Transformer Cake

My nephew turned The big 12 yesterday. When asked what type of cake he wanted, he said, “Ummm, Transformers.” I was excited that it was easier than my original plan, which was the XBox One. It would have been so much work. This was the result of my long day. 

It was a big hit! He loved it. It was a vanilla cake with Italian meringue buttercream. All of it was made from scratch, with the exception of the fondant. I think this will be my new buttercream because it is nowhere near as sweet as the typical buttercream. It does well with fondant and doesn’t harden. 


Smoothie Bags and Cubes 

My biggest shopping day of the month just past.  The result…A Whole Lotta Fruit!  It was on sale and I can’t pass a great sale.  I planned on freezing it to be able to make smoothies.  I love smoothies but I hate removing multiple containers and bags from the freezer to make my combinations.  Therefore, I came up with a way to avoid the extra work.  I made smoothie bags. (I guess it was still a little work involved.)

First, I  washed and cut the fruit.  It was all placed on parchment paper, which was on top of a cookie sheet. (Wax paper would probably work better.  Place the entire cookie sheet in the freezer. Mine only stayed about an hour.Try to avoid skipping this step or your fruit will be smushed and mushy. 

Cut a food storage bag (Food Saver) at the 6in. mark.  That should be the 3rd mark on the side of the bag or one line visible in the middle.  Look just above my hand an you will see what I am referring to.

Cut the bag up the middle.

Using only the “seal” option on your Food Saver or other machine, seal one side of the bag.

Turn your bag and seal another side.  You should now have a bag that is open on one side. It should be about 5.5 x 6in.

I put a handful of fruit in my bags.  Make sure you leave enough of the bag hanging off the end so the machine can suck the air out.

Voila! Smoothie bags. Need another tip for making your smoothies taste great in less time?  Keep reading.

I like to think I am the queen of discounts.  If not, don’t burst my bubble.  Please let me believe.   I always find baby food that is marked down.  I like to by it and use it when cooking.  Admitingly, I like to eat the pureed peaches.  Don’t judge.  Their great!

These jars cost $.45.  When we saw them, my mom said, “You could use these in smoothies.” Her bright light bulb made mine brighten as well.  Since smoothies need that extra thickness and extra flavor is always great, I thought, “Why not make smoothie cubes?”

I poured/spooned the jars of food into ice cube trays and froze them.  Once they are completely frozen, they will be placed in future smoothie bags as a flavor boost.

Another suggestion is to freeze yogurt cubes.  The only thing you will need for your smoothie that isn’t frozen is juice or whatever liquid you use.  I hope this helps someone else because it surely helps me.  Let me know what you think.  I am also taking suggestions.

Velvet Groom

I was enlisted to make the groom’s cake for my cousin’s wedding. He requested a naked red velvet. This what I came up with. 

I tried to use an intersting icing technique between the layers. I think I succeeded. On top, I added a sheet of fondant on the top each tier to make it look clean. Also, I added the same icing technique that was applied between the layers.    Candy pearls were used to incorporate the wedding colors, which were grey, black, red, and white. I was so excited to have the opportunity to make this cake. It took a lot of ingredients, time, and money but it was well worth it. 

Easter Krispie Eggs

Today was the last day of school before Easter.  While most of the other teachers were planning Easter egg hunts, I decided to do something different.  My mom and I made Rice Krispie Easter eggs. They were really easy to make and the kids loved them.   We made sure to put a little chocolate egg on the inside and we use the colored white chocolate pellets to decorate the outside.   

We even managed to make a batch of Fruity Pebble eggs but left off the chocolate dip.   

Notice that some eggs are bigger than others.  This is what I used.  

I wished all of them could be large but we just didn’t have enough time or resources.  

Lastly, we packaged them up in separate cellophane bags.  Then I realized that I forgot the ribbon so I took them to work open.    

We will definitely do this again but next time we might try it out for Valentine’s Day or Fourth of July. Rice Krispie treats are a very flexible dessert.  

Vegan Fried Chik’n

I had the most delicious deep fried bread for dinner. Okay so it’s actually considered vegetarian or vegan fried chicken but it’s basically bread. I first got the idea a couple years ago after watching a YouTube video made by Meesha DIY. I thought of it again a couple days ago so I decided to try it out. I did a little more research to get exact measurements , tweaked it, and this is what I came up with.

The recipe is super simple!
1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 pack rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt or substitute
3/4 cup water
Sunflower or other frying oil

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover with a towel. Leave in a warm space to rise for about 30 minutes. While the dough rises, boil about one cup of water with vegetable bouillon or just boil a cup of vegetable broth. Heat up 3/4 to an inch of oil. After the dough has risen pull off little balls and stretch them out creating little holes in them. Place each one in the vegetable broth for about two minutes. Remove each one, coat it in the flour, and dip it in the fry oil. Allow each to fry until golden brown on one side and then flip and repeat. At this point you can dip it in barbecue sauce, place it on up baking sheet, and bake it for about 3 to 5 minutes or just eat them right out of the fryer either way they’re really good.

The good thing about this recipe is that, other than the water yeast and gluten, there are no exact measurement. You can play with the seasoning. I prefer over-seasoning but you can do whatever makes you feel comfortable.

There might be a little confusion about the vital wheat gluten. Some people say gluten flour some people just say vital wheat gluten. It’s all the same thing. It is straight gluten whereas regular flour has only partial gluten. Here’s a picture just in case you get confused.

I found it at Walmart for less than $2. I was surprised when I got to the store because I heard it cost about $10 to purchase a bag. I guess it was that fancy-schmancy stuff that cost that much. This one box was enough for the entire recipe. It provides the one cup for the mixture and there is a little bit left over to dredge after your remove the dough from the broth. I even experimented frying without the dredging it. The results pwere also good.

Let me know if you try it. I’m anxious to know if you enjoyed it as much as me.

Ice Cream and Cake

Amongst all of my projects I found time to bake an Egg White Pound Cake and make some homemade ice cream. It’s funny because the sweets are complete but dinner is nowhere near ready and the time is past 10:00 pm. I guess we will be eating cake and ice cream tonight. Just kidding, hopefully, we will eat shortly.
Back to the goodies.

I made the ice cream using 5 egg yolks and didn’t want to waste the whites so I went on a search for ideas. After a quick search I found Nami-Nami. I believe this is an Estonian recipe and I love trying new things so it was right down my alley.

I can’t wait to finally eat dinner so I can chow down on dessert. Any ideas for other egg white uses. My next attempt may be macaroons! Ummmm!