And the winners are…

And your votes for BEST FOOD CREATURE  are in!!!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who submitted an entry for this contest!

And now to the winners….

FIRST PLACE:  The “Stokke” Team – our favorite father-daughter team for their apple entry. Congratulations!!!

RUNNER UP:  The Joseph Team – for their pineapple lady (we think the chocolate chips were key to winning!  These 2 boys truly are the coolest brothers we have seen!

We can’t wait to see what these cool kids do with their gingerbread house kits!


Need an Award Winning Appetizer to bring to a Halloween Bash?

Are you hosting a Halloween Party or invited to one?  Here’s an idea that is guaranteed to wow everyone!

Andrea’s 15 year old daughter Katrina created this party pleaser in an hour! Simply carve a pumpkin (you can purchase a painted pumpkin but if you have kids, you probably already have carved pumpkins on your front stoop!) Of course Katrina had to take it a step further and give the pumpkin “character”.

For the “hair”, she simply cut some wood skewers in half  and stuck the pointy end into the pumpkin. She then cut 3 varieties of cheese into small even cubes and threaded them onto the skewers, alternating with grapes. (Who doesn’t love cheese and grapes!)

This appetizer won first prize at the Estee Lauder Halloween Cook-off yesterday!!! We really mean it when we say it’s an award winning appetizer!

Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!!!

And just for fun, we dug up some old Halloween Pics …

It’s time to vote for our Food Creatures!!!

Check out these cute entries…

It’s time for all of you to leave a comment (or email us at

and tell us who you think should win this round!! (Be sure to scroll down to the end of the previous post to view all entries!!!)

Check out what Erik S and his daughter Sophia came up with! Sooo cute!


And last but not least – Little Miss Trina’s not so frosty Snowman: (Hmmm… the ingredients she used would make a great “Basket of Horror” for the show CHOPPED, don’t you think? What dessert can you create with pumpkin, apples and pickles? I bet it would work!) Well done, Trina!

And lastly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish SOPHIA a HAPPY 12th BIRTHDAY!!! This girl is like a ray of sunshine and will go far in life!
You go girl! One more year and you will be a teenager!!! Watch out world, here comes a future PRESIDENT!!!

You have to see these cute entries!!!

Hey everyone,

It’s not too late to enter our contest. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR????  You can’t carve a pumpkin or decorate an apple???
Check out what some of you have submitted so far. Rather creative, I have to say. (And these are created by kids no less!)

Check out this Banana Houla Cutie… ain’t it just amazing what chocolate chips can do for your curves???

 This entry was submitted by the 2 coolest brothers we know and they sure realize the power of chocolate!!!

(No names until the contest is over…)

And check out LADY MEATBALL – Move over, Lady Gaga! That meatsuit had nothing on this entry.

That’s right – this lady’s got balls! 

 Thanks so much for this entry, J and B!!!

And here’s another cool creation J and B came up with:

“Lady Bugsy”

Then there is the Sugar Plum FROG…

And now we want you see YOUR CREATIONS!! Pumpkins, gourds, candy creatures…  Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with by Sunday!!!

Our New Challenge is here!!!

Yes, we have been bad bloggers and it seems that our weekly challenge has become a monthly challenge.  (So many ideas and so little time to post!)

This has to be the coolest challenge ever! This week, we are challenging you to create a “Food Creature”.    

We don’t care if it’s two dimensional, three dimensional, life-size, scary, delicious or yucky, sweet, smelly, animated or just plain silly.  Anything goes!

While your creativity has no limits, we do have to put a few rules into place just to be fair to all:

  • All creatures must be made of edible foods such as vegetables, fruit, herbs, condiments, baked goods, etc. EDIBLE is a must.
  • Non-edible ingredients are limited to the following ONLY:
    • Toothpicks
    • Magic marker or pen

Absolutely nothing else non edible is permitted! If you need to “glue” parts, you must get creative and use edible ingredients such as cream cheese, honey, melted chocolate, etc.

  • To qualify for this contest, you must email us a photo in jpeg format (multiple photos are permitted) and we would appreciate a brief description or name for your creature.
  • Please email your entries to We will post your entries on the blog for all to view.
  • YOU will be the judge! Once all entries are posted, we will give ALL OF YOU the opportunity to post or email us your votes. (Yes, this means that you will be able to rally up all of your friends to vote for you!)


All entries must be in our “inbox” by Wednesday, October 20th at 9 pm.Once all entries are posted on the blog, you will have 1 week to vote for the winner.

“First Prize” and “Runner Up” will be announced on Wednesday, October 27 and prizes will be presented in person or via mail.

And now it’s time to put your Thinking Caps on and start playing!!!

 We hope you’ll join in the fun!

So why are The German and The Aussie volunteering so much???

Many of you have asked us that question and have wondered why we do it. Do we absolutely LOVE cooking? Heck yes! We live for it and we have been told we rock at it! (If it comes from the heart, how could we mess it up???)

But there’s much more to food than just cooking and eating it. It’s about SERVING and FEEDING … it’s about  NURTURING, GIVING and SHARING!

