Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 miles where are you?

This is NOT a cake post so if that's what you were expecting...sorry.  That will come later.

Right now I'm feeling a bit frustrated because it's been SOOOOOO LOOOOONG since I've been able to run 3 miles.  The last time I have recorded of running 3.5 mi was May 25!  Then summer hit and I had to get into a new routine with the boys being home.  Then there were birthdays and cakes and just plain 'ole busyness.

June 9th and 16th I had posted 30 min runs but I don't remember hitting the 3 mile mark.  Honestly, I'm not trying to whine although it probably sounds like that's exactly what I'm doing.  I just want to share this with someone else.

Now I have been "cross training" more which I've never done.  I've incorporated Zumba, which is super fun and lasts for an hour.  AND let's not forget my awesome bike that my sweetheart bought me!  I've been riding about once a week for 45-60 min as well!

Also, I did, just once, a Cardio Sculpt class that kicked my rear!  I need to do that one again...but I can't think about the pain.  

This past Sunday I actually went out on my first real ride on real streets!  We took hilly Flintridge, if you know where that is and rode for about 45 min.  That was really exciting!  I was tense.  Not because I was afraid of falling but because I was not used to being around all the cars.

I can't wait to go out again.  Only problem is I won't go alone and someone has to watch our boys so unless they are spending the night somewhere my outdoor rides will be few a far between.

I went to the "Y" this evening expecting to do a Zumba class but it was cancelled due to a/c problems and what not so I got on the treadmill to see what I could do.  I ended up doing 2 miles in about 22 min.  Eeh.  I'll keep trying.

Truth of the matter is I am really ready for this summer weather to be over so I can run outside again...with my dog.  I really miss it.  I'm not pretending to be some hard core runner who can take this heat and humidity so don't bash me.  

So there!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it!  Until next time friends.

As always, be blessed, leave some love and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Website!!!

The day is finally here and I 'm ready to share this really great news with everyone!  My website is up!


I'm so thrilled!  So now you have to visit my site and let me know what you think and be sure to refer all of your friends there too. 

I had a great guy helping me with how to publish the site, John with  He was supposed to design it for me too but I'm too stubborn for that so I tried my own hand at it with iWeb.  It took me a LONG time to figure everything out that I wanted to do but overall I'm very pleased.   I could not have completed it without John's help.  Thank you John!!!!

Okay, okay, so you're probably asking, "just give us the site already!"  Well, it's very simple and straightforward.

Tadaaaa!!!!!  That's it!  You may have noticed I've changed my blog background, yet again so it will match my site.  How exciting is that!  Thank you so much for your faithful support and encouragement in this endeavor.  It gives me great strength. 

As always, be blessed, leave some love and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dr Pepper Cake for a "Just What the Dr. Ordered!" Party

Here's a quick post about a cake I made on Friday for a dear, sweet, beautiful friend who I and some of my other lady friends felt needed to be celebrated for just being her!  Yeah, that's how we roll!

This beautiful lady, Lorissa, L.O.V.E.S. Dr Pepper!  And I mean LOVES!  I hardly ever see her without one in her hand and when we go on trips she brings her own little stash with her! :-)  We love her too because she is a sweet, beautiful, God fearing lady with a precious baby girl that we really wanted to celebrate...just because.  And that's how it should be.  Women encouraging women.  Lifting each other up and loving on each other just 'cuz you're you.  So...I made her guessed it...a Dr. Pepper can cake!

Her daughter's name is Jocey and her name is Lorissa.  That's why the can say's "Jocey Lorissa".  Now I was very flattered because when the ladies began to arrive they were all saying, "you've got to check out the cake!"  But most of them responded with "where is it?"  Then when it was pointed out they were amazed that what they were seeing was actually a cake!  Yeah, I was very flattered by all the compliments.  Especially since I recognized all the flaws, lumpiness and little things that I could've done better to make it more "clean".  

So, thank you ladies for giving me the opportunity to bless someone so wonderful and deserving with such a special cake!  And thank you for making me feel so special for making it.

