Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making a Diamond Grid....

As most of you know who have viewed my blog we have not been doing any traveling since July/August. We will be making a sweep of thirteen east coast states sometime in February or March. It will only be a week trip but we will try to post something from each state if possible. On our agenda is Ground Zero, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. Other points of interest will be Arlington National Cemetery, Smithsonian  Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and other points of interest in that area. We will also be visiting Myrtle Beach and a few other places depending on how much time we can allot for visiting tourist attractions.

Anyways......the diamond grid. Since we are not traveling I have been involved making cakes, cookies and a lot of cupcakes. I have a baby shower cake to do shortly so I needed a diamond shape grid as I'm covering the cake in fondant and need the diamond grid for the design.

I would really like a professional grid but they can be pricey and with a little time and effort I was able to make mine for about seven dollars and fifty cents. It is also much larger than the 11x6 one I would have gotten if I had purchased one.  All that is needed is a sheet of acetate (plastic) a marker, ruler, food grade beads, and a good glue. Also if you decide you want to make one here is a tip which may be helpful, if your making a small 8x11 grid use a 1 to 3 ratio. Meaning go from the first mark  on the bottom to the third mark on the top (left to right). If you decide to make a larger one as I did I ended up using a 1 to 8 ratio. You'll have to  use a little math or common sense to finish out the sides but in all it's not that difficult to figure out.

This is the completed grid, plenty large enough to make my pattern for a 13x19 sheet cake.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A sad day in America

Our prayers and heart felt sympathy for all those affected by today's senseless attack on the innocent. Let's all remember to keep a diligent watch wherever we go. At all cost, fight for those who cannot protect themselves. All it takes for evil to win is for good men and women to do nothing, thank God for those today that took action in saving other lives from being destroyed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Newest Birthday cake..........

Delivered today. This cake was a challenge to do, well maybe not so much a challenge, more time consuming. With over one-hundred and ten pieces to assemble, and that didn't include the cake. There was the molding of the tree pieces and flowers. Then each flower center painted (with food color) dried and then the stamens marked. The flat hummingbirds hand cut and then colored with luster dust, the butterflies hand cut and colored and then the hummingbird topper, all hand done. It was a fun little project and the surprised look of the birthday girl was all I needed to see to judge the success of the cake. The actual cake was also a hummingbird cake recipe which consists of Pecans, Pineapple, Bananas and a host of spices. It is very similar to a carrot cake but I like the particular flavors of this recipe. I have more pictures but haven't downloaded them yet. I'll see if I can get them up tomorrow sometime.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Winnie the Pooh and.....

Homemade "Hostess Cupcake"s too.
Just a quick update on the things I've made this last week. I also made Bakliva but did not take any photos. A friend requested a Winnie the Pooh cake so I made a double "mirror" image Winnie the pooh cake for them. I didn't have a shaped pan so I had to hand cut it. I think it came out okay.
The "Hostess Cupcakes" came out great, I used a Black Forest recipe for the cake portion and topped it with chocolate ganache and a vanilla buttercream swirl. They were  much like the "Hostess" cupcake but the flavors were much better and they won't last three years partially because they are so good and partially because they don't have all the additives.

Ski Birthday....

for me it was just the cake, I don't ski and am getting a little old to go snowboarding anymore. I had short notice on the cake but i did try to incorporate as much ski theme as I could, Skis, Snowboards and black diamond for the black diamond runs. Used cinnamon sticks for the trees and used my secret recipe frosting and coconut for the snow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cookies, Cakes and Pies.......Oh My

It's nearly thanksgiving and I'm sure everyone is getting prepared. Besides turkey or ham whichever you prefer or maybe a nice prime rib there are lots of other preparations to be made. I however have the task of just doing the baking. I've done a bit of baking early nothing much maybe five dozen cookies, a good practice run. I've made some cream cheese sugar cookies and still am looking forward to doing some holiday fudges, some sugared citrus rind candy, more cookies some pies and a few cakes. Today I think I'm going to make some fondant butterflies and work on a few hummingbirds for a cake I have to have ready for the beginning of December, just practice ones that way the templates can be all done and will be easier to make and assemble when it's time to do the cake. So i took a couple of quick photos of the cookies I just finished, snowflakes and Margaritas. All packaged and ready to go!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Orca Birthday Cake

