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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hamburger Cake DIY Tutorial

Clearly, I am no pastry chef, but this cake actually is really easy to make and quick and was well loved by my 18-year-old brother for his birthday. 

To start, I used boxed mixes.  What can I say, I was totally exhausted yesterday.  The "bun" is 1 box of yellow cake baked into 2 8" round pans.  The secret is to fill one pan (for the top bun) more than you fill the other pan.  That gives the top a more rounded look.  The burger is a brownie mix baked into a 9" round.  I did a 9" round so that it would hand over the bun a little. 

Once the cakes are baked and cooled, then you want to frost the bottom cake.  I actually used premade frosting (which I NEVER use - but I forgot to get powdered sugar so I had no choice).  To get the bun color, I mixed a little orange and a tiny bit of green.  Then, I frosted the sides and top of the bottom bun.  Then, I layered on the burger and frosted the brownie with chocolate frosting.  I frosted it in a very lumpy way to make it look more like meat. 



For the lettuce, tomato, and onions I made marshmallow fondant.

For the marshmallow fondant the recipe is 1 package marshmallows, 1 bag of powdered sugar, and 3-4 tbsp water.  Microwave the marshmallows and water for about 2 minutes (until they puff up and start to melt).  (ps you only need a 1/2 batch for this - but kids love this stuff, so I make a full batch and let Kamille go crazy playing with it.  I keeps her busy while I make the cake.)



Then, I put the marshmallows and most of the bag of sugar into a greased bowl in my stand mixer with the bread dough hook on it.  You can hand knead this stuff, but it is a sticky mess and takes a long time.  If you have a stand mixer, use it. 

Word to the wise, cover your mixer with a kitchen towel before you turn it on to avoid having a spray of sugar all over your kitchen, 

Knead the mixture in the stand mixer until it forms a soft, elastic dough.  It should not be sticky to the touch.  You may need to add more sugar or more water depending on humidity and the marshmallows you use. 

When the fondant is kneaded and no longer sticky, you should have a really pliable dough, almost like gum paste.  One little thing I learned is that unlike fondant, you should not roll this out on a powdered surface.  Grease your cutting board (plastic or glass) or your counter top and roll it out on a greased surface.  This will give you the most pliability without drying out the fondant.  I used a circle cutter to make some tomatoes and onions.  Then, I painted the tomatoes red (it is easier than dying the fondant) and I also made lettuce.  I rolled it out very thin and then stretched the ends to make a wavy leaf.  Someone - I'm not going to name names, has my fondant tools so I had to get creative in making these leaves. 

After you get your lettuce, tomato, and onions on the burger, you want to put on the top bun.  Then you frost it.  I piped brown piping gel onto the top bun and rubbed it around to give the bun a baked look.  Then, I piped on seeds in white with the small round writing tip.  Then, the final step is to pipe on ketchup and mustard with colored frosting.  This can help cover up gaps and cracks too. 


All in all it was a pretty fun birthday cake.  I think that the whole project probably costs about $12.00 (given that you have food coloring).  Fondant is $3.00 to make, Cake Mix $1.50, Brownie Mix $2.00, 2 cans of frosting $4.00 - eggs, oil, etc.  That is cheaper than a cake from Costco.  This was giant and could easily serve 30 people.  It's 3 layers so you only need a thin slice.  You could even go big mac style and add 2 more layers for a huge cake. 

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Regretsy - Where DIY Meets WTF

I had a moment of panic when I saw that somehow our shop was getting traffic from www.regretsy.com, but I literally looked at every single to make sure that we had not actually been featured here.  However, it is exactly what the slogan says.  Some of the stuff is sick, some is weird, and some was made by people who should not craft. 

Actually, even though they are mocking poor crafters who a trying their best, it is for a good cause.  To date they have raised over $25000 for charity.  Some people are actually proud to be featured there.  Anyway, it, along with www.sleeptalkinman.com, are 2 of my favorite funny website. 

First Folksy Sale!

Lisa & I stumbled upon this great new site for crafts, http://www.folksy.com/.  It's like the etsy of Europe.  We just started a few days ago and now have our first UK sale (from Folksy).  It's really a nice up and coming website.  I love to get in on the groundfloor of a new concept. 

It's a great site if you have a European style and has some really super kid's clothing.  We are very excited to be a part of it.   

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spooky Halloween Food Ideas

We love to have a themed meal at Halloween every year.  Here are some ideas I put together for a kid friendly spooky dinner.




Jack-o-lanturn Quesadillas   Pumpkin Fondue Pot  Apple Fangs




Mummy Pizza   Mashed Potato Ghosts  Chocolate Covered Strawberries

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ultimate Caramel Apple Tutorial

I thought that this would be a great tutorial this week.  First, I just happen to love caramel apples and it is apple season.  Secondly, people love to receive edible gifts, especially at the holidays.  These deluxe caramel apples make a great hostess gift for parties, gifts for friends, co-workers, teachers, etc. 

