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Halloween/Fall 2018

This year was different because my son broke his collarbone.

That meant no running away from zombies like other years...

Instead, I drove myself crazy baking for my husband’s office Halloween party.

He had asked me to bake pumpkin cupcakes on a weeknight (the horror!).

I got home really late from work and started baking.

This was a new recipe, and sadly only made a dozen cupcakes.

Pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

My husband said that wouldn’t be enough, so I started making vanilla cupcakes, too.

But I only had enough cream cheese frosting for the pumpkin cupcakes, and I realized there was not one bit of powdered sugar in the house.

How does this happen??

Too late to run to the store, so I used a regular batch of buttercream I had made–instead of the cinnamon one I wanted to make.

In the meantime, my oven was acting crazy and stressing me out.

I kept running over to get lunches ready for the next day…

Eat a quick dinner in between baking…

Help kids with homework…

And so on…

Then I colored the buttercream frosting orange, piped the cupcakes, and by then I was about to run away screaming because I was so tired.

And that’s when it happened…

My husband told me his office wasn’t actually having a party at work after all– it was just people bringing in candy for Halloween.

So I threw the cupcakes at him.

OK, I didn’t really– but I wanted to!

But that’s ok, his office enjoyed the cupcakes.  🙂

The rest of Halloween was pretty hectic, but I got to bake some fall brownie bites for my son’s school party:

Brownie bites with fondant leaves.

We had spider personal pizzas and mummy hot dogs:

I also made pumpkin pancakes for the first time, and they were a hit!!

And of course, my kids’ pumpkins– didn’t they do a great job?

Olaf Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of my Olaf Party!

This might be my last post for a little while because we are moving!

If you read the Part 1 post, you know I’m allergic to Alabama… so… you know…  🙂

Anyway, here are the cake balls (supposed to be snowballs).

I’m embarrassed to post Olaf because I made a mess– but my son liked him, so here he is:

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Who would’ve known that it was nearly impossible for me to make a decent-looking fondant Olaf?!?!  I sat there for hours and finally gave up.  Here’s the final product.

These are the snow-covered pretzels.

No, it’s not really snow.

Yes, it’s chocolate.

OK, can we move along now?

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The mini cupcakes:

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I made the chocolate snowflake toppers.

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On these, I put little homemade fondant confetti.  Yes, there is such a thing. I made it up.

The little snowflake cookies (I cheated– I make these for Christmas, so they were easy):

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And finally, my bigger snowflake cookies.

They came out the wrong shade and I had no time to re-do them, so they got banned from the dessert table.

I’m serious.

In fact, I threw them out as punishment.

I’m joking.

About the punishment, not the banning.  Really.

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Oh why, blue, did you come out wrong???

I left them off the table, but I did give them to the kids as they each went home.

Sweet little kids– no one was offended by the wrong shade of blue!  🙂

And here are a few of the little extras (not all) I had for the party:

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Now I have to pack.  See you next time!

Olaf Party (Part 1)

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I’m back!

Ok, you probably didn’t know I was gone in the first place… but… I’m back anyway!

After over 9 weeks of daily headaches and dizziness,  I found out I’m allergic to Alabama!  🙂

Feeling a little better now, but who cares–  here’s Olaf!

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I decided to do a very easy dessert table because we’ve been too busy.

And it worked!  Olaf was really simple to make.

My son was extra happy about his nose.  He said I made it look like a real carrot:

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And here’s the second cake (yes, there were only 2 this time– I can’t believe it!):

(Wow, lots of exclamation points in this post.  Moving along…)

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I love my new snowflake fondant cutters!

So nothing extravagant– but the kids liked it.

Stay tuned for the rest of the dessert table in Part 2!

 

Robot Party (Part 1)

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This party nearly killed me.

Well, not the party– it was the robot cake:

Robot Cake 2b

He was over a foot tall…

Not like some weird horror movie where the robot comes to life and runs after me with a sharp spatula or something — it’s just that it was probably the most difficult cake yet.

I named him Dudley while I was putting him together.

I was not happy with Dudley.

In fact, I don’t think I will be making any more of these crazy cakes in the future.  I’ll stick to normal cakes.

Yes, you can blame Dudley for that…

I also made an “easy” robot cake:

Frosting robot  3a

It was not nearly as difficult as Dudley, but my hand nearly fell off from piping.

And since I had literally no time left for another cake (believe me, there are more desserts coming up in Part 2), I threw together this cake:

Robot square cake b

It didn’t look as awful as this picture! Just didn’t get a good picture of it.

