athene: (Dragon Cake)
Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic presses, margarita glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, food processors, ice cream makers*, takoyaki makers, and fondue sets languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.

Not listed that I also have and use at least once a year: George Foreman Grill, waffle maker, stand mixer, cake/cupcake box.

* The only reason the ice cream maker hasn't been used recently is that old house had the tiniest full size fridge ever and we couldn't put the drum in the freezer. Now at new house we have the biggest fridge ever, so there is lots of freezer room for Aerith to make ice cream.
athene: (Dragon Cake)
Over the past few days, I tried my hand at making cake pops.

For those who don't know, cake pops are cake and icing mushed together, rolled into balls, chilled, put on sticks, dipped into melted chocolate or candy, and decorated.



This is what I've learned so far:

1. I don't own a regular rectangular baking pan. I thought I had two circle pans, but I couldn't find those either. All of my pans are shapes. The book pan shape actually works really well for a basic shape and it split the cake into two sections, which actually made it easier to break apart.

2. While breaking apart the cake by hand was a TON of fun, next time use the food processor. It'll make more consistently sized crumbs and will do so in a lot less time.

3. Making half a batch of icing is more than enough to blend with the cake crumbs. Glad I figured that out before making a full batch.

4. A two tablespoon cake ball is actually rather large. 1 set of "dough" makes about 30 at that size.

5. Using the adjustable measuring cup was a great idea because I could pull the slider out, put crumbs in, and then push it all the way to the end which would compress the cake crumb dough together quickly and then I could pull the slider back out and it was already in a somewhat round shape.

6. Popsicle sticks are NOT the same as lollipop sticks.

7. Sometimes the cake balls lose a bit of their roundness when sitting in a container overnight. Be gentle if you need to reshape them.

8. When going to dip the coated cake pop in sugar, make sure the coating is a touch try and that there is enough sugar on the plate so that you don't end up leaving some coating on the plate (oops!).

9. Melt more than you'll think you need. Chocolate has a lower melting point to coat the cake pops well than the Wilton Candy Melts.

10. Wilton Candy Melts do not cover the cake balls as easily as the chocolate does. Also, the coatings from both the chocolate and the candy melts are not nearly as thick as you are worried they are. This is a good thing.

11. Light color sugars all look the same on chocolate. Some color combos work better than others. When you have purple candy melts and yellow and green sugars, impromptu Mardi Gras cake pops are an awesome idea!

12. Invest in something to put the pops on when decorating/for serving. While styrofoam left over from a recent purchase is a great reuse of resources, that sort of styrofoam doesn't really work all that well.

13. Icing sticks well to both the chocolate and the candy melt coating.

14. Making cake pops is a long day or multi-day process (time to bake the cake, time to let the cake balls cool, time to let the coating cool before decorating or serving) and trying to do the dipping and decorating a hour before you need to go somewhere doesn't work well.

15. Cake pops are very very tasty and the cake is nice and moist because of the icing mixed into it. Yum!



Overall, I'd say this experiment was a success and I will probably be making many more of them in the future.
athene: (Dragon Cake)
This weekend my friend's daughter turned 7. I made the cake:



I'm really proud of it, especially the drop flowers as it was my first time doing them and they are tricksy little things. The birthday girl loved it. And everyone said it was beautiful and tasted great, which is what I love to hear.

The party was also really lovely. The birthday girl got a ton of really nice things and there must have been onions or something in the air because the adults were totally tearing up. Thanks to the hosts who held such a wonderful party.
athene: (pumpkin pot)
Last night I made chocolate cupcakes. As a treat for [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith I decided to fill some of them with raspberry filling. Even though I didn't have the right coupler for tip 230 (it didn't fit my standard coupler...even though it said it would), I figured out how to use it to inject the cupcakes with the filling. I injected ⅓ of the cupcakes with the filling using the tip, used the "cut out a hole, put in filling, cover hole" method for ⅓ of them, and left the last ⅓ unfilled. Then I iced each type with a different color so we'd know what we were eating. So far, the injection one that was eaten was pronounced not enough raspberry. Not sure if that's because I did it when I was cold, or because due to how I was filling the bag, I couldn't feel the pressure of the filling in the cupcake very well. Will just have to try some more.

In technical awesomeness, I figured out how to get a tag cloud to show up on my lj sidebar, using the code written for my style to make the list and then modify it with the code written for another style. Ha ha!
athene: (Default)
This weekend I made a cake for a little boy named Alex who was turning 4. He wanted a red, yellow, and blue race car. Good thing I already had the race car pan. :)



I'm really proud of how well the front tire came out. A huge thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith who helped me with the headlights and the 4 on the hood (perspective is not my friend!).

