Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Call Me June Cleaver!

I was so born in the wrong era!  I came to this realization as I ran around the house in my apron making icing and working on my new to me sewing machine.  If you know me you know I'm in love with diner motif, glittery red vinyl, and '60's Mustangs! 

If I had my way I'd drive a '67 Mustang fastback during the week and a '65 Mustang Convertible on the weekends!

I'm in LOVE!!!!

Who knew you could be in so love with two things at once!
Any way I digress, cake class is coming up in two days and I made my icing so I can ice my cake tomorrow night.  The last night of cake class is putting ribbon roses on an already iced and smoothed cake.  The icing part I have down, it's the ribbon roes that are the issue.  I'm doing something wrong and I can't decide if it's my consistency of the icing or the pressure I'm using on the pastry bag.  But either way I'll work it out in class Wednesday night.  This weeks project is a white cake with a hint of banana flavoring and banana flavored buttercream.  Yummy!

Butter cream is an easy icing to make it just depends on what you want to do with it that gets tricky.  The below recipe is for stiff consistency buttercream which is used for making roses.

1 cup shortening
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon flavoring (vanilla, almond, butter, banana, etc)
1 lbs powdered sugar
pinch of salt (optional)

Cream the shortening, water, and flavoring until smooth at medium speed.
Blend in powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing well between additions.
 Yields 3 cups.

The salt is used to cut the sweetness if you use salt and are coloring your icing dissolve the salt in the 2 tablespoons of water before adding to the recipe.

Medium Consistency icing is used for leaves etc, add 2 tablespoons water

Thin Consistency icing is used for icing the cake, add 3-4 tablespoons water

So after I got my icing completed and practiced a few roses I turned my attention to my new sewing machine.  I (actually Momma) found it in a used furniture store downtown.  It's a Domestic Rotary Series 153, from what I can find the 153 Series was made between 1946-1953.  I found a manual and got started getting it ready to use.

I still need to get some 3-n-1 oil but I did fill the grease cups after I called Daddy to make sure that when the manual said Petroleum Jelly, that petroleum jelly today was the same as petroleum jelly of yesterday!  I thought it was but I wanted to be sure.  It actually runs good and I'd hate to screw it up before I got to use it.  I did get it threaded but the last step has me confused.  Something about taking the needle down and making a loop and moving the thread to the left.  I'm sure Momma knows what the manual is talking about.  I'll have to have her over soon!

The cabinet that the machine is in is great shape, not sure if it's the original one or not but I like it either way!

Time to get sewing!

Bye y'all!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks!

Next Wednesday will be last class of the Wilton Cake Decorating Methods Course 1 Decorating Basics and I have learned alot not just about decorating but also about baking a great cake.  I thought I'd share some of those tips with you.

1.  The box or recipe says set the oven to 350 set it to 325 it takes longer to bake but it cooks more evenly.

2.  Coat your cake pans with a pan release mixture.  Wilton makes a product called Cake Release you can find it at Michale's.  You can also find recipes for a mixture that work online.  I Googled "pan release" and came up with the below recipe.  Just coat your pan before you pour in your batter and your cake will come right out no problem!

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup all-pourpose flour
1/2 cup vegitable/canola/corn oil

Use a mixer and blend them all together.  Put it in an air tight container and you can store it in the cabinet or on the counter.  If you go to use it and it looks like it is separating just whisk it up.

3.  Go get some Wilton Bake Even strips.  You can find them at Michale's they run about $9.00 and so worth it!  You soak them in cold water don't ring them out just run them through your fingers to get the excess water out, then wrap them and use the included pin to secure them around the outside of your cake pan.  By keeping the edge of the pan cool the edges do not get over done and the cake cooks evenly!

4.  Use two boxes of cake mix instead of one and over fill your cake pans so the cake will cook over the top of the pan.  Then use a cake leveler and the edge of the cake pan to level the cake evenly before turning it out onto a cooling rack.

Over fill the pans, wrap them with bake even strips, and coat the inside with pan release

Let the cake cook over the top of the pan and use the pan as a straight edge when leveling the cake

Nice and level!
Look how pretty it turned out!

