Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Okay To Be Takei!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I adore Star Trek. Yes, me. A chic that loves Star Trek. We are not that rare. In fact there are a slew of us out there who love it! And not just for the Captains but for the other officers as well! Even those beloved Red Shirts. Hey, is there a girl out there that can resist the underdog. We know he is going to die but we still gasp in horror each time one does.

Anywho, back on track..or Trek in this case. (Haha, I made a funny.) I love Star Trek, very much and with that comes loving a certain awesome actor and no I don't mean Shatner. Heck I don't even mean Mr. Live Long And Prosper. 

I mean the "Oh My!" man himself, Mr. George Takei! Seriously, this guy just rocks! On every level, in every way, in any format. It's George Freaking Takei! That man that defines Fabulous! 

And speaking of Fabulous! (Yeah, bad segway.) Takei and I have something in common, other than thinking he is the bees knees. (What ever the hell that is.) We believe in equal rights. Especially for the LGBT community. 

And well Takei, being the awesome man he is, found a way to combat against the hatred this community faces on a daily basis. It is called....

Wait for it....

It's Okay to be Takei!

Yeah, I rainbowed that, got a problem with it? Tough!

So, anywho.

Awesome man!
Awesome idea!
and now....
Awesome cookies!

Takei! These are for you! OH MY!

Happy Halloween Charlie Brown!

Finally, just walked in the door. I was not expecting a cake drop off to turn into 3 hours at school but it did.

Turns out the class was a bit short on the parental volunteers today. So instead of me just dropping off a cake and running, leaving Jason to carve pumpkins with the kidos, I ended up staying as well. Jack in tow. lol.

Was a lot of fun in all honesty but I am beat. I do not know how teachers do this kind of thing day in and day out. I would go positively mad!Don't get me wrong, love the kids but being around that many kids that young all excited like that....Ugh, no thank you!

Karin, my hat is off to you! 

On the non pumpkin carving side of things, all the sweets went over swimmingly! The kids just adored all the cookies, especially the ones with their names on them.... Not to mention the cake! It was a smash hit!!!!!

God I am so relieved! With all the royal icing transfers breaking and me having to fall back to a back up, back up plan I was not expecting it to turn out as well as it did but hey! The look on those kids faces when they walked into class and saw the cake was evidence enough that it was going to be a good day. 

And now that is all taken care of, more to do! We still have trick or treating this evening and from what I am hearing all over town it is HUGE here! 

Rhi has a Zombie School and Dance on Friday, the churchs did their stuff this weekend, the highschool is doing a haunted house tonight, all the businesses on the Square will be open handing out candy, the neighborhood around the school is just decked out to no end and our neighborhood is sure to be a hot spot! (And then I find out from others just a little bit ago that there are even more places to hit! Oh yeah!)

Now it is time for us to get dinner together, well Jason is doing dinner for me (yay!), and then it will be time to Trick Or Treat! So on that note, gonna leave you with pictures of the cake and dart off. 

Happy Halloween!

Monster Cookies

First off - Happy Halloween!

Now, I will post pictures of the cake later on today but these are just too adorable, in a gross way, not to post about.

I had a few cookies left over from the last batch that I didn't want to go to waste but there wasn't enough to do the next series I have planned. So, I started scouring through all the wonderful blogs I read and saw something just perfect!

Eyeball Cookies By Sweet Sugar Belle <---Those! Perfect! (Sugar Belle is just wonderful and comes up with the most creative ways to make cookies!)

So, a little bit of green, some extra cookies and a little bit later I have my very own. Granted hers are much better but hey! I love mine! Jack devoured one already, Rhi grabbed one and ran out the door to catch the bus.

Happy Halloween everyone! Be back later with the cake pictures!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Punkette Halloween

 Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! Okay, I feel better now. It has been one heck of a day and it doesn't look like it will get any better before the day it out.

