Friday, December 28, 2012

Of Mice and Men

 My friend Natalie made truffle mice for the holidays.

 Richard ate them very much like my cat Cookie eats hers -- tails last!

One of them tried to run away and oooooops! Got caught in a mouse trap.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Florida Panthers cake

 Due to the NHL strike, there's been no hockey this year. 
Which makes Leonard miss his Florida Panthers even more.
Their logo was a real challenge but I stepped up to the plate.


 Happy 65th Leonard! Let's hope the teams get back on the ice sooner than later!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Redpolls and Finches, oh my!

Snowy days bring many birds to my feeder...


 ...and the the ground below the feeder too.


 The redpolls are tiny and very active and colourful.


 I especially love this photo with one redpoll flying in, looking for a perch.

 Meanwhile in the trees there are a pair of cardinals. Mrs. Cardinal is a light buffy colour.

Mr. Cardinal is a bright colouful red. So darn handsome.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Step-by-Step Starry Night Cake

I started with a double layer chocolate cake which I covered with vanilla buttercream. I lightly sketched out van Gogh's Starry Night with a toothpick on top.

 I started filling in colours with a round tip. I did three shades of blue...

 ...and two shades of yellow.

 The sky was fun but then there were the mountains and houses to do too. Oh my!

 The tree was piped in very dark green with chocolate added.

I did some white highlights to really make the sky swirl. The little town below has a few yellow lights on in those teeny houses. Van Gogh's loose painting style really lent itself to buttercream...it was just like painting on canvas except it was cake.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Marlowe Learns to Dance

video
Could this little cat be any cuter? Yup, he's the same little guy that I found in a garage and my friend Scott adopted. How cute is this?

Winter Basil

This year, I kept my basil in a pot, instead of planting it in the garden, and brought it inside. It's hard to believe it's lasted this long!

 Richard made some spaghetti sauce this weekend and it seemed the perfect time to use all the basil up.

It really added a nice flavour to the sauce. Next year I have to remember to keep a few basil plants in pots. I've been using the leaves from this one to flavour sauces, omelettes and salads since the summer. All with that same plant. Amazing.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More Gummy Cakes

 I did this cake two years ago for seven-year-old Zavier who wanted a gummy worm
cake for his birthday.


Now nine, he requested another one. This time I did it with gummy rattle snakes and gummy rats with a few gummy worms thrown in for good measure. It's great to be nine, eh?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Heeere's Marlow!

 Okay, so all kittens are cute, right?

 This little orange guy is cute beyond words.

 He's one of the two the little kitties  who were living in a cold garage that I found homes for three weeks ago.

 My friend Scott was ready to have a new friend...

...and it seems to be working out swimmingly.

I'll try and get photos of the other little guy but I hear all's well on that front as well!
PHEW!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Made My Hair Stand on End!

I made it into Richard's newspaper last week...but didn't realize that it was windy, or that I was having a bad hair day...or both. All for a good cause, so what the heck.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Big Dumpster in the Sky

 I had this really really old sofa that my parents bought in the 1970s. I also had a pee pee cat who loved the sofa. When Cinnamon died, I swore I'd get rid of the sofa. A few weeks back, I finally did.


 And the perfectly ugly sofa came with two ugly side chairs that the other cats took a liking too. I bet I had generations of cats who liked to claw those chairs.

 Lucky for me, Gordon and Natalie were getting a dumpster and graciously offered to schlep my old furniture away...

 Oh gawd, I was so hoping that everything would fit in  their trailer.


 Gordon was pretty adept at fitting the puzzle of the sofa and two chairs together.


Then of course, there was time for me to wear the little arm protector thingies one last time.

 This is me being very happy to get rid of that darn old furniture. Truth be told, my mother brought this set home and I think she hated it from day one.

 But as I recall, Dad got it from a furniture place in trade for a brochure he did for them.

 My mum would be delighted to see the back end of these!

And see, I never removed the tag that said, "Never remove this tag under peril of prosecution!"


Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Celebrating

Part of our gang at The Glengarry News got together for a photo at our annual Christmas party on Saturday. 


 The gals got together to ham it up.


Richard and I were sharing some sort of secret. Actually, our publisher showed a sequence from the film The Paper and Richard and I were critiquing it...I think.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Step-by-Step Melting Snowmen Cookies

 Kicking around the Internet, I found cookies that looked like melting snowmen. The amazingly creative Meaghan Mountford who invented it has a blog called
The Decorated Cookie.
Here's the link to her Mr. Melty snowman cookie:
 
thedecoratedcookie.com/2010/12/the-journey-of-mr-melty-and-a-very-small-me/

Then I found another site that claims to be the originator of this cookie using a marshmallow at Truly Custom Cakery: http://www.trulycustomcakery.com/tutorials/25.html
Thanks to them for the inspiration!

Okay, so I have a cookie exchange this weekend and thought these cookies would be the perfect thing to make. But since I need to bring six dozen cookies with me, I decided to make them smaller than the ones I've seen on the web, and use mini-marshmallows.

I baked a bunch of sugar cookies, sort of oval, but not really necessarily oval. Just imperfectly shaped cookies, about 2" x 3" (or smaller). You can use any standard sugar cookie recipe. I pulled one off the Internet.


 I made some royal icing (another Internet recipe) and made it kinda runny and spread  it around...

 ...trying to keep it a bit messy to look like it's melted.

 Then I squished a mini-marshmallow between my fingers and stuck it into the wet icing.

 I had saved some of the royal icing and didn't water it down, then tinted it black with food colouring so that I could faces, buttons and stick arms. I especially like the "Oh no, Mr. Bill!" faces


I also added orange noses (I tinted some leftover royal icing orange) to look kinda like carrots.


Lots of fun but very time consuming. I spent about 3 hours just icing them! But in the end, I think they came out great.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Butterscotch Pie Lessons

My friend and neighbour Flora makes the best butterscotch pies in all the land. 
So my friend Peggi and I asked her to give us a lesson.


First we started with pie crusts.



We got step-by-step lessons on crimping edges.


Peggi wrote everything down as Flora demonstrated.

 Flora got busy at the stove, cooking up the butterscotch ambrosia 
that will end up being the centre of the pie..


She popped it into the pie...


 ...and topped it with luscious meringue.


And voila! An amazing butterscotch pie.


Then Peggi and I had a turn at making the pie under a watchful eye.


 While Peggi was busy at the stove....


I got busy on meringue detail. Our pie came our well and at the time I was sure I could make one myself. Time will tell. I'll keep ya posted.


Flora’s Butterscotch Pie
In a saucepan put 1 cup brown sugar, 2 large tablespoons flour, ½ tsp. salt.
Combine and add ¼ cup butter.
Put on stove on high stirring constantly.
Lower heat and stir till caramelized. Turn off heat and leave on burner.
Add 1 cup milk stirring well.
Separate 2 eggs (set aside whites), beat yolks and add to filling. Then add additional ¾ cup of milk.
Turn burner back on and stir. Will be very stiff at first. Stir till creamy and thick.
Pour into baked 9” pie crust.
Beat egg whites till stiff; add 1 T. sugar and continue beating till soft peaks form.
Top pie with meringue and bake 5-10 min. in 400F oven till edges are browned.




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