Friday, June 28, 2013

Cupcakes and Wedding Cake

My mom and my sisters and I joke, only a little, about someday having a reception center that we run and a small bakery/craft store at the front.  My mom and sister Alisha took the cake decorating classes at Michaels Craft store and my mom has been decorating my kids birthday cakes ever since.  Well my sister's friends and one of my brother's friends asked my mom to bake and decorate their wedding cake.  They found a picture and my mom tried to recreate it as best as she could.  For being an amateur I think she does a great job.

Cake made for one of my sister's friend's wedding.

Cake made for my brother's friend's wedding.
This past weekend my cousin had her wedding reception and my mom was asked to make her cake and about 300 cupcakes.  This time I got to help with all the fun.  We made an assembly line and just used cake mix boxes that we bought.  (Someday we hope to have recipes that are our own that taste phenomenal.)  

Anyways we baked the cupcakes and we decided to add filling to most of the cupcakes.  The filling was premixed and purchased from Orson Gygi.  We used lemon, cream cheese, raspberry, and Bavarian cream.  Then we decorated each cupcake differently so we could tell them apart and boxed them for the reception.

Pre-made fillings.

Cupcakes in a row.
Toppings, flowers my mom made and pearls.

For the cake we used fondant to decorate the top and bottom layer.  This was my moms first time using fondant on a cake, it was something that she was really nervous about.  We smoothed it out as best as we could and added the zigzags and polka dots which were also made from fondant.  The whole family stepped into help with this project.  For the petals we used fondant to shape them and then let them harden.

Here are the cupcakes all ready to eat at the reception.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Have you Read the Book of Mormon?

I have mentioned this before but I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I am a Mormon. This past Sunday we had a great opportunity to listen to a broadcast about missionary work. It was brought up that we need to be better as members at sharing our beliefs. My youngest brother Jeremy is currently serving an LDS mission in Armenia and I want to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon. 

Bible, Book of Mormon
Image taken from
I know that the book is true. I know that it was translated by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of the Lord. I know that it is relevant to me and was written for me, there are so many times in my life that I am struggling with things and I pull out my scriptures and I find the answer to exactly what I need. There are blogs all over the internet that are devoted to sharing good books and I want to ask the question, "Have you read the Book of Mormon? Why not? It's a great book." 

You can request a copy of the Book of Mormon here or you can read it online here, or you can chat with a Mormon missionary here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ice Cream In A Bag

When I was a little girl I remember making tin can ice cream where we rolled coffee cans back and forth stuffed with ice, salt, and a white mixture that made ice cream.  Then I grew up and had kids and I forgot about that for awhile, until I was searching for some perfect summer fun to try.  I found a recipe from Pinterest for ice cream in a bag and it is fun, chilling and delicious.

The recipe can be found at allrecipes and uses cream, half and half, vanilla, suagr, ice and coarse salt.

We mixed it all together and I added some vanilla beans- its the black spots that you might see in the photograph.

Then I split the mixture into four bags-easier to share and I double bagged them to keep the salt flavor from tainting my ice cream.

Then we pass it around and shake it until it becomes firm and we enjoy it immediately straight from the bag.

It's a funny easy was to cool off in the summer, get everyone involved, and have a treat!

Linking up at Keeping it Simple.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vanilla Berry Parfait

My Sister used these parfaits as one of the desserts at her friend's bridal shower.  My mom mixed it up and she just threw things together as she went until it looked the way she wanted, so I am attempting to sum it up as recipe that the rest of the world could follow.

For the Filling:
You take a package of Strawberry glaze, for pies and shortcake, that is usually found by pound cakes and or by the fruit and strawberries (apparently not at Walmart).  If you want to make your own glaze you can try out this recipe.  Cut up fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries  I would say about 3 cups of cut up fruit.  We had enough to fill up 15 4oz cups and make a pie for us to eat.
For the Pudding
You take one small heavy whipping cream and whip it.  As it starts to thicken add 1 large package of vanilla pudding.  Then as you mix add milk until it looks and tastes the way you like it.  Its not real thick and not real runny- my mother's very helpful words.  It is a little thicker than the pudding if you follow it from the box.  (If you find that it is a little too runny you just need to add another small box of pudding.)
For the Crust
For the Parfaits just crush up vanilla wafers and place in the bottom of the cup.  For pie, use 1 pie crust.

