Pitman Photography

Monday, June 28, 2010

Princess Birthday Cupcakes/Cake of the Month

Claire and I have been so busy this month that we did not have time to make a cake of the month! So, these cupcakes will have to suffice.

Also, the pictures were taken with my phone so they are not the best! :)

My little sister turned three years old on Sunday and we had a princess themed party for her. It was so fun and she was so excited!

I decided to try a new cupcake recipe from Our Best Bites and was quite happy with how they turned out.

White Cupcakes

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet. Beat for two minutes or until creamy -

Add pink Wilton color to make them more princess-y -

Follow baking directions on the cake box and cool on wire racks -

Frost with buttercream frosting -

I made little princess crowns out of fondant and added white edible pearls -

Decorate with a crown and a princess -

My uncle shares a birthday with my sister so I wanted to make him a something a little more...manly -

Finished product!

White Cake Recipe
1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites *
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white cake)
1 tsp almond extract
*I used two whole eggs in place of the egg whites. The egg whites are if you want the cake to be pure white. Since I colored mine pink it didn't matter so much and I was happy not to separate four eggs! :)

White Frosting Recipe
1/2 cup shortening*
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
*I used 1 C of butter instead of using any shortening.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and/or shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Happy birthday little sister!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Family Art Table Runner

My very first (craft) post featured a scarf from Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule. Now today, 4 months later, I have another sewing project from Handmade Home! I love this book and I encourage all you avid sewers out there to purchase it.

This project was made in an afternoon and easy to do.

Materials Needed
50" x 14" piece for the top
50"x 14" piece for the bottom
(6) 5" x 5" pieces for the patchwork
Up to (3) 8 1/2" x 11" printable fabic sheets
Child's (or adult) artwork

  • Pre-wash all material before sewing. This will help keep the shape when you need to wash and dry your table runner.
  • Piece together the two patchwork strips. Use three squares for each.
  • Place the two strips of fabric pieces 4" in from each short side of the runner top. Pin in place. Stitch these pieces to the top fabric piece by sewing 1/8" in from the edges of the pieces.
  • Lay the bottom piece right side up on a flat surface. Place the top piece right side down, on top of the bottom piece. Pin the pieces in place and stitch around all four sides of the runner, stopping 4" before your starting point. Trim the corners.
  • Turn the runner right side out through the opening. Press. Topstitch around all four sides of the runner, 1/2" in from the edge.
  • Print artwork on fabric paper and iron onto the top of the runner.

This would make a great gift for Grandparent's Day and you have until September 12 to do it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Country Inn Cookies

My husbands parents take us on a weekend trip every summer and this year we went to Milwaukee, Wi. We had so much fun spending time together at the market, the beach, and hanging out at the hotel. We stayed at a very nice Country Inn & Suites and they just so happened to have some of the best cookies we have had in a long time. They were chocolate with m&m's and fresh out of the oven when we tried them!

Last night I decided to try and replicate these cookies and boy did they turn out great! I searched and searched for the perfect chocolate cookie recipe and finally found one I thought sounded the best. It was a Martha Stewart recipe, of course.

I spiced it up a bit and came up with these:

Country Inn Cookies
1 C flour
1/2 C unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
York Peppermint Patty pieces
(if you are not familiar with these they are yumm-o! I used them to decorate some of my cake pops too)

Preheat oven to 325. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Melt 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips with the butter in a microwave safe bowl. I did this for 90 seconds in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one. Once melted, stir well until completely mixed. This might take awhile. You want all of the butter mixed in with the chocolate so there is not a film of it on top.

Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a mixer bowl. Using the paddle attachment beat on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the flour mixture. Beat until well mixed.

This is where I changed it up a bit. I divided the batter in half and added 2 oz of chocolate chips and a handful of coconut to one half and the peppermint pieces to the other half.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drop by spoon fulls (do not flatten) and bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are flat and the surfaces are cracked (the cookies should still be soft). Cook on wire rack and enjoy!

Seriously, these cookies are amazing. They have a brownie taste to them and are so soft and chewy. My favorites were the ones with the peppermint pieces but the coconut ones were good too. Play around with the add-ins, I think chocolate chips and walnuts would be a great combination.

Take some time to bake this weekend and share with me what you made. I always love to hear what other people are making in their kitchens!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Soft Letters

Hello friends! It has been so long since I last blogged and I am finally getting a chance to post the other half of my nephew's birthday gift! (See first half here.)

There are a few easy steps to these soft letters and you could easily make some in an afternoon.

1. Print or draw letters to the size you want and cut out.
2. Pin letters to fabric and cut out two pieces for each letter.
3 Pin the two letter pieces wrong-side together, leaving a 2in opening along one edge. Stitch around the letter making sure to leave open the 2in opening. Backstitch at the beginning and end.
4. Stuff the letter with fiberfill or cotton stuffing. I used a pencil to help get the fiberfill into each corner and crevice.
5. Pin and machine stitch the opening closed. Trim around the letter leaving a 1/8in seam allowance.

How fun would it be to have the whole alphabet?!

*This sewing project was taken from the same book as the monster bookends - Simple Sewing Baby by Lotta Jansdotter.