5.  Only leave the cake in the pans for 10-15 minutes after it comes out of the oven that way it won't stick to the pan when you try to get it out.  If it does stick you can stick it back in the oven for a few minutes to losen it up again.

6.  When icing the cake put the cut side down to avoid crumbs in your icing.

7.  Use Wilton tip 789 to get the icing on the cake fast and thick.  Then smooth it out with a spatula.

Hopefully these tips will help your cakes turn out beautiful!

Bye y'all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still Alive continued from earlier!

The Wilton Cake Decorating class went good tonight.  Besides filling the cupcakes we decorated them with flowers and a swirly thing.  This week my stiff consistency buttercream icing was too thin, surprise, surprise, I swear I make it the same each week but it comes out different each time!   

So the pictures aren't so great this time I had to use my phone because my big camera's (or the one I'm borrowing from Momma) battery is dead!  We did 2 cupcakes for each flower I'll save you the trouble of seeing the bad one and only share the good one!

Shaggy Mum
You make this one using the Wilton tip 233 there are leaves under the "petals" but you can't really see them.
This one turned out the best I think.  You use the Wilton tip 12 for the middle you can't see then 16 for the middle you can see, then 18 for the outside petals.  I hope who ever eats this one likes lots of icing!

Swirl Drop Flower
We actually made these first and let them set up on some wax paper before placing them on the cupcake.  I was out of green icing at this point so no leaves, sorry!  You use a Wilton tip 2D to make these.

Swirl 1

Swirl 2
I don't remember what tip we used for these two but it was pretty cool who we got the two colors on the cupcake.  You take 3 pastry bags (disposable is best), fill one bag with one color with no tip, fill the second with the other color with no tip, and the third bag you cut and fit with the tip.  Layer the two bags with the icing in them and cut holes in the end that way they are even.  Slide them into the third bag making sure they go into the tip evenly.  Squeeze the bags until both icings are coming out even, then swirl them on top of the cupcake.  Pretty cool trick!
I'm still not great at roses but this time we used Hersey kisses in the middle rather than use the icing to make a center, that seemed to work better.  I really need to practice!  More importantly I need the icing to be correct!

Next weeks class is the last one for class 1 the basics.  We have to make a two tiered cake and decorate it with roses.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Just a little teaser!
White Chocolate Pudding filling inside triple chocolate cupcakes!  Can you see the fudge in the bottom right corner?!?  I might be a bit biased but these were darn yummy!
Now on other notes!

Domestic Diva Teresa ( made some of the most awesome honey grit face/body scrub!  I used some this morning and my face felt amazing when I got done!  She has the recipe posted on her site, it's so worth it!

I wish I could figure out who to contact at the Hallmark Channel they have moved my Golden Girls from 10pm to 11pm so they can show an hour of Frasier.  Really who likes Frasier anyways!  I could put in one of my Golden Girl DVD's but it's just easier to watch the TV!  I guess I'll get off here so I can watch them now that they are on!

Bye y'all!

I'm still alive...for the most part!

Quick recap of the day's between now and last time I found a minute to sit down and type out my thoughts! 

I made it through Bunko without a hitch, dinner was good, cupcakes were good, but I wasn't happy with them, I am my own worst critic.  They felt to sticky on top and the ones I froze in the tauperware container didn't keep their shape.  They ate just fine apparently!  The pool was a little chilly but still felt great!

I apparently had too much free time on my hands and so I started a second job!  Back in my youth I worked at Sunglass World in the mall, my brother-in-law manages the Sunglass World out at Pier Park and needed some help just for the summer.  So a few nights a week and a weekend day I'm reliving my youth and selling sunglasses!  I worked my first day on Saturday they were so busy and I'm too short for some of those cases, but I'm surprised how much my old brain remembered from my first go round in the sunglass world.  The extra money will be nice for the upcoming cruise Momma and I are taking.  I can't wait for the dolphin encounter!!!! {squeal of excitement}

On Father's Day I made lunch for my Daddy, brother-in-law, and uncle with Momma's help.  We made Nana's pasta salad, I grilled pineapple marinated chicken skewers with pineapple chunks, and we did some corn on the cob.  Everything turned out great even though some of the chicken got a little crispy they were still edible!  I got Daddy Rock Band 3 so he can annoy Momma!  I know she thanks me!  =)

