Thursday, December 31, 2009
I guess I am closing out 2009 with one helluva bang!! I can honestly say...I would have rather beem baking!!
Happy New Year!!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Christmas is way too close and I'm nowhere near ready! My tree is up, though! It's ummm...naked and in the dining room! lol But it's up! :)
And tonight I got to decorate my very first Bugs Bunny cake! I'm very happy with how it turned out but that will be another post.
Ok wow - that was a boring post! lol
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Here we go again!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Results are as follows;
1. I will "try" to send out Birthday cards every month...oops! My bad!
Not only did I not send them...I think I only made about 3 cards all year!!
2. My Christmas cards will not go out early and I'll be lucky to get them out at all!!
3. My hand made cards were supposed to be made by September...good thing I didn't clarify which YEAR!!
4. There's still a chance for me to use all my ornaments...unless they're "fugly"...but I don't even have a tree yet!
5. A tree in my basement...we'll see??
6. At some point, I'm supposed to get an advent calendar for the girls and actually follow it...LOL WHATEVER!!! No way that'll happen!! lol
7. My goal to finish all my shopping by October first was crap!! It's almost December 1st and I haven't even started!!!
8. My Christmas decorations are supposed to be up by the end of November - we'll see!
9. I have about 2 weeks to put my tree up. (December 1st)
10. I will not miss a single concert or craft fair...so far so good! HA! 1 out of 10 baby!! Oh yeah!!
11. My house should look like Las Vegas by now and yet...I'm not even sure where I put my lights!! LOL
12. In the midst of all the things I've failed miserably at, I'm supposed to enjoy every minute of the holidays...ummm..ok?? sure!! I'll get right on that!! LOL
So I guess it's time for next years resolutions, which are summed up nicely by this...DON'T SUCK NEXT YEAR!!! LOL
Happy Almost Holidays!!
I'm off to check on my belly! :)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Kiddo turns 7 tomorrow, and when I asked her what kid of cake she wanted, she said a Topsy Turvy cake! Damn! :( lol
1. Mixes are evil - you need a more stable batter.
2. You need 3 layers per tier. Torting 1 tier into 3 does not work.
So - this time round, I used a modified mix recipe.
2 - boxes of chocolate cake mix
2c - flour
2c - sugar
1 1/2 tsp - salt
6 large eggs
2tsp - almod extract (I only use 1tsp)
2 tsp - vanilla
2 2/3 c - water
2c - sour cream
1/4c - vegetable oil
**note** If you want to make a white version of the same cake, replace the 6 large eggs with 8 large egg whites. **
I LOVE this recipe cuz it always works out perfectly! You mix all the dry ingredients in 1 bowl.
So - back to my cake. In the tutorial I found, she mentioned that I could avoid excess trimming by using diffent size pans. I used my 3" deep pans and made an 8" round and a 6" round. For the 3rd layer I used a 2" deep pan and made another 6" round. In theory - that was a good idea.
The lesson I learned from this cake, is that I should use my standard 2" pans. The 3" pans are too deep and make the tiers too high. It still worked out - it juts means that it feels a little top heavy and tippy - but it will be fine by the time I'm done! It's a lesson learned for next time! :)
I followed the instructions and angle cut the 8" round, and spun the top half to give me the crooked look. I frosted all 3 layers together, then trimmed it to give it the Topsy Turvy style. so now, I've got the cake assembled, and ready to frost and decorate. Trouble is...I'm out of frosting and out of shortening and icing sugar!! Crap!!
maybe kiddo won't notice if I don't frost her cake;) LOL Off to the bulk barn I go! :) I'll post pics later - promise.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Help - I can't decide...
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Recently, I found an idea for a DIY baking cone that suggested using a soup can instead! I was intreagued, and gave it a try. I am happy to report, that my new baking fave is my DIY baking cone!! Check out the level-ness of this cake!! AND because it's open on the bottom, you can't even tell it was there when I put it back together!! YAY! (ok - maybe you can tell a little - but because it's the same size from top to bottom, the cake goes together way better and way more easily when torted!!)
I also need to point out that I'm still WAY in love with the bake even strips too (see him wrapped around the pan in the 1st pic?)! They're a perfect match for my soup can! lol If you don't have the strips - gettem! And the next time you bake a cake (bigger then 10") pop a can in the middle of that bad boy and watch what happens!! :)
Looking back, the only thing I would do differently is the 2 Wedding cakes right before our crop! That made for some busee times!! Thursday afternoon I could feel a bug coming on. I tried to dose myself with vitamin C but by Friday morning, my throat was on fire and it felt like I had sucked up a balloon! Not awesome! :( Sinutab got me thru till Sunday - but I've been in bed pretty much non stop since then.
