Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Tricks…and a Treat!

Good morning, my friends!

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Just got my girls off to school this morning…who ever thought that school would start the second week of August?!  To top it off, my BABY is now in high school…not sure how I feel about that!

But, life marches on, doesn’t it? 

I have a couple of Halloween projects to share with you today.  I know it feels early, but fall will be upon us before we know it!  Besides, I’m just in the mood for a little Halloween fun!

Here’s the first…

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I have been having so much fun with Crafty Secrets’ new Creative Scraps!  This set—“Halloween”—is so full of wonderful images to play with!

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Just added some fun gingham print paper, platinum Stickles, Dazzling Diamonds, a little lace, and a crazy assortment of rick-rack and ribbon in Halloween colors to mimic the Jester’s collar in the image…also added my own typed wording.

Now, for this one…first…have to apologize for the horrible lighting on these…it is SO gloomy today!  That being said, here we go!

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Another of my favorite 3D Shadowbox cards by the lovely Vicki Chrisman, available pre-cut through Crafty Secrets

For this card, I used images from the “Halloween” Creative Scraps and the “Seasonal” Images & Journal Notes booklet…

Yikes!  I really hate all these shadows—sorry!  First panel close up…

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…the center…

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…and the right panel…

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I first painted the card pieces with black and orange acrylic paint, the just used most of the same things I did on the first card…it was already sitting there on the table, so….!  Easy peasy!

Okay—now for the treat!

I’ve worked pretty hard this last year to keep off the weight I lost the year before, but I LOVE sweets!  So, I’m always looking out for yummy things to bake that I don’t have to feel TOO guilty about!  This one really “takes the cake”!

I love Angel Food cake, but it’s sometimes dry coming from the store, and I discovered that a boxed mix costs more than the bakery cake! 

So, I decided the other night to find a recipe, and as fate would have it, I fell upon another wonderful recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, the fabulous Food Network guy…

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First, I have to say that this takes a BIT of effort—especially if you don’t have cake flour on hand, as I didn’t, but making your own is really not too hard—just adding corn starch to the flour  and sifting it A LOT!  (For every cup of regular flour, remove 2 Tbsp. and add 2 Tbsp. cornstarch—sift together 5 times.)  But, it was very satisfying to do it!

Here’s the recipe:

ANGEL FOOD CAKE

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup cake flour, sifted

12 egg whites (the closer to room temp. the better)

1/3 cup warm water

1 tsp. orange extract, or extract of your choice (I used orange—delicious!)

1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, spin sugar about 2 minutes until it is superfine.  Sift half of the sugar with the salt and the cake flour, setting aside the remaining sugar.

In a large bowl, use a balloon whisk to thoroughly combine egg whites, water, orange extract, and cream of tartar.  After 2 minutes, switch to a hand mixer.  Slowly sift the reserved sugar, beating continuously at medium speed.  Once you have achieved medium peaks,  sift enough of the flour mixture in to dust the top of the foam.  Using a spatula, fold in gently. Continue until all of the flour mixture is incorporated.

Carefully spoon mixture into an ungreased tube pan.  Bake for 35 minutes before checking for doneness with a wooden skewer. (When inserted halfway between the inner and outer wall, the skewer should come out dry.)

Cool upside down on cooling rack for at least an hour before removing from pan. 

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I followed this recipe as perfectly as I could, and I have to say this was about the most moist and delicious cake I’ve ever had—and NO FAT!!!

We covered our big, fat slices with a large dollop of light cool whip and some homemade freezer strawberry jam—absolutely delicious!

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I’ll be making another one very soon—it was worth ALL the effort!

Well, that’s it for today…I hope you have a wonderful day, whether you’re still in the middle of a fabulous  summer vacation with your kids, or they’re off to school…enjoy every moment!

See you soon with something new…

 

Julie