Living Life the Evie Way

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A Lesson in Cherry Pitting!

A Lesson in Cherry Pitting!

Cherries! We love cherries! They were on sale at our grocery store so we bought up a bag. But, we never eat the whole thing, they go bad before we finish them. What to do? Make Cherry Pie!!! Pitting the cherries is the hard part, […]

Ahh Vacation

Ahh Vacation

Vacation is one of those things I NEED. I need to get away, to have time to relax with my husband and family. Seriously. If I could get paid to travel AND bring my husband and Evie with me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. […]

What’s Growing On? Tomato update!

What’s Growing On? Tomato update!

Ahh tomatoes.

Our plants are huge but we have yet to see fully ripened tomatoes.

We seriously can’t wait.

Evie takes very good care of them, making sure they’re watered almost daily.

I had to stake them with branches already because they’re getting huge and heavy!

I’m not sure you can tell from the picture but one is almost taller than me and I’m 5’5″!!

We had a storm a few weeks back which strained a lot of them. I quickly reinforced the plants with the various tree branches we had laying around. Why buy stakes from the store when we have sturdy tree branches?!

I was worried they wouldn’t fully recover but it looks like they’re doing great!

I hope we aren’t gathering all our harvest in October like last year!

This year we did plant earlier (as opposed to last year lol) but I’m still worrying we didn’t plant soon enough!

But! There are tomatoes on the vines!!

We had a few casualties as we staked the plants a bit more. They’ll ripen inside hopefully or fried green tomatoes?! That sounds great to me too!!

Sooner than later, we’re hoping to enjoy these babies! And share recipes too!!

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe

Most of you know, or maybe you don’t, there was a story going around about a certain chocolate chip cookie recipe from Neiman Marcus. The short version of the story: a woman was lunching at Neiman Marcus and had the most amazing chocolate chip cookie, […]

What’s Growing on?-Basil Garlic Pasta

What’s Growing on?-Basil Garlic Pasta

  Basil!! I just threw this together when we needed a side the other night. I can’t tell you how much I love fresh basil! The smell when you pick it, the taste, everything! Evie loves it too! She’ll pick leaves right off the plant […]

The Patriotic Cake!!

The Patriotic Cake!!

For the Fourth of July (I know I’m a little late), Evie and I decided to make a very Patriotic cake. Red, White and Blue, flags, the whole bit. It turned out so awesome, there’s even a surprise inside! Evie was SO SO good about not telling anyone, I’m sure she was distracted by all the swimming she did, she wouldn’t get out of the pool!

I found this recipe for Marshmallow fondant on my beloved Pintrest. Its so easy, a little messy but definitely easy.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Its from How Does She and its a step by step tutorial. How could it not be any easier than that?!

As for our surprise, we followed the directions here, at Glorious Treats.

So we got to work on baking our cakes. Since the cake was a bit involved we decided to go with a store bought white cake mix. We baked our cakes as directed on the back of the box but added milk instead of water to make it more rich in flavor. As well as added the required food coloring to each according to the Glorious Treats tutorial. We ended up with 4 cakes, 2 red, 1 white and one blue.

I wish I had more pictures of us baking the cakes, but it was a lot to make so we just banged them out quick!

Then we got to building our cake!

Evie was definitely a fan of all the leftover cake we had as we went lol.

Once assembled, we frosted the cake, with store bought icing.

Then, we got to our fondant.

I very quickly realized rolling out the fondant, no matter how appealing it is to a toddler, is NOT for a toddler to do. The stickiness of the marshmallows and grease from the shortening could cause quite the disaster. Not to mention when you add food coloring into the mix!!

But as messy as it may be, it sure is easy.

I prepared the fondant as shown on How Does She

Be careful you can over knead the fondant. I also would suggest REALLY greasing down your counter top because this stuff sticks!

I worked with only three colors: red, white and blue.

First I divided the fondant in half, setting aside the white to cover the entire cake. Then I split the other half into two, one to knead in red coloring and the other, the blue coloring.

Mixed in the food coloring,  kneaded and mixed, kneaded and mixed, until I got the color I wanted.

Then, I rolled out the white fondant, making sure my counter was dusted with powdered sugar so it wouldn’t stick. Rolled out enough to cover the cake, about 1/8 inch thick. Definitely use the tricks on the How Does She site, they made everything a lot easier to do.  Save your white trimmings, you’ll need those to cut out your stars!

Once the cake was covered in white, I set out to roll the blue to cover half of the cake. Again, 1/8 inch thick, using a pizza cutter, cut a straight edge. This will be used to divide the cake and give it a clean look, as you’re going to put the red stripe adjacent. Brush a small amount of water on the white half of the fondant you’ll be laying down the blue, drape over the half the cake and trim edges.

