Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Primary & Play-dough

On Sunday I taught primary.  The lesson was on the Golden Rule and the lesson suggested making playdough for the children to make something that resembled a treasure that was special to them.  So I got to work and made some playdough.

I have to admit that it was kind of fun. . . I haven’t made playdough since the daughter, the genius, and the musician were just little tykes


. . . that was forever ago


but I thought I would share with you our little adventure.


first I had to make the playdough. . . 


Just in case you want to make your own playdough you can
click this little bar
and like magic the recipe will appear!


combine all your ingredients together in a medium size sauce pan.  Make sure your pan has a sturdy handle to hold on to, because this stuff gets sticky stiff, I mean we are making playdough, so imagine yourself trying to stir playdough on the stove.  You need to have a firm handle to hold while you stir while it’s cooking.

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it begins out like a thick soup and gradually begins to look like this

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then this. . .

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and finally, it looks like, well. . . playdough!

next let it cool down a little . . .

or a lot. . . if you are like me with wussy fingers that can’t handle heat

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dig the playdough out of the pan and knead it for a couple of minutes.  I wanted several colors so I divided mine into six portions.  If you only want one color you can save yourself a little mess and color the mixture BEFORE you begin cooking it. 
(I also made a double batch. . . it made quite a bit)

because I kneaded my colors in after the playdough was made, and didn’t want hands and fingers that looked like they came directly from a Dr. Seuss book I put on gloves that I could just throw away when I was finished.

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This was my first color. . . Pink!  . . . I love pink

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When I was finished coloring my playdough my hands would have looked like this!

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But I had 6 delightful balls of playdough for primary

The lesson recommended that the children create something that looked like something that they owned that was like a special treasure, that they cared about a great deal.

This is what my class came up with~ ~ ~

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a glass bear with a blue heart, a kitty-cat

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a blanket made by grandma with flip-flops on it, and a pet dog
after the lesson they had no interest in coloring their golden rulers, they wanted to play with the playdough. . . so they did

a dish for the dog
a bed for the cat

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someone made a snake

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this is mine. . . yup, I decided to join in the fun too
So we had fun in primary today, I hope they went away with what was supposed to be the object of the lesson. . .

I had forgotten how fun playdough can be :-)

The Golden Rule  

Do unto others as you would like them to do for/to you
be nice
respect others, and their property
 return things that you borrowed
help others
share


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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oatmeal Spice Cake

This past few weeks we have been in complete disorganization due to some unwelcome guests.  The genius and myself have not had much motivation to put the kitchen back together because. . .. well the week after Thanksgiving. . . we get to empty it out again.


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So in contemplating what to write about this week I decided to talk about the daughters favorite cake. . . Oatmeal Spice Cake.  This is the same cake we creatively rescued just a couple of months ago. . .I have gotten more than one request for this recipe.    I have pictures ready, so it was an easy solution for today’s post.

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to begin with you need the yucky kind of instant/quick oatmeal, it’s the only time I use this variety of oats but regular oats just don’t quite work out the same, but rest easy, in this cake they work out fabulously!  I’m not quite sure why anyone would eat these for breakfast unless they were camouflaged in cake. . . they are slimy and simply disgusting


. . . enough said about how I feel about quick oats 

and on with the cake
Anyway, cover these with boiling water and just let them rest on the counter somewhere.

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in the meantime combine the sugars and Crisco with an electric mixer.

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and beat it to death
add in the egg and vanilla and mix just a tad bit more

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combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir to evenly combine them

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add the dry to the wet and with the paddle attachment or a large spoon mix until everything is well combined and moistened, be careful not to over-mix the batter, just mix until everything is mixed together.

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pour into cake pans.  one recipe will make a 9X13 or if you want two 8" round cakes you will need to 1  1/2 times the recipe.  I used springform pans, but you can easily use regular pans too, just remember if you want to dump them out to put on a platter, make sure to rub them with crisco and dust them with flour first.

(I made  a double batch of batter to make two cakes 
so the daughter could take a little cake with her)

put them into a hot pre-heated oven and let the magic happen without much help from you~

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you know they are done when the cake just barely pulls away from the sides and if you insert a toothpick it won’t have any batter sticking to it.  I usually run a knife or flat angled spatula around the edges just to make sure.

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most peeps won’t have this tool, but I am looking for a rich, decadent filled layer cake so I will torte mine to achieve that.
  
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I have four perfectly level layers to fill with topping and cream cheese icing.

If you don’t have a cake slicer like this you can use dental floss and toothpicks to keep everything lined up. . . 

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first level the top of your cake. . . cut off the rounded top part from baking. . . 

then mark both the top and bottom layers with a toothpick.  Because it is impossible to cut perfectly even through a cake. . . 

the toothpicks will by your guide and keep everything lined up as you reassemble the cake and it will be level when you are done.

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Then place your floss where you want to cut.
Try to keep it as even as possible around the cake.

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Pull both ends of the floss together and it slices through your cake very nicely!  similar to the same way as I cut cinnamon rolls it’s just that a cake is bigger and laying flat when you cut it rather than on it’s side. . . 

oh, and it’s already cooked.

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Leave the toothpicks there until you are ready realign the top and bottom cakes together, after they are filled with yummy filling,  The toothpicks will act as a guide when reassembling your cake.

It is my recommendation that you use unflavored dental floss.  Somehow mint mixed with spice just doesn’t work so swell. . . at least in my mind it doesn’t.

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So you don’t have to move your beautiful creation, or fuss with attempting to clean your serving platter, simply put 4 strips of foil around the bottom of your serving platter like this.

NOTE:  DO NOT use just one big piece. . . it won’t work

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place your cake over the center of the foil

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One layer at a time put the filling of your choice in and stack them up until . . .

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there are no more layers to add
for this part it’s okay if you get crumbs in your icing. . . 


crumby icing doesn’t matter until the next step. . .


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ice the entire outside surface with cream cheese icing. . . 


this is where you don't want crumbs in your icing. . .


and put the yummy coconut topping on top of that

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next drizzle warmed, not hot, caramel sauce around the edges.  Make sure you use a good, thick, high-quality caramel topping, and be careful not to get it too hot.  

For this cool drizzle effect. . . 

squeeze, relax & drag, squeeze, relax & drag. . . . 


repeating this around the entire cake.
This will take a tad bit of practice but the effect is well worth the effort.  If you don’t have a pastry bag, put the warmed caramel sauce in a baggie and cut a small hole in the corner to get your nice little drizzles.  If it is too hot it will just run everywhere, so be careful not to get it too hot!

your cake is finished. . .

simply, gently, pull the foil from under the cake one piece at a time. . . 



. . . that’s why one piece of foil won’t work


now you know one of my little tricks. . .

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perfecto- - - you have a perfectly clean surface to present to your guests.
you certainly could add a border at this point if you choose to, but for today we decided not to do that part.


The genius has helped me to create a “Button” so if you want the recipe you just click on it and it will magically open a printable copy of the recipe for you.

. . . Pretty cool I think!


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