I woke up this morning, sick but ready to go. Time to take all those royal icing transfers that I did for Alex's 1st grade class cake off the wax paper....1st one crumbled.....Okay, deep breath, this is why I made so many. I knew this would happen! K, try again....2nd one crumbled.....No worries, it happens, keep going! No matter how many break we have plenty, that is why I made close to 3 dozen, because I only need like 6.

Yeah well....All of them broke....well I am not sure all of them broke but I am sure they would have. I stopped about half way through them all because it was just too heart breaking. Thankfully 1 did survive! The one that is the cake topper, the most important one. So hey! Ahead 1. Back up still hasn't been touched and it will remain that way till I get the cake to the school in case the first one breaks!

Now, what in the heck am I going to do with the rest of the cake. All my border images are shot! Plan B was going to be making more transfers but there just isn't enough time to make them and hope they dry enough to remove. Not to mention if those break!

This is why everyone that decorates sweets has not only a back up plan but a back up plan for the back up plan and even sometimes a back up plan for that! So, what have I been doing all day so far? Working on that very back up plan for the back up plan.

And what is that? Fondant, lots of fondant. I am not the best fondant sculptor in the world but I can manage to do a few things. With a little patience I have managed to make a few houses and the characters. Going to be adding in fencing along the top tiers.

Thankfully I had done some fondant work yesterday. Made the two for the pumpkin patch and the pumpkins themselves. So I am not totally screwed! The cake will get done and it will look freaking fantastic for those kids tomorrow!

So, why all the pink and black? And why am I here? I needed a break that's why! Don't judge me! LOL Anywho, I did some cookies for Rhi to give out to her closest friends for Halloween tomorrow. What else could I do but Punkette! What can I say, if it is skulls and pink she adores it. Finished the actual cookies yesterday, had to let them set overnight before I bagged them.

See, they are sooo freaking cute and I HATE pink, ask anyone that knows me. I LOATH it! But hey, when something looks neat, something looks neat. Even went so far as to take a pumpkin and ribbon it up for her to carry to school tomorrow.

Not sure if she is dressing up for school tomorrow but if she is, this will match her costume perfectly - Abby from NCIS, complete with lab coat. (Should have seen her eyes light up when the coat came in.)

So, on that note I need to get back to work, and probably should actually eat some lunch. See you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Final Fantasy 1 Character Set - Cookies

Well in the middle of doing all this decorating for Rhi's Birthday and Alex's 1st Grade Class I have found a new love.....Cookies! Okay. I have always adored cookies, who doesn't!?! They're cookies for crying out loud!!

But this is a new love, a true love, and oddly enough a love that isn't putting inches on my hips. You see, I have found a love of cookie decorating! (And honestly when you are around that much sugar all day for days on end the last thing you want to do it eat one, no matter how good they are. Anyone that has worked in the food industry knows my pain.)

It all started with those Royal Icing transfers I did for the Halloween Cake, pictures will be posted of that come Monday. Found tips and tricks on various cookie decorating sites, not cake ones. Funny how that works. One thing led to another and bam, I found myself doing an entire set for the 1st grade class even though I was already doing a cake. 

No worries, get it out of my system and move on. Yeah, well that didn't happen. As soon as I got done with one batch I made another....And another. 

Ended up with over 80 cookies for Alex's class and home munching. Yeah, had to at least make sure there was enough for the kids to eat here and there otherwise I think they were going to hog tie me and make me watch them eat all the cookies I was supposed to take to the school. They are evil like that. 

Anywho, I figured once I got done with all of those that would be it.....Yeah, freaking wrong again. You remember that Tootsie Roll song from way back, eons ago - Everywhere I think I see, becomes a tootsie roll to me! - Yeah, that one! It has been playing in my head non stop for a week now! Except the lyrics in my head are a tad different... - Everywhere I think I see becomes a cookie design to me!

Mother of mercy!!!!! I am serious! I turn on the TV, cookie! See a ribbon with a design on it...Cookie! Song on the radio...Cookie! I have cookies on the brain so much I make Cookie Monster look like a 12 stepper! (I think I need help.) 

