I’ve been so busy! …I won’t go on and on with all my excuses. However, I will say that we are at this moment packing our bags to head on vacation!! Before leaving I really, reallllllly wanted to post about the paleta’s we made on Sunday for my best friends birthday! Sadly, The photo’s of the prep were terrible and they were next to impossible to get out of the molds (please if you have tips I would LOVE to hear them!!). Because of this, and the sun had gone down there were zero photo’s taken of the finished product. They were delicious! and a perfect treat to bring to a Mexican dinner (if you can get them out of the molds!). We ate the most amazing tacos the recipe can be found on her incredible blog ibbyandpop.com
Sadly my photo’s of Monday night have not captured how beautiful and and awesome the evening was! My besties are twins (gorgeous twins) and they looked incredible. Dinner was in Nic’s super cute backyard, surround by her pretty garden and vases of birthday flowers.
Happy 33rd Birthday to the my bestest friends!!! Have an amazing year XOXO I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!
‘Dulce de Leche’ Paleta Recipe:
(6 – 8 popsicles, depending on your molds)
- 2 1/2 cups of dulce de leche
- 2 cans (13.5 oz each) of coconut milk
- Shredded coconut
- Place all the ingredients (except shredded coconut) in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Divide evenly into ice pops molds. Seal and freeze until ready, about 4 hours.
- Sprinkle coconut on baking sheet and place in oven (on low-med heat). Give the pan a good shake through out toasting and make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. When browned take out tray and let it cool
- After removing from popsicle mold from freezer dip Paletas in toasted coconut and serve.
FOR DULCE DE LECHE: RECIPE
We spent the afternoon at the Pickering Skate Park. It was a beautiful, sunny and windy day. Wyatt spent the day running around and getting into trouble, while I sat in the sun and watched the big space get covered in bright spray paint. I even got to help (… fill in a few very little spots in black, which took me much longer then it probably should have lol)! It was pretty much the most exciting thing ever!!
I spent the weekend celebrating my birthday with my favorite people! Saturday afternoon we hosted a wonderful potluck with some of the most delicious food! Chris made my favorite ribs on the BBQ, My bestie Nic (ibbyandpop) brought her delicious quiche (hopefully she’ll post the recipe on her beautiful blog), We had salads; chickpea, caesar, and cabbage. Homemade mac’n cheese, awesome mini baked potatoes and a HUGE spread of meats and cheeses, banana cupcakes and of course beer and wine for all. This year we choose to include EVERYONE that meant even our new little friends. We stuffed a pinata with candy (for us) toys, stickers and gold star confetti! It was one of the most special birthdays I have ever had. I can not thank everyone enough for coming and sharing the day with me.
Thank you, Chris for capturing it and making another incredible video for me! I love you!
Beautiful photo’s of the party and lots of amazing recipes and stunning photo’s check-out: www.ibbyandpop.com
Chris’s birthday cake…was probably the biggest baking project I have ever tried. It was surprisingly super successful!! The directions are long but the outcome is amazing! I followed the directions as closely as possible and it wasn’t necessarily hard, it just takes a while.
Our birthday weekend started with Valentines Day. We started the evening with some champagne then off to Roy Thompson Hall to watch Casablanca with the TSO. On the way we stopped at Seven Lives in Kensington Market to grab taco’s and sat in the car trying our best not to ruin our clothes.
Saturday we had a small gathering planned. We had arranged a dinner at Soos about a month ago, a fun little Malaysian restaurant. They reserved a small private table for us with a strict number of (12) guests. We ate an incredible meal laughing and catching up with bunch of Chris’s friends. Then we strolled up to Dundas West to enjoy some drinks with a few more people at Get Well. We stayed till last call and stumbled home.
I made his birthday cake, the topping and the icing Sunday afternoon (while the birthday boy waited out his horrible hang-over on the couch). Finally Monday (CHRIS’S BIRTHDAY!!) I woke up early to put the cake all together (and of course pile the table with more champagne, gifts, balloons and to get started on a big birthday breakfast). We made eggs benedict with prosciutto, drank coffee, listened (sang along…and there MAY have been some dancing) to our favorite 90’s tunes and of course snuggled with our puppy.
By the afternoon we were ready to try some cake and sip some champagne.
Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake
- 1 batch birthday cake (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake soak (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake frosting (recipe below)
- 1 batch birthday cake crumbs (recipe below)
- Invert the birthday cake onto a sheet of parchment paper or silpat, and peel off the parchment paper backing. Using the 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two circles from the cake. These will be the top and middle layers. The remaining cake “scrap’ will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
- Clean the cake ring and place it on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat atop a baking sheet. Use one strop of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. Put the cake scraps in the ring and use the back of your hand to press the scraps together into a flat even later.
- Dunk the pastry brush in the birthday cake soak and give the layer of scraps a good, healthy bath of half of the soak.
- Spread one fifth of the birthday cake frosting over the base layer. Then sprinkle with one-third of the birthday cake crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place. Top with another fifth of the birthday cake frosting, carefully spreading it so that it is even, but without disturbing the crumbs.
