Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Shower goodies

Megan and Jeff are due with twins in November, but won't make it that long. Megan is on bed rest in the hospital for now until they come - hopefully not for several more weeks. She's handling it like a champ and is in a much better mood than I would think possible. Go Megan!
Saturday we had a baby shower at the hospital. Due to Megan's persistent asking and a few tears, she was allowed to get out of bed, put on real clothes, and be wheeled down to the dining hall for a good old fashioned baby shower. We had great food, a "guess the birth date" contest, and a really cute pregnant girl and her hubby her company.
Jeana and I made a diaper cake, which served as hospital decor, and several people made the yummy treats for the big event. I made these cookies:

My mom gave me the recipe that she found in a magazine. They are like sugar cookies, made with brown sugar, and the frosting is made with browned butter.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 t soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t powder
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening (you could use part butter, too)
2 eggs
1 1/2 t vanilla
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Combine dry ingredients.
Whip shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla.
Add alternately, dry ingredients & sour cream. Add walnuts.
I put mine in the refrigerator for a while to get cold.
Bake at 375 for 10 - 12 minutes.

Browned Butter Frosting:
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 t vanilla

Melt butter, stir with a wooden spoon. Once it browns a little, add to powdered sugar. Add vanilla. I used an electric mixer and had to add some milk to get the right consistency. I might have let my butter cook too long.
You could make another half of the recipe so each cookie gets a good amount of frosting.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fetish Friday

I like wearing cute flats with jeans, and today I wanted to find an affordable shoe we could all wear. I remembered some really cute red shoes Jamie got from Payless. I don't think these are the exact ones, but they are cute none the less.
They are the American Eagle Cherish Mary Jane Flat. A lot of name for a little price.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


We had a Senior Social last week for a youth activity at church. It wasn't seniors in high school, it was seniors in citizenship. The kids sat at tables with the seniors and we all shared stories and talents.
I made some sugar cookies to have for party favors. I wanted to play around with the frosting I used for the hippo cake. It was a pain in the butt, but after three hours of frosting, they ended up looking really cute. I think the more fattening fluffy frosting tastes better, but wouldn't have been nearly as cute.
I made 41 cookies total, using two different recipes. Ben really wanted a cookie and was whining and whining. Finally I made him his own very "special" cookie using scraps. In the end I left him one in his car with a nice note. He ate it on the way to work. Here is a shot of the trail of cookies as well as the finished party favor.

I was also in charge of flowers. I wanted to do something with underwater flowers that I had seen online. It was kind of a pain and I was working with limited materials. I ended up with this:

Orchids would have looked really cool, but I didn't have the budget for orchids, plus Costco doesn't carry orchids.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fetish Friday

It's so bittersweet to see the end of Summer. I don't like bidding farewell to the pool, the barbecues, the warm summer nights, the freedom of being out of school. I also don't like to say goodbye to the flip flops, peep toes, and sandals, which bear our beautifully bronzed toes.
But, time passes, and before you know it, you put those sandals, shorts, and swim suites away in the closet. And you pull on those tight curvy jeans, long sleeve shirts, and drag out the boots - or if you have really bad taste, the moccasins.
Perhaps it's because I am from the great Southwest or because I actually have good taste, or maybe I'm just a jerk, but for whatever reason I hate moccasins. I hate them with every inch of my being. I am sad to see them listed on the Fall Trends page at Piperlime. There are lots of them. Some are tall, some are short, some with heels, some are flat. But all have fringe and some have layers and layers of fringe.
These moccasins are by Minnetonka Moccasin and can be your's for only $80. The best part is that they come with a beaded tassel that you can interchange with the feather. How awesome is that? They might as well stick a dream catcher somewhere in there, too. Ugh..
Just remember when you are shopping - if you pick a pair of these up, repeat the word "moccasin" to yourself. You will hear the word "sin" and then remember not to buy them. Please don't ever let me a) purchase a pair of skinny jeans and/or b) buy moccasins to wear with my skinny jeans. Although, if I did I could go to Sundance this year...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Can you spare a vote?

Ben's been working on these four shirts for a long time. He wanted to get them all up so you can vote at the same time. They are at Threadless and if he wins and one gets printed he will get paid and some free shirts. It's a win-win: we can afford real fruits and veggies for Lucas instead of just fruit snacks AND Ben can wear something besides free Whataburger shirts he gets from the closet at his office!
It's easy to sign up for an account to vote, so go ahead and get busy. We really appreciate it!

By the way, the best score is a 5, and if you say that you would buy the shirt (the "$"), it is supposed to help scoring. If you don't like them, you don't have to vote. Thanks!
For the girls... - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Mermaphrodite - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Buy Me - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Trianglion - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Product Review - Special K Bars

I bought these Special K bars the other day to have around the house for snacks. I let Lucas gnaw on one during church on Sunday and I could smell it from a couple feet away... smelled like some sort of sweet candy/poison. But he chewed on it for a while.
Today I actually took a bite of one that was left out on the counter (I assumed from one I gave Lucas yesterday). You wouldn't believe it, but these peach and berry bars actually don't taste a thing like peaches or berries, but they do taste remarkably like poison.
Poor Lucas was probably confused that I kept giving him poison for snack because he's usually not allowed to play in the poison cupboard.
It turns out the one I took a bite of today was one that Ben tried this morning and couldn't stomach. We decided that the nasty flavor is probably from aspartame, which is basically like poison. Great. Now we're all going to get brain tumors.
If you want to try an absolutely fantastic granola bar, try Kashi's Cherry Dark Chocolate bars. I love them AND they're good for you - no poison .

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hippo Cake

So, here are the details for Lucas's hippo cake. It was supposed to look like the hippo from Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
I wanted to copy the idea from this other cake, where the lady made a giraffe out of royal icing. Instead of real royal icing (with egg whites), I used another recipe just using powdered sugar, corn syrup, and milk. It was way easy and tastes good, too.
I put a picture of the hippo on a cookie sheet with wax paper over that so I could trace the hippo. It worked out really well. I liked this idea because I knew I could make as many hippos as I needed instead of just one if I did it right on the cake.
My first hippo was too big, but looked pretty good. I originally considered him a practice hippo. When I decided to make a round cake instead of a 9x13 cake, I knew I had to try again. My second hippo was even better, but this was the day before the party, so I knew I was risking it not drying enough. FYI - to get the colors looking so varied, I actually mixed blue food coloring with some almond extract (mostly alcohol) and "painted" chunks of blue with my fingers.

I went on my merry little way and made my marshmallow fondant and my coconut cake. When I finally decided to transfer the hippo, it broke and broke and broke. Finally I decided to keep it on the wax paper and tear the paper around the edges. This worked, but I still had to basically do the hippo all over on top of the cute hippo. Luckily I had saved all my icing from the night before.
It didn't turn out as cute as the other hippos, but it still looked good.
I added color to some of my white fondant and made a little fondant braid to go around the bottom of the cake. It looked really cute and I was pleased.
Most importantly, Lucas loved the cake. Friday afternoon I had to keep him from trying to play with the cake or stick a spoon in it. He actually got a spoon out of the drawer and brought it over - hence the dent in the fondant.
Here are some pictures of the process:
First rolling out the fondant.

Then draping the fondant over the cake and trimming it around the edges.

And finally the finished product vs. the original: