June 5, 2011

Trial and error... Marshmallow Fondant

So, Heidi's 3rd birthday is quickly approaching.  Quickly, as in, it's still over a month away, but if I don't plan, it won't happen.  :-)

I've been wanting to learn cake decorating for about a year now.  It's been on my "fun" to-do list to go over to the houses of some girls that are more well-versed in this area and learn from them... it's been on that list for the whole year, and I've done nothing about it.  Well, I still haven't done anything about learning from someone else, but I thought I'd try it on my own while I'm house-bound with a 3-week old.  I'd love to do something fun for Heidi's birthday, so here's where I started.

My first attempt was with marshmallow fondant.   Never tried any kind of fondant before, but this looked the easiest.  After a first attempt, I have to say it wasn't bad.  Just took some trial and error and learning a few tricks on my own:

1. Knead it with your hands, even after you put the food coloring in.  Your hands may get colored, but it's just easier.
2. To roll it out with your rolling pin, put cooking oil on the rolling pin and on the surface you're rolling on so it won't stick to the surfaces. (frustrating)
3. Allow yourself lots of time!
4.  I put regular jar frosting on the cake first to smooth out the surface, and it made the fondant lay out nicely on the cake without bumps.
5. Remember to take a picture of your attempt BEFORE you serve it up and eat half of it!

This cake had no theme or purpose, other than having 2 friends over to eat it, so it was basically playing with shapes and colors - I don't know what it was supposed to be. :-)

Let me know if you have questions, or if you're an expert I'll take your suggestions!  The recipe I used is below:

Marshmallow Fondant
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 Tbsp. water
4 cups powdered sugar

Microwave marshmallows with water for 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.  Dump in all powdered sugar.  Stir, then knead until all sugar is mixed in.  Store wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature until it cools.  Knead in food coloring if you want to color it.  See tip #2 above for rolling out.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters if you want.

June 3, 2011

What to do, what to do...

I stole this idea from several different blogs that I follow.  This was the easiest one to implement for me - I had an old frame I wasn't using, and some old origami paper that I've been saving for who knows what, so... ta dah!  Here is our "Summer To Do" list to give us ideas when we're wondering how to fill our days. Some are for Heidi, some are for us to do for ourselves.  It's not a long list, but I figured if we finish them all, we can make a new one halfway through the summer.  Enjoy!

(I put the origami paper inside the frame, then reassembled it with the glass, and wrote on the glass with a permanent marker.  I scanned it on our scanner so you can't see the picture frame around the edge.  We'll mark off our list with a dry-erase marker, then it all comes off with Windex or nail polish remover if you want to use the frame for another purpose.)

June 1, 2011

2 weeks old and counting...

I guess you get busy when you have a newborn.  I had forgotten that.  I've been meaning to post some updated pictures of the little guy, and we've even taken some pictures that we could post, we just haven't gotten to it.  So, here are a couple of the latest:

Already chatting with his girlfriends on the iPhone.
With Heidi, it was Facebook.  With Joseph, looks like we're gonna
have to give him a cell phone curfew.

After his second bath in the "big" tub.  Can already tell a
difference in the top photo and this one... gaining a little
chub on that double chin!

It's a lot of fun having a little boy.  I didn't think it would be different when he was a newborn, because all babies seem the same, but it is different.   Matt and I have both commented on how you automatically think a little girl is sweet, and you want to be careful with her and protect her and be "girly" with her.  With a little boy, we've both found that we feel a sense of pride - we're proud of him, although he hasn't done anything of which we should be proud.  He doesn't do much of anything at all (except he's good at crying).  Maybe we're proud of the man he will become someday.  Who will he be?