Bow Tie Themed Birthday

My friend Esmond from work celebrated his birthday in August.  His lovely wife, Ju, knowing how well liked he is around the office, contacted me about making a cake for him to be shared by all his peers.

After hearing some of Ju’s ideas for a cake theme, I decided to go with a bow tie theme in honour of the times Esmond showed up to work with his.

 2 layer vanilla cake with strawberry filling

IMG_3242

My attempt at a fondant bow-tie.  Blue, of course.

IMG_3244

Note: Esmond does not wear a blue polka dot bow tie, he has much better style.

IMG_3249 IMG_3252 IMG_3253

Now, this cake was a surprise for Esmond and I needed the help of a few in the office to distract him so we could quickly “decorate”, gather everyone to his desk and have the cake waiting.  This was the reaction as he made his way back from the other side of the office.

I’d say he was surprised!

IMG_3262 IMG_3268

Happy Birthday Es!! =)

Bacon Cheese Bread

I had a week of being slightly bacon obsessed.  Bacon made its way into almost everything I was eating.  See previous post as an example.  I decided to make a cheesy, bacon bread.

It began with caramelizing onions.  The key to caramelizing onions is to thinly chop, add a little oil, may sure not to  over crowd the pan and keep on a low heat.  I had mine going for about 45 minutes.  Probably could have kept them going longer, but I was getting impatient.  They had that great caramelized sweetness I enjoy, so I was fine with taking it off the heat.

IMG_1311

I had prepped my bacon, taking about 8 strips and cooking them to a crisp and then sliced into little pieces.  I set them aside for a moment.

IMG_1314

In a bowl, I mixed my dry ingredients.  3 cups of flour, 1 tbsp baking soda,  2 tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt.  In another bowl I have buttermilk and oil.  I also shredded some jalapeño havarti and set aside.

Now, I combined everything.

IMG_1315 IMG_1316 IMG_1317 IMG_1318

I lined a loaf pan with wax paper to keep the mixture from sticking and then poured the batter in.

IMG_1319 IMG_1320

Into the oven at 350 for about an hour.  Keep on eye on it.  You want it to be baked in the centre but nice and golden all around.

IMG_1323 IMG_1324

The finished product, cooled and then sliced.  Look at that bacon goodness.

IMG_1327

Fresh out of the oven, it was cheesy and I loved the sweetness of the onion against the bacon saltiness.  Made for a great breakfast, toasted a little bit the next morning.  =)