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An Apology of Sorts

I’m gonna keep this short for those that follow me. I haven’t done anything in the baking world because I have just experienced a loss in the family. My mother who was diagnosed with brain cancer back in July (2013), lost her battle on Nov. 29. She was 54. I love my mom and I do not wish this pain on anyone. Its a day by day process, some days are harder than others. I never thought she would leave, she was/is my hero and she was/is the strongest woman I know. So during this holiday season, no matter what the problem may be, always hug your loved ones just a little closer, you never know when you may lose them.

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Minecraft Cake

So I was asked to make a Minecraft cake…well at first I really believed I bit of more than I can chew.  I learned while doing this cake why bakeries charge an arm and a leg for such cakes, it’s not the product you pay for but it is the amount of time you put into it.

Now I did have fun and I learned new things as I was doing this cake. What things, you may ask?  Well for starters, making fondant soft again to actually work with was a big help.  10-30 seconds in the microwave makes it pliable again to mix and shape. I also learned how to make fondant harden if you don’t use tylose powder. Who knew that putting fondant on a cookie sheet in the oven with just the light on would actually work?

Now as you can tell I am not the greatest at making figures, but hey I did state that I am learning as in just learning.

Now on to the more pressing part of the job, the cake itself. Simple enough to bake a square cake. Well 2 cakes that is.  Then to make the chocolate buttercream icing and fill the cake.  So one large cube cake later that is frosted its time for the fondant.

These are the colors for the bottom of the cake.
These are the colors for the top and upper part of the sides. If that makes sense.

Now if you have seen or even played this game you know its pixel. So next challenge was to make a million squares, NOT.  I tried that and if any one knows me they know I am not patient by all means. So yes I tried to make the million squares but I gave up shortly after the second attempt. However I did make some squares and this is the end results.

So my there is my finished product, I think it turned out well, and apparently the customer was happy with it, or at least she didn’t say she wasn’t.

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My Daughter’s 3rd Birthday

My mini me turned 3 on the 12th. Where does the time go?  She is my last and she is the toughest little girl I know. Last year we did a little party for her, and by little I mean it was just me and hubby and her last year. No need to go all out, who was gonna eat all that food?This year I made up for it. We had a cake, and cupcakes and caramel apples.  All in the theme of Minnie Mouse. Now I’m not going to go all in detail about the food, I am sure you get it.  I will do another post about the candy apples for those who would like to make them for their young ones (or big ones) :).

So here is the cake is was to be covered all in fondant, but due to an unfortunate accident (children arguing) the pink was torn and could not be saved.  So because the cake was already frosted I had to break out the Wilton spray color in pink and then just put the white dots on in fondant.  Here is the end result.

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Cupcakes in pink and white

The Minnie Mouse caramel apples are my favorite part of the whole set up.  I have never made caramel apples or candy apples before, so this being a first I am very happy with them and will be make apples of some kind for all parties now.

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Apple Butter

Who know it was this easy? And the hubby loves it. He told me if I could make this all the time I would never have to buy jelly/jam ever again. It’s a nice thought but let’s be honest, wouldn’t it get boring? I’m more of a strawberry jelly/jam girl, so I will keep buying it. And besides that it only took about 15 hours to make this. Of course that seems like a long time, but if you think about it, the most work you do is peel the apples and core and cut the them in cubes.
Now I used 13 apples, the were pretty small. I don’t remember what kind they were but Iwill say it was a mix of red delicious and I believe gala apples if not fuji. Either way you can use what you like. So first peel and core your apples and cut them into cubes. Try to make them about the same size. I used my 5 quart crock pot for this and it was pretty full as you can see.

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Then I added some spices. Now I didn’t measure anything, but if I had I would say I doubled the recipe that I found here. Now I know you are thinking boy that’s a lot, not for this family.

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Here it is all mixed up. Now I know the recipe found here call for half a cup of water, I didn’t add water to mine. After washing off the apples I felt they had enough water on them to equal that half a cup.

Mix it up and set it on low. I did this before bed. When I woke up this is what it looked liked after about 8 hours.

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As you can see it very watery, so see the water is not really necessary. I let it cook for a couple of more hours on high with the lid propped so that the water would evaporate. Now mind you I don’t own a wooden spoon. Reason why I will never know so I used the next best thing. A mini wooden cutting board. Hey it works right?

