Sep 30, 2011

Cupcake Disaster!

So today at work we are having a surprise baby shower for a very sweet coworker of mine.
I signed up to make some cupcakes to bring in. That sounds all fantastic, but it was not. I got all the supplies, even little baby bottles to top them. Whipped them up. But there was my mistake, I made them at Josh's- not my house. Double the transporting. While driving home last night a jerk driver pulled out in front of me and I had to slam on my breaks. I didn't think anything of it...but then I arrived home to a giant cupcake glob. They all rolled around onto one another.
It was awful. I was up until 12am trying to salvage what I could of them. They're defintely edible, they just look hideous now (I'm exaggerating, they aren't THAT bad, but I'm emotional over this).

I need a new, more secure cupcake transporter.


Anyway, I did funfetti cupcakes- vanilla.
I used white icing, and used my gel dyes to make them this really pretty blue! Be careful when you use the gel coloring, it's VERY easy to go overboard and wind up with a color much darker than you intended.
I used my icing gun to ice these bad boys. The little bottles on top were little toppers I found at Michael's. Then I put some round jimmies on, and they were complete!

I'm getting pretty good with my icing techniques.


I was very upset about the accident, but they're just cupcakes. I can just try again this weekend!

Baby shower cupcake - BEFORE


It's a boy!

Sep 26, 2011

Ham, Broccoli and Cheese Quiche - 9/25/11

In my attempt to become more and more domesticated, I decided to tackle a new dish for dinner Sunday. A ham, broccoli and cheese quiche. Now, don't get me wrong this may sound fairly simple and not all that spectacular, but this is coming from a girl who five years ago could barely whip up Kraft mac and cheese.




 First off, this is the recipe I used:

Ingredients

    1 refrigerated pie crust
    1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed, well drained on paper towel
    4 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

   1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place pie crust in pie pan as directed on box. Pilsbury already comes in a tin pan!
   2. Layer the ham, cheese and broccoli in crust-lined pan. In bowl, beat eggs and milk with fork. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour over broccoli.
   3. Bake about 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean- it takes at least this amount of time, if not a bit more. Let cool, enjoy!

Broccoli and cubed ham added to pie crust.

Mixing the ingredients.

Fresh out of the oven!




You could replace the ham with turkey or bacon, as well as replace the cheese with another kind you prefer.
Overall, it was delicious and VERY easy!

Sep 25, 2011

Cupcake Dreams

This is me kind of just going off on a rant, but I really enjoy baking cupcakes. But the best part for me isn't actually baking then, it's when I get to share them with others. When they get to try them. I love the smiles and yums. It makes me bubble up with good vibes. Just to know something you spent hours on is making someone's tummy and heart happy, melts me.

I don't even eat the cupcakes I make often. Maybe one out of a whole batch. I'd rather see others enjoy the creations. Recently I made Josh his very own concoction- chocolate cupcakes with Reese's cups on the inside and vanilla icing. All his choice. He loved them, and the one I had was great. But it made me so happy that it was something he wanted and liked 100%.

I'm definitely still learning. I can do the baking part very well. I need to work on the decorating for sure. I would love to take some sort of classes to learn and get better. One day maybe. Then maybe one day I could have my own fancy cupcake cafe. How cute would that be? That's a huge dream, but those are nice thoughts to have sometimes.



I want to mess with fondant like these cupcakes. Cute shapes and ideas. Plus, it would be pretty kickass to have cupcakes with a qr code to back here.

Sep 21, 2011

Teen mom recap - 9/20/11

Sadly last night marked the season finale of Teen Mom. I feel a little lost knowing these girls won't be filling my Tuesday night for awhile. Then I realize it's a tv show and Gossip Girl starts up again.



