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Monday, September 29, 2008

Buying Miss Buttercup

I'm very pleased to announce a new arrival in the Kay household -- Buttercup, weighing 22 lbs 8 oz, almost 14 in tall. She arrived on Saturday after much painful deliberation (5-qt? 6-qt? lgt yellow? drk yellow?), but she was finally brought home safely on Saturday afternoon. We've very happy and though refurbished, she's in perfect condition.

She's just beautiful (tear).

:) k2

Gluten intolerant? Here, have a brownie!

That could very well be a cruel statement... teasing somebody who has a gluten intolerance with a nice big hunk of warm chocolaty brownie... that's just mean, UNLESS... the brownie happens to be gluten free!! That's right, I took the plunge into making a dietary-friendly brownie for a co-worker who cannot eat flour or, if she does, I assume she suffers quite a lot!

K2 and I have been fairly "fortunate" (and there are quotations, because it's not really the right term, but it's what my brain came up with this morning) in not having had any events where there are a lot of dietary restrictions. In fact, the only one I can recall is having a guest who could not eat anything raw that was in the onion family. Easy enough to get around, just cook them. When I think about it, I don't think we've ever done an event where we HAD to provide even vegetarian alternatives, although we always do! I assume as the business builds, we will come across these challenges more frequently. Personally, I look forward to it... I think it's fun coming up with alternate food that under 'normal' (there are those pesky quotation marks again... oh, and parenthesis... that's a different topic all together) circumstances may not come up in the menu planning stage.

For this reason, I took on the quest to find a gluten-free brownie that would not only satisfy somebody who did not eat flour, but also those who more accustomed to eating a flour-packed goodie. I came across a recipe for Black Bean Brownies. I have not yet tweaked the recipe, because I wanted to get a sense of what it would be like as written. They aren't bad at all! I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. All the ingredients go into a blender, then come out of the blender looking like runny pudding, go into the oven, and *POOF* come out looking like brownies. They are moist, and fudgy-like, not very cake-like, but very good nonetheless. I plan on tweaking a little bit, maybe trying for more of a cake-like consistency, and playing around with flavors.

I do not currently have pictures of these little fudgy gems (that's right, fudgy gems), but hopefully when I get back to the pan of brownies tonight, I will remember to snap a couple of shots.

That's all for now ...


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Forget Alaska, lets go to the beach

So, I'm the first to admit... I'm not really into politics, it's not my life, and I certainly wouldn't have a birthday party focused around anything political... call me crazy. My friend Michele, however, is truly into politics, and because of this, the people at work decided it would be great to throw her a "make fun of Sarah Palin" surprise party. The idea was to have food and decor that would go along with Alaska, and many things Palin. When mooseburgers were suggested, I stepped in and offered to bring a chocolate mousse torte... I think that satisfied the need for moose. Below are pictures of the cake.

Yes, the moose IS wearing a fondant party hat

Top Angle

Cake shown with a slice cut out... showing the layers.

A single slice of cake... bittersweet chocolate torte, dark chocolate mousse layer, milk chocolate mousse layer, and a white chocolate mousse layer, all covered by a semi sweet chocolate ganache.

Did I mention it was chocolate?

Monday, September 22, 2008

When Science and Cakes Collide

Yeah, so here's my way of thinking:

Cakes are baked.
Baking is a science.
Science geeks eat cake too.

I had a request from my good friends Steve and Jan to make a "Shmoo" cake for a going-away party for Jan's lab mate Mike (he's going to MIT...yeah, I know smart people).

So for those who aren't in the know, shmoo is the nickname for a G-protein coupled receptor in yeast......hey, you're lucky, this is the short version of a shmoo, what I got (because I asked) was a much more complicated, intricate explanation by Steve (who's also a science smarty-pants)... well until he saw my eyes glaze over and took pity. My only response was "what colors you want on that?"

So here, in all it's scientifically accurate glory (or as accurate as you can get with pumpkin cake and cream cheese icing), may I present the Shmoo Cake.

And here's a view of the backside (upside? top side? other side?) of the Shmoo. Please note that the black line do-hicky does indeed cross the thingyboo 7 times -- yes, 7 times! because that's key to the doojigger process of the thingy making it, ah...and it comes close to the circle with the Beta because...because...oh hell, it was in the drawing and that's why it's there. Science rules!

(post-Post note: apparently the official term for the "black line do-hicky" is "signalling pathway." Pshaw, like who doesn't know that... :/

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another notch in the cake post!

