Thursday, November 28, 2013

Birthday Turkey

Yesterday was Sheila's birthday and this year, she was going to celebrate her birthday with a Thanksgiving meal.  Her birthday cake was to have a turkey on it and I couldn't resist.  I don't know what I love about googly-eyed turkeys, but I think they're the cutest.  And this one is wearing a Pilgrim hat!  He's all dressed up!

The cake is Sheila's favorite: Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  My little turkey is made out of gum paste and fondant.

Happy Birthday, yesterday, Sheila!  Happy Thanksgiving today!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Fun

As I was prepping for my Thanksgiving meal this year, I perused my Pinterest friends and found some really cute ideas for kids.  I was excited to host a Thanksgiving meal this year!  It'd been awhile since we had done it.  Danny and I started the tradition in our first year of marriage and combined both of our families for a celebratory thankful meal the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  Then Danny's family would have plans with their respective families and my family would go their separate ways, but at least we got a good meal in before all of the holiday shuffling.  Here I am with our first turkey.  I look so happy, don't I?  LOL!  Probably the stress of working in a kitchen the size of a closet.  Ah!  Memories!

Anyway, this year, I got to think about the kiddos and wanted to plan some fun finger foods for them.  I was sure that they wouldn't be fans of the brussel sprouts or the spinach gratin, but they'd surely like apples and acorns, right?  (Gotta love Pinterest!)   And this was something  my 6-year old Josie could do.  And she did.  And it was great.

We took some mini-Nilla wafers, unwrapped a package of Hershey Kisses and poured out some butterscotch baking chips and organized them in bowls.

I melted some additional melted butterscotch baking chips to use as glue to hold the Nilla Wafer to the Hershey Kiss and the baking chip to the Nilla Wafer.

The acorns looked like this when they were done.

Josie brought little packages to school for her friends and we had a nice bowl-full on our Thanksgiving Saturday to share with friends.

I also found this little Apple Turkey idea on Pinterest and it couldn't have been easier.  I just cut up some apples, put some caramel sauce in a bowl and decorated it like a little turkey.  Josie helped with this too!

The kids loved it!

And here was the table-scape.  We ended up doing a buffet-style meal, so the plates were stored in the kitchen.  When the candles were lit and the lighting was dimmed down low, it really felt cozy in here.  

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I wish you a very fulfilling, happy and safe holiday!!

The Cake Mama

Monday, November 18, 2013

Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla!

Here's what I know about Kristi.  She LOVES vanilla cake.  And she's very particular about the creaminess of vanilla frosting; it can't have any grit.  And it has to be very vanilla-y.

Challenge accepted.

Erin, Kristi's sister and one of my very best friends, ordered a cake for her sister's 30th birthday.  Her sister wanted a tiered cake because turning 30 was a pretty big deal.  I agree.  Tiered cakes are a GREAT way to celebrate a milestone.  ;)

Erin forwarded a picture of a cake she found on Pinterest and wanted something with chevron on the cake.  And it had to be pastel colors.  Sounds great!

So, the top tier of this cake is Kristi's vanilla cake.  I used two whole vanilla beans between the cake and the frosting.  And the frosting is a boiled icing recipe that I've grown to absolutely love.  It's 100% delicious and creamy like you wouldn't believe.  It's also unbelievably light, so paired with the cake, the combination became quite delicate.

The bottom tier of the cake was for the chocolate lovers in the family.  It's my chocolate cake, fudge and Oreo filling, also topped with the amazingly creamy and amazingly vanilla buttercream frosting.

Here's the birthday girl!


Here's that vanilla cake.  If you look closely enough, you can see all of the flecks of the vanilla beans.  Mmmmm!!!

Happiest of birthdays to you, Kristi!  I'm so happy you had such a great celebration!

Happy Birthday "deer" Ryan!

My dear friend Jessica wasn't really planning anything big for her husband, Ryan's, birthday.  They were going to have a small celebration like usual with their family.  That was, until their kids started planning a party.  What Jessica thought was going to be a small get together, turned into a party, a rented room and a huge surprise!   I was happy to help her out after I received her plea for a cake - very last minute.  