Maci-- Last episode Maci was very concerned with how baby daddy Ryan and his attitude were affecting little Bentley and her relationship with Kyle. She made the decision that her and Ryan would no longer speak or see one another when switching off Bentley- they'd go thru their parents. She  texts Ryan's mom, Jen, asking her if she would like to meet for dinner to discuss the situation. To no surprise the lady can't keep her mouth shut and listen, she appears to immediately tell Ryan of Maci's question. Ryan then calls her cell about 90 times. Maci and Kyle go to Ryan's house to shuffle Bentley around, Maci tells Ryan the plan- exchange thru their parents so Bentley doesn't need to see them fighting. Guess what Ryan does! Loses it. But after he tells Maci it is a stupid plan. He blames this all on Kyle, calling him a wonderfully classy slew of curses.  So Maci tries to go through with this new plan, it crashes and burns the first go around. Both her parents were working and not available to help in the hand off. So Ryan has to meet up with her at school. It was painfully awkward. Ryan's dad has a father son talk with him. Where he giggles at himself for more or less calling Ryan a winner. He does however also tell him to get his head out of his you know what and that a civil relationship with Maci is for the best. Ryan sends Maci a text that read "for what it's worth I'm sorry for all the fighting." Oh, well alert the presses someone needs an Oscar for that acting! I've never seen someone even fake apathy that poorly. Well, later on Ryan and Maci meet up at a little restaurant to talk it out. Maci tells him they need to get along, stop fighting in front of Bentley and he needs to stop calling her names. He agrees. Possibly even seems a tiny bit sincere. Maci rounds up her part of the episode by bringing up marriage to Kyle. He says he has no idea when he will be ready to marry her, while she says it needs to be sooner rather than later.

Farrah-- This one starts out with Sophia's second birthday. She gets lots of presents and some jacked looking cake (my crappy whale cake looked better). Farrah gets all ugly cry face at the party, side note which is hardly a party because it is her and her parents. She tells Debra about how much she feels Sophia and Derek's passing has caused her a lot of pain. She's had to put her life on hold and still isn't over his death. Debra turns this into telling h to leave Sophia in Iowa. In the biggest surprise of the entire season, Farrah meets up with a FRIEND at some sort of pub with Sophia in hand. Farrah talks to this friend like she does Sophia, as a child. She tells her about moving to Florida and possibly leaving her child behind to figure herself out. After this we see her go through the pros and cons of leaving Sophis behind. On an etch a sketch. This struck me as a bit odd. Debra and Farrah go shopping to get Sophia a cute princess dress. While in the dressing room the cry face comes out again and Farrah tells her mom she feels it is best to leave her child there with Debra and Michael until she finds herself. Im not sure what that even means. She's a mom. Problem solved! She also takes Sophia on a little adventure to show her all the spots in town she was possibly conceived. No but really, she shows her spots that held meaning to Derek and Farrah. I'm not sure she realizes this means nothing to a two year old.

Amber-- Amber and Gary were supposed have their hearing to have the no contact order lifted. This was rescheduled twice due to an ice storm. Which Amber spent pining over not being able to talk to Gary and having his mom pump Leah full of more McDonald's. When they were finally able to get to the court, the no contact order was lessened. They were told they can contact and see one another whenever they wanted, just not with Leah together. However, they could call when one of the had Leah and talk. Gary is all ready to get back with Amber, she even walks out of the court hugging him and they kiss goodbye. However, Amber decides she's a completely different person, all the counseling has helped, and Gary needs to get on her level before she considers it. But she also says she will not wait forever for him and might find someone else. Oh okay...Gary even writes and plays her a corny love song.
 This is a completely unrelated side note, but those metallic leggings. That's all.

Catelynn-- We start with them figuring out if Butch should stay with them for three month until he is done probation. They make a list of ground rules- don't get home past midnight, no drugs, respect the house, etc.. Things a 16 year old may need. They decide to let him. Things quickly turn awkward when they discuss graduation and Carly possibly attending. Butch is a jerk and mentions how he wouldn't have to be upset about her not calling him grandpa if they didn't choose adoption. Obviously he's still not supportive. Catelynn is upset by this and calls up her father. They talk over the situation and come. To the conclusion that it may not be the best of plans to have Carly there at graduation due to April and Butch. He does agree to come out for her big day. Tyler and Catelynn decide their parents being at graduation is more important than Carly, which was sad for me that they still can't accept their decision. They have to write Brandon and Teresa and give them the news. At the end we see Tyler get a call regarding Butch, who lands himself back in jail. This tears everyone up- Catelynn, Tyler, her little brother and April. It made my heart break when Tyler was hugging Nick telling him he knows it sucks. Not only did he let the whole family down with probation, but he will not be able to attend graduation now.


Bummed this season is over, but Teen Mom 2 is up next. I will admit I'm not as much of a fan of those girls though.

Sep 20, 2011

Phillies Game - 9/20/11

Today Josh and I had the day off from work to attend the Phillies game. It was a rescheduled game from August 14th that had gotten rained out. Our buddy Dan gave Josh the tickets for his birthday. Wasn't the greatest of weather today- but no rain!

