How to Make a Pink Ombré Rose Cake

After seeing an ombré cake on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to give it a whirl. But don’t fret if you are thinking, “that is way too detailed and complicated for me,” because it’s not. It’s actually way easier than you think. Now let’s get to the recipe!

The elegant buttercream roses on the outside of this cake are truly stunning, but once you slice into it, lovely ombré layers are revealed — rich pink down to an ivory white. Overall, this cake is a real show stopper!

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Ombre Cake:

Ingredients:

3 boxes of French Vanilla cake mix
9 eggs
3 cups of water
1 1/2 cups melted butter
1 vanilla bean scrapped
3 tsp vanilla
Pink food colouring

Directions:
1. Combine all the ingredients until the batter is nice and smooth, and free of lumps. Grease a 7? round cake pan and fill it with the white cake batter. Now this is where your gradual colouring comes in. Using the pink food colouring, add a tiny bit and mix until the batter becomes a light pink. Pour another 7? round cake pan filled with light pink batter. Bake the two cake pans as recommended on the back of the cake box (mine was for 350°F for 23 minutes).
2. Now add more pink colouring to your batter and mix until you get a darker pink, and pour into a cake pan. For the last cake pan, my batter wouldn’t get any darker so I added a very small amount of purple food colouring to darken the pink, then poured it into my cake pan. You will also have enough left over batter to make 12 cupcakes to go with your cake!
3. Once your four cakes have baked, set them aside to cool for 10 minutes, remove from the cake pans and allow to fully cool on a cooling rack. Now it’s time to prep your buttercream.

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Ombre Buttercream Icing:

Ingredients:
2 cups room temperature butter
3-6 cups of icing sugar (depending how thick you like your icing to be)
4 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2 tsp Mexican vanilla
1 vanilla bean scrapped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp butter flavoring
1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream

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Note: Before we get into the directions for the buttercream, I cannot stress enough how important it is to taste and go with adding ingredients. Do the wet ingredients 1 teaspoon at a time, taste and go. Start by really whipping your butter. This should take at least 5 minutes on a high speed until your butter gets nice and fluffy. Now add in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Continue to whip and add until you get a consistency you like. Add the vanillas, vanilla beans, salt and butter flavouring. Whip again. Slowly add your cream last. If your icing is too runny, add more icing sugar. Too Thick? Add more cream.

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Directions:
1. Start by really whipping your butter. This should take at least 5 minutes on a high speed until your butter gets nice and fluffy.
2. Now add in your icing sugar 1 cup at a time. Continue to whip and add until you get a consistency you like.
3. Add your vanillas, vanilla beans, salt and butter flavouring. Whip again.
4. Slowly add your cream last. If your icing is too runny, add more icing sugar. If it’s too thick, add more cream.

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Building your cake:

1. Time to build you cake! Make sure to level off all your cakes using a cake leveler — this ensures the cake will stack nicely and most of all, looks great after your done.
2. Put your white cake on your serving plate and coat the top with a layer of icing (this is called a crumb coat and will help everything stick together and make your cake look pretty). Continue with your light pink, medium pink and dark pink cake slabs. Once they are all stacked, coat the outside of the cake with a smooth layer of buttercream.
3. Next up are your little buttercream roses. Fill an icing bag with a 1M tip (you’ll need a large coupler for this too) and start to pipe one row of white roses.
4. I eyeballed my ombré to the size of the cake layers and just worked my way from the bottom to the top of the cake. To ice a rose, start in the middle and make a circle, drawing it outwards. Once you have a complete circle, trace the outside again with buttercream until a nice rose forms. Watch this video if you need some visual aid.
5. Now just like you did with the cake batter, gradually start to dye your icing. Add in a bit of food colouring, mix, pipe on a row of roses, add more food colouring and pipe more roses until you are done!

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100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Blog Network family.

