Category Archives: food

ruffle birthday cake

teenager birthday time

It’s birthday time once again in these parts, this month belongs to the Doodle. Thirteen wonderful years for me, the mother of the cleverest crafter, cook, good attitude gal and joker in the West. She’s the kid who asks, “what’s for dinner tonight?” the moment she walks in from school everyday.
Luckily, “Can I make dinner?” are usually her next words. To which my reply is nearly always “Yes!” Here’s my rendition of the cake she ordered off pinterest:
ruffle cakeAfter making all those ruffles, my forearms were burning like I’d just led a 200 ft. 5.11b rock climbing route.

teens and cake.jpgThe Doodle and her girlfriends ready to dig in then run off and play hours of night games all over the neighborhood.

cake and tall candles.jpgLove her new hipster glasses she just picked out for herself.

too many banners.jpgThis is about it for decorations- but 5 banners- isn’t that enough?

blow out the candles.jpgHere’s Instagram and the Mayfair filter, making everything look better.

Cake.jpgProcess evident picture- iPhone, lighter, sharpie, Cheetos puffs as appetizer (another personal request, party essential) right out there in the open.

ruffle cake.jpgThree layers of chocolate and an extreme amount of frosting. Yum.

I don’t know how else to say it… they grow up SO FAST! Cherish every minute, even the tough ones because sooner that you think they’ll be heading off out the door.

Ski parka cake

ski parka cake.jpgThis is far from the most professional looking cake I’ve ever made, but I thought I’d share it anyway- in case you need to built a ski parka cake for that winter birthday party. Here’s how I came up with the shape:

bake two cakesMix up two cake mixes and bake one in a 9 X 13 inch pan and the other in two 6 X 6 inch pans. Let them cool, then remove the cake from the pans.

cut the cakesLeave the 9  X 13 inch cake all in one piece for the ‘body’ part of the parka.  Cut the other two  cakes into a ‘hood’ shaped round shape, flat on one side for the neck and two 3 inch (or so) strips for the sleeves (there maybe some extra cake depending on how wide you want the sleeves to be). Cut an angle at the top of each sleeve (refer to illustration) to be placed next to the body.

piece the cakes togetherPut all of the pieces together and begin frosting the center of the hood and work your way out. This project will take plenty of frosting so make sure to plenty on hand. I used the store bought little tubs and used nearly 3 of them to get the cake completely covered- sides and top.

ski jacket cakeI hadn’t done much planning in advance and I ran out of time and resources when it came to details. So where I dreamed of a fancy (maybe plaid), high tech parka, I ended up with a simple two color job and only three pockets.
Thoughts on details:
1. Cut up Fruit RollUps would make excellent large polka dots, pockets or cuffs.
2. Buttons could be made with Spree, M & M’s or other flat round candy.
3. Twizzlers or Sour Patch Straws for a zipper or fashionable stripes.
4. Sprinkle Nerds for jacket details.

This cake shape would be cute as a robot cake, just cut out a square head,  instead of a round one, use the excess cake to built legs and frost with gray or silver frosting.

Any other great detail ideas? Do share!

funny sugar cookies

decorating sugar cookies

funny cookiesMaking sugar cookies… I’m not going to gloss over the truth- sugar cookies take a long time but ONLY because there are so many steps. So, plan ahead (a few days) and you’ll have a creative, enjoyable experience. Since the dough needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour or up to 3 days, make it ahead of time, (in the morning or the day before) and even roll out and bake the cookies as a separate event (in the morning or the day before) so finally decorating feels less like a marathon and more like a stage race.

Sugar Cookies
3/4 cup butter (I hate margarine so I’m not going to even say it here)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 cup sugar until creamy; beat in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly, to form a soft dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour) or for up to 3 days.
On a floured board, roll out dough, a portion at a time, to a thickness of 1/8 inch (keep remaining portions refrigerated). Cut out with cookie cutters and place slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer to racks and let cool completely before handling. Store airtight. Makes about 4 dozen.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
about 4 tablespoons of milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and spreading consistency.
*I made the frosting runny (for stiffer frosting add only 2 tablespoons of milk) and put it into decorating bags. For the smooth-edge look when decorating the cookies draw the perimeter of the area you want to fill in with the frosting bag (small round tip) and then fill in the area.
**For the glasses I used pre-made frosting from the store, it comes in a small tube and is meant for writing.

sugar cookies and treatsI like baking but I can’t (I mean shouldn’t) eat all of the finished products, this is true in just about every case- not just desserts, so giving the treats away is the idea situation. My family and I get our fill of treat making and get to share the love. I love getting handmade treats too, the gift of someone’s time is much appreciated (that may or may not have been a hint, wink wink).

This year we made this process a ‘marathon event’ and as it was getting late I told my daughter to stop helping and get ready for bed. Instead of complaining it was time for bed she thanked me. Live and learn!

teacher giftWe couldn’t help giving a ‘smart cookie’ to C’s 3rd grade teacher, along with a tiny plant in a makeshift felt pot also made with fabric scraps.
Note:  ‘fabric scraps junk bow’ tying it all together.

So glad we all survived the end of the world, now let’s hope we can survive Christmas!