rose cake

I made this cake for my daughter’s 5th birthday… wait. I realize I have some explaining to do. What happened to summer? Where have I been?

Well… for starters, swim lessons started which kept us busy 1 1/2 hours every day… then there was vacation, and well… life.

Anyway, I’m back now and I have cake. So will you forgive me?

I almost feel guilty accepting compliments on this cake. They’re undeserved, because if you can draw a spiral, you can totally make this cake.

The secret is in the tip. It’s a 1M tip, and you can find it at craft stores and cake supply shops. My cake… err, frosting isn’t perfect; the frosting was a little too dry… that’s why there are ragged edges on some of the roses. I should have scraped them off for a re-do, but I was attempting to accomplish a weeks’ worth of tasks on this particular day…. and I knew my family wouldn’t mind. If it were for a client… well, I wouldn’t be cramming it into a one day project, that’s for certain.

To make the roses, it’s as simple as starting at a center point and swirling around it. You can make them as small or large as  you wish, I like the big ones, that makes it look like a rose blanket was draped over the cake.

I tossed in some sugar pearls to distract from the less than perfect frosting consistency… 😉 Sugar fixes everything.

For the frosting recipe I used this one: Wilton Buttercream

I’ll be honest with the cake: It’s a basic vanilla cake mix that I doctored up but substituting the oil for melted butter, and the water was substituted with milk. I added a tablespoon of  orange zest also 🙂 That’s the secret to almost homemade. Shhhh….

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dollar store crafts

dollar store crafts

Over the weekend, my daughter and I camped, ate s’mores and went on some adventures… one of them was the dollar store.

I never have enough cake stands…so I made a couple. It’s pretty self explanatory:

At the dollar store, get yourself two candle sticks, then go to the plate section and find some that “match”. Of course, you could get totally creative and spray paint the glass, but I preferred the clear this time. Glue the two pieces together. (Make sure you use a heavy duty glue that’s good for glass and waterproof)

Next, I want to try some white spray paint, for a classic milk glass look. 😉

You could also try local thrift shops for other bases: cups and glasses, wooden candlesticks, etc.

I could go crazy and make two dozen, I just don’t know where I’d store them all… hmmm.

I guess there is always under the bed…


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whole grains 101

When I was a kid, I never knew what white bread was until I was in first grade. I only saw white rice at Chinese restaurants and a sugary box of cereal was a big deal, and I’d get some on special occasions like my birthday. Part of all of this was because my mom was a Yoga instructor & health nut.

I tasted carob before chocolate, and preferred Edensoy over cow’s milk. Dried apricots and prunes were “candy”, and the only sugar that made it into our house was “Sugar In The Raw”. When we’d go to the movies, my mom would bring rice cakes and hard-boiled eggs. I apologize to movie patrons of the early 80’s that had to smell boiled eggs while watching “E.T.” or “The Empire Strikes Back”. Back then, it was the “norm” to me because I didn’t know any different. Of course, what happens to a health nut’s kid when she grows up?

I grew up to manage a health food store for 14 years. And, yes.. do Yoga on occasion.

Then I started a blog. A sugary sweet-deep-fried-cheesy-but tasty blog.

But I still have my roots. I keep the “crap” in moderation for the most part… but, sometimes I take my knowledge for granted. Especially when it comes to health food.

Now that the hubs is on a DASH diet for hypertension, I re-stocked my pantry with whole grains and I decided to share some nifty info to inspire you guys as well. Now… go out and get yourself some grains. 😉


Grain Cooking Chart

information from “Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen

Brown Rice (long grain) 2 cups 35 to 45 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Brown Rice (short grain) 2 cups 35 to 45 minutes 3 3/4 cups
Brown Basmati Rice 2 cups 45 to 50 minutes 4 cups
Brown Jasmine Rice 2 cups 45 to 50 minutes 4 cups
Black Japonica Rice 2 cups 45 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Wehani Rice 2 cups 45 minutes 3 cups
Wild Rice 2 1/2 cups 1 1/4 hours 4 cups
Manitok Wild Rice 2 1/2 cups 50 to 60 minutes 4 cups
Amaranth 1 1/2 cups 25 minutes 2 cups
Barley, Hulled 3 cups 1 3/4 hours 4 cups
Barley, Pearl 2 cups 1 1/2 hours 4 cups
Buckwheat/Kasha 1 1/2 cups 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
*Bulgur 1 1/2 cups 30 to 40 minutes 3 cups
Cracked Wheat 2 1/2 cups 7 to 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Cornmeal (Polenta) 2 1/2 cups 10 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Couscous 1 1/4 cups 10 minutes 2 3/4 cups
Kamut 2 1/2 cups 1 3/4 hours 2 1/2 cups
Millet 2 cups 25 minutes 3 1/2 cups
Oat Groats 2 1/2 cups 35 to 40 minutes 2 1/2 cups
**Quinoa 2 cups 25 to 30 minutes 4 cups
Rye Berries 2 1/2 cups 1 1/4 hours 2 1/2 cups
Spelt 1 1/2 cups 50 to 60 minutes 2 cups
Teff 3 cups 15 minutes 3 cups
Triticale 2 1/2 cups 1 1/2 hours 3 cups
Wheat Berries, Hard (Red) 2 cups 2 hours 3 cups
Wheat Berries, Soft (White) 2 cups 1 1/2 hours 3 1/2 cups


*Soak, don’t cook.

**Rinse first.

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dress project part one

I’m short. When people ask me “How tall are you?” I smile and say, “I’m not!”Needless to say, a lot of my clothing is too long. It needs trimming and hemming. The problem?  I don’t own a sewing machine and I am too lazy to stitch by hand….but, I found a nice loophole for that issue. Don’t get me wrong… I want a sewing machine. I just always “forget” to buy one.

SEW, (haha) I trimmed off a strip. And, that strip just happens to make an awesome hair tie/scarfy-thing)

To hide that unsightly cut edge of the dress… I used….

See that fancy trim? Pur-dee, huh?

You got it. I will post a part 2… once the “ok-to-wash fabric glue” dries.


I know, I have been a total slacker on this site. Well, folks it’s CRAFT SEASON! I mean that I will be making a lot of gifts this year since I’m broke  really really on a budget. 😉

And… I will share them with y’all.Along with what’s in the fridge, of course.

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