Sugary Overload for the Day

•January 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

What is better than sugar? Two kinds of sugar, boiled into a hard mass, with colored sugar stirred in, and coated with more sugar when it’s done! Yaaaay!

My seven (now eight) year old brother-in-law has his birthday party today. I wanted to make him a freaking huge sucker, but it turns out that not even greased Teflon is a match for hardened sugar syrup, and I ended up having to use a hammer to break the candy out of the frying pan.

The hammer might have been an improvement! It ended up looking pretty cool, not to mention more bite-sized.

It’s watermelon-flavored with sour powder on the outside. I used two sizes of sprinkles for the polka-dot look. I put it in a bag and sent it off with my daughter to his party. I hope he likes it, and that his parents aren’t ticked about all that sugar. He is, um, very energetic, even without candy.

A V-Day Question

•January 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A few years back I decided to sell some of my pastry creations for Valentine’s Day. I made some, shall we say, organizational mistakes. I spent the day driving, half of it through icy snow, and ended up with a lot of happy customers but a stressed me, and no wealthier for the endeavor. The one lady who wasn’t happy wanted me to deliver to her son at the MTC, which required using an outside shipping company and a lot of extra effort, all for the price of $5. This I did, but she was unhappy about something and never paid me. Lesson learned: pick up only (barring an extra delivery fee), payment on pickup.

So this year I’m thinking about selling again, and I’d like your opinion!

Would you buy this:

Donut bouquet–great gift for guys

 

These:

 

Giant heart brownies in chocolate and peanut-butter chocolate

 

These:

 

 

 

Anti-Valentine’s cookies! (These were for fun–selling cookies would be nicer)

…and I guess I could do regular Valentine’s cookies…

 

Or fancy cupcakes? No pictures–never done those for V-Day, but I do lots of cupcakes and they’re cool individually packaged, especially the minis.

So if you were buying pastries as gifts this Valentine’s Day, which of these would you most likely choose? Least likely choose? What would you price them at? With individual packaging? Without? I’d greatly appreciate your help!

 

Flaming ghostly eyes of Doooom! On a Caaaaake!

•October 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’m afraid I’m going to get myself into trouble with this post. Mostly because I don’t think I can resist trying it myself. I don’t know how this guy thought this up, but I approve.

FLAMING GHOSTLY EYES OF DOOOOM! ON A CAAAAKE!

http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/10/halloween_cakes_because_we_nee.html

Shawn Conally at Craftzine used clean eggshell halves, sugar cubes, lemon extract and a match to create  his cake’s Otherworldly Orbs of Death. I must try this. I wonder if I could manage it on cupcakes?

This next one (another ghost cake, purely by coincidence) is another classy/creepy Martha Stewart creation.

So many ghost cakes, so little Halloween to go around.

The last is a cupcake from the blog Teacake Martini.

http://www.teacakemartini.com/tea_cake_martini/2009/10/ghoulish-cupcakes.html

I’d love to try it, maybe with piped pointy teeth instead, though the marshmallow look is also great.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the Halloween treats research I’ve been doing. The friend I usually throw a party with is moving at the end of the month, and people keep telling me I’d be nuts to plan a party for just nine days before my baby’s due. Sigh. I suppose they’re right. Still, I’m considering something low-key, like inviting neighbors by for soup and cookies. I’m not sure I’m capable of not partying on Halloween.

Halloween Cookies

•September 23, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Halloween makes me happy. So do vampires. And cookies too, now that I think about it.

http://adozeneggs.com/wordpress/?p=3011

So these smiley fang Halloween cookies are a perfect representation of, um…something. Of my complex feelings on the subject. Yeah. Anyway, they are very well done! Either this person is using edible ink pens (want!) or they’re really good at flooding with royal icing. The blog is called Cookie Crumbs, and these cookies go for 8 for $8.

These next ones win bonus points because they sound really easy to make, even though they look impeccable and make an impressive display.

http://evolutionofaparty.blogspot.com/

Actually, I wish I could post this lady’s entire blog. Her name is Lisa Mitchell, and she does beautiful cookies. Her secret is rolled cream cheese frosting. So you roll out the icing and cut it just like the cookie, and it’s made with cream cheese, which means it probably doesn’t taste like crap (aka fondant)! Also, she just posted a recipe for sweet potato casserole with autumn leaf  cutouts on the top. It could only possibly be better if it were squash and apple casserole with autumn leaf cutouts on top. Guess what I’ll be making in a few weeks when squash comes into season?

If I were handing out prizes on today’s post, these last ones would win one for execution:

http://goodiesbyanna.vox.com/library/post/halloween-gothic-chandelier-cookies.html

They’re from a blog called Goodies! by anna, and she burned her own stencil to make them. That’s right: she burned her own stencil. For cookies. I think they’re very tasteful!

Brain Cupcakes

•September 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I showed these to Tom, and he couldn’t seem to decide whether he thought they were really cool or just plain wrong. My sentiments are along those same lines.

http://www.gearfuse.com/cupcakes-for-zombies/

I’m not much for gross-out Halloween stuff, but I have to admit these are a masterpiece. The brains are made out of chocolate.

