Friday, September 30, 2011

oliver's birthday party and HOW TO make NASA cupcakes

I'm a really awesome mom a few times a year.  Most of the time I am kind of a shitty mom, but about thrice a year, I am pretty much the greatest mom ever.  This sort of on-again-off-again attitude toward doing things is how I generally do everything so it shouldn't surprise any one that I neglect my child 362 days a year, then go BALLS OUT to make up for it.

and I went BALLS OUT this year for Oli's third birthday/goodbye space shuttle program party.

I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was too busy being such a great mom.  The only picture I regret not getting was of the cake.  I have pictures of all of the components, but not the cake when it was put together.  Basically, I made cupcakes and a small star cake and spray painted them (edibly- awesome mom, not poison-control-center mom) silver.  I put the starburst (shape, not candy, get your mind out of the gas station) cake in the center, then put cupcakes all around it, then put three cupcakes on top of it, put candles all over and just blew everyone's mind.

the starburst-shaped cake and two uneaten (at time of photo) cupcakes.

I also have pictures of the decorations, which I didn't do.  I swell with pride, but worry it might be a kind of gay-pride, with what an awesome job Mr. Stupid+Boring did with the decorations.

look at that space shuttle!  also look at my crafting space.

birthday boy/someone who's gonna miss the space shuttle program.

Of course I am glad that Oli had a great time, but really all of my pride is in those cupcakes.  So here's how to make your own awesome NASA cupcakes.

silver cupcake liners
Uniquely Duff silver cake graffiti (Michaels, Party City)
Uniquely Duff twisted candles in silver, black, & purple
Wilton 1M tip and pastry bag

a box of white cake mix
whatever the box of white cake mix requires
freeze dried strawberries (Trader Joe's)
freeze dried blueberries
red food coloring
blue food coloring

2 sticks of butter, softened
2.5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp heavy whipping cream (or milk)

01. mix cake according to directions on box, likewise, turn on your oven*
02. separate batter into three bowls
03. in bowl one, mix about a handful of crushed freeze-dried strawberries and about 8 drops of red food coloring.  (adjust either to taste)
04. in bowl two, mix a handful of crushed freeze-dried blue berries and about 8 drops of blue food coloring.  (adjust either to taste)
05. in bowl three, do nothing
06. line cupcake pan with silver cupcake liners (for fucks sake)
07. using a spoon, distribute blue batter into cupcake liners (most box cakes give you enough batter to make 24 cupcakes, I made 12 and threw the remaining batter in the starburst-shaped pan... you do whatever you want but realize that you should have half of each bowl left after you've filled 12 cupcake liners)
08. distribute white cake batter.
09. distribute red cake batter.
10. bake according to directions on box.
*All of the rising that occurs in baking happens in the beginning.  If you want your shit to really rise, preheat your oven about 50º-75º above whatever temp your baking at, then turn the oven down to the correct temp right after putting your cupcakes in.

buttercream frosting:
01. with an electric hand-mixer, combine butter and sugar (it's suggested you do this one cup at a time with the sugar)
02. add vanilla extract
03. keep mixing!  it's gonna be a while!
04. add HWC or milk one tbsp at a time until the frosting is a texture that YOU can be proud of.
05. cover with plastic wrap and stick in fridge until you're ready to decorate.

01. wait for cupcakes to cool completely on a rack (FOR REAL)
02. put your buttermilk frosting into the pastry bag
03. frost those dirty cupcakes!
04. refrigerate uncovered for about 20 minutes or until frosting hardens on the outside.
05. cover your workspace in newspaper.
06. spray the cupcakes until they're silver.
07. candles.
08. serve.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nice hat!

Well, hello.  I am a terrible blog owner.  Blogs should be allowed to run free and I keep mine couped up and neglected.  I should have realized it was going to be a bigger responsibility when I got it.  Here's a blog post I started a few weeks ago and now have time to finish.  Other upcoming posts: cupcake for two challenge, Carson's Goodwill sale haul, and probz new hair pics.  On the learning front: you're gonna learn some physics because I need to learn some physics.

This is style-related only in the origin of the thought that spurred such an idea for such a blog.

SO I'M SITTING THERE, thinking about whatever, and the idea of prêt-à-porter came to mind.  It pretty much translates to "ready to wear" and refers the factory-made clothes that make up 95% of my- and almost everyone else's- wardrobe, as opposed to haute couture or bespoke clothing which pretty much no one can afford.

ANYWAY... this isn't about clothes.  This is about hats.  Little hats.  Like the one that the e in prêt-à-porter is wearing.  Isn't it cute?  It's a circumflex.

IT IS TIME: to learn some French language history.

The circumflex dropped itself from the English language a long ass time ago but it's used a lot in the French language.  It's considered an "accent mark" but it doesn't do anything to the sound of the word (okay it does, but not all of the time) so WHY THE HELL IS IT THERE?  Because French people like little hats?  Yes.

But also, it's there to signify that once, a long time ago, there was another letter there and people stopped pronouncing it and it started being spelled with out it.  Some French linguists of the time were all like "fuck that!" but there was nothing they could do, times-a-changing, but put a little tombstone where the letter used to be.

The most common missing letter is s*.

anglais français
hospital hôpital
hostel hôtel
forest forêt
beast bête
feast fête

Yay!  Now you've learned some French words that are easy to remember because they're almost English words.

Prête doesn't have an English equivalent per-se, but is similar to a word we are familiar with.  Presto.

*The accent aigu ´ is also sometimes used when s is missing, like the French word for "spice", épice.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

as promised

here it is from beginning to end.
as promised.
hair, hair, hair.
iodine colored.
no lesson.

Friday, September 2, 2011

never, no! not in a million.. okay. let's learn about I.

I never wanted this blog to be about my hair- and I have every intention for it not to be.  I also have intentions of updating it daily but whattyagonnado?

I am markedly changing my hair this weekend... and I don't want to give away any surprises but it all goes to plan, it'll look cool.

I've been thinking about chemistry a lot.  One color, that tends to show up in designers' palettes at least once a year is bold, red/pink purple.  This is the darker version of my favorite color.  I have a very particular favorite color and it can be created in a lab easily because I did it in both of my chemistry classes.  I'd say my favorite element is mercury (Hg) since it's so fucking weird, but since you're not allowed to ever play with or experiment with it, then my favorite element is iodine (I) because it makes pretty colors.

Some facts about iodine:
  • it's atomic number is 53 (that means it has 53 protons, y'all!)
  • it's a halogen, like chlorine, and exists in diatomic molecules (I2, what what!)
  • at room temp, it's a violet gas but if you can get that shiz solid, it's silvery gray
  • this is news to me, but according to wikipedia, iodine deficiency is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation (EAT YOUR SALT, G!)
  • fuchsia is spelled F-U-C-H-S-I-A, also something I learned this week.

picture time!

Solid iodine
oh shiz!  it evaporated into the most beautiful color in the world

and as you can imagine, this is the color I intend to get my hair today.  because it's all about I.