Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do You Smell Something?

We did, tonight. It's not uncommon for me to smell something burning in my oven when cooking something else. There's always some random overflowed food burning on the bottom of my oven. Consequently, it usually makes the smoke detectors go off too. Tonight I was cooking Impossible Cheeseburger Pie. I smelled the smell and thought nothing of it. Then the smoke alarm went off. James got right to turning it off while I got up to see what was burning in the oven. I opened the door to see this.
In case you're wondering, that WAS a sippy cup. It was the perfect ending to a day where I was already frustrated beyond my wits end with Logan. He's pushed every one of my buttons the last 2 weeks, and this was just the thing to hit the last button. I'm afraid for tomorrow. He might find another button I didn't know I had.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bret and Sarah's Wedding Cake

I got a new brother-in-law today. And it's about time too! Sarah is the third in our family of 8 but she is the last to get married. I guess I should be grateful, because if she had gotten married years ago, I wouldn't have had the chance to make her wedding cake! I really enjoyed the experience, mostly because nothing went wrong. Everything went way too smoothly in fact. I hope you enjoy the pictures. My sister Andrea commandeered my camera and took MANY pictures of me and the cake. I had to completely decorate the top tier once I got there, that's why so many of the pictures are of me working on it.

This one is of the finished product. Click on it so you can fully enjoy it's gold sparkliness.

Putting on the finishing flourishes.

Gluing on the flowers.

I should be a hand model, no?

Grabbing a flower from my flower stash to glue on the cake.
Seriously, click on the top picture to look at it better. I loved all of the sparklies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Almost Ready!

My sisters wedding is tomorrow, finally! Can you all tell how much I obsess over making cakes? It's a really big deal to me. I've never felt like any talent has come very naturally to me, and decorating cakes is no exception. I always experience some sort of problem and it FRUSTRATES me!!!!!! It frustrates James a bit as well because he takes the brunt of my frustration. Poor guy. I'm so glad he puts up with me. Actually he does more than that. He still loves me even through the whole process.

I know why wedding cakes cost so much. They are A LOT of work. I would estimate that I've spent about 10 hours on this cake so far and close to $50 in cost of supplies.

Anyway, this is my pile to load in the car tomorrow morning. Left to right, the bottom two tiers of the cake, fully decorated, next we have all the extra frosting I will and may need, in the white box is the cake topper, a glass temple, and lastly we have the top tier of the cake. It isn't decorated yet because I'll need to pick it up and put it on top of the rest of the cake.

I've forgotten my camera the last two times I did a wedding cake, but I've added my camera to that pile so it won't be forgotten. :) I'm actually not so sad that I forgot my camera the first time I did a wedding cake. It was basically a disaster in the aesthetic department. However, the taste got rave reviews. The second cake was significantly better, but still had some problems with it leaning. However, it was fully devoured as well. Yay! Hmm... I think I do have a picture of that second cake somewhere on the computer. I'll hunt it down and if I do indeed have it, I will include it on my next post. Ok, anyway, now I'm on my third wedding cake and I feel great about this one. As long as there are no major disasters. ;) I'll try to get pictures up as soon as possible in the next few days, since I know you are all waiting with baited breath to see it. Ha!

I've done enough talking. Sorry.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Caramel Brownies

Somebody made these brownies for our Super Saturday. A couple of women were wanting the recipe. I spoke up saying that I have it. I would have to say that Caramel Brownies are some of the best brownies in the world, so I'm sharing the joy.

1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix (I've used other chocolate cake mixes and they work too!)
3/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans (Optional. I've never put nuts in mine, yuck!)
13 ounces individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray one 9x13 inch pan with non-stick coating .
Combine the cake mix, butter and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Mix well and spread 2/3 of the batter into pan.
Press pecans into batter and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. (Or don't! Cuz I wouldn't.)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the caramel and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Stir until melted and smooth; pour over cooled cake mix.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of caramel and top with spoonfuls of remaining cake mix. Bake for additional l5 to l8 minutes; cool and cut.

