Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh the Weather Outside...

Everytime~literally~E.V.E.R.Y.T.I.M.E!!...a cold/cool front
comes thru my little corner of the world,
I get the need ~NO not for speed (movie reference;))~
but the need to BAKE. 
And not just bake some sort of extra-fat goodies, but
the need to bake--every.  single.  recipe.  that I have in
my arsenal!  Literally!!
Is that a bad thing?  I  think not! And I think 9 out of 10 test subjects
would agree with me on that fact.  By test subjects,
I mean those that sleep under my roof...and maybe a
 few select that don't.   
The way I see it, it's best to take advantage of
this nice weather because I can turn the a/c off--open up my windows--
that way, when I crank the oven on, it won't get
hot in here.  Come on, who doesn't
like a lower electric bill, huh?
Plus, I get to tease my neighbors
with the fan-tab-u-lous smells that
exude from my house--(don't be jealous ;))--
 as the breeze blows throughout!
Well, due to time (& energy) restrictions,
(Dr appt's, toddler that now--not just walks, but is running & getting
into literally...EVERYTHING,--hence, the lack of energy, etc)
I have had to reign myself in when it comes to baking time
....what a shame, I know!
I did manage to get SOME baking done...I baked cookies!
Yummy ones, too.  Both Sugar & Gingerbread
cookies~~and I must say, I've got a nice snack to go along with
my coffee now ;)
I snapped a few shots...take a look:


I am so bad when it comes to taking pictures of what I make...
that's why some of these are bagged...some of them
*ahem* were consumed, lol.
I will do my best to take pictures BEFOREHAND, next time
around...I try to remember ;)
Now, it being a nice cool day....
it's time to get myself a cup of coffee...some cookies...
a blanket...kick someone off my couch spot...
& finally, watch tv/movie!
Later--a gingerbread house! ;)
Thanx for stopping by,

Saturday, December 15, 2012


A few years ago, my oldest graduated!
Her party had an Alice in Wonderland Theme~
so needless to say, we had to have a quirky know,
things have to line up at times in girly life!!
I love you being the over-achiever that I am,
I decided to make her cake myself!  I experimented
with a few recipes...found one that my
daughter really loved (Lemon~Raspberry)...I wasn't too thrilled with it
cuz of all the seeds...Y.U.K...they get all stuck
in your teeth & if you don't brush & floss your teeth right,
you'll be having those seeds for breakfast the next day...(Stop it~I did
warn you of the yukiness)...
During my quest, I also tried the Wilton fondant...&
So I went back to the drawing board (ok, the computer)
and I searched....and searched...and searched... 
till I finally found a recipe for homemade
rolled fondant.  At first I was really skeptical but when I finally decided to
try it out...WOW! It was REALLY good!!!
Kid's approved & asked that I never buy, ahem--"that crappy one",
again.   I absolutely vowed to make my own from
that point on.....
Although the fondant came out fan-tab-u-lous....due to time
restraints & work issues (yes, I had a real job back then), we decided to have
the cake was really good tho!  Normal looking on the
outside, but swirly & colorful on the inside!
You know, kept it in line with the movie theme...
On a side note, I did manage to make several dozen cheesecake
 pops~which by the
way, also turned out fan-tab-u-lous!!!  That reminds me,
I've gotta make time to make those again ;)
So just this week, I decided to look for a BETTER Lemon~Raspberry
recipe for us to try out.  I also made the fondant
that we fell in love with...BUT, this time...I played with the play dough 
fondant and made flowers, birds, tree branches,
know, girly stuff...all for decorating the cake.
I have watched SO many videos on decorations made of fondant,
but being the nerd & scaredy cat that I am...I came up with this...
Yea, pretty boring right?  Well, I kinda liked the way it looked~
but at the same time didn't (if that makes sense).
Then I remembered a video I saw that just AMAZED was a post
from Elizabeth Adams (Arty McGoo).  In this video, she is
painting....yes, painting ....on cookies
(using food coloring~I think).
Anyway, it was just beautiful the way she ....turned that
cookie canvas into a work of art!!!
I've mentioned before of how little I know about art...painting included.
But being in a somewhat...daring this point, I
reasoned: "What the heck...give it a try.  This cake is really just
for us here at home.  If I fail...I"
So I broke out just a few food gel colors (Americolor~of course)
and my little pack of paint brushes (which are strictly for food!!!)
I quickly recalled how she worked the paint & brushes
with a little bit of water...So I went to
work!  This is what became
of my cake....
What do you think?  Epic Fail?  Eh-So-So?
or Fairly Decent--for a first timer?
Well, whatever you think, that's fine...I for my Happy! 
Happy that I gave it a go!  Happy that it tastes good, at least!
& Happy that my family & friends liked it!
That is motivation in try again...& again...& again...
till ...well, till I reach perfection ;) we just gotta slice it up!
Leave me your thoughts, I'd love to hear them!
Thanks for stopping by!
Buenas Noches Amigos, Cori ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Zumba Anyone?

