Year of Cakes – Cake 2

I meant to have my second cake up in May, but life keeps getting in the way.

I made this one for my step mother, Phyllis. Her birthday was in January (I know, posting 6 months late), and the one thing you should know about Phyllis is that she loves gardening. Seriously loves gardening. She’s turned my grandfather’s large auxillery garden into a flower and fruit garden, and she’s wedded and pruned and planted all long the driveway from their place up to the junction in the driveway where my grandmother’s splits off. Gardening is Phyllis’ life.

I knew I wanted to put a flower on her cake. Originally, I thought about covering the cake in buttercream, then modeling chocolate in a nice bright shade of yellow. Then I was going to make a big flower to put on top.

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Year of Cakes – Cake 1

I figured the best way to start would be to make a cake I wanted to eat. Then I stumbled across the craziest cake: a tree stump with an axe balanced on the blade. I knew there was NO WAY I could attempt anything like that, but it did point me in a direction for finding a cake recipe.

And that’s how I found the Artisan Cake Company, owned by Liz Marek. She also has the Sugar Geek Show, and I signed up for the free lessons, so I could see how to properly frost a cake. Her videos helped a lot, so I used her vanilla cake recipe, and her easy buttercream recipe to make my cake.

 

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The Year of Cakes

Back in 2014, I decided to make a cake. I wanted one for my house to eat, and decided to give one to my father, who had just had a birthday. I went to town, bought new cake pans, cake mix, and frosting.

This was the result.Cake - Top View

It doesn’t look too bad, does it? The yellow is the tub of frosting, the red is an aerosol frosting with a star tip, and you can just see the sprinkles I covered the sides with. It doesn’t look that bad.

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Kickass Onion Garlic Cheese Bread

Onion Garlic Cheese Bread

Looks yum? Get my recipe on this page. Eventually I’ll include photo directions, but not today. This recipe is great for busy people who love bread. You can make up a batch, and leave it in the fridge for days, until you’re ready to bake. Then, pull off a 1 pound chunk, and bake. Good for those who work long hours but love fresh bread, or busy parents who can’t watch a loaf and the kids all day.

So, I Made Bread

I love to cook, and when I got a couple days off for my birthday, I knew what I wanted to try. Also, there was supposed to be this huge snowstorm, so if I was going to be housebound for a few days, I may as well get to cook. So, I made bread.

I’ve been a subscriber to Mother Earth News for a couple years, and a while back, they featured and article about artisan bread that could be made quickly. It was sprinkled with a promotion for the book, “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” and was all about this recipe that allowed average busy people to make fantastic, artisan bread. I was curious, but I never got around to picking up the book, until a few weeks ago.

I’d ended up buying a Groupon that was $10 for $20 from Barnes and Noble. So, when I was home right before Valentine’s Day, I picked up the book. I took it home, read it extensively, and then threw it on the bookshelf and went out to work. So, when I came home this past week, I decided it was time to make bread. Nonny bought me a pizza peel and a baking stone for my birthday, along with the flour and yeast, so I went to town.

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Baked Ravioli

So, I make a kick ass baked ravioli recipe.. And I took pictures of the process, only to find out that half the photos I took never actually stayed on my phone. So, I will present yummy baked ravioli without photos. Next time I make it, I’ll add photos in and remove this.

Backstory: Once upon a time, about 3 years ago, Buca di Beppo made a really, really excellent baked ravioli. Fantastic stuff, couldn’t get enough of it. However, there’s no Buca nearby, and they’re hard to get to. So after some looking online, and some experimenting, I came up with a kick ass baked ravioli recipe. It’s one of the recipes both mine and Pet’s family adore. I get requests for it frequently.

As far as I can tell, it’s pretty accurate to the old Buca di Beppo recipe. The new one they changed the ravioli on, and it uses mozzarella cheese, which ruins it. So, if you’ve been there in the last year and like that ravioli, this one is different, but excellent. And it’s easy! who doesn’t love an easy baked ravioli recipe?

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