It's almost that time again, Cake Class!  This week we are filling cupcakes and then decorating them.  Like I said earlier I usually do all things from scratch but since this class is about decorating I'm going easy on myself and using a box mix for the cake.  But these days I'm beginning to wonder why I feel the need to do it from scratch cause there are tons of yummy mixes out there.  I chose for this week the Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate mix with real chocolate chips and fudge!  I'm going to fill them with a white chocolate pudding cool whip mixture.  So here is a quick snap shot of the cupcakes so far!
This is the real fudge and chocolate chips for the top of the cupcakes!
I just love my KitchenAid Mixer!  It makes cake mixes and really anything else so easy!  Look at it go!

Whip it, whip it good!  Sorry couldn't resist!
I never know if I have enough or too much in the cups.  I use a melon baller to fill them it's so much easier than using a spoon or pouring the batter.  2 scoops for cupcakes 1 for mini cupcakes.

Batter in the cups!
The fudge and chocolate chip mixture dropped on the top, yummy!
Real fudge and chocolate chips added to the top!
All done!  They smelled so great, looked good too!
Finished product.  They smelled yummy!
If you have ever been in the kitchen with me you know how messy I am.  I forgot I took off my apron when I sat down to eat dinner and wiped my powder sugared hands on my black skirt.  Oh well it washes out!
Whoops no apron!
Apparently buttercream icing is never the same each time it's made or at least when I make it.  It is supposed to be stiff consistency but I have a feeling it's more like medium.  Which means the medium I made is more like medium-thin to thin, but I guess we'll see tonight in class how it all works out.
Vanilla Buttercream

I'll post more pictures tonight after class if they turn out pretty if not I won't, ha!

Bye y'all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Crazy Week is Almost Over...Almost

This is gonna be short, got to work at 6 and have been on the go since then.  Bunko or actually the pool party went off without a hitch.  We were missing a couple of girls so we ate, drank, and hung around the pool!  My fish turned out great, the pasta salad was awesome, the pineapple chillers were refreshing, and the cupcakes awesome!  I would post pictures for the food and share recipes but I forgot to take them, whoops!  But I did take some of the cupcakes so here they are and I'm heading to bed!
Piña Colada topped with coconut
Margarita topped with pretzels with a pretzel crust

Bye Y'all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Successful Cake Class...If I Do Say So Myself!

Tonight was our second Wilton Cake Decorating Class and this time Momma didn't totally kick our butts! For class we had to show up with a caked iced with buttercream icing that has been smoothed out and in class we put a cupcake on top!  Here's how I did!

We got to pick out any color to make the buttercream so I chose violet; I filled the top of the first layer with icing in preparation for the next layer.

When I got my top layer on it appears my cake pans flare.  So rather than to nice straight cakes I made two trapezoids!  So the mission for the next cake is new cake pans!

Go figure I didn’t make enough icing!  And of course the second batch of icing is more blue than violet.  (Sorry these two are blurry!)

I used an icer tip to ice the cake, it sure makes it faster but I really need more practice.

After smoothing it out with my spatula this is how my cakes usually stay, which is why I prefer cupcakes!  It’s not pretty but it’s edible!

The trick is to let the buttercream set up for a few minutes, I waited about 10 minutes and then use a hot spatula to smooth out the wrinkles.  Then you let it sit some more and take a paper towel, preferablely one without a pattern in it and rub the cake to really smooth it out.

And my finished product!  Turned out much better than last week!  Mostly due to the fact I got my icing consistency correct or at least closer to correct this week.

In class we used a template and traced it onto the wax paper with gel paste.  Then placed the drawing on cake and rubbed it on to leave the template on the cake!

Then we started filling it in.  I personally think these look like yellow caterpillars or grubs but it's ok.

To make the icing on the cupcake colorful we took a pastry bag and painted strips with icing gel, I think this technique is called bag stripping.  In order to keep the lines intact you squeeze the icing into the stripped bag from another bag.  The design on the top is a rosette or it's supposed to be.

We did rosettes around the bottom and ta-da it's done!  And looks pretty awesome if I say so myself. {grin}

 Momma (top) and Amy (bottom) didn't do too bad either!  I'm proud of all of us!