I have a friend who happens to be a Zumba Dance Instructor.
She's attempted to get me to go to a class....
given me a couple of free passes and all....dangling Zumba water classes
in front of me...ALL TO NO AVAIL!:(
I know...I know...I know..I should go try it out at least once, right?!?!
What holds me back, you ask?
Well, a number of things...Firstly, the fact that I dare not try to wear
exercise clothing!  Just not meant to be worn by 
Secondly, I am not a fan of sore muscles!
I do not look forward to getting up to go pee (sorry, not meant to gross anyone out)
at 2 am only to find I have to "roll" off the bed
 because my thighs refuse to cooperate (a punishment they dish out
for my making them work-out...yes, they have a mind of
their own---don't yours?).  And thirdly, I DON'T DANCE!
To quote Fran (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras) from The Wedding Planner movie
"I look like a retarded string bean" ...or something along
those lines.  Yeah, I am SO NOT coordinated---never have been :(
I think I might have a change of mind...if I had a buddy (who's just as bad as me--
if not worse--at all three things noted above) who would go with me.
Unfortunately, we all run off different schedules--so for now, I
will just have to fulfill my friends other request....
which was to make her a batch of Zumba cookies for her class!
No problem there...she requested a batch of cookies that had the Zumba
symbol -- Here's the symbol she requested just above the cookie
I made. 
She prefers the cookie to show as opposed to have the icing go edge-to-edge.
Here they are all individually packaged and bow-tied!
Now this kinda Zumba, I can do!  They are sugar cookies with royal icing...simple,
but SOOOOOO good.  I'm sure these will give them something to work off
in it's like I am actually there
with them, no? ;)
What do you think?  Close match?  Let me know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Green Eggs & Ham

