Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December Cakes

I had my first "stranger cake" order this month. Meaning, this was the first cake I made that wasn't for a friend. It was for the birthday of a commander's wife here on Ft. Bragg. I heard through the grapevine that she loved the cake. This was a huge challenge for me, but I learned a lot and loved every minute of it!

This last cake was for a 2nd birthday!
It was a nut and egg free cake and all of the kids enjoyed it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Baking Galore

I have been extremely busy baking and cooking. I have a friend that caters lunches and dinners for some soldiers every week, and took over for a few days since she went out of town for the holidays. Those boys were NOT going to go hungry..

Rosemary Chicken Salad sandwiches
Black Bean Kielbasa Soup
Toasted Pine Nut and Chicken Spinach Salad with homemade dressing

Baked Ziti with garlic knots
BBQ chicken with Santa Shaped pasta salad :)
Pineapple Chicken Stir Fry

I also sent them some of my Christmas sweets....I made....

My special Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Snowstorm Chocolate Cookies
Cathedral Cookies
Thumbprint Cookies
Cherry Filled Peanut Butter Balls
Meringue Cookies
Cream Cheese Mints
Cornflake Christmas Tree Treats
Sweet and Spicy Chex mix

YES...I've been's a little look at what my treat boxes turned out like...

I used cupcake liners to separate each different kind of cookie...just like they do in the tins you can buy at the store. I used loaf papers for the middle. It kept all the cookies from shifting around and looks like a spent a lot of time on it, but I didn't! I made 4 of these bigger boxes and a few little bags for various people! If you want to taste test anything...feel free to come on over!

I called my hairdresser to make appointments for me and the boys. She remembered my Cherry Filled Peanut Butter balls, and offered to comp our hair dressing fees for a box of cookies and lots of Peanut Butter balls....DONE! I'm all about bartering!

My friend Theresa told me about the Santa Bread and I couldn't resist.

I need to try it again to work on the brim of the hat, the mustache (looks a little like a spider) and a better looking beard! I used a recipe for soft pretzels since that dough doesn't have any egg in it. It tasted SOOOOOOO good..the boys LOVED it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Harvest Krispie Treats

The boys are having a Thanksgiving Party at Mother's Day Out on Tuesday. I signed up to make rice krispie treats since they are allergy friendly to the boys as well as a few other kiddos in their class that have allergies. However, I can't make them plain! I had all of these ingredients in my cabinet!!

I made some pumpkins. Just rolled the cereal treats into a ball, rolled them in orange sprinkles and topped it off with a green fondant stem. I attached a little note saying HAPPY THANKSGIVING with a leaf sticker.

After I ran out of orange sprinkles, I found some yellow ones. I immediately thought of corn. So, I rolled the cereal treats into a thick log, covered them with yellow sprinkles, cut fondant in the shape of leaves, and attached them to look like the husk of corn. I attached a little note saying "Have an A-maize-ing Thanksgiving" with a leaf sticker.

It only took about 30 minutes to make the treats, decorate them, and put them in clear treat bags. I managed to get that done while the boys were playing nicely in their room! I made the little notes and attached them while the boys were napping. I hope the kiddos like them at their church party tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How To Make the Flock of Turkeys

I've had a lot of people ask me "how to" make the turkey here ya go!

You need...

2 dozen sugar cookies (I purchased them from the bakery at the grocery store!)
1 package of Nabisco Pinwheels (I've never heard of these, but they are in the cookie aisle)
1 can chocolate frosting
1 can vanilla frosting
yellow and red food coloring

Color half of the vanilla frosting yellow and the other half red. Prepare an icing bag filled with red, one with yellow, and one with chocolate. If you don't have icing bags, no big deal! Use ziploc bags instead. Put #3 tip on the yellow and red and a #12 on the chocolate. If you're using ziploc bags, snip a small hole on the red and yellow and one about the size of a pencil eraser on the chocolate.

Cut the rounded edge off of 1/2 of the sugar cookies,and cut the Pinwheel cookies in half.

Spread a small amount of chocolate icing on the bottom of the Pinwheel and attach to the flat edged sugar cookie

Make "feathers" with the red icing around the edge of the Pinwheel

Spread more chocolate icing on the cut edge of the Pinwheel and attach to a whole sugar cookie

Pipe a neck and head out of chocolate icing

Use the yellow icing to draw in the legs, feet, eyes, and nose

Finally, use the red icing to make his snood!!!

You can make these on a smaller scale with Ritz crackers and oreos cut in half. I used brown sugar cinnamon Ritz...didn't know they made them, but they are DELICIOUS!!!

So I typed this all up only to find a link to it online...oh well! Their directions are probably a little better than mine!

Monday, November 16, 2009

You'll Gobble These Up!

I buy one holiday recipe magazine each year to see what new cookies people come up with. This is one cookie I couldn't resist making. The best part, it's all store bought...sugar cookies, Nabisco Pinwheel cookies, one can of white frosting, one can of chocolate frosting, yellow and red food coloring.

Badda Bing Badda Boom...this is what you get...

Now...if I could magically become a better photographer, life would be grand!

I ended up individually wrapping these and donating them to the Yule Mart which is the Officers' Spouses' Club's biggest annual craft fair fundraiser. They went like hotcakes!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Operation Baking GALS

I recently joined a volunteer group called Operation Baking GALS (Give A Little Support). The purpose of the group is to send baked goods to the soldiers overseas. I joined a group through East To West Bakers. I sent off my first shipment today!

