Jun 152014
 

Father’s Day is for letting our memories drift back to when we reached up to hold our daddy’s hand.

Traveling with Daddy, riding on a Toboggan
Traveling with Daddy on a wintry day, riding on a Toboggan

My Dad: These were times when I could share quiet walks with daddy, which was before noisy snowmobiles got us there quicker.  He was the strong, silent type that showed, rather than told me how to do things.  I earned a stern look when I did something not acceptable, which was louder than a lecture.

Dad always knew how to fix what was broken and I learned by watching. Yes, I could change a flat tire if I had too.

Daddy netting the Fish on Canadian Trip

Dad netting my record breaking 11 1/2 pound Walleyed Pike, on our family fishing trip in Canada

My Husband’s Dad:  Going fishing with dad was always a special time.  The experience of traveling to Canada for fishing Walleyes and Northern Pike was the trip of a lifetime.  Helping his son (my husband) bring in his fish was more important than catching that “big one” himself.

Our Dads knew that giving encouragement was so much better than giving criticism.

Retelling these wonderful experiences to our children, is the priceless legacy that will keep them alive forever in our memory.

This is an easy recipe that a very young chef, with some guidance, can make as a special treat for Father’s Day.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Chocolate Bread Pudding
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
This bread pudding can be served warm or cold. Either Cinnamon-Raisin Bread or Cinnamon Bread can be used, depending on preference.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 8 slices (8 ounces) cinnamon or cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly butter an 11x7 inch (or 9-inch square) baking dish; set aside.
  3. Toast bread (in the oven or toaster) until lightly crisped.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, chocolate, and butter; place over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes.
  5. Tear bread into large pieces (about 4 or 5 per slice); scatter evenly in prepared baking dish.
  6. In a medium bowl, wisk together eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla.
  7. Wisk in warm milk mixture until combined.
  8. Pour over bread.
  9. Bake until pudding has puffed and is firm, about 25 minutes.
  10. Cool at least 10 minutes, and dust with confectioners powdered sugar just before serving.

May memories of your father’s love surround you with happiness on this Father’s Day too.

Past My Curfew is sharing his uniquely wonderful story for Father’s Day. Phoenix and his dad are celebrating a Cancer Free, second chance at enjoying each other’s company. Warning: Be sure to have a few tissues handy.

Apr 042014
 

My grandson loves to play Pokémon and requested this theme for his birthday cake.

Pokémon Black and White Versions- Isshu Region Pokémon (complete)

He agreed to narrow down the choices of his favorite characters to three for his cake.

After researching more about Pokémon, I found that some of the main images in the game are water, leaf, and fire.

Fortunately, these symbols were easy to make out of fondant.

Pokemon birthday cake

For the two chocolate cakes, I used a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Then half of the second batter was poured into a small metal bowl and the rest poured into a round cake pan.  The large cake was cut in half to make two rectangle shaped pieces.  The round cake was trimmed for the middle section.  Now the round bowl piece was set in the center of the three sections for the Poké Ball.

I love the Savory Sweet Life blog’s Buttercream Frosting recipe and one thin layer was spread on the cake shapes.  The cake was then put in the freezer, while I made the fondant.

Rice Krispie treats work great for molding the character shapes.  Since fondant is expensive and can sometimes be hard as a rock, I found the perfect recipe.  Marshmallow Fondant is great to work with and the How She Does It website gives a detailed step by step tutorial for a “no-fail’ recipe.Pokemon Cake 1

His friends are all Pokémon lovers and they enjoyed choosing which parts of the cake they wanted to eat.

Was it a labor of love?  Absolutely.

But this grandma works for hugs and birthday boy smiles.

What is the most unusual birthday cake you’ve ever seen?

Mar 192014
 

Minecraft is my grandson’s favorite computer game. Minecraft bug
What is Minecraft?  Kids use creative thinking, geometry, and some geology as they learn to build imaginative block structures.

Steve, Enderman, Diamond Axes, and grass were the characters and items requested for his birthday cake.

MineCraft Birthday Cake

Steve and Enderman were molded with Rice Krispie treats and covered with fondant.  The TNT is mini red Twizzlers.  Pretzels covered with chocolate pieces created the Diamond Axes.  Toasted coconut filled in the area and Kit Kat wafers added the bridges.  A Fruit Rollup had his name written with the Wilton edible writing pen.

