Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Party and Treats

Made some Halloween party treats for Gary's class. I made pumpkin and ghost cakes pops and I also made dirt cups with a cookie as a tombstone and wrote RIP on them.
Had friends over tonight also. Here is a pic of our kids in their costumes!
 Kydan the fireman, Benjamin the pumpkin, Reuben the skunk, Emilee the princess, and Xander superman!

 Dirt cups with cookie tombstone. Dirt cups is basically whipped topping mixed in with either vanilla or chocolate pudding mix, cream cheese, butter, and some confectioners sugar and milk. Than you crush up oreos and put it on top to make it look like dirt. I dipped peanut butter cookie sandwiches in chocolate candy coating and than piped the RIP on to make it look like a tombstone. I had wanted to put skeleton bone sprinkles on top of the "dirt" but I couldn't fine any.

 These Ghost are just cake pops (crushed up cake with frosting stirred in...refrigerate and form into balls...dip into candy coating)
Here are my pumpkin cake pops. I used the tips of stick pretzels for the top. I was going to put faces on, but ran out of black icing and I was getting tired :)
Tomorrow is Trunk or Treat!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Haunted House Cake

Ok so I couldn't hold out...I had the ingredients to make it...even though I don't have anyone to make it for, i did it anyway. I made the Haunted House cake. I thought I did good for my first attempt at doing something like this. I saw better ones on google images, but I still think I did good for a beginner. I didn't have any marshemallow ghost to add to make it look more spooky, but oh well.
so here it is.....
 The colors aren't exactly what I was looking for. I think it would look better with the roof black, but I didn't have anything I could us to make it black. I just used graham crackers for the roof. The tower is made out of cupcakes. The slanted roof is just cake that I cut into that shape. The icing is buttercream...not my favorite because it is too sweet and leaves my mouth and throat feeling funny, but it is the best to use for decorating. I used a toothpick to make lines in the walls to give the impression that house is made of grey brick.

This all got started because I found a recipe for an icing made out of flour and white sugar...never made a frosting like that so I decided to try it. Well it was very delicious (not too sweet) but takes forever to make. Than I was thought I would make a cake to put it on so that I can see what it taste like on an actual cake. But while making the cake I decided to use up my gallon of icing that I bought for my cake classes and decided to just go for the haunted house :) I actually didn't even use the new icing on the cake after all because I didn't want to ruin my haunted house if it turned out to not be a good frosting to I went with what I knew  was good for decorating.
It took hours! But it was fun :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weight Loss and Baking

Just a little bit of what has been going on here. So I haven't been baking nearly as much because I am try to loose 15 lb. so far I have lost about 5-6 depending on the day :) It is soooo hard some days. I help myself by looking at a whole of bunch of baking websites, printing off the ones I want to try and stuffing them in my ever growing dessert recipe book. So once I lose these 15 lb (the weight I was before pregnancy and after until I started gaining) I am going to have a ton of recipes I need to try and probably gain all the weight back in a few short weeks :)
Actually, I am going to try and pace myself with making my recipes and maintain my weight once I reach my goal. Thankfully, Gary's class is having a halloween party coming up and I have decided I am going to make Cake Pops for his class and dirt cups. I'm sure I will post pictures when they are all done. This will help get my creativity out and I won't be tempted to eat because cake balls aren't my favorite dessert, but his kids liked them the last time I made them.  I would have loved to make a Haunted House cake also but financially it is too much to spend right now...I've already spent way too much for the cake ball and dirt cup supplies! There are 30 children total so it is going to be a lot to make anyway without making the cake. Oh well, I'll just have to get my creativity out in another way. But if anyone wants a Haunted House cake just let me know. I would love to try and make one for you ;)
I also want to make a fire engine cake (kydan would love it), a Caterpillar cake and a castle cake.
My beginners cake decorating class is over. But I will be taking the second course which focuses on making flowers and than the third course focuses on fondant. I really enjoy the class! I am surprised at how much I enjoy it. I am shy and nervous person going into things like this. But the instructor is sooo nice and the other women are nice also. We just have fun and it is nice to get away from the child once in a while and just be creative with other women. I will be sad after I finish all the courses, it gave me something to look forward to. This is the way school/college should be. It should be learning about something you enjoy, without pressure so that you learn better and fun.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

