June 18, 2018

hydrangea wreath cake


{ blue }

I wish I could decorate all the cakes with hydrangeas.





June 17, 2018

pink


Everything looks better in pink,
especially if it is flowers on a
yummy cake.
All I can think of is, "country style wedding" .




June 14, 2018

blue hydrangeas


This little number has my favorite flower {if you've been reading this blog, you know that already}. Beautiful hydrangeas are perfect for any occasion. In this case, for a male birthday. I made a vanilla cake, layered with "dulce de leche" and frosted with buttercream speckled with...  more "dulce de leche".





June 11, 2018

avocado toast rose


I'm usually not so fancy with breakfast, but sometimes I like taking my avocado toast to the next level.
Some chopped avocado first and then shape the rose on top of it. Not a very easy task, but with some practice and a very sharp knife, it shouldn't take you all morning to do it.
Food must not only taste good, but also look good.
Happy new week!





June 7, 2018

single-tier cakes {trend}


Even before the Royal Wedding I had the hunch that multiple single-tier cakes would be the trend this year.
Making smaller cakes for Rose Vanilla allows me to be really creative with colors, textures, and toppings, and to play around with different techniques, flavors and fillings.







June 6, 2018

tamales { mini }


Although making tamales may sound like a time-consuming and intimidating process, it isn't. The process begins with preparing a soft, rich corn dough called "masa", along with a meat or vegetable filling and a sauce. We like the seasoned chicken filling with olives and sometimes a pitted prune.
In Costa Rica, during Christmas season, making tamales is a ritual. We wrap them in banana leaves, but they can also be wrapped in corn husks, as they prepare them in Mexico and other countries in Latin America.
Finding the corn in Kampala was not an easy task. Even though we keep bags of Maseca in the freezer, we prefer to leave that one for "tortillas". After almost giving up the search for yellow corn, I found it at a nearby Chinese supermarket... who would have thought!!!! The dried kind I found required soaking in boiling water for a couple of hours to soften it and then strain it.

I'm missing home, so making "tamales" to eat along my "gallo pinto" is always a way of feeling closer to my roots. 




May 25, 2018

weeknights


From Monday to Thursday I try to keep it simple and healthy when it comes to preparing dinner for my family.
I try to incorporate as much vegetables as I can for side dishes and the main course.
Squashes are everywhere in Uganda, sold at every market, the side of the road, grocery stores, and available year round. For me it is a luxury because I love them. You can make savory dishes and sweet dishes with these versatile vegetables.
One of my favorites is the nutty acorn squash, also also called pepper squash, Des Moines squash, and gem squash. It is small and very easy to work with. Bonus: it fluffs just as spaghetti squash.

{ How to }
Cut the squashes in half, drizzle them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven at 400degrees for about thirty minutes.
For the stuffing, heat olive oil in a pan caramelize chopped white onions and one garlic. Then add chopped mushrooms, watercress and chickpeas. Season with cumin, salt and pepper.
Enjoy!










May 24, 2018

buttercream hydrangeas

I love decorating my cakes for Rose Vanilla with buttercream flowers.
Making each individual flower is a joy and seeing the finished cake, just like you have imagined, is great.
I made this one yesterday with a base of mauve buttercream, hydrangeas and leaves.







May 23, 2018

source of inspiration

Today, I was inspired by the hydrangeas in my garden. You've got to love their beauty. They have this romantic elegance reminiscent of times gone by and they look wonderful on the cakes I make for Rose Vanilla.






May 22, 2018

our own strawberries { in Kampala }

Store-bought or frozen strawberries can't come near the intense and fresh flavor of those picked right off the vine from your very own garden.
Strawberry is the quintessential late spring to early summer fruit, but here in Kampala we can enjoy them year round.
I use the fruit to make strawberry jam, buttercream and since our variety is small, I also use them to decorate the Strawberry Lemonade, Passion Fruit and Lemon Poppyseed cupcakes for Rose Vanilla, when available.
While living in Virginia a few years back, we loved to go strawberry picking in early Spring to Wegmeyer Farms and Mackintosh Fruit Farm.






We also have sage, one of my favorite herbs for pasta and chicken dishes.

 
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