I started with two chocolate cakes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans for the blocks.  Crushed Oreo cookies mixed with graham crackers were added to the frosted sides to look like dirt.  Green buttercreme frosting with a Wilton Grass tip, gave the blocks that grassy look.

Inspiration and helpful ideas came from this Coolest Birthday Cake website.  I’d love to hear about your clever cake ideas, since there will be more grandkid birthdays coming soon.

Jan 112014
 

SpongeBob Squarepants has always been my grandson’s favorite cartoon character.  So it wasn’t a surprise that he requested this theme for his birthday party.Spongebob Squarebants cake Spongebob birthday cake Spongebob Squarepants eyeball
Two chocolate cakes (his choice) were baked in 9 x 13 inch pans for the head and body.

Fondant used for the white eyes, teeth, red tongue, with blue fondant eye balls give him that smiling hello to the partying kids.

Mini donuts created his shoes and pant tops. Large pretzel rods were covered in fondant for his legs and arms.

To keep my fingers from looking yellowish red for the next week, I wore disposable gloves while mixing the colors into the fondant.

Fruit rollups created the tie & belt on chocolate frosted pants.  Rice Krispie treats shaped the hands and fingers and covered in fondant. Wilton’s food writer pens gave an edible birthday message on the fruit rollups.

Blue jello jigglers held the candles and gummy bears were added for snacking until the cake was cut.

Here’s looking at you grandma!  Half the fun of eating the cake is picking out what part they want to eat.

My inspiration came from the many great ideas shown on this Coolest Birthday Cake website.  I’d love to hear about your cake creations and any questions or suggestions you may have for shaped cakes.

Oct 222013
 

 

Is the Baked Alaska dessert from Alaska?  Was the German Chocolate cake first made in Germany? German's chocolate cake bloggerman chocolate cake
I assumed this recipe came from Germany.  Then I read out about a chocolatier named Sam German.  He created a sweet baking bar named “BAKER’S German’s Sweet Chocolate.”

When a Texan housewife sent a recipe using German’s Sweet Chocolate to a Dallas newspaper in 1957, everyone started making this cake.  The recipe went viral and the name was shortened to German Chocolate Cake.

Roasting the pecans and coconut takes them from ordinary to extraordinary.

Mix 1 cup chopped pecans with 1 teaspoon of butter and spread on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes.

Spread coconut thinly on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.  Stir every 5 minutes to evenly brown.

4.5 from 2 reviews
German Chocolate Cake
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1⅓ cups flaked coconut (toast @ 325 degrees for 5 minutes, stir for even color)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (roast @350 degrees for 5 minutes, watch to not scorch)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoon shortening
  • 3 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 - 9 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold ⅓ of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  4. Pour into 3 - 9 inch pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn out onto a wire rack.
  5. To make the filling: In a saucepan combine 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, ½ cup butter, and 3 egg yolks. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut, pecans and vanilla. Cool until thick enough to spread.
  6. Spread filling between layers and on top of cake. In a small saucepan, melt shortening and 3 ounces of chocolate. Stir until smooth and drizzle down the sides of the cake.

Do you say pee-can or pe-con?

Enjoy the “Foodie Tuesday” series on Inside Journeys

 

 

May 202013
 

My grandson chose a ‘Lego King of his Castle’ theme for his sixth birthday party.  The little king’s swim party was a success, even though his crown didn’t float very well.
Birthday Cake copy

The lego birthday king is wearing his red robe and flanked by his lego princess sister and prince brother.  They are shaped from Rice Krispie Treats and covered with colored fondue.  Wilton FoodWriter pens outlined the face and robe details.

Hershey chocolate squares were used for the castle door and windows, then outlined with piped dark chocolate.  Sugar wafer cookies are the drawbridge and held with chocolate licorice chains.

Birthday cake side pic
I cut squares out of the middle of the double layered chocolate cake and placed the pieces on each corner.  The turrets are chocolate covered mini marshmallows.  Waffle cones were placed on top of ice cream cones and chocolate frosting “glued” them together, with golden sugar glitter sprinkled over them.

Bubble wrap covered the tray and then frosted blue for the lego base.  Blue Jello jigglers were cut and placed with red Gummy fish around the cake for the moat.  Fruit rollups were used for the flags and banner.

