise.  IT DID.  Thanksgiving 2015 was on Thursday (as always, duh) November 26; per usual, I took my sweet @ss time getting started and stayed up super late to rush and finish the damn thing.  I actually made two cakes instead of just one for Thanksgiving.  Mind you, I’ve never tried making a poultry platter cake before so why the hell not make TWO cakes because I’m clearly insane.

Day 1: I started making fresh homemade fondant on Saturday the 21st. I made two big batches of plain white fondant from 6 bags of jumbo marshmallows.  The first batch was a little dense and drier than I liked, so I just added a crapload of light brown (ha. haha. hahahahaha), wrapped that sh!t up tightly in plastic wrap, and hoped it would cooperate for the turkey skin later.

My shirt means so many things to so many different people…

Oh, I forgot to mention that I started watching Aziz Anzari’s “Master of None” on Netflix and I got hooked.  It was like a modern day Seinfeld but without the live studio audience.  And slightly less outrageous scenarios.  And shot in wonderful bars and restaurants.  And I watched about half the first season making a mess with all this fondant.

Day 2: I putzed around Sunday looking at 15 pictures of actual turkey platters and scribbled some designs and ideas and thought about making herbs and fruits and vegetables, like, rosemary and sage and lemons and grapes (yes, I am well aware it’s not a normal sight on a Thanksgiving platter but I saw it more than once on my Google search of roast turkey so I was like, “Sure.  Why the hell not? Let’s go with it!”) and berries and broccoli (it was a hit last year with the ham cake!) and cauliflower (might as well since I can effortlessly make broccoli) and carrots (also a winner with last year’s Thanksgiving cake) and of course, STUFFING!  I kneaded clumps of bunch of different fondant colors and finger painted a dark green gel color on rice paper for the herb leaves.  I had plenty of thin, cheap white covered floral wire so I rubbed all the green coloring on my fingers onto the wire to use for the herbs.  I rolled, cut out, and trimmed fondant leaf shapes that kinda sorta resembled sage leaves, inserted short lengths of the green floral wire into the herb leaves, Ziplock’d them, and setted it and forgetted it!

And yes, part of the procrastination was due to finishing the rest of the “Master of None” episodes.  I can’t wait till the next season!  So hilarious and so true all at once.  (Ed. note 11/21/17: Season 2 was amazing, too.  Aziz wins at everything.)

Day 3: I finally got down to business on Monday.  I was really tired from a long day at work and really really REALLY just wanted to go to sleep after dinner, but Vin was like this little voice in my head that said, “Baby, you’re going to rush to finish your cakes if you don’t work on them now.  You always do this…” and dammit he’s so cute and annoying when he’s right!  So he continued watching TV and facebooking and I baked 3 batches of vanilla-coconut flavored white cake.  I decided to use white frosting and white cake and it would be all white meat, but delicious, moist, fluffy white meat.  I hadn’t planned the construction so I just baked 3 Pyrex pans of cake.  While the cake pans were baking, I made 5 quarts of white frosting.  The mixer stopped whirring at about 1130 pm, but I stayed up to cut up tons of skinny little rice paper leaves for the rosemary.

lemon and leaves… and grapes and cauliflower and carrots!

Tonight’s Netflix special was brought to you by Krysten Ritter’s “Jessica Jones.”  Marvel’s “Daredevil” was done so well and I loved that it took place in NYC and that it was so gritty and the actor that played Matt Murdock was fantastic…  I had to watch this MCU show, too.  It didn’t disappoint.  I couldn’t stop watching and working and then I realized it was 3 am.  Time for bed, I think…

Day 4:   Five people sent me this imgur gif of someone assembling a turkey cake in 30 seconds. The baker layered the cake vertically instead of the traditional horizontal style, but I chose to stick with the old fashioned method given that now wasn’t the time to risk creating a falling blob and completely wasting layers of cake.  I also decided to make sure these cakes would fit in my 10” cake boxes, which was a fantastic executive decision in hindsight because they ended up being so much easier to manage.  I ended up using 2 of the 3 layers I baked since I molded little poultry cakes that ended up being the size of 4 pound chickens.  Haha  I shaped both the turkey cakes at the same time.  The only part that was a bitch was the wings…  I looked at roasted turkeys from every angle and ended up constructing cakes that had the wings pointing in different directions.  The cake for the T house had the wings aimed towards the drumsticks; I was a little more patient with the second turkey for my parents, so I was able to mold the wings pointed up.   Since the cake was so light and airy, the scrap pieces used for the wings were crumbly so I just hoped they would stick together and not collapse (the cakes stayed intact!).  After dirty icing them with the white frosting, they looked like 2 uncooked little plucked headless birds.

