Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Matthew 28
Jesus Has Risen
 1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
 5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
 8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them,“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Although the death, burial, and resurrection should be reflected on weekly, since today is Easter I've been thinking about it more. We're so blessed that Jesus' story did not end at the cross. He conquered Death, giving us renewed hope! A chance to have everlasting life. What an amazing blessing! 

Last year, I was learning more about decorating cookies. I decided to make some for Easter. I think they were a big step in my cookie decorating. I was getting closer to getting the consistency right for the flood icing, which is pretty important. 
 I was so excited about these! I had the time to work on them and got better results than ever before.

I ended up giving these to a co-worker. This year, she wanted some more! Of course I was flattered and eager to make some since I enjoy it so much!

Alright, so they're basically identical to the ones from last year... But they were still fun to make! I like the purple tulips more than the pink ones. (I didn't make purple last year). I was kind of rushed making these too. Cookies just take time! I managed to get them baked one day this week. Then Thursday I needed to decorate them if I wanted to get them to her before Easter! My husband was giving me a hard time. So sweet... he wanted to hang out with me :) I did them as fast as I could, which still took a while. I ended up putting all the flood icing in a Ziploc bags and cutting holes in the corners. Ended up working quite nicely. Then no clean up!! (well less than usual ha)

Yesterday, I had one of my last cakes here in Mobile. Weird.... Anyway, it was for a little boy's first birthday. Baby and young kids' birthdays are the best. The mother gave me the colors and let me decorate as I pleased. That sounds all fun and dandy except I'm the most indecisive person ever!! Obviously, I came up with something pretty much as I was decorating the cake, and loved it!! I'm so excited how these turned out!!
 The colors were lime green, blue, and aqua. The cake is really light blue; although it's hard to tell. There's a little smash cake also.

This is the set of cutters I won from Cup A Dee Cakes. I used the one on the top for the decorations at the top of the cake. Seems so simple but that cutter helps a lot in achieving that design! I also used one of my wonderful pearl molds for the border. Love it.

Well I actually need to go pack up some of my cake things. Crazy. Wonder if my parents are aware it's all going to their house. No way that stuff is going in storage :)
And, I think I'm going to have to throw away my cake dummies... No need for them really, but kinda sad.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Exciting News

I'm going to see how much I can squeeze into this post...

First of all, I would guess you're wondering about the exciting news!! Well I missed April Fool's to pull the "I'm pregnant!" gag... hehe! No, we really do have big news. My husband and I are getting to move back to our hometown! Both of our families are there and we're so excited to be moving back. He got a fantastic new job which he is incredibly excited about and there will be new opportunities for me!!

Now down to business... We have a house to sell! I'm telling pretty much everyone so I might as well mention it here, just in case there's someone who needs/someone who knows someone who needs a house. It's a 3 bedroom/2 bath 1300 sq. ft. house in West Mobile built in 2003. We love it, but must move on.

I won't bore y'all with all the details, so if you're interested PLEASE let me know. I will get you all the info you need!!

Now on to cakes and cookies, of course!! I was pretty excited about these cookies. These are the first cookies I've done for a lingerie shower.

Here are a few of my favorites...

Here's a pretty basic birthday cake. It's for a boy, so they're not much on decorations...

Here's a groom's cake. It's chocolate cake and peanut butter icing. Yummmmy.
 Nothing too special, but it smelled delicious.
 Before we leave town, I have a few cakes I want to make for some people.  This is the strawberry margarita cake. I made it a couple weeks ago and thought it was delicious! I had to share! I ended up having a few layers...
 Top it off with lime cream cheese icing and you're done!! Oh my goodness, it's so good!

