Memorial Day Topsy Turvy-ness!

I’ve wanted to attempt a topsy turvy cake for awhile… It’s probably well above my current skill-set since I can barely trim a cake level but I was itching to try anyways. There are TONS of issues with it but I’m pretty happy since it was a first time. Since it was Memorial weekend figuring out a theme was easy. :D

I need to learn patience for sure… I rush through cutting and get frustrated. Since my cuts are not very good then I can’t get it smooth when icing. Since it’s not smoothly iced the fondant won’t have nice edges. So if step one isn’t perfect none of the following can really fix it. Live and learn though… I have learned I do not like wooden dowels! That was the first and last time I’m using them. I found some plastic ones online I’m going to try next time.

I liked my little topper a lot. That’s another thing I have been wanting to try. I’m never much a fan on Michael’s but for finding the wire and beads it was a good trip. From now own though I’ll order the wire online, tons more color options.

The white fondant is home made marshmallow while the colors stuff is Satin Ice. The cake is just chocolate and vanilla, I like fail-safe flavors. :)

So I dedicate my little creation to my husband in Afghanistan and his Marines. :D However, since they can’t enjoy it my coworkers will have to take it off my hands!

Black & White Weekend

So these were the projects from 3 weekends ago. Since my weekends are kinda open with my husband being deployed it’s the perfect opportunity for me to work on decorating uninterrupted. We have a 3000 sq-ft home yet we both hover in the kitchen and living room which essentially means we are using about 700 sq-ft of our living space, HAH. Which makes sitting in front of a cake for hours difficult!

Anyways, the first one I made for my neighbors. They are about as awesome as neighbors can get! They are always taking packages left on our front steps by Fed-Ex and placing them out of street view since we have had stuff stolen before… We live in a super nice area too! Never would have figured we’d have this kind of theft but I guess you can’t do too much about random people following delivery trucks. So our neighbors look our for us big time and additionally they watch Meeps, our little kitty.

Their daughter just celebrated her 21st birthday too, so I wanted to make them a “Thank You” and “Happy Birthday” cake. I got the theme idea from KristaKakes78 on cakecentral.com.

And this next cake I wanted to have something to take to work. I like taking cakes to work, people seem to enjoy free sugar. :) I had never made a 3 tiered cake before and I had a lot of black fondant left over from the other cake. Normally I make my fondant but I was too scared to try and color something black… and I had never used store bought fondant before and was curious how it felt compared to mine. I like mine better…

Anyways I got the idea from the book “Cake Decorating Skills” by Tracey Mann. This was also my first attempt at fondant flowers. I am really happy with how they turned out!

I wasn’t sure how to get the black flower dark black again after rolling it out with the confectioner’s sugar… So that’s something to work on next time! The cake was devoured before lunchtime though so that made me happy!

Smiles! Packed and Shipped!

So today I sent the cookies packing! Er I packed the cookies up and sent them on their way?… The cookies have left the building.

I’ll be thankful if just one makes it there intact. From searching around the net I see lots of ways to pack cookies up but I am in the unique position of trying to fit it in a flat rate box so it can be shipped overseas and still cost under $15 a box.

Here is my current method (which may need adjusting after my husband tells me how the cookies fared in their journey).

Firstly I get the free large flat rate FPO boxes from the post office. I order the packs of 25 because they deliver them to your doorstep and I cut up some of the boxes to help while packing.

I put the cookies in the little tin pans you can buy at the grocery store. They square ones fit into the boxes pretty well and are also the perfect size for how I seal them up further down in this post.

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I layer the bottom of the tin with my first set of cookies!

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Next I put a layer of parchment paper between the layers of cookies so they don’t stick to each other.

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I continue layering them up until I reach the top of the tin. Generally 3-4 layers.

From here I use my awesome FoodSaver… Funny thing about the FoodSaver…. When I started dating my husband and we had our first Christmas together I asked him for a FoodSaver with the intentions of vacuum sealing cookies for him while he was deployed. It took nearly 3 years for him to deploy since that Christmas and now it is finally being used for it’s intended purpose! Anyways, as I mentioned above I love the little square tins because they fir PERFECTLY in the 11 inch FoodSaver bags.

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Here is everybody lined up and sealed away!

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Onto the packing! I generally use reusable bags when I go to the grocery store but every time I’m about to send a package I use plastic bags (and snag a few extra) and use them for cushioning. I ball up 3-4 on the bottom of the box.

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Then I cut up an extra large box to a piece that I can fit inside the built up box I am shipping and place that over the bags.

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Time to place a tin of cookies in! And cushion all around the exterior of it with more plastic bags.

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Then I place another cut up box insert on top of the first layer and repeat the process until there is just a little space left until the box is full. Then more plastic bags on top to cushion the top part of the box.

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And I’m done! Just need to close it up and tape it shut!

Smile!

I have some time on my hands right now. My husband us a USMC Logistics Officer and he is currently deployed to Afghanistan. It is the first time he has deployed since we have been together, it’s not so horrible but I definitely need to find things to do to pass the time… Other than cleaning, that’s just not fun.

While I mostly am interested in cake decorating those just aren’t practical to ship 7000+ miles! So I have been forced into the cookie realm. I’m not sure what I think of it yet… Dough and I don’t quite understand each other currently. Hopefully that will work itself out over time. Nevertheless, as I enjoy decorating, drop cookies just weren’t doing it for me. So I decided to try flood icing cookies.

Trying to come up with ideas for a Marine is difficult. Flowers and cutesie things just don’t really cut it. My first attempt of flood icing cookies was about 3 weeks ago… I made hearts but it as our first anniversary so it was an excusable shape! This time I got my inspiration from a stuffed TY happy face ball I was sending off to him. Why and I sending off a TY stuffed “animal”?… He was mentioning he was having a few stressful days and I saw this little yellow smiley face plush ball staring at me in Hallmark…While it was making me smile I thought he may enjoy throttling it across the room to relieve some stress. Plushies never hate you no matter how much you abuse them!

So, there you have it. Smiley face cookies. How can you smile when you see these little guys just waiting to be eaten!

I need to find a better picture management plugin but this will do for now.

Next post I’ll show how I packed them up for their nearly 8000 miles journey!

New Blog!

Welcome to my NEW blog! Hopefully this one lasts longer than the others I have done in the past, LOL! This one shall be all about my baking-ness, hence the nifty name. :D

I’ll have to start on a new theme in the near future but for right now this one I found will work.

Now, on to filling it up!