I took the rest of the green fondant used for the sage leaves and added a deeper green gel to shape the stems for broccoli florets.  Then I took the plain white fondant and shaped the cauliflower floret stems.  Then I kneaded some purple-y fondant to for the grapes and just rolled them into oval shaped balls.  They kind looked like Kalamata olives at this point so I almost reconsidered my honey bunches of grapes attempt…  I set those aside and moved onto the carrots.  I had some yellow fondant ready to go for my lemons, but my wedges/slices idea didn’t turn out so well (see my lime margarita cupcakes) so I just made a blob of lemon and saved some to make baby carrots.  I added pink gel frosting to the yellow, and that just made it taste bitter.  Bleah.  As delicious as my homemade fondant is, pink and red Wilton gel will just make anything taste like bitter crushed bugs (or so I’ve heard…).  Instead of giving the carrots an “organic, twisty root” look, I just made baby carrots to pile together and used some of the green fondant from the broccoli to make the stems.  Super simple.  I used some of the orange fondant and shaped a long rectangular strip to cut cubes of carrots for my stuffing.  I took some red fondant and just rolled these itty bitty berries to be used to fill in gaps and hide mess ups on the platter.  I guess they were supposed to be cranberries.  Last year I was so happy with how my cherries came out, but I didn’t feel like mixing the right color so I just left these tiny balls of bright red as is.  The last of the green fondant was shaped into tons of little pea sized balls to be… well, peas.  These were going to be part of my stuffing, too.

stuffing with peas and carrots

At 4 am I decided it was time to go to bed.  Plus, I needed to save the last few “Jessica Jones” episodes for tomorrow night’s decorating binge.

Day 5: I was EXHAUSTED at work, but thanks to our lovely Nespresso machine I was able to function AND not look like a zombie in the office.  After accomplishing so much last night (errr… that morning?), I was motivated to finish prepping my platter decorations and see how the cake would actually turn out.  I admit, I was a little nervous about fondanting that first turkey cake so I tried to assemble some rosemary stems instead.  This is probably one of my biggest failed experiments.  I had spent so much time coloring all this rice paper and meticulously cutting thin leaves and handpainting stems and painstakingly food-gluing little wire stems to little rice leaves… and once I tried twisting all the stems together, all the rice paper leaves fell off.  I was able to make a sprig of about 7 rosemary leaves and it didn’t even look like real rosemary.  Vin was watching me and again, being the voice of reason when I’m in cake mode, suggested that I not make that shit because it would take forever and that all the other pieces looked great.  I was annoyed my construction didn’t work out and that I had all these little leaves sitting around, but I gave up.  Freaking rosemary.  Next time, I’m not using rice paper.

But the show must go on, and I needed to know if the rest of my cake bird attempt was going to futile.  While I was messing around with the green rice paper and flower wire, the dirty iced raw-looking turkey cake was sitting on the counter.  The frosting had crystallized and hardened in the fridge and I need it to be closer to room temp or the fondant wouldn’t stick to it.  I unwrapped the tan fondant I kneaded a few days ago, dusted half the kitchen in powdered sugar, and rolled out the colored marshmallow.  It was definitely drier than I was used to, and the consistency made the thickness a little thicker than I usually rolled out, but this was actually to my benefit.  The fondant held really well and there weren’t any cracks or tears.  And again, since the cake was manageable being 10” by 7”, I handled the rolled out fondant without any problems.  I centered the fondant over the cake and slowly pushed down the sides.  So far, so good… I smoothed the fondant down over the wings and drumsticks and took my trusty chef’s knife to trim the excess edges.  It looked GOOD!  I took a bit of white fondant and stuck them in at the bottom of the drumsticks for the bone, but didn’t think that this would be covered up by the stuffing.  Hence, this is why this was my first attempt.  I took some of the brown gel and mixed it with water and tested it on a patch of excess tan fondant.  When the color looked pretty close to roasted turkey skin, I took my food sponge brush and painted the entire cake.  It was looking so awesome!!!  I also tested a patch of fondant with my kitchen torch (I love that thing; being a pyro is totally overlooked if you’re a pastry chef hahaha) and I liked the charred, roasted effect it gave to the fondant.  HOWEVER… it made everything look smooth.  I couldn’t add texture once the area had been torched, so I didn’t torch much of this cake.  Oh, and if you’re wondering how I DID get that turkey skin texture?  A clean kitchen towel.  I had used a clean lingerie bag to get the mesh effect for Vin’s birthday sneaker, but that wouldn’t work for plucked poultry skin.  Again, I went to my test piece of fondant and experimented at which point and how I should imprint the towel texture onto the fondant.  Being that the batch I kneaded for the skin was a little dry, the imprint didn’t show very well on the plain fondant.  BUT, after I painted the fondant with my gel-water mix and pressed the towel on it, the texture was PERFECT.  This ended up being a trial and error test run because the first towel imprint on the painted cake removed a lot of the gel color AND left unrealistic and weird creases on the cake where the towel had folded.  I added another layer of gel-water and tried imprinting the towel again, but there were still a couple creases.  Meh.  I left it at that and sprinkled some black and clear sugar sprinkles on the top to give the cake some “seasoning.”  I decided to finish decorating the second turkey cake when we came back from Thanksgiving #1 because it was 4 am again and I was pooped.  It was best to end the night on a high note, with the success of how my first try at turkey cake came out AND that I had finished watching “Jessica Jones.”  I have to say, I really liked how this ended.  David Tennant is amazing as a villain. Krysten Ritter pulls off sarcastic, tough chick with a heart of gold with ease.  Maybe it’s the binge watching, maybe these are just really good f*cking shows, but these binge baking/decorating benders went quite well.

The nekkid turkey

Day 6: Thanksgiving day.  (The distinct “DUN DUN” noise from “Law & Order” just played in my head.  I’m weird, I know  =) I got 3 hours of sleep, showered and brushed my teeth, and packaged one turkey cake in a cake box and divvied half of the fondant decorations to bring to LI.  We wanted to avoid the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade insanity in front of our apartment and take an early train out to LI, but it ended up taking another 20 minutes to get to the subway.  It really shouldn’t have; the subway stop is literally outside the front door of out apartment building, but the cops wouldn’t let anyone in or out of the main entrance.  So we figured, alright, we’ll go the back door and walk around the block to get to the subway station.  Nope.  We had to go 2 avenues over, 2 streets down, and THEN back up to the subway stop.  All this whilst carrying my precious cake and accoutrements in a mob of people heading to see the floats.  That sidewalk road rage sure put us in the holiday spirit.  Hahaha

I passed out on the train after we transferred at Jamaica.  It was a short nap, but I felt recharged.  Or, charged enough to get through the morning.  Vin’s dad picked us up from the train station and I immediately went to work assembling the turkey platter.  I mentioned this before, but I purposely made a small turkey that would fit on a 10” cake board so that 1) it was would be easy to fondant ; 2) easy to transport and 3) fit nicely on a platter .  I have 10” cake boxes that are 5” high; the turkey was 4.5” so it fit perfectly in the cake box and wasn’t shuffling around and freaking me the f*ck out while I was carrying it.  When I opened the cake box, my little sweet roasted bird was still intact.  Yay!  The first thing I did was trim the cake board.  With the cake centered on the platter, I went to work placing the accoutrements.

it looks like something vomited up stuffing!