 This was for a friend of mine's wedding shower. She's actually the one who trained me at my job when I first moved to Mobile! I was attempting to mimic a design I saw that had the dots sparse at the bottom and more as they went up the cake. Not sure I pulled it off. I wish I had done a little more to the cake. Maybe a ribbon border at the bottom or something. Bummer. I really liked the colors too. I don't think the cake met it's potential :(

 So I finished up the cake, packed it up and drove 15 minutes to meet my friend...
Lovely explosion.
 Not just in one place either. Nice huh?
I've been told the sun will have that effect. Heat, etc. But it gets much hotter in these parts than it did last weekend. Not sure quite what happened. I sure prefer that it happened on this cake and not the wedding cake the weekend before! 
 And check it out! Only one burn ;)
It's been a while since I've burned myself. 

Here's another cake I wanted to make for someone before I left. It's a peanut butter cake with chocolate buttercream icing. I like the piping. I never do stuff like that.
 Of course, then I swamp it with ganache! But I had some left over and there was no need to waste it!

I hope the recipients enjoyed!

Was that enough in one post? We'll see what else I have time to make before I go! Buy my house!!! :D

OH YEAH!! I actually won a giveaway from a blog! I feel so special. I'm even mentioned in the post!
Check out Cup a Dee Cakes!! Here's the post where I'm listed as the winner! Hooray!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Wedding

I had a wedding and a groom's cake this weekend. I've only done a handful of weddings, but this has probably been the smoothest yet! I had a lot going on last year when I did a few weddings. One was my first serious wedding cake so I was nervous and the reception was an hour away from my house and it was July (hot hot hot)! Another, I had never been to the location (an hour away also) and we were running behind. By the time we got there and finally found where we were supposed to go, it was dangerously close to the reception. The third, it was raining, we have no garage, the reception location had no covered parking/entry area. Fun stuff. 

I don't regret any of those opportunities!! I'm so glad I got the chance to make those wedding and groom's cakes! And everything turned out fine for each one. There was stress involved though :) 

This past weekend was a breeze. I planned ahead (as usual) and managed to stick to my schedule. I think I was calmer, possibly having a tid-bit of confidence this time. Believe me, I kept myself in check... I just wasn't as worried about "what ifs". Everything would work out as long as I stayed focused and did what I needed to do. 

I managed to get done early!!! I had time to shower and look decent for the delivery!! That never happens. {Hope that doesn't gross y'all out. It's not like I'm disgusting, but I usually don't have time to care what my hair looks like etc}

We got there in plenty of time and dropped off the cakes! It was fantastic. I'm so excited about both of the cakes!
 I realized later that I'm pretty sure this is my first 4-tiered cake (without a fake layer in there). 
 I'm almost more excited about the groom's cake than the wedding cake! The icing turned out so pretty (I've had issues with chocolate icing before not being very smooth). The ganache turned out!! The chocolate covered strawberries were good to go!!

 I haven't heard from the bride but I hope she liked it as much as I did!

Whew, now if anything would've made me nervous it was that. I've never made it before. I meant to a week or so a go and did not have a chance. I followed Bakerella's Ganache Recipe. The key is to wait. Once you finish making it, it's very thin and you have to wait for it to thicken to pour it. I wish I had kept an eye on the time, but I'm pretty sure it took over an hour to thicken some. I kept checking it and was starting to wonder... But I made the ganache before the chocolate icing so I iced and decorated the cake while it sat. I waited as long as I could before I put it on. It finally thickened up some and it was now or never. I put it in a ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner then went for the cake. I was so pumped about how it worked out!! It was just what I was going for. Just squeeze a little more when you want it to drip more and less when you don't. Hooray!!

 I ended up having way too many strawberries. I didn't put them on the cake till I got there. I would've eaten all the extra! But we were headed to the outlet mall, then dinner, then the beach so they were no good to me. I did eat one before I left :)
I attempted to take a picture at home before we left on my stand, but the lighting wasn't very good. But here it is anyway!

Alright, well until next weekend!! Have a great week!

