Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gobble gobble and all that! How did I miss posting this holiday?

This turkey day, as far as sweets go, was a busy one and one mixed in with birthdays.
One of our family friends has a son, who is allergic to dairy. Poor guy! Yes, that means no ice cream. I know! Not fair, what is life without a little scoop now and then. Anyway, I set out to make him a cake that looked like sushi, tasted decent, didn't have any dairy, but was pleasing to everyone else.
Here he is with his little cousin. I adore the look on his cousin's face! It looks like the little guy is in a trance and all he can hear in his head is "eat cake, eat cake, eat cake". (Been there!)

Next up, buttercream dream cake. It is certainly not going to win any prizes for photography or overly exciting cake, but it was sure to be tasty and bring a little something different than pie to the holiday dessert table.
This one was for a Thanksgiving day birthday. The customer wanted me to play with the turkey theme. And play I did! What's he looking at?
I meant to make a small cake for just a family of four, but then I thought about turkeys. Does small come to mind? I also think they carry a bit of attitude. They certainly aren't the best looking animal, so he needed to be "charactered up" (I know, not a word) a little.
He started off a little bare. But then came the feathers...
I think he looks much better like this. The feathers were all made from fondant. I think they gave the cake great texture and color. I will be making more of these next year. Get your orders in now! I had so many people love this and think it would be a great, edible centerpiece for their Thanksgiving table. Turkey for dinner, turkey for dessert. Works for me :)
We shared a lovely holiday with many family and friends. One of my dear friend's father passed away just before Thanksgiving. A great reminder of how precious life is and all that we have to be thankful for. My heart is with her and her family.
I hope he is enjoying his pasta and JB up there with the big guy and his parents. Here's to you Johnny Stripes. You will not soon be forgotten.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not as Creepy as they are Cute!

I don't know about you, but I love the "sweets" part of Halloween much more the the creepy, scary, gory part. So try as I might to make scary Halloween treats, I still think they just end up looking adorable rather than icky. I made these for a customer's annual Halloween party. She gave me free rein, which I was super excited about. But she knew it should be cupcake bites, she is one smart woman!
My little guy was such a big help when I was making these. He had great ideas and helped me push the styling a bit further than I may have. The eyeball ones where all him. I cut bigger white circles and smaller blue circles out of fondant for the eyeballs. I then used a food marker to make the red blood shot look. The spiders were m&m's with candy melt legs attached. The spiderwebs were just some Halloween quinns topped off by string of melted chocolate. The pumpkins came together when I tried using a chocolate covered sunflower seed for the stem. Perfect!

They were everywhere! I will take that kind of scary table setting anytime. Turns out my customer said that they were a bit hit and everyone enjoyed them. Kids and adults!
Here are a few more not so scary, but oh so cute parts of my Halloween.
My girls made their costumes all by themselves. We bought the wings at Joann's. Thanks to a sale and a coupon, we got both for only $6. They then spent another $6 on the black t-shirts, which they cut and tied and decorated with paints and jewels, as they did their masks. A few old dance costume skirts, and they were set. Camden used his Harry Potter cape and a lovely black ensemble with a mask and a light up sword from Nani. The swash buckling Zorro in him came out quite effortlessly!
Hope you all enjoyed Halloween and don't forget to save that extra candy (ha ha , I know what extra candy?). If you do have any extra, use it to make a gingerbread house this holiday season.

We had a great time trick or treating in Deforest with Uncle Jim, Aunt Kris and referee Mikey.
No boo hoo's to be heard!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's Breast Cancer Awareness month, think pink!

Aren't they cute?! I made these for a breast cancer event. Pink, white and dark chocolate cupcake pops were everywhere!
Turns out one of my high school classmates and I reconnected on facebook. No big story there, right? Well, I had just posted some of my sweets pictures and this friend told me his twin sister lived in my area and she would love to reconnect. So, within a day, I had reconnected with two friends, realized one lived by me, found out that she had an event coming up and wanted me to do something sweet for her. She was having it at a restaurant and they did not allow you to bring in dessert. I decided it would be clever to make centerpieces that were edible and looked good. Then her guests could take them home as well if they didn't gobble them up at their tables and the restaurant wouldn't be offended.
I made a variety of red velvet, white and pink cupcake pops covered in colored white chocolate or dark chocolate. Then I added some details, including some BC symbols I made out of some of the melted pink chocolate. I found some vases at Joann's and I cut out a styrofoam cube and placed it in the vase. I filled a couple with white and pink sugar. For the others I scrunched up hot pink tulle and wrapped bows around each one. Then it was just a matter of putting the pops in and there you have it- centerpieces ;)
I also donated pink ribbon (touch o'lemon) sugar cookies. They gave each guest a bag filled with information on their charity and these went right in there. I was very happy to help out with something so special and yet saddened that another friend had been affected by breast cancer.

