So every-so-often I come across something really cool, UNIQUE, different, fUnKY, fun, OR boutique-ish and I want to tell SOMEONE, anyone really... I'm a dork when it comes to kitchen things or things that make life EASY- it makes me excited and all giggly. My last kitchen purchase was a KitchenAid can opener- I immediately went home and opened a can of corn.. ALLL rightttt- I'm a DORK- I KNOW!
AnywhoOoO while I was looking for birthday gifts for my BFF and Sister, I stumbled across:
It's called Bag Lady Urbano Eco Can and comes in different colors. It's an ingeneous trash can that allows you to recycle your grocery bags in a neat and organized (those words excite me!) way. You loop the handles of the bags on the cut-out portion of the Eco Can and when you're ready for another one- there's no need to fish them out from under the sink- it's waiting at the bottom for you!!! Partially uber excited because the Boyfriend NEVER puts in a new bag... sigh... Super cool website: www.uncommongoods.com.
and then I also found these super unique Wine Glass Top Appetizer Plates - OMG what a great housewarming gift RIGHT??!!!?!?!
What GENIUS thought of this!?! Because we've all been STUCK with no table to park our Wine Glass and the other hand with a mini plate full of DE-lish food and not an extra hand to help shovel the food in your mouth!! And isn't it hilarious (OK so I'm mean- but I don't laugh out loud!) to see someone trying to balance their plate with their glass in the same hand?! Of course, there's the plate that also seat your glass (see below), but this is WAY more unique- much more thoughtful! Check it out at http://www.catchingfireflies.com
Okay, so here they are.. Cocktail Party Plates. BUT these are WAY cute... and check out the set it comes in:
Aaawww, look at these nice words "You're fun to be with" and "We feel lucky to know you". Check it out at http://www.wrapables.com
OK OK and my last cool find that has NOTHING to do with the kitchen and EVERYTHING to do with presentation: Personalized Wrapping Paper!!!
So it doesn't come in a bunch of colors or designs, BUT how COOL is that?!? You can write something really personal and that's a GREAT finishing touch to any gift!!! Check it out at http://www.grandinroad.com
Happy Shopping all!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Happy Birthday Kayden!
I was tasked with a Monkey Themed birthday party for Kayden. The ideas were endless and oh-so exciting! Seeing that I'm still a beginner with fondant, I decided to take a stab at it for a second time. I wans't too sure how long it would take so I used the weekend before the party to get the banana leafs done (although in retrospect, it would have probably been better to do them last minute).
I tinted the white Fondant (that's all I had on hand) and rolled it out. I was very inclined to roll it out very thin, I have no idea why?
I'm not sure what the fondant experts say about my use of a knife to cut my banana leaf, but it worked like a charm!
I accented the leaves with a few cuts on the edges.
I scored the middle of the leaf.
And again, with not a pocket full of fondant tools, I used the back of a butter knife to make some accent lines to the leaf. (haha, I'm very resourceful, what can I say?)
Each leaf was left to hang over the edge of the cake pan that I'll use to bake the cake. And here's where I went wrong, because the fondant dried on the straight edges, not anticipating that my cake wouldn't be as nearly as level or perfect as the cake pan.
Here's the finished leaves, I added a little more tint to the left over green fondant to have different shades of green. And also made the rest of the accessories.
And here's the monkey, cake topper complete!
And at the very last minute I wrote his name in fondant circles. I had other ideas, but didn't have enough time to do it.
In addition to the cake, I found this mold at Michael's- How FUN is this?! I knew what a tedious task I was getting myself into, but what the heck- it's worth a shot!! With all the different colors, it was a tiny bit time-consuming, each tray took me about 30 minutes (I only bought one tray). BUT the end result- PHENOMENAL!!
How super cute is this?!
I dotted the eyes with edible marker.
I found it a little therapeutic, in a sense. I had to concentrate so hard on remembering the layers of colors and remelting each color! Fun stuff!
What are these cute little one inch monkeys doing?! Birthday Mom ordered these online. How friggen cute?! (a few people asked if I made these- are you Kiddin' me?! haha)
Chocolate and banana muffins- YUMMY! I stuck each in a bit of chocolate so they would be stable and they would stay upright.
I made a smash cake for Kayden with a few too!
I LOVE IT!
There's the Birthday Boy with a little help from his dad! Needless to say, Kayden reaches over his head to give his dad a taste, all over his face! It was a smash cake indeed, and ended up the face of the cutie-pa-tootie next to him!
