This party dog pink penguin cake was inspired by Pingu’s lil sis, Pinga. Damn cute little simple-faced simpleton penguin. PINK! Why not. I’ve been on a bit of a video-making kick lately because… because … to be honest (or as younger folks acronymize – TBH) – I am bored to shit of my usual cake making, photography, etc. Existential blog crisis time, which I have a few times a year at least. A decade ago I graduated with a degree in Integrated Media from ye olde local art school – Integrated Media being a catch-all phrase for anything that wasn’t painting, I guess? So I kinda rediscovered that I liked video, and was capable of some lite-video-making. So be prepared for some video-ish type things coming up. Nothing major, and it will always be a little silly.
You Will Need:
One 8 inch round cake of your choice (baked and cooled completely)
4 cups of vanilla buttercream of your choice
Two piping bags, one fitted with a large multi-opening grass/fur tip; the other with your favourite open star tip
So what does one do when they are approaching the ripe and refined age of 40? How about HAVE A CHILDREN’S STYLE BIRTHDAY PARTY!????? Yeah. I turned 40 on November 15th! An age I was anticipating with both fascination and dread. For months I was hemming and hawing over what to do. My first idea was to have a ginormous 100+ person bash at our house, catered by a taco truck with the theme “Fruity Forty” and everyone would wear bright colours and I’d make a bunch of cakes that looked like fruit. Then, my second idea was to bury myself in blankets and cry and not want to do anything because 40 just sounded so OLD to me. Then, my third idea was to slap myself and remember that I could have easily not even lived to be 40. Then, my fourth idea was to think: “What do I actually even like doing right now??”
1. I like basketball
2. I like playing the drums
3. I like karaoke
So I decided to fuggedabout having a fancy-ass party. No expensive new dress, champagne and canapés here. Instead, a homemade SNACK STADIUM, a Dairy Queen Garfield ice cream sheet cake (!!!) and some of my dearest friends and family running around like 5 year olds in a gym.
Once the theme of Sporty Forty was established, it made perfect sense that this would be the moment in time by which I would finally make my own SNACK STADIUM. There are many examples of these on the interweb – slabs of meat-filled sandwiches stacked high around a guacamole field center; brand-name logos and trays of taco fixings. We based our snack stadium on a mix of this tray-based one and the cuteness factor of this foamboard non-guacamole-field one.
A trip to the dollar store around the corner yielded these amazing brightly coloured sheets of foamboard for $2.25 each. I also picked up a few $1.25 packages of aluminum mini loaf pans in two sizes. Gather together a pencil, a utility knife/box cutter and a glue gun too. Rich traced the loaf pans onto the foam board and used the utility knife to cut out the shapes. He then cut brackets out of the foam board to elevate it into “stadium stands.”
While Rich was constructing the stands, I worked on the washi tape pennant garlands – fold washi tape over baker’s twine, then trim the tape into the pennant flag shape with sharp scissors!
I wasn’t too keen on a guacamole field, for fear of it turning brown and looking icky – luckily I found this bright green foam board which acted as the base for the stadium. We added strips of white paper (not very accurate at all, oops!) and I cut out a little brown football to place in the middle because … sports????
I loved the scoreboard – Rich’s idea to make the score 4-0. Heh heh. The HOME and AWAY are stickers I found at a craft superstore. I just have a collection of this stuff lying around as I’m a craft and typography hoarder. You could totally draw the letters/numbers too but I love the clean look of the letter stickers/stamps.
Annnnnd I drew this MASCOT. GO BEAVERS! Hehe. To add a little more sporty flair to the snack stadium.
Sung Stadium!!! Customized!!
And the stadium filled with snacks!! The stadium was kinda pretty much more for show – we had bowls of other snacks and food beside this guy. It’s almost like it fits just enough snacks for 2 actual people to munch on.
I used Crush because they had the cutest cans and colours. Duh.
I added my late grandfather’s old golf trophy too… because I thought it gave it a nice aesthetic and also golf + football = MAKES SENSE??
Hehe! FUN. Extra special props to my cousin Mike (and his little guy H) who drove up from Seattle to surprise me, just for the party!
I also wore my actual jacket from grade 9 and I got the green basketball jersey from a vintage shop. Pardon the VERY SWEATY look here – we really did play sports! I’m so glad I followed my gut (literally and figuratively) and went for the sports party. It was such a blast. (Special thanks to RT and my sisters for all your help!) 40 is a piece o’ sh*t! Not really! xo Lyndsay
I made these Asian bowl cut sugar cookies for Cynthia, to celebrate the birth of her INSANELY CUTE new little baby boy. Why?? Because every Asian has a picture of themselves as a kid with some variation of an Asian bowl cut… because, stick-straight shiny black hair makes the most beautiful, perfect no-fuss bowl cut …snip snip… hehe. Cynthia, you know Luke will be rocking one of these cuts in a few years while he’s wearing a mini tuxedo playing the piano like the Asian prodigy he will be!!
