Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Florence Nightingale is rescued from a spill.....Lacee

Lacee is the younger dark haired beauty to Brittany who I just wrote about last week. Lacee is the second child of my brother Alvin.

May has been busy for me this year, but May is a busy month for my brother every year. There is Mother's day and then his two daughters, and his wife all have their birthdays in May. Fun for him, glad my busy May is only happening in 2012.

Lacee is attending college and studying to become an athletic trainer, and she gets to help out many people by bandaging the football team's ankles or caring for a bull riders wounds. She enjoys helping out those who have a medical need.

I remember a time that I got to help her out. I am not sure how old Lacee was at the time, but I would say somewhere between 10-12 years old. Let me just preface this with saying, that Lacee's mother, Tye, is an amazing house keeper. She has said more than once "oh excuse the mess of my home" and there is not a thing out of order. She also is the one that cleans the whole house before she goes on vacation so the house is nice and neat upon their return. This is not a bad thing for sure. I wish I had some of that cleanliness in me!

I don't remember why I was at their house, but Lacee was making some Kool-Aid at the time. Lacee's mother was gone at the moment, but she was going to be coming back to the house to pick her up for something soon. I was in the kitchen as well and Lacee was stirring up the drink when all of the sudden the whole pitcher spills all over the kitchen floor. Lacee looks up at me, and the look of horror on her face made me immediately feel so sorry for her. She did not have to say a thing, the look said "Oh man, my mother is going to kill me!" I quickly reassure her that things are going to be OK and I quickly say, "let's hurry and get this cleaned up." We furiously try to get the floor all cleaned up, and just in time. The horn is honked to let Lacee know it is time to go. I follow her out to the van and watch her crawl in. And as the door is sliding shut, Lacee looks up at me and mouths the words "Thank You!!" I smiled and she was on her way.

I have no idea if Tye found out about the spill, and I have no idea if she got reprimanded for it, but I am glad I was able to help her out in her time of need.

In honor to show off her willing to give support to those in need. I thought that some ace bandages would be a wonderful cookie to have. I love the little clasps.

Not only can this woman take care of people's first aid needs, but she can also take care of other's need of sweets. She is quite the baker as well, and has even made a wedding cake for one of her friends.

And what craving does she enjoy?? That would be pizza. Thanks to Sweet Sugar Belle for the pizza slice inspiration. These pizzas do actually look good enough to eat. :)

I think that her father has fostered another love of Lacee's which is camping and making bonfires.

I really liked the colors in Lacee's cookies, the yellow, orange and red I think were really fun.

Lacee's birthday was a week ago and I apologize for being so late at getting up the post. Family reunion over the holiday weekend made me a little lazy! :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

I am not a Princess - Eloise

It's 1 o'clock in the morning and while I watch over my sick 3 year old, waiting to hold the bowl up to her for her next "up chuck" session I figure well I am not going to get any sleep I may as well get caught up on my n/n posts. Still 3 more to go this month.

Meet Eloise, she is the youngest child of my brother McKay. The cookie above is suppose to show off her cute bob haircut that she is sporting lately that she loves.

Eloise or Ella as most call her was born the year I got married. I remember holding her, and looking to my husband and thinking yes I finally have the opportunity to become a mom. Ohhhh, little did I know what 24/7 MOM DUTY was going to be like.

Eloise recently got some new dance shoes and enjoys dancing. 

When I asked my brother about some of her favorites, he said there is one thing that she does not like and that is being called a princess, I thought that was funny because she is a very girly girl, and she is very set on getting what she wants. She pretty much reminds me of my daughter who is very independent, wants to be in control, and is strong headed. Pretty sure that McKay and Lois would say that is just like me, but I don't really want to take the blame. :)

Ella is like pretty much all children that are 7 years old, happy and well adjusted. She is close to my children's age and the kids love to get to play with her when we are around her. Most of the time she is very cheery and willing to help and loves to be involved in what is happening. When the family gets together she teams up with her cousin Ria and they get all the little cousins pretending to play school. Of course Ella and Ria are in charge and whip the little ones into shape as only young girls can do.
She definitely has a sassy side as well and if you make her angry she may not talk to you for some time. I see as she grows older that she gets more mild, and I hope that happens with my little girl as well.

Now for the rest of the cookies. Eloise has a love for dolphins. Ella lives in the desert, and the one aquarium in the state does not have dolphins so maybe her parents will take her to Sea World someday so she can meet some. (maybe her parents will skip that part when reading this post to her)

She is also a budding film maker and enjoys making movies on the family flip camera.

She also got a new TWO wheeled bike and is riding it well.

We hope to see you this weekend and the kids are excited, just hopefully they are not sick so we can go!
Happy Birthday Eloise.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just call me Betty.... no Delores.... oh OK Brittany!