Not sure why I feel compelled to make at least 3 cakes.

It’s a curse.

I know, it’s the same thing for every party: I nearly die of overbaking, then I don’t like the end products, then I post them and complain, and then I do it all over again.  

I’m so predictable.  🙂

OK, see you for Part 2!  No complaining then, I promise!

 

 

Outer Space Party (Part 1)

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Wow, I’m really behind with these posts.  It’s been a crazy couple of months… birthday parties, trip to Disney, out-of-town guests, Easter, tornadoes, road trips, 2 graduations, a cruise… well, you get the idea.

Basically, the usual.

OK, let’s start with my son’s Outer Space party.

I decided to make easy cakes this time:

Spaceship cake 2a

This cake was over a foot long.

As easy as it seems, it took a ridiculously long time. 

Luckily, the Happy Birthday cake was a lot easier.

Instead of making it all in fondant, I used buttercream frosting, with fondant decorations:

Space cake a

 

Happy Birthday cake 2a

Then my 5-year-old wanted me to make little chocolate astronauts (I bought a mold), but  I thought they looked funny.  

He insisted.

I made them for him.

Then I hid them, hoping he’d forget. 

But of course, he didn’t forget.

I even distracted him with a bunch of other desserts.

He still asked for them.

I acted like I didn’t know what he was talking about.

He described them.

I gave up.

I took them out of the hiding place and set them out with a quick planet cake I whipped up:

Planet cake a

Yeah, I don’t even want to talk about it.  Lol.

But he was happy with it, so that’s all that matters.  Right???

OK, as long as you know that I didn’t approve of the cake…  Moving right along…

Check out the rocket piñata my husband made (it was over 3 feet long)!

Rocket pinata 2a

And let’s end with the cheese cut out in star shapes.  I was really excited about these, for some reason:

Star cheese a

See you for Part 2!

 

 

Valentine’s Desserts 2014

I disappointed myself this year with Valentine’s Day desserts.

I had great aspirations, but then the usual happened:

My son broke his pinky, my nanny had a birthday, we had 2 Valentine’s day parties, there was a kids’ party we had to go to the prior weekend, the kids were stuck at home for 3 snow days… you know how it goes.

So, without any further excuses, here are my brownie bites:

I piped the chocolate hearts out of chocolate, and made pink buttercream frosting.

I piped the chocolate hearts, and made pink buttercream frosting.

They weren’t cutesy enough for me, since I like very pink and red desserts, with sprinkles.

But no time, so I made brown sugar blondies with Valentine’s M&Ms.

At least the cupcake cups I put them in were cutesy!

Blondies FB

And that was all I did.

But in my defense, I also had to make a birthday cake, so you know…

Mel's cake

For our awesome nanny!

As I always say, I’ll do better next year!  🙂

Pirate Party (Part 1)

My son wanted a pirate party, and I figured a pirate ship cake wouldn’t be too difficult.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m insane.

I don’t know why, but it was one of the most difficult cakes yet!

Ship cake 2a

Everything was edible, except the sails. The board it’s on is almost 2 feet long.

I wasn’t completely happy with it, but my son loved it, and that’s all that matters.

Then I made a simple Happy Birthday cake:

Happy Birthday Pirate Cake a

And as I was dreaming up the dessert table, I felt like I needed to make another cake– a treasure chest!  Not sure why, considering I had other desserts, plus 2 cakes already, and the party was for only 13 boys.  

It must be my obsessive baking problem.

Well, at 2am the night before the party, I was kicking myself for having decided on a third cake.  I  had been on my feet for 18 hours straight, and could barely keep my eyes open.

But I made it anyway.

And then my husband told me the treasure chest looked awful.

Yes, he went there.  (Mind you, he was tired too.)

So I picked up the cake and threw it at him.

OK, that was only in my mind.  🙂

I actually worked on it some more (because he was right), and made it look somewhat presentable:

Treasure Chest cake a

Although I have to say, when one of the boys arrived, he immediately went to open the treasure chest.  As I gasped, wondering if it would all fall apart before the party even began, he exclaimed, “Whoa! I didn’t realize it was a cake!”  

Nice.  Win for me.  🙂

 

Halloween Desserts 2013

Let me start by saying that I hate spiders.

Really really hate.

Yet for Halloween, I find myself making edible spiders, of all things.  (It’s not the first time…)

Spider cupcake

These might look big, but they are mini cupcakes. You know, small enough so that the spider looks real. Yuck.

I can’t even imagine eating one, even if it’s made out of fondant.

But no one else had a problem eating them…

I also made some Frankenstein heads, per my 6-year-old’s request.

