Sunday, November 4, 2012

How to make a last minute Zombie cake

I was trying to think of something to make for our ward trunk or treat party for the Spooky Dessert contest. After looking around pinterest, I decided I wanted something gory/spooky, not just cutesy/spooky.
I knew I didn't have time for a trip to the store, so I needed to use stuff I had at home. In my Halloween stuff, I remembered that I had these skull head cup cake toppers.
 then I remembered this Bride Cake I made a few years ago...I had sent the rest of the cake home with the bride, since it didn't all get eaten. The mother of the Bride had washed the barbie doll cake topper and brought it back to me. So, I had saved it with my cake decorating supplies, thinking I might use it again...
hmmm, the skull seemed about the right size, so I popped off the doll head, cut a hole in the skull and popped it on. Then I cut off the doll face (which I left laying around the house and it kind of freaked out my kids, so I think I might use that for something...) and glued the hair to the skull.
I didn't have the time to make a real cake, and they cake be a little finiky in the skirt shape anyway, so I did rice crispy treats.

Also, I had no time to make fondant, and my husband broke my Bosch, so I would have had to do it by hand... uh, no thanks. No, buttercream it was.
I was in such a hurry, I left the back uncovered. Viel was cheesecloth slightly shredded, and the black part of my baby's Halloween costume that I had to cut off so she wouldn't trip on it.
I was hoping fake blood would be enough for the gory factor.
I think it was. BTW- to make quick edible fake blood, just mix corn syrup and red food color. It will even puddle cause the corn syrup is thick enough.
You can't really see it, but she's standing on a black doily and there are some skeleton hands coming out from under her dress.
My 5-year old was observing the process and was quite perplexed, "Why are you cutting that doll?"
"Why does she have a keleton face?"
"Why is she bleeding?"
I finally told her that she was supposed to be scary, and that she needed to make up a story to go with her. Then she smiled and said,:

"There was this girl, she was getting married, and um, on the first day when she was getting married, somebody shot her in the heart. And her face to turned into a skeleton. Her husband ranned away."
Suddenly she was Ok with it.

To me, the best part (aside from winning 1st place) was the girl that was serving it said that some of the kids would come up and look at it, and when she asked them if they wanted some, with big eyes, they would shake their heads and back away from the table. But then, if she pulled out a plate that already had a cut piece on it, they would take it. Funny.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Spa-aaah" birthday party cake

The plan for this cake was going to be that I also made flip flops and nail polish bottles out of fondant and rice crispy treats.
But let me remind you in case I don't say it often enough! I'm freaking I'm pregnant, though, so just having a homemade cake is accomplishment enough
I tried to match the "Spa-aaah" writing from the invitation,
And since I was just doing buttercream anyway, I thought I would practice my rope border and some stars. Hmmm, probably not the best picture to show you for that...

The cake was from a white cake mix (which I added lemon zest to, because I have decided that it makes it so yummy!) which I divided into 2 pans, and tinted one neon blue, and the other green. her party also had teeny tiny bits of dark pink, so I added a layer of fresh strawberries to the middle.

My daughter did say, to make me feel better, that it was ok that I didn't get to the fondant, because she's the only one who likes fondant, her friends don't. Which just goes to show that I'm not raising a total brat she does have a sweet bone in her body.
I'd love to say, "Fondant and Rice Crispy treats next year, fer shure!", but the reality is I'll have 5 kids by then so forget it! I may not be up for it then either.
You might just get some day old doughnuts with a match stuck in one...
Or 12 birthday spankings and a kiss on the cheek.
Ya, that sounds more like it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Project #40!!!! Hutch Makeover

If you read back to my post about staining my furniture you'll recall that I have a lot of this light pine that I wanted to re-do. I started with the end tables and hutch, and I'm happy to report that I finished them the last weekend in April, and moved them into my house!!!
Then my camera died so I couldn't take any more pictures...

....skip ahead 6 months... I have a camera now, and I looked through and saw this draft and realized that this post never got finished... because um,... oops.
So, the hutch has been in the house all summer. It just got moved again so we could put the newly done entertainment center in.
I did this one all by myself, and am super happy with it!!
Ok, I know this looks kinda sad, because it needs to be accesorized. I think you would be more impressed if I could put a before picture right next to it. But those are on my old computer. It's taken me awhile to switch to new camera and new computer....
I think I'm what they should call an apologetic blogger. It's a new term I just came up with.
This picture shows you the inside which did not get stained, so it shoudl give you a little bit of an idea of what the before looked like.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Boo"-ya! (#42-46)

So last week at our church we had a craft night. I thought I would be spending most of the evening helping to watch the kids that were there in the mursey. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I actually got to do some crafting.
(So I know this only takes a minute to put vinyl on, but I'm still counting this as project finished #42!)
I really got into the crafting groove. About 10 minutes before it was ending, I told a friend, "I think I could keep going another 2 hours."
(Learned how to make these felt flowers... #43... I think if I make the leaves smaller it would make a cute hair accesory)

It seems like in my life right now it's hard for me to find any uninterrupted time for crafting...
(This is a photo pendant that I made there. Those are my 2 youngest girls, hard to see in the picture- I just got a chain so I can wear it now! #44)

The next day I spent a few hours, ignoring the condition of my home, and getting my craft on.
There had been a demo about how to make pendant banners. I've made a few before, but the teacher did a short one that just said, "B-O-O", which is a lot faster to make than a "H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y-!" banner. I had some scrap fabric left from when I made my Jack-o-lantern quilt. It was so small, I didn't think I could do much with it, but it was so cute, I hated to throw it out. So, I got the idea to make some mini-pendant banners.

