Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The International Space Station. Cake.

My husband is a big fan of intellectually over accomplished people, and astronauts are a great example of them.
He first started following the pictures of col. Chris Hadfield, when he started sending pictures from space, in the months he spent at the International Space Station (ISS). He read his book, bubble wrapped the signed copy, and gets e-mails notifying when the ISS is passing in our sky line (and he runs outside to see the flash of light cross the sky).
So for his birthday, I tried my best to make a ISS cake, together with col. Chris Hadfield and his guitar.
A couple of days ago, I made a little guitar and an astronaut with fondant.

Today it was completely dry, so I was able to paint with food coloring, and make all the details to look like him.

To make the ISS, I made candy clay, colored with food coloring, and made the panels that stay on the side of the station.
Using the same candy clay, I modeled the rest of the details as best as I could.

Then this morning I baked this wonderful and healthy coconut flour, coconut butter and coconut sugar cake. The recipe I got from Nourished Kitchen. After cooled, I covered with frosting colored in blue, and placed all the pieces on top.
To cover a few bumps and imperfections on my frosting, I made a few stars with the candy clay.

And the kids got to play with the cake, before we ate it. They recorded a short video, and I edited on Animoto.com
(check it out, it is pretty cool).

International Space Station Cake

Thursday, January 23, 2014

So, now what?

Changing plans for the day is not what everybody wants, but when your kid gets sick and has to miss school, there is not much you can do. So my 5 year old was feeling sick, and I decided to have him stay at home. He was feeling sick, but not enough to sleep or rest.
So first thing I did in the morning was to read a story. It was a book on how to make cartoons, and it was very good because it made him decide to draw.

After that, he found my supply of clay, and asked if he could use some. That gave me a few more minutes to straight up the kitchen.

On snack time, there was nothing he wanted to eat, until he saw grapes. Then I remembered seeing chef Jacques Pepin on the Rachel Ray Show, when he made some bunny grapes. This is how he made:
Cut a small slice on the side of one grape.

Place the bigger piece standing up, using the cut part as a base. Then cut a piece diagonally (even though it doesn't look like in the picture), not all the way down.

The small piece is almost cut in half, leaving and end intact.

Place the smaller piece to make the ears, in the slit of the bigger piece of grape.

I cut the pieces, and let him make the bunnies.

Then everything in the same shape could be made into a bunny.

After eating the grapes, there was time to brush the cat.
Then he finally got tired and went for a nap.

Hopefully tomorrow he will be good enough to go to school.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Meatloaf Cake

This is an idea that I used a couple of years ago, for my husband's birthday. We have been doing our best to eat healthy and exercise. On the weekends we always share a good dessert with the kids. But especially me, it is not wise to have an entire cake in the house. So that is why I decided to make a meatloaf cake.
I used a recipe from Food Network, but I modified a little:
- 2 lb ground turkey
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of milk
- 5 slices of bread
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Mix everything.



Place in two 8 inch baking pans, and bake at 350F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.


While baking, make the "frosting" with mashed potatoes. You can make from scratch, but I took a short cut and used a box mix. Made according to instructions using directions for 8 portions.

When out of the oven, take one meat disc in the serving plate, place about 1/3 of the mashed potato and spread to make the filling, then place the second meatloaf disc. With another 1/3 of the mashed potatoes, cover the entire area like a regular cake. Then cover the entire "cake", the same way a normal cake is covered.



Then using the remaining mashed potatoes, use a piping bag to make the flowers. If it is too hard to pipe, you can add a little bit of milk. To add a little color, I used food coloring to make the detail on the bottom.
Then it is ready!! (I microwaved it to make it hotter to serve)

By the way, I made this for my 45th birthday.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Valentines Animals.

For this Valentine's Day I made more tiny animals. Some made in polymer clay to place as little surprise for breakfast.

Kitty Chains.

I made little kitty pillows, that looked like it would be good as a key chain. And maybe wrap it around the wrist.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

No more fear of snow.

Spending the first 27 years of my life in a tropical country, I never learned how to enjoy winter, snow and low temperatures. I can say that after almost 18 years here, I finally learned how to properly dress for this climate.
So I decided that this year, I will no longer be afraid of the cold, and I will enjoy the weather.
First I had to do some research on how you can do that. I spotted great ideas on different websites, Parents magazine had several activities for snow day, and friends told me they used to play with food coloring in the snow.
So the day before the snow storm, I placed water mixed with food coloring in paper cups. They sat on the garage floor, away from the wind and snow, but still cold.
Something else tropical mostly people always dream of is to build a snow man. Looking in the movies seem easy, but for me it required some reading before. Last year I tried to make one, and the powdery snow didn't stick together. I learned that it has to be slightly wet, so this time I brought a spray water bottle outside.
First I started making a pile of snow. Once I started spraying water, I found out it was not very effective, so I had to pour water on top of snow to make it more solid.

Once it was tall enough, I began to shape up with my hands. I really thought it didn't look like a snowman, but more like a bear. So I started to shape the bear, using my hands and a piece of wood for sharp details.


I used one of the frozen colored water and placed on his hands (paws).

To make eyes and nose, I used leftover black fondant (which later melted, so next time I will be using clay).

I had some food spray paint, to make the paw prints.
I placed the frozen colored water cups left on the garage the day before.

Then when I went crazy, and started painting with food colored mixed in water, in an old water bottle with a whole on the cap.

It was fun, an also an intense workout. Very sore now.
So 2014 is the year that I learned how to have fun in the snow. My kids had a blast...

... and we warmed up after with some sugar cookies. This time I was able to make a snow man.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Lots of indoor activities, because it is too cold.

The snow was so beautiful this morning, but when we attempted to play out, we didn't last ten minutes out. May be the freezing winds, or because my son's snow pants were too short and his legs were freezing.
So we ran back inside, and I was back in the web to find ideas on how to have fun indoors.
The first thing I saw I could make, was recycled crayons. We have lots of little pieces all over the place. So I learned that they can be melted, and reshaped.
I first placed the pieces in a clean soup can.

Then place them in boiling water, and wait until melted.

Using a protective glove or a towel, hold the can and pour the hot, melted wax in ice trays.

Wait until is cold and hard.

They were perfect to use.

Something else I read we can make in a snow day, is snow ice cream.
I grabbed a good amount of clean snow first.

Then mixed with orange juice and sugar, until it looks like a sorbet.

The last thing we decided to do, is playing with puppets. Since I didn't have any socks to spare, I used m paper to make doll puppets. First I cut the shapes.

Then me and the kids used our imagination to color them with markers.

I had some leftover straw to tape it to the back of the dolls, to make into puppets.

And Anderson wanted to make a spaceship for his aliens, so I made some planets. We hang them on the New Year's decorations.


Caio made ninjas, and he made also a "dojo" for them to train.

By the time we were finished, it was nightime, and we had a full day of activities, without having to freeze off outside.