Sunday, May 10, 2009

catching up, cake aces, mom love, and ice cream disaster

I am posting this like half an hour after my last blog, but I am writing it like 36 hours later.

First of all, pictures from the actual train! I was bored.

Salad and pita:


Salad close up:


That chicken was SO. TASTY! I had no idea school convenience salad bar chicken could be so TENDER and FLAVORFUL! Good to know, for… hahaha… next year.

Now, my exciting food surprise yesterday…


ACE OF CAKES! For my uncle’s 50th birthday party, my aunt gave a jingle to Charm City Cakes (we’re only about 45 minutes away from Baltimore) and they agreed to make her a Pinto cake (it’s a family inside joke- you can hear the whole story from her on the FOOD NETWORK in August!)

Then they said they were going to film the drop off! The cake was a surprise, so they did a big reveal!

… which I missed, because me and my mom and my sister spent too much time getting pretty for the party! Apparently my uncle was totally floored, though. I can see it on TV, anyway, hahaha. And I did get to meet the camera crew, who were REALLY nice.

BUT, check out the awesome cake! That is EDIBLE!


They even put little splotches of grease underneath it!

DSCF0959 DSCF0960

Super fun! No one wanted to cut into that beautiful thing, so my aunt got a sheet cake and we all ate that.


To be totally totally honest… I’d give it like a C. The raspberry filling was TO DIE FOR, but the cake itself was kind of dry, and the icing was like… butter. I like butter, but it’s like THAT WAS ALL IT WAS!

Food was a fun mix of things. I had too much fun mingling to take lots of pictures of it, but here’s our contribution:


Rice salad from the Silver Palate cookbook. This guy has LOTS of good stuff… red and green bell peppers, green onion, purple onion, kalamata olives, peas, currants, fresh dill and parsley. We have a LOT of leftovers, so it will be making MANY appearances!

My mother’s day was pretty wonderful. After church, we had brunch on the deck (note, however, that this was not the official Mother’s Day meal, which came later).

Brunch was kind of gorgeous, though. We ate on the deck, because it was PERFECT out.


Here we have buckwheat pancakes (made awhile ago, frozen, and reheated in the oven. Almost as good, and SO EASY. I really love the taste of buckwheat, it’s so unique!), turkey bacon (I really like the taste of turkey bacon- I don’t compare it to real bacon, though, because they’re totally different. I just think of it as its own food group, and then I luuurve it!), and fresh strawberries. We topped them with cran-apple syrup. I love it so much I hauled it home from Boston because I didn’t want to waste the rest of the jar! My mom loved it too. We also made a pot of tea. I love having someone to share a pot with!

Now for the OFFICIAL Mother’s Day meal, which was dinner, also on the deck.

We have the table, beautifully laid by my sister:


I made asparagus tart, courtesy of  this recipe. My mom’s mom died this last year, and I wanted to include tributes to her in the meal, and she made a MEAN pear tart. And strawberry rhubarb tart with orange custard sauce. And… oh man. Hungry! She was an amazing cook, so we tried to honor her with food.


This was REALLY TASTY! It tasted SO rich and indulgent, but was actually really healthful! I was skeptical about the crust (it’s just flour, water, baking powder, salt, and olive oil!) but it was good! Almost like pizza crust? And the filling was cheesylicious! And the texture was perfectly light!

The other dish was so pretty, and I just made it up based on what we had and what I knew my mom liked.


Gorgeous salad! Fresh oranges, segmented, fresh fennel (!!!! I LOVE FENNEL SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN PUT IT INTO WORDS!), chopped kalamata olives, and salmon (haha, the salmon was actually leftover, but I felt like with the kind of woman my mom is and the kind of woman she raised me to be, it was sort of awesome that I was honoring her with leftovers).

I made a dressing for the salad with the juice that dripped from the orange as I was segmenting it (segmenting oranges is such a royal pain!), white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a bit of dijon. This was GOOD STUFF. Everything went really well together!

And then… dessert… *sigh*.

My mom is kind of a purist about dessert, and she really really loves just high quality vanilla ice cream. Sooo I found a recipe for vanilla custard ice cream, used real vanilla bean to steep it, stirred the custard until 160 degrees- LABOR OF LOVE HERE!

Butttttttt our ice cream machine was inherited from my mom’s mom, and the instructions for it are MIA. So I googled it, and it sounded like it turned off automatically when the ice cream had set. So I just turned it on and… let it rock. It has the freezer mechanism built in, so I knew it’d keep it cold and it wouldn’t melt when it was done.


Sob. My mom, of course, said it was still delicious, because she loves me unconditionally :D

But… it was gross. Anyone have any ideas what to do with it? Could I like… melt it and make buttercream icing? Any advice would be appreciated!

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