Monday, August 2, 2010

HERE is my NEW blog!!!

Here it is!
I had a lot of free time today so I went ahead and created my new blog!  I hope you all go and check it out!
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Thanks and Some Changes

I wanted to thank any readers that I have for taking time to read my blog.  I'm not sure how many people actually read my blog, but I still had fun writing it.  It was a new adventure for me and a good experience.  Baking Paradise however, has reached its end.  I am sad to close my blog but I have better plans in the future.  I plan on creating another new blog.  It will not be specifically baking/cooking.  It will include a variety of different subjects.  Hopefully doing it this way will open it up for more readers and followers. 
I haven't yet started this blog.  I need to plan it out a little more before I officially open it.  I hope you will all check it out once I open it and get it started.   I will post a link here hopefully within the next week or two with my new blog.  I would love any support you are willing to give.  I am also very open to any suggestions, constructive criticism...anything you may have to offer me to help me become a better blogger. 
Thank you.
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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Looking for a Partner

I know I haven't had my blog very long, but I feel like I need a partner.  It is hard for me to post every week and I would really like to be able to post every week.  So these are the two options I have come up with:
1. Either take a break and bake bake bake! Then when I come back I will have lots of stuff to post about.
2. Find a partner.
I fancy the second idea the best.
So if you are interested in partnering with me, or just would like some more details, please leave me a comment or send me an email! OR
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Strawberry Cupcake?

So my friend's birthday was this past week. She loves strawberry everything - strawberry cakes, strawberry ice cream and milkshakes, etc.  So I made her strawberry cupcakes that were supposed to look like strawberries :)
Here is my attempt....
(Sorry for the bad quality...I took this on my phone)

So yeah...there is my cupcake ^_^

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cupcake Love

Last Friday was my birthday.  And for my birthday, my mom gave me a Cupcake Apron.  I am a very messy cooker...I think I got it from my grandfather.  When I am in the Kitchen, it looks like a total disaster!  I always end up with flour and other stuff on my clothes, on the counter, on the floor, and sometimes on the walls...I really don't know how this stuff happens! Lol. So needless to say, I NEEDED an apron.  I had entered several giveaways for the Flirty Aprons, but of course...I didn't win any :(

I also got 3 cupcake books!!! I am really excited about those!!!
Hello, Cupcake

Whats New, Cupcake?

and Crazy About Cupcakes

I am SOOO excited to try some of these cupcakes out!! 
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Happy Birthday to Me!

Friday July 16 was my birthday. I am now 19!
So for my birthday I made myself a cake...I thought it would be a really fun thing to do. I decided to make a 3d cake. I have never made a 3d cake before so I was going into this thing blind. Looking around on google images and other sites, I finally got an idea of what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a 3D ELEPHANT! My brother and I have an inside joke with elephants, which is why I decided to go with that. So then I looked through even MORE pictures to find out how to make one (cause remember, I have never made a 3D cake before...)
I went on and looked around and stumbled upon the cutest elephant cake ever! Later on a found another site with the same elephant but this time it had instructions. YAY! I had to change a few things cause I don't have any 3D cake molds :( But I think it turned out pretty good for my first 3D cake.
The picture that I had seen used fondant, so it looked pretty and very smooth.  However, I don't really like fondant.  I have never used it before but I am a buttercream frosting fan!  Woohoo! So I decided to just frost mine and hope to get it smooth and it still look cute.

I used a box Cake Mix.  Decorating the cake was going to be hard enough, I didn't want to try and deal with making one from scratch.

So first things first....Bake the Cake.
I made 3 9-inch round cakes.  (I would have used an 8 inch but I didn't have an 8 inch pan. Oh well.)
Bake half of a cake mix in a oven-safe bowl.
I cut the domes off all the cakes.  The bowl cake, I did cute the dome off but not the part that is down in the bowl...cause I needed the curve.  But I did cut the bowl cake in half, so now I have 4 round cakes and one curved cake.
The Wilton WonderMold would do the same affect....but I don't have that.
And I poured some cake batter in a clean empty soup can and baked it.
 (The one on the left is the part I baked in the bowl.  The ones on the right are the 3 - 9 inch round cakes stacked on top of each other.)