Avocado Fries with Roasted Garlic Dip

After coming across other blogs featuring avocado fries, I knew I had to try this intriguing combination. Here is my take on these curiously delicious snack.

avocado-fries-recipe

I haven’t tried this recipe with any other type of avocado, but I would recommend using one that isn’t quite ripe yet, and still stiff when you squeeze it. Store it in your fridge before making these, this way you don’t have to worry about it being too soft when you bread and cook it.

Ingredients:

For the fries:
1 Avocado
3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 to 3 Tbsp flour
1 egg
Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Canola oil

For  the dip:
2 cloves roasted garlic
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sour cream
Chili paste
Lemon juice (optional)

Directions:
1. In a small frying pan on low heat, add one tablespoon of butter and two cloves of chopped garlic, cooking until browned. Once the garlic is done, add it into a bowl with your sour cream and a few drops of chili paste (add as much or as little as you want, depending on your heat preference). Mix it all together with a spoon, mashing up the garlic as much as you can. Taste it once it is thoroughly mixed, if you feel it needs a little more zing, try adding a few drops of lemon juice. Set aside.
2. Take two plates and a bowl, put your panko and flour on the plates and scramble an egg into your bowl. Shred some Parmesan cheese into your bowl of panko. Add salt and pepper to taste (mix it around and get your finger wet, dip it in the panko and give it a taste until its to your liking). Slice your avocado into fry-like chunks, cover with flour, then egg and finally bread it with the panko and put it on a plate. Repeat this until all your avocado is done.
3. While you are breading everything, get a pan ready on medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the pan is evenly heated, drop all your avocado fries in and cook each side until golden brown. Serve immediately with dip.

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography! Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

Steak Salad with Onions and Cilantro Chimichurri

It’s finally grilling season! And what better way to flex your (grilling) guns than with a steak salad. Flank steak is a cheaper cut of meat that grills really well. It’s flavourful and when grilled and sliced right, perfect for a salad.

I’ve come up with this twist on a basic balsamic dressing, adding cilantro chimichurri and piquillo peppers. Spanish piquillo peppers are actually sweet, not spicy. You can find them roasted, either jarred or canned. Chopping and adding them to the vinaigrette gives the dressing a slight sweet and peppery flavour. If you can’t find them, you can substitute with roasted red peppers which are very similar.

This is a staple salad in my household. It’s super easy to prep ahead of time and you can grill the onions and steak just before serving it. Every BBQ needs a salad — and this is the perfect one!

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Grilled Flank Steak and Onion Salad with Cilantro Chimichurri and Piquillo Pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

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Ingredients:

2 large red onions, 1/2” thick rounds
olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper

1 1/2 lb (680g) flank steak (skirt or hanger are good too)
olive oil
salt and fresh black pepper

4 to 5 cups spinach leaves
3 to 4 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

For the Piquillo Pepper Balsamic Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons finely chopped piquillo peppers (or roasted red pepper)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

For the Cilantro Chimichurri:
4 cloves garlic, minced finely
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika (hot or sweet)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grilled_Steak_Salad--recipe-with-onion-chimichurri

Directions:

For the piquillo pepper balsamic vinaigrette:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the chopped piquillo peppers, balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
2. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously to emulsify the dressing.
3. Set aside.

For the cilantro chimichurri:
1. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
2. Set aside.

Grill the onions:
1. Heat a grill (or grill pan) to medium direct heat.
2. Drizzle the onions with olive oil and generously season them with salt and fresh black pepper on both sides.
3. Grill for about 3 minutes on each side until nicely charred.

