BIG Cupcake Daisies

I'm making assorted cupcakes for our church's spring ladies' retreat. I thought I'd make BIG flowers to put on the tops of them to distinguish the different flavors. I'm going to make big roses, pansies, and daffodils too. Here are the first big flowers, big daisies. They're about 3" in diameter. They were fun to make! I hope the rest of the flowers turn out ok too. We're going to put the cupcakes on cake pedestal plates in the middle of the tables as centerpieces. Hopefully, they'll look like big flower bouquets. Thanks for stopping by!


Wilton Level III Final Cake Preparation

Once again, I am going to use a cake design from my course instruction booklet as my final cake. It uses petunias, but since this cake will be made the week before Easter, I'm going to use Easter Lilies instead. I started prepping them in advance so that they would have plenty of time to dry.

The cake will be a tiered cake, so I decided to make two sizes of Easter Lilies using the large and medium size lily nails in our class supply kit. I need ten of each size, but I made a dozen of each size in case one breaks or something. It's such a relief to have these done! Thanks for stopping by!


Wilton Level III Cake Decorating Class

At my second Wilton Level III Cake Decorating Class, we made some more flowers using the lily nails. My royal icing was a little soft, so it didn't work as well as it should have. This was my first whack at petunias, morning glories, garlands and string work. Thanks for stopping by!


Happy St. Patrick's Day Cookie

It's a little late, but this is a jumbo cookie that I made for the boys for St. Patrick's Day. I am having way too much fun with me new cake decorating skills. The perpetual supply of buttercream isn't such a good thing. I need to strengthen my will power against it.

One recipe of my chocolate chip cookie dough makes two of these jumbo cookies. We took one for my oldest son's kindergarten teacher on St. Patrick's Day. She thought it was great, and he was excited to give it to her. Thanks for stopping by!


"16" Birthday Cake

A friend of mine saw my final cake--or at least the remnants of it--after I had taken it to the church office to get rid of the rest of it. (You can see it in yesterday's post.) Her son's 16th birthday was coming up, and she was thinking of doing a special cake for it. She asked me if I'd be interested, and I said, "Sure!"

They decided they would like a "16" shaped cake.  I started out with two 11x15 cakes made with 1 1/2 cake mixes each. The "1" is to have Oreo cream filling, and the "6" is to have buttercream filling. I probably could have done this with two 9x13 cakes and had enough servings, but I didn't want to be too small, and I wasn't sure how much cake I'd have to carve out to make the numbers.


I put this in the fridge to chill around 5pm and got it out around 12:30a to carve. I made a big "16" using a cool italic font on the computer, and then blew it up huge to the same size as my cake. I then used that as a pattern to carve my cake. You can see my templates and the excess cake that I cut away. There's a yummy use for cake scraps that I'll have to tell you about some other time.

So after carving the numbers, I decided they would be easier to ice if they were separated. I put them on two trays and iced them separately. Here they are with their crumb coats on. These chilled until the next evening when I decorated them with lime green and royal blue stripes. It was quite a job to get them on one board and completely decorated on the sides of the cakes against each other. Fun, fun!!  

Thanks for stopping by!


Wilton Method Cake Decorating Class Level II Final Cake

Well, here's my final cake from the Level II Wilton Cake Decorating Course.  I finished the class on March 3rd.  I posted earlier about all the royal icing flowers I made to prepare for it.  This was the final product.  I was extremely pleased with the way that it turned out.  It was almost a shame to cut it, but we did.  I cut it for the ladies here at a stamping workshop later that week, and then I took the leftovers up to our church office to get rid of it.  I didn't need to sit and eat the rest of it myself, and none of the boys here liked it.

It was a fruity cake, a Pineapple Banana Smoothie cake from a Cake Doctor book.  Then, I used pineapple juice and pineapple flavoring in the buttercream.  To finish it off, there was pineapple filling between the layers.  I was a little concerned that it would be too much pineapple, but it wasn't.  It was really good. Thanks for stopping by!


Chicken Korma II that I will never forget!

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted.  Life got busy there for a bit, and then when it slowed down, we lost our internet for a week.

A few weeks ago, I posted about trying a chicken korma recipe that was a disappointment.  My friend, Bobbie, emailed me with two chicken korma recipes that she had found online.  One recipe looked especially interesting and the most like what I've gotten at Indian restaurants when I order it.  Last week, I bought the ingredients to make it.

Last night, while I was cooking this Chicken Korma II dish, I had an accident.  I was getting ready to puree the cashews and yogurt, but my immersible blender attachment didn't seem to be working right.  Without thinking, I went to fiddle with the attachment without unplugging it.  The whole thing spun in my other hand, and somehow I pushed the power button.  Zwing!  The next thing I knew, my left hand was covered in blood oozing from my index finger.

I'll spare you all the details, but I went to the emergency room to get stitches.  I was lucky that the cut wasn't bigger.  I only needed four stitches, and I didn't cut any tendons/ligaments/bones.  It's doing pretty well today.  I have a HUGE pile of dishes that I must tackle with some rubber gloves once I take this big bandage off later this evening.

Back to the korma...  Before going to the hospital, I showed Jim what to do to finish the korma.  He finished it while I was at the emergency.  (My terrific friend, Sally, came and stayed with me and brought me home so that Jim could bring the boys home.)  I finally got to have some late last night, and it was wonderful!  I loved it!  I did add some golden raisins and sliced almonds at the end, which the recipe didn't call for, but it made it even better.  This one is definitely a keeper!

Come back again tomorrow.  I have a bunch of cake decorating pictures to show you from the past few weeks.  Thanks for stopping by!


Lady and Son's Onion-Cheese Bread

I first tried this recipe a few years ago after seeing Paula Deen make it on her show. I forget about making breads as side dishes. Tonight, I remembered this recipe and made it to go with chicken stew for dinner.

I really enjoy this recipe for Lady and Son's Onion-Cheese Bread. I love sauteed onions on pizza, hamburgers, in French onion soup, and the list goes on. I've never made this in a round cake pan like the recipe calls for. Instead, I have made it in mini-muffin pans for bite-sized portions. Tonight, I made it in normal size muffin pans. Yum! Thanks for stopping by!


Chicken Vindaloo

Jim and I really enjoy Indian food, but we don't go out for it nearly as often as we used to now that we have picky eaters in the family. Vindaloo is Jim's favorite dish, and I made this for him often.

I have no idea where I got this recipe originally. I found it years ago on a random Indian cooking website, I think. Since then, I have made my own adjustments to it. It's Jim's favorite Indian dish, so he has made some suggestions for improving it too. Here's the recipe:
Chicken Vindaloo

4 T. butter, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1-14 oz. can chicken broth
1/2 of a 29 oz. can of tomato puree
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced or pressed
1 T. cider vinegar
curry/vindaloo paste
basmati rice

Melt 2 T. butter in large pan over medium high heat. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and saute in butter until lightly browned and just cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Melt remaining 2 T. butter in pan. Add onions and garlic, fry for 2 min. over medium heat. Add 3-5 T. of curry (to taste) and fry for about 5 min. (I have been using vindaloo paste instead of curry. You can buy it at some grocery stores that stock ethnic foods. Jim likes this much better.)

Add chicken broth, potatoes and tomato puree. Cook for 10 min. over medium heat.

Add chicken back to pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 min. uncovered. Stir in cider vinegar and let sit 5 min. Serve over basmati rice.

Give this a whirl if you're feeling adventurous! Thanks for stopping by!