To make the apples you need to melt the caramels according to the package directions.  Use a bowl that isn't much bigger than the apple. 


Dip the clean apple into the caramel.  You will probably need a spoon to coat the whole apple. 

If you just want nuts, you can then roll it (while the caramel is hot) around on a plate of nuts.  I also think that rolling it in granola is great.  It's kind of like an apple crisp caramel apple. 

Today I made a TURTLE APPLE.  After dipping it in the caramel, I rolled it in pecans.  Then I dipped it is melted dark chocolate. 


WHITE CHOCOLATE CASHEW CRANBERRY APPLE


For this apple, I dipped it in white chocolate, rolled it in cashews and cranberries and then drizzled more caramel and dark chocolate over the apple. 

I love the look created by making a bow onto the apple stick.


It is also really fun and colorful to roll them in sprinkles.


When you add nuts, you will get a lumpy apple.  For the really smooth look, stick to chocolate or caramel.  Another great idea that is really cheap and easy is to use frosting.  If you take a jar of premade frosting and microwave it for about 15-30 seconds so that it starts to melt you can dip the apple in it.  This is a nice option for little kids because it is much softer than caramel. 

COSTS

I made 6 apples for $20.00.  I know that sounds pricey, but it was mostly due to the cost of the nuts.  Also, I have left over nuts, so it really was more like $15.00 for 6.  Gourmet apples purchased at the store or online start at $11.00.  The pecan version that I made is about $19.00 an apple online.  Same with the cranberry version.  So, basically you are making 6 apples for the price of one. 

SOME FLAVOR IDEAS

Sprinkles
Smores - Graham Crackers, mini marshmallows and milk chocolate
Black Forest - Caramel, dried cherries, and dark chocolate
Buckeye - caramel, rice crispies, and peanut butter
Rolled in Caramel Corn
Rolled in Chopped Candy Bars
German Chocolate - coconut, caramel, and chocolate
Rolled in M&Ms
Rolled in Crushed Cookies - Oreos, Pecan Sandies, etc.

SOME DECORATING IDEAS


At Mrs. Prindables, you can pay $30.00 and get an apple with a little stuffed animal on top.  You could easily do this yourself.  They also put flowers on the sticks.  Another idea would be to make an edible figurine out of fondant or modeling chocolate.



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Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Christmas Ornaments Crafting Roundup

I decided over the weekend that it is time to start Christmas Crafting.  This is partially due to the shows Lisa & I have coming up, but also due to the fact that I always find myself awake at 3am on Christmas Eve putting the finishing touches on gifts (sometimes even on Christmas morning.) I usually also have a stack of partially finished things that I just give up on.  Maybe I aim too high, but why not?

So, a few times a week I am going to start putting together some small treasuries of things to make from Christmas this year.  This roundup is simple, easy, and dare I say cheap Christmas ornaments.  Looking at these, I think that any one would be great for kids to make.  Kamille and Maggie would love making the beaded ornaments. 



Santa & Snowman Ornaments   Beaded Christmas Ornaments  Quilled Christmas Trees

Poinsettia Felt Ornament  Pompom Ornament  Snowman Glass Ball Ornaments



My Favorites - Handprint Christmas Ornaments 

I think that I will start making these every year.  What a wonderful way to watch your child grow up.




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Featured on Etsy!

A special thank you to littlerobyn for featuring us in her newest treasury.  In case you are wondering, our item in the recipe card paper bag album, proof that Lisa and I make stuff other than sewing patterns.  In fact, that is the last recipe card holder we have.  We sold out in Pinkney.


What I love about treasuries is the fact that people find so many great things on etsy that you might never have known existed.  Plus, treasuries are a wonderful way to promote yourself. 

 

'Hard to Find but on Etsy!' by littlerobyn

These are items people really want but have to look all over the web for. Fortunately Etsy.com has very talented crafters that make great gift items. The first item listed is my very own Sushi card. The others I picked out because I would love to give these items as gifts! Great job crafters!

Sushi - Handmade Ca...

$3.00
Lily of the Valley ...

$36.00
Black Womens Wedge ...

$15.99
Large Collage- Moth...

$59.00
Stained Glass Mosai...

$1375.00
Diamond Strings - T...

$29.50
Mom's Specialty...

$21.95
Tech Support 'N...

$
Annabelle Flower Vi...

$160.00
Mommy's sippy c...

$14.00
Farmyard Finger Pup...

$15.00
RUSH PAINTING SERVI...

$12.00
SALE - Mini Soaps -...

$9.00
Pure Beeswax Bee Sk...

$5.50
salted olive oil an...

$24.50
BeanVillage BISCOTT...

$35.09