Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gwen's Birthday Shirt

Allrighty, I've been super absent around here... get ready for a slew of posts...

Gwen turned 5 and her Mom wanted a birthday shirt like Catie's.
I think it turned out really cute.  I used fabric for the 5 and purple flocked, iron-on vinyl for the words.

Gwen loved it and the birthday was a success.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Cake

This here is a serious cake, and oh so yummy.

It starts with 6 layers of pumpkin cake.  Thick, dense, moist, perfectly spiced, pumpkin cake.
The layers are filled with a caramel buttercream and that beautiful frosting above is maple cream cheese, with a caramel swirl on top.

It was incredible, delicious and I'm seriously craving it right now.
Though I'll be honest, there was one thing I would change... I think the awesome caramel buttercream was actually pretty unnecessary.  The pumpkin and maple were so delicious together that next time I would use a basic buttercream between the layers.

Want to make one?  Let me give you the recipes, but remember, this is a serious cake, it's going to take some time to put together.

First the pumpkin cake, and this recipe comes from Paula Dean.

Pumpkin Cake
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

Now with the cakes done, you'll need something to put between the layers.  Like I mentioned, when I make this again I would use a regular buttercream but the salted caramel was nice so if you want to use then here's the recipe.  First you need

Salted Caramel Glaze
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugars and bring to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in whipping cream and bring back to a boil. Boil for exactly 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Cool completely.  Once your caramel is cool add it to your buttercream.

Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
Beat together butter and icing sugar, it will be dry and crumbly and look gross but add your caramel and it turns beautiful and so yummy.

Time to assemble.  Split each of your 3 cakes in two and layer your frosting between each.  It will be awesome and tall.  Trim the edges of your assembled cakes to make smooth edges.

Time to make some maple frosting to top it all off with.

Maple Cream Cheese Icing 
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp Mapleine (maple extract)
1/2 tsp salt
Mix cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, Mapleine, and vanilla until smooth.

Frost your cake using your favourite technique.

There you have it.  I told you it was serious, but it's well worth all the effort, promise.

Here's a glamorous inside shot (on a paper plate) so you can see all the layers.

And one last one, cause I can't help myself.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Eden vs Catie

Today Eden is 1 year and 2 months old.  It's been a while since I posted a Eden and Catie side by side photo.  Both such cute girls yet still so different.
I'm not sure these girls could be any different.

The other day I was vacuuming and it was the perfect example of their differences.  Catie used to cry because the vacuum was too loud and she didn't like it, Eden cry's because I won't let her play with the vacuum.

Catie dislikes doing things that are new and difficult and Eden loves to try new things.

She loves when Daddy gets home from work, I think it's her favourite part of the day.  She hears the door open and she heads off yelling, "eyyy, Ddaaaaa" (translation, Hi Dad!) with her arm stretched out in an adorable wave.

We love our Eden.