Elmo Cake Creation

My son Jayden turned two this year. I cannot believe how fast that came! For his second birthday I wanted to do an elmo cake since he just love love loves elmo! I should let you know that this was the first birthday character cake I have ever made. I just started baking over 2 years ago. I have taught myself everything. Ive always been a good cook but never a baker. So for this cake I wanted it to be perfect. Because it was my first cake I decided to stay on the safe side and do a mold cake. I purchased this mold from a great baking shop near my house.

elmo mold

So first I wanted to get a really good cake recipe for the cake. I picked the extreme chocolate cake recipe from allrecipes.com (I’ll post a link to this later) So I made the batter and baked the cake in the mold. I inverted it onto my cake board and put it in the freezer to cool for 1 hour.

While it was in the freezer i went ahead and made a butter cream icing for the cake. I would recommend using 2 recipes of the same butter cream recipe because I found I needed more icing with just 1.  I used the best butter cream frosting recipe from food network. I will post the recipe later.

After I finished making  the frosting I divided it into 4 bowls. In the first bowl I put about 1/2 of the icing in for the red hair. For this I added the red food coloring gel and mixed until I got the desired color.

In the next bowl I added about 1/4 a cup of icing for the nose. I added 3 drops of yellow liquid food coloring and 1 drop of red liquid food coloring to get a bright orange color and mixed.

In the next bowl I added about a 1/4 cup of icing and to that added the black gel food coloring and mixed well.

In the last bowl I added the left over icing. I did not use food coloring because this was for the eyes.

When I had all of my frosting ready I took the cake out of the freezer.

I started with the mouth. I outlined it first with the black icing using a small round tip. I then filled in the mouth with the black icing and spread it smooth with my finger dipped in corn starch (such a great tip!)

Next I went onto the nose. I took the orange icing and outlined the nose first using a small round tip. I then filled in the nose with the same tip as well as using my finger dipped in corn starch for a nice smooth finish.

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When I was done the nose I went onto the eyes. I got my white icing and outlined the eyes first. Again, I took my finger dipped in cornstarch and spread it evenly. I found the eyes to be the most intensive part since I wanted it to look really smooth and perfect!

When that white was all filled in I went on to do the pupils. Because I wanted a perfect circle I used a small cap I had lying around and placed it on the spot I wanted the pupil. I then outlined the circle with my black frosting and took the circle off. I filled in the circle and once again smoothed it out with my finger dipped in cornstarch. Just a little side note here…i found having one dry and one wet towel around really helped instead of constantly  getting up to wipe my hands..

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Last but not least the fun part: The hair. Because I have limited cake decorating supplies ,(im waiting for hubby to buy me my ultimate cake decorating set from wilton..wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I used the star tip for the hair. Normally you would want to use the hair one. But I found the star tip worked out pretty good! So I attached the star tip and pressed down on the cake and straight up quickly to get a hair look. I did this all around the outline of the cake first, then filled in the middle. And pow! Done!

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Just to let you guys know the pictures for this tutorial where from my tester cake. I always make a tester cake because I am not that experienced with baking character cakes. I don’t think I got any photos of the actual cake but it turned out much better!

It turned out a success and my son just loved it! Plus the good thing is even thougt I spent about 20 bucks on the mold I will use it again since my sister and sister-in-law are both pregnant with boys! So all in all I think it was worth the time,effort and money to build this cake:)

I also made these cute last-minute cupcakes for my son because he also LOVES the cookie monster. 🙂

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Can you tell he loved them? 😉

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Roast beef leftovers

So in my last post I was saying how I got a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for roasts from save on foods. I made dinner for my family and mother for her birthday and had lots of left overs. I decided to get creative and turn that roast into 5 different meals.

The first meal that I made from the left over roast was Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. Boy do I love hot roast beef sandwiches! My grandfather used to make the best hot roast beef sandwiches! Anyways, here is the recipe.

Hot Roast beef Sandwiches

Ingredients

Roast beef, Sliced thin

Left over gravy, or just make my favorite gravy recipe!

2 slices of bread, cut in half

Heat a non-stick medium pan on medium heat. Add the sliced roast beef just to get it hot. In a small pot place the left over gravy or go ahead and make my favorite gravy recipe. Heat on medium low heat until hot. Stir.

When the beef is hot pile it high on the slices of bread and pour over the gravy. Serve with a side salad or left over vegetables from your roast beef dinner. Simple and delicious comfort food.

The second meal I made from the left over roast beef was Beef fajitas. Sounds simple but when you use fresh ingredients and put it together just right you get a completely different meal from the first two. Here is my recipe..

Beef fajitas

Ingredients

Left over Roast beef, sliced in strips, about 1 lb

olive oil, to coat the pan

1 red pepper, sliced into strips

1 orange pepper, sliced into strips

2 yellow onions, sliced

1 jalapeno, seeded and cored,finely chopped

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

1 and a half limes, juiced

beef broth or water about 1 cup

My fajita seasoning mix ( recipe follows) or you can use a fajita pack and spice it up with some red chili flakes

Whole wheat or any kind of tortilla

Heat a large non stick skillet on medium high heat. Add the olive oil to coat the pan. Next add the peppers, onions and jalapeno and mix well. Saute for about 3 minutes then add the roast beef to the pan. Saute the veggies with the beef for about 3 more minutes then turn the heat up to about medium high heat and add the seasoning.  Mix in the seasoning well then add either the beef broth or water to deglaze the pan. Next add in the lime juice and if you want you may add the cilantro. (Because of the kids I normally just add mine to my wrap so I don’t get ugly looks across the table!)

