Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brownies with.....Avocado?

Have you ever read The V-spot? Love this blog! Vivienne is super funny and very creative. Well any who, she did a post yesterday on using avocado in place of butter on her toast. So it reminded me of my grain free brownie recipe which uses avocado in place of butter as well ( I didn't make up this recipe, found it online awhile back and tweaked it a bit). Seriously yummy recipe! A must try!

Grain free brownies:

3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 large  eggs - separated
1/2 cup  ground almonds (I ground my almonds in a coffee grinder until its a powder consistency)
2oz butter melted and cooled
1/2 ripe medium hass avocado, well mashed
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.

 beat egg whites with vinegar until stiff peaks form
In another bowl, beat together egg yolks, sugar, cooled butter, vanilla and avocado, until thick, pale and mousse-like.
Into the avocado mix, fold ground almonds and sifted cocoa powder until thoroughly combined.
With a metal spoon or spatula, fold half the egg white into the mix to loosen and then the rest until just combined.
Ease into the lined baking tray, gently smoothing the top, as little as possible to preserve the air in the mix.
Bake for 25 minutes or until just firm to the touch. It's always better to undercook a brownie than overcook.

Mmmmmm enjoy! Seriously these are so good! Just be sure to mash the avocado really well and not to put too much in! 

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fondant recipe and some tips

This is a pretty easy recipe to make and it tastes yummy too! The only thing I have to advise is that you WILL be a sticky mess. Another good tip: This recipe isn't so good for making decorations and letting dry out for a couple days to harden. I learned that the hard way. I use a totally different fondant recipe for making decorations. Also good to know, don't try to half this recipe. I learned that the hard way too! If you notice on Ethan's Birthday cake the black two is a little lumpy (yep that's the fondant I tried to make a half recipe of. Bad idea). I used it anyways because I didn't have time to go out and buy new stuff. I still think his cake was perfect though :)

Marshmallow fondant recipe (recipe from )

MM (Marshmallow) Fondant Icing Recipe  

16 ounces white mini-marshmallows(use a good quality brand)

2 to 5 tablespoons water

2 pounds icing sugar (please use C&H Cane Powdered Sugar for the best results)

1/2 cup Crisco shortening (you will be digging into it so place in a very easily accessed bowl)

NOTE:  Please be careful, this first stage can get hot.
Melt marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave or double boiler. To microwave, place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, open microwave and stir, back in microwave for 30 seconds more, open microwave and stir again, and continue doing this until melted. It usually takes about 2 1/2 minutes total. 
Place 3/4 of the powdered sugar on the top of the melted marshmallow mix.
Now grease your hands GENEROUSLY (palms, backs, and in between fingers), then heavily grease the counter you will be using and dump the bowl of marshmallow/sugar mixture in the middle. (By the way, this recipe is also good for your hands. When I’m done, they are baby soft.)
Start kneading like you would bread dough. You will immediately see why you have greased your hands. If you have children in the room they will either laugh at you or look at you with a questioning expression. You might even hear a muttered, “What are you doing?” 

Keep kneading, this stuff is sticky at this stage! Add the rest of the powdered sugar and knead some more. Re-grease your hands and counter when the fondant starts sticking. If the mix is tearing easily, it is to dry, so add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and then knead it in). It usually takes me about 8 minutes to get a firm smooth elastic ball so that it will stretch without tearing when you apply it to the cake.
It is best if you can let it sit, double wrapped, overnight (but you can use it right away if there are no tiny bits of dry powdered sugar). If you do see them, you will need to knead and maybe add a few more drops of water.  
Prepare the fondant icing for storing by coating it with a good layer of Crisco shortening, wrap in a plastic-type wrap product and then put it in a re-sealable or Ziploc bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible.  

Here are a couple pics of Ethan's birthday cake and also his baptism cake to show you how lovely fondant can make a cake look:

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Ethan's Birthday Party

Ethan's Birthday party was amazingly perfect. We had family and a couple friends over. Nothing big, but none the less perfect. I made all the decorations for his party, including the cake. Here are some pics of his great day:

 Not only does this cake look cute, it taste amazing (even the fondant). Tutorial on cake and fondant to come this week!

 Even though Ethan refused to wear his party hat, my niece had no problem being exceptionally cute in it :). For more on this cute little girl visit her here.
 Tutorial on party hats to come this week too!