Then just chill until ready to eat.  


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Solstice

Did you know that yesterday June 21st was the summer solstice, or the longest day of the year?  I decided that we should celebrate the start of summer with a BBQ.  I love all the parties on Pinterest that have amazing details and coordinating color schemes.  Even the tiniest detail can make an impression.  Well this party was not even close to any of those drool worthy parties, but it was perfect for the occasion and my kids had fun (that to me is all that really matters).

We invited our a few of our friends over for hamburgers and hot dogs.  I made homemade root beer in a 5 gallon jug.

I also made cupcakes, I tried adding things to make a cake mix taste homemade and it improved the taste, with French Vanilla Whipped frosting and cake batter muddy buddies.

Then we asked everyone to bring a side to share and their own chairs.  The kids played and the grownups talked.  Then we had live entertainment with a local band that we hired, The Stars, which consisted of two of my sons and one of their friends.  Then we just enjoyed the slightly cold summer night and good company, a great way to welcome summer.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Muddy Buddy Cheesecake

For Father's Day I made my Dad a cheesecake.  I found out over our camping trip that he likes muddy buddies so I thought I would use that as an inspiration and make a chocolate and peanut butter flavored cheesecake.

Take three 8oz cream cheese and soften them.  I try to take them out of the fridge and let them sit for awhile but sometimes I forget and I just take them out of the packaging and zap them in the microwave for a few seconds and then cream them together.  Then slowly add the sweetened condensed milk.  Once that is incorporated add 3 eggs and mix together, then 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

In a separate bowl melt two cups of chocolate ( I used a mixture of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips) in the microwave start with 30 seconds then mix, then go in increments of 15-30 seconds until it is all melted.  Let cool for a minute while you add 1 cup of peanut butter to the cream cheese batter.  

Add the chocolate and mix.  Pour the batter onto an already prepared crust (1 1/2 cups graham cracker crust, 1/3 cup baking cocoa, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 cup melted butter-mix together and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.)  

Bake at 300 F for 1 hour.  Then without opening the door turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour in the oven , then let it cool to room temperature and chill before serving.

Muddy Buddy Cheesecake

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. baking cocoa
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cocoa and melted butter and press evenly into a 9 inch springform pan.  Heat oven to 300.

24 oz. cream cheese
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup of peanut butter
2 cups of melted chocolate

Cream the cream cheese until fluffy, gradually add the sweetened condensed milk beating until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add peanut butter and melted chocolate, beat until combined.  Pour batter onto prepared crust.  Bake for 1 hour, turn oven off and allow cake to cool in oven for 1 hour.  Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate before serving.

Linking at Keeping it Simple and Huckleberry Love and Chirping Moms and Whipperberry.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bridal Shower Games

I think that one of the hard things about throwing a shower is coming up with games that don't seem ridiculous.  For my sister Alisha's friend's shower she chose to do two simple games.  For one she put a picture of the groom that she swipped from Facebook (When he lives in Europe it is a little hard to get a photo of him).  Then she placed his photo in one of the colored, not see through envelopes and each guest received an envelope with the words "who has the groom" written on it.  Then whoever had the picture won a prize.

