Life's little crumbs.....
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 29, 2012 at 9:15 PM||comments ()|
Tomorrow is my daughter's 6th birthday and I am a *terrible* mother because I did not make her any cupcakes to take to school. She kinda gets the short end of the stick when it comes to her birthday since it always falls on either the first or second week of school. I would feel really bad about sending cupcakes to school during the first week and don't want to get on the teacher's bad side by being "that" parent. Not to mention all the rules that go along with sending cupcakes.....so I've just never done it. I also don't invite her classmates to her birthday parties because who wants to get a birthday party invitation the first week of school?!? We don't even know these kids yet and we're already inviting them to parties? Um, NO. I always feel like it's just a bit too much to ask of these strangers at the beginning of the school year.
To keep from being labeled as the "worst mother ever" according to my daughter, I made her this birthday bento for her lunch tomorrow. I hope it will put a smile on her face, even though I didn't make cupcakes.
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 28, 2012 at 9:05 AM||comments ()|
My 1st Grade Bento Princess
Proud Momma Rachel
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM||comments ()|
Second day of school bento:
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 26, 2012 at 10:55 PM||comments ()|
Back to School means back to Bento making in our house. I've been looking forward to the first week of school so I can create some fun lunches for my princess. Here is her first day of school bento:
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 8, 2012 at 11:25 PM||comments ()|
I have a new favorite tool to make Bentos with: Wilton Color Mist food spray. It's food safe and you can color so many things with it, not just cakes and cookies: bread, cheese, crackers, chips, pastas, potatos, etc. I originally bought some for a cake I was making a long time ago and I completely forgot about it until I recently cleaned out my cake supply cabinent. I decided to give it a try on some potato chips and the color held really well without sogging out the chips. Here are some tests I did on a piece of white bread I cut into 1" hearts:
I put a piece of uncolored bread in the picture too so you could see the intensity of the color. Color Mist is a food coloring just like you would use for dying Easter eggs or icing, so be careful to cover surfaces you don't want getting dyed in the process (including your hands).
Wilton Color Mist comes in just about every color you can think of. So the next time you are trying to come up with ideas to add some color to your Bentos, give this product a try!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 8, 2012 at 11:10 PM||comments ()|
Here is another Bento we made for camp. It is our Pinkalicious themed Bento:
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on August 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM||comments ()|
My 5 year old has been at a different camp every week this summer. The last 2 weeks she has been at the Daugherty Arts Center camp. She has been bringing home the neatest projects and it't really opened up her creativity. We've been making Bento lunches during camp and I wanted to share a few of them with you over the next couple of days (ok weeks by the time I get around to posting them):
Here is the Olympic themed Bento:
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on June 26, 2012 at 4:45 PM||comments ()|
Every year I help the kids run a cupcake and lemonade stand in the spring before it gets too hot. They seem to be increasing their profits more and more every year, so I decided to make the lemonade stand a lesson in business and entrepreneurship. I'm a little OCD to say the least, here is our first Board of Directors meeting agenda:
You think that is bad...check out the graph I made to show the actual versus projected sales....
Yea, like I said...OCD to the MAX! The girls came up with the name Little Lemonade Ladies for the company...so cute, don't you think?
We did a couple of new things this year including selecting a charity to donate some of the proceeds. They make so much money doing this every year I thought it would be a nice life lesson to select and donate to a local charity. We selected HayleyCurls for Hope foundation that helps children and families with cancer and we also chose Blue Paws Rescue Group (now it's Starfish Cat and Kitten Rescue Group). The kids couldn't decide on one versus the other so they chose both.
The girls also came up with some great ideas on additional treats we could serve with our cupcakes including Lemonheads and Saltwater Taffy. We also decided to package the cupcakes "to-go" style this year since most of our business is just drive-by rather than a sit and chat.
Sweet Summertime Treats
Lemon Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, Lemonheads, and Taffy, oh my!!
And let's not forget the star of the show, the Lemonade...
We even had a Lowe's delivery truck stop to buy some Lemonade and Cupcakes....
Did you see the little table and chairs for the sit-and-enjoy section?
Here are more of our lovely customers:
Seriously, who could resist this adorableness?
