Sunday, December 9, 2012

Veggie Tales Christmas Cake

I made this cake yesterday for a Christmas party with a bunch of my friends. It also happened to be the day before the birthday of a friend of mine who loves Veggie Tales. So I incorporated the two into one cake.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Caramel Corn (and Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole)

This year for my church's annual Christmas banquet I was in charge of food organization again. It was a full turkey dinner, with potatoes, yams, corn and lots and lots of dessert! For dessert we had lots of different snacks, most of which I have posted recipes for already, including Turtles and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cups. However, one of the things I have not posted the recipe for is my Caramel Corn!

1 cup butter
1 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup popcorn
1 cup nuts (optional, I prefer pecans)

Pop the popcorn. Preheat the oven to 250. Grease a very large cookie sheet, or two smaller cookie sheets. In a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until dissolved. Bring to a boil, without stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla and baking soda. Stir gradually into popcorn (and nuts). Toss together, covering all the popcorn and nuts.

Bake for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.

I also made a Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole, which was also quite popular.

3 cups Broccoli and Cauliflower (half and half, or ratios as you like)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 egg
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Cook (steam) broccoli and cauliflower. Preheat oven to 350. Mix with onion, egg, mayonnaise and half of the cheese. Spread in a shallow casserole dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I'm currently sitting in the Vancouver Airport waiting for a flight to Germany, followed by a flight to India! I realized I hadn't posted here in a long time, so I figured I would post one of the many recipes that I have been accumulating but not posting recently.

I moved out on my own in September, well not really on my own, I have two roommates. Super awesome girls who I've known for several years. We've decided to take turns cooking dinner a few nights a week, and so my cooking repitoire is slowly expanding.

Here is one of our favourite recipes: Tacos!

1 lb ground beef (give or take depending on how many people you are cooking for)
1/2 of a medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce (medium size)
2 tsp Cumin
3 tsp Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper
Hot Sauce (if you like)

All ingredients can be adjusted as you like. These are just guestimates on my part because I generally follow the 'shake, shake, shake... meh, looks right' method of cooking. Which so far has been working for me!

Cook the ground beef until browned. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are clear. Pour in the can of tomato sauce and stir. Add the cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper. (And hot sauce) Stir these in well. Add more if you like. Cover and simmer the mixture for about 15-20 min, until the tomato sauce has been mostly absorbed/boiled off. Stir occasionally while it simmers.Once the meat has thickened, serve on Taco shells (hard or soft, as you prefer) with sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and a whatever else you like on your tacos!

I'll add a picture to this post soon... once I'm not trying to use airport WiFI...

EDIT: I've now added a picture. Also, my mother informed me that she also uses a packet of beef bovril in the mix, I think just before she adds the tomato sauce. But I've never used this... so I'm not sure. (I don't even own any beef bovril)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teen Girl Squad!

I haven't posted in a while, but I have good reason for it. Since the last post, I have moved! No longer at home, I'm out on my own now with a couple of roommates. Getting used to a new kitchen is a little different, but it's working well and I'm super happy.

Yesterday was my one roommate's birthday. Last year, I made her a flower cake for her 11/12ths birthday (because she was moving to Africa for her real birthday). Now she's back and so this year, I went a little different... Teen Girl Squad!

From Teen Girl Squad Episode 9!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tuxedo Cake

 I made this 'Tuxedo Cake' for a friend's birthday yesterday. It was inspired by the version Tuxedo Cake that Costco sells.

To make it, I started with my Black Forest Cake recipe, because I knew the cake needed to be sturdy and my usual chocolate cake recipe is not quite dense enough.

I made it in a 9x13 pan.

2 cups + 2 tbsp flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350, grease and flour the 9x13 pan. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. Add in eggs, milk oil and vanilla. Mix well. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I allowed the cake to cool and then I cut it in half. Then I cleaned out the 9x13 pan that I had baked it in and then I lined the pan with tin foil so that it would be easy to lift the finished cake out.

To make the filling, I used cook-and-chill pudding, as opposed to chill-and-serve, because it solidified more.

