Today marks my 8th Blogiversary. Eight years since I began My Island Bistro Kitchen food blog. My, how time does fly!
In previous years, I marked this day with some kind of special sweet treat. You can check those out by clicking on the links at the end of this posting. It has occurred to me that I have never celebrated the occasion with a simple Cream Tea. And, regular followers of my blog will know I love anything related to a tea event! So, a Cream Tea it is to celebrate my 8th Blogiversary! Continue reading A Cream Tea to Celebrate 8th Blogiversary→
Seven years ago, today, I created My Island Bistro Kitchen Food Blog. On this, my 7th Blogiversary, I am going to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to three people who were instrumental in inspiring my love of working with food and in cultivating my culinary skills.
First, my mother. She never shooed me away when she was preparing food. I’d see the yellow melamine bowl and Rubbermaid spatula appearing and I’d immediately find my little apron and pull a kitchen chair to the counter, not wanting to miss a minute of the fun! Not once did my mother ever tell me to go off and play instead of standing at her elbow as she prepared food. Rather, she’d let me stir whatever was being made and would explain the order in which the ingredients were to be added. Once the mixture got to the point that it needed a little more muscle than I had, my mother would take over and I’d still stand by her side, watching and absorbing all the steps and learning. Sweet culinary memories.
Second, my grandmother. She was, by no means, a fancy cook but what she prepared was mighty tasty. She had a really large wooden pastry board that she’d heave on to the pantry table. I loved when it was molasses or sugar cookie baking day because I always got to cut out the cookies that Gram would bake in her wood stove oven. And, when she would be making the Christmas Scotch cookies, I’d sit in her rocking chair with the big brown crockware bowl on my knee and cream her homemade butter. I still have her floral flour sifter (still works like a charm) and her small collection of cookie cutters (she would be beyond thrilled that I kept them and still prize them). I remember well the day she coached me through making my first batch of bread at the age of 13. She was so incredibly proud that day that I wondered how we’d ever fit this petite woman through the door!
Third, my high school home economics teacher. Young and fresh out of university, we hit the jackpot when an enthusiastic home economics teacher arrived at our rural high school when I was in grade 9. Super organized and always arriving at class with a solid lesson plan, she solidified my love of learning about, and preparing, foods. I literally spent hours pouring over my class notes. And, I still have some of the teacher’s recipes from foods we made in class!
These three people may never have realized the influence they had on my lifelong love of everything culinary but each certainly played a key role. So, for that reason, I am acknowledging their role in how this food blogger and passionate home cook became a lifelong foodie.
Someone probably inspired your love of food, cooking, and/or baking. Who was your biggest influencer or culinary mentor?
To check out my previous Blogiversary celebrations, click on the links below:
Five years ago today, January 18, 2012, I established my food blog, My Island Bistro Kitchen. Where did those five years go – they have just flown by! Time flies when you’re having fun, they say! So, today, I celebrate my 5th blogiversary!
I attempt to keep the recipes I develop and share real — nothing too wild and wacky. I am mindful of the different levels of culinary skills and food budgets that followers may have. While I do try to provide some newer, upscale recipes, it has been my experience over the past five years that the most popular recipes tend to be the traditional dishes that call for common ingredients and are not overly complicated or time-consuming to make. Where possible, I try to use locally produced food ingredients from right here in Prince Edward Island. And, for added interest, I continue to include stories about Island food producers and local culinary events.
To celebrate my five-year anniversary, I have made a cake and decorated it in the trendy “naked cake” style. Naked cake means that very little, if any, frosting is used on the sides of the cake allowing much of the cake itself to be visible. In fact, even less frosting is used on one of these cakes than I would normally use to crumb coat a cake I would completely cover with frosting! The absence of a lot of frosting allows the texture, color, and filling in the cake to show. This is a style currently favored by many brides, probably for its romantic and casual look and feel. This style also looks very nostalgic and has a vintage air about it.
Naked cakes are very non-pretentious and, in my opinion, do not require a lot of cake decorating skill. If you can spread butter on bread, you can decorate a naked cake! Perfection is not a goal in the application of minimal frosting that characterizes this style of cake! The rustic look allows a cake topper to stand out and be the focal point because there is no fancy frosting or a cake covered in piped roses or frosting ruffles to compete for the limelight. Garnishes for these types of cakes usually involve real or natural elements such as berries, fruit, or as I have done with this cake, fresh flowers. Sometimes, chocolate or caramel is drizzled over the top and down the sides of the cake.
Cakes decorated in this style have a very natural look to them. In fact, with dark-colored cakes and a slim swipe of white frosting, I think they almost look a bit like birch bark. When used on lighter toned cakes, the effect can resemble a white wash look.
This is a good type of decorating to use if the cake is for someone who does not like a lot of frosting that is the hallmark of traditionally-decorated celebratory cakes. In fact, some naked cakes sport only frosting on the top of the cake and in between the layers. Now, those are real naked cakes!
The disadvantage of this style of decorating is that the cake can dry out rather quickly. When completely frosted, the frosting acts as a seal, to help keep the cake moist. Without complete coverage of frosting, care must be taken that the cake does not dry out. I recommend frosting the cake just before serving or, if it must be done in advance, store it in an airtight cake storer/caddy.
The “naked cake” is not a new style as it has been around for a few years now but it is a cake decorating style that has gained traction and this trend shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. While it is not a style for everyone’s taste, it is an option to add variety to cake decorating.
Thank you to those faithful followers of My Island Bistro Kitchen food blog who have been with me from the start. Thanks also to those who have joined along the way. If you are new to “the Bistro”, a hearty warm welcome! I hope all will continue to follow “the Bistro” into the future as I have more great recipes in the hopper and under construction and some stories in the plans!
To view other cakes and cupcakes that have been part of my earlier blogiversaries, click on the links below.
Today, I celebrate my third blogiversary, three years blogging about food. For those of you who are regular followers of my blog, you’ll notice I often focus on food that is produced in my home province of Prince Edward Island on the East Coast of Canada and I frequently features stories about Island food producers. As I have said countless times, we may be Canada’s smallest province but we sure do produce some mighty fine food! Along with top quality food products to work with, Island-produced food gives me great inspiration to cook, bake, and blog.
So, some “eye candy” to celebrate the blogiversary.
I live in a winter climate so I chose ice blue for the cupcake frosting, almost a Tiffany blue.
I like the turquoise-colored frosting against the chocolate cupcakes encased in the silver foil liners. There are many pretty paper cupcake liners on the market but I have yet to discover the trick to keeping the oil/butter from seeping through and spoiling the look of them. That’s one reason why I like the foil liners – they stay clean.
The cupcakes are themed around snowflakes and ice crystals. Here’s a close-up of the detail.
I spent some time playing with the lighting today so these cupcakes starred in many photos! (They were very patient subjects!)
One of the things I like most about cupcakes is that they are each a little mini canvas to work with. They are also more casual than a cake and each guest gets his/her own mini cake. As well, they are size and portion-controlled and don’t need to be served on a plate!
They may be a more casual option to a celebratory cake but that doesn’t mean cupcakes can’t be dressed up for the party!
Thanks for stopping by “the Bistro” today and celebrating my third blogiversary with me! Cheers!
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