Rewind - Friday morning 8am...crickets chirp as I sit alone in the crop room...YAY - MEL'S HERE!! Mel was the first to arrive - she was a great help at re-arranging all the tables to make loads of space for everyone - Thanks Mel ;) Not long after, the rest of the crew filter in one by one...Jay showed up with the yummiest of yummy chocolate covered oreos...mmmmm - yup - let's say that again! Chocolate Covered Oreos! Soon after, the room was filled with lots and lots of scrappin! I was actually quite happy with myself for getting as much done as I did! Normally, I wander and take over other peoples layouts but I'm proud to report that it didn't happen even once this weekend! :) (Ok - not true - sorry Le-Sly)
So Saturday night, I'm sitting at the table...I don't really remember who all was there with me, but Mel points out that the only person in our group who has never been "pranked" is Jay! (spidey senses tingling) What I was thinking is - Dude! I made her a Barbie Bucket! But what I said was "Yeah - but anything you could do to rattle her would just be mean!" Mel agreed and scrapping continued. A while later, Lorinda (Hotel Gawdesse extraordinaire - who'm I've known since the 4th grade) comes to get me. On my way out of the room, I noticed that Nola was eating take-out, so I figured she was coming to tell me that we couldn't have outside food in the scrap room. Nope - not even close. What she told me was that the church group who has the room the next morning at 9am was sending Service Master in to steam clean the carpets at midnight because they thought they were disgusting. My first thought was "they do have a point"...but I deal with crap like that at work all the time so it wasn't a huge deal. She seemed to be freaking so my instinct was to stay calm. I mean realisitically - how many scrappers do we have in the room after 2am?? I kept offering to go talk to the gurls...but she kept saying no-no let me make some calls. (spidey senses still tingling) So I went back into the room to collect my things...I was about to break it to them gently but figured I'd let Lorinda make some calls first - afterall - no need to cause a stampede until we need to. Back to my room I head. That's when things started to get very tingley - Mel shouts after me to find out what room I'm in cuz she wanted to reach Lesley...huh?? Weird!! Ok - I'll bite! "212" I shout. So I get to the room, and tell Le-Sly that I think I'm proud of myself...but I'm not sure yet...then the phone rings. It's one of those weirdo one sided yes-yes-yes-no she's not - yes -yes conversations that is clearly about me. So I figured I'd go talk to Lorinda. At that point, Mel is at my door..."YOU SUCK!!" Is what I was thinking...but 2 can play at this game ;) So - I bolt down the hall ignoring her - headed straight for Lorinda...the second I see her I say "I've known you since the 4th grade" and she immdiately replies with "I'M SOOO SORRY!!!" A-HAAA! Thank you spidey senses!! By now, Mel has followed me down to the lounge!! Thinking way too fast, I ask Lorinda if she'd be willing to kick me out?? She looks scared so I assured her that I wouldn't cause a scene with her kids at the bar - "Look Mad!" I told her - then I shouted something about this sucking etc. and I think that we'd never be back...I bolted passed Mel and the crowd that we had attracted. By now, everyone was trying to convince me that it was a joke...but I was on a mission. I know that to let them know I knew wouldn't be as effective unless I had some distance so off to the crop room I headed. I was ignoring everyone and am happy to have found out that I didn't physically shove Amy into a tree like I originally thought - pfeuf!
With distance between Mel & I (she was still trying to convince me that it was a joke) I shouted that "I've put too much into this!!" bla bla bla and I bolted in, slamming my stuff onto the table and filling my pockets to leave. I think I must have done a great job at looking mad cuz everyone looked really worried! lol Finally Mel hollers "IT WAS A JOKE!!!" from the other side of the ball room...I stopped, smiled, turned around and politely told her "I knew before I left the room!" And THAT is how it's done!!! ROTFL I'm pretty proud of my performance...but now that I've posted it - I think I'll have to let it go, or I risk rubbing it in too much! lol
All things considered, I think Mel was a good sport about it! Lorinda has refused to be a part of our groups shinanigans anymore cuz we "freak her out!" It was fun to have it flipped, though, for a change ;) With any luck, maybe it will take the focus off of Scope for a bit and give Mel a chance to live that down first?? lol
The rest of the weekend was a blast and loads of scrappin got done! It was great to have most of our "herd" together again...let's aim for April ladies! I'm missin yawl like mad! :) ((HUGS))
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Thanksgiving was quiet this year…Hubby and I took kiddo apple picking, but there wasn't much left to pick so it didn't take long. One of the highlights of the trip was a little boy (about 4) who was running down the path from the horse paddock screaming "DAD! DAD! I GAVE THE HORSE AN APPLE AND HE MADE APPLE JUICE!!!" Ok - eww - but it totally cracked me up!
I bought my turkey (frozen) on Thursday. Did my Turkey math and it's now Monday - I'm good to go! GREAT BIG FREEZIN WRONG!!! Who knew that 4 days in the fridge will NOT thaw a turkey! Well…now I know! By the time it was done, it looked like Franken-bird (ooo - visual!) but it was cooked at least. We had to take almost all the water out and cut off the legs, but still…it only took 5 hours to cook!!
In the process, though, hubby thought he'd make nice with the dog…all 120lbs of her! Yup - he fed her breakfast twice…nice! Then fed her half cooked turkey guts!! Yummm!!! Had I witnessed his lapse in judgement, I probably could have avoided the $8 cost of getting oldest kiddo to clean it up! Honestly, though - it was a steal! No way would I have done it for free!! Especially since it took at least 3 dust pan loads and half a pack of bounty big napkins, just to clean up the first pile!! Ewwww!!
