Archive for food and drink

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.

Dexter Jettster

Posted in Fun with tags , , , , , , , on 23 September 2011 by Megan

Dexter Jettster, the diner’s second owner

I just thought I’d start this fun Friday off with a bit of a character sketch on Dexter Jettster. Why? Because it’s never too early to start planning your Star Wars extravaganza, and next May is Episode II’s 10th birthday. Obviously I’m already working on my party–actually have been since May–and, if you paid attention to my last Star Wars party, you know that the cake is the centerpiece, and the cake obviously has to be related to E2 somehow.

In conferring with my primary co-planner, whose blog you should read, we searched a great deal and finally settled on Dex’s Diner, which has an epic cake shape already. Since I’ve already done all this research on Dex, I thought I’d do a character spotlight for this Fun Friday. So here goes with a quick bio of one of Coruscant’s well-known restaurateurs!

Dex is a Besalisk, a four-armed sentient hailing from the world of Ojom. Ojom is not in the Republic, and Dexter is more adventurous than many others of his race, who generally stay settled on their homeworld.

Take a seat! I’ll be right wichya!

Dexter has quite a varied past, having been part of oil-harvesting expeditions all over the galaxy. The work he did with these crews ranged from technical work to bartending, cooking, and brawling, to the shadier work of selling contraband and running weapons. The diner is essentially his retirement, a clean start for a life haphazardly lived before. Of course, his previous experiences make him an ideal contact for a Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Coruscant’s CoCo Town

The Diner is located in the Coruscant neighborhood of CoCo Town (sometimes CoCo District, for the Collective Commerce District). There are lots of old-style diners in this area, hearkening back to the Republic’s Golden Age; and while the district is Upper-Level, traditionally indicative of high class luxury on Coruscant, but the eateries in this district cater to those who work for the Senators and other upper-class gentlebeings of Coruscant, and therefore offer more affordable options.

The window sign for Dex’s

Obi-Wan first gained familiarity with the restaurant in his Padawan days with Qui-Gon; back then it was owned by a friend of Qui-Gon’s named Didi. Following his Master’s penchant for keeping friends and informants at all levels of society, Obi-Wan made friends with Dex and depends on his valuable insights and observations. At the same time, Dex recognizes a great friend in Obi-Wan, knowing he is neither judgmental nor high-minded like some other Jedi.

The Diner

Here’s the diner itself. You can see how the shape really lends itself to being “en-cake-ified.” It has an oblong shape, achievable by taking two rectangular layer cakes and cutting them in half, then stacking them and carving to shape. We plan to use red velvet cake. While we do have Obi-Wan action figures in droves, we don’t have a Dexter, so that might have to be remedied in the coming months.

Sources: the Databank entry (here) and The Ultimate Visual Guide as well as the Wookieepedia.

Darth Vader Cakes

Posted in Fun with tags , , , on 8 July 2011 by Megan

While cake is not my favorite confection over and above pie . . . well, maybe red velvet cake is . . . I do like cake. I also like cake shows, and Star Wars cakes, obviously. (Coming up soon I’m going to do this spotlight on Dex’s Diner for the upcoming Episode II cake when we celebrate that in 312 days). My good friend the Cake Wrecks blog is an excellent source of all things Star Warsy, so when I decided to look up some Darth Vader cakes today, I started there. Here’s how not to do a Darth Vader cake (here). Definitely how not to do it. And here’s another. Don’t do it that way, seriously.

Here’s a much more iconic Darth Vader cake.

Darth Vader Baby Shower Cake

The Darth Vader Baby Shower Cake

And when I say “iconic,” I mean “this is the cake that crosses my mind every time someone says ‘Darth Vader’ and ‘cake’ in the same sentence.”

However, if you like your Darth Vader baby shower cakes to have a little more of a professional polish and less subtly-stated cuteness, well, I do have one for you. Or rather, CW Jen has one for you, ’cause you know I just get these all from her blog, which you should read, and tell her I sent you, so she will advertise for me ;)

Baby Vader

On three . . . "Awwwww!"

You can’t say “CakeWrecks” without bringing to mind some honestly atrocious wrecks, so here’s one of my favorite Darth Fails:

Squished Vader Cake

Ladies and Gentlemen! DARTH VADER!

He kind of looks like he was the victim of a head-shrinking tribe if you ask me. “I’d love to know how they do that!” Now, my question is, did he suffer a serious neck injury, or did someone order up his head on a plate? ’cause bad things happen when you lop his head off. Just look at ESB.

Vader & Tinkerbell Join Forces

Vader & Tinkerbell Join Forces

Now, while mixed-theme SW cakes usually get me giggling (for example), this one kind of looks like it was dropped and then iced.And why is there a red B floating off Darth Vader’s elbow? Ooh, but I am addicted to gel icing. Freaking addicted! As you were. Actually, that one doesn’t actually count as a wreck because it’s part of a series of actual birthday cakes requested by the girl Sarah, who always has a Darth Vader / girly mashup for her birthday. Do I believe that a four-year-old is too young to see Star Wars? Yes, yes, I do. Do I think that a four-year-old really needs something better to be obsessed with than Darth Vader if she is going to be exposed to the films at that young age? Again, yes. Does that make these cakes any less cool? No, not really, which is why I’m sharing them anyway. (Look, Vader is a tragic figure, and celebrating him in cake form is questionable at best. Just about as questionable as having tiny infants watch intense movies. But let’s not get started on that one right now, kay?)

Darth Vader & Princesses

He always was a ladies' man.

My Little Sith Lord

My Little Sith Lord

Ah, well, there you have it, folks! You can safely turn to the Dark Side now, knowing that they have cake! Unless you prefer pie. Then you have to turn to the Geek Side. (European Pi Day is coming up on July 22! Yes, the holiday you get to celebrate twice in one year! <- This was related.)

Anyway, that’s all the Vader cake I have to throw your way. But I didn’t post everything CakeWrecks has to offer, so maybe you should go over there and check out the other Star Wars cakes!

Flashback!* Drinks

Posted in Questions with tags , , , on 4 May 2011 by Megan

What drink does the droid serve Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon in the Federation ship in Episode I? — OLJC (c. 2001)

Qui-Gon almost takes a sip**

The protocol droid TC-14 serves the Jedi ambassadors decaffeinated coffee.

Source: An Episode I-inspired website now, sadly, defunct.

* Occasionally I will post a flashback question or character bio harking back to the days of my original question-answering site, just to give an idea of what people have asked over the years.

** Here’s a fun piece of trivia! Qui-Gon never eats. The only thing he ever ate was a single grape in the Skywalker household on Tatooine.