As always, be blessed, leave some love and thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Boys and Volcanos

So, last month was my little man's birthday and he asked for a volcano cake.  Okay, that's a decent request.  Surely I could come up with something.  I knew what I wanted it to look like but wasn't really sure how to go about it.  I wanted it to have smoke so I knew a container would have to be in the middle... never done that before.  When I did a search for volcano cakes I saw a couple of really nice ones and some cute ones but mostly they just looked like piles of you know what with goo coming out the top.  Yeah...not the look I was going for.  I wanted it to look like a volcano but nothing too boy was turning 5 so cute was a thing of the past.  After a bit of brainstorming and sketching I came up with this for his big day.

Now, at first glance I was overall pleased with the outcome.  But when I started dissecting it I realized that many things could have been done differently...better.  It didn't look as clean as I'd hoped and I think that could be attributed to the grass covering the bottom tier and all the waves.  I couldn't see the words on the cake that I piped using red colored piping gel.  And my writing is crooked...I know...I'm working on that.  That really bothered me.

The second thing was that the height of all the layers was too tall for a good looking volcano.  (sigh) So I needed to somehow hide the bottom 6" layer.  Oh! I know!  I'll cut a section out of the bottom 8" tier so I can fit the volcano in it to hide the bottom, thus shortening the volcano so it looks better!  (big sigh)  Ok, so that worked out ok but could have been avoided.

The volcano was iced in ganache because I wanted a realistic look.  Eh, that looks alright.  I wanted grass so I used my grass tip and piped away.  Eh, that looks ok.  During my research I saw a cake that had waves piped around it and thought, "Cool!", so I checked out her technique from here.  I kind of over did it...just a bit.  Yeah, that will do.

So, two weeks later I had another 5 yr old birthday boy that wanted a "Volcano Cake".  I knew I could do better than the first and was excited to put my findings into practice.  THIS is what the second one looked like.  Complete with cupcakes.

THIS cake was covered in fondant, which make a huge difference in the "cleaner look" department!  The whole cake went together much easier and came out much cleaner.  I used a different cutter for the palm trees that I thought looked better.  I did fewer waves, used bright orange royal icing and made a birthday banner to write on.  The volcano still had a realistic feel to it that I liked better too.

There!  Much better, don't you think?  Here's a picture at the party.
You can kind of see the smoke coming out.  Which do you like better?  Why?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's new cupcake?

Good morning everyone!

I hope you are all doing well today.  I wanted to touch base with all of my wonderfully supportive fans and let you know to come check out my blog!  I've done some serious updating the past few days and I'd love to hear what you think about what I've added.  There will be more updating over the next week or two and some "pages" are in the in between stages.

I know that I mentioned before that I would be having a website up soon and I promise that is still in the works.  It's just taking a bit longer than I anticipated.  So, until it's up come check out my blog and stay plugged in with what's going on.

Before I leave you here are a couple pictures from the Cook-off I took part in on Fourth of July.  This is the cook-off where I was lucky enough to win 1st place dessert for the second year in a row and let me tell you the competition definitely raised the bar this year!  There were so many wonderful desserts!  We had such a great time...I ate some of the best brisket, fajitas, chicken and ribs around!  For those of you that didn't catch my prize winning recipe from my other post I've included it again...

This is from 2 batches...about 60 cookies.  I use a small ice cream scoop.

Don't they look incredible!  Round and crisp on the outside with a soft chewy center.

My youngest saw them bring out the trophies and demanded that he get one...I told him that you had to cook something to win.  So he said he wanted to cook something! (sigh) I said that if I won he could have my trophy...

Boy was he excited!

Since they were all gone by the time we left I came home and made more!  What goes best with warm chocolate chip cookies?

An ice cold glass of milk, of course!

I've called these cookies many things since I've started making them but whatever you call them they're just as delicious and will be a hit with everyone!  Even those who claim to NOT like chocolate chip cookies!  What?  Yeah.

My Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe (whatever you want to call it)

Cream together:

1 stick butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1 egg

Then add:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Fold in:
12 oz chocolate chips ( you can divide this between whatever chips you like or just add a bit more)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup of oatmeal
2-3 Tbl of Peanut butter (back off your sugar if you use one high in sugar) 

Bake approximately 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees on an parchment covered baking sheet or until edges brown.  Middle might seem a bit undercooked.  It will firm up after they sit for a few minutes.