Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I had a cake marathon. I had a goal of making 4 cakes for the daycare and the office but first we searched just about every grocery store for a cake mix not marked “moist”. I don’t think they exist. The most cake mixes just don’t release from the castle cake pan and I had this great vision of a chocolate castle overlooking a cookie graveyard for the Halloween parties.
Several friends suggested I try the Hershey®’s “Perfectly Chocolate”™ Chocolate Cake from the back of the cocoa tin. The good news is the cake is very easy to make. It smelled heavenly and the cake testers at my house loved it. The bad new is it is a very moist cake that came out of the mold in 14 pieces. I managed to reassemble the cake for today’s Halloween party at the daycare. A crumbling castle with a peep ghost on top will work for Halloween but not the rest of the year.
After baking two base yellow cakes from mixes and one chocolate castle cake which wasn’t even out of the mold by 8:30p I had to change my cake decorating plans. The daycare was going to get a version of my original vision and work was going to get a graveyard cake. In the end they both looked great and fit the day’s theme but I’m still on a quest for a great tasting cake that is solid enough to slide out of the castle cake mold.
Friends at Mannaheim decided to take on cold press soap. On the 14th we tore apart a broken shipping pallet and made soap molds. After a few smashed fingers we had assembled 10 molds. This past weekend we met again to slide on the rubber gloves and goggles to make soap. It was the blind leading the blind. We read directions, listened to our fearless leader and referred to the web for help. After hours of looking like mad scientist and stirring our brews we had soap, beautiful orange palm-olive soap. We wrapped up 6 filled molds and tucked them away to cure.
Yesterday, our fearless leader unwrapped our soap experiments to slice them before they cured to rock hard and announced that we had did indeed made soap.
FYI: Recycled plastic car floor covers from the garden center made perfect mold liners. They were durable enough to hand taken the 'half baked' soap in and out of the mold for slicing.
Friday, October 19, 2007
I’m a little behind in my blogging. October has already been a busy month.
Earlier this month we went to southern Maryland to visit Grandma Ruth. Grandma Ruth is a 98 year-young retired kindergarten teacher. She is a wonderful example of how a good spirit can live a long wonderful life. She is moving a bit slower and she can no longer get down on the floor to play with the little ones but just having them walk in the room makes her face light up. She is such a joy to talk with and be around.
We just wish she wasn’t so far because we would love to visit her much more often
The blue pirate bay was made with 2 boxes of Jell-O® berry blue gelatin using the Jigglers® recipe . I sprayed the foil with some Pam® no-stick spray and then wiped it with a paper towel so oil would not affect the flavor or texture but still allow the gelatin to lift right out. It turned out great.
The birthday boy’s friends dove into their pieces. There was enough to share with his sister’s friends too so they all got some pink castle cake. There was only part of a tower left and part of the pirate bay blue gelatin left for the teachers.
After naps they made Easy Spyglass Telescope from paper towel tubes and colored pirate maps. Since the birthday boy was blessed with a beautiful day they didn’t color their Peter Pan & Pirate coloring pages. The teachers are saving them for another day.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
DIY Chocolate Pudding
DIY Vanilla Pudding
Sweet & Salty Cinnamon Almonds
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I picked up a package of Gluten-Free Pantry® Spice Cake & Gingerbread Mix for the occasion. It made a beautiful cake in my Nordic Ware® castle Bundt® cake pan. It was a bit shorter then the other cakes I have made but since it was more of a beach theme it worked well with the wash away look. The flavor was as good as it looked. My son who can eat any kind of cake he wants requested I make it again for the family. This is very high praise for a gluten-free product. In stead of a moat I made an beach front scene. I made a Jell-O® Jigglers® ocean with 4 boxes of Berry Blue. I lined a cardboard soda can case with heavy duty aluminum foil which I propped up on one end to hold the box at an angle on the counter as I worked with it and in the refrigerator. I made up 2 boxes according to the directions and let it set. I then made small slits to insert Swedish Fish® candies. I then added 2 more boxes of prepared gelatin and let it harden until it was time to go to the party.
The result looked great. The fish looked like shadows in the water as if you were flying over. The water was ‘lapping’ at the edge of the castle. The cake tasted great and the gelatin was good but the fish were a bit ‘gooey’. They tasted okay but the moisture from the gelatin effected their texture and appearance. Next time I won’t be adding fish.