In the end, the girls raked in $97.50. Dad (not wanting to feel completely left out of the good deedery) matched the donation to Starfish Rescue group ($50!) and they were able to cover the cost of chipping, vaccinating, and adopting 5 ferral cats. We are still waiting to make our donation to Hayley Curls because we are hoping to make a special trip to Dell Children's Hospital to help decorate the room of a sick child. I would love for the kids to see hands-on how their efforts went to help this great organization. I will do a separate post when that happens.
We will definitely be continuing our Lemonade Stand tradition but will make some changes to it next year. The cupcake recipes I used made a whopping 63 cupcakes and we had a few leftovers that ended up in the trash. As lovely as the lemonheads and taffy were on the table, they weren't big sellers so we may just do the taffy as a give away. All in all, it was a great day and the Little Lemonade Ladies did a wonderful job!!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on June 26, 2012 at 4:30 PM||comments ()|
Last March, I hosted my neighborhood 'Ladies Night In'. I made a giant batch of Sangria for the party and I really thought we would have some leftover, but we finished off the entire container which was double the recipe below. I had a Kindergarten field trip the next day to San Marcos and 3 of us Kinder-Mommas were really hurting on the drive down there (I think it was the anti-gravity house that really did us in though!). Check out the recipe and you can see why...
1 bottle of Red Wine (Merlot)
1 bottle of red wine (merlot)
1 bottle of Riesling
2 cups of rum
1 cup brandy
1 cup lime juice
1 cup oj
Blood Orange pulp
Simple syrup to taste
Chopped fresh fruit - I used peaches, oranges, and strawberries
Special Thanks to my friend, Johnny M, for sharing his restaurant's recipe with me. Enjoy with extreme caution and good friends and you're guaranteed to have a fabulous time serving these babies!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on June 26, 2012 at 4:25 PM||comments ()|
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on June 5, 2012 at 1:25 AM||comments ()|
I was absolutely honored to not only make Justin and Haylie's wedding cake but have the opportunity to attend the wedding as well. Although they live 2 doors down from me, we didn't necessarily start out on the right foot. Haylie's sweet cocker spaniel, Tucker, (who is blind) accidentally got out and was chasing one of my kids. I got upset, slammed the door , and am embarrassed to admit this but I screamed some obscenities at her. I'm not the kind of person to think before they speak...obviously! So after I had cooled down, I walked over to Haylie's house to apologize at the same time she was walking to mine with a card she had made for me. A few years later, our HOA elections got extremely heated and I asked her if she had been watching what was being posted to the message boards. We decided to get out our lawn chairs, break out the popcorn, and pop a bottle (okay a few bottles) of wine while waiting for the next nasty message to pop up. After our wine-induced Real Housewives of GO evening, we both realized we had a lot in common and it was easy to see that we would grow to become good friends as well as neighbors. Thank you so much Haylie and Justin for allowing me to be a part of your special day!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on June 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM||comments ()|
Delivery is the absolute worst part of my job. I am a nervous wreck when I have to move my cakes from the safe spot on my kitchen table into the tumultuous outside world. I map my routes finding the flattest roads with the least amount of potholes. I drive 25 mph MAX with my hazards on the whole entire way. Most wedding venues require you to use the service entrance when delivering cakes. Service entrances aren't really designed to help the vendors and usually they are down long hallways and smelly elevators and in the deep dark depths of parking garages. Wedding cakes are fricken heavy, weighing anywhere from 30-60 pounds. Due to all of the aforementioned reasons, I like to enlist some delivery help from my husband in case we have to carry the sucker the length of 2 football fields. This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to borrow a cart from the caterer and we managed to get the cake safely from the car and into the elevator. On the way up, I was doing a premature victory dance to celebrate the end of my 11 hour cake making journey. When we get to the cake table, my husband and I are both having trouble getting our fingers under the cake board to lift it up, when I hear his violent inhaling gasp.....he had just done the unimaginable. His fingers slipped and his hand went through the back of the cake. Did I mention that I spent ELEVEN hours building this masterpiece from grains of sugar and flour? My blood, sweat, and tears go into these creations and now my husband's thumb. I wanted to cry but the DJ, florist, and caterer were all there staring at me watching what my reaction was going to be. All I could do is scream "You're Fired!!!". Luckily it was the back of the cake that faced the wall. And by lucky, I mean lucky for him, because he would still be sleeping in his truck if it had been the front of the cake. Here is a picture of his 'hand'ywork and after I fixed it:
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on December 16, 2011 at 2:30 PM||comments ()|
If you know anything about the Roth's, you'll know that we
like love tequila. I've had several requests for my Tequila Christmas Cake recipe again this year so I'll post it here. Please keep in your files as I am beginning to get tired of typing this up every year!
