Thursday, April 26, 2012

Basic Cake decorating class at Michael’s – Final class

This week was our last week for class and we had to make a full cake.  We needed to prepare the cake prior to class, which ended up being a 3 layer cake. I neglected to put wax paper on the bottom of the cake pans for the first cake, so I ended up throwing out one layer that completely fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan.  I also put chocolate pudding between each layer, and completely iced in in plain white icing.

Once we arrived at class we set up all of our materials, which I remembered everything this time!  First we learned the proper technique for printing and cursive on the cake. 
I was pretty good at that, the teacher even complimented me on it(YAY ME!).  Then we got into doing the roses.  I have been so excited to learn how to do these, but also super apprehensive due to the fact that I do not have very steady hands.  She showed us how to do one, and then let us take time to practice and then we got to finish out cakes however we wanted.  I made a total of 7 roses and was happy with most of them.  They are not perfect, but for my first time I was pretty happy.  I will definitely be practicing these because they look gorgeous when they are done correctly! 

I am super happy with my very first cake using all the techniques I have learned in class, and look forward to being able to practice and make many more!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cake decorating class #3 at Michael's

This weeks class focused on cupcakes, and as you all know I LOVE me my cupcakes, so I was super excited for this weeks class!  We had to bring 6 cupcakes to decorate, icing already colored and ready to go, a batch of plain white icing, and all of our assorted tips, bags, and doodads. 

We arrived to class a little early so we could set up(yes, I am a keener in this class), and I noticed I was missing ALL my tips and doodads that came with my student kit.  Thank goodness I brought my box of tips, because I was able to substitute some of those with the ones I was supposed to use. 

We learned first how to do drop flowers, rosettes, shells, and leaves.  Once we finished practicing those we moved on to filling our cupcakes.  That is one messy job if you are new at it.  Cortney and I had blueberry filling everywhere, but we got the hang of it and although the cupcakes are probably a little too full and may explode upon eating, it seems to have worked.  Once we iced the cupcakes with plain white swirls, we learned how to do the shaggy mums. 

We had the rest of the class to practice what we learned and to decorate our cupcakes.  I am so happy I am taking this course.  I am learning so much and it is helping me make much more fun and professional looking.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cake decorating at Michael’s class 2

My finished cake
Tonight there was a lot more hand on learning.  We had to come to class with a baked cake that we could level and tort, a filling of some sort for the middle, 2 batches of icing, and an assortment of doodads and thingamajigs.  Seriously I had enough stuff to bring to class(to share with Cortney as well), that it filled one of the big IKEA shopping bags.  I also wanted to buy a couple more things when we got there, and I am glad I did.  Using the new tools and being shown how to use them, REALLY makes decorating significantly easier. 

We started by leveling the top of the cake off with a cake leveler(have yet to find the cheap on I want, but I will buy it when I find it), and then we had to tort it.  I was a little apprehensive at first, thinking it was going to crumble, or fall to pieces, but it was so easy!  We then had to put a barrier of icing around the edge of the middle, and then fill it with the filling we brought.  I made and brought vanilla pudding.  Putting the top layer back on was not something that went well for me.  My cake decided to protest and it broke in half, but you can’t tell in the final product.  The icing of the full cake actually went easily for me.  Cortney had some issues with her cake crumbling, but I think it’s just a matter of patience and persistence, and then she will be able to do it with no problem, although in her defence her cake was a little crumbly to begin with.  The next step was to put an outline of the design we wanted to decorate on the cake.  This step is really neat and makes decorating so much easier as it gives you guide lines(super simple sneaky trick).  You trace with piping gel on a piece if wax or parchment paper the design you want to put on the cake.  You then flip the tracing over and place it onto the cake, rub the lines with a little brush, remove the paper, and VOILA, you now have an outline of the design to follow right on your cake!  From there the only thing you really have to think about it what colors you want to use to decorate, unless you already have that figured out.  If so then you just color in the lines and you are done!  My cake is nowhere near perfect, but for my first try I am super happy with it! It was a really great class and I learned a lot.  Next week is cupcakes, so I am super excited to learn more tricks for those!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This year was the first year Xander was able to enjoy Easter.  The Easter bunny came and left some eggs full of chocolate, tattoos, and dinky cars(I am very happy he did not fill all the eggs with chocolate!).  He made it very easy for Xander to find the eggs(with Mommy's help), and the look on his face when one dropped and broke open and he saw the chocolate was amazing.  Then he saw the table with all of his gifts, and seemed to be pretty impressed that he was getting stuff. 

Once he was done checking out his loot, we called the neighbours to see if they wanted to go out for breakfast with us, but instead invited us over to their house for brunch.  Xander, Daddy, and Tyler played like the boys they are while I, Cathy, and Cortney made brunch.  It was delicious! I even made letter pancakes for the kids like my Dad used to for my sister and I on holiday mornings.  Once brunch was done Cathy and I made some tarts for her Easter dinner she was going to that night, then we sat down and relaxed for a little bit and just relaxed until they had to leave for their dinner.

When we got home, and Xander was done his nap, we decided it was time for Xander's Easter photoshoot.  I put him in his diaper and the same ears we wore last year, decorated the chalkboard(I LOVE my chalkboard), and fed him some chocolate and started taking pictures.  He is such a ham with the camera and they turned out perfect!  It was a wonderful Easter and I am thankful for wonderful friends and great company!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A cupcake kind of weekend!

