Monday, August 25, 2014

the cake tasting went well, and I never even blogged about it!

Now, it's been weeks since the wedding and I finally and making time to talk about it

It was a lot of work. 


I can tell you now that there were several sleepless nights. I kind of think I didn't sleep at all
during my entire Fresno stay.

They "the internet" said that I should expect and plan for ANYTHING to go wrong
and so I did, and when I made those mistakes I was able to not loose my cool.

even that time I didn't realize I had forgotten to add eggs untill AFTER i pulled 
a cake out of the oven. all these things were fixable because I was anticipating them.

It was my first time ever doing something at this scale and the 14 inch cake layers really really scared me, 
but in the end everything came together. 

I did learn a few valuable lessons and there are a couple things I would do differently 
next time, but I feel like it was a success and I would do it again.


the finished product was a three tiered cake.

the top was a 6" chocolate cake with raspberry filling
the middle tier was a 10" white cake with lemon curd filling
The bottom tier was a 14" white cake with raspberry preserve filling

 it was covered in white Swiss meringue butter cream frosting. We made small fondant sunflowers
 that sat on the top tier, we pressed coconut chips onto the sides of the middle tier, and the bottom tier was 
adorned with a brown burlap ribbon. 
it all came together so nicely.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Boys Birthday party and more cakes

On the 5th of July I decided to throw a combined birthday party for the two little men in my life. 
We had some family who were in town for the long weekend and it was just the perfect time
 to test yet another cake recipe!

I whipped up an Angel food cake, so that even if the chocolate cake was a let down
we would still have something delicious to eat. luckily for all of us
the chocolate cake was a big ol delicious success

I was unsure about it because the base for this recipe is a box cake mix, but with extra ingredients
 like flour, vanilla, and even some sour cream added in to enhance the flavor and texture. 
This cake is SO MOIST!
And it's sturdy enough to stack! It would be a delicious wedding cake for sure.
All that's left is for Julie to taste some sample cakes this weekend and tell me which ones 
tickle her fancy.

I'm thinking of making these flavor combinations 

chocolate cake, with raspberry filling
white cake with raspberry filling
white cake with lemon curd filling 
white cake with chocolate mouse filling

and I'll make a Vanilla Buttercream frosting and a Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting
they are both delicious, but have different texture and a slightly different flavor profile.

note:: I realize that I only am providing one flavor option with the chocolate cake, but the raspberry 
filling was such a perfect pair with the chocolate I just don't know if I'll ever eat chocolate cake another way.
Of course, I'll do anything Julie asks for so we'll see what she thinks this weekend!

this weekend is going to be my first time smoothing fondant onto a cake
if I can't get it right I might just have to die so I really
 need you to wish me luck. 

hopefully I can take some pictures for the next post!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Julies Wedding Cake

I can't remember if I already told you about my cake resolution for this year, but I told myself 
I would make 10 bakery quality cakes. 
So far I've made one.
 Considering half the year is over, it may seem that I am slacking, 
but trust me, once birthday season hits, I will have ample opportunity to catch up. next week even I'll be
 making a cake for Cecil and Henry each so we're basically to 3 already. 

But here is my big news

On August 9th one of my BEST friends is getting married!

and I offered to make the cake.

because I am ambitious.

and because I love her.

I'm simultaneously so excited and so stressed about it. Right now it's mostly
deciding on different cake recipes, frosting recipes, and filling recipes, then test tasting them 
all while practicing decorating techniques.
 Also, lots and lots of butter.
 I want to look good for her wedding but I'm afraid I am likely to gain 10 pounds before August arrives.

I've devised a diet plan though. 

Send any and all leftover cake with Christian to work, lest it find a new home in the garbage can to avoid my mouth and ultimately my waist.

2 days ago I made a 6" practice cake. It was a  made from scratch White cake 
that would be sturdy enough to stack, and by golly I found a winner. 
It was definitely better the next day.
That could have been because it had gone fully back to room temperature (cakes are never
 as good when cold) but I also suspect that the lemon curd filling had time 
to get acquainted with those cake layers. And that frosting had turned into creamy clouds of vanilla.

 So basically,
my morning slice for breakfast was a much more dreamy bite then the freshly finished, still slightly chilled cake from the night before.

I did start to stress out when it came to frosting the cake and making perfectly smooth sides and 
sharp edges from the top. I got as close as I could to a 
perfect professional look but still wasn't happy with it so I turned to the Internet.
 The source of all things helpful when you just want to know how to do things yourself.
 I watched a couple You Tube tutorials and realized which tools I would need to get a better finished product. 

So here is to my first successful cake recipe testing and hoping for more of the same for my Chocolate cake trial this weekend.

updates to follow...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Switching Gears

I've been thinking a lot about this blog and how it just isn't very cohesive or interesting... even for me. 

