Cake Chaos

Hey hooligans!!
So, I’m in the car, on my way to Morehead City, NC for my friend’s wedding!! This hectic week is finally to the fun part for me! (Well..fun in a omg is this cake gonna get finished or fall over kinda way)! But I’m seriously excited to see my friend! I haven’t seen her in over a year!!

The cakes are all baked, filled an dirty iced. The fondant decorations are also made and pretty dry! (Phew!) Now all that’s left is to make a bunch of icing, ice the tiers, and stack those babies!! We decided on a cool pattern for the icing that kinda looks like waves, in a mature way. I got the idea off Pinterest on a hombre cake:

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Wonderful Wedding Wackyness

Hey everybody!
I have some crazy news! So, my roommate from my previous year in college is getting married this weekend!! But that’s not my news! One, y’all should know I’m a bridesmaid (YAY!!) I was so flattered of course! She gave me instructions for a darker gray dress, nude heels, and a red shawl. It sounds odd but works well together actually! So after stressing over what kind of dress to get, I decided on an infinity dress. Have you guys heard of these things? It’s one dress, but you can tie it a whole bunch of ways! I got mine off ebay for a steal! (This is still not my news by the way) But here is the picture of the dress:

Infinity Dress (I got the one on the mannequin)

Go check out her ebay store here <–Click me!

Ok…so now on to the news…

So..y’all know I went to school to study baking & pastry…well that is where I met my roommate that’s getting married. She was the best roommate a girl could ask for, she was a fashion retail major, and I was a baker, so I would bring her food, and she would help me look stylish (or attempt to make me stylish…trust me I had the easier job). So we always joked that she would help me pick out my wedding dress and I would make her cake (joking). But the poor gentleman she hired to do her cake got sick, so guess who’s making a three tiered wedding cake for this weekend!!! This chick!

So this is what I know about the wedding..

  1. The wedding is Saturday
  2. I’m driving the multiple hour drive Friday after I take my statistics test that afternoon
  3. I still need bridesmaid shoes
  4. I’m making a 3 tiered cake for 100 people to eat

This is what I know about the cake:

  1. It’s got 3 tiers
  2. The bottom is yellow cake, and the top two are red velvet
  3. I’m thinking Swiss buttercream (a wedding classic)
  4. She has a beach theme, and wants light blue icing.
  5. I need to learn how to make pieces of edible coral?
  6. I need to make the cakes & fill and ice them before I leave….
  7. I NEED DOWELS…or my cake will be The Leaning Tower of Pisa

What I’ve also got to get done this week:

  1. Write a 10 page literature review for my social work class
  2. Study for my statistics test
  3. Attend 2 concerts for my dance appreciation course
  4. Write paper on said dance concert
  5. Refill my inhaler
  6. Not jump off a building…

Has anyone else had experience making wedding cakes? I’ve made a tiered cake before (see below), but something about the “wedding” in front of the “cake” makes is that much scarier…

Flower Cake

Deployment: 1 Care Package at a Time #4

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Happy day after Thanksgiving y’all!
So I got a call from my Mr.Solider this morning while I was running around my house looking for my work shirt, and he got his Thanksgiving care package!! I don’t know who’s more excited, me or him! I love making these boxes of goodies, but it’s always a little nerve racking cause there’s that little voice inside my head that wonders if he’s gonna like it, or if I officially crossed the line from “cool nerd” to “holy shiznitz my girlfriend’s weird”.  So…I’ll let you decide today…

I decided to go with a Fall/Thanksgiving theme for this one, since it’s Fall and..well it was Thanksgiving, but it’s not my fault his post office was closed yesterday! But can we take a minute to admire my timing skills? I sent him a package for Thanksgiving, and had the post office been open, he would have gotten it either the day before, or ON Thanksgiving! BOOYAH! I’m a pro now! But anywho, I wanted to create a kind of Thanksgiving feast in snacks. So this is what I came up with:

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  • Turkey Jerky = Holiday Turkey
  • Mini boxes of Craisins = Cranberry Sauce
  • Sweet Potato Chips = Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Little Pumpkin Pie Debbie Cakes = Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Cider
  • Salted Pumpkin Seeds
  • 3 boxes of Cracker Jacks
  • Big bag of Rolos = Best candy known to man kind (His opinion)
  • 3 disc DVD set: Charlie Brown Holidays
  • Icing Packets (Oreo and S’more)
  • Cake in a Mason Jar <–Click for DIY Post
  • Thanksgiving Card (signed by yours truly)

So I found this autumn leave scrap booking paper, and I thought it was adorable!! It turned out to  be kinda in your face…really in your face…but I thought it was still cute! So then I cut out the little triangles out of some hay patterned paper (I know, totally matches, NOT) and fashioned them into a banner of sorts that elegantly states “I Love You”. Then I made these little “Why I’m Thankful for You” cards on my computer (I may make a post about them at some point) and stuck them around the flaps of the box. I don’t think this man ever has to question if I love him, just by the amount of crafts I make him that say so!

