Friday, October 21, 2011

Dad is great, gives us some chocolate cake!

Happy Friday!  So I have chocolate cake on the brain today.  Every time I hear chocolate cake I think about the Bill Cosby Himself stand-up routine when he sings that song..."Dad is great, gives us some chocolate cake"!  Love it!  I've been searching and searching for some great scratch cake recipes over the last few weeks without much success.  The great thing about this industry is that everyone is so willing to share and give reviews of different recipes and techniques.  As I was stalking all of my favorite cake blogs the other day I ran across this recipe titled Best Chocolate Cake by Amanda of, yes please!  It's a recipe that was originally Ina Garten's of Barefoot Contessa fame. 

So off I went to try another cake and I must say that this one is definitely a keeper, so rich and moist and chocolatey and fabulous and...ok, ok, I'm back.   The hubby tried it and was impressed too, the problem is now that I can't keep myself from "testing" the flavor, i.e., it's disappearing very quickly.   Thanks again to Amanda for sharing!!

 I wanted to include a few more pictures of what I've been working on lately.  I've included links to other blogs that have great tutorials!  Did I mention how nice everyone is??

 I love this little guy!  I worked off a tutorial by LilaLoa here.  So cute and creative.
 Hello, Kitty:)
 I love the little hill.  I got the idea from this picture.  I'm not sure who the cake artist is so I apologize but here is the link: Thomas Cake

Enjoy and happy weekend to everyone!


Happy Birthday to G

Last weekend we went to Chicago for my cousin's daughter's 1st birthday party.  I come from a fairly large Italian family so there was a lot of food, love and fun!  Food is love, right?  Maybe that's my problem, I love too much!

On to the 1st birthday party.  My cousin, who is very fashionable, beautiful and knows just what she wants, knows how to throw a party!  Her gorgeous little girl "G"'s bedroom is based off this painting that her very talented father recreated just for her:  Bird & Cherry Blossom painting

My cousin wanted "G"'s 1st Birthday party to be based off this painting, which is beautiful!  We were talking one day about the party and I said I would love to make her cake, smash cake and cookies as her present for her special day.  So we got started on ideas and this is what we came up with.

 Cherry Blossom Cake for the princess!  This is based not only off of the painting by by one of my favorite cake artist's Pink Cake Box
Here is the smash cake based off a cake by the very talented Small Things Iced
 Birthday Banner and paper decor by Toadally Cute
 Here is the sweetie with her smash cake!
We were so happy to be able to celebrate her special day with her and the rest of our family!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hi all!  It's been a while since I've posted so I thought I would give an update of some of the things I've been working on and on the progress...or process...of getting the business started. 

First, the technical/business side of things.  My detail driven husband and I are laying out the basement that will, one day, be my commercial kitchen.  We should have it done by this weekend and at that point we will bring in the inspector once again to go over it before handing it in for an official plan review.  Getting closer!

Now onto the fun stuff!  I've been keeping busy with several projects over the last month, all which have been so much fun!  So here is a sampling of the goods!

How can you not celebrate 40 with this sassy thing!
Cutie little birdhouses

Yummy cupcake cookies
Go Chiefs!
60 & Fabulous!
 My first cupcake toppers, so fun!

And finally.......
a sneak peak of my next project!

Well that is all for tonight.  I am off to rub vicks on the little mans chest to help his cough and check on the princess who has an earache.  Don't you love this time of year???  I should buy stock in Allegra, Ibuprofen, Vicks and some sort of winery;)  The wine is for me, not the kids, just to clarify!  Night All!

Monday, August 29, 2011

I am speed!

A couple of weeks ago I get an email from my sister in law that was titled "challenge".  She then asks if I would be willing to take on the challenge of making a 3D Lightning McQueen for my nephews birthday.  I can't count the hours that my son has spent on the floor with his cars from the "Cars" movie.  Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks, The King and the rest of the gang have given us a lot of entertainment over the years so I decided to take on the challenge.  I have never done a sculpted cake but I'd never know if I could do it if I didn't try, right?

I was so relieved when this cake came together like it did.  It took me a total of 7 hours from start to finish but I was really happy with the outcome and hopefully the next time I make one of these the time will go down!  There were a couple things I would do different, but that's how you learn. 

So here are the pics of the finished product.  Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Half Baked Giveaway!

Carrie from Half Baked, the Cake Blog, is giving away a fantastic prize pack full of extremely useful tools for all of you cakers out there...beginner to pro.  Check it out!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Good News!

Hello!  I hope everyone is staying cool these days.  I'm not sure about you but it's been hovering around 100 degrees for what seems like forever around here!

So today is a special day for a couple of reasons.  First and foremost, it's the 11th anniversary of when my husband and I got married.  We've had a great 11 years and the fact that we've gotten through the last crazy year is a testament to our marriage!  In the past year we've moved from Michigan to Missouri, from our house to a condo to an apartment and into our new home, which we love.  The kids have changed schools, our son had to change twice.  New neighborhood, new friends, new schedule, lots of traveling for my husband and now starting a business!  Whew!!  Happy Anniversary Babe!  Love you!