 The last thing we did in class was the ribbon roses.  My icing was too stiff so they weren't coming out exactly smooth but for my first attempt it looks pretty good!

Tomorrow is the big day!  I host my Bunko group around the pool at Momma and Daddy's!  I hope my super hostess powers are at full strength!  I guess we'll see what happens, I'll let you know tomorrow!

Bye y'all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Stroke of Genius…Fades Quickly!

I had a fabulous stroke of genius yesterday!  I decided to ½ my margarita cupcake recipe and make 24 rather than 48 mini ones.  I figure who really needs 96 mini cupcakes to feed 12 ladies, they are mini but still the 70 I have will be plenty!  Well in the middle of that stroke of genius Momma and I went out to Pier Park to look for some dresses for the up and coming cruise.  Now here is where it fades, we finish shopping and head over to Pretzel Time for a snack.  We eat, leave, and drive the 30 minutes home and then I realize I left my bag in Pretzel Time.  So we have to drive all the way back out there, in the mean time I’m trying to use Google to find their number to make sure they have the bag and end up calling 411 and the girl takes the info of what I am looking for then mumbles something and I guess muted the phone after a few minutes of silence I’m telling Momma I have no clue what she is doing and phones is silent, she pops back on the line with an attitude to tell me her computer is not working and she will transfer me to a supervisor, whom never answers the phone.   Luckily I was also using Momma’s phone and found the phone number and they still had my bag!  Whew crisis adverted!  Now back to the original stroke of genius, thank goodness for Google because me and fractions don’t mesh well and I found a great website to use to help when splitting a recipe.  Here it is and you’re welcome! 
We had dinner at Amy and John’s last night and after dinner Amy got out a Wacky Duckie game for the kids to play.  It wasn’t working right and John was trying to fix it, Andrew (3 yr) decided he wanted to sit in a chair at the new pub table they have.  While no one was looking or at least the thought he jumped up and down in the seat.  I got on to him and told him he would have to get down if he did that again.  It wasn’t but a few seconds and he was moving around again, I asked him what I had told him about moving around and he finally repeated what I said he said he wouldn’t do it again and I asked him if he was sure and he said “he wasn’t sure if he would not move in the chair again” and some other stuff I think about not getting down but I didn’t hear it because I was laughing to hard.  He says some of the funniest things!

Bye y'all!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I hope my apron has super powers!

Whew, what a week I have coming up! I donned my apron for several hours today trying to get a jump start on my baking for the week.  Last week Momma, Amy, and I started the Wilton Cake Decorating classes, I figured, I can make it taste good now maybe I can make it pretty too!  The point of last weeks class was to ice the cake with thin consistency buttercream and make it smooth like fondant, well Momma kicked our butts, her cake turned out great and both Amy and I had our icing too thin and it wouldn’t stay on our cakes.  So this week challenge number 1 is bring to class a cake with buttercream icing that is smooth (fingers crossed)!  I baked my Duncan Hines Orange Supreme cake (I know I usually do from scratch but the class is about the decorating not the cake) today for class using some of the techniques we learned in the first night of class.  I honestly think it’s too pretty to ice, the pan release stuff helped the cake fall out of the pan and the bake even strips helped it not to all crispy and dry on the edges, I’m so excited! 
My Orange Supreme Cake!  Look how pretty!

I wrapped it up and put it in the freezer because challenge number 2 this week is to host Bunko on Thursday, which means dinner, dessert, and drinks for 12 ladies!  The menu for the night is grilled fish with a lemon butter sauce, pasta salad, Piña Colada and Margarita mini cupcakes and to drink Pineapple Chillers.  I just love to host a party!  In order to try to get ahead of the game I decided to bake the cupcakes and freeze them.  I started with the Piña Colada, boy did that batter taste good as did the finished product!  Unfortunately that’s as far as I got, by the time they were out of the oven it was time to hang up the apron and put on the bikini!  I headed to Momma and Daddy’s to hang around the pool to celebrate Daddy’s birthday!  By the time I got home I wasn’t interested in making the Margarita one’s, I’ll save those for tomorrow.  I’ll post some pictures when they are complete!

Bye y'all!