Okay, so my daughter is a big fan of Dr. Seuss...always has been...always will be. 
That's just who she is-----And we love you for that Em!   
So, one day while I was going thru online pictures (for inspiration, of course),
I came across some really cute Green Eggs & Ham cookies and I thought: "Hmm, MAYBE..
(just maybe) I can make these myself...?  What are the odds that I can do this?" 
And of course, there was that surge of anticipation in seeing my daughters
facial expression when she saw them IF I did succeed...<that was motivation
in itself ;)>  You see, I'm so NOT a good faaaarrrrrr
 from it, actually.   I do remember taking Art in High School....well,
maybe more like Jr High?...IDK, it was so long ago, I really can't
remember...(you can add that to the long list of things I've
 forgotten)  But what I do remember is that it was fun trying to make all those
sketches, paintings, paper mache projects, clay vases/pots, even the pinata...
of course, they were pretty horrible looking.....but it was a fun process.
SO I WENT FOR IT!!!!!!!  I pulled out all of my cookie cutters to see
which ones would fit the egg & ham shapes.  I decided to go
with the egg (as in egg that's still in a shell shape--before being cracked open)
as well as a plain round cutter.  I traced those 2 cutters on a
piece of paper & began sketching...
I used the round cutter and traced out what would look like
an over easy egg and I then traced the ham chunk on
the oval egg cutter.
After baking the cookies and letting them cool overnight,
I then took a black food coloring marker (edible, of course) and then I
lightly traced out the shapes according to the cutter sketches.  Once I was happy...
(still skeptical about how they would actually turn out) I bit the
bullet and started to outline the shape in black piping icing, like so--
and then I went ahead & piped the ham bone and egg yolk outlines, like so--
I let these dry out for about 30 min to an hour.  As you can see, the shapes
don't (more like shouldn't) have to be perfect.  Actually, they
end up looking more natural if each one is "off" a little bit,
but that's just my opinion.  If you like them to be exactly the same, then
go for it--whatever works for you is fine, too ;)
After these outlines were set and dry, I began flooding the cookies.  This is what
they look like after they were flooded--
Not so hot looking, right!  Yeah, I was pretty disappointed and thought "Great...I really do suck at this" :\  But, oh well...what can you do?!?!?
Well, I then realized....I wasn't done!!!!!  I let them dry .....
AND THEN...I took my lil black food coloring marker, and
started making all the little details on them!  And my-oh-my...I was once a happy
camper all over again!!!  Here's the final look of them--
Yay!!!   Not bad (if I do say so myself) for my first try, huh!  I know they aren't the
 greatest decorated cookies in the entire universe, but in my little corner
of the world...they are considered perfect---for me & my Em (she totally approved!
& everyone else that hangs around in my lil neck of the woods (there are no neck
 of the woods around here--really)....Bwahahahaha-hahah!
I think next time, I'll go thru our collection of Dr. Seuss books
and see what else I can bake up!
Thanx for hanging around my blog.  I hope you found it.....interesting?!?!?!
See ya next time,


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cleaning Cutters!

Cleaning up...NO ONE likes to do this!  Of course,
if I'm wrong & you know of someone out
 there who loves it...please send them my way! 
(Note: I can only afford to pay in exceptions ;)) 
Oh yea, sure, the anticipation of creating
what's in my mind sends me over the moon (no, not literally...okay,
okay, well maybe a little)...
Then once the cookie is all iced and ready...
I have to convince myself to take a bite,  and believe me,
it doesn't takes a long time for that part ;)--wink wink--
If it's a success, then it'll be a miracle if the cookies survive the night!  And, NO! I don't eat 
them all myself--I do share with my hubby, kids and a few other family
& friends...but only because I want to make sure the weight
 gets distributed evenly between us! 
You know what they say:  "Sharing is Caring"
Boy oh boy, I can be on cloud 9 for days after a successful batch!  It's like nothing's a powerful thing! .........
What were we talking 'bout?
Oh, yea, Cleaning up those metal cookie cutters can be such a pain...esp those
 little suckers! Yes, the "mini" cutters--SO adorable, yet so
annoying to wash.  Maybe it's just me with my fragile hands, but I always seem to
 give myself a little nick or scratch from
 the edges &/or corners :(
I have read many blogs & I've yet to see one that gives tips about an easy way
to clean them (cutters) up...
But then again, I have an ugly habit of getting to the nitty gritty &
going straight to the good stuff on these blogs...
or maybe it's time I get my eyes checked again...
or...I could be in the early stages of memory loss...
hmm...memory loss......
Cleaning Up...
Well, I just happen to have in my possession this little nifty tool--
It's inexpensive & highly accessible...
Yes...(drum roll)....
The Amazing Bottle Brush!
(ta da...)

I like to use the nipple brush for cleaning the icing tips...

Not only do the little threads on the tip of the brush get
in there and get the left over icing out...

But it's also good for getting into those tight little corners
on the cookie cutters...