After finding these, I decided to look up “brain cupcakes,” and discovered they are a genre unto themselves.

Ew.

http://www.notquitenigella.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/main-brain_cupcakes5.jpg

Or these, from Etsy, which are not actually edible.

http://raiseyourfistinc.com/Blog/?p=151

Or these, also from Etsy, which are made of soap.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/52918765/gooey-brain-cupcake-soap-halloween

Soap Brain Cupcakes. Now there’s something I’d never think of on my own.

If I Could Decorate for Halloween However I Wanted…

•September 16, 2010 • 1 Comment

During this year’s costume research, I’ve run across some Halloween decor that is too awesome not to share. Namely, life-sized upside-down dude all cocooned and covered with spider webs. With matching eggs sacs.

Awesomeness viewable with more details here: http://www.grandinroad.com/jump.jsp?itemID=17104&itemType=PRODUCT&iProductID=17104&path=1,2,163,2759,2761,2770

That’s a Martha Stewart original, by the way. I’ve decided she must have a serious thing for Halloween. Every year, she has a special Halloween issue with a picture of her in an exceedingly cool costume on the front. She’s even published a book on decorating for Halloween. This year, her magazine has instructions for making a really good kids’ mummy costume using stained paper towels around the face. As good as you can get without getting into latex and professional techniques, I think (I hope me thinking it counts for something, since I graduated with an emphasis in theatrical makeup!). Overall, I think Martha Stewart Halloween stuff = really really cool.

Here’s a picture of her creepy Halloween bottle labels:

And even the standard creepy cupcakes are tastefully done!

I’m sure I’ll be posting more Halloween coolness as things move along and, you know, October gets here.

Another Random Story Chunk. Because I Feel Like It.

•September 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Seth tripped over another rock, then tried not to think about it because the rock didn’t feel quite there, which meant he shouldn’t have been able to trip on it. He’d made it the last few weeks without losing his mind. He wasn’t about to let it go over a stupid rock.

Before he could recover from not thinking about the rock that wasn’t there, he stumbled over a tree root. That sent him sprawling. He got a mouthful of dirt and dead plants when he landed. Or did he? They didn’t taste quite like they should have…

Please be careful.

I can’t see!” And even worse, it was probably better that way. He thought of his condo back in Vegas, remembered lying in bed at night with the porch door open, looking up at the moon, listening to some girl laughing and splashing in the pool, the calming sound of a wind chime close by. That memory seemed very distant. Now he was cold, and there was no moon, and his mouth was full of crap.

We think there are Sidhe nearby. You must not let them find you. Speak in your mind.

Seth picked a pine needle off his tongue. “What the–”

Sorry. I mean, what the heck is a Sidhe?

Some say we are. It is difficult to say, exactly. When you meet one, you will know it.

Seth’s over-tired mind brought up pictures of a giant one-eyed sloth-like creature with sharp teeth. It wanted to eat him.

Nothing quite like that. Though it is a possibility…

Moaning, he hauled himself to his feet and trudged on. If there were someone else nearby, how could these guys know it, anyway?

That stone in your hand is a piece of our world. It connects you to us. The longer it is with you, the more we will be able to sense your surroundings as if we were there.

That sounded pretty cool. Maybe having a glowing rock embedded in his flesh wouldn’t turn out to be all bad.

Stop!

He froze. Something to his right crunched.

Get down.

Softly as he could, he lowered himself to his knees. Another crunch, this one closer.

Out of habit more than faith, his hand went to the small silver cross that hung around his neck. His parents had given it to him when he was a kid, and it was as a reminder of them that he wore it now.

The crackling stopped.

Wait.

He crouched there for what seemed like a very long time, the cold damp ground numbing his hands and seeping through his pants. Further off, he heard hushed voices discussing something in urgent tones. Most likely him.

A tiny breeze tickled his cheek, and something fluttered by his ear. He looked up to see what could have been mistaken for a large moth in the pitch blackness, if it weren’t for its wide, glowing eyes. Seth gasped. The eyes narrowed, and whatever it was shot back up into the trees.

What do I do?” Seth whispered.

There is nothing you can do now.

Someone grabbed the back of his neck and dragged him to his feet.

Don’t fight.

His captor was taller than him by a foot at least. “Who are you?” his voice sounded something like a dog’s growl.

Uhhh…” Usually Seth worked well under pressure. At work, he thrived on it. This was different.

Who are you? Answer me!” The thing barked in his face. Seth gulped.

Seth.”

What?”

Seth. My name is Seth.” He clenched his jaw to keep the tremor out of his voice. He was going to die. This thing probably had huge teeth, and it was going to rip his face off.

The thing hesitated. It grunted, turned him around, and pressed something cold and thin against the back of his neck. Seth tensed.

Walk.”

Great. It was going to take him back to its house and eat him.

Walk!” It roared.

Figuring later death was better than immediate, Seth started walking. “Where–”

None of your business,” it snapped. “Keep your mouth shut.”

Seth did as he was told. Ahead, a strange, greenish glow seeped through the shadowy trees.

She has been here! She must be nearby!

For the first time, Seth wondered exactly who “she” was.

 
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