Another successful venture into the wedding cake world (whew!). Don't get me wrong, I didn't go into this thinking it was going to be a piece of cake (yeah, I went there). It's nerve-wracking to put a wedding cake together, especially when it's one of your closest friends and even more so now that I know Cake Wrecks is waiting in the wings just in case something goes horribly awry. My inner perfectionist and I had a couple run-ins, but in the end the happy couple was just that, so all good.

Here are a couple of photos for Show-n-Tell.

Not a big chocolate fan myself, but this photo makes me want to bite into a huge slab of chocolately goodness. My first foray into homemade chocolate icing too (it was yummy).

Final assembly took place at the cake table. Wasn't going to chance it pre-transport (discovered as we bounced over the miles of pockmarked and pitted roads between Laura's house and the reception place that GA tax dollars are NOT going into road improvement).

You know, "even" is SO overrated.

Fun is being given three buckets of fresh flowers and being told to "have at it."

Final product. Got a two-thumbs up from Laura and Todd. The cake itself was comprised of a chocolate-chocolate bottom layer, a pumpkin-marshmellow cream cheese middle layer, and a chocolate-chocolate peanut butter top layer.

Close-up of one of the side "boutonnieres" (and yes, that's a sprig of rosemary).

Despite the patented k2 pre-cake freak out, the bumpy roads, the sweat and swearing, and all the chocolate (that was a lot of chocolate), it was all worth it to help make Laura and Todd's day special. Happy Wedding to them and many well wishes!

Monday, September 8, 2008

An additional two cents

Read previous post first, since this one relates ... (elevator music is currently playing in my head).

The gig went well, I agree. Week nights are definitely tough, but Kathy and I got through it, which means we can do anything!! (except perhaps leap tall buildings in a single bound...although, I've never tried... it could happen!)

It was really nice to be able to add to our ever-expanding list of menu items. I feel very confident by the time we get the business officially launched, we're going to be well-prepared with many previously tasted items...

That's about all I have for my two cents... of course I had to add!!

Now we sit back, come up with new foods, and wait for the calls to start rolling in!! :)

In the meantime, everybody should wish Kathy good luck with the wedding cake she's got on the horizon for this coming weekend!! :)


Friday, September 5, 2008


The catering biz is definitely NOT for wimps -- don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Extremely exhausted, but oh-so happy with another successful "do" under our belts.

Congrats to Prema for valiently defending her dissertation, reclaiming her life, and letting us help her celebrate the occasion!

Goodies on the Table of Plenty included:

Assorted Vegetables with Farmers Market Tomatoes and White Bean Hummus Dip

Thai Crostini with Garden Fresh Thai Basil Pesto, Marinated Tofu, and Shiitake Mushrooms on Lightly-toasted Baguette

Pineapple Tuna with Slivered Almonds in Choux Paste Puffs (a fav with the under 4' crowd)

Skewered Cumin-Lime Chicken Bites (they may seem plain in appearance, but the taste more than makes up for it, they have a surprisingly crisp and refreshing flavor)

Greek Crostini with Feta Spread and Artichoke Hearts on Toasted Olive Bread

Mixed Fruit and Cheese Tray with Assorted Crackers (included strawberries, blackberries, champagne grapes, figs, dried apples, dried mango, dried apricots, Farmers Market camembert, fresh mozzarella balls, white cheddar, and Havarti with dill)
Beef Bruschetta with Marinated Beef and Horseradish Cream on Lightly-toasted Baguette ("beef on bread" is always a hit)

Lemon 'Tart'lets with Lemon Curd Cream filling and Fresh Blueberry in a Phyllo Cup (the sweet tooth equivalent of Lays, can't stop at one...and no one did)
Not shown are Wendi's Signature Stuffed Mushrooms with Italian Sausage and Fennel (see previous post), Kathy's Super Secret "Don't Ask Me for the Recipe" Sweet-n-Sour Meatballs, Chocolate Chip Brownie Bites, Minted Brownie Bites, and Marzipan Pops (marizpan rolled with dried fruit and dipped in milk chocolate -- SO addictive).
(Just a note -- we do try to use herbs from the garden and produce from the Farmers Market whenever possible, because we are all about supporting local business.)
So after seemingly hours of prep and last minute assembly, what makes it all worthwhile is watching people continue to stuff their faces while claiming they are too full to take another bite.
We rock. (We have mentioned that lack of modesty thing before, right?)

Stay tuned for more good things to come and thanks for reading!