Friday, April 29, 2011

Girl Friday

So, I hear some royal people got hitched today. I honestly haven't paid much attention to the whole affair (not for TV's lack of trying, though), but I can't say it didn't get me thinking about princesses and fairytales weddings!  So, since it's Friday (for another 1.4 hours, or thereabouts), here's another Girl Friday for you all to enjoy.  Did you watch the wedding? Will you be sad as the hype dies down?  Even I have to admit that a real-life royal wedding doesn't happen everyday.  

Today I startled two tiny baby bunnies while I was mowing the lawn. They were soooo cute, and I felt like a cow for scaring them. Part of me wanted to scoop them up and nuzzle them forever, the other part wanted to scuttle around in the grass looking for late-laid Cadbury eggs. It's an addiction.

 Sighhh, just 12 more months until Easter 2012.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Candied Bacon Waffles (of Insane Greatness)

So I got to thinking after that Sunday post a while back that maybe you guys would be interested in my breakfast-making skills, if said breakfast was particularly awesome.  So I made waffles with bacon.  Except instead of a neat little stack of bacony goodness on the plate next to my waffles, I just put the bacon right INSIDE the waffles. With brown sugar.  Yes, they are amazing. Let me show you.

When I was a kid I went absolutely bonkers when mom even THOUGHT about making waffles for breakfast.  That old waffle iron of ours, outside edges ever-so-crusty with the remains of waffle breakfasts gone by, was a thing of joy for me. I would sit at the table, mouth watering, barely able to contain myself when the first fluffy waffles came sliding onto my plate.  I kept things simple then, just a smear of salty yellow butter on top of my waffles suited me just fine.

Years passed, and my love affair with waffles cooled. Nowadays I am usually satisfied with cold cereal and a glass of orange juice. Breakfast is all about convenience for me these days, especially during the week when it's all I can do to drag myself out of bed and make sure my socks match for work. But every now and then I get a wild hair and that's exactly how these delicious pork masterpieces came to be!

Bacony recipe after the jump!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Snail Mail Capable

Hello, magical internet people!  Sorry for lack of posts this week, I am busy busy busy in the workshop and have not a thing to blog about. Unless you'd be interested in my stunning breakfast-making skills? Or perhaps my stupendous ability to file paperwork? 

Anyway, just a quick note to say lookee thar, it's a new button on the blog!  Now you can email me with the greatest of ease, if you should be so inclined.  I am embarrassingly late in realizing there was  no way on the blog to contact me, aside from leaving a comment. My apologies to anyone that might have wanted to say hello!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Springtime Cake Pop Bouquet

I think this year more than any other in memory, I have been enamored with the coming of spring. Each new tree I spotted with barely-there buds just thrilled me.  The arrival of the early spring daffodils (one of my favorite flowers) seemed to herald more than just a change of seasons this time.  Seems kind of silly to say, but this spring has truly felt like a fresh start, a new year. And of course as soon as I started waxing poetic about the chirping robins and rising temperatures, a rogue cold snap came in an reminded me that winter's not quite over yet.

Well boo, I say! If I can't have REAL spring flowers, I'll make some myself! I decided I was going to pursue a little papercraft goodness and make my own flowers, and found a wonderful, easy tutorial over at Alphamom for making paper daffodils. But once I got started cutting and folding, I was suddenly struck with inspiration. Why not make some cute patterned paper to make my flowers with? And wait! I could totally make some yummy cake pops and slide right in the center, instead of the little paper cones where the daffodil trumpets should be. Thus, my springtime cake pop bouquet was born.

First I went to the source for all cake pop-related craftery, which would be the cake pop queen herself: Bakerella. For basic cake pop baking and construction, read her instructions. (She uses boxed cake mix and canned frosting, but I'm sure  homemade would work as well. You'll just have to play with the consistency!) For my cake pops, I used white cake and vanilla frosting, with some lemon extract thrown in for a little something extra. 

You'll see from the photos below that I melted my white candy coating and added yellow food coloring to it -- you can also use white chocolate, white chocolate bark, or colored candy coating. Whatever works for you!  I would melt just a little at a time in something tall and skinny, like a coffee mug (shown), to make for easier dipping.  And if you want to decorate your cake balls/pops with sprinkles, make sure you add those right after dipping or the candy coating will harden up and become impervious to your sprinkling desires!

click to enlarge.

This project takes about an hour to do, not including baking your cake. It's pretty easy and with the help of some safety scissors, would be a great craft idea to do with your kids!  Plus, I think this little bouquet would look ADORABLE on an Easter kiddie table as a centerpiece AND dessert.  Easy peasy entertaining, it's a good thing. ;)  

First thing's first! To recreate my springtime polka dot flowers, print out my FREE paper set!  

Download here!  

Assembly instructions:
1. Print out my colorful polka dot squares. Use plain old copy paper or cardstock, using your printer's best quality settings. Cut out each square!
2. Take a square and fold it in half.
3. Then fold it in half again.
4. And fold it in half one more time.
5. Now use your scissors to trim your little triangle into a petal shape. Depending on how you trim it, your flowers can turn out quite different from one another. Experiment with fun shapes!
6. Unfold your petals carefully to reveal your new flower. Simple as that! Now repeat with your other squares.
7. Turn your finished flowers over and draw a teeny little "X" in the center of each one. Now use the tip of your scissors or an x-acto knife (be careful not to leave kiddos in charge of this step, just in case!), to cut the lines of your "X". 
8. Now dip all of your cake pops, decorate as desired, and let dry thoroughly. Attach each flower by gently slipping each lollipop stick into the hole created in step 7. You may need to shave off any excess candy coating that drips down the stick (your X-Acto or a fingernail works great for this) to be able to get each flower up to the base of your cake ball.
9. Arrange your finished cake pop flowers into a container of some sort. I used a small mason jar I had on hand filled with white chocolate chips, but these would look great in just about anything! I bet they'd be terribly cute in a mini tera cotta pot with some floral foam stuffed in the bottom!

This little cake pop bouquet was so fun to make (and fun to eat, yum!).  I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did!