Thursday, 29 March 2012

Easter Wreath

So, even though I started this as a cake blog, I figured I would add some of the other crafty things that I do as well, especially since I don't make cakes ALL the time.  Gives me something else to share!

I've seen a few Easter wreaths online and thought they were cute and I wanted to try making one.  I didn't want to have to spend any money so I decided to use the plastic egg things we already had at home, and then I just hot glued it all together.

I think it turned out really cute! (the ribbon is leftovers from my wedding!)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Something New

Recently it was a friend's birthday and a few of us girls decided to get together for dinner and, of course, cake!  Since it was during my children's March break I was short on extra time trying to keep them busy and lost the time to do something more elaborate with the cake.  I decided last minute that I would try a technique that I had seen recently and looked easy enough...

When I first started I thought to myself,"What have I done?!"  It wasn't looking too good, but I powered on!  After the 2nd row I still wasn't sure about how this whole thing was going to play out in the end, but once it was all finished I was very happy with the results!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Happy New Year!

Better late than never, I suppose!

Well, here's the first cake of the year, a castle (in case you didn't know) 

I decided one day that I wanted to try making whoopie pies.  I had heard about them, but never made or even eaten them before.  I googled around a little and found a recipe I was willing to try, but instead of some of the suggested fillings I just used some buttercream frosting I had leftover... probably from the castle!

Here are the cake/cookie part, I guess they were too good, the actual "pies" never got their picture taken.  I guess we just ate them too fast!  They were yummy! 

Then came Valentine's Day.  I was trying to be good and somewhat healthy so instead of a fancy fattening dessert I made a healthier, heart shaped, chocolate zucchini loaf.  I still had to fancy it up a little, so I made somewhat of a ganache with just milk, instead of cream, and semi-sweet chocolate chips, then threw some heart sprinkles on it to make it a little more festive.  It was GOOD!

For the kiddies, I made some cake pops.  The oh so time consuming, but oh so delicious, cake pops!  Dipped in white...
 and red chocolate, and topped with some heart sprinkles!
There they are (I made a few pink ones too), over 40 of them... what am I going to do when my 3rd child starts school next year and there are MORE children I have to please with my pops?!?  It's truly a labour of love!  But I suppose I'll have more time to make them next year because I will no longer have to try to accomplish everything with my youngest constantly under my feet and asking for food... that might be nice!

Most recently (just this past weekend) I made another zebra print/Hello Kitty cake... who knew it was such a popular combo?!?  But it IS so darn cute!!  This time there was also a request for a small, co-ordinating, smash cake as well. 

Smash cake

Hello Kitty

The 2 cakes together
I think they turned out super cute!

I wonder what will be next on my cake agenda... I can guarantee there is another Hello Kitty in my future!  My youngest has decided that she also wants a Hello Kitty cake ("and Hello Kitty presents") for her birthday, but that's almost 2 months away yet.  I sure hope she doesn't change her mind, I've already started picking up some Hello Kitty gifts and decorations here and there.  Only time will tell I suppose!

Holy blog neglection!

Ok, well, I never claimed to be GOOD at this blogging thing!  Makes me so much more impressed in the people that do it everyday... I am not one of those people.

So because if my lack of stick-to-it-ed-ness (?) this is going to be another one of those long posts with a bunch of pictures.

Let's see what we have in our archives here...

Race car

Sanfrancisco 49ers Jersey... I was so happy with how CLEAN this one ended up!

For my middle daughter's 5th birthday party we did a faux slumber party.  The kids all made their own pizzas for dinner, we watched a movie... pretty much everything you'd do at a slumber party but I didn't have to keep any of them overnight! :D  Bonus!

For her friends to take home I made them each a slumber party cupcake (idea from "Hello Cupcake", or one of those books, can't remember exactly which one right now).  The main cake was a bed with edible versions of my 3 daughters in it.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture AFTER I gave them hair!
My 3 girls in a cake bed

And a closer shot

Another cake that I made was a lady bug, for a first birthday, and it had a small smash cake to accompany it

Smash cake, my 2nd attempt at using the Viva paper towel method for making buttercream look like fondant... I think it looks pretty darn smooth!
Lady Bug cake, with chocolate antennae!  Yum!

By far, my biggest challenge I gave myself was to create my first ever gingerbread house (I made a graham cracker house last year, but it was very basic, and I didn't have to bake anything, I just stuck a bunch of squares together, kind of like making a house of cards!) but to add to the challenge I decided to make a gingerbread replica of MY house! 
Here is what my house looks like
 Then, after much figuring and many questions to my husband about the measurements of our house and garage, I made a small scale replica using graph paper. 

Different angle of photo, but I think it looks like our house pictured above!
 Then I had to translate that small paper pattern into a sensible (and impressive!) size for a gingerbread house.  I bought some of that BIG graph paper that is used in school, but the previous scale I had used would have made a gingerbread house that our Jack Russell could practically live in! (until he ate the whole thing from around himself, lol)  So that was another task scaling down the pattern.  Finally it was time to start baking.  I measured, and cut and re-measured and trimmed, and stood close watch by that oven door so that the gingerbread was well done (sturdier) but not burned!  Did I mention I had never even made gingerbread before, never mind that I was making a house with it?!  Crazy lady in the kitchen! 

Finally, all the baking and trimming was done and it was time to assemble and decorate, the fun part!!  It took MANY hours to finish, and I'm sure I swore... a LOT, but in the end I was so happy with it that now I can't wait to make another one next year!  Will I use the same pattern?  That'd be the smart/easy thing to do, so probably not!

Here it is... taa-daa!  If you look REAL close you might even see that there is a Christmas tree in the window!
 After all that work on the house I'm sure you're all wondering if it was hard for me to smash it, but worth it for the enjoyment of the gingerbread... right??  I GAVE it away! :)  Donated it to a raffle at my children's school to help raise money for the school programs.  Worth every second! :D

In addition to the gingerbread house, I also donated a gingerbread sleigh filled with some chocolate goodies!

...and some melting snowman cookies for the school kids to buy for themselves.
 Here's a closer view of one:

...and that concludes my baking/decorating adventures of 2011!

I just realized that there was one (I think only one) cake that I missed from 2011...

The theme was Mickey Mouse (obviously) and they just wanted it yellow and red buttercream.  This was my first attempt at using the Viva papertowel method, good but not great.  I hope they were happy with the cake still!