Sunday, July 26, 2009

All About Cakes

The past two weekends have been all about the cake. As reported already, last Saturday involved my first sail boat cake!

Ahoy mateys!

Then last Monday, with the help of my bestie, Jamie

I attempted to make a fridge cake to enter an online contest.

It started out well.

I had a ridiculously cute checkered "tile" floor!

But it soon went to shit and when I ran out of fondant at 9:30PM,

I threw in the towel and shook my head in disappointment. I think I got over confident honestly. Oh least the floor was cute!

This past weekend, I did my first dragon cake!

He kind of ended up looking more like a brontosaurus BUT, he was too I named him Pete. The woman I made it for (a referral from Jennifer, who is determined to put me into business) seemed happy, I just hope her kids liked it!

I also did a cake for a birthday party I attended on Friday night that was for one of my dearest friends. I can always count on Christina for a good time on her birthday, and a good time deserves a good cake.

Chocolate cake with Fresh Bing Cherry filling with Dark Chocolate Cherry Buttercream.

One of the fastest cakes I have ever decorated. I thought it looked great, tasted great, and everyone seemed to enjoy it! All around a success!

I also made a cookie cake today for my boss's birthday on Tuesday...but I think that should be it for awhile. I think my standing mixer needs a breather!

Happy Baking!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cake and Hubby

On Saturday I was lucky enough to attend and make the cake for my boss's wife Jennifer's baby shower!

You might remember her from the cake class!

Her and her husband are having a little boy any day now, and they are decorating his room with a nautical theme, therefore what more fitting than a sail boat cake!

Now the story for this festive cake!

An old friend (well she isn't old but we have been friends since middle school so you catch what I'm throwing) and I made plans to go to dinner last Friday night. I NEVER get to see her so there was NO way I was canceling once I realized I would be making the cake for the shower I was attending the next day.

I had the cake baked and ready to go by the time I left for dinner, and told myself that I couldn't stay TOO long because I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me.

Well...when I walked in the house at 9:00PM...I knew it was going to be a long night. I just went ahead and rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

After cutting the cake into the shapes I needed, I was quick to realize that...
A) I think I misjudge how GIANT my cake pan was and therefore how GIANT the cake was...
B) I don't think 156 people would be attending the shower
C) I had nothing big enough to put the cake on!

I ended up taping 2 boards together to make a GIANT cake board and again...started to work. Looking back, I think I was just a titch over confident when thinking about this cake. I thought it would EASY PEASY...not so much.

This is where my knight comes in! Hubby is the calm one. The one that brings back to the ground when I get out of control. The one who always knows what to do. This again, is why I adore him.

By about 10:00PM he had helped me cut and stain the mast for the boat, gave me ideas on shapes and sizes, and eventually had to get to bed because he had to work the next morning. It was probably for the best, because when I had to make another batch of icing at 11:30, I might have cried if he was watching.

At about...

Hubby realized that I was still working on this damn cake!

He came out of the bedroom to help me keep my cool, give me some ideas,

help fix some corners, and tell me everything was going to be okay.

He stayed up with me until I was done, and then got up at 6:00 the next morning. He is pretty much amazing.

Overall I think everyone liked the cake, and so did Jennifer which is most important. The shower was great and it was so exciting to be apart of their special event!

Happy Decorating and Happy Marriage!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


So as you might figured out from my last post...I am without grandparents. It's totally cool, I have come to terms with it and I had a maternal grandmother and a paternal grandfather for a number of years so I did get some grand parent love!

My Gram died in September of 2005. It was hard...I would be lying if I said it wasn't. We knew it was coming, it wasn't a surprise, but I don't know that knowing that made it any easier.

Our recent trip to Utah was the first time that I had been back since she passed away. The last time we were there, it was an emotional time. It was the time we buried her, it was the last time we stayed in her house...the house my mom grew up in and the house I spent nearly every Christmas in, and the last time I was there, I watched people pillage through her stuff in an estate sale, which I would just as soon forget.

I miss her a lot. I have always hoped that I would dream about her or she would come "visit" me in a dream. It hasn't happened yet but maybe I am just not ready.

We did go drive by her house though. The house where I have so many memories. I took this picture...and when I looked at it when I got home it made me smile...

I would like to think that maybe those rays are her smiling or at least just a reminder that she is watching over us.

Sorry for the somber post! Just reflective more than anything.

Hugs Hugs Kiss Kiss (that was our sign off! :) )

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back to the Grindstone

Well...I am back from Utah and what can I say, I ended up having a really good time. I was nervous honestly. I don't spend that much time in close quarters with my parents anymore, not without hubby anyways, but it ended up being a good time and I am glad I went.

Now for pictures because I know you are just DYING to see Utah!

Well as I mentioned before, our first stop was to Target...which again, I find HILARIOUS that I went all the way to Utah to go to 4...yes...4 different Targets! I found this SO funny that I snapped a picture of my mom and aunt!

We also visited both sets of grandparents...

and saw a mule deer in the cemetery!

Most of the vacation went spent around where we were gonna eat next...and let's be honest with ourselves, what good vacation isn't!

