Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's my Bloggy(versary)!!!

It's been a year (well, in all honesty the 29th will be a year) since my very first post. I started this blog as a way for me to rediscover myself as something more than a stay at home Mother and to find a creative outlet in order to document my adventures in baking, decorating and creating. 

Along the way I  discovered a passion I never knew existed within me,  started a business and met some amazing people with many of the same interests as me.

I had so many plans for this upcoming year, for my business, for this site.....but those plans went along the ways of this old expression.

"Make plans and God Laughs"

Timmy Jr.
That is the long and the short of it, as about 6 months ago I found out that I was preggers with my third child, which changed EVERYTHING....in awesome, amazing, miraculous way.

So here I am one year later, hanging up my apron, not permanently but until my pregnancy is over as I discover all the many other branches that have sprouted from my creativity tree along this journey.And as we approach yet another celebration of freedom for this upcoming 4th of July I thought I would share this little dessert with you!

I first saw a version of this via pinterest.....and from the first look I was hooked and HAD to make them.The original fabulous version can be found on the site Banner Boutique (as well as the full instructions on how to make them) although I did make a few small changes and served them as a dessert for father's day.

But I saw the potential in how versatile they could be a decided to dress them up a bit for the 4th of July.

These are super de duper easy to make. The original recipe calls for simple sugar cookie dough (Pillsbury), which can be bought pre-made and found in the refrigerated aisle in most grocery stores. To make the cups you will need a mini cupcake/muffin pan.

I made a few changes starting with making my own cookie dough. I used LilaLoa's End All Chocolate Cookie dough recipe, which is hands down the BEST chocolate cookie I have ever eaten. You can find the recipe {HERE}.

You just roll out a ball a little less than an inch and and press the dough into the cupcake slots, molding it to the pan and bake for about 6 minutes

For the filling I also used a fruit dip which is made simple by mixing together.....

  • 7 ounces of marshmallow fluff and 
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese 
  • 1 tsp. of Vanilla extract or whatever flavoring you choose
  • End result is ......Fabulous!

Fill a plastic baggie or decorating bag with filling  snip off the end and pipe into the cups. The rims of the chocolate sugar cookie cups are dipped in a bit of white chocolate (because let's be honest... cookies just taste better with chocolate) and sprinkled on some red and blue sanding sugar. To finish them off I added in some fresh raspberries and blueberries and a sprinkling of sanding sugar to kick up the whole patriotic red, white and blue color theme.

I found the stars and striped miniature cupcake wrappers at my local grocery store, but you could use simple red, white or blue miniature wrappers if you can't find 4th of July themed ones.

Simple, easy, bite sized and fantastically delicious ! I'm thinking there is no better way to sweeten up your fourth of July celebration!!

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Make Super Mario Brothers Cupcakes {Mario}

So I'm still here, still pregnant and still trying not to go stir crazy.

I actually made these a while back and since I'm not doing as much baking I though that NOW would be a good time to finally just put together a tutorial on them.

Mind you these are only for Mario, I will post a how to for Luigi at another time. But if you can make Mario...you'll easily be able to make Luigi.

These are actually very easy to make, but do take a bit of time. If you look at the picture below, you can see that he is essentially just a variety of everyday shapes put together. So try to look at him in that way and the rest is a breeze!

I make these a day or so in advance to ensure that they are dry enough. If they are to soft they won't hold their shape well and will be a bit limp

This is what you will need to make them.....
  • Fondant 
  • Red, Black, Peach & Brown gel food coloring
  • A Circle cutter (Or something circular)
  • A large decorating tip and a regular sized tip or whatever else you can use. 
  • Black food marker or a food safe paint brush
  • A small flower cutter (see image below)
I would suggest reading  this whole post before deciding whether you think you can make these or not.  Many of the decorating items you may not have handy are things that you can "improvise" with whatever you find around the house. 

Meaning you will probably find most of what you need in your kitchen and if needed look through your kids Play Doh cutter collection :) just be sure to wash everything before you use them.

I buy fondant from my local craft store, I just haven't found a need to make my own yet. The brand I use is Wilton and with a coupon, you can usually get it at a very decent price at any craft store. 

Before you roll and cut anything you need to prepare your fondant. You will five separate colors of black, red, peach (flesh), brown and white(uncolored). So get those ready and set aside in plastic bags. Fondant dries out when it is exposed to air, so keep it well wrapped until you are ready to use it.

Roll out your flesh colored fondant and use the circle cutter to cut out his face, the size should be small enough, so that it covers the top of a cupcake. If you don't have a circle cutter, you can use the top of a drinking glass or something circular. I rolled this part out a bit thick, since it is the main component of the topper. If you find that the fondant is getting too sticky, sprinkle some cornstarch or powdered sugar on your work surface

Cut out as many faces as you think you will need, plus an additional one or two as "just in case" toppers. Set to the side. Next roll out more of the flesh colored fondant and take your large decorating tip to cut out small circles. These are going to be his ears so two for each face is what you will need.

When they are all cut out, you will begin to attached them to the face. FLIP over each face and attach an ear to each side of the circle. Just position each circle halfway onto his head. You can use a dab of water to adhere the ears.

After both ears are attached flip his face back over. 

To make his nose roll out a length of flesh colored fondant and cut into equal sized pieces, roll them into a roundish shape to form his nose.

You can attach these to his face with a small dab of water or even corn syrup. Use a food safe paintbrush so you don't get the fondant too wet or it will get all sorts of messy. After all the noses have been added, you can set the faces aside as you work on the rest of elements  It's okay if they dry out a little ,I find them easier to work with in this way.

