Land Rover Defender Birthday Cake

Boys will be boys and they love their toys…!

My husband loves his ‘Landy’ and he enjoys nothing better than going on a 4×4 trip, testing its limits and performance.

Oh, I can tell you many, many stories of our Land Rover trips we’ve been on, most of them ending in the water or mud or somewhere not very appealing. And I think that is the main appeal {for the boys in any case} of the infamous Defender.

It’s kind of like a dog – man’s best friend. {Well, some men in any case – not the Toyota-drivers…}

Oh, and we’ve heard all the jokes – trust me! But I must just say that those Defenders are mighty strong and sturdy and dependable, contrary to all the jokes, etc. We’ve driven through rivers, where the water reaches the bottom of the windows, covering the entire front ‘nose’ {?!} of the truck, climbed rocky mountains so steep you cannot adjust your seatbelt {an automatic safety feature} and you’re literally pooping your pants, but we always come out on the other side. {Ok, almost always…}
And even I can drive it – it’s quite fun too! Nothing feels better than just ramming over stuff! You also feel so safe when driving through dodgy areas, although a quick getaway is totally out of the question – it’s like driving a snail as a getaway car…

Right, so in honour of {some} man’s best friend, here is the Landy cake I made for my husband’s recent birthday:

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It was a rich and decadent chocolate affair with cream cheese frosting and covered in decorative fondant.

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And yes, it was ‘stuck in the mud’ {hehe!}…

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Xx

Seductive Red Velvet & Other Girly Things…

Hello!

So, August is here and we celebrate women’s month. There are so many inspiring women out there – my ultimate ‘hero’ and icon must be Martha Stewart. She is just so clever, a true entrepreneur and surely an inspiration to many moms, wives and housewives the world over.
Yes, there was that unfortunate incident many moons ago involving some tax evasion… But hey, who can blame her?! {Just kidding – that was not so cool!}

Ok, so today I will share my all-time-go-to red velvet recipe. This must be the most popular cake variety ever – people just go gaga over it!
And why?
Well, with its moist and fluffy body of cake, blood red of course, topped with classic cream cheese frosting, it’s a universal crowd-pleaser. It has an ever-so-subtle hint of chocolate and well, it’s just sexy, really!

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So here it is – from this fab book:

350g cake flour
300g sugar
1t baking soda
1t cocoa powder
1t salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs at room temp
375ml sunflower oil
1t white vinegar
30ml red food coloring
1t vanilla extract

Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients in a mixer and add the dry ingredients.
Divide the batter between 24 cupcake cases and bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

Top generously with cream cheese frosting:

250g butter, softened slightly
230g {1 tub} cream cheese
3 cups icing sugar

Whip the butter and cream cheese together until smooth and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and mix until it is smooth.
Pipe onto those delicious red little gems!

Now, on the topic of women and femininity… I am now totally convinced that the power of a woman lies in her hair! Ok, before anyone gets their panties in a knot, that’s just my opinion…
See, I had luciously long hair and decided {not too long ago} to chop it all off. It felt great at the time and I had a new, fun and fabulous cropped ‘do’…
But since I’ve had it chopped, I really feel less feminine… And I consider myself to be quite a feminine girl.
So, thus I decided to grow it all back again. But this time I won’t wear it quite as long, just below shoulder-length.

Ok, that was a bit random, but I felt it went with today’s post.

Enjoy – and Happy Women’s Day to all you lovely and feminine gals out there! X

Avengers Cakes & Cupcakes

Another superhero theme done and dusted! These Avengers cakes were for a 5th birthday. {Red velvet and cream cheese frosting; vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream}

Well, my 3-year-old couldn’t keep his eyes {or hands for that matter} off these cakes! I had to hide these at night from sneaky little fingers…

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Snow White birthday cake

I LOVE these doll cakes and secretly want one for a next birthday… {Yes, that would be for a 30-something birthday…}
Anyways, so I was thrilled to bake this birthday cake for a friend’s little girl’s 4th birthday.
Rainbow layers inside with vanilla bean buttercream – but sadly no inside photos 😦

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Ninja Turtle Birthday cake

This cake is for a little birthday boy – a decadent creation with a Ninja Turtles theme:
3 layers of vanilla sponge at the bottom with vanilla buttercream, and 2 layers of red velvet at the top, with a cream cheese frosting.

