Friday, January 24, 2014

A Little Birdie Told Me So

I feel really bad for those of you who have a birthday so close to a holiday.  Not only do you probably receive less gifts, but you probably eat less cake.  If you've eaten 3 or 4 cookies every day around Christmas time then cake doesn't sound so appealing, does it?  The luckiest people have their birthdays in the summer.  Even for my birthday I think I hear an imaginary groan if I respond with a turkey dinner as my meal of choice to be eaten not even a month before Thanksgiving.  Just for the record, I'm not saying that I ate 3 or 4 cookies every day in December, it's just that my mother-in-law baked 16 types of cookies this Christmas.  And not just one batch of each of them either.  Each family member gets their favorite cookie and then some.  I just happened to favor more than one of these types of cookies.  But I can probably say that I've had a least one cookie every day for the last couple of weeks.  Waaaay past January 1st.  However, I am 2 weeks into a 30 day morning green smoothie challenge so it's going to have to reverse some of that damage.  Because I had so many other sweet indulgences to pick from this holiday season,  I didn't even have to bake cookies myself.  Besides the plate of cookies for Santa, of course.  But I did bake a few cakes.  I'll share a picture of the cake I made for both of Johnny's grandmas....

fondant bird's nest

Fondant Bird's nest

Have you ever had a really great idea that came to fruition, to only have to explain it to everyone?  I might have been alone on this one. One grandma loves to crochet and the other loves cooking, birds, and angels.  Since you can't cook yarn, I thought of another way to combine these items.  The bird and yarn seemed to go together a little better.  I was so excited because I previously purchased some impression pads for fondant and it included a crochet print.  (Only after the cake was almost complete did I use this impression pad on the cake border and realized that it sucked. If I could give this product a bad review that every cake decorator would read, I would do so.)  Anyways.....this little birdie has unwoven a crocheted garment so he could use the yarn and create a cozy little nest on the branch of a pine tree.

I purchased a really cool tool called a clay extruder. It was so fun, I felt like I was 5 again using my play dough with that barber shop toy.  I know I spent hours pushing the play dough "hair" out of the customer and pressing the "perm" mold down on his head.  You really missed out if you didn't have that toy.  I used the extruder to create the strands of fondant for the nest and the yarn.  I also justified the purchase of this tool by deciding that Amelie could use it for her play dough one day.

fondant strands

On the subject of birds.....We made some bird "cookies" the other day.  Or I should say, "cookies for the birds."  It would have been better to explain it that way to Amelie too. Maybe that way she wouldn't have wanted to taste the bird seed so bad.  They were very easy, just a mixture of plain gelatin, water, and bird seed patted down into cookie cutters.  Leave a hole by using a straw and thread it with some string to hang from a tree branch.  I forgot to take a picture of them hanging in the tree, but they were really cute.