The party went really well. He was so happy to have tons of people there and he really liked his cake and the present we got him, which is what made it all worth it.
athene: (Vampire Cake)


I made this cake for [livejournal.com profile] gailmom's Halloween party last weekend. It was a big hit with the kids and the adults.
athene: (Dragon Cake)
Got home a little while ago from the Cupcake Smackdown. Was insanely crowded and hot. Tried to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] eliset, but it was too busy and couldn't get to her. Next time, hon!

I ate a whole bunch of cupcakes, but most of them were minis so I don't feel so bad. My favorite one that I had was a full sized Lava Fudge (A chocolate cake with gooey chocolate ganache center topped with our vanilla buttercream frosting and a chocolate ganache swirl) one from Hill Country Cupcake. They were also super nice and kept the raspberry one that I bought for [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith in the cooler for me until I was leaving. Left before the cupcake eating contests.

I'd go again next year. I just hope they have it in a bigger place.

Fish cake

Jun. 1st, 2009 09:58 pm
athene: (Dragon Cake)
Back in May, [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I went to visit [livejournal.com profile] gailmom, [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow, and all them. It was Peaches's sixth birthday, so I made a chocolate tropical fish cake for her. I'm really please with how well it came out. Peaches was really happy with it. She kept yelling, "Fishy cake!" but was glad that it didn't taste like fish. :)



athene: (pagan)
Had a really fantastic weekend.

Friday I made chocolate cupcakes with chocolate raspberry icing, adapted from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook. They turned out awesomely yummy. Yay.

Friday night [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I went over to [livejournal.com profile] spottedvasa, [livejournal.com profile] shadow_nite2, and [livejournal.com profile] bouncyone's house for Rock Band. Got to hang out with awesome people like [livejournal.com profile] lorelein, [livejournal.com profile] gryphynkit, [livejournal.com profile] eliset, and [livejournal.com profile] moonwick. I sang two songs. Aerith said that he thought I sang really well. Yay! All those months of karaoke and Rock Band are paying off :).

Me with Peaches and MonkeySaturday we got up early and drove to Bryan, TX to surprise [livejournal.com profile] gailmom with cupcakes ([livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow was in on it). The plan was to put up a chicken coop, but it was too cold and windy out, so we ended hanging out with really awesome people instead. In the afternoon, Gail's kids, Peaches (5) and Monkey (3), showed up. GS made us all laugh by giving them rides and then sliding them across the floor (aka "bowling with babies"). The kids soon decided that I was fun. It started with Peaches climbing into my arms. Then there was, in no order: playing Snakes and Ladders with Monkey while Peaches, dresses as Spiderman, climbed all over everything; playing Pooh Bingo with the two of them in Peaches' room; cuddling with Peaches and Gail which quickly turned into a tickle fight; sitting on the couch with Aerith while Peaches sat between us; crawling after Monkey under the table; and laying down with Peaches on the beanbag chairs in the play room while she watched a DVD.

[livejournal.com profile] dyionisiac made a really yummy lunch, which due to being on call, she didn't get to enjoy. It was nice to sit down with everyone, including the kiddos. There was a really nice pagan grace that was said but I don't remember it. At some point in the evening, after the kids went to their dad's, [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow was making dinner and [livejournal.com profile] dyionisiac, [livejournal.com profile] todfox, and I pulled out our laptops and played the "have you heard this geeky song" game. It was a lot of fun. :). Dinner was yummy too. After dinner there were Clue-by-four tarot readings. [livejournal.com profile] gryphynshadow sure doesn't pull any reading punches when she's tipsy. It's funny. Then there was more hanging out and cuddling and stuff.

On Sunday we all got up really really late...There were pancakes for breakfast and then we all gathered around Gail's computer to watch President Obama's most recent YouTube address. I really love my president! Finally [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I headed back to Austin to give some love to our poor hungry kitties. Got to check in with [livejournal.com profile] artemis42, which is always a pleasure.

Sunday night we watched Dollhouse. Holy plot twist Batman. I think I'm still picking my jaw off the floor. Then we played WoW for a while. We got Durkonian and Morriae (our Dwarves) to level 30 and got mounts for both of them. Hurray!
athene: (blow to the heart)
I've been meaning to write a update for a while.

