Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

Let me just start by saying I was PUMPED to show off the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Cake I was making for my friend's son's First Birthday.  I was so rushed to finish it on the day of (little new oven mishap the night before with cooking) that I forgot to take pictures.  Of course then it was crazy at the party and I never did there either.  Complete bummer.

Apparently the apartment oven was WAAAY off on its heat because this was 10 minutes under recommended baking time.

So instead I'll present you with my Mickey Mouse cupcakes.  If you want to check out ideas on the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse cake, please feel free to browse my Cakes/Cupcakes Pinterest board.  The cake is similar to the one shown in there, except I used plastic characters I purchases on Amazon to add some more 3D elements to the cake.  I loved the free standing cookie clubhouse idea too.  The cake was a basic chocolate filled with a buttercream frosting mixed with oreo.  YUM!

I also got to make a simple smash cake for the birthday boy to enjoy.  For the smash cake I removed some batter from what I made for the cupcakes and baked a little cake using a Pyrex dish.  That way I didn't have to bake a full 8" round then cut it down.  The extra I would have ate, and my waist doesn't need that.  This size was perfect to get him, good and messy.  A yellow cake also allowed for a lot of colored icing to smear all over his face.

I think he liked it!

On to the cupcakes...

As soon as I saw this cupcake ideas I was sold.  Hook, Line, and Sinker I tell ya.  I knew they would be simple but perfect for the theme.  I was even excited to get to use my new food processor to make them.  I loved how these turned out and all the kids at the party got excited about them.  Apparently they were much cooler than the cake that took me forever.  Ya win some ya lose some.

I just used a yellow cake box mix (Pillsbury probably) and then my go-to Wilton Buttercream icing.  I tinted the icing a little brown so the white wouldn't stand out too much behind the oreo crumbs.  Then I smashed up some oreos.  It only took about 2 out of 3 rows of the oreo.  My husband was quite pleased with that since I yelled at him every time he looked at the oreos leading up to this.  It's important to ice the cupcake (no particular style since it got squished anyways) then immediately dip in the oreos.  Otherwise the icing will dry out some and be less sticky.

I added ears using mini oreos.  Just one bag was enough for all 48 ears.  Make sure you try to pull out the good ones.  If it's only half, eat.  If it's a little broken, shove that part in the cupcake.

I'm thinking this year I need a Micky Party

I used a hole punch to get 48+ little dots then glued them on the cupcake liner AFTER they were baked but before icing/etc.  Just a little dot will do ya!

If When I do it again, I'd add a bit more icing.  Some Mickey's were looking a little flat headed, no good.

Are you hungy?  What have you been baking or cooking?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ikea is the BESTA

I happily lived within 30 minutes of Ikea for 18 years of my life and never purchased a thing.  Then I moved away to college and live 1.5 hours from Ikea or 3 hours from another and want items all the time.

Thankfully a recent visit to my parents (who live 15 minutes from the 3 hour Ikea) proved to be a successful trip, both in family time and purchases.  We went with the intent of getting a media unit for under our newly mounted TV.  Although spending a little more than originally planned on we know it was a good price and definitely cheaper than anything we'd looked at elsewhere.

After searching through the store, we decided on purchasing piece from the BESTA system.  This one to be exact.  We then added three drawers at the bottom and cabinets on the two sides opting to leave the middle as open shelving.  We added a glass topper to give it a finished look.  We chose to forgo hardware since the drawers can be easily pulled out from the bottom (and won't get major use anyways since they are more storage) and added the little door pop (totally technically term) on the cabinets.  You just push where the piece is installed and it pops open enough for you to grab it.  We grabbed some legs to give the unit a little more height because boy this thing is short.

 Boxes, boxes, boxes...

After walking away we realized that the unit we grabbed may not be as wide as our TV (which would look off), so we had to re-think the plan and almost decided to just leave and not pick up the pieces downstairs we had written out.  Yes, two engineers went to shop for furniture and didn't measure first.  But after look around the store and saying, "Yep our TV is that big or larger" we decided to add another unit (the "half" size) and go grab our purchases.  I think the most time spend was wandering around the warehouse looking for exactly what we needed.  With 4 color options and NUMEROUS ways to style and accessorize these, there were two rows of items, not even semi chronologically organized.  I think I found one piece while my husband searched out the rest.

Mid Mess

Oh and if you're curious, we went with the black-brown color.  Definitely more black than brown.  But it was perfect for our family room.

It looks oddly brown here but the darker pictures are much more true to the color
Although it looked short in the store, we are pleased with the final height too.  It was taller than the media unit the TV sat on before but about a foot below the bottom of the TV on the mount.

Do you always have left over pieces from Ikea?  Should I be concerned that this thing is going to fall apart?!

As I mentioned previously, the drawers are mostly storage.  Boxes for electronics, DVDs, VHS tapes (yes I still have some and a 10" TV I can watch them on), Wii Games, controllers, etc.  I just realized the 3rd drawer, currently empty will be perfect for our laptops. 

No idea what else is going in the cabinets right now.  We decided to put the cable box on the right because it is the most centered in the Family Room.  I suck at technology and get easily frustrated when something doesn't work so it needed to easily get the signal.  Also, I don't want to be even 30 seconds late in turning the TV on for my favorite shows!  We've also got the Wii box and docking station stored in there. 

I can't say that Ikea furniture is the easiest to put together, but for the price I can take a small inconvenience.  We spent 2 hours the first night getting 80% of it together then did the finishing touches in another hour the next night.  Of course we had to do a slight Ikea "hack" when they told us that putting two pieces together resulted in TWO legs at the spot they sit together which would of course look funny.  It would have been 1 leg, 2 legs, 1 leg, 1 leg.  Silly right?  Turns out we didn't purchase enough legs for this option anyways.  So while the back at the wall is funny (no one sees that), we used two sided foam tape strips (came with someone else in one of the boxes) to center the last leg we had between the two units.  We're confident this is enough support since the back is doubled up and the units are screwed together anyways.  So fingers crossed, please!

Have you made any Ikea purchases lately?  Do you take trips planned around a visit to Ikea?