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1  COOKING / Dessert / Various Cup/Cakes on: April 25, 2009 05:52:18 PM
I'm going to start out by saying that Sky High is the best cook book I've ever owned.  I love it and if you like baking cakes, you will too!  

These are the same cake - the one on the cover - just two different times.  The first time I baked the layers in a rectangular pan and the second time I used cupcake tins.  SO delicious!

And these are chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese icing.  This recipe is also from Sky High, and it can be found online here.

This recipe is from AllRecipes, but I used cream cheese frosting.

Seriously - BUY SKY HIGH!!!
2  COOKING / Dessert / Pi day + St. Patty's Edit on: March 14, 2009 08:49:39 PM

The recipe for the layers and the frosting is from Sky High, which is an amazing book.  Buy it.  Now.  For the filling I used stabilized whipped cream flavored with peppermint extract.  Yummy yummy!  Happy St. Patty's day!

Apple Pies:

I did these in very small batches, so I just kinda...  Winged it.  For six, I used half an apple, a bit of lemon juice, some cinnamon, some nutmeg, sugar, a sprinkle of salt, some flour, and a little water.  I cooked it on the stove until the apples were just tender and spooned it into my pie shells.  After topping with some decorative cut-outs (should have used an egg wash!), I baked them for about 10 minutes @ 350.

Strawberry Rhubarb - My fave!

Using the same method as above, cook equal amounts of rhubarb and strawberries, some flour and some sugar on the stove.  So tasty.  My Grandma used to make these, and hey make me happy because they remind me of her Cheesy

Peach Pies:

These had peaches (no way!), sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of flour.  Using the same method Smiley

The pie shells were all made with a recipe for pate brisee, cut into 4 inchish rounds and baked @ 350 in cupcake tins for about 15-20 minutes before filling.

I'm trying to be more adventurous with my baking and follow my heart instead of a strict guideline... 
3  COOKING / Dessert / Valentine Desserts on: February 16, 2009 11:28:35 AM
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaack! 

I was late to make both of these Cry 

Cupcakes I made a 11PM on Valentine's (there's supposed to be an apostrophe, right?  It's St. Valentine's day?) Day and the mini cheesecakes I made this morning with some leftover cheesecake filling I had from a cheesecake I took to a small get-together three days ago. 

These are Martha's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, and they're pretty damn tasty if I do say so myself!  I frosted them with a simple ganache made from equal weights of chocolate and cream.

For these I made the crust by tossing a handful of Nilla wafers into a bag, smashing them, then adding 3tbls of butter.  For the filling I used the recipe here, and the hearts are a dab of heated elderberry jam my Grandma made me <3

Thanks for taking a peek Smiley  I hope you had a great Valentine's Day!
4  COOKING / Dessert / Added more 'cause there aren't already enough :P on: January 16, 2009 08:49:04 AM
I bake.  A lot.  Too much.  But I love it, and so do my friends, so oh well!  I'm trying to take better pictures of everything, and I have quite a bit to share....

Dulce de leche macarons with praline topping, from Tartelette's recipe.  These were a little too sweet for me, but still yummy.

Chocolate macarons from Tartelette's recipe.  Delicious!

Plain old vanilla cupcakes (Billy's vanilla vanilla) and vanilla buttercream, with a royal icing butterfly Smiley

Same recipe as above with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and sprinkled with crushed candy cane.

Chocolate cupcake with italian meringue buttercream topped with a whopper.  I left the butter out of the icing and it was very sticky... 

Pumpkin pancakes.  Found the recipe on Tastespotting.  I <3 tastespotting.

Raspberry ice cream sandwich!

Angel food cake.  Mmmmm.  I bought vanilla beans off of ebay and I can't stop using them in everything.  I even made my own extract!

I miss summertime...  This is just a simple strawberry tart.

Thanks for looking!  If anyone knows where I can get some cheap and cute plates/props for photos I would REALLY appreciate it if you let me know where to look.  Oh, and if you could recommend some affordable natural looking lights for photos...  I'd appreciate that too...


EDIT (January 17th):

Made/canned that jam at 2AM Lips sealed Unfortunately, it is more sugar flavored than raspberry.  I'd never canned anything before...  Hope I did it right.  Anyway, these are chocolate ganache and raspberry filled.

EDIT (January 19th):

This page must take HOURS to load Tongue  Also, I just realized that pancakes and bread aren't exactly "dessert..."

Prickly Pear Macaron

Bought a new camera!

Lemon tarts

Chocolate cake...  Thing Tongue
5  COOKING / Dessert / Birthday desserts on: April 22, 2008 12:15:40 PM
My grandpa's 70th birthday was last weekend.  I asked him if he'd like me to make him something, and he told me he'd like either lemon meringue pie or a chocolate cake.

