Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kids Weekend

So, I've worked twice the hours I was supposed to in the last two weeks trying to accomplish a miracle. Because I had to stay late again on Friday, Curly Sue and Little Man had already arrived when I got home. Friday was uneventful. We did dinner, kids went to sleep, the end. 

Saturday was really fun. My mom was in town, so she, Panda, the kids, and I went to Scarborough Faire. It was so much fun. Curly Sue met a fairy right inside the gate, and it really made her day. The fairy gave her a stone and sprinkled fairy dust. Curly Sue carried that rock in her hand ALL day. Every once in a while she'd show it to one of us and tell us about her "magic rock." What made it better is that we saw the fairy about four more times throughout the day, and she gave a new stone, traded stones, and/or sprinkled fairy dust on Curly Sue every time. Did I mention she didn't speak but played a flute? It was really great. 

F.Y.I. Curly Sue and I were gypsies. Little Man was a pirate:

pirate n gypsey


Curly Sue's strongest memory (other than the fairy):

elephant
We rode an elephant. Enough said.

Panda also decided that the kids needed swords. We let them pick out their own swords. They were a big hit. Here are the kids in "the arena" learning how to swordfight with the merchant:

swords

Overall, it was a really great day. I found out some disturbing things about little man like how bad his allergies are. At home, and on the drive over, he's perfect. Take him out of the car for 5 minutes and he looks like he's got pink eye, he gets lethargic, and doesn't feel very well. He also has this bizarre habit of chewing something up, then just spitting it out like a little baby would. He'd say he was hungry, I'd give him a bite of something, then turn around and he'd have food coming down his face. Really weird. I old his dad and got a "yeah, he does that." OK then...I'm not going to go there. Maybe that is a normal 2+ year old boy thing?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It was an adventure.

So I was wandering around on the internet about six months ago and stumbled upon this post telling how to make a (diet) rainbow cake. What an awesome idea, right? So I bookmarked the post for later use, and finally(!) had the opportunity. Panda turns 22 on April 1, but we're celebrating today, so I made the cake last night. I used two, count them: TWO boxes of cake mix so that the cake would be big enough to fully show off its rainbow-ness. 

In retrospect, that might have been a bit too much because now I have a LOT of cake and not so many people to eat it. All's well. At least it will look awesome. I went with this technique to layer the colors in a cool way, but as you can see, my counters are horribly unlevel, so I had to keep turning the pan to allow the batter to settle and my central point moved as I did so. 

another finished layerone finished layer

All was well and good at this point, besides the whole off-center thing. I lowered the cooking temperature on my oven and baked them longer to reduce cracking to a minimum and to help produce a more level cake. I think they came out fairly well considering.

out of oven cooling

The next step was to level the cakes because I wanted to make my life complicated and have a four layer cake rather than a plain two layer. Well, I learned something: I suck at leveling cakes. I really should take a class sometime. Here's a photo of the attempt. Look at all the pretty crumbs! It was very entertaining.

leveling

Next, I make Pumpkin Pie Spice Frosting because Panda had really wanted a spice cake and I went against his wishes to make the rainbow one. (I knew he'd feel more loved when he saw the rainbow cake's coolness, and he was.) So I compromised and made him spice frosting. 

In retrospect, I should have put more frosting between the layers. Next time.

Here's a photo of the (lumpy, lopsided) cake. The frosting is AMAZING, and I don't even like frosting.

iced

I'll post pictures of the cut cake later. This would definitely be a good cake to make for Curly Sue or Little Man's birthday.

Cake: 
Duncan Hines White Cake mix
Betty Crocker Gel Food Coloring


Frosting: 
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons pumpkin puree (I use Libby's Pumpkin Puree)
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients, adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time until the icing reaches the desired consistency.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Little Gypsy

Here are my Goodwill finds for Curly Sue to wear to Scarborough Faire. First, the skirt and top. The scarf on the side is big enough to tie around her waist or head or something.
faye costume


And a cute (though badly photographed) crop sweater to wear over it:
faye top

Adore the cuteness! Now all I need is pirate stuff for Little Man.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

OMFG O'Reilly said "nifty!"

Flipping channels and Bill O'Reilly said "nifty." Holy crap! The only person I've ever heard say that (besides me) is my sister, and here is a 60 year old man saying it. It's just weird. And a little creepy. But mostly weird.

Just thought you should know. Don't you feel enlightened?

The cuteness! THE CUTENESS!

This is my baby right before she nearly knocked herself unconscious trying to get to a bird. She doesn't understand the concept of glass and runs at it full speed. Every time. Yep. That's my baby.
Isis Pose


And here's my baby later, getting into trouble. As always.
Isis and Twine

...And she's distracted already. Another bird. Poor baby. I don't think her head can take too many more encounters with the window. I really need to get a picture of that, though. It's hilarious.

It's HeEre

Cameron Salesman

I finally have a good rice cooker! Isn't it cute? It's even special enough to have a designated spatula spot.
Spa-tu-la!

And best of all, it was Isis approved before it was even out of the box.
Isis Inspection
Look at those happy whiskers!

*Sigh*

It's just so damn cute.
Rice Cooker

What? You thought I was talking about the cat? Pfsh!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Curly Sue's Cake Pops

So, my mom's been trying to get me to post these for a while, so here they are. The cake pops I made for my niece's 4th birthday party. It was Tinkerbell-themed.

Cake Pops

Making the rose shape was really easy. I bought a candy mold, put a bit of color in the bottom, dipped the pops, then stuck them upside-down in the mold to set. They would have come out cleaner if I had sized the cake balls themselves better, but you live and you learn. Just because I can, here's a photo of the birthday girl. She's the one in the middle. Her uncle (yes, it's true) is on the left, and one of her friends is on the right. (I'm horrible with names, so I can't remember it.)

Faye's 4th B-Day