Thursday, January 17, 2013

Peach colored birthday cake with pastel pink and apricot colored roses and pearlized dragees.  The cake is pink champagne cake with Guava cream filling (This is my absolute favorite combination!  I tried it on a lark and ended up loving it.  I got the idea from a cuban pastry I ate a while back.)  I call this "Guava Lava" cake.  Kinda catchy, huh?!

Fall Cookies- Leaves and Turkeys!  

Okay, so it's not really fall.  I forgot to post these and found them in my camera the other day.  I love how the turkeys came out, but I HATE working with black icing.  Just a tip....If you are using black icing, whether homemade or store-bought, you MUST let the other colors dry completely..preferably under a fan or your black icing will run into the other colors and it looks worse that a woman with mascara running down her cheeks! 

Tiffany Gift Box Cake!

Who doesn't love the iconic Tiffany's.  Although I've never been there, I think I created a pretty decent rendition of the Tiffany gift box.  This was for a lady who loves Tiffany jewelry and was celebrating her 40th birthday. 
Her sister asked me to create something reminiscent of Tiffany's for her.  This is a white almond sour cream cake filled with whipped cream and apricot filling.  

Of course it's covered in blue fondant and sprinkled with lots of edible glitter! 
This is a cookie bouquet that I created and donated to our missionaries from church for a silent auction to finance their trip.  It's a garden bouquet in a lavender seed box.  Just looking at it makes me long for spring.  It's sooooo cold right now in New Mexico!
It's a cookie...A tattoo rose cookie...I feel like I need to put on a leather jacket and spiked bracelets when I look at it....So cool....These are for a friend who has breast cancer.

Friday, October 5, 2012

My take on the Chipotle Burrito with Steak.  Homemade chips and salsa on the side!
Do you love Chipotle's?  Do you wish you could eat there all the time?  If you're like my husband and I you do.  I won't lie to you, it is labor and time intensive to get all the components together for the burrito.  Below I've included the recipe I developed that (to me) tastes identical to their rice, which is a main ingredient in their burritos.

The salsa recipe is my own.    

Chipotle Copycat Cilantro-Lime Rice Ingredients

8 cups water
2 cups Basmati Rice
3 T. lime juice
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
6 T. canola-based margarine (like "I Can't Believe it's not Butter.  Don't be a hater, I don't usually use this, but this gives the desired taste!)

Cooking Directions

1.  Bring the water to a boil in a large pan.
2.  Stir in the rice. Cook uncovered at a medium boil for 12 minutes.
3.  Drain the rice in a colander.
4.  Put rice back in cooking pot. Stir in the lime juice, lemon juice, salt and spices.  Add the margarine while the rice is still hot.  Add the cilantro last and stir to incorporate.

Makes 6 cups. You can cut the recipe in half, but keep the water at 8 cups.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

50th Anniversary Cake...Peach colored accents.

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 I just finished this cake for a couple celebrating their  50th anniversary together.  The lovely couple wanted a White Almond Sour Cream Cake infused with Amaretto flavor.  The filling was an apricot and heavy cream mixture.  She wanted a light apricot colored frosting with slightly darker accents, butterflies and vines.  The roses are made from chocolate.  All decorations are completely edible!  More pictures will follow....
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Friday, November 4, 2011

10 Tips for a Perfect Apple Pie

It is definitely pie time!  Are you tired of soupy fillings and soggy under-cooked crusts?  I remember the first time I made apple pie....My dad was reallyyyyy upset....Um...I kinda ruined the oven because the pie boiled over in the oven and made a big burned mess (not to mention the fire alarm that I set off)  I've made many a pie since then and have learned some things about pies.  (this one in the picture is from last Thanksgiving!)   For a successful apple pie, there are a few things you can do to get great results.  Here are some tips to get started.

1.  Make sure your pie dough is cold.  Whether you are using store-bought or homemade crust, make sure you have it well refrigerated before rolling it out.  (By the way, lard makes the best crust....I know, I'll kill you...but I'm just sayin!)

2.  If you want a nice, high domed pie that doesn't shrink after cooking, you must gently precook the apples before putting them in the crust.  This allows the apples to "reduce" and do their shrinking before they go in the oven.  There are several recipes online that suggest this....These are the recipes you want to go to.

3.  Start baking the pie (this applies to fruit pies only) at 425 F. for the first 15-20 minutes.  This allows the crust to set before the juices from the apples can make it soggy.  Then, turn the oven down to the suggested temperature for the remaining cooking time.

4.  If you see that your pie is getting overly brown around the edges, use a "foil tent" to stop the browning process.  This just means taking strips of tin foil and strategically placing them around the edge of the crust to prevent further cooking.

5.  Use brown sugar instead of white sugar in your pie.  It really gives it that over the top flavor.

6.  Salt, Lemon Juice, and Butter! Put 'em in.... Really.  I find that a small pinch of salt as well as a teaspoon or two of lemon juice brighten the flavor of the apple pie mixture.  Also, I put a few small dollops of butter on top of the apple mixture before adding a top crust.

7.  Please bake your pie on a piece of Heavy Duty foil or a foil lined cookie sheet...Otherwise you may have the mess I had when I made my first pie!

8.  Use firm, tart apples such as Granny Smith.  Other varieties such as Fuji become mealy or mushy when cooked.  At the very least, use a mixture of half Granny Smith and half of a sweet variety, like Jonathon.

9.  During the last 15 minutes of cooking take a tablespoon of corn syrup mixed with a tablespoon of hot water and butter and brush it over the top of the crust for shine.  You can also put a small sprinkling of turbinado sugar on top of the glaze just for pretty.

10.  Don't cut the pie until it's completely cooled.  The pie needs time to reabsorb the juices that the apples put out during cooking.  If you cut it while it's hot, it will collapse and the juices will run out into the crust making it soggy...

Happy Pie Making!  If you have questions or comments, let me know!!!  I'd be happy to help...Blessings, Leandra

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Friday, October 2, 2009

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Guitar Cake!
Yes it's cake!  The knobs and toggle switches are fondant and gumpaste.  The fret is fondant that I brushed with brown food coloring and then texturized to make it look like wood.  This is a lifesize replica of our worship leader's guitar for his 50th birthday.  Boy, matching that burgundy was WAY HARD!
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wedding cake for dear friend

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Wedding Dress cake for a bride who loves sage green!

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Monday, June 29, 2009