Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wedding Anniversary- Random Pics

Today is my first wedding anniversary so I decided to share some really random pictures. We had a really small, thrown together in two weeks wedding. And no, I wasn't pregnant :) Planning was really stressful and there was a lot of negativity from several people that wasn't helpful at all. Finally I got fed up and asked Colin if we could just go to the courthouse and get it over with. Great attitude, huh? I was past my breaking point. He said that his parents wanted a wedding but when he mentioned the courthouse idea to them, they understood but suggested that we do it at our church. I wasn't going to wear a wedding dress, we weren't going to have a reception, and it was going to be immediate family only. Somehow in two weeks, I did wear a wedding dress, we had a small reception, and around fifty people were there. The best part about it was one of my best friends from high school was able to marry us. That was really special. Although I had always dreamed of having that "Father of the Bride" type wedding, when it was all said and done, Colin and I both said that we wouldn't do it any differently if we could go back and do it again.
Most embarrassing picture ever. This was the night before the wedding at mine and Colin's favorite mexican restaurant, Los Tres Amigos. Those are two of my best friends and we were dancing. Now you know I am a dork.
All anyone reading this blog cares about, the cake! It fell over about 40 seconds after this picture was taken. True. Story.
One of my sisters. She is honestly the cutest two year old (that wasn't two yet) in existence. She was obsessed with the flowers.

Okay, maybe one picture I don't look horrible in:
Yep, you can barely see my face. See what I am trying to tell you here? I looked bad in all of them. :( I blame it on the lighting :) 
That is my mother-in-law in the picture with me. I know you can't see her face either but trust me, she is gorgeous. 

And just because:

The only picture I have of our first date.

Us getting engaged

Happy Anniversary Colin! Thanks for making this the best year of my life. Looking forward to many more with you :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Purple Birthday Cake

This cake was for a coworker. His daughter had a birthday coming up so me and Jamie offered to make the cake. However, Jamie's sister went into labor in Florida and she had to rush there, leaving me to make this cake alone... I may still be bitter about that :)

The week that I made this cake was bad. I was tired, stressed, and overworked. I didn't want to do anything but sleep.  My coworker called and said that since Jamie was out of town and I didn't have any help, he would just pick up a cake at Wal-Mart. "Thank God!" I screamed inwardly. I went to bed. I woke up around 1a.m. (as I always do if I let myself fall asleep before midnight), walked into my kitchen, and looked at all of the supplies I had already purchased for the cake. I figured I might as well finish it so that is what I did. I finished the cake. I filled it with chocolate pudding and frosted it with buttercream. You can see that at this point I still had a problem with not using enough buttercream. I used teal fondant accents and piped Happy Birthday with buttercream. 

This was a big cake. It was three layers and it took forever to eat. Luckily Colin's brother was staying with us at the time and he was able to help with that :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

What's Baking?-Vanilla Cupcakes

This is my first month participating in the What's Baking Challenges! The challenges are decided by different members of the group each month and February was chosen by Dunne at With a Cherry On Top. The theme is "Baked With Love" and these cupcakes were baked with plenty of it!
I also really loved eating them. :)

Vanilla Cupcakes:

1/2 cup butter- Room Temp
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 large egg Whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

1. Preheat the your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your muffin pans by putting a liner in each cup. You will need two 12-cup pans as this recipe makes 24 cupcakes. You can use the same pan twice, it will just slow you down a little bit. 
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg whites, one at a time, until well combined and light. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape the bowl.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and add, a little at a time, into the butter mixture. Mix for around two minutes. Add milk gradually and beat at high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste the batter. It is delicious. Don't take my word for it, go ahead, try it for yourself.
4. Spoon half of the mixture into a large pastry bag. Cut off the tip of the bag and twist the top, making sure the air is out of the bag. Use the pastry bag to neatly and uniformly distribute the batter into the paper liners.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes. Oven times vary but mine were done at exactly twenty minutes, exactly like the book said. 
6. Cool the pan on a wire rack for ten minutes. Using a small spatula  or knife, remove the cupcakes from the pan. Finish cooling on wire racks.
7. Frost as desired.

The frosting I used was a simple chocolate frosting recipe from

  • Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • Directions:
  • In a large bowl, beat margarine and cocoa together until combined. Add milk and vanilla; beat until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until desired consistency is achieved. Adjust with more milk or confectioners' sugar if necessary.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Flip Flop Cake

My second cake. Made in June of 2010.

Just a few weeks after the Blue Jeans Cake that I made, Jamie asked me to make a cake for our friend Melissa's birthday. Still looking for something easy but desiring a little bit more of a challenge, we decided to make a flip flop cake together. Melissa loves flip flops. She lives in them. She was known to take her business shoes off and wear flip flops around the office fairly often!

We watched this video and used this template.

If you notice, the flowers are completely different sizes. We had never made flowers before so they are laughable but we tried! This was also the first cake that I filled. We used a nutella buttercream filling and chocolate cake. The sand is brown sugar. Everyone loved the cake, it was delicious!


If you have never leveled a cake before, a cake leveler is a great investment! It really helped me out when I almost ruined this cake. They are only a couple of dollars.

Pipe a line of buttercream around the outside of your cake board so that brown sugar sand does not fall off when you are transporting the cake.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blue Jeans Cake

I showed this cake in my very first blog post but I thought I would dedicate a post to each of the cakes that I have made. The most recent cake that I made was this one that did not turn out so well but let's start at the very beginning, shall we?

I stayed up all night watching youtube videos on cake decorating one night and couldn't get it out of my head. I had always watched cake decorating shows and thought I would love to do that but never really looked into it. Watching youtube videos with real people decorating cakes in their own kitchens really made me think about it though and I started considering the fact that maybe I really could do it.

My friend Jamie was about to graduate college and said that I should practice by making her a cake. I was nervous but went back to youtube to find something that seemed manageable for a first attempt. I then came across this video.

Jamie is a total hippy at heart so I decided that I would make her a bell bottom jeans cake.
This was the first time that I had even heard about things like "crumb coating" or "piping".

I also made her these cookies:
I did a few graduation hats but the others were "Peace, Love, and Happiness" themed. I had never even heard of royal icing at this point. These cookies are decorated with a glaze made from powdered sugar, milk, and food coloring.

If you have never decorated a cake before, even something that is considered to be so simple can intimidate you. I know it intimidated me! My number one tip for a beginner (or really all cake decorators) is give yourself enough time. Start early, stay up late, do whatever you have to do to not be rushing right before you need to deliver or serve the cake.

Practice your piping on a napkin or paper plate to make sure that you have cut the right size hole in your pastry bag. If you are using a tip, it is still a good idea to practice first, just to make sure you have the hang of it. I would like to say my piping has improved dramatically since this cake but I really have a long way to go and a lot practicing to do.

Crumb Coats are really important because they catch all of the crumbs so that your final coat of frosting is smooth. Do not skip the crumb coat!

The hardest thing for me was getting the final coat of frosting smooth. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong, I had done the crumb coat and chilled the cake for the right about of time. I now know that I was not using enough buttercream. Don't be shy with your buttercream! It is easier to get it smooth if you have plenty to spread around.

Don't be ashamed to use the template provided here.

Don't expect perfection your first (or sixtieth) time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anything Look Different?

Well it should! I love the new blog design and I hope you do too! Becca from Jumping Jax Designs was so accommodating and didn't even yell when I asked her to change things! She was a joy to work with and I highly recommend her. I still have to work on my other pages in my menu bar, don't click on them yet, they are empty! Lol!

Hope everyone is staying warm out there!

We have almost made it to the weekend :)
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