I've been so uninspired by it and in return am uninspired to post anything. 
I wondered why this was, because I've been writing online journals since high-school and used to have no trouble feeling satisfied with the things I had to say and the way those things layed out on the screen. Then, last night, I went and read some old posts on my old live journal account, and it all made me super nostalgic. I noticed that my posts were completely random but they had a common theme : 

"what is on my mind riiiiight now"

I realized that that is still kind of how I've been writing posts with one important difference... I'm trying (and failing) to emulate other blogs I follow. The fact is, I'm just not a food blog, a fashion, blog, or even a lifestyle blog. That's fine! but I haven't been myself in my posts and it is showing in a really uninteresting way. when I read my recent posts it felt like I was saying things I thought I should say

 it just felt so unoriginal
so uninspiring
so insincere

But I really want to figure this thing out, because I love the idea of having a cohesive blog that I am passionate about. last night while I couldn't sleep for HOURS I thought up a solution. What do I love to do? what are my passions in this stage of life? I mean, besides the obvious which are my husband and our beautiful children, what makes me feel most fulfilled is what I do in the kitchen. I have thought a lot about blogging about food, but because I don't have a good camera or the camera skills even if I did, I've been too afraid to venture in that direction. But I've realized that those things will come in time. in the meantime, I am going to start talking about the things I love, the recipe's I'm trying, what's working, what cake I'm trying to perfect. and sprinkle in little bits of myself and my loves throughout it. 

Hopefully I can remember how to write like myself again. One day I plan to look back and feel some of that good nostalgia about this awesome time in my life that deserves to be remembered in an awesome way. so here's to that.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

early mornings

It's 6:38 as I sit here typing, and I've already been up for about an hour and a half. Despite the slight feeling that being up before the sun should be against the law, this is the second morning in a row that I've done this to myself. I wanted to start sending Christian off to work with some breakfast because, as he's proven again and again, left to his own devices it just isn't going to happen. But then waking up at 5 isn't easy for me to do, and when I'm half asleep I don't even remember what breakfast food is if I haven't already mentally prepared something pretty simple. So the idea for morning smoothies was born. Christian loves them and I feel much better about sending him off with a stomach full of fruit than a lame bowl of cold cereal. Plus, Cecil I get a smoothie out of it too! I just stick a cup full for Cecil in the freezer and wait for him to wake up. It makes the wake up grumps instantly vanish.

Another plus side to waking up at 5, I get a couple hours of quiet all to myself. I've been wasting it on Internet surfing yesterday and today, but that doesn't mean I couldn't be productive if I wanted to. It gives me time to reflect and to map out the kind of day we should have. I don't want to make any promises, but I hope I can keep this early morning routine up. I'm going to try to dig up my old camera and take some pictures of the boys today. I found another awesome park nearby and it's my favorite yet, so maybe I can get some action shots in.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I know that Valentines day is today, but I am so excited for tomorrow! We Rarely go out, but we hired a sitter for tomorrow (for the first time ever) and we're going to spend a big chunk of the day just the two of us! I love my boys so much and I'd be lying if I said I'm not nervous about a new person coming in and taking charge of them. There are just so many variables to consider. I also love my Husband very much and I miss spending time just the two of us, and I mean more than those exhausted few hours after we've put the kids to bed before we climb into bed ourselves. Our big date is going to be worth every penny we spend on that babysitter!

 tonight we have plans to make a home made pizza and try out a recipe for a cherry chip sponge cake with almond whip. I feel confident that deliciousness will ensue. I have about four hours until Christian gets home and presently the boys are both asleep (Actually, I can hear Cecil playing with his toys, but he's happy and quiet in his room) so I'm going to shower and pick out something cute to wear while I still have time, and finish that love letter before he gets home.

Monday, January 27, 2014

naptime rush

I just put both Cecil and Henry down for a nap, within 20 minutes of each other. That, my friends, has not happened around here in FAR too long. for a little while there they were on exact opposite napping schedules. One would wake up just when the other needed to go down on repeat all day, giving me very little time or energy to do the things I dislike most in life, such as clean our home. But as much as I dislike cleaning, I dislike a dirty home even worse, so in a few minutes I am going to pull on my rubber gloves and dive into the sink full of dirty dishes and tidy up the toys for the first out of 1 zillion times today.

But real quick I just wanted to make a note. Christian and I are nearly done with the most in depth budget we have ever made in our married carrier and I'm just so excited about it! we are tackling our loans with a new ferocity and our savings plan is looking better than ever. we have about 15 pages worth of goals, numbers and really a lot of math, on a clip board we've now hung in the kitchen so we don't forget about it. We didn't have time to really implement it for January, but February is right around the corner and we are like... 2 worksheets away from being ready for it ! So there is one family resolution that is on its way to fruition for this new year.

Yesterday I realized that the boys have birthdays close enough to each other that I could easily combine the two, and throw a big 'ol party for turning 1 and 2 this year! I'll just pick a weekend right in the middle of their birthdays and invite whoever will come to our house for some cake and good times! I tried for a color themed party last year (and mostly succeeded) for Cecil, but I'm not sure what I want to throw together this time, especially if its for both of them. but I suppose that is what Pinterest is good for. Last weekend we went to a 1st birthday party for a little girl, who's dad Christian works with and I was so in love with all the pink and ruffles everywhere. I really really love all the boy stuff we have in our house and when Cecil plays with his cars, trains and his Legos my heart just about melts, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not waiting for a girl so I can unload all the pink and frills I've been denied as I shop through the children's section of every store. Until then though, I've been dreaming up Adventure time themes with play swords for party favors, or decorating big cardboard boxes into race cars, and things like that.

So I guess I should add that I've failed in January to potty train Cecil. Somewhere between the holidays and now I lost my motivation and I've even put his potty chair away for now. What I have done, to make the 2 in diapers world easier, is up size Henry from a size 3 diaper to a size 4 diaper. now at least they are in the same size and we don't have to hunt for what diaper is whose anymore. so there is a plus.

I know this post was kind of everywhere but I guess that's just where my mind is this late morning. 

I'd better get to those dishes before anybody wakes up.