I hadn’t planned out where things would go, so I kinda winged it.  I carved out a hole for the cavity and then placed some fondant leaves under the back end of the turkey where the stuffing would be, but this ended up being a waste of time because the stuffing ended up completely covering my leaves.  Stupid.  But the stuffing ended up looking fantastic. This was THE easiest part and it turned out to be the thing that everyone loved the most.  When one bakes a cake, the edges that touch the cake pan end up a darker color than the rest of the cake.  I saved the edges when I trimmed the cake and torched that sh*t and it looked exactly like toast edges, aka croutons for the stuffing. So simple.  The bits of fondant peas and carrots had melted a bit since I mixed them in the same container as the stuffing, so I had to strategically place each piece to hide the misshapen bits.  The bread, peas and carrots were placed one piece at a time so that it was impeccably cascading onto the edge of the platter from the poultry cavity hole.  Martha Stewart magazine jerk-worthy shot right there.

The next sections were the broccoli and the cauliflower.  These were placed on the sides of the cake to hide the edges of the cake board and the bottom fondant seam.  Easy peasy.  I stuck a small bunch of baby carrots at one corner of the turkey so that the stems stuck out.  The grapes had to be twisted and hooked together with the green floral wire, and these were placed at the head of the bird.  I threw in some unattached grapes to conceal the cake board.  (Eh, some people thought they were olives since they were closer in Kalamata color versus red grape.)  And I didn’t know what to do with the extra leaves and this big yellow “lemon” so I just twisted a bunch of leaves together to make a mutant sage-herb thing and placed it under the other corner by the head.  The lemon was shoved in to cover the edges.

The finishing touches were the random red berries and the extra rice paper leaves.  I jammed the leaves under some fondant pieces to hide the cake board and the berries were scattered around the platter to cover any cake edges.  Et voila!  It was finally finished!

 You have no idea how annoyed I am with the sh*ttiness of this video.  The only 360-degree view of this beaut of a cake is of the crappiest quality. Beyond frustrating. *sigh*

There was great sunlight coming into the dining room that morning so Vin took some amazing close up shots for me.  I tried taking a 360-degree video with my phone but it’s a bit blurry.  Oh well.  It was left on the dessert table the whole time and some people just didn’t think it was dessert and bypassed the cake.  Other family members were loving it.  When the time came to cut into the cake, people were scared to dig in.  But here’s a shot of the inside:

Sliced turkey cake

I got sh*t for not including dark meat, to which I responded: Go make your own damn turkey cake  =)

I’m really glad the first try came out well, but that also meant that turkey cake #2 was WAYYYYY easier to construct. I painted and textured the second cake and sprinkled some “salt and pepper” sugar, then packed all the fondant pieces.  This time, I made sure to separate the peas and carrots from the stuffing so the fondant wouldn’t melt from the moisture from the cake stuffing pieces.  With everything packed and ready to go on Saturday morning, we walked a few blocks to the car rental office (btw, never dealing with you again, Hertz: you made me pay extra for returning my car early??? Dumbest policy ever!) and were on our way to my parents’ house.

As soon as we got in I got to work assembling everything.  My dad was hovering around me taking pics during the assembly, my mom and grandma were cooking (those eggrolls were not coming out of the fryer fast enough!), my little brother was cooped up playing video games (lame), my sister stopped by to check in on me and said she was showing everyone my first turkey cake, then proceeded to play with our little cousins (she knows that I get in the zone when it comes to cake and can’t be bothered haha), and my aunts and uncles were stopping in every once in a while to check out the progress.  One of my uncles told my grandma in Vietnamese, “Did you see what [my family nickname which shall not be revealed] is making on the table?  Her cake is amazing!  It looks real, mom!” And even though she hadn’t had the chance to come by and see it yet because she was so busy cooking, my grandmother said, “Of course, I already know it looks beautiful!  I know she’s very good at making cakes!” INSERT NAIL POLISH EMOJI HERE. I heard this from the other room and smiled; this was one of the best compliments ever because my grandma  is an artist. <3

