Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Brian & Jen Show: Creative Cakes

Brian and I undertook the challenge of making a Yuengling Beer Bottle Cake for one of our coworkers. 

After a bit of research, we began the process.

First, we got lots of supplies and ingredients. (Spoiler Alert, we had to go out and buy more) and a Yuengling bottle to use for inspiration.

Second, we baked some cake with my adorable teal mixer.

Third, we got real frustrated because we didn't let the cake cool much and it broke. And we baked another one and it broke too. So we had to get more cake. 

Fourth, we learned this technique called "Crumb Coating" where you put a thin layer of icing on the cooled cake and seal it so when you put the real icing on, it isn't all "crumby".  

Fifth, Brian measured the beer bottle and then scaled up, marked the cake with toothpicks, and cut it.

When he did that, we had a lot of cake left over that we had to throw away. It would have made Funn Matt sad.

Sixth, I made a bunch of buttercream icing. 

Using LOTS of sugar!

Then, I sat down to make the beer bottle label.  The plan was to use a Wilton Sugar Sheet and some Food Writer markers to freehand draw the Yuengling label onto the sheet. 
This. Was. Frustrating.

So then I had the fantastic idea to print the label and trace it onto the sugar sheet. 
This worked MUCH better.

That was probably the hardest part. After that, we made some sweet (literally) green and maroon icing. The green was for the beer bottle and the maroon was for the label border. 

After icing the cake, the finishing touches included the maroon border, bottleneck label and the bottle cap. The labels and the cap were all done with sugar sheets. 

The finished product turned out pretty well, I think!

We are currently thinking about going into retirement...until the next time someone asks us to bake them a creative cake and we say, "yeah, that would be awesome!"

Monday, October 10, 2011

13 Months of Awesome

 Yesterday I told Annabelle to go get me the “Daddy Loves Me” book. And she got me the “Daddy Loves Me” book. And then I told her to get me the "Babies" book. And she got me the "Babies" book. And then I told her to get me the "Elmo" book. And she got me the Elmo book. She. Is. A. Genius.

We let them try chilli. Annabelle LOVES it. Loves Loves Loves it. Stephen…not so much. He makes this horrible(ly cute) face and shakes his head and reaches his arms up and coughs and you can tell he is just thinking, “no no no no no no no no no”.  So I made him try it a few more times…to make sure he didn’t like it…and to see that reaction again.

 Things They Definitely Know
Please (Sign Language), Head, Nose, Toes, Feet, More (Sign Language), Light (Sign Language),  “So Big!”, Give Kisses, How to Dance, The difference between getting me a book and a toy, Washing Their Hair, Stephen can kind of feed himself with a spoon, Water (Sign Language)

Things Seasoned Moms Would Shrug Their Shoulders at but Are New To Me:

We have entered a super clingy phase.   Annabelle and Stephen are no longer content to do anything by themselves. I must be there. Sitting with them. I don’t necessarily have to play with them but I cannot do anything else. Like empty the dishwasher. Or check email. Or go to the bathroom. No sir. I must sit. And read Go Dog Go for the 17th time. I kind of love it.
They fight over me. And I love it. Fight may be a strong word. But if one is in my lap (usually Annabelle) the other (usually Stephen) throws himself on my and finds a way to edge her out and take over.  It is pretty cute. When I sit on the couch, one throws themselves with arms up at my lap begging to be picked up and then the other one comes and pushes the first one out of the way and they just go back and forth. It is cute. If I am holding one, the other one is right there with their arms up begging to be picked up too. They weigh over 20lbs each. It is getting heavy. But at least I am getting a work out. 

Their 18 month clothes fit better than I think they should. They are definitely still big but not as big as they should be in my head. Last night, we didn’t have any clean PJs for Annabelle so I pulled out one of the 18th month onsies, thinking “this is going to be HUGE”. It was not huge. It was a little baggy. But it fit. And that kind of made me sad.

They are doing weird food things. There are some days where Annabelle wants her milk first and won’t eat a bite until she has had that. Then sometimes she will only eat one thing at a time until it is finished. Sometimes she needs sips of milk between each bite. And sometimes she needs two bites of this, two bites of that. Stephen does not seem to like milk much. He takes a few sips of it and throws his sippy cup on the floor. He has no interest. Oh well.

They, like, know stuff. It is CRAZY. They know where their head is and where their toes are. They know what the light is. They know how to act “strong” and how to dance. If I say, “Go get me a book” Annabelle goes and gets a book. Stephen can put the right shapes through the right holes on this little toy (picture of shape sorter toy).  Annabelle points to pictures of Brian and says “Da-Da!”  They can do paddy cake - especially the “roll-it” part. I am just not ready for this level of genius.

When I leave the house in the mornings, they go to the window, move the curtains and wave and smile and stick their tongues out. It is the sweetest thing in the world. And it makes me want to cry. I am so ready to stay home with them.