- With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5-6 inches tall- high enough to support the height of th finished cake. Top with a full circle of cake (save the nicest one for the top layer), brush the rest of the cake soak over this layer, top with another one fifth of the frosting, one third of the cake crumbs, and another one fifth of the frosting.
- Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the frosting. Give it volume and swirls, or opt for the perfectly flat top. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.
- Freeze the cake for at least 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (And to make the unmolding much easier.)
- Three hours before serving, pull the pan from the freezer, and using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. (wrapped well in plastic, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
Birthday Cake, Yield: 1 quarter sheet cake
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup + 2 T rainbow sprinkles
- 4 T (1/2 stick) salted butter, at room temp
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a rimmed quarter sheet pan by spraying with cooking spray and covering the base with a sheet of parchment. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup sprinkles in a small bowl. Set the dry ingredients aside for later.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, shortening, and sugars on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs (all at once) and then beat again on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the wet ingredients (buttermilk, oil, and imitation vanilla) in a steady stream. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat for another 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture should double in size and turn practically white. Don’t stop mixing until the mixture is completely homogeneous, with no visible streaks of oil or fat.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix for another minute or so until the ingredients are just combined.
- Pour out the batter into the prepared sheet pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbl of sprinkles.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake bounces back slightly when gently pressed in the corner. The center of the cake should no longer jiggle when the pan is shook. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Birthday Cake Soak
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
- Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small cup or bowl.
Birthday Cake Crumb
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 T light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 T rainbow sprinkles
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or piece of parchment.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Stream in the oil and the imitation vanilla on low speed and continue beating the mixture until the ingredients clump and form small clusters.
- Carefully spread the clusters in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes, breaking up occasionally. They will be slightly moist but will harden as they cool. Let them cool completely before using.
Birthday Cake Frosting
- 1 stick salted butter, at room temp
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
- 1 tablespoon glucose
- 2 tbl light corn syrup
- 1 T clear imitation vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- pinch baking powder
- pinch citric acid
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, and the cream cheese for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Add the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla, and beat the mixture on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and glossy white.
- Add the powdered sugar, baking powder, and citric acid on low speed until just combined. Crank the mixer to high speed and beat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is stark white and fluffy.
New Years Eve, Chris and I had a busy day. I woke up early to get started on a birthday cake for my dad. We spent the day with my parents celebrating, eating cake, fish and chips, candy, chocolate and so much more. Our game plan was to make it back early enough to grab some lobster, beer and a bottle of champagne to celebrate New Years just the two of us. We weren’t entirely sure we could do it. Surprisingly, there was lobster left at the market. NO LINE!! at the beer store and lucky for us, a couple sweet friends had given us a bottle of champagne earlier in the week as a Christmas gift (which we had still stashed away in the fridge). The only thing we were missing was some lobster cracking tools. We made a couple quick stops and no luck. However this was our private New Years party and if we had to use our hands and a hammer…well, that was ok too.
Our night was amazing. We didn’t get the big lobster pot boiling until maybe 10??. We looked up boiling times on google. Neither of us had ever made lobster ourselves, and it could not have been better! As we drank, we took lots of pictures, laughed and prepared an awesome late night lobster feast. We drank our chilled champagne at midnight and discussed endlessly how we were too old to recognise any of the young performers at Times Square. This was my very first New Years not going out…and although I was bummed I didn’t get to see everyone I loved that night. I did get to spend it with my favorite loved one and it was awesome. By tummy and cheeks still hurt the next day from laughing. We were cozy and warm and honestly, I have never felt happier.
Summer is finally over. I LOVE summer. The only thing I hate about it, how busy everyone is. It’s hard to get together with anyone, let alone 4 others (my besties and their perfect and wonderful other half’s …. 6 actually, including Poppy and Chris).
We did it. Finally after the heat was long gone and the leaves were changing color we locked down 3 of them (sadly we were minus one, do to some stupid wisdom teeth). We got together in the morning with warm latte’s, bubbly mimosa’s and of course a huge brunch.
We woke up early, grabbed coffee, turned up some music, straightened up the place and started chopping up our fresh fruit. We made a baked french toast (which was perfect, all the work was done the night before), apple/cinnamon smoked sausage from St.Lawrence Market and threw the pile of bright fruit on the table and we were set! As soon as everyone arrived and we were ready to go! We chatted (mostly with my mouth full), laughed and watched poppy and our puppy. Before we knew it, it was time for them to head home to put beautiful Poppy down for a nap. It was such an awesome time. Within the first couple hours of them leaving we had our next brunch date set! Just a couple weeks from now. I love them all so much! I CAN’T WAIT!!
- 1/4 pound pancetta; diced
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar + 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half
Butter a casserole dish and set aside.Heat a saute pan over medium heat and cook the pancetta 5-7 minutes until cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.Fold together ricotta, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and dark brown sugar. In a separate bowl whisk together the 5 eggs, half and half and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
Place a layer of ciabatta in the prepared pan. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the bread. Sprinkle cooled pancetta over top. Layer the remaining bread slices over top. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with extra sugar. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake 40 minutes or until the custard is set. Serve warm.
* I think it was a little dry. If I were to do this again I would add 2 more eggs and a little more cream (yup, TWO more!)