solar system

It has come to my attention that some of you think that I am hating on myself. It's not true. I completely adore myself. In a non-creepy way. (Because there is nothing worse than creeping yourself out.) And just to prove it to you, I'm going to tell you one way that I am totally amazing today.  I made a cookie replica of the solar system with royal icing and a toothpick. Okay, so my choice may have been made out of laziness as I was contemplating all the bowls I would have to use to color the icing and the bags and tips and couplers and...and, well, let's just stick with the positive here. The solar system. Royal icing. Toothpick. Done. I am amazing. You know what's NOT amazing? My round cutters getting bent into odd non-round shapes even with very careful and gentle use. Imagine the seasons we would have if Earth really was this shape! Although fairly accurate, I must stress that this solar system is not to scale. As much as I'm sure you would like to use t

cookie cutter sandwich

Let's wrap things up with this whole "huge giant birthday party that makes my child happy for days and days." I told you about the cookies. I told you about the cake. I have just one more thing to tell you about. Maybe two. But no more than that. I promise. Probably. I made one more, vaguely cookie/cake related thing for his party. And by "vaguely related" I mean, not at all.  Really, its just an alternative use for cookie cutters. Is this not the most delicious looking peanut butter and jam sandwich you have ever seen? It probably would be if you were nearly 4 years old. Or apparently the mother of someone who is nearly 4 years old. I think this is why my child puts up with this cookie/cake thing I do. Because he gets sandwiches in whatever shape he likes. I have to say, its not a bad compromise for either of us. Oh...and I also made blue ice cubes in my seashell molds. That is all.

octopus vs. dolphins

Sometimes its okay that things don't turn out like you had planned. Especially when you make bad plans. Like when you think its okay to drive across the United States without stopping for sleep. (Hypothetically.) (Sort of.) This cake is one of those times. I had originally planned to have a giant octopus coming out of the top of the cake. Because what's cooler than a giant octopus? And I really needed this cake to be cool. Its for my OWN child. And since I stopped letting him eat cookies for breakfast, I'm falling fast on the "favorite parent" chart. How could my husband be winning? He's the one that makes him brush his teeth every night. I spent hours making the octopus parts. I spent hours thinking about all the angles of support so the legs would stay in and not tear through the cake. I spent hours playing with my children just so I could avoid working on the octopus. And I worried. My stomach is still sick inside from the anxiety. Late last night, long

Under the Sea (not a prom theme)

Oh my goodness, I have been busy this week. I always seem to be busy and then have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. And for some continues to surprise me. I never catch on. But today is different. Because TODAY I have something to show for it. There is going to be a birthday celebration in my house this week! (A real one. Not the kind where I turn 30 and buy myself a brownie at a bake sale.) I'm so excited because my little boy loves all the details. Its SO worth it. He's excited for streamers on the wall and to pick out his favorite color of balloons and he's excited to "design" his very own cake. And, its kind of sad, but he's really excited for these cookies. I make lots of cookies, but he rarely gets them. I mean, that's a good thing as well. I know that you all secretly think I feed my children cookies for breakfast and lunch and... but it's NOT TRUE. (Most of the time.) Your missing the point. I'm excited bec

taking it over the edge

This is the last of the coral and green cookies. I promise. Probably forever. I started these cookies before I made the other two. It was something I really wanted to try. And I'm sure that people the world over have been doing this since the dawn of cookie time, but I haven't, okay? I thought it would be cool  if some of the design extended past the cookie. (Cool? Does this word date me? Whatever, I don't care. I'm no longer in my twenties. My old-school vocabulary is now part of my charm. Right guys? Come on, where are you all going?) I made royal icing transfers of the flower/oddly-shaped-star-thing and let it dry for a couple of days. I iced some chocolate cookies white and dropped my little transfer on top. I could have done the same thing with fondant and a lot less drying time, but I didn't. Because fondant and I are in a fight right now since the last cake. And we need some time to cool off before we get back together again for my little boy's birthd

