Saturday, December 7, 2013

The last two weeks of life

My thoughts lately have been heavy and hemmed in by a foggy mist, which is why I have been silent so much.  I start to write, but the thoughts stay unfinished, so I have lots of start up posts and no actually postings. 

Since I haven't been able to get my words down well I thought I would share with you what I have been doing the last few weeks, other than the normal share of Momsabilities. 

Like most families in America we feasted on Turkey that last Thursday of last month.  This year was the first year since ever that we didn't have anyone over.  It was just our own little family.  In some ways it felt odd and not very "holiday-ey", but in most ways it felt wonderfully relaxing and freeing.  We were at our own discretion for when, what, and how we did or didn't do everything that day.  We were able to sleep in.  I didn't even have to make a pie.....and didn't.  It still ended up being a lot of work on my end and the majority of the kids decided to eat hot dogs versus the turkey and all the fixins I had spent the entire day making, but it was good, because no one was stressed out and everyone was happy. 
  I set out a snack bar for us to feast 
The olive monster strikes again.
 on while we waited on the bird.  Olives are a must, just so my husband can put them on his fingers as he has done every year since childhood.  *Note the array of papers spread across the floor with all the black Friday ads*

As I look at the food placed on the counter I can't help but be thankful for the fact that we have been blessed with a nice home, plenty to eat, and the ability to enjoy both. 

Of the few children that chose to eat the turkey none were happier that my ten year old, Kody.  He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy and so Thanksgiving dinner is right up his alley.  This year he was especially happy because he was allowed to eat the turkey leg,

Just like this.....................................................................

After dinner was finished and the kitchen put back in order I finally was able to sit down and look at the ads in the paper that had been spread across the floor.   I had not planned to go black Friday shopping this year, but there was something I had been wanting for one of the kids and Steve didn't want to go out and buy it on his own, so we did the un-thinkable and went out on Thanksgiving night.  We had planned to only hit that one store, but ended up going to 4 different ones.  What was supposed to be a short outing turned being a 4 1/2 hour production, but amazingly the only line we stood in lasted about ten minutes.  We pretty much got to everything after the big rush of people so all was calm and smooth sailing.  Plus I found a couple of really great deals for the Toys for Tots bin (or comparable charity) and was able to put a huge dent in my Christmas shopping.

This week following Thanksgiving has been a blur of flour, sugar, and butter. 

I agreed to make a retirement cake for a couple of guys in Steve's office and our church was having a Fast Friends Women's Party on Friday and we were supposed to bring a dozen cookies for it.  Baking for these events started on Tuesday.

I decided to make decorated sugar cookies for the church event, so on Tuesday I mixed my dough. 

On Wednesday I rolled, cut out, and baked the cookies.  I also made the marshmallow fondant for the retirement cake.

On Thursday I baked all three layers of cake and made three batches of white chocolate almond frosting. Then I frosted and filled the cake, crumb coated it, and let it set before picking up the kids from school.  After school I colored the fondant black, made buttercream transfers, and finished frosting and decorating the cake. The entire process start to finish took about  8 hours. 

Here is how it turned out............
side view of the cake

view from above the cake.

My camera doesn't show the details very well, but you can get the general idea.  The sub is pure marshmallow fondant.  The turkey leg eating boy up above loves all things military and happened to have a plastic toy submarine of the same model that I needed for this cake, so I used his toy as a mold (after washing it well of course) to make this one.  It is fully edible minus the toothpicks holding up the fin and fair water planes and rudder.  The people will pick it up in about ten hours from now.  I hope it is what they were envisioning.

Friday I made and colored the royal icing for the cookies for church.  I discovered in the process that I am going to need more tips of the proper size for piping.  I also decided to make and take Nordy bars along with me. *Sorry no pictures of those, but they are delish*

These are the finished cookies.  Again sorry for the picture quality and the way they are displayed.  I snapped a quick picture of them before I started to plate them to go. 

 The elf cookies are made from my ice cream cone cutter just flipped upside down.  They ended up with green hats, because I didn't quite make enough red frosting.  The frosty's never got their hats either because I didn't have enough tips for the black frosting.
The two santa's in the middle are made from a cupcake cutter turned upside down and the reindeer are gingerbread men also turned upside down.  *All of the repurposed cutter ideas were found online.....I am not that creative.* 

I just love the itty bitty cookies.  I made those out of the scraps of cookie dough that was left over. 

Doesn't that one reindeer look like he got caught in the headlights?  And that poor bitty reindeer never did end up getting eyes. 

After I had decorated all I felt I needed I let the kids go at it with the left over cookies.  Here are a few of theirs....
Karson 5 happily playing with his food. By the time he was done his mouth was completely blue from getting into my coloring gels.   My 11 year olds arm is next to him.  I love this lazy Susan that you can see on the right.  I put all my sprinkles and tools on it for easy grabbing as I am working, plus when they kids use it, it makes for less arguments since they can all end up reaching everything.

Katie, 14 made this sweet masterpiece.  She later added candy cane sprinkles around the edges of the frosting part of the cupcake.

Klara 8 did a fabu job on this sweet angel without any help or direction.  I think I have a future decorator on my hands.

Klayton 3 is very proud of his masterpiece.

Katie made this little happy marshmallow fellow while she was waiting for her turn at the cookies.

What have you been up to these last couple of weeks?


  1. Karmen,

    Oh my goodness!! Your baking is amazing! Marshmallow fondant?! You are killing me! I am the worst baker. I rarely bake. The girls usually decorate cookies with the neighbors. LOVE that you just turned cookie cutters upside down to make something else--CLEVER! Feeling. Quite. Guilty. Now. :)

  2. I am not that clever either....I saw it on a facebook post of an incredibly talented cookie decorator whose page I have liked. =) Do not feel guilty...Seriously. We all have our things we do well and not so well. I am terrible when it comes to school stuff, so that video you did with your daughters for a school project, total guilt over here. Marshmallow fondant is fun and easy. You should use it for a party someday. Look up the Peg Weaver marshmallow fondant tutorial. Without much hardship you could make cute edible snowmen out of it. Fruit leather scarves, mini choc chip buttons, etc. No baking required....unless you want them to sit on top of cupcakes.


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