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Tag Archives: dessert

Dragon Cupcake Cake

24 Oct

The title says it all! lol

My dragon boat team had our season end party and I made a dragon cupcake cake for one of the desserts.

I would like to stress I didn’t come up with this idea on my own. I saw a video 6 months ago about making a pull apart cupcake cake in the shape of a unicorn and I thought it might be fun to make but instead of a unicorn make a dragon. About a month ago I googled “dragon cupcake cake” and found plenty of images of amazing looking dragon cupcake cakes. I took the two I liked best, and used their images as inspiration to make my own version.

He came out like this…

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You want to start out by making a double batch of chocolate cupcakes. I used 24 for the dragon, I had 3 that were throwaways because they were the first three I frosted, I don’t have experience frosting with a bag and tip and let’s just say there was a learning curve lol

I attempted to make red frosting as one of my team colours is red but even though I used a “true red” no flavour gel dye from Wilton the best I could get was pink. sigh. The frosting tip was borrowed from work and I have no idea what size or number it was, it was star shaped though…in case that is something that interests you. πŸ˜›

I baked the cupcakes on the Wednesday and waited until the Thursday for frosting and decorating, partly because of time constraints and partly because you want the cupcakes to be completely cooled before moving them around and frosting them.

To make the dragon it is just a matter of having an idea of the shape you want and placing the cupcakes down in that shape, moving and tweaking as necessary until you get a shape that looks right. Then frost the cupcakes, which I quickly learned is harder and yet easier than I thought it would be. Once I got the hang of things it was fairly easy, but it took a bit to feel like I knew what I was doing.

The frosting is a simple buttercream frosting, made to be a bit on the firm side, so it would hold its shape for a while – I was worried about what would happen during transport.

I wanted to distinguish the back from the legs and head so I put a bit of black frosting on those pieces. The claws are made from soft licorice that I cut in to triangles. The eyes are a marshmallow that I broke in half and then flattened, the pupils are brown mini m&m’s that are stuck in to the gooey side of the flattened marshmallow. The nostrils are also brown mini m&m’s, the mouth is made of white chocolate chips, and the whiskers are Twizzler Pull ‘n Peels that I pulled apart so I could get the red strips.

It was a lot of fun to make the face, as it came together it made me smile. Its kind of hard to resist a smiling dragon lol

For transport I dismantled the dragon, the cupcakes just barely fit in to my rectangular cake holder. Once at the party it was quick work to put the cupcakes back in order so the dragon was once again a dragon. I had placed marks on the tray he was going to be displayed on so I knew where some of the body pieces went, making it even easier to get him back together quickly.

The team seemed to like him, pictures were taken, comments were made about how cute he was, he was a hit! πŸ™‚

I’ve got to say, of the desserts I have made for the season end party over the past three years this one is my favourite, and I think the easiest to make…I would have thought he’d be harder, or more work, because it seems a more finicky thing to deal with – all those cupcakes and the decorating and the placement of them, but nope, super easy, and fun! Makes me wonder what other shapes I might try making…

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Try It Tuesday: Skinny Cow

5 Jul

It’s summer and in my world that means a shift in desserts and treats. I tend to lean more towards fruit pies / tart type things and of course ice cream. Can’t go wrong with ice cream!

However, there is nothing remotely healthy or helpful to weight loss in ice cream. I figured I was going to have to give it up and was actively trying to not think about it but warmer days came to us and all I wanted was soft serve ice cream…or an ice cream sandwich…or a sundae…basically any form of ice cream lol

Then I remembered Skinny Cow! I don’t normally buy Skinny Cow items because they are suuuper expensive and in the past I tended to lean towards buying me some Ben & Jerry’s, they are two of my favourite men. πŸ˜‰

Well guess what happened last week? Skinny Cow was on sale! Yay! So there I stood, in the ice cream aisle with my WW app open scanning each different products barcode to see juuuuust how bad for me Skinny Cow is.

Lemme tell ya, it ain’t good!

I eventually chose the Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches because, well, how could I not? Chocolate and peanut butter? Yes puh-lease! πŸ˜€

 

I know some people like to say that Skinny Cow isn’t as good as “real” ice cream, to those people I say hush up! You are obviously delusional because these taste great!

