Archive for cake

Doing Death Stars

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , on 31 May 2013 by Megan

Last Friday was the 30th anniversary of my favorite, Return of the Jedi. I like to do parties and stuff to commemorate big Star Wars anniversaries, but I couldn’t get anybody to do a party with me. So instead I made some cake pops and iced coffee and watched ROTJ over the phone with a friend of mine.

My lovely workstation!

Small scale Death Star workstation

Because I was basically keeping it simple, I just took the chocolate cake recipe out of the booklet that came with the pop maker. It’s actually really weird to make real batter after mug cakes, because “3/4 cups flour” seems like so much! This batter is the runniest out of all of them, but I finally figured out the best way to pour it out using a glass measuring cup, so this was the most convenient run of this.

Cake pop maker and timer!

Use the timer to count out 5 minutes bake time

They bake for 5 minutes. I could probably get almost a full dozen more pops if it weren’t for how much batter I keep spilling over — but I don’t get that much practice.

DSCN8926

Early batch with extremely uneven sizes

Gordon Ramsay would seriously not approve of their unevenness. Then, after extracting them from the cooker, I dropped them in a bowl of confectioner sugar.

Apply libewally.

Apply libewally!

The idea here was that these would be “unfinished Death Stars,” see? Since they’re round and dark and stuff. It may be a stretch, but this was an epically low-budget, low-effort celebration.

Mini Death Stars a-coolin'

Mini Death Stars a-coolin’

You may ask what those few pariah cake balls are there to the side. Well, okay, since you asked — I thought of this experiment while I was working on this. What if I stuck some caramel filled Rollos into the cake while it was baking?

Caramel-filled chocolate reactor cores?

Caramel-filled chocolate reactor cores?

And I thought, you know, they might be like the Death Star core or something, all melty and caramel. Anyway, I got them in successfully and they baked very well. Unfortunately the problem was that the cake pops wouldn’t come out of the holes and kept separating, so they didn’t look aesthetically pleasing at all.

Not even a little. But flavor taste = sensational!

Not even a little. But flavor taste = sensational!

Despite all that, though, the taste was absolutely amazing. So not a complete flop; definitely something to pursue.

Anyway, after all of that, I loaded up my Imperial mug with mini Death Stars, fixed up some iced coffee, and settled in to watch the best movie ever. Ah. Happy 30th birthday, ROTJ.

A modest but satisfying collection.

A modest but satisfying collection.

Doing Death Stars via Mug Madness.

Advertisements

Party Planner

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , , , , on 10 May 2013 by Megan

Because May is Star Wars parties month, I’d like to call your attention back to the last two parties I’ve done by pointing you in the direction of the posts done on them, and also to reblog this post from HS that I did on some parties I’d like to have in the future.

2009: The 10th Anniversary of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and the first time Michelle came out to visit in Ohio. She and Kristine and I threw the first of several Parties of the Century. Read more (here).

2012: The 10th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and the first time Michelle came to visit in Indiana. She and Kristine and I threw the second Party of the Century. Read about it (here).

The third Party of the Century hasn’t occurred yet. That’s because the 10th anniversary of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith doesn’t happen until May of 2015. But in the meantime, these sorts of things take awhile to plan, especially since I mean for the third party to the best one yet, since, after all, E3 was the best prequel. The guest list includes Kristine, Michelle, and Allison, as well as myself, and even though it’s a couple years away, I’m enjoying the planning process. Besides which, there are other Star Wars milestones coming up. Return of the Jedi, which is my favorite of the original trilogy, celebrates its 30th birthday this May . . . which is why it’s kind of frustrating that my biggest theme party I’ve come up with so far is for Empire Strikes Back! But regardless: these are the next two Star Wars parties I’m working on.

Star Wars Party 3: The Third Gathers

If you count the tauntaun, there will be exactly this many guests at my "party of the century"!

If you count the tauntaun, there will be exactly this many guests at my “party of the century”!

Winter parties are cute. So it must follow that a Star Wars winter party must be freaking adorable; plus there’s so much material to work with! I originally meant this Hoth/Empire Strikes Back-styled party to circle around the release of one of the films to 3D, so that the party could relocate to the tridimensional theater of our choice and then reconvene for the rest of the party on a buzz of lightsabers in 3D. However, the first dampener was that ESB wasn’t due out in theaters again until 2017, followed by the fact that now I have no idea when its 3D release is scheduled. But let that not stand in my way! This party will take place in some wintery month in the near future, and it will be awesome.

