Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Good Men Project Why We Run Series

I have a post up on the Good Men Project Sports Page.  Stop laughing...I'm sportsy.  Ok, maybe not sportsy.  But I exercise.  This is a series called "Why We Run", and for the first time in a long while the words just flowed out like poetry.  Hope you enjoy, and feel free to like & share!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sorting Hat Cake Wreck...a.k.a. Harry Pooper Cake

I've had so many cake wrecks in my time.  It is, in fact, a running joke in my family.  Take, for instance, my "Curious George" cake two years ago:


George looked more like an alien or a teddy bear, but he tasted pretty good, whereas Rose's dairy-free gluten-free Very...Fuzzy...Caterpillar cake was bearable (see what I did there?) but tasted like styrofoam covered in sugar:


Now, my cakes may look or taste awful...but they take hours to make and they clearly come from a place of love.  But none have even come close to the mess--I mean, labor of love--that I made for Punkgirl's 14th birthday.

Punkgirl, although she is proudly a nerd, has been anti-fantasy for years, telling me it's "just not my thing."  I've been ok with that, but a little sad that we couldn't share a love for all things mystical and magical.  Until now I thought, c'est la vie. I've lost her to Coffeeguy's love of history.  That is, until she decided to pick up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone one day for silent reading at school.  

She couldn't put it down.  When she read through all of the first four books in three weeks I knew she was really hooked!  So when she asked for the fifth book and we didn't have it (I know, it's weird, why don't we have the fifth book?!) I drove her immediately to the bookstore to pick up a trade paperback copy.  

We talked about Harry, and Ron, Hermione, George, Neville, Ginni...we posited theories about Dumbledore and Snape...we were connecting on a level we never had before.  So when my beautiful young lady turned fourteen, I knew I must attempt to make a gluten-free Harry Potter cake.  

I scoured the internets...looking for the perfect cake...I came across this gem:

(www.sloppyjoebaking.blogspot.com)

But let's face it...we both know that's way beyond my talents.  As is this one:

(www.layersoflove.blogspot.com)

I began to despair.  How could I make a Harry Potter cake that is within my capabilities?  

Then I had an idea.  A sorting hat cake.  I had confectioners'sugar.  I had cocoa.  How hard could it be?  I set about making the fondant (sorry, I didn't take pictures) with 3 cups of confectioners' sugar, 1 cup of cocoa, 1 tbsp of corn syrup, and 5 ounces of water.  I mixed it all together, and it made a nice smooth ball.  I was feeling pretty confident that I could come up with this:

  www.cakecentral.com

I mean, how hard could it be? 

I lovingly rolled out my fondant.  It seemed pretty smoothe.  I cut one of these: 


into several circles, each smaller than the next, and placed them sloppily on top of each other.  I then cut a triangle for the top of the hat.  I used chocolate frosting to hold it all together and hold the fondant on.  And then this happened:

(I'd say I nailed it...)

Now, it was midnight.  And in my defense, I've never ever used fondant before.  But when I tell you that all I could think was that I made my kid a sh*t monster on her cake, and couldn't stop giggling hysterically to the point that I was falling down, please don't judge me. I couldn't even consider trashing it, because I was out of supplies, money, and time.  At least it tasted pretty good...

(Also please note the "magic wand" on the bottom right corner of the cake...which looks like a log of poo...). I fancied it up with some house flags that I printed off and attached to straws.  And all in all, Punkgirl is a huge fan of my "cake wrecks"...she finds them incredibly amusing, and was still laughing when we gave her this great Hot Topic Marauder's Map Harry Potter dress.


All in all, I take pride in my disasters.  Someday my kids will tell stories..."remember when mom made that giant poop cake?"

Suck-At-Home-Mom's:  Feel free to share your "labors of love" below!