Mom came to visit for the long MLK weekend. It was nice. I love hanging out with mommy. Over the weekend went shopping on South Congress, went to Kreuz Market for yummy bbq, and made King Cake. On MLK day, Mom and I dropped [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith off at work and then drove down to San Antonio. We visited the Alamo and walked around the city a bit. After lunch we headed back and stopped at San Marcos to visit the Outlet malls. Almost found shoes that fit perfectly, but they didn't. Oh well.

Last Saturday [livejournal.com profile] byskwik and I ran around like crazy trying to put together costumes for the Steampunk Ball at Elysium. Couldn't find goggles anywhere, but I found some awesome gloves at Goth-in-a-Box. The Steampunk Ball itself was really awesome! There were so many people dressed up in awesome costumes (tiny hats FTW!) Ran into some friends that I expected to see there and a few that I didn't, so that was nice. Also, the DJ's played Airship Pirate by Abney Park which totally made my night.

Monday night Aerith and I went to one of those karaoke places where you rent a room with friends. It was an interesting experience. They had a lot of songs, but many of them were in languages we didn't know and the remote was tricky to figure out. Also they had these weird videos playing in the background of the songs that made us laugh.

Tuesday night [livejournal.com profile] jack08180 (aka Camera) came over and we watched Serenity (I cried, as usual). He has now seen all of Firefly/Serenity.

This morning I made pancakes. I tried to add raspberry gel to some of them for Aerith. It worked okay.

Stuff on the job front is going okay. My resume is all updated, I've updated my profile on places like WorkinTexas and LinkedIn, and I've even started applying for jobs. We'll see how it goes. *crosses fingers*

Testing

Oct. 26th, 2008 10:54 pm
athene: (Achilles Mamma's Boy)

Testing the LJ app for iPhone.

I was going to write a really long posts about the BCB and Ren Faire and parties, brownies, pie, and Kobe steak, but I ended up spending most of the day on the couch with a heating pad. Damn cramps.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

athene: (Dragon Cake)
On Friday [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I went to a party where we got to meet some cool new people and I got to reconnect with an old friend. I made chocolate cupcakes for the party which went over really well. Except something seemed a little wrong with them but I couldn't place it then.

On Tuesday I made a double batch of the same cupcakes for the new student orientation at the iSchool and I realized what it was. On Friday I only put in half the amount of buttermilk that the recipe called for. Oops. If the ones from Friday were good, the ones from Tuesday were even better, even if I did have to run out twice while making them (once to Michael's, while the first batch was baking, to pick up more cupcake holders and once to HEB for more powdered sugar). I decorated them with the iSchool logo and the IT Lab logo because I'm a nerd.

iSchool logo cupcake

IT Lab logo cupcake

When I was walking to the bus with the cupcakes yesterday someone asked me if they were for Halloween or UT. I smiled and said "UT". Is this the first of becoming a Texan?

Orientation went really well yesterday. I answered lots of new student questions and gave advice. The cupcakes were well received and by 3pm there weren't any left.

After orientation I went to the iSchool Happy Hour at the Dog and Duck which was fun. Came home and ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap. Guess I needed it.

In other news, the job search is going well. I don't want to say anything more than that, lest I jinx it. I still have to finish up some stuff in the Lab so I'll be there today, after the vet comes over for the cats' yearly checkup, and possibly tomorrow.
athene: (Vampire Cake)
[livejournal.com profile] crabes and I should probably never be left alone together...especially with a computer that has a camera on it. Click the picture for more silliness.



Yesterday [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I went to the Edible Book Festival. My entry was the Cakeonomicon, which I made out of golden cake, vanilla cupcakes, butter cream icing, gel icing, and a pineapple slice. [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith helped me cut up the cupcakes and place them on the cake.



The festival went really really well. I didn't win anything *sad* but the ballot counters told me afterwards that I had quite a few votes for Tastiest and some for Wittiest. :)

One of the best entries was the League of Extraordinary Gingerbread Men. It won both Best Book Construction and Best in Show.



After the judging was over we got to eat some of the entries. Yum. I saved most of mine and brought it to FireCat and Silver's party that night, but there's still some left over. Had a good time at the party, but left early-ish due to sleepiness and large amounts of homework.

Talking about homework, I am totally overwhelmed right now. I don't think I'll be sleeping much in the next few weeks.
athene: (pie)
Happy π day everyone!