Each one a unique work of art!

First of all, let’s hear about the decorations, because every party requires decorations. Your Episode V locales include Hoth, Dagobah, Cloud City, and interiors of the Executor and Millennium Falcon, so action figures and toys from those settings will be the most appropriate. Also, check this out . . . awesome Star Wars snowflakes via Matters of Gray. Remember spending hours folding paper and cutting them into patterns that would vaguely resemble snow crystals? Now they can vaguely resemble iconic Star Wars characters and objects as well! Yes!

Enough with decor. Let’s get on to the food. Food is why we party is it not? I found this great inspiration: if you’re going to have a wintery party, you need to have hot refreshments, and what’s hotter than chocolate? I found this adorable inspiration for a hot chocolate bar on Pinterest (via), and figured with minimal effort, it could be Star Warsdized into a Hoth Chocolate bar. You have all your fixins’ for good cocoa, but I also have a recipe for real hot chocolate (not cocoa: that is, a block of chocolate melted with milk), and we could have a good old crock pot of that. Mostly it’s the fixin’s I’m in to — marshies, cinnamon, peppermint. Need cutesy Star Wars names for them, like “gimer sticks” and “Ugnaught brains,” etc. Also, maybe frozen hot chocolate.

“Hoth” Chocolate Bar

The real piece d’ resistance is, as usual, the cake. Oho! And what a cake I’ve got for you. The most iconic moment in Empire Strikes Back is, you guessed it! The part where Luke hacks off the wampa’s arm. (What do you mean, you thought it was ‘Luke, I am your father’? Who is Luke’s father? WHAT? OH MY GOSH . . . !!) Anyway, I perused the internet until I found a cake worthy of my wintery party, and it’s a gruesomely great severed wampa arm cake (via):

If Luke cutting off the wampa’s arm is foreshadowing Vader cutting off his hand, is the wampa somehow related to Luke?

Now, everyone goes on about how gross this cake looks, but I assure you, I intend to improve it by not using coconut. I know, I know, coconut is disgusting, and besides that, a full third of my guests are allergic. That isn’t why you thought it was gross? What? But . . . but it’s orange. Why is that gross?! The original blogger said one person ate the cake with eyes closed because it was too gross to look at, and I gotta tell you, I’m flummoxed. I may have closed my eyes every time Han cuts the tauntaun open until I was about 25 years old, but even I’m not squeamish enough to have my gag reflex tripped by . . . orange blood. *eyebrow* I don’t even know what guava jelly is. (Incidentally the wampa obviously didn’t bleed, but whatevs.) I intend to make it a red velvet with raspberry jelly, because when you’re making severed arms, it’s only reasonable that you use red velvet. Everyone knows this. And then I’m going to make white cotton candy to use for the fur. I think that’s a great cake.

cloudpops

Like twins separated at birth!

Also up for grabs on the dessert table, Boba Fett ice cream sandwiches, chocolate Han in Carbonite, pretzel lightsabers, and Cloud City cake pops. Because Cloud City looks like a cake pop, see? It’s abstract, okay! Because of the nature of the party is to be mainly hot chocolatey, I’m not worried about there being any sort of a main course, just desserts.

Naturally for entertainment — you have to ask? — there will be the watching of Empire Strikes Back and possibly lightsaber dueling it up with pool noodles decked with duck tape. You never know. Sabacc? Who here knows how to play Sabacc? We could use the deeds/money from Star Wars Monopoly for stakes. I know I wanna con somebody out of a Tibanna gas mine. Maybe weeding out all the Episode V questions from the Trivial Pursuit game is a thing.

Star Wars Party 4: Thirdenniel Extravagenza

That’s Right!

Episode III comes out in three-dee this September, but my party’s not slated until 2015, which is ten years since its release. That gives me plenty of time to really make this a party of epic proportions. It’s in very preliminary stages, but here’s a quick overview of some things taking shape.

