Versatile Blogger Nominee!

Hello world! Time to take a quick break from cookies and royal icing. A break to thank Candy over at Lovely Buns for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Candy! Super sweet of you and I”m so glad you’ve been enjoying my blog! Please stop by her blog and check out her delicious yummies! She’s a hoot too!!

Candy, here are the 7 things about me…probably more than you want to know! LOL

  1. In my 35 years, I’ve lived in 7 states and over 20+ houses/apartments! I’m an expert packer :)
  2. My dream job would be to own a floral shop. I wouldn’t have the skills to make any of the floral designs, but I’d just enjoy seeing and smelling the beauty every day!
  3. In my old life (before my two adorable kids) I was a total shoe hound! I had way too many shoes but in my opinion they all had a purpose.
  4. I played softball and volleyball in high school. I wasn’t all that good at it but I did hit a home run once in Jr. Varsity softball and blocked a serve during a volleyball tourney. My proud sporting moments :)
  5. I married the man of my dreams. I knew he was the man of my dreams before I even met him. It goes to show that waiting does work every once in awhile ;)
  6. I have a sixth sense for knowing if someone is a good person or not during our first couple interactions. Took me years to actually follow my intuition however. Now my friends are the most amazing people and I am truly blessed to have them in my life!!
  7. I have a cheese addiction. I really think I have a slight lactose intolerance issue but that doesn’t stop me. My favorite meal is a plate of dill pickles, soft swiss cheese, a can of smoked oysters and a handful of saltines.

According to the VBA rules, I need to nominate 15 of my favorite bloggers. This is the hard part!! I currently follow more blogs than I have time to look at. They are all amazing bloggers and their subjects are all dear to my heart.

These bloggers are A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!! Please please please go check them out and say hi for me :)

Color Me Chartreuse

I’m on a mission to decorate a cookie that looks like a chocolate chip cookie. However, I am the proud owner of only 6 color gels…none of which are close to brown/tan. So I got to thinking…do they make decorating gels in every color or do they have some sort of mixing table to make certain colors? Looks like the latter is where it’s at. I’m happy to say that I will be purchasing some more gels this coming week so I can play around and decorate up some chocolate chip sugar cookies…OH YEAH!

Here are the links I came across that seemed to be the most helpful. I obviously haven’t tried any of them, but wanted to get them documented so I can soon :)

Americolor Soft Gel Color Guide

Americolor Guide from Sweet Sugar Belle’s Blog

Chefmaster Color Gels

Chefmaster and Americolor Guide

Wilton

Hodge Podge of Everything

Rose-a-licious

My amazing hubby sent me flowers for Valentine’s Day. They are on my kitchen counter smelling wonderful and making me smile every time I see them. While yesterday was a tough day for me, today things are looking up! I got both girls down for their afternoon naps and I even got a shower in before noon!! I know, GO ME! I came downstairs after my shower and saw my beautiful bouquet of flowers. I immediately knew what I needed to do.

I popped a waffle in the toaster and started filling up a piping bag (yes…waffle first…a woman does have her priorities after all). I decided to practice my Wilton roses. I hardly had any icing left over from Monday’s class, but enough to make 4 roses. So, as Jack Johnson sang sweet love songs to me I piped away! Definitely better before the icing gets too warm from your hand but I think I did pretty good :)

To Extract or to Emulsion…That is the Question

I can’t get the evaporated almond extract out of my mind. I’m fixating on it. I kept wondering why the flavoring wouldn’t evaporate out of the cookies in the oven like it did when left out on the counter…both environments it’s exposed to dry air. Hmmm. Seriously I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I decided it had already sucked enough brain power out of me thinking about it so I decided to settle the burning question with some research.

What I found was, extract does “bake out” of the cookies because of the high heat, leaving you with a less flavorful cookie. This is due to the alcohol in the extract. ¬†Apparently, the way to go is to use emulsions. Baking emulsions are alcohol-free and pack a more potent flavor due to the fact that the flavor is incapsulated by a gum type stabilizer and thus protected during the baking process. Again…wish I would have remembered those chemistry classes better!

Decided to buy some from LorAnn Oils and give it a try. It better be good considering the shipping was $3 more than the 4oz bottle of almond emulsion! It if works I might need to shop around and/or see if I can’t find a place locally where I don’t have to bend over for shipping ;)

Shaggy Mum or Cousin It?

Last night’s cake decorating class was dedicated to piping simple flowers. We made drop flowers, rosettes, pompoms, shaggy mums and of course leaves. The rosettes came super easy to me so I’m gonna say those were my favorite :) I also loved the leaves…I’m all about simplicity these days. My pompoms came out pretty good but I think I needed better icing consistency. On the other hand, the shaggy mums were all the talk. While they were fun to make, even the instructor questioned if it was a flower or Cousin It. Seriously? Guess I have some practicing to do!

VS.

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