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Friday, January 30, 2015

Heart Shaped Cake

February is almost here & hearts will be every where!! I thought I would share a couple heart shaped cakes with you. 
 This heart is a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. I put chocolate ganache and strawberry filling in between the layers. YUM!!

 This heart cake was not for Valentine's Day, it was for an anniversary.
 All cakes with hearts don't have to be shaped like a heart. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Random 5 on Friday

The Pebble Pond

The Pebble Pond hosts a Random 5 on Friday link up & I decided I would join her this week. Here are my Random 5:

#1~ Today is my birthday. I got to enjoy the day with my husband and three youngest kids. We went to lunch and just hung out for the day. I had a lot of phone calls including ones from my two adult kids. And NO, we did not have a birthday cake!!

#2 ~ I love chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. I usually only have this for my birthday dinner at Applebee's. They took it off the menu, so I chose to eat somewhere else. They didn't have it either. :( I may have to make my own soon.)

#3 ~ A few years ago my dad gave my my grandmothers Hoosier cabinet. It has several layers of pain on it, so I wanted to get that stripped and repainted before I brought it inside. I started that today & it is actually easier than I thought it would be.

#4 ~ We have been organizing and getting rid of things no one ever uses any more. Some of the hardest things to part with are things of my kids. We had a child's recliner & two little rocking chairs. No reason or room to keep them if no one is ever going to sit in them. :(

#5 ~ My kids noticed I was writing about random things. Delaney said it is probably random that we have a wall map of the United States & the World hanging in our family room. And that we also have a calendar that is 3'X3' in there too.

Thank You Pebble Pond for hosting this Link Up!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lady Bug Birthday Cake #birthdaycake @lisacay

I have been organizing the pictures on my computer and I found this cute little lady bug birthday cake.  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sugar Rush #sugarrushcookbook @johnny_iuzzini

I have always wanted to make macarons. I'm not a huge fan of them, but my youngest daughter loves them. Every time we visit a bakery she has to get one or two or three or..... I finally made some this week from my newest cook book, Sugar RUSH. She loved them & she said they were the best ones she has ever eaten. Her only complaint was that we should have made more.

Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking is a beautiful cookbook. All 352 glossy pages are full of colorful photos that show not only the finished product, but a lot of details and step-by-step instructions. The recipes are divided into 9 categories and has a wide variety of desserts. 

  1. Custards and Creamy Desserts
  2. Eggs and Meringue
  3. Caramel
  4. Cakes, Cupcakes, Brownies, and Muffins
  5. Cookies, Tea Cakes, and Biscuits
  6. Tarts, Cobblers, and Crisps
  7. Yeast Doughs
  8. Glazes, Frostings, Fillings, and Sauces
  9. Building a Balanced Dessert
Johnny Iuzzini gives a very good introduction on getting started. He goes over equipment, tools, and ingredients. He also introduces each chapter discussing the main concepts, giving tips to ensure success, and plenty of recipes to practice. I love how he introduces each recipe describing the dessert, offering suggestions of flavors that go with it, or sharing some history of the dessert or recipe. I actually went through the entire cookbook like a book. I read the introductions, tips, and a lot of the recipe instructions before I ever got started with a recipe. 

If I were to go back to school I would want to go to culinary school & become a real pastry chef. Instead I have chose to stay home and homeschool my kids. I not only teach myself as much as I can about dessert, but I also teach my girls what I learn. This cookbook makes me feel like I am a student of Johnny, and now that the holidays are over we are going to use it in our homeschool. We are going to start at the beginning of the book and work our way through every recipe and technique for a culinary credit.
Everything I have made so far I actually followed the instructions exactly. The instructions were all very easy to follow and made wonderful desserts. Everyone loved the Macarons, Marshmallows, and Crystallized Nuts. My girls and I already picked out we want to try next; Citrus Sabayon, Kouign-Amann, and of course Semifreddo. 

If you are looking for a cookbook to make wonderful desserts this is one you will want to have. There are plenty of tips and instructions that teach different techniques and types of desserts for beginning bakers and also plenty of flavor options for more advanced home cooks. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Sugar Rush free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Read Alouds

I think it is very important to read aloud to my kids. It allow us to spend some family time together every evening. Leah blogs at As We Walk Along is hosting Read Aloud Wednesdays where anyone can link up a blog post about reading aloud to their kids. She has a great article on why we should read aloud to our kids this week. 

I thought I would share what I have have been reading aloud to my kids lately. 

We just finished the The Marquis de Lafayette by Hodding Carter. This book was printed in 1958 and is a Landmark Book. I love the Landmark Book series and will pick them up whenever I see them. This one contains so much information on Lafayette, but is a pretty quick read. We all learned a few things from reading this book. I don't think we put enough importance on Lafayette as we should. Did you know President Jefferson offered him the governorship of the Louisiana Territory? I didn't or at least if I did I forgot about it. His life was full of battles, imprisonments, escapes, conspiracies and so much more. Reading about his life is better than reading fiction.

The girls have picked three books to choose from next. The Red House Mystery by AA Milne, A Trixie Belden Mystery, or Sherlock Holmes. They haven't decided yet I guess I will share that with you next week. Which one would you read if you had to choose between those three?

As We Walk Along the Road

Thursday, January 8, 2015

January Fun Birthday Cakes

With just a couple of days into the new year & I've already done a couple of fun kids cakes.
This Minion cake was for a 3 year old boy. I have been making cakes for this family for a long time & the mom always comes up with fun themes for her 3 boy's birthday parties. 

Of course a Frozen themed cake is always bound to come up. This time it was for a little girl turning 5 & she wanted Anna, Elsa, and a castle. She was so excited & told me she loved it.

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