We ate at a Mexican (if you can call it that...) restaurant that had divers, real people diving off cliffs, every 30 minutes in the middle of the restaurant. The lighting was terrible so none of those pictures turned out. : (

This cute little sea food place where my aunt was trying to hook her son up with our adorable Russian waitress.

And this diner in the middle of no where that was inside a renovated 1930s diner. Had a rockin' chicken sandwich too, so it wasn't just atmosphere you were paying for!

The weather was amazing, the mountains were incredibly green, and this was the wedding that we went to (the purpose for the trip).

I mean come that scenery even real?!

Oh but...most of our trip was spent gushing over my aunt's adorable dogs...

Look at those faces!

All in all, a joy of a vacation!

Happy Travels!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Utah...Day Three

Well I have survived another day. I have seen all my grandparents (pictures to come), went to 2 more Targets (found the shoes!!), and went to a rehearsal dinner for my God sister.

Her soon to be mother in law is the CEO of the Utah chapter of Make A Wish, so their rehearsal dinner was held at their facility. WOW! What an awesome experience. She has taken the wishing process to a whole new level and made it such a neat experience for everyone involved. We were privileged enough to see the "wishing room" and I tell you, it was a spiritual experience.

Other than that, I started another book today and so far, I am enthralled.

My aunt, mom, and I drove around a lot today. They looked at all the sites and how much has changed in the city over the past years. I don't remember how things were before, so I read my book and made the occasional "mmhmm" and "oh yeah". Good times.

We has eaten a lot...some places good, some places not so good. One restaurant even involved cliff divers INSIDE the restaurant!! SERIOUSLY!!

Overall the trip has involved a lot of cocktails, which is never a bad thing, reading, and family time. I was dreading it honestly, but I am quick to admit that it hasn't been that bad. Our family is small, I need to spend more time cherishing every last moment...

Happy Cocktails (for Utah no less!)!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Utah...Day Two

Well kids, I am venturing on day two of my Salt Lake City "vacation". We are in town to see family and for my God sister's (who I have not seen in hmmm roughly 10 years) wedding. Last night was spent on my aunt's deck drinking margaritas....ahhhh....can't much complain about that.

PS...For those interested, here is my margarita recipe if you are a fan of frozen. They are no fail.

In blender dump:
1 small or half large can of frozen limeade concentrate (Wal Mart brand is just fine)
1 small or half large can (using the limeade can) of tequila (anything but Jose Quervo...I prefer Sauza...YUM!)
Fill blender with ice
Blend until your blender is having trouble and sounds like it is about to explode.
Open lid and start adding Triple Sec.
Blend until smooth...smooth...smooth.

Pour into glasses and make some new friends OR stick straw directly in blender and proceed to a drunkin' stupper.

So far the trip has been filled with a trip to 2 different Super Targets (which is hilarious in itself) on the hunt for these shoes, which I might just have to buy online. It becomes an obsession once I find something that I want....hubby is a prime example. (who PS conveniently had to work this trip...mmhmm)

The evening ended with Asian Chicken Salad (recipe to come later) and the movie Twilight....which wasn't as bad as I was anticipating. At least we got it out of the way early on in the trip. My aunt...God love obsessed.

This morning involved driving around looking at my parent's first house together, the house I was born into, and the last house we lived in before moving South to Arizona. Good memories for my parents, I was too young to remember, so I read the BEST book while they attempted to remember how to get around in this city.

This book has inspired much so that I promptly bought a new cookbook at a used bookstore we stopped by....

My wheels are turning wheels are turning....more to come on that later.

All in all, so far, so good. My parents aren't annoying me TOO much yet (probably because of the margaritas) is only day two.

More to come, as well as pictures!

Happy Mormons!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Martha Weekend

So not only did I make peanut butter cookies and from scratch mac & cheese, I also began scrap booking our wedding. FINALLY! I got the house cleaned and ready for the M.I.L on Saturday, hubby was working Sunday, so that left me with a little bit of free time!

I had a cardboard box in the office looming...staring...gawking at me...full of wedding cards, pieces of ribbon, plane tickets from the honeymoon. All sorts of crap...I started the afternoon by digging.

In the process I found a $50 Lowe's gift card and a $50 Visa gift card! AWESOME! Turns out those gift credit cards do expire...and ours expired in May. Boo! Serves me right for waiting almost 2 years to go through everything again. Oh well. Hubby was excited about the Lowe's GC!

After about 2 hours I had only 3 pages done...BUT I felt accomplished. I took my time, planned my pages, and then ended up really cute! I even incorporated ribbon from one of our gifts to border one of the pages....awww (*gags*). Although I have TONS of supplies, and cutters, and stickers, and paper, and blah blah blah...I am embarrassed to say that this was the first actually scrap booking for a book that I have done. But now I'm hooked. I have popped the cherry kids and there is no stopping me now!

Happy Memories!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Well, this weekend I took full advantage of my new oven...and it was GLORIOUS!