To celebrate I am making an apple pie in my brand new pi(e) plate:

pi plate

Rockin'

Mar. 5th, 2008 12:39 am
athene: (violet - incredibles)
OMG! Karaoke rocked so hard core! I was totally on tonight. I started out with "Voices Carry" which I nailed, then FireCat and I did "Waterfalls" and I was all prepared for the rap, but the version we did didn't have it :(. Then I did "Foreplay/Long Time" which I had rocked out to last night while playing Rock Band so I knew I could handle it. Of course a 2:40 intro meant that [livejournal.com profile] noeticist and [livejournal.com profile] maddaddy came up on stage and played the air guitar/air keyboard for me and then I totally rocked the song. Soooo much fun to sing! For my last song, I sang "Yoda" and all my friends helped out with the chorus. But I think that [livejournal.com profile] noeticist stole the night with "I'm Too Sexy", especially because he totally is ;).

Also in fun news today, last night I baked cookies (which were well received at Rock Band) because today I had to lead class discussion in my seminar. I think it went really really well. We only got part of the way through the material/my outline, but it was really interesting. Also, everyone liked my cookies. Yay.

And I got to vote and caucus. Wheee.

Also, this is the grandfather of my kindergarden boyfriend. He has a crater on the moon named after him.

PS. When I weighed myself at the gym the other day I found out that I've lost 2 lbs.

PPS. Jonathan Coulton concert on Saturday

PPPS. [livejournal.com profile] queencimmy is coming to visit me this weekend!!!!
athene: (Dragon Cake)
Went to NYE party at [livejournal.com profile] noeticist and [livejournal.com profile] seripis house. I baked two cakes for the occasion, a golden Dragon cake and a chocolate Castle cake.





The party was a lot of fun and the cakes went over really well.

The next day we went back to the house and played Rock Band.

Since NYE I've mostly been hanging around the house getting house work done and dealing with the Washer Saga™. Got the oil changed on the Camry on Thurs. Realized when I got home that they put in regular oil instead of the synthetic, even though I'd asked for the synthetic. Called them up (as they were about to close) and they said I could bring it back on Friday and they'd fix it. I brought it back after [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith got home from work and they put in the right oil and gave it a car wash for free. :)

Today I'm hoping to go see Enchanted. It's such a nice day out too. In the mid-70s.
athene: (Who Dat! Saints!)
Recently [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I visited my mother and sister in New Orleans for a week.

Let me tell you about it. No, it's too long, let me sum up : we drove in with [livejournal.com profile] iskanderia on Friday Dec. 21, went to the reception for my 10 year HS reunion, visited a bunch with [livejournal.com profile] artemis42 and [livejournal.com profile] daobear, had breakfast with the Mad Russian and her hubby, went shopping with [livejournal.com profile] queencimmy, went to a Solstice Party, ate brunch at Antione's with [livejournal.com profile] artemis42 and [livejournal.com profile] daobear, wandered around the Quarter, hung out at home, enjoyed mom's cooking and baking, helped around the house, played Guitar Hero, gave and received presents, saw Juno, enjoyed expected and unexpected visits with friends, got our hair done, talked about my Capstone project, worked on this fun game as a family, and drove home again on Thurs. Dec. 27.

The full story with a few pictures (in case you're interested) )

In other news, being home is good. Our cats are cuddly. We bought a deep fryer for almost $50 off the ticketed price (floor model + 20% off coupon). I broke our Cocomotion (sadness).
athene: (wedding kiss)
Yesterday was [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith's birthday. I got him the Transformers movie, which came out yesterday. I made a Bumblebee with Autobots symbol cake for him:
We had people over for cake and movie. Fun was had.
athene: (lightsaber)
Last week [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I volunteered at the UT Video Game Archive Fundraiser

balloon hair
why yes, that's me with a ballon that matches my shirt tied to my braid, why do you ask?
For the record, no one told me to remove it.

see more photos from the event )

On Saturday Bubbles and Boom hosted an Art Party. The theme was elementalism. [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I worked together to make element-eatable cookies.


see more photos of the cookies and of the party )

And finally, all of my classes are going really well. I'm really enjoying Databases and Math, but I'm having trouble doing my reading for Management tonight...


edit: I forgot to mention that I also won a contest hosted by Anne Bishop. I got a signed copy of Belladonna (Australian edition) and some bookplates & bookmarks for the new book, which comes out in March.


athene: (dark lili)
Last night [livejournal.com profile] lordaerith and I went to [livejournal.com profile] missingwatch's Vampire Birthday Party. Here are the pictures. Due to the theme of the event, I did not remove anyone's red-eye. And yes, I made that cake from scratch.
Gwynn's Birthday Party

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