Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Tricks…and a Treat!

Good morning, my friends!


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…


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!


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!


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…


…the center…


…and the right panel…


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…


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:


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. 


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!


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…




  1. Julie, your cards are wonderful! Love all the glittery details. Thanks also for the recipe, I love Angel Food Cake but have never made one myself, just might have to try this one.
    Oh and about those kiddos, I feel like it was just a year ago that I was packing my girls off to college and they will both be graduating this year.

  2. I always love your cards, they are so, so good. You have such a gift of creativity.

    Your cake looks and sounds wonderful!! I have the same issue with buying the bakery cakes- they end up kind of dry, and at my usual store they can cost around $5, which I think is high. I have never priced the mixes.

    I can't believe your girls started school today!! That is very early!! We don't start until 9/2. I hope they get our early.

    Hope you're having a great day!!

  3. Halloween cards/tags/ and such are so much FUN and your artwork is fab!! I so enjoy visiting your blog and seeing your work.
    Deb :)

  4. Really?...School already!! CRAZY!!

    True to form, you never disappoint in the creative, crafting department. LOVE, love, love the cards. you actually give your cards away to people or what? Just curious... I would use them as decorations because they are so stunning!!

  5. Yummie... it looks delicious! Love your Halloween projects too, your shadowbox is adorable! We don't celebrate Halloween in the Netherlands originally, but you see it more and more coming.
    Have a lovely week, Elly

  6. Really pretty cards! Here in Norway the children will soon go back to school too.

  7. Mmmmm, my mouth is watering! :) Love your vintage Hallowe'en creations - as far as I'm concerned, the lovely crisp fall weather can't come soon enough, so I'm certainly ready to think Spook Night, LOL! TFS!

  8. your cards are fun :) what a great job you did on your cake. it looks very delish. it good to know how i can make my own cake flour! my son started his first day of high school today too. i have mixed feelings too. he is our youngest and this is the first of the last.

  9. Such beautiful Halloween cards, now I'm in the mood for Fall. Funny, I was just peeking at those Halloween images from Crafty Secrets' website, yesterday. They are so cute. Yes, angel food cake is great for those of us wanting to watch our waistlines :)

  10. Your cards are all (always!) charming! You make such sweet art pieces! And...that angel food die for!

  11. Wonderful whimsical Halloween cards, Julie!

    My "baby" starts kindergarten in just a few weeks, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the idea. *sigh*

  12. I'm going to try that recipe for Angel Food Cake. It looks like a good one.
    Enjoy your peace and quiet with all of your girls back in school, I'm sure it's a mixed blessing.

    Thank you for all of your sweet comments!


  13. Hi Julie, that recipe sounds soooooo good. I'm hungry for something sweet and that sound like it would be just the ticket. Thank you for sharing.
    Hugs, Pat

  14. Angel Food Cake is a ton of work..but nothing compares to it when it's homemade...
    Your cards, as usual, are great..
    I am gong to admit something to you..I am not wild about rickrack..too many ugly dresses from my misbegotten youth, I guess..but your use of it on the first card was marvelous! So there is an attractive way to utilize rickrack after all..learn something new every day...

  15. I just love love love the way you put your cards together!! Always darling!!

  16. Seems just like summer started, and now Halloween is right around the corner. When my oldest started high school, I was 34 years old. She's 35 now and has a one and six year old. Don't know where she finds the energy. Guess mothers just do. When you have an empty nest entirely, you'll have even more horizons open to you, though it is also a bit sad.

  17. Julie,
    Thank you for offering your caring and sharing sweet words about the unforgetable forget-me-not.
    I love you fmn banner!

  18. I almost (almost) wish the weather felt more like Halloween right now! It is beyond hot!

    Beautiful cards and scrumptious cake! Thanks for sharing.

  19. hi Julie! FABULOUS Halloween ! THINK I may have to try this cake.... :)

  20. Looks lovely...the halloween in the Netherlands we don,t have Halloween here....its a pity.


  21. Your halloween cards are lovely, adoring the right panel with that cute orange fellow!
    My children will return into school next week too. Shall we enJOY JOY JOY our morning coffee in our own little corner of the world. Let's have an extra cup, each morning!
    Have a happy Thursday, Julie xxx

  22. Julie your post makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, Your fall colors, Wonderful Halloween treats and Angel food cake (homemade no less) Your one amazing lady!

  23. Once again some fabulous cards Julie! It is never too early to start thinking Halloween! I did some sketches while I was on holiday in July with just that theme! You always manage to come up with some fabulous ideas with the crafty secrets things. Only makes me want them more! Love the recipe as well! I love angel food cake. I keep forgetting to pick up an angel food cake pan when I am back in Canada. I'll have to wait another three years again now. Oh well. What do you do with all the leftover egg yolks? That's quite a lot and they don't freeze. Like Lynn said you are one amazing lady. Love you to pieces! xxoo

  24. Oh Julie! Your fold out Halloween is magical! It invites you in as though reading a favorite story. What a wonderful company Crafty Secrets is, and how lucky are they to have you to make such lovely things. Congratulations on your weight goal. Your new profile photo shows just how happy you are with yourself. It seems you are in a very good place! Have a lovely weekend! Elizabeth

  25. YUMMMMMY! Looks divine :) Now if only I had lost weight a year ago....

    Love this post. Can't believe we need to start thinking about Halloween. My baby is starting high school this year too. :{

    Yikes what next? Moving out or getting married or something crazy like that?!


    btw...the citra solv works great on paper projects too.

  26. Hello my friend!! WOW kids are back to school ALREADY!!! Mine (grandkids) don't start until the end of the month! Morgan starts COLLEGE and Jon goes into 8th grade! Yikes are they getting old!! Teehee!!

    Your angel food cake looks scrumptious!!! And yes, Alton has some amazing recipes ... we enjoy watching him too!! Do you think you could send a piece across country to Ohio?? Naaa, never mind, it would probably loose it's moistness in the trip! Guess I'll have to make my own ... thanks for the recipe!!

    Hope you are having a great day!! Hugs to ya!

  27. Great Halloween projects! We don't really do Halloween in a big way here in the UK so it's fun to see you US girls make this stuff!

  28. Good morning!
    Oh my stars that Angel Food Cake looks to die for. That was the cake we always made for my niece's and nephew's birthdays. My Mom loved them - low in fat and NO CHOLESTEROL! Whoo HOOOO!

    It is so nice and cool here, it would be so easy to get carried away thinking of Fall . . . but the minute I do - SUMMER will kick in and we'll be blazing hot. I cannot believe I have not even turned the a/c on yet this year.

    School already? BUMMER! Well . . . I was always always the woman singing at the top of her lungs while perusing the aisles at Staples ... "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" LOL

    Hope you have a great day too!
    Hugs! Karen

  29. Hi Julie, I just love your Halloween cards thier very lovely!!! What a wonderful job you did on them. I like seeing anything that has to do with fall, I'm sooooo ready for some cooler weather!! Thanks for sharing! Blessings~~~ Daphne

  30. I, too, love sweets and I am trying so hard to avoid them but that looks so good! And almost good for you!

    Your cards are so cute. I need to get some Crafty Secrets soon! They are so adorable!


  31. Julie, your card is so fantastic! You are the Queen of Cards! Thanks for the recipe. You are so sweet to share. Have a great night! Twyla

  32. What fun Halloween cards Julie! The cake looks yummy too :)

  33. Wow...your school does start must be out early in June.

    Your cake looks amazing....hugs for a great weekend. xoxo

  34. Me encantan tus diseños y tus recetas!

    Julie Heredia