Note: Do not use too much water, it will dilute the fondant, make it look a little grainy and separate(You can definitely see in my stripes picture below.)

Roll out the red fondant. Using the pizza cutter, cut into 1/2 inch strips, trimming the edge that will touch the blue to a straight edge. Then apply each strip 1/2 inch apart(with a minimal amount of water), resembling the stripes on the flag.

And finally, knead your leftover white trimmings and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Using a small star cookie cutter dusted with powdered sugar,  cut out 10-15 stars depending on the size of your cutter. Apply them like the rest, a small amount of water and press gently.

There are so many variations you could make your cake, so have fun with it! We didn’t stick to the exact number of stripes and stars, if we did we would’ve need a bigger cake!!

Either way its totally fun and festive for the Fourth of July, Flag day or Memorial day etc.

It definitely wasn’t perfect for my second time using fondant but you get the idea!

I thought it looked great even though I could point out all the flaws we had.

Everyone else thought it was beautiful and that’s all that really matters!

It even got double use as a birthday cake for one of our loved ones! And we were super excited about that!!

It was awesome to see everyone’s faces when we cut into the cake. So much fun!!

What’s Growing On?!- Tomatoes

What’s Growing On?!- Tomatoes

For a few years now, Evie and I have been growing tomatoes. Last year we had a late start and ended up with A LOT of green tomatoes in October right before the first real freeze. Not this time! We made sure to grab our […]

Your Favorite Cookie….

Your Favorite Cookie….

What is your favorite cookie? I think one of the staples of cookie “stardom” is definitely a Snickerdoodle. Chewy, sugary, cinnamony(can this be a word?) goodness! It happens to be one of our favorites around here! They’re also quite easy to make. Plus, very toddler […]

Yellow cake+Chocolate Frosting=LOVE

Yellow cake+Chocolate Frosting=LOVE

One of the things I love about how far the internet has come along is, being able to find a multitude of recipes at your finger tips! I especially love Pintrest for that!

Back in the day, pre-Pintrest, I used to surf the web(ha!) looking for great and fun recipes. I’d compile  my favorite links into an email and send them off to my friends. I wish I had thought of Pintrest, I’d be rich!!

Anyways, back to cake. That’s why you’re here right?

I searched my beloved pintrest for a yellow cake recipe. So many came up that looked great but required ingredients we didn’t have on hand ie: 8 egg yolks!?, buttermilk, and more butter than we had.

Sidenote: My Mom gets amazing fresh eggs from her neighbor who has chickens. They are just so good to eat, we don’t use them for baking. We had 8 eggs but I wasn’t ready to sacrifice those to put in a cake!! So we begrudgingly used 2. I bet they’ll make the cake taste better!!

I settled on this Old Fashioned Butter Cake recipe and we got to work!

We had pre-sifted flour on hand but I always like to sift it again just to be sure. We mixed all of the dry ingredients together.

Add the softened butter, milk and vanilla. Mix until combined, add the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated.

Always be sure to taste test your batter LOL (I don’t condone this, but whats one “little” taste? Am I right?)

Prepare your 8 inch round cake pans by greasing and flouring them. I also like to cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of the bottom of the pan. This helps to prevent the cake from sticking and breaking. They slide out so much easier!!

Fill each pan with cake batter, as evenly as you can get it. Pop those babies in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once baked we allowed them to cool in their pans for 10 minutes. We turned them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Then, we got to work on our frosting!!

When I frost my cakes, I like to place a piece of wax paper underneath, this way your plate will be clean one you’re done frosting. Fold your piece of wax paper into fours, cut the corner off to create an open circle(making sure the opening will be smaller than your round cakes), slightly rip on either side of the inside circle. Place your cake on top, frost, then rip the outside(about where you ripped the inner circle) and pull the wax paper out slowly, making sure you’re not pulling the frosting on the cake with you. And ta-da! Clean plate, no mess to clean up!

Decorate to your hearts desire! We choose large sprinkles!

And done! Whew! That was a stressful one! Some days I wonder where my patience comes from when baking with a 3 year old. This was one of those days, whiny “I want to do it” days I could have left alone. We pressed on, the outcome was great no matter the challenges we both faced lol.

It tasted pretty good, although a bit dry for me. I think I understand why there were recipes requiring 8 eggs and buttermilk! Overall though, a decent yellow cake recipe to use in a pinch! I’d just add more butter and one more egg to make it moist!

Clearly, there were no complaints here!!

Can You Tile? Bathroom Remodel- Edition 3

Can You Tile? Bathroom Remodel- Edition 3

Or rather, the question should be, Are you SURE you want to tile? I mean there are some things that are fairly easy to DIY around the house, paint the walls, put in a garden, change out a light fixture etc. So really, adding tile […]