They are a perfectly acceptable size, in fact I am surprised they aren’t smaller. The cookie part is soft and sticks to your hand just like a so-called real ice cream sandwich, the ice cream is freakin delicious. I mean c’mon, they are real and beyond that there is a bit less guilt when eating them, which makes me a happy camper lol

They come in a variety of flavours, there is a cookie & cream, a regular vanilla, and I want to say there was one other flavour but maybe I am wrong…I was standing in that aisle so long scanning my brain might have gotten a little frost bite. πŸ˜›

Skinny Cow of course has other items, just walk down the ice cream aisle at your local grocery store and you’ll see them. I haven’t tried any of those but summer is long, I still have time!

Sidenote: for anybody on Weight Watchers, one ice cream sandwich is 6 smart points.

Try It Tuesday:Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

14 Jun

So obviously this isn’t the first time I have eaten Strawberry Rhubarb pie, it is just the first time I have eaten this particular pie. It is from M&M Meat Shops and currently costs $9.99. If I remember correctly mine was on sale so it cost a bit less, who doesn’t like a sale? πŸ˜‰

First off, the finished product does not look nearly as good as the one on the package, the filling doesn’t hold its shape nearly that well. The filling is less chunky and more pureed, if that makes any sense? There is a lattice topping with the pastry but it is pretty lackluster, I mean c’mon, not like it is that hard to make the pie look pretty, this just looked lazy. Or maybe I am too harsh about the presentation of pies, meh, who knows? lol

To bake it you bring your oven to 350C, take the plastic wrapping off the pie, put the pie on a cookie sheet and pop it in to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, then take it out and let it sit for 20 minutes. I am not certain why it needs such a long cooling down period, maybe they are worried about people being burned? lol Nah. I think it is most likely to give the filling time to solidify enough that it doesn’t completely ooze out when you cut a slice.

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frozen still wrapped in plastic

 

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fresh from the oven

The flavour was nice, had a stronger strawberry flavour than rhubarb and the strawberry seemed to more closely resemble jam rather than freshly chopped strawberries. Hell, I would have settled for frozen strawberries, thawed and cut, before being put in the filling but I guess I am asking too much from a commercially mass produced pie.

Even with the 20 minute cooling off period the pie was still warm-ish so I topped my piece with some ice cream and settled down to enjoy. πŸ™‚

It’s not that it wasn’t an okay pie, but I wouldn’t really recommend paying the ten bucks for it when you can find a better quality pie at a bakery or one of those stands that pop up with fresh home made pies for sale at completely reasonable prices. Or hell, you could always make one. Not to boast but I have made a better strawberry rhubarb pie from scratch wiiiiiith a more complex lattice top and if I can do it so can you!

In a pinch I guess it will suffice but you can find better so my advice to you is to keep searching! πŸ™‚

Baking! Baking! Baking!

30 Sep

The only problem with being someone who likes to bake and doesn’t get to do it often is that when an occasion comes up that gives you an excuse to bake you maaaay go a tad overboard and want to bake every single recent baking recipe you have been hoarding.

In the span of three days I baked:

  • one batch of chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies…think chocolate brownies with a top layer of cheesecake, Mmm!
  • a three layer cake with the middle hollowed out and filled with M&M’s
  • a pull apart cake using cream cheese and chocolate

My entire apartment smelled delicious for daaaaaays! πŸ™‚

Why was I all of a sudden baking?

My dragon boat team was having our season wrap party, it was a pot-luck and the only food group I can consistently make is dessert so I said I would take a dessert. Thing is, how do you pick just one recipe? And why should you pick just one? I mean, there are a lot of people on the team, you can’t share one cake with over 20 people and it wouldn’t be fair to not take enough for everybody so the only logical decision is to make two different desserts. However, I had three recipes I really wanted to try…

It seemed like some sort of overkill to take three desserts but lucky for me a friend was coming over Thursday so I made the cheesecake brownies Thursday, we each ate one, then I took the rest of them to work the next day. Then the other two desserts were made over the span of Friday and Saturday and well, sadly, I now have no reason to bake anything so my apartment no longer smells yummy. sigh.

Although I’m thinking of making banana bread tomorrow and that smells good! πŸ™‚

chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies

chocolate fudge cheesecake brownies

Pull Apart Cake - each dough ball is filled with cream cheese and chocolate chips then coated in sugar and cinnamon. Then the dough balls are topped with walnuts and a brown sugar glaze.

Pull Apart Cake – each dough ball is filled with cream cheese and chocolate chips then coated in sugar and cinnamon. Then the dough balls are topped with walnuts and a brown sugar glaze.