Grill the steak:
1. Heat the grill (or grill pan) on medium-high direct heat.
2. Drizzle the steak with olive oil and generously season with salt and fresh black pepper on both sides.
3. Grill the steak for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare or 4 1/2 to 5 minutes for medium. ONLY FLIP THE STEAK ONCE!
4. Remove the steak from the grill and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Assemble:
1. Toss the spinach and baby arugula with some of the dressing. The quantity for the vinaigrette above makes more than you should dress the salad with! Plate the dressed greens onto a platter.
2. Arrange the grilled onions on top of the greens and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over top.
3. Slice the steak, against the grain, into 1/3” thin strips. The thinner the better. Just be sure you are cutting against the grain of the steak or else it will be too tough to chew.
4. Place the sliced steak over the salad and drizzle with the chimichurri.
5. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette and chimichurri on the side. Enjoy!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Kale, Feta and Barley Salad with Honey Garlic Vinaigrette

I think I’ve said this before, but I love kale. It tastes good year-round, and whether I’m sauteing it in some butter with garlic, baking it into ‘chips’ – which is one of the most oddly delicious things you’ll ever try, I assure you – or just chopping it up for a salad, this leafy green never lets me down.

Lately, I’ve also been debating whether or not to have a summer fling with barley. It doesn’t sound quite as cool as kale, but it’s a great grain that’s easy to cook and tastes great in a fresh salad. Cooking it until it’s el dente will give it a nice texture and let it hold up against salad dressings, without getting mushy like some types of rice.

So, I guess what I’m really trying to say is that barley is great too. So, why not put combine it with kale for a wicked summer salad?

kale-barley-salad

Prep Time: 10 mins
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Salad Dressing:
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp  honey
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground black pepper

Salad:
1 bunch kale (thinly sliced, approx 5 cups)
2 shallots (thinly sliced)
1 1/2 cups cooked barley
1/2 cup cooked green lentils
1/2 cup feta (loosely chopped)
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup pickled turnips (diced, I realize this sounds random. I picked them up in the ethnic food aisle at SuperStore a few weeks ago. Pickled red onions would be a perfectly find substitute)

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients for salad dressing into a small bowl and whisk until combined. Set aside for now.
2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour salad dressing into the bowl and toss with tongs until evenly mixed. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and toss again before serving.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Green Onion Parmesan Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach and Bacon

When it comes to crepes, I prefer the savoury over the sweet. My initial plan was to stuff it with ricotta, spinach, bacon and mushrooms, but in a stroke of genius, I decided to put some green onion and parmesan cheese in the crepe batter. Best decision ever! These things smelled so good while cooking, and taste incredible.

Green-Onion-Parmesan-Crepes-with-Ricotta-Spinach-Bacon-Mushroom-Filling-recipe

Green Onion Parmesan Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach, Bacon and Mushrooms

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Serves: 4

Crepe Batter Ingredients:

1 cup cold water
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sliced mushroom
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups packed spinach
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup chopped cooked bacon
¾ cup ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

For Filling
1. Add butter to a pan on medium heat. Once butter has melted, add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are tender, about 5-10 minutes, before adding spinach, add one tablespoon of olive oil.
2. Add spinach to pan, cover with lid for about 1 minute. Once spinach begins to wilt, add bacon, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Stir to mix seasoning in, remove mixture to a bowl once spinach is cooked, add ricotta and mix ingredients together.

For Crepes
1. Combine water, milk, eggs & salt in blender or bowl if using a handle blender.
2. Add flour, butter, green onion, and parmesan, blend at high speed for about 1 minute until ingredients are combined. Mixture will be quite thin, just thick enough to coat a spoon. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight.
3. To cook crepes, get a pan on medium heat. Spread a thin film of butter on pan.
4. Pour a ¼ cup of crepe batter into your pan, slowly rotating the pan with your wrist to spread the batter in a circle.
5. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until crepe begins to brown.
6. Flip and cook for another minute or until browned.
7. Place filling in middle of crepe and roll together, or if folding the crepe, place filling in one quarter of the crepe, fold in half once, and then fold in half once more (resulting in a triangle).