So, since my grandpa is just the coolest guy ever, I made both Smiley

I don't have pictures of it sliced (I feel weird taking pictures of food.  I didn't want to cause a commotion and be all, "WAIT!  Let me take a picture before you dive in," you know?), but I do have pictures of these tartlettes so you can see the delicious filling:

The idea and recipe are straight from foodbeam, an incredible blog full of fantastic pictures and recipes.  This one is just delicious! 

It's not as big as it seems to be - it was only 6 inches in diameter. 

I'm pleased to report that everything went over very well!
6  COOKING / Dessert / Patty Cakes on: March 16, 2008 06:24:48 PM

Yay!  Hi-Hats!  I had a bit of an issue with the icing falling off on a few of them, but they turned out pretty good.  I like them, anyway.  We'll see how well received they are tomorrow, when I pass them out to my friends. 

Italian meringue has an odd texture...  I love how it kinda "fwoofh"s (I bet that made LOADS of sense, hmm?) all over, but the mouth feel is a little weird...  Tasty, though. 

I guess, while I'm here, I should post a few other ventures into cupcake land...

These are banana.  I only made them because I needed an excuse to use the petal piping tips I bought.  Making flowers is fun Smiley 

These little ones are peppermint cakes.  I made a quick butter cream to frost them with, but I don't like how it tastes (these were my first excuse to be able to use the petal tips Cheesy), so I cut my losses, tossed it out, and dipped them in white chocolate.  I was told it tasted good, but my friends were a little confused.  One of them tapped on the top and said, "it's hard...?"

Fortunately, they were appeased after just a bit of explanation.  Not that they really needed it.  I mean, come on.  Cupcakes.  Who's gonna complain? 

Happy baking Cheesy
7  COOKING / Dessert / The most amazing cinnamon rolls ever. Period on: February 10, 2008 05:16:19 PM
Revel in their glory:

I've made cinnamon rolls many times using many recipes and I've never been satisfied with the results.  Never, that is, until I stumbled across this recipe. 

I simply do not have the words to describe how completely perfect they are.  They are very light, perfectly sweet and aren't hard on the outside like so many previous failed attempts.  If you're looking for a good recipe  - look no further, for this is it.

8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Please Help with my Nightmare Before Christmas Display! on: December 12, 2006 12:53:17 PM
My mom LOVES Halloween, but hates decorating for Christmas.  So, she decided that she would incorporate the two and construct a Nightmare Before Christmas Display that would ideally include Jack and his sleigh.

Anyway, she came up with this idea a while back and never acted on it, so I've taken it into my hands.  I've already 'built' Jack's head, but it is far from weather proof, considering the fact that it's outer layer is paper mache Tongue

I'd like to make a mold so I could cast (is that the term?) it in something (would plaster dissolve in rain?), but I'm worried that it won't work with the newspaper on it.  Anyone have any ideas on what I could do to his face to make it mold-able?

I was also wondering if there was something I could brush onto it that was white or could be painted white.  Do they make brush-on rubber in white? 

Thanks a ton!
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / My Bottlecap Necklace EDIT 2: Now With Semi-Temporary Tutorial! (Pic Heavy) on: October 29, 2006 12:02:07 PM
When I saw "Confessions of a Tenage Drama Queen" I REALLY wanted her necklace, but I had no idea how to make it. So yesterday I realized I had all of the supplies and with my amazing skillz *COUGHLIESCOUGH* I figured out how to make it.

It's kinda sad it took me so long.  lol.  




I match so well, don't I?

I think it may have looked better with gold chain, but gold is icky (plus I couldn't find any Cheesy).  I do like how it turned out though. I want to make another one, but I don't think I have enough chain and I don't have any more matching bottlecaps!

EDIT:  her's some more pictures of other ones I've made:

Izze caps

Lets see, we've got Bacardi, Kona (with the lizards), Crush, and two random ones.  lol

Close up on one of the random ones:

I'm trying to make one to match anything I wear.  I've made a few others, but I've given them away.  Everyone is asking for them Cheesy


Here's my [hopefully] temporary tutorial:

1.  Pick out your caps.  Obviously, right?  Cheesy  Anyway, depending on your proneness to error, you'll need three to...  Uh...  I dunno.  Practice on some ugly ones before going for the real thing.  It isn't terribly difficult, but it's not all that hard to poke a hole all the way through the edge.
2.  Set up a station.  You'll need your nails, a hammer and something to hammer into.  I use the back of a cork place mat.  A chunk of wood should do the trick, too.  Just make sure it's something that you can hammer into.
3.  Now take one bottle cap and pull the crimp back using these tools (I have almost the exact same set only a different brand XD).  