Three layer cake decorated with M&M's and Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers

Three layer cake decorated with M&M’s and Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers

The inside of the three layer cake, it is filled with M&M's.

The inside of the three layer cake, it is filled with M&M’s.

Brownie Strawberry Trifle

3 Jul

This my friends is not a healthy living friendly desert…consider this a fair warning! πŸ˜‰ It is however quite tasty sooooo if you’re willing to eat outside the boundaries of whatever diet, or healthy living plan, or life change you are currently following than read on!

You will need:

– brownies (yeah, you’ve gotta make those)

– 1L (12oz) Cool Whip (I used Light Cool Whip)

– 1 135g (5oz) package of Vanilla Instant Pudding

– 2lbs fresh strawberries

Instructions:

Bake brownies. You can use your own recipe or a brownie mix, whatever floats your boat.

Slice the strawberries, seems fairly obvious and yet it is mentioned in the original recipe so I thought I’d tack it on here also.

Make the pudding, once it is set fold in the Cool Whip. You’ll need a large bowl for this. It makes what the original recipe refers to as a custard. This is not technically a custard, duh, but who am I to judge the original recipe person? Well, ok, I am judging a little bit lol

Once the brownies are completely cooled cut them in to small pieces, I tore the brownies in to small pieces instead of cutting them because that’s how I roll over here. I’m sure Martha Stewart would not approve. πŸ˜›

Put half the cut brownies in the bottom of your trifle bowl, pour half the custard on top of the brownies and spread it around so all the brownies are covered. Layer half the strawberries on top of the custard. You can stand up some of the cut strawberries around the edge of the dish so it looks prettier, ya know, if you want, no pressure to make this presentable or anything…

Repeat the layering. Brownies, custard than strawberries.

The original recipe also wanted you to melt chocolate chips and drizzle it on top, I chose not to do that because I thought it would be sweet enough and I was right. Not saying it wouldn’t be an extra level of delish with the melted chocolate, and I’m sure it would look even more impressive but I liked how it looked with the fruit on top, easily seen, not covered by anything and hey, I’m making it so I get to make these oh so important decisions. Ooooooh the power of me!

Here is how it turned out…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn't like raspberries?

I added some raspberries to the strawberry topping because who doesn’t like raspberries?

Side view!

Side view!

A couple side notes:

– Keep the trifle in the fridge until it is time to serve it, otherwise the custard melts and stops looking so pretty.

– I doubled the amount of brownies I made, so two batches instead of one, which turned out to be a good thing because it took one entire batch for each brownie layer. Depending on the size of your trifle bowl you may also need to make two batches of brownies.

– I did not double the amount of Cool Whip or Vanilla Pudding used. I realized once it was too late I probably should have, especially when I had poured half of it on for the first layer and I was struggling to get all the brownie covered. You’d never know it from the picture though, shrug. When eating the trifle the ratio of chocolate to custard was a good one so flavour wise it turned out I didn’t need to double the Cool Whip and Vanilla Pudding, just be prepared to use slices of strawberries to help cover thin custard coverage areas.

– I did not use the entire 2 pounds of strawberries, despite my going to all the effort to clean, and destem, and slice them. I used a good chunk of them, as you can see. The way the hidden layer is placed is identical to the top layer, only minus the raspberries so not like I skimped in the middle with my strawberry usage. But hey, rejoice, this just means extra strawberries for you!

– I added the raspberries on a whim because they were on sale and because they are a personal favourite. I had originally intended to make a little design with them but I was running late so I just popped some on where there was space between strawberry slices. I didn’t get to use them all so oh gee, I have leftovers of those also, what a shame! πŸ˜‰

– The original recipe is from an American site so the quantity of everything was a little off to the size of things here, except for the strawberries because, well, I don’t know why to be honest. Normally I do all the conversions before I go shopping so I know what size packaging to look for in my grocery store but I didn’t this time so I winged it. It turned out ok.

– I would recommend making the brownies the night before, I made them the morning of and it seriously cramped my style. I had everything else all ready to go and I was stuck waiting for the stupid brownies to cool completely, it took forever and that’s with me living in a basement suite apartment!…In case you don’t get the significance of that, my place is always cold, it will be 29C (84.2F) outside and I will be inside wearing a sweater and sweat pants with a little throw over my feet. It’s like I live in the place that summer forgot.

