Seafoam Frosted Birthday Cake

Sounds awful doesn’t it? Seafoam frosting? What the heck, I don’t think it is meant to look or taste like seafoam. Bad marketing, I guess.

Because the reality of this frosting is that it is incredibly delicious and luxuriously creamy, but fat free. Compared to most frostings, this one is actually not completely horrible for your health, even though it is so decadent tasting. Still, while there were oooooh’s and aaaaah’s at the table, the consensus was that the girls and S like my mom’s orange buttercream frosting better (the kind with butter and powdered sugar). Nonetheless, the plates were practically licked clean. And, the cake was so darn dramatic looking.

I made a few changes to my usual yellow cake, which is adapted from the Magnolia Bakery recipe for vanilla cupcakes. We were unified in our delight with the changes. The cake was more tender and moist because I added some acid. I was inspired by the chocolate cupcakes that I made a couple of weeks ago – they have apple cider vinegar in them. Those cupcakes are incredibly tender and yet sturdy, with a delicious crumb. So, I added apple cider vinegar with the milk in the recipe for vanilla cupcakes and substituted some baking soda for baking powder to react with the acid.

Here is the other thing: having jam between the layers of a cake makes an enormous difference to the flavor and texture of the cake. Raspberry is our jam of choice.
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Vietnamese Chicken Salad

Fish Sauce
Make this!

Vietnamese Chicken Salad is delicious! No batteries while I was cooking or eating and thus, no photos of the delicious salad. But you need to have fish sauce – pictured above.

This salad was reminiscent in flavor to Green Papaya Salad. But, without the effort of trying to find green papayas and shred them. I don’t know whether this salad is “authentic”, but it is healthy, delicious and very easy to prepare.

I used this recipe for Vietnamese Chicken Salad from Cooking Light magazine, exactly, except that I used purple cabbage because I had it in the house. L would love this salad. J would probably turn up her nose, but might deign to try it because she craves Vietnamese cuisine. The recipe says that it serves 6 (215 calories per serving), but that may refer to relatively small, non-main course portions. I made about 2/3 of the recipe and S & I polished it off for dinner. That means you are eating a lot of bulk, raw vegetables. You feel quite full, but the salad is very light.

If you have never purchased fish sauce, it can be found in the International aisle with Thai foods. It lasts pretty much forever in the refrigerator and is great with stir fried noodles. The brand above is not meant to be an endorsement. That was simply what was available!

Kitchen Sink Salad

Quinoa Corn Salad
With just the two of us at home, I haven’t had to do much grocery shopping and I don’t want to over buy and waste food.

I happened to have a few ears of cooked corn left from our dinner party on Sunday night and we had some leftover meat and fish, that we brought home from a restaurant, from Tuesday night. So, last night I thought, how can I use this stuff up and how can I make something pretty healthy and delicious?

I took stock of the ingredients that I had on hand: lots of vegetables including the corn, sugar snap peas, carrots, celery, cucumber, and yellow pepper, cabbage, fennel, basil, among others. And, in the pantry: red quinoa, regular quinoa, rice, couscous, pasta. Plus, there was a half lemon sitting on the countertop, waiting to be used.

I definitely wanted to use the corn and I thought the red quinoa would be a good contrasting color and complementary flavor.
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