Monday, July 4, 2011

Previous Entries

Okay y'all. 

I've taken the time to create a quick entry about each cake I've made. 

That I have pictures of or remember. 

If you know one I've missed, help a sister out! Send me the pic and I'll add it in! 

Until the next cake (which could be a while with this whole moving to another state thing) happy eating!

Rhinovirus, Salmonella typhi, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy - OH MY!

This past May, my husband graduated with his Master's from TTU-HSC and our friend Stanzie graduated from the same undergrad program as my husband the year before (that's right- one year from BS to MS! :)

We had a double party at Shogun's. Yum!

But, before that...

Her mom had asked me to make a cake within a certain budget but gave me total creative liberties. 

Oh yeah!

So, I knew I wanted to do a giant Double T. 

And something science-y. 

And funny. 

This time, I asked my husband for help. We googled together. It was nice ;)

We found a particular website that markets germs/diseases as 'stuffed animals'. 

That was the money maker right there!

We carefully chose a few that they had particularly studied during their courses. 

Well, and the mad cow disease. He didn't want it, but it was too cute not to use!

Can you find it?

There is also rhinovirus (common cold- blue clusters), salmonella typhi (typhoid fever- red one), lyme disease (green twist), ebola (brown) and my favorite: 

the T4 bacteriophage! 

I even made sure his 'head' had 12 sides with 20 verticies.  

Because I'm awesome that way.

And because Stanzie has the stuffed animal of it. 

But it really was fun to see their friends kind of guess at the different germies :)

Bang Bang!

I was fortunate enough to be in two different musicals with a local church, First United Methodist. 

The first year I was in My Fair Lady (top 5 favorite musicals of all time) and this last year I was in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 

The cast was really an amazing group of people and I really wanted to do a little baking for them. 

But, with a cast of 60+ a regular cake during rehearsals would be a little tricky. 

So, I decided to tackle the cake balls again. 

Now, two years ago, I had successfully made 2 cake pops:

hello kitty - for my friend Jessica's birthday, and

a little chickie I was trying to take to an Easter/Family reunion thing. 

So, 2. Oh believe me...there were supposed to be more:

The problem was that my chocolate was a brand I'm not fond of (but had no other option) or that I had them too cold before I dipped them.... because all the rest cracked or oozed and weren't cute at all. :(

But, that was then, and these were just cake balls. 

A little dip in the vat of chocolate. A nicely contrasting drizzle on top. Easy and done :)

It also helped that they were in the mini cupcake liners. Made them look like truffles I think. 

Strawberry, cream cheese truffles covered in white and dark chocolate.


Call of Duty

Oh man. 
That game. 
In fact my husband is playing it right now. 
It takes up too much time. 
From everyone. 

But when I was asked to make a graduation cake for our friend Mark, who has the same small addiction as my husband, I knew what to do. 

I spent a lot of time looking at the logo.

I hand cut each letter.

I bought a toothbrush so I could splatter paint. 

It took too much time ;)

But seriously, it was fun to create. I liked trying to make my spoof work in the little details. 

And, because the sides of the cake would be lonely (and it was a graduation cake, after all) I added some Double T's and some soccer balls around the side.

Mark's three loves: Call of Duty, Tech, and Soccer. Throw in some single gals and he'd be all set! ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thanksgiving dinner!

mmmmmmmm..... there is nothing like a good turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. 

Ask my husband about my thoughts on other meats. It's not pretty!

So, I knew that for my first year of hosting Kindergarten Thanksgiving dinner (for parents too) I needed to do something fun. 

The year before, I had been given Hello, Cupcake! from a co-worker and knew there were some great options in there...but no turkey! :(

I did a little googling and found something that I had ingredients on hand to make (I mean really...they're 5 and 6 year olds...they wouldn't know the difference! ;) 

(It *was* actually an awesome way to get rid of the surplus Halloween candy that was reaching its second week of calling to me from the bowl!)

So, the first picture shows ideas from the book: 

corn (jellybellies, dark green sugar for the pepper and a pad of starburst 'butter)

peas 'n carrots (quartered orange starbursts and green sixlets)

mashed potatoes with gravy (frosting, pumpkin flavored ice cream syrup - I had to go seasonal!)

and a drumstick (white chocolate painted bones, a mini reese's cup, underneath piled frosting and ground - smushed - golden crisps)

Next is the turkey idea I found on the internet and my own creation. 

On the right is the turkey idea: a plate of Thanksgiving dinner (a cookie plate, frosting taters, nonpariel peas, ground golden crisps dressing, and the coup de grace is a split cashew turkey with gravy!)

Then on the left was my own creation. I had too much green frosting... and a plethora of sour apple air heads from halloween that would never get eaten in my house. NEVER. 

So, I made some green bean casserole. :-D

They were a hit with the kids and the parents and I had a blast creating them all!

Oh yeah! I just remembered that I made the cupcakes all different flavors too!
One was cranberry, one was pumpkin spice....and the third was....gingerbread maybe? Hmmm...that was a while ago ;)

Lakers win in '10!

So, my friend Jessica's family moved to Texas from California. 

And they're ridiculously huge Lakers fans! 

So, when their 10th wedding anniversary happened to be so close to the Lakers victory in 2010, she knew exactly the cake she wanted to surprise her husband with! 

We tossed a few ideas back and forth, and after a little googling, inspiration hit!

Once again, my procrastination tried to get the better of me. Let's just say in the future, I'll not be making cakes for parties I'm attending and wanting to spend a little time looking nice for. It's too much.

Anyway, I really enjoyed how this cake turned out, but I wish I had a better picture of it, instead of the one with my fondant and powdered sugar mess at the top of my workstation!

I will say that when I posted this on facebook, one friend said she actually thought it was a shirt at first look. :-D

It only took 8 years!!

So, my husband's journey to graduation was a long one. 

In and out of school, 4 different schools, 4 different cities. 

Hard work and a job well done!

So, we had a big party for him (and his sister, who was graduating at the same time).

I could have gone in many different directions with the cake (and came really close to doing the ZIT cube ) but he really likes our school's seal. So that's what we ultimately decided upon.

The black is all frosting marker, but each little design in the middle was hand made cut-outs. And they sucked!! They are the single reason that I will never again do a TTU seal cake! (unless someone were to pay me an exorbitant amount of money in excess of $500 ;)

I also managed to make the inside of the cake Tech-themed as well :)

New Flower Fondant Cutters

My husband can be a tool at times. 

Especially when I'm trying to create a new post. 

But, I digress....

My mom was a hostess for a bridal shower and was placed in charge of the cake.

She was given a budget and then hired me! Woohoo!

So, I was told to go find a spring/flower napkin and make it match.

Talk about limitless boundaries!

I found a cute orange one with some lime and turquoise flowers. 

That's when I knew it was time to purchase some fondant cutters. Michael's had a new daisy set that I had already seen. They were cute! 

The two layers of flowers were fun to work with, and made it easy to give a lot of color choices around the cake.

And, while I knew the cake was not nearly as dark as the napkins, this next picture in natural lighting makes them look completely different! Now I know :)

The Game ... of Life!

So, our friends Jessica and Jarrod were getting married and we had a shower for them. 

But, they asked for board games for the shower gifts, and we got to play some at the party. It was actually a pretty great idea - we love games in our house!

So, I knew that this would be the perfect time to make a Game of Life cake so I could put some spaces from the game that would fit their new lives together.

I actually looked at the real game to pull words and phrases - and as my cousin pointed out later, it would be nice if we could get childcare for just $5,000 these days!

I made the car and people from rice crispie treats again. And also the bushes. 

This was also my first creation after purchasing my 16x16 (and two smaller) pan(s) from Michael's with my 40% off coupon. That set is *definitely* worth the $25 I paid for it!!


Somehow I managed to stumble upon the website

I am in heaven. She's just marvelous!! I saw some postings about cake balls. 

I didn't know what they were but I knew I wanted to try them. 

So, I decided that K's 3rd birthday would be based on the Very Hungry Caterpillar book and I could make cake balls for the body segments.

My awesome friend Liz made her invite for me....and totally rocked it!!

So it's the day of, I'm rushed (as usual) and I'm ready to get this stuff going.

Apparently I was so excited about the cuteness of cake balls, I didn't really read the instructions well. 

I almost made them without baking the cake first! I thought you just used the dry mix with the frosting. 

Good thing I thought it seemed really weird and double checked!

Well, I made the 'the right way' but since I really didn't know what I was doing...they flopped.

Partly because my town only has a certain brand of melting chocolates (they suck) and they didn't cover the balls well. Also because I didn't know it would take so long to dip each ball and I was in a hurry.

So there are the 6 segments on the caterpillar. And you see that leaf to the right? Yeah...the one that looks like a cake sandwich? Yeah...that's the leftover mix there. Live and learn, right?

But, the kiddo was happy about the party (and literally will still bring it up today, 1.5 years later!), and I did get all of the fruits and other foods from the story made (and in the correct number) so that was awesome. :)

Oh yeah! And looking at this pic reminded me that I also tried this cherry pie pop recipe from Bakerella and they were perfect! Probably my favorite, actually :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh Baby!

My mom's cousin was having her first baby. They waited a really long time to have a kiddo, so we were all super excited for them!

When I was asked to make the shower cake, I was thrilled.

A little less thrilled that the shower was 7 hours away from me, but thrilled!

It did let me find out how to logistically transport a cake though :)

Anyway, I was sent an invitation and a picture of the napkins and got my idea!

I'm proud to say that the cake made it in one piece!