We were attending a potluck 4th of July party with some friends and everyone was instructed to bring a side dish. I decided to be brave and attempt a new recipe that I saw on Pioneer Woman. I also made what I have deemed my "famous" peanut butter cookies, just in case the mac & cheese bombed. I didn't want to show up empty handed!

I wish I had more pictures of the mac & cheese adventure but at one point I almost had a meltdown and had hubby speeding to the grocery store for more milk when I thought I had messed up the roux. It ended up coming together and seemed to be a success but I will definitely be trying it again (probably in a small batch...) in attempts for perfection.

Here is after the panic subsided. It actually looks like real mac & cheese! (PS...Mine has ZERO calories! I'm amazing, I know)

Finished product! This is a box and a half...probably too much but...thank God half a box fell on the floor or I would have run out of room!

Because I have to make things as stressful and complicated as possible, I used Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar cheese for my sauce, added sauteed shallots and green chilies to the mixture, and sprinkled Pepper Jack on top for some added spice!

I would highly recommend this recipe but...2 boxes is too much! : )

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


That's right...two posts in one day...I think I'm becoming obsessed...OR I think that people actually care about my silly little life...either way, here it goes!

So for those who don't know...I like to cook. Well...I am working on the cooking but I LOVE to bake (see cake decorating post). I started watching/learning from the Food Network in high school and since then, I have been hooked.

Well when hubby and I found our new home in the summer of 2007, I was STOKED when we walked in and found that the kitchen had a DOUBLE OVEN! WOO HOO! This really was meant to be! Well upon moving in and some further investigating...I realized that not only was the 1980s oven NOT a double oven, it was gas, an oven on top and a broiler, death trap thing on the bottom! Damn!

Now let me stop right there...don't get me wrong, I am grateful for all the gifts that God has given us and I am nothing but grateful for the roof over our head and just a warm place to sleep at night BUT the oven was tiny, old, cooked unevenly, and was just a piece of crap. It is kind of like saying, "Oh...your passion is painting? Okay, well make due with these pencils!" Sure, you can make it work, but it doesn't mean you wont bitch about it every step of the way!


Well any forward to last weekend when hubby took a road trip to Fort Worth to the Habitat for Humanity Restore off River Oaks This place is really neat. You can donate house stuff such as appliances, cabinets, light fixtures, even door knobs, and they will sell them and use that money to buy new stuff to build the Habitat houses. VERY cool.

Well...because Whirlpool donates all the appliances for new Habitat homes that are built, they had donated a bunch of ovens to this Restore location. (Hubby thinks they are changing the look or model or something) He just happened to pop in and find an oven/microwave combo, the TOP OF THE LINE PEOPLE, for ummm about $2000 cheaper than what it would sell retail! It was one of those deals that we just COULD NOT pass up. So...we got it! YAY!

Last Sunday I cooked my final "creation" in it. A carrot cake for my mom's birthday! I can't think of anything better for my final rodeo!

And then it got yanked!
I did a little dance...I'm not even going to lie about it.

Tuesday called for more power tools to widen the hole for the new oven. It involved wood cutting, dry wall cutting, and was messy, I'll leave it at that.

And yesterday was the install day! YAY...ish. Turns out due to its electrical needs, we needed a new electrical service panel in the garage and outside and new breakers and blah blah blah...I wont bore you with the details. BOO!

BUT they came back and...hold you of 3:00PM today....

I could practically fit inside there!!

I already made cookies!
(and I didn't even have to turn them half way through...I teared up a little!)

I am elated and so so happy!

Happy Cooking!

The Notebook

My hubby was working last night, so I decided to finally muster up the emotional courage to watch The Notebook that I had DVRed months ago (before Easter as least because I saw a commercial for candy eggs...).

What is it about that movie that just find the deepest part of your soul and touches just gets into your heart and your mind and you just can't function like a normal human being!

I started it after dinner, getting about an hour or so in before my adorable husband came downstairs and we decided to take the dogs for a W-A-L-K to check out the vandalism that had taken place at the park in our neighborhood. Stupid kids. (PS...If you are going to spray paint on children's play equipment...I would recommend not "tagging" with your initials...just saying...)

Watched the last hour of the movie in bed. My hubby ended up coming in right at the end...when James Garner and Gena Rowlands are dancing after she has just "come back to him" and they are sharing this amazingly emotional moment and then he looses her again. At this point, hubby is laying his head in my lap...I am trying not to gasp for air as I choke on my own tears. He knows I am crying...I don't know why I pretend that I'm not. By the end, I am finished...done, an emotional wreck. I scrap myself off the floor and drag myself to the bathroom where I proceed to cry even more! WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?! It's like I almost enjoy the emotional break down...a release...I feel better and crawl into bed.

Don't get me wrong, it is emotional, you will cry...but not in a bad way. You will embrace your sweetie tighter. You will yearn for the love the Noah and Allie share. You will realize that life is beautiful and shouldn't be taken for least that is what I take away from it.

If you haven't seen The Notebook or read the book by Nicholas Sparks (who is amazing and has somehow figured out how women are wired...), do it TONIGHT. Not tomorrow...not this weekend...TONIGHT. Grab a tissue and remember ladies, it's just a like that, don't exist.

Happy watching!