That or who knows, maybe after all these years of trying nine million different things only to move on because it just wasn't "it"...Who knows maybe I found my calling. That or I will move on to something else later. Who knows. We will just have to see. 

So, here we most recent set of cookies - 

Final Fantasy 1 Character Set:

Red Mage, White Mage, Fighter
Black Belt, Thief, Black Mage

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Cookies - 1st Grade Class

That took a lot longer than I expected but oh well! Finally I am done with the cookies! Okay, let me rephrase that. I am done with the cookies for Alex's 1st grade class. All 60 are baked, decorated, cooled, bagged, tagged and tied. 

Each student will receive 1 decorative cookie and one other cookie with their name on it, all tied up in a little bag with ribbon. They turned out rather good for only my 2nd real attempt at decorating sugar cookies, so happy with that. That being said I have a long way to go and will be starting another batch tomorrow in another theme. I need as much practice as I can get. 

So, not gonna make this one long. Here is a shot of the completed cookies! (Coffins, tombstones, witch legs, Bride Of Frankenstein, Spider Webs, Candy Corn, Cauldrons, Jack-O-Lanterns, Witches, and last but not least, as Jack likes to call them, Fire Cats.)


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Witch Legs Cookie - Walk Through

As many know I cook and I cook a LOT. All things but what usually gets peoples attention is the baked goods, cakes mostly for me. But I want to branch out. I have been reading one heck of a blog - Sweetopia! (The hostess is just amazing! What she can do with a cookie will blog your mind!)

So after reading her blog I used some of the techniques to make the royal icing transfers. So happy with the results! Granted I do have a long way to go but that comes with practice. Anywho...back to wanting to branch out.

Since we now live on the other side of the country, no one can eat my sweets! Ugh! (For most not an issue but I love baking for people.) I read her article, Marian from Sweetopia, on how to ship cookies. Well hot damn! Perfect idea!

Now I gotta learn to decorate cookies. I have before, last year, for Christmas...They sucked! Okay, they weren't that bad. In fact they were pretty good for someone that never had before but you know me, I never want to settle! More reading and time to break out the cookie cutters and icing. (Had plenty of royal left over from the transfers, might as well put it to good use. At least that is what I keep telling myself. This decorating thing isn't an obsession! I...yeah I need help.)

Did the usual stuff, witch head, cauldron, cat, spiders web and so forth but I wanted something W O W! I start seeing the cutest cookie - Witch Legs! I want to make that! That looks cool! Son of A....Don't have the right cookie cutters...Don't even have anything close....~pouts~ Well that just blo.....Wait a minute! ~grabs her notebook, some colored pencils and her cookie cutters~ So I start tracing all my cookie cutters to see what would work. And what do I find? That my large candy corn one works great! So here we are girls, and guys, a witch leg cookie! (Not the best and not exactly like I had drawn but I am damned proud of this cookie! )

If you make one, let me know! I wanna show it off!!!

Royal Icing Transfers

Well, it's see I started these things nearly a week ago and just put the final one up. They are not all the way done but 99%! I have to give them a few days dry time before I go back and filly in a few holes here and there and then fix the outlines but for the most part they are done.

Granted after that I have to let them finish drying till next Saturday and then comes the hard part.... Removing them from the paper and placing them on the cake. Thankfully I made a 2 of each design and honestly only need like 6 of them to survive. (This should allow me to break 75% of them and still have more than enough, LOL)

Though I am planning for the worst! If they all break I have a back up fondant plan that I can get done the day before the cake is supposed to be taken up the school. ^^ Always have a back up for your back ups!

Oh well, after a week of this I think it is about time to join the family in the pumpkin carving they have been doing all weekend! Only a little while of time left today and I want my pumpkin! LOL (I can work on the cookies tomorrow, lol.)

Happy Haunting! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sugar Cookie Quick Fix!

Well, here I am in the middle of the night...Kids are asleep and the hubby traded me in for a warm bed a couple of hours ago. Why am I still up? Sugar cookies! Been reading a wonderful blog lately and it just got me wanting to dive into some! (Not eating strangely enough, just decorating them. I know I am odd!)

