Friday, July 31, 2009

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

I think these are my favorite cupcakes EVER!! It's just too bad I have nothing planned to do with them! Anyone having a Finding Nemo party today?

When I searched the net for Finding Nemo cupcakes, I couldn't find any besides fondant fish on I thought I'd better create a whole tower! Oh, and the cupcakes are a recipe I made up with mandarin oranges in it. I'll get around to posting it sometime...

I love Bruce! Everything is frosting except for the eyes are mini choco chips and the teeth are slivered almonds. Oh, I cut the fins from thin cookies that I got from Ikea.

I love Crush too! Isn't he fun? Sloppy, but fun ;) This was the last one I made and you can tell! It is all frosting except for his eyes have candy melts tucked in the frosting.

So you are probably wondering what these are supposed to be...the orange ones are Nemo's brothers and sisters that didn't make it past the beginning of the show :( The eggs are a nice tribute to them though ;) In front is the "butt" (If you haven't seen the movie, Nemo calls the boat a butt) with divers (sour patch kids) in it and one in the water.

Here's Nemo and a Marlin that doesn't look right...they are swimming next to their anenome home made from twizzler pull and peels. Nemo and Marlin are made mostly of frosting, with candy melt eyes and cut orange slices candy for their fins.

Last but certainly not least is Dory. This one was really hard. I really wanted it to look like Dory, and since she is skinny, I didn't want to just use the top of a cupcake. So I used two large, oval butter wafers and stuck them in the cupcake. That is why it is lopsided...the cupcake didn't stay together. But I fixed it with frosting and spent awhile crafting this out of frosting and a couple more wafer pieces for the fins. The eye base is white candy melts. I didn't get it quite right. Oh well, it was still fun to make!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Worm Cupcakes

We have a new Wal-Mart by us that has a good selection of baking items. Recently they started selling candy in different shapes that are all the same color. I saw these green bananas and thought there must be something fun I could do with them! This is what I came up with:

Don't the bananas make cute grass?!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blueberry Buckle by Jersey Girl Cooks

When our big winner Carol told me she had just put a blueberry buckle in the oven, I wanted to know what exactly a blueberry buckle is. So she contacted Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks to get permission for me to post this on my blog and I'm thrilled! This sounds delish and that is saying a lot because I am not a huge fan of blueberries! I have to admit I'll be making her Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins first...I am now craving donuts. Make sure to check out Lisa's blog Jersey Girl Cooks for some award-winning recipes! Okay, I just visited her blog again and you have to see her watermelon, feta, and arugula salad!

Blueberry Buckle by Lisa of Jersey Girl Cooks (Click on the link to see pictures and more info!)

Cake ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 pint blueberries

Topping ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan. Sift together the 1 1/2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix in the berries. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Combine ingredients for topping with a fork to make a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake is golden and you can test test for doneness by gently inserting a fork. If it does not come out clean, give the cake another 5 to 10 minutes to bake.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Double Boiler

If you're like me, you thought this was a major skin problem...

but it turns out a double boiler is a useful item to have in the kitchen! While making my lemon mirengue cupcakes awhile back, the mirengue recipe called for a double boiler. Or maybe it was the lemon filling. Anyway, how was I supposed to know what a double boiler was? (My mother is cringing right now, I'm sure.)

Wikipedia says: " A double boiler is a stovetop apparatus used to cook delicate sauces such as beurre blanc or to melt chocolate without burning or seizing. It is a double-decker saucepan with an upper vessel that fits into a lower pot.

One fills the bottom with boiling water and places the food to be cooked in the top one. The top pot is kept above the boiling water and heated only by steam, but tight fitting of the two pots prevents steam from escaping."

A beurre WHAT-Y?

Above is Sur La Table's double boiler for $199.95. Yikes! More like double broke if you ask me. One day I'll have money to drop on a d.b. at sir la tay-ble (that's what I called it when I first saw it....) but for now, my home-made one worked great!

Hope you enjoyed my little lesson...I'm going to attempt to balance my cupcake posts with entertaining "anecdoughtes" from my kitchen! By the way, if you think my hand looks a little mannish, you're right! That hand belongs to Mr. Doughdough.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Messy Monday: Fondant Flop

When I made the Sesame Street cake for a friend's son's birthday, I had been excited to try fondant. It started good enough...I made a marshmallow fondant recipe that was easy and actually tasted really good! Click here to go to Peggy Weaver's tutorial.

This picture shows my result:

Looks like I succeeded, right? Wrong. I started rolling it with my pin that I thought was non-stick, and used corn starch like I was told, but I kept hitting sticky parts. Plus my counter was a huge sticky mess. I was not a fan...although the problem could be fixed with a cutting mat (that it turned out I needed anyway...keep reading!) or by patience while I was kneading...I didn't knead long enough and with enough powdered sugar. I guess I'm not the person to make fondant! So I decided to scrap using my marshmallow fondant, and use the premade fondant I had instead. This is my cake:
This is my fondant covered cake. I think it's headed to the cover of Martha Stewart! Okay, so my first attempt flopped. When I rolled it, it wasn't in the right shape I guess...I'm having a hard time remembering what my dodo brain was thinking! I think I put the cake on the fondant and tried to move it up to the top of the least I was smart enough to figure out that I was doing it backwards.
Since I am a determined person, I was not going to leave it at that! I rolled the fondant again.
You're probably thinking, "THERE you go!"'s working.......
Yay! Time to cut the excess...with my pizza cutter....
Okay, here's another messy part of my experience...I got so into making the fondant letters, rolling my pizza cutter around to make them, that I didn't realize I had no mat underneath, and I made some cuts on my counter. Go ahead. Shake your head. I deserve it.
Got a kitchen catastrophe to share? Email to be featured on Messy Mondays!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Yummy summer shake

The hubby just made the best shake, which I'll call Strawberry Cupcake Shake! It's so delish and simple, too! The only thing is, he's a doughdough like me, apparently, because he didn't really know what he was doing, he just threw these ingredients in a blender!

