Tuesday, May 3, 2011

a little bit of everything!

Can you believe it's already May? 2011 is flying by! It's time for part two of my update! It only took me a month, but here it is! Thanks, Diana for reminding me! :) Over the past couple of months I've made a few treats for themed birthday parties - Pokemon, Rapunzel and Fancy Nancy.

In early March a co-worker asked me to make sugar cookies for her son's Pokemon themed birthday party. When she said he wanted Pikachu balls, my response was, "huh?!" I've seen the Pikachu character (yellow dinosaur looking thing), but wasn't familiar with Pikachu balls. Well, the design turned out to be simple - much easier than creating a Pikachu cookie! The cookies were a big hit, which was exciting.

Later that month my good friend and co-worker Ayron asked me to make Rapunzel themed cupcakes for her daughter's birthday. Rapunzel is her daughter's favorite Disney character (for the moment, last year it was Ariel), so I decorated white cupcakes with pink and purple icing, and then topped each with a Rapunzel ring and glitter. I learned a major lesson while making these... DO NOT try to make your own purple icing! I forgot to buy Americolor purple food coloring, and by the time I remembered, Hobby Lobby and Baker's Rack were closed... so I attempted to make purple using red and blue. Everyone knows that red and blue make purple, why wouldn't it work with icing?! Red and blue Americolor food coloring do make purple, but it's a dull, bluish purple... I used it sparingly on the cucpcakes. My BIG mistake was accidentally pulling Americolor black out of my drawer, thinking it was blue! I thought the blue looked a little dark, but didn't think much of it until I started mixing the icing and it turned dark gray - awful! I had to pitch it and start from scratch... a total pain at 10 p.m. on a Thursday night. Oh well, they turned out great and the birthday girl was happy!

In early April, during the first stage of our kitchen counter upgrade, I made crown sugar cookies for my friend Lucia. Lucia is an amazing party planner and planned a fabulous Fancy Nancy party for her daughter! I'm so impressed by Lucia and her party planning skills, so I felt some pressure to make awesome cookies! Considering my kitchen was in disarray that week, my mom was awesome and made the sugar cookies for me (I learned everything from her, so I knew they would be good). My parents graciously lent me their kitchen for an evening so I could decorate the cookies - I also joined them for dinner. :) The cookies turned out nicely, despite the humidity in the air and the icing not setting quickly.

In addition to the kid's themed birthday parties I've made treats for recently, I also made red velvet and peanut butter cup cupcakes for my friend Jud's 30th birthday party, and a lovely lemon cake for my mom's birthday (don't worry mom, I won't say how old you are!). I'll post pictures of my mom's cake in my next lemon themed post.

I mentioned our kitchen upgrade... we recently had our white tile counter top ripped out and replaced with BEAUTIFUL, SMOOTH granite!! It's been heavenly, and has seriously improved my cooking and baking! The project is still in the works - the boys are working on putting in tile for the back splash. It's a process, but it will hopefully be done soon. Once it is, I'll post pictures! But, to give you a tease, here's a couple before pictures...

Here's a good pic of our white title counter top, something I've hated since we moved in (May 2008) - this pic is from the day before the granite guys came, Brett is determining how hard it will be to remove the back splash.

Here's a look at what was underneath the white tile - two more layers of ugly! Gray tile (from the 70's I'm thinking...) and laminate, most like the original counter top.

More to come!

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