Thursday, October 4, 2012

My entry for OSSAS 2012

The Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show and Grand National Wedding Cake Competition 2012

So here is my creation for Hats, Headbands, and Headgear!
 I hand rolled each brick and set it in to its specific place to recreate the pattern found on the Doge's Palace walls. The outside panels are "english paneling" with royal icing stringwork and fondant accents.
 Winged lions sit on top of my top hat tier. Rice paper feathers and "venetian glass" hat pins poke out from behind the golden broach.
More rice paper feathers. Hand piped filigree on the gumpaste mask, English Panels, figure piped cherub, fondant molded accents, hand made flowers..

I still need to go through my pictures of all the entries but I'll have some to post soon!

This was a monster of a job.. I had several panels break during transit- despite the safe guards that were in place.. My cherubs were also holding bows and arrows..  I'm a bull in a china shop sometimes...
I got some great feedback and I came home with "finalist" I'm not sure what that means exactly. One lady told me it was the top ten while another told me it could be up to top 11.  Either way, its only my 4th month of decorating cakes so I'm excited to have walked away with that! Next year, I will have had this experience behind me and will be able to better prepare. 

Special Thank you to The CakePro Caddy
These guys carried my ginormous cake up and down the halls of the QT center and they even lugged it half a mile to my car!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Many apologies.
RBM is super busy with creating a winning cake.. See you in October..

Yeah, my cake is that epic.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Healthy Snacks



If you love ice cream....
and
if you love bananas....

Boy, are you gonna love this!

This is my secret weapon when it comes to tasty treats and healthy snacks.  You can make this ice cream with only one ingredient. 

Yes! Only ONE ingredient!

Here's what you will need:
  1. bananas (usually the older spotted ones taste better) 6 bananas= about 1 pint
  2. food processor or blender
  3. flavors.. (I'll get to that later)
Spotted bananas taste sweeter for this recipe
And here's what you do"
  • Chop up your nanners in to chunks. I've found that cutting them in to thirds is sufficient enough for my processor but you may have to chop them smaller for appliances with less power.
small chunks of banana

  • Put your chopped bananas in to freezer bags and allow to thoroughly freeze.

  • Once frozen, put your banana chunks into the processor and turn that sucker on! You may have to use the "pulse" function (or similar) to keep the bananas from getting stuck. Your nanners should go through a couple stages...
The first being chunky bits of banana that I've heard  described as "banana gravel."
   After that, it goes through a pasty stage with chunks and bits here and there.
  And finally to the last stage, your mixture should start to become creamy and look like soft serve ice cream.

I portion my ice cream into reusable cupcake  cups and freeze them for single serving use!







 This is probably a good point to talk about flavors!

So I've been making banana ice cream for a while and I've collected a few flavors along the way..

**(All the ingredients are "per 6 bananas")

Banana Peanut Butter and Honey
Add 1 tbs peanut butter and either mix in a big squeeze of honey or drizzle a little over top.

Reese's Banana Ice Cream
Add 1/2 c of chopped reese's peanut butter cups. Drizzle with chocolate sauce.. :)

Chocolate Hazelnut
1+ 1/2 tbs Nutella.

Banana Rum Raisin
1/2c raisins (chocolate covered work too)
1/2 tsp rum flavoring

Banana Cream
1/2 whipped topping (honey adds more flavor too!)

Strawberry Banana
1/2c chopped strawberries (frozen strawberries blend well in processor/blender or hand mix for fresh)

At any rate, get creative! You can have ice cream for breakfast now! Remember its only bananas!
Okay you wonderful interwebbers, Thanks for being patient with me while I "get well soon." See ya next time!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coconut Spiral Sugar Cookies


I'm sure you've seen these.

I wanted to try my hand at spiral cookies but I wasn't so pleased with many of the recipes..  So much work! And using a food processor to make them.. ugh.

So here is my solution! Green Spiral Coconut Cookies with a crispy brown sugar rim.
note: The brown sugar will cause the cookies to spread a bit.. use candy confetti or sprinkles as a substitute if you want a decorative rim like most of the pictures found lurking on Google. :)


Green Spiral Coconut Sugar Cookies
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp baking soda... (1/4+1/8)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (or sucanat, coconut sugar, or evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 tbs milk (goat milk is amazing here! add coconut milk for extra flavor)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • green food coloring
 This makes a very small batch. I recommend either doubling the recipe or making 2 separate batches and coloring one of them green(or blue or yellow etc..)