a pinch of planning

I tried something new with these cookies.  I planned them.   Okay, so most cookies I at least think about before I start making them. Sometimes I don't though. Sometimes I just start putting icing or fondant on a cookie and see where it goes. (Have I mentioned that I'm a "rusher?") Anyway, with these cookies, I scratched little lines on the cookies with a toothpick before I even picked up my royal icing. (Can you do that with regular sugar cookies, or is this unique to chocolate sugar cookies? If you do this on vanilla sugar cookies, let me know, I'm super interested. As opposed to, you know, regular type interested.) Anyway, back to my story about me and my cookies. I drew the pattern on the cookie with a toothpick and then filled it in. And surprisingly, they turned out rather uniform. (And by that I mean it wasn't surprising. At all. If you could hear me say it, then you would know how funny I am. Or at least you would know when I'm being sarcastic.

another day

Hello. I'm back. Hi everyone. I just needed to make myself a new cookie cutter to feel better. My husband sure is lucky, huh? No quick trip for large diamonds. (Although smaller jeans might do the trick some days...) I don't eat 1/2 gallon of ice cream in one sitting. (Although, I can, and have and I will tell you that did NOT feel good.) I love the feeling of making myself a brand new cutter. It's shiny and, well, new and it holds endless possibilities. And usually I cut myself in the process so I get to remember my accomplishment for days. (Don't let that part scare you away from making your own cutters. I'm a "rusher." I rush everything. Sure, I should take it slow and calm and gently cut and file and shape, but hello! I'm in a bad mood, I want to feel better NOW! I didn't have time for patience.) I really wanted a 5 petal flower cutter. And I really wanted the petals to be kind of pointed. And then after I had finished my cutter, I looked a

marathon day

This was a marathon day. And by that I mean, I would rather run a marathon in 3 degree weather than do this day again. I feel like I've been having one sugar creation failure after another this week. Today was quite literally the icing on the cake. I couldn't get the icing OR the fondant right at all. Let me be clear. I covered it in fondant. And recovered it in fondant. And then I scraped everything off and started again. And then I cried. Real, honest to goodness tears. No, actually, I didn't. But I wanted to. I thought about it. It would have made me feel better. But it wouldn't fix the cake, so I soldiered on. I think I might just give up on sugar things for now. I'm not going to keep posting things that make me cringe when I think about them at night before I fall asleep. I have decided to quit college and hitch-hike around the country to find myself. Again, I'm lying. (What is wrong with me today? Why would I lie to all my imaginary friends on the inte

avert your eyes

Warning -- If you have a weak stomach, avert your eyes. Do NOT read today's post. At all. Not even a little bit. I had a great idea for today. But my great idea turned out like this: Before you say anything...I KNOW this is not "my style." It's my mom's. When I was growing up, my mom would make sugar cookies for Valentine's Day. And they were HUGE. And they were covered in butter cream frosting. In a very good way. Not like like this cookie at all. In fact, imagine the opposite of this cookie, and that is probably closer to the kind of cookie my mom made on Valentine's Day.  And since I want to be a good mom too, I thought that I would make butter cream frosting cookies for MY little boy on Valentine's Day. I'm not exactly one of those "lesson learned" kind of people. You will never catch me saying, "Well, I learned my lesson on that one. I am never going to do this silly thing that I just tried and it didn't work and n

quality control

Since I started making sketches before I do a new cookie or cake design, I have had the help of a very short and adorable task master. My 3 year old LOVES to hold the sketch. Even when I ask him not to. He likes to see the picture come to life in sugar form. But even more, he likes to tell me what to do next and he likes to tell me where to put things. I made a cake this morning to match an invitation. It wasn't an exact replica. And I was properly chastised for it. But in a loving way that only a 3 year old can manage. The kind where you just want to hug them and giggle inside when they are done. (You have to giggle INSIDE because you wouldn't ever want to make them sad.) After a little bit of negotiating on the location of the stars, I believe we have a finished product that he approves of. And let me just say, that since he's not allowed to actually touch the cake, or even get too close to it, the negotiating gets a little frustrating sometimes. "No, looks like

