Speckled Egg, Baby Shower Cake

I’ll admit, this was for my own Baby Shower!  Ha ha!  My good friends threw me the shower and I wanted this cake so bad!  It went with the theme of “Adding to Our Nest” so well!

My husband choose the flavor, so naturally it couldn’t be a simple chocolate!  We have here a 3 Layer, Vanilla Malt Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and chopped Whoppers (Malt Ball candy)  It was actually, very delicious!  The cake was topped with the “Love Birds” from our wedding cake (bottom photo)!  A few fried rice noodles for the nest and some chocolate covered fruit for the eggs!

Speckled Egg Cake

 

Our Wedding cake!

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Wedding Shower Cupcakes

Theres nothing I love more than a good wedding!  As crazy as things can get, the reason your there is because two people fell in love!  Thats enough to make you enjoy what you do!

This couple was celebrating with a co ed wedding shower and cake was a must!  I loved their colors!  Kind of a light teal, and coral.  It was gorgeous!

Wedding Shower Cake table

 

They choose Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese frosting (Teal frosted cakes) and Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean ButterCream (Coral frosted cakes).

Cupcakes!Simple cupcake decorating, and splitting the portions between cupcakes and sheet cake serving, really helped keep the cost low on this one!  And thats always something to consider when your the one paying for the whole party!!!

 

Poolside Pedicures & Pina Coladas!

What a fun event this was to be a part of!  Mandy’s Little Luxuries hosted the event exclusively for women.  She organized several vendors to set up shop and delivered a gathering of women to peruse their goodies for the afternoon.  She also offered pedicures and mini massages, by the pool to entice the ladies to spend a little!  And it wouldn’t have been a party without some Pina Coladas and some FOOD!  Thats where I came in!

We provided a Dairy Free Pina Colada Ice Cream (made with a coconut milk base)  for the drinks, so that everyone could enjoy!  And set up a small spread inside too!

Dessert first, of course!  Mini Toasted Coconut Cupcakes!  I also gave away Classic Chocolate Ice Cream samples, and had several other Ice Cream flavors (pint sized), for sale.

Toasted Coconut CupcakesLobster Hummus!  This stuff was a hit!  Homemade hummus blended with lobster and Old Bay Seasoning, served with pita chips!  This was so good, that people made orders for it!

Lobster Hummus

 

Here we have a Trio of goodies!  On top is Goat Cheese Truffles!  Creamy Goat Cheese rolled in chopped Almonds and Rosemary, then a drizzle of White Truffle Oil.  Perfect to top a cracker with, and I’m not gonna lie, I had orders for this too!

Then we have Tropical Chicken Salad Wraps, which were as tasty as they sound!  Chicken Salad made with Greek yogurt, Pineapple Chunks, Almonds and Raisens, then seasoned with Jamaican Spices!

Classic, refreshing Cucumber Tea Sandwiches!  Soft white bread, generously slathered with Lemon Ranch Butter and layered on thin sliced cucumbers!

Appetizer TrioLastly, Pesto Pasta Salad!  With yummy Balsamic Vinegar, fresh Parmesan and sliced Almonds!

Pesto Pasta Salad

 

Mini Breakfast for Men!

Breakfast is always hit or miss, especially when it’s for a men’s board meeting.  You never know if they are actually eat, or just stick with coffee.  So I decided to make breakfast in a “non committal” way… Miniature!  Which is always a favorite way for me to present things!

Mini Eggs Benedict: Poached Quail Eggs, atop  an English Muffin round, Ham and Classic Hollandaise garnished with Cayenne and Chives.  This one is a personal favorite!  Yum!

Mini Eggs Benedict

 

Just look at the runny yolk!

Just look at the runny yolk!

Sausage Gravy Shots with Mini Biscuits: Homemade fluffy Biscuits, atop a shot of Spicy Southern Sausage Gravy!

Sausage Gravy Shot & Mini BiscuitMini Monte Cristo Sandwiches: I admit, I didn’t know these existed till I moved to California! They are solo tasty!  Ham, Turkey and Swiss Cheese sandwich, battered and deep fried till gooey inside and crispy outside, served with blackberry jam and garnished with powdered sugar!

Mini Monte CristoSeafood Quiches: Just a basic quiche, baked in a mini muffin tin!  I used Puff Pastry for the crust and blended Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese into the eggs and topped with fresh dill.

Mini Seafood Quiches

 

This was such a fun and delicious event for me to cater!  Of course, I’m a huge fan of breakfast foods, so I can tell you the left overs weren’t wasted!

