Mickey Mouse Birthday

In writing this post, all I can think of is…..MY BABY IS 2!!! How did this happen? How did my littlest monkey turn into a BIG Boy?

Ok, I’m done! I put my Mommy emotions away now! Now back to the Big Boy birthday celebration.

We decided to celebrate the big occasion by doing a low key family birthday party & then head to Disneyland. Clearly, Mickey Mouse had to be the theme. Not only was it appropriate for a soon to be Disneyland trip, but the little guy is truly obsessed with Mickey Mouse.

*Cute personalized shirt was purchase on Etsy.

As usual, I hit the internet for some inspiration and came up with the below:

*Since we didn’t have an actually “party” I opted to send an email to the family & not do invitations. I then realized, in 20 years Wyatt is going to ask me “Hey Mom, what happened to my 2nd birthday invitation in my baby book”. So… 1 invitation for the baby book will be made in the weeks to come 🙂

As usual, we called upon our beloved, beyond talented Balloon Guy for decorations. He did not fail us!

For the cupcakes, I decided to use my Tres Leche Cake recipe & turn them into cupcakes. In my opinion, they seems a bit heavy & dense but everyone seemed to enjoy them. I’ll work on tweaking the recipe & post my results at that time.

To make the Mickey head top, I used our babycakes Cake Pop Maker.

I used a Chocolate cake mix for the head, mini-marshmellows for the ears, and dipped it all in melted chocolate. Big hit with the kids!

Quick & Tiny celebration, with BIG memories for all of us!


Quiche Lorraine

Pastry Technique – Week 1 – Session 2

I am not one to normally make Quiche, but I sure will now!!!

Quiche Lorraine

Tart Dough (pâte brisée)
50 grams bacon (cubed, cooked to desired texture) -about 1/4 cup
50 grams Gruyère cheese (grated) – about 1/4 cup
125 milliliters whole milk – about 4 1/4 ounces
125 millilititers heavy cream – about 4 1/4 ounces
2 eggs
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground pepper

1. Roll out dough into a circle approx 10″ in diameter and 1/8″ thick. Line a tart pan or ring with the dough and chill.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F.

3. Blind bake the tart shell in the preheated oven until lightly brown. Set aside to cool.

*note, plastic wrap is used in the blind baking picture above. This is heavy duty plastic wrap at the FCI. Normal household plastic wrap will melt in the oven. Use aluminum foil or parchment paper instead.

4. Prepare custard – Mix milk, cream, eggs & seasonings together.

5. In cooled tart shell, add cooked bacon, then grated cheese. Pour custard mixture over the top of bacon & cheese.

6. Bake at 250°F for 20-30 minutes or until custard is set and a knife in the middle comes out clean.

Recipe Source: French Culinary Institute
By Jen Grove

Classic Apple Tart

Pastry Technique – Week 1 – Session 1

First week of Pastry Techniques was beyond exciting!!!! I can feel myself gaining weight by the mere act of walking into class 🙂

After watching the Chef demo & making our own Tart Doughs, we were sent off to make this delicious classic.

Classic Apple Tart

1 tart dough (pâte brisée, pâte sucrée or pâte sablée)*
425 grams apple compote (a little shy of 2 cups)
2-3 apples (peeled, halved, cored, thinly sliced)
Apricot Nappage

Roll tart dough out in a circle, approx. 10″ in diameter & 1/8″ think. Line the tart pan or ring with the dough & chill to set.

Fill the chilled tart with 3/4 of the apple compote. Use the peeled, halved & thinly sliced apples and arrange around the tart. Start from the outside, keep slices close together. Fill the void area under the apple arrangement with small pieces of apple (this prevents the middle from collapsing when baking). Add 2 apple halves on the top to form a circle apple slice (or you could just use a full circle slice). Sprinkle top with sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until crust is brown & apple slices on top are caramelized and tender. Remove tart from over 5 min before finished, brush with melted butter & bake for remaining time.

Let cool, then brush top with Apricot Nappage or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

*You can make your own tart dough or you can just purchase one. A pie crust would work just fine but you may have to add more Apple Compote as a pie crust is a lot deeper than a traditional tart crust.

Recipe Source: French Culinary Institute
Photos: By Jen Grove