Once the bird cooking and barf cleaning was done, though, I think we all enjoyed a great Turkey dinner and the kids totally had a blast looking at the dog puke so overall, I think we had a pretty good - all be it interresting Thanksgiving!
And now I'm off to make another cake! Groan
Sunday, October 11, 2009
1 bag of small marshmellows.
1 bag of icing sugar (I always keep a 2nd on hand just in case!)
1 tsp clear vanilla
2 Tbsp of water
Butter - for greasing your bowl (adds a tiny bit of flavour too)
Shortening for greasing your hands.
I start with my "fondant bowl". I love this bowl - it's one of my favorite things! It used to belong to Nann (God I miss her) and it works perfectly for fondant! It's heavy enough that it holds the heat in and when I grease it first, the marshmellows slide right out! :) Sooo - step 1...grease the bowl. I have a rubber pastry brush that I use to brush the entire inside with butter. As Mom would say..."It's a Dandy!".
I normally use the small marshmellows. They melt and mix more evenly. For this batch, though, I had a small amount left over from another bag of big marshmellows, and needed a bigger batch so I added the big ones to the small ones. I also pour about 2Tbsp of warm-ish water over them before putting the bowl into the microwave. That's why they look a little sweaty. Oh - You'll also want to butter a rubber spatula or scraper thing...you'll need it to stir them as they melt. Do it now cuz once you get started, everything goes really quickly!
I put the entire bowl in the microwave for 1 minute. With my original recipe, I was only in about 30 second increments - but - I'm using a really heavy ceramic bowl so 1 minute increments works for me.
While the marshmellows are melting, I sift my icing sugar. I can NOT stress how important sifting your icing sugar is. You MUST MUST MUST sift it!! Don't believe me?? Try to skip this step and you'll quickly realize (the hard way - like I did) why it's so important!! If you do not sift it, you'll get these little hard-ish bits of icing sugar lumps throughout your fondant. These little hard bits poke through the top...then crumble leaving a gaping hole with powder poofing out! Not awesome!!! PLEASE sift your icing sugar!!
Most recipes I've found call for greasing your counter top. I'm sure that works great...I just found it more messy then I needed so I simply sift a HUGE amount of icing sugar onto my counter and make sure the melted marshmellow doesn't touch the counter.
Now - if you want to color it - toss it into a plastic bag with some coloring gel and smoosh the heck out of it until it's colored. Using a plastic bag will save your hands from becomming an unnatural shade of whatever color you are using!.
To apply it - roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Be sure to flip it over after each roll. It keeps it from sticking to the counter and keeps it rolled evenly.
Lay it over your cake when it's big enough. You can use either the warmth of your hand to smooth it out or Wilton has a "Dandy" of a spreader that I couldn't live without! Use a pizza wheel to trim the edges off and voila! Oh - the sticks are to suppor the top layer - check out my post about the wedding cakes and you'll see what I mean. :)
So - that's what I know about fondant. Hope it was helpful and feel free to hit me with any questions. I might not know the "right" answer - but I'll be able to tell you what has worked for me! :)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
So the first step was to "tort" each layer. I got the coolest little cake slider by Wilton! It's got a wire that runs from one side to the other for cutting. As MOm would say..."It's a Dandy!" Well - you can kinda see in this pic that I've sliced the top tier (the 6" cake) into 4 thin layers.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The big "B" was the star attraction and the B-Day girl LOVED her! YAY FOR BEE CAKES! :) It was made using the sports ball pan and took less then an hour to decorate!! I used my cricut to cut out folk art hearts for the wings! ;) Sneeky - I know!
Anyway - I have a few other cakes to post, but that's all for now!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I figured I'd post the steps for a basic 3 tier cake, to show how it all comes together. The real key is to start way ahead of time so that you have time to fix those "suprises"...Like...a cake that falls cuz your kids don't listen and played leap frog through the kitchen...grrr! So - with that in mind, that's how the life of this Wedding cake began.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
By the time I got home from town, the cake was done. I didn't have a mold, so I had to improvise. I hand sketched the outline on the back of the e-mail that he had given me...cut that out and used it as a template to cut out the cake!
5:21pm...Ok - The cake has cooled and is now "torted" - meaning I sliced it into layers to fill with frosting! Yumm! then I had to build the arm and the end thingie. (Note to guy who wants the cake - I have no clue what the "end thingie" is called) Once I had all the pieces - it was time to assemble the guitar cake...when I was done, it looked like this!One request that he had was that when you get reeeely close to it, it would look like wood-grain. Holy crap!! How do you do THAT with frosting??!! lol Well...I piped wood-grain onto it with frosting, then filled in around. I don't know if it looks like wood-grain or not, but it is definately starting to look more like a guitar! What didn't help is when hubby walked by and asked if it was supposed to have "streatch marks"! Thanks guy I married - you're a jerk!
And that...my friends is the life of an electric guitar cake!!