Happy Saturday! Hope you all had a fantabulous week! Things were busy busy on the site this week but we’ll get to that in a few minutes. So, remember last week I was telling you all about the big birthday plans?? Well, they went off without a hitch! Hania, my brother Matt and I spent a lovely day together. After a short train ride, we started our morning strolling the vast hallways and galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We found art in every aspect of the morning.
Tombs and sculpture,
We snapped pictures like we were the paparazzi. At one point, my brother actually made that very comment that he felt like he was with the paparazzi.
Both HB and Matt had fun goofing off at times.
We had a fantastic lunch at one of our favorite little spots in The Village that happens to have slate table tops perfect for birthday wishes.
And I enjoyed taking pictures of anything that stood still with my new Canon 7D!!
I have so much to learn and I’m seriously having issues taking photographs inside in tungsten lighting. Yikes! That led to me not quite capturing a few pictures the way I would have liked to. For instance, HB blowing out the candles. Sadly there’s no picture of that this year. Another example is the cake. Unfortunately, I don’t have spectacular pictures for you. I have ok pictures for you. The day I made the cake I had just enough time to bake, decorate and hide the cake before having to get HB from school so I was snapping pictures of this blue beauty only moments before I was plunging candles into it and warming up my vocal cords for a booming rendition of “Happy Birthday!” Despite my novice knowledge of the inner workings of my new camera, you get the gist of it.
I made a zebra cake and decorated the outside using a petal technique. Both of these things were a first for me. I’d seen my friend Lisa make a gorgeous Zebra Cake a while ago and fell in love with its striped beauty. Mine didn’t quite turn out as perfect due to my own operator error. Word of advice. Pay attention and make sure you are hitting the center when you start pouring the batters into the pan. If not, about two thirds of the way through you’ll come to realize like I did, that all your batter is commiserating more to one side of the pan than the other. Then if you’re like me, you’ll try to “fix this” by every so gently tilting the pan so that the batter is evenly distributed which total screws up your zebra stripes. So, lesson learned. It just gives me an excellent excuse to make anther cake! You can find Lisa’s gorgeous Zebra Cake HERE.
But want to know what I’m incredibly pleased with? The frosting!! I have seen gorgeous petal cakes all over the place and admired their beauty. They’re breathtaking and I’ve been dying for a time to make one. I wanted HB to have a really outstanding cake that showed it took some time to make and that was special for her. What better time than the present to give this technique a try? Now, it’s your turn! Seriously, this gorgeous technique is so easy to do! Robin from Bird on a Cake has a fabulous tutorial that made frosting this cake a breeze. You can see her fabulous instruction HERE. Oh, and if you like to decorate cakes and want to learn more then you will definitely find her site to be a wonderful resource.
In the end, we all had a fantastic time in NYC for the day. HB was thoroughly surprised by her surprise party and by her present (she thought our day in the city together was her present) but little did she know I had these tickets up my sleeve. Which means in 2 weeks we get to go back for another fantastic day together!
I’m pretty sure this was one of the best birthdays ever for Hania and I know for me personally, this was one to remember. As always, you’ll find a recap of what you may have missed here on Food Babbles this week. Hope you have a fantastic weekend and don’t forget there are not one but two giveaways going on right now so be sure to enter! You can win A Case of Assorted Chobani Greek Yogurt and also, enter to win A Kindle Fire and a $50 gift card to load it up! Enter both and I figure you can eat your yogurt while reading your new Kindle
and the most popular post of the week was…
Coconut Buns from Roxana’s Home Baking: Roxana is pretty much a bread-baking superstar! She has so many incredible recipes but I love her bread recipes the most. She recently did a post of 20 bread recipes from her site and I’m so glad she did because there were a ton I’d never read before. One of those were these coconut buns. Soft, sweet rolls filled with a bit of shredded coconut inside. I cannot wait to make these!
Nutella Shortbread Bars from Kelly Bakes: Heaven. Perfection. Pure decadence! These shortbread bars topped warm, gooey Nutella look absolutely amazing!! The best part is that any self-respecting Nutella addict has each and every ingredient on hand to make these right now. GO! What are you waiting for?
Lemon Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding from The Moonlight Baker: I love rice pudding but I’ve only ever had the classic version with a dash of nutmeg and raisins in it. I love this version flecks of vanilla bean and lemon zest in it.
Spaghetti with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Spinach from Two Peas & Their Pod: I made this pasta dish on Thursday for dinner and it was fantastic, not to mention healthy! Whole wheat spaghetti tossed with sun dried tomatoes, wilted spinach, tangy feta cheese and fragrant garlic chips. It was light but definitely not light on flavor.