27 years ago a sweet dark haired little baby girl came into this world and filled her parents hearts with so much love. Brittany is the first born of my older brother Alvin. Today she is still sweet and dark haired and the love that her parents were filled with definitely was transferred to Brittany and she has become one of the most caring loving people I know, and she reminds me of her grandmother.

I was really amazed watching her just a couple of months ago. We went to deliver her youngest brother's cookies to him back in March and their family was gathered for Sunday dinner to celebrate Caiden's birthday at my brothers home.

As I sat on my rear end at the kitchen table I watched Brittany clean up the table from the dinner they just enjoyed, got the cakes out ready to cut, loaded the dish washer and started doing dishes in the sink. She kept going in and out of the house to check on her two little boys to help them out with whatever they needed and most of the time she even was holding her baby on her hip. She was making me tired just watching her. Of course did I offer to help?? NO!!! Instead I just joked with her. I just started calling her Delores, her grandmother's/my mom's name. My mom is always going going going, of course nowadays if my mom sits down and is not doing something she just falls asleep, because she is always going going going. :) I can see this wonderful quality in Brittany, and I see where I need to improve and help those around me instead of sitting on my rear!

This busy Mom of two little ones also teaches high school. Now I am not quite sure what all she teaches, but I know that she teaches sewing classes, and so I wanted to make some cookies to represent her awesome talent of sewing. This is another skill she could have inherited from her Grandma Brown who has sewn thousands of items through out her life.

When I dropped of the cookies tonight to Brittany she said that she had been purchasing dress forms for her class this last year, glad that I saw the idea from the Bearfoot Baker.

Brittany is also very talented at music, playing the piano has come naturally for her. I will always remember her playing my father's favorite song "Clair de lune" at one of our family gatherings.

Brittany could also be called Betty. Another similarity she has with her grandmother. She is quite the cook and baker. When her mother turned 50 last year, Brittany put together a surprise party for her. She single handedly made all the desserts for the party, and no it was not just for 5-10 people, her Mom knows everybody so a lot of people showed up. I could not believe how many cake balls she had made, that would have been the only thing I would have made since they are pretty time consuming, but no, she had at least 2 or 3 other desserts as well.

And now for the heart, I threw this one in there because I seriously think Brittany has a massive caring heart. She is always taking care of someone. Her kids, husband, siblings, parents, students, friends. She never asks for help, and is willing to do it all on her own, although that has to be a strain on her. I seriously hope that her husband knows what an amazing wife and a mother he was lucky enough to land! :)

The whole gang ready to go.

 Happy Birthday Brittany, can't believe you are 27, you have been 21 to me for the last 6 years. I guess that means I am getting old!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Green Tea Macaroon

So my job is a night instructor at an Esthetic school. I love my night students; they are always amazing, dedicated students and I enjoy being able to share my esthetic experiences and knowledge with them. The class I have right now only has two students in it, and we end up talking about all kinds of random things and a few weeks ago we got on the topic of green tea because one of the students LOVES it and drinks it everyday.


I am not a tea drinker, I seriously think that tea tastes like boiled weeds...... come one that's what it is, right?! But I know that green tea has a ton of anti oxidants in it and antioxidants fight free radicals and free radicals are the buggers that can eventually cause a cell to mutate and turn into cancer, and who LIKES cancer? No one! My hubby has already had two cancerous lesions, and my goal is to get him to eat healthier and have more antioxidants in his body. Well it is a little bit hard for me to get him to eat vegetables and fruits on his own. But he was born and raised in Finland and he grew up drinking tea and so I thought, aha, I will get him to drink green tea to get his daily dose of anti oxidants. So I bought some Matcha Green Tea and started making it for the hubby almost every morning.

Tangent over.............

So that night at class when we were talking about green tea, we also talked about French Macaroons and Dez, one of the students, had never had one before and I said I would make them some time, and she said hey make some green tea ones. So after about 3 weeks I finally did it, it was not my fault we had quite a bit of rain, and rain (humidity) is not a friend to macaroons. I live in the desert, Utah, to be more specific and I have not had trouble in the past with making this egg white concoction, but this time something did not go right, and since I am not a pro macaroon maker, I have no idea why.

These came out fine.

But at least half of the batch did this. All cracked, and what was weird was that half of them on the same pan were smooth and the other all cracked. Weird...

And then this is what happens to them when you drop the plastic container you are storing them in, on the floor. :(

They still tasted pretty darn good, for the filling I used some leftover lemon butter-cream frosting and added some Matcha green tea in it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The King's Quest - Brandon

Not going to get into all the events of why I am late at posting Brandon's birthday cookies. Let's just say that the loss of my brain cells are the culprit.