I made "BOO!" and a "Spooky" and I have enough left to make a "Beware" one. I decided that since they were so small, it wasn't worth cutting out and appliquing teeny tiny letters, so I embroidered them on. Easy peasy. I ran out of stabilizer, and haven't made it to Hobby Lobby to get more... so that's why "Beware" isn't done.
I cut the little scraps that were left to tie on in between. No fabric wasted.
Since I used stuff from my project closet for this- this TOTALLY counts as a finished project!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


So I guess I'm on a candy corn streak. (You can see the candy corn cupcakes here)
I needed another treat for something, and I had a lot of rice crispies and marshmallows on hand. I was supposed to make part of my oldest daughters cake with fondant and rice crispy treats... I didn't feel well, and that part of the cake didn't happen.
So, I made a double batch of regular rice crispy treats, and after the marshmallows and butter were melted, and just before I poured it over the cereal, I added orange food coloring.
My 5 year old helped with this.
After they cooled, I cut them into triangle shaped pieces, and moved them to parchment paper.
then I melted some yellow chocolate I had on hand and dipped the big end into it. It used a lot more than I thought it would, and I ran out. So, I did the rest in milk chocolate. Those looked cute too, and tasted good. We called those ones Indian corn.
Then I dipped the other end in white chocolate. I say dipped, but it was more like I spread it on there with a spoon.
Then I put them in bags with a few candy corn pieces, tied a cute bow and a card with it...
I think they turned out really cute... except that I don't like these bags from Dollar Tree cause they have printing all over them. It really detracts from the cuteness factor. Plus, I don't want anyone thinking the treat was made in China. Cause it wasn't. It was made right here in my kitchen in Texas!
linked to:

Monday, October 22, 2012

My quick Home Made Pinata

So a few years ago, my son and I made this Valentine's Day box. You can read about it here. I think he used it 2 years in a row, to take to school and have the other kids drop their valentine's for him in the slot on top.
It has been in the garage, and I knew my husband was about to clean out the garage again. I knew it wouldn't survive the purging. Plus, my oldest daughter told me (after I had bought everything and spent the budget- of course) that she also wanted a pinata at her birthday party. So, I decided to turn this into one. My baby had lots of fun filling it with candy. ("I help. I help!!")
I even decided to get her dressed for the picture!
My daughter was having a "Spa party" complete with mud mask facials, pedicure, and manicures... I wasn't sure how a pinata would fit into that theme.
At least I could make it match the color scheme...
so I wrapped it in green wrapping paper, stapled tissue paper on the back around the edges, and ebmellised it in aqua blue, and even matched the writing from the invitations.
They loved it...
More party details coming later...

linked to:

Monday, October 15, 2012

I heart Candy Corn

Last week was my daughters birthday, and she asked what kind of cupcakes I was going to make for her class at school... like 2 days before her birthday. Well, I didn't want to make a trip to the store, so it was going to be whatever I had on hand.
One one of my favorite blogs had this tutorial for Candy Corn Cake tutorial
I didn't end up doing the cake, but looked around at all her other Candy Corn ideas, and came up with these:
I used a yellow instead of white cake mix,(cause that's what I had) but added the lemon zest, which really made it yummy. I colored the batter yellow and orange, and used some fall cup cake liners I had. Then used some orange sugar, and yellow sprinkles along with what was left of my candy corn bag! 
They turned out yummy and cute. But, really, you should check out Leigh Anne's blog for some great candy corn ideas.... she might be the only person I've met who might love candy corn more than I do... maybe.
P.S. Thanks for voting on the dresser color. It is still being worked on, but I'm told it's almost done. I gave him the new hardware I bought on Friday. Hope to reveal it soon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

What Color To Paint My Dresser

So I think it is no longer a secret that I am pregnant. Since I am almost in my 2nd trimester, my risk of a miscarriage has gone way down, so I think it's safe to announce it.
I am due on my 38th birthday. Yes, that is way too a bit old to have a baby, and yet there are lots of mothers having children well into their 40's. But my body has been screaming at me telling me that it's getting too old for this.
I can't do anything as much as I used to be able to do while pregnant. Having 4- YES FOUR!- other children to take care of in the meantime has put me in the crazy house more pressure on me.
What I am trying to say here, is that my projects will be fewer and further between.
That is Okay. I'm sure God didn't put me on this earth just to do projects. Sometimes I wish He had. That might be a lot easier...
Anyway, my husband and I walked through looked in our garage at the 7 pieces of furniture waiting to be refinished- including 2 dressers that will be even more needed now- and he decided to hire me some help.
That's right. He hired a guy who used to work for him at his company to come and finish my furniture projects.
I have mixed feelings about this. I love to do things myself. I love the process, and most importantly, I love to look at something I finished and be able to say that I did it.
I guess it's pride.

