Thursday, September 29, 2005

Spiderwebs & Cupcakes - A sticky situation.

So my nephew T had his first of three celebrations for his 6th birthday last Saturday. Yes, you read me right - his first of 3 celebrations!! Uh can I please have mutiple celebrations for MY birthday?? But hey..the more celebrations we have for him, the more practice I get with my baking & decorating, the more money I make & the more things I get to add to my portfolio to show future customers..So I'm a happy little
Well T LOVES Spiderman!! So the theme for his first celebration was a given. I tried out a rather interesting recipe for "One Bowl Yellow Cupcakes" from "Cupcakes Year-Round" by Sara Neumeier. I was overall pretty pleased with the recipe & will probably use it in the future. The reason I say the recipe was rather interesting is because it called for NO gran. sugar, only brown sugar. The result was a unique flavor, definitely not a typical yellow cupcake flavor. But the kiddies & T's parents LOVED them. I didn't want to shortcut the cupcakes by purchasing those little plastic spiderman cupcake toppers, so I chose to freehand spiders & webs alternately.
On to the cookies, well those were an experience all their own. The end result was delish!! I'm very pleased with how they turned out..but it was definitely a struggle to get there. My original batch, well..not so cute if u ask me..and yes I will be the first to admit, I am my own worst critic, but still. I couldn't have the kiddies eatting cookies that were less than cute based upon MY standards. lol For the cookies I used this recipe from the Martha Stewart website. The cookies had a sweet & rich buttery flavor - absolutely delish!! They are very easily overbaked I will warn you of that, I learned that from a previous experience. I decorated them with royal icing to look like spiderwebs as you can see in the photo up top. My idea was to bag them up with a cute little riibbon & my business card in hopes that the mothers would see, think it was a good idea & keep my card for future use. Well, as great an idea as I thought this was, let's just say I don't think the cookies made it far enough for the mothers to see lol. The cookies went into the goodie bags looking adorable, the moment they went into those little hands they were eaten up faster than u can say Spiderman - so I guess they were tastey! lol

Saturday, September 17, 2005

SHF - Cookin Up Custard - Custard Tartlets

Well, as my blog may reveal, I'm somewhat new to this whole food blogging experience, and so far I LOVE it!! It's been totally amazing, I've found countless other food blogs that I just love, not to mention all the tons of new recipes I'm just dying to try. Needless to say when I heard about Sugar High Fridays I was itchin to be a part of it. Well it's September & here we are it's - Sugar High Friday again!!! Well for some I suppose not anymore..technically for some it's hmm..Sugar Hangover Saturday?? Probably..that will probably be me in the AM..but then again with my sweet tooth I think that's me EVERY But I digress. For those of you who don't know about SHF yet, it's this wonderful event that from what I've read was the brainchild of Domestic Goddess. SHF is open to anyone who blogs about food & would like to take part. Each month focuses on a different ingredient that must be incorporated into the recipe. This month's SHF is entitled "Cookin Up Custard" and is being hosted by Elise over at Simply Recipes. Go check her out to see who else has participated this month. Now..on to MY creation for SHF!! Drum roll

I made Custard Tartlets. To some this may seem boring, to others plain & unassuming. To me it's pure southern charm. Although I have to be honest, no matter how much diggin & huntin I did I would NEVER find a "tartlet" recipe anywhere in my grandmother's recipe collection - no where I tell you, but that's ok, I've put my own twist on that old southern charm. But as much as I love the taste of nutmeg & the smooth milkiness of that cold custard right out of the fridge, or the way the buttery crust just melts in my mouth, I can't tell you the last time I made a custard. It's probably been about 15 years, which means that I was pretty darn young when I was making custards..and I remember NOTHING about the actual process. I just remember the wonderful taste of the end result. So I set off in search of a recipe, a way to recreate this wonderful end result. And yes I said in search of a recipe. I no longer have the recipe I was using 15 years recreating that wonderful custard of my childhood was like huntin for a needle in a But I did it, almost. It will take a bit of tweaking, but I have confidence I can do it.

I used a recipe from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2. I'm almost ashamed to admit I had never made my own pastry crust before..but with the help of the wonderful Aussie Ms. Hay, I have conquered my fear of the from scratch pastry crust. Just the always seemed so time consuming and well, intimidating, but her recipe was SO easy & it was delicious. I truly believe I will use it again & again. What I will have to tweak a bit is the actual custard itself. It's good, much better cold, which is how I always prefer it, than when it's warm from the oven. The flavors seem so much more vivid to me when it's cold, maybe I'm just crazy? lol Anyway..the custard is good..but I think it needed a bit more heavy cream than milk - it called for 1 cup of each. I think next time I'll try more like 1.5 cup cream & 1/2 cup milk. Next time I will add more sugar, nutmeg & possibly a bit more vanilla. So basically more of everything except the eggs. lol

If anyone wants the recipe just let me know. Can't wait for next SHF!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Update a la Katrina

I was over at 52 Cupcakes checking for new & adorable cupcakes when I spotted an entry she posted regarding Hurricane Katrina & a blog that's giving a first hand look at the disaster & the relief efforts. It was thought provoking to say the very least. Like I'm sure everyone has I've been thinking about what all those people have been going through & I've been watching the news for updates, in hopes that some serious relief is on the way for the victims. But this blog really puts everything into perspective. I urge you all to check it out.

It's called Survival Of New Orleans. They post FREQUENT updates..and even have a webcam feed. I urge everyone to check it out.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Wilton Course 2 Finale

I did it!! I have mastered the art of basketweave and royal icing flowers. Well, atleast according to the Wilton Course II There are many many other flowers I have yet to learn. I missed class 3 of 4 for the course, so I was a bit nervous about how my flowers & cake would turn out, but I must say I'm very pleased. I had to teach myself how to do some of the flowers, but I'm pretty happy with how they came out. And the basketweave..well, that was an experience..I was able to get into a rhythm & it wasn't too long before I made my way around the entire hand was telling me it wasn't a moment too soon you can believe

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