Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Crafts

The boys got these t-shirts from their auntie for Easter this year, but they out grew them really fast.  They are such great shirts and were still in really good condition, so I decided to re-purpose them for Christmas this year. I think they turned out really good, and they look so cute!

Baby Girl got some more hair clips this year, so she needed a bigger display for them.  So I painted a frame from the dollar store to match colors in her room, and I had some really cute fabric and ribbon leftover from other projects.  Super easy project, and it looks really cute in her room!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Cupcakes

I was asked by my mother-in-law to make 4 dozen cupcakes for her neighbors.  I was more then happy to do it for her! I love baking on other peoples dimes! haha. I have never had to transport cupcakes before so I called a local supplier and asked how much it would be for cupcake boxes that would hold a half dozen.  It was going to be over $5 per box!  I figured there has got to be a cheaper way to do this! So at Superstore I found muffin tins that hold 6 each. At the dollar store I was able to find a bunch of fun festive boxes that fit the little tins exactly!  I had to bring a tin in the store with me, there were so many different sized boxes, so I tested all of them before I bought them. Doing it this way cost $2.80 per box!

Cute boxes and tins.

Chocolate Candy Cane cupcakes
Filled with Chocolate Ganache

French Vanilla Eggnog Cupcakes
 Filled with Chocolate Eggnog Ganache

What 7 lucky people get to open up tomorrow! 
(I made 6 just for my Mother-in-law with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache filling)

They turned out really good and I hope all the friends and neighbors who get them will enjoy them!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Car Cake

A few weeks ago I was asked to do a cake for a little girl in our church.  All she wanted was a car cake.  So we threw in some flowers to make it look a little bit more girly.  The trees were fun to do, I learned how to do those last summer when I did a cake for a camp I worked at.  And I had some fun with some gel icing to make a little pond.  Throw in a cop car and some cool other hot-wheels and you have yourself a little car chase for a super sweet little 4 year old girl!

View from the top, The "water" looked really cool in this picture.

View from the side, with a little hill in the middle.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas baking is done!

I have been really busy in the last few days!  But I finally got my Christmas baking done.  And that means that our little gift's for the lovely people my husband works with are also done just in time for our Christmas party tonight at our place! With Christmas baking, catering our youth Christmas banquet, 2 trips to the doctors, and one to the hospital, the last three days have been very eventful, but at least things are calming down a bit now!  So with all that going on I didn't have time to do any tutorial on what I've been making.  But I had some time today to get picture of the final products!

More Sugar Cookies! I love the Snowflakes!

Homemade Oreo's! Mmmm So good!!!

Carmel Popcorn Twists!
And all that put together for the finished product!!! I hope they like it!

I have also been working on some crafting things as well, but will post those another day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Puppy Chow!!!

So this is a Christmas favorite in our house.  I grew up with this every once in a while at Christmas and rediscovered it in high school.  And have made at least one to two batches every Christmas since.  I even stuck a batch of it in my suitcase and brought on the plane with me after Christmas break during college!  I introduced it to the in-law's and being the chocoholics they are it was gone in about half an hour!!! I have only known it to be called Puppy Chow, I'm not sure if there are any other names for it.  But if I didn't believe that food is for all and everyone should be able to make everything, this would totally be one of my "secret family recipie's"!  Its super easy and I tend to have all the ingredients except the cereal in my house at all times.

Puppy Chow
2 cups Chocolate Chips
1cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Margarine
1 box of Crispix (Chex works too)
1 bag or Icing Sugar

Melt Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter, and Margarine together.  Microwave for 2 minutes mixing half way, and again at the end till smooth. Or do it on stove top, either way works.


 Pour Chocolate mixture over Crispix, make sure your bowl is big enough to accommodate mixing!

For this next step I used my Tupperware Thatsa Mega Bowl (with lid), but you can also do this in a large brown paper bag.  I have always done it in the bag and I think it mixes better, but I didn't have time to go looking for some this year.  Place just under half the bag of icing sugar in your bag or bowl, add in your chocolate cereal mix, and then sprinkle the top with more sugar.  Roll up top of bag or place lid on bowl. And shake shake shake! I find using the bag works a lot better because you can push the mix around inside and get more of the bigger clumps out, but if you just have a bowl then make sure you check for clumps.  Add the rest of the sugar if there is still some chocolate showing.
Note: Plastic bags are NOT a good alternative!!!

