If you do, head on over to Jen’s blog, Here We Go Again, to read all about it!
Today’s Works for Me Wednesday takes me back to last week when I was planning Louise’s second birthday party. As I have already mentioned, I made the
mistake decision when Lulu was a year old to both bake and decorate her first birthday cake myself, thereby throwing down the proverbial gauntlet. When we asked the almost-two-year-old Louise what type of cake she would like, she initially said Cinderella. Because we prefer to delay our foray into the world of mass marketed fairytales until at least, say, the ripe old age of three, we quickly made other suggestions. Thankfully for us, two year olds are easily distracted. She suggested a “turdle” as her choice of birthday cakes, and this one we encouraged (after a delusional period when I thought I could actually make a Mother Goose cake and throw a themed party). When researching (read: surfing the internet for) ideas about how to go about constructing this cake, it occurred to me that I might be able to use a clever little tip I had tucked back in the dusty recesses of overworked mommy-brain: use an oven-safe bowl to bake a dome-shaped cake. Perfect! Also, I found this lovely specimen of a turtle cake to use as my model. After consulting with the nice guy at our local cake decorating shop, I learned that yes, indeed, this can be done, but I might want to consider using a pound cake in order to have the proper consistency for my cake. I hadn’t a pound cake mix at home, but I did have a regular boxed cake mix to which I added more flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. Times for baking a cake in a bowl are approximate, and I ended up baking mine for about 65 minutes at 325 degrees. It actually could’ve baked for another 5-10 minutes, but it was getting a little too brown on top by then, so I took it out. This cake was actually one of the easier ones I’ve ever decorated, and while it’s not professional quality, I think Louise was pleased. That works for me!
For more hints and tips to make your life easier, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer.
How many of you like baking on baking stones? I do! I confess, I had owned a Pampered chef round stone for several years and had not used it much until recently when I began making homemade pizza regularly. I earned one of each of the bar pans at a Pampered Chef home show I recently had, so when I decided to make M & M cookies last week, I knew I would bake them on my large bar pan. However, as I often do, I miscalculated the time it would take me to bake several pans of cookies, so I was rather impatient to take them up once they came out of the oven. I did wait approximatley ten or so minutes, but because the bar pan retained a good bit of heat, the cookies were still too warm for my rather thick spatula to slide underneath them without tearing them to pieces and mushing them up. Then I had a brainstorm! Pampered Chef stones come with a nylon scraper which is used to scrape food off the stone since the stones are not supposed to be washed with dish soap. I took out my handy little nylon scraper (which is very thin) and used it as a little spatula for the cookies! I was rather proud of myself for thinking of this! I know this tip is rather obscure, but maybe some of my dear readers will find it useful.
This is my first week to join in Menu Plan Monday, but not my first week to plan our menu. I do this almost every week, though it’s a rare week that we stick to the plan every night.
Here’s what’s cookin’ this week:
Monday: leftover chili and hotdogs from Louise’s birthday party
Wednesday: leftovers from Tuesday night
Thursday: pinto beans and cornbread
Friday: homemade pizza
Each night these meals will be accompanied by the requisite sweet tea. I’ve been on quite a baking kick lately, so we’ll see what else I end up stirring up.
What about you? What’s on your menu this week? Head on over to I’m an Organizing Junkie to share your menu!
Because sometimes I find it difficult in my
frantic chaotic normal life with two small children to sit down and actually write a new blog entry, I am relying on others to supply the theme for me as often as possible! : ) Thus, I am joining Amy over at Tiny Blessings in her Sunday Scrappin’ carnival. The idea here is to share your craft-related “TA-DAs” for the week as well as your “TO-DOs.”
I have been a scrapbooker for almost nine years now. The two things that have changed my scrapbooking the most are having children and using a digital camera. Now I have more pictures than I could possibly EVER scrapbook, so I pick and choose what I put into my albums (focusing mainly on day to day stuff, like funny things the girls say, etc.) and I scrapbook only a fraction of the pictures I take. However, the one scrapbooking goal I have consistently held for myself since I’ve had children is having an up-to-date birthday album each time a birthday rolls around. Well, Louise’s second birthday party was yesterday, so this week I was racing the clock to get her album finished. I like to keep the cards the girls receive for their birthdays and include them in their album, so this is what I came up with this week for Louise’s album:
We have had three new families move into our neighborhood in the past few weeks, and thanks to Meredith at Like Merchant Ships, I’ve decided to be hospitable and welcome these new families to our neighborhood. I baked M&M cookies on Wednesday and made these cards on Thursday:
I used scraps of Cosmo Cricket paper and Close to My Heart alphabet stamps on these small cards. However, we have had a difficult time finding time as a family to take these small gifts around to our new neighbors because of last week’s birthday festivities, so it looks like I’ll be baking something else to take to them this week. Steady Eddie hasn’t seemed to mind eating the M&M cookies!
As far as TO-DOs for this week, I would be thrilled to finish Louise’s second year in terms of pictures I’ve already printed from before her birthday. I have at least three more layouts to do. This looks like it will be a busy week, though, with church and family commitments, so I’ll have to see if I can fit in some scrappin’ time.
Amy asks this question on this week’s Sunday Scrappin’ blog:
What is your favorite scrappy craft– scrapping, stamping, card making, or something else?
The answer to this question is probably obvious: scrapping is my favorite craft, ‘though I occasionally dabble in cardmaking. I feel much more inspired and energized when there are pictures and stories involved, though, so I mainly stick to scrappin’.
If you’re a crafter, head on over to Sunday Scrappin’ to share your TA-DAs and TO-DOs!