Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Soo, I'm a total jerk...

If you take the C-A-K-E-S out of Cakesass, all you have is A-S-S... which is what I am apparently. I just looked at the pics I took off my phone the other day, and I haven't posted since MAY! Oh dear! so this is a catch up for everyone who's not on my Facebook.... 

Waaaay back in May, we had the special triple birthday extravaganza for Husband, Other Husband and Friend. Three birthdays in three days USUALLY means 1 party and at least 2 cakes. Sadly though, I was feeling exceptionally uninspired so I decided my 7 year old should come up with a design, and I would make it into a cake. The Husbands go sailing every year, so Pirate Theme is always popular. The kiddo did a nice stick figure picture for me to go with and I translated it into this baby. 2 layer sheet cake with buttercream frosting...

and of course I jazzed it up a bit :)

OMG A KRAKEN!!

Then I decided Husband needed his favorite cake, so a few days later I made him his Black Forest cake anyway


June brought a belated celebration for one of the nieces, and more on time for her sister. Rapunzel is the hottest, and most fought over commodity in their house nowadays, so having an extra doll show up IN the cake was a bonus...

July... well, I just felt like having cake. I took some flak from a  jerk friend for the decorating job....
below the pic is the Facebook conversation that followed...how foolish indeed!
Minden  Lish....you failed Canada....our flag is not pink.....pink is for sissies!!!!

Elisheba  Minden, you are a jerky jerk. YOU try making actual RED icing from scratch! You know how much food coloring that takes?!

Minden lol I was not denying your talent...it is a beautiful cake....I am just saying....you have potrayed Canada as a sissy lol

Elisheba  ‎...And your point is?


Minden CANADA IS NOT MADE OF SISSIES!!!!!!!!

Elisheba  No its made of mad hatters and dead indians but I couldn't figger out how to get felted beaver pelt and scalps on such short notice

Minden  really!? you really didnt know where to find such items on short notice!? Why do I find that hard to believe Lish? oh thats right...I KNOW YOU!!!!! lol

Elisheba  Well its hard to get my usual supplies here. Our walmart just doesn't work right

Minden  tis a sad sad day when you cant get scalps and beaver pelt at your local wal mart!

Elisheba  A sad day indeed.

Elisheba  And you thought a sissy flag was the worst of our country's worries... Silly girl

Minden  how foolish I have been!
**********

Uhh... yeah, we tend to get carried away sometimes :)

Then September rolled around, and with that E and Child's birthdays... We usually do a combination celebration for them too. Since Child's friends are usually out of town on the long weekend, we then invite his classmates later in the month. So, the first planned day rolls around and suddenly I realize "I have to make the cake TODAY! TODAY!!!!". This here was one slick "oh crap" cake. 



And yet MORE September shenanigans... Again, with the elusive RED color- We were going for a "Circus" look, and, well... it was really pretty...
.really PINK...

Oh hey, it's still September! What a busy month! I'm surprised I can find my kitchen at all at this point! I had to make Child's "party" cake the next day, so I offered my brother a Meat Cake for his birthday. He thought that was a pretty awesome Idea, and it was a pretty awesome "cake". Really. There were NO leftovers.
MEAT CAKE FOR EVERYONE!

Finally... On to the latest, and I must say, one of my FAVORITE creations so far.... The Club Penguin Igloo cake. I took my inspiration from this picture here- a CP toy....
And managed to come up with THIS!


I'd say it was a hit :)
And these 15 kids seemed to think so too... I'll take them over my inner critic any day 


Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Belated Blue"

Happy birthday to my little nephew!
His birthday was actually a week or so ago, but we were all away on vacation. I heard he had a cupcake with a candle, and kisses from princesses at Disney World! But still, everyone needs a special cake for their first birthday.


Of course, the lighting and my photography skills don't do the color justice. My "vision" was for a china blue and white decorations. You can see in the first picture that I had to scrape something off- that's where fondant  can be quite forgiving, as long as you don't look to closely!

I actually did this whole cake from bake to box in about 5 hours. I had intended originally to bake it on Friday and decorate it on Saturday. Plans went another day though, and with the help of my freezer, I had the cakes cooled and the crumb-coat set in record time.

It was really good!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The "From Scratch" Fiasco...

