Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Friends' 25th Anniversary in Phoenix

This weekend my husband and I drove down to Phoenix to attend our friends' 25th anniversary with the renewal of their wedding vows.  My husband was to be their best man 25 years ago but because of his overseas deployment with the Army, he was unable to attend.  It meant so much to them that he was able to be their best man this time, and I was their matron-of-honor.  While things didn't go precisely as planned, it was very touching, beautiful, and emotional.  One of the highlights for me was to see the slide show, in which they included pictures of my husband from 25 years ago.  I asked for copies of those pictures and was assured I'd get them.  My husband and I have been married for only 21 years so seeing these pictures was a treat for me.  It was also particularly poignant because they included pictures of their parents, all of whom are now deceased.  In fact, the last time we were both in Phoenix together was for the wife's father's funeral 3 years ago. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Babycakes Cake Pop Maker

Just got this gizmo yesterday from Kohl's.  It's the Babycakes Cake Pop Maker.  I will admit that I paid more than I wanted to.  I got it for $27.00 when I should have waited and bought it from Bed, Bath & Beyond, which has it for $19.99 and I could have used a coupon for either 20% or $5.00 off.  I just couldn't wait!  First, I made a batch of Funfetti pops with white chocolate coating. Sorry, no pictures of those. Then today I made a batch of strawberry pops with dark chocolate coating. They're nothing at all like traditional cake pops that are made with cake mixed with frosting then rolled into balls. I find those to be sickeningly sweet. These, however, are just little balls of cake, light and fluffy, dipped into chocolate.  I was able to get about 6 dozen balls from one cake mix.  These balls are smaller than the ones I usually make, which are about 2 Tbsp.  I believe these are closer to 1 Tbsp.  The wells of the cake pop maker are easily filled by loading a zip lock bag with batter, snipping off one edge, and squeezing the batter into the wells.  After a little practice, you will be able to see how much batter is required to get perfectly round little balls.  The machine also comes with a little rack on which to cool and then decorate the balls.  It only took about 3 minutes per batch to cook.  I sprayed the nonstick machine with cooking spray before the first batch just to be safe and didn't have to do it again.  I'm hooked!  Not as sweet and very quick to make.  I still have a couple of dozen balls in the freezer that weren't dipped because I ran out of chocolate coating and didn't want to open another bag just yet.  Recommendation?  Definitely give the machine a try.  Do your homework and read other reviews on Amazon.com.  See if you can get it cheaper, though.
This is just a small sampling of the cake pops I made today.  I gave a bunch away to a friend and also to a neighbor.  Everyone loves them!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween cake pops

Going to a party tonite and I offered to make these cake pops.  My friend, Laura V hadn't heard of them before so I asked her to come over and help.  What fun!  The best part is having to "dispose" of the deformed ones!  Also, dipping orange wedges into the leftover chocolate wasn't half bad.
These are made from a triple fudge cake mix, vanilla frosting, and chocolate candy melts with Halloween candy sprinkles.  Yum!


Saturday, October 01, 2011

More mug rugs today

These things are addicting.  They are great for trying new patterns and techniques in an immediately gratifying way.  So small, so quick and very cute.  I've wanted to try the braid pattern for a long time.  Went into my scrap bag and pulled these fabrics out.  They don't go together at all but I didn't want to waste good fabric if it didn't turn out.  I'll use thinner strips next time.  These were 2.5" wide.  I especially like the hexie one.  I started making some English paper pieced hexagons a couple of years ago, not having a grand plan for them.  Glad I could use some here.  The Dresden plate one was to practice my echo quilting more.  The floral with the green & black borders was made to see what one looked like without binding and the others were to reacquaint myself with sewing bindings.    What will tomorrow bring?  If I don't join a mug rug swap, at least I've gotten a start on some Christmas presents :)