Use the rounded ones to grab it in one of the grooves and gently pull back.  Move on to the next one, holding the cap with the other pair of pliers, or just your hand (If you're planning on doing multiple caps, I'd recommend gloves - it can get painful).  After you have four or five, carefully grab it with the concave curved edge and pull back.  Continue around until it's  flattened.
4.  Repeat on the other caps.
5.  Now, let's pretend these look like bottle caps:


Make a hole wherever there is a dot.  Just lay your cap down and hammer the nail through the grooves.  It isn't too difficult, but I would recommend practicing a bit to make sure you don't hammer through the edge.  
You'll need at least 10 on the top two and 9 on the bottom, but you can add a few, if you like, for dangling chains.
6.  Connect the holes like in the picture with your chain.  Be careful not to twist it too much.  You can use whatever length you want, but I use the number of chain links presented in the picture.


7.  Attach extra chain and a toggle for your neck, and you're done Cheesy  

I hope that wasn't too confusing.  If you have any questions, please, feel free to ask!  I'm so happy you guys like these.  Sorry about the wait.  Please post pictures if you make one Cheesy
10  COOKING / Dessert / "Steel Magnolias" Armadillo Cake on: September 24, 2006 10:03:33 AM
My mom is hosting a cast party for a production of Steel Magnolias and she thought it would be awesome to have an armadillo cake sitting out on the buffet table.  So I made one:





I couldn't frost a cake to save my life so there's little bits of red cake through out it.  Honestly though, it doesn't bug me - I was having fun Cheesy

I had a very hard time finding any instructions on how to make this on the internet so, if anyone is interested in making this, here's what you'll need:

- 2 boxes of Red Velvet cake mix
- 1 large container of white icing
- 1 regular size container of either white or (if they make it) red icing
- Fondant
- Red food coloring if you use white icing
- Cocoa powder
- A football shaped cake mold
- A rectangular cake pan, big enough to cut a football shaped piece out of
- A mini loaf pan (The ones that are about 4" X 2")
- Black decorater gel
- Skewers
      Just as a tip, whenever you stop working on this cake, PUT IT IN THE FRIDGE!  It makes things a lot easier!  Oh yeah, it's probably a good idea to make sure you assemble the cake on the plate you're  planning on serving it on - I got about half way through frosting it before I realized I was going to have to move it Cheesy
      Make the cake according to the directions on the box.  Pour into greased pans (I lined the rectangular pan with tinfoil to ensure it would come out) Don't worry about filling the small loaf pan to the top - it'll rise like crazy (Well, it does in my oven anyway).  
       Let them cool and put them in the fridge for a couple of hours until they firm up a bit.  Take out the small loaf pan cake.  Carve into a face shape (It's sort of like a triangle with a rounded back - you might want to look up a picture of an armadillo to decide how to do it).
       Next, flatten out the football cake's bottom and the top of the rectangular cake and stack them.  Cut the rectangle cake into a football shape using the cake as a guide.  Fill with red icing (Or white icing mixed with a bunch of red food coloring.  Mine was a little pink, but I think they'll get it Cheesy).
       Put the larger container of icing into a mixing bowl and beat with a beater.  Add in some cocoa powder and keep adding it until it's a light brown.  Color doesn't really matter though.  The last time I made one it was purple Cheesy Frost the body.
       Take 2 or 3 skewers and cut them so they are long enough to go all the way through the body and have about an inch sticking out to hold the face.  Stick them into the front of the cake, keeping in mind that that will be where the base of the head will sit.  Make sure they are pretty close.
        At this point I frosted the head while I was holding it in my hand.  It might be easier to frost it after you stick it to the body, but then again, it might rip.  Just be careful.
        Anyway, after it's attached, touch up any finger marks that may have somehow, mysteriously, planted themselves into the icing, and "texturize" the body.  I started at its butt (Grin), and, using a spoon, sort of dipped the tip of it into the icing, pulled it back, and slid it up and off the cake.  It might sound a litle confusing, but just try it - you'll get it.  Just repeat, in rows, until you get to the head.
         Work some cocoa into the white fondant and grab a semi-large pice.  Roll it into a tail shape with a fat base to stick into the cake.  Get four equal size lumps, flatten them, and cut them so the each one has three claws.  
          Now, roll out a little bit and cut two leaf shapes from it.  bend it a little in the middle and cinch the bottom ends together.  Let them sit out or in the fridge a while to harden, then stick them in the cake.  Use the decorater gel to put a "x" in place of the eyes, and enjoy!
           I'm going to line my tray with crushed oreos when we get to the party to cover the mess I made with the icing....

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