I don't have a picture of the top, but it had the words from the napkin. 

The shower was fun, and we got to see my Granny as well (who also lives 7 hours away).

How old am I?

My mom called to say that she was hosting a graduation party for Loriann.

The same Loriann that I used to babysit. 

One of the youngest ones I babysat, in fact. 


So anyway, the call was to ask if I would make a cake for her. Well, of course I would!

I needed a little inspiration though, so I asked mom to find out her favorite colors.

Red, Purple and Light Blue. 


Didn't seem to work in my head. At all.

But then I started a little drawing and started to like it more and more. 

(I also remember trying out some new flavors with this one...but I have no idea what kinds. )

Here's what we ended up with:

Red, Purple and Light Blue - who knew? :)

It's not easy...being green

For my niece's 13th birthday we had a lot of discussion about Hello Kitty cake.

And at the last minute, somehow Kermit got thrown in the mix.

Man. I looked at tons of Kermit pics. Tough.

What did it though, was when I found a 3D Kermit cake from a British Site, and then I was finally able to conceptualize it!

I used rice crispies to make the inside of his body and head, so that everything stayed edible.

One of the best parts of this cake, though, was that it was a checkerboard cake! One of my favorites. The pans came with a tasty recipe too! Sort of tastes like a sugar cookie cake. Yum!

But, the best part, is that we can use fun colored batter together for an awesome look!

This was definitely a fun one :)

Pink Overload!

K's second birthday. 
She's barely two.
It's not like she understands or cares about a theme. 
She doesn't even have a favorite color.
But, I had a brilliant idea for how to make a crown cake. 
So I went with the princess theme.

(This may or may not have influenced a 2.5 year obsession with pink. So much so that for a while she said her name was K Pink!)

So...a princess theme...

With the invitation and door decoration....

and the pepto table!

But, I really enjoyed making this cake!

The jewels on the front were actually scrapbook decorations b/c they were easy :)
I also experimented with silver dusting powder. I mixed it with lemon extract and painted it on. For the first time, not too bad.

and of course, K absolutely loved it all!

But I doubt our next kids parties will ever have that much pink! Blech! ;)


Polkanuts. :)
That's what Kylie used to call polkadots. I asked her to say it yesterday...and it was just regular ol' polkadots :(

But, polkadots is what Momo told me Danielle liked when we decided to make her a birthday cake. I took her favorite colors, the only pans I had and whipped this up:

I didn't know about putting balls/beads around the base to cover the bottoms so I found some raffia that matched and voila! Unsmoothed bottoms hidden!

Which also caused people to think that this was a hat. 

Which I now agree. 

By this time, I had figured out that an under layer of frosting was necessary and this cake is definitely smoother than the first one!

Red, White and Yum!

I don't remember if these cakes were made for a Memorial Day or July 4th BBQ. 
I do know the first two were at my mom's house.

This was her first time seeing me make the fondant. It can get.... messy :)

She is not a messy person in the slightest. Hee hee. 

The reason the fondant looks so shiny is that my water ran when I attached the stars, and I ended up painting the whole thing to keep it uniform. Some people like to buff their fondant with a little Crisco for the same effect (would have been nice to know then!)

This cake was made a year or two later, but with the same awesome Texas pan. I honestly don't remember why we made it though. Momo would know. She helped :)

Patriotic fun is always pretty... just like this cake that I will try as soon as I'm reunited with my baking equipment!

Varied assortment

These next cakes ... well ... I'm just not sure when I made them. I know the house I made them in, so I know they were all within a year and a half period...but that's not too helpful...

Anyway, this first one was made for one of my 5th grade music classes. They were a little depressed that the other 5th graders got to do a lot of special things (math comps, regional science fair, etc.) and they got nothing. So, since they were one of my better classes, I decided to have a celebration with cake of their awesomeness. 

I remember making the school's logo the morning of (procrastinate much?) and using a toothpick to dab on fluffy frosting to make the words. Seriously. I'm not too fond of the giant slab of fondant I just slapped on the fluffy frosting though.... but all in all, it was fun. I even had the inside layers in red and blue (school colors.)

Next is a cake a coworker asked me to make for her sons' birthdays. They were having a knight theme and she had seen my previous dragon cake and asked if I could do something for them. This was the first paid cake ever :) WOOHOO! 

It was fun to make but also had the same problem of differently shaped pans. But you already saw that, didn't you? ;)

Lastly was a fun cake! Our friend's birthday was coming up and we asked her about her favorite flavor of cake. She told us that her mom made her a koolaid cake once. That's right. Flavored cake! 
My friend and I decided this was a great time to bust out the checkered pan and make three different flavors: Cherry, Orange, and Grape. 

Well... we probably shouldn't have used the entire packet in only a third of the cake batter. It was tangy. Really tangy. But everyone was nice and ate it anyway :)

Will be posting more from the past in the morning!