Monday, September 22, 2014

Curious Bryson!

A few weeks ago, I received a message from my friend Nicci, asking if I could make a cake for her son Bryson's birthday. I made his cake last year - my first vegan cake, decorated with the face of Mickey Mouse. She wanted another cake, same dietary needs (except this time there was no soy allergy like last year), and this time she wanted Curious George and balloons, since we all know how much Curious George loves balloons. I love that cute little monkey! And I had so much fun decorating this cake. My daughter watched me make the decorations and at one point she said, "mommy, is that playdoh?" She was referring to the fondant that I use, and I said, "yes, it's like playdoh you can eat. And that's what makes decorating cakes so much fun!"

The cake is a delicious chocolate (you'd never know it was vegan!), and it is frosted and filled with a dairy-free vanilla buttercream, decorated with fondant and gum paste accents.

Hope you enjoyed your cake, Curious Bryson, and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A birthday and a graduation!

I love girly cakes, and this one is no exception. I was asked a month ago by a friend of a friend, if I could make two cakes - one for a high school graduation party, and another for the 18th birthday for her daughter Alexis. Well, the week that she wanted to have the graduation party was when I was planning to go on a vacation with my husband to celebrate our 10th anniversary. After some more thought, she decided to combine the two celebrations!

Alexis drew a picture for me, and I just fell in love with it. I mean, what's not to love about flowers, butterflies, and bright pink bows? The butterflies were to be in her high school and college colors (yellow and purple are the colors of Cudahy High School and orange and blue are the colors of Carroll University, where she starts in September.)

The cake is my yummy strawberry cake, filled with chocolate buttercream and iced with pink vanilla buttercream. I just love the way it turned out!

Congrats Alexis, and Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Here comes the bride... and groom!

I love my husband's family - since the day I first met all of them at a family party 12 years ago, they have welcomed me with open arms, even before Brian and I got engaged and then married. Last year I made cupcakes for a family reunion and Brian's cousin Lori was so impressed that she called on me to make cupcakes for her daughter's bridal shower. It was a couples shower, and she showed me a couple pictures she found on Pinterest, of cupcakes arranged to look like a wedding dress and tuxedo jacket. Super-cute! And it became my biggest cupcake order to date - 7 dozen cupcakes! 3 1/2 dozen each of two kinds - confetti cake with vanilla frosting, and yellow cake with dark chocolate buttercream. It was a busy day for me too - the day of the bridal shower was not only the birthday of the mother of the bride, but also my birthday! I had to work, but after work I met my husband at his cousin's house who had brought the cupcakes with him. I then assembled them in the right shapes, put in some finishing touches with frosting and accessories, and voila!

Best wishes to the bride and groom!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My future pilot turns 9!

What a year it has been for my son Lucas! His fascination for all things airplane has grown by leaps and bounds (much to the chagrin of his teacher, who had to remind him more than a few times not to draw airplane pictures on his homework - silly boy). It is wonderful to see him so passionate about something - and I can definitely see him going far. He even did a research project in school earlier this year about Neil Armstrong and discovered that the famous astronaut loved airplanes when he was a boy. So much so that he got his pilots license before he learned how to drive. So of course Lucas is determined to follow in Neil Armstrong's footsteps - and become the first man on Mars!

Earlier this summer, Lucas got to take his first ever flight in an airplane. (actually, he was in an airplane at the tender age of 8 months, but that doesn't count because he can't remember it and mom and dad would rather forget!) The EAA has a program called Young Eagles, and chapters all over the country offer free flights to kids aged 8-17, to expose them to the wonderful world of flight. Here he is, waiting for his turn - pretty excited, don't you think?

When his name was called, he started jumping up and down - I swear I thought he was going to float away all on his own! Here he is in the plane with pilot Ken, and again after their 15 minute flight. Lucas actually got to take the controls for a little bit, too - what an amazing experience!

When his birthday came around, I knew I just had to make a cake with airplanes on it. I thought of drawing pictures of the Blue Angels (which we were going to see perform, but the show was cancelled both days due to fog), but the day before his birthday we were at our parish festival, and while playing the kids' games, he won an airplane toy. I thought it would be perfect for a cake topper. The hard part was getting him to part with it, since he wanted to play with it right away.

The cake itself is lemon cake with lime curd filling. Very summery and perfect for a warm July day!

Happy Birthday Lucas!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Patriotic cake pops!

I had to work on the 4th of July this year, so I missed the parade and the fireworks, but I wasn't about to let it go by uncelebrated! A few of my co-workers decided to bring food in to work to share, so we could have our own little celebration. I had a layer of blue velvet cake left over from a cake tasting a couple of months ago, I decided to whip up some cake pops for my friends at work!

Happy 4th of July!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Graduation times two!

My neighbor Karen is not only neighbor, but one of my closest friends. My biggest regret is that I didn't get to know her sooner - it took a few years of being neighbors before I said hello, and we've been friends ever since. Earlier this year we were out for a walk, she told me that she wanted me to make a graduation cake for her twin grandsons. I was honored to be chosen for this task, and when the date got closer, I asked what she wanted. She told me that her grandsons, Peter and Jacob, are both going to college at the Art Institute. Jacob will be studying film, and Peter will be studying graphic design. She wanted a small cake that would be big enough just for immediate family, so I decided to decorate half of the cake for each graduate. I know they'll be wonderfully successful in their endeavors, and wanted to make a cake that showcased just how proud their grandparents are of both of them.

The cake itself is yellow cake with chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. All of the decorations are made out of fondant and food-safe marker. I had so much fun making this cake and from what I heard, the boys were impressed.

Best Wishes Peter and Jacob - you both have a bright future ahead of you!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Daisy Scout Garden Party

This year my daughter became a daisy scout. I was a brownie scout myself as a little girl (they didn't have daisies back then) and it's been so much fun to watch her grow and learn. I've been to a few girl scout outings with her this year too and they were all so much fun. It brought back a lot of memories from when I was a little girl.

Last Friday was the last meeting of this school year and to celebrate everything they have done and learned, they had a garden party. They played games, did a few crafts, went outside to blow bubbles and had some snacks. When the troop leader asked the other moms to bring treats, I volunteered to make some mini cupcakes for the event. I had made some earlier this year that looked like mums, and the troop leader was so impressed that she wanted me to make them again. This time I made roses (which ended up looking more like carnations), violets, sunflowers and daisies, all made with buttercream. And for each cupcake, except the ones with the violets on them, I put a little bee. I found them when I was shopping with my mom and thought they would look perfect. When I dropped the cupcakes off at school for the meeting, one of the co-leaders told me that the bee actually has a significance for Daisy scouting. In the first meeting of the year the girls were told a story of two little girls who were led to a garden by a bee, and that is where they began their journey as girl scouts! I loved all of them but my favorite was, of course, the sunflower! And the daisy. Oh heck... I love all of them. Especially those cute little bees!

 Congrats to all of the girls of Daisy Troop 8647 on a great year!