Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trip with Friends to Duff's Cakemix

About a month ago...  I have a dear friend, Rhonda ask me if I had heard of a place in West Hollywood where you could go and decorate cakes.  I told her that I hadn't... but would love to check it out, so she gave me the website to check it out for myself. 
A DIY cake shop... so we put a group together to go decorate cakes!
Oh Joy... Edible Art
Here's a link to Duff's Cakemix website, so you can check it out for yourself!

Here's some pictures that we took while we visited the DIY cake shop on Saturday, December 22, 2012. 

We all had so much fun that I'm sure will do it again with another group.   After sharing pictures with other friends, there were several more that expressed a real interest and had never heard of the place. 
So... Yes, we will definitely do again!







I'm a pre-planner... I already had an idea going into cakemix what Stephanie and I were going to create on our cake, but I wasn't sure what the outcome would be because this was my first time ever working with fondant.  We took my little oriental flower cookie cutters with us, wasn't sure if we would do cherry blossoms or the five pedal flowers.  The pearl malted milk balls where bigger than I had pictured in my mind, but that's the only size they had at the goody bar.  Then to give the flowers just a little depth and texture, I took some food coloring, diluted it and brushed the some pedals of the flowers.  After doing this water coloring it took on a hydrangea look! 


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies and the Royal Icing

This is one of the BEST reciped I have found for Gingerbread Cookies.  I have had so mant compliments from it.... so feel free to give it a try for yourself!
The Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Ready in: 4 hours
Servings: 6 dozen = 72
 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shortening, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup molasses
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger,nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the shortening, molasses, brown sugar, water, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually stir in the dry ingredients, until they are completely absorbed.  Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inches thickness, wrap in a plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes in the preheated oven.  When the cookies are done, they will look dry, but still be soft to the touch.  Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks.  When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of your choice.

The Royal Icing Recipe
Makes 3 cups
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (powdered)
6 Tablespoons water
Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7 - 10 minutes, or until icing forms peaks. 
Tip: Keep icing covered with a wet kitchen towel at all times, the Icing can dry out quickly.

We'll our cookies aren't as polished as all these others that you see, but we are truly going to have time to brush up on our skills.  Gracie had alot of fun creating also.... we put her in the high chair right beside the kitchen counter and she gave all the orders and had her ABC cookie cutters scattered all over from her tray, in her seat and all over the floor.... she will be a big help when she is older! 

Now here is someone that loves color and was very happy and defiantly very creative with their gingerbread cookies.....


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dark Sage and Watercolors Crochet Throw

Several years back I made this pretty throw crocheted throw made from Caron Simply Soft yarn.  The colors I used was Dark Sage, White and Watercolors.   I choose the variegated color called Watercolors because it reminded me of Monet Paintings... you know the ones?

I made it for my friend Carrie for her birthday, she lives in the Bay Area.  I was hard to part with it because it was so soft, but it was made especially for her with some of her favorite colors.

I have made several Afghans over the years.   These are usually my winter projects because you can have them in your lap, working on them and at the same time they are keeping you warm!   Most of the time I choose a special person that I want to give a gift, or I choose a color I want to make into a blanket, or if I have some one in mind and I know that persons favorite color(s), and then sometimes its both that help me make the decision.

I learned how to knit and crochet when I was fairly young, I guess I started when I was around 10 years old.  I learned from both my grandmothers, one knit and the other did crochet.  Hands down... I like crocheting better than knitting any day, but most of the pretty designs are mostly knitting. 

The difference between the two styles to me is mostly that in knitting you have to pay real close attention to your stitches, so not to loose them, and it can be slightly tedious detailed work.  Where with crocheting is not that bad... depending on which stitch that you choose to do, with some crochet stitches they are so easy that you can actually do them by touch and feel.  Now... all of you know that the only difference between knitting needles and crochet needles is one has a hook on the end and the other doesn't, and for those of you who are reading this and don't know what these needles look like here is a few pictures with needles and design that show the difference.   

Knitting                                             Crocheting

This picture here shows using a white crochet hook to save stitches in a knitting project that they were using black knitting needles.

There is so many different things that you can knit and crochet.  I think I'm going to research and maybe try my and at some children's pretend play food.

 These are real awesome pieces of art, just look at this play food! 
 I'm going to try my hand at some pretend play food.  I think both knitted and crocheted real soon!