All posts by Susy Alexandre

Susy Alexandre is a freelance writer, author and avid foodie. She operates The Collective blog, where she catalogues her love of fashion, interior design and, of course, her adventures in trying out new and traditional recipes. A fan of savoury over sweet, you can usually find her starting every recipe with a generous helping of garlic and onion.
Buddy vs. Duff

Buddy vs. Duff: See Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman’s Most Epic Cakes

In Buddy vs. Duff, legendary bakers Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman will bring their culinary A-game as they face off in a series of dessert-themed challenges. The battling bakers will compete in a final space-themed task, where the judges will crown the winner and settle this epic feud once and for all. For a (visual) taste of what you cake expect to see from the series, we’ve kicked off the competition early, showcasing some of the most epic baked creations from Buddy and Duff. May the best baker win!

Buddy’s a pro at bringing animals to life

This sea-creature-inspired cake has our eyes go from the Hammerhead shark breaking through the top-most tier to the eel weaving it’s way through the middle section, all the way to the colorful collection of underwater life and seashells scattered all around the base of this cake. From shading to texture, we just can’t get over how detailed every creature on this cake is up-close!

Duff is all about the details when it comes to scene-style cakes

This elaborate city-scape cake created by Duff and his team called for 150 pounds of cake and 50 pounds of fondant. There is so much going on here, from a “just married” car and mini wedding cake to the hot air balloon — can you spot the sailboat?

Buddy is a master chef when it comes to barbeque baking

This cake, dubbed “House of Que”, looks so good; you would think it was the real deal. We’ll take a side of ribs, please!

Duff is always looking to up the ante

Never to be outdone, Duff takes the barbeque-baking concept to the next level, with his massive and ultra-realistic steak-cake, created with the Baltimore Ravens logo seemingly seared into the fondant. We love how detailed this cake is, from the meat-like texture created with shading and colouring, to the T-bone design that really completes the illusion of a real steak.

Buddy has a musical side – or at least his cakes do

Buddy created this amazing guitar-themed cake as a birthday tribute to musical icon Willie Nelson. The hand-painted details make this creation a true work of art — just look at the (intentional) signs of “wear and tear” and signature designs added to mimic Willie’s real guitar.

No one does a large-scale cake quite like Duff

This behemoth of a stadium-themed cake, designed to mimic the real deal and created for the US Open Grand Slam Tennis Tournament in 2010, has onlookers in awe as Duff adds the final touches. We love how Duff was able to mimic crowds in the stands, and have you seen the extra design elements outside of the stadium piece?

Buddy’s a builder – with fondant, at least

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Having so fun @marylandlive how do you like my cake?

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Channeling his inner urban planner, Buddy crafted this true-to-life urban landscape for Maryland Live, and judging by the look on his face — he seems pretty happy with the results. We don’t blame him — the buildings, roadways and even greenery that sit atop the base of this giant cake all look like the real-deal.

Duff creates the stuff of (Marvel) legends

Would you believe this giant Hulk recreation is in fact, a fully-edible cake? Believe it! The mean green machine himself was built up as a cake and presented by Duff to the Stan Lee in 2014 at Comikaze Expo. Duff recently reposed this epic throwback creation as a tribute to the late Marvel Comics legend.

Buddy serves up the best of both worlds

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If you struggle with satisfying your sweet tooth while also getting your daily fruit-fix, Buddy’s got the solution with this delicious watermelon cake. All cake and icing on the outside, with juicy, ripened watermelon on the inside. Now this is a summertime treat to get excited about!

Duff makes the donut cake of all donut cakes

Helping Krispy Kreme celebrate their 81st birthday – and the launch of a new donut flavor – is no easy task, but judging by this cake, Duff is up to the challenge. This donut-covered cake looks too good to be true… mind if we have a piece, Duff?

Tune in to Buddy vs. Duff Sundays at 10:00 PM E/P.

Lasagna dish on a table

One Dish, Four Ways: Our Hosts Put Their Own Spin on a Classic Lasagna

Is there any dish more synonymous with comfort food than a good old fashioned lasagna? Fresh pasta, ooey gooey cheese, a rich sauce… It’s no wonder this dish is a fail-proof staple for beginner cooks and seasoned chefs alike. With the weather outside making us want to stay in and indulge, we’re thinking it’s time to gather around the table and put a spin on this classic meal. To get you inspired, we’ve lined up four irresistible variations on lasagna from our Food Network Canada hosts.

1. Anna Olson’s Roasted Vegetable Lasagna with Four Cheeses

This meatless recipe for roasted vegetable lasagna by Anna Olson, host of Fresh with Anna Olson, ups the ante on traditional lasagnas by including a four-cheese blend and delicious roasted carrots, parsnips and Roma tomatoes. You’ll be wondering how you ever managed with one-cheese recipes as you taste the distinct flavours of ricotta, Parmesan, Asiago, and Swiss Gruyere blended into a sauce and mixed with the vegetables between sheets of fresh lasagna.

2. Ree Drummond’s Slow-Cooker Lasagna

Plated lasagna dish

Chef and host of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond offers up a delicious slow-cooker lasagna that’s heavy on flavor and light on prep work. A simple three-step recipe that has you combining your meat and cheese mixtures with layers of lasagna noodles (broken to fit your slow cooker), there’s little left to do but sit back in anticipation of this fool-proof dinner that’s sure to become a family favourite.

3. Giada De Laurentiis’ Spicy One-Skillet Lasagna

Lasagna in a skillet

Fans of easy-cook recipes will love this delicious one-skillet lasagna from Giada De Laurentiis of Giada Entertains. This recipe combines a medley of unexpected flavours ingredients like spicy Italian sausage, lemon zest and red pepper flakes to turn up the heat on this classic dish. With just one skillet needed to pull off this savoury spin on traditional lasagna, you’ll love the quick prep time – and easy clean-up!

4. Ina Garten’s Portobello Mushroom Lasagna

Portobello mushroom lasagna dish

Looking for a meatless lasagna recipe that doesn’t skimp on that hearty texture? Chef Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa has you covered with her Portobello mushroom lasagna . With rich ingredients like whole milk, butter, flour, Portobello mushrooms and Parmesan, this lasagna is every bit the indulgence you’d want from this classic dish, minus the meat.

Looking for more crowd-pleasing comfort food? Check out these must-try slow-cooker recipes and the cheese-stuffed recipes  that will have you drooling!