Birthday Mom had made some of the cutest tissue pom-poms to decorate the pavilion at the park. So festive!
And if you're curious about the cake flavor... Red Velvet with Cheesecake layers and whipped vanilla frosting!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I bought a mini scone pan from Williams Sonoma Outlet at Prim. I was so excited to try something new!! I'm not much of a scone fan and I've only tried it at Starbucks...
Grandma Johnson's Scones. It's a great base to start; the possibilities are endless and you can add anything your heart desires - cranberries, blueberries, dried fruit, citrus zest...
Another reviewer left these tips that I followed:
Yum! Everyone at work loved them!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AARON!
Today is my team mate and co-worker's birthday. He LOVES anything with chocolate cookies. Crunchy chocolate cookies to be exact. There were several cookie-cake options that came to mind- like a giant cookie (on a pizza pan) but that's an easy answer!! Another co-worker of mine, Molli had suggested stacking the cookies to create a box like-cake-shape with the cookies. What a unique idea!! And the best part was that it was assembled in about 30 minutes! By far, the quickest assembly yet! (The fondant bow took a few days of prep- but easy!)
To create the cookie cake, I purchased two bags of Chocolate Chip Cookies - Crunchy cookies (I sorta believe that the crunchy ones have a little more stability than chewy). I also purchased store bought chocolate frosting. For your first row, be sure to put icing on the bottom of the cookie so it stabilizes the base- it won't slide or move in the tray. Frost the top of each cookie prior to stacking them on top of each other, row by row. I used about 1/2 tablespoon worth of frosting on each and applied pressure when stacking to make sure they were stable. You can make these a few hours before presenting; I made it the day before and the cookies were stuck together like glue! As an after thought, I probably should have put a little frosting in between each neighboring cookie to ensure each column wouldn't tip over, but it didn't!
On to the fondant bow...
This is my FIRST experience with fondant of any kind... It's taken me a long time to grow balls for this project- and I have NO idea why I found it SO intimidating!?! It was so pliable and play-dough-like that it was actually FUN to play with!!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I felt SO special on my Birthday! Thank you to everyone for making it such a great start to my 28th year!! My best friend heard that I got an Ice Cream maker so she sent me Williams Sonoma ice cream starters, chocolate powder and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. (Thank you Sheena!) ...And there's Bear in the back, he's pouting because I'm so excited about my goodies and of course, I'm not paying attention to him!
My co-workers, Jose, Susan and Emma got me a William's Sonoma Gift card and so did Eric's Mom (Thank you for supporting my Williams Sonoma addiction!)!! That was put to good use because I bought some things I've been wanting but never got around to buying yet!
I got a Bundt Pan, Mini Bundt Pans, Scone Pan, some cheap knives that we desperately need, paste food coloring and black sugar (that is seasonal to Halloween and I won't find throughout the year).. And the best part, I still have money left over on my gift card!! Whoo Hoo!!
I'm so Lucky to have a Fab sister!! Thank you Michelle!! I already used my Melting Pot in my Balloon Blog!!
Here's a close up of my measuring cups! Totally LOVE it!! ...I posted it a while ago as something on my Wish List... Looks super cute in my kitchen!!
I got an Ice Cream Maker, Cookie Press, and Bread Maker from Stephanie -Eric's Sister!! (ear to ear smile- if you could see my face, thank you Stephanie!!)
I bought these from Ikea during my last trip to San Diego. They were very cheap -I think it was $1.99- Unless there' another use for these that I'm unaware of, I use it for the bottom of cakes. I've already used the pink one for the Hershey Kiss Cake. It seems like the right blog to talk about it! (I heart Ikea!)
My Mom mailed me flowers at work (thank you Mom!). Look at how pretty these spring flowers are!!! And those super cute cupcakes are actually candles- from Susan as well!
My Team at work decorated my office with streamers and happy birthday signs and the best part: baking utensils and kitchen stuff!! I LOVE it!!
Eric surprised me and took me to M Resort where we got a couples massage, we watched Chef Tina Martini film a food show while we ate a small appetizer she prepared, had lunch at M Buffet, hung out at the pool ... What a relaxing day!!
...and we had dinner at Michael Mina's at Bellagio- our five course meals were to DIE for- so delicious, prepared so perfectly, everything melted in our mouth!! I forgot my camera all day- boo!! But I used my camera phone to take a picture of our dessert- the most important part of our meal!!
Thank you for all of my birthday wishes, wonderful cards, super cool gifts, calls, texts, messages -OOHHH I'm so lucky to have wonderful people in my life who shared my special day with me!!!