Fondant Ruffle Cake Design

Fondant Ruffle Cake

Jon’s cousin got married in Roche Harbor, which is on San Juan Island in Washington State. It was a spectacular event and the most beautiful venue for a wedding. Getting to the resort was a well-planned event. The entire trip took about 4 ½ hours.

Since I didn’t know how much workspace I would have at the house we were renting, I wanted to have the cake completed before embarking on the trip. The only way onto the island is by ferry, private boat or small charter plane. Since I needed a smooth ride for the cake, I chose to take the ferry with my mother-in-law, Diana and her boyfriend, Walt. The completed cake weighed 50 pounds so it was essential to have a strong, sturdy, level support to hold up each layer and prevent shifting. I also needed to keep the cake cool on the warm summer day so I had Jon make me an insulated box big enough to fit the cake and some dry ice.

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Mango “Ice Cream”

Fat-Free-Mango-Ice-Cream

Mangos are one of my very favorite fruits and when we lived in the Philippines I enjoyed them often.  They grew on huge trees that would be totally loaded with fruit.  They were so abundant and in the market we could buy a bag of them for hardly anything.  

At the peak of the season we would see great black clouds of fruit bats flying in the early evening and they would devour the mangos on the trees.  Mangos are also a favorite food of the monkeys, but still, we always had plenty of them to eat.

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Slow Cooker Spicy Vegetable Lentil Stew

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

I mentioned in my last post that I had started riding my bike quite frequently and I am really enjoying it. I started riding with a co-worker who has been riding for a long time and she has been teaching me some valuable lessons on riding a bike. The two of us have decided to sign up for an organized bike ride in September. It is quite a stretch for a newbie bicycle rider like myself but I am determined to train for the ride. And I am determined to finish the ride. Tour de Blast is not a wimpy ride for the faint of heart. Signing up for it gave me butterflies in my stomach.

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Lemon Cream Icebox Cake

Lemon-Cream-Ice-Box-Cake-2

Don and I stopped at a restaurant a couple weeks ago and enjoyed a really nice dinner, a bottle of wine and some good conversation.  When the waiter presented the dessert menu to us I thought perhaps I would just pass.  Oh, maybe I will just look and see what they are offering.  I bet you know where that goes!   Well, I saw the lovely pictures of each dessert and they all looked so yummy that I thought “I will diet tomorrow”.  It was a difficult decision and I finally chose the lemon cream cake while Don chose the chocolate mousse.  We happily sipped our coffee while anticipating our desserts.  

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Pasta with Leek and Bacon

pasta with leek and bacon

Since the first of June I have been riding my bicycle quite frequently. I have had a bit of a learning curve adjusting to the bike but I am really enjoying the workouts and challenges on the hills.

Three weeks ago I bought some clipless pedals for the bike and started a new learning curve. The pedal has a locking mechanism that attaches to a cleat on the bottom of my bike shoes. Since the shoes clip into the pedals I am not certain why they are called clipless, they should be called dangerous. It took me quite some time to get the nerve up to get this pedal system but I have been told by several people that it would make a huge difference. They were all right. It really has made a difference in my performance on the bike as well as how my workout feels. My biggest hang up to getting this pedal system was the fear of getting my feet stuck in the pedals and falling when I come to a stop.

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Power Breakfast

Great breakfast/brunch with lots of protein punch.

All the health advisors and nutritionist say to never, ever skip breakfast.  They tell us that it is the most important meal of the day and if you are trying to loose some extra pounds to start your day with a breakfast.  Well, I believe it!  It is easy to skip it though, as I am usually not hungry in the morning and not motivated to put something together that is too time-related.  It is just too easy to grab a piece of toast or a bowl of cold cereal for another ho-hum breakfast.  In the past, that has been my habit but recently I have been more health conscious and am enjoying the change.

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Baby Shower Cake Design with Fondant Baby Shoes and Teddy Bear

Baby Shower Cake with Fondant Shoes and Fondant Teddy Bear

By the time my cousin Abby had her baby shower, she knew she was going to have a baby boy so the colors and theme of the party was decidedly boyish. I chose turquoise and white for the cake and made an elegant design to match her personality but still say “baby boy”. Abby was stunningly beautiful and glowing the entire time. It was so good to see both Abby and her husband Ian who were visiting from Alaska

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Chili Relleno Casserole

Chili-Relleno-Casserole-1

Don and I do love Mexican food and he is especially partial to chili rellenos.   They are not easy to make at home, at least not for me.  Basically, they are roasted poblano chiles stuffed with as much cheese as you can get into them, then they are dipped in an eggy batter, giving them a thick coating, finally, they are fried until crispy.   Every time I cooked them they turned out not quite right (NQR) and rather disappointing. It has been a very long time since my last chili relleno event so when I saw this recipe from epicurious.com it sounded doable.  It almost sounded too easy!  Naturally, I had to play around with the recipe to put my own spin on it.  

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Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet potato hash

A few slices of leftover ham and a couple of lonely sweet potatoes inspired me to mix up a quick hash for breakfast this morning. I wanted something quick and easy. To spare myself an extra pot to clean, I opted to dice the potatoes pretty fine so I would not have to boil them separately before throwing them in the skillet. Fresh rosemary grows on my back porch and is one of my favorite herbs. Along with some fresh thyme and a little heat from the red pepper flakes, this makes an easy fuss-free breakfast dish that is full of flavor.

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Picnic Potato Salad

Picnic-Potato-Salad-1

The Forth of July!  Independent’s Day!  What a great patriotic holiday as America celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  

I know everyone has their special memories and traditions of the Forth of July and I think back to my childhood days that were filled with fun, food and good times. 

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