We realize that  it sounds corny but that really IS what it’s all about for us. We enjoy catering so much that we are willing to do it for FREE  just to put a smile on someone’s face and to pay them back for what they are contributing to our society.

On Saturday, September 18th we had the honor of attending (and catering for) a home dedication for Habitat for Humanity. This wonderful (and very emotional) event made us realize just how easy it is for each of us to change someone’s life! We all can make a difference in this world.

(In case you were wondering – these homes are not hand-outs! We got to know the Albinowski-Hunter family mentioned in the newsletter below and trust us, they are fighters!  While some of the materials for the homes [and most of the volunteer labor] are donated, these families are still holding a considerable mortgage and are required to volunteer their hard work to help build homes in the area for other families. What a wonderful concept for a gift that keeps on giving!!!) 

And now meet the Albinowski-Hunter family; we wish them good luck in their new home!

Please click on this link to view the newsletter:  Habitat Newsletter 

(Be sure to check out the 10% coupon to Restore!! Who knew you could purchase brand new home-improvement items from their store at a fraction of the cost!)

Anyway…. just thought we’d share …

“Danube Waves” German Cake Recipe


Ahhhh…. What do you get when you couple moist chocolate-vanilla marbled cake with cherries, German butter cream (never too sweet) and top it with melted chocolate? 

A slice of PURE BLISS called DONAUWELLEN! 

What? You think this is a long word??? 

How about “Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän?” That’s right. You have  just attempted to read Germany’s (officially!) longest word. Makes baking a cake seem like child’s play, huh! 

So why is this heavenly cake called “DONAUWELLEN” (Danube Waves)? 


Because it has a wave-like appearance when sliced. Check it out! 

So how do you get these waves??? It’s EASY! 

You spread yellow cake batter into a lasagna pan and top it with a batch of chocolate batter. Cherries are sprinkled on top of the chocolate batter and – as the cake bakes – the cherries “drag” the chocolate batter with them to the bottom of the cake. This creates a wave-like appearance that is very pretty when sliced. The neat thing is that most of the cherries are actually “encased” in chocolate batter. 

This cake is as authentic as it gets and was a staple in “The German’s” home as a child.
As a matter of fact, it was the very first cake Andrea learned to make herself – at the mere age of 8! Since there is a difference between some German and American ingredients (especially flour and butter), Andrea has adapted this recipe to American standards. It comes out moist and delicious every time! 

And guess what! We are also offering SHORTCUTS for your convenience! (After all, we completely understand that not everyone likes to spend their life in the kitchen just because WE do!) 


(With step by step instructions and pictures, just for you!)  

  • 1 ½ sticks of butter (12 tbsp) – at room temperature (we don’t care if you use salted or unsalted…just don’t add additional salt if you use salted!)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs or 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups sour cream (you can substitute 4% Greek (plain) yogurt for a healthier version but what’s the point? That would be like drinking diet soda with a pint of ice cream!)
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising!)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt if using unsalted butter.
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 (24 oz.) jar “Dark Morello Cherries”, drained well. (I get these from Trader Joe’s)  You can also purchase jars of (tart!) cherries from your local supermarket. Alternately, you can use frozen (unsweetened, pitted) cherries. (Keep frozen and remove ice crystals if any. You want these as dry as possible!)

***SHORT CUT*** 

You can make this cake using CAKE MIX! This quick and easy shortcut tastes great. (Don’t worry! Once assembled, that WOW factor is still there!) 

 Simply use 1 box of yellow cake mix and 1 box of chocolate cake mix. Prepare both batters (in separate bowls) according to package directions. Follow the steps below for “layering and baking”. 


Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch lasagna pan.  

    (TIP: At your craft store you can find a great product called “CAKE RELEASE” in the cake decorating section and it actually works great! I’m not supposed to give away the brand but you’ll find it. ) 


Cream butter and sugar together for a few minutes until light and fluffy. (Got a Kitchen Aid? Use the paddle attachment and beat for approx. 5 minutes) 


Add eggs – one at a time – and incorporate well between each addition.  


Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl here and there!!! 


Once the eggs are fully incorporated,  add sour cream (or yogurt – blechhhh!) and vanilla. Mix well. I like to use a pure vanilla extract with specks of vanilla bean. It’s the closest thing to real vanilla bean! 



The batter should be nice and fluffy once the sour cream has been mixed in! 


In separate bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder & soda (and salt.) Mix lightly.  


With mixer on lowest setting, add the flour mix to the batter and mix until JUST combined but still lumpy. 


To assure that the batter is completely mixed, I finish mixing with a spatula. This step is very important! Over-mixing will make this batter tough and you do NOT want that!  


Now spread half of the batter into the greased lasagna pan and set aside. 



Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and 2 tbsp of milk to the remaining batter in the bowl. Mix with spatula until just incorporated. 






Drop dollops of the cocoa batter over the yellow batter in pan and carefully spread out. 


It’s easier if you spread the dollops out all over the cake…) 


  • Dry the cherries (yes, one more time!) on a paper towel and sprinkle evenly over chocolate batter. (No need to press in – they’ll sink during baking!)



Bake for approx. 35 – 40 minutes. (Check: Insert toothpick in center of the cake – if it comes out clean, the cake is done.) Let cool completely before assembling!  