He was so cute blowing out his candles. He blew out every single one! Too bad my camera wasn't fast enough to get some better pics. I even contemplated lighting them up again haha (no seriously I did). I thought people might think I was crazy though. Oh well this pic was pretty darn cute!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Today is Ethan's actual birthday! I can't believe he is two years old. Where does the time go!?!?

 I love this little guy:

 Can you get any cuter than this!????? I think not :)

 Can't wait for his Birthday party on Saturday. I think I'm more excited than he is!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Table cloth

Yep it's Cars again......I know you are probably overloaded with my Cars theme this week, but only a couple more days of it! Hopefully you can put your own spin on this and make your own table cloth! So here is the end result:
 If you would like to make this table cloth you will need:
 Two yards of red fabric
 Half a yard of checkered fabric
 Cars fabric (I got a yard because I used it for other projects)
Quarter of a yard of another red fabric
 I first hemmed the edges of the two yards of red fabric. I ironed down the edges and then sewed a straight stitch.

 I then cut out two rectangles in the checkered fabric (wish I would have ironed over the edges of that two before applying, but oh well). I also cut out a large number two (Ethan will be two!) and a "stick" in the checkered fabric:
 I then ironed on Wonder under to each piece (cutting it in the shape of the piece) I did this so when I iron it on to the red cloth it will stay in place while I sew. Now put the large number two on the checkered rectangle. Iron on and sew a zig-zag stitch around the edge. Repeat for the next flag:
 Now cut out Lightning Mcqueen from the Cars fabric and apply wonder under. Iron onto the red cloth and do a zig-zag stitch around the edges. Do the same for the checkered "sticks"
 Now add the checkered flags by ironing on and doing a zig-zag stitch around the edges. Now you have your very own Cars table cloth for your cool dudes birthday party:
 Yep it needs to be ironed :)
 Thanks for stopping by :)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cupcake toppers and place to display them

This weeks theme is Cars and Birthdays. So stay with me and we will soon be back to crafting and sewing projects :) Hopefully I can inspire a few of you out there for your kiddos upcoming birthdays! I have done quite a bit for Ethan's birthday, so I am going to start doing two tutorials in each post (that way I will get it all in this week).

 Today I am going to show you some cupcake toppers and a cupcake stand I made from dollar store parts.

 Cupcake toppers:

 Cupcake stand:
 Alright so first with the cupcake toppers (which are super easy by the way).
 You will need:
 checkered felt
 red acrylic paint
 hot glue gun
 lollipop sticks
 first cut out 12 circles and 12 squares in the felt:
 I used spongebob cup as an outline for a circle :)
 When you are finished paint on your numbers and letters ( I used an E for Ethan and 2 because he is turning two).  Now glue two pieces together with a lollipop stick between them.

 So now on to the cupcake stand. I bought all supplies from the dollar store (except the goop, hot glue, and paint which I already had):

two silver plates
 pie pan
card stock
 incense container (yep found an empty incense container at the dollar store, weird)
 metallic paint
 red paint
 hot glue gun

 First cut up the incense container into three parts in differing sizes:
 Paint with metallic paint:
 Glue on the washers:

 Now stack the plates, gluing together with Goop:

 Now cut out two squares in your card stock ( I used decorative scissors for the edges). Glue them together and paint both sides:

 Decorate with washers and whatever saying you want on it. I chose Pit Stop. I glued three sticks on the back of the card and set it in the tube on top.

 Perfect cupcake stand for my big boys Cars themed Birthday :) Now it just needs those yummy cupcakes!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

More on a bunting

Remember my bunting tutorial on Friday? Well I wasn't finished with it! I love the blue and red together for Ethan's room, but for his Birthday party Saturday I had to add something to it! So I got some checkered felt, mounting squares, and Cars fabric.

 I took the checkered felt and cut out his name:

 I then took mounting squares (used for scrapbooking) and put the letters on the bunting:

 Then I cut out Lightning Mcqueen and a Cars symbol from the fabric and adhered those to the empty flag between his first and last name:

 Now we have a race flag banner for his Cars themed Birthday party. The nice part of it? The letters and car come off without ruining the bunting. It will look great hanging in his room when his party is over!


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