The Equation

My dad and I try to keep up with our tradition of sharing the Sunday paper each week. One of us buys it and then shares it with the other. I don’t know why we started it, but it’s our special thing.

We had this text conversation last Saturday.

sunday

My dad was snuggled up on the couch with Reggie, Brandy, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette so he sent me a picture saying the only thing missing in the equation was me.

On any given Saturday night, you can usually find a few of my family members cuddled on my parents’ couch, just hanging out and relaxing. It’s definitely something I miss about living at home!

Do you have any traditions with your family members?

Cake Mode

It has been quite some time since I’ve been in what I like to call cake mode. When I think about buttercream consistency, pan sizes, baking times, and food colorings almost constantly. That’s cake mode.

Each year since 2011, I have always made Jimmy a special cake for his birthday. There was the hamburger cake, welder cake, Oreo cake, Ford cake, and a strawberry cake.

015

Most years, I was really into making unique cakes. I’d spend weeks planning, researching, taste testing, and practicing. The look on Jimmy’s face when I’d surprise him with a special cake was the best, though I’m sure he caught on to the surprise after a couple of years, ha.

Aside from Jimmy’s birthday cakes, I’d occasionally make one for Hannah’s birthday or parties with friends, or just whip up a hummingbird cake for no special reason. And cupcakes from time to time. Can’t forget those!

011

Over the past few years, I haven’t baked quite as much as I used to. Sure I’ll make a loaf of bread or batch of cookies, but the last time I made a special cake was for Jimmy’s birthday in May.

My mom, Hannah’s bridesmaids, and I began planning Hannah’s bridal shower and I got assigned to make the cake and cupcakes (or maybe I begged? 🙂 ) I’ve been trying to nail down exactly what I want to do. Jimmy thinks I should make a large tier cake, but I’m kind of leaning towards a small layered cake and making lots of cupcakes to go with it.

I’ve been experimenting with batter flavors, food coloring, buttercream, and piping styles and I forgot how much I love baking cakes and decorating them! Pinterest and YouTube have grown so much since I first started cake decorating in 2011, so I am feeling extra inspired lately. So many ideas!

cupcakes

I practiced rosette cupcakes filled with whipped cream and topped with purple frosting and they came out well. I think they just need something more. Maybe some type of sparkly topping?

cake-1 cake-3

I also made a purple ombre cake with rosettes. The cake is made of three 6” rounds, so it’s pretty small. I’m thinking of doing the ombre cake with a bunch of cupcakes to go around it. Whatever I end up doing, I know I’m having a blast playing around in the kitchen. I’m so happy to be able to contribute to Hannah’s bridal shower in this way 🙂

What do you guys think? Send any ideas my way!