Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birthday Cakes and Cake Pops

Happy Birthday my sweet Lucy.

 The youngest of 3, she has been a pleasure - most of the time. She puts up with her big brother and sister and gets dragged around everywhere. She makes me laugh every day and I love to see how her mind works. She is her own person. And yes, she has to wear a skirt every day. Good thing Gma and I sew! She has some style.

Yes, she has had 2 cakes so far. One on her actual birthday (Mickey Mouse) and one while celebrating with Gma and Gpa Frank (Zooter - from Jungle Junction). 

As usual, both cakes were last minute requests and I had to look to the internet for ideas and do the best I could. Here is a little tutorial on making the Mickey Mouse cake and how I handle all the 'extras'. 

1. I started with a standard 9x13 cake. I used 2 different sized bowls to cut the circles. Cake left overs when into the larger bowl. The circles were transferred to a sheet cake pan lined with foil. I don't know where my cake board is - probably in the attic. I decided to make due with the pan.


2. Then, on to the crumb layer. Spread a thin layer of thin frosting over the cake. This doesn't need to be pretty, just needs to contain all the crumbs. Place in the fridge for a bit to let the frosting set.

3. On to the main frosting. I am so glad we can get easily gel food coloring now! Makes getting colors other than pastels much easier. 

Now - what to do with all that extra cake and frosting??? Mush them all together and make cake balls!

Add a little frosting at a time and mix really well. 

Add frosting until you get what looks like a stiff cookie dough.

Then just roll into balls and chill. Now, if you want to be really fancy, you can dip these in chocolate. By this time, I am too tired to worry about anything other than getting these to be in a somewhat round shape. They get gobbled up so fast, no one has cared about how they look. Phew - no need to do more work. ;)

If you still have left over frosting, you can just spread some on graham crackers. Yes it is YUMMY! However, I just threw mine out. Really, there are soooo many sweets in our house right now, I don't need to be temped with MORE.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crazy Life

Life can be pretty busy. I promise, I have been busy working on lots of new things to share. I just have not taken the time to sit down and document it all. So, today will be a bit of a catch-all catch-up on the things that have been keeping me busy for the past couple of months.

1. We moved. I FINALLY feel like I am out of the mountain of boxes. Or at least the mountain has been distributed into several hills spread out to different locations. Which, for now works for me. I am not starring at them and can slowly work on dealing with them as I feel like it. I guess that is one of the issues you face when majorly downsizing.

2. We now own a farm! The only animal we currently have is a dog. He is really enjoying his space and I think is finally adjusting to being with us. We adopted him, and in just 6 weeks we moved. So he has had a lot to adjust to along with the rest of us. However, we are working on transforming this building into a chicken coop!

And a view of the coop and barn early in the morning.

As typical of a farm, there is always a ton of work that needs to get done. On the top of the list is to finish the coop, get some chickens, and plant a garden. The garden space is HUGE and we will not the planting the entire thing. BUT, It is taking a bit of energy to plan.

3. Homemade Craziness. I like to try making things myself. Why? I think just to prove I can do just about anything I set my mind to. Maybe it is just to keep things changing. I may never do it again, but I like new challenges and trying new things. 

I saw an article in the newspaper about all kinds of different nut butters. So, I made a mixed nut butter. I followed the same method as my homemade peanut butter, but just used some mixed nuts. WOW! I had NO IDEA what I was missing. I think I like it better than the peanut butter!

While surfing Pinterest, I came across several different coconut oil recipes. I thought I would try this one. Mine doesn't look this good. I suspect I didn't use enough coconut oil to allow the mixer to properly work. But, this is how it turned out. I will try it tonight and this weekend at the beach!

4. Funny aside: I made some hard boiled eggs - because YUM! Epic fail! I have never had 6 of the 12 eggs crack! Oh well, they were a bit over cooked, but they still make great egg salad sandwiches. 

5. Dishes: we have no dish washer in this house. There is space to put one in, but that is low on the priority list for now. So until then, My kitchen seems to look like this a lot.

Doesn't really bother me much, but it feels like I am ALWAYS doing the dishes. 

6. House remodeling/updating. We haven't done any true remodeling as of yet. Just taking down wallpaper and painting. Also working on pulling up the carpets. I will share some progress photos in another post. 

7. Weight Progress: Through everything, I have not been sticking to any weight loss plans. On the up side, I stepped on the scale for the first time this week. Much to my surprise, my weight has held steady since before Thanksgiving. I count that as a major success -in that I didn't gain a ton of weight over the holidays without thinking much about food or exercise. 

Hope you are all staying busy and enjoying life.