Lookies! I even planned ahead when doing this! (Yeah, that is actually an uncommon thing for me. I normally sketch a general theme and go free hand.)  I know my drawing skills are not all that. I work on a computer! (And sadly I don't have a printer. Anyone want to donate one to a poor baker? I can pay in food!)

So, back on subject, main subject. Here I am in the middle of the night and I see why I should have bought the good butter instead of the cheap stuff. Water content.... Makes the sugar cookies spread. If you are going for soft ones no problem but I want precision!

So, how do we fix this? Hold on to your seats girls ( and guys ) for how simple this is. Take those cookies out of the oven soon as they are done cooking. Grab your cookie cutter....See where I am going with this?

Don't burn yourself and BAM! Push that cookie cutter back into the cookie! Let them fully cool and then just press the cookie cutter around the cookie again, to get any rough edges off and there you go. Sharp edges!

I honestly hope you get cookies that don't spread, less crumbs but if you do, at least now you have a way to fix it. And on that note I am off to bed...I need some freaking sleep!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome Great Pumpkin!

Well today was my first go at a new decorating technique...Royal Icing Transfers. Basically you take icing that when it dried is rock hard and draw with it on wax paper. When the outline drys, you filly it with colored icing and then dry again. Remove from wax paper, attach to what ever edible you are making. Seems simple enough.....Ugh huh, yeah right.

I have a whole new found respect for cookie decorators, they use this technique all the time. It isn't near as simple as one would think. Okay, let me rephrase that....It is simple. Simple to start, no fancy stuff needed. Hard to get right! Yeah, anyone can draw a line, draw a perfectly straight one takes years of practice and talent...Even if you do trace it.

I'm an inker! I give the scene depth! You're a tracer!...Okay, sorry, slipped into Kevin Smithland....

Anywho...Yeah, it is going to take me a lot of practice to get this fully right. Sad thing is I don't have a lot of time to practice this. I just kind of gotta hope with all the reading up I did on the subject it will give me a learning curve....

I hope it does, I really want this cake to turn out well for Alex. He watched for 2 weeks, me making Rhi's cake and I know if I don't do as good with his, if not better, he is going to be sad....And the last thing I want to do is make that child sad.

Well, as you can see I do have a basic understanding for the process. Things are going well so far but it will be a long time till I am comfortable with this way of doing things. Honestly I prefer fondant molding.

Oh well, done with the outlines....There are 10-15 scenes...Not sure, they are all up on the top of the refrigerator, out of the way. Not pulling them down to count. Have to wait for them to dry now before I can color them. Will give it at least over night, if not more before I do.

Patience is a virtue that I suck at. I know me, I am going to end up looking on top of the fridge later tonight, touching one and then kicking my own butt for ruining one of them because it wasn't fully dry. (See why I am giving myself over a week to do this?)

I do have to admit though...They have turned out better than I expected so far. I was prepared to scrap the whole thing at the beginning. Actually been putting this off for 2 days because I was nervous to even start!

Think I was less nervous at the prospect of sky diving. I really think it just goes back to not wanting to mess this up for Alex. Only at stage 1 and there is so much that could go wrong. 

The batch of icing may not dry, who knows. Not used to making royal icing! Butter cream, sure! MMF, best in town! Cream Cheese? Oh, you will sell your soul for some! But Royal? Oh god....

Once/if it dries, then I have to worry about correctly coloring each section on each one in the right color without messing up the borders....

Then there is drying once again! Probably a week there just to be extra sure!

After that is hoping and praying I can get the transfers off the wax paper without them breaking! Have you seen some of the lines on these? Okay, think about this...The biggest one of these is only 3 inches tall!!! Tiny!

After that it is getting them on the cake without them breaking and then to the school! So, yeah...Cross your fingers, it's going to be a long stressful week! 

Oh well, if they all break or none turn out I have a back up plan that I can do in a day. Always have a back up plan! On that note...6 hours is pipping hands hurt! I'm out!