I just LOVE baby showers....I think that it does not matter whether or not it is your 1st baby or your 7th you deserve a party! The excitement of the approaching birth and also to celebrate and honor the MISERY that comes hand in hand with every pregnancy. I remember all to clear how different and at times (or all the time for me last year) miserable tired and yucky you feel. I also remember the sheer joy and overwhelming sense of wonder and gratitude you feel. All of this entitles you to a HUGE Big Deal Party! I got a chance to make some treats for a friend from the gym. They are THE cutest group of girls and are not only teachers (love teachers) but also so nice and fun. She loves the cubs apparently, and that was the theme of the shower. She is having a baby boy right around the time I was due with Olivia. These cup cakes were a new recipe I tried..YUMMY they were Chocolate Chip Cookie dough filled cupcakes with a chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream icing...I can give you the recipe if you want it.....I also thought they needed more chocolate...pregnant remember.....so I did an Oreo Fudge cupcake with a cream filling......needless to say the husband was glad there were a few extra this time!
Yes! Volleyball Season is over! I am so happy to free up some of our schedule. I made these cookies for my girls teams. They were playing their year end tournament...and guess what...they both took the championship! I was so happy for them. The girls worked hard this season and I wanted to help them celebrate with their friends. I made the cookies 3D with the volleyball made of a smaller cookie attached. I did the cookies in the team colors...one is a darker blue and the other is turquoise. You would be amazed how hard it actually is to make that little ball really look like a volleyball!
This years Halloween Cookies! I had an order for 40 cookies and had a great time decorating them. I decided as long as I was making the cookies, I would double everything and make a bunch for teachers, my senior aerobic class, and friends. Ok just so you get the idea of how much cookies I actually made, rolled out and baked...the sugar cookies alone took 12 cups of flour! That does not even count the Chocolate Sugar dough, which I also doubled...of the 4 batches of royal icing...but I really and truly LOVE decorating cookies and had a great time....only 4 hours of sleep both nights...but all in good fun:)
I wanted to let the kiddos decorate some cupcakes for Halloween, and I also wanted to try out some new cupcake recipes and idea's. I started with the "Cookie Dough" cupcake. Very easy but YUMMY. You start with a Yellow Cake batter (your favorite recipe or box mix made) fill each cupcake liner 2/3rds of the way. Take chocolate chip cookie dough rolled into small cookie dough balls( about the size of a large marble) and put in the cupcake middle. Top with additional 1/3rd batter, and bake according to recipe. These will give you a yummy surprise chocolate chip cookie filling. If you want to freeze the cookie dough balls before you place into the cupcake batter it will stay doughy and give you a gooey (in a good way) filling. try it.
For the second cupcake I made Martha's (you know my good friend Martha Stewart...ya were close like that) Chocolate Graham Cupcakes....oh my think smore's!
You basically make a graham cracker crust, line your cupcake liners with it then add shaved chocolate layer and bake for 5 min. You then make a chocolate cupcake batter from scratch and pour over your graham layer....ya, yummy...then sprinkle with more graham crumbs and chocolate and bake......oh my! She has the recipe on her web site and also in her Cupcakes book. They were awesome and well worth the effort. You do not even need icing...however I wanted to play around with the fondant ghosts and smore's toppings...
I came across this recipe on the blog http://www.picky-palate.com/ and knew that I had to try it. It is a combination of a cheesecake bar and magic cookie bars (which if you know me at all know that magic cookie bars are my all time favorite treat!) I also love pumpkin, and I really like cheesecake bars...yet HATE cheesecake...weirdo I know... Luckily I had an event to bring a treat to and so I made the bars. Did I love them?....no...sadly they will not even make my "will make again list" but you still might love them. I think that I did not love them because they are closer to a cheesecake than anything else. Jump on over to her site and check out the recipe in Octobers archives. She has some VERY decadent looking recipes.
I made these fun, whimsy fall cookies just because! I haven't done that in a while, it was so fun just to be creative. I actually made them to take with me to Utah, I thought because I was flying I could bring my mom and sisters some of my baked goods that I never get to share with them. I loved the color combo's and I will be doing some more of these, along with fall leaves and turkeys. And I will of course be doing some fun Halloween cookies soon. I have been baking...but very lazy about taking pictures and posting. I made Zucchini Bread twice, Apple Cobbler and Cinnamon rolls....You have to love fall. Next on my list is PUMPKIN!
White Almond cake with Raspberry filling and cream cheese butter cream frosting.....2 dozen for an order and the rest....for my kids
Strawberry cake with NO FILLING!...boys are weird :) I put pureed strawberries into the cake to make it taste even better....I thought it would have been so great with a cream cheese filling and fresh sliced strawberries, but alas he requested NO FILLING...and it was his birthday!
Wedding cake cookies...each with it unique design for a bridal shower favor. They looked pretty bagged and tied with a "plum" ribbon...yes I had to search 3 stores to find the right "plum" ribbon!
This weekend I have made and decorated..2 dozen cookies, 2 dozen cupcakes, a cake...2 kinds of brownies, rolls, cake ball truffles, homemade ice cream....Okay so all of it was not necessarily a must...(brownies :) (wink) (ice cream) But enough to make me tired of looking at my kitchen, and tired of doing dishes...speaking of, I just bought the most fabulous set of nesting glass bowls at Costco...25 bowls all different sizes...so cute..and they were only $20.00 bargain....but I digress....