St. Patty's Day

Just to be upfront with you, I have no festive creations for St. Patrick's Day (but maybe I'll throw an oldie in there now that I've mentioned it:). Nope, St. Patty's Day weekend just seemed to be a really popular weekend to celebrate anything! My cousin got married on St. Patrick's Day, but I wasn't able to make it (it was 6 hours away) because of all the cakes. Obviously, I love making cakes!! But I was sad to miss out on his big day and visit all my family. So what kept me so busy??

Friday I had a birthday cake for a girl at my church. Her birthday is on St. Patrick's Day and last year I made this for her.
 This is the festive cake I said I would throw in. I was pretty excited about this cake. I thought it turned out very well. The rainbow is fondant. I did have to use some cardboard to help keep it standing.
This year I made a cake that looked like a phone case she was getting for her birthday.
It was with Nutella icing! Yum. Of course, I like my buttercream because I can decorate with it. Other icings aren't always as cooperative, but I think it worked out alright in this case.

Saturday, I had 3 cakes: 2 anniversary cakes and 1 birthday cake. One anniversary cake I didn't even get a picture of. It was pretty basic anyway. It was a strawberry margarita cake (don't worry, no alcohol). Strawberry cake with lime cream cheese icing. I can't wait to make it again!! It was soooo good! I had some left overs so I got a taste or two :)

This next cake was for a 30th Anniversary for a couple at our church that were renewing their vows. The daughter-in-law who asked me to do the cake, gave me a picture from Pink Cake Box for what they were wanting with a few tweaks. Whew!! Umm just in case you don't know, Pink Cake Box is an amazing cake business! So kinda scary when they see pictures like that and who knows what they're expecting from me!
 The bottom layer was a vanilla with hint of lemon and the top was a vanilla with hint of orange, both with raspberry filling and buttercream icing. Little bit different that the norm, but that's a good thing!
 This is one of the new stands I got!! I'm really excited about it. I got a set of 4 for what I think was a good deal. Hopefully it was, but it's done now anyway!

 The flowers are forget me nots. I think I made them too big. Oops. I didn't hear any complaints, but the couple might just be too nice. Overall I am really exciting with how it turned out.

Next was a birthday cake. A 3-tiered birthday cake. A mini 3-tiered birthday cake. Yup, 8", 6", and a 4" to top it off. With houndstooth decorations and booties! Whew.
 The one picture I managed to get before they picked it up.
The houndstooth booties. I'm pretty happy with these too. It was my first time to make booties and to make them houndstooth, also! Glad it worked out!! :)

Sunday, I had cupcakes to make for a baby shower at church. I didn't get pictures of those either. They were just vanilla with pastel icing. Monday, I had another birthday cake. Ironically, it was for the same birthday girl from Saturday. A coworker wanted to give her a cake at work; therefore, cake no. 2.
 Another mini-tiered cake. 6" and 4". I think I should turn down 4" cake options... But at least I did it Saturday so I had the hang of it. The only way I can figure to properly ice it is to go ahead and stack and dowel it so it'll stay in place!! And the cakes don't usually come out too nicely from my 4" springform pan. They stick a little so I end up having to make the correct shape while icing. I think it turned out well both times, but maybe I should forgo cakes less than 6"...
 Each tier ended up being 3 layers. I had the extra cake and I needed it to be tall enough to do the stencil. Speaking of, I need to use this stencil on fondant!! I'm pretty sure I just make it harder on myself attempting to do it on buttercream... and 2 colors...
I ended up making the design like this on the back since there was only so much room on that 4". Just about when I finished making the cake, I realized they wanted a square cake... I think. I had been given a sheet of what they wanted and it was worded strangely. And how the situation was, it never really got addressed. Therefore, round cake. Which really stinks because a square cake would've been easier with stencils!! Ugh. Oh well. It all turned out ok. 

Oh yeah, and there's another stand I got!!  A 6" stand... who needs a 6" stand?? Obviously it's too small for the smallest cake I make. I guess if you want to display a single cupcake?? But I was determined to use it at least for pictures :)

So that's that.... 3 tiered cakes, 2 regular cakes, and 24 cupcakes in 4 days. Feels good once it's all done!