Assemble the Cake
Setting one of the round cakes down on my surface, I spread a thin layer of icing on top of the cake.  Then I stacked another round cake on top, iced it, and put on a third one.  See a pattern?  I put the fourth round one on and the bowl one.  However, my bowl wasn't quite as big as my 9-inch round cakes so I took my serrated knife and cut at an angle to help smooth out the curve all the way around.
**If you freeze your cakes for about 45 minutes before you cut them and crumb-coat it, it will help lessen the crumbs.**
Alright, so once the cake is all stacked, put a thin crumb coat icing.  I put it back in the freezer for about 45 more minutes.

While the cake was in there, I made one big rice krispie treat ball for the head and iced it.  I didn't do this but I think I should have, but I should have stuck it in the freezer for a little while as well.  I had some trouble with it later on. I just attached it by sticking some tooth picks in it.

Now for the legs, I took the soup can cake and cut it in half length wise.  Those were the two front legs.  Remember the domes I cut off?  Well, I crumbled some of those up, added a little bit of icing, mixed it all up good, and then molded them how I wanted them to look for the back legs (kind of how you make cake truffles).  So I placed those on the cake too, and gave it a crumb-coat.

For the trunk, I took marshmallows and stuck tooth picks in them to hold them together and curved it to the shape I wanted it.  Then I iced those as well.

Finishing the Cake
Now that everything is placed together and crumb-coated, it is time to finish it.
I applied a thicker final coat of icing.  I tried to smooth it out as good as a could.
 I cut the ears out of paper and wrapped them in plastic wrap to help keep them from getting greasy or anything from the icing.  The eyes are just chocolate chips I stuck on there.  The bow is marshmallows that I painted with food coloring.
And that is how I made my elephant cake ^_^  I Love it!!!

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

I am back from a HOT week of camping :) is nice to be home.  Nice cool air condition, my own bed, not having to walk down the street to take a shower or go to the bathroom, home is great.  I have had a fun week camping at the lake, even though to have an enjoyable swim where the water wasn't really warm, you had to go out in the deep part.  It was still very enjoyable.  i didn't know I was going to, but I did a lot of baking this past week....baking in the sun that is.  There wasn't tons of shade and it was HOT outside.  But the food!

I was in charge of cooking dinner for two nights.  The first night I cooked, I had previously cooked a chicken casserole before we left so all we had to do was warm it up.  Normally when I cook this dish, I just cook french fries to go with it.  However, I am just kinda tired of french fries because at my house, that is what we have almost every night.  So I wanted to mix things up a little.  So here is what I did:

Camp Fried Potatoes
(Instructions are slightly modified from what I actually did but have not tried it this exact way yet)
(Sorry for the bad quality pictures...I had to use my phone because I had not thought about sharing this, so I was not prepared.)

First, get some potatoes - about three average sized ones.  Wash them, peel them if you like, and cut them in bite sized pieces. 
Melt a stick of butter in a skillet. I suggest low heat.  When the butter starts to sizzle, put your cut up potatoes in the skillet and stir it around to get them all nice and coated with the butter.  Then just let the potatoes sit there for about 3-5 minutes. If you are tempted to stir them DON'T!  This will help them get nice and brown.  Around three minutes, you may want to take a fork or something to check one of the pieces.  If it isn't looking how brown you want it, then leave it longer.  The time is more of a guideline, not set in stone.
Now you can stir them around.  Let it sir for 3-5 more minutes.  Then stir them again.  Do this about 2 or 3 more times until all the sides of the potatoes are turning nice and brown.
Take a package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix and sprinkle it all over the potatoes.  Stir it all up so it all gets coated nicely.  If your potatoes don't look like they are all coated you can add another just depends on the size of your potatoes.  Do the sit-stir routine a couple more times until the potatoes get kind of soft.  The onions in the mix will burn easily so don't let it sit for too long.  About 2-3 minutes will probably be good.
Once they are all brown and soft, take them out and serve.

Easy enough I think.  The hardest part, for me that is, is waiting and NOT stirring them.
Mine got a little burnt quite a bit done.  I put the soup mix in at the beginning so the onions in the mix kinda turned black quickly.  But I changed that in my instructions.  They did still taste good though...except for the occasional well-done piece. I have to go start packing to go visit my grandparents.  See ya in about another week!
I am going to try a couple cake ideas soon!  :)

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