I made Mrs. Fields Double-Rich Chocolate Cookies with the help of the boys, of course!


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
3 large eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 325.
-Combine flour, soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well and set aside
-In a large bowl, blend sugars at medium speed. Beat in the butter and egg until creamy.
-Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
-Add the flour mixture and chips, and blend at low speed just until combined.
Don't over mix
-Drop dough 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes

I threw in some smarties and skittles to help fill the box.
I hope he and his fellow soldiers enjoy it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shoe Box Cake - CAKES FOR A CURE

I was asked to donate a cake for the OSC (Officers' Spouses' Club) on Ft Bragg for their "Cakes for a Cure" Fundraiser. The theme was Girls Night Out, and the colors were pink, of course, and brown. I knew immediately I wanted to make a shoe box and a gum paste shoe. Neither of which, I had done before. Here's the end result...

My friend, Brandy made the gum paste flowers! It was the first ones she's ever done, and I think they turned out FABULOUS! The cake was 100% edible...from the shoe to the tissue paper.
Notice the shoe has the name "Jami" on it. A high school classmate of mine lost her battle with cancer on October 18th. I wasn't able to make it back to Kentucky for her services, so this was my tribute to her. The girl who won the cake read Jami's story that I put with the cake, and was so touched by it that she HAD to have the cake!!

It was the highest grossing cake at the auction, going for $70. That's probably about what I would charge for it anyway...minus the cake board detail and gum paste flowers.

I left the auction with 1 cake order and found another one in my email box the next day. It was a great night.

Tanya Biank, the author of Army Wives, was there to sign her book and be the guest speaker. She was full of grace, intelligence, and poise. It was an honor to meet her, since I'm a huge fan of the show.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cake Class Update

I've really been enjoying my cake classes. Course II is finishing up on Halloween, and I can't wait to make the final cake to showcase these flowers.

I made the following flowers in the last few classes. Some are made of buttercream, royal icing, or color flow. Royal icing is powdered sugar, egg whites, and water. It dries hard, and is used mostly for decoration and intricate details. Color flow is made of roughly the same ingredients as Royal icing, but it dries with a more "pillowy" effect.

First is the mum...buttercream

Next is the American Beauty Rose using the brush striping technique to tint the edges...buttercream. I'm nowhere near perfecting the rose...I struggle with it a little, but I'm practicing!

Now on to Royal Icing. Apple Blossom and the Daisy

The Primrose and Violet and leaf

Finally, the Color Flow butterflies and birds. Once again, not as perfect as I would like, but I'm learning. Not bad for my first time.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED class last weekend when I learned how to do this. My teacher is awesome, very patient, and knowledgeable. Our final class will teach us the basket weave, daffodil, and how to arrange them on a cake!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Cakes

I've been really busy lately making a lot of really delicious cakes.

This is one I made for a church function.

Applesauce Spice cake with brown sugar cream cheese filling.

This is another one I made for the church function that I entered into a bake-off, but didn't win anything :(

Chocolate cake with mocha mousse filling and a Kahlua chocolate ganache!
It should have won darn it!

These are 2 sheet cakes I made for Eric's boss.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cookie Bouquet

I made a cookie bouquet this past week for a baby shower. I chose this specific cookie because the mother was expecting twin girls. The cookies were very time consuming, but super cute. Enough are the pictures!

This is the diaper cake which was the base for the cookies.
If you look closely at the cookies, you can see that I put the feet on upside down. Thankfully, Eric noticed it, but I'm not so thankful for the amount of time it took me to fix.
The cookies are all positioned.
Wrapped up all pretty with a bow on top!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Next Sweet Creation

So I've been VERY busy in the kitchen lately. Before I show you what I'm working on next, here's what I did earlier this week.cheesecake 002

This is what I like to call OMG delicious cheesecake. It's a turtle cheesecake with chocolate, caramel, and pecan topping. Eric took it to work, but managed to snag me a piece to try. Cheesecake isn't my favorite dessert, but this was absolutely delicious!!!

Now, here's what I'm working on for the weekend. I was asked to make a cookie bouquet for a baby shower. The cookies are going to be put into a diaper cake and wrapped individually so the guests can take them home as a party favor. I spent most of the night making the cookies, and I plan on giving myself Thursday night and Friday night, if needed to decorate them. The diaper cake is pretty much done, and only needs some ribbon. Here's what the cookies will look'll have to wait for the final product to see what they will be. Any guesses? And has nothing to do with minnie mouse or mickey mouse...or flowers!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My First 1/2 Sheet Cake

aegdcake 002

This was my first attempt at a sheet cake. 1/2 sheet cake to be exact. It's half chocolate half vanilla with buttercream filling. I made the logo with royal icing on waxed paper. Once it dried, I peeled it off the paper and placed it on the cake. This cake is for monthly birthday party at Eric's clinic.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Spiderman Cake

spidermancake 002 spidermancake 001

This is my latest creation. It's a 12" round yellow cake with strawberry filling, and vanilla fondant. Spiderman himself is also made out of fondant.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dinosaur Dig Site

I made this cake for the 5th birthday of a friend's little boy. He made the choices from the flavor and color of the cake to the color "dirt" he wanted. This is homemade strawberry cake with buttercream filling with fresh strawberries, iced with BLUE buttercream icing and topped with sugar cookie dinosaur fossils. Graham crackers and blue sprinkles make up the "dirt" and "rocks" on the cake. Enjoy!

Right now, I can make yellow, chocolate, applesauce spice, red velvet, and now strawberry.