Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014!

I'm sitting here, sipping some well-deserved wine after a very busy night... Pinterest just might do me in one day!

I had a co-worker save her empty milk jugs for me (she shops for groceries in the US), because I saw an idea on Pinterest where you draw a face on them, fill them with water, and then put a glow stick inside of them. Now, you and I know, not all Pinterest ideas work (I learned this after reading about one woman trying the "sugar spray" hair straightener and how much of a hassle she had trying to comb all the knots out of her hair, which is good and bad for me... bad because I wanted to believe something so cheap and easy could straighten my curly hair, and good because what she went through would totally be MY luck... thank goodness she saved me the hassle lol!). So anyway, back to my jugs.. lol! As I was breaking the glow stick, I half-wondered if it would work. But, lo and behold, we turned out the lights and it glowed like crazy! My husband was soooo impressed. We had six of them, and he designed them all.. but became stumped when he got to the last one. He told me he was trying to come up with an idea, and the movie, Saw, came to my mind... I think it was one of the best ones! You can see it on my new Instagram feed on this page.

So, as he was doing that, I was whipping up buttercream and icing cupcakes. Four dozen of them. Two dozen were for our youngest son's Halloween party at school... and a dozen each were for my husband and I to bring into work. I used my Cricut Cake machine to cut out leaves for toppers... I was a little disappointed that there was no preset on it for Halloween but I made do :)

Anyway, after all that was done, I wanted to put my costume together for work, thinking it wouldn't take too long... yeah, no. Two heads are definitely better than one though, because I'm not sure I could have done it without my husband. When it was all said and done, it turned out AWESOME! He was laughing so hard, because of how well it turned out! (I'm telling myself that's what it was, and I'm sticking to it!) It was pretty cheap to make, with a trip to the dollar store!

And all of this was while our oldest son was helping out at his high school Halloween dance. Have I mentioned we're a busy family?

Because wine. Am I right?

I did try another project, but I'm not sure how it will turn out.. it's on the small side, because it's more of a trial than anything else... once I master it, I'm sure I can do a much better job. If it doesn't turn out, you won't even see it, but if it's halfway decent, I just might let you see it lol!

And in one week, a cousin of ours is heading out from Ottawa (the same one we visited in July), and I'm making her a LONG-belated birthday cake. Her birthday is in March, and she was going to come out for a visit then, but it didn't pan out, and I was a tad disappointed because I knew what I wanted to make for her. But I tucked the idea away and decided the opportunity would present itself. And now it has. This cake is going to be a lot of work, and I know I can rock it! Stay tuned... I think a lot of my friends will be impressed... heck.. *I* will be impressed!

Have a safe and happy Halloween.. and I will post pictures soon!

Stay scary!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I find it very interesting...

but, I've noticed a big difference in the popularity of "girl cakes" to "boy cakes".

Boys need cake too... it's not just a girl thing, right? My boys need cake, for sure! They make sure to let me know this at every available opportunity, and if it's not being made for them, oooh the drama!

Being a mom of two boys, it's both surprising and not so surprising.

Not so surprising because I started noticing a trend about 14 years ago when shopping for clothes for my oldest son when he was six months old. The girls' department had three, jam-packed aisles of pretty dresses, frills and lace, tops, skirts, jeans and pants... the selection was just astounding! Me, I head over to the boys' "department" and I'm greeted with one SIDE of an aisle, with some pants and shirts, and if I was lucky, they came in different colours! I guess, like clothes, people love seeing the pink and frilly on cakes!

I just think it's amusing to see the difference in how popular certain cakes are on my FB page. People will always surprise you.

A recent cake that was very well received was a princess-themed giant cupcake cake, with standard cupcakes. This cake was fun to do because I finally cracked open my Cricut Cake machine. I bought this machine awhile ago but I think I was somewhat scared to use it. Yes, I loved the possibilities! But, my patience only goes so far, so when I heard that sometimes the machine jams when cutting the fondant, I was hesitant, because I have enough issues at times! LOL!!

I'm, by no means, a pro at it now, but it was fairly easy to use, and it really saved me some time. I love fondant cut-out toppers for cupcakes! And I wanted to be sure that there was one for every cupcake, so this was perfect, and did all the work for me. I also cut out two different "crowns" using patterns on the machine. I wanted to do two, so that in the event of one breaking, I'd have a backup. But as usual, when you have a back-up, everything turns out fine, so I'm really glad I did it!

I used two colours of icing in the piping bag for the cupcakes and I was quite happy with the effect! Some silver dragees were attached with sugar glue on all of the crowns. The little girl (my niece) thoroughly enjoyed getting her hands dirty with the giant cupcake cake!

What kinds of cakes interest you, and make you drool? Is it more about decorating, or the flavour that does you in?

Stay tuned for some scary treats coming up later this week in time for Halloween! I'll be making some cupcakes for my youngest son to take to school, and a special family treat that I wasn't going to make, but the challenge is just too great!

In the meantime, stay sweet!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, there is no denying that fall has arrived, is there? :(  The good thing about it is that I am baking more and making the house smell amazing! It IS the season for putting on a few extra pounds LOL!

Going to keep it short and sweet today... we had our turkey dinner yesterday and I have soup to make today! I am very excited about turkey soup!

We were blessed to get to spend lots of time with people on both sides of the family this weekend... I was able to reconnect with a lot of my cousins on Friday evening, and we spent Saturday with my husband's relatives. Yesterday we just puttered at home while our turkey was in the oven... keeping it low-key. I like winding down like this before the work week starts!

So let's talk cake, shall we?

I've posted a few things on the good old Facebook page, but my pride and joy is definitely the bustier cake I made for my husband's birthday. I made it red velvet with cream cheese filling, with vanilla buttercream, and had to work fast because I only have an hour after I get home from work before HE gets home from work... and I wanted it to be a surprise. He was definitely surprised!

The cake was hand-cut to shape, and the tatas were made with the extra cake I cut off from the sides, mixed with some buttercream and molded into shape. I used various cutters for the fondant trim, and the patterns were used by pressing a cutter into the fondant like an embosser, and piping black buttercream on top. I added dots and a few dragees, , and made the black rose kind of by accident. I was rolling up the trim to make it easier to roll it onto the cake, and realized it looked like a rose, so I went with it.

This cake seemed to be quite popular on my page, but I had to keep it clean... there are children who see my cakes!

Then I made some cupcakes for a friend of mine who was celebrating a birthday.. I wanted them to be feminine so I made them a pretty pink and added some black piping. They're simply chocolate, no filling. She doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, so I kept it simple.

And finally, these delicious cupcakes were chocolate, topped with salted caramel buttercream. You may remember, I tried caramel buttercream a little while ago, but I wasn't really happy with the consistency. It needed to be constantly chilled in order to keep it's shape. It was delicious, yes, but not dependable. So I found another recipe for it, and it was a complete success! I added some coarse salt on top of them, but it's hard to see. Unfortunately, the caramels used in it were made in a facility that handles nut products, so it's not a nut-free recipe.

And that is all she wrote, my friends! Please enjoy your Thanksgiving and your families (and friends). Eat lots, drink more and as always, stay sweet!