I know that it sounds like a lot of work, but they are SOOOOOOO worth it. And, just to give props where props are due, I got this recipe from my sister Laurie who, I'm sure, got it from somebody else! That's always the case with amazing recipes like this one. :) Enjoy them, especially you, Melanie!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Ode to Water

Call me crazy, (many have, so you are in good company) but I think that water is the best medicine ever! If I ever feel a cold coming on, I start to guzzle water like a mad woman. I try to drink at least 2 quarts of water a day. (That's 64 oz of water, or half a gallon.) I would estimate that 4 out 5 five times, it makes my cold go away in 1-3 days. I introduced the idea to James, and he is a believer as well! Now, I can't take credit for this amazing discovery, because I learned it from the best roommate ever. (Thanks Carlee!) I had a full on cold start 3 days ago. I put my half gallon of water in the fridge and attacked it the next day. If you had talked to me that day you would have totally said that I had a cold. But, today, two days later, there is no trace of it! It's magic I tell you, magic! I think this is why I rarely drink soda or juice because why would I waste my liquid intake on something that isn't magic?

Here's my challenge to all of you, once you feel a cold coming on, start drinking your water like you never drank it before. Let me know what happens. I'm curious to see if this method should be studied by doctors or not. I've never heard of doctor's telling patients to drink a lot of water to get past a cold. But the should.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lesson of the Day

Don't Be Delusional.

That was the lesson I learned today. I was downstairs with Lizzy watching a food network show while Logan was happily playing upstairs. I could tell you what I assumed he was doing, but we both know that what I assumed he was doing was not what he was really doing. Hence the, don't be delusional lesson.

Here is the bookshelf in our new playroom. Yeah, it has more than just books on it. It also has every single hair product in our house on it. From left to right, hairspray, gel, more hairspray, mousse, even more hairspray, hair detangler, and on the top shelf, by the dinosaur, the real culprit, hair wax.

Cute, isn't he? I cleaned him all up and then went back downstairs to finish my show. Again, I was delusional. The second time I left him alone he got the humidifier out of Lizzy's room. He poured some of the water on the carpet, but then found about 20 finger puppets and put them in the humidify, along with some other random toys. I didn't take a picture of that because it wasn't quite as funny. :)
My other delusions revolve around wedding cakes. I always get excited about decorating a cake, but, somewhere along the line, something goes wrong. So far the only thing that has gone wrong with this cake is that the flowers I started making were a terrible shade of green. I scraped that and started over making ivory colored flowers.
Here is what 300+ flowers look like on one cookie sheet.

And, close up. The picture doesn't show the light dusting of gold glitter on them. I love shiny things!
Stay tuned until next week for the finished product! The wedding is the day before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mary Turns 30

I was very excited when somebody asked me to make a birthday cake for my good friend, Mary. She turned 30 this last weekend, so I knew it had to be a really great design. I'm pleased with the design, but that dang fondant fought with me! I had tons of air bubbles in it. I hope not to experience that problem with my sisters wedding cake. (Hers is in two weeks.)

Here's a close up of the coffin that was on the top of the cake. I carved it out of a solid piece of chocolate. Then I painted it black, with food coloring of course. I made sure Mary ate a piece of her coffin. :)

Here's the cute picture I couldn't find for my last post. I thought Logan looked so adorable with this Bride of Frankenstein wig on.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Odds and Ends

Argh, I can't find the picture that I really wanted to share! It was on my computer one minute and gone the next. I'll find it and share it with my next post, which by the way, I am super excited about. Stay tuned!

One morning I came down the stairs and this is how I found my kiddos. Logan was totally chilling on the arm of the couch. He's playing with his belly button of course. That must be hereditary because one of my sisters always played with her belly button at this age.

In this picture, Logan is wearing Lizzy's black tights. I had just bought them for Lizzy but I guess he thought they were for him. I went upstairs to put Lizzy down for a nap and when I came back down, Logan was walking around like this. It wasn't really walking as much as it was waddling. Cute!

And this is what I found today! For some time Lizzy has been climbing up and down the very bottom step. That's as far up as she would ever go. However, today she decided would be the day she scaled the whole set of stairs! She was up 5 steps before I even saw her! I guess I have to start paying closer attention to her.
I hope you enjoyed my odds and ends.