Mary Ellen's Brazen Birthday Surprise

Hello people, welcome back! This week Mary Ellen has asked me to help her throw a birthday party. It's a bit cheeky of her and you'll find out why in the vidcast.

One of the subjects we cover is cake decorating. Making a pretty cake isn't difficult. To begin with if you're using a contrasting frosting you'll want to frost the cake twice. Begin by applying a very thin layer over the entire cake and then putting it in the fridge. The icing will harden and seal the cake crumbs in so you can frost it again without pulling up the crumbs and marring the appearance of the finished cake.
I like to use a combination of elements when decorating a cake, as we did in the demo. Begin by amassing your supplies. We used
-         sprinkles
-         sugar flowers
-         colored icing in a pastry bag.
The sprinkles were applied in a swath across the cake and accented with the flowers across the top. The pastry bag was used to create smaller star flowers and leaves. It's easier to create an abstract design than it is to write a name on the cake. The letters all have to be even and regular, where as an abstract design can be...well, abstract.
We also had strawberry punch for that party. It was just delicious. Here's how it's made:
You'll need:

4 cups of water
4 cups of sugar
2 quarts hulled strawberries
1 cup sliced pineapple
1 cup mixed fruit juice (we used kiwi/strawberry)
Juice of 5 large oranges
Juice of 5 large lemons
2 cups carbonated water
3 cups crushed ice
Boil the sugar with the water to create simple syrup. Chill the mixture in the fridge. Combine the strawberries, pineapple and juices and add syrup to taste. Chill the mixture until ready to serve. Just before serving add the carbonated water and crushed ice. The flavor of this punch is intense. It's designed to mellow out as the ice melts. It can be thinned with more carbonated water if desired. You can also make this punch more powerful with the addition of rum.
Now in this episode you meet Delta for the first time. She did a fashion segment on the original show and was just wonderful! She also made a lot of the original costumes for the first season of my Style network show. The party scene of the episode was shot in less than ideal conditions. I'm almost completely in the dark. It's one of those production value issues I mentioned last week. I feel like a Virginia Slims ad "You've Come a Long Way, Baby".