Space Invader Cake Bites and Chefs Who Inspire Me

This post isn’t going to write itself, is it?

No?

Bollocks.

Admittedly, this week has not been a good week. At all.

If one were to re-label the Space Invaders as ‘Stress’, and the lone gunner as ‘My Brain’, that’s kind of how it’s been. Suffice it to say, the Pacman Petit Fours did not turn out and I was left with a lot of cake. Like, four 9×13″ pans of cake. Since the cake was already made and cut into 1-inch bites, I decided to arrange the salvageable bits into Space Invaders. Waste not, right?

It’s recently been said that I tend to take on more than I can handle and in this case it’s absolutely true. Unfortunately, I do not think I’ll be attempting this feat again any time soon. But, there are plans for the future and I’m determined to end this post on a happy note. Let’s talk.

Click for the happy. No, really, you should. This post also includes a list of who inspires me to cook. Maybe they’ll inspire you, too.

Most weeks I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants as far as planning goes for the blog, and that’s not okay. As a Professional Procrastinator (not an ideal career, the pay is utter crap), I usually possess enough luck, skill, and/or artistic ability to get by. Probably you’ve never noticed that some of my recipes have been thrown together at the last. possible. second. But more often than not, when this happens my brain starts going into overdrive screaming,

“DEADLINES!”

“DISAPPOINTMENT!”

“DISCREDIT!”

“DISASTER!”

On and on and on, pinging through gray matter. At least so far I’ve been able to faithfully meet all of my deadlines, right?

Earlier this week (though obviously not early enough *cough*) I started up an Excel spreadsheet for the Skill Up Skillet Posting Schedule. That’s the actual file name, incidentally. But I have everything, I mean eeevvveeerrryyyttthhhiiinnnggg, documented. Scheduled Post Date, Recipe, Difficulty (1-4), Sweet/Savory, Geek/Game, Source, and so on. From the first recipe post date, 12/18/14 through the first anniversary post on 12/17/15. Not all recipes have been officially planned, but there are general guidelines for some of the dates, at least (for example, 4/23/15 is labelled ARBOR DAY- I AM GROOT. I dare you to tell me you’re not excited for that). Though you may just get a picture of a Tic-Tac on my birthday (9/3). Okay, I’m probably joking about that.

It is my hope that making this schedule will help me to get an early start on things, thus giving you better, more well thought out content, recipes, and pictures. And less stress for me. Considering that there are five Thursdays in April… insert nervous sweat here, right? Nope. I’ve already got 3/5ths of it planned.

If you want to make your own Space Invader Cake Bites, bake your favorite cake mix or recipe in a 9×13″ pan.Turn your cooled cake out onto a flat work surface and cut the cake in half horizontally. Tip: Plain dental floss works well for cutting through soft foods like cake. Set aside the top half. Frost the top of the bottom half of the cake with your choice of frosting. You should use up most of a can for this. Gently replace the top half of your cake and give it a thin coat of frosting- this is commonly known as a ‘crumb coat’. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes. This will cause you to have a lot less crumbs when cutting and arranging. Cut into ~1-inch squares and arrange on a large tray or sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, optional.

IMAG0558
Stress Space Invader will eat your soul.

Right, that’s our serious talk aside. Today, let’s talk about why I cook.

Yes, it’s an Inspiration List. Deal with it.

Naturally, growing up in my family’s pizzeria I learned how to cook from my parents. Especially my dad. As early as first grade I would pull a piping hot, fresh submarine bun from the rack, hollow out the middle, stuff it with pepperoni, sausage, onion, and mozzarella, and microwave it for an after school snack. Sometimes I would make a little pizza. And if dad was late making his daily pizza dough, he would throw me a couple scraps and I would roll them together and braid, twist, and shape dough sculptures. Sometimes we would even bake them.

Dad
My dad and biggest role model, Ron. I get my ‘no-smile’ and hands from him. Not a bad trade off for such an amazing dad, if you ask me.

$5 says he’ll tell me how much he hates that picture within a week, but hey, it’s better than the one of him in a kilt with me toying with the hem. Though he does look pretty snazzy in a kilt. (Sorry, dad.)

I also get inspiration from these wonderful people:

Rosanna Pansino: I found Ro on YouTube with her weekly series, Nerdy Nummies. I think she does ‘cute’ better than me when it comes to desserts. Check her out on Tuesdays, and me on Thursdays! Link: http://rosannapansino.com/

Elise: Apparently I’ve found all my inspiration on YouTube. I watch her YouTube channel My Cupcake Addiction on a regular basis. Pretty sure she has ‘pretty’ patented. Really envious of a lot of her techniques. Link: http://mycupcakeaddictionblog.com/

Ann Reardon: Of How To Cook That, also discovered on YouTube. Her chocolate creations are eye-popping. My favorite is her chocolate book. Link: https://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/

Tammy/Yoyomax12: I think Tammy (Yoyomax12) is the first YouTube cooking channel I’ve ever subscribed to. Though she seems to to a little of everything, she is indisputably the Queen of Rainbow Foods. Her eye for color inspires a lot of my more colorful recipes. Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/yoyomax12

Beth: Actually, I take it back. Not everyone I found on YouTube. One of my WoW friends (and favorite healer – Hi, Holly!) linked Beth’s blog, Budget Bytes, on Facebook a long time ago when she first moved out and was cooking for herself. Beth reminds me to slow down and do things simply. Also, without her fantastic post about how to start a food blog, there would be no Skill Up Skillet! Link: http://www.budgetbytes.com/

See? I promised I would end this one on a happy note. I’m probably going to rearrange a lot of the social media stuff for Skill Up Skillet over the next week or so, so you may see a few long overdue changes. Nothing too major. See you next Thursday!

Cheers,

Leisel

Coming Up Next: Pacman Oreos, because I’m not letting this Pacman thing go, dammit.

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