Cake Boss I’m Not!

It was my oldest daughters 7th birthday yesterday. And aside from having a heart attack that I, do indeed, have a 7 year old it was a good day! Okay, in reality it poured rain all afternoon, causing her party to be moved from the lake to in town last minute. Then her brother had a fit because none of the presents were for him. Aside from that tho, it was great.

The day before her birthday I was browsing Pinterest and it hit me. Why not try and make her a fancy cake?! I had bought her cake from Safeway the year before and she seemed very upset that I hadn’t made her a cake. Being very into Monster High, I searched for pictures of cakes with a MH theme. This is where I got in over my head. Well actually, I got in over my head in the baking aisle at Walmart.

I would like to preface this by letting you all know I have never decorated a cake with fondant ever in my life. I have also never successfully layered a cake. But for some reason I thought it would be perfect with less than 24 hours notice to bake a 2 tiered cake, each tier being 3 layers, buttercream frost it and them cover it in fondant. Yes, I am crazy. Not to mention I hate boxed cake so I made all 6 cakes from scratch, and made my own buttercream from scratch too. I did however buy the fondant pre made in white so I could colour it whatever to meet my fancy.

Without further ado, the layers of her cake:
Top layer

Bottom layer

And here is the whole thing stacked together:

She loved it, thank god! And after she blew out the candles we all dug in and everyone seemed to like it, so yay me. I think for the next birthday I would like to figure this all out a little more in advance so that I am not quite so rushed or stressed or asking myself “What have I gotten myself into?” at 11 pm the night before.


Artisan Bread

I tested out a new bread recipe this weekend. I don’t get a whole lot of free time with little Mr. Rémi needing me so much, so I wanted to find something very easy and quick. I had found this recipe on Pinterest a while ago and decided I should give it a try.

3 cups lukewarm water
1-1/2 tablespoons granulated fast acting (instant) yeast (2 packets)
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6-1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached all purpose white flour

For the directions please visit THIS link to The Italian Dish blog. It really is super easy and takes very little actual time on your part.

My dough in the bowl doing its initial rise.

Dough formed and doing the 40 minute rise before it bakes.

The finished bread.

I managed to get 3 loaves of bread, not 4, but it tastes delicious and worked well. Also, I used a baking sheet and parchment paper because I don’t have a pizza stone and everything baked up fine. Artisan bread is a lot more crunchy on the outer layer, similar to French bread. So if you don’t like that kind of crust then this probably isn’t the recipe for you.

Meal Plan Help

I had been a successful meal planner for about a month before I got tired of writing it all out and then fixing, making a grocery list, etc. So like any other rational person, I quit. I had enjoyed the outcome of having meals planned, it made my life much easier, but “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

It’s been almost 6 weeks since I gave birth to little Mr. Rémi and I have been having a tough time coping with the meal issues. I had to take action, but in a different route. I had to find an app for that. And upon searching for meal planning apps, I came up with a handful that I downloaded and tried for free. There was one that I was really excited to try until I downloaded it and realized I could only plan 3 meals a week for free and then would have to pay $10 a month to do all meals. I quickly deleted it.

In the end I did pay for an app called Meal Board. A whole $2.99. It was worth it though, I definitely like the app and it’s super useful!

This is the weekly menu at a glance. You can choose what meal of the day it is and even plan out snacks if you want. When you touch the meal it takes you right to the recipe.

As you add meals to your meal plan it will generate a shopping list for you. I love this. You can change the dates you want included on the list and you can even assign certain items to certain stores lists if you see anything in those flyers and want to make sure you buy it there! You can add things to the list that wouldn’t show up in recipes too bu touching the plus sign in the top right corner. Check things off as you put them in your cart and you will be out of the store without forgetting a thing.

The recipe section comes with a few recipes pre-loaded but you can add your own by touching the plus sign. You can also import recipes from some of the best recipe site on the Internet by touching the down arrow beside the plus sign.

There is a pantry section where you can keep track of what you already have in your house as well so you will know when you run out or are getting low on certain grocery items.

I’d recommend this app for any meal planners out there who want to save themselves a little time and hassle. It was well worth the small price to have an app that does everything I need aside from going to the store and paying for my groceries. When they make an app that does that I will be in heaven!