Courtesy At Second Street

I found a really inspiring post on At Second Street, which pointed me to some inspiring murals on Painted Daisies; the idea is to cover the windows, etc. to make it feel like you’re inside a spaceship. Black plastic tablecloths, paint, stickers to complete the effect. “Coolglow.com” sells glowing paint for $10 a bottle, which looks like regular paint until you turn out the lights, and then it glows; the paint can then be used for stars and to recreate the crawl and opening titles. (They also sell glowing drink-ware and mini glowing lightsabers, so this is a site to hang on to for any kind of Star Wars party supply. Glow gives it that extra kick.) Another fun decor idea, courtesy of At Second Street, is to stick toothpicks in those little holes in action figures’ feet and use them for decorations. I also have my entire collection of Episode III merch, including posters and action figures like my enormous boga figure.

On to food! Drumroll, please, as I officially unveil the topic for the cake your friends will all be talking about for decades to come, the Episode III birthday cake:

"Why don't you try something more difficult next time?"

“Why don’t you try something more difficult next time?”

Obi-Wan’s starfighter being attacked by buzz droids! No, I don’t have the mechanics of how to make all of the buzz droids, but I’m going to use the cake balls for the domes. Anyway, there’s the cake. I have a recipe for a delicious-sounding lava juice, because naturally there’s got to be lava somewhere at an E3 party. I also want to give some more thought to main courses — “Han-burgers” are extremely over-done, I think, but I want to do something clever.

Entertainment obviously focuses around watching Episode III. There’s always Mad Libs and Obsessed With Star Wars to play, too. Plenty of time to work that out.
Party Planner via Hundredaire Socialite.

Science Fiction: The Confusing Frontier

Posted in Spotlight with tags , , , , , on 10 February 2013 by Megan

I really want to keep content coming in . . . to both of my blogs here. Which is why I hit upon this thing of using some old college essays for space filler when necessary. Here’s one from HS on Star Wars vs. Star Trek — and it’s not what you think.

I present a wildly successful (to me, anyway) early essay I did my freshman year of college. The following appeared in this form in a 2006 edition of Knights Write, Urbana University’s campus literary journal. This is an essay I do plan to expand eventually for my book of essays entitled Penguins.

Science Fiction: The Confusing Frontier

My mother uses “Star Wars” to describe anything in the science fiction genre. One afternoon, she called me up on the intercom and said, “Megan, Star Wars is on TV. Do you want to watch it?” I eagerly ran downstairs, anticipating a chance to see my favorite movie on television (in spite of owning it, watching it on TV is somehow a special experience), but instead of the evil Empire, I was confronted by Captain Piccard. “Mom, this is Star Trek,” I said patiently, then added, “The Next Generation.”

“Isn’t it the same thing?” she asked innocently.

This humorous situation exemplifies a difficulty many Star Wars addicts and “Trekkies” must face: because both of these epics have ‘Star’ in the title and are set in space, most people assume they are interchangeable and never understand what the problem is when they treat them as such. They never know why they are getting scolded for calling Darth Vader a Klingon agent or why, when they call Han Solo’s prize vessel the Enterprise, some lightsaber-wielding people get bent out of shape. In this age of communication, confusion rules supreme because Trekkies and Star Wars addicts can’t understand the inability of the uninitiated to tell the difference between these two things which are, to them, vastly dissimilar, while everybody else dismisses their objections because they are only overreacting sci-fi buffs.

Star Trek was an immensely popular, if short-lived, television series created by Gene Roddenberry; its last episode aired in 1969. It was innovative and featured earthlings in our galaxy on a quest for unknown and unexplored territory. Star Wars was the brainchild of director George Lucas and in 1977 hit theaters—and the people of the world—like a 2×4 between the eyes. It was set “long, long ago,” instead of in the future, and “far, far away,” instead of in our cosmic backyard.

The main characters of Star Wars are Luke Skywalker, the blond-haired farm boy who whined his way into our hearts; Han Solo, the gruff space pirate; and Leia, the politically passionate princess whose planet gets blown up. Obi-Wan Kenobi is the wise old mentor who oversees all happenings with subtle tones of The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Darth Vader remains the most evil, and asthmatic, villain audiences have ever seen. Good and evil battle through these beloved characters and bring to life vaguely Joseph Campbell-ish storylines that are simultaneously familiar and new.

