5 Ninja Shortcuts to Chocolate Layer Cake, #CakeBoss

Dedicated to family like Tony Soprano, quick-witted as Dean Martin; fourth generation baker Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, keeps reinventing himself like crooner Tony Bennett. Even as the Cake Boss expands his sweet Carlo’s Bakery empire, the cakes, cookies, cannoli and lobster claws sold remain as classic as the tunes of Frank Sinatra.

Even before this Italian-American baker landed his own show on the TLC channel, I was a Cake Boss fan. Buddy would make appearances on the Food Network and I was awe-struck by his confidence. And his cake decorating ability! Flipping through bridal magazines, I would simply sigh as glossy page after page showed off lace, beading and draping work, which rivaled the haute couture wedding gowns! 

Pumpkin Chocolate Pocky Muffins, #TwelveLoaves

With a wave of a wand and an exclamation of “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”, a pumpkin is enchanted and Cinderella’s carriage appears. Cinderella is swept off to a ball and swept off her feet by Prince Charming. At the stroke of midnight, all the riches disappear. Cinderella appears fated to sweep cinders from the hearth for the rest of her life. But, our soon-to-be princess is sure that, “Even if your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.”

Skinny Ninja Cheesecake, #SundaySupper

Time to lighten up! A decree to serve lighter fare at the virtual #SundaySupper table was issued. Before the onslaught of gobble, gobble (US Thanksgiving) goodies; before the deluge of Christmas and Chanukah desserts, this time of year warrants a sweet that offers delight but saves a few calories. Inspired by the many Japanese cheesecakes that call for tofu, I created the Skinny Ninja Cheesecake.

5 Tricks to Tantalizing Treat Trays, #PacificMerchants #Giveaway

Halloween is creeping up on us fast! In a blink of an eye, many of us will be serving Thanksgiving turkey. (And scolding spouses to stop watching football in favor of family time. Not any spouses I know of course!) Soon after, snow may alight in time for Christmas in colder climates. Along with the fall leaves and flurries, the season ushers in holiday parties. I love the festive spirit of this time of year. It’s like we’re given an extra excuse to celebrate life! For greater ease  during the holidays, I’ve prepared 5 Tricks to Tantalizing Treat Trays...And a giveaway!

Japanese Rainbow Rice Balls and Unicorn Cookie Bento for the CakeSpy

Do you ever get dizzy whirling around on a planet where the bad news du jour is served 24/7? Isn’t it comforting that a tap or two of computer keys transports you to a realm where rainbows, unicorns, hearts roam freely? Plus a place where recipes for goodies we all secretly crave reign supreme!  Of course, I’m talking about the virtual home of the Cake Spy aka author/artist Jessie Oleson.  

TheCakeBoss Chocolate Cupcakes, TheNinjaBaker Plum Wine Frosting, #CakeBoss Facebook Event

Quick Quiz:

1. Do you watch Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, on TV?
2. Are you addicted to the Next Great Baker show?
3. Do you own the cookbook entitled Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia?
4. Have you tried recipes out of the Cake Boss cookbook?
5. Are you a frequent visitor of Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey and/or in Las Vegas, Nevada?

Diagnosis: You may be a Cake Boss fan if you answered yes to any of the above questions.

If your reply was no, here’s a chance to meet and be inspired by the TV celebrity chef and successful owner of Carlo’s Bakery on Facebook. 
 

Enchanted Pumpkin Cookies, #CreativeCookieExchange

Blinged out in a pink, poufy prom gown, Glinda asks Dorothy, “Are you a good witch or bad witch?” (In the film classic, The Wizard of Oz.) Besides handing Dorothy the ruby slippers, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, also offers up gems such as, “If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.”

Getting to know ourselves can be scary business though. Truly looking sometimes means...

Mandarin Orange Sponge Cake, #TheCakeSliceBakers

Everywhere you turn a Mandarin orange perches atop two mochi (pounded rice) rounds during the Japanese New Year season. The Japanese mikan (aka Mandarin orange) symbolizes longevity and good health. Rounds of mochi represent the mirror that coaxed the cranky Japanese sun goddess, Amaterasu, out of her cave. Amaterasu, by the way, is the mythological mommy of Japan’s first emperor and birthed light into Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun...Japan was plunged into darkness as Amaterasu delivered the famous line...

 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cake Donuts, #SundaySupper

Budget-friendly recipes is the topic of today’s #SundaySupper. (You’re invited to join the chat around the virtual Twitter dinner table. Scroll down for detail.) After pouring over pages of potential budget-friendly goodies, I landed upon the site of King Arthur. Photos of their pumpkin cake donuts looked irresistible. Pumpkin cans are aplenty in the Ninja Baker’s kitchen. Have you noticed canned pumpkin goes on sale during the holiday season? Well, with their long shelf life, I stocked up...Originally I set out to replicate the King Arthur recipe. Something felt off. The still small voice was talking. 

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