Sunday, January 22, 2012

...a diamond tiara is forever!

“I always say a kiss on the hand might feel very good, but a diamond tiara lasts forever”.
-- Marilyn Monroe, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

This fabulous little tiara sits atop a 2 tier zebra striped cake. Wrapped with hot pink fondant bows with jewel centers and a "K" for the beautiful birthday girl!!! I do love anything that sparkles! Keeping that tiara away from Miss A was probably the hardest task of this whole cake making process!! HAHA! 

I covered the combs of the tiara in saran wrap and there is saran wrap where the tiara sits for food safety reasons and so the birthday girl can wear without getting icing in her hair!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hootie Hoot Lollipop Cake!

This cake was a hoot! A friend of mine has bought cakes from this one lady for years. This year her fabulous cake lady had a family event to attend to so she baked the cakes and I decorated them! I must say that was totally great for me! I love to decorate! The baking is just a road map to the fun decorating and not very many scenic stops along the way! That was a sad little analogy but you get the point. 

All the decorative accents are fondant except the pink and green polka dot ribbon along the bottom. 
A special "2" for two very special little girls!

This little owl just makes me smile!

Happy Birthday to two amazing little girls with more spunk then I have in my little finger!!! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Little Princess turns 3...

I had a fabo friend who suggested me to a friend for cupcakes!! This little princess was turning 3 and of course wanted princess cupcakes with a special crown on hers. We tossed some internet pictures and came up with a plan. 24 and purple. 12 with sprinkles and fondant 3's and another 12 with mini crowns and wands. Then we talked about one cupcake with a big special crown. Well...a princess deserves something special so I took it a few steps further and created a mini princess cake. 
They were mixed chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. :) 

The princess mini cake!

This was a pic of the creation of the mini crowns and wands! The big crown dries around a jar of silver candies! 

Experimenting with cake fillings!

Well with no bentos maybe this gives me more time to work on the bakery side of things. Who knows...maybe someday I could really really get into this. I am really enjoying it so far and my mad scientist approach to making things bigger and adding beyond request is still an adrenaline for me. Call me crazy, I know! I have noticed all this baking I definitely keep my nails trimmed, gloves on hand, and a HUGE supply of band aids!! I have gone through every bacon and pickle band-aid in the house. I am not allowed to touch Miss A's stash of princess, dora, or angry bird. Although my sliced finger that bled all over the floor from a picture frame scared her so much she thought I "deserved" an angry bird band-aid. Okay...not so much a slice but I squeezed it enough to make her feel sorry for me and get a good band-aid!! hee hee. I know...I have problems.
So I experimented with two fillings; a lemon curd and a raspberry filling. I used organic fruits for both, raw sugar, organic unsalted butter; I think you get the picture. The only thing I do not know if it was organic or pure was the cornstarch. Honestly...have NO idea what corn starch is! I will google later and see if I can find an alternative. Hopefully the organic alternative does not include taking organic corn, drying for days, crushing into powder and some other crazy process because I may just be using the plain ole store bought corn starch. Ha ha.

White cake with buttercream icing and a lemon curd filling (this one turned out the best in my opinion)

I am horrible at cutting cake...always a mess!!
Swiss Chocolate Cake with a Raspberry topping and pink buttercream (the raspberries were tart and may have been better balanced as a filling in between a layer of cake and icing around the whole cake. Or I could have used more sugar. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Last Bento...Conformity in Preschool

I knew this day would come, but I honestly thought Miss A would one day be too old for fun lunches, and tell me she was too old. I did NOT however think conformity would be the reason Miss A would want to stop. I call my adorable fabulous daughter Miss A because she is sometimes so much more mature then I am. But Miss A is really Alexa, a 5 year old preschool little girl, who is so imaginative, caring, loving, and more motherly then I honestly will ever be. She is just a baby in so many ways. Yet sadly these bento's have made her deal with a grown up issue at the ripe young age of 5.

This morning, Alexa was twirling her butterfly cookie cutter that she wanted to use for her lunch. She looked at me and told me that she just wanted "regular food" for lunch. I told her that was ok. I asked her why, and she said that it just wasn't fair. "Other moms are very busy and don't have time to make lunches. My friends go home and ask for lunches like hers and their mommies just have other important things to do. " My heart sank...somewhere somehow from someone she heard these words and something she loved and enjoyed became a bad thing, just because it was different. One of the moms asked me one time "why". I stumbled on my answer and was more shocked then anything else. My beautiful niece answered that for me she said, "imagination, creativity, quality time with a parent, a taste for new foods, and the ability to think outside the 'lunch' box."

I would normally just carry on to prove a point, but this is not something that Alexa should have to face at such a small age. A little of her "sparkle" was taken away, but one day on her own terms in her own way she will learn that being different is beautiful and what life is really all about. But at the age of 5 I just want her to be happy. So today is our last bento and I will continue to let her know that her decision is perfectly fine.

Is it sad that I am crying over this?

I to had a little "sparkle" taken away from me. But I will just find other ways to show Alexa how to express her imagination, creativity, and get that sparkle back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Babybel tire swing!