Instructions:
Combine dry ingredients and mix very, very well. In a separate bowl,soften the coconut oil , then stir in vanilla and milk. Pour dry into wet and mix again.
If you have doubled the recipe; split it in half add food coloring to one batch.

Roll out each batch separately onto wax paper. You should have two sheets of cookie dough, one green and one.. cookie colored..

Refrigerate dough until firm.

remove wax paper and stack your dough sheets on top of one another.
(I sprinkled some colored sugar on the innermost layer {the top}to give it an extra splash of color.)

Once your dough is pliable, roll it into a log. Continue rolling your dough gently on a hard smooth surface to squeeze out any air pockets and make sure the cookies come out in neat little circles. This is also the time to roll your log into any decorative stuff you wish. I used colored brown sugar because I like the caramelized taste of brown sugar... nom nom!



Slice and bake in a 325F preheated oven for 9 minutes. They will look very underdone when you take them out, but that’s ok!! Just let them cool for 5 minutes before touching.


Now go get creative! Mothers' Day is coming up... :)

Have a wonderful day! and I will see you soon with more March Green Madness!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

T-shirt Rug

Recycled T-shirt Rug
or
Cat bed
0_o

So you've had a few jobs, ran a couple marathons, got involved in the community, gave blood, got lots of ugly clothes for X-mas, or etc, AND got the t-shirt. Didn't you? :)

Yeah, me too! I looovee t-shirts! Its sort of my unofficial uniform.. So anyhow, I've got tons of t-shirts. And even more that I don't wear anymore for one reason or another.. Who wants to wear old work shirts around?..  (unless you're going for that dirty trucker look or calling it vintage or you just like free shirts)

Old work shirts


Its a good thing I had so many because it takes a lot of shirts for this project. I had to keep adding more shirts so eventually I lost count as to how many there were...  oops.

So here's what we are doing.. Get yourself a big shirt (at least half the size of the rug you want) and cut it open so it will lay flat. I used the back of an old band shirt that was way to big.

Next, cut small slits in to your "master shirt." Make rows and columns of these slits either all at once or cut them as you go, as I did. The slits should be half an inch at most. Remember its t-shirt/cotton so it stretches and tears easily. Space each slit about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch apart. Don't forget to leave allowances on the edges.. especially if you are going to finish it with a border or something fancy like that.

Now is a good time to start cutting up your t-shirts too. Make strips about 1inch x 6 inches long. It saves time to cut them all up at the beginning. After you have your strips cut, they can be dyed. Its much easier to dye them now rather then later when the rug is complete.

The cool design on the back
Insert one end of your strip into a slit on the bottom of the "master shirt" and the other end into the next slit. You should have made a "U" shape with your strip. Insert the next strip into the same slit as the 2nd end of the 1st strip. The end of the new strip should be inserted into the next available slit down the row. Now you should have made a "W" shape with your 2 strips. You should have strips coming out of 3 slits at this point. Continue on down the row.

If you wish to tie your strips together; after completing poking t-shirt through the slits, tie that row and then continue poking in the next row. If you wait to tie your strips together until all your strips are woven, it will be "puttineer" impossible to find each set.
I chose to tie each strip to the next instead of tying each strip around the master shirt...


Eventually, You will come up with something that looks like a big pile of t-shirt strips.. But in an "I made that" and "It feels so good" kind of way! I think, since this rug is so multi-colored and doesn't match anything in the house.. oops, I will give this one to the cat. I think she has already commandeered it as I have caught her several times stretched out over it.

So good luck! This is such a fun project for almost any age! 
Expectant mothers could make for baby
kids could make with outgrown clothes
anyone could make for cool gift
stress relieving to make
time consuming for sick or immobile people
yada yada...

Anyhow, I'm not finished yet. I have to wait until M.J. -the cat- decides to move so I can work on it again!

Have a lovely day filled with all things delicious and fragrant! :)

Painting



So I suppose I need to start this post off with an apology... :)
I was sick. Now I'm not. I have a bunch of March posts that need to go up.. March is almost over.  -_-
So I'm extending March Green Madness into April! Sorry. :)

This post isn't really about being green though. I just thought I would show you what I have been doing while.. not doing anything...

