Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Since I have SOOOO much free time

I always try to find things to keep me busy cause my life isn't hectic enough as is. I mean, it's not like I work 35ish hours a week, waking up at 4am, then coming home around 1pm. And, it's not like I have a family to take care of, a toddler to chase, dinner to make, a house to clean, laundry to do. Hah! Yet, there are always new little projects I come up with, oh, you know, to kill the time I don't have. Lately, I've been doing lots of baking. I love anything that lets me express some creativity, so I've been decorating cookies, making cupcakes and pulling my hair out in between because they are not up to my super-perfectionist standards. Thankfully, my husband has been my guinea pig, and so has Gabe. He's loving the home made cookies I've made lately and especially loves when I decorate some special ones for him like ducks.
Here are some of the things I've made recently. I have made more things however, I sometimes forget to take pictures of things I make.

Pineapple upside down cake
I hadn't had this cake since I was probably around 9 years old. It was the first cake I made out of scratch, ever, and the first one I made in my oven and using my Wilton baking set.
(Sugar) Cookie Pops
I made these for Gabe's birthday. It was the first time I had ever made cookies, and I went the whole nine yards, making them from scratch and making the icing. I thought cookie pops would be cute for a centerpiece and honestly, I thought decorating would be a whole lot easier. Boy, was I wrong! It took me two batches to get them decent, and I was getting really discouraged but they were delicious and I guess not bad for my "first" attempt. Everyone loved them and I got so many compliments on them. I was really wanting to do a train cookie with the set of pops but in the end, the cookie didn't even look like a train so I just stuck to stars, rail road crossing signs and the number two. Not bad, and I'm already thinking of making one for my friend Gabby's baby shower or for when her daughter is born since she loved the cookies too.

I made these for my husband as a surprise one day when he got home from work. I really like how these turned out too!

Apple Pie
I made this a few hours prior to my birthday. I was just hanging out, watching a movie in our room and got the sudden urge to make pie. I looked for a recipe online and around 10pm I went into the kitchen and started working on my pie. When I was 6, we had "Johnny Appleseed Day" at school and had an "apple party". My grandpa, who was an AMAZING cook, was here on vacation, and he said he would help me make a pie for my class. He made the best pie and I think since I was missing him before my birthday, I thought I should make a pie. Obviously, it was not as good as his, but it wasn't awful. Looks a whole lot worse than it tasted and again, I got compliments on it. The crust looked pretty ugly but making a homemade crust and rolling out the dough isn't as easy as I thought!

Sweet 16 Pink & Purple Cupcakes
Since times are rough, I thought it would be cute to make cute cupcakes for my little sister for her 16th birthday. It was just going to be a few people over for dinner and I thought, "what the hey, it can't be that hard". The cupcakes were pretty good, the frosting was a whole other story. I call these Psycho cupcakes because I literally went crazy because I made THREE batches of frosting and the frosting just had something against me. The first batch just slid out of the piping bag like melted ice cream. I tried to fix it to no avail. The next batch piped fine...until it melted and/or slid off the cupcake. So I tried a buttercream recipe next and for some reason that one wasn't working for me either. By this point I was exhausted, aggravated and wanting to throw the cupcakes out the window. I started crying and went into the room to throw a tantrum, saying that we would have to stop at a grocery store to buy a cake or something. I ended up falling asleep during my meltdown, woke up running late to the dinner and when I went to check on the frosting it has stiffened up and piped on to the cupcakes perfectly. I had to resist the urge to punch my husband when he kept saying "I told you everything would be ok" seriously, I hate "I told you so's" more than anything. In the end, the cupcakes were a hit, my sister loved them and they were really yummy. Psycho cupcakes weren't so bad after all.

Halloween Cookies!
With Halloween around the corner I wanted to make some more cookies. My cousin's kids wanted some cookies so I'm going to attempt to mail these to them. Hopefully they get there in one piece and not a huge box of crumbs. We did keep some of these for ourselves too, since Gabe (and my husband) have become quite the cookie monsters lately. I have to say that I loved how these came out. Still need more practice with piping and frosting but it was so much easier to make these than the one's I made for The Kid's birthday party.

These cookies honestly look too cute to eat. Right?

Wrong! "little fingers" AKA Gabriel, didn't think so. Here are the remains of a ghost cookie he got ahold of when we weren't looking. He came up to my husband with the half eaten cookie in hand and face covered in icing asking for "miook" (milk). He will NOT eat cookies like chips ahoy or any store bought cookie but he will turn into a cookie thief when I make them.

I have more ideas, including halloween cupcakes, some elmo cupcakes and other things like christmas cookies. I can't wait!

PS. A lot of the things I've made lately come off of here. I did some tweaking to recipes and added my own touch but I'm loooooving this blog! These ladies have such great ideas and they are soooo detailed when it comes to step by step instructions and I love that they have tons of pictures!

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