I have made an executive decision to put cake decorating on hold for a while...I will still do cupcakes and decorated sugar cookies if someone asks...but cakes..no not now. My life is crazy busy, with 4 kiddo's all with their own schedules...Olivia's being the most demanding :) and teaching fitness classes, and the 4th graders harder than conceivable homework...and on and on I have decided that it is just not my season for doing cakes anymore...I do love it and will continue at some other time...but for now it just does not feel right anymore. That being said I will continue with this blog..... with the intent to post recipes and "creations" as was my intention all along. The blog sort of morphed into just my cakes...and I am excited to start posting more recipes and other creations again.
The recipes being featured will not all be sugary delights...yes, believe it or not I have evolved my taste buds a bit... and even went without a grain of sugar for more than 3 months this summer! I totally believe in moderation in all good things and will try to post some of my crazy healthy creations...as well as the most decadent treats imaginable...which brings me to these delights..MAKE THIS! (homemade ice cream to come next!)
1 1/2 cup quinoa -uncooked
2 1/2 cups water
6 Tb orange juice
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 clove garlic
2 ears fresh corn on cob (cut)
1/2 c scallion sliced
1/2 c red peppers diced
2 Tbs diced red onion finely chopped
1 avocado diced
1 tomato diced
Bring water to boil, add quinoa and return to boil. Add salt and reduce heat, simmer 18 minutes. Take of heat, fluff with fork, place in bowl and let cool in refrigerator. While cooling saute onion garlic and corn until caramelized, set aside. Mix juices, vinegar and salt together. When Quinoa is cooled add dressing and all other vegetables. SO HEALTHY AND SO YUMMY!
Okay it is rare that I get to do a cake that has a sophisticated flare to it... Usually it has everything to do with kiddos and fun, but this weekend I was asked to do a cake in a black and white theme for a birthday. First off I love black and white..so that made it a fav right from the beginning. The cake itself was Butter Yellow Cake with a Whipped Chocolate Ganache Filling. I covered the cake in butter cream and then did all of the detail work in chocolate fondant. I made the flowers all out of fondant, and then painted them with luster dust. The bow is also out of fondant. I wanted the back of the cake to be as pretty as the front so there is a flower on both sides. I loved the little pearls and wanted to put them randomly on the sides of the cake at the end of the paisleys...however my little critics (daughters) said, "mom, it looks good how it is...less is more.. just stop!" so I left them off...if it were my cake I would have put them on. I really hope she liked the cake as much as I did.
I always think that someday I am going to make all the "sophisticated, sassy cakes" that I have in my head , just to play around...I would love to just experiment with trying the new techniques, or ideas that I have floating around in my head.....it was fun to be able to do this one:)
This week I was able to experiment with some Little Einstein Rocket Ship cookies. I had no idea what I was going to do to fit the theme. I decided on the rocket ship and then had to hand cut out each shape and decorate free hand..... I really, really LOVE to do sugar cookies! I forget how much I love to create. Sometime cakes can stress me out because cake and butter cream can be so unpredictable...some times its perfectly smooth and sometimes it turns out a crumby mess...but with cookies its never about the stress for me just about the creating part...I LOVE it!
Happy Birthday to a special little girl who had so many things in common with my sweet little Olivia...for starters her name was Olivia!...she was 7 weeks premature and ended up being from my neighborhood! I really hope she had a wonderful 4th Birthday. The cake was done in a 9 inch base with a 4 inch cake stacked on top. The flavors were Chocolate Fudge with a Chocolate cream cheese mousse filling...can you say YUM. I really REALLY wanted a piece of this cake. I am not sure if its because I do not eat sugar very often anymore, or if it was just a very yummy combination but the smell, and sights of this cake had me dreaming of cake last night. The cake was frosted in butter cream and the details were all made of fondant...yes even the Hello Kitty.
Yeah for something new! I am always so excited when I get a request for something totally new that I haven't tried before. This weekend was just that...a Penguin Party Cake. A sweet little girl was turning 3 years old and loves penguins. The cake was Chocolate Fudge with a Cookies and Cream filling. The "glacier" was made out of rice krispie treats and covered in fondant that I hand painted with pearl luster dust. The penguins were all sculpted in fondant. I also made all of the glass candy to look like ice. The glass candy was a fun way to work with sugar, I think I will start to work with sugar in more ways, I really like the dimension it gives the cakes. I would love to try the hand blown bubbles I have seen them do on the Food Network....
Really another beach cake? Yes! But everyone has been a little different. This was for one of daughter #1's great friends. She was having her party at a water park with a beach theme...or so was the plan :) (it rained cats and dogs all day long...) They had a great time despite and hopefully enjoyed the cake. This cake was chosen by the girl..and I was happy to try something new. The cake was Strawberry Cake with a Vanilla Cream Cheese filling along with Strawberry glaze. I also made her Strawberry Cake Ball Truffles dipped in Milk Chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate. My kids are now all calling for Strawberry cakes for their next birthday...they devoured any extra cake scraps and the truffles.
My story...I Love to exercise....I need it every day just as I need air in my lungs. I also love to bake...and try to challenage myself with new creations all the time. I have 4 energetic little people who call me mom, and appreciate the baking :) I strive to find the balance in all things, and explore all creative ways to achieve this!