 The wonderful thing about this recipe is it fits in those ice cream buckets you have laying around, freeing up other bowls for more Christmas treats!

 This simple treat makes wonderful gifts! These cute little boxes will be filled with Puppy Chow and the centre piece of our staff treat tray gift this year!!

An awesome treat for the kiddos to help out with too!
Have fun and Enjoy!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First attempt: Icing Tutorial

A few people have asked how I make my icing.  Today I had to make some for a cake I'm doing, and thought why not try my first tutorial with something easy...  So here it is. I am not yet in the "tutorial potential" mindset so I didn't think of it till half way through my first batch and so the quantities in some of the pictures will look a little off. I started out using the Wilton recipe. But I can't really be bothered to measure it out.  Also being a mom of three I don't have the time to sift the icing sugar, I think I've only done that once.

So here we go...

You will need:
- Equal amounts Butter (or Margarine) and Vegetable shortening, softened
- Vanilla
- Icing Sugar
- Milk

 Cream shortening and butter together. And I mean really cream it, you shouldn't see any little butter clumps.  The key, I find, to making icing "fluffy" is to mix thoroughly after each addition.  Add in vanilla to suit your taste. If you want to color your icing later you don't really have to worry about having clear vanilla, but if you are wanting to leave it white then it is worth going out and finding it. 

 Add icing sugar a cup or so at a time. It will start looking very dry. Look for when it starts clumping or gathering in the beater.

With mixer still going, slowly add milk. Add in a little at a time to get it to the consistency you are wanting for the project you are doing.  I am a very hands on baker and so I will always test my icing. (Always with clean hands though!)  I like to feel if it will spread or pipe easily or if it needs more milk. As always remember to stop every once in a while and scrape the sides of your bowl and also empty out your beater with your spatula as well. 

 And there you have it! I hope it helps a little bit the next time you need a good icing recipe.

Blast from the past

I was talking to my dad yesterday and he suggested posting all of my cakes and baking things I have done.  I don't want to just do a post full of pictures.  For one thing it would take forever for the pictures to load :) and also everything I've done has been an adventure in itself.  Whether the reason behind the project or a new technique I figured out, they all have a little story behind them.  So I will slowly add my older things in amongst the new ones.  And so I dug out my high school photo album and found this picture from either grade 10 or 11, can't remember anymore.  But I entered this cake in our Fall Fair and it won first place.  I was so proud of this cake. I heard about the contest category the day before entry's were due and got my parents to go out and get all the things I needed and was up very late getting it ready to enter.  The book I had told me to use a pound cake, but that took a lot of ingredients that I didn't want my parents to have to buy so we made a brownie...which we ended up burning...good thing taste wasn't part of the judging! Now to clarify a bit about the "competition", I could just leave it at "I won 1st place" and have you think I took the competition my storm (haha), but truth be told we lived in a very small town and there was only 2 other cakes entered...  But now you have seen my very first cake!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stars and Jello

I finished up some more cookies that will be going in our staff Christmas gifts this year, I think that food is a great gift! I made a huge batch of sugar cookies yesterday.  From that batch I got the Veggie Tales cookies, and these star cookies, I also have some snowflakes left to decorate.  I also made a bunch extra for the kids Christmas party we are having tomorrow for the kids to decorate their own.  That way they can have some fun making some of their snack, and I also made some Ice Cube Jello Jigglers for the kids.  I wish I had a green Jello, o well.

Star Sugar Cookies

Ice Cube Jello Jigglers

Christmas Fun!

My sister and I decided this year to give the kids in the family homemade gifts. She is my only niece so far so I may have gone a little overboard this year (its also her first Christmas). But hey what are aunties for! There are a few more things that I still have to make for her. But I will add pic of those when they are done. I have also started my Christmas baking this week and I started with some sugar cookies. I love any excuse to have fun with my baking so I made some Veggie Tales Bob and Larry Sugar Cookies for my Boys Sunday school classes. Im pretty sure I will be that nerdy mom that brings baked goodies for every occasion! I'm super exited for that!!!

Felt Donuts for my Niece

Veggie Tales Sugar Cookies!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Somewhere to share

I have tried a lot of blogs in the past but have come to the conclusion that I am not a writer, and don't really express myself in that way. So I have created this new blog for the purpose of sharing the crafty things I make and the things I bake. I may sometimes attempt a tutorial or two, but we'll see.
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