Two great fathers

This Sunday was Father’s day and hubby and I made dinner for our fathers.

My father loves ribs so it was an easy pick as far as deciding what to make for dinner. I wanted to do something special with my cupcakes and decided on a version of apple pie and vanilla sauce. Unfortunately these were not my best ones. The vanilla sauce topping was so thick and jelly that it was basically impossible to stick decorations on top. The sugar paste flowers I made was impossible to use so instead I used chocolate hearts only. They tasted alright but I know I can make much better cupcakes than this but at least they looked good! 😉

My father-in-law (on the left) and my father
My father-in-law (on the left) and my father
Ribs with chips and veggies
Ribs with chips and veggies

My "apple pie and vanilla sauce" cupcakes
My “apple pie and vanilla sauce” cupcakes

 

Halloween dinner

Halloween has not been very common to celebrate in Sweden. Before I moved to the US (in 1999) no one celebrated it. During the 9 years we lived abroad people started to pay attention to it a little bit, but this year I think it has exploded. There were so many images of people dressed up for parties or trick or treating from my Swedish Facebook friends. I enjoy Halloween to some extent after my 9 years in the US. I like the decorations and the fun things you can do around Halloween parties, but I’m not much for the overly spooky or creepy things. I’m too easy to scare. 🙂

My husband’s brother and his family has lived in the US for many years too and this summer they moved back home again. My sister-in-law and I quickly decided to do a little Halloween dinner for the family (siblings only). So, yesterday we went shopping, prepared dinner and had the family over of a little fun get-together.

We made chili con carne, and had sallad, baguette and different cheeses. Yummy!

Chili con carne in the making.
Chili con carne in the making.
Table decorations
Table decorations

I had prepared Halloween decorations for cupcakes ahead of time and baked the muffins yesterday morning before we went to their house. I had a lot of fun preparing my “spooky decorations”. I researched a little on the net in order to get some hints as how to make a ghost and a witch hat. I’ve “only” made flowers from sugar paste before and never figures, but it was a lot of fun and I’ll definitely do it again. I’ll try to come up with something fun to make for the Christmas season. Not sure if I’ll do cupcakes or a regular cake but decorations I got to have! 🙂

My ghost and witch hat decorations.
My ghost and witch hat decorations.

 

Happy 38th!

Today is my 38th birthday. Happy birthday to me! 🙂

I started celebrating yesterday already with a afternoon tea party for my family. I had the party at my parents house as more people will be able to sit together around the table there. Here at home I can fit barely 8 in the kitchen.

I made three types of sandwiches, two traditional ones–one with egg and the other with cucumber–and the last one a ham and veggie bite on rye bread which was cut into small round pieces. My mom made her fantastic lemon cake squares and I made cupcakes. As I love purple I wanted to go with that theme for the cupcakes so I put lavender in the muffin and purple sugar paste flowers on top. I also came up with the idea to put a lilac ribbon on each of the cupcakes. That was probably the most tricky and tedious thing. Hubby and I had to do a little teamwork to get them all attached nicely.

Table is all set for guests to arrive.
Table is all set for guests to arrive.
Table decorations. Wine glasses upside down with flowers and tea lights on top (not visible).
Table decorations. Wine glasses upside down with flowers and tea lights on top (not visible).
Lavender cupcakes and lemon cake squares.
Lavender cupcakes and lemon cake squares.

I love afternoon tea but I’ve never had my own party before . I’ve “only” been to The Ritz in London and Grand Hotel here in Stockholm. It was a lot of fun to have my own party and it’s definitely not the last time! 🙂

Today I met up with my parents for lunch. It’s “shrimp sandwich day” here in Sweden today and whoever came up with it couldn’t have picked a better day for it as I love everything with shrimp and in particular shrimp sandwich! So, of course we had to go to the best shrimp sandwich serving café in town.  After lunch we took a 2,5 km walk this sunny and colorful Fall day.

Best shrimp sandwich ever!
Best shrimp sandwich ever!
Love walking in big piles of leaves.
Love walking in big piles of leaves.
Beautiful Fall!
Beautiful Fall!

My evening ended with hubby’s homemade hot chicken wings. I have a cold and it has felt worse for each day the past 4 days so nothing better than to scare it away with hot wings! 🙂 And lots of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with that.

Birthday cupcakes

My mother turned 65 last week and I asked if I could make cupcakes for her birthday lunch party.

I started making the sugar paste flowers 2 days before the event. The good thing with sugar paste flowers is that they will stay nice for quite some time as long as you keep them in a dry place. As soon as they hit the refrigerator they will turn soft and eventually wither away. I wanted the flowers to be in a design I’d never done before. Originally I had planned to do a more star like shape of the flower but I just couldn’t get the hang of the cookie cutter and the silicon form so eventually I gave up and used my regular round cookie cutter.

I also made tiny pearls out of sugar paste and painted them with the  glitter. It was a tedious job–both rolling the small balls and painting them–and I think I used most of the pearl glitter on my fingers instead of on the pearls. 🙂 Not as fun to make as the flowers maybe but they taste good and it’s more fun to have your own shaped pearl than buying the much harder versions from a store.

Home made pearls.
Home made pearls.

The chocolate muffins were made the evening before the event so on the actual day I only had to make the frosting and decorate. I had made white flowers and pearls and though a regular white frosting would be a little boring so I colored it pink instead. The hardest part was filling the decorating bag! Usually I make cupcakes on the weekends which means I have two more hands, that is my hubby assists me, but now he was at work. So what to do? I went to the cabinet and checked for what to use. After a little thought I realized our fine glasses was the only glass possible to use for this. 🙂 Very fancy glass to use but it worked. 🙂

Chocolate muffins waiting to be decorated with a pink frosting.
Chocolate muffins waiting to be decorated with a pink frosting.

I’ve realized that I need to practice much more in regards to decorating techniques. It just doesn’t turn out as good as I want. A good reason to bake cupcakes (or cakes) often I suppose. 😉 With the help of my flowers and my other decorations though I can hide the not so perfect frosting.

I transported the cupcakes to my parents without the decorations on top. They wouldn’t be served immediately and I wanted all flowers to look perfect so I decorated them right before eating. Usually I take them out of the refrigerator around 30 minutes before I need to decorate them in order for the frosting to become soft again. It was still a little too hard though when I had to decorate them so most of the sprinkles didn’t want to stick but it turned out nice anyway.

Birthday cupcakes finished and ready to be served.
Birthday cupcakes finished and ready to be served.

Weekend of “C’s”

The Invisible Illness Awareness week is now over. I’ve found several new blogs during the past week which is great. I’ve also gotten a few new readers. Thank you for liking and following my blog! 🙂

Two fun things happened this past weekend!

Saturday I bought a new Computer! I’m finally the proud owner of a MacBook Air–I’ve had a MacBook Pro the past years. My new computer is light and easy to carry. Not to mention how light it feels when I have it in my lap. Now I can do my blogging from my chair in the living room instead of sitting in the home office. 🙂

My new MacBook Air
My new MacBook Air

There is always something special with unpacking a new computer. Kinda similar to writing in a new calendar the first day of a new year I guess. A new computer… clean from all possible junk and I can start fresh. Well, I have a bunch of pictures and other files that needs to be transferred still but I’ll get to do all that eventually. I have told myself to get this computer better organized as far as my photos and documents go. :/ Let’s see how that works…

I’m considering buying a “one to one” year membership. You can purchase a full year membership when you buy a new computer for 900 SEK ($99). I’ve had different types of Mac’s for the past 8 years or so and I’ve learned a lot on my own but I’m thinking a little expertise help is always good. In particular when it comes to photo handling. I need something better than just saving my files in a regular folders. It’s tedious to go through when I’m looking for something… I want to use iPhoto or Aperture but haven’t really figured out which one yet.

Sunday it was time for a new Cupcake class. This was my second class and the theme was love. One thing we learned was to make a rose from sugar paste. That was tricky! We made a huge rose and I’m planning to practice in order to be able to make smaller versions which won’t look too big on a cupcake. 🙂 Practice makes perfect!

As in my last class we got four cupcakes to decorate. Except the rose we also made hearts and some other flowers as well as two types of “cupcake lids”.

Class ready to start
Class ready to start
Rose making in action
Rose making in action
The rest of my sugar paste creations
The rest of my sugar paste creations
My cupcakes and rose
My cupcakes and rose

Party prep

It’s my wonderful hubby’s 45th birthday today. We’re not having the real celebration until Saturday when everyone is invited to my parents place (our apartment is too small) for BBQ.

I’m making cupcakes for the birthday party and today I started making the flowers that will be on top as decoration. I’ve not made any since I attended the cupcake class in May so it was fun to finally make some again. I did not have everything I needed so the first flowers didn’t turn out as great but then I tried to use sponges to put the flowers upside down on in order for them to keep the shape. Much better! I can’t remember that we did that in the class though so not sure why I had the issue of the flowers “falling apart”.

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Of course we needed a little celebration on his actual birthday so he decided what he wanted to grill, and I asked my parents if we could use their grill. Our electrical grill is no fun at all for a grill fanatic like my hubby. 😊 He made rainbow trout marinated in a habanero and lime sauce. First time we tried that recipe but definitely not the last!

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Cupcake factory

I guess no one who reads my blog has missed that I enjoy baking and in particular making cupcakes. This weekend I decided to test some new decorating techniques.

First I made a regular vanilla dough for the muffins. Next I put a small dot of lemon fromage on top.

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I bought a pre made “marzipan cover” that you normally use for a cake but instead I cut it out into smaller pieces that would fit my cupcakes. I started with going through my baking drawer trying to find something round which I could use as a marker.

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Next I put the small round marzipan pieces on each of the cupcakes, garnished with a little powdered sugar and then added my sugar paste decorations. I attached them using edible glue.

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I also made a few cupcakes decorated with only lemon fromage and sugar paste flowers.

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