In the kitchen lately, I’ve been working on cakes and sugar cookies decorated with royal icing.
We celebrated my hubby’s birthday this past week and for the occasion, I made him his favorite cake because in the Effortless household, cake is a MUST on your birthday.
This was a two-layer German Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting spread between the layers and piped as a border around the coconut pecan topping. It was sooooo good, ya’ll.
I’ve also been working on sugar cookies. Lots and lots of sugar cookies. I’ve mostly been doing various heart-shaped designs, trying to get ready for Valentine’s Day.
When my schedule permits, I like to bring in desserts to share at the office, so this year, I’ve decided to bring in a “Nacho” Average Valentine Cookie platter featuring these nacho cookies I’ve been working on:
Aren’t they cute?!!
And they were so easy to decorate. My plan is to place these nachos on a white platter and sprinkle a few red hearts among them to complete the theme. It’s going to look maaaaaarvelous!
Image from thechicsite.com
What have you been working on lately?
My first cake decorating class was tons of fun and I can’t wait to go back for more. This was a Basic Cake Decorating class. The cakes were pre-baked for us and the instructor covered everything from tips and tricks to bake the best cakes, how to fill a piping bag, how to make buttercream frosting, and we even made delicate roses to adorn our cakes with!
Here was the station when I first arrived. They supplied everything we needed — and look — they even served wine!!
We practiced piping techniques:
We leveled our cakes:
We piped a border and filled our cakes with raspberry filling:
We practiced icing our cakes:
Then we smoothed the icing out:
And check out this cool basket weave pattern we piped:
Then we colored our buttercream and created beautiful roses:
The instructor even provided boxes so that we could take our masterpieces home:
My favorite parts of the class were learning the basket weave technique and how to make buttercream roses. Easter is right around the corner and I can see myself using these techniques to make a beautiful spring cake!
If you’ve ever considered trying a class like this, my recommendation is to DO IT!! I learned a lot and it’s fun being in class with others that share your same passions.
Happy Sunday, Friends!
We are officially one week into 2018 and I thought it would be fitting to share my take on New Year’s resolutions. Here it is:
Don’t get me wrong. I believe self-reflection and goal-setting are great things; I just don’t believe we need to wait until the start of a new year to do them. I believe we should be doing self-checks and setting goals throughout the year. But I’m also not the kind of girl who waits to start her diet on Monday. You know the old adage: why put off for tomorrow, what you can do today? That’s my jam.
But back to self-reflection and goal setting. I have spent the past year seriously working on my post-twin-mommy body, trying to get back to my pre-babies’ self. It’s been a struggle at times, but I have stayed steadfast in my determination to get there. I am happy to report that I am killin’ it in the gym and am now back to wearing almost all of my pre-pregnancy clothes ( a major win for me)! I will continue to work on all aspects of my fitness this year: lifting heavier weights, increasing my stamina and endurance, and eating a (mostly) balanced diet with treats thrown in here and there.
Another goal of mine is to hone my baking and decorating skills. I love beautifully decorated sugar cookies and thoughtfully crafted cakes. I have dabbled in both of these in the past, but never really put forth a strong effort to getting better at doing them. I have decided now is a better time than any to do this and so, courtesy of Mr. Effortless (cause’ he’s thoughtful and supportive like that), I’ve signed up to take a cake decorating class and also a Valentine’s Day cookie decorating class. I hope to be able to turn out beautifully decorated treats like these in the near future:
Image from The Cake Parlour – London
Image from angelicamademe.com
Image from heidimix.blogspot.com
Image from christyssavories.com
In short, my New Year’s resolution message is this: personal growth and development should be done all throughout the year.
Cheers to a wonderfully prosperous 2018 full of growth and new adventures for all of us!
Are you looking for new healthy meal ideas for the new year? Try this delicious recipe for Turkey and Egg Salad featuring a Jennie-O Lean Turkey Ham.
6 oz. turkey, chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 Tbsp onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp sweet relish
1 Tbsp mayo (you may sub fat-free or low-fat mayo)
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
If you’re low carbing it or on a keto diet, you can eat this as is, straight out of the bowl. It’s how I like to eat it cause’ it’s packed full of flavor and definitely filling on it’s own.
Or, you can spread it on bread and make a sandwich. Either way, it’s yummy!