Another trick I like for cleaning up is that I like to take advantage
 of the hot oven by letting the heat that radiates from it
dry both my icing tips as well as the cutters too...

All I do is lay a couple of napkins on the stove top and after I wash
the tips and cutters (& beaters, apparently) I place them
on the napkins--they dry completely within like 5 minutes!
(maybe even less)
Easy Peasy!
I don't have a dishwasher...well, aside from my kiddos & hubby........
So, I'm always looking to make things quick and simple
that way, I can get back to the more important things in my life---
like eating more cookies!
I just thought this simple little trick that has helped me,
might help you too!
If you guys have any other tricks, tips, or ideas that have worked for you,
please feel free to share them...I'd love to hear them, they're probably better than mine
so don't be shy!  Share! ;)
See ya,


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Sugar Dresses, Frames...& Catapillar Cookies

Ok, so the other day...I decided to try out a new--well, new to me--recipe that I came
across on "The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle" website (I absolutely LOVE her creativity
& think she is just amazing ;)).  What really caught my attention, was
that every couple of bites, you can get just a little hint of the
salt...not overwhelming, just a subtle taste in the background--and I
really love that about this recipe! 
I also read about Corn Syrup Glaze/Icing, which had never been on my radar before till now.  I adapted a couple of recipes of this icing..according to what I had on hand.  I am always nervous when I try something new, probly because it's just who I am ;)
I really found this icing to be extremely easy to work with!  I loved how
unhurried I was.  With royal icing, I am rushing to get each color batch done & sealed up
so that it doesn't dry out on me.  I always have my main bowl of it on the counter and, with so many kids in the house, I am double checking that the damp towel I place
over the container, isn't pulled off by accident...helping it dry out.
With the corn syrup glaze, I found that I didn't really need to keep it covered.
If it started to look like it wanted to, I just gave it a quick stir and boom!  I was
ready to go!  Another thing I noticed with this type of icing & how easy
it was to color it...I mean...W.O.W!  It took me by surprise how vivid the colors were. 
(* On a side note:  I was multi-tasking when I made the icing...AND...I didn't catch it till I was already stirring it all up--But I grabbed the regular vanilla bottle instead of the clear vanilla & so
my icing was an ivory/creamy tan color instead of white :(  Ooooops!  Good thing these
were just for us here at home, lol) 
That's something I'm going to have to watch out for (yes, both the clear vanilla & the brightness of the color mixes)!  Anyhoo, I paired these 2 recipes...along with my new cookie cutters and this is what resulted!
The one in the middle is what I like to think of as the "dancing dress" because as I
was lifting it to put it on the cookie sheet to bake, the dough kinda went too soft (as I live in a very hot & humid area) or I didn't leave it in the fridge long enough...either way, I think it looks cute!!
I also bought the plaque cutters from Karen's Cookies...and this is what I came up with.  Please keep in mind that I am a rookie and...well, yeah, I'm not there yet ;)  Here is the link: 

These catapillars were made just cuz I had extra dough and wanted to play with another
new cutter...So I decided to make them just for fun!
Well, back to family life!  Have a great night!
Cori ;)  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Some New Baking Tools!

I love new toys...which for me, are really kitchen/baking gadgets.  But don't tell that to my hubby...or that's what I'll get for our anniversary from here on out... I got these in a few days ago & I just used them.  I'm so excited about them, but now comes the hard part (well for me anyway) ...decorating them!  I get creative block when it comes time to decorate my cookies :/
I keep telling myself to remember all these fluttering ideas that come around just as I'm about to snooze, but my brain doesn't always do what I want it to...story of my life I guess...
In case ur wondering, I got these awesome cutters from Karen's Cookies...had been eyeing these beauties on other websites for a while, but couldn't bring myself to pay those pretty precious pennies for them.  Then came these...& (since I didn't win giveaway ツ)  I jumped at them right away.  Well, I'll have to post a picture of the final decorated cookie, next time around;)