Another Day Another Dollar – OR – How to Break Out of the Monotony of Work

So work has been super crazy and super stressful. Sometimes when the going gets tough, the tough get going….

to the fridge, where often tasty treats are lurking.

Lets see, yoghurt, peanut butter, cheese, jelly…

hang on. What kind of jelly is that?

Co-workers mug jelly!

Ok so i’ve been watching too much The Office and i’m not particularly original. But that didn’t stop many laughs being had when my co worker arrived on Monday to find his mug encased in a pool of strawberry ┬ájelly. After a particularly stressful week/term/endless haze of stress I felt like something needed to be done to relieve my office of all the pent up pressure that has been accumulating. So, A and I snuck in with…

four packets of jelly, a giant bowl and a mug

We made the jelly according to the instructions on the packet

Immerse the mug

and top it up with more jelly. Leave it to set overnight and BAM!

Workplace prank.

Who said you had to be sensible all the time? Spending so much time around adolescent boys has clearly adversely affected my adult sensibilities. But, at the end of the day it’s always best to be young at heart. So, while this most has little culinary merit, it includes two of the best ingredients for a happy life

Jelly + Fun

And what could be better than that?

So, dear readers, what have you been up to in my absence? Played any pranks lately?

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Did you ever read this book when you were little? It’s fantastic because it tells it like it is. Some days are just terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. You know the ones, where you wake up late after sleeping through your alarm, all the hot water is gone and you still need to wash the suds out of your hair then you stub your toe on the vanity while poking yourself in the eye with your mascara wand. Then you get to work and you have an extra class to supervise, its raining and blowing a gale and the kids are all cranky and crazy-like. You forget your laptop and run out of petrol.

So thats not exactly how my day went, but it’s pretty damn close. If you include hitting my head on the car as I got in in the morning. Man, that HURT!

All through the day I was scanning my brain for something warm and gooey to make for a dessert. A little something that I had all the ingredients for and would definitely put a positive end to my day. I had a flashback to the Masterchef Tarte Tatin which would do me a favour by 1. being totally tasty and 2. using up some left over apples and a lonely sheet of puff pastry.

But I forgot, I was having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And unfortunately, the only thing that can end a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is going to bed and waking up the next day. What should have been a fairly quick and simple dessert turned into… well..

this.

Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Burnt sugar, old, weird pastry and general failure.

At least there’s always the promise of tomorrow… and a foolproof cup of hot milo.

So, my lovelies, what do you do to try to turn a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day around? And does it succeed?

What is this and what do I do with it?

I’m an impulse shopper. I’m not addicted to shopping, I don’t think about it all the time, I don’t fantasize about buying pretty things (all that often…) but I do buy plenty of things on a whim.Thats how I ended up with the item below

On a trip to Dijons wholesale to buy some hard to find ingredients for my culinary exploits I came across this strangely labelled bottle. A jokingly pointed to it on the shelf and after reading the label “Gelatinous Mutant” we had a bit of a giggle. Then I popped it in the shopping basket. I still don’t know what it is, and I still don’t know what to do with it.

As far as I can see it is some sort of jellied coconut strips? Either that or jellified tadpoles, but I don’t think thats very likely… well, at least, I hope it’s not!

But in the interests of my curiousity and the overcrowding of my pantry, could one of you lovely readers let me know what on earth this stuff actually is and what I can do with it? I’m hoping to make some sort of delicious dessert?

(i’m also secretly hoping that the “mutant” part might give me special powers like in X Men)

New Car? Check! Green Ps? Check! New Car Green Ps Cake? Check!

So far this year has been gooooood. I feel more like a proper grown up every day. Ha ha. Only joking! But I have been having a bit of a run of good luck and am also reaping the rewards of a bit of hard work. A few major goals have been ticked off so lets have a tally of where things stand in Katieland

Tally of Amazingness

Full time job – Yes!

New car – Yes!

Green P License – Yes!

General feeling of good health and wellbeing – Yes!

And what better way to celebrate all this newfound goodness but with cake. As if that was a surprise to you! But first we need to narrow our focus. The subject of this cake was always going to by the acquisition of my new car and green Ps. Why? Because it was only a few years ago that I was adamant that I was never going to get my license. Ask the boy. Ask anyone! I had no need for one, and certainly had no need for a car. I have the luxury of living on two very well serviced public transport routes as well as having an army of very obliging friends and family who all drive. Somehow, the prospect of having a lower license than the students im teaching scared me deeply. Hence, the green ps, and…

This baby! And yes, that is me at the wheel.

I’ve been working on my fondant skills and I have to say that working with a different type of fondant really helped the process here. I bought some fondant from Cake Decorating Central in Castle Hill where the sales assistants were super helpful.

Not a bad price either (I think?) The brand was Bakels and it was much smoother than the Orchard white fondant that I have used previously. The fondant didn’t stick to the mat or the pin when I rolled it out and it was just generally much much nicer to work with.

But first things first. I started with the standard Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Layer Cake and used chocolate buttercream to fill and dirty ice it. I thought I would be sneaky and try to get three layers out of the cake.

*cough* yes, I cut the layers too thin. Yes, it broke.

But I fixed it! I was always good at jigsaws

So then we went through the usual steps…

Roll out the fondant and cover the cake

Trim off the edges so its all pretty

Add a nice windy road (they’re so fun to drive on!)

Have a crack at making a car.

Now I know that my car is pretty dodgy, but cut me some slack! First time car sculptor here!

Add some pretty flowers and you’re set!

And yes, I added some little green P plates to my car.

Keeping it real.

I did learn some lessons from my last foray into cake decorating, namely

1. Roll the fondant slightly thicker

2. Less icing in the dirty icing stage

3. Don’t try piping again until I have some practice under my belt ­čśŤ

So, my lovelies, what have you achieved so far this year? Tell me something you’re proud of!! Then make a cake to celebrate. You know you want to.