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Vegan Quiche Tarts with Red Pepper Relish

Eating vegan food isn’t about sacrifice or restriction but rather expanding your palette and creating magic in the kitchen! Here’s another recipe to prove our point. This delicious, egg-free quiche has savoury mushrooms and asparagus in a fluffy filling with flakey crust and is served with a tart red pepper relish that will leave your mouth watering for more.

Vegan-quiche-tarts-with-mushroom-and-asparagus

Makes: 12 mini quiches
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

Crust Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
8 tablespoons cold vegan butter (1/2 cup)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup cold water

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup medium soft tofu
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon tahini
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon ground chia (or flax)
1 teaspoon arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper (or ground pepper)
1 ½ cups diced mushrooms
½ cup diced asparagus
¼ cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Red Pepper Relish Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped red pepper (approx. 1 pepper)
½ cup finely chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
¼ cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon dijon mustard

Garnish (optional):
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. To make the crust, combine all-purpose flour, sea salt, and cold vegan butter in a food processor. While the machine is running slowly add cold water. Stop the machine once the dough comes together in a ball.
3. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until it’s ¼” thick.
4. Cut out 5” wide circles. You should only need to roll out the dough twice and cut circles.
5. Then gently press each circle of dough into the cups of a regular size muffin pan and bake for 10 minutes.
6. While the crust is baking cook the shallots, mushrooms, and asparagus in olive oil over medium heat for 4-5 minutes and add sea salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
7. Combine the remaining filling ingredients together in a high-powered blender until smooth.
8. Pour this mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the cooked vegetables.
9. Fill baked crusts with the filling and bake for 20 minutes at 350F.
10. While the quiche are baking make the red pepper relish by sautéing red pepper and onion in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add chili flakes and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Bring heat to medium-low to prevent burning the garlic and onion.
11. Then add white wine vinegar, agave nectar, and dijon mustard and simmer for 8-10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
12. Serve quiche right out of the oven with dollops of red pepper relish on top. Garnish with finely chopped chives if desired.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Easy Tortilla Hot Dog Wraps

Today I found myself with an abundance of hot dogs in my fridge and no hot dog buns to be found. Now some people may have just given up right there, but not me. I was determined to eat two hot dogs for lunch.

I could have settled on eating them bunless, or on a slice of bread, but that just wasn’t doing it for me. Then I saw mini tortillas in my freezer, and I knew what I had to do. Enter: Tortilla Hot Dog Wraps, or “Pigs in a Poncho,” as some people call them. I kept my ingredients pretty simple — a tasty hot dog, surrounded by gooey cheese and red onion, encased in a crunchy tortilla — but feel free to add whatever you want to yours!

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Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1 small tortilla
1 hot dog
Red onion
Shredded cheese
Salt
Canola oil

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Directions:
1. Get a pan on medium-low heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
2. If you want your hot dog to poke out of each end, slice two of the edges off the tortilla (refer to picture).
3. Place some red onion near the bottom of the tortilla, then sprinkle cheese on the tortilla and top the hot dog.
4. Roll the tortilla tightly around the hot dog.
5. Place in pan with the end of the tortilla on the bottom, which allows it to fry and stay closed.
6. Rotate as each side becomes golden brown, cooking until the whole tortilla is golden brown.
7. Remove to paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauces.

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100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Roasted Tomato Tart Two Ways

After what feels like an eternity, suddenly the trees are in bloom, gardens are being planted and now, the season’s first sun-ripened tomatoes are starting to roll in. Just like that, we’re heading into summer. Which begs the question. Can comfort food be fresh? The answer is a resounding heck, yeah.

The balsamic and burrata tart is like a pizza-fide version of my favourite antipasto plate, splashed with a hint of tart balsamic and nestled on a bed of buttery puff pastry. It’s basically akin to having a built-in bread bowl. But it’s the combination of creamy burrata, blistered toma-toes and the pop of fresh herbs that makes this dish something I’m going to dream about for weeks.

That’s not to say I don’t love the simplified tomato tart any less. These intense, blood-red tomatoes set atop a smattering of melted cheese turns into something extraordinary when you add the one-two punch of fresh basil and oregano.

