Dieting, Cookie Swaps, and Previews

It's been a while!  Well, I actually I've on a bit of an online diet.  That is an online diet, not a calorie restricted diet.  A girl's gotta bake, right?  I've actually been doing a lot of baking while on this diet.  In fact, I now have my first cookie swap under my belt!  Since I am making new friends in the food blogger world, and today is National Cookie Day, I figured I would cheat a little and post a preview of what's to come.

Look good yet?  This is the second recipe that I created for the swap.  I had some reliable taste testers (the husband and kids) try both batches.  Oh, they hated testing them over and over again.  Yeah right!  Well this losing recipe will be featured in an upcoming post, as well as the one chosen to send to my fellow cookie lovers in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, plus the much anticipated (by me) cookies I'll be receiving in return.  Oh, and I'll have tips on surviving your first cookie swap, like don't get so nervous when wrapping up your finished product that you forget to pack the info about yourself and your cookies!  So, stay tuned, and follow me on social media in the mean time!

Easy Halloween Cake

Seriously, so easy.  Great Halloween baking project to do with your kids.

Faking Fancy: Nutella, Strawberries, Brownies. Oh My!

College football season just started, and that means, for some reason, that food must be better on Saturdays than usual.  In keeping with this practice, I promised to make something especially exciting for dessert if my husband did everything else, but I never really have time for that.  I had an idea and thought it would look fancy and complicated, when it was really cheap, quick, and easy.  So, I faked fancy.

The Owl Birthday Cake

This was weekend 2 of a pair of parties for sisters!  Claire had a dolphin themed pool party last week, and this time it was Lauren's turn.  She wanted an owl cake,which I loved, because my girls have never let me do one for them!

The Dolphin Birthday Cake

 I was so happy to make this cake for a sweet little friend of the family.  I haven't made a cake for anyone, other than my own family members, in years.  Claire is such a sweet girl, but it was a really generous act for her friends in her Sunday school class that convinced me to make one for her.  It also inspired me to go back to this 5 years dormant cake blog!

Cake for a Cause: Foster Care, Basketball, and the Jersey Cake

 After learning just how severe the foster care crisis is in our community, we knew we were being called to serve in that area.  The journey down that road has been slow moving, but that story is for another time.  For now, we serve the kids through a foster care ministry in our church, and some incredible faith based organizations, which exist only to serve these kids.  For this event, I had the opportunity to partner with some amazing friends to provide mentoring opportunities for teen boys while playing one of their favorite sports, basketball!  Of course, it wouldn't be a Project Zero event without great food and gifts!

Grilled Pimento Cheese with Bacon Patty Melt

Okay, so I must admit that, although I may be from the south, AND I am a cheese lover, pimento cheese is not the first thing that pops into my head at dinner time.  It never really has at all.  Ever.  However, the other day I was thinking about what I had on hand to make a grilled cheese, besides American, and I had one of those moments.  You know, one of those moments where something randomly pops into your head and sounds perfect at the time.  Well, I fixated on giving pimento cheese a shot, mostly because we had an open house for our homeschool co-op to get to, and I needed a quick fix.  Anyway, I decided that a hamburger patty, and even better... BACON would step that grilled cheese up a notch, so this is what we ended up with. 

Lessons Learned from Birthday Parties

As promised, I cut the baby farm animal post short to spare any potential readers from an opinion post.  There are so many blogs brimming with opinions on everything that occurs under the sun, and I know that the world is not waiting for my opinion on anything.  However, I had some thoughts about the pressures that parents (or I alone) feel to provide our children with the perfect everything, including birthday parties.  I realized when I was posting about the bunny cake, that if I'm keeping a blog, and writing or talking about our thoughts and feelings are considered to be cathartic exercises, I should probably write about my thoughts on my mommy blog, duh!  (The light bulb can be a little slow to come on sometimes.)  It makes sense, because if anyone out there thinks similarly and also wants to share, this could be a place to do it.  Anyway, this is what was on my mind when I posted that one:

The Baby Farm Animals Party and Bunny Birthday Cake

Well, I have a stockpile of pictures and things to blog about, but we all know how life tends to, well.. it happens.  Anyway, I'm taking a minute to have my coffee, before getting back to work on a cake for a birthday party today and thought that I would use the opportunity to add a new post.  Since it's a Saturday (cake day) and, as I mentioned, life happens, I'm reminded of one party and cake in particular.  The baby farm animals party!

WARNING: Do not open this post if your heart cannot handle adorable kids playing with nearly as adorable farm animals!

The Ramen Burger!

Look out!  I'm blogging about food now.  Well, I'm actually blogging about items on my "Need to Try" list, that may be on yours as well.  I should probably be up front about the fact that I am not a professional chef.  I'm not even remotely close to being a great cook.  I do have a lot of children, we live in chaos, and the law says that I must feed them.  Truthfully, if dinner makes it to the table without triggering the smoke detector, it's a good night.  That's why I think I may be able to help reveal whether some of these popular Pinterest recipes and projects are actually attainable by those of us who just feel so regular.  Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can.  If it's something that should be left to the pros or those people who say they're not, but should be, I'll be happy to share my Pinterest fail.  It should be fun, or at least funny.  The Ramen Burger is where we'll start.

Police Academy Graduation: The Cop Cake

Update:  So, you apparently liked this cake! I recently found it on Pinterest!  After following the link, I discovered that it has been featured on websites, "borrowed" by many, and viewed nearly 4,000 times here (on the blog I quit shortly after starting 5 yrs ago)!  Of course when they are created from my vision, I only see the flaws in what I make.  However, as much as I love looking at other people's cakes, it made me realize that people might actually want to see them. So I'm catching up on the blog!

Grave Digger Monster Truck Birthday Party and Cake

Well, it was Monster Trucks and Hot Wheels last year. For this birthday, Monster Jam was still the big thing.  For his last birthday cake, I took the easy way out and used toy Hot Wheel cars and monster trucks.  So this time, I made the Grave Digger myself and it was really the focal point of the cake.  Honestly the two tiered, chocolate cake was a bit of an afterthought.  I had ordered some edible Monster Jam logos, thinking that I would do cupcakes, but I made the cake at the last minute to stick them on.  Slop on some chocolate "mud" and throw some buttercream flames at the base to engulf the cake, and there you have it.

Pound Puppy Birthday Cake

Oooohhhhh this might be my all time favorite...

Back to Blogging: The Halloween Cake

Well, It's been 5 years since I've checked out this blog.  We've moved several times, had a couple of kids, and with all of the birthdays, I think my cake decorating skills have improved!  I actually looked at this blog for the first time today and noticed that it has been getting views, despite not having been updated in years, AND the cakes shown were made when I was a newbie, and therefore, fairly hideous.  Since I've made many over the years, and people apparently like to look at the ugly ones, I thought I'd start posting some more.  Plus my kids love seeing them, especially on Pinterest!
So this one is a throwback, but it has always been one of my It's how I remember Halloween from my childhood, a little bit spooky, whimsical, and fairly innocent compared to some of the things you see now.  I haven't seen it in a while, and I can't find any pictures of the back.  This was one of those rare cakes (at least for my skill level) that had the scene wrap all the way around, because it didn't have a bad side!  I think the back had a haunted house or something like that.  I do remember that I made it for a fall carnival at my kids' preschool in San Antonio.  It was auctioned and sold to a family I made several cakes for.  I remember hearing how much they loved looking at, and eating it for quite some time.  Maybe I should make a similar one this year for the kids!