This is my newest project. I am hoping it will inspire me and help me remember my dreams. I have a dream book that hasn't gotten enough attention lately and I wanted to bring that to my waking attention. So here is what I have so far: And no.. its not finished. :)


It says "Where do you go when you dream?"

I also just wanted to see how the progress was coming along in a side by side kinda way..:











 "When you"



Crater face..













So there you have it. I have to put this one away for a while because I just got commissioned to do a bunch of nautical themed paintings for a sea-side condo.  fun. fun..

So anyhow, get ready for a bunch of posts all at once.. I had them all planned and I'll be bushwhacked if I don't get em posted!

Have a wonderful day! And do something creative and inspiring today! You'll love it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Newspaper Seed Cups

Newspaper Seed Pots
 
So last year, just before planting time, I purchased a bulk amount of seed pots to start our veggies in. I think  I used about 15 of them. That may sound like alot, but out of 250 it was just a waste of money. I purchased 2 different sizes. I could not tell you what sizes they were now, however.  Each cost about 10-15 cents each. (depending on size)  But since I live out in the "Boonies," as its lovingly called, I had to have them shipped to me. (add $25.00 to the total..) All in all, I won't purchase plastic pots again. They turned out to be pretty inconvenient. I had to keep moving my plants to bigger pots or just to the ground, and I found that that procedure tended to be a bit stressful on the plants. It can't be too much fun having your roots broken up and thrust into new earth. 

Apologies, I seem to be rambling... or ranting. So I should get to the point and show you how to make these nifty little pots. The coolest thing about them, you can pop them straight into the ground.. No bustin' up roots! (I like to pull off the bottom part of the newspaper when planting but its up to you)

Materials:
Newspaper (plain boring newspaper. Not high color glossy adverts.)
a can ( about 16 oz or any other desired "size")
scissors

First, you'll need one big sheet of newspaper. Use the scissors to cut your  sheet in half down the center crease.

Next, you'll need to fold your sheet lengthwise in a tri-fold. Much like folding a letter. 


Now, it's time to roll up your can using the newspaper. Remember that you have to pull the can out of your new pot so don't roll it too tightly.


Leave enough extra newspaper at the bottom so that you can fold it up to cover a little more than half way up the can. Let me try that again.. You'll want enough newspaper to measure 1/4 inch more than the radius of the can. I hope that makes sense.. Trial and error will help if my wording is too.. fuddled. :)

Continue rolling your can until you have exhausted your supply of newsprint. 


Now it's time to fold up the bottom. 


See how the newspaper covers the radius plus about 1/4 inch?  Continue folding in this manner until you can stand your can upright on your folds. Then remove your can and you should have a newspaper cup!


Fill with seed starting mix or whatever your grow medium of choice is, add seeds, water.. and 


Tada!
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 I hope you found this helpful. Its funny how the simplest things can be right in front of your face, but being tv programmed tells me I should try buying expensive plastic pots before anything homemade could ever work... funny. 

So get out and garden today. Put away your tv box and get some sun!  :)  Ramble ramble.. I know.. sorry. Have a great day filled with all things delicious and fragrant!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Curious State of Affairs


I dare say curious, indeed. Check out Henry (ahn-rhee) balancing delicately on the tip of one of the plants in the aquarium. I've been feeling a bit like Henry lately. Swaying in the current, and all the while, performing my own delicate balancing act consisting of day to day duties and being sick. My apologies for being so blunt. It seems as though, with the coming of gorgeous spring-like weather, I have fallen a bit ill.

Strangely, my spirits have not followed suit. My garden has gotten on just fine without me. In fact, the heavens themselves have opened up and enriched and softened the soils while I could not. It rained for 3 days but never flooded any of the newly planted beds. The chickens have had a marvelous time pecking and scratching for worms and other creatures that have ventured forth from their flooded dwellings. Everyone is happy and healthy and the Earth keeps spinning and hurtling through space at unimaginable speeds. I was not completely useless though.. 



I have made newspaper cups for sprouting the season's seeds. I should have the tutorial up tomorrow. I also finished the green spiral coconut sugar cookies that I intend to have posted by the end of the week as well. I'm super excited to share those with you, they made me happy when I (probably shouldn't have had them) was feeling particularly ill and not my usual Radio Birdtastic self.

