Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A friend bid at a school silent auction for a cake that I put in the hat for sale. When she called she had been thinking about what she wanted. It went something like, "I would like to get a cake that has a pig on it in a farm scene." My response was, "Okay no problem" and then she added, "But the pig HAS TO HAVE RED LIPSTICK on."............my response was "What shade?" - because I totally admire anyone who wants more then Happy Birthday written really pretty.
I could include pictures of this cake from different angles.........but let's be honest - this cake is all about the pig (although I really love the sheep).
The cake was a half and half - Chocolate and Yellow. Vanilla Buttercream Icing. And lots of fun and giggles for ladies who work together and often say, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig." to each other.
Friday, June 24, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
But......this cake was SO MUCH FUN to make!! It stretched some of my thinking a bit - kinda like the Rapunzel cake did. The whole "how do I get that to stay put" and "what shape would I need to cut this into to reflect what it is supposed to be" thing was a bit exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Primarily because - while this person heard of me through another person I know from our elementary school - I didn't really know this person - and more scary - this was for her wedding as a SURPRISE gift to her Brand Spanking New Hubby!! Technically I know she was under way way way way way more pressure for perfection then I was........but somehow I was able to create enough pressure for myself that I could live enough stress to exhaust myself for a day too.
More so then the stress though - This Was So Much Fun To Make!!
What is it? Oh......well the title kinda gives it away, but the two shapes above are the start of a Kubato tractor. You don't see it? Oh.........well the big hunk of cake is the base and the little hunk of cake is the cab on top. You still don't see it? Oh.......well let's keep going then.
Here are the dowel rods that I cut down BY MYSELF with the high tech tools my hubby keeps in the garage that I have not ever touched due to wanting to keep my fingers. However, Dave wasn't home so I had to risk my fingers to get this done.
These keep the cake in place so that they don't slide around a bunch.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Anyway - back to topic. This post is for my friend, Chris. Back when I first became a Stay At Home Parent our finances changed. We went from - buy whatever we want whenever we want - to spend as little money as possible on things so that we can still buy fun things. Groceries were one of the items that I scrutinized for cost change. We went from luxury groceries (name brands) - to researching cutting costs - like shopping bulk at Sams (which we ended up dropping because it wasn't all really a deal at all) and sale shopping (but not coupon hoarding) and in the end settling on Aldi for most of our groceries. To replace some of the luxury groceries I began trying to duplicate them myself - like decorated cakes obviously...can't let a little kid have a party without a rockin' cake right?......but also delicious breads and other foods that we were getting when going out to eat. If you took the time it can be done I found. So Dave became the master of most grilling/smoking/meaty things and he is way better then many of the restaurants I have been to and I took up most of the rest. Bread became a fun obsession for awhile (because remember I am not disciplined enough to master). I got a bread machine - which I eventually discontinued - and then started doing them from scratch. Vowing at one point not to buy any specialty breads anymore - which I discontinued once the children began to multiply.
This recipe featured in this blog is a family keeper though. Challah bread. Yum - Yum - OHMYGOODNESS we love this bread - Yum.
If anyone wants the recipe I will gladly send it to you. I picked it up from a boyfriends mom when she asked me to bake it for Passover. We dated about 3 years and I became the Challah and Kugel bringer to gatherings. Ohmygoodness I should make a kugel for our next friend gathering.......I forgot about kugel.
Through the years we now do bread really only for holidays. In the summer we mess around a bit. Ben loves to do breads a bit more then the other kids. The Challah bread recipe we have fun with because we turn then into surprise pockets. In the top picture you see Ben putting the egg wash over the bread. He was left out of the bread creation because as we waited for the yeast to rise a friend came over and knocked on the door......he then disappeared for the flour and the rising and the pounding down and the rising and the special surprise pocket ingredients.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Here is a perfect example. We were having two of our grands over for a celebration of Andersen - she was being baptized at our church. However, it was also the Grands birthdays........so we thought it would be fun to celebrate them with a few cute cakes. I asked the kids "what" said Grandpa O to them and they said - Diet Coke!! I swear to goodness that I did NOT plant this idea in their heads, but I have been wanting to try to make a soda can. So we went with their idea and I carved the cake to look like a soda can - fondant over the top - and a tab to open it up........Tah Dah.....
I got it right? The only thing left to do was paint the fondant.........Now I wasn't sure how to make the fondant silver - and foolishly I hadn't searched it on any cake blogs - and even more foolishly I asked Dave's advise (who has totally said he is NOT the person who knows about cakes) and he said go with White Fondant and then paint it.............
