Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! 

We did a few Valentine's Day crafts this year. Just wanted to share some with you.

-Felt heart garland-
This idea came from Pinterest. The girls had a lot of fun threading the hearts on themselves and did a great job with the sewing needles. I was impressed that Callie sat through her whole project and saw it to completion. Then wore it proudly as a necklace!

The girls also made Valentine's cards for their playgroup. I had visions of fancy homemade ones (ok, not fancy, just finger painted or something, thank you Pinterest for filling my head with crazy ideas) but when I saw the store bought ones at the dollar store, I said, YES! A girl has to know when to say enough is enough. Eleni signed her name on hers and Callie added the stickers that held hers together. They had fun and it was fairly stress free.

Tomorrow we will be having some red/heart fun with food. Hoping to share with you later this week.

Have a fun day. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome to my blog. As some of my readers know I had started a blog a long time ago and abandoned it.  I hope to start using this little piece of the web to share my crafty endeavors with you all. This way I can share more photos and tutorials for things I make, bake etc...

Here are some things that I have created lately that I hope to blog about soon. Here are some sewing projects:

I'm making a few pillowcases when I have time or extra cute fabric to donate to ConKerr Cancer.

A Seuss patchwork outfit for my little man
When I see extra fabric my mind wanders and I find more projects for myself, despite a lack of time for most of these extra projects!

A picture of the kids!
My inspiration and/or my distractions, depends on the day really.

Hoping to share a lot of fun things with you.

Daring Desserts -

I love a challenge.  

My husband came home one night and told me I needed to create a cake for his work Holiday party. I immediately searched for holiday/red/festive cakes. All our children share January birthdays, so in this house, the winter is cake baking season. 

I decided on something that contained nutella and raspberries. Yummy and festive. After an exhaustive google search did not turn up anything eye catching I decided to combine these loves into one daring dessert. 

A four layer chocolate cake with a mixture of nutella and raspberry filling, covered with Italian meringue buttercream, flavored with raspberry and nutella. Topped with a chocolate ganache pool and decorated with raspberries and yes, more buttercream. It  looked heavenly. It tasted good too. Unfortunately everyone was too busy drooling and no one took a photo of the inside.

"Here is my entry to the Appliances Online daring desserts competition, 

check out the other entries on Handle the Heat" 

Chocolate Cake with Raspberry-Nutella filling and Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate cake recipe  from The Birthday Cake Book by Dede Wilson or your favorite cake recipe will do! Prepare 2-9 in cake pans with parchment paper. Bake according to your  favorite chocolate cake recipe.  Let cool until ready to frost. Freezing cake layers slightly will  make them easier to slice. 

1 cup nutella, warmed slightly
1 cup raspberry preserves, warmed slightly

Nutella-Raspberry Buttercream:
Adapted from The Birthday Cake Book by Dede Wilson
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
6 large egg whites (room temperature)
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 1/4 cups unsalted butter at room temperature cut in small pieces
1. Place 1 cup of sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to wet sugar. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Wash down the sugar crystals once or twice. Allow the sugar to simmer gently.
2. Place egg whites in a clean stand mixer and whip until frothy on low speed. Add the cream of tartar and turn the speed up to med-high. When soft peaks form add the remaining sugar. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form. 
3. Bring the sugar mixture to a rapid boil until it reaches 248 degrees. 
4. When the syrup is ready pour a thin stream directly over the meringue. Whip the meringue until cool to the touch. Once cool add the butter a few tablespoons at a time until the buttercream is completely smooth. 
5.  Add 1/2 cup of nutella to buttercream and 1/4 cup of raspberry preserves.  Whip until nutella and raspberry is completely absorbed by the buttercream. 

Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz semisweet chocolate
Heat cream in microwave until it boils.  Add chopped chocolate and mix until incorporated. 
Ganache is now ready to use.

Cut each cake layer in half (helps to freeze layers slightly before cutting). 
Mix nutella and raspberry together and spread of each layer. Pipe a dam of buttercream around edges to contain filling. Once all layers and stacked frost cake completely. Refrigerate to set frosting. Add ganache to top of cake to finish. 
UPDATE: I found a picture of the inside!
Four delicious layers with nutella/raspberry yumminess inside!