A Piece of Cake!

A few months ago I made a cake for a friend who turned 40. I had in mind this beautiful, elegant, tall, black fondant cake with the number 40 placed on top.

Simple and beautiful, just like my friend.

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This was what I had in mind, except substitute black icing for the blue.

Black icing is a pain to make because it takes so much food coloring and even then has a purple hue to it. So I thought fondant would be easier and solve both of those problems.

Now, I haven’t used fondant much. My biggest undertaking would be this cake I made for my daughter’s 10th birthday party.

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Notice the whole cake is not covered with fondant. Only the duct tape is fondant.

Nevertheless, I barreled ahead full steam. I bought 3 packages of fondant and set to work baking the cakes. Cake #1 was from my Betty Crocker cookbook called Best Chocolate Cake, and cake #2 was a vanilla flavor called Best Party Cake Ever from my Family Fun cookbook. Only the best for my friend!

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A Few Veggies Where there is Love…

Mackenzie has been writing down some scripture verses that stand out to her. She started with Proverbs 15:13. Then she liked the next verse, so wrote it down and it became Proverbs 15:13-14. Then she liked the next one, so wrote it again and it became Proverbs 15:13-14-15. She has finally stopped at verse 19. She loved these words so much she took them to her guitar teacher and they added chords and a beat to it. She brought verse 17 to me and told me I needed to put this on my blog. It says, “A few vegetables where there is love is better than the finest meat with hatred.” Pretty true.

I wonder if I could gets smiles if I served only vegetables tonight? But the conversation would be delightful.

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Fine China Meals – Steck Style!

June 19, 2000. We had been married not quite a year and it was my husband’s birthday. I looked around our newly acquired apartment. Boxes lined the white, bare walls and the carpet was hardly visible. With no pictures on the wall or clothes hanging in the closets, this place didn’t quite feel like home yet. “How can I do something special for his birthday in this mess,” I thought regretfully. As I continued to unpack the boxes and assign the dishes to a cabinet, I came across the box of beautiful china place settings we were given as a wedding gift. “That’s it!” I had an idea.

I set to work, browning the meat (probably had to run to the store first!). At 19 years old, I wasn’t real comfortable in the kitchen yet, but was determined to get there! Next, I began arranging the chips on the plates, grating cheese, spooning out salsa, sour cream, and maybe slicing an avocado (if they were on sale!). Can you guess what’s on the menu for this occasion? Yep, nachos!
I will never forget eating nachos on fine china plates, sitting on our tiny barstools to fit our tiny “bar” while we overlooked a ransacked apartment. But in my husband’s eyes, it was perfect! It was his favorite meal, with his favorite wife, in our first apartment – what memories!

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The Best Kept Secret Ingredient…according to my Kids

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad the holidays are over!
   For us, the month of December is a time for family gatherings, gifts, shopping and often times, stress and packed schedules. In the middle of all these activities I try to make time for my kids to make some home-made gifts of their own. This year, it was last minute, but I seized Christmas Eve Eve as the Day! The kids dressed in their aprons, the counters cleared and the broom and mop ready for the mess that would follow, we began. I think we started more enthusiastically than we ended, but still, considering it’s the holidays, I consider the day a success! 

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Recipe of the Week!!

It’s time to crank up the Christmas music and pull out the decorations!! And what better way to season the air than to cook up a steaming hot pot of…no not coffee…not tea…how about….yes, Wassail!!! Mmmm, I can smell it now! Perfect treat for the mid-decorating slump. Here ya go…. enjoy!! We sure do!

2 Quart apple cider
2 cups Orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cinnamon sticks
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch nutmeg
Place all ingredients into a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 30-45 minutes. Serve warm with a SMILE!

Mombasa…Thanksgiving…Welcome to RECIPES!!

OK, so WELCOME to the FUN section of my blog!! I LOVE to eat, have people over to EAT, cook to EAT and create memories around, yes, EATING! Recently, on our last trip to Kenya, the team brought to my attention that I was mostly taking pictures like these… 

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