This is not my average post. Ok, so maybe it is average in that it has an opening picture, a story, another picture, and a recipe, but it is still different. The cake you see above is a symbol of women’s health and wholeness. I have alternately called this cake by a name I have dubbed her and what it symbolizes to me. The cake is either Jane (like in Jane Doe) or the “We are more than the Sum of Our Parts” cake.I’ll back up a bit. I am currently in a women’s health class, and, as my final, creative project for the class, I did what I do best. I baked. I baked a cake to represent what I have learned, and what I feel every woman (and many men!) should know.
First I made the bikini portion. I used a boxed cake mix (yellow or white cake, I forget which), added the zest of one lemon and replaced about 1TBSP of water in the recipe for lemon juice. I made an 8” square and 4 souffle cups of cake. Once cooled, I cut the square into the bikini bottom and used the 2 best soufflé cakes as the bikini top. I whipped up the lemon frosting recipe from this month’s “Everyday with Rachael Ray” (recipe at the bottom) and frosted. I then used pull and peel twizzlers for the detail.Healthy Facts: Did you know that 1 in 8 women experience breast cancer within the course of their lives? 1 in 8. I have about 16 food blogs I try to check at least once a week. Based on that statistic, about 2 of these women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. So, keep your little “soufflé cakes” safe and do your monthly self exam. More information is available at the Komen for the Cure.
More Healthy Facts: About 75 percent of sexually active people will get HPV sometime in their life. Ok, now assuming that all my lovely bloggers are sexually active, then 12 of them will get HPV. And, let us not forget that some of those forms of HPV cause genital warts, and others can lead to cervical cancer. Yeah, cancer from an STD. And, the forms of HPV that lead to cervical cancer are not the ones with symptoms like warts, so going in for your yearly gynecological exam is really the only way to be safe. Your Pap Smear and the rest of your exam should not hurt, so don’t be scared, set up your appointment ASAP! (Facts from 4women.gov)
Next I made the chest/stomach section. I made my calimocho cake and frosting, just baking it in a 9x13 and cutting off the ends to it fit in the middle. I used twizzlers and blue writing icing for the heart and gummy fruits and some green icing for the belly button and digestive system.
who smoke “risk having a heart attack 19 years earlier than non-smoking women,” and womenHealthy Facts: Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, and, in fact between 40 and 50% women’s deaths are from heart attack or stroke? Let’s go back to those 16 bloggers. According to the facts, about 8 of them will die from a heart attack or stroke. Women with diabetes “are two to three times more likely to have heart attacks.” Yes, heart disease is partially hereditary, but we can do our part to help our chances. Eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, and always be honest with your doctor about your family history. (Information Courtesy of WomenHeart.Org)
More Healthy Facts: We all know the sayings. “Get your daily fruits and veggies.” “Count your calories.” We also all know the consequences, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis and increased risk of cancer. So let’s get right to the easy stuff we just may not think about on a daily basis. Tips from womenshealth.gov recommend making half your grains whole, focusing on fruits, and going lean with protein. We all know that whole grain foods are good for us, but next time your at the store, spend that extra couple of seconds to check the ingredients and make sure you are really getting whole grains. Yes, some sugary cereals say they are made with whole grains, but a sprinkling of whole wheat does not a healthy Count Chocula make! You should “Look to see that grains such as wheat, rice, oats, or corn are referred to as 'whole' in the list of ingredients,” and not just at the bottom of the list. They also recommend you “eat a variety of fruits – whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried – rather than fruit juice for most of your fruit choices.” Not only do you usually lose the fiber, you also feel less filled by the same number of calories when you just drink your fruits. Finally, “choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it. And vary your protein choices – with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.” Remember, not all protein is in meat. Peanuts, soy nuts, lentils and seeds are great ways to limit your cholesterol intake from sources of protein.
Since I feel like I am cheating any foodies reading this by just giving the basic frosting recipe, I will also follow it up with a recipe that can boost a woman’s health. In support of Mele Cotte’s Cooking to Combat Cancer event, here is my California Roll. California Rolls are doubly powerful at fighting cancer because of their avocados and seaweed (nori). According to the Cancer Cure Foundation, “Avocados are rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that attacks free radicals in the body by blocking intestinal absorption of certain fats. They also supply even more potassium than bananas and are a strong source of beta-carotene. Scientists also believe that avocados may also be useful in treating viral hepatitis (a cause of liver cancer), as well as other sources of liver damage,” and “Seaweed and other sea vegetables contain beta-carotene, protein, vitamin B12, fiber, and chlorophyll, as well as chlorophylones - important fatty acids that may help in the fight against breast cancer. Many sea vegetables also have high concentrations of the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and iodine.” So eat on sushi lovers and help combat cancer!
This was my first time ever making sushi and it turned out great! I was going to make it for J and O’L’s engagement oarty until I found out that neither of them like sushi. Oh well, more for me!California Rolls
1/3 package of krab leg portions (imitation crab legs)
About 3 cups sushi rice
Enough water to cook sushi rice according to package
6TBSP rice vinegar
1 PKG nori (squares of seaweed)
Cook rice according to directions for sushi rice on back of package. Once done, put into large bowl and cool most of the way. Stir/cut in rice vinegar. It will taste really strong and vinegar like, but will mellow as it finishes cooling.
Cut krab into long thin strips (you need to be able to roll around them).
Peel cucumber and cut into the same sized pieces. When you are ready to make rolls, create same sized pieces of avocado.
Lay out a piece of nori onto a mat prepared like sushi day describes. Place ½ a cup of rice onto the mat. Wet your hands and press the rice all over, but leaving about an inch strip on the side near you bare (this is where you will place your filling). I had a problem limiting myself to ½ cup. I kept putting on more to fill the whole thing, but I think as I get better I could do it with less.
Place a few strips of krab into a line on the empty space. Then a line of cucumber and a line of avocado. Placing mayo into a Ziploc with a TINY hole cut in a corner, squeeze on a thin line of mayo.Use a combination of your hands and the rolling mat to do 1 roll over, enclosing your filling. Then just use the mat to roll your sushi (but do not roll the mat into the sushi!). Once the roll is done, use the mat to press the roll so it doesn’t open up. Wet a very sharp knife and cut the roll into about 8 pieces. Repeat with remaining ingredients.Rachael Ray’s Lemon Frosting
2 1/2 sticks butter, room temp
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 min.
Add confectioners sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
Add the vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until fluffy. Add zest and beat.