Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Marshmallow fondant recipe and tips for baking, making, buttercream and icing a fondant covered LEGO minifigure head cake from start to finish Part 3!

So we've made the pineapple cake (recipe and part 1 of this series here) and we've made the butter cream (recipe and tips in part 2 of this series here) and crumb coated (optional) the cake and piled on a nice smooth layer of buttercream all over the sucker.. and the cake has either been sitting pretty in a cool spot waiting for you to now cover it in fondant, or you're super gung ho and are trying to do everything all in one day... if you fall into the one day category.. kudos, and you're freaking crazy!! So, I've typed out some tips and how to avoid some mistakes (that I made lots lol!) for making marshmallow fondant below along with the recipe.  It was surprisingly easy how to make it and its well worth the effort cuz this stuff tastes like sugary melted marshmallow... and we all know how regular fondant tastes like bleeeeeh!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Vendome Cafe Calgary, AB Home to indulgent Eggs Benedicts, Duck confit paninis and desserts!

We lucked out one sunny Sunday morning when we walked into Vendome and there was a free table and there was no line up at the cashier!  You're greeted in this quaint and cozy brick building by delicious breakfasty smells, warmth and happy chatter of patrons digging into their yummy brunches or enjoying a cup of coffee.  Even after doubling their seating area, its super busy on the weekend, and a line up out the door magically appeared behind us as we ordered our food.  Its order food, grab your numbered stick, find a free table and the friendly and informative waitstaff will bring out your order.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Recipe! Greek inspired roast lamb shoulder or leg of lamb with new potatoes, garlic, white wine, rosemary and lemons

Its almost Easter, and folks usually love roasting a turkey in their ovens around this time.  Since I've made a few turkeys over Christmas (easy brine and roast a turkey recipe here), I wanted something different.  So, in February, I started experimenting with lamb.  I love tender melt in your mouth lamb with most of its gaminess masked by fresh herbs. I absolutely adore slow roasted lamb, especially if its done with Greek flavors. My preference is to eat lamb at a rare to medium rare.  And though I'm usually pretty patient, I didn't feel like waiting while the roast sloooooow roasted for 3+hours every single time I craved a lamb roast.  We all have better things to do than babysit a roast for hours. So, I tweaked a 3hours+ slow roasted recipe lamb shoulder roast to be done in (much more reasonable) 1 hour of roasting time.  I wanted lots of flavor, so solved that by marinating the roast overnight to infuse it with plenty of fresh herbs, garlic and to tenderize in olive oil.  I also wanted a one pan meal (less mess and I'm lazy/efficient!), so tossed in potatoes, and a pan of carrots on the side (Next time I'll remember to use a huge pan and then you can do everything in one single pan).  The result... it takes a bit of planning as the roast needs to marinate overnight in the fridge, come to temperature for about 30min, BUT then you can kick back as the lamb roasts and fills your house with the delicious scent of roasted herbed lamb for the next hour!  If you prefer slow roasted lamb and have 3+ hours, you can use the same recipe, just remember to wrap the entire roast and pan with foil to seal in the steam and juices and up the roasting time to well... 3 hours.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Harvest Room, Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton, AB - Delectable ostrich entrée and great service

Last month, back during Downtown Dining Week, we hit up the Harvest Room to try out ostrich!  Yup, ostrich - cartoon versions of large birds magically jamming their heads into the sand are transformed into a delicious lean (and healthy) entrée at the venerable Hotel Mac.  My boyfriend's never tried this lean, moist meat that is reminiscent of dark turkey meat, and heading to dinner was the highlight of our day after a very long workday!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

How to make 100% butter buttercream and icing a fondant covered LEGO minifigure head cake from start to finish Part 2!

So, you've made your cakes and they're nice and cool and ready to frost them before popping fondant on it (if you're feeling adventurous).  I baked 3 pineapple sheet cakes the night before... I only needed two, but I baked a third one for good luck. (Recipe and part 1 with baking/storing cake tips here).  I'm scribbling down my lessons learned from trial cakes and the actual cake I served my friends so when I get old, crotchety and can't remember a darn thing, at least I can bake a cake, ice it and eat it too hahahaha!