livinsweet

Nilla Wafers.

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Little boys and their Nilla Wafers. If you know me at all, I am sure I have talked about how I have a picky eater on my hands. With age, he has only gotten better and also worse. The things he loves to eat, he will finally eat more of. The things he hates, at three years old, he can finally tell me how much he hates them. At least now, I can use and age-old parenting tool: bribes. 

My weapons of choice are root beer and of course, Nilla Wafers. 

I cannot get my son to eat any other type of cookie. You might think it is strange that I would TRY to feed my child sweets, but being a picky eater, he has missed out on a lot of fat and weight gain in his few years. Encouraged by my pediatrician (and this is a second one, one who would test my son’s growth hormones!) to feed my boy as much fat and calories as possible, we have given him free reign over anything deep fried and slathered in butter. All of which, he has outright rejected. I constantly try to feed him new foods and now that he has a higher comprehension, I have started making just one food for the entire family for each meal and offering it as an alternative to starving. So far, it works. When it doesn’t work, however, I use Nilla Wafers. He LOVES Nilla Wafers. 

As most mothers in the state of Utah, I shop at Costco. Which means I buy a REALLY big box of cookies. In order to get him to eat his roast, potatoes, carrots and even to try some onion, I set a few cookies in front of his plate as a reward for trying everything new, and eating everything on his plate that I knew he would like. The only problem with doing this is that now he only wants cookies for all his meals. Of course, I don’t let this happen, but I do find his inquiries absolutely adorable. He will ask for cookies before a meal and I will tell him no – his response? “I have it? One?” pointing his tiny index finger in the air. If I say yes, his response is “Five cookies?” We usually settle on 3. He’s no dummy. 

 

The Green Party

In cake on February 3, 2011 at 5:04 am

During my visit to Oklahoma, we had a gathering with some friends to celebrate the birthday of an old friend, Andy. His adorable wife, Victoria, chose the theme of a Green party. A little play on words, if you will! We took it literally….we only ate green foods and dyed any foods that were naturally a different color, to a very bright green. I made the cake, even though I had no tools whatsoever. Not wanting to buy all the needed tools, I spent about $2 on some icing tips and used the smooth end of a serrated knife (that had a curved tip, too!) instead of a cake spatula. I made a white chocolate French vanilla cake with standard buttercream icing….washed down with a cold glass of Coca-Cola Classic. YUM.

Happy Birthday, Andy!

I should have taken more pictures….sadly, I was too busy hosting! Oh, and forcing guests to entertain me with my brother’s guitars!

Cupcake Decorating Classes

In cupcakes, Dessert, Halloween, Recipes on February 3, 2011 at 4:05 am

The adorable Cami Hutton asked me to teach a cupcake decorating class for a church activity back in October….yes, I realize this is VERY behind! Hopefully, though, this will provide some great ideas for next year’s holidays! Haha – really, I am very sorry this is so late.

Anyhow – the classes went great and were very fun to teach. I may have surprised myself a bit on how much I know about baking and decorating. Not that I don’t have plenty to learn…I certainly have room to grow….but I did have a marvelous time getting to meet the different women in my classes and enjoyed all their delicious creations!

Here I am: My new haircut and my new apron! I have a personal shopper at Anthropologie – if you’re ever shopping at Gateway mall, as for Patrick. He’s only the BEST. He also happens to be my brother in law (insert smiley face here).

We had a few Halloween ideas that included these pumpkins, using a star tip. 

Another idea that I didn’t get a picture of is to make the cupcake into a graveyard and use candy melts to make little bone shapes – mine are visible in the tupperware to the right. I also made some little pumpkins that can be used on top of the cupcake.

Here are some examples for Christmas cupcakes: a present, a (very soft) Christmas tree, and a peppermint. There is also another Halloween idea that I posted about last year – the MUMMY! They’re my personal favorite.

Another Halloween idea (this one my friend Lesli made) is the spiderweb! 

I hope I get the opportunity to teach again! I had a lot of fun. One thing I appreciate when teaching is how much I learn from my students. There is something to be said for a group of extremely creative people working together on a project. I look forward to doing it again! If you’d like me to teach (or would like to order a cake!), please email me at Livinsweet4@gmail.com.

Here are some cupcake decorating basics I handed out to my class:

Wilton Buttercream Icing Recipe:

(Stiff Consistency)

1 cup solid white vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon Wilton Flavor (Vanilla, Almond or Butter)

2 tablespoons milk or water

1 lb. pure cane confectioners’ sugar (approx 4 cups)

1 tablespoon Wilton Meringue Powder

A pinch of salt

Icing Consistency Adjustments

Stiff: Standard recipe

Medium: Add one teaspoon water to each cup of stiff (one additional tbsp of water when you are using the full recipe)

Thin: Add two teaspoons of water for each cup of stiff consistency icing (two tbsp of additional liquid for the full recipe)

A few baking tips:

  • I bake everything at 325 degrees, regardless. Your baking time will need to be increased when your temperature is lowered, but this will help your cakes and cupcakes bake more evenly with their edges.
  • I also substitute milk for water when making cakes, cupcakes and often icing.

My Favorite Homemade Pan Grease:

Blend equal parts of flour, oil and Crisco until smooth and store in an airtight container. When ready, use a pastry brush to coat any pan or cupcake cups and even frying pans. Nothing sticks with this stuff!