A PERFECT Vegetable Tray

How much fun would it be to watch peoples faces when they come across this veggie platter when visiting you for the holidays. Of course, they aren’t veggies, but sugar cookies made to look like they are veggies. Use cookie cutters to cut cookies and a sugar cookie icing recipe for the icing. Even the middle cookie that looks like ranch dip looks sweet.

Penguin Baby Shower Cake

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

First, I must say that I am by no means an expert at making a cake. I am learning and this cake does have errors. I learned by seeing mistakes in the final product.

My son was having a baby, now born and almost a month old name Elizabeth Rose Thomas, and he loves penguins. So by request he wanted a penguin cake. Now, how was I going to do that I wondered? I didn’t want to just go with a sheet cake – this is my grandbaby we are talking about. I had to do something 3-D. So my investigation on how to create it started.

I found a website that shows different cakes made from the Wilton teddy bear stand up pan. I had access to one of these and decided it was going to work. With a little cutting of the cake it could work – I hoped!

I decided to use the cake lying on its back like a baby on an iceberg. So I would have to use Wilton pans that were the circles and ten inches and two inches deep. I would need two of these at two inches high each to give me room to cut the cake to form the iceberg. I would also need to make the teddy bear cake and that would need some cuts as well.

I used a cake stand I had already had and covered it with foil. I added a scoop of icing on top to help the cake not slide. I added the one layer and then covered the top with a thick layer of buttercream icing. I put the other layer on top of that and pushed down slightly. I then carved the cake to be a half dome but with the top having a bit of a more flattened side so the penguin could sit on top. I iced this using white buttercream icing with an icing bag that I wiped several variations of blue onto the inside of the bag so that when the icing came out the white icing has blue hues to it. I didn’t want it to be all white or all blue. Icebergs have a natural blue and sometimes green hue to them. It came out really nice.

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

I then made the teddy bear cake to directions. I carved off the ears and a bit of the snout. I also cut down the back so it had a flat surface so it would rest evenly on top of the iceberg. I placed the penguin cake down on top of the already iced ice berg. I immediately added thin wooden dowels through the feet, arms, head and belly. I pushed them all the way to the cake board. I then trimmed them to the level with the cake.

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

I then used yellow icing and a wide star tip to cover the feet and beak. I mention wide because I would uses a smaller tip next time. I iced the white belly. I iced the purple (which came out really darker then I wanted but made the mistake of tinting too much icing and wasn’t going to remake it). I then added the eyes which again came out darker than planned. I piped a border around the bottom of ice berg and border around the area where the penguin joined the ice berg. I added candies to the bottom border and to the eyes. Used a nice little cake decorating set I found that has bags and tips and everything you need to decorate this cake.

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

©Jeffrey Scott Thomas – 2019

To top it off I used a little pink fabric bow that is just hand made to add to the top to give it a bit more of a girl appearance since the purple icing came out darker than planned and looked more like a boy. I then wish I had sprinkled iridescent edible glitter on top to give a sparkling finish.

 

*****WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ICING *****

10 MINS * MAKES 2 3/4 CUPS
Creamy, sweet, and perfect for any treat, you’ll want to make this frosting for all of your favorite cakes.
Ingredients:
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened 12 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly 1 cup confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract.

In a Kitchenaid mixer (or one like it or a hand mixer can do with a little extra attention to making sure it has no lumps) beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and beat at low speed, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until light and fluffy.

 

*****CAKE MIX*****                                                                                                                              I used box Duncan Hines Devil’s Food Cake (Chocolate) and Strawberry and followed directions.

Thanksgiving Fruit Platter Shaped Like Turkey

How neat is this? A series of fruits pierced with shish kabob wooden sticks.The body is a pear. Googly eyes were used (just make sure to remove them before someone eats them. The beak and feet are trimmed from fruit roll ups. You could make the eyes out of rice paper with drawn on pupils from a sharpie marker if you have concerns for guests not eating the googly eyes. The fruit used to make the tail can be anything you just have to make sure you are consistent with putting them on so that they all keep the rainbow effect. After you cut the fruit toss in a bowl with water and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Blot to dry. This would be great for a thanksgiving dinner.

Halloween Vegetable Tray – We All Float Down Here – Pennywise – Stephen King’s It

One of my all time favorite Stephen King films and I love Pennywise. This is a great layout done with different vegetables to make a portrait of him of sorts. Used is: squash, baby carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, bell peppers, olives, onion and radish. Perfect for a Halloween party. The dip tray is ranch with olives cut into slivers to spell out float. This will be the talk of your guests and is pretty simple to do.

Halloween Party Kit Kat Frankensteins

What cool party treats are these. A simple Kit Kat broken down into pieces. Dip 1/3 of one end into mint green candy melts. While still wet attach chocolate candy (you could use a small Reeces Peanut Butter Cup) and add candy eyes. With black licorice add hands, mouth and scar. Yummy and scary at the same time.