Cake Dots, the new Sugar Plums

December 23, 2010

It has been a busy season in the Trusty kitchen.

I made at least 5 dozen sugar cookies that my super friends Lindsey, Lauren, and Heather came over and helped me decorate. These are a few of mine.

Caramel pie. Sorry you can not actually see the caramel part but I promise it is good!

White hot chocolate that was so good!

Then there were cake dots. I knew I would have to make a lot but I had no idea it would be that many. 7 batches of cake made, about 700 balls rolled, and around 450 decorated.

My kitchen looked like this a lot of days.

I had lots of orders, which I am so grateful for. Here are some packaged up.

This is the arrangement I made for a brunch I was attending.

Close up!

Homemade gifts- Spa supplies

December 22, 2010

Last year for Christmas I decided that I would be making all my gifts. For months I had been finding recipes for spa stuff for the ladies that I know.

Lip Balm
(However this is one that I made for something else)

Here is everything together. It was really fun to make and I loved doing it. I had to make more bath scrub for myself to use and I love it! The bath fizzies were a bit of a pain in the rear because they kept losing their shape but I finally got them to work.

Lego my lego cake

December 7, 2010

As promised, I wanted to show off Ben's birthday cake from this year. I kept coming across this idea and had to try it for myself.....a lego cake. Ben is a huge lego fan, specifically the Star Wars ones. Like his room at his parents house is drowning in them. His mother currently has the Death Star occupying her jacuzzi bathtub because there is no where else it would fit. I am dreading the day when they finally make us take those things off their hands.

It was also the item we chose to model Ben's groom cake after.

Here is mine. It is on a much smaller scale than the one for our wedding but after hours of slaving over it, I was happy with the way it turned out.

Look who decided to make an appearance at the party. A lego person cake pop. I am guessing by the way everyone at the table clambered to get them means that they are a hit.

The birthday boy and his cake. Crossing my fingers (and toes) that his wish comes true this year.

Groovy Cake

December 5, 2010

I can never surprise Ben with presents so I decide to be creative with his cake. Last year for his birthday I decided to commemorate his recently retired tie dyed t-shirt. It was almost as old as him!

I was not trying to replicate it because it was not just about this shirt, but about his love of tie dye. There are dozens of pictures scattered in our albums with him wearing some tie dyed shirt. He has had to retire most of them because he says he wants to save them for our future children, yet they are literally falling apart.

The cake gave me a chance to do some airbrushing which turned out to be quite fun.

I will post the pictures from this years cake this week so stay tuned.......

An Autumnal Red Velvet Cake

November 18, 2010

Last fall Ben's office had a potluck and I made a red velvet cake. I had a new recipe that I had only made a few times and wanted to try it again so this was the perfect opportunity. However, I could not just make a cake and leave it alone, I had to decorate it and what better way to celebrate the season than with fall colors on some fall trees. I loved how it turned out! It was exactly what I pictured when I started out with this cake.

Colored Cake Dots

November 11, 2010

I used an opportunity to bake as a chance to experiment again with the cake pops sans the pop stick. I had a meeting with my sorority alumni club and thought I could try my hand at making these cake pops in our sorority colors. I also wanted to try these with a my velvet cake recipe. I loved them and was asked all night about them. I would call them a definite success!

Halloween cake pops

October 29, 2010

I had to bake something for Halloween and I have been dying to try making cake pops. Of course it made sense to make jack o'lanterns and then I thought I would attempt ghosts as well.

They are not exactly how I wanted them to look but for my first attempt, I think they are pretty good. Plus, they are super yummy spice cake with cream cheese frosting inside. I might be trying them in a few weeks for a certain persons birthday, just not sure of they shapes I am going to do.

Trusty Gal wedding: Flowers

October 21, 2010

Last week Ben and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary in Paris but the whole day we could not help thinking back on what we were doing on our wedding day. It is so hard to believe that it has been two years already and yet, that is has only been two years. I wanted to do a post about our wedding flowers and centerpieces.

I did not want a wedding that screamed fall but that took cues from it. I wanted to go with orange flowers with brown ribbon. I know I could have gone with a much more complex bouquets and flowers but I am all about simplicity.

I wanted a ball of orange roses for my bouquet. It was wrapped with the brown ribbon I mentioned and my mom's rosary from Italy (I will focus more on that in another wedding recap post).

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

The bridesmaids bouquets were a smaller version of my own except they also had a few orange calla lilies.

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

I could not find any flower girl baskets I liked so I made my own. Nothing too crazy, I just got some brown fabric and covered a wicker basket. Their flowers were a combination of everything floral we had in the wedding (orange roses, hypericum berries and seeded eucalyptus) except the calla lilies.