To make these smiley faced Asian bowl cut cookies:
2. Let cookies cool completely; frost cookies with a very thin, smooth layer of your favourite buttercream recipe or canned frosting.
3. Colour a small amount of white fondant with “copper/skin tone” gel food colouring, or whichever skin shade you want to make them. Colour a small amount of white fondant with black gel food colouring, or pre-purchase a small container of black fondant. Roll out the “skin” fondant to 1/8 inch thickness; using the same round cookie cutter, punch out circles. Gently place fondant circles on top of frosted cookies and press lightly into frosting to adhere.
4.Next, roll out the black fondant to 1/8 inch thickness; using the same round cookie cutter, punch out circles. Using a sharp knife, cut the black circles in two to create the bowl cut hairstyle. Using a small amount of frosting, stick the black hair onto the fondant face.
5. Finally, create by hand eye and mouth shapes by making tiny black fondant balls and pressing down lightly to create flatter circles. Alternately, cut out the shapes using the tips of open circle piping tips to punch out mini circles. Adhere with a toothpick’s tip amount of frosting or a teensy amount of water.
I have adored Cynthia for years now. Not only because she is an incredibly talented photographer and writer and maker of crazy-good-looking food - but because she has become a dear friend, like a cherished childhood pen pal, a woman who when I receive an email from her, or a comment on my blog, (or even a package in the mail to cheer me up with RAINBOW SPRINKLE BROWNIES!) – her thoughtfulness, intelligence, sweetness and sense of humour just radiates, and I always say out loud – “DAMN, THAT CYNTHIA IS SO NICE! I JUST LOVE HER!” Cynthia, I am so pumped for you on the arrival of your lil boo! SO much beautiful, crazy, insane-making, poo-filled, drooly, love-explosive and hilarious goodness ahead. He will change your life in ways you never knew, as I know he already has in just his first few days! What a guy! So much love to you, mama! xo Lyndsay
Lookie! All of the epic #threeredbowls blog posts by some seriously talented folks (thank you Steph and Alana for hosting!):
I made these cutie hilarious blue Totoro cookies for TOTORO WEEK! I love how they look like slices of crazy-eyed, stunned sky blue toast. Remember when I got really into making sugar cookies there for a hot minute, inspired by Holly, Vickie and Patti?? Yeah, they’re still the best at cookies. Then I discovered Kikko’s freaking adorable sugar cookies over at Meet Me At Mike’s. I loooove how perfectly CUTE but also edgy and weird they are – a complete fantasy wonderland of sugar cookie magic. I am still hovering around a C+ for effort with my cookies but darn it the results are always pretty satisfying!
HOT TIPS: I used an R2D2 cookie cutter for the Totoro shape and then used the triangular cone tip of an ice cream cone cutter to punch out ears, then simply pressed the ears into the R2D2 toast shape before baking. I feel like you could use any simple shape like a circle cutter or square cutter to make a Totoro cookie – making them “Totoro” is all in the decorating – crazy eyes, whiskers and a tummy! I chilled the cookies for 10 minutes in the freezer before putting them into the oven. I don’t think that step made a damn bit of difference this time but oftentimes it helps to maintain the shape of the cookie. For the whiskers, nose and eye dots, I used royal icing coloured with Dutch-process cocoa powder. I added a fair amount of cocoa powder, and then added tiny amounts of water as needed to get it back to piping consistency. I liked this idea much better than colouring royal icing with black gel colour!
I’ve never ever used that word before – on fleek. I remember seeing it for the first time a few years ago and being like what the fugoli does that even mean. Irritated at the teens who keep updating this foreign lexicon and even more irritated at the too-old people (like me) who tried to use it. However, I have been known to be proudly, extremely late to the game. Do you even know what a VHS tape is? Yeah. Held on to those for YEARS. I still have my copy of The Hunger, starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve, on VHS. No VCR vessel to play it on but… I don’t even know. All I know right now is Loaf Pan On Fleek. Mini rainbow party cakes CUTENESS!
How To Make These Mini Rainbow Party Cakes:
1. Bake up your favourite cake recipe in something like this mini loaf pan. Let them cool in the pans for ten minutes, then remove and let cool completely on wire racks.
“Princess Bakery Emulsion” makes me think of Ursula from The Little Mermaid stealing Ariel’s voice – like this emulsion is some swirly, golden essence rising out of a voice box! I know, I’m weird. BUT THIS CAKE IS SO GOOD.
Tessa is the Martha Stewart of 2016 and beyond. HONESTLY. I’m like the Chinese frumptown Guy Fieri compared to Tessa’s clean, modern and precise style and skill. Her recipe and vid for vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, well it should be in every baker’s back pocket to whip up on a dime. So delicious!
