Friday, October 31, 2008

88th Birthday !!

Today I made a cake for my dear friend Gayla's grandpa. He turned 88!! Amazing, and he looks not a day older than 65.
In the Japanese culture, 88 is a very special age. The two kanji characters, "bei" which means rice, and "ju" which means longevity and good fortune, are combined ~ "bei-ju" to celebrate someone who's turning 88's long fortunate life. I got these kanjis from my mom, by the way, I am not one of those smart culture savvy people who just knows these things.
I researched trees in Japan, and found that one of the three most famous trees is a weeping cherry tree, which I thought was so beautiful. My mom has one in her front yard and it just so happens that it blooms on my wedding anniversary. It's really cool. Back to the tree thing- I read that the samurai believed that sitting under a cherry tree while eating was good luck, and also it was extremely lucky to have a cherry blossom fall off of the tree into the food you were eating. So, I thought it would be symbolic to have blossoms that "fell" off the tree scattered on top of the cake. I hope they enjoyed eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. I'm definitely making another tree cake for my mom.

~~ Happy Birthday !!! ~~

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy 50th Makoto ! Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!

We have friends who we met through preschool a few years ago, Michiru and Makoto. Their two little girls are so beautiful and very sweet. Michiru had a surprise birthday party for Makoto's 50th today! What a wonderful wife :)
They are avid wine enthusiasts, and had some wonderful wine for us to taste. Thanks you guys!!
So, I decided that a wine cake would be a perfect way to celebrate Makoto's birthday, and I found his Japanese character for his name, and made him his own bottle of wine. I put the wine cake in a box made out of cake and painted to look like wood. Then my daughter and I shaved white chocolate and placed it around the bottle to simulate the packing straw. Last, I added his year of birth on the side of the box. 1958, a very good year!

~ Leemo (Nemo) Cake ~

I made this cake for our friend Chase, for his fifth birthday. He is the sweetest little guy! He calls it the "Leemo cake" ~ so cute! I even got two hugs from him for this cake! Amazing to me, since my own son won't hug me unless I bribe him with m&ms.
I used two new techniques on this cake. One, I carved the shell of the sea turtle before I iced and fondanted it. I saw it done on the food network cake challenge.
The other technique I also saw on another food network challenge, using fondant over rice krispies and sculpting it. This one I saw on the Dr. Seuss challenge. It was much easier than I anticipated, and the fishies turned out better than I expected. I was very proud of this cake! And, my daughter even made the starfish and covered it with fondant and painted it herself! I am so proud of my new apprentice!
Even though it took me 12 hours to make, it was so worth it for the hugs and appreciation from Chase!

~ Happy Birthday Chase !! ~

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back to School !!

My baby brother has gone back to school in Irvine. We miss him so much! Hope school is going good for him, I think he only has a year and a half left?
To encourage him to study hard and triumph over the many hours he will spend reading and cramming through those heavy college textbooks, I thought it would be a good beginning to a new school year if he devoured this cake the way he will devour all that knowledge.
I downloaded the official "seal" of the University of Irvine, and painted it onto a round piece of fondant, which I then affixed to the front of this gold-paged book.
The book itself is painted in a bluish purple metallic luster dust, which made it shine and look pretty :)
Study hard, Eric !!!