Getting Down to Baking Business: Chocolate Chip Cookie Style

WARNING: Late night, Christmas music, alone for Thanksgiving induced rant below! Scroll down for cookies!

So,  I’m staying up late making all kinds of cookies and such for my soldier’s mini- care package. Baking and I have a bit of a love hate relationship; yes, I went to school for baking & pastry, and yes, I loved it…but I don’t know I guess it’s just weird for me now. I was obsessed with opening my own bakery, and getting everything perfect and then all of a sudden my life got turned upside down and I didn’t want anything to do with my life really. But everyone wanted me to just go back to the way I was before so they would always get me to bake and make them stuff when really I was falling apart inside, so it just became like a character people wanted me to play, where it used to be something I was passionate about! When I got out of school I came home and I don’t think I touched a kitchen for about 3 months, then I took on a huge project of making 2 decorated cakes for a coworker of mine and around 3am when I was laying on my kitchen floor, eating icing, I just realized I wasn’t ready yet. It’s been a while now and now that I’ve actually dealt with the actual source of my problems and worked through them with the help of my soldier, I can be happy again and start to enjoy the little things that used to make me smile.The important thing now is: I bake when I want to, not when people want me too, and I keep things simple. There’s no reason for things to be complicated…ever!

Sorry for that little rant, it’s just late and it was on my mind.  But back to the sweet stuff! I made chocolate chip cookies…(So many chocolate chip cookies!), oatmeal raisin cookies, and brownies!  I know it may seem like a lot for one night, but it’s not so bad once you get rolling. I find it better to plan out how I’m going to do things before I get into the kitchen. Maybe that’s my culinary school kid training, but it works for me! I sit down with all my recipes, plan out what I’m going to be making and then figure out the best order to do it. For example, I know my oatmeal cookie dough works best when it has sat in the fridge for a while, so I made that first and sat it in the fridge while I made my chocolate chip cookie dough! As for the brownies..I just had a really hard time picking a recipe to go with. I have so many recipes for brownies that I adore, and I really wanted them to be delicious since they’re for my soldier, but not super complicated. Like I said, I’m a firm believer that simple is best! But for now we’re just gonna stick with the chocolate chip, I’ll write about the rest later.

The Process

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe off the Ghiradelli Chocolate Chip Bag)

  • 2 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups white granulated sugar (regular sugar)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (invest in a good pure vanilla if you can)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups (1 bag) Ghiradelli  Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I left them out)

Ok so, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Then whisk your flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Cream your butter with your two sugars (beat on medium until creamy), and then add your eggs and your vanilla one at a time. Gradually add your flour mixture and then once that is incorporated, mix in your chocolate chips and walnuts either by hand (I recommend) or on the lowest setting on your mixer. Scoop on to the cookie sheet and bake for 9-11minutes, or until you can see a little golden ring around the edges.

Ok…now here’s my little cookie pet peeve. I love my cookies soft, so I take mine out right at 9 minutes, and they still are soft and don’t look fully baked at all! (just till I can see the little golden ring around the edge). But I let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes so they set. Trust me…soft cookie goodness! Plus I think it will help these particular cookies not get hard as rocks when they’re being sent oversees to James! Which I’m sure he’s thankful for.

By the way, for those of you who may be sending these overseas, I vacuum sealed them (6 to a quart sized bag) and put them in these little holiday tins from the dollar store! I got a little handheld pump vacuum sealer from ziploc. It’s super affordable, unlike an actual vacuum sealer, and seems to work just as well. Be warned…if you seal them too tight you have just discovered the chocolate chip wafer. Not that I did that or anything…ok…I did…

 

Bottle Cap Mayhem!

Bottle Cap Ornament

Good morning Lovely Ladies & Gents!

I’ve been contemplating what to do with this bag of bottle-caps I’ve been hoarding for a few months, and I finally decided to find a way to use them or just toss them! Sounds horrible right? Why would someone toss a bag of perfectly good bottle-caps? Well…cause she has too much stuff! But as I went to throw these into the trash can my hand hovered over the opening and there was a little voice screaming at me, something about recycling and re-using, one man’s trash is another crafter’s treasure. Y’all know the drill! So I dumped the tops onto my desk and grabbed the hot glue gun! …Yeah it wasn’t that easy actually. My creative process is a bit all over the place and a bit..”ADOS” as my boyfriend would say, meaning “Attention Deficit…Oh! Shiny!”.So really what happened was I stacked these  caps on the floor while watching Dr. Who until I cried because Dr. Who made me really really sad…Has anyone seen the ending to season 2?! But then I started making little bottle cap flowers out of them, and thought that they kind of looked like something my aunt has in her little boutique, where the person makes things out of type writer keys. And they had made some Christmas ornaments, so I thought…I can do that!