After yesterdays disaster I believe I have partially redeemed myself. After a few changes to the design and some labor my wife's birthday cake is done. I told her I dropped it and it was destroyed because I want her to be surprised. It is an Ocean/Orca (killer whale) themed cake. I know she wanted an Orca cake having gone kayaking with the Orca's in June. Anyways.....

Thursday, November 1, 2012

FAIL!!! Cake Disaster.

Well I've experienced my first cake disaster. It is the first time working with sugar sheets an I must say it was an utter FAIL.
I used a local bakery to print out the sugar sheets, looked online for directions for proper use and yet..FAIL.
As a novice baker I find it difficult to learn new techniques, having no formal training everything must be self taught. There is tons of information online and local bakeries are usually happy to print you out sugar sheets or sell you boxes or containers but the only way to learn is to do it (short of going to culinary school). I have been fairly satisfied with most of my baking projects so far but this one, on a scale of one to ten, a one.

So this is what I ended up with.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


cakes to do this coming week. There hasn't really been much going on lately, a little baking but nothing much exiting. This next week I do have two cakes to create, one for the VFW in Pelham NH and the other a birthday cake. I will be sure to get pictures of them both and post them. At least that will keep me busy for four days while the hurricane blows through. Hopefully the power stays on through it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fall in New England....

at least fall on my street. The fall foliage is nearly peak or just past peak in mid New Hampshire. It is most always a beautiful time of year with the cold mornings and fairly warm days. Unfortunately those of us that live here know what is coming just around the corner, Winter! Having not lived in this region for the last four years I am not looking forward to the cold and the snow. I have just a few pictures taken locally. I wish I would have had the resources to travel up north to get some photos of the breathtaking falls views but I will have to reserve that until next year.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


This is what they will be eating along with chicken wings, stew, chips, soda, stuffed jalapeno peppers and other various items.


Plymouth State Rugby today. They lost today but put in a good effort. I don't really understand the game but it was fun to watch. Everyone enjoyed the cakes but who doesn't like cake?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rugby time....

Finished the Rugby cake and field today. The ball will be placed center field on Saturday as it has to be transported about 60 miles. Should be enough cake for the Plymouth State College team. I'll post some post game pictures.

Start on the next cake project tomorrow which will be delivered on Sunday afternoon. Has to be done tomorrow because Saturday is filled up with Rugby.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Boston/Cape Cod

We took a day trip yesterday to "The Cape" to do some visiting of relatives that we haven't seen for awhile. Being Sunday the traffic was light but it still took us four hours to get to the cape. We had a little time before our afternoon meet so we took a drive to Woods Hole MA and visited a few beaches and the Nobska lighthouse. Our final destination was Falmouth MA my wife's family having lived there since the thirty's. We drove along the harbor and visited the Flying Bridge restaurant which was built owned and operated by my wife's grandfather and her father. It wasn't like the original building there were no more hand carved railings and all the other hand carved wood that had been done when the original building was built. we drove about a hundred yards down the harbor from the restaurant to look across the bay at the marine repair shop the my wife's father once owned. It is a beautiful harbor and the ferry runs from there to Martha's Vineyard. That's a trip for another day.
The pictures taken in Boston as we drove through are the "trademark" bridge of Boston, the John Hancock building which on the fourth of July is open (for a fee) to view the fireworks show which if you have the opportunity to do you should take the time to do it, it's defiantly worth it. The other picture is part of downtown and the harbor nearby.

There are two bridges you can cross from "the mainland" to the cape, the Bourne bridge, which is the one we used and the Sagamore bridge which is accessed from I495. It was a beautiful day in the seventies and like always it would have been nice to be able to spend more time there to take in more of the area sights.