Favorite Things: Calendars

cm-feb-xoxo-theater_fotor

One of the resolutions I made this year (along with A Picture a Day) is to celebrate each month specifically. One way I have decided to do that is to follow the recommendations of a monthly publication.

This month I chose Popular Mechanics. I am making up my own rules so I am deciding I don’t have to do everything they suggest- maybe 3 or 4 things. We’ll see.

I can’t wait to get started!

popular-mechanics-feb-2017-calendar-fotor

I  am most likely to do the Feb 28th suggestion!

Favorite Things: Brown Paper Packages Part 2

cm-christmas-tree-with-packagesfotor

I’m not sure when I started wrapping Christmas presents in Brown Paper but it became a tradition in our home. I probably ran out of Christmas paper on Christmas Eve!

cmchristmas-presents-closeup_fotor

The white ribboned present is for our dog, Katie!

 

It makes identifying presents easy since our daughter’s presents are tied with red ribbon and our son’s are green, a “Family” present is ribboned with green, red, and white and presents that are shared have the colors of the ribbons of the joint recipients. I never had to worry about running out of Christmas paper again!

Favorite Things: Color Part 2

 

cm-turkey-cake-finished

Large cakes and color are becoming a new theme! Last month I found the Wilton Performance Color System for baking and made a pumpkin cake for Halloween that was fun to make!

cm-pumpkin-cake-fotor

Now Thanksgiving has provided an opportunity to use the color chart again! Once again I went back to my old recipes and found a Turkey Cake recipe that I had made years ago. This cake, like the Pumpkin Cake, was the actual size of a roasted turkey.

I remembered that the last time I made it, I was disappointed with the final color of the turkey. It looked raw. Now that I had my color chart, I was hoping it would look more realistic this time. The recipe is from a back issue of Family Fun, which was my favorite magazine when my children were young.

You bake 2 vanilla cakes in round bowls. They take longer than when they are baked in 9 inch round pans.

Then bake 1 spice cake in a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Similarly it takes longer in the loaf pan than a round pan. I kept checking for doneness but I think they took about 40 minutes. The round bowls were closer to an hour. I just kept checking with a cake tester.

cm-turkey-cakes-no-frostingfotor

Once the cakes were finished I let them cool on a rack for 10 minutes and then popped them out to finish cooling.

This cake takes a lot of frosting. I used close to 4 cans of store bought buttercream frosting.

Before assembling the pieces I put the cake in the freezer for 15 minutes.

cm-turkey-cake-body-frosting_fotor

Basically you make a very large Whoopee Pie!

cm-turkey-cake-frosting-glue

This is an important step- secure the “Whoopee Pie” with a dollop of frosting on the platter.

turkey-cake-spice-cake-cut-fotor

Trimming the legs out of the spice cake is tricky. Just keep trimming until it looks like a leg! Frosting hides a lot.

cm-turkey-cake-assembled-s-frosting_fotor

I used coffee stirrers (wooden ones) to attach the legs to the body (it is no longer a very large Whoopee Pie!)

cm-turkey-cake-s-frosting-front-view_fotor

It’s starting to look like a turkey. I also think it looks like a Harry Potter Snitch or Captain America’s mask.

cm-sand-food-coloring

Now to the color- I used “Sand” for the base layer of frosting.

cm-turkey-cake-food-color-w-bottle_fotor

cm-turkey-cake-first-color-mix

Mixing 4 cans of frosting required my large mixer.

cm-turkey-cake-color-highlight_fotor

Once I frosted the cake with the base “Sand” color I added more brown and black to the remaining frosting until it turns a few shades darker. I added the darker color to the parts of the “turkey” that would darken as it cooks.

cm-turkey-cake-finished

Adding the oranges and paper caps added a touch of authenticity!

cm-turkey-cake-closeup-cut

It was fun to carve it like a turkey!

cm-turkey-cake-3-pieces-cut-_fotor

Happy Thanksgiving!

cm-turkey-cake-set-table

Favorite Things: Spooky Cake

What’s there not to like about Spooky Cake?

spooky-cake-recipe-original-1996

We call it Spooky Cake but I found my original recipe (from 1996!), and it apparently was called “Ghosts in the Graveyard.” It was fun to make together when my children were young.  Once they  went away to college, I continued the tradition and sent the ingredients so they could make it with friends. I substituted the box of pudding with already made pudding cups and used Peeps instead of cool whip (sorry original recipe!)

Our cakes don’t turn out as nice as the professionals but they sure taste great!

cm-spooky-cake-v1fotor

 Our first Spooky Cake. I’m not sure why we put lollipops on it…

cmspooky-cake-laurafotor

Spooky Cake: The College Version

cm-spooky-cake-v2_fotor

We got a little more sophisticated.