We sat up in 331. Which was actually an awesome view.
The Phils had a double header against the Nationals today. Our game was at 1pm.

We joked during the game that it was like we were at a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game due to the lack of starters playing.

We were down 3 nothing in the bottom of the 7th inning, Raul Ibanez hit a three run homer to tie up the game. From there it wasn't action packed as they went into extra innings, unfortunately at the top of the tenth inning the Nationals came back to win it.
The Phillies did try to turn it around prior by getting Josh's boy Chase Utley in, but we were quickly let down when the Nationals intentionally walked him.

I didn't get another picture with the Phanatic, slightly depressing but he was doing his thing the whole game. I don't care how old I am, him dancing around will never not be funny.

I'm writing all this while sitting in 85 miles of traffic trying to leave the stadium. Now I've been a few other places for sports games outside of Philly, but I can say even with the loss it's a bit solemn but not depressing. Because it IS Philly and there's pride all around. I think you'd have a hard time finding other sports fans that could hold a candle to how loud and amped Philly fans get. For baseball, hockey, and football.
Of course the wins are always the best. Last year we were lucky enough to attend a play off Flyers game. It's hard to even put into words the atmosphere the Wells Fargo Center held that night. Absolutely electric. It was indeed a sea of orange. You don't forget that environment. Cheering, booing, high fives and general debauchery. And sure the perception of Philly fans always seems to be they're assholes, but I don't like to hear that. It's passion people- passion for the game, and passion for the city.

Sep 19, 2011

Wednesday September 14 - Philly Phanatic

On this fine Wednesday my boyfriend, Josh, and I headed to McDonald's. Now this wasn't just some unplanned crappy, quick dinner- it was 100% intentional.
The previous week we found out that a special guest would be at the new McDonald's in Limerick. The good ol' Philly Phanatic!
This came to a great surprise to me. For a few months now, since we saw our first Phillies game of the season, I've been saying (read as: whining) I want a picture with him!

Well, I've never seen a McDonald's, or any fast-food joint for that matter, that packed!
Kids everywhere! They were all as excited as I was. I got my pic with him after waiting my turn. I love it. Definitely frame worthy!

Now tomorrow we will be going to a 1pm Phillies game! I'm really excited.



Side note- I am posting all this from my new iPad! How awesome is that?!
I was so very happy to get it. It's the white one. I'm already obsessed with cityville and this restaurant game. Also, daily notes. It's utterly amazing. It's a calendar AND notes. Perfect for me.

Sep 14, 2011

Teen Mom Recap - 9/14/11

I apologize for missing last week's episode, but unforeseen circumstances had me watch it many days after airing.
This week MTV treated us with an extra long episode! Even though I'm pretty sure I could watch this show for 18 hours in a row.



Catelynn-- Just to throw it out there, I love this girl. This weeks episode she finished her last class for high school and officially gets to graduate! This very exciting event was paired with the realization that Carly may not be able to attend the graduation ceremony. I really hope things pull through for them and that little cutie will be there. At a pizza party they had to celebrate being an (almost) HS graduate, Tyler's friends decided it was a good time to ask him about the other fish in the sea. I will say Tyler, I love you bud, but you're an engaged man I don't think you should be able to picture yourself with other women. Yes, you're young. But then that promise shouldn't have been made. ANYWAY, Catelynn decided to surprise Tyler with a weekend get away and ski lesson. They stayed at a little bed and breakfast and had a great time skiing in jeans.

Mall Adventure - Find Amy Wedding Attire

Last night after work my best friend Amy and I met up at the King of Prussia mall for some retail therapy and to find her a cute outfit for a wedding she's attending.
Now I would like to start off by saying Amy is very particular when it comes to clothes shopping, sometimes a bit difficult. She likes to wander and not try suggestions on. However, once she does try something out of her norm on, it usually looks stunning on her!
Well, last night was a more difficult trip. We were actually having trouble finding something relatively cheap that didn't look like she was ready to go clubbing. With H&M scoured, Charlotte Rousse picked through, Urban Outfitters practically a let down, and so many others striking out we finally hit a home run at Forever21.
Forever21 is fantastic, albeit a bit messy- it's cheap, things are fairly fashionable, but more importantly the clothing is easy to create an outfit with.