Well just in case anyone follows this blog for TIPS - here is a TIP - make your fondant a light Grey if you are trying to create a silver color - THEN paint over it with some Silver luster dust or tint to make it look shiny silver. We made do though and in the end it was still doable. You learn by doing right? So totally cool right? Andersen painted this!!! Personally I think this is AWESOME!! Andersen however kept complaining that it didn't look great. That the word was crooked - that the swoop was wrong - that the circle around the register mark wasn't round - so many little things that were cool in my eyes. And I realized ....... I think I do that when I am creating a cake too.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
For me to CASE (copy and steal everything) is not a shameful thing - doing it builds up my own confidence in doing something - what I mean is ...... if I see that you have done something so completely wonderful I would like to see if I can do that wonderful thing too. Once I build my skill at doing something I can master without having to recreate the wheel....then I can move on to original works of my own art with confidence. I know there are folks out there that do not agree with that - they feel that if it is a copy of something else then you aren't really showing that you have the ability to truly create. To that I say...."eh".....the world is how many years old? Someone has likely been there - so don't stress yourself out (my husband might cringe and giggle that I said that - he so doesn't believe that I don't stress - and he is right, but I am stressing about perfection, not about creativity credit - TOTALLY different).
Now on the day of these cupcakes we were both stressing about something not cake related. I came downstairs and found water all over the floor. Thinking someone had been messing with the water button on the fridge I went to get a towel. Then as I did that I began to think that Dave was the only one up after me the night before and unless he got giddy on treats before bed it didn't make sense that he would play with the water button. So as I laid the towel down I opened the freezer door and found a frozen waterfall that was dripping. Our ice maker had decided to go bezerk (how do you spell beserk? bezerk? - oh well phonically you can read that right?). Woke Dave up - began to dismantle the freezer contents and look for the problem. Ice maker.
There were tons of things thawed out........some thrown away - others saveable. And then there were the 5 bags of peeled & cup up pie making apples I had put in before winter came (like we are the Ingalls right?). What to do with them? Pie? No. Crisp? Yum. Cupcakes? Hmmmmm.....
What made the cupcake idea the winner? My new cupcake huller. Just fresh from the store bought for my by my dad for my birthday!! Yes!! I needed something to fill the cupcakes I was longing to use my huller on.
Cupcakes baked - Huller out - simple as apple pie - place into the cupcake - twist - pull out.
Monday, June 6, 2011
There we are filling out paperwork - almost to the end of the meeting and the GS Council coordinator says, "Well the troop leader that has this group has decided she only wants to lead 4th & 5th grade. So in order for this troop to happen we will need parents to lead this group". Immediately I started an inner mantra of "I WILL NOT VOLUNTEER. I WILL NOT VOLUNTEER. I WILL NOT VOLUNTEER." And it worked - some other woman said she would lead it.........only.......I had been listening to that woman through the meeting and knew she was NOT a parent I would want leading my daughter anywhere. She was pretty much Miss Inappropriate Universe winner for the area. I won't even waste time writing out some of the things she talked about - just know they were no empowering to little girls in anyway. Then the GS Council person said "Great"........then I raised my hand and said I would "co" to keep things empowered for young girls. Fortunately the leader was not only not appropriate - she also wasn't committed or reliable. By the time the meeting ended she had quit as leader (no I didn't do anything) - but that also meant that I was the leader. I did have a "co" though - she was coming from the older girls troop with her 3rd grader. I figured "how hard can GS's be?"
Little did I know that my "co" leader would become a great friend and I would end up leading a 3 level Girl Scout troop and coordinating our school and becoming friends with many of the parents in the troop - taking girls on trips out of town - camping - scraping outdoor potties and then painting them - selling 1,000's of boxes of cookies with my daughter - watching her earn awards - becoming close with the woman in the Council office - taking on being the Service Project coordinator for the entire council area - and really really loving it!!!
This year was our 3rd Bridging Ceremony. The first year we had 3rd grade and the other troop which covered 4th & 5th. Maybe we had 50/60 people attending. It was modest, but it was fun.
The next year we added the 1st grade Daisies troop. We bumped the number up a bit and also added in the girls entertaining the group with songs and doing the Flag Ceremony.
This year our Bridging Ceremony spanned all grade - K Daisies, 1st Grd Daisies, 2nd Grd Brownies, 3rd Grd Brownies, 4th Grd Jr., 5th Grd Jr. & 6th Grd. Cadettes. It was awesome!! We had the room filled and we actually ran out of cake!! I love that my daughter is part of a community of girls that work hard for the community and accept one another for who they are - goof balls to the end really!! I also love that I can walk through the halls at school and say, "There goes one of my GS's" and on occassion have them call my name and run up and hug me.........Girl Scouts are awesome!!
This cake was half Chocolate and half White - Vanilla Buttercream icing with all deco's in Vanilla Buttercream. Fun to make - Fun to serve!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
The most important animal she said was the horse..........done
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Even the beginning process of painting the print in pink was overwhelming, but that may be because the first step was to paint a bunch of pink blotches/circles/odd shapes all over the white fondant - and those shapes were VERY bright without the black outline. VERY PINK.
But I trudged on and eventualy had the whole cake finished. Made some fushia balls to place around the edge and called it done.
Then my Anti-Pink daughter came into the room and said, "Wow that looks really cool!" I mentioned the pink being not her color and she said, "It isn't my cake, but you did a really good job!" Yea - even an Anti-Pink person thought the cake was nice - which was good to hear because my retina's were burning from pink shock and I couldn't tell if it was nice.