Alien's Day Out

Caked Out

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A good chunk of last week was spent making cakes and cupcakes. One of my friends was throwing a combined birthday party/baby shower for her friend and requested a bunch of cupcakes and cookie boxes.

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I made three different flavors…. chocolate, vanilla, and banana, with white vanilla frosting & sprinkles, strawberry frosting, and blue vanilla-chocolate chip & ganache frosting. I love being able to prettify them and get creative with the toppings.

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I also got an order for this chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and tiny chocolate espresso beans on top.

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Here’s another birthday cake. Gluten free carrot cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. This was my first attempt at making a gluten free birthday cake and I think it turned out pretty well… I couldn’t cut into it though, so we’ll just have to use our imaginations. :P

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Last week was also my good friend Yunseo’s birthday and it was also Abigail’s last night in Korea, so we did a birthday-slash-farewell dinner at my place. I wanted to make fun birthday cupcakes, so I used sprinkles to create colorful spots in the cake. For the vanilla cupcakes, I used this recipe from Vegweb.com (the same one I used for the rainbow cupcakes), but I used rice vinegar instead of lemon juice and added about 1/4 cup of sprinkles to the batter at the very end. For the frosting, I mixed in some strawberry preserves to give it a pinkish hue and a mild strawberry flavor.

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I probably threw in a bit too many sprinkles because the ones on the top made the tops a bit crusty with sugar crystals, but the inside was still delicate and soft. I also cut out a hole in the cupcakes and filled them with more strawberry preserves before putting the ‘lids’ back on. So everyone got a nice little strawberry surprise when they bit into the cake.

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Abigail was in charge of the roasted veggies. She got busy chopping up a buttload of veggies including kabocha, eggplant, zucchini, and onions. Then she mixed up some olive oil, dried basil, parsley, thyme, ground sage, salt and pepper, and tossed it with all the veggies. Next, she spread everything out on two baking sheets and baked them in the oven at around 200C for 40 minutes, checking near the end to see whether the kabocha was done by poking them with a toothpick.

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The whole dish was supermegadelicious and I can’t even count how many servings of this I had. Before everything went into the oven, it looked like sooo much food and I didn’t think we’d be able to finish it all, but by the end of dinner the dish was practically all gone. Roasted veggies all da way.

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The full spread.

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The salad bowl. Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, balsamic-olive oil dressing. Simple but good.

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Yunseo brought over some vegan japchae that her mom made– delicious as always.

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Nachos and spicy salsa

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Pickled cucumbers from my umma.

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Floating flower candles for ambiance… lol

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We also made some ‘Fiesta Salad‘ using a recipe from the Big Oven app on my phone. We left a few ingredients out and added a bunch of my own, and it turned out really yummy. The original recipe says to serve it cold, but we enjoyed it warm~ Here’s what we did:

Fiesta Rice & Beans (adapted from this recipe)

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 14-oz can black beans, drained
1 14-oz can corn, drained
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp molasses
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp curry powder
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions and garlic for a minute, and then add the mushrooms. Cook until the onions are slightly caramelized and the mushrooms are browned. Remove from heat and place into a large bowl. Add the rice, beans, spices and all other ingredients. Mix. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Eat up, son! *Ps. It’s especially good with a squeeze of sriracha sauce on top. (What doesn’t taste better with sriracha?)

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Little bit of everything on a plate.

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Here you can see the strawberry jam inside. :) Apologies for this gawdawful lighting.

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Not to get all mushy and sentimental, but I just wanna say that I love my chica chingus! It’s times like these when I’m reminded of how good it is to have girl friends. When I moved to Korea back in late 2006, I didn’t have a single friend here, but now I have some wonderful gals in my life that are there for me and are so supportive and encouraging. Grateful!

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The view from my patio. Like my christmas lights? :)

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Aiights. I’m gonna finish up my last-minute packing now and head to the airport soon. I’ll probably still blog a little bit while I’m in Cali and post a few FB updates here and there, but not as often as usual…. Anyway, see you on the other side! Ta ta~~!

Feel free to Leave a comment!

6 Comments

  1. oooh, you’re getting even better with your cake decorating skillz!! :P and, nice night shots!

  2. Such pretty cakes! And gorgeous food!

    Anyhooo, I actually just wanted to say “Safe travels” and have tons of fun in LA today!

  3. Gorgeous post all-round. :) The light from the candles made the food look even prettier. That dangling chapchae even took on an air of mystery and reminded me of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. ;-)

    I have to compliment you on your cakes. They look really professional, and that’s hard. You just get better and better!

    Have a great time in California. I’ll look forward to seeing what on your “vegan bucket list” you get to eat while you’re there. (I’m betting on “all of it.”)

    • thanks Lu! I’ve arrived in Cali~ just taking it easy for a bit. Thanks for noticing my improving cake skillz! :)

  4. Looking delish! You seriously need to open a cafe here in Korea!

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