RED VELVET FONDANT CAKE

it was my hubbie's birthday! 
so i HAD to make him an amazing cake, of course.
started off with a red velvet cake 
- made two of them and used a knife to cut the muffin top off both of them as flat as i could.
stacked one on top of the other with icing in between, then stuck it in the freezer to cool off.
i cheated this time and used boxed red velvet cake mixes :o

in the meantime make sure your fondant is room temperature!
use this marshmallow fondant recipe  and you'll be surprised how easy it is to make.
(REMEMBER to make the fondant a day before so it can be refrigerated overnight!)

getting back to your cake base - after the cake hardens in the freezer =
use buttercream icing to cover the entire thing as flat as you can!
now i cheated yet again and didn't make the buttercream icing from scratch.
i took a Betty Crocker vanilla icing from the can and mixed about a cup of powdered sugar with it to harden the icing.

then like many fondant cake tutorials.....roll the fondant out into a large flat piece 
(cake diameter + height + height)
then roll the fondant over your rolling pin to easily pick it up and place over the cake.

remember your first step after you place the fondant over the cake is to........
secure the first inch on over the cake (push it on gently to stick to the icing)

then keep going around the cake till the whole fondant is stuck onto the icing!

take a pizza cutter and cut the remaining fondant from the bottom.
use a butter knife to tuck in the bottom fondant edge under the cake.

then make your decorations!
i wanted to make a chevron cake with this tutorial
but they failed to mention how hard this is!!

HINT = if the icing is too thin it will break, but if it's too thick it looks gross on the cake
- also Chevron fondant cake is very hard to do well for the first time....you need to have the perfect
distance in between the stripes, and cut it perfectly - especially if you don't have the cookie cutter
sooo my recommendation....decorate a bit easier for your first fondant cake


P.I.Y.

i would never consider myself a painter. neither would my brother in law, sister in law or husband.
BUT when we went over to our brother/sister-in-law's place last summer, they had a random yet brilliant idea to try out some painting!

if you haven't noticed, art this size these days is ridiculously expensive!!
ikea's the cheap way to go for art - but once you've bought ikea art this size you basically label your home an "ikea home". people recognize ikea art in a heartbeat.

SO why not personalize your home and your art by doing it yourself!
how brilliant. 
we went to Michaels Arts & Crafts store of course...bought a couple canvases and 4 tubs of paint (plus white and black). ...i got to work on mixing colours of any and every kind (within reason...) while the rest of them painted away.
we decided on a yellow background - and added some lighter/darker tones.
we've seen paintings similar to what we were about to attempt, and thought how hard can it really be?
funny part of it all is...we started with the short paint brush strokes...and part way through this painting process we were literally about to throw in the towel and destroy the darn thing....it looked terrible most of the way and kepppt going downhill....
anyways, long story short - we kept at it...kept mixing new colours, adding new blocks in.
and eventually, after a days work ...with looots of perseverance - we made a stinkin sweet piece of art.

Moral of the story...try something new, try painting if you haven't - and don't give up right away!

LEDGESTONE IN THE HOME

Our really good friend, Jason runs a family business that sells ledgestone!
he explained how EASY it is to put it up and cement it to the wall....so here's our go at it!
we started off with our bare wall painted with "Moonshine":
 the picture below is what the ledgestone looked like from the shop.
my husband decided to cement it on the wall by himself.
first time for everything!
 he measured the width we wanted it, and drew in pencil lines.
he had to cut the ledgestone to exactly fit the width we wanted...and he pasted err on!
what a talented fellow
....after a few hours of hard work - while i was....taking pictures? ha ha
he finished it!
(notice the beautiful heart we drew in the wall that hides behind the tv :))
 and here she is all finished! props to Victor for putting it up soo fabulously

EASY BAKING

 so you know how MasterChef (the TV show of course) always uses the word "elevate".
well here i am too. 
let's elevate box-cake recipes people.

take your simple box-cake, that costed you a couple bucks at the grocery store...
add your 3 eggs and 1 cup water (you know)... and make some muffins/cupcakes!
i used Duncan Hines "Spice cake".
 get some of your cheap-o store-bought icing...
pop it in a plastic bag, cut the tip like so (end of post)
and spread it on over your cupcakes....pop some walnuts on the side to make it pretty.
and yahooooo 30 minute cupcakes made pretty :)