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Burrata Tart with Arugula Salad

Balsamic, Burrata & Roasted Tomato Tarts
Inspired by Donna Hay

Ingredients:
2 sheets butter puff pastry, thawed
1 pint red & yellow tomatoes, left whole
4-6 ounces burrata cheese
1/2 mozzarella, shredded
3-4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
4-6 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves, torn
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt + pepper

Burrata Tomato Tart Bonnie Mo

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stack two pieces of puff pastry one on top of the other and press gently to adhere. Cut into a large circle.
3. Place on the prepared baking sheet, score the puff pastry along the sides about 1/2 inch, to make a small border. Inside the border, pierce with a fork. Lightly brush with olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and oregano. Add tomatoes to the balsamic mix and toss.
5. Sprinkle puff pastry with mozzarella and arrange tomatoes. Add any remaining balsamic mix-ture left in the bowl.
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and pastry is golden.
7. Let stand for 3-5 minutes and top with torn burrata and prosciutto. Garnish with fresh basil.

Cherry Tomato Tart on Puff Pastry

Cheesy Cherry Tomato Tarts

Ingredients:
1 sheet butter puff pastry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp chopped basil
1/2 Tbsp chopped oregano
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Olive oil, salt, pepper

Cherry Tomato Tart with Herbs & Cheese

Directions:
1. Thaw frozen puff pastry according to directions. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place chopped cherry tomatoes on a paper towel facing down to drain for about 30 minutes (this will keep them from being to wet and making the tart soggy). Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and the chopped herbs.
3. Unroll the thawed pastry and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out the pastry slightly. Transfer to a baking sheet and score the puff pastry along the sides about 1/2 inch, to make a small border. Inside the border, pierce with a fork. Lightly brush with olive oil.
4. Sprinkle puff pastry with cheese and top with the tomato mixture, facing the cut tomatoes up.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and pastry is golden.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake

Your wedding cake is undoubtedly the most significant dessert you’ll ever eat in your life. As kids, we dreamed of a cake tiered to the ceiling, trimmed with frothy white icing and topped with mini-me (and mini-him) cake toppers. We dreamed of that classic wedding picture of cutting the first slice with our other half. We dreamed of eating it respectfully and so not shoving it into each other’s faces, America’s-Funniest-Home-Videos style. It’s such an important, traditional element to a wedding, and yet these days, more and more couples are choosing to eliminate it as a way to cut corners. Why? Because a single cake can rack up quite the hefty bill.

If you want to keep with tradition but aren’t feeling the $1000 price tag, then why not whip up your own gorgeous gateau? Below, I’m showing a step-by-step guide to making your own wedding cake, complete with tiers, frothy icing and topped with pretty blooms.

Naked Wedding Cake 1

Decorating Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:
6 cakes (Follow this recipe for your classic white cake. You will need three batches.)
36 oz icing (Follow this recipe for vanilla buttercream icing. Again, you will need three batches.)
Flowers, for decorating

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Note: The prettier the flowers, the better your cake will look. Hit up a flower market to get some stunners like peonies and ranunculi. Don’t forget to add some greens to the mix. Try green leaves with a white, wishy-washy coat for a whimsical look.

Naked Wedding Cake 2

Directions:
1. Before you make your batter, heat the oven to your recipe’s advised temperature. Use unsalted butter to grease the sides of two cake pans, one 8” and one 10”, and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

2. As for the cake I made… I cheated a bit. To save a little time and cash, I succumbed to a cake mix and pre-made icing. If you feel like taking the easy route like me, you will need three boxes of cake mix, which will give you two cakes per box, and three 12-oz containers of icing.

Naked Wedding Cake 3

3. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to beat the batter. Cakes made with an essential baker sidekick come out so much lighter and fluffier than with a handheld beater.