She told me that I could use whatever I had on hand and that Ryan is into deer hunting right now.  I could incorporate something about that on the cake.  

Well, I don't usually have things "on hand".  I bake all of my stuff from scratch, so it was no problem for me to make Jessica and Ryan's favorite red velvet cake for the occasion.  As for the decoration, I went with a deer theme, as you can see, and decorated accordingly.  

For a very last minute cake, I think it turned out well.  I hope Jessica was able to pull off the surprise!  Can't wait to hear all about it!

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Professional Cupcakes

It's not every day that I'm asked to write words like, "Consummate Professional" or "Intelligent" on a cupcake.  But if you're celebrating your employees and want to thank them in a delicious way, I can't think of a better way to do it.  

These cupcakes are a mixture of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, filled with buttercream and topped with buttercream and a gum paste disk.  

Yep.  That says "COBRA Queen."  

Sunny Days for Callie!

Callie turns two today! And her parents were hosting a birthday party filled with all of her favorite Sesame Street friends.  Callie's favorite is Elmo (of COURSE) so he got the center stage for the cake.  

It's funny, Callie's mom, Stacy, is one of my dearest friends.  She and I have been close since we met in high school.  She ordered the cupcakes and only needed two characters.  She wanted Elmo cupcakes and Abby Cadabby cupcakes.  That would have been easier.  Certainly.  But these were for CALLIE.  I had to go all out.  I mixed up eight different bowls of frosting and then made this happen.    

After molding fondant and gum paste for about two hours, those cupcakes above became these cupcakes below; many of the beloved characters you'd find on Sesame Street.  Ernie, Grover, Bert, Telly, Abby Cadabby, Elmo, Rosita, Zoey, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Count VonCount, and Oscar.  It was really trippy to watch these cupcakes come alive!  Both of my girls were super excited about them and Josie added that I needed to put the green triangle on Count for his cape.  Made all the difference.  

Callie's chocolate cake is topped with an Elmo toy.  You can open up Elmo's head and it becomes a diorama of Elmo's World with an Elmo figure, an Abby figure, a wagon, a table and an easel.  SUPER cute! I couldn't wait for Callie to see THAT bonus! 

The cupcakes were gluten free made with dairy free buttercream.  I'm told that the kids devoured them, so the buttercream passed the test!  :)  The cake was chocolate with chocolate fudge, buttercream and OREO filling.

Happy Birthday, dear Callie!  I hope you have a wonderful day!  

St. Jerome Volleyball Cupcakes

Every year, St. Jerome puts on a Legacy Dinner.  It's a ginormous fundraiser for the school and they offer loads and loads of silent auction and live auction items.  I've contributed Cake Mama gift certificates in the past and here's an order that came in.  

These cupcakes were for the St. Jerome Girl's Volleyball Team.  They finished out a fantastic season and thought it was time to celebrate.  These are chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, filled with chocolate pudding and topped with buttercream and a gum paste volleyball.

Congrats, Girls, on a wonderful season!


I've got to be honest.  Halloween was never my favorite thing.  I much prefer Christmas time to Halloween, that is, until I had kids.  Helping my girls become something fun for Halloween has become such a fun thing!  And Josie's just the right age to enjoy holiday and all of its goodness.  Candy aside, it's growing on me.  

This year, we started out the season with cut-out cookies.  You can get my recipe here.  Best.Cookies.Ever. I made the dough and while I was at work, Danny and Josie rolled them out, baked them and decorated them.  I came home to such a fun treat!  

My girls were able to get dressed up a few times this season.  Which, in my opinion, is a good thing.  You spend the time getting the costume "just right" and wear it only once?  It's a shame!  So we took full advantage of the fun dress-up days the season offered.  

Here's my little Maren the Elephant.  

And for those of you who follow my blog, you already know that Josie loves Malificent.  This year she got to BE Malificent.  She pulled it off beautifully (and gave people nightmares too!)!  I have to say that her silhouette in the night was pretty freaky.  

And on Halloween, I cooked up a silly meal.  We had hot dog mummies, witch finger bread sticks, a ghost banana and pumpkin clementine.  

Josie thought it was super spooooooky!

I hope you all had a spooktacular Halloween filled with lots of treats and plenty of boo's!