Screenshot: I can’t carve a turkey for sh*t

Aside from being able to assemble the second cake platter in half the time, the main disparity between turkey cake 1 and 2  was that Vin’s family was kind of hesitant to eat it, but my family was hovering over me like wolves asking, “Is it ready yet?  Is it done yet?  We just want to take a picture and then eat it!”  hahahahaha  Honestly, I prefer the latter because I really appreciate seeing people enjoy my hard work.  I’m really glad I was able to make something spectacular for my family instead of last minute cupcakes or extra cake balls or half-assed cream puffs.  If I haven’t mentioned before, my family is quite opinionated and stubborn and everyone knows everything about everything (I mean, I DO know everything =), and to have a family consensus say that my cake looks AND tastes amazing, that’s the only thanks I need.  And I think Vin is thankful I’m done with holiday baking… for now. hahaha

I love how it looks like we roasted a happy child for Thanksgiving hahaha

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone  <3

me and my turkey… cake <3

Vin's sneaker cake

Vin’s sneaker cake

*Because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say “Just Do It TM” in the headline.

OK, this is a SUPER LATE post, but I figure it’s fitting since VIN IS RUNNING THE NYC MARATHON SOON!!!  This counts as carb-loading, right???  Now look at the pics….

Another year, another birthday for Vin. He started running last year for health reasons and now he’s one of those obsessed runners (meanwhile, I’m still a lazy bum that sleeps all the time as pointed out by the NYT), so the OBVIOUS cake this year was a sneaker.  To be specific, a replica of his sneaker.  The obsessed runner is very particular about his running kicks, and I wasn’t able to check out his actual shoe at home (we are physically glued to the hip when I’m not traveling and Vin is not running) so I sneakily asked Vin, “Oh heyyyy, baby… what’s the style name of your sneaker?  I think I saw it on sale and I know you wear a certain style so I wanted to make sure it was the same one…” So he told me, I looked it up, printed out enlarged pics of every angle of this shoe in black, and then hid the images under a pile of junk mail on my work bench.  (Vin NEVER looks through the stuff on my work bench; he only looks at the mounds of random shit piling up with disgust and dread and wants to throw it all out =P)

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The Malt House FiDi.9 Maiden Ln, New York, NY 10038. Website: www.themalthousefidi.com

The Malt House

The Malt House

Vin and I attended a press dinner for the Financial District outpost of the Malt House with some of our food blogger friends, and we instantly felt like we were in the modern day Manhattan version of “Cheers” at this American tavern.  This downtown location is wayyy roomier and nicer than the one in the Village; like the sophisticated older brother version compared to the fun frat brother digs.

The Malt House - main bar

The Malt House – main bar; Photo credit: The Malt House

The Malt House Fidi has the largest collection of whiskey in downtown Manhattan, as evidenced by not one, but TWO beautiful bars.  This place also has an intriguing and tasty cocktail list, an extensive beer menu, and one of the best deals for whiskey flights in town.

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I was invited to a press meal at Sel et Poivre in the UES with Vin and a few of our food reviewer friends.  This classic French bistro has been in business for YEARS, as in this institution is nearing their 30th anniversary!  The current owners are a husband and wife team who focus on several “F” things in life: family, friendliness, France, and FOOD.  As soon as you walk in, there’s a classy wood bar on the right (loved it!) to go with the wood décor throughout the restaurant and welcoming family photos on the warm colored walls.  It made the restaurant look very traditional and elegant, but oh so inviting.  The restaurant was packed with regulars in a comforting and homey environment and I was impressed with the wait staff that attended to everyone’s needs without thinking.  Many of the staff have been here for years and you can tell how in tune and attentive they are to the guests.  Can’t beat that kinda service!

I scanned the regular dinner menu and was excited to see some authentic French dishes on the menu (Calf’s liver! Veal kidneys!), but we were given a preset tasting menu with some other great offerings.

Beet and celery remoulade

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The Malt House. 206 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012. Website: www.themalthousenyc.com

MH is for MALT HOUSE!

MH is for MALT HOUSE!

Vin and I were invited to a press dinner at The Malt House in the Village.  As I walked in my first thought was, “Whoa.  A place like this wasn’t here when I was at NYU!”  I was used to, how to put this lightly, seedier and cheaper and more rambunctious venues that more often than not resulted in bad decisions, like hangovers from crap booze and stomach aches from crap food.  No, if a place like The Malt House was around when I went to NYU, I’d probably be a broke but well fed regular!