Once the liquid reduces to about half turn it down to low heat and simmer 5 minutes. This is when you want to get your wraps warmed and every condiment out! I usually go for sour cream, salsa, cilantro,lettuce, tomatoes, diced jalapeno, a little squirt of fresh lime and shredded cheese.

Serve it family style and let everyone dress their own fajita. Enjoy:)

My Home made fajita seasoning

Ingredients

2 tbsp salt

3 tbsp pepper

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

3 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp oregano leaves

2 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp red chili flakes

In a small bowl combine spices. Mix well and store in airtight container. You can also double or triple the recipe and keep it on hand for a quick fajita meal. Not only is it more affordable than buying the packs of seasoning it’s also healthier. The fajita packs are full of sodium that you don’t need!

My next post will reveal my third meal from one roast beef! Stay tuned….

Roast beef dinner turned into 5 different left over meals

English: A dinner is set up on black, gold-rim...

English: A dinner is set up on black, gold-rimmed dishes on a black tabletop. There is a mug, a bowl of cut strawberries, and a plate full of green beans, small potatoes and roast beef. A dark multicolored napkin with gold thread is curved around the plate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

My last sunday dinner was also my mothers birthday. My mother requested I make a roast beef dinner with yorkshire pudding. It was actually perfect because I just recently clipped a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for a roast from save on foods. Because I am living on a tight budget I could not afford to take her out for dinner so this was right up my alley. Plus i think taking the effort to make a wonderful meal is much more thoughtful.

So i got my two roasts, which only cost me 15 dollars for 2 4 pound roasts! I decided to make both roasts so I would have left overs for the week. Here is my recipe for the roasts.

Roast beef dinner

Ingredients

1 3-4lb roast ( i used a sirloin tip and an inside round)

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder to taste

Olive Oil to coat the pan

5 cloves of garlic peeled and lightly smashed

Pre heat the oven to 250 degrees. Pull the roast out of the fridge for about 1-2 hours to get it to room temperature. This makes it so the roast cooks evenly all the way through. In a small bowl add as much salt, pepper and garlic powder as you like to cover your roast. Mix the spices together and rub onto your roast. Next slit a few holes in the top of your roast (the fattest part) and slide the garlic cloves in each hole.

Heat a medium to large cast iron skillet or any pan on med high heat. Add the oil to coat the pan and let it get hot. When it is hot enough brown the roast on each side for 1-2 minutes until you get a nice crust. Transfer the roast to a roasting pan with a wire rack. Place in the preheated oven until a thermometer reads 125-130 for medium rare. When done take it out of the oven and let it rest on a cutting board lightly covered in tinfoil for about 20-25 minutes. Now you can make the gravy or pop in the yorkshire pudding!

My favorite gravy recipe

Ingredients

Roast beef drippings

Beef broth

Water (optional)

kitchen bouquet, just a drop

all-purpose flour, about 3 tbsp

salt and pepper, to taste

onion powder, 1 tsp

1 bay leaf

Set your pan with the beef drippings on the stove. Turn on both burners. If there is not enough drippings you can first deglaze the pan with a little beef broth. Add your flour and stir so there are no clumps. Slowly add more beef broth until your desired thickness. Keep Stiring! Also, if you do not have a lot of beef broth you may always substitute or add some water. When it’s at your desired thickness you may add the kitchen bouquet, salt, pepper, onion powder and bay leaf. Taste it, that’s the only way you’re going to know you are on the right track! let it simmer on low heat until you are ready to serve!

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup flour

3 large eggs

1 cup milk

salt

beef drippings or melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, milk, eggs and a dash of salt. Stir and combine just until there are no more lumps. Set aside. In a muffin tin (12 count) add a little bit of beef drippings or melted butter in each slot. Slip into the preheated oven for 5 minutes. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! THIS IS THE KEY TO GETTING THEM TO RISE! Quickly take them out of the oven and add enough batter in each muffin tin till the half way mark and get back in the oven. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN AT ALL DURING THE COOKING TIME. IF YOU DO IT WILL RESULT IN A FLUMPY PUDDING! Bake for 20-25 minutes then switch the heat to 350 for the last 5-7 minutes. Take them out and serve immediately. Enjoy! 🙂

I usually serve my Roast beef dinner with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, yorkshire, peas corn and carrots. A simple yet yummy sunday dinner! Happy Birthday MOM!

Oh and since it was my moms birthday and she just loves ina garten I thought I would make her apple cake tatin recipe. Here it is incase you guys want to try it. It was super easy to make. I was suprised it only took me about 10 minutes to prep! The end result was decedent! My mom loved it.

INA GARTEN’S APPLE CAKE TATIN RECIPE

ina gartens apple cake tatin

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 1 1/4 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced into 12 pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Generously butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and arrange the apples in the dish, cut side down.

Combine 1 cup of the granulated sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color, about 360 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Swirl the pan but don’t stir. Pour evenly over the apple slices.

Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Lower the speed and beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix until combined. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and, with the mixer on low speed, add it to the butter mixture. Mix only until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. If an apple slice sticks, ease it out and replace it in the design on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar.

My first ever post=) welcome to pondersworld!

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Hello Everybody!

My name is Michelle and I am a stay at home mom to a beautiful boy named Jayden. I am starting this blog to share with you all of my recipes, cake creations and diy ideas! I have been cooking my whole life and just recently have had a fascination with baking! Before I had Jayden I never had a sweet tooth so I mainly focused on comfort and fresh foods! But my pregnant self just craved sweets! Thus started my baking spree.

I will be posting tutorials on cakes, cookies, brownies and everything dessert. As well as my favorite savory recipes! My future posts will also include meals on a budget, home decor on a budget and family days and parties on a budget!

I want to share my passion for cooking and baking, frugal living, anything diy, and topics on parenting and being a mom. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer and learn along with me!