Monday, March 21, 2011

Tie Dye Cupcakes!!
These were a HUGE hit at my house this past weekend.
It is really a very simple recipe. Take a standard cake mix and make according to directions. Then divide the batter into 6 bowls (about 1 cup each) and mix to your desired colors. I used Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue and Purple gel dye. Then you layer by the teaspoonful. I just dolloped the spoonfuls in rainbow order. I then Baked these for about 15 minutes until a clean toothpick inserted came out clean. While cooling, I mixed 2 tubs of white frosting with 3 different colors of dye - Red, Yellow and blue. In a pastry bag I put the frosting inside by the spoonful alternating colors until I got all of the frosting in the tube. Starting at 12 oclock I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Here is where you can see the rainbow effect of the frosting on the cupcakes.

I love how vibrant the colors on the inside of the cupcakes came out!! I will definatly make these again.
I am thinking I will make some in badger colors for the girls...Purple and gold. The frosting I could do in Purple yellow and white to make sure the colors do not get too muddy.

This is one of my walmart clearance shopping trip. This order before coupons about about $70 and I walked spending about $10 it was a really great trip!

This was my Giant Eagle Stock up trip. Aprox $130 in items, my total out of pockets was $28 after coupons and sale items.

Lastly, These are the newest memebers of our chicken coop. We wanted a rooster and we got a hen along with him :) He is very 'Rooster-y' and doesn't seem to like me coming into the coop to collect eggs. I am trying to get him to see that I am not scared of him...but I am a shin hurts from where he tried to get me out of the coop!
I am sure there will be more to post very soon, some birthday invites that I am doing for a friend of Madelyns, Madelyn's diorama, spring cleaning, more planting, hopefully the start of the green house...ahh the joys of a busy life! Until next time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring in here!! LOL - at least it is in my Kitchen. I bought an indoor green house and planted all of my bulbs that I failed to get planted last fall. They are doing great - except the flowers are dying off...either way it gives me something to get planted as soon as I can get in the dirt...maybe even get another flower or two :) Dougnuts!! These were really easy to make and I will for sure make them again!! I have been searching for the 'best' recipe. So after reading many and taking all the comments into consideration etc I put together a recipe that I thought would did!! The key here is the cake mix - this is where you can easily change up your doughnut flavors and its easier then trying to guess how much to use. For these doughnuts I used a French Vanilla cake mix. I am sure I could use any flavor for this. Strawberry, lemon, spice, chocolate etc. I would use a good quality mix. These tend to be full of flavor. I mean quality as in Duncan Hines or Pilsbury. Recipe: 2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast 1/4 cup water (105-115) 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled) 1/2 cup sugar 1 teaspoon salt 2 eggs 1/3 cup shortening 2.5 cups all purpose flour 2.5 cups your favorite cake mix, or yellow would be fine. canola oil Creamy Glaze 1/3 cup butter 2 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 6 tablespoons hot water 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2.5 quart bowl 2. Add milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortenng and 2 cups flour 3. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. 4. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally 5. Stir in remaining flour until smooth 6. Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes 7. (dough is ready when indentation remails when when touched) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour 8. gently roll dough 1/2 in thick with floured rolling pin 9. cut with floured doughnut cutter 10. cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes 11. Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer/skillet to 350 degrees 12. slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula 13. turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface 14. fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side 15. remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface) drain 16. dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack to cool. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy Birthday Dakota and Brooke (2.28.11)

I am a little late in posting this but I wanted to share a recipe and pics of the twins birthday cakes I made for them! I have a few cake books laying around and the girls were very intrigued with the possibility of eating a cake that looked like scooby doo. I gave the girls a few options of something I thought I could make and they chose Spongebob!
To save time I took a french vanilla cake mix and split it between a round and square cake pan (Two cakes would be too much around here). After baking and cooling I used one of those Wiltons wire cake trimmer things...sorry for not having its correct name - but its a metal handle with a thin piece of wire that is adjustable...this allows you to split cake layers and to also trim off that hump you get when the cake bakes.
I used some store bought ButterCream frosting and frosted the middle, top and sides keeping it as smooth as possible and let the frosting set.
Then I made the fondant - its really easy and I will share the recipe below. Two reasons - store bought fondant is expensive and it tastes like cardboard. So the recipe that I use is a marshmellow fondant.
The tweaks or differences I made: I did use the Kraft jetpuffed mini marshmellows but I used the walmart brand powdered sugar. I also made a half a batch at a time: adding water, food color then marshmellows to the bowl before micowaving - the fondant was very easy to color this way :)
Recipe from here:

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows(use a good quality brand)

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)

1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)


NOTE: Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.

Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total.

Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.

Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)

Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?”

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.

It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.

Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.

MM Fondant icing will hold very well in the refrigerator for weeks. If I know that I have a cake to decorate, I usually make two (2) batches on a free night during the week so it is ready when I need it. Take advantage of the fact that this fondant icing can be prepared well in advance.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A somewhat new term in our house. We have tried many times to stock up on food etc in the house...either by going to BJs wholesale or going to Aldi's - both place we spend a large chunk of money and then have to take the time to recover - especially if its BJs. We can easily walk out of there spending $400+. Aldi's was great for use when we had our apartment and it was myself, Matt, Madelyn and my brother. We could easily go there and buy a months worth of food and it was perfect financially. At that time - coupons were way too time consuming...

Now with 4 kids - and no time - I make the time to clip coupons. We are eatting all the foods we love, even some extras and I have saved nearly $1575!!

I took some time to take a few pictures of what I have been working on for the last few months.
This is the start of my stockpile - in the basement - we have a couple shelves that I have loaded up.
Here is the start of my Laundry stuff and the majority of the stuff that I canned.
This is the bottom half of my mother in law's freezer.
This is our freezer, I am out of room.
Canned foods.
Canned food, flour, ketsup, juice and cereal.
condiments in the pull outs.
More Dry food, Our H&B stuff is pictured below.
Thanks for checking our growing stockpile!!