TEQUILA CHRISTMAS CAKE
Big thanks to my Father-in-law, Lyndon, for sending this to me.
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on December 15, 2011 at 12:35 PM||comments ()|
Snowman Lunch Bento
Tis the season for colds and flu....my little one has been missing a lot of school lately so I havent been able to make very many bentos this month. I made her this when she was sick one day.
I used my bear shaped rice mold and hand molded the nose. I used a red pick for the nose and bone picks for the antlers. Note to anyone making bentos...Basamati Rice SUCKS to make bentos. Just trust me, don't use it. I really hope my little one gets to feeling better soon. Only 3 more days of school left before Christmas break!
I am hoping Santa brings me a new camera for Christmas. Do you hear me SANTA?!???
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on December 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM||comments ()|
I made this Sparkling Pomegranate Punch for my step-daughter's Spa Party and it was such a hit, I wanted to share it with you. We made a non-alcoholic version for the party but it would be excellent with some champange mixed in. YUM!
This punch is so pretty in the glasses, it's sure to be a huge hit at your next party!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on December 15, 2011 at 9:50 AM||comments ()|
Having three girls in the house qualifies me as an expert on the following subjects: glitter, Disney Princesses, flowers, and girly parties. A few weekends ago I threw my step-daughter, who was turning 10, a Spa Party. I ordered the paper goods from JCBabyCakes on Etsy. Her work is amazing! I really love the whimsical look of her designs. There is just something so sweet and young about them that I just adore! Check out her Etsy store here: www.jcbabycakes.etsy.com I ordered the invitations and water bottle labels. I should have ordered the cupcake toppers, but I ran out of time and had to make due with what I had. Here is what she designed for me...
Invitations: We printed the Invitations on card stock (cropped to fit 2 on one page) and cut them with a paper trimmer. I crafted a velum envelope and put a few pinches of bath confetti (that I still had leftover from MY baby shower!) in the envelope. She handed the invitations out to her friends at school and asked them to wear a bathrobe to the party. The girls were so excited about the party they got in trouble a few times at school for talking too much about it!
Water Bottle Labels: We did several things with these. First we printed them on a full sheet of Avery labels and cut them for the water bottles themselves. Then we made a few extra for the sides of the buckets we used for party favors. Used extra copies to enhance the place setting and make name cards. When I was short on time, I cut the little spa girl out at the last minute to fashion some cupcake toppers. These turned out to be really versatile.
Favor Baskets: I wanted baskets that would be useful both during the party and after. There is nothing I hate more than kids coming home with a bunch of junky toys from a bad favor bag. It always ends up in the trash. I bought everthing at the Dollar Tree (including the buckets). I really love that store for party planning. In the baskets were: eye mask, pedicure kit, fuzzy socks, bath sponge, face sponge, soap flowers, hair band, a spice jar for keeping bath salts (we made those as our craft) and a standing mirror.
Crafts: We did two take home crafts at the party, Lip Gloss and Bath Salts. I bought a kit to make the lipgloss and it was a complete disaster. It was so messy and disgusting that I threw my kids' away as soon as the party was over. I should have gone with the shortning and kool aid recipe I saw on the internet. The only problem was that I couldn't find small containers to put it in. The bath salts was a lot of fun and the girls really enjoyed it. I bought Epsom salt (at Dollar Tree) and they mixed it with food coloring and some scented oils. It was inexpensive, minimal mess, useful, and fun!
Food: I stuck to basic kid food and tried to kick it up in sophistication with nice dishes. We had ham and havarti mini crissonts, pasta salad, fruit tray, pomegranite sparkling punch, and vanilla cupcakes. Note: you can see the lip gloss and bath salt "stations" I had set up on the other side of the table where the girls are standing.