Many of my inspirations came from the creative ideas for Lego Castle Cakes found in the website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.

Apr 292013
 

My twin grandsons decided that, although they will always share their birthday date, they shouldn’t have to share the same cake.  The one thing they both agreed on was that both cakes should be chocolate,

Dinosaur cake 3 copy
His twin brother loves trains and requested the train cake.   My dinosaur loving twin grandson chose a Stegosaurus cake.

Dinosaur cake birthday 2

His chocolate cake was baked in two round cake pans.  The dinosaur body is a round cake cut in half, with frosting holding the body together.  The tail is a crescent shape cut from the second round cake.  Then four feet were cut to fit next to the body.  A square piece was used for the front of the body’s neck base.  The head was cut and wooden dowels were placed into the cake pieces for support.

All pieces were frozen, so the cut edges frosted easily with less crumbling.  I  tinted white frosting green and used a spoon to help give the frosted body some scales.  The eyes are yellow yogurt candy and more candy was placed on the toasted coconut that I scattered around the dinosaur.  I colored some fondant yellow and cut triangles for the spikes on his back.

The little guy was made from Rice Krispie treats. The bars mold easily and stick together perfectly.  I cut ½-bar for the body and ½-bar to make the two legs.  Another bar was cut up to shape a round head, two arms and feet.  I used colored fondant to cover him and Wilton FoodWriter pens to draw fine lines for the eyes and other details.

To keep your fingers from looking yellowish green for the next week, wear disposable gloves while mixing the colors into the fondant.  Also, a little oil keeps the fondant from sticking to your gloves as you wrap and shape the Rice Krispie bars.

My inspiration for this dinosaur cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please leave a comment, if you have any questions on the assembly of this cute cake.

Apr 102013
 

My grandson’s favorite animal is a grey cat that was his pet when he was a little tyke.  I loved adding this special touch to his birthday party with a cat shaped cake.

BIRTHDAY cakeI baked one chocolate cake mix in two round cake pans and another cake mix in a small round bowl and a loaf pan.  One round cake was cut in half and white frosting glued them together for the body.  The other round cake and loaf pan was cut into pieces for the legs, paws, and tail.  The bowl shaped cake formed the head.  All cut pieces were frozen to make them easier to frost.  Black coloring was added to the white frosting for a dark grey color.

The decorations include red licorice for the collar, eyebrows and paws.  A blue Jelly bean was used for his nose.  Two green jelly beans, with black food coloring, created the eyes.  Yellow frosting added his whiskers.  To make ears, I cut rice krispie treats into triangle shapes and frosted them with white and pink frosting.  Wilton Foodwriter pens were used to write his name and Happy Birthday on fruit rollups.

Adrian’s big hug and excited  “thanks grandma” comment, was worth staying up late the night before to create his special cake.

Mar 202013
 

My grandson loves Lego’s, so I surprised him with this Birthday cake.  I found many creative ideas for Lego cakes on http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.

Lego CakeOne clever idea in this website, was to tape bubble wrap to the tray.  Spreading the frosting on the bubble wrap was made easy by thinning a can of white frosting with some milk and green food coloring.  I poured the frosting on and then spread it with a knife.  Removal was done by kids licking fingers.

I baked two Betty Crocker chocolate cakes (his favorite) in 9 x 13 size pans. The cooled cakes were cut into thirds and then into halves for different sizes. The ½ sizes can be cut in ½ again for the very smallest size.  Each Lego is 2 layers high for the largest sizes.  Note: This is where I had a problem with the moist cakes becoming sagging Legos.  I’ve since learned to wrap tin foil around carboard pieces and insert them between the layers to stabilize the leaning tower look.

I froze the cake pieces, so the cut edges frosted easily with less crumbling (a professional cake baker tip).  I then cut large marshmallows in half and frosted them for the Lego tops (another neat idea from the website).  Although fondant icing would give a finished look and frosting the sides smooth took longer, the taste was worth it.

The little Lego guy is made from Rice Krispie treats. The bars mold easily and stick together perfectly.  I cut ½-bar for the body and ½-bar to make the two legs.  Another bar was cut up to shape a round head, two arms and feet.  I used colored fondant to cover him and Wilton FoodWriter pens to draw fine lines for the eyes and other details.

Please let me know if you have any questions for creating this fun cake.

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