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

The boutonnieres were super simple orange roses with seeded eucalyptus and wrapped in brown ribbon (you have no idea how much ribbon I purchased for this wedding).

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

These arrangements were on the first few pews in the church and then we reused them on the guest book and cake tables at the reception. You will notice that everything had duel purposes at the wedding and at the reception.

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

These two topiaries were on the altar at the church and were rushed over to put on the food table.

Now on to the centerpieces. These small topiaries were on the guest book table at the ceremony and then were used on half of the tables as centerpieces at the reception.

Photo courtesy of J Henderson Studios.

The other half of the tables had these hurricanes with beads in them.

Here is shot from when my mom and I made them.

Here you can see how the tables were arranged and like I said, half of them had the small topiaries on them instead of the hurricanes. Notice the monogrammed table runner, those were all generously made for us, as a surprise to me, by a co worker of my mothers. They were so gorgeous but I have no idea what to do with all 14 of them now.

We had two of these tall, calla lily arrangements on the two tables reserved for the wedding party.

Now all of the roses sit in a bow in my mother attic along with most of the vases and all of the table runners. I swear I will do something with them soon!

Pumpkin Swirled Brownies

October 4, 2010

It is officially fall weather and so I had to bake something. My favorite dessert that I found last year was pumpkin swirled brownies. They have a little cayenne pepper that adds just a kick but really contributes to the warmth from the nutmeg and cinnamon. I think they are so yummy but I have received some feedback that people would like to just have the pumpkin part by itself. I will be trying that soon.

Trusty Gal wedding: Wedding Favors

September 19, 2010

Sorry for the long period between posts. I am taking a hiatus from baking and have not had much time for crafts so I had little inspiration to blog about. However, with the fall approaching and my anniversary coming up, I have plenty of wedding memories that continue to make me happy.

When Ben and I decided to get married in the fall the first thing I knew that we were doing was making spiced tea for our favors. My mother and I used to make it every year and give it away as Christmas presents to friends, teachers, and family. It was also so perfect considering our colors were orange and brown.
Now when I was younger, we would make one, maybe two batches but this required multiple. This had Ben and I buying all the ingredients in bulk except for Tang, which they no longer make in bulk. This really ticked off Ben and had him calling Kraft corporate to complain. It also took forever to make and while doing so, my 6 year old cousin Ally wanted to help which slowed us down a bit. In the end, I was more than pleased with the results. At the wedding, we had so many extras that we were sending guests home with multiple, and they were not complaining. We received rave reviews after the wedding. It is such a perfect drink for a nice crisp autumn day!

We had them placed on the tables around the centerpieces.

We also had them by the elevator so people could grab them there if they forgot them at their tables.

Just a close up of the back of the tag with the instructions.

Smores Cupcakes- Attempt 1 and 2

August 31, 2010

I have been wanting to experiment with making Smores cupcakes for a while but I just did not have an occasion worth trying them for, until two weeks ago for my book club meeting. I decided to make a graham cracker cupcake with a dark chocolate ganache and then a toasted marshmallow on top. After some over filling with spillage, and a breakdown involving me crying in the kitchen floor, they turned out being fine but just did not say Smores to me. Well, my meeting got postponed and so I ended up taking them to a friends birthday cookout, I had a chance to try another method.

I ended up making a different graham cracker cupcake batter and filling the bottom of the liners and then making a chocolate batter for the top. I made milk chocolate ganache this time, a graham cracker crumble topping and toasted marshmallow to top it off again. I loved the way the cupcake itself turned out, but it still did not say Smores to me. This sounds like an ongoing experiment to me.

Cake Decorating: Take 3

August 21, 2010

Here is my final cake for my cake decorating cake. It is a lemon cake with a lemon buttercream frosting. I think it turned out really pretty and I love the fact that I know how to make the roses. Growing up my sisters and I always fought about who got to get the roses on our birthday cakes and so now, the fact that I can make them on my own just tickles me. Do you think I improved? Feel free to go back and take a look at Take 1 and Take 2.

Date Night Dinner- Moroccan Salmon

August 15, 2010

This week for our date night dinner we made moroccan salmon, grilled asparagus, and grilled mexican corn. The salmon was the only new thing we made this week and it was really good and really easy. In fact, there was extra sauce and Ben is excited to try it on chicken tomorrow.

I decided to make a drink to go with our meal and I figured I would try something super summery since in a few weeks, summer is technically over. I found this recipe for sweet tea mojitos. The only difference is that we used tequila rather than rum since we had it in the house. It was really good and refreshing.....exactly what I was looking for!

For dessert we had toasted pound cake with citrus cream.

Everything was really easy (I do not do complicated) and really yummy. Perfect summery date night!