Mini Breakfast

 

 

Just a bite! Soup & Salad

These bite site courses were for a Chamber of Commerce business mixer, where myself and a couple other food vendors were asked to set up some small, but tasty treats for the attendees.  It was a hit, especially the salads with the miniature deviled eggs.  No to mention the great networking opportunities that came along!

Mod Cob Salad: Iceberg lettuce, dressed in  a homemade Goat Cheese Ranch, and topped with Bacon, Grape Tomato and a Deviled Quail Egg.

Mini Mod Cobb Salad

 

Vichyssoise Shot: A classic French, cold soup, served shot style!  Potato and Leek soup drizzled with White Truffle Oil and Chives.  A perfect pairing for the salad.

Soup & Salad

Red Wagon Baby Shower

This was such a fun event!  But when aren’t baby showers fun?!  It was a classy outdoor venue and the food needed to look just as classy, yet approachable.  So we went with classic foods and just presented them in a modern way.

Caprese Salad: Bite size!  Served in a spoon, fresh tomato, mozzarella, pesto and balsamic vinegar pearls that look like caviar!

Caprese Salad

 

Popovers with whipped Blueberry Chipotle Butter: Popovers are always a hit!  They are just fluffy, heavenly rolls, that are best served with a flavored butter!

Popovers w/Blueberry Chipotle Butter

 

Classic Club Sandwiches: Whats to say, but YUM!

Club Sandwiches

 

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with BBQ: Served atop a spoonful of BBQ sauce.  These are just outdoor food fun!

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple

 

The SpreadRed Wagon Baby Shower App Buffet

Baby Gender Reveal Cake

The new way to announce your baby gender is with cake!  If you haven’t heard of someone doing this, here’s how it works.  The expecting couple throws a small party with friends and family.  The main even is the cake cutting!  The cake conceals the gender of the unborn baby.  The cake is cut, by the couple, and the first slice is served to reveal either Pink or Blue!  Its really fun.

Gender Reveal Cake

This was my first gender reveal cake, and it went over so well!  It was for a baby boy, so I decided to do a Royale Blue Velvet Cake, with Cream Cheese Icing and Marshmallow Fondant.  It was delicious and beautiful!  This was an amazing experience and an honor to be able to a part of such a milestone.  I can’t wait to do another one!  Contact me, for cakes like this one or for any celebration or event.

Royale Blue Velvet Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pirate Party!

 

 

 

 

I recent’y catered a birthday party for a young boy.  The theme of the party was Pirates!  That in itself got me excited!  The challenge was: 1) Create a menu of somewhat healthy options, yet tasty enough for young kids. 2) Through a Pirate theme into the mix.  The result is what you see below.

Pirate Party The main dish, my favorite, was Pizzadillas!  It’s exactly what it sounds like.  Flour tortillas, filled with pizza sauce, pepperoni and tons of melted mozzarella cheese.  As if these weren’t good enough to eat by themselves, they were each hand painted, with an edible food paint, to resemble a treasure map!  Needless to say, they were a hit!

Pizzadilla Treasure Maps

The two side items, one a fruit dish and one a veggie dish, were a bit harder to convey the pirate theme, but still turned out great!  The fruit dish was “Berried Treasure”.  A parfait of vanilla yogurt and mixed berries, topped with graham cracker “sand” and apple sticks to dig with with.  These with also garnished with “Cross Bones” (white chocolate dipped pretzels with marshmallow ends) The veggie side dish was simply Celery Planks, Carrot Coins and Pirate Sauce (Ranch style dip).

I had alot of fun with this event, especially since it was for kids!  I look forward to doing more events like this and getting creative with new party themes.  Contact me, for any questions!

Banana Roulade

Well, Hello!  I know its been awhile, but boy do things get busy around the holidays!  Believe it or not, I didn’t do a whole lot of the cooking this year!  Everyone else was eager to take of things, so I just sat back and enjoyed!  Errr… let me rephrase, because if you know me at all,  I LOVE to be in the kitchen, so sitting back and letting others take care of it… not my idea of enjoying.  So, to get me out of this funk, I’m trying to make up a reason to be in the kitchen, hence, the Banana Roulade was born!  Sick of all the pumpkin flavored, everything and trying to use up a stash of frozen bananas in my freezer was my inspiration!  A little brown butter rum cream cheese and brown butter caramel doesn’t hurt either!