Brandon is the third child of my oldest brother, Matt. He followed after two girls and growing up with two older sisters was probably good and bad. I am sure that his sisters Mikkel and Ashley tortured him into do all kinds of girly things, but then he was able to get his revenge on his younger sister by being the tortuous "older brother". I had one of those too, but now we are good friends and thankfully Brandon and his younger sister Emily are good friends today. It's amazing what a little maturity will do.

My brother Matt and his family moved to my home town when Brandon was just a baby. I think I was probably around 14, so I got to be around him while he was growing up. I remember babysitting him and his sisters more than once or twice.

Brandon might be considered quite the ladies man, he seems to attract quite a few of them. He is a good looking kid and always has been. I even had a friend in high school who said she would freeze herself for him to grow up. Those dimples must be pretty powerful to make girls be willing to wait for him when you are only 5 years old. I think he needs to thank his parents for good genes!

This popularity is very apparent on Facebook. Brandon has some groupies and this group could be labeled "The 5 B's".......

Beautiful Bikini Babes Beckoning Brandon

At least monthly if not more there are pictures posted by girls who have had the privilege of having a photo snapped with Brandon and then these girls promptly upload the evidence on FB and tag Brandon. All of his family, that is friends with him, get to see these pictures as well and then the FB-stalker that I am, I go and check out the girls page that posted the picture.
I don't blame the girls for posting the picture, but I feel bad for them because they just don't seem the type Brandon is going to date or marry, but that is just the overprotective aunt in me.

Well ladies take a look at this..

Yes besides his immediately family I am probably one of his first girl friends to get his kisses! Never mind my hideous hair in this picture it was the 80's.  

Brandon is still looking for the Mrs. Brown and we have utmost confidence that he will find a Diamond among the many lumps of coal.

Now onto the cookies. This crown represents "The King", which happens to be what a bunch of Brandon's friends call him. I am not exactly sure why they call him the king. I even asked his sister and she was not quite sure herself but she admitted that she sometimes calls him that. :)

I hope that these Schnauzer cookies do not make him tear up. Brandon had two dogs and he loved them dearly. Unfortunately a couple of months ago his landlord found out he had the dogs and they got the boot. Luckily his mother was kind enough to take Tank in and Teddy went to another loving family.

And a couple of his favorite foods. Pickles and summer squash. Grandma Brown does indeed make the best summer squash and family dinners at Grandma's is how Brandon has come to love it.

The whole gang. I totally messed up his name. Seriously I have brain issues! :)

Happy Birthday Brandon you are good egg and don't forget it. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

My mother, Delores, is amazing, she had 9 children in the span of 21 years and so she probably was changing diapers and potty training for at least 24 years. I can't even take a couple of days of potty training and a couple of weeks makes me want to pull my hair out! And let's talk about sleep, I don't think my Mom has had a full 8 hours sleep since probably 1956. There are no kids at her home anymore, but after at least forty plus years of staying up late or sacrificing sleep to take care of children, doing laundry, cleaning, cooking, quilting, canning, or baking because she can't get it done during the day with nine kids bugging her, I don't think her body is able to sleep for an eight hour stretch.

I love my mother and am so grateful for the wonderful example she is to me. I don't think I will ever be able to come close to accomplishing what my mother has accomplished in her life, but at least I know it can be done and I can look to her for strength when I think I can't or don't want to do it.

Earlier this week I thought I should do something more than just send a card for my incredible mother on Mother's day and the thought hit me, "duhh I should make her some cookies." Better yet, some flower cookies.

I saw these daffodil cookies on LilaLoa's blog a while ago and thought they would be fun to try. The 3D effect is pretty cool.

And who doesn't like tulips!

I also made some for my mother-in-law, Seija. I am so grateful for her too. The sacrifice she made of leaving her parents, brother, cousins, friends, extended family, comfort, and heritage behind in Finland to come to America with her husband and 3 boys so that they could have what she thought was best for them is selfless and amazing! If she had not done so I would not have my wonderful husband and our two spectacular children. Thank you Seija for your sacrifice and your love for your favorite grandchildren! :-) (They may be the only ones she has, but they are the best)

Surprised that I thought of doing this in time to have the shipped to their homes before Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mother's out there. You are amazing!

Harry & Angela on fire at Olive Garden

Angela is the fifth child to my brother Robert and she was the baby of her family for around 9 years, then twins were added to the clan and Angela is now number 5 out of 7!
I have already done cookies for her older brother Terence and older sister Acacia, so after these there are still 4 more to go in Robert and Nina's clan. :)

Angela was just a baby when Robert's family moved to Summerville, South Carolina, so I did not get to spend much time with Angela when she was growing up. I was fortunate to spend about a year in South Carolina while I attended Esthetics school back in 2000/2001 so I did get to visit with their family quite a few times during my stay. I don't have a particular memory of something that Angela did, but she was always a pleasure to spend time with, a very well behaved child and so gracious to let me stay in her and her sisters room when I visited.

