Tag Archive: blue


Someday – someday I tell you – I will be better at updating this blog. Someday….

The title of this post is referring to the fact that I mentioned that I made this Watermelon cake, and that I would post about it – and that’s happened. Of course I made this cake LAST summer which makes it an OLD old post. My bad. At least I think it was summer – in any event, it was really hot out. I need to make that cake again.

The intention of this blog entry is to simply give an update on me. Boring, I know, not nearly as exciting as when I make something. Speaking of which, I made White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies for my sister. Because she’s a cookie NUT. She’s like a Jessi-Made-Something-Sweet nut really.

Back to my point. My last post was made from Plymouth, Michigan, but this post – I’m making it from my new home in the City of Houston, in Texas. That’s right. I HAVE RETURNED HOME. Texas has, for as long as I can remember, always been consdered my home, you know, to me. My heart always wanted to return back to Texas – it’s where I belong. It’s where my Dad’s family is.

Sadly, about a month after we got here, one of my two favorite aunt (the other one being on my Mom’s side) died. She was my dad’s sister, his older sister, and she was sooo nice. I got to see her once before she died, and we were supposed to see each other the weekend she died. I miss her. She was one of those people who deserved the world, but didn’t have much, but considered that the world, because it was all they needed. A remarkable lady, gone far too soon, and I miss her and wish I had had more time with her before it happened.

But that’s what this about, talking about the big change in my life, moving from Michigan to Texas. I have not been to the ocean yet, but you can bet your buttons the first chance I have teh money I’m going. Last time I was there was in 2008, so it’s overdue.

Until next time –

Jessi

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To be quite honest – I made these cupcakes so long ago, I can’t remember ANYTHING about what I did to make the actual cake part, just the frosting. If my memory serves me correctly, I might have made them simply because I was trying out a new frosting recipe and the cake may actually be Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix. But I really can’t remember.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue Buttercream Frosting

I do remember how unhappy I was with the texture of the finished buttercream, although the flavor was AMAZING. I’ve remade the same buttercream and had the same texture, but was slightly better than before, although I did not take pictures of  those cupcakes.

Choclate Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream3As I’m almost positive I did use a store bought mix for the cake part, I’m just going to give the buttercream recipe.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DirectionsChoclate Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream4

  1. Stir milk and flour together in a saucepan over low heat; cook, stirring constantly, until thick, about 5 minutes. Cool mixture in refrigerator until cold to the touch, about 15 minutes.
  2. Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and fluffy.
  3. Stir cooled milk until smooth. Slowly beat into the butter mixture until frosting is of a spreadable consistency. For a thicker icing, you may not need the entire milk mixture.

Note: Make sure the butter is still slightly stiff, and not completely soft, this will make a difference. But also make sure it’s not to hard, or you’ll get lumps of butter in your frosting.

 

For best results, I think next time I make this, as I’m STILL testing out this recipe to get the proper texture I want in Choclate Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream1my frosting, I’m going to make sure everything is as cold as I can get it when mixing and hope this makes a difference. Also I think I might add more flour, I think it might not have enough to hold up for what I want it to do. Although I do know that this time was better than the last time I made it. I’ve made this recipe a total of like three times, and the first was HORRIBLE, the second better, and the last time was in the dead middle of summer and the heat was TERRIBLE, so the butter in the frosting was like *slunk” and just slid off when it had to travel in a vehicle with NO AIR CONDITIONING. Yuck. I’ll keep ya posted about it. (It will not be the Watermelon Cake.)

Choclate Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream8 (2)

These cupcakes were really good otherwise though. People at work liked them, and my sister gobbled them up (when doesn’t she?) so despite my lapse in baking judgement for using store bought cake mix – they turned out well. I haven’t used a box cake mix since then, despite there being three currently sitting in my pantry.  One’s a yellow cake mix, one chocolate and the other is carrot cake, complete with a frosting can (ew) to go with it. I have no urge to ever use the box. It’s really there for when I need a super quick backup.

Well, that’s it for this post. Until next time –

JessiChoclate Cupcakes with Blue Vanilla Buttercream12

Long time, no see, right?

