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Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

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!

Red Velvet Delight

In cake, Dessert on February 3, 2011 at 3:18 am

I recently decided to cut my hair. All of it. At first, I hesitated making the big cut because my mom (as you can see in the previous post) has a pixie cut. On my most recent visit to see my parents, I repeatedly heard the phrase “Mirror mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all.” This is true in more way than one. I LOOOOOVVVEEE Red Velvet cake….so does my mother. We delight in tasting different varieties at various restaurants and have done so for years. A few months ago, I found a recipe online that was quite different from others I had seen. Once I altered it a little and combined it with some other recipes, I decided it was ready to be shared.

I was asked to make a cake for our friend, Austin’s birthday party. As it turns out, he also is a Red Velvet fan! I must say, my cream cheese frosting was exquisite. Take a look: