Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cake #1

For the second cake decorating class, we had to bring an iced cake, as well as several containers of buttercream icing (which were 3 different consistencies).  The buttercream icing is actually pretty easy (and pretty tasty) to make.  Thank Dan that I have a stand mixer because the icing will kill hand-held mixers.

For the cake, I decided to use the cookbook that Tina gave me for my birthday:

Inside, there is a recipe for a 1-2-3-4 cake, which I have determined tastes like pound cake and goes VERY well with the almond flavored icing.

After the cakes were baked and the icing (all three consistencies) was made, I started coloring my icing.  The design for the first cake was going to be a rainbow.  I wanted to be a little different with my rainbow colors, so I chose burgundy, green, orange, and purple.  Now, I know that the shades aren't what you might expect, but I'm still learning here.  Oh, and my clouds aren't white and I don't care.

Icing my first cake proved to be a little challenging.  I didn't set aside enough icing to frost my cake, so the frosting didn't look as pretty as I wanted, but you live and you learn.  

In class, we got the chance to practice making stars and zig zags and writing (that's hard).  Oh, and we learned how to make the base for roses.  After we practiced, we got the chance to start decorating our cakes.  We had to transfer the rainbow from the book to our cakes using piping gel and wax paper.  I love how simple that is to do.  Once the rainbow was transfered onto our cakes, we got to work filling in the rainbow.  I enjoyed that.  Once our rainbow was done, we had to make the clouds using zig zags.  Oh, and we got to put a border on our cakes.  Before I knew it, it was time to go home, so I didn't get to finish my cake at class, but I was able to finish it at home.

Here's my cake before I went home...

Once I got home, I pulled out the extra icing and got to work on finishing the cake.  I decided to finish up my cake.  I put my name on it and added little blue dots to my star border.  So here's the finished product...

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So far, April has not been the kindest to folks (ha, what a funny word) all over the place.  It's been way too cold here in NC this week, so I decided last night, on my way home from work that I wanted chili for dinner tonight.  Little did I know that today was supposed to actually be quite nice, but what do I care?  I'll eat chili in the middle of the summer because it is so yummy.

I remember as a kid, my mom would make two pots of chili at a time.  One with onions (yuck) and one without.  Am I right Lisa?  She had two crock pots and this was the only time I can remember that both of them were in use at the same time.  I loved when my mom made it because the house would smell so delicious and I used to take a spoon out of the drawer and taste the chili.  YUM!

Once I was finally out of the house and (trying to) live on my own, I got a crock pot for Christmas.  I never made chili in it until I was living with Dan.

Now since I like to use recipes from my mom, I had to call her up and ask her how to make her chili.  One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to make.  All you need is 2 cans of kidney beans (I love lite and dark combined), 1 pound ground beef, 2 can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of McCormick's chili seasoning.

1.  Take out everything you need to make this meal, including the crock pot.
2.  Brown the meat.
3. Pour beans and tomatoes into crock pot while meat is browning.  And no, don't drain any of the cans because you need the liquid.
4. Add the chili seasoning.
5. Drain the meat and add to crock pot.
6. Plug in crock pot before you leave for work in the morning and let it cook all day.  The longer it sits the better.
7. Scoop out enough for you into your own bowl and sprinkle (or overload) it with cheese.
8.  Dig in.

*** A great side to this is Fritos ***