Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Practice makes perfect (so I'm told)

First pillow cake
Originally uploaded by amberdawn82777
I realize that "practice" is called practice for a reason, but if I'm going to practice on something, in the future, I need to practice as if it's the real deal. This is my first pillow cake and it turned out alright, but I did NOT set myself up for the best results. First of all, I decided to just use what I had available to me. I wasn't about to whip up a batch of crusting buttercream, for a tiny 6 inch practice cake, so I used what I had. I happened to have a store bought can of cream cheese icing. Do you know what happens to fondant when you put it over cold cream cheese icing ? It's gets sweaty and sticky and the fondant seems to not want to cooperate very well. This was my problem, but live and learn. I also forgot to stamp the fondant with the diamond pattern before I put it on the cake. It would've been much easier to stamp first. Also, I was told to freeze the cake before carving it. I didn't care for this technique at all. Cakes thaw out really fast and it started getting too sticky. Next time I'll go a different route. All in all, I know what to do different next time, and yes, there will be a next time. I am pleased with my little buttons though :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

What kind of cupcake are you ?

Wouldn't you know it...I don't even like carrot cake !!

You Are a Carrot Cake Cupcake

You are a complex person. You have many interesting layers to your personality, though others might not know it.

You are drawn to a cross section of people. You friends play different roles in your life.

You are like a cupcake because you are are deceptively simple. There's actually a lot to you!

There are many ingredients in your life, and you only want them in proper amounts. Being you is a delicate art.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We can't help it.....

It's true. Women are really just born this way. We can't stop talking....we don't know when to shut up....

P.S. Dad secretly wants to be a Wiggle

Avon Calling....

You know what this reminds me of ? Do you remember the 80's Olgilvie commercial where the lady would spin her head around, her voluptuous....curls, would bounce and she'd say "Olgilvie home perm" ?? First of all, those were not permed curls, they were from hot rollers. Probably the kind that burned the identity off of your finger tips. Anyhow, when I think of Avon, I think of the 80s. However, Avon is still going strong and there's not a Cosmo or Glamour mag around with a top ten list that Avon hasn't made. From what I read, Avon still has one of the best skin care lines and anti-aging lines around, but it's much more affordable ! So, the reason for the babbling....I'm going to start selling Avon. I feel a little silly and who knows if I'll actually sell anything, but I figure anything to make some extra mula has to be worth the effort. I haven't received the first catalogs yet, so I'm not sure what campaign I'll be in, but if you are interested in Avon products let me know and I'll get you a book. You can also go to the Avon website and browse. Happy, cheap, shopping !

I'm a wiener !

I couldn't believe it when I opened my email this morning. Bakerella had emailed me to let me know I had won a cupcake tower from her recent contest. I was SO excited ! If you have never looked at her website, please proceed to checking it out now. I can promise you that you will immediately want to go purchase some sprinkles and bake some cupcakes ! Now go forth and bake ! (and bring me some)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I scream, you scream...

Is it supposed to be "I scream, you scream" or " Ice cream, you scream" ??

***Just a note about Tom's shoes......My mom ordered her a pair and she said they are the most comfortable shoes ever. I saw them yesterday and they are incredibly lightweight, but they have an arch support in them, which really surprised me. Check them out !

Back to ice cream. Ever since Viv did a post about her homemade ice cream adventure, I've been curious. Conveniently enough, we are having our family reunion on the 4th of July this summer and ice cream is a big deal. I was unable to go to the reunion last year, but I heard that the ice cream freezers were lined up and there were plenty flavors to try ! (Debate-I call them ice cream freezers, and other folks call them ice cream makers. Which is it ?) As soon as I found out about the reunion, I knew I wanted to look into getting me a freezer and I knew instantly that I wanted to make something weird. In fact, when I told James about it, he said "Oooooh, we need to make something off the wall !" So, yes, we are both weird. I knew right away what kind of recipe I wanted to find and, guess what, I did ! I wanted to make some chocolate matcha ice cream. I've been very intrigued by "matcha" lately anyway. It's becoming very popular in the baking world. Matcha is just green tea powder, and I hope it tastes great, because the color is wonderful !

See ! Isn't this beautiful !!!
We have yet to try out the ice cream recipe, before we feed it to others, but we haven't bought a freezer. As much as I'd love this awesome one made by Cuisinart, I'm sure we'll be Wal-marting soon for a more affordable one.

It's pink ! It's awesome !

Next on the "to get" list is the matcha powder. I've seen it online, but haven't looked in stores for it. I'm hoping the super HEB will have it. Here's the recipe:

Matcha White Chocolate Ice Cream
Adapted from Kuidaore
Makes about 1 litre

1 ½ cups heavy cream1 ½ cups milk1/2 cup granulated sugar1/8 teaspoon fine salt4 large egg yolks8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped2 tablespoons matcha powder, sifted
Equipment: Ice cream maker + frozen insert, fine meshed strainer (chinoise), cheesecloth
1. In a medium heavy saucepan, bring the cream, milk, sugar and salt to a simmer over low heat, stirring constantly.
2. While whisking eggs, pour about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture in a thin, steady stream in the bowl of eggs. This should temper the eggs. Now pour the tempered eggs in the rest of the saucepan with the hot cream mixture, in a thin, steady stream while whisking the hot cream.
3. Cook over low heat, constantly stirring, just until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes. Do not let this mixture boil. Pour this mixture through a strainer lined with cheesecloth.
4. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring at 30 second intervals until chocolate is melted. Add the matcha powder to the chocolate and stir vigorously with whisk to mix well. Add this to the strained hot cream and stir to blend. Cool this mixture and refrigerate until chilled.
5. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream machine.

Sounds pretty awesome, doesn't it !!??