These were delicious I must say! I found a couple of wonderful baking blogs here recently and saw this wonderful recipe and just has to try it. Trust me there are a LOT more of recipes I need to try but I am trying to pace myself :)

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 TB vanilla
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Chocolate chips
oreo cookies

1. preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars until well combined. add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2. in separate bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking soda. slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.
3. Freeze dough for about 15-30 min or refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.
4. Remove cookie dough from freezer place a scoop of dough on pan, than place an oreo on top, pressing down. Place another scoop of dough on top of oreo. press dough down over sides of oreo cookie.
place directly in unused dough back in freezer until the batch in the oven is done.
5. Bake 9-12 min. if half way though baking the dough seems to be spreading to much and oreo in stick out, the dough may not have been cold enough...take spatula and press the sides inward and continue to back.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Creativity and Frustration

So when I combine two things I love, it turns into an addiction of sorts. 1. I LOVE desserts 2. I like to create things. Although most of my creations are not really mine, they are things that I have seen before, I still like to make them for myself. I am a pretty good drawer but I have to have a picture in front of me in order to draw it. I can't just draw and image out of my head. I wish I could though!
This is why I sometimes get obsessed over certain computer games and such. The ones where you get to design your own house, town, farm, frontier, or whatever can hold me for hours because I love decoration/creating. Of course it wouldn't take so long to decorate if they didn't make it that you had to earn money to buy items to decorate with.
Anyway, so I love sweets as anybody who actually knows me will know. Recently I have found a passion for turning desserts into creations. I have soooo many ideas for cakes that I want to decorate...yet I am frustrated because who is going to eat the cake? Of course I will end up eating it. Gary sometimes takes my desserts to school. But I don't want all the kids to get fat because of me :) Or the employees for that matter. I am one of these people if I have something I want to create in my head, the idea will not go away until I make it. I grow antsy because the creativity needs to be released.
I don't even know if my creations are even that good. (of course my melancholy temperament tells me this). My  white icing cake last night just didn't seem as smooth as the other people from my cake decorating class. I was so caught up in trying to fix my runny icing that I guess I missed her instructions on out to smooth out the icing once the cake is fully covered. 
I know, practice makes perfect right? But like I said, I can make all these cakes to practice but who is going to eat them? It is an expensive hobby to end up just throwing it away after Kydan, Gary, and I all have little slices...In my case maybe two ;)
Some have suggested selling cakes and desserts. My mom has even brought to my attention a farmers market nearby that I could sell my desserts at. She also said local town events and such. Gary's one aunt told me that over the holidays I should give a free platter of samples to local businesses(..Like the fire department, vet's office, library and such) along with a business card. As much as I would love to do this...I am a shy person. To walk into an establishment and offer a free platter of desserts makes me nervous. the most contact I have with people out in public is to say Hi. Plus I don't think my desserts are WOW enough to sell. Just ordinary desserts, that ordinary people could make themselves. Why would they pay me to make it for them? It isn't like any of my desserts have brought people to me asking for the recipe.
Also it seems like everybody I know is on a diet (or life style change as some like to call it) or they don't like sweets. I guess I don't care as much about whether what I am eating or not is healthy...most people care because they want to stay healthy and live longer...well my body is unhealthy whether I eat healthy food or not, so I guess I just don't care as much as others. That is probably my melancholy temperament showing itself again :)
Good thing is, holidays are coming up which means party's and desserts...even though my halloween party fell through because nobody but one family can make it...and they always come over and eat my desserts anyway. Won't be going anywhere for thanksgiving that I am aware of...and christmas is still up in the air. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cookie Madness and Holiday Traditions

