Kiddle Family - November 2012

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Beach Cake

I had a request to make a beach/swimming themed cake for kids. No fondant.
I had a few ideas, some of which I had done before. I was going to do a cake with blue jello (I made it one year for one of my kids and I swear, it's the ONLY cake I've ever made for my kids' parties that was eaten COMPLETELY) Anyways, when I realized that the cake was to be chocolate, I had to switch plans.... chocolate cake and blue jello just don't work together.

So, in the end, I made this cake.... and surprisingly, when I finished it, my kids were saying they want swimming parties for their next birthdays and they want this EXACT cake. Now, THAT is not a request I ever hear.... normally my kids don't like my cakes. So, that's a huge compliment. Thank you kids! And yes, it was a fun cake to make and I'd definitely make it again.

Well, here's the pictures from today's cake......

I love being able to create little details. I even put one bear diving into the water. ha ha.Back view
  • This was an 8" cake. 2 layers.
  • Covered in buttercream icing.
  • "Sand" is graham crumbs.
  • Blue water on top was blue/white buttercream topped with blue tinted piping gel.
  • Bears are teddy grahams with chocolate faces and icing swim suits
  • "Inner tubes" are lifesaver gummies
  • Palm trees... trunks are fondant covered skewers. Leaves are made from royal icing. Made one day in advance to allow time to dry
There you have it.... in case you ever want to try and make a cake like this.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Hunting cake

I had a request for a HUNTING cake. Nothing came to mind. Nothing.

I googled for ideas and still, I couldn't find something I wanted to make that I didn't think was tacky or take a ridiculous amount of time.
It seemed most cakes out there for this theme of cake, had plastic figures on them. That's just not my thing.
I even said to Cam "I've never put plastic on my cakes and nor do I ever plan to..."
and Cam corrected me by saying "yes you have."
and of course, my response was, "What? No. When have I ever?"
"When you made some of those barbie type of cakes."
Oh. Okay, I did. But, that was a LONG time ago.
But, I don't plan to do it again and it's making me frustrated with thinking of a hunting themed cake. It really shouldn't be so difficult.
I could sculpt some deer, but I was afraid it would look kid-like and childish and that just wasn't going to do. What to do.... what to do??

So, finally, some inspiration comes to me yesterday.
I made a sketch....

This is one time, I'm really wishing I had an airbrush. Fern, are you reading this?? You see, my sister Fern, she's got an airbrush, but she was out or just simply not answering my calls today. Anyways, I thought this cake would have been fantastic if I could have some how had a sunset in the background. But, I had to make do with what I had and instead I opted to just marble my fondant with blue, purple and gray.
I then hand painted the trees and grass with black food coloring. My first time predominately painting something onto a cake. It turned out good. I was actually quite happy to have a paintbrush in my hand. It's been forever since I've truly painted something. I think I might have to start doing that again....
Anyways, after doing all my hand painting, I then hand cut out several deer silhouettes. This is one time that I WISH I had a Cake Cricut that could do that for me. But, I don't, so I did it by hand. (a note to self... it's probably faster to have just painted it like I did the trees, but the little dimension added by the fondant silhouette deer is a good thing)
The cake turned out fantastic. I loved how it turned out in the end and it looks just like what I pictured in my head and sketched on the paper....

So, one cake down, one more to finish before tomorrow evening.

Oh.... here's the completely finished cake now that I've added the piping.....

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Missionary cake for the Harkers

There's another young man from our ward about to embark on a mission to Argentina. Today was his farewell at church. His friends and him sang a beautiful song together. It was very touching. Then he gave a fantastic talk. In fact, all the talks today were great.

I was privileged to be able to make him a cake for the Open House tonight.
I made a cake that I made before, but wanted to do something a little different, to make it unique for him. Since he'll be serving in Argentina, and Argentina's got a funky flag, I decided to make the tie on the cake look like the Argentina flag. Also, I asked for a variety of favorite scriptures and quotes that I could use if there was room. I ended up deciding to use just one, a quote from President Taylor. I was so glad I did, because as I was listening to his talk today, Elder Harker finished his talk with the quote I had used on his cake. It tied it all together so nicely.

Elder Harker is going to be a fantastic missionary. He'll do so well and we wish him all the best over the next two years. We look forward to hearing about some of the fantastic experiences he'll have there in Argentina.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Balloon Twisting - Monkey Bracelets

In case you didn't know, I also like to twist balloons.
I've always been fascinated by twisted balloons and so a few years ago, I decided to buy some high quality balloons from a party store along with a basics book. Now, I rarely use the book and instead, I tend to watch videos on youtube to learn some new ones. Can I say how much I love youtube and all the tutorial videos on there and the multitude of new things you can learn!!