That first picture. Just put me in a Duran Duran video circa 1985 in a one piece bathing suit and POUR THIS OVER TOP IN SLO-MO. Sheesh. Sexiest looking beverage of the year. And I hate describing anything as “sexy”!
Put an egg on it! Not just any candy eggs – these dreamy milk chocolate marshmallow eggs from Sugarfina! Who can resist Easter candy? It’s so pastel-cute and crispy-chocolatey delicious it’s practically evil, and they make the perfect decoration for an insanely easy Easter cake. I piped this crazy buttercream cake with vanilla buttercream using a multi-opening tip (my favourite tip, don’tcha know!) and then tucked my eggies onto the top in a simple half-moon pattern.
Miffy = bunny, bunny = Easter! Any excuse to use my Miffy cookie cutters! (which I think were originally meant for bento boxes.)
I just used scissors and craft paper and eyeballed the Miffy cake topper – her little face is so easy and cute, but you need to get the proportions right! I just attached the Miffy paper cut out onto a wooden skewer and voila – cake topper! ^__^
Happy Spring! Rebirth, growth, flowers, extra sunlight – all the good things! Cookies – put a face on it! I just can’t not put a face on things. Addicted to kawaii forever. Addicted to weird and wonderful anthropomorphic animals and happy-faced food items (or sad faced lazy egg food items). I remember getting this hamburger panda stationary in Japan in 2002 and being SO stoked. I have been going a little sugar cookie wild lately, but that’s ok – it is FUN and time-consuming in a relaxing way – each little cookie is different, whether it’s the kawaii face or the drips on a cone. I made this batch for some new pals!
I started seeing my rainbow cookies with a kawaii face as a shaggy dog with rainbow hair – and I can’t unsee this. It’s not a bad image to not unsee.
Drippy ice cream cones! Mine are always dripping like melting cones in the sun. My worst drippy sticky nightmare actually but in sugar cookie form, I just love the drips so much! Sugarfina sent me these golden crispy chocolate pearl candies and they make the perfect ice cream cone topper!
Sugar cookies seem to be having a sweet resurgence – I think it’s because the possibilities and individual styles are endless – and cookie masters like Baked Ideas, Holly Fox and Vickie are proving that sugar cookies can be super cute, aesthetically pleasing and modern!
I’ve got deep sugar cookie piping and decorating fever right now, guys. I blame Vickie, Baked Ideas and Holly Fox for getting me all hyped on the cuteness and also ENDLESS COMEDY POSSIBILITIES that are sugar cookies. Watermelon slices, bananas with faces and a big old goofy TOOTH? Yes. Yes you can.
I will compare last year to hiding in a box. It’s hard to want to get out and be social and meet people when you look and feel like a giant cancer turd. So many of my days were spent lying in bed feeling puffy and grey, hating my bald head so hard, bleary-headache-ill-depressed and just wanting the time to pass so I would feel better, so my hair might come back. Just praying for those hours to go by. 2015 (aka 2015: Shitstorm of Buttsanity) ended and 2016 is looking good. I just came back from a hilarious girls trip to Los Angeles, filled with everything fun – major laughs, Eggslut, cocktails, road trip to the desert, impromptu singing, power shopping, snacks galore, feeling the friendship love. Plus, I finally got to meet Kelly of Studio DIY in person! I wanted to make her something special but a cake was out of the question – too wild to try and bring that on the plane! But colourful crazy sugar cookies?? Yes.
Meeting blog pals in real life is kind of anxiety-inducing! You feel like you know a person because you get glimpses and snippets of their lives online, you might share a sense of humour or love for colour, you might exchange emoticons often on Instagram – but a face to face meeting? I always feel nervous. Blogger blind date! Also, I still feel out of my element with my short, borderline-Ellen DeGeneres hair – it’s not my hairstyle of choice so it’s not quite “me” as I would choose to represent myself. Plus, online, you can frame your life and personality, curate what people see – I mean I feel like I do a pretty honest job of being myself online, but still – you always worry if your in-person self might disappoint someone who is expecting an explicitly online self, you know? HOWEVER – no need to fret of course – the meet-up was FUN! We met up at Sqirl and Kelly was wearing probably the cutest outfit ever. The sorrel pesto rice bowl and ricotta jam on toast was SO GOOD. And we just sat and talked and laughed it up and it was lovely. I’ve decided it’s my goal to meet up now with all my online buddies who I’ve gotten to know. Real Life Friends! Because what is life without connection and friendship! (and tooth cookies).
As you can probably tell I’m light to medium obsessed with sugar cookie decorating these days! Sugar cookies are too much fun. And I am also one of the weirdos who likes to eat them, rock-hard royal icing and all. Yum yum. I’m so happy I carried these cookies like a delicate flower cradled like a newborn baby bird through security from Canada on a plane to America. AMERICA! Hehe. Friendship commitment!
Plus: Here are some excellent sugar cookies that are cruising around the inter web right now!