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I let it cook like this for another 7 hours. I did stir every couple of hours to see how the water was evaporation and to test how soft the apples were getting.

By the time it was ready to go it looked like this.

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Yummy! Now you can leave as is or you can put in blender or food processor to make it smooth.

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All that work little bit of effort to make a yummy treat. It’s amazing how 13 apples can fit into a quart jar.

Enjoy your freshly made apple butter. I bet you will never go back to store bought after this. Ok so maybe you will and maybe you won’t. But sometimes homemade just tastes better.

Enjoy.

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Easiest dinner ever

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So this was dinner last night….and I have to say it was yummy. This will be a regular in house….its like chicken fijitas without the bell peppers and onions and the tortillas.

Here is the link that I used but with a few minor adjustments. 

http://crazyjamie.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/smothered-green-chile-pepper-chicken/

If any one knows me they know I don’t but anything but chicken breast. And yet it still came out great.

Enjoy.

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Fall is here….

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As you can see at 7 am this morning it was a little chilly. Now in my house the cooler weather means baking season is upon us. And all I can say to that is YA!!!! I love baking. Not only does it warm up the house and make it smell great, fabulous things come from the oven.

So that means my friends and family will be getting snack bags with goodies inside. And my dear husband will be taking platters to work for the crew to test taste.

Ready to start putting Halloween decorations up. I already changed out my subway art to the Halloween themes. Next is window clings. Then in the up coming weeks the outside lights and decorations. Oh the fun.

I hope everyone is ready to enjoy the beautiful changes that are coming, and let’s not forget the much cooler weather. I know I am.

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Family picture day August 3rd

Well I don’t know about you but I think pictures taken in a natural setting come out a lot better than those at a photo studio. Take these pictures for example of us just having fun, don’t you think they look great?

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Ivy Nickole

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AnnJewelina James

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Cheyenne Lee

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Kayleigh Alexandrea

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The whole family minus one child

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Missing Juliette Lynn in the family pics, maybe one day she will come for a visit.

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The girls in the pool

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Miss Kayleigh

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The three older girls

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Daddy and Kayleigh

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Oldest and youngest

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Had to do the feet shot

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Third child and fifth child

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Second oldest and youngest….

Well that is just a few of the pictures we had taken (there are over 150).  Memories for our little/big family.

I do realize that some of these pictures are on a previous post, but what can I say, I love these pictures.

P.S. Thank you Jenn for taking such wonderful pictures of my family.

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Just catching up

I do realize it has been some time since I have written. Let’s see school started a month ago YAY! I couldn’t have been more excited for August 5th to come. Out of the five children only one started school that day.  She started fourth grade this year. Let’s just say its going to be a struggle to get her to pass.  Went to parent/teacher conference already on Thursday and the is failing every class.  Funny thing is she brought home A’s and B’s last year, so I’m thinking it’s just a focus thing.

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AnnJewelina on the first day of school.

Then on August 7th we put both teenagers on planes to send them back to their homes. It was great having them here. I had fun dying my child’s hair and had fun in the kitchen making bread and cookies. As for the oldest she was doing her summer reading for her junior year and her ROTC schedule.  Miss having the older kids around, we were able to do more things with them. Next summer right?

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Cheyenne and her dad at the airport.

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Ivy and myself at airport.

As for Kayleigh she is her usual self. She has started talking more which is great because she is almost three and doing things at her pace. Seriously the didn’t start walking till she was 18 months old. She does what she wants when she is ready. Love that baby.

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Her little evil grin.

Will post more from our family picture day.  I do think everyone had fun that day.

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Sad day

Well the older girls left today at noon…they return back to their home and now again hobby and I are heavy hearted. I had a great time with Ivy, we baked a couple of times and she helped with dinner once. I think she will like being in the kitchen like me. Cheyenne, I believe had a good time…hung out with her dad and went to his softball game. (Me, Ivy and the other two went the week before, but were eaten alive by mosquitoes so we didn’t go the same time as Cheyenne.)

I can’t wait till be get them together again. Family pictures was a blast and we need to do it more often. I miss them already. Wish they could have stayed much longer. Maybe next year.

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