Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fourth of July Fondant Cake

My fondant cake was a success!  The homemade fondant was definitely dryer than the store bought, and it actually has a lot of pock marks from air bubbles I'm assuming (the picture hides it well).  So, it is not as smooth as the store bought.  But, keep in mind I added a TON of extra powdered sugar.  I ended up painting the stars first and then putting them on after they were mostly dry.  I also colored some fondant red and blue with hopes of making a bow on top and then stars all around it.  Unfortunately, the bow was extra floppy and flat, and the colors weren't as vibrant as the painted fondant, so I took the bow off.  I have enough fondant left over to cover another 8 inch cake, so I will probably make another practice cake in a few days.  Come back to see it!

Here is a picture of me modeling my cake.  I love the new shirt I have on from Kohl's!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homemade Fondant Part 1

I made a ball of fondant this afternoon, we shall see tomorrow how it works when I decorate a cake.  My kitchen is covered in powdered sugar.  I tried to take a picture, but our old camera batteries don't work very well in our old camera!  Anyway, it was much different than I expected.  I followed all the directions, but when I went to take it out of the bowl to knead in the remaining powdered sugar, it was like taffy consistency and completely stuck to my hands.  I'm talking like an inch of white goo that absolutely wouldn't come off.  I think I added an entire pound of extra powdered sugar and finally it made a ball, although it's still a tad sticky.  My fingers and forearms are aching from the kneading.  I figured that it cost $5.68 for 2.4 lbs.  The fondant my friend Stephanie recommended is $8.99 for 2 lbs.  The savings will be worth it for a small cake, but if I ever do a large one, like a wedding cake, I think I will be buying some!  I will post a picture of my finished cake tomorrow.    

Monday, June 14, 2010

Homemade Fondant Coming!

I am going today to get ingredients to make my own fondant, we shall see how it goes.  Here is the Fondant Recipe I plan to use.  I don't have any reason to make a cake, but I really want to do another fondant one, so I am just making one that Kevin can take to work.  Anyone have any suggestions for a theme?  

Today's Joy List
My Husband (he has been out of town for a couple days)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pumpkin Raisin Muffins

My kids helped me make these tonight, with minimal mess!  As a bonus, Rebekah actually tried the applesauce and liked it!  I am always looking for muffin recipes that do not have milk or butter, because she is allergic to all dairy.  She also doesn't like vegetables, but she will eat 6 mini muffins in a sitting!  This is a healthy version of pumpkin muffins, but it is so good!  I pulled this recipe off the internet somewhere several months ago, and then I made changes to it.  Here's my version:

Makes approx 64 mini muffins (I think 24 reg, but I made mini)

1/2 cup raisins (Optional: but we love them)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/8 cup white flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
3 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional: I didn't use)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  Soak raisins in hot water for ten minutes to plump, then drain.
2.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves.  In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin and applesauce, until smooth.  Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly to make a smooth batter.  Stir the raisins and nuts into the batter.  Spoon batter in to muffin pans.
3.  Bake for 10-15 min for minis and 20-25 min for regular muffins, or until toothpick comes out clean.  cooking times will definitely vary, my oven runs very hot (I actually cook mine at 325 so they don't burn).

Nutrition info:  1 mini muffin: 50 cal, 1 regular muffin: 136 cal  (approximations)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Felt Hair Clips

These are really easy to make and don't take much time.

Materials:  Felt in various colors, a button or rhinestone, hair clip (found at Sally's Beauty Supply), Glue Gun

1. Cut out 3-4 flower petals.  It works best to cut out a rectangle in the size you want and then fold it in half to cut the petal.  Use the first one cut as a template for the remaining ones.  Try pointed petals or round ones.

2.  Glue petals together so they make a flower.  I found it easiest to glue them in crosses and then glue the crosses together.  This way they will be spaced evenly.  If you are going to use a button for the middle, sew it onto the top petal before gluing.

3.  Glue layers together.  If you are using a rhinestone or anything else as the middle, glue it on now.

  4.  Cut a circle out of felt for the back.  Fold it in half and cut 2 small slits.

5.  Glue around the edge of the circle and adhere to the back of the flower.  Slide the hair clip into the slits and you are finished.  You can also glue on a pin backing and use your flower as a pin.

The possibilities are endless: vary the size, the colors, petal shapes, the middle button, add a leaf, glue it to a headband, add a pin backing...  Let me know what you have come up with.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tote, Zippered Pouch, Notebook, and Felt Hair Clips

This is what I made for a 4 year old little girl's birthday gift.  I hope she will find lots of joy in it!!!
The tote and the zippered pouch were made using the directions at Skip to my Lou.  It is a wonderful blog with tons of homemade gift ideas.  The zippered pouch took about 30 minutes and the tote took about 1 hour.  I am very happy with the results.

The notebook and felt hair clips are my own creations.  For the notebook, I stitched on a matching scrap of fabric and then tied ribbons onto each curl of the wire binding.  I lifted up the ribbons and ran a line of hot glue on the book and then pushed the ribbons to the front.  This was so that they stayed in the front and covered up the edge of the green notebook.  I am also going to include a small pink pen with the gift.  I will post a tutorial for the flower hair clips in the next post.

After posting this, I noticed on facebook that the birthday girls' mom has a birthday tomorrow too!  So I quickly made another tote to give to her.  This one took me 45 minutes.  I absolutely love this green fabric.  I might have to make another one for myself!

Friday, June 4, 2010

My First Fondant Cake

Last night was a blast, thank you Stephanie for taking the time to do this with me.  I am in love with fondant now and can't wait to do another one.  Here's a picture of both the cakes we did.  

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beach Birthday Cake

This was my first attempt at decorating a beach birthday cake.  I wanted to do something different than the standard flowers with leaves.  This was for our pastor's wife, who loves the beach.  The writing is crowding the top, I did that part first and then decided it needed a border.  I also didn't realize that my red flowers would look a little too much like Christmas.  Oops!  Tonight I am going to a good friends' house to learn how to use fondant!  I'm very excited!  I will post my fondant creation tomorrow.
As long as we're talking cakes, I want to share my best cake ever.  This was for my kids birthdays. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Just some more Jean Skirts

Here are three more skirts I made, I love the purple one!


A Joyful Vacation

At least that's what I keep telling myself to remember.  Our trip to St. Louis was nice, some of the time!  Our kids were crazy - extremely happy one minute and screaming on the floor the next!  But what's to be expected when traveling with two small children.  Here's my joy list:

The City Museum (except for the losing my camera part)
Swimming pool at the Holiday Inn Selects
Homemade granola bars
Diet Coke
Walking by the Arch
Going to a new Church
The Zoo that was Free
Air Conditioning (wasn't working in our car)

Did you notice I lost my camera at the City Museum?  Unfortunately, that means I have zero pictures of our trip.  I do still have our old digital camera, so I'll still be able to post pictures of my upcoming projects.  If you have recently gone on a trip, I'd love to know where you went and what your joy list is!  Or, if you're planning a trip in the future, what are you excited to do or see? 
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