I started with the vanilla filling and I followed the directions on the box for cooking, except that I used half milk and half whipping cream, instead of all milk to make the pudding. When it was ready, I poured the vanilla pudding all over the cake and spread it evenly. Then I chilled the cake in the fridge for an hour or two.

After this, I made the chocolate pudding, again using half milk and half whipping cream. I then poured this on top of the vanilla pudding. Then I chilled this a bit more, before topping it with the second half of the cake, and putting it back in the fridge.

Finally, I made some chocolate topping using 2/3 cup whipping cream and 1 cup chocolate chips melted together, and then cooled slightly. I spread this topping all over the top of the cake, and then I let it chill some more.

Then, just before it was time to leave I took the whole thing out of the pan, trimmed off the excess around the edges and topped it with white and dark chocolate shavings.

The bowl of leftover goo, from the cake trimming.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

Mmmm.... the first ice cream of the summer, and it's homemade!

I modified this recipe from the one that came with my ice cream machine. Strangely enough the one that came with the machine made too much batter to actually fit in the bowl... so I've modified it so it doesn't overflow the mixer anymore.

Start with the base, which is an amazing Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups half and half (creamo, light cream, whatever you want to call it)
6 eggs yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream
4 tsp vanilla

Then add
1 1/2 cups add ins... for this recipe I used crushed Oreos and made Cookies and Cream

Heat half and half over medium heat in a mid-sized saucepan until it is very hot, but not boiling. Meanwhile in another bowl, whip together egg yolks and sugar until well blended, and slightly thickened. Pour in the heated half and half and mix until well blended.

Return mixture to the saucepan and heat until it is steaming and small bubbles form around the edges but not boiling. Stir constantly as it heats.

Pour into a bowl (with a spout), then stir in whipping cream and vanilla. (Use really good vanilla if you can, I use my favourite stuff from Mexico). When the mixture is well blended chill for at least 8 hours.

Then follow the instructions on your ice cream maker to finish!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

UCM Grad Cake #2

Last year I made a grad cake for my friends at my church group. This year, I insisted on making the grad cake again, even though I was one of the grads and so I wasn't supposed to do any work for the grad party. I had fun making this cake, even though life was insane and I didn't really have time to do it. But two of my friends came over and we worked on it together and had a lot of fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Birthday Cake for the World

This was a cake I made this past weekend for a huge birthday party celebrating anyone from our church group who had a birthday in February, March or August. So I decided to make a cake trying to incorporate all of the inside jokes from our group of friends.
My mother saw the final product and commented "that cake looks a little schizophrenic".
I had a lot of fun with this cake, because of the variety of stuff to put on it, all the laughter about all the jokes that went into it, and because for the first time, I had someone else working on the cake with me!
Also, I think this is the best cake reaction I've ever had, considering everyone spent about 10 minutes discussing the cake, and trying to pick out which piece related to them the most.

One of the challenges with this cake was all the colours we used to make it. And running out of icing tips and icing couplers.
Also, some stuff was too complicated and really hard to illustrate. Like the "Be A Man" song from Mulan.
Overall, though I think this was probably my favourite cake to decorate. :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Chocolate Cheesecake

So, I finally found a heart shaped springform pan, so I made a chocolate cheesecake for my family for Valentines.

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup butter

2 cups chocolate chips
3 bricks (250 g) cream cheese
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 300. Mix together crust ingredients and press into a springform pan. Melt chocolate in double boiler or microwave (I find microwave is easier and works just fine with chocolate chips). Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in sweetened condensed milk and beat in until smooth. Add in chocolate, eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Pour into pan and bake for 55 minutes.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shamu Cake

This is a cake I made for a friend's birthday the other day. She's one of those people I just love making cakes for because there are so many ideas for her, and also because of how much she loves whatever design I decide on. Last year, I made her a Jedi-Mickey Mouse cake. This year I considered going Disney again, but then I decided to go for Shamu instead. She has a Shamu lunchbox, and so I decided to base the design off of that.

I had another friend secretly take a picture of her lunchbox, so I was able to try and copy it.
Isn't he a happy Shamu?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Starbucks Cake

This was probably one of my favourite cakes to make. It was a fairly basic buttercream transfer, that just turned out really well. Plus I had the great fun of surprising the friend I made it for. :)