Three very special women in my life have had breast cancer and I am so happy that each of them had the courage and strength to fight it. My beloved Auntie Kris, my husband's second mom, Tante (Aunt Pat) and my dear mother, Gerry.

My mom is a director for the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition and has lobbied in Washington D.C. for the cause. Check out their site Last weekend, she helped to organize the WBCC's annual charity event. It is called the Rare Chair Affair. They have people going through treatment or survivors work with artist to create unique, wonderful chairs and then they are auctioned off , along with a host of many other wonderful things, at the event. I was lucky enough to be there and help out along with my three sisters and my mom and dad. It is tough to hear some of the stories, but mostly inspirational. I couldn't help but think that maybe someday, the efforts of some of those wonderful people could help save me, one of my sisters or one of my daughters.
My mom is going on 10 years of survival. It has made her a better, stronger woman. I am very proud of how she handled her battle and continues to support the cause every chance she gets.
Here she is with my middle one who was just a baby when she was diagnosed.
Cupcake pops and sugar cookies are the least I can do for some of the sweet things in my life. What else can we all do?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

From first birthdays to graduation, cakes always enhance the celebration!

I really can't think of an event (or day if the week for that matter!) where a cake or sweet treat doesn't make it that much more special. These cupcakes were for little Lucy's first birthday. The fondant touches made them seem that much more petite and special for the birthday girl.
I think cupcakes are so perfect for a first birthday. That way the birthday baby can dig into their own little cake and the adults can chow down on the rest, without worrying about drool and goober in their dessert! Priorities, right?
Next up is a cake I made for a bowling party to celebrate another little cutie. Madison is a fun girl who I had the pleasure of watching perform a musical number in the kids school talent show. Let me just say that everyone should go to watch a first grade talent show tryout. It was 2 hours of sheer bliss. I laughed and smiled so much it hurt! Anyway, it was time for her birthday and her mom mentioned that they were having a bowling party and she liked pink. The pins and bowling ball were made out of rice krispie treats that I molded and covered with frosting, then fondant. I have watched my share of cake challenges and they always use rice krispie treats for parts of their structures, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Turned out great because then the decorations weren't too heavy for the cake and they just sat right on top. It was also an added treat for the party goers! (That's a word, right?)
This one was for a graduation party. The mother contacted me and said that she thought a sheet cake with some flowers would do fine. Hmm, fine? That didn't sound like a cake I would love to make. So, I emailed back and forth with her about what her child was like, interest, colors or anything to help make it better than , fine. I first found out it was a male, okay no flowers. Next she mentioned that he had a passion for cars, especially his black mustang. Once again, the ding ding went off in my head. I encouraged her to let me put in some elements of a car into the cake. Well, I think I got her to put her thinking cap on too. She came back asking if we could really do it up and maybe make the car on top of the cake, and then she forwarded me pictures of his car. Now we had something! I chose to make it look like the car was coming out of the cake. Thank goodness my husband was around to point out the specific details of the car and remind me to add the exhaust system to the bottom of the car (seriously!). Okay, so this one took some extra work and patience. One final touch, the license plate.
Crusin' through life with cakes around every corner...
Now, that is fine!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A family of birthday cakes

If you read my blog (or know me), you are well aware of how essential I feel cake, cookies and cupcakes are to daily life. After all, my Lucky C's Sweets motto is "Eat responsibly. Save room for dessert!" So when my dear friend, Elizabeth chose me to make all of the birthday cakes for their family this year, well- I was in heaven!

Bell, her oldest, wanted something "different" using orange, lime green and turquoise. I wanted to include a few personal details too. Here's that one.
Yes, those are cupcake pops, which where the colors all the way through. Also, when she cut into the cake, it was three layers with, yes, you guessed it, orange, lime green and turquoise layers. Wish I had a picture of that, next time.
Another time, they had a family party combining a few cousin's birthdays. This one was for that one. Similar color scheme. The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream and birthday butter cake with chocolate ganache filling. A real crowd pleaser!

One of my trusty helpers has a fondness for fondant. Whether it is creating designs, making colors, tasting samples or in this case, making puppies.
Here's the one I made. This lovely family had just adding to their brood with a little black lab, named Sadie. She looks like she needs a home, huh? Cheer up little pup- here comes the perfect spot for ya...
Alexandra's birthday cake! She wanted something pink with buttercream frosting. Waalaa! The puppy looks at home doesn't she?
This one was probably my favorite. It took me many hours, but I think it turned out the way I hoped it would. Isaac was having his party at Vertical Endeavors. He is also a major Twins fan. I also had made cut out letters of his name and put them on sticks to add to the top of the cake, but didn't put them in until delivery.
Thank you Esch family for taking my decorating (and fun) to a new height! When's the next party?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Boats and Bucky Badger Fans

I almost forgot to post this cake.  I certainly didn't think I would ever forget the hours it took to complete.  Oh, sugar on the brain makes you lose track of many things.  