  • 2 boxes vanilla pudding mix (Don’t bother bringing home “instant” pudding or pre-made. No shortcuts here, Lassies!)
  • 3 cups whole milk (if you want it to taste good…if you don’t care, go ahead and use skim milk. Just don’t complain to me if it’s not as rich and yummy tasting as you expected! I don’t want to hear it…)
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature (TIP: We recommend using EUROPEAN butter for this recipe. IRISH, FRENCH…whatever you can find at your local store will do. American butter contains more water than its European counterpart and that’s not ideal for mixing this cream. Hey! Calm down! We did not say you CAN’T use American butter…it’s just harder to mix to a smooth consistency, that’s all! Use it if you want… we don’t care… just trying to be helpful with the tips!)


  • Cook the vanilla pudding according to package directions using 2 boxes of mix but only 3 cups milk. (We want it to be nice and thick!) Remember to cook on LOW! Don’t burn it or it will ruin the taste of the cream! I know that some of you are impatient and it is very easy to burn milk. Slow and steady now!!!
  • Transfer the cooked pudding to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. (Press the plastic wrap directly on the pudding – this will prevent “skin” from forming on top of the pudding while it’s cooling. If you don’t have plastic wrap, no biggie. Just be sure to stir the pudding every few minutes. (You can stir that silly “skin” right back into the pudding, no worries.)



1.      The pudding and butter MUST be at the same exact temperature! (That’s easy…simply leave both out for a couple of hours and voila! Life should always be this easy, huh!)  


With a wooden spoon (if you have one) “beat” the softened butter in a bowl until shiny and smooth.  



   Now mix the fluffy butter into the pudding – one spoon full at a time – with a wooden spoon or spatula. Be sure to incorporate well with each addition.  


That’s it! You now  have German Butter Cream! It is buttery rich like its American counterpart but it’s also got the wonderful vanilla taste and richness of custard. And – most importantly – it’s not nearly as sweet as American butter cream that is made from butter and powdered sugar only. While American butter cream is a great frosting, this version makes an awesome filling you will not get sick of!  

Oh! And if the butter cream does not blend too well, (it almost looks like sour milk in hot coffee but a lot finer) it means that the pudding and butter were not at the same temperature or it tells us that you used American butter which contains more water! Now you know why we recommended using “Euro-butter”! Don’t you worry, once spread on the cake and chilled, it’s all the same and it tastes great either way!) 



  • 1 (12 oz.) bag of good quality chocolate chips (mini chips melt even quicker!)
  • 1 tbsp. Crisco or vegetable oil


 Melt and mix together in double boiler.  NO PICTURES! You can’t convince me that you never saw melted chocolate before! Come on! You never sat on a chocolate bar???? 

(And what do you mean what is a double boiler??? It’s a saucepan, filled with a couple of inches of boiling water. Place a (heatproof) bowl on top – make sure the bowl is big enough so the steam does not escape. The bowl should be large enough so it does not touch the bottom of the pot – ever! The heat from the boiling water will melt the chocolate in the bowl. Why don’t we like steam? Because even the tiniest drop of water will cause the chocolate to harden within seconds. And that is not “good spreads” as Alton Brown would say… Nope! It’s not. 

So absolutely no water, you hear? And don’t even THINK about adding butter instead of the oil or Crisco. Did you not read what I said earlier???? Butter contains WATER! 

 Geez, now I sound just like my grandmother who taught me how to make this cake when I was a little pipsqueak!  (You should have heard her when she saw the mess I made with the chocolate!!!) God bless that woman! I miss her terribly! She was FAMOUS for her Butter Cream Tortes around town and made them for many weddings, communions and other celebrations. Her cakes were amazing! 

***SHORTCUT 1*** 

Melt the chocolate and Crisco (or oil) in microwave but never at full power! Set power to 30% and stir every 30 seconds. YES, EVERY 30 SECONDS! (Unless you want the chocolate to burn…) 

***SHORTCUT 2*** 

Don’t want to bother with Crisco and other silly things? Buy a bag of melting chocolate from the craft store! (The kind you use for molds and candy making or for chocolate fountains) 

It melts way faster and easier than regular chocolate and contains more fat which makes it easier to spread. BUT! Remember, if you are a chocolate connoisseur, you may want to stick with good quality chocolate chips. It’s much better than the melting chocolate version! 


Don’t worry, this is the EASIEST part!!! 

Spread the butter cream over the cooled cake. Smooth out with a spatula. 





Now pour the melted chocolate all over the butter cream. Ahhhh… this is a wonderful experience. (Hint: Have someone else pour and stick your tongue under the steady steam of chocolate. Don’t worry, I did not do that since nobody was around when I made this cake…just sayin’!) 

Spread a thin layer of the (cooled!) melted chocolate over the entire cake to cover it completely. (If the chocolate is too hot, it will melt the butter cream so be patient! Let it cool slightly!) 


OPTIONAL:  Draw a fork over the (still soft) chocolate in a wave pattern. 






Enjoy the heck out of it!!! 

Life is meant to be sweet! 



















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