Frankenstein cupcake 2

Is he cute, or what?

Then there were these:

Boo cupcakes

Apparently, they were a hit.  The kids were fighting over what letters to eat!

I also made a brownie pizza the week before Halloween, and my family loved it so much that they asked me to make another to bring to a party on Halloween:

Brownie pizza

Cream cheese frosting, Oreos, white chocolate M&Ms, and sprinkles
(and the big black sprinkles are spiders. Yes, apparently I have a spider issue).

I thought the Halloween Oreos would be “pepperoni” on the pizza.

I was so clever, wasn’t I?

But when no one mentioned it, I had to tell them it was pepperoni.

That’s when my 6-year-old said, “Oooh, I love pepperoni!”

He then proceeded to eat one, and exclaim in surprise, “Oh, it’s not pepperoni, it’s a cookie!”

I looked at him in disbelief.

He gave me a blank stare, and then kept eating.

Yeah, I have no idea what that was about…

And finally, I made my usual sugar cookies.

Halloween sugar cookies

Anyway, that’s it for now.  Sorry I’m a day late, but it’s been crazy.

I always make desserts for Halloween, and this year, I was talked into making several– and double for 2 different parties.

I thought it was ok, until I was up until 1:30am the night before finishing them up.

And up at 4:30am taking frosting out of the fridge and mixing it.

And then up at 6am decorating cupcakes for the first party.

And… well, you get the point.   🙂

Halloween cupcakes

Halloween cupcake

See here and here for past Halloween desserts.

Silly Monster Party (Part 2)

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I’m finally back with Part 2 of the Silly Monster Party!

I just realized I never posted it, and now it’s almost  time for the next party.

Wow, I feel tired just from saying that.

So let’s get started.  Here are the silly monster cookies, packaged for the kids to take home:

Silly Monsters Cookies a

Yes, I insisted on making every single monster face different. 

I have NO idea why I make things difficult for myself.   🙂

I also made smaller cookies for people to eat at the party:

Silly Monsters Small Cookies a

(I somehow managed to forget to take a picture of them on the serving platter, so it’s a less appealing picture!)

I also had cupcakes:

Silly Monsters Cupcakes 3a

I made the monsters out of fondant.

And I made mini blue raspberry jello cups:

Silly Monsters Jello a

Yep, I drew the little faces on each cup.

Some lime cake balls:

Silly Monsters Cake Balls a

See the creepy eyeballs?

And of course, brownies.  I think of these as my emergency backup dessert– you know, in case I run out of everything else. 

Which I never do.  

But still, just in case.

Silly Monsters Brownies a

And that was all I had time for.  I wish I could’ve done more.

I know, you can say it.  I’m crazy.   🙂

Silly Monster dessert table for FB a

Silly Monster Party (Part 1)

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Yet another party!

My son wanted a monster party this year, but he’s only 4, so they had to be “silly monsters.”  I didn’t want a bunch of little kids to be scared of the cakes, after all.

So here is the second tiered cake I ever made! 

Silly Monsters Tiered cake

I made the little monsters out of fondant. The cakes were dark chocolate and orange.

And for those of you who notice details– NO, I did not leave the letters crooked.

I hadn’t attached the letters yet.  

I promise.  

OK, then I made a big silly monster (he was about  a foot tall, and the board he’s on was 20″ x 12″):

Silly Monster Cake

He was made up of vanilla, strawberry, and lemon cakes.

Seriously, I thought my hand was going to fall off while piping the frosting.  

So much craziness, but he turned out like I pictured him.  Except I hadn’t pictured me sitting there for hours working on it!

After an hour, I was cursing myself for deciding to make an extra cake.

After 2 hours, I was ready to smash him.

But anyway, I don’t want to bore you with the details of my looooong cake-decorating session.

Before I go, here is the piñata my husband made:

Monster pinata a

It was my son who requested 4 eyes– placed exactly as you see them. I know, I thought it was weird, too.

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Honestly, I told him to get a box, draw a monster face on it, and call it a day.

But nooooo… he insisted on arms, legs… the works. (I think he has some kind of piñata-making rivalry going on with one of his friends). 

Believe me, it was complicated to make, and he reinforced it to allow all the kids to get 2 turns– and even some parents.  

Silly Monsters Tiered cake 2a

OK, there you have it– until Part 2… the rest of the dessert table!

See you then!

Minions Party (Part 1)

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My son decided he wanted a Minions party for his birthday.

I, of course, said sure– how hard could it be?

Someone really needs to slap me out of my dream world sometimes.