It’s been nearly a year since my last update, so I should, concievably, have a lot to post, right? Well I probably do and I just can’t remember. Whatever. This is just a quick update in case anyone actually follows this.

If I had a proper kitchen, this would probably be updated frequently. But I hate my kitchen and ever since my best friend moved in, there’s even less room. But we’ll see about getting better at updating this thing. *sigh*

Life Update: No, I’m not dating anyone knew. No, I don’t have a job doing what I love, writing OR baking. Which sucks. BUT, I am moving next month from Michigan to Texas. BIG CHANGE. That’s mostly what this next month is going to focus on. I also just quit my job working midnights as a cashier at a localized to the Midwest retail store.

So expect a few updates coming – baking ones. Because I don’t have anything on the writing front which I’ve never kept updated anyway. Actually, I might return to my research for that one book that THERE is a post about. If you wanted to go look it up in archives. If I update about that, I’ll post a link then.

Until next time, toodles.

~Jessi~

This cake was my first cake that I was PAID to make. And despite several setbacks, it turned out well, I think.

Sherri Aaron Bridal3

Trisha, one of my mom’s co-workers, saw my Game of Throne’s cupcakes – my mom shows off my stuff at work – and wanted to order a bridal shower cake for her friend Sherri for April 20th. So as you can see, I’m not too late in getting this up as I am on the other ones. She wanted a plain sheet cake made of marble for 30 people and the colors blue and purple with the words “Sheri & Aaron, here’s to a ‘beary’ happy life together.” Sheri likes polar bears and the couple likes Jones soda.

Sadly, the design I made wasn’t what I wanted – meaning it didn’t turn out like my sketch. Originally it was supposed to have 3D modeling chocolate figures of an iceberg with two polar bears and a bottle of Jones soda between them, one was going to wear a veil, and the other a bow tie.

Trisha reported back to my mom, who told me that they LOVED that cake, but the frosting was too sweet. Which sucked. But I didn’t really like the recipe I used anyway. I’m going to show you the recipe, but please don’t use it unless you want a sugar overload. Like a major one.

But, I had three batches of modeling chocolate fail on me – not even kidding. Seriously. The quality of the chocolate was good, so I know it wasn’t that, the only thing I can conclude was that I had terrible quality of corn syrup. After three failed attempts at trying to make modeling chocolate – I went with my fail safe back up. Fondant.

The cake I used, was two of my favorites – ironically the chocolate and the yellow cake both had the same baking time and oven temperature. It was the yellow cake I used for my sister’s birthday cake and the chocolate one I apparently use for everything else. It was SO good, according to feedback. I’ll have to be sure to use it more.

I had to use fondant for the little design, and I had to hand paint it, which is no biggie, except that you only get one shotSherri Aaron Bridal4 at it sometimes. Luckily, I only needed one shot because it turned out really cute. I was happy with the way the 2D design turned out, but majorly pissed that I couldn’t get the 3D to work out. I just ran out of time. I used my standard Marshmallow fondant recipe – if you’d like to see it please visit my Modest Medusa blog I wrote.

Jessi’s Favorite Cake

Ingredients:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1½ cups granulated sugar
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk
Vegetable oil
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Important Note: Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup….then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1 1/3 cups.

Preheat oven to 350°

Process:
Preparation: Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

1) In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

2) Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

3) Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4) Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost as desired.

And…

Jessi’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

For Layer Cake:

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 cup oil

2 cup water

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoon vinegar

Directions:

1)       Preheat oven 350 degrees F

2)       Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl together. Combine oil, water and vanilla in a bowl as well, keep vinegar separate until final mix together.

3)       Put in prepared pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

4)       Frost with icing or buttercream when cooled completely

The chocolate cake recipe is from that Mom’s Chocolate Cake Recipe that I talked about in Sorry They’re Late Birthday Cupcakes. I’ve recently made my own personal little cookbook, and I renamed all the recipes, so they’re no longer saved with their original names. I’d tell you if I made something up myself.

I made the icing with the following recipe, but again, I urge you NOT to use this. It’s overly sweet – and while the lemon extract helps a little, it’s not worth anything much.

Vanilla Buttercream
Ingredients
• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 3-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 5 to 6 tablespoons 2% milk
• Splash of lemon extract
Directions
• In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Yield: About 3 cups.

