Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Birthday Lunch, Costco, New Restaurant.

We went for my free lunch at the Mandarin Chinese Restaurant Mandarin Lunchwhere I love to eat. As always I started off with their hot and sour soup which is to die for. They really make a great one. It is the Moon Festival so they had all kinds of special dishes of which I tried several. In the evening they are doing Peking Duck but we rarely go there at night, pity. Once I haMandarin Lunch2d finished the main items (I included some sushi and a few dumplings too) they came and slapped a coolie hat on my head, put a cake with a candle in front of me, sang Happy Birthday and took a picture which is in a frame which will stick to the fridge. Then I went for dessert and had moon cake which I love. Sorry Alex, I didn’t hold back, no willpower at all. I did have fresh pineapple though. Pic scanned better out of the frame.

Having had our lunch and said goodbye to our friends, we went on to Costco where we broke our bank account as usual. We don’t go often, probably we should, it wouldn’t cost us so much. We now have lots of meat, fish and chicken for the freezer plus a bunch of pills we take, not cheap but cheaper than buying them at the pharmacy.

gilt_signMy friend’s niece has just opened a restaurant in Kitchener, on King St. so we must give it a try . It’s actually very close to the bowling alley so maybe we can lunch first one of these days. Her mom owns a restaurant in Elora called Cork and this new one is called Gilt. I wish them every success in their endeavour. As yet I don’t know what they are offering in the way of food. During our bowling season we travel to different alleys and a bunch of us have lunch first. This might be a good place for us when we are at our local alley, Towne Bowl.

This recipe is so cute I couldn’t resist passing it on although Hallowe’en is not for a month or so yet.

Sugar Ghost Cupcakes

Taste of Home

 Sugar Ghost Cupcakes
I had 10 neighborhood kids stop by to help me make these cupcakes for a bake sale, though I have no doubt that most of the treats never made it that far! —Mysie Sabin, Franklin, Wisconsin

24 Servings


  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (16 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water
  • 1 package (2 pounds) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
  • Blue, orange and green paste food coloring
  • Miniature peanut butter cups
  • Malted milk balls
  • Clear vanilla extract


  • Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for cupcakes; cool completely on wire racks.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in three-fourths of the sugar; turn onto a work surface coated with 3 tablespoons shortening. Knead until smooth and pliable, gradually adding remaining sugar and shortening. If necessary, moisten with remaining water. Wrap fondant in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
  • To decorate, set aside 1/4 cup frosting. Tint remaining frosting blue; frost cupcakes.
  • For ghosts: Invert two peanut butter cups and stack, securing together with a small amount of reserved frosting. Top with a malted milk ball, attaching with frosting. Repeat, forming 24 stacks.
  • On a work surface lightly sprinkled with confectioners' sugar, roll a 1-1/4-in. ball of fondant into a 4-in. circle; drape over a stack.
  • For eyes and mouth, gently cut out shapes using pastry tips. Repeat for remaining ghosts.
  • For pumpkins, stems and tendrils: Tint desired amount of fondant orange. Wrap fondant around malted milk balls; shape into pumpkins. Add imprint lines with a veining tool or toothpick.
  • For stems and tendrils, tint a small amount of fondant green. Shape into stems; attach to pumpkins using vanilla. For tendrils, roll out remaining green fondant; using a pizza cutter, cut into thin strips.
  • Gently wrap strips around toothpicks; set aside to dry. (Tightly wrap any remaining fondant in plastic wrap and store in a resealable plastic bag for another use.)
  • To finish cupcakes: Place a small amount of reserved frosting on top of each cupcake; top with a prepared ghost. Carefully remove tendrils from toothpicks and attach to pumpkins, using vanilla. Attach pumpkins to cupcakes as desired. Yield: 2 dozen.
Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested in a 1,100-watt microwave. This recipe was tested with Kraft brand marshmallows.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - the birthday lunch sounds as though it was just what you needed and it's great to see the two of you together ... and the Mandarin gave you the birthday works .. just so much fun to see.

    Always good to have the freezer full .. and then Halloween - it is soon isn't it .. bet the ghost cakes go down well .. Cheers Hilary

    1. It was great Hilary, and fun to get the hat and be sung to.

      Yup the freezer is certainly full now. Almost too full. No room for anything any more. I almost wish I had kids to make the ghost cakes for.

  2. No way I could make those cupcakes. My ghosts would be lumps.
    Hey, it's your birthday - why hold back?

    1. I haven't made fondant for many years, it is difficult.

      I didn't.

  3. You should party on your birthday!

    Not even trying those cupcakes. But they are adorable.

    1. I certainly partayed Elizabeth. Spread it over 4 days altogether.

      Aren't they?

  4. It's good to drag your birthday out. I'll be doing the same thing next week. I love the photo of you. You look fresh as a daisy and not a day over 50.

    1. Well I figure I get two birthdays anyway I was born at 2 a.m. on Sept. 14 in the UK which is still September 13 in Canada.

      I wish I were still 50.

  5. That's great you got a free meal at the Chinese place! I love Chinese food. What is moon cake?

    1. Moon Cake is something the Chinese make every year for the Moon Festival, about now, I love it lots of people find it to sweet and sticky.

  6. Nice photo. You look as if you're both having fun.