I calculated the Weight Watchers Points Plus points for the trifle, a portion of my trifle comes out to 12 points. If you make it I would recommend calculating your own points because you will be using your own brownie recipe, and may be using only one batch of brownies, or maybe you doubled the amount of custard, or perhaps you decided to drizzle the melted chocolate, who knows! Β Then there is always the trifle bowl size to take in to account…The point is this strikes me as a desert where every person’s version will be slightly different which means so will the nutritional information be. But that’s ok! This is a super easy recipe that is also super easy to personalize, which makes it great for everyone, enjoy! πŸ™‚

Oh, the original recipe can be found here

Canada Day!

2 Jul

Ok so depending on your time zone I am a day or longer late with this, oops! I’d apologize, which would be oh so Canadian of me πŸ˜‰ but the reason I didn’t write anything on Canada Day was because I was busy celebrating Canada Day and if I hadn’t done something to celebrate Canada Day than I wouldn’t have anything to write about now, would I? That’s right, that is my logic and I’m sticking to it! teehee

logic

July 1st is Canada Day, in case you didn’t realize that from the above paragraph lol It is a day filled with hanging with friends and/or family, food, some form of alcohol, proudly displaying a flag or maple leaf or at least wearing red & white, and fireworks. Whether those fireworks are the official display put on by your city or some cheap ass stupid ones your neighbour’s kids set off in the park down the road well, whose to make that distinction?

Canada Day is the one day of the year we are unapologetically Canadian. We don’t refrain from wearing something with a maple leaf on it while in our own country because it is tacky, we don’t shy away from sharing videos on YouTube that say how great we are (though most of those videos say how polite we are lol), we jokingly embrace the stereotypes that are out there and eat something maple flavoured, or order the poutine, or wrap bacon around something and claim it is a legit meal. Our large cities have family friendly activities that include our military showing us simulators that they use for training, you can sit in a tank, or wear one of the backpacks the soldiers wear to see juuuuust how heavy it is (which fyi, I tried, they are ridiculously heavy!). It is the one day of the year we allow our Canadian pride to show…although we are still fairly understated about it, shrug, but ya know, that is just our way…sorry! πŸ˜‰ lol

This year I went to a friend’s place for a bbq and just general hanging out. It was a fairly chilled event which was nice because it was a roasting hot day and none of us felt like doing anything super active.

There was video game playing, on an old system, so really it was retro video game playing lol We were playing on an N64 and I can’t remember the games names, they were games I had never played before and oh wow did I suck lol Luckily I was with nice people who didn’t make toooooo much fun of me πŸ˜›

After game playing there was the food! πŸ™‚

For dinner we bbq’d kabobs…

Dinner!

Dinner!

We actually had a lot of kabobs, I just forgot to take a picture until they were almost all eaten, oops! They had chicken or pork, corn, red and green peppers, zucchini, red onion, pineapple and baby potatoes on them. Three of us made a little assembly line to put them all together, my section had the stabbing of the zucchini, peppers and corn which you’d think would be ok except I stabbed myself in the palm of my hand when putting the skewer through one of the corn pieces, sigh. It is a very me thing to do lol πŸ˜›

Then there was dessert! I brought it, thought I’d try a new recipe. My only goal was to have the finished product look somehow patriotic, so I wanted there to be red and white incorporated in to the dessert. Sounds stupid I know but meh, I was baking it so I get to pick things like that.

I made a brownie and strawberry trifle…

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

Chocolate Brownie and Strawberry Trifle

I’ll do a separate post with the recipe for the trifle, in case any of you are interested in giving it a try. πŸ™‚

Because this is my Canada Day post will I put a video about Canada, and of course, being a Canadian pride video it is made by a beer company *rolls eyes* πŸ˜› I like the video though, it shows how we are a multi-cultural country and how if we all work together good things happen, least that is my interpretation of it. πŸ™‚

Aaaaaand here is another video about Canada, just because…it is a song instead of a commercial if that makes it anymore enticing for you…oh and there is an astronaut in it! Who doesn’t like astronauts! πŸ˜‰

I know July 1st was yesterday, and a lot of my readers aren’t from Canada, but regardless, I hope you all had an awesome Canada Day (even if it was just a normal Wednesday for you lol)! πŸ˜€

A Work Party

4 Dec

Last Friday was my work’s Christmas party. I have been with this company, at this location, since it opened but this is my first year attending the party. Why? Because the people at head office always choose to have the party on a Friday night and I work that shift. No matter what they do there will always be staff that can’t make the party, that is what happens when you have a company that is open 24/7 but it surprises me there isn’t more effort put in to making sure it’s not always the same people who don’t get to go to the party. This year I got to go only because the casual girl who we call on when we need a shift covered had her birthday plans change, she took pity on me and offered to work my shift because she knew I wanted to go to the party…she knew because I had already asked her to work for me but initially she said no because she thought she was going to be out of town for her bday (which was the day after the party).

