Nearly all birthday celebrations involve cake and ice cream. Here are three fuss-free tips for serving both that will impress your guests and make your clean up a snap.
• Sheet Cakes: A mess-free method for cutting a sheet cake uses dental floss in place of a sharp knife. Hold the unflavoured waxed floss tightly between your fingers and press firmly into the cake. Release when you get to the bottom and slide the floss across and pull it out the other end. Repeat across the cake in a grid pattern, ‘cutting’ the pieces as large, or small, as you like.
• Round Cakes: For cakes larger than 10-inches in diameter, use a long sharp knife to cut a smaller circle inside the large one. Slice the outer ring into wedges, then cut the smaller inside cake into traditional pieces, like you would a pizza or pie.
• Cartons of Ice Cream: Slice cylindrical cartons of ice cream in half from the top through to the bottom. Remove the packaging and lay one half on a cutting board (long flat side down) and slice into 1-inch-thick half moons. For rectangular boxes of ice cream, remove the cardboard and cut the ice cream into thick slices for simple serving.
Also, don’t forget about this trick we shared last year. I still use it every time I need to serve ice cream to a crowd, especially during the summer when small scoops are more likely to melt quickly.
Do you have any cake cutting secrets to share?
Image of cake and ice cream from Shutterstock.
When simple sliced potatoes are topped with your favourite nacho toppings, this perennial favourite bar snack becomes a quick-cooking, healthy, gluten-free vegetarian dinner the entire family will enjoy. Feel free to get creative with the toppings. If your children aren’t keen on beans, use turkey sausage in their place. Consider adding thinly sliced peppers, chopped tomatoes, pickled jalapeños and sour cream to the top of the potato pile, and always serve with a side of salsa. For colour and extra nutrition, I like to make this dish with a mix of regular and sweet potatoes, but you can use just one or the other, if you prefer.
There really is no specific recipe to follow. Just combine sliced potatoes with a few good glugs of olive oil, and several pinches of salt, chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Toss well, and place in a large skillet, baking at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and fork tender. Top with any type of bean, grated cheddar and/or Monterrey Jack cheese and return the oven for an additional five minutes. Garnish with sliced green onions, and any other toppings you enjoy. Make as much as you need to feed the number of people you have around your table, and serve warm straight from the skillet.