Naked Wedding Cake 4

4. Divide the batter into your two pre-lined, pre-greased pans. Try to make them similar in depth. Bake them for the recipe’s advised amount of time, let cool, and move to a cooling rack. Repeat.

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5. When the cakes have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice off the top of each cake where necessary, to create an even surface.

Naked Wedding Cake 7

6. Take the parchment paper off the bottoms of each cake, and place your first layer on the cake stand. Add a few dollops of icing, and smooth over the surface gently, ensuring not to get cake crumbs worked into the icing.

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7. Smooth over the entire surface, add the next layer, and repeat.

Naked Wedding Cake 9

8. Add icing to the sides of the cake for a more whimsical finish. Apply it with your icing wand, and scrape off excess to even it out.

Naked Wedding Cake 10

9. I like to place the majority of the flowers on the top of the cake, so I only added a few subtle touches of flowers to the sides and base of the cake. I placed a piece of greenery to the bottom, and lightly pressed it into the cake to secure it into place.

Naked Wedding Cake 11

10. On the opposite side on the second tier, I added a small, blooming peony and more greens.

Naked Wedding Cake 12

11. For the top of the cake, I started with a few greens and filled it in with seven flowers.

Naked Wedding Cake 13

12. I had a brighter pink flower option but decided to keep it to the softer shades for a dreamier feel.

Naked Wedding Cake 14

Notes:
– Try to lay the flowers on the cake instead of puncturing the surface so you can rearrange the blooms as you see fit. You will also lessen the risk of contaminating the cake with the flower’s chemicals.
– Flowers should be placed on the cake just before displaying.

Naked Wedding Cake 15

Happy Wedding Day!

Naked Wedding Cake 16

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

Rainbow Quinoa Taco Salad with Vegan Dressing

We only have one diet tip and it’s easy. Ready? Here it is: eat all the colours of the rainbow the majority of the time. Just look at the spectrum of colour in this healthy rainbow quinoa taco salad. It’s full of flavour and we especially like the little zing from the creamy sunflower dressing. You might not find a pot of gold at the bottom of your bowl, but you’ll feel good eating this nutritious and filling salad.

rainbow-taco-salad-recipe-vegan

Rainbow Quinoa Taco Salad

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients for Salad:
½ cup rainbow quinoa
1 cup water
¼ cup teaspoon sea salt
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 small can black beans (approx. 1 cup), drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 avocados, diced
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup diced tomato
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons lime juice
corn chips, for serving (optional)

Dressing Ingredients:
½ cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked for 3 hours)
½ cup water
1 lime, juiced (approx. 2 ½ tbsp.)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

1. In a small pot combine quinoa, water, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
2. Meanwhile combine diced tomato, red onion, cilantro and lime juice to make a fresh salsa.
3. Drain and rinse the soaked sunflower seeds and then add to a high-powered blender with remaining dressing ingredients. Combine until smooth.
4. Just before serving dress the chopped romaine lettuce in a large mixing bowl with 4 tablespoons of dressing and then divide portions into serving bowls.
5. Top each serving with quinoa, black beans, corn, diced avocado, fresh tomato salsa, and another drizzle of dressing.
6. Serve with corn chips on the side if desired.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

S’Mores Bark for the Long Weekend

Oh, May long weekend…the unofficial start of summer. The first gloriously warm long weekend of the year, spent at a cottage enjoying morning hikes, afternoon tanning on the dock, and evening huddles around the campfire.

As lovely as that sounds, it’s not the case for most of us, and we’ll be settling for a little stay-cation in our own ‘hood.

But don’t give up on your lakeside fantasies just yet, because we’ve got a recipe for everyone’s campfire favourite that will totally make your long weekend — we’re talking about s’mores. Well, s’mores bark, to be exact. Think graham crackers, melted milk chocolate, and soft, roasted marshmallows all in one delectable bite.