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OPP

Taureau

Taureau. 558 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013  Website: www.taureaunyc.com

Tonight’s lovely press dinner is brought to you by a repeat guest: Didier Pawlicki, the energetic owner/chef of the romantic La Sirene.  Both restaurants share the same kitchen yet have completely different concepts.  Taureau is all about fondue and only about fondue and is probably the only all fondue restaurant in the city.  I had slight qualms about an all fondue restaurant ever since a sad, traumatic experience at The Melting Pot (tres gauche), but Didier worked his magic again to make this another fantastic food fest.

fondue pots down the table

Fondue pots down the table

I remember walking into La Sirene thinking, “Oh, it’s cute in here,” but with Taureau, it was intimate, dark and sexy. My initial thought was, “How does it relate to a bull?” since Taureau means “bull” in French, but the enigmatic Didier had all this thought out: the element for the astrological sign Taureau is “earth” and all the ingredients and components were from or of the land.  AND, this side of the premises had a raw feel that reminded me of a wine cellar, with slightly arched ceilings and exposed brick decor.  Had it not been for the window looking out to the street, we could have been dining underground!  Quite ingenious how this whole concept ties together, Didier.  Very smart.  He also takes pride in creating the fondue recipes and pairings himself.  You may ask yourself, “Really, how complicated could it be to just melt something?” The chef really considered the additional ingredients that would compliment the melted cheese or bring out the flavors of the sides dipped in the fondue pots for each course so that every pairing and combination would work.  He really is a creative genius.  I’m convinced this guy could mastermind a plan to take over the world and no one would realize it until it’s too late.  =)
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We just had dinner at the Empire Steakhouse on 54th and Broadway, right on the border of the wasteland known as Times Square. Vin just felt like going to a steakhouse, and even though I couldn’t eat much today, I happily accompanied as his date.  Since we knew that he’d have to finish most of my meal, we went straight for the basics as part of his “control” for ratings: entrees, one side, and dessert (no martini though).  He got the ribeye (apparently it was delicious =/ *sniff* I had half a bite of it) and creamed spinach (also good), I got the cold seafood platter (the lump crabmeat was very good!) and for dessert, creme brulee.

Quite possibly the most perfect creme brulee

Quite possibly the most perfect creme brulee – Photo by Vin!

Now, the attentive and knowledgeable waiter Tim recommended it and said it was the best dessert on the menu.  He ain’t kidding.  It was light and perfectly creamy, topped with the perfect amount of sliced strawberries so you could have a bit of tart to break up the sugar on sugar action of the dessert.  I only intended on having one spoonful of it, lest my insides fall apart due to the dairy, but I totally risked it and had another half spoonful it was so damned good.  Not too sweet, just the right amount of burnt sugar, and the not-just-for-show strawberries.  Creme brulee is Vin’s fave dessert, and I’ve made it a few times just for him.  But it was totally OK Vin said this to the waiter in my presence, “This is one of the best creme brulees in the city!”  I completely agree.

First baking projects post move!

My precious...

My precious…

Let’s just be quick about it, shall we?  I had to bake for 2 special little boys: one hasn’t even been born yet, and the other is one of my super cute, super crazy godsons.

Underwater cake collage

Underwater cake collage… complete with a lurking shark!

The theme for the baby shower cake was the ocean, so I played around with some ideas to use on a small cutting cake for the parents-to-be.  The first order of business was to ice the little cake in blue frosting.  I was going to cover it in fondant, but liked the effect of the bubbles in the frosting, so I just cleaned and sharpened the edges for my canvas.  Light brown sugar was pressed along the bottom of half of the cake; for some reason I didn’t want all of it covered in sugar and liked the half-and-half effect.  I had used star cutters to make fondant starfish before and they worked wonderfully, so I knew I wanted starfish.  Then I found leaf cutters meant for roses, but used the shapes haphazardly to create these great seaweed/algae pieces.  I bought a whale cookie cutter from my new favorite store, Sur La Table but it ended up being rather disproportional to the algae and starfish.  I mixed a small piece of grey fondant and shaped a shark fin on top, and carefully placed little schools of fish sprinkles around the cake.  I don’t even think it’s ecologically correct… I mean, do starfish hang around the bottom of the ocean and cling to seaweed like that?  Who knows.  It looked cute and was a nice and quick little project.