Party Time: The rest of the time we spent doing manicures, spa pedicures, mud mask facials with cucumbers, mini massages, scavenger hunt for her big present and opening guests presents. A few details made a big difference: I brought my zebra chair and black nightstand down from the guest room, covered the kitchen chair in pink fabric, covered everything I could in fabric, bought some teen magazines, used a silver tray (from Dollar Tree, of course!) for the polish selection. I think it made a pretty big difference. Hopefully you agree...
It was really easy to put this Spa party together and I used a lot of things I already had around the house. The main cost was food and the favor baskets. I hope you'll get to use some of these ideas to spoil your little tween princess too!
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on November 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM||comments ()|
Here's the Halloween themed Bento I packed for my Kinder-princess
She ate everything but the broccoli (of course!).
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on November 17, 2011 at 2:45 PM||comments ()|
Halloween is chalked full of sweet stuff. Every party has a bazillion different types of cakes and cookies and hardly anything savory. Here's an idea to add to your Halloween holiday spread:
5 layer upside down dip:
Layer ingredients in the order that they were listed above. The black beans should be spread around the edge of your dish. Put the remaining sour cream in a baggie, seal it, and cut off the bottom corner. Squeeze it like a piping bag to make the spider web. Add a cheap plastic spider ring on top for effect. Serve with chips.
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on November 16, 2011 at 11:05 PM||comments ()|
My daughter is a really picky eater. She started Kindergarten this year and I was worried about having to pack a lunch for her everyday. We started going to daycare about a month before school started to make a smooth transition from home to Kinder. My daycare tuition included a hot lunch but I wasn't very happy with the menu and I knew if she didn't eat what they were serving she would starve all day. So I started packing her a sack lunch with the basic PB&J, chips, a box of raisens and a juice box. She ate pretty good for about a week and then she started sending back half eaten sandwiches and a full box of raisens. So I decided to shake things up. I searched on the internet for "healthy lunches for kids" which led to "fun and healthy lunches for kids" and I discovered Bentos!
Bento [n]. Food in Japan is famously prepared as much for the eyes as for the palate. This is true even for Japanese preschoolers, most of whom take an elaborate, adorable mom-made meal, called obento (or bento), to school every day. The tradition becomes part of the social education of both parent and child and creates a connection between home and school for a youngster’s earliest forays away from family.
I have an elaborate collection of cookie and fondant cutters from years of making cakes so it was a natural progression from cakes and cookies to start making Bento lunches for my little one.
Here is one of the first ones I made:
Contents: ham, grapes, cheese cubes, croissant, and a tiny piece of hard candy.
|Posted by shimmyshimmycake on November 14, 2011 at 5:05 PM||comments ()|
I was thrilled to find out that one of my best friend's was engaged. As a cake baker, the first thing I (selfishly) said after "Congratulations" was "Can I make your wedding cake?". I was so excited thinking about all the wonderful things I could create for her and didn't even hear her say that they were going to do a destination wedding. Well $hit, I thought, guess I won't be making anything too elaborate since I'd be traveling to Mexico with cake pans and icing tips in my suitcase. I wondered if the hotel would let me use their ovens....
A few months later, Erica announced that they were running off to Florida to get hitched on the beach in July. I was a little sad that I wasn't going to be there to witness it (but more so because I wanted to make her cake). Yes, I'm that selfish. Maybe it was me pestering her, or maybe she just wanted to have a killer party, but she did end up throwing a fabulous party to celebrate their marriage. When we were party planning, she said I could do anything I wanted to do. At first I was thinking this would be the most awesome assignment ever. I sketched a few designs and tried to think of something she would like. All I could come up with was birds. Birds are a popular wedding theme right now and I've seen them in lots of magazines (and of course who could forget Sarah Jessica Parker's birdsnest in her hair in the SATC movie)! So I not so confidently presented her with a modern design of two love birds and large J + E monogram. She didn't go for it. She wasn't sure what she wanted and I was scared to go back to a blank slate so I showed her a picture of my favorite wedding cake at the moment (kinda like a favorite song at the moment... which I tend to switch out about every week). She fell in love with it just like I had....I knew we were good friends for a reason! So we went with a damask theme, scoured the internet for cake pictures, and took little bits and pieces from several that we liked to create one uniquely beautiful cake designed for a uniquely beautiful bride like her.