On the other hand, I feel a huge sence of relief. Some of that feeling of being so overwhelmed disappeared when he told me that he was hiring help. I'm afraid if it was all up to me, this child I am carrying would be graduating from high school before I finished some of those furniture projects.

But, it also means I need to make a decision soon.

A paint color decision.

What color should I have him paint this dresser:
 (Sorry, I wasn't going to move the lawn mower to get a good picture, cause you know, I'm Lazy pregnant!)

It was originally purchased to go in my sons room, but when we bought his bunkbed from Craig's List, it came with a matching dresser. So, this will definitely go in a little girl's room.
Can't decided between pink, white, and black. Or maybe green?

Here are some pictures of the youngest girls current room where it will most likely go:

You can see that it's mostly white, and light baby pink. (My oldest daughter has the bright colors!)
I was thinking the same shade of pink I did their play kitchen in:
...except that it almost looks white in this picture....
just imagine a baby pink. I think it's Behr Southern Beauty.

There is a poll in my side bar. I googled how to put it in the actual post, and it looked way too complicated. So, sorry, it's in the side bar. Please vote, and if you have a specific brand/paint color you recommend, (or any other advice!) please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Prickly Pear Cactus Recipes

So today I am teaching a cooking and canning class at my house. My printers is out of ink! (of Course) so I am posting the recipes here so that class members (and any readers who want!) can have them!

Prickly Pear Cactus Juice & Jelly
To do the juice, you need a stream juicer.
If you haven't already picked the prickly pears, make sure that you pick them using tongs. Hold each pear with the tongs, and cut in half. Put both halves in the top part of juicer. (Bottom part is filled with hot water)

Boil/steam them, and drain off the juice into hot bottles as you need to. When you are not getting any more juice, or the juice is getting less red/purple, or when you look at the fruit and it looks a whole lot paler than it did, it's probably done and you can throw away those and put in fresh. The bottles are processed in a regular water bath for about 20 minutes for quarts. The juicing is usually an all-day process for me.
We can the juice and use it for drinks.

Or you can use the juice to make jelly or syrup:


3-4 c. prickly pear juice
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 box powered pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar

Stir lemon juice and pectin into measured juice. Bring to a boil. Add sugar. Return to boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Skim off foam. Pour into hot jars and seal.
*may take several weeks to jell.

(See Elderberry Jelly recipe in pectin box)
[internet recipe uses 1 cup juice to 1 cup sugar (4-4)]

Also, internet recipes say to use liquid pectin. That's what I have always used.
Because there is so much variance with prickly pear cactus, there is no way to know how much natural pectin is in the fruit. I've had some set up in a few weeks, some after a couple of years, and some never does. We just use it for pancake syrup so it doesn't bother us. Hope that helps. Call me if you have any questions.

Rachael’s Friday Night Pizza Crust

For 3 pizzas:                                             

2 Tbls. Yeast                                       

2 ¼ cups water                                       
4 ½ Tblsp. Olive Oil                                
1 Tblsp. + 1 tsp. Salt                                
6 ¾ Cups flour                                         

Mix all together, knead, and place in well oiled bowl. Let set in a warm place until doubles, about an hour. Roll out, or fit to pans, and place in a well greased cake, pizza, or cookie pans. Top with tomato sauce, cheese, and all the toppings you want.
The dough will do it’s last raising while you are placing on the toppings. Bake at 450 degrees until the crust is golden brown, about 14-15 minutes for a 14” round pan. Slide out of pan onto a cutting-board, let cool a few minutes before cutting with a pizza cutter and serving.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Avenger's Cake

My friend's son just turned 8. He had an Avenger's themed birthday party, and I helped make the cake.
Well, actually, I ended up taking over the whole thing. We were going to make it together, and then schedules got crazy... she didn't mind, though, and Isaac was happy with it.
 I haven't seen the movie yet, so I asked for a list of characters I needed to include. I have seen Captain America, so that was the easiest one to do.

 His mom told me that his favorite character was Hawk-eye, , so we needed to include bows and arrows.

 Also, another character I wasn't familiar with was a black window spider lady??... So I made a black widow out of fondant and piped on a web. Hope that was close enough...
 Thor's hammer was relatively easy (I've seen that movie, too, although I don't remember it very well)
 Love this view from the top
 More close-ups of Thor's hammer...

 I hope you can tell that that's the Incredible Hulk's fist smashing out of the cake
Confession: I got all character's represented except Iron Man... oops! Too late now!