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With only four ingredients required (and no bonfire needed), you’ll be able to whip up this new take on everyone’s ultimate fireside treat — in under 15 minutes and for under $12!

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Ingredients:
12 graham crackers (broken into quarters)
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
¼ cup Skor bits

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Directions:
1. Preheat oven to broil on high, line baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay graham crackers on baking sheet.
2. Pour about 1/3 of chocolate chips into a bowl, and microwave for about 60 seconds. Mix chocolate until smooth and lump free.

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3. Working in sections, pour the chocolate sparingly on top of the graham crackers, and carefully spread it out with a spatula. Repeat steps 2-3 to finish off the bag of chocolate chips, and evenly cover all graham crackers with a layer of chocolate.

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4. Sprinkle the marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Try to keep them within the cracker lines, so it’s easy to separate the pieces at the end.

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5. Place in oven on a rack that is on the third notch from the top. Roast the marshmallows until golden, about 30-60 seconds.

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6. When chocolate is still hot, sprinkle Skor bits sparingly on top.

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7. Refrigerate until hard, about an hour. Break into pieces and serve.

Spicy Fried Shrimp: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

Every time I fry up a batch of shrimp, I vow to make it a regular part of my dinner rotation. They need very little embellishment and will bend to just about any culinary whim. That, on top of the fact that they literally take less than 5 minutes to cook, you really have to wonder why you’re not eating more shrimp.

Like the name implies, I dialed up the heat with these spicy shrimp with a whack of fresh Thai chilis. This is where the dish can really become your own. If you only want a breath of spice, ease into it with one or two chilis and leave out the seeds. On the other hand, if you like to sweat a little while you’re chowing down your food, leave the seeds in and ramp up the chili count to as high as you dare.

For a more subtle version, the Sriracha butter sauce has a mellower heat, as the fat content in the butter transforms the Sriracha into a buffalo wing-like flavor — I particularly like a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to help brighten it up. Feel free to toss your cooked shrimp right in the bowl, or keep it on the side for dipping.

Both of these spicy shrimp dishes can be eaten with rice, over noodles, in a salad or on their own as an appetizer with a cold drink. Napkins not included.

Cook Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Spicy Fried Chili Shrimp

Spicy Fried Shrimp with Thai Chilis

Ingredients:
16-20 medium to large shrimp, shell on
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, think sliced
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 Thai chilis (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)

Directions:
1. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir constantly, being extra careful not to burn the garlic, about 1 mi-nute.
2. Add shrimp and chilis and stir fry until almost cooked, about 4 minutes.
3. Add green onions and cook for another 30 seconds.

Sriracha_Shrimp

Spicy Shrimp with Sriracha Butter

Ingredients:
16-20 medium to large shrimp, shell on
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup butter
1 cup Sriracha
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Directions:
1. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir constantly, being extra careful not to burn the garlic, about 1 mi-nute.
2. Add shrimp and stir fry until almost cooked, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
4. Combine Sriracha, lime juice, salt and sugar in a blender and whiz for about 30 seconds, slowly adding the melted butter.
5. Toss in a large bowl with cooked shrimp or keep on the side as a spicy dipping sauce.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo.

Pesto Pizza with Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda

Delicious fresh pesto, juicy mushrooms, savoury red onion, finished off with the smokey flavour of creamy smoked gouda. A pizza that not only looks great, but tastes awesome too!

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Pesto Pizza with Red Onions, Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3

Ingredients:

No-Knead Pizza Dough:
250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
? teaspoon active dry yeast
180ml water

Pizza Toppings:

Pesto
Mushrooms
Red onion
Smoked gouda cheese

Directions:

1. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients, slowly mix in water while stirring with a wooden spoon.
2. Once dough begins to form, work it into a roughly shaped ball with your hands, leaving it in the bowl, and covering with plastic wrap.
3. Allow dough to rise at room temperature for around 18 hours or until doubled inside.
4. After 18 hours, remove dough from bowl and place on a floured work surface.
5. Cut the dough into three even pieces for personal sized pizzas.
6. Knead each piece of dough into a ball and allow to rise for another hour covered with a damp towel, or wrapped in plastic wrap. If you won’t be using all the dough right away, refrigerate it, and remove it from the fridge 1 to 2 hours before cooking allowing it to warm to room temperature.
7. While dough is resting, if using a pizza stone, place it in the cold oven and turn the heat to 500F (or as close to that heat as possible), allowing the oven to heat for about an hour.
8. If you don’t have a pizza stone, arrange the pizza dough on a baking sheet, and just preheat the oven to 500 to 550F.
9. Once the dough has finished resting, on a floured surface, stretch it thinly to your preference (without breaking the dough).
10. Spread pesto on the dough, top with sliced mushrooms, red onions, and slices or shredded smoked gouda.
11. If using a baking sheet, bake at 500 to 550°F, or if using a pizza stone turn your oven to broil, and cook the pizza for 5 to 10 minutes until desired doneness.

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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Vegan Mac & Peas

Ever since I turned vegan, I’ve been experimenting with different versions of mac & cheese. There are many ways to make it and I love our perfect vegan mac & cheese recipe made with cashews. But I’ve turned out a really quick version that doesn’t involve soaking nuts overnight! It’s still really creamy, kinda cheesy, healthy and kinda cute with the little green peas in it.

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Ingredients (serves 4):
1 x 454 g package Tinkyada brown rice spirals or approximately 5 cups of noodles of your choice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white miso
1 Tbsp gluten-free tamari
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup pasta water, reserved from boiling pasta
Ground pepper to taste

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Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with sea salt.
2. In a dish, mix together tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, white miso, nutritional yeast, tamari and garlic. Set aside.
3. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add in brown rice pasta and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until al dente. Add frozen peas to the boiling water during the last minute of cooking.
4. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water right before draining. Then drain the pasta and peas, do not rinse. Put the peas back in the large pot.
5. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup of pasta water to start, and stir to combine with the noodles and peas over low heat on the stovetop. Stir constantly to allow the noodles to get coated, adding more pasta water as necessary to create a creamy consistency. Don’t heat for longer than 2-3 minutes.
6. Top with fresh ground pepper and serve immediately.

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Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Coconut

This flourless, white chocolate cake is rich, moist and custardy — and the crunch of the coconut makes the perfect complement in terms of taste and texture. Perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth who’s avoiding gluten — or who just loves a deliciously decadent cake.

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Gluten-Free White Chocolate Cake with Toasted Coconut

Ingredients:

300 grams good quality white chocolate
8 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/3 cup (40 grams) coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:
1 1/2 cup (200 grams) icing sugar
1 can coconut milk, refrigerated
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter

For the topping:
2 1/2 cups large flake coconut

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325F°. Grease a 9-inch (22 cm) springform pan and line it with parchment paper. Mold aluminum foil on the bottom and up the sides to prevent possible leaks. Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool.
2. Beat egg whites in a large bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Beat in sugar, one tablespoon at a time; continue to beat until thick and glossy.
3. Beat egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until creamy; add salt and vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the melted butter, followed by the melted chocolate.
4. Fold egg whites into the egg yolks and chocolate with a rubber spatula until incorporated; take care not to overblend.
5. Place springform pan in the middle of a roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the side. Place in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
6. To make the icing, separate the coconut cream from the water and beat it together with butter and icing sugar.
7. Toast coconut at 300°F for about 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden. Turn cake upside down onto a cake stand and peel off parchment. Spread icing over top and sides of cake and top with coconut.

Darina Kopcok Darina Kopcok is a food writer and photographer based in Vancouver, BC. She writes the blog Gratinée, for which she also develops, styles and shoots each recipe. In addition to photographic training from Langara College, she holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has a passion for Italian cuisine and French culinary technique.

Darina Kopcok is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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