Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coming up roses

Wonderful things that come in fours: a pizza (I'd LOVE a slice that huge!), seasons, quarters of a football game (remember, we're huge Eagles fans over here)...and the years that I've been a mother to my Rose! My big girl turned four years old this July and, because of logistics, was the recipient of quite a few birthday parties. An annual tradition is a relatives one at my parents' house, for which I totally seize the opportunity of making a creative cake. While browsing (and salivating) over at the Bakerella blog, I came upon the idea of fondant roses. Absolutely beautiful, very easy to create (even for people like me who routinely bite off more than she can chew...) and lovely decor for the cake of a lovely little gal.

Ribbon roses are terribly simple to make as well as being terrifically difficult to resist making. Trust me. I could've be-floraled everything in my fridge from the leftover Chinese food to a bagel. Hmm...

What I did was simple:

- Bought a box of white Wilton fondant from the cake decorating aisle at Walmart and used red and blue food-coloring to achieve the color that I wanted. This part took a lot of kneading, but I was red-handedly caught being a wonderful baker while doing it. Who doesn't love a pun? Oh, everyone? Whoops!

- Rolled out the colored fondant pretty thin and then cut it into strips, which were about six inches long and a couple of inches tall.

- Rolled the strips up (a la Fruit by the Foot) and then moistened the edge with a bit of water to make it stick.

- By the way, that cake? It's a chocolate fudge cake already made and frosted from the Walmart bakery (semi-homemade = less stress for party planning!). I found the beautiful idea to create a "basket" of ladyfingers from Bakerella and kept them in place with some pink satin ribbon.

Happy 4th birthday, my sweet girl! You are so completely and utterly adored!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

S'mores on a stick

For my friend Sarah's birthday, our friend Katie and I made a little birthday celebration at our regular park playdate. Always looking for a reason to use sprinkles (I'm forever fascinated by all things multi-colored...I can think of worse obsessions), I made these decadent S'mores on a Stick. Easy peasy for little ones, and, of course, big ones, to eat without all of the melty mess of a traditional campfire snack. Mess is fun, though, so I'm not complaining. Only exhorting. This is one yummy snack!

Leftover marshmallows and leftover chocolate certainly isn't left wanting.

1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
1.5 cups of milk chocolate chips, divided
1 cup of miniature marshmallows
11 whole graham crackers, halved crosswise
Toppings of your choice (sprinkles, nuts, mini-candies, etc.)

1. Microwave half of the condensed milk in a microwave-safe dish on high for 1.5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of chips until smooth; stir in marshmallows.

2. Spread chocolate mixture evenly by heaping tablespoonfuls onto 11 graham cracker halves. Top with remaining graham cracker halves; place on waxed paper (which I didn't - just a baking sheet).

3. Microwave remaining condensed milk at high for 1.5 minutes, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of chips, stirring until smooth. Drizzle mixture over cookies (I spread it on instead) and sprinkle with desired toppings. Let stand for 30 minutes. Insert wooden craft sticks. Serve after standing for 2 hours.

Need to dig into your summer beach read?

I have the perfect way to keep the kids under a watchful eye...

Jersey Shore family vacation 2010