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Sunday, August 31

Brains!!!

The BFF's birthday was yesterday (Happy Birthday, Honey!), and one of my gifts to him was having a drawing made of him as a zombie from Monster By Mail. We love zombie movies, and especially zombie games, and I've had it planned for a while to have him drawn as a zombie. Since his birthday was going to fall on a Saturday, when he doesn't work, but I like making treats for him to share at work, so I decided a long time ago, to make zombie related treats for his work. I changed my mind on exactly what and how, but
came up with brain cupcakes.
(I want to make more cupcakes! They are easy-peasy if you use a box mix, and still easy if you use a box plus add-ins, and they are easy to share, and easy to only eat one. I've been wanting a cupcake carrier, that I will buy myself if I don't get it for birthday/Christmas this year, because I want to be a cupcake chick!)
So back to the brains! My original idea was to spread the cupcakes with pink-ish frosting, and then use red gel overtop to draw on the lines. This idea came from embroidering felt brains (see my other blog), but as I thought about it more, embroidery techniques don't exactly transfer to frosting.
So a web search brought me another great idea, piping the shape of the brain parts. (Link. Link.) I realized this would be much easier, and probably cuter!
When I did a couple practice brains, I could see that the frosting was going to get too warm too quickly, and didn't want to run into melting brains, so I put the frosting in the fridge and made the colors in small batches. This worked great, because The Artist Extreeme, with his ever great ideas, suggested that I make a few different colors of brains, to represent different stages of...urm...'freshness'...you know, some zombies like a nice fresh pink brain, others might like a day-old brain, everyone has different tastes. ;p In real life I used dark chocolate fudge cake mix, and cream cheese frosting (both store bought), which was a delicious combo.
I did the zippy bag as pastry bag trick, which worked great, except when the first bag wore out, and I had tiny pink lattice work running down my skirt. (why didn't I put on my apron?) Here's a couple tricks with the zippy bag: use one bigger than you think you need, use the freezer kind, they are thicker, and I didn't have the right kind of tips, so I cut up a plastic squeeze bottle to make the tip. That worked since I only wanted a circle hole tip, wouldn't work for fancy tips. But also worked great so that I could cut it to the exact size. I had two tops, so cut them to different sized circles, using the smaller one when the frosting was starting to warm up.
All-in-all, over 40 brains in varying colors, and some dripping blood or brain juice (gel frosting again from the store) were brought to work with The BFF, and everyone loved them! He even got some photos of some of his work friends eating brains (including the anchors-those will be good shots for the year end party!)

Saturday, August 23

Cooking with iTouch

I like finding recipes on All Recipes.com, I love that you can save your recipes on their site. I know there are other recipe sites that also have recipe box or books, I use a couple others, but I like All Recipes best. I get their e-mail weekly, so I am always checking out new recipes from them.
I've been trying to simplify my big cooking on the weekends, so I have more time with all my guys, so I've been loving using a crock pot meal for one of my weekend suppers. I can get it all in the crock pot maybe even before others are awake, and then not have much more work to do on that meal.
And a bit more background, since I don't update this blog very often: we just got a new iMac this week!!! And if that's not enough, got an iTouch with it because it had a special deal.
So I found a great sounding crock pot recipe (Easy Cheesy Chicken 1*)this week, saved it in my All Recipes recipe box, and this morning, began to get it ready. But The BFF was already up, and on our new computer, so I went to his old computer to see about printing the recipe. And what is sitting on his desk but his iTouch, which he is generously sharing with me, as much as you can share a portable computer thing like that. But I got excited when I realized what I could do with the iTouch, I could look up the recipe on All Recipes, and take the portable thing with me to the kitchen, and not even have to waste paper for printing! He bought a little stand for it, so I could even make it stand up on the counter. I was tickled beyond belief, and he kept asking me why I was giggling!
Too much fun!!!

*in full disclosure on the recipe, I used turkey breast instead of chicken, and it was completely delicious!

Sunday, April 27

Smorgasbord penguins


Smorgasbord penguins
Originally uploaded by sparkleneely
Awesome penguin eggs! This comes from a cool flickr group of retro food. Stuff I need to try!