Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm Getting Fancier...

I made a batch of red velvet cake balls for hubby's bosses at work and with this batch I wanted to play around with a little decorating.  Nothing totally fancy but just with some candy drizzling. 

I first tried doing the drizzling with a melting squeeze bottle but I think I got a little impatient with the candy melting that I clogged the tip.  Since I didn't have a small enough cake decorator tip I sort of went the poor man's route and used a Ziploc bag.  I just filled it up with chocolate, sealed it up, and snipped a tiny whole in the corner of the bag.  Heh, it worked for the purpose and the cake balls turned out alright.  I just need to make a mental note to find a new decorator tip for this kind of decorating purposes.

Guess their looks didn't matter since I was told they tasted so good anyway ^_^.  Here's how they looked.

Special Order

Colored Balls...

So with this whole phenom of Bakerella's Cake Balls I jumped on the wagon in making these now. 

The thing I didn't mention in my previous post when I first made them is that I found a WAY cheaper way to get candy melts.  Rather than using pre-packaged Wilton brand candy melts that you can find already colored, I actually found chocolate and vanilla candy melts in the bulk foods section of my local grocery store at Winco.  The Wilton candy melts come in bags of 14 oz. at around $2.99 regular price.  Whereas, in the bulk bins I got my candy melts for $2.38/lb! Even though I would have to use oil based dye to color the white melts it still cheaper than buying the melts pre-packaged and I can deal with the coloring part. 

If you have a bulk foods section in your local grocery store go and look if you can find the candy melts.  I've been shopping at the grocery store for the past 10 years and have only really discovered it in the recent months.  I don't know why I never thought of buying most of my grocery items in that section, it would have helped me save some money in the past.

With that said this past Easter I made some Devil's Food cake balls just to play around with flavor.  With this batch I ended up using vanilla flavored candy melts and used oil based dye to color them baby blue and lavender. 

I had to play around with the dyes a bit to get the color I wanted.  I first started out with the blue coloring and used a toothpick dipped into the dye and let it drip into the melted chocolate.  After a few tries I got the color I desired.  With this batch of cake balls I think I made about 80, so I colored half of it blue and the other half lavendar.  When the first batch was done I still had some blue coating left, so I just added more candy melts and added red dye till I reached the lavendar shade I wanted.

After this batch was done and taste test commenced.  I got a thumbs up from my Lil Booger and friends!  Although they still preferred the red velvet cake instead LOL.  It was good experimentation for me and try to get the cake balls coated nicer. 

Here's how they turned out and a few pics of my supplies.

Vanilla Candy Melts

Oil Based Candy Colors

Vanilla Melts Colored Lavender

Light Blue Colored Cake Balls

Lavender Colored Cake Balls

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Cleaning...

Is it still technically Spring?  I can't really tell while living in the Great Northwest since it's still raining LOL. 

Nonetheless, I've gotten the sudden urge to do some spring cleaning and try to re-organize our house.  The first plan off attack was our kitchen pantry.  I usually end up cleaning it up and in no time it looks like a bomb went off in there.  I figured maybe getting pantry stackable shelves will help out the problem with the canned goods piling on each other and getting bigger baskets or containers for our snacks and such.

So the first place I had to check out was IKEA for some organizers on the cheap.  I so LOVE Ikea and wish I could furnish our whole house with their stuff.  I knew they would have what I needed which where the stackable shelves.  I had already checked Target for those but they were a little more rinky dink than I imagined and costing $7 or more each item.  So when I seen the Rationell Variera shelf insert for $5.99, that had me sold. 

We took a quick trip to Ikea yesterday and I was on a mission to JUST get the shelves and that's it.  Yeah, that sort of didn't happen, I got two glass vases for under $2/each and 3 rubber spatulas for $0.29 in addition to the shelves. I was though in Ikea for under an hour on a Saturday afternoon, you have to give me that LOL.

Then on Sunday I hit up Home Depot and Target to search for storage bins/containers to better contain other things that are thrown into the pantry.  When I finally got home I spent the last three hours or so purging out old food and what nots in there that I had used 3/10 gallon sized garbage bags that were filled to the opening of the bags.

After all that work, I must say I'm quite satisfied how it turned out.  The only thing I forgot to do was clean out the very top shelf which is pretty minor.  Now that this part of spring cleaning is over, on to other parts of the house.  Here's my BEFORE/AFTER pics of my cleaning escapade.