Cake Batter ice cream

You get the idea. Just add more of any of the ingredients to taste. I'm pretty sure the Cake Batter ice cream was from Wal-mart. I was also thinking of using it in an ice cream cupcake (they are the latest cupcake trend), but have yet to try it!

Lost Party

I've been so excited for my turn to host the monthly movie night for a group of girls in my neighborhood! I've been collecting some really cute tropical ideas, I've been dying to make Lost cupcakes, and Lost is my favorite show (after Frasier, but it isn't on anymore), so it was a perfect theme! Above are the invites...with my personal info changed, of course...I don't really live on "john doe"-doe street. :)

This is also a perfect post to celebrate Lost's Emmy nom for Best Drama! Yay! (Even though the actors were ignored...)

So now it's time for some doughdough-ness. Make that dodo-mess.

So I've tried twice now to make a blue jello mold with swedish fish in it. You can see what a success the first one was...NOT! I thought maybe I didn't refrigerate it long enough...or maybe it was all the non-stick spray I coated on the pan...not to worry, I thought, we all have recipes that don't work the first time, I'll just do it again!

Here's attempt #2:
Oops. I'm notorious for having butterfingers.

Lovely. And I'm not just talking about the weird use of flash and the shadow in my picture!

One of my friends suggested maybe I needed to use a Jello Jiggler recipe since it makes a firmer mold. I thought I must have read the recipe wrong, but no! It just said to follow a regular jello recipe. So I give up. For today! Someday I'll have that perfect jello ring mold to create the luau centerpiece by Lori Needham that I saw in the June/July 2003 edition of Taste of Home magazine. The mold had a pineapple in the center with fruit kabobs coming out of it.

I also got the idea for this palm tree in the same article:

Isn't this fun? The palm tree "leaves" are made from green peppers, the trunk is a carrot, and the "island" base is half of a potato! It was super easy to make, as long as you are able to take your time so you don't slice your finger like I almost did! You can see my jello mold salvage...I actually think it looked more like water than the mold would have. You can also see that the Swedish fish have a major case of pruny-ness from being in the water too long!

Since this blog is supposed to show that I am learning things, I'll share my new to cut a melon! Okay, I won't really tell you because I'm sure you know and you are laughing at me right now. I honestly had to ask my friends how I should cut the melon and serve it. (If you're thinking that means I wasn't ready when my guests arrived, you're right! I'm always running late, which is why I could never be a party planner.)

When I went to get a bowl for the melon, I decided to put it in the melon instead! Cute, no?

Plates and napkins for the party:

Last, but not least, Lost cupcakes! I LOVE these! I got the idea for the plane and sand from myaimistrue's lost party post. (Check out her fish biscuit cookies, too!) My husband came up with the idea to put Jack on them...okay, I think he said one of the characters, I picked Jack.

Here's another tropical party idea that I saw in a magazine awhile ago, and I can't remember which one! Pirate chests made from Swiss Rolls! I thought they were cute with Rolos or gold coins. Aren't they fun? Great for a Pirates of the Carribean party!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good Things Utah!

I had SUCH a blast on Good Things Utah today!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cutest Invitations I have ever seen!

Since I'm still on a Dr. Seuss kick, I wanted to share these adorable invites my friend Kara of Kara's Party Ideas made for a Dr.Seuss baby shower! I LOVE the poem!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes! And Dr. Seuss stuff at Target!

My favorite thing about Dr. Seuss is Thing 1 and Thing 2! I love the wild blue hair, so naturally I had to create Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes!

All you need to do is bake red velvet cupcakes in red liners, frost with white frosting, and add cotton candy for their hair!

To make the cotton candy hair, I pulled off long strips and gently pulled it apart from the sides. It is really easy to work with because it is so sticky (although it does build up on your fingers. I had to wash my hands a couple times). I pushed the piece I was working with into the frosting and kept making pulled apart pieces until the cupcake was filled. I filled in little pieces where it needed it. Then I pulled off another long strip of cotton candy and wrapped it around the bottom, pushing it into the pieces that were already there in spots so that it blended in.

The final touch was the two circles. I just typed up Thing 1 and Thing 2 on my computer, printed it out, drew circles in black permanent marker, cut out and stuck on the cupcake liners!

There is one drawback to the cupcakes...if you don't serve them soon, you'll end up with this:

At this point you might as well dump blue sugar on your cupcake...haha. This was after several hours, they don't sink too quickly...but they don't look as good after about an hour, so if you are having a Dr. Seuss party, don't decorate with cotton candy until right before!

Speaking of Dr. Seuss parties, I was thrilled to find a TON of Dr. Seuss stuff in Target's dollar section last night! I think Thing 1 and Thing 2 are the new sock monkey for me! I'm loving these things I bought...a magnet sheet, magnetic notepad (all Thing 1 and 2-LOVE IT!), and adorable badges! Perfect for your Dr. Seuss party, along with the Thing 1 and 2 cupcakes, of course!