Happy Monday Foodies! I hope your weekend was filled with food and fun. Nick and I ended up back in Pennsylvania this weekend, which was not our original plan. However, last weekend our little check engine light came on as we were leaving Lancaster county. The system BMW installs in cars allows the owner to manually access a screen [on the navigation system] that will tell you exactly what is malfunctioning. Well, our system was saying everything was okay, but we knew better. BMW told us as long as the service engine light was orange we could use the car with caution. We did just that. The one nice thing about taking our car up to York BMW is the relationship Nick and his father have with the guys there. This family goes through cars like nobody’s business and, because of that, Nick has a great relationship with the service and sales guys and feels comfortable working with them instead of somebody locally. Eventually we will build a relationship with a D.C. BMW dealership, but for something like this we decided to tack on another couple of hours and just deal with the guys we already know.
There were two more added benefits of driving all the way up to Pennsylvania this weekend!
First, we were able to see Chantelle & Keith again briefly before they went on their new journey to New England. I love them!
Second, we got to see Joe’s new car. Who is Joe? Well, Joe just happens to be Nick’s dad and he is an amazing guy. Seriously. He is brilliant and honest, compassionate and incredibly thoughtful. He’s worked hard his entire life and he built an incredible name for himself in the business world. In fact, he is currently trying to finalize some very special purchases for his future after retirement. One of those is a brand new BMW. He had an M3, which was beautiful and, if we could have financially afforded to, Nick & I would have loved to have that car.
In addition to a brand new car, he also just purchased a brand new boat, which everybody is super excited about. One of his dreams was to have a boat and to have the freedom to sail around enjoying retirement with his wife. He officially owns a brand new boat as of Friday. And next Saturday he will be the proud new owner of a beautiful BMW 535 GT. And, when I say BEAUTIFUL, I mean absolutely GORGEOUS!
Not only will he be living the life with a new car & boat, he soon will have a beautiful new condo in Florida, where golf and boating will be an easy pasttime & he will be able to avoid the bitter winters of Pennsylvania. His life is FLYING with new adventures and everybody is so excited for him.
Sorry about that tangent.
Anyway, Nick and I were able to swoon over his new car when we were at the dealership. I want it. He’s going to love it.
I bet you’re all wondering where the good part of this post is, right? Well, I wanted to fill you in on our weekend, so forgive me! I do have a great post for you today. It is Meatless Monday, after all. I have a great creation from one of my very favorite people. Yep, you guessed it – Jess! One of the women that Jess works with spent two whole weeks at the beach and Jess created a Welcome Back Beach Cake and Cupcakes for her co-worker! How awesome is she? I bet you all wish you worked with Jess now, too!
I know I do.
Let’s get down to business. Here is what you will need for the cake:
- Cake mix (2-8 inch rounds)
- 2 containers of vanilla icing
- Vanilla wafer cookies or graham crackers, crushed
- Teddy grahams
- Goldfish crackers
- Hershey treasures candy
- Green fondant or green fruit by the foot
- Cocoa puffs
- Breadsticks or wafer cookies
- Blue decorating gel
- Food coloring
- Green chocolate
- Bake the cake as directed. If you decide on white cake, I suggest dying it blue, to really give it that ocean feel!
- Allow the cake to cool completely, then level the cake. I have a cake leveler (which you can find at Wal Mart) or a large knife will work.
Tint one can of the icing blue and frost layer in between the 2 cakes, the sides and one half of the top. Tint one half of the second can of icing tan.
Frost the other half of the top with the tan frosting.
- Place the rest of the tan icing in a ziplock bag, cut a small opening in the corner, and pipe a strip of icing around the blue half of the cake and around the bottom as a border. It doesn't have to look fancy, because you'll be covering it.
- Crush the graham crackers or cookies to make sand. Use it to cover the half of the top covered in the tan icing, as well at the borders on the top and bottom.
- Take the blue decorating gel and cover the blue frosted half of the top of the cake (it looks more like water).
Now time to start adding the fun stuff!!
- Take the rest of the white icing and separate it so you have some different colors - you really only need a tablespoon of each of several colors to start making the clothing on the teddy grahams. I suggest one of the colors be black so that you can make eyes on the fish as well as the teddy grahams.
- Take the different color icings you have and make some bathing suits for your teddy grahams, include eyes and a nose.
- Take the fruit by the foot and cut it into leaf shapes to go up the side. (I used some left over fondant leaves that I had, so my pic looks a little different). To make the leaves for the trees, place some of the green chocolate into a ziploc bag and then microwave for 10 seconds at a time, massaging after each round until melted.
- Then cut a corner off of the bag and pipe leaves onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. To get a more real look, line some wooden spoons on the wax paper and pipe the leaves over top of the spoons. Place in the fridge until set. (I didn't have green chocolate, so I made fondant leaves.)
- Use melted chocolate to attach the leaves to the top of the breadstick or wafer cookie.
- Allow to set before adding additional leaves. Trust me when I tell you that melted chocolate can act like glue in cake decorating.
- Also attach some cocoa puffs to the tops of trees for coconuts. Place some at the bottom of the trees in the sand as well.
- To make the treasure chest, place one Hershey treasures candy in the sand on the side of the cake, flat side up. Put some yellow icing on top, and place a second candy on top. Pipe some straps on the top.
- Place the goldfish crackers on the side, with some white dots of icing for bubbles.
- Once the leaves are set, you can place the trees into the cake and serve!
- Keep the cake at room temp. If you are using fondant, try your best to keep it out of the humidity. It will wilt very quickly.
Now For the cupcakes:
- Cake mix (22 - 24 standard cupcakes)
- 1 container vanilla frosting
- Swedish fish
- Fruit by the foot
- Graham crackers or vanilla wafer cookies, crushed
- Blue sugar (You don't have to go buy it. Place some sugar in a ziploc bag with a couple drops of blue food coloring and mix it around)
- Bake your cupcakes as directed.
- Again, if using a white cake mix, dye it blue.
- About halfway through cooking time, put 2 swedish fish in each cupcake (if you put it in at the beginning, they will melt too much).
- Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
- Tint one half of the container of icing blue.
- Cover one half of each cupcake with blue icing, the other half with the white icing.
- Cover the blue half of each cupcake with the blue sugar and the white half of the cupcake with the crushed graham crackers/wafer cookies.
- Fold a piece of fruit striped gum to look like a chair and place in the sand part of the cupcake. Fruit stripe is easy to bend and move around. When I made them, using a whole piece didn't work and they unfolded a bit, so I just used half a piece for some.
- Place a gumball next to the chair.
- Take an umbrella and place it behind the chair.
These babies look so awesome! I wish I had a beach cake & a bunch of beach cupcakes. These look so easy to make. Don't let all of the instructions weigh you down; they are just detailed, which is awesome for such a great work of art! I hope that you give them a try.
Until Next Time,
Happy Beach Cupcakin'