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Mother’s Day highlights and a Smokin’ Feesh Quiche

Hello!

Remember a few days ago I described my perfect Mother’s Day ?
Well, as it turns out, I actually had my perfect day. I had my boys, hubby and super scrummy food – and champagne!

I was left to sleep in and when I woke up, I was marched right back to bed… So there I lay, just chilling for a while… Yep, me, a mom, was just lying in bed – and it was not in the middle of the night, nor was it nap time for the kids. Felt a bit strange… But also good… I could just imagine {by the sound of things} what was going on beyond my bedroom door…

About an hour later, Seb came in and brought me a huge plate of the best ever French toast with bacon & maple syrup! {He carried it all by himself – he’s turning 3 in a month.}
French toast with bacon & maple syrup has got to be my all-time favourite breakfast, hands-down! {Although I never eat it these days, because I don’t eat bread… BUT, a treat on Mother’s Day IS allowed!}
Now, hubby didn’t just make any old French toast, no, he actually found a recipe for Martha Stewart’s {my all-time hero!} version of it with cinnamon & nutmeg. But wait, that’s not where it ends…
We had no electricity and we don’t yet have a gas stove {yes I said ‘yet’ because that is the next thing I want! Cooking with gas is just SO much better!}, so Eben actually went out into the cold and lit up his little camping stove just to boil water for espresso and to prepare the most delicious of breakfasts! How great is that?! Guys, the bar has been set – and Eben, you remember that too..! Hehe
Oh yes, there was champagne too – delicious stuff!
I also got a bunch of pretty pink roses – lucky girl!

{Sadly there are no pictures of this most delicious breakfast, because I literally just gobbled it all up and by the time I thought to take a picture, it was all gone..! Really. But let me describe it for you:
3 decadent slices of thick French toast, soaked just enough and with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, all piled up and drenched in maple syrup, topped with bacon… Oh gosh I’m drooling just thinking of it..!}

The rest of the day was spent very leisurely, just lying around outside, spending time with the boys, playing in the sun, reading a book and just really chilling. We’re always so busy during the week and on weekends, always having to do something, go somewhere or just thinking of that looming to-do list, it was really nice to just relax and do nothing, just enjoying each other’s company – the perfect day any mother could ask for.

Anyways, so here’s a great recipe for using leftover fish, creating the perfect lunch or weekend snack. {A crust less quiche}

You will need:
Leftover fish {I used leftover snook that was ever so slightly smoked and then cooked on the braai, about 300g}
1 onion, diced
A sprinkle of cumin
Salt to taste
6 eggs
1/2 a cup of cream
2 tbs cream cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Mix everything together, except for the cream cheese. Stir in the cream cheese so that there are some nice chunks in the mixture.
Bake at 180C for half an hour until the cooked and golden on top.
Serve hot or cold, but it’s rather delicious at room temp, served with cucumber ribbons and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Enjoy! X

Preparing for Mother’s Day

So, this Sunday is Mother’s Day… {It should really be celebrated everyday, but hey, I guess ONE day off a year is enough for us mommies..!}
My ideal day would be something like this:
I would sleep in until about 9am {that will still leave the rest of the day to be pampered AND I get an extra 3 hours of sleep, ideally in a swanky boutique hotel…}
The boys will pop in for some cuddles and perhaps a gift or 2… {And obviously there will be cake and coffee involved.}
I will then take a leisurely bath and get dressed to go and have a champagne brunch on a vineyard {or a spa, or even better, a spa at a vineyard!} with my own dear mom. The men in our lives may join us for brunch.
Yes, I think that sounds fantastic! We could end the day with a movie or dinner at a really nice restaurant…
Aah yes…
Oh well, a girl can dream, can’t she?
Anyways, as I’m contemplating Mother’s Day, here are a few sweet treats that will be great with that morning coffee or whatever you might have planned:

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I’m also planning some delicious new cupcakes and a few more cakes…
More to follow later this week.
So, what is your ideal Mother’s Day, if you’re a mom, or how will you be treating yours?
X