Friday, 27 July 2012

Princess Doll Cake

This is not my first attempt at making a doll cake but this is definitely the first time I am dressing the doll in fondant.I made my first doll cake in 2006, my final year in the university.The doll/cake was dressed in royal icing from my room in the hostel and transported from Benin city to Portharcourt for my little niece's first birthday. I made that memorable trip with my favorite cousin ,Ugo.

As much as I enjoyed making and looking at my first doll cake,I can not deny that covering the doll in fondant makes her come out more beautiful and sleek.Dressing her up felt more like dressing a kid.You would want the hands in the air so they do not interfere.Also tie up the hair so they do not get in your way.

The doll's dress is a vanilla sponge cake, baked in a Wilton doll pan and she is standing on a 12 inch double layer of vanilla and chocolate cake.

Her dress is hemmed with edible pearls like the ones that outline her bust,and her bowed sash is made with the same patterned fuchsia pink as her halter neck top.

Her hair ruffle is fondant and she is carrying four candles stuck in fondant,representing the little girl's age.Actually,I wanted her to carry a decorated mini-cupcake but the people at home(I will not mention their names) ate up the cupcakes I kept for that purpose,not knowing why I kept them,so I had to improvise.

My favorite part would be the celebrant's name written on a fondant banner with pink food writer and lined with baby pink edible pearls! I will have to write my name like that some day.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Making Cookies From Left-over Batter

Making cookies from cake batter is a good way to use up left-overs.You could also make them just because you crave these kind of cookies at the time.I made cake batter cookies recently and I like the fact that they are so easy to make.                                                                                             

I just added dried mixed fruit and a little yogurt into the batter,then scooped one table spoon,each about one inch apart unto baking sheets,set the oven at 170 and baked for a little over twenty minutes.They really were yummy!
Sent some to hubby's mum.

You could get more creative with yours and add chocolate chips,nuts,etc.

N/B:If you want the cookies to be crispier,just add more flour,just enough to hold the batter in your hands without it being messy.You could also sprinkle sugar on the cookies just before you bring it out from the oven if you want it sweeter.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

One Cake and 27 cupcakes


These were ordered by one of my wonderful customers,for a friend.One cupcake for every year spent on the planet.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Repurposing a Cotton Swab Container

This used to hold cotton swabs.After the last stick was used up,I just could not throw it away.I always try to give containers a second chance.Another shot at life.So I look around for an assignment to give it and I sight these:                                                                                                                                   

A cluster of my hair bands and ruffles.So I give them a new home in the container.

Nice,isn't it ? These has saved me the stress of having strays among my ruffles so I do not spend time looking for one color or the other.I have them organized in one place.Saves me time too.And since it is portable,it could go in my hand bag in case I am leaving the house in a hurry and do not have the time to make up my mind about which to wear.I can relax and do that in the car.Actually,it lives more in my hold -all- bag than on my dresser these days.I am so loving my new ruffle/hairband holder.Can't wait for the next empty cotton swab container.Do you have ideas for such a container?

Friday, 29 June 2012

Nylon Bag Organizer

I usually like to collect fine looking packs or containers that have fulfilled their calling and are headed for the dung hill.I like to re-purpose them and give their lives a new assignment and a new meaning.I put them to work helping me organize things around the house.

This is the story of a stationery box that held A4 sheets in its former life now serving as an organizer for nylon bags.Yes I collect nylon bags too! As long as it is clean and does not have an odor from the item it once bore.These nylon bags come in handy for packaging things heading for the garbage can or to "codedly" ferry things out of the house.

So this is what I did -I used thumb tacks to pin the bottom part of the box to the back of the kitchen door,
then I put the nylon bags and closed it with the lid.The lid already has a rectangular slit that you can dispense the nylon bags from.

So this helps me declutter my nylon bag collection and also looks cute hanging at the back of the door.What do you think?

Making Sauce With Cucumber

In Nigeria,especially the western parts,tomato and pepper stew is a very important part of major meal times.Recently though,I have been forced to look around for a substitute for tomatoes.It is suddenly very very expensive.Some people say it is because of the rains.I wonder!
Anyway,few days ago,I found myself looking out the office window,not searching for anything in particular,then I noticed one of the vegetable vendors on the street and how he stacked the cucumbers attractively.I began to wonder what it would taste like in a sauce...
Of course I bought cucumbers on my way home that day!OK, more like a cucumber because I bought just one big one.I also bought cabbage and I paid N200 for both of them and they where a tasty and less expensive replacement for tomatoes.They even looked more luxurious!

The Making Of The Sauce :

Beef                         - 1 kilo
Cabbage                  -  a little less  than medium size
Cucumber                -  a big one
Carrots                    - 4(big)
Red pepper              - two handfuls
Cameroun pepper     - 2 tablespoonful(powder)
Onion                       - 2 (large)
Vegetable oil             - 3/4 cup
Curry                        - 2 table spoons
Seasoning                 - 2 cubes
salt                           - to taste

Wash the beef,rub in salt,a table spoon of curry and one cube of seasoning and set aside for about 30 minutes to one hour(you could do this a day earlier and keep in the fridge) .Slice one large onion bulb into the beef,add water that barely covers the meat and cook till it is tender(about 45 minutes - 1hour).

Chop all the vegetables and the remaining bulb of onion while the beef is cooking.You can remove the seed of the cucumber if you think you are not going to like it.I did .Make sure that at least half of the volume of water you cooked the meat in is still left by the time it is cooked.You will need the stock for the sauce.

In a large dry pan ,pour in the vegetable oil and after about a minute or two,when the oil heats up,add the onions,stir till you perceive that lovely fried onion aroma(about a minute and a half) then add the carrots,stir again then add the red pepper,stir then add the cabbage.The cabbage has the largest volume so stir till the heat reduces it's size a bit.Add the cucumber,then the Cameroun pepper,the remaining tablespoon of curry and seasoning cube.Pour in the beef with the stock,add salt to taste,bring to a boil and your sauce is ready!You can serve with rice like I did.

If you try out this recipe,I will very much like to hear all about it.Feel free to ask questions and do not forget that you can add your own touch to it.Use your imagination and make an even more delicious variant.If you have come up with your own ways of substituting tomatoes in this scarcity,please feel free to share.

Have a fruitful and productive day.

PS:You can remove some of the cabbage,cucumber,carrots and onions to use for a slaw later.Just mix with salad cream or mayonnaise and you are good to go.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

'Twas my birthday yesterday.Hurray for me.Really had fun and an elaborate feast from breakfast to dinner,thanks to hubby.Got lots of unexpected gifts from him too, plus the gorgeous card and cake in the pictures below.Happy to know I have been a wonderful and fantastic wife. It will surely get better.My path shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day!