from the jazz age to the space age

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so, yesterday was my husband’s birthday and i wanted to make something special for him. he’s been really into Doctor Who {and has gotten me into it too- which is totally what i need, another obsession, right?} i also ended up making a bunch of Doctor Who tshirts and phone cases: HERE i knew i wasn’t going to be able to make him one of those fancy vertical cakes, but i figured i could manage a sheet cake. 

first i made a template of the TARDIS in photoshop from pic i found on the web. then i printed it out on 8.5″ x 11″ paper. you can right click this one if you need a ready made template 😀

i cut it apart.
in a 12″ x 8″ pan, i baked a yellow cake from this recipe. let it cool. placed my template on it and cut around it. bc my template wasn’t big enough i added the botton of the TARDIS. i also used a piece of cake that i had cut away for the light at the top. i attached it with frosting.     
then i made this frosting, with milk instead of orange juice, {and added blue food coloring} and applied a crumb coat. then popped the cake into the freezer for an hour.
next i applied another layer of frosting over the crumb coat. i placed my part of my cut up template on the cake and with a knife, marked where the doors are. then i took up the template and resmoothed the frosting. i placed a ribbon tip in a decorating bag and filled a bag with frosting. then i added a few strips of frosting to simulate the top and side. i placed my paper cut outs {in retrospect, i should have coated them in clear tape} of the windows and sign on the cake and piped the doors over them. then i finished up with a writing tip and white frosting, “happy birthday Mikael” 


this is the first cake i’ve ever used any tip other than writing and it was very exciting. my grandmother used to make beautiful cakes with buttercream and royal icing. i’ll never even rival hers, but this was a really fun project 😀 


for more information, take a look at Wilton’s Cake Decorating. my grandma used to get their catalogs and they were amazing! talk abt daydreaming! 


And Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband, Mikael!
even though these lyrics are sad, they still encapsulate everything i love about him. He is my shining star who ensures i never lose my way. He keeps me connected to humanity when i could comfortably slip into paintings and books for my entire life.

Well I woke up today
And the world was a restless place
It could have been that way for me

And I wandered around
And I thought of your face
That Christmas looking back at me

I wish today was just like every other day
‘Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

And I started to walk
Pretty soon I will run
And I’ll come running back to you

‘Cause I followed my star
And that’s what you are
I’ve had a merry time with you

I wish today was just like every other day
‘Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

So have a good life
Do it for me
Make me so proud
Like you want me to be
Where ever you are
I’m thinking of you oceans apart
I want you to know

Well I woke up today and you’re on the other side
Our time will never come again
But if you can still dream
Close your eyes it will seem
That you can see me now and then

I wish today was just like every other day
‘Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

I wish today was just like every other day
‘Cause today has been the best day
Everything I ever dreamed

ps- this is sung by Neil Hannon. He collaborated with Yann Tierson and co-wrote as well as sang, “Les Jours tristes” on L’Absente. He also appears on Tierson’s, “Black Session” where he sings “Geronimo” and “Life on Mars.”


my son celebrated his 2nd birthday january 5th. we threw him a super birthday party. i made felt masks and sewed elastic to them. i also made karl a yellow cape for derring do!
the day before i made an yellow cake from an amazing recipe i found {see below}. it recommended using shortening in the place of butter and an extra yolk to keep the cake moist. i half and halved the shortening with butter bc i wanted a little more buttery taste.
the frosting was an orange buttercream that i’d made before by winging it. again, it uses half shortening and half butter for perfect whippyness!
the silver cat took pictures
super karl is on the scene!
waiting for the heroes
wonder woman, grey owl, orange owl, red phoenix~ older children’s masks younger children’s masks
crimson star, twilite cat, solar flare, grey hawk, green lightning, blue devil

sugar cookies and caramel cookies {recipes below}

yellow cake with orange buttercream frosting {recipes below}
 

ok, so this picture took a while to take. i usually take the photos so my husband isn’t familiar with our camera 😉 do you see my smile? my smile asks, “diiiiiiid yoooooouuuu taaaaake it yeeeeeeet?”

green wolf is on the prowl {for snacks}
mr. and mrs. owl, twilite cat, and the red phoenix. unfortunately i didn’t get any clear pictures of wonder woman 😦 and after this i put the camera down to socialize.
singing happy birthday to our wonderful little man!
 

good-bye til next year~ same cat time- same cat channel!

~recipes~
caramel cookies*
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c packed dk brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

preheat oven 400* F
with mixer, cream butter, sugar, egg, vanilla together. add remaining ing and beat thoroughly. Scrape dowl from bowl on plastic wrap. roll into log abt 2 1/2″ wide and chill in fridge an hour {i put mine in the freezer for 20 mins, then transfer to the fridge.} cut dough 1/8″ thick and arrange on ungreased cookie sheet. bake 8-10 mins. cool cookies on sheet 1 min then transfer to wire rack to cook completely.
*my mother in law got this recipe from weight watchers.

yellow cake
i used this recipe:
it was fantastic, except i used 5 egg yolks instead of 4. I beat the heck out of the mix while it was sugar, shortening, and egg yolks and then barely mixed it once the flour was in.
orange buttercream frosting
1/2 c butter softened
1/2 c shortening
4 c powdered sugar
2 tbspn milk
3 tbspn fresh squeezed orange juice {from an orange}
cream butter and shortening until super creamy. sift in powdered sugar slowly. cream well to prevent lumps. add milk and orange juice. continue to mix for at least 3 minutes until creamy. really, really creamy.
the biggest mistake you can make with homemade frosting and yellow cake is to skimp on mixing. baking from scratch is different from getting something out of a box. but when done correctly the texture and flavor of your cake and frosting will have a depth missing from commercial mixes. good luck!

Monsieur Bibot is a terrible man. a petty, cruel tyrant who relishes his work as a dentist and abuses his lovely little dog, Marcel.







sweet marcel is too small to walk down the stairs but his master drags him down anyway.













bibot is given two figs as payment by a poor woman. She tells him they are magic figs and will make all your dreams come true. not believing her in the least, he sends her away and eats one that night. in the morning his dream from the night before indeed has come true. {nice Eiffel Tower! paging dr. freud!} determined not to waste the last fig he attempts to program himself to dream that he is a rich man with expensive possessions.

but that night, marcel eats the last fig from off the kitchen table. bibot chases marcel under the bed and promises grave reprocussions in the morning.
indeed, there are grave reprocussions come daylight, but not for marcel. bibot finds himself under the bed. marcel has dreamt that they have changed places and now marcel is the master…

Up until i read this book i’d never had a fig. They seemed far too exotic for me and i had no idea how to cook them.

i found an amazing recipe here

Ingredients

4 large fresh Black Mission or Calimyrna figs 
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
2 to 3 teaspoons dark brown sugar 
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 
2 to 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
Sea salt, to taste 
Ground pepper, to taste 
8 cups mixed salad greens
*small container feta cheese
* handful of chopped walnuts

Method

Snip the tiny stem end off each fig and cut in half lengthwise. Mix vinegar, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a medium bowl. Add figs and gently toss to coat. Let marinate.

Place figs face down in a hot pan with olive oil. cook face down on medium heat for 4 min, reserving all of the marinade in the bowl. Do not overcook as the figs will become too mushy. Remove figs to a plate. 

To the reserved marinade, add olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper, whisking well to completely incorporate. 

Place greens in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing, then divide among 4 individual serving plates. Place 2 fig halves on each plate of greens and serve.
i diced the figs and added feta and walnuts. it was one of the most delicious things i’ve ever eaten!