"Thank You" things

Were you wondering what I was going to do with my other new cookie cutter? You know, the oddly shaped one. The squarish one that looks like it has a bracket on each side. (The top note cut for all you paper crafters.) No? You weren't wondering? You don't care? Maybe you could just pretend. Just this once. I don't think people say "thank you" enough in this world. I know I don't. A few days ago, I had a repairman come to my house and fix my oven. Yes, he was paid for his time. And yes, it was his job. But still -- I was REALLY happy to have it fixed. And I wanted to let him know. He was packing his tools, and I was thinking, " What can I do to say thank you? Should I give him a cookie? Will he think I'm creepy because I'm giving a complete stranger food? Will he be offended? (Offended?! At a cookie? WHAT is wrong with me?) Should I walk him to the door? Should I just ignore him, so he doesn't think I'm hovering?" In the end, I r

Wanted- piping skills. Inquire within.

I can't pipe. It's official. I was waiting for my order from Karen's Cookies to get here before I made the final judgment. I had ordered a SUPA tube from PME. (Hello -- It's called "SUPA." It's GOT to be great.) I tried the size 00 and the line seemed too small for this cookie. And then I tried the size 0, and I couldn't get anything to come out. Not anything. I even tried squeezing my icing through a brand new nylon before putting it in the piping bag. (And made a completely unrelated giant mess all over my counter. Okay, maybe not unrelated.) No success. I'm a failure at piping.  But I've had this design bouncing around in my brain ever since the first day I met my friend called " Supatube Possibility. " Oh sure, lots of people told me that the PME tips don't make people amazing at piping. But they couldn't possibly have meant ME. Surely, it would be magical for ME.   After wallowing in self pity while cleaning up a pre

buttons and giggling

I thought about being productive today. I even made a list. It was full of high hopes. I added all the projects I've wanted to accomplish for the last 2 months. I put some things in all capital letters so I would remember that I REALLY wanted to get them done today. I was going to be busy. I was going to get it done. For real. I meant it this time. Except that, well, I didn't exactly finish the list. I got tired. Its hard to be productive sometimes. Its a good thing my 3 year old was around today. Buttons don't sort themselves, you know. Maybe I'll have to make him a special treat for being such a sweet little boy and helping me out. And then we'll eat it together and probably giggle because he'll get chocolate all over his face. (Of course there will be chocolate. What kind of treat doesn't have chocolate?!) And then we'll have to read a stack of books to help him calm down after all that, umm, giggling. And maybe he will take a nap as he comes down o

Some say heart, some say flower.

I kind of make a lot of cookies. Not a lot of cookies on a scale of say, 1 to a jillion, but a lot of cookies for someone who doesn't have any reason to be making cookies in the first place. I have a lot of cookies sitting around my house. And I'm always trying to find people to unload them on. Except, sometimes I deliberately make cookies for someone in particular. You know, on purpose . Remember that, because if I ever give YOU a cookie, you can be sure that it was made JUST for YOU with hours and hours of thought put into the design, the baking, the decoration, and lovingly wrapped with love and...ummm...more love. Like these cookies. These cookies have got it all -- thought, design, baking...Okay, so they weren't wrapped. And maybe I didn't spend hours and hours on them. Or even one single hour. WOW! Where is all this picky judgementalism coming from? Lay off my chocolate flower cookie making ego. What? Its not you...its me? Okay. Fine. Let's call it a week

successful completion of a year

So, last weekend was my birthday. And I'm sure you are all holding your breath for the details of the cake. What did it look like? Did I have to make it myself?... Guess what? There was NO cake.  No beautiful 5 tier creation. No lopsided cake made lovingly by my husband, not even a 2 dimensional crayon drawing of a cake from my 3 year old. Nothing. But I'm not bitter. I'm not going to hold it deep inside and let it smolder for years and years until it comes out one day on a random afternoon in July. Instead, I did what I felt I had to do....and I bought a brownie off some young girls at a bake sale. And then I ate it. Right there. And they watched me. And...that part was kind of weird. I felt like shouting at them, " Its okay that I'm eating this brownie right here and now because IT'S MY BIRTHDAY." But I didn't. Because, I think that maybe, that would have frightened them. And then I came home and made cookies. And then I just looked at them and

that whole giveaway "thing"

