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Audrey’s 4th Birthday/Easter

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My beautiful niece turned 4 a week before Easter this year. Her mom decided instead of getting the entire family together twice in 2 weeks, that we would celebrate her birthday along with Easter. (Smart move mom!) But Audrey did want to take cupcakes into pre-school to celebrate her birthday with her friends. (something I never got to do for my kids, because their birthdays are in August) So I gladly made her tie-dye  spring themed cupcakes. I played with candy clay for the first time making these. The butterflies and flowers were both made of chocolate. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be…unless I got my measurements wrong when I made it.

Audrey asked for a Little Einstein’s themed cake. More specifically Leo and the Rocket. Knowing it was going to be on Easter, I only made a small 6 inch chocolate cake. I made the rocket out of RKT, then covered it in fondant. Because I hold Easter, I had a lot of preparations to do.  I was only going to make Leo…but at the last minute, I had a few free hours, so I made the other characters as well.

When Audrey came over for Easter, she gave me a hug hello, and asked where her rocket cake was…She then proceeded to say, “Aunt Linda, you’re the best cake maker!”  This is the reason on why I do this!  Later that night, she did warn me…”Aunt Linda, next time I want a Scooby Doo cake” .  So there’s my order, a year in advance. I’m sure it will change 10 times before then. Happy 4th Birthday Audrey.

Easter

I try to make special treats for Easter. I found some REALLY cute things online everywhere! I picked 2 things and ran with it! The first one, was carrots. (original design~Hostess with the Mostess) What I found online was sugar cones baked with cake inside of them. I gave it my own twist and stuffed the cones with cake truffles, then dipped them in orange chocolate. With the leftover cake truffles, I made “eggs”.  The carrots were good…but I will stick with the recipe I found, for next year. It was way too sweet for my taste! I’m sure the kids enjoyed the sugar high though! The second thing I made was chocolate chicks! (original design~Hungry Happenings) These were chocolate chicks with candy on the inside. These were too stinking cute! To go along with the chicks, I made chocolate nests. You’ll see in the pictures everything was too cute!

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Dots Birthday!

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I was asked to make a Dots cake for our superintendent’s birthday. Apparently Dots is a major food group for her! I wanted to have it be a polka dotted cake inside, but I’ve never tackled that. So trial cakes I make…and they looked like they had the measles. All of the polka dots rose to the top. Horrible! I posted my issue on Facebook, to a great group of people called Shop Bakers Nook. After a few days, I had a new recipe. More trial cakes (5 in total) trying out different suggestions, and finally I got it! Now of course, knowing me, I have to take things one step further. I wanted each dot to have it’s own flavor, green be lime, yellow- lemon, you get the idea. So I left the water out of the recipe, and divided the batter up in 5 equal parts. I zested what I could in fruit, and juiced them (oranges, limes, lemon) I bought frozen strawberries, and let them thaw out. So in place of the water in each bowl, I put in the zests and juices. For the strawberries I used the juiced from when they thawed, then I chopped up the strawberries and mixed that in. When all of the balls were half baked, I made the cake batter and put the balls in there and prayed, for an hour that it wouldn’t have the measles! Imade the fondant and butter cream while that was baking, then made most of the little parts.

Whew, yes this took me all day, Literally! I was in the kitchen from 12-8 doing all of this .

The next night was the fun night! The pan I baked it in was huge, so time to cut it in half and stack. My mother in law bought me a really neat tool for Christmas. I can’t find a picture of it, but picture a completely flat frying pan, now put a bent handle on it. It’s meant for moving cakes, that was my best friend! So time to put it together and decorate! I love that hubby got me an airbrush. It lets me put the tiny details on a cake that I normally wouldn’t be able to!

American Citizenship

I work in our local school district. For a few years now I’ve known Ralston. He’s a Jamaican gentleman who always calls me Miss, with that strong Jamaican accent! Well, Ralston did something the other day, that I don’t think 3/4 of Americans can do…He passed the American Citizenship test.
I was asked by a teacher if I would make his cake. I knew I had the perfect cake in mind. I made the American Flag cake, with the red and white petal effect. I then took the leftover cake, and made red-white-and blue cake pops. Each one flavored a different flavor.

Congratulations Ralston, job well done!

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Tommy Turns 17

Wow things have been hectic! It’s already November and I’m just now getting around to posting Tommy’s cake! His birthday was August 25th.

