Saturday, 24 September 2011 - 12:38 am
Saw this over at Tiny Buddha – too good not to share!
“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia
You mean I am a source of many wonderful things?Yes. Actually you are. Own up to it.
Leo has it right.
1. Love yourself.Despite all the things that you think may be terribly wrong with you, love yourself. Love yourself.Tattoo it on your brain.
Click here to read the rest of the article!
Saturday, 17 September 2011 - 6:20 am
Royal Icing is a pure white icing that dries to a hard and smooth texture. It can be used to ice cookies and cakes as well as make all those pretty little edible flowers you see on cakes and cupcakes. Because it is white in nature, it colours perfectly especially if you are using gel or paste based colours.
There are two ways you can make Royal Icing – with or without egg whites. Youcan use egg whites if you are in a real hurry and don’t have any meringue powder on hand, but I would recommend buying some and keeping it in stock. This is for two reasons – some people are still concerned about the risks about salmonella, the other is because egg whites add to much moisture and you need to use double the amount of sugar to reach the right consistency.
Royal Icing – without egg whites
4 cups confectioners sugar (powdered icing mixture)
30g meringue powder
a dash of vanilla powder – for flavour, don’t add to much!
1/2 cup warm water.
- Combine the sugar and meringue powder in a bowl – add the water slowly until it becomes glossy and forms stiff peaks.
- If you are making royal icing for piping decorations/flowers, add another cup of sugar – it needs to be really stiff!
- If you are making it for cake/cooking frosting – make it a little but runnier.
Royal Icing – with egg whites
1-2 egg whites (1 if big – 2 if small)
3-4 cups confectioners sugar
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Combine egg whites and lemon juice – beat until you have some white peaks, don’t need to be formed.
- Add the sugar and beat until desired consistency
You need to use your Royal Frosting immediately because it hardens when exposed to air. I predominantly use my Royal Icing to pipe flowers for my cupcakes so when I have separated the mixture into bowls for colouring I group them all together under a wet tea-towel while I am piping.
Don’t ever, ever store Royal Icing in the fridge because the moisture ruins it. I made the mistake and pulled it out the next day only to find it turned into slosh while coming down to room temperature due to condensation/moisture. I always just use it on the day.
I use Gel Paste colouring in my Royal Icing because you get much stronger colours without ruining the texture of the icing. If you are just using liquid colours, you can only use a drop or two and you will get really weak colours, if you add too much more the icing will get too runny.
Buy some Gel Paste colouring from Cakes Around Town, I use mine all the time now they are so good!!
I found some really good tips in mixing colours and a tinting chart – here.
To Thicken: Add more suagr (best for piping)
To Thin: Add more water (best for flooding cookies or frosting cakes)
More to come on this later, but if you are piping Royal Icing, some general tips:
If you need to pause piping for a while, keep a damp paper towel over the tip of your piping bag to prevent the icing from hardening
Baking 911 – Royal Icing
Joy of Baking – Royal Icing
Friday, 16 September 2011 - 10:55 am
I love this Hook poster-quote by Moegly Designs!!
Peter Pan is one of my favourite movies, but this quote actually always reminds me of times where I consider myself to be not living life the way I want to be. Like when I am vegging on the couch watching TV, or playing WOW instead of reading or cleaning or exercising or cooking. I want adventure out of living, I want to be healthy and energetic and exploring places and foods and cultures and people!
All that is stopping me is me.
Thursday, 15 September 2011 - 2:32 am
Written by Laura Jeanne Allen
My Grandfather and Grandmother were married for over half a century, and played their own special game from the time they had met each other. The goal of their game was to write the word “shmily” in a surprise place for the other to find. They took turns leaving “shmily” around the house, and as soon as one of them discovered it, it was their turn to hide it once more.
They dragged “shmily” with their fingers through the sugar and flour containers to await whoever was preparing the next meal. They smeared it in the dew on the windows overlooking the patio where they always had warm, homemade pudding with blue food coloring.
“Shmily” was written in the steam left on the mirror after a hot shower, where it would reappear bath after bath. At one point, my Grandmother even unrolled an entire roll of toilet paper to leave “shmily” on the very last sheet.
There was no end to the places “shmily” would pop up. Little notes with “shmily” scribbled hurriedly were found on dashboards and car seats, or taped to steering wheels. The notes were stuffed inside shoes and left under pillows.
“Shmily” was written in the dust upon the mantel and traced in the ashes of the fireplace. This mysterious word was as much a part of their house as the furniture.
It took me a long time before I was able to fully appreciate my grandparents’ game. Skepticism had kept some of them from believing in true love-one that is pure and enduring. However, I never doubted my grandparents’ relationship. They had love down pat. It was more than their flirtatious little games; it was a way of life. Their relationship was based on a devotion and passionate affection which not everyone is lucky to experience.
Grandma and Grandpa held hands every chance they could. They stole kisses as they bumped into each other in their tiny kitchen. They finished each other’s sentences and shared the daily crossword puzzle and word jumble.
My Grandmother whispered to one of her friends about how cute my Grandfather was, how handsome and old he had grown to be. She claimed that she really knew “how to pick ‘em.”
Before every meal they bowed their heads and gave thanks, marveling at their blessings: a wonderful family, good fortune, and each other.
But there was a dark cloud in the couples’ life: my Grandmother had breast cancer. The disease had first appeared ten years earlier. As always, my Grandfather was with her every step of the way.
He comforted her in their yellow room, painted that way so that she could always be surrounded by sunshine, even when she was too sick to go outside.
Now the cancer was again attacking her body. With the help of a cane and my Grandfather’s steady hand, they went to church every morning. But my Grandmother grew steadily weaker until, finally, she could not leave the house anymore. For a while, my Grandfather would go to church alone, praying to God to watch over my Grandmother.
Then one day, what everyone dreaded finally happened. My Grandmother was gone.
“Shmily.” It was scrawled in yellow on the pink ribbons of my Grandmother’s funeral bouquet. As the crowd thinned and the last mourners turned to leave, my aunts, uncles, cousins and other family members came forward and gathered around Grandma one last time.
My Grandfather stepped up to my Grandmother’s casket and, taking a shaky breath, he began to sing to her.
Through his tears and grief, the song came, a deep and throaty lullaby.
Shaking with my own sorrow, I will never forget that moment. I knew that, although I couldn’t begin to fathom the depth of their love, I had been privileged to witness its unmatched beauty.
See How Much I Love You