Well, the customer's were having a 50th birthday party for Chuck.  A true Badger fan and UW Madison alumni.  So, we hit it off right away.  They wanted a cake to celebrate Chuck's fun spirit and make a nice centerpiece for their event.  

I have learned that there are usually two main types of customers.  One group is where they know exactly what they want and even provide pictures for me to copy.  (Oh, that can be tough, cuz remember- it's cake.  But I do love a challenge!) The other group of people, don't really know what they want or don't know what to even ask for. When the second group comes along, I always pry a bit to find out about the recipient or the event.  I love to do this, because it really helps give me an angle and that's when I seem to get my creative juices flowing. These guys were group two.

After chatting with Chuck's wife, I found out that he loves to entertain and hang out on their boat.  She told me the type of boat it was, and I must say, I am no boater- so, off to the internet to look up pictures.  Well, just like cars, boat styles change by the year. Who knew? 
Okay, "long story short" time.  I found a picture, tried to carve out a cake that would slightly resemble it. Frosted it, covered it in fondant and gave it a few special touches.
I added the name of their boat and a little drink and snack platter.  I then put the boat on a half sheet cake covered with white chocolate cream cheese "water" and they were set.  Well, not quite. They were concerned a bit about not having enough dessert.  (Did I mention how much I liked these people?) So we decided to do some red velvet cupcake bites too.  I made them in the same colors as the cake so they could display the cake and surround it with the bites.

It all turned out so great and when they picked up everything, Chuck was thrilled.  The first thing he said was, " Oh my gosh, that is our boat, I mean exactly our boat, I love it!"  

Then, I was thrilled:)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sharing cookies with my friend Jenny, from LaCrosse to Singapore

My dear, sweet college friend, Jen and I recently got back in touch with each other via facebook. Now, I guess facebook is okay. I really don't get on to it very often and I don't really understand certain aspects of it, but it has been a great way to reconnect and keep in touch with friends who no longer live near you.
Jen and I met at UW-LaCrosse a few (well quite a few) years ago. We had some fun! We actually were very innocent and goofy, seriously nothing too bad. Since then we have both moved around and had families. She is now living in Singapore with her lovely hubbie and her adorable daughter.
Turns out she was going to be traveling back to the states for her sister-in-law's 40th birthday party. She asked me to make some sugar cookies and send them to the party. I was so honored and thrilled and well, just very touched. So, I decided that anyone turning 40 should feel like a queen, so I made crown cookies.
One version had her initial on it.
And the other one had, well the big 4-0!
They shipped great, with a few minor cracks in a couple, which Jen and her daughter seemed to enjoy taking care of.
I miss seeing my dear friend, but hey, if we can share some cookies after all these years and through all these miles...friendship doesn't get much sweeter than that! Love to you Jen!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is summer really coming to an end?

Wasn't it just the 4th of July? I feel like a broken record, but don't the weeks fly by?! I look at my kids and wish I could put a pause button on them.  One thing I should put a pause on, is my need to taste all my goodies! But hey, you gotta know what is going out to your customers, right? That's what I thought! 
So, for the 4th, I decided to make some sugar cookies and cupcake pops.  I sold them at Energy Pilates and Fitness, and Angelina's Kitchen the week of the 4th.  The only problem, I should have made more! Well, that and the fact that my kids didn't get to indulge in any patriotic sweets this year.  (They get goodies every day, so don't feel bad for them.)
I love finding more ways to do the cupcake pops! They are always such a hit and they stay good for a while.  Although, I think they get eaten so quickly the little sticks wonder where their cupcake friends went.  
I used some fondant decorations, tied a cute ribbon around the bag, and then placed them in a basket filled with styrofoam. Add a few flags and there you go! 
I did keep a few of these at home and placed them in a clear vase filed with red, white and blue M&Ms.  Super cute, but forgot to get a shot of that one.  I promise to work on my photography skills and settings.  I am sure it is making you all crazy mad.  Okay, maybe it is just me.

Enjoy these last sweet days of summer!