Ta daaa!  A crappy 360 video clip of the cake

The order included cupcakes, so I swirled the same blue frosting over vanilla cupcakes (side note: I LOVE my new oven.  It’s huge and bakes everything so evenly AND I don’t have to guess the timing and temperature anymore!  #inheaven) and used extra pieces of seaweed and starfish as cupcake toppers.  Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the cupcakes BEFORE bringing them in =(

handmade fondant starfish

handmade fondant starfish. eww, what dry hands have I.

seaweed cupcake

seaweed cupcake

 

For my oldest godson’s 3-year birthday party, I whipped up a little bowling pin cake.  This little boy is one of the cutest little human beings on the planet, and he’s also one of the craziest.  haha  Since he’s my godson, of COURSE he gets special treatment and I just had to make a little SOMETHING for his party.  He’s currently obsessed with bowling and planets, so bowling pins and a ball that had Jupiter-like swirls it was.  And when I say whipped up, I mean, I hand shaped and cut 10 bowling pins with stripes and a bowling ball during the time it took for Vin to go on his morning run.  I iced that baby in minutes and added extra fondant stars, and voila… a little cake with knocked over pins.

Left: Look at that perfectly straight and clean edge. I'm GOOD.  Right: Fondant bowling pins for Timmy!!!

Left: Look at that perfectly straight and clean edge. I’m GOOD. Right: Fondant bowling pins for Timmy!!!

As soon as he saw it, he wanted to stand them up but didn’t quite get why I said no and that they’d be all sticky.  Later on, he was throwing a tantrum about having to take his shoes off and started yelling and crying, so I picked him up and took him to look at his cake.  Within in the span of 2 minutes, this little guy ate about 6 of the bowling pins.   Such an insane but adorable little kid.  <3

The birthday boy and his cake

The birthday boy and his cake

It’s that time of year again, you guys; Memorial Day, the start of summer, Vin’s birthday, a.k.a. the making of the most awesome cake of the year!!! Vin really is the best. He’s worked so hard to get in shape and become healthy, his food critique brand is really taking off, he’s always always thinking of me, and even after five years of marriage we’re still goofy and mushy and hold hands wherever we go. (And that’s NOT just because I’m clumsy and will probably trip on myself if I’m wearing heels.) I really love being with this guy, and one of the few things better than hanging out with my husband is enjoying delicious tasty food with Vin. InstaGr1st

Seriously, this is all cake and sweetness (except for the bowl and chopsticks)

As you may know, he is Mr. Johnny Prime, steak connoisseur. However, his reviews have expanded to include all really good food and great restaurants in general. Given that this past winter was so brutal and long, we were on a ramen and noodle soup kick, and nothing can warm your cold bones better than some delicious hearty soup! Of course this gave me the idea MONTHS ago to make Vin a ramen cake for this year’s birthday, but according to him, he TOLD me he wanted a ramen cake. Details, details. Haha So I started planning out his ramen cake… Read More

“Did you think I’d forgotten you?”– Frank Underwood. Man, I love that show.

One single square strawberry muffin with butter.

I hadn’t baked anything in 2 months and things had just gone to shit. Busy @ work, busy with other stuff, turning into a blob… I was so stressed and had sunken to new lows, eating chocolate (namely KitKats), cookies, Starbucks pastries and fries to quell the panic and busyness, and I even succumbed to eating… dun dun DUNNNNN Entenmann’s raspberry Danish. I sh*t you not. The 50% off price tag at the supermarket pushed me over the edge. The nutritional value alone made me feel like I’m a guilty shameful druggie with a deep dark food binge secret. This was extra bad b/c Vin has been eating super healthy for the past 2 months!

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