Monday, April 23, 2012

Josh's Birthday

I threw my 26 year old boyfriend a Star Wars theme birthday party this year. Now if you follow this blog, or my other one: you know that I make him a Star Wars birthday cake every year, usually trying to top the one from the previous year. I kind of screws myself this year, and peaked a little too early. I have NO IDEA how I am going to top this cake next year!!!
Here are some pictures on the cake assembly this year. I made a Death Star cake. I got the original idea from pintrest via here, although I simplified my process a little bit.
My mom and I did a trail run of making a 1/2 sphere cake last weekend and it turned out a lot better than predicted.

Each of the cake halves consisted of 1 and 1/2 box cake mix. The whole box was a yellow cake mix and 1/2 was chocolate swirled in. And baked in a medium pyrex bowl. It took a lot longer to bake than a normal cake, and we also had to adjust the temperature of the oven so not to burn the top, while the inside still cooked. (Again, trial and error)

To hold the 2 halved together I had thick (boba tea) straws- 4 of them stick in the middle of the bottom cake, a little bit of icing glue and shoved the top cake on top of the straws sticking out from the bottom. The middle section is (another cake) that was crumbled and mixed with icing so I could fill the little gap between the 2 to make a perfect globe.

If you know anything about the Death Star you know it has a "satalittlite" disk on the side that concave in a little. At this point of putting the 2 cakes together waiting for the middle "glue"and also being close to midnight, I forgot the hole. Screw it! I let the cake set over night in the fridge.

Next day I cut the hole. And I think it worked a little better than how I originally planned. The cake was cold and solid so it cam out in 1 perfect piece, and barely any crumbs. (You can see the marbling in the cake) For the icing I used regular canned Betty Crocker butter cream frosting, and dyed it with wilton black (sparkle) gel coloring.

The finished product! The "panel" pieces were from wilton sugar sheets, black, and we (my friend and I) piped on royal icing (also dyed the grey-ish color) to make the patterns. I then used Duff's edible food spray silver to give all the black pieces a little sheen. Note to self: sugar sheets bend, royal icing not so much. So when adhering the panels, some of the royal icing fell off, but I like the black color underneath so I kept some like that and re-piped some others.

Needless to say boyfriend was totally awe struck by his cake. We blindfolded him before it came out and, started signing "happy birthday" while the blindfold came off. I told him his cakes from now on are going to be publix cakes with "happy birthday" written on. I don't think he took that seriously! I guess I have a few more Star Wars characters to go through.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

I found this recipe by the wonderful site pintrest. It was so good, there were a few adjustments made, but over all Josh is begging for it again!

Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

1 lb boneless pork loin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup water


1/2 brown sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 balsamic vinegar
1/2 water
2 Tbsp soy sauce (or 2 of those Chinese food packets you have lying around)

Combine the salt, pepper, and garlic to rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1 cup of water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About an hour before roast is done combine ingredients for glaze. Heat and stir mixture in saucepan until slightly thickened. Pour small amounts over roast 2-3 times during last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.


My recipe differs from the original post by:

  • I did not use sage, simply because I didn't have it.

  • I used a 1 lb roast which worked great for 2 people (my boyfriend and I). 2 lbs would probably be better for a family of 4, and/or left overs.

  • I used the recommended amount of water (1/2 cup) this time, but it all cooked up and I was left with a burnt bottom of a slow cooker

  • I cooked it for about 9 hours (work day + travel time)

  • Because I had burnt bottom slow cooker I did the glaze in a Pyrex dish and in the oven at 350 (until my rice and broccoli was done)
With all my "modifications" it still came out amazing!! As I said I served with broccoli and rice.