Okay, maybe not a "fiasco" exactly, but it sounded better that way.


I have a plan this year to make the "grownup" cakes from different recipes instead of my usual out-of-the-box routine. So I figured I ought to lose my From Scratch cherry sometime before the outcome was really important.

My mom got me the Cake Bible this winter, which is a great place to start. All the recipes are sorted and well described and include conversions in all the recipes. I picked the Chocolate Fudge Cake for two reasons- 1, it's chocolate fudge!, and 2, I had all the ingredients on hand.

The beginning went smoothly enough, at least until I turned on the mixer :( Adding the cocoa mixture and butter to the dry ingredients instantly turned into this dry, gummy mess. Not discouraged though, I soldiered on and began adding the egg mixture a little at a time and it seemed to smarten up and start acting like batter.

Then after I got it in the carefully prepared pans- the recipe says it should take 20-30 minutes...HA! more like 40-50! I was getting nervous as the tops puffed up an started to split and yet the insides were still goo... Finally the toothpick came out clean and I yarded those puppies out. After that, they took AGES to cool.

I got impatient and decided to "level" one. It was still a little warm and the bit I sawed off the top was moist and delicious at that moment. But I didn't have enough stuff to make frosting, and I'd be damned if I sullied my first "real" cake with canned frosting! So I wrapped my babies up for the next day, and then something happened...


Sometime in the night, all of the flavor and moisture got up and abandoned my poor cake. 


Yes, it pains me to say, that this cake is right on the verge of... YUCKY. There. I said it. Yucky. It is dry, it is bland, it's flavor is... meh. Just meh. Now don't get  me wrong, I don't blame the recipe at all- I must have done something wrong! Maybe next time I will try to measure by weight instead of volume, and use cake flour instead of regular flour, and better cocoa... I don't know, but this won't be the last of my From Scratch adventures I'm sure!

Monday, February 14, 2011

HAPPY VD (or "Friendship Day" to the kids)



So I had this bizarre urge to decorate something, and decided to take it out on the children :)
Armed with the class lists for my son and my friends daughter (same grade, same school, different classrooms), I set out to create the cutest cupcakes ever... at least that's what I set out to do. 


One of the kids is allergic to eggs, and of course nuts are a no-no in every classroom nowadays (don't even get me started on that)... 


Did you know you can substitute applesauce (mixed with baking soda) for eggs in boxed cake recipes? Well that's what they say... although "They" don't tell you that eggs are what hold the cupcakes together. I'm telling you now- eggs are what hold the cupcakes together!. Consider yourself warned. 


These are some seriously crumbly cupcakes.


But they're pretty cool.


And the kids thought it was particularly cool to have their OWN names on the cupcakes :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ta 'Za! With a VIDEO! OOH!

So I had major guilt and shame about not taking pictures of the big Pizza Bake a couple weeks ago. Really, I really did!

So today we're going back to 1:1 and making a batch of dough. What I'd like to show you is 1 pizza and a  batch of pizza pops.

You will need(yes, I'll go over it again)
Large bowl, measuring cup (big 4 cup pyrex, and a 1 cup measure), measuring spoon(s), big spoon, assorted pans.
Flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, water.

In 1 1/2 cups of warm water (not hot, not cool, warm) stir 1 tbsp dry yeast* and let sit until it starts to get foamy- about 5-10 minutes.
Into large bowl, measure 3 1/cups flour and 1 tsp salt. wait for yeast.

And here's the video!
video
Turn, Fold, Push, Repeat

Pour yeast mixture all at once  into flour (yeah, make one of those "well" thingys in the flour) add 1 tbsp olive oil and start stirring. When it's all mixed into a big mess, sprinkle some flour onto the counter top and turn the whole bit out of the bowl and start kneading. You will have to knead it for at least 5 minutes until you have a nice smooth ball. If it's getting too sticky, sprinkle some more flour on the counter and keep going.

Coat the dough ball with a bit of olive oil and put it back in the bowl to rise (about an hour ish) to double.
While you're waiting, you can prepare your toppings- grate cheese and stuff, and clean up your counter.
Get bored and eat leftover blueberry pancakes :)

For the pizza pops, stretch dough out into palm sized rounds, add a heaping tablespoon(ish) of mixed sauce, cheese and meat, and pinch closed. Pop into greased muffin tins and bake for about 17 minutes. 