And so I did!! And I did it like this:

  1. Lay 11 of your best bottle caps with the ridges up.
  2. Grab some buttons or jewels, anything that can add color to the inside of your bottle caps, and hot glue them to the center of 6 of the caps. (Be careful that your caps are dry, or the glue will not hold for long.
  3. Arrange the decorated caps into a flower shape, with one in the middle and 5 around. (You should have 5 caps that are plain and undecorated that we’ll use as “spacer caps”).
  4. Glue one decorated cap to the center cap.
  5. Then add a “spacer cap”.
  6. Continue adding the decorated caps, alternating with the spacers, until you have a full “flower” (Ps: It took me a couple tries to get the spacing just right. The good thing about hot glue, is if you let it cool, you can peel it right off and try again!)
  7. Add a loop of ribbon to the back with a dab of glue.

And that’s that! Now I don’t feel so wasteful, and I rather like how it turned out! I have a few more caps so I think that I may make a couple smaller ones with just one bottle cap, so I can kind of blend them in with the other ornaments on my tree..I’ll let ya know how it goes!

Coming up soon: I made a new Thanksgiving care package for my soldier and sent it off, but I haven’t posted about it yet because I don’t want him to see it until he actually gets it. But stay tuned and check back around Wednesday for another installment of “Deployment: 1 Care Package at a Time #4”.

Gift Wrapping Wonder

 

Well hello there lovelies!

I got a couple more of my presents in the mail today from my previous online shopping frenzy! I decided to wrap this one up in a traditional fashion, with a little of a upcycled, budget friendly spin. My friend is becoming a new mommy in March, and I wanted to get her a Christmas gift to represent that, but not be too obviously motherly, because she is still a cool and hip lovely lady! Also something she could pass on to her daughter if she felt the need to. So, I got her a little golden necklace with a baby bird. It sounds weird but it’s actually really adorable! I got it off ebay, but I saw later that the owner has a shop on Etsy called Irin Skye (and y’all know how I feel about etsy).

Little bird necklace

But now back to business. The necklace shipped in a little jewelry box so I used that as my base for wrapping:

  1. Cut a brown paper lunch bag so that it lays flat.
  2. Trim the bag to fit, and wrap your box however you like. I like to wrap the box  in tube type shape and then push the middle of the sides in and fold the top and bottom toward the middle to create the end folds.
  3. Wrap your ribbon of choice around your box. (This is completely optional)

Now for the bow:

  1. Start with a sheet of paper (I used mad libs pages) and cut them into strips about 3/4 of an inch in width.
  2. Cut your ribbon to the same size and pinch the ends together to form the bow loop shape.
  3. Staple the end of the bow piece, making sure to catch both the paper & the ribbon so that the ribbon doesn’t slip.
  4. Cluster 4 of your completed bow loops and staple in the middle.
  5. Make another cluster of 4, and hot glue the two together.
  6. Use your hot glue to attach the button to the center to cover up the staples.
  7. Stick your completed bow onto your wrapped box! (I again used hot glue)

And there ya go! One aesthetically appealing (and affordable) way to wrap a thoughtful gift! …Now I just have to find a box to ship it in…

Christmas Shopping Central

Making Pillow Gift Boxes

So I love to shop online, if you haven’t already noticed that. I ordered the majority of my Christmas presents already, and the first batch just came in! Two little gifts for my girls up at Johnson & Wales. One was my roommate, and the other my best friend!! I transferred schools after my first year and I haven’t been able to see them since!! It’s so depressing! But I couldn’t stop myself from picking them out a little something to slip under their Christmas tree. When the gifts go here, I decided to make these little”Pillow Gift Boxes”. They’re so simple!

  1. Cut your cardstock so that it will fit into your printer.(Thicker paper works best)
  2. Find a template, like this one: Pillow Box Craft Project
  3. Put your cardstock into the printer, and print the template onto the back.
  4. Cut along the outer shape.
  5. Crease along the lines where you will be folding.
  6. Put glue along the flap, and fold the paper in half, let the glue set before continuing. (I ended up using Gorilla glue because I couldn’t find my glue stick…over kill but it worked none the less!)
  7. Pinch the two sides together, to help make the “pillow” shape of the box
  8. Fold in the two curved sides

Alexa, my roommate, is a Baking & Pastry Major. There was this one time where she went to a lecture on eggs (I know, odd) and they were giving out little whisk keychains. She already had one from somewhere else, but grabbed one for me, and I’ve had it on my keys since! She also had her side of the dorm room decorated with everything cupcakes!! Needless to say, baking was kind of our entire lives. So for Christmas this year I got her these little whisk earrings ($10) from an etsy shop called 1ofAkinds. <–Click to check her out!

Then for Lorrie (the lovely bestfriend) I got her a little grape soda cap pin ($3). For those of you that are like…uhhh what in the world? It comes from the move Up!. We have watched that movie so many times, we literally know every word, and we say everything along with the characters. During the movie Ellie gives Carl a little grape soda pin to show him that he’s officially in her “club”. I also got this from a etsy shop, and this one is called Oh so Cute & Quirky <–Click to take a looksy!

And last, but not least! I put them in the little pillow boxes, wrapped them in bubble wrap (another secret present), and decorated the small sized flat rate box to be sent off in the morning! Here’s the finished product!!