Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Twilight and Moonlight

First up....A Twilight Themed Party! I was asked to make a red velvet tiered "wedding cake" for the Grand Opening Night of the movie, Twilight. This was a really fun project to do. The crest took a good hour and a half to make, so if you are planning on doing this, allow plenty of time! :) I carved it out of fondant, and then piped on "Cullen" and the clovers with icing.

Ahh. The completed crest.

The finished product

Next, we have a Moon and Stars themed baby shower. My friend Leah showed me these cute ideas that she wanted for the cake/cupcakes, and here are the final results! The cupcakes were chocolate, and the cake is a pumpkin spice cake that was SO easy to make--not entirely from scratch--but oh so moist and delicious! Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2010/11/pumpkin-gingerbread-cake-with-spiced.html 

Top view

The cake was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant, and the large moon was made out of gumpaste.

Congratulations to Kristen and Ben and little Sam on the way!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A "Woodland Tea" Shower

It was Lizzy's turn to have a baby shower, so the girls and I worked hard on establishing a theme that would incorporate all of Liz's favorites! Since Liz loves camping we decided on having an outdoor shower, and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect fall day. Our theme involved a tea luncheon with homemade soups and "make your own paninis" over an open fire. Thanks to Pinterest, Alicia and I made most of the decorations and had so much working on creative projects for our Liz.

Going along with the camping theme, we decided to have a "Trail Mix Bar" where each guest could fill her own  mason jar with her favorite trail mix blend. Alicia made the pretty pine cone garlands behind the table.

She also stamped these little owls (which were also used on the invitation envelopes) onto the tags.

I made these brown paper bag flowers using the tutorial on this website:
And they were really simple to make!

More outdoor decor

Our tea place settings
Little touches

Paninis cooking in the mountain pie makers!
Our S'more Table
Peanut Butter Smidgens (Liz's fav!!)

At our block decoration station, we used paint, mod podge, and scrapbook paper to create fun personalized blocks for Lizzy's soon-to-be little girl!

Blocks ready to be painted
The ladies adding their creative touches
A finished block

Cake time! Liz and her hubby are fascinated by owls, so I decided to do an owl cake for her. The cake was a chocolate pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting...not sure how much the fondant liked being on the cream cheese icing...but at least these owls made it for the length of the shower! :)

Look whoooo's having a baby!!

Congratulations Lizzy! We love you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Creations

First up: Apple Pie!

My friends and I have a tradition of apple picking each fall and then making yummy apple desserts. This time I tried a new recipe from the Taste of Home baking cookbook. The caramel praline topping was quite delicious!

Apple pickin' time
Cameo Apples

All ready to be baked
Good Ole' Apple Pie

Fair Time!
Joel, my friends, and I love the fair season here in Lancaster County. We always like to enter our crafts and desserts each year. Here is the cake that I made for the Hershey's Chocolate Cake Contest.

Chocolate Covered Oreo :)

Joel's Birthday!
Happy Birthday to Joel! Banana Cake for your birthday was always a tradition in my family growing up, so I've kind of started adding it to ours too. :) Joel loves to fish, so I made him a fishie cake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Story of Irene & a Whimsical Wedding

Sometimes, life has a way of just being funny. You can plan and plan, but sometimes things  (like a Hurricane, perhaps) can just sweep in and stir things up a bit! Here's the story:

My friends, Josh & Jaclyn were planning their wedding day for Monday, August 29th, and they graciously asked me to do their wedding cake. This was my very first wedding, so I was a whole range of emotions from thoroughly excited to entirely scared on any given day up until the wedding. Josh & Jaclyn are such wonderful, creative people and chose a theme that would be whimsical and fun! We planned out the cake, and this week, I started on the creative process. I made several flowers and rocks out of gumpaste earlier in the week and also made a small lantern, that would serve as their "topper."

Some of the Gumpaste Flowers & Hearts

The Lantern

Thankfully, I have a sister who is sometimes much wiser than I! We were talking briefly about the evil, impending Irene, and she mentioned how they were predicting power outages, and to get plenty of water, and la-de-da...And I thought, "Power outages??? What?!?!"  The thought really hadn't occurred to me, and I wasn't really thinking we'd be affected that much out here in Lancaster. Well, I heeded her advice, and decided to make and bake everything else that needed electricity all day on Saturday! And I am GLAD I DID...

Getting ready to bake some cakes!

We woke up at midnight to no power. Well, it'll probably come on in the morning, right? Hmmm, try Monday morning instead! The typical list maker that I am, had made up lists of things to accomplish on the cake every day. And Sunday's list was rather long...and I needed light...and I needed running water.

Joel's parents live nearby, and thankfully, they had power! So, we gathered up the cake entourage (and let me tell you, there was a LOT of cake stuff to transport), loaded everything into our car in the wind and rain, and set up shop at his parents' house. We spent a good 6 hours there, filling and decorating cupcakes, filling and preparing the cakes to make them "topsy-turvy" and then covering them with fondant.

Getting all set up! I had just covered the cake board in fondant and then hot-glued some dark purple ribbon around the edges.

Filling the cupcakes with Oreo Filling

Cupcakes Completed!

Peanut Butter Filling for the middle tier
Doesn't this look like a giant whoopie pie??

Oreo Filling for the top and bottom tiers
This is also the first step in making a cake "topsy-turvy." You slice a layer in half diagonally, and then flip it around so that the thick ends are on top of each other.

Top tier with the "crumb coat" of icing on top

All 3 ready to go!

Cutting out the inside so that the other layers will sit "flat" inside of this cake

Covering the cake with fondant

When we got back home to no power, I was kind of disappointed. I had really wanted to finish the cake here at our house, instead of loading everything back up again. Then, our Amish neighbor came over and gave us a super bright battery-operated light to use. Again, life is funny...our neighbors who never use electricity came over to share their light with us. :) So, I was encouraged, that at least I would have light for the next day.

And then, at midnight, Joel woke me up quite happily to inform me that the power was ON! Hoorrray! I love electricity and water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday morning, we layered the cake, and then the fun decorating process began! A waterfall, vines, and flowers slowly started making their way onto the cake.

Joel helped me out by cutting wooden dowels to place between the layers for support.

Waterfall time!

The first few branches

Vines completed

Making leaves with this awesome mold that I found at Michaels!
Adding rocks and grass
Painting the water with an edible "shimmer" dust
Adding flowers and leaves

Here are some views of the cake

By 2:00, the cake was done and ready to get driven out to the wedding. (Joel and I will add that driving a wedding cake to a location far away is not our idea of a good time...We were both quite nervous!)
Nevertheless, the cake arrived in one piece, and all was well. I am so thankful for all of Joel's help and support throughout the whole process, and I am thankful that God provided for everything that I needed, "just in time." :)

Congratulations to Josh & Jaclyn!!
The End!