She tried on 2 or 3 dresses until we found the perfect one!


I took some artistic liberties with the shoes because I'm not sure what she plans on wearing. But how cute is this look?
Love it! You're gonna look gorgeous Amy!

Sep 12, 2011

Fondant Whale Cake

This Sunday I did a lot of baking!

First up was my very first attempt at doing fondant on a cake!
My dad's birthday is actually today (September 12th), so the cake was made in preparation. The cake was to be a whale! This may seem random, but he loved these ice cream cakes that used to be carried around here around Father's Day that were whale shaped and said Whale of a Dad. So, I thought this would be a good substitute.

First I started with baking a box of chocolate cake. I chose Pilsbury. I always use milk instead of water in these boxed mixes. So I did the normal mixing, preheating and placed the cake in two round pans.
After about half an hour I popped them out of the over, waited for them to cool and it was time for shaping!
The whale shape was simply leaving the one cake perfectly round. The second cake had a half moon cut out of the one side, so it could fit up right against the first piece. Next I shaped the tail.

Once that was finished it was time to "dirty ice" the cake. Which means lots of butter cream icing!
With the icing you can hardly tell its two pieces together!
I placed the whole cake in the fridge for 20-25 minutes next. This was to make 100% sure the cake was completely cooled off before the fondant was to be laid.

I bought the fondant at Micheal's craft store, it was already tinted blue.
Rolling it was VERY difficult! Even with the confectionery sugar to help avoid sticking...it still loved to stick to not only the flat surface, but the rolling pin as well. In some spots the fondant was rather thin.

I kept rolling it and attempting to fix any weak spots until I had a nice large sheet.
Then the flat fondant sheet was lifted and placed on top of the cake. It flowed very nicely over the sides, with not much buckling except in one little spot.

I used a knife to cut off the excess fondant around the edges, cleaned up any icing smudges and took a deep breath. I won't pretend this was a stress free project- it wasn't! Rolling the fondant perfect was not happening, but I finally embraced the imperfections and was reminded this is my first go at it!
So after the clean up was down I added cheeks and the base for the eyes. Lastly some white icing added the details.

The cake turned out to be one whale of a project. I think next time, until I get more confident with fondant, I'll stick to my go to of cupcakes!

Philadelphia Zoo Trip

September 3rd, 2011 I took a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo with my best friend her boyfriend and my man. The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in the United States, opening in 1874. It currently is the home to over 1,300 animals, many of which are endangered and rare. To put into perspective the array of animals who call Philly their home, there are two birds in the avian center that are actually extinct in the wild- the Micronesian Kingfisher and the Guam Rail.
Recently the zoo welcomed a jaguar cub on June 3rd, 2011. The cub was the 4th litter for momma jaguar, Kanga. Her newest little one is Lucha, his brothers and sisters currently reside in zoos across the country. I’m hopeful he’ll get to stay in the keystone state.  Just a few days later on June 9th, 2011 the snow leopard couple Maya and Amga welcomed both their first litters to the zoo. The two snow leopard cubs are the first to be born at the Philadelphia Zoo.
I managed to snap quite a few photos while we spent a beautiful day learning and enjoying the animals. I can’t think of anything better for me- animals and photography. I use a Nikon D3000.


This little guy is a red panda. They can be found in the Himalayas and parts of China. Mainly they feed on bamboo, but will also grub on small animals, eggs, birds and insects.
Hands down these are one of my favorite animals. How can you not love an animal that looks like a panda mixed with a raccoon and fox?!


This brightly colored feathered friend is a lorikeet. At the Philadelphia Zoo there is an exhibit called the Birds of Australia. The exhibit allows you to walk inside a very large bird enclosure where the rainbow colored birds get to fly freely. You are given a small cup of nectar, which is a staple in the birds diets along with soft fruits, to feed them. They are always more than willing to hop on your arm and enjoy their snack!
The baby giraffe pictured above tried with all the determination in the world to nibble on the grass at her feet. Being the tallest of the living land animals can have its disadvantages. Normally their height allows them to feed on the trees in grasslands and the savannah, a favorite of theirs being acacia growth. Believe it or not they are related to cattle and deer!

All in all this zoo trip was fantastic. As always. 
I am a member of the zoo, which makes trips very easy. If you are interested in visiting, joining, donating or even volunteering at the Philadelphia Zoo please visit: http://www.philadelphiazoo.org

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