Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How long will homemade frosting last?

First let me say HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Now onto the important things... So you know I made that huge cake for my mom and dads anniversary. And I made the Mexican Hot chocolate Buttercream for the frosting on the top and bottom cakes. When I read the reviews it said the recipe made "twice as much" frosting as needed. So instead of doubling the recipe like I did for the cake, I just made an normal batch of the frosting thinking it would work out perfect. Oh boy, "twice as much" was a understatement to say the least! Upon frosting a six and ten inch layer cake, I piled the left over buttercream into a gallon sized zip lock baggy...and it filled it more than half way, that is a 1/2 gallon of frosting. But, I thought, "no big deal, Mike's birthday is this week. He wanted a yellow cake with chocolate frosting so I'll just use this, perfect". NOT. Mike decided that he didn't want a homemade fancy from scratch cake, he wanted a plain old, out of the box cake with package frosting. Mike loves my cooking, he hates package food like casseroles, etc. But he said he just didn't want anything "fancy". I started to explain that nothing was fancy, I'd make a basic yellow cake out of the BHG Cookbook, and he had already said the frosting made with fine chocolate was good. So what's the deal? Anyway, I dropped it, it was his birthday.

So now I'm left with roughly $10 worth of frosting. Yes, that is right, the entire batch was easily $20 worth of fine organic ingredients. Metric is deceiving, 500 militers of Egg whites = roughly 1 dozen egg whites (you read that right, I separated 12 eggs in one sitting). 900 grams of butter = approximately 1 lb. of butter. You get the idea. Not that I minded spending the money, that's not the point. I just don't feel good about throwing it out. I already 86ed the yolks and felt bad about it. So what do I do with all this frosting? Will it freeze? I used about 1/2 a cup of it to frost the boy's Halloween cookies, but I don't have any other cake-warranting events in the near future. Should I just make dozens and dozens of cupcakes for the office? Really, any ideas, I'll take 'em!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Alpaca Dilemma

Here is the boy's sweater in 100% Alpaca from Elann. I don't have a pattern, I estimated yardage and dimensions from another pattern I had for a similar gauge yarn. But different than the pattern I have, I worked it in the round and did my own design on the front. So when I got to the sleeves, which are knit from the cuff up in the pattern, I picked up 60 stitches around the arm whole to work the arm down. In the pattern, you work increases all the way up to 68 stitches then work 4 sets of decreases to 60 stitches and bind off. So I followed this. But now I'm worried, I don't think I'm going to have enough yarn to finish the sleeves. I had planned 1 ball for each arm. I think it's close, but not quite enough.

Of course my first instinct was to go buy another ball. I know there is no chance of getting the same dye lot. But, I was hoping it would be close enough. Particularly since the alpaca has a nice halo, maybe it wouldn't be too noticeable. And if it was only around the cuffs, would you really notice the contrast since it was rib stitch? You can probably guess they don't have anymore of the colorway I chose, Cedar. And I checked the swap boards and no one has any Cedar 100% Alpaca to swap.

Now that I am looking at the picture of the sweater laid out. I'm not sure I like those increases anyway. I think I might rip back to before the increases. I don't know how much more it will give me, but maybe, just maybe, it will be enough.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm now the official party cake baker in the family

Top and bottom cake was a Chocolate Black Out Wedding Cake with Mexican Hot Chocolate Buttercream and the middle cake was a Hummingbird cake from Tate's Bake Shop cookbook with Cream Cheese Frosting.



Last night my parents celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary. It was a pleasure to make this cake for them. I would highly recommend the recipes I used, both were decadent. The cake was beautiful. I used fondant again with edible sparkles and I used Wilton tiers that I purchased at Michael's. Many old friends were there to celebrate with us. Even the man who introduced my parents in 1965!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner?

I can't. But I decided if I was going to make stockings for us this year than I better start now. I couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted, so I just made up my own, and I think it turned out pretty good. It still needs some serious blocking, but I'll wait until I'm done with all of ours before I get to that.

Still 3 more to complete, and 2+ months to do it. I think I can, this one only took me a little over a week. And that was me trying to work the pattern out.

Ribby Shell Complete

Finally! And it only took just over l year! Holly cow, that is the longest it has ever taken me to finish a project!! I would like to be nobel and vow that I will never do it again, but I know better. It was really hard to finish this project, not because I didn't like the pattern or the yarn, I just kept finding new projects to start. I can't resist new patterns and yarn. I finished up just in time for fall. I love it, it's great for fall in So Cal, keeps me just right, warm in the foggy mornings and cool enough in the sunny afternoons. Perfect for work and play.