Tag Archives: cakes

Texas Wildflowers: A Cake

7 May

This weekend I made a cake, because my parents’ church was honoring a retiring missionary couple. I was just going to make some generic flowers, and then I thought ‘no! they’re coming from overseas to Texas! it should be a Texas cake!’ And then I spent an hour or so looking at pictures of flowers and cakes with flowers on them. I couldn’t find another cake with bluebonnets that seems satisfactory, and the more I looked at pictures of real bluebonnets the more baffled I was by the shape of their petals, so finally I winged them, because nothing is more Texan than a Texas Bluebonnet:

I made these decorations out of fondant, using just my hands and toothpicks and a knife. If you ever feel like you can’t use fondant because you don’t have special fancy tools, that’s nonsense! Flashback to your childhood Play-Doh experience and just jump in.

I also made a couple of Indian Blanket flowers, which are everywhere in Texas during the spring:

And just to drive the point home, I added Texas itself, with a heart. And this cake is also for all of you guys, because guess what?

Someone in Texas loves you!

(P.S. It is me. I love you)

Blue Roses & Flamingos: A Wedding Cake!

15 Apr

So, I took the next step in my career as an enthusiastic baker.

I made a wedding cake.

I KNOW, RIGHT?

Wedding cake. Me. Made it.

It was a really simple cake, really, in terms of decoration–deliberately ‘rustic’ icing, simple fondant flowers–but let me tell you, just the logistics of baking all of the layers and stacking them up and crumb coating them was hard, time consuming work! I was honestly surprised at how long it took me to do the cake part, never mind the decorations. Making each layer, trying to get them perfectly even, stacking each tier, putting in dowel rods to support the other tiers…on paper none of it seemed hard, and it isn’t hard, but it does take time, especially when you want to be careful and get everything right.

Also, cake is heavy. I knew this already, but that didn’t stop me from picking up two tiers (that’s four layers) of cake and thinking ‘Holy cow I’ve carried small children that weighed less than this‘.

I also didn’t anticipate the fact that I would be a nervous wreck the entire time between setting the cake up and the reception starting, but I was. I was a bundle of nerves. I kept going to check on the cake, wandering away, then going back to look at it again. I think I was afraid that if I wasn’t watching it the whole thing would collapse, or implode, or something.

The cake was for the wedding of one of my coworkers, and I guess you might want to see a picture of it (although none of the pictures that I have are really fantastic–I didn’t have my camera, just my phone, and the room was a little dark. Sorry!)…

Ta-da! French Vanilla cake with whipped vanilla icing. The roses and leaves are fondant that I shaped and let dry.

Here’s a slightly different angle. Ooooh.

And the couple cutting the cake!

See, it didn’t implode after all. Probably because I hardly took my eyes off of it.

My Birthday Cake & An Announcement!

25 Mar

You may remember that my birthday happened recently, but although I posted about the birthday pie that I had on my actual birthday (3.14–Pi Day) I didn’t post about the birthday cake that I made for the following weekend!

I made my favorite fluffy vanilla cake, filled it with whipped cream mixed with strawberry and blackberry jams (an excellent way to get rid of that last teaspoon of jam in the bottom of the jar), covered it with Swiss Meringue Buttercream in shades of purple, then chucked silver nonpareils at it until I felt it was sufficiently sparkly (and when I say ‘chucked’, I mean that my friend and I threw handfuls of sprinkles at the cake).

Then we topped it with sparklers, and conducted an unscheduled test of all the fire alarms in the house (you will be glad to know that they all work and in the event of a fire should function perfectly.

Then we opened the doors and windows and topped it with more sparklers. Because.

 

 

Also, I have an exciting announcement! Ever since I started my craft blog I’m toyed with the idea of doing a regular book themed post, something where I would talk about a particular book and come up with a tie-in craft or cooking idea to share. Three of my favorite things are books, baking, and crafts, so bringing them together always seems natural. I wasn’t sure how to do it, though, and I’ve put it off, but I have finally decided: a book group!

The Domestic Warrior Goddess Reads Book Group

or DWG Readers for short

…or, if you have a suggestion for a better name, I am all ears.

The book group will work like this: I will arbitrarily select three potential books, and then you will all have one week to vote for the book you want to read. After the week of voting is up I’ll announce the winning book and tell you when the discussion will begin (probably after another week–feel free to comment and tell if you’d prefer to have the discussion begin immediately, though!). I’ll put up a special book post with a few of my own thoughts about the book, as well as questions I have, and then I hope everyone will comment to share their reviews, opinions, problems, questions, and thoughts about the book!

Discussion will continue until the end of the month–or indefinitely, really, because I’m not about to tell people to stop talking about books!–and I’ll put up a final post with either a craft, a recipe, or something else themed on the book.

Note: The books offered for voting are selected by me, and will therefore reflect my taste–you can expect a lot of female protagonists, plenty of fantasy settings, and a healthy does of YA lit, for instance, but I don’t plan to limit myself to any parameters other than ‘I like this, and think it would be interesting to talk about it’ and ‘I think it would be interesting to do a craft/recipe/something themed on this book!’ After all, I may read a lot of YA fantasy but I also read mysteries, historical fiction, SF, contemporary literature, and non-fiction of all kinds.  I’ll also be delighted to get recommendations from you! I love to find new books and authors, so feel free to tell me all about your favorites. Books of all ages, genres, and target audiences are welcome!

SO, without further ado, here are the three potential books for April! Vote for you favorite in the comments and on April 1st I’ll announce the winner!

  Entwined by Heather Dixon

“Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother’s death, Princess Azalea and her 11 sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.” (summary via Goodreads)

I thought that this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses–one of my favorite fairy tales–was charming, fresh, and original. The sisters are full of personality and the setting is interesting and whimsical without feeling precious. Entertaining and fun, endearing and sweet, but also exciting and sometimes downright scary, it’s reminiscent of Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale at their strongest.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. ” (summary via Goodreads)

You may have  heard of this book before. You might have even heard that there is a movie out based on it. Possibly you’ve seen a poster or two, seen a preview, or even read it before. Or you might be like I was, and felt so bombarded with the existence of that-book-everyone-is-reading that you didn’t feel like reading it.

But it is worth reading, and it raises questions worth talking about.

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

“Armed only with a frying pan and her common sense, Tiffany Aching, a young witch-to-be, is all that stands between the monsters of Fairyland and the warm, green Chalk country that is her home. Forced into Fairyland to seek her kidnapped brother, Tiffany allies herself with the Chalk’s local Nac Mac Feegle – aka the Wee Free Men – a clan of sheep-stealing, sword-wielding, six-inch-high blue men who are as fierce as they are funny. Together they battle through an eerie and ever-shifting landscape, fighting brutal flying fairies, dream-spinning dromes, and grimhounds …before ultimately confronting the Queen of the Elves, absolute ruler of a world in which reality intertwines with nightmare…. ” (summary via Goodreads)

Of the three books offered for this round of voting, The Wee Free Men is the only one that I haven’t already read, but I have read many other Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett. I’ve read 31 of them, in fact (there are 39 total), so I feel comfortable recommending Sir Terry’s writing for its humor, wit, zest, and sometimes surprising insight into human nature. Besides, who can resist someone armed with only a frying pan and her common sense? Not this reader!

Which book do you want to discuss in the coming month? Leave your vote in the comments by April 1st!