Now for good news number 2!  I got an email from the county health inspector today saying that they are approving my door!  You know....the extra door between my kitchen/business and the rest of my house.  So relieved!  If they weren't able to approve that then my business was DOA!  Another Whew!!!  So I will be doing an preliminary walk through with him in two weeks!  I can't believe this is happening.  If you would have asked me 11 years ago if I would be starting a business I would have said you were crazy but here we are today celebrating success in marriage and livelihood!  I think this calls for a glass of wine:)  Cheers everyone! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What happens at the lake...stays at the lake!

So it's that time of year again!  Time for our annual trip to the lake.  Every year for the last 14 years...hold it, seriously, has it been that long since college?? UGH!  Anyway, I digress.  For the last
"several" years we have gotten together with our friends from college for some sort of trip.  It started out as camping by the Missouri River, turned into float trips and now we're renting a house at the lake.  I think you can actually see us age in that sentence!  The fact is we all need actual beds to sleep in and air conditioning, can you blame us??

I can't go into the details of what happens on these trips, first it would take too long and second you really would have to be there to understand:)  Let's just say it involves cocktails and a lot of stories about the good old days!

Last year I started making cookies for us to munch on.  I thought flip flops were appropriate since we spend a lot of time at the pool or in the hot tub:

In case you didn't notice, we're from Missouri, home of the Missouri Tigers.  We truly love the Tigers, even though you may not believe me when you hear my husband yelling at the tv when the football game is on!  So this year in honor of our Tigers I made tiger stripe cookies...GRRR!
I'm not sure what my next project will be yet but I'm excited to find out.  I may try out these yummy sounding s'more cupcakes by Glorious Treats.  She has lots of great recipes and advice.  Oh and an update on the business venture.  I'm still waiting to hear back from the county about my door so I'll keep you posted!  Keep your fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First step and Marshmallow Fondant...What? That goes together!

You know that phrase "baby steps"??  Yeah, that's about the speed things are moving towards getting my business started.  Today I'm sending out my first letter to the county to see if they will approve an additional door in my kitchen/business which will be located in my home.  Really?  A door?  Oh well, it will be worth it when I'm up and running!

You see the county guidelines say that I cannot have a door that opens into any living or sleeping quarters of my home and must have a separate entrance.  My kitchen will be in our walkout base..which will work as my separate entrance...but they don't want any other exits which means I wouldn't be able to access my house from the business. 

I stay at home with my kids so it's KIND of important that I can get to them.  I'm just sayin'.  Anyway, the letter goes out today!  Wish me luck! 

I also wanted to add the link to LilaLoa's MMF recipe!  It's really easy and tastes great!  Thanks to LilaLoa for sharing all of her great tips:)
LilaLoa's MMF

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss??

So over the last week I've had the opportunity to create a baby shower cake and cookies for my sister-in-law and brother who are expecting their first child, a little boy, in about a month, and I have to say I'm so excited to meet my new nephew!!!!  The baby shower was this past weekend and was so cute.  We had a lot of really creative people helping out and it turned out great!

That being said, I've been researching Dr. Seuss cakes for about a month and found so many great ideas.  I loved certain components of several cakes and decided to combine them into one.  The cake is mostly based off of a cake I saw by brea1026 on that really embodied the essence of Dr. creative!  I love the truffula trees and the landscape!

I also wanted to incorporate a saying from Dr. Seuss on the cake so I decided to replace the clothes line with the quotes, which I must say took me forever to decide to actually put food pen to cake, because once I started, that was it!  It turned out really cute though and I was so relieved!

Putting this cake together was quite the learning process as well.  The bottom layer went together so smoothly.  Fondant went on without a hitch, no bubbles, all decorations went on and looked great.  THEN came the top layer which you will notice doesn't have a lot going on.  I had made some marshmallow fondant, a recipe I got from LilaLoa, which always turns out great.  I had colored the fondant the night before and I could tell that the texture of the red was changing because I was adding so much gel.  I was hoping it would settle overnight and there would be no issues...well, I was wrong, very, very wrong!   I didn't realize red was so hard to deal with.  It kept cracking and basically falling apart, nothing I could do but throw it away.  I didn't have time to make more so off to Michael's I went to buy Duff's pre-colored fondant, which is $20!!!  But in that instant it was the greatest thing ever and it is actually really good!

Other things I learned this time around...I need to set my supports higher so the top layer doesn't sink, I need to tint my fondant before starting to color it red and chilling the cake is the key to success!!  All in all the cake turned out really cute and I was so happy my SIL loved it:)  Well, after all of that, here is the cake and cookies too.  I think it's my favorite project so far!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!...and 2010 cakes & cookies

I love the 4th of July!  It brings back such great memories of the block parties we would have with our neighbors that would last into the wee hours of the morning and the mountains of fireworks debris in the streets that would take hours to clean up, but man it was fun!

We've already had such a fun weekend making our way to two parties and still have one more to go today.  My kids are not big fans of the fireworks yet, but I'm hoping to desensitize them by over exposing them this weekend:)

It's going to be a busy week after we get back home.  I'm making Dr. Seuss cookie pops and a cake for my sister-in-law's baby shower to welcome my little nephew "C" into the world!  So excited!  I'll post pics when I'm done but for now I'll leave you with another sampling of some of my cakes from last year.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

2011 Projects

So here are some of the things that I have been working on over the past few months.  I'll add more later.  Have a wonderful 4th of July holiday!