On the other hand, Star Trek features an almost dizzying array of characters, goodies and baddies alike. The biggest evil fish in the pond are the Klingons of the Klingon Empire, though they certainly aren’t the only nasties out in space. An almost countless number of wicked aliens exist, new ones appearing in almost every episode: bad aliens with worse physical features. These evildoers try to perform all kinds of heinous acts against the intrepid humans, and it is the noble members of Starfleet who must stop them. These brave explorers are led by Captain Kirk, the playboy lead with a speech impairment that causes him to speak slowly and haltingly; Spock, a pointy-eared alien with no sense of humor; and Scotty of “Beam me up!” fame.

Another element of similarity these two science-fiction sagas share that makes it easy for non-viewers to confuse them is their vast reach in popular culture. Certainly by 1985 “Live long and prosper” had become a national catchphrase, complete with its own little hand gesture. Terms like “hyperspace” and “proton torpedo” were seeping into everyday language along with semi-nonsensical phrases like “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.” Their similar media empires, vast enough to make even Julius Caesar green with envy, filled with spin-off novels, magazines, biographical books, and toys are one more confusing point for those who can’t tell a phaser from a blaster.

For those who don’t watch either landmark science-fiction creation, lines become even more blurred when they think of the sheer number of movies that revolve around both. George Lucas’ space saga was originally a single screenplay, but it was so long, he was forced to divide it into three parts. Just to make things more confusing for viewers, Lucas invented a new system of counting, too, and titled the episodes IV-VI; this naturally left everyone wondering where the first three films were and then, when Episodes I-III finally broke on the scene twenty-two years later, left everyone bewildered as to which film really was “the first one.” Star Trek had its own movies that featured extended adventures of the Enterprise’s crew. It also had four TV spin-offs in the 80s and 90s: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

It is true that these epics have many things in common: their mutual setting in space, their similar gamut of space ships and laser weapons, and their endless array of toys, books, and additional movies or spin-offs. Their final similarity is a following of passionate fans, science-fiction junkies who will usually select either Star Trek or Star Wars as their idol, then despise the other show. To the majority of these rabid fans, these icons are as different as night and day, and it is important to them that one Holy Grail of science-fiction film not be confused with the other. Personally, I enjoy both very much, though my loyalties lie with Star Wars. Other fans are a little more picky, and they become so specific in their obsession that the original-trilogy-only Star Wars fans and the comics-only Star Wars fans will fiercely debate one another over what’s ‘real’ while Trekkies will stand on either side of a line in the sand, arguing over whether the spin-offs are blasphemy or unassailable truth.

Average people, though, are likely to be safe if they can just keep Luke Skywalker in his universe, well away from Captain Kirk. The clueless and the sci-fi adepts would be able to live together much more peaceably if the uninitiated could just remember that Star Wars is a movie set in a galaxy far away and Star Trek is a TV series set off in the future.

Science Fiction: The Confusing Frontier via Hundredaire Socialite.

Threadcakes Time Of Year

Posted in Fun with tags , , on 3 August 2012 by Megan

You know what that means, folks! Well, maybe you don’t. Okay, see, Threadless is this t-shirt company on the internet, and the Force is strong with them–and by that, I mean they have a lot of sweet Star Wars shirt designs. The other thing they have going for them? Cake. That’s right. Every year, Threadless challenges people to make delicious cakes based on their delicious, user-submitted designs. For today’s Fun Friday, I thought I’d showcase my two favorites:

The Emperor PenguinThis design by Matt Leyen quirkily casts the Emperor as a Penguin. Ha, ha! Oh, the clevers.

The Emperor Penguin CakeOn the other hand, this delicious cake based on Matt Leyen’s design casts the Emperor as a delicious gum paste penguin. (Go ahead and click the pic to find out how Jennifer Racine did it!) “And now, young Skywalker–you–will–be delicious. Oh, no, wait, I will be delicious–no, wait–“

My other favorite is not just because it’s red velvet (my more-than-confessed weakness), but also because it’s a shirt I’ve looked at and thought about getting many a time, because let’s face it, every time you buy those red plastic cups, you’re thinking of Han, aren’t you.

Hans Off My Cookie!

It’s called Hans Off My Cookie, by Phil!

Hans Off My Cake!And this is called just plain delicious by Sugi and Ai! Not every submission has to be a 3D rendered version of the shirt, after all. Sometimes simple is best. The artwork on this is stunning.

