Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Post Halloween Post --Blood-Splatter Petit Fours

Hello! We got the blog up and running again and we are back on schedule! This pin that was sent to us by Kelly is really cool, I know it's way past Halloween, but I just couldn't wait till next year to share it! I hadn't seen this one before but now I wish I had because 1) I love a good creepy Halloween treat, and 2) This looks really yummy!!

The Original
Don't those look creepy/delicious?! You can see the sugar glaze on the pound cake and I bet it tastes amazing!!
Kelly tried these herself, and ran into a few problems, check it out!

Here is what she had to say about it,
"I tried to make something for my office Halloween treat contest. I saw this pin for "Blood-Spattered Petit Fours with Sugar Glass" and thought it sounded simple enough.
As you can see from the pictures, the "glaze" came out totally clear except for some small sugar lumps. I even made more glaze with extra sugar and re-dipped a few petit fours, but they still dried clear. Also, the glaze soaked into pound cake, giving it a kind of grainy texture when you ate it. 
I had high quality food coloring that I used for cake icing that was pretty thick, so I mixed it with a bit of the corn syrup for the blood. That too soaked into the cake. 
Finally, you can also plainly see that I burnt the sugar glass. I was monitoring the temperature very carefully every minute or so. But I turned around for a second and it had shot up and browned within seconds. It tasted ok, just a little caramelized. 
The petit fours (which I called "Bloody Fours") still tasted delicious and I still won Most Creative Treat, but it looked nothing like the pin. I know what I did wrong on the glass, but I don't know how I messed up the glaze. 
Also, just fyi to anyone else who makes them. I left them in an airtight container over the weekend and on Monday, most of the glass pieces were gone. Turns out, the pound cake absorbed them as well!"
Man it sounds like the pound cake is a sugar black hole! It absorbs everything!
A few things came to mind when reading through all this. I went through the original recipe and didn't see any red flags as far as what Kelly did that may have been different other than what she mentioned about her sugar glass.
One thing that came to mind was that her sugar glaze was ok to soak into the cake, I think the original probably had some of that too, it is somewhat inevitable seeing as cake is porous, also the food coloring soaking in too was alright I thought because the original kind of looks like they are doing that as well. One thing that may have made a difference is temperature, if the glaze and cake were next to a hot oven it may not have had a chance to "set up" and harden a little bit and that may have been one of the causes of it just soaking clear through the cake. I also think that the food coloring coagulating on top is part of the glaze being a little shell-like on top of the cake. I think a hot house will make a difference in recipes like this for sure.
As for the clumps in her sugar glaze I think the easy thing to fix this is to make sure when you put your sugar in to do so slowly, and make sure that any clumps are broken up. Sugar tends to clump up if it gets moisture in the bag/container (it can even get in there if you are using a wet spoon to spoon it out), make sure your container is air tight! Dispersing any clumps is the key to making sure that you don't have ay sugar clumps sitting in your glaze on top of the cake.
Kelly you hit the nail on the head with the sugar glass, it is very temperamental and specific. Leave it in for even a few seconds too long, or too hot and it's going to behave badly. It was a little strange to me that it soaked up into the cake over the weekend, but like I said cake is porous...any ideas as to how this happened readers?? I don't have a ton of experience with sugar glass, does it have specifics that need to be followed after it's cooked as well?
Over all I LOVE this pin, it looks delicious, and creepy and would be a cool treat for any Halloween get together! If any of our readers have any further advice here please share!! We love your feedback!
Happy Wednesday all! Have a fun and safe Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Professional Help for the Cookie Bowls

So, when we announced our new schedule, we mentioned that we'd only have posts up on Sundays and Wednesdays unless we just had something really great that we didn't want to wait to share with you. Well, today I found something way fun that I want to share!

Remember back to our first Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl post where Tessa sent in this Pinstrosity?
Well today I discovered (through the nifty gadget in our sidebar that plays a slideshow of all the Instagram photos tagged with #pinstrosity) that Tessa was on the Rachael Ray show earlier this month getting help from the pros with this exact project! How fun is that?! Way to go Tessa! Watch the clip to see what Chef Ryan Scott does to get these to work right. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Saggy Ornament Wreath

Alright. I'll do it. I'll pull out the first Christmas post of the 2014-2015 Christmas season. I realize I'm stuffing Thanksgiving a little (hehe, nice pun there Marquette. Why thank you!), but this one is great. Especially for those of us who haven't started decorating yet because either we're Thanksgiving purists and the Christmas boxes cannot be cracked one second earlier than December 1st, or we're bah humbugging it this year (I'll have you know the Google spell checker didn't even give the squiggly red underline with humbugging...apparently it's a real word because Google said so and Google knows all), or we just haven't even thought about it yet really. This project looks like a quick and easy DIY Christmas Wreath of glass ball happiness, but, as Katy found out, it doesn't always go as planned. Katy sent in the two photos she took her inspiration from, and two photos of her results.

