Monday, May 16, 2016

Marshmallow pirate pops


So, Dante had a "Jake and the neverland pirates" theme for his birthday party. Knowing that marshmallow pops is a real people-pleaser (at least when the people are 4-6 year olds) I made some very simple marshmallow pirate pops, and I'm super proud that I managed to draw some Skully ones as well! The kids were very impressed!

All  you need are marshmallows, edible markers, and some sticks. It's truly a very simple task.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Avocado toast - the next level


Followers of my instagram account know that I frequently have avocado toast for lunch (and sometimes, for dinner too). I eventually grew a little sick of it so I need to kick things up a notch. They other day, I added some sliced baby tomatoes and basil - very good! It made a surprisingly big difference, actually! What's your favorite way to take avocado toast to the next level?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Welcome, summer!


We've had a beautiful long weekend, with plenty of sun. How about you?

We have had dinner outdoors every day, and even enjoyed a glass of rosé wine with some shrimp and crawfish canapés. I need more ideas for quick and fun snacks to enjoy before dinner - please share in the comments, if you have any suggestions!

Monday, May 09, 2016

Meringue Buttercream


I finally, finally, decided to try meringue buttercream. I have no idea why I haven't dared before - it just seemed a little finicky I guess, and the sheer amounts of butter scared me. I thought it would easily turn into a curdled mess.

Then, the afternoon before Dante's birthday party (with 20 toddler-sized guests!), I decided to just go ahead. I found an easy enough recipe, and just went for it. And what do you know? It turned out great. And it was so simple. And super tasty, too. I paired it with Vanilla Bean Cucpcakes, mini-sized, and some fun little sprinkles.

I made 36 mini cupcakes, but I had a lot of buttercream left over - I think it would have easily covered 50. I also think you can flavor this as you wish - I happened to really like it au naturel so I didn't do anything to it. A little vanilla or lemon zest would be an easy way to go.

Meringue Buttercream
3 egg whites
250 g sugar
350 g butter, at room temperature

First, you whisk the egg whites and sugar, with a regular hand whisk, over a pan of simmering water. You want the sugar to melt, and it will do so at 65°C. When it has, pour the contents of the pan into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a handheld mixer) and beat into a meringue. When it's still slightly warm to the touch (but certainly not hot!), add the butter, a little at a time. When it's all incorporated keep beating if it feels warm at all. If you're using any flavorings, this is the time to add them, and gently fold them in .

When cool, you can use it immediately, or chill it for later. I used mine at once, transferring it to a piping bag and making simple roses on top of the cupcakes.

Let the frosted cakes set in the fridge, then serve. (I made mine on the day before the party and they were great.)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Birthday cake

Our most hectic season, in terms of birthdays, has begun. First out was Dante, who turned four. For his first party - he's having three! - he requested "candy cake". It's a simple cake filled with banana and vanilla custard, covered with cream and his favorite candy. In the end, he only ate the candy and the cream...