Every year, for my fabulous Husband of 22 years’ birthday, I create a cake for him.
It is always based on a “fake” Black Forest style, made with a cake mix, cherry pie filling and whipping cream.
And I try to make it interesting every year that I have the time to do so.
This year, we had watch the movie, Grabbers, and I had already been thinking “tentacles” for the 2020 version, so I was inspired!
I knew I needed cake, and last year I had used a great brown sugar cookie recipe for the face hugger from Alien, so I knew that would work for the tentacles… I did some baking and chilled all the bits.
I spent some time on Friday afternoon looking for images of the Maher’s Pub and did a quick acrylic painting of it, while FaceTiming with my niece – who created a lovely piece as well! I then popped a photo of my painting into Procreate – and added the tentacles for the finished illustration!
The following is a photo journey through the process I spent 3 hours completing this morning…
I’m using that recipe as inspiration…I don’t have all the spices, nor vegetable broth.
Crockpot Sweet Potato Lentils ( my version)
• 3 large sweet potatoes, diced (about 6 cups) • 3 cups water • 1 onion, minced • 2 teaspoon each ground coriander, curry powder and chili powder • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils (masoor dal) • 1 can coconut milk • 1 cup water
1. Place the sweet potatoes, water, onion, and spices in a crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours, until vegetables are soft.
2. Add the lentils and stir once. Replace the lid and cook on high for an additional 1 1/2 hours.
3. Stir in the coconut milk and as much water as needed to get the right consistency.
This weekend, along with being Diwali (happy Diwali to this who celebrated), many local Halloween parties happened.
Traditionally, hubby and I would have attended the Witches Gathering, but last year was the last of this fabulous event, after over 20 years of the organizers donating their time and making a community event that rocked.
Back to the present – another group, Vixens Victorious Ottawa, has been hosting an annual fundraiser for the past few years in October and this year they decided the theme would be Nightmare on Kent Street- perfect!!!
It was fun!
We went as a ghost bride and her stoic but distraught widower from the Victorian era ( stylized of course)
We won a prize in the couples category! Woot!
Congrats to the organizers and all the other winners – looking forward to next year!
Tiny Dinner Party!
A few months ago, I set up a sub group, Tiny Dinner Parties, on FB to an existing social activity organizing group, and have been test driving it and having some fun!
Note: I am torn about my use of FB as a social connecting space; I mainly use it for positive shares and as a means of connecting with multiple folk at once where conversations can be easily perused and organized.)
Create a space that will allow a larger group of loosely connected folk a chance to both host and attend smaller group events without pressure or guilt. No need to fee pressure to host or attend, but if it works out timing and energy wise, join in!
You want to host a party? You set up an event.
You only have room for 3 people to join you? Indicate it.
Your menu will be based on a specific food/style- ie. vegetarian or bbq or turkey dinner? Indicate it!
You then share the event with the full group and the first 3 ( or your chosen number) people to hit “going” have snared a spot at your table!
As a guest, you read through the description to make sure it’s a party you will enjoy before hitting “going”, offer your contributions if requested, and then venture out for a fun evening with friends- maybe folks you would not normally get a chance to meet!
Turkey Dinner Time:
I hosted my 3rd last night and tried a new configuration for table set up- full on eat in kitchen!
We had a lovely turkey dinner – sorry I did not get pics of the Kale salad, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprouts with bacon, nor the mashed, stuffing and gravy – but it was all amazing.
…and a ” please, get out of the kitchen between courses so that I could clean up” – with the assistance of two lovely dish washers – MOST APPRECIATED HELP OF THE DAY!
So if you are feeling disconnected from the world, and want to gently reach out but are unsure of how, maybe you can set up your own Tiny Dinner Party group and try to get together with people around the table… or picnic blanket, or whatever works!
I’ve made piecaken/ Cherpumple in the past and this smaller version has one other difference- the Lemon Cake with Blueberry pie baked into it.
It is also Dairy free, with the substitution of lactose free margarine in the buttercream icing, coconut oil melted with the dairy/nut free dark chocolate drizzle, and reduced fat in the cakes, using apple sauce instead of oil.
The gallery shows the stages- the concept being to have 3 pre made and baked pies, mix 3 cakes up and put cake batter and a pie in each cake pan.
Bake for longer than recommended, about 20 minutes extra.
Chill each layer completely for at least 3 hours before assembling.
Apply a crumb coat to the cool cake.
Chill again and then frost fully and decorate as you wish.
The spiderweb was created by melting coconut oil and dark chocolate together and drizzling it onto the surface, letting it drip.
The gnarly cake bits were cut off from the overflow that happened when the cakes were baking. I thought there might be some spillage, so I put each tin on a cookie sheet, and the overflow looked like cooled lava! Great fluke that added to the finished look!