This past weekend I baked a little over 5 dozen cupcakes.  Yes, you read that right FIVE DOZEN!  I had a lot of celebrations to attend and many people like my cupcakes, even though right now I still use Betty Crocker cake mix.  My best friends little boy turned 1 this weekend and they asked if I could make just basic vanilla cupcakes with different color swirl icing on top.  These ones were super easy and done very quickly.  He seemed to enjoy it!

Then I made some Jack Skeleton cupcakes for my neighbour's 17th birthday.  She is girly, but is LOVES skulls and crossbones, and The Nightmare Before Christmas, so I figured these cupcakes would be fitting for her.  It was my first time using fondant as the base, so I just bought rolled white fondant from Michael's (using my 50% off coupon!).  I will try making it another time.  ONE new process at a time is my limit. The fondant was a lot easier to use than I anticipated, but I do need a proper rolling pin that is slightly larger than what I have so it does not leave lines in it.  I had purchased a package of circle cookie cutters to make a perfect circle, but of course with my luck, they were all a little too small so I had to rummage around the cupboards to find something that would work.  Thank goodness one of my glasses was the perfect size, and worked perfectly.  Drawing on the face was a little harder than I would have liked.  For the mouth I used the smallest icing tip that I have, and they turned out awesome.  None alike, but my hand was THROBBING at the end of just that part, so I needed a little break.  The eyes were tricky to make look even, but I was able to make them look good. I am SUPER happy with the final product, and so was the birthday girl!  She was super happy and super surprised!  Even if it took her till the next day to eat one!

The LAST batch of cupcakes was a last minute thing with my awesome neighbour Cathy.  She mentioned she was supposed to make some type of a desert for an Easter dinner she was going to, so I showed her the picture on Pinterest(another obsession of mine).  She was up for the challenge so after I put Xander to bed I went over to her house and we started baking.  This one was super easy, seeing as I REALLY did not want to be baking for another 4 hours!

Now I am off to bake a cake and make 2 batches of icing for class tomorrow! SO excited to learn more!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cake decorating class at Michael's!

This week Cortney and I had our first cake decorating class.  I have been wanting to do this class for a LONG time, but my schedule would not allow it.  Now that I have a set schedule(for the most part), I am taking advantage of it and finally taking the class!  Being the first class there was a lot of introduction on what we will be doing, and what the different tools are and what they do, just a basic overview of the course.  We had to bring 6 flat cookies to decorate, and me being the keener that I am, and being so close to Easter, I made a whole batch of sugar cookies in the shapes of bunny heads, and Easter eggs.  Everyone thought they were cute.  We only had about 15 minutes of actual hands on decorating, but it was enough to have some fun! We just learned and practiced the basic star decorating, and only did 3 cookies.  I am so excited for next week as we need to bake a cake for class and bring it in to actually decorate!  I am looking SO forward to it! I will keep you all posted!

Trip to Toronto and Bolton

Sunday got away from me this week seeing as we had just gotten home from visiting family, and I was just TOO tired to write a single word, so here is this weeks update. 

Wednesday afternoon we left for a much needed vacation to visit both of our families in Toronto and Bolton.  First we saw Mike's family.  Kristina, and Tony had not seen Xander since last August, so it was a much needed visit for them.  He has grown so much since they saw him last.  When we arrived everyone was there and VERY happy to see him.  It's so fun to see grown men with babies.  I take it for granted by seeing mike with Xander on a daily basis, but seeing Uncle Tony interact with him and cuddle him, makes me smile. 

I MADE Kristina go price matching and couponing with me.  An addiction of mine.  I think she finally understands why I do i t and how much she can actually save by going to one store, doing all your groceries there, and price matching and using coupons.  She was shocked when we went to get coupons at Shoppers Drug Mart and there was a L'oreal coupon for $2.00 off a product, that just happened to be on sale for $3.99.  Once the light went off that the regular price was $6.99, with the sale and the coupon, she was saving $5.00 per product, she was like OMG REALLY!  It was nice to see and I hope she keeps it up because it makes such a HUGE difference on your bills! 

We also had a good visit with Mike's mom.  She stayed at Kristina's the night we arrived, and we took her home the next day and had a visit with her and Grandpa Sam.  Xander was able to get his Christmas presents from them(too big for her to bring them on the train).  He had fun opening them with Justis, and LOVES to play with them! Thank you Teta and Grandpa Sam!!

One Friday afternoon we made our way to my sisters house.  Tanner was staring in a play that weekend so we really wanted to be there to support him.  Xander LOVES Auntie Becky's house because it's so big to run around in, and he loves her piano.  He and Rhiannon had a wonderful time playing on it, changing all the settings, and making it really loud to annoy Auntie Becky(he learned well from his mother!). 

Saturday we went to watch Tanner play the Grand Duke in Cinderella.  It was all kids playing the roles, and they all did very well.  It was well done and completely adorable.  The kids seemed to have a blast doing it too.  Tanner had a few lines and his performance was awesome!  He even had to do a little write up to thank the "director", and present it at the end of the show.  He is one amazing kid.  Not shy to try anything!  He is the one in the gold hat!