Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

Mother's Day.....
Time is going way to fast. 
It's almost June!  Can you believe it?  I certainly can't.  I'm still back in April, and I better fast forward fast. 

I did manage to get something done for Mother's Day.  You might recognize the gems form the treasure chest cake I made for Teacher Appreciation.  I got this brilliant idea (mostly inspired by Valentine blogs), but I thought it would be cute to give the ladies on my Devotional team at church these cute little bags.  Plus some Lemon cake balls, which I failed to take pictures of. 

If you've never tried making hard candy, it's not that hard.  You do need a good Candy Thermometer.  one that tells you when you reach the different levels of crack stages.  And some molds made for hard candy (not the chocolate ones).

Cook wear you will need:

Medium sauce pan (heavy bottom one is better)
Candy Thermometer
Hard candy molds
Wax paper/SILPAT mat
Wooden spoon
Something to protect your counter from the heat (I used a wood cutting board)

Here's the recepie:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup (Not the kind with vanilla already added.  That does funky things to your candy.) 
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon flavor extract (The oil based ones are better and more potent) 
Your molds and lollipop sticks

1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
*I need to caution you, you will have the urge to mix with a spoon, but Don't Do It.  Let the mixture dissolve it's self with the boiling proses.  If you feel like the sugar is not getting wet before the boiling starts you can add a little bit more water, say about 1/4 cup.  The water will be evaporating any way and your crack stage will take a little longer.  Also stay close to your saucepan.  

  2. When the boiling begins insert your candy thermometer.  Continue cooking until the thermometer reads 270 degrees fahrenheit.  Don't let the candy cook any longer it will turn amber color. 

3.  Take the cooked sugar mixture off the heat and add the flavoring and the food color.  Mix. 

4.  Pour your candy into your hard candy molds.  Be careful not to get the candy on your skin.  It hurts!  You have sometime before the candy starts to harden say about 10-15 minutes.  If you don't get all of it poured you can scrape the extra with a wooden spoon and place it on your wax paper or SILPAT mat and mold it on to a lollipop stick.  My kids loved this part. 

It takes about 15 minutes for your candy to harden.

Clean up:  Run hot tap water over the cook wear you used (pan, thermometer, wooden spoon, etc.) and the water will melt the candy off your cook wear.  If your in a hurry, you can scrub the candy off while the water is running.  Just be careful the water will be hot.  

You can find most of these things at a craft store like Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or Joann Stores.  

And that's that.  

Hope you have a SWEET day!


Mamita's Next Thing:

Recipe for Orange Lavender Cupcakes.  The cupcakes I made for Teacher Appreciation.  I have a couple cakes I need to make.  And I haven't set up my gift from Mother's Day yet.  But for sure those Orange Lavender Cupcakes. YUMMM!



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teacher Apprecitation Week

OK, so, yeah Teacher Appreciation is over.......

but I still want to share what I've been doing for the past two weeks......

Never in my life did I ever think I would be using something I learned to do while working in a restaurant as a hostess. 

And when one of the moms said,

"Wouldn't it be great if we could make a balloon arch for the front of the school!  Do we know any one who knows how to make one?" 

I raised my hand because when I was that lowly hostess I learned how to make balloon arches.  I guess we shouldn't take for granted what we learn in jobs we don't think we'll ever revisit. 

Any way, 
Another mom and I got up at 6:30 am, Tuesday to make the balloon arch before the teachers got there.  The plan was to do it on Monday but it was raining, and raining, and raining. 

So the rain kind of made it hard for us to get the balloon arch up. 

The teachers did get a special snack for Monday. 

 And did I mention that I was helping out in two schools?

For my sons kindergarten teacher I planned for her to get presents from the class everyday for the whole week (more on this a little later) .  They also had a "Staff Appreciation" lunch Monday.

I made Creamy Broccoli soup.     

I had appointed my self to give my sons teacher a basket with apples in it for Tuesday.  The plan was to have other children give her more apples.  Enough so it would look like the apples were picked from an apple tree. 

The sign says :  "A good teacher deserves an apple.  You deserve the whole tree!"

On that same day,  Harmony teachers got these fancy little cupcakes that I made (the flowers and pearls I made as well).

Flavor,  Orange Lavender cupcakes with buttercream icing.  (I'll share the recipe on a future post)

Along the way the Harmony teachers got other little gifts like stationary, and more food.

On Thursday we (the Harmony Teacher Appreciation Committee) put on a lunch for them.  The theme, if you haven't guessed yet, "Treasure".

When the teachers arrived, they had gifts waiting for them at the table.  The committee put together beach bags that had water bottles filled with Crystal Light and energy bars, cute sandals,  and one other thing that escapes my mind.  One of the moms is the owner of a bagel shop in town and they provided the food.  Our table settings where a chest with flowers and a fish bowl.

We made quite a team!
I made this treasure chest cake for them.  It's all edible (except for the piece of wood holding up the lid).  Even the sand.  It's brown sugar.  Coins are chocolate.  The gems are hard candy, and the sea shells and starfish are made out of fondant.  The plumaria flowers are gumpaste.  All edible!  Yes, the lid is edible too. 

Cake flavor:  Lemon cake with raspberry buttercream.

I had way too much cake left over, so I made cake balls.  And the left over gems I put in little bags and .......
I'll show you soon.

But more on the plan I made for my sons Kindergarten teacher.

Monday:  Her favorite coffee and a pastry. Didn't want to do to much there due to the Staff Appreciation lunch. 

Tuesday: Apples with the basket

Wednesday:  Balloons

Thursday:  Potted Plants and Stationary.

Friday:  No school.

I Also encouraged the parents to have there children write her letters of appreciation.

If I am a home room mom next year I will most likely do something similar. 

PHEW!!!!  Loved spoiling, but glad it's done.

Mamita's Next Thing:

For sure, I will share that Orange Lavender cupcake recipe with you and I still need to share what I did for Mothers Day.  I got something new in my "Studio" that I am so excited about.  So much to do, so little time.  

Have a great day!