Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Tribute to Gilbert Blythe

A Tribute to Gilbert Blythe
Dear Gilbert,

Before I could even read, I often found my mom lying in her bed late at night reading Anne of Green Gables. I remember the dictionary she kept on her night table because the author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, had an extensive vocabulary. What I didn't know at the time, was that those books would be made into a television film adaption in 1985. What I also didn't know was that you would enter my life and I would never be the same.

A tribute to Gilbert Blythe
First Edition of Anne of Green Gables
The first time I watched Anne of Green Gables, I coveted red hair and I was somehow jealous that those scarlet braids found there way into the hands of a dark-curly-haired-hazel-eyed boy. I didn't care that you were a bully. Those of us who read Montgomery's words, knew that wasn't your intention:

"Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look at him and failing utterly... Gilbert Blythe wasn't used to putting himself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. She SHOULD look at him, that red-haired Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and big eyes that weren't like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school. Gilbert reached across the aisle and picked up the end of Anne's long red braid, held it out at arm's length, and said in a piercing whisper: 'Carrots! Carrots!'" 

#Ihateyou #I'mgoingtomarrythisgirl

Though it took Anne several movies/books to figure it out for sure, I always liked you. Your intelligence, witty comments, willingness to give up Avonlea school because you thought Anne needed it more after Matthew died, and never stopping to earn Anne's forgiveness and trust  - those qualities basically gave me high standards to look for in a future partner. 
"Gilbert had also sprung from the boat and now laid a detaining hand or her arm. 'Anne,' he said hurriedly, 'look here. Can't we be good friends? I'm awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn't mean to vex you and I only meant it for a joke. Besides, it's so long ago. I think your hair is awfully pretty now - honest I do. Let's be friends.'"

Thank you for rescuing Anne from her re-enactment of the Tennyson poem before she drown. Every girl needs a hero.

I will be always grateful for you showing me that movies can be just a good as books. Jonathan Crombie will forever be in my heart as the only actor who could ever be you on screen. The world will never be quite the same without him.

Last of all, Gilbert, thank you for teaching me that the best things in life are worth the wait. You never gave up on Anne and your willingness to fight for her and love her despite her turning you down so many times, is something we all wish we had. You taught Anne that she didn't need to look for her dreams outside of herself. You helped her discover "it's not what the world holds for you, it what you bring to it."
Your Kindred Spirit,

Robin (with an "i")

If you are looking for an Anne of Green Gables-inspired romance set in a nowadays spy world, check out my romantic suspense book, Remembrandt and its sequel, Van Gogh Gone, coming September 2015! You'll have to let me know who you think is Gilbert.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Delicious Dish: Mini Fruit Pies - Recipes and Picture Instructions

Everything is better when it's done in the mini version, right? Then why not pie? For our amazingly fun book club for The Devil in the White City, we decided to play off of the idea of the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. That meant we had to have our very own BOOK CLUB FAIR! And what's a fair without some homemade pie?!

Author Robin King, By Robin King
Mini Apple and Cherry Pie

Check on my guest post on Delicious Reads with recipes and instructions on how to make your own mini pies!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Star Wars Party with R2D2 Cake

When I'm not writing, I have a few hobbies that I like to do. They are fun, help expand my brain, and are a creative outlet. Though I've never felt like I was very talented at art, I do love to create. When my sister-in-law asked for my help with my older brother's surprise 40th birthday party, I was all in! I love parties and I love surprises. Star Wars themed? Count me in (yes, I do like a dash of sci-fi every now and then).

Then I volunteered for the cake, because, well, I really wanted to make the party special for my brother. You only turn the BIG 4-0 once. So I decided to channel my inner Cake Boss and got to work. This isn't my first cake. I've done several cakes before this one, but none quite like this.

Can you find the cake?

What if I said that it was an R2D2 cake?
No, that is not an R2D2 toy. It's a cake!

Don't believe me? Look closer.
R2D2 Cake
The legs are made of rice crispy treats. The dome is also made of rice crispy treats using a bowl as a mold. The rest of the body was a delicious fudge chocolate cake - probably the best tasting cake I've ever made. Find the recipe on my blog here

 I used B-Side Blog for cake decorating inspiration and Cute Sweet Things Blog for more ideas and the pattern for the legs. The rest I just looked at the original R2D2 and kind of made it up as I went along. All the exterior pieces were made from marshmallow fondant. I coated the legs and head with melted white chocolate (so the fondant would have something smoother under it) and the cake body with chocolate butter cream frosting

Here's some of the other pictures of the food and decor:

I found FREE PDF of the food labels here and
added some of my own in Photoshop using a Star Wars font.

Jar Jar Links

Thermal Detonators

Vader Veggies

Wookie Cookie Salad

Princess Leia Buns (cinnamon rolls)

Princess "Lays" (Lay potato chips)

Death Star: My awesome nephew carved this out of a watermelon!

Palpatine's Pizza (bagel bites)

Use the "forks"

R2D2 Waters (link to FREE Droid water bottle labels here)

We found the poster at our local Hobby Lobby
and a friend made little labels for the candy bars in the bowl that said,
"Happy 40th Birthday"

Yoda Soda (any green drink will do)

Mason jars with Star Wars labels glues on the lids.

One last look at the R2D2 Cake.

The Best Chocolate Fudge Cake for Stacking or Layering

Very Dense and Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake


Heat oven to 325 ºF. 

Grease two 8 inch layer pans (line layer pans with parchment or waxed paper before greasing and flouring...I use Pam for Baking).

In a small saucepan, combine:

1 cup water
1 teaspoon instant coffee 
½ cup cocoa
2 sticks butter

Bring to a boil, then cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine:

2 cups self-rising flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar

Blend well to combine.

Pour cocoa mixture over flour mixture and mix on low until blended. 


2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix on medium speed one minute.
*(make your own buttermilk by combining 1/2 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup milk. Let stand for 5 minutes)

Pour into pans. Bake until cake tests done with a toothpick.

I used the Fudge Chocolate Cake for the body of R2D2 in this fun cake I made.
See more about how I made the cake and decorated for the Star Wars Party here.