Friday, July 23, 2010

Weekend bake

I started LN's order last night when I put together the American carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Since I'd posted photos of the carrot cupcakes on my blog previously I decided not to blog about it again.  This morning I started work on her coffee cupcakes with butter cream and am quite pleased with the results.  LN ordered 24 coffee cupcakes but I gave her 25 to fill up the box.  Since it would have been SO boring to decorate all 25 cupcakes the same, I decided to have a little bit of fun!

The coffee cupcakes contain a heavy dose of real coffee (for coffeeholics!) and Hershey's chocolate chips.  For the butter cream, I used pure butter, icing sugar, my "secret" ingredient as well as real coffee with no artificial flavouring.  I used mocha covered coffee beans, M & M peanut candy and giant Hershey's kisses for the topping.  From my experience, not everyone likes butter cream, so some cupcakes have more cream and others, less.

LN just picked up the cupcakes.  I hope she and her friends will have a lovely catch up time after 22 years!  Now back to my jewelry studio...  have a wonderful weekend to my dear friends!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Creating Health

The day for Dr Shara's talk had finally arrived!   About 20 people were expected to be there.  My main consideration was how to transport the cupcakes and pizzas with minimal damage and keep everything fresh since I had to be at the clinic by 4.30pm and the refreshments was going to be served around 6.30pm.  I also wanted to make it easy for the people to eat without having to handle a mess.

I started the morning by baking my little American carrot cupcakes.  I had originally wanted to make mini cupcakes but thought they may be too tiny and the regular sized ones may be too big since I was also baking mini pizzas.  So I settled for medium sized, which turned out to be the perfect size.

Don't you think they look lovely?  I piped on a cream cheese frosting (less sugar of course) and topped the cupcakes off with mini Hershey's chocolate chips.  Yummy!  Juicy, moist and not too sweet.

My container could only take 20 cupcakes so that was what I brought.  A few more would have been better...

For the pizzas, I decided to use regular spiced fresh pork sausages and three colours of capsicum.  Attractive, don't you think?

Here are the mini pizzas, ready for the oven.  I baked them in these aluminium cups to get the round shape.

Out of the oven and waiting to be paper cupped.

I also made ham and cherry tomatoes with 2 kinds of cheeses just for variety.  My favourite is the sausage pizza.

Anyway, the talk was really great.  Dr Shara shared with us how we can create our own health by taking control of what we do and eat.  She gave practical illustrations to make her point. 

  Feedback for the cupcakes and pizzas was very good.  So glad the folks enjoyed it.  I truly enjoyed making the snacks.  Thanks, Dr Shara, for your talk and for giving me an opportunity to share my "experiments!"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Refining culinary skills...

I hardly cook at home nowadays because of work and family commitments.  So I'm very happy when I've the opportunity to try out new things for family and friends.  This Friday is the "big" bake at Dr Shara's so I'm refining my culinary skills!  Since hubby's home today, I decided to make pizzas.  Not the usual ones we find outside, but the low fat-less carbs-low sodium-healthier kind (okay, I know the sausages are NOT healthy but that's the only item in the pizza so must count for something, right?). Hubby likes more meat and vegetables with a thinner crust so that's what I made for him.

I bought fresh spicy sausages from Cold Storage and pan fried them to get rid of the oil.  I then boiled broccoli and cut them into smaller pieces.

Here's a heart-shaped pizza (for my hubby whom I love very much!) ready to go into the oven.  I topped the pizza with mozzarella cheese.

Here's the other pizza I made just out of the oven.  Looks good, eh?  It tasted so yummy we ate BOTH pizzas for lunch (yes, I'm afraid just two of us)!  Sorry I didn't take photos of the cut pizzas.  We were too busy eating...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Savoury Bakes

My chiropractor, Dr Shara Downey from Asia-Chiropractic, will be giving a talk to her patients on Friday evening and I offered to sponsor some refreshments for the participants. Dr Shara requested for something with cheese.  Today, I experimented with two recipes and here are the photos!

Less fat...

These sausages were really yummy!

I diced up red, green and yellow capsicum and cooked them with the raw lamb sausages.

This is my first presentation, a pizza like bread crust at the bottom, followed by the lamb sausages and capsicums and topped with cheddar cheese.  I made 5, Alethea ate 2 and a half, I ate one and a half and we have one left for hubby to try!  It was amazing because Alethea doesn't like capsicum but she ate them anyways!

I can also present this with mushrooms, ham and pineapples to make a Hawaiian like pizza, chicken curry and potatoes for an Asian feel, or even mushrooms and bacon bits.

The second presentation is in a muffin style.  It is also lovely but I found it a bit too filling for a snack.  Maybe one or two for Alethea's packed school lunch together with a fruit.

This third presentation is in a smaller muffin cup and still in the oven as I post this!  I'm sure it'll be fine.

Well, so much baking for today.  The young people from church are playing touch rugby outside my place so I just passed the rest of the muffins to them! 

 I think I'll make the first presentation with variations in fillings for the talk. For those with a sweet tooth, I'll probably bake some banana bread and apple slices.  I hope Dr Shara and her patients will like what I have planned for their refreshments!