Monday, May 16, 2011
"You're going to be a learner," I announced to my daughter this month, and proceeded to tell her about learning at home and beyond, about letters of the week and space exhibits at the museum.
She was excited, and, in true Tienzo form, raised her eyebrows and said, "Well, then I want to have a learning party."
So we planned a simple brunch with a few friends, and everyone wrote down the best things they'd learned, in a little book. I offered a simple, assemble-it-yourself menu of Chocolate Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Quick Scrambled Tofu, chipotle roasted sweet and russet potatoes, cashew cheese, guacamole, tortillas, and salad of greens, tomatoes, pepitas, and cilantro-lime dressing. We had mimosas and spicy hot chocolate to drink. It was all easy to put together, and after friends filled the dishwasher, there was virtually no mess.
I always serve generous plates of fruit at parties, and this time decided on a whim to make a big cake from the watermelon I'd planned to cut up.
To make the cake, simply cut the center portion of a watermelon into a thick disk. In my haste, I did this freehand, but you could draw guide lines to be sure the cuts are straight. Place the disk flat on a plate or platter, laying a paper towel underneath to catch any juices (they'll cause things to slide if left on the plate).
Cut the curved ends from the remaining sides of the watermelon; you'll have two more disks with sloping sides. Choose one disk to be larger (the second layer) and one to be smaller (the third). Cut the sides of one straight down, and trim around it until shaped like a round layer of cake. A template would be useful here as well. Repeat with remaining disk, making the layer smaller or larger than the second.
Stack second and third tiers onto the large watermelon disk, and decorate with whatever fruit you like. Butterfly wings made from sliced apples, or berries adhered to the sides with toothpicks in an interesting pattern would also be pretty (I was in a hurry, or I would've tried it!). For the top, I simply sliced the side of a mango, leaving the skin intact, and flipped it over.
G, helping make coffee cake. Seen here with her vegan Waldorf-style doll, made by her papa.
And today? She's asking, "When is my chicken party, mama? I want to have a chicken-theme party!"