Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Slideshow of Springtime Blooms

To celebrate Earth Day I walked around the outside of my home one day earlier this week snapping photos of flowers blooming in our lawn as well as our apple tree to share as a slideshow in my Show and Tell Friday post.

But alas, after spending seemingly countless hours of trying to figure out how to post a slideshow I remain unsuccessful. I hope you don't mind letting your fingers do the walking as you scroll through the "slideshow".

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Apple Tree Blossoms in My Side Yard

The following photos are actually of a couple of flowering trees in our local city park, but they are just so beautiful, I hope you don't mind, I couldn't resist including them.

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I hope you enjoyed the show.
Stop back over to Cindy's Romantic Home to see more Show and Tell Friday posts.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Piece of the Past, My Favorite Kitchen Item

I have quite a few vintage and antique pieces in my kitchen, tins and all kinds of kitcheny things line the top of my cupboards, milk bottles on top of the refrigerator and red painted wood handled kitchen utensils hanging on the walls above my counters. If you asked me to pick a favorite item it would have to be my antique paper dispenser. The kind they would have had in the old general stores for wrapping sold wares. This one is a small size that I have repurposed as a paper towel holder. It is decorative as well as useful. I use it every day.
Please take a moment to look around my blog, then be sure to stop in at Cindy's Romantic Home for more Show and Tell Friday posts.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Making of a Meeske-Mooska-Mouseke-teer-rific Birthday Cake

I wanted to share with you how I made this Mickey Mouse Birthday Cake for the son of one of my husband's co-workers yesterday. Well it's been a few days now, I was having trouble uploading my pictures. But anyway we're here now, so here goes.......

I started with a white cake mix, but I alter it just a bit. The instructions on the back of the box say to add 1 1/4 cups water. I instead add 1 cup water and 1/4 cup milk to give it a slightly richer texture and whiter appearance. I also add approx. 1/2 tsp. good vanilla flavoring--I use McCormicks Clear Imitation Vanilla for everything because it doesn't add any hint of brown to cakes, frostings, etc. It has a good mild vanilla flavor, not bitter like some.

This was to be a marble cake, so I also used a devils food cake mix and swirled it in. I just prefer white and chocolate cake together rather than yellow and chocolate.

Cakes tend to bake quickly around the edges leaving the center to rise and bake more slowly, resulting in a high center and low edges. When this happens, it is necessary to cut off the center of the cake to level it and make the whole thing uniform. So to lessen this I insulate the baking pan by wrapping a wet flour sack kitchen towel around it and setting the whole thing on a cookie sheet while baking.

This is going to be a Big party and I have 2 somewhat smaller side by side ovens. I baked 2 cakes approx 9X13 each and frosted them as one just like when I worked as a cake decorator in our local Wal-Mart Bakery.

The frosting recipe is one my mom has used for years. I think she got it from a cooking program she used to listen to on the radio. (before there was HGTV)
1 cup Crisco solid shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 (approx 2 lb size) pkg confectioners sugar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon (about 1 capful) McCormicks Clear Imitation Vanilla
although not included in the original recipe, we've come to like the flavor of adding just a hint of Almond flavoring too, maybe about 1/4 tsp.

Just mix it all together on high speed with the stand mixer until it's nice and fluffy. This is a great consistency for putting through the decorator tube but you will need to add just a bit more milk for spreading.


And combing.

Then piping on the shell border.

A blank canvas reading for decorating.

I printed off an online pic of Mickey they wanted on the cake.

The printout was a perfect size to fit on the cake so to save time I cheated and made a waxed paper template and traced around it with a toothpick rather than free hand it this time.

Next I mixed up the famous mouse colors- red, black and a deep yellow for his shoes.

For this project, the star tips get a good workout.

I started with the ears.

He's starting to take shape now.

Looking very recognizeable.

My little Doxy, Millie, was apparently feeling left out and wanting my attention. She kept laying on my feet during this process so I ended up having my daughter lay some of Millie's dog blankies on the floor in the doorway for her cozy up in.....see them in the corner of these photos?

Some sprinkles and plastic balloons.

Happy Birthday Cole!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and as they used to say in the old '50s cartoons......."That's All Folks"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fab Estate Auction Find!!!

Our local auction house was holding an estate auction this past weekend. I would have loved to attend but since it was the day before Easter, I needed to do some shopping and do some things at home to prepare for the holiday family get together.

But, I did go to the auction preview and spotted this Gorgeous Pedestal Cake Stand and left a bid on it.

I didn't hear from the auction house on Monday so assumed I was outbid. But to my delight I received a call just yesterday and hurried right over to pick up my prize.

A vintage piece of Fostoria glassware, in the American pattern.

A sought after collectible piece.

Square with center well.

So many facets to catch and reflect the light.

Just a beautiful, beautiful piece!

My photos don't do it justice, sorry.

I opened an Ebay account several years ago when I owned an antiques business in town, but haven't ebayed for a while now. I have an Etsy account as well but have never sold anything there. I need to get both of these up and running again after some revamping to my Etsy Shop.
I must continue to feed my garage sale/auction habit, but can't keep it all no matter how much I try. LOL !