angry birds, happy cakes

angrybirdcakesIt’s a challenge making fun and exciting birthday cakes for my son using natural food colouring, but somehow it always works out great. This year he was really into angry birds, and I can definitely do red and yellow thanks to paprika and turmeric! The red frosting was dyed with a commercial natural food colouring from the UK, but the yellow frosting I tint with my own ground turmeric. I love the way these turned out and they were a big hit with the boys.


PS: I recently found out the trick to making blueberry frosting blue, not purple, and also found out it doesn’t taste like blueberry (a good thing) – I will do a blue post once I have perfected the colour!

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morning lemon – lemon tomato?

yellowtomato.jpgWhen I was at the
St. Lawrence Farmer’s Market Saturday, I just couldn’t resist the lure of this bright sunny tomato. I’ve seen yellow tomatoes around, but never tried any. We asked the vendor what the difference was in taste from a red tomato, and he said they were milder, and people who have trouble digesting raw red tomatoes would find these easier to eat. Hallelujah! I have tummy trouble with raw tomatoes – cooked is usually not an issue. So I was eager to try these yellow gems. They are a bit more mealy textured, but this actually helps in some recipes, like salads, so the pieces are more firm and not falling apart. The colour definitely brightens up any dish.
So what’s the lemon connection besides being yellow? There are several varieties of yellow tomatoes with lemon in the name – lemon boy and lemon drops are two I have seen while googling.
Do you have a favorite “lemon” variety of yellow tomato, or a favorite way to use yellow tomatoes? Please share!

morning lemon – vanilla lemon cupcake

vanillalemon.jpgThis is the last remaining cupcake after I filled my first official cupcake order yesterday. It’s a vanilla cupcake with lemon buttercream frosting. I made sure to use an organic lemon, as I used the zest as well as the juice. Non-organic lemons will likely contain pesticide residue in their peel, so organic is the way to go if you’re zesting (organic means pesticide-free, but nothing in life is 100% – we do our best). And organic lemons are not that much more expensive, which is great.

Soon this cupcake will be gone (into someone’s tummy), so I thought I would give it a last shining moment as today’s morning lemon.

morning lemon – a drop of pure fun

180px-lemon_drops.jpg The other day, someone told me that when they were young, one of their favorite candies was a lemon drop. I can understand the appeal. Read this definition from wikipedia, and tell me it’s not intriguing:
“A lemon drop is a sugary, lemon-flavored candy that is typically colored yellow and often shaped like a miniature lemon.”

I think it’s the miniature lemon part that I am most drawn too. They’re so cute! But unfortunately, when I looked up the ingredients, I saw some of my most dreaded foes, synthetic food dyes like yellow #5,6, etc. These food dyes are bad news – they have been implicated in allergies, ADHD, and have been shown to be potentially carcinogenic. It is a shame that so many products available in North America today still use these dyes, when many European countries have banned them. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I have been experimenting with herbs to colour food, and guess what – other people are catching on to the idea.

purefunbag.jpgpurefunlist.jpg

I recently found these hard candies at Whole Foods Market which are made with natural ingredients, and coloured with HERBS. One of the flavours is lemon, and although not shaped like a mini-lemon, they look like little lemon slices.

purefunlemon.jpgAnd guess what – they taste good! Of course, they are candies, meaning once in a while indulgences, or maybe not at all depending on your situation. It is nice to know that for those who can indulge but still want to feel ok about what they are eating, the choices are increasing. It’s an exciting time in food history, when we are truly going back to basics, with a modern twist.