Well, Tommy is shaping up to be a nice young man! He has  grown a lot in the past 2 years, both mentally and physically! That boy is now 6 feet tall! and I’m SURE he’s not done growing!
I’m very proud of the progress he’s made since he came to live us. He has been working very hard these past 2 years, and it shows. He should be very proud of himself as well.
Tommy likes cakes that are created just for him. He doesn’t mind if it’s a box cake (hey, neither do I!) He would rather have the outside to be as special as him. This year he asked for a fishing themed cake. Now remember life has been hectic, so I didn’t spend too much time on the decorating, but just enough. He appreciated it, and that’s all that matters, right?

Happy Birthday Tommy, continue to make us proud!

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Joel’s 18th Birthday

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So, if you’ve been following me, you should know I have 2 boys. My oldest Joel, and my stepson, Tommy. They are 1 year and 2 weeks apart. Yesterday was Joel’s 18th birthday. Yes, my baby has grown up, he leaves for college in 10 days. I can’t believe it has been 18 years since I was rushed to the hospital in Jersey. Just to be told to go home, straight home, do not pass go. This way I could be closer to home when I gave birth. Eighteen years since I was the most scared in my life, because his heart rate kept dropping and they prepped me for a C three times. Scared because I was a mother…at 17. If I had to do it all again, I wouldn’t change a thing. He has taught me so much these past 18 years…Things about motherhood, things about myself. He was the best thing that has ever happened to me. If I had to pick one thing he has taught me, I’d have to say it is patience. I had NONE before him. I also learned (as every mother does) to be selfless. Life was no longer about myself, nor would it ever be again.

Now here I am buying things for a dorm room. Helping him pack to move away. I haven’t really let it set in yet. I don’t want to let it set in yet. And when the day comes to move him in, I will be strong and not let him see how I feel, because I have to be strong…for him. So he sees that it’s okay to move on, and spread his wings.

Each cake I make for him, is as unique as him. This year I made a layered turtle cheesecake. Basically it had a sweet pecan crust, with a layer of chocolate cheesecake, some caramel and chopped pecans, then it had a layer of regular cheesecake, topped with chocolate ganache and chopped pecans…Heaven.

Here’s to Joel…Happy birthday. I am very proud of you. Have fun (not too much!!) at Widener University. I know you will make me even more proud!

~Mom

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Icing Smiles

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Just recently, I was reading Facebook (like I do everyday!). I noticed a fellow baker, Cakes by Kim had posted a picture of a cake they made, the caption said something about them donating this cake to Icing Smiles. I was curious, so I decided to look up Icing Smiles. Here this is a wonderful organization that gets bakers like me to sign up, and donate our time and ingredients to make  a fancy cake for children with critical illnesses, and their siblings. I think this is a wonderful idea. I immediately signed up!

This is not in particularly for kids in the hospital, they can be at home. They just to have a critical illness to qualify. And I love the fact that they include their siblings! Lord knows how much the siblings sacrifice for the sick child. (mom and dad’s attention, they have to be sooo patient!)

Well I received my first email the other day. Not to make a cake yet, but a Welcome Aboard email. I am so excited about putting a smile on a face of a child, even if it’s in their mind, because they just feel like crap.  Or to just make them (both the child and sibling) forget their worries for even just minute, while they look in awe at the cake. I cannot wait to officially become a

Young Wedding

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I met a wonderful woman this past September. We have become fast friends. Miriam asked me if I would make her daughter’s wedding cake. I was thrilled! I met with Julie and Tim at Miriam’s house, they are a very cute couple! Ideas bounced around, they knew they wanted something different, and after a little bit… they decided! Cake truffles! They had 4 flavors! Peppermint, lemon, vanilla, and cookies and cream. Their cake that they cut consisted of fruit! Oooh did it look delicious! It had a lemon curd filling, and was topped with strawberries, kiwi, grapes, blackberries, and blueberries. They had the cutest cake topper too! Legos! They had a lego bride and groom. I’ve never seen anything like this, it was very original!!
I totally forgot to bring my camera when we dropped them off, so we used hubby’s IPhone…the pics aren’t too bad!

Congratulations Julie and Tim. I wish you both many years of happiness!

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Truffles:
Blue – Cookies and Cream
Green – Peppermint
White – Vanilla
Yellow – Lemon