Wednesday, February 23, 2011

cakepops {apples and suitcases}

One of the second grade teachers at my school is retiring at the end of the week and today we threw her a little party to wish her BON VOYAGE!! I thought it appropriate to make apples and suitcase cakepops! What, truly, is more fitting for a teacher who wants to travel!!

I had the help of my wonderful assistants Sabrina, Carol, and Patty P!! Thanks ladies for making this happen!

Here are my eight favorite apples and one suitcase! I just L.O.V.E. how they are all so different!!! There were many, many more!!

So when I make cakepops I use 2x4's with holes drilled a bit bigger than the lollipop sticks for drying. It works wonderfully, they are durable, and it was all scarp wood we had lying around the house. Well...last week I broke my vase that you've become accustomed to seeing the cakepops in, the glass one with the ribbon. So I had to come up with something new and I didn't want to spend any money. My solution...

...wrap the 2x4s in wrapping paper and poke holes through for the sticks. Genius!!

It even makes for a good mode of transportation. Though, with 3 boards I had to make a few trips into school. Next time I will bring the pops all on a tray and the board in a bag :) Plus, I only drive 7 miles to that might be why they survived!

The cool apples got to sit in the front ;-)

All ready for the food!

All most all of my staff. Plus a few community members and the Superintendent.
It was a very nice party for a very nice lady :)

PS. The "timer" setting on my Canon ROCKS!!!

We decorated the library and it was a potluck event. It all turned out very nice!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

a jar full of rainbow...

Well, not really a jar but you get the picture.

I LOVE rainbows and I think rainbows go hand-in-hand with St. Patty's Day!! Now only if I was crafty enough to make a little leprechaun :)

I've tried this month to cut down on my crafting spending...I went a little crazy between November and well, the beginning of this month. In trying to work with it yet still find projects to do to make our house nice I had to think outside the box, or in this case, inside a vase.

I found the deal of the year at Craft Warehouse!! I had been thinking about getting a glass vase for decor items for a few months because of the versititly of it. Well turns out that Craft Warehouse puts their display vases/items up for sale for like 95% off! I kid you not, I bought a $22 vase for $1.99 - and I didn't even mean too!! I got up the cash register and the cashier discovered the little $1.99 sticker and said "Wow, I'm surprised you found this, usually employees snatch them right up!" Now I will forever be on the hunt for the item that looks worn and has a little, tiny sticker on it. All I had to do was wash it! That was totally worth the twenty dollar savings!

Okay...on to the project!!

I wanted to do something with rainbows. Something in my new vase. Something cheap and that I already had on hand. Somewhere from the depths it hit me...tissue paper!!!

I actually had all but one of the colors {blue} which I got pretty easily :)


In action!

This project took about 20 minutes to make - another bonus! I took half a sheet of tissue paper in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. I folded the half sheet of tissue paper into a long roll. I cut that roll into strips, held them all in my hand and snipped into about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch pieces. I should have taken step by step pictures but it was SO EASY that I kind of forgot too!

I am very happy with the results. Most of the tissue paper {except for blue} I had on hand in my wrapping paper station so that was free and then I got the stellar $1.99 deal on the vase. I'm happy because it is a rainbow decoration and I'm happy because it was cheap!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Frames ~ CLOVER

The next holiday up on the Fun Frames List is St. Patrick's Day. Well, if we are getting technical it is my birthday first, but only by one day, and I don't have enough frames to spell birthday! But don't you worry...that won't stop me from celebrating! I already have a plan in the works :)

Anyways, I asked Jason to pick the Fun Frames words this holiday season. He picked CLOVER. Personally, I was wanting to go with BLARNEY but then I bought only 3 sheets of patterned paper so that wouldn't have worked.

See, when you buy a patterned/striped paper it can only get two Fun Frames backgrounds, at most, out of a 12 X 12. It is especially true if it is stripes or something with lines.

These ones aren't my favorite. I wish the green was a bit darker and I wish I could have found more paper with clovers on the back - I only found 1 piece at 1 store :( Though I do have that already planned to use in another project I"m going to make on Monday!

Up next...Fun Frames {spring}

Thursday, February 17, 2011

cakepops {valentine's}

My Mom and I got together at her house the day before Valentine's Day to make some cakepops. We wanted to try a shape this time and obviously wanted to do a heart! My Mom had the genius idea to push the cake/frosting mix into the cookie cutter instead of hand shaping it. That ended up giving it a really defined shape. We also did regular cakepops with festive sprinkles.

We really liked how the different size sticks looked. I think I might paint some of the 2x4s I use for drying white and use them to display (especially since I broke my old one yesterday)...

We had fun coming up with messages to write!

Another thing that we tried with this batch was using Oil Food Coloring. We knew we wanted to do at least 2 colors but we didn't want to have any waste. Good thing we're creative teachers :) We used our brains and thought of the color wheel.

We used most of the white chocolate up, added more and first dyed it yellow.

We dipped about 10 cakepops in yellow.

Then we added blue because...

yellow + blue = green!

We dipped the remainder of the cakepops in green.

This was a simple and cost effective way to get 2, well technically 3, colors out of one batch!

We also tried something else..

Junior Mint Surprise!
We didn't actually remember which ones we'd put them in so I didn't get a picture of the inside!

And I almost forgot to mention I had a VERY special helper in the kitchen that day...


cookies {valentine's}...

After I was done making valentine's cakepops with my Mom I headed home to make cutout cookies with my husband. Well, I roped him into it :-) And looking back I realize now that I got my Dad to make cakepops with me and my husband to decorate cookies with me...GO ME!!

Anyways, I'd been wanting to try some outlining and flooding techniques. This was my first time and while they aren't to the calibur of one of my favorite blogs bakeat350, it is a step in the right direction.

Thanks to my husband for his help!

3 of the 4 are decorated by me. 1 of 4 by the husband!

2/3 by me :)

Teddy Bear cookie with Teddy Bear sprinkles! So adorable!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

cakepops {bunco and superbowl edition}...

After I have found out that you could indeed use frozen cake balls for cakepop making I got right to it! I had two events that weekend. One playing BUNCO with my friends from work and one watching the SUPERBOWL - GO PACKERS!!!

Dice - For BUNCO!

With a few hearts - for Valentine's

The loot. All but 4 were gone by the end of the night.

A few for the Superbowl!

Green and Gold! Go Pack!!

I love the Packers!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

colorful cakepops...

Back in December I taught a few groups of my friends how to make cakepops! I had them all make a batch of cakepops, which makes about 45 balls per batch. And there was 5 batches (mine included) from the first day and 3 batches from the second day...which is approximately 400 cake balls. OMG I did not realize that until I just did the math!

Regardless of the math it was a lot, too much in fact. I ended up with about 40 in my freezer of varying shapes, colors, and flavors. I decided to freeze them to see if it worked and this last weekend I unfroze them to see if they were still tasty...and they were!

5 flavors of fun!

I was headed to play BUNCO with some of my work friends and wanted to make a dessert but we were out of most things dessert related (eggs, flour) so I decided to finally take the cake balls out of the freezer and try it. Since it was for my friends I decided it would be okay...even if it wasn't really okay.

I took them out about an hour before I was going to dip them, another hour probably wouldn't have been a bad idea. They needed to be re-rolled to gain a round shape and in a few cases I shaped them into squares, but they turned out just fine!!

It is nice to know because now I can make cake balls, freeze them, and use them at a very different time - which to me is very exciting!

Another thing I did this time since I had so many flavors, was to try to define them my inside flavor. Personally, I like vanilla and vanilla and while I'll eat any kind of cake I will always choose vanilla! I used an ink pad that had 4 different colors in it to help people know what they were picking. I used pink for strawberry, blue for chocolate, and nothing for the vanilla. It worked pretty good though the problem was since they were in something when displayed you couldn't see what kind you were picking...they were still delicious though!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Total Baking Failure

I had my first total baking failure this weekend...and it is so frustrating!! I had made my strawberry cupcakes before. I think the difference here...last time I used fresh berries and this time I used frozen ones. They really tasted more like muffins. UG! No pictures and they don't even look pretty! Just had to vent somewhere :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bread Twists

I'd seen a recipe for Pizza Twists over at King Arthur's Flour and wanted to try my own version. We already had pizza dough in the freezer from a pizza long, long ago (maybe like 3 months) and I decided it was time to see if it was still good! I defrosted it in some luke warm water hoping that would both defrost it and wake up the yeast a little bit. Once workable I kneaded it for a few minutes to get it going.

Roll out dough into 12 by 12 inch square

2 TBSP Penzey's Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle
1 tsp dried Parsley
1 TBSP melter butter
4 TBSP Parmesan cheese

Mix ingredients together. Spread over top half of rolled out dough, fold bare half on top of mixture. Cut into 1 inch strips. TWIST. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown. Remove and serve with pizza or marinara sauce.