Canada Day is a special holiday for me aside for the fact that it’s Canada’s birthday, its the holiday that I spent with my Nana. Sure we spent lots of holidays together, but rarely did we have holiday time without a whole pile of other family. On July 1st my grandparents would typically be at their cottage, and once I was able to get there independently I would call up a few days ahead of time to reserve my room. She would always tell me that it was ready and waiting.
This year when I was talking about birthday plans with my oldest, we gave him the option of having a party or going skiing. He picked skiing, which is fantastic. We were more than happy to try something new with the kids and especially because he wanted to do it so badly. Unfortunately, he got sick as soon as we got there, and missed going skiing.
I also know that this time in our lives is fleeting. Birthdays are a reminder that our kids (and all of us) are getting older by the second, and I just couldn’t skip the party. I can see that there is a limited number of birthday parties left before the kids are too cool to have their parents involved in birthday celebrations so while I can I am going to celebrate. Continue reading
I knew that it was inevitable at some point my kids would be talking about something I knew nothing about. That day has arrived. Minecraft has invaded. I still do not understand it completely, but my oldest loves it. He looks forward to computer class once a week when he gets to play it and the rest of the week he talks about it.
On his birthday, I made him a grass block cake. In Minecraft, everything is built from blocks, and apparently, grass comes in blocks too. The cake is made from two 8×8 chocolate cakes frosted with chocolate icing, and the top is frosted with green icing. I used the Wilton grass tip (233) to make the green icing look like grass.
I am that mom that sends cupcakes to school for her kid’s birthday, please don’t hate me, I like baking. One of the kids in my son’s class asked him how many days it took me to make them! Honestly as you might be able to tell these were very quick, from start to finish it didn’t take more than 2 hours including baking time.
I challenged myself to make and decorate cupcakes without going to the grocery store. It’s beginning to look like Michael’s in many parts of my house and it’s about time that I used some of the supplies I have. Believe it or not I had minion cupcake wrappers, no doubt I saw them somewhere cheap one day and bought them (then forgot about them). So Minion’s were the theme. With cake mix, frosting, food colouring, eggs, oil, white lifesavers, and chocolate chips on hand I got to work. Here was the result.
On the eighth day of Christmas we were baking again, if you can call making rice crispy treats baking. I am that mom that sends treats to school with her kids for holidays, birthdays or once because I was taking a cake decorating class and I needed someone to eat my homework. Before school broke for the holidays I sent rice crispy tree treats to school with each of my kids. My husband brought the ones to my sons preschool party because I was writing an exam, and you will never guess where the Tupperware container is. If you guessed still at the school you are correct. So much for being green.
I made the rice crispy treats as per the box instructions in a parchment lined baking pan, sprinkled them with coloured sprinkles and put them in the fridge. After they were formed I removed them from the tray using the parchment, and cut them into rectangles and then triangles. To be totally honest I had the frosting in the fridge already mixed in piping bags so it looks like more of an effort than it really was. I piped on some details, and popped on some edible ornaments and a few dozen trees were born.
It’s well past the seventh day of Christmas and it has been a busy few days. On the seventh day of Christmas I did some baking, about seven dozen treats in under four hours. In an ideal world I would have a day to bake and a clean kitchen to do it in, but in reality Christmas baking was crammed in after an exam and before my helpers had to go to bed. I do like to get the kids involved in the kitchen which often proves to be a challenge. This time I put them to work smashing candy canes.
We made three different treats:
- Peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses. The recipe was on the back of the peanut butter jar, simple. When the cookies were hot out the oven I put a kiss in the middle of each and popped them into the freezer so that the chocolate didn’t melt everywhere.
- Peppermint Brownies. In an effort to be fast and efficient (read lazy) I made brownies from a box mix complete with frosting. The kids smashed candy canes which I gingerly placed (read dumped) on top.
- Gingerbread people. These were made from scratch, the recipe is here. I sprinkled powdered sugar on some of them, decorated the six in the photo but in truth most of them are naked in my fridge. They may or may not get all spiffed up before we gobble them up.
Halloween is one of my favourite days of the year. With little ones it’s easy to get caught up in all of the excitement. Here are a couple of projects that we made for the holiday.
We went to a Halloween party and brought these mummy cupcakes as dessert. They are chocolate cupcakes with white icing, and red M&M’s for eyes.
Pumpkin Rice Crispies
These treats went to one of my boys classes for a Halloween party. I found the instructions here. I took some liberties with the recipe and added pretzels for stems and green frosting leaves.
I copied my own idea from last years Christmas wreath and made a similar wreath for Halloween with orange and black washi tape.
As a pretty passionate maker you might think that I would be making the kids halloween costumes but I don’t. The reason why is that it’s just too expensive. I do however make my own costume every year. This year I was little red riding hood. I didn’t make it into any of the photos this year 😦
At the end of August my youngest turned three just a couple of weeks after I had surgery. We still managed to celebrate multiple times. When my parents were here we had a little family celebration complete with store-bought cupcakes. On his actual birthday we had a store-bought cake. There isn’t anything wrong with buying cakes from the store but I use every occasion as a reason to bake.
The baker in me was having a really hard time but I was not in any state to be baking. I was still recovering from brain surgery. But that didn’t go on forever and when I was feeling better we threw a birthday party/Timmy the tumour eviction party. We asked friends for donations to the Brain Tumour Foundation instead of birthday gifts. That might seem mean but we have so many toys he really doesn’t need anything else. Can you find him in toy mountain?
The theme for the party was robots because now that I have a titanium plate in my head I am part robot. But really it’s what my little boy asked for. In keeping with the theme we made a robot pinata. Unfortunately when I took the robot outside for a photo-shoot one of my assistants closed the front door which locked behind us. Even more unfortunate I had to call my husband at work 45 minutes away to come and let us in the house. It was just before lunch and the kiddies were hungry thankfully my husband rescued us before we needed to smash the robot for lunch.
By the time the party happened I was four weeks post surgery and I figured that I was fine to start baking. Which I would have been if I chose to make a less detailed cake. After completing the robot cake I needed a nap.
The birthday boy said that it was the best day of his life and of course that makes all of the effort worthwhile.
Years ago when my oldest was about 1 he actually ate part of an essay. He was sitting in a highchair at the dining table while I was working on an assignment and I looked over and there he was chewing on my homework.
I enrolled in a cake decorating class in June and after the first session the instructor needed to post-pone the balance of the classes because he had to go for surgery. Then I had to go in for surgery and I restarted the course in September. With this class comes a lot of baking. Each week I need to bring cake, cupcakes or cookies to class to decorate depending on what we are learning.
I have zero self control so I can’t have all of these treats in the house week after week. The first week our babysitter accepted payment in cupcakes. The second week I brought a cake to two different events on the same evening. This week my homework is headed to my son’s grade 1 class. Amazingly there are no food allergies in a class of 23.
On the menu this week, sugar cooking with buttercream flowers. The children with eat my homework and hopefully enjoy it.
For our Canada day celebrations I made beaver cupcakes for the little cannucks, or at least that is what they are supposed to look like. For some reason when I made them they did actually resemble the animal, now looking at the pictures I wonder how much wine I consumed while baking. Either way the kiddies ate them up.
If you want to take a run at them this is what I did, perhaps you can improve on it.
- baked and iced cupcakes with chocolate frosting
- for the tails I used lady finger type cookies cut in half
- the flag is helping the tail stand up
- ears are M&M’s
- eyes are fondant with brown food colouring dots
- teeth are white fondant
- the nose is the last step and it a red M&M