These guys were tough to make!

Minions Cakes a

These are chocolate, white, and strawberry cakes.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I had to do all this with a broken finger?

Yes, I broke my finger 13 days ago playing basketball with my son…

As much as I hate to have a broken finger, at least I can say I have a “sports injury.”

I mean, what if I had broken it while washing dishes or something?  Pretty embarrassing.  

But catching a basketball?  Yeah, I’m cool.  🙂

Minions Cakes 3a

I made a yellow sheet cake, because the other 2 were apparently not enough…

You do think I’m cool, don’t you?

Well…?

Umm, ok, maybe when you see the rest of the Minion stuff I did with a broken finger in my next post…

Super Mario Brothers Party (Part 2)

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So here are the rest of the desserts I made for the Super Mario party.

The cupcakes were my favorite. They had buttercream frosting with a fondant topper.

I actually had fun making these, unlike the Luigi cake that drove me crazy– and made me want to quit baking forever.  Or at least until next week.

Anyway, I did bake a lot for this party– but I only put out enough for the 9 boys.

So of course it looks like it wasn’t too time-consuming.

I beg to differ.

No, I’m not complaining.  Moving on…

Here are the sugar cookies:

Cloud Cookies

Coin Cookies

Frosted brownies:

Star Brownies

And finally, cake balls.  My son wanted them red and green because Mario and Luigi are Italian. 

Green was pineapple and red was strawberry!!

I fought with the chocolate the entire time.

I tried all different ways of melting it, so it would coat the cake smoothly.

I even threatened it.

And I lost the chocolate melting fight.  Once again.

But at least they tasted really yummy!

Super Mario Brothers Party (Part 1- Luigi Cake)

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My son told me he didn’t want a huge birthday party this year.  Just his best friends over at the house.

I thought this was going to be easy… until he said he still wanted a dessert table. 

With a Luigi cake.

This turned out to be the most difficult cake yet:

At one point, I wanted to ‘accidentally’ drop it on the floor, and just go with the cupcakes.

But with my husband’s help, I finally finished it about 3 hours before the boys arrived.

I’m not too thrilled with it, but it was the best I could do in the time I had. 

How cool is this??

I have more Super Mario baked goods that I will have to post later this week. But for now, here are the chocolate mustaches I made for each boy.

They loved holding them up to their faces and acting silly.

Oh, and the “non-party” ended up being nine 9-year-old boys in my house for 5 hours.

Yeah, and I thought it would be easy.  Ha!

🙂

Pinata (made by my husband)

My Dragon Cake (Part 1)

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My son recently asked for a dragon birthday party.

I suppose I could’ve bought a plastic dragon and put it on top of a sheet cake.   But why would I do something easy, when I could cause myself extra stress instead?

And then he said it had to be yellow.

Yellow?  Really?

OK, yellow it is:

I carved him out of several different flavored cakes, and then covered him in fondant, with gumpaste for his nails, spikes, and horns.

The fondant scales took hours to apply (note that my husband stayed up all night putting them on for me after I passed out from exhaustion)!

The board was over 2 feet long, so it took forever to make this cake.

But totally worth it.

I actually got attached to the little guy. I hope you like him too!

And stay tuned for Part 2, with Dragon Cupcakes…

Monkey Party (Part 2)

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Hi, I’m back to tell you more about the monkey party.   

So where was I? 

I made 3 cakes. 

Oh yeah, so I needed cupcakes.   

 

 

I made the faces out of fondant, and they had different expressions: 

 

Here they are in a little tower:

 

So, with all that, I still thought it wasn’t enough. 

I decided to throw in some sugar cookies.  In banana shapes, of course. 

Monkeys like bananas—get it? 

That’s great, except I never piped icing on cookies before.  I guess I like a challenge.  Or I must like the stress… 

Yeah, I don’t think so. 

Either way, I thought it was a good idea.  I guess they came out OK.  At least they tasted yummy! 

And then I got another bright idea. 

Cake balls.   Made with banana cake.  

Yes, they were pretty simple to make, but time consuming.  I put them in cute mini cupcake liners, and they didn’t look too bad!   

These were a hit.  People loved them. 

Mission accomplished. 

I also found these cute chocolate molds and made 30 lollipops.  And it took 20 minutes to make each one because of all the different colors.  At times, I wanted to scream.  But it was worth it. 

 

And finally, the full dessert table—my first one ever! 

So that’s it for now!  I can’t wait until the next party.  

Um, did I really just say that? 

Yeah, remind me when it’s the day before the party and I’m freaking out.  🙂