Anyway, make sure you check out threadcakes.com to check out more of these gorgeous and tasty creations. These aren’t the only two Star Wars ones in the mix, either, and they’re all worth seeing.

The First Party

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , , on 1 June 2012 by Megan

I have been meaning to post about this for ages, honestly. I mean telling you all about the glorious Episode I bash that we threw. And then I thought, well, I need content, and I’m in a reminiscing kind of mood. So here we go. I’ve redone the pictures, but the text is mainly as-is from the original post.

So, this month, in case you didn’t know it, in case you’re retarded or don’t know anything about anything, this is National Star Wars Month, and last week, for those not dedicated to dedicate the entire month to the worthiest of causes, was National Star Wars Week. And in fact, for those who cannot even be bothered to pay attention for a week, May 19th is National Star Wars Day. We in fact had the party of the decade on May 18th, which is not even a remotely significant date in the history and canon of the Star Wars Saga, but it was a convenient date for everyone given our other plans.

As I believe you should have noticed, Kristine and I dedicated Saturday to preparing the festivities. If you didn’t notice, well, bite me and go read that stupid post. Otherwise, moving on! Monday morning, I dug out a bunch of action figures from my closet and collected some soundtracks and stuff. Then, after Kristine got off work, about 12:30, Michelle and I headed down to her house, where she had already prepped the Jawa Eyes and was working on the Yoda Sausage when we arrived. I proceeded to sort out mynock eggs by color, decorate the living room, and . . . take pictures obsessively. Here is Kristine making Yoda Sausage:

DSCN2118

Here are decorations and things, and our sweet, sweet table.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then we ate and gloriously feasted . . . actually, we ate about a tenth of what we would’ve a few years ago, but oh well. We put E1 in the DVD player and rocked out. After the movie got boring, we took out Star Wars LIFE and I won, except I think I had to categorically lose because I drew Yoda for my master and that just sucks. And that was how Star Wars’ 10th anniversary went for us. I feel so freaking old? Yeah.

Playing Star Wars Life.

Playing Star Wars Life.

via I Am a Jedi at Hundredaire Socialite.

In conclusion, I have no idea why I cut this post off so randomly without even a mention of the piece d’resistance, that is, a piece of cake, so here is a photo montage of my favorite Episode I Cake moments.

(It’s entirely possible I didn’t do pics of the cake because I meant to add this video I did of us with the cake. Here you go.)

Episode II: The Tennthenniel

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , , on 25 May 2012 by Megan

Maybe I can shake off my depression enough to give you a post for May. This is the occupational hazard of having just about the best week of all freaking time, and then having it be over. As you should well know, May 16 was the tenth anniversary of the second Star Wars prequel, that much-abused Episode II: Attack of the Clones. After the giant Episode I party, I knew my friends and I had to do something of equal or greater grandeur to celebrate the next decadeversary of the franchise.

Michelle, Kristine, and I once again got together around a phenomenal cake to watch Star Wars, play games, and in all ways celebrate the starriest of all the wars. Follows are some pictures from our fun time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next important thing after the cake is of course decorations to set the scene, and entertainments, so you’re actually doing something besides getting together for processed sweets.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At last we were ready for celebration. The guests were assembled — all, uh, three of us — and everything was baked, decorated, prepared, and set. The order of the day included playing every Star Wars game we had, participating in some Mad Libs and coloring books, and finally watching Episode II over dinner — a fresh hot gristlewart sausage pizza (sorry, old Star Wars Haiku chatroom in joke there). We ended it over fresh slices of Dex’s Diner. (If it wasn’t abundantly clear what our cake was: it was Dex’s Diner from Episode II.)

Party Preview

Posted in Fun with tags , , , on 18 May 2012 by Megan

I’m going to post, I really, really am. As kind of a preview for my upcoming posts on Star Wars parties — the one we just had and the one from 3 years ago — here’s a preview from my 80 Day Facebook challenge.

Day 43: A picture of me at the last party I went to.

sw1party

May 19, 2009 was Episode I’s tenth anniversary, so Kristine and Michelle and I had a party with Star Wars related food, snacks, drinks, music, games, and a viewing of the iconic film. So. That’s the last party I was at!

My Life, 80 Days: Day 43 via Hundredaire Socialite.