The Original Pins
So, as is all too common on Pinterest, along the line of pinning the wrong picture got attributed to the wrong blog/pin. The picture below is the pin that Katy pinned, but it wasn't on the blog it linked to. I did finally find the original post and have it linked below. But Katy didn't have that link and so she had to wing it. 
I did some digging on the link the pin led to and I found the 2nd photo she sent us on the blog:
Finding this post was the key to the puzzle. But first...let me show you Katy's results.

The Pinstrosity

Katy's exact words were, "I like my festive, but saggy, balls."

So what happened here? Lack of wire strength. As there were no directions linked to by the pin, Katy had to go off the pictures. The 2nd picture of the original pins looks like it is the start of an ornament wreath, but after digging around and finding the original post the photo came from a wreath was not in order, but this fun chandelier decoration:

If you look at the post, Mike uses flexible wire to string the ornaments on as the wire doesn't have to hold a specific shape. They just needed something sturdy to string the ornaments on to rest them in the chandelier.

When I found the original source to the ornament wreath photo that showed what this project truly needs as far as wire goes. They used a coat hanger. You need sturdy wire that isn't going to bend with the weight of the ornaments.

So it ended up being another case of the mis-pinned photo...that dastardly imp struck again. It gets the best of all of us. I hate finally opening up one of my pins that I've been excited about only to find the internet imp has switched things around and that actual picture is no where to be found where the pin led. I don't know why all the sudden it's an internet imp, but apparently that's what's going on with all our web woes.

Moral of the story? If your wire is tired and not very strong, your wreath will be saggy and won't last all that long.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Em's Halloween Show-and-Tell!

Marquette shared her Halloween costume show and tell the other day, and I thought it would be fun to share ours too!! Happy Wednesday all!!
Chip and I went as Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus for all of our Halloween festivities!

(I had chalk all over me buy the end of the night from our sign lol)
We went to our church trunk-or-treat and had a themed trunk for all of the kids at the activity.
These pictures are really awful because it was dark, I apologize, but you get the idea...
We had candy and glow sticks. We had a little game for the kids, if they could throw the ball into the last row of jack-o-lantern cups they got candy AND a glow stick (if they didn't get the ball in the cup after a few tries they still got candy).
We had fun playing science lab all night.
It's hard to see here, but the jars are all filled with glowing bugs and we had science books, and skulls in our "Science Lab".

 Here is Dr. Nye in his element ;)
For our costumes I found the dress at a thrift store, it was a gosh awful pink before and I used fabric dye from the craft section at Wal-Mart to get my awesome purple color. The dye I got was a cobalt blue, but the blue plus pink made purple! I'll take it!
Next I cut out and hot glued all the felt pieces onto the dress. I drew everything by hand with a  marker, then cut them out and glued them on.
My wig was a child's Disney Merida wig that I pinned up, I used Chip as my mannequin!
For Chip's costumes we borrowed the coat and prop goggles, I bought him the bow tie and he wore his Sunday clothes. Done.
We had a really good time and I've been wanting to do Miss Frizzle (whose first name is Valerie, who knew??) for a while.
Just so no ones feels like we have a handle on the holiday season, I just cleaned our car out yesterday. True story. Real life!!
Hope you all had a great Halloween! On to November!! Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Oil Stain Remover Tested

Welp, as promised earlier, I have the results of my first oil stain remover test! Because I had all the supplies, I chose to test the wikihow oil remover instructions first. 

Step 1. Spill oil on shirt. Check. 

2. The instructions said to use a paper towel to blot out remaining oil, but my shirt was already dry...there was no oil to blot. So I proceeded on to the step where I cover the stain in baking soda and let it sit for 60 minutes. The baking soda is supposed to soak up the oil. They say to repeat this step until the baking soda no longer turns brown. As the oil was already dry, this only took one application for me.

3. Scrape off all remaining baking soda with a credit card. You can barely see the stain spot at this point, so I was hopeful.

4. Apply dish washing detergent as a pre treatment, and scrub into the fabric with an old toothbrush until it foams. I couldn't ever get it to foam...but I sure scrubbed the soap into the fabric!

5. Wash with 1-2 other non-delicate items with normal detergent, on the hottest water settings, and add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar. I added about 3/4 of a cup.

6. Dry as normal is the last step, so into the dryer it went.

Did it work?
Did it?

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

On one hand I'm a tiny bit sad it didn't turn into a Pinstrosity (I kind of figured it would as the oil was already dry and these instructions seemed to be for fresh oil spillage), but only because I now don't have a Pinstrosity to show you. But, you now have a oil removal method that you can try at home with ingredients you most likely have on hand! Cool! I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me.


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