Angela I swear blossomed overnight when her family had moved back to Utah, and literally from one time that I saw her to the next she turned from a girl to a beautiful young woman. Angela's name is very fitting for her, as her mother said she is an Angel. She has been nothing but kind and nice to me and to all that I have seen her interact with, she is the best of friends with her older brother Dallin and she is willing to help out with her younger siblings.

The memory that I do have of her family while in SC was that they were reading the Harry Potter books, and Angela was no different, she loved the series just as much as her older brothers and sisters. She still loves the series today. So I wanted to do something Harry Potterish, but did not want it to be extremely difficult so I came up with ties to represent the four Hogwarts Houses. I thought about doing the different house crests, but that would be so time consuming so ties it was.

Took these pictures at night so that is why they don't look so great, but I had to send them off early in the morning with my husband so he could drop them off at my brothers work since they work within the same block of each other.

Angela is very much a fashionista. She is always dressed nicely and very classy. Her brother Dallin had worked at Banana Republic and he was more than willing to share his discount and dressed his sister to the T!

Angela is a lover of books, and she was not only obsessed with Harry Potter, but The Hunger Games as well, so I chose to do an arrow on fire to represent Katniss, "the girl on fire."

Another love of Angela's is Italian food and her favorite restaurant is the Olive Garden. I messed up on it a bit and got some food color on it but I hope she liked it anyway.
Happy Birthday to the angel Angela!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Please Toss that Bouquet!

Some type of bouquets are meant for tossing in the air this bouquet may have caused some one to "toss" up the contents of their stomach. Here is the tale of my cupcake disaster................

I saw a bouquet of cupcake flowers on a site some where, not exactly sure where, but I thought it would be a cute idea to give to a friend in my neighborhood whose mother just recently passed away. This friend is on a gluten/diary free diet so I searched the internet for recipes, I have made gluten free sugar cookies before and they were not too bad, the texture is not so great but from what I have heard there is not much you can do with the texture of gluten free when making cakes.

So I made the cupcakes and tasted one that day and it was pretty good. Enter the problem I thought she was going to be back from out of town the next day but in fact she was out of town until Monday and I made the cupcakes on Friday. Well I guess keeping cupcakes from drying out it a little difficult. I read that refrigerating them would dry them out and so you might be able to freeze them if wrapped well so I did what I read but it was to no avail.

Monday I frosted and decorated and then dropped them off and told her I was afraid they were totally dried out. When we came back home my son and husband ate a couple of the leftovers and my husband said they were indeed REALLY dry and my 5 year old wouldn't even eat the whole thing.  :(

I was mortified! I quickly sent my friend a message telling her to just throw them away. I have no idea if she did, I can only hope that she did and that she did not bite into one and then try to swallow it down or spit it out crumb by crumb. But guess what is even worse.... I think I am a decent baker and that my skills are not that bad, so I have a bad day and I decide to take my DRIED out gluten free cupcakes to my friend whose brother just happens to be the right hand chef to celebrity chef Curtis Stone.

Why yes, Steven, the brother and Curtis Stone's right hand man is indeed at my friends home along with all of her siblings....... That right there my friends is why I am the defintion of stupidity!!

Good thing out of this is that it has made me determined to find a gluten/diary free treat that I can make that will actually taste good so I can redeem my baker skills.

P.S. the frosting was fine. It's not to hard to make gluten/dairy free frosting you can just use margarine or shortening instead of butter. Maybe she just scraped off the frosting and ate that. I can only hope.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ombre Lemon Cake

Ombre is everywhere lately and this is my spin on it.

I thought I would just try frosting a cake in an ombre style using lemon flavored butter-cream. I saw this cake over on Bake at 350's blog and thought I would try out the Lemon-Vanilla Bean Layer Cake. I was not too impressed with the cake, mine turned out very dense but the lemon curd was yummy.

Anyway I just crudely piped on the icing in the three different shades from top to bottom and then smoothed it out with a decorating comb/icing smoother, let it crust and then did the VIVA paper towel smoothing technique. I quickly made a Gerber daisy out of gum-paste to top it off.

It was not my best effort that is why there is just one shot that I am sharing because this one didn't show off too many of my mistakes. :)

When I was in Light Room exporting my picture I accidentally clicked on a preset filter and I really liked it so I am sharing it as well. It actually shows the three different shades better.