This actually a modified recipe from the original and it still sucks.

For the design, I made a design of strokes on the cake all heading to the center, which makes it looked like cracked ice, which was the only way I could get the iceberg feel to it, although the fondant is shaped like an ice floe. It effect turned out nice, I was happy with that. Now, I don’t own an airbrush, it’s on my list of things to buy for my cake decorating supplies, so I had to use that Wilton spray mist color, which has the same effect as air brush. And then I had to mix up some more frosting so that I could make the edge design. I mixed up blue and purple and then put them in the same bag to make it look like a tie-dye job a little, so that both colors would be there and one wouldn’t be more prominent than the other. And then of course I wrote on it in black so the words would stand, because I have pretty nice penmanship with icing. I can do print, fancy or cursive.

Sherri Aaron Bridal1

If you didn’t pick the cake up and support in the middle, there was a cracked looked to the airbrush surface, which kind of worked for this cake though. Thankfully. Anywyay Trisha was happy, and so was Sheri with the design, and I of course lowered my price since I couldn’t make the 3D figures the way she wanted.

So that’s my latest cake escapade – until next time!

Jessi

The Modest Medusa Cake

Before you look at any pictures, I should tell you about Modest Medusa. Modest Medusa is a webcomic written and drawn by Jake Richmond, that features mostly about people in his real life, aside from Medusa, who is of course, NOT real, seeing as how she’s a sea monster type thing. Whatever, she’s adorable.

To explain properly, so that you understand the cake, Medusa is from a magical realm that doesn’t really exist, and she came into Jake’s world (our world) through a toilet. Medusa’s bed is a toilet and she loves Chocodiles – for those of you who don’t know what a chocodile is, it’s a chocolate covered twinkie, and apparently they do (did) exist. They stopped making them when they stopped making twinkies (duh!), so I will hopefully get to try one in my lifetime when they start producing twinkies again. The joke about chocodiles and Medusa are that, she LOVES them, and she lives in a toilet, and that chocodiles apparently look like a piece of crap. So when you see the picture below, it’s a CHOCODILE – not a piece of s**t.

Amy's Birthday Cake, Modest Medusa

Amy’s Birthday Cake, Modest Medusa

I made this cake for my sister Amy’s birthday, because she loves Modest Medusa, and now so do I. So thank you for that, Amy, thank you.

Now, the only part of this cake that is cake is the toilet bowl itself and the chocodile, the back and Medusa herself are actually made from rice krispies. I should have taken a photo showing you the inside of the cake, because it’s purple funfettied, because that’s Amy’s favorite kind of cake and her favorite color is purple.

The cake I used this time, I searched the internet long and hard to find just the right one, and let me tell you – this cake is PERFECT. At least for me. I don’t remember the name of the cake before I renamed it for my cookbook – just that I didn’t come up with the recipe.

The Chocodile (chocolate covered twinkie) and Sneaky Snake

The Chocodile (chocolate covered twinkie) and Sneaky Snake

Jessi’s Favorite Cake

Ingredients:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour (do not sift the flour)
1½ cups granulated sugar
3½ teaspoons baking powder
1-teaspoon salt
1¼ cups milk
Vegetable oil*
1 stick butter (not margarine), softened
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs

*Important Note: Measure the 1-1/4 cups of milk in a 2 cup measuring cup… then add enough vegetable oil to bring the liquid up to 1 1/3  cups.

Preheat oven to 350°

Process:
Preparation:
Cut wax paper to fit the bottom of (3) 9 x 1 1/2-inch round pans. Spray the pans with cooking spray, place the wax paper in the pans and spray the paper.

1) In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt, mixing well.

2) Add the milk/vegetable oil mixture, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

3) Add the eggs and continue beating an additional 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4) Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center of cake comes out clean, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center.

Cool cakes on wire racks for 15 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely.

Frost as desired.

Now, this version already has all my notes that I’ve made that I would change. Or that needed to be added. It’s important to note however, that this batter will not be as thick as some other cake batters you may be used to.  In fact, sometimes, it may look like the batter is trying to separate itself, don’t worry this is normal. Just go ahead and pour it into your prepared pans and bake.  The bake time may vary, though, but don’t go by me, my oven is a nightmare to work with.