The second game that she played was from Love and Weddings Blogspot called How Sweet is Is.  It has a list of different candies and a wedding saying and you have to match it up.  She decided that she wanted to make it a little different and picked up a foam board and wrote each wedding saying on a numbered card.  Then she put all the candy on a tray and  had each guest choose a number and if they could pick which candy matched they got to keep it.  Some of the wedding phrases are, Wedding Night, bridesmaids, and the groom and corresponding candies would be Skor, airheads, and Mr. goodbar.  Then whoever had the most got a big prize (the Paris lotion from Bath and Body works.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Parisian Chic Paris Shower Food

I don't know about you but I always think that parties need great food. My sister Alisha spent forever trying to find fun recipes and things to make for the bridal shower.  She got awesome Eiffel tower cups and served Pink Mocktails found at Divine Occasions.  She also served water flavored with fresh kiwi and strawberries (you can't see them in the pictures because they always clogged the spout so they are in some round balls.)

Bread shaped like flowers and hearts.  She just took a can of Pillsbury french bread and baked it in a heart shaped tin that was designed for that purpose.  Then my mom dipped strawberry's to look like bride and grooms.

Then she used chocolate to make Eiffel towers with these Eiffel tower molds.

These cute macaroons were purchased at a local cupcake place.

The rest of the dessert table included vanilla berry parfaits and some mini chocolate cupcakes that Alisha made.

For the main portion of the meal they had Raman noodle chicken salad, not pictured.  Ideas for the decorations can be found here.

Linking up at Clean and Scentsible.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Parisian Chic Bridal Shower Decor

My sister Alisha's best friend is getting married in Europe.  She met the guy over in London and he proposed in Paris at the Eiffel tower.  Well Alisha decided to throw her friend a Parisian Chic Bridal shower, and since we are sisters I got to help.  She found inspiration here and here and a few other places along the way.  She wanted to go with a black and pink color scheme.  I made tissue paper pom poms with Martha Stewart's tutorial.  They are a quick and inexpensive idea for party decor.  We hung them up on a photography background we have.

The cutlery was wrapped in in a plain pink napkin and diamond rings were add for a little sparkle.

For the favors she took icing bags for decorating and stuffed them with hugs, kisses and mints and then attached the Merci tag that I made with my Silhouette.

Then we wrapped some new tags around these small Martinelli sparkling peach juice bottles that they found at Costco and she attached a clothespin that she painted like a bride and a groom.

She even had pink drinks and mini macaroons that I will share later.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer fun dates

Today I spent some great family time at a local park but I wanted to share some fun dates that are coming up in June.  Friday the 21st is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year.  Last year we celebrated with a BBQ and are looking to do the same this year.  I also found out that June 29 is International Mud Day.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer Table Decorations for Relief Society

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I currently hold the calling of serving on the Relief Society Board.  The Relief Society is our churches women's organization and its purpose is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and help those in need.  If you want to find out more you can check out this link at Mormon .org  or check out the book Daughters in my Kingdom available to read online.

The board is responsible to plan activities to help us accomplish those goals stated above.  Our activity was "Make your Summer a Flip Not a Flop."  We had some great dutch oven chicken and potatoes, and then had mini classes.  One was how to cook the dinner and dessert in the dutch ovens, how to step up your Family Home Evening (more info about Family Home Evening here), and "Stay"cation ideas.  It was a lot of fun.  My assignment was to make these summer word blocks for the decorations.

We have this place by our house where you can get free wood, full pallets and a whole bunch of other wood.  I received the wood already cut and paint and vinyl and was asked to make something fun.  Well free wood is definitely not the best quality of wood so I sanded the edges, got my cute kids together and painted the blocks.  Then I used mod podge to attach paper to the wood.  (I ran out of mod podge and was short on time so I searched Pinterest and made my own with 2:1 ratio of Elmer's glue to water and I was not super impressed but it did glue the paper on.)

Then I used my Silhouette to cut out the words, a lot of Flip-Flops since our theme was Flip not Flop.

Then I used transfer paper to attach the vinyl and tied it off with Raffia.  They were given as prizes to some of the women at our activity.  I also had the assignment of putting together one handout which was some nail polish with a cute poem (not mine to share) about embellishing our summer by doing fun things for our families.

Linking up at House of Hepworths