Remember this?  Are you wondering if you get to wait anxiously by the mailbox for the next 2-3 weeks to see it appear in your lovely hands? I don't really know how people do this when hundreds of people comment. Because MY comments aren't numbered. And I can't imagine counting through 249 comments. I was so glad it was only 8. So easy to count to. The winner is -- ANDREA BROWN ~~ who says " I absolutely, positively adore every single one of your cookies and cakes and sweet little things and you are without a doubt my most favorite person in the world and I can't get through my day without reading more."   Ha ha ha. Just kidding! But you would have to read back through the comments to prove it. Andrea -- send me your address. And even though I didn't get 50 followers...I'm still going to send you the silver liners as well.

How do I ... make grosgrain ribbon?

I'm learning a lot about myself just by making cookies. Some people quit college and hitch hike across America or join the Peace Corps to "find themselves." I make cookies. (It's not that I don't like adventure. I just don't go white water rafting to discover who I really am. I do it because I LIKE it.) Anyway...cookies...learning about myself. I have discovered that I am a texture loving person. I like love grosgrain ribbon. Grosgrain has the best ribbon texture ever. (For the record, smooth is also a texture and sometimes I like that too.) What I don't like about grosgrain ribbon is the name. GROSSgrain ribbon? Eewww. Unless of course it's french, and then I totally know what it means. And if you don't know, I'm not going to tell you. You should get some grosgrain ribbon for your own cookies, or cakes, or cupcakes, or you know, you could just make some to look at and admire and take with you when you go shopping and your friends are al

What IS this?

So, I gave someone a cookie last week and they said, "What IS this?"  I'm going to be honest. That was not exactly the reaction I was hoping for. Not that I have a scripted reaction I do hope for. I mean, if I ever give you a cookie you can just say what you want. Or not say anything at all. That's totally fine.  I just give people cookies because I want to. No expectations, no strings attached. Just my love - in sugar form - to them. Still, I was a little confused. I started to make up a whole list of excuses in my head -- Well, see, these ninjas came and they made me make bad looking cookies.... In the end I just said, "Umm, it's a cookie." Which turned out to be the RIGHT answer because he actually thought it was a wall hanging. ( THIS ONE in case you are wondering.) We can learn a lot from this. 1 -- Don't let ninjas into your house while you are making cookies. Just say no. And 2 -- If your cookies don't taste very good, you can still

two please

I it turns out... old fashioned. But not the cool kind. Not vintage. Not retro. I never wanted to be. In fact, I spent all of my growing up years desperately trying to NOT learn how to cook or sew or can vegetables of any kind. But...I want a garden with a compost pile and everything. And I want to store my food for winter. I love buttons and old lace. I like the idea of having a parlor for visitors. I can, and have, made my own cheese. (Not recommended by the way, unless you are really good at it. Which I am not.) I own an honest-to-goodness cast iron dutch oven for crying out loud! (Two actually.) And I think that Valentines should be hand made. By hand. You know, with your hands. I'm not talking about the cards that children pass out to their friends at school. I mean for your REAL Valentine. Think about have a special friend....and you decided to book that romantic cruise for two through the Mediterranean...its a quiet evening....just the two of you...sunset

it starts with a "g" and ends in "iveaway"

This was a tricky picture. I meant to take a picture of cookies. But all I could think about were my new silicone baking hearts. I LOVE them. My poor cookies. They feel so alone and unwanted. Hmm, I guess they really ARE the perfect Valentine's Day cookie. You know, for all those people that hate Valentine's Day because they don't have a special friend of their own. Even after the picture was taken, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I love my little hearts and about how everyone is going to want them when they see this picture. And then I realized that I had no option but to go right back to the store and get one for you. But not for all of you, because that's kind of a lot. So I rushed over to the store and guess what? THEY WERE GONE. Not just gone with an empty spot so you can hope they might get some more in tomorrow, but gone with something else taking the spot on the shelf and it might have all been a dream if you hadn't purchased some in the firs