Monday, March 30, 2009

I know you are curious! Please help us out. Visit to see how you can help. It is amazing what young adults are willing to do to help serve God.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Walking with the Dinosaurs

Our class has been nominated to win a free trip to see the "Walking with the Dinosaurs" exhibit at the BJCC. Please go here to vote for us!!!

Feel free to pass this link along to your friends. The more people who vote for us, the better!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Joy Journal

This is what brought me joy today:
  • The BEAUTIFUL weather--I sat outside for almost 2 hours grading papers in the gorgeous sunlight. The temperature was perfect with a light breeze.
  • Spring decorations--I'm working on decorating the house for Easter/Spring. Next to Fall, Spring is my 2nd favorite season.
  • Bradford Pear trees--these are the beautiful trees that are blooming right now.

What brought you joy today?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ode to Cupcakes

Oh cupcakes,

With your soft and delicate cake,

your creamy and sweet icing

Why must I love you so?

This was my latest culinary exploration. I have been looking at recipes for wedding cakes and icing. I found a really easy recipe for a white wedding cake (tight texture-small crumb, moist and tender cake with vanilla and almond flavorings) and an almond buttercream. YUM is about the only word I can use to describe these treats. I have tasted more than I should have and eaten WAY too much icing. I'm hoping I can get some sleep tonight and come down from this sugar high soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Megan's Giveaway!

I have been reading Megan's blog for a while. I met She and her husband and children (well 2 of them) at Sumatanga one summer. Her family is adorable! I have really enjoyed reading her joyful blog.
Today Megan is doing a really fun giveaway. A friend of her's has created a ready to go scrapbook for one lucky winner. You should go over to her website Hold It Up to the Light and check it out! If you can get there before midnight tonight, you too can enter her giveaway!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Joy Journal

My principal at work encouraged us to start keeping a joy journal. Though I haven't quite gotten around to putting my thoughts on paper, I do try to find something each day that I am thankful for that brings me joy.

After a day filled with cleaning (I finished cleaning out my closest, the master bath, the guest bath, and started on the kitchen and master bedroom), I thought of my joy journal as a savored dinner tonight. Here is what brought me joy today....

I am thankful that both Jay and I have good jobs. I read so many articles today about the unemployment rate and the economy, and yet Jay and I are doing well for a fairly newly-wed couple. We have a house, 2 cars, and pretty much everything we need plus lots of stuff we want.

Along the same lines, I really enjoy having a husband who works in the meat department of a respectable grocery store. Since he has been working there, I have learned a lot about the various cuts of meat. It is also nice when he brings home top notch meat for us to eat. Here is a little tidbit for you...if you are in Publix and see "market ground beef" buy it! The steaks are supposed to be pulled 2 days before the expiration date to make sure only the freshest meat is available. The steaks (I'm talking rib eyes, t bones, filet mignon) that are pulled are ground into "market meat", this is a higher quality ground beef. It is usually sold at 1.99 a pound since it needs to be sold fast and they only make a little bit at a time, but it is the best "hamburger meat" you can get! I made spaghetti with it tonight, and my-oh-my it was good!!

Since I'm off on spring break and had spent most of the day working hard cleaning, I decided to have a glass of wine with my spaghetti. I purchased this bottle from a winery not far from my house. It was a 2007 Shelby Blanc and was absolutely delightful. It brings me joy to know that I can get such a great bottle of wine from a local vendor. I really don't drink much but I did particularly enjoy that glass of wine this evening. Here is a link to their website. I always feel so sophisticated when I go by their winery (ok, I have only been twice--but it is such a neat place!). Ozan Winery

So those are my joy journal thoughts for the day. What brought you joy today?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fondant Fun

It has been a while since I last posted. Sorry! Lots going on....
I said I would provide an explanation of the Ace of Cakes? pictures.

My friend Penny and I have been talking about decorating cakes for a few months now. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to stop planning and finally get our hands dirty making fondant. It was a blast! I made homemade marshmallow fondant and she made classic rolled fondant. They both tasted good (extremely sweet) and were easy to work with. We agreed though that the marshmallow fondant was easier to make and made more. Here are a few pictures from our adventure.

I made my marshmallow fondant at home using my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer. I knew better than to put all 8 cups of powdered sugar in at the beginning but I was afraid that the melted marshmallows would stick to the bowl. So, I decided that 5 cups of powdered sugar would be a good starting amount. WRONG, I turned the mixer on the lowest speed possible and powdered sugar flew EVERYWHERE. But, the fondant eventually came together and looked so pretty and white.

I made my way to Penny's house to decorate our cakes. Look how pretty we made her island look! Instead of using flour like you would for cookies or pie crust, you use lots of powdered sugar and Crisco to make sure your fondant rolls out smoothly and doesn't stick.

This was after I had rolled out the blue for my ribbon. I LOVE this color blue. For each color we took our plain white fondant and used color gel to get just the right color. On the other side of the island you can see some of the hot pink fondant we used on Penny's cake.

We used a special fondant cutter to cut rows and rows of hot pink fondant for Penny's pretty cake.

We didn't buy purple coloring gel, so we got adventurous and mixed blue and pink. After a lot of elbow grease, we ended up with a really pretty purple color.

These are a few pictures of my cake that we nicknamed the "Tiffany box" cake. It reminded me of my bridesmaid dresses. They were this color blue with white ribbons.

These are a few pictures of Penny's pretty cake. We were practicing a few ideas for Penny's daughter's birthday cake. Isn't it cute!

In the end, we were very proud of our cakes. I was really impressed with how they turned out for our first time. We are planning to get together again over spring break to try a couple of new ideas. I can't wait!