To make his eyes roll out a length of white fondant and cut it into equal parts. Cut the smaller pieces into two. Roll them into oval balls. Smoosh them down with your finger and you have the whites of his eyes ready. Place aside.

To make his pupils roll out your black fondant and use a small decorator tip to cut out his pupils. I used a #12 tip. Set aside until you put all the pieces of his face together.

Next you can start on his mustache. Roll out you r brown colored fondant and use the medium sized flower cutter from Wilton or anything that remotely resembles Mario's mustache and cut out the shape. Use a large decorators tip to cut the curved top of the mustache out. Put these to the side when done.

To make the side burns cut out a small circle using a a decorators tip.

Cut the bottom of the circle's with the decorators tip.

Then cut two equal portions from this circle to get the sideburns.You can do this for his eyebrows as well...just make them much smaller.

At this point you can start putting his face together, before you start on his hat. Using a small amount of water attach all the pieces of his face with a food safe paintbrush.

To make his hat, roll out your red fondant and using the same circle cutter as his face.

Using the cutter, cut the bottom portion of the circle.

It will resemble the shape of a football.

Take this part and fold it in two.

On the other part of the circle, brush the edge with some water and attach  the folded part. 

Mold it into the hat brim.

With these formed you can roll out a length of white fondant and cut into equal parts, roll into balls and squish them to make the circles for his hat. Attach with a dab of water. I typically wait till the white circle has dried out a little before writing the "M" onto it with my food safe marker. You can also paint the "M" on using a food safe paint brush a black food coloring.

To add the hats to the face, brush the top of Mario's head with water and attach the hats to the face.

Do this for all of the Mario's and set aside to dry. I usually let them set overnight.

When they have dried. Frost your cupcakes and sprinkle with some colored confetti, sprinkles or sanding sugar and attach your toppers! Because the toppers are dried, I have no problems when storing the cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Good Job!!! Now go show off all your hard work and soak up the praises....you deserve them :)

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail me!

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Easy Father's Day gift under $5.00

Father's day is a tough "gift" day, in that my hubbers has about everything he ever wanted and he certainly doesn't need anything. So shopping around for holidays, birthdays and special ocassions becomes somewhat of a challenge.

There  have been more than a few moments when I had to downright tell him to NOT to buy himself anything, because I knew a birthday or something was coming up.

I wasn't going to post anything else this week, but then I ran across this awesome tidbit through Pinterest and an idea was formed. It's a solution you can prepare at home with a few everyday items, which is supposed to help take off a layer of skin from your feet.

So I I decided to incorporate it into a little gift with a coupon attached for a home spa foot treatment and  foot massage.

Basically this is what you would need...

  • Listerine
  • Shaving Cream
  • Lotion
  • I also included a nail brush...for effect :)
All these items can be bought at a drug store or grocery store in the trial size/travel section for less than $.99 cents each. I think the total was a little over $4.00 with tax. 

I wrapped it, which you can do in any way you please and attached a coupon to it with yellow ribbon.

I love coming up with my own gift ideas and this version that includes a coupon isn't far off from many of the gifts I gave my own father growing up.

No, I didn't give my father foot rubs...his coupons were more in the realm of mow lawn, keep my room clean, do the dishes...blah, blah, blah :)

You can make this too, just print out the coupon {HERE} and put together your own fun, extra foot massage kit!

*******I need to let you know that I tried the idea I found on Pinterest and it DID NOT work...his feet just smelled like Listerine and were wrinkly. So just go with a good foot massage and some nice smelling lotions :)

 It was also designed to match the Free Father's Day Printable Party Pack, shown below, which if interested can be printed from  {HERE} and {HERE}.

I don't think you will get any complaints about this...more likely requests for more coupons.

Hope you enjoyed this! If you have any question, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Father's Day Printable Package {FREE}

As I mentioned in a few of my older posts due to my pregnancy, I have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

It is in the very least annoying, but does have it's many perks.
  • I eat better.
  • Baby gets optimum nutrition.
  • I feel a million and one times better than I normally do.
But with that said...I miss baking fun treats and I miss decorating them AND I miss the creative outlet it gave me.


BUT I have discovered that there are other ways I can get my crafty, artsy fix going and one in which we all win.


Well yes....Since I am hosting a Father's Day Partay next weekend to celebrate all the awesomeness that is my hubbers and my children's Father as well as my own Dad, I decided to make all the fun decorations to kick up the appreciation level just a little, instead of all my usual baking and decorating.

And you can print the party pack out for you own use for free as well!!

This is what is included....

A "Happy Father's Day" Bunting.

A "DAD" sign.......I put mine in a frame, because I think it makes it pop a bit more, but you could also mount it onto something. It adds a little something to a dessert table or even a special breakfast celebration.

A folded tent card to match the sign.....I made this for my little ones to fill out and give to their Daddy. It's  empty inside, so consider it a blank canvas in which you can let your imagination run wild on; drawings, pictures of family, whatever you fancy!

Cupcake wrappers.....

These can also be used to wrap muffins or small fruit cups, if you choose to make a special breakfast.

Cupcake Toppers....

These also can be used to dress up a big fluffy stack of pancakes.....

All these can be printed out for free for your own use from {HERE} and {HERE}

You can use any paper, but I used a thicker paper, similar to a card stock because it's more resilient. I used simple string to hang the flag banner, and candy sticks for the cupcake toppers! To attach everything I used a glue gun. You could use anything, I just found it faster and easier!

I hope you enjoy this free printable pack I put together! If you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment below! 

I would also LOVE to hear your feedback on this one...hopefully all good :) 

Enjoy! And Happy Father's Day to all those amazing Daddy's out there!

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