Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Flowers

Okay, so they aren't real but they are pretty cool, huh? I made most of these last night in my cake decorating class. I am in level 2 now which focuses on making lots of neat flowers with royal icing. I couldn't believe how much easier the rose was using royal icing rather than buttercream. I love how they turned out. The bottom pic shows of the flowers that will be used on my final cake next week. I made violets, mums, daisies, roses, apple blossoms, pansies, daffodils and primroses. The pansies ended up being my favorite to make. The technique was fairly easy and yet impressive looking. Once I paint them with dark purple food coloring, they will look very realistic.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hayden's 7th Birthday (from 1/29/10)

Before you even ask, no, I did not decorate that hideous cake. It came from the grocery store and he picked it out. I wish I had taken my cake decorating classes in time to make his cake for him. I would have made something much cooler. Oh well, there's always next year!

H was so excited to open his gifts. He got lots of stuff but he was really wanting this game.

Halo legos
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My Valentines (from 2/14/10)

Emerson (5)

Hayden (7)
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cake Decorating-Level 1

The middle rose got smooshed a little bit by my cake carrier.

I took Wilton cake decorating classes last month for beginners. It was a lot of fun and I learned so much. Roses are a pain in the patootie but at least mine look okay. The cake below was my first ever and the cake above was my second. I didn't like how the name and age was done on the rainbow cake but that was how the example was done so I followed suit.

Now I am in level 2 and I have made some really cool flowers. We haven't had to bake a cake yet so I don't have any pics to share. In my last class (next week), we will decorate a cake using flowers from the previous weeks so I will share that when we make it.
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Recent Recipes

Baking Powder Biscuits tutorial-I have been craving good Southern biscuits like my friend Tracy makes. Unfortunately, I forgot how to make a good biscuit and everything came out like duds. I watched a recent Bobby Flay showdown focusing on these delicacies and got inspired to try again. Lo and behold, they turned out fabulous!! I followed lots of Internet tips and the tutorial on All Recipes. I used the recipe for basic biscuits listed in the tutorial but I used buttermilk and half butter/half Crisco instead of what it called for. My biscuits were slightly crunchy on the edges and had perfectly tender middles. Be sure to top them with melted butter before baking for extra yumminess.

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue-This was really easy and made my kitchen smell wonderful. Everyone scarfed it down so it was a winner. I never cook stuff in the crockpot as long as the recipes say. Mine tends to run hot so I adjust accordingly. BTW, I shredded my chicken and then mixed it into the sauce just before serving.

Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies-Oh heck. You are going to kill me for this one. I will fully warn you that these little treats are addictive. I have already made the recipe twice in the past week. They are not to be eaten warm, in my opinion. The middles don't really set up until they have cooled thoroughly. These cookies are super soft and great to take to functions.

Quick and Easy Chicken-You need to double the sauce for this one. It is so good. I was surprised at how delicious this simple recipe is. The pics that people took for it are horrible though so don't pay those any mind. Note-You do not have to sautee the chicken. I made the sauce, poured it over the chicken, and then stuck it in the oven to bake instead.

Potato Latkes I-The kiddos even liked these. I couldn't believe it (they don't like potatoes). My whole family wolfed them down and asked for more. We had sour cream and applesauce with them. I gotta say that I preferred the sour cream. Also, I more onion than it called for.

If any of you try these, let me know how they turn out. ;)

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Curse of Daylight Savings Time

Why is it that losing an hour of the day can take such a toll on you? I mean, come on, it's only 60 minutes. Right? I will admit that I had a hard time with insomnia last night but it sure would have helped if we hadn't of lost an hour over the weekend. I woke up at 8:30 am on the nose. That's was just in time to hear the school bell a block away. Ugh. My kids weren't up either. Oh well. Hayden ended up going in 50 minutes late. I simply didn't care. I am sure it didn't ruin his academic skills. As for Emerson, I opted to just keep him at home. Normally he goes into preschool at 9am but oh well. I needed the little bit of sleep that I got last night and my kids obviously needed some too. E and I declared it a jammie day. :)

Anyone do square foot gardening? I am extremely interested in this and will be attempting it soon. March 27th is supposed to be my first planting but we shall see. I have a surgery set for March 26th so I have no idea how I will be feeling on that day. I am anxious to get started. It makes perfect sense and I would love to have homegrown veggies.