Anyways, I've made these before, so they're nothing new for me. But, I recently got some more balloons and so I thought I'd twist some stuff tonight.

Balloon Monkeys are so cute. You can make them by themselves or holding onto a palm tree, but tonight I made them into "bracelets".

This first one, it's made from the 260 balloons (the standard size that you see usually). But, when you make it as a bracelet, you only have room for the head, front legs and the tail. Still, it's cute. Emily had fun making the face and any other decorations she drew on there...

But, if you make the same monkey using a 160 balloon (smaller in diameter), then you can get smaller twists and therefore can fit the whole body in and get it to fit on someone's arm....

If you want to see a tutorial on how to make monkeys, you can click on this link. I basically did this one with the 160, keeping in mind how big of arms to make to fit onto my kids' arms.
Oh, and FYI, the balloons I've been using over the last several years has been the Qualatex brand of balloons.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Favorite Oatmeal Cookies

Tonight for Family Home Evening, we made some cookies. Oatmeal Cookies! These just might even be my favorite cookies and I've been making them since I was a teen.
While I'm waiting for them too cook in the oven, I thought I would share the recipe with you, if you feel inclined to try a new recipe...

Oatmeal Cookies

Mix together
1 c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
Combine until smooth and then add
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk
Mix, then add
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 c. rolled oats

That's the basic recipe, but I rarely stop there. I usually proceed to add
1 c. coconut (I don't measure, usually it's whatever I have)
1/2 c. - 1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. raisins
1 grated orange rind.
Or any combination of the above ingredients. I actually think, the more the merrier. Put whatever you like in.

Bake your cookies for 9-10 minutes or until light brown in a 350F oven.
Also, you don't want to over cook these cookies or they'll be hard and crispy. I like mine soft and chewy, so quite often they almost look on the under-done side. Just so you know.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

What the Heck?

In Banff, there are some beautiful gardens and gazebos. Nothing strange there..... or is there?

Here's my Dad, standing by the questionable gazebo.

What's so strange?? And why is he making that face??

Well, it's because when you look up, this is what you see.....

The creator of this gazebo must have had a sick sense of humor.

It gave me a good laugh. I just had to take some pictures and had to share with you.

A Birthday to Celebrate

July 1st is the date of 2 birthdays to be celebrated for us.
First, it's my Mom's birthday! (did you see that Mom? I listed your first?)
Secondly, it's Canada's birthday.

This year, my parents are out at their timeshare the week of July 1st. We still wanted to spend the day with my Mom and get in some kind of Canada Day celebrations, so we decided to do something new and meet my parents and go spend the day in Banff.

There was a free pancake breakfast in Banff. We were actually surprised at how ridiculously long the line was. We talked about whether we should just go and buy some breakfast, but in the end, we decided to just wait out the line and get our free pancakes.

While waiting, we took the kids for a walk and look around. There were several stilt walkers, animals and we caught photos with some of them.

Then we came across a spot where you can dress up. We had a lot of fun with that. We even convinced my grandma to dress up. ha ha.

What was annoying, was after waiting in line for 30+ minutes, they came and stopped the line just a couple people in front of us and said that was the end and the food will be all gone. I thought it was poor planning to come and tell us that now, and I told them so. My Mom doesn't like me to be so verbal when I told them they planned that poorly. Anyways, we decided to wait anyways and when we got there, there was still lots of food left. Pancakes, sausages, muffins and bottled juice. It was a good breakfast.

Afterwards, we took a walk through the gardens. Last time we walked through these gardens, the twins were only 1 year old. So, that was 8 years ago! Nice gardens. We enjoyed the walk. I was impressed that even Grandma walked up and down the stairs there. I fell a few days ago and am still in a lot of pain (either I broke my tailbone or I just really bruised it, but regardless, it HURTS) anyways, I couldn't let Grandma make me look bad. If being 98, she could walk all those stairs and stuff, then I certainly could get my butt going! It was good. Had some good laughs... which I'll make a seperate blog post about (yes, Mom, I'm going to blog about it!).
What's this?? Grandpa standing on poor Matthew's foot and pushing him over??

We walked down the street and watched some performances on stage and let the kids play on the numerous bouncy "houses".

After walking through the Whyte Museum and down main street, we headed back to the timeshare for dinner. We forgot candles for Mom's birthday cake, so we just had to pretend. The kids thought it was funny. I decided to keep the cake simple and made one of my favorite cakes... a jello cake with coolwhip and fresh strawberries. Yum!

The evening ended off with swimming and some of the best fireworks I've seen! We watched the fireworks in Canmore and they were big, closeup and fantastic! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera for those.

Happy Birthday Mom!
Happy Birthday Canada!