Sneak peek at unbaked coconut sugar spiral cookies

In the mean time, I hope you are well and have found time for a good book. Truly a blessing it is to have the time to read for pleasure's sake. Now go have a wonderful Wednesday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turkey Croquette Recipe

Turkey Croquette Recipe



I made a turkey dinner for friends this past week and PHEW! I am all turkey-ed out. But I still had some left overs.. What to do.. What to do..  Most of what was left was turkey and mashed potatoes.. 
I thought about the crab cakes I used to make when I worked for a pub and wondered if I could do something similar with turkey.. Turns out.. yes! I introduce you to Turkey Croquettes. These are like a whole Turkey day dinner rolled into a cute little ball. 

Here's what you'll need:

For the Croquettes 
  • 2 cups finely minced turkey 
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp pepper  
For the sauce:
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 6 green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 4 tbs flour
  • 1/4 cup chicken or turkey broth
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the coating:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs (large lightly beaten w/ 1 tbs water)
  • 2 cup finely ground bread crumbs or panko
 optional:
cranberry sauce or turkey gravy



Now, what to do.. what to do...:



Combine turkey, mashed potatoes, parsley and pepper



Melt the butter in pan over medium heat.
Add green onions and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add flour and blend until smooth



Stir in broth and milk and stir for 2 minutes.
Add salt and combine with turkey mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Shape mixture into ! 1/2 inch balls. 



Roll balls in 1/2 cup of flour then dip into the eggs and coat with bread crumbs.



Let stand for 45 minutes.



Now there are 2 different methods of cooking:
 Bake:
@ 350 for 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned

Fry:
Heat oil to 360 degrees. Fry balls for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.

Baking may dry out the croquettes but thats easily countered with the help of cranberry sauce or turkey gravy!


At any rate, These are super yummy and really easy to make. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!



Now go have a wonderful day filled with all things delicious and fragrant!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Gel Air Fresheners


DIY Gel Air Fresheners

I would start this post with some cheesy anecdote about smelly bathrooms or something... But I think you came here to learn a little something.. So let's get to it shall we!?

Ok, Here's what you will need:

Heat-proof  jars. Such as canning jars or candle jars.. 
Food colouring
Essential oils 
4 envelopes of Knox powdered gelatin (1 oz)
2 cups cold water
A Tbs of salt or vodka  (to keep from molding)

OK, Here's what you do:

Add a few drops of essential oil to each of your jars. (More oil = more scent) I use about 30 drops of oil per 1/2 pint) And add a couple drops of colour. You don't need much food colouring. 2 drops or so should do it. Set these aside.





Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the gelatin. Whisk until smooth. Add the salt (or vodka) and the 2nd cup of cold water and whisk until smooth.


Quickly pour the hot mixture into your prepared jars and stir. Now, just allow these to cool and set into their new gelatinous form and you've got yourself some Homemade Air Fresheners!

For my first batch I used plain lavender oil which smelled wonderful! These are so great because they are really cheap and you can put them in virtually any container you want. Makes stashing a little smell good in corners and tight spaces so much easier! And even better than stashing these is displaying them proudly as conversation pieces. You can really dress up this project by decorating your jars to match your decor. I've got a sparkly black and white bathroom that could use a little "mirror ball" type jar filled with smelly goodness!

Oh! Let me send you over to this wonderful site:

The recipe is the same but she gives you oil recipes for making specific smells such as
Rosemary Orange
Pine scented
Essense of Province

And if you need help finding oils...
Hobby Lobby and Micheals I hear have them.. 
I found a great set of aromatherapy oils that I, myself, am going to pick up. I'll show you how to use them in candles later on. For now, Click the picture for more info.

Top 6 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Basic Sampler Essential Oil Gift Set- 6/10 ml (Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint, Tea Tree)

And, in sticking to my green theme... Here's a tip. 

You can use 2oz of Orange oil to 2 gallons of water as an ant repellant. (heh.. repel-ant.. English is so fun sometimes) Just pour over the mound for 2-3 days and watch the ants line up to leave..

The ants go marching one by one...
Check that out! I bet you could see that line of ants from space! But, I just hope you can see it from the interwebs. ;)

There were so many that they dug trenches trying to escape the smell of orange.

OK, That's all I've got for you today. I've been super busy lately. The garden is HUGE this year.. So that's taking forever.. I'm painting again.. That's taking forever too. :) And a myriad of other things going on. Oh! I still need to brag about purple potatoes..


Row upon row of them. fun!

Well, time to get back to it! Have a wonderful day!