I covered the whole thing in fondant, which this time I made myself.  I used Marshmallow fondant though, and I’ve had really good feedback with it. That it tastes more like actual frosting and less like fondant. People tend to dislike the taste of traditional fondant, so I like to use marshmallow.

The most important thing to remember is to have SPACE when working with fondant. And that’s my biggest issue in my kitchen. Which if you’ve ever seen my kitchen, you understand why it’s a chore. Also, if you’re going to roll out fondant for anything, you should have a long rolling pin or stick. Standard rolling pin length will only lead to trouble for you. They sell “special” fondant rolling pins or whatever… I went to my local “Hobby Lobby” and bought a  2″ thick dual, cut off some of the excess  length and it works perfect.

Marshmallow Fondant

Medusa and her bed, the toilet with her Chocodile.

Medusa and her bed, the toilet with her Chocodile.

Ingredients:

¼ cup butter

1 (16ounce) package miniature marshmallows

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, divided.

Directions

  1. Place the butter in a shallow bowl, and set aside.
  2. Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.
  3. Rub your hands thoroughly with butter, and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch, 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners’ sugar.
Medusa

Medusa

Also, important to remember, always keep your fondant moving when rolling it out. ALWAYS. Roll it out, move it, roll a little more, move it, and keep your confectioner’s sugar handy. While kneading it, you’ll come across a lot of wet spots, frequently, just add more powder sugar until it comes to the right consistency to roll out. You’ll know when you get there. You color fondant by adding color and kneading until it’s a uniform color, this could take more time than you anticipate, but it’s worth it.

For Medusa, she’s all one color, and I painted her hair, although originally, it was supposed to rise, but I ran out of time and resources. Had to improvise. But she turned out alright and I’m happy with her. Mostly.

Until next time –

Jessi

If you would like to read the webcomic “Modest Medusa Webcomic” click here, and it will start you from the first comic. Be warned, there are three seasons currently as of May 1, 2013.

WRITING – BOOK – MYTHICAL

I hate that saying “If It’s On The Internet It Has To Be True.”
What kind of idiot believes that? A moron, that’s who.

But having said that, I am not an idiot (about the interent anyway) nor a moron. I know that when researching anything, and that if you decide to use the internet, you have to be careful of what you read on here. So when I decided to write this book, I had to do some research, and by that I mean I still have alot more to do.

To do a story that is based on the migration of mythical creatures that don’t exist… it’s alot. I mean, clearly Vampires, Werewolves, Chimeras, Dragons, Unicorns, Elves, and many many others, they don’t exist, like REAL ones. The kind from legends and stories, but people who just practice it and belive they are one. I don’t know if I want witches to be in my story, if I do, I want Wizards and Warlocks, but I want them all to be seperate, but you know.. mingled together, if that makes sense.

I’m kind on a toss up between having humans interact in this secret mythical world, like obviously they go and interact with humans in their world, but for humans to discover thier world… SCANDAL. But I’m thinking of having a human forced to because they become a cross of being human and mythical.. which is such a contraditction. But whatever.

I said this was a work in progress.

 

I’ve been researching things like the chimeara, and people like Medusa… although that was more because of my favotire TV show, “Grey’s Anatomy” and that Merideth has the nickname of “Medusa” on there. Anyway. I stumbled upon a werewolf page…. It freaked me out. Not because the idea of werewolves creep me out, but because the picture at the top… it creeped me out. But I definately am going to be taking some liberites with some of these attributes and legends. Like these are the things that mortals believe, and then this is what it really is.

It’s going to be awesome when I get done with the book. Of course, I do need an actual plot before I write anything. Like… a main character. And what their conflict is. I think I already know the main character is going to be a girl. I just don’t know what she’s going to be. I’m highly intrugued though about making one of the main characters this half serpent, half… woman type thing…

And mermaids are totally going to be in the story too, I know that. I think I’m going to have guard thingys for like the big baddie. Who I don’t even know who that is yet. I told you this story is in the devloping stages.

Until Later – Jessi