Like the snowflakes that miss A was wishing she could have had for a white Christmas. Apparently a tree tire swing is something else she longs for. Of course we live in Prosper, TX where believe it or not I am taller then our newly planted trees!!! Ok...not really...but they are super small and by the time we can put a tire swing on there it will be ready her Alexa's kids!!! haha! we have a Babybel cheese tire swing on a hot dog and whole grain pasta tree. We added a few grapes to fill the spaces and a few flowers sprouting from the hot dog ground!  Happy swinging!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Well Miss A is back!! A two week holiday vacay was a great time for the whole Z family. Her first day back at school was a super day. Today's bento is still a wish for Miss A....SNOW!!! Poor thing. All those movies and shows always show snow around Christmas. So we did some snowflake sandwiches. She wanted both kinds of cheese. Silly goose. We added some chips, some danish butter cookies from her Ma, and a few blueberries. There was not one single piece left over in her lunch box. Always makes me smile! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vintage Buttercream Cake

I must say this is one of my favorite cakes!! Something about the billowy textured buttercream. This was for a soon to be fashion major 18 year old beautiful young lady.
So we swapped some ideas. She liked the vintage romantic and soft pastel colors. So we found pictures like this one for inspiration.

She knew she did NOT want any fondant so we focused on buttercream textures. I watched some you tube video tutorials to learn some techniques. I posted the videos on pinterest! 
I sketched a few pictures and we decided on an ivory/off-white and pastel pink color palette.

I found the perfect brooch!! Actually I found two, but this one was perfect! Since it was a piece of jewelry I wrapped the pieces that would be inserted in the cake with Glad cling wrap.

These were the three tests I did to make my white buttercream vintage white! Bottom one was an ivory paste, middle was brown extract, and the top was the almond extract non-clear that worked like a charm!

Just a quick close up of the cake without the ribbon and brooch.

The fabulous brooch!


Definitely one of my favorite cakes! I had so much fun learning how to do the different techniques and am excited about doing more with textured buttercream!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years last minute sparkle and gas surprise...

Sooo these little mini cupcakes were a quick last minute baking venture for a New Years Eve party we went to at a neighbors house. I was baking, making baby food, and cooking lunch when I almost passed out and vomited from the gas smell from my gas stove.  I have NEVER had a gas stove before, always had electric, and also never used an oven or stove top this much in my life!!! Sooo honestly the gas I kept smelling I thought was normal...until I vomited. LOL! I was not really funny but I honestly thought I was just being silly ole me! My hubby called the builder and they sent a gas guy out. He found no leaks of course and the cabinet under the stovetop did not smell ONE BIT like gas!!! Of course I had it open about 20 times that day so it all aired out; I was sure. Soooo like taking your car to the shop and it never makes "that sound" for the mechanic, this was the situation I was in with the gas guy. Next day same thing...baking and making lunch and the smell once again was so strong. I immediately shut the cabinets and we called again. They came right over...thank goodness it was a different guy. It was a guy and a gal this time. The guy of course said..."no leaks, looks like someone has already been here". (Oh great!) The girl however...THANK GOODNESS...stuck her whole body under the cabinet and smelled away. She discussed something with the guy and he tested the fitting connections at the top and bottom and there were LOTS of bubbles!!! Two BIG leaks!! I wasn't crazy!!! Of course I immediately blew out my Christmas Cookie candle I was burning! GOOD GRAVY!! That could have been a bad situation. At least all is fixed and no one was harmed in the process! Anyway...back to the cupcakes. I was baking through this whole gas leak discovery and I kind of forgot the cupcakes were in the oven. So with the New Years pixie dust sparkle and gold edible glitter atop white buttercream they looked the part...but sadly were overcooked and dry. Nothing like a little crunch with your cupcake. :( So sad...oh well. It is a part of adventures in baking! You can't win all the time! At least they were pretty!! HAHA! Hopefully the guests were a little "happy" to notice!!! Nothing like a glass of champagne or wine to make something fabulous!! Happy New Year everyone! I look forward to a new year of baking ventures with you!!!

Squinkie Cupcakes...

If you have a young daughter you know what a Squinkie is. It is basically a miniature gumball egg machine prize but super tiny! Miss A has a gumball looking one that has all sorts of items like Hello Kitty, Disney Princess and a whole slew of other little animals! Not going to lie. I think it is kind of fun to stick in a fake coin, turn the knob and get a fun ball with a prize inside! Anway...Miss A has a friend in the neighborhood who was having a little sleepover birthday celebration and her mom ( a friend of mine) and I discussed princess cupcakes. I googled and found this one pick and they used Squinkies as the cupcake toppers and added some other flowers. I found the Disney Princess squinkies, made the cupcakes, made the fondant flowers, mixed the icing, and was ready to decorate. I soon realized that the photo we found used the small mini cupcakes!!! So my proportions were all wrong! But I still think they turned out super cute, the gals loved them, and you got more cake!!! So I say it was a win win!!! haha!
Snow white looking very colorful!


Gotta love Ariel...

A few of the princess just lying around!

Princess Jasmine...she looks a  litte nervous with those darting eyes! LOL!


Belle once again...she is one of fav!

We also had a few cupcakes that just had roses and two special ones with the birthday gals age and letter of her first name!