Divide dough into half or thirds and stretch/toss/roll the dough onto greased pans.

Add the sauce and the toppings (but not the cheese yet) and bake in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, THEN add the cheese and bake for about another 10 minutes until the cheese is all melted and bubbleh... mmm bubbleh cheeese.

Remove from oven and RESIST the urge to tear into it for at least 5 minutes, pizza burns SUCK!

Enjoy!








* the yeast thing- Ok so once in awhile, I can't get the yeast to "proof"- put your oven on "warm" and add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the water and stir in with the yeast. It will feed the yeast and get things moving. If this happens more than once, it's time for a new jar of yeast!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Look Who's Two!

So my darling niece turned 2 today! "More cake peeese?", doesn't offer up a great deal in terms of inspiration, but it's usually a safe bet to go with pink. Lots and lots of pink. My Cricut monster has become much easier to use with experience, and now that storebought fondant is more available (and affordable), I'm digging in to the experience. This time I opted to cover the whole cake in buttercream and then add the fondant decorations.
My photography skills seem to actually have regressed. 



She had had enough of sharing her cake apparently :)
I think she liked it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tricky Business


The Ugliest Rabbit Ella's Magical Bunny Cake

So, Fondant has proven to be a major challenge to my skills and patience. I still had fun with this one, and learned a thing or two, and it at least mostly cooperated with my "vision" of what I wanted to make. One of the things I discovered, was that I either need to make a "denser" cake and/or to go a little heavier on the frosting coating before covering it with fondant. I noticed that in spite of my efforts this time, that the cake looked kind of "lumpy", and that's not what I want. 

Now that I have some experience with the Cricut though, the stars I cut out were super easy and turned out great. I'm so glad I had help with the last cake, I would have DIED of frustration!

Anyway, Ella loved her cake, everyone else thought it was super cute, and of course, it tasted awesome :)


Friday, January 7, 2011

Cook Along!



Join me this Sunday (from wherever you are) for Family Pizza Night! I'll share the recipe(s), you do the shopping and assemble the hungry mouths, and starting at 2pm Mountain Time on Sunday January 9, we'll all make some delicious homemade pizza!

The recipe for the dough is really really simple. I got it from this site here and had absolutely no trouble making it. This weekend I plan to double the recipe, but just as it is, it will make 3 medium pizzas! More than enough for 4 people.

You will need;

  • 1 or more pizza pans
  • large bowl
  • flour
  • active dry yeast 
  • salt
  • pizza sauce (I used 4 cheese pasta sauce of all things and it was delicious!)
  • assorted fresh toppings
  • lots and lots of cheese
Start your dough at least 2 hours before you want to eat- it takes about a half hour total to prepare, then about an hour and a half to rise. Each pizza will take approximately 25 minutes to cook, and you can do 2 at a time. 

I followed the suggestion at the recipe site, to partially cook the crust with the sauce and toppings before adding the cheese, and WOW that made a huge difference over my usual homemade pizza, even though I usually wimp out and buy the crust premade (ick). I'll never buy premade crusts again though, this recipe really inspired me.

So please, join me for Family Pizza Night, take pictures and let me know how it turned out!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Celebrating the English Muffin

What I had for lunch

I love English Muffins. Love, love, LOOOVE. I love them toasted with butter or honey or jam, or with back bacon, poached egg and hollandaise. I love them with egg salad, tuna, or even cheese whiz. I've used them for mini pizzas too!

Today though, I was feeling inspired. I found the creamy Havarti I had stashed in the back of the cheese drawer, then I noticed the avocado, and finally, I thought of the crispy romaine in the other drawer- I needed something without fat! 

So I toasted my lovely little muffin, added just a scrape of butter, and a teensy bit of mayo, then sliced the perfectly ripe avocado and layered that on, then the lettuce, then the Havarti. 

Ohh, I'm typing one handed and munching right now- let me tell you, it is DELICIOUS! I might not have the self control to go make 2 more, then 2 more...

** on the side... If I had the jalapeno Havarti, that would have been totally awesome on there, also, if I liked tomatos- I would definitely had tomatos on there too!