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Category — Cakes and Goodies

Dreamy Cakes

Woke up this morning thinking about cake.  This happens sometimes (i.e. alot).

Images:  SugarCraft, Maggie Austin Cake

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June 14, 2011   1 Comment

Artist Paul Ferney

Maybe its because the textured brush strokes look like whipped frosting, but these cake paintings by Paul Ferney look good enough to eat!

Delicious prints of these paintings (and more) are available here.

Images:  Paul Ferney

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March 17, 2011   No Comments

Making Limoncello

Today I am going to try my hand at making Limoncello – a tasty Italian lemon liqueur generally served chilled.  I’ve read up on it and many people that have never made liqueur before end up not only developing an obsession for it, but making additional batches for friends and family.  I’ll start by making a small test batch for taste as it takes over 80 days to make – yes, you read that right.  If all works well, a larger batch will be following immediately behind it.

Better get started on peeling all of my lemons…

Have you made Limoncello before?  Any helpful hints?

Images:  Wikipedia, House of Many Hues

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November 24, 2010   1 Comment

8 Great Holiday Finds

Finding holiday gifts that suit your loved ones can really be difficult – especially if they have everything!  I think that many of us fall under this category  because for the last decade or so the internet has made it easy to buy what we need/want without much waiting.  However, I must admit that I still love receiving gifts even though I don’t need anything.  It’s the excitement of the packaging, the unknown, and most importantly that someone went out of their way just for you.  So if your having trouble finding something, here are some holiday finds that may give you ideas…

1.  Mum Slippers,  Uncommon Goods  2. Sparkling Bow Tote bag,  Forever 21   3.  Spooled Candle, Anthropologie  4.  Winter Tree Boxes, West Elm.

5.  Coral Cluster Necklace, Charm & Chain  6.  Suede Ankle Bootie, Madewell  7.  All Natural Pear Candy Cane, Hammond  8.  Snowflake Cookie Box Kit, The Container Store.

Doesn’t the coral necklace above just look so vintage chic?  It’s made of glass faceted beads and has a perfect coral color that makes me happy.   (Update:  It must make alot of people happy because it appears that it’s now sold out.  However, they do have this necklace available in turquoise).  In fact, I can see pairing up the necklace and the gray suede booties in the same outfit – coral and gray go so well together.

Let it be known that I am not a fan of peppermint candy canes.  I think the reason is that one year when I was a kid we used them as ornaments for our Christmas tree.  When it was time to take the Christmas tree and its ornaments down, the candy canes were also packaged away.  The same candy canes were used for about 2 years.  By the second year, the candy canes had begun to liquefy and so an awful sticky peppermint mess got on our Christmas decorations.  I remember getting just sick from the potent smell.  From that point on I just didn’t like peppermint candy canes (if I ever did).  BUT, I do like other flavors and Hammond’s has candy canes in other flavors that are all natural and handmade since 1922.

Finally, if your making treats to give for the holidays check out The Container Store for holiday boxes.  These look like gifts themselves.

Images:  (See Source Above)

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November 24, 2010   No Comments

Printed Cakes

I still have not taken the next level to my cake decorating class (do you sense my aggravation?).  I’m now signed up for the November session and remain optimistic that this time more students will sign up and that class won’t be canceled.  My little one will be turning 1 years old in about 2 months and I’m looking forward to making her birthday cake.  I’ve been thinking about making her a fondant cake, but it’s not until the third level class that we learn to use and decorate with it.  My hope is that somehow I’ll be able to complete both classes by the end of the year.  However, if all else fails, I might try making this block printed cake from Ready Made.

The instructions seem straightforward – use transfer paper, fondant dye, and rubber stamps to decorate the fondant (details can be found here).  How hard can this be?  I know, I know.  Don’t worry – if this doesn’t work, the backup plan will be a store bought cake.

Images:  Ready Made

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October 27, 2010   No Comments

Soups and Fiona Biggs

This weekend was filled with lots of activities and thinking about large projects.  On Saturday, I took the girls to a local craft show and was happy to see a few new vendors with great displays.   I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s just amazing to see how many crafters are still using the same props and displays from years ago.   While I know that displays can be expensive, slight changes can make a huge difference.

Sunday was spent shopping, visiting the local dairy farm, and then finishing the day off at the apple orchard where we bought cider and lots of various squashes.  I mentioned that I have been on a kick for tasty squash soup and have already made 3 different batches – 2 with butternut squash and one with acorn.  This has expanded to cauliflower and carrot soup (which I will be making tonight).  For me, warm soup has therapeutic and cozy properties – it just makes me feel good all over.  I’m so glad that the girls not only love it, but that it warms up nicely from the freezer.

With all the variations of squash soup I’ve tested, I’m finding it necessary to document what works best.  So when I came across this completely cute recipe organization book by Fiona Biggs, My Recipe Keeper, I knew I had to buy it (especially with the $5.99 price tag!).  Under each category (i.e. desserts, meats, and yes, soups), there is space for logging your recipes or a pocket to simply place already written ones.  The author also provides many recipes as well as a section on “What Went Wrong” – troubleshooting undesirable results.  It’s finds like this that come out of shopping at my leisure (this was not only the last copy at the store, but was on the bottom shelf buried by other books).

I haven’t tried any of the recipes provided, but as soon as my soup phase passes, I hope to test them out!

Images:  Fiona Biggs (My Recipe Keeper), House of Many Hues

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October 19, 2010   No Comments

Magpie’s Cakes

This morning I woke up with a taste for wedding cake.  Yep.  Wedding cake.  On the rare occasion that I get to bring home slices of wedding cake from an event, I like to put it in the refrigerator and eat it first thing in the morning.  I know that may seem somewhat odd, but the early morning for me is usually the most peaceful and my taste buds are at their best.  But this Thursday morning has no cake in sight.

A few weeks back, I ran into a stunning cake shop called Magpie’s Cake (maybe I’ve been thinking about it subconsciously this morning).    The owner, Maggie LaBaugh, attended the L’art de la Patisserie program at the French Pastry School and graduated with honors.  Her cakes are elegant and custom made to order.

Slices start at $10 each with a minimum order of $250.  Fresh flowers are never used because of potential pesticides coming into contact with the cake.  However, she does offer amazing hand-crafted sugar flowers that look not only better, but won’t wilt or turn brown.  Oh, and she even offers embellished sugar cookies!

Maybe my fixation with cakes has something to do with missing my cake decorating class.  Unfortunately, my 2nd level class was canceled last month due to low registration.  I was told that weekday classes usually fill up while the weekend classes (the one I signed up for) can be iffy.  Seems like the opposite would be true.  However, the good news is that they will be offering up the class again in October.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed….

Images:  Magpie’s Cakes

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September 2, 2010   No Comments

Chocolate and Tea

I have to admit that I have never contemplated the combination of chocolate with tea but I’m thinking this might be a really wonderful treat from Smile Chocolatiers!  They use high quality gourmet Belgian Chocolate with crushed organic tea.  The website describes it as “…utterly delicious”.

Images:  Smile Chocolatiers

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August 26, 2010   No Comments