Thursday, June 30, 2011

Strawberry Salsa

The strawberries are just now starting to ripen here in Wi, and we had the perfect day to go picking. It was warm and breezy, and the strawberries are amazing! The perfect size, just ripe, firm, not watery.

We tried a new farm this year for picking, Polzin farm in Cedarburg. The kids always beg for their popcorn at the farmers market, but I didn't even realize they grew strawberries til this year. It's a great farm, just roadside signs, not a commercialized/wagon-riding/playscape/petting zoo farm. I loved it!

So with our perfect strawberries, one of our favorite recipes is this strawberry salsa from Gourmet magazine. Gourmet says to use store strawberries since they're firmer, but we've liked it with our local ones, too. We just use store-bought chips, and for easier eating, I just cube the avocado. To keep it prettier, it's nice to make up the salsa, and then add the avocado cubes either in the center or around the salsa. We usually end up just mixing it up and making it a meal :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

More Birthday Cakes :)

So still not getting the baking in....but we had the family party for both kids. Even though we combine the party, I feel like I need to at least give them each their own cake! This year, the girl wanted hello kitty in purple, and the boy wanted spiderman. We scaled back quite a bit from other years, thankfully, as cleaning took a little longer the day before, so all the food (including baking the cakes) was the day of. So the cakes are a little rough, but still happily homemade :)

I have to say that I love Toba Garrett. The girl's was Toba's chocolate cake, and the boy's was her yellow. Both are favorites of mine. But then a rushed new discovery was her meringue powder royal, which was so simple to whip up with a fork, took the black color perfectly and dried quickly. Apparently some people think royal with egg whites tastes better than that with meringue powder - I've never compared, but I'd be surprised if anyone could tell the difference on a cake.

Even when it's all rushed, and the cakes are rough, I really enjoy making them. I'm hoping to start setting aside time to indulge in this hobby more often :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dinosaur Birthday Cake

I've not had much time to bake lately, but my youngest turned four this week, so we had to have a cake. He wanted a t.rex cake, and as we browsed flickr, this was his favorite. He loved the baby t.rex :)

So we didn't need quite that much cake, so our version's only one tier, but we had to have the baby, and I thought the idea of the t.rex eating the cake was pretty cute, too. Mine isn't so much t.rexy as general reptile-y. And my adult t.rex is especially rough as I did everything at once and just used fondant (no gumpaste). But the kid liked it :)