Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby Shower Carriage Cake for Twin Girls

Today I co-hosted a baby shower for my friends who are having twin girls and this is the cake I made for the party.  At first I had the idea to make 2 carriages, each with a baby inside.  However, after using all of my white chocolate for the top of the first carriage I decided perhaps both babies could fit together inside one carriage.

The cake was comprised of two cake layers.  The first layer was made with a regular 9 inch cake pan.  The carriage layer was made with half a soccer ball cake pan (a half sphere).  First, I iced both layers with cream cheese frosting.  Then I used a delicious buttercream for the colored icing.

The top of the carriage was made by melting white chocolate (with a bit of kefir) and then painting it on to a half sphere cake pan lined with saran wrap.  At first it didn't go very well and I almost gave up.  The chocolate didn't want to stick to the saran wrap, but after the first layer was down it was easier.  I just wish I had made it a little smaller so the babies inside would be more visible.
I made the babies out of Starbursts.  Two orange Starbursts slightly warmed and rolled together make one baby head.  I also used one Starburst for the body below the blanket.  To make eye holes and ears I used a toothpick.  The hats and pacifiers were made of icing. 

The final step was to place the golden Oreos on for the wheels.  A big plus (or minus, depending on how you look at it) of this cake is that now I have a whole bag of Oreos left over.

More photos of the shower to come!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baby Shower Invitation

The last issue of Martha Stewart Magazine inspired this baby shower invitation.  They had an article on Darcy Miller and how she had an art opening for her scrap boxes where she did quick line drawings of all the guests.  I loved her drawings so much I decided to try my own.  I always like line drawings that are able to capture the essence of a person with simple lines. 

Now I have to think about the cake!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Radiolarian January!

I needed a skinny calendar to go on the wall near the computer.  Last year I didn't have one and I missed appointments left and right.  So this year I decided to make my own one month at a time.

When I decided to make it I thought, "What are my favorite things right now?"  The answer was folk prints and ocean can't get better than that.  So I decided to go with that theme.

This month features a radiolarian.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Vegetable Soup

I was making vegetable soup the other day and I am always struck by how beautiful the pot looks when its filled with carrots, celery, and onion. I love the orange, green and white.

I also love warm soup in the winter. George and I have been making this vegetable soup a lot and I never get tired of it.

Here is the recipe:

Olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
1-2 onions
2-3 carrots
1 carton vegetable stock
3-4 fistfuls spinach
1 container mushrooms
Cheese and/or sour cream for topping

Pour olive oil into large pot (enough to thinly coat bottom of pan - maybe 4-5 tablespoons). Slice garlic, celery, onions and carrots and cook in olive oil until softened (about 5-7 minutes). Add entire carton of vegetable stock. Fill vegetable stock carton with water and add to pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least an hour. Add spinach (if you like spinach you can really add quite a bit). Let spinach wilt. At this point I like to grind it with a hand grinder to make it a smooth consistency. You can just leave it if you like it chunky. Add mushrooms and cook until they are soft (5-10 minutes). Serve hot and top with cheese or sour cream.

This recipe is very flexible. I add random (often unidentifiable) vegetables from the CSA and it always turns out delicious. You can also add chicken or turkey if you have it.

Monday, January 18, 2010


OK...I know this is not the most exciting post, but I feel super happy to have this project crossed off my list. George and I (OK, mostly George) spent a good portion of Sunday lining our kitchen cabinets with 2 inch foam insulation.

Our kitchen is freezing so I thought this might help a little. The problem is our kitchen has no heat source. I think it used to have a radiator, but right now the only way head enters is when it slowly seeps in from the other rooms. Also, all the outer walls in our house are plaster directly on brick. So there is no insulation in the walls. Oh, the joys of older homes!

Anyway, most of the time we will see if from this view so we don't have to see the blue foam. I also covered some 1 inch thick foam for the bottom with this fabric I had left over from the bathroom project.
I did the same thing for this fan above the stove. I love the fan, but in the winter it just lets in cold air.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Costa Rica 2010!

I haven't been writing lately because we rang in the New Year in Costa Rica on the beach! George has been taking Xavier students now for three years. We had a great time on the Osa Peninsula and then at Bijagual Ecological Reserve near Sarapiqui.

One of my goals on this trip was to take a real vacation - and that meant not taking too many photos. In years past I lugged the Canon Eos 20D around everywhere...but this year we bought a smaller Canon Powershot SX120IS. I wasn't overly impressed with it and I think we might return it. I'm not sure I can go back to a non-SLR.

Anyway, George took the above photo on our flight to the Osa. I couldn't resist taking a picture of this two-toed sloth through the scope. She was beautiful! Happy New Year!