Banana Roll

You’ll need 2 medium sized, overripe bananas.  I always throw mine in the freezer when they are too soft for eating, if you do the same, take those babies out ahead of time and let them thaw out!

frozen bananasYou’ll need to separate the eggs, and start whipping the whites till frothy.

frothy egg whites

Then add half the sugar in and keep whipping till it’s thick and glossy.  This may take a few minutes, but hang in there, it’ll happen!

thick glossy egg whites

In a separate bowl, or a stand mixer, whip the yolks with the other half of the sugar till pale and yellow, then add in those mashed bananas till smooth.  In yet another separate bowl, stir together the remaining dry ingredients.

wet & dry ingredients

Fold the two egg mixtures together, then sprinkle the dry ingredients in and fold till evenly incorporated.  Spread the batter into a baking sheet and pop it in the oven.  Flip the hot cake  onto a clean kitchen towel.

cake on the kitchen towel

Let it slightly cool, then roll it up and let it completely cool.

roll it up!

In the meantime, whip up the cream cheese frosting.  Spread it evenly on the cooled, unrolled cake, then reroll it.

iced cake

Sift powdered sugar on top, and drizzle with the brown butter caramel sauce.

banana roll with brown butter rum cream cheese

banana roll with brown butter rum cream cheese

Banana Cake

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup mashed, overripe banana (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

“Gently folding the whipped eggs will make a super spongy and springy cake!”

  1. Line a 11×15 in baking pan with wax paper and grease the sides and bottom with butter.
  2. Separate the eggs in 2 separate bowls.  Whip the whites till frothy, then add 1/2 cup of sugar and keep whipping till thick and glossy.
  3. In the other bowl, whip the yolks, with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, till thick and pale yellow.  Mash the bananas and add them to the yolk mixture and whip till smooth.
  4. Gently fold the two mixtures together till there are little to no streaks left.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.  Sprinkle some of the dry ingredients onto the wet and gently fold it in.  Continue till all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
  6. Smooth the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Flip the hot cake onto a clean kitchen towel and let it cool slightly.
  8. While the cake is still warm roll it up into the towel, jelly roll style, and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Carefully unroll the cake and evenly spread the cream cheese filling over the surface.  Then gently reroll the cake and sift powdered sugar on top, and serve with brown butter caramel sauce.

Brown Butter Rum Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp brown butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp rum extract
  1. Beat all the ingredients together in a bowl and spread onto the banana cake!

Banana Roll

Brown Butter Caramel Sauce

  1. Cook the sugar over medium heat, till it reaches a nice amber color.  It will start out just looking wet , then turn clear, and then it will start to brown.  Watch it carefully, cause it can go from a beautiful brown to burnt, very quickly!
  2. Quickly whisk in the brown butter.
  3. Lower the heat to simmer and pour in the heavy cream.  The caramel will seize and get hard, but keep stirring and it will melt  back together nice and smooth.

cooking the sugar

amber color sugar

stirring the cream into the caramel

How to Brown Butter

Brown butter… The things my dreams are made of!  So many recipes can be enhanced with brown butter.  It adds a deep nutty flavor that regular butter could never bring to the party.  Essentially brown butter is just cooked butter.  Cooked, not burnt!  Big difference!

When heating oils and fats, its important to understand the smoking points.  Smoking points are the specific temperature that the oil/fat starts to break down and produce smoke.  Butter has a very low smoking point (around 250-300 degrees fahrenheit).  Other oils smoke at different temperatures, olive oils vary between 375 and 405 degrees and avocado oil at 520 degrees.  If you reach the smoking point while making brown butter, you’ve just burned it.  If your nervous about this happening, attach a candy thermometer to your saucepan to keep a closer eye on the temperature.  The low smoking point of butter is why it is essential to use a medium heat while browning the butter.

burnt and brown butter

Butter is made up of butterfat, milk proteins and water.  When browning the butter, the oil will melt and turn clear, while the milk proteins will separate and create almost a foam on top.  Clarified butter, often served with seafood dishes, calls for skimming this foam off, but in browning it’s kept in.  The protein solids are actually toasting and turning brown, imparting a rich nutty flavor.  Don’t strain out those lovely brown bits!

This is how the butter will look as the proteins start to brown.

milk solids starting to brown

Brown Butter

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Continue to cook gently, and swirl the pan to evenly cook the milk proteins.
  3. The butter may bubble/foam a little bit.  Keep an eye on the color.
  4. You’ll start to see the milk proteins browning.  When it reaches a nice rich color, pour the butter into a container to cool.
  5. Periodically stir as the butter hardens to keep the brown bits from all sinking to the bottom.