Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year.....

"GONG XI FA CHAI" to all chinese friends.....

Wesak Day.... JFYI

The Vesak festival, or Buddha Day, celebrates
Enlightenment and passing away on the full moon
of the 6th lunar month (May). It is the most important 
festival in the Buddhist lunar calendar.
Buddhist festivals are a time for joy. The give 
Buddhists an opportunity to meet together, 
to take the Three Refuges and learn more 
about the Buddha's teachings. Families bring food,
candles and flowers to the monks in the 
monasteries. In return, the monks chant 
the scriptures, lead a period of meditation
and give teachings on the themes of the
There is a party feel to the whole occasion. 
Houses and streets are cleaned and 
decorated with Buddhist flags and flowers.
In villages, Buddhists gather around statues 
of the Buddha when it is dark. They walk 
around the statue with candles till all is covered in
During the Vesak celebration, an image of the new-born Buddha -
in the gesture of pointing to the Truth - is usually displayed in the 
shrine room.
Buddhists use light (candles, butter lamps) to celebrate Vesak to
recall that the Buddha showed people how to become enlightened

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Halloween..... hehe.......

How to Make a Pumpkin Cake Topper

Just in time for your Halloween cakes, here's a tutorial for how to make a cute pumpkin cake-topper. Since the topper is made of Styrofoam (or rice cereal treats), you can make it ahead of time, and just put it on your cake when you're ready.

What you'll need:
A Styrofoam ball or ball of rice cereal treats (I used a 5" ball because it will sit on top of a 6" cake.)
fondant (I used black, white, brown, and orange.)
ball & veining tool
dresden tool
pairing knife
rolling pin
cutting board or other cutting surface
3 bamboo skewers or cake dowels
royal icing

1. Carve your Jack-O-Lantern's face into the Styrofoam ball.

2. Press black fondant into all of the cut-out parts of the face. This step doesn't have to be perfect - it's mostly just to cover the Styrofoam temporarily. We'll actually do this step again at the end so just focus on filling the space here


3. Roll a 1 to 1 1/2-inch ball of white fondant.

4. Roll this ball into a long sausage shape that's approximately 6 inches long.

 5. Using a rolling pin, flatten one side of the sausage, leaving some bulk in the center.

6. Now, flatten the other side and the ends. You should now have a piece of fondant that's fatter in the middle than on all of the edges.

7. Trim the edges with a pairing knife so that it resembles a rough ellipse. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect, and you can see mine definitely isn't!

 8. Using royal icing, "glue" these pieces all around the Styrofoam sphere. You can leave some spaces between them. When we cover the sphere with orange fondant, these pieces will give it that typical lumpy pumpkin shape.

9. Carve out the face shapes from the white fondant pieces. Oooo, it looks a little creepy now, don't you think?

10. Roll out a large piece of orange fondant. The size you'll need will depend on the size ball you're covering. Basically, calculate the circumference of your ball and add a few inches to that for your total size. For example, I used a ball with a 5-inch radius so the circumference [Circumference = 2*(3.14)*Radius] is approximately 30 inches. I rolled my fondant to approximately 35 inches, just in case.

Need help with covering something with fondant? Check out this YouTube video from Country Kitchen Sweet Art (one of my favorite cake and candy supply shops).

See how pumpkin-like your sphere looks because of those white fondant strips?? Nice!

11. Repeat Step 1, pushing black fondant into the carved out facial features. This time, be careful to make it look good because this will be the finished product. Then just stick a stem on top using brown fondant.
Finishing touches: You can brush a little brown petal dust (or airbrush it) in the creases to give it depth. Also, consider adding leaves and vines to really bring it to life!

Good luck on your pumpkins and with your Halloween preparations! I'll post pictures of my final cake next week!

Tips to wear "Selendang"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Word of Wisdom

"It is not about how others are or how society is. The most important thing is to ask yourself, "What should I do?" and "What can I do?" One who stands up with moral courage and conviction can change society and create waves of transformation around the world."