Friday, August 7, 2009

These are a few of my Favorite Sweet Things! Part II

I'm back and ready to rock this blog! For those of you who don't know me I am B-lou, official "These are a few of my Favorite Sweet Things" blog poster. So I'm going to pick up where I ended last time, got it? Good. Okay now I shall begin.
Ahh, the world famous chocolate chip cookie. It's a classic, perfection, nothing else to be said. Except for the fact that my mom's are the best in the world! They're kind of hard to resist, but then again so is every other sweet thing!
Lemon bread, it's a best-seller! I'm not joking, neighbors come over knocking on our door asking for it!
Next is,
B-lou's 11th birthday cake. So, funny story. My birthday is always during lent and every year we give up something for 40 days and 40 nights. What I chose to give up that year was ice cream. (Because I mean, it's kind of hard to give up chocolate, right?) So for my birthday my mom came up with the idea to make a cake in the shape of an ice cream cone.  Boy was it good, but then again when has my mom ever made something bad?   

Okay this is,
Livi's 1st communion cake. Doesn't it look so perfe-never mind there's a face in the way. JK! Everyone loved it! Including me! Look at my brother in the background. Funny huh? Wonder if he was in trouble or something.

Cam's 6th birthday cake. Simple yet yummy, when my mom asked Cam what he wanted on his birthday cake he said "I just want circles" So that's what he got!

Well I'm done with "These are a few of my Favorite Sweet things".  No there will not be a part III. Sorry folks but blogging is hard work and I have many other things to do, like tasting sweets ;D  So, farewell.

See Ya,

These are a Few of my Favorite Sweet Things! Part I

Hey everyone this is B-lou posting today! You know that song from the movie the Sound of Music, These are a few of my favorite things? It's a favorite around our house but that song is nothing compared to one of our true favorite things...SWEETS! Okay, here we go. I'm going to start, ready, I'm about to start right now, okay, I'm going to start. 
The red velvet cupcake bite. A favorite to all who taste it, irresistible, petite yet full of flavor... Okay stop daydreaming! This could be a problem. Sorry I get sidetracked when thinking about sweets!   

Okay on to number 2.
The bacon cheeseburger cupcake. Okay ready for a flashback here we go... so it was my dad's 40th birthday. Now he isn't a huge sweets guy so my mom had a challenge; what should she make him? His dinner theme was bacon cheeseburgers-hey that just might work-why not stick to the theme and do bacon cheeseburger cupcakes! So we went to work! They turned out pretty cute ehh?

The Chickie Pop. How precious are these! I went to school a couple days after my mom made these and when we went into the computer labs. I went onto this blog (why wouldn't I?) and my mom had already posted about them. When I scrolled to the picture my friend almost fell over! She thought they were the cutest things on the planet (except me of course, just kidding). Don't you agree?   

Okay now time for,
The gingerbread house or disaster as you might call it, but hey that's what happens when you let 3 kids decorate the gingerbread house! 
And last but not least,
The gorgeous dress cookies. For Valentine's day, cookies can pretty much look like anything, as long as they're cute! So my mom took out her fashionista cookie cutter set, grabbed the dress, and worked her magic! Ta-Da! 

I'll be coming to you soon with part 2! Meanwhile sit back, relax, and eat some sweets!

See ya,

A decade of Livi- oh my!

Hola people of the universe! I am back in control of the blog! 3 times already, WOW! Anywho, it is now time for me to talk about a cake that I actually got to eat! Well that's a pic of the top of the cake. A decade of me- good times good times :). Then again I don't know how my family has dealt with me for 1,2,3, 10 years! OK back to the cake, it was in some of my favorite colors, blue and green. As you can see there were many different designs. My favorite one was a crisscross design you'll see in the next picture.

The cake was covered in fondant, yum. Bottom tier was heaven (red velvet) and the top tier was also heaven (white cake ).  The little rolly balls are fondant. Designs on the cake? Yup, fondant too. Boy do I like fondant! Even though the cake was decorated all in fondant, I felt it was missing something. All of my nicknames of course!!!!!!

I mean sure there was my given name in fondant but I needed every single one of my nicknames. Yeah all 25 of them! OK hyperbole! There's actually only about 9. So then mom had to paint on all 9 of 'em. It looked awesome!    

In this picture it only shows three of them which are homy girl, liver, and The Great LIVINI!
When we ate it I got the piece that said The Great LIVINI! It tasted awesome and looked tubular! The perfect cake for me!
Well I was very happy with the cake as you can see. I mean why else would I be smiling? There's 3 other names Olivia, Dudakiss, and Mullet Girl! You see to make a long story short we have a mullet wig I wear it a lot and a nickname pops up. Simple. Well that's pretty much it and as I said before... perfect cake for me because its tubular and awesome. Please comment! I like hearing what you have to say! Feel free to mention how superb I am or how much you like my posting or really anything about me, yeah me :D

Livi is out! PEACE!