So I made three different chocolate chip cookie recipes today in hopes of finally narrowing down to one recipe.  One I didn't care much for. The other two where very similar in that they were both delicious. However, the one recipe called for cake flour and bread flour and I followed the recipe precisely. But when it came to baking, the outside edges got really crisp long before the center was done baking. The other recipe with normal all purpose flour was just as big of a cookie but I didn't have the problem with the center not getting done. So I guess that is the winner for my favorite cookie!
Here is the winner:

Here is Runner up, the one cookie that didn't have a crispy edge but still not quite finished baking in the center :)

So I think I am finished baking for awhile! Not only because baking three batches of cookies took a lot of supplies but also because I am cookied out :) A matter of fact I'm just not feeling all that much desire to eat sweets here recently. So guess I will be taking a break.

I'm hoping to throw a little Halloween party sometime this month so I will probably make a couple of cute little desserts. Also might be making some little halloween desserts for Gary's students, but we'll see. His class has been acting up here recently, so if they are too bad they might loose the privilege of a party.

I know Kydan is only two and half and probably won't remember anything yet, but I want to start making memories for him over the holidays... especially since he doesn't have any siblings. Even if we do get to foster these two boys, they are much older and it is hard to say if Kydan and them will even form a bond. Either way, I want to start traditions. Since my family doesn't live down here it makes it hard to find ways to involve other people. Although Gary's parents live down here, I really want Kydan to be around children. And the two cousins that do live near by are also a good bit older and we aren't really close to Gary's sister because we are completely different people. Thankfully we have some good friends you have stuck around and are our family in Christ as well.

Than again why do I think that Kydan needs a sibling in order to be happy and to enjoy holidays and such? Although I have fond memories of my brother and sister growing up (even though they are 6 and 10 years older than myself), a lot of siblings don't get along....especially when they become adults. A matter of fact Gary is pretty much an only child. His youngest sibling is 7 years older than him and they are all girls. He pretty much doesn't have any type of relationship with them now as an adult. He is completely different in personality from all three of them. We only see them occasionally, even the one sibling that does live nearby.

Anyway, I know this post is pretty random. Just a lot on my mind. I love fall....I love the smell in the air, the jacket weather, and the changing colors. It would be by far my favorite time of year if I didn't have problems with seasonal depression. Grrr, stupid moods :) I just get down really easily and feel blah and sad for no apparent reason or over stupid things.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cake Decorating Class and Hunt for the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

So I had my first cake decorating class for beginners last night. I learned a lot! Even after searching for cake baking tips online, I had not heard of some of the stuff I learned last night. First off, I learned that you can buy strips that you soak in water and wrap around the outside of your pan and it helps bake your cake evenly. She said that it won't even get that little dome on top of the cake if you use the strips. Also she recommended a product to grease your pan with and it helps release the cake from the pan without problems. She said after using it she will never go back to spray butter or crisco again. I will try it once I get the money to buy it and see if it lives up to her word. :) We also talked about making icing. I never knew this, but there are other extracts you can use in place of vanilla extract. I never knew this! I told Gary and he knew, but for some reason I have never heard of this. She said she likes using an extract called buttery dough or something like that. She said she also likes one called Princess, which is a unique but delicious flavor that is hard to describe.
Next week we are to make an 8 or 9 in cake and bring it to class and we are going to icing it. We are supposed to make our own icing also, which I normally do anyway.
On another note...I'm in search of the best chocolate chip cookie :) I have 3 or 4 recipes for chocolate chip cookies so I am going to make them all (in small batches) and test one from each batch to find the one I like the best.  Two of the recipes I have never tried before. I will be doing this tomorrow. I had to make the one batter today because it needs to sit in the fridge for 24 hours. Here is to hoping that I find one delicious recipe!