So yeah, this year I got to party, yay! I didn’t know what to expect, the previous years my friends at work always downplayed how the party turned out so I wouldn’t feel so bad for missing it lol

This year it was held at the Pan Pacific Hotel which is a fancy hotel in the downtown core. The space was really nice, huuuge windows overlooking the water, a decent sized dance floor and a nice large space for all the tables and the food.

There was a photo booth with lots of funny hats and glasses an stuff to wear, they’ve had this each year, lemme tell ya, that photo booth was never empty lol I’m not exactly sure why it is such a popular thing, I mean yeah, it was fun, but the amount of times I was dragged in there when once or twice would’ve been fine…having said that I have four of the picture strips and they make me giggle everytime I look at them. πŸ˜›

goofy people! lol

goofy people! lol

The food was super yum, it was a massive buffet with a carving station at one end where an oh so lovely turkey was sliced up for our eating pleasure. πŸ™‚ Β I attempted to make healthy choices while choosing my food and I think I did fairly well. Some food choices (like the cheesy potatoes) were obviously not healthy but I don’t feel bad about those choices because the rest of the plate was covered in veggies, and salads, and protein…so a little bit of cheesy potato won’t kill me lol There was a separate loooong table covered in all the deserts, oh so many deserts! πŸ™‚

Here is how the food portion of my night went:

Get a plate of food from the buffet.

Eat about half my dinner when I get dragged to the photo booth for a picture.

Return to my table after an absence of less than 5 minutes to find my dinner is gone. Servers cleared away my plate. Sadness.

I decided that meant I should start on dessert so I go to the dessert buffet. I got a small slice of a fruity thing (I’m not really sure what it was…) and was reaching for something made of chocolate when someone got all “omg you have to come dance to this song!” so I take one bite of the dessert, put it at my spot on my table and make my way to the dance floor.

After one dance I return to my table to find my dessert gone, servers had cleared away my plate.

Arg!

One of my friends encouraged me to go get another dessert but I didn’t want to be that person who went to the dessert buffet twice. She went for me and got me an amazing slice of chocolate cake that was super rich and covered in fruit, there was kiwi, and strawberries and mandarin oranges on top. I got about two bites in to it when someone was all “you hafta come to the photo booth!”.

You would have thought by now I’d learned my lesson but nope lol

Off to the photo booth I went, took goofy pictures, returned to my table only to find an empty spot where my plate used to be, sigh.

By this time I decided to quit the food, it was obviously the Universes way of telling me to stop eating lol I went back to the dance floor and stayed for who knows how long, remembered that I still had half a glass of wine and decided to go finish it before that also got nabbed by the servers but alas, I was too late, the servers had taken my wine.

Of all the thefts I was most distraught about the wine lol A person’s alcohol should never be taken, that is just…inhumane! πŸ˜‰

Despite the over eager servers and the constant theft of my food, it was a great night. The group of people I work with are a fun group and we danced most of the night, luckily the DJ was good! lol

It started snowing around 9pm, it was so pretty, made the drive home a bit treacherous but meh, that’s winter for ya!

The pictures below are from a couple days after the party when I was walking to work in the morning, see how pretty? πŸ™‚

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Oh I forgot! I got tons of compliments on my hairdo, I did this updo that was a combination of a couple different things I saw in various YouTube tutorials and surprisingly it turned out well. I wish I had thought to get a picture of it…I started a braid on the left side of my head that wrapped around the back of my head to end in a side pony on the right side of my head. Then the hair in the pony tail was twisted, tied in a knot and pinned in place so it looked like a loose bun. I topped it off with a clip that had a flower on it with a faux diamond centre, it was put just above the bun. You’d think the clip was there for decorative purposes but it was actually to make sure the hair stayed in place lol I was paranoid the entire night about the bobby pins falling out and the bun coming undone but it held up the whole night, dancing an all! πŸ™‚

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