Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Garden Cake

My sweet niece turned 4 not too long ago, and I got to make her birthday cake for the third year in a row. This year it was finally something other than a Dora cake. Not that I didn't like Dora, but it was fun to do something different. She had a garden party, so naturally I made a garden cake.

I wish I had a real garden like this. I'd just love to walk down that charming little path and smell the flowers and pick all the veggies.

The kiddies helped me make all the veggies and leaves. They're naturals.

Eden especially loved helping me. She takes after her auntie in more than just her looks.

Aren't all those vegetables just adorable? I think this may be my favorite cake I've ever made.

See Ma, I did inherit your green thumb after all. Ok, so maybe it's just the food coloring.

My favorite part of the cake is the curly-cue pumpkin vine. I might make a whole pumpkin patch cake one day.

You may have noticed that this is a very different kind of cake post than usual. There is a serious lack of disasters and funny stories. That's because for the first time it went off without a hitch. Of course that's probably because I didn't have to actually make a cake. And moe importantly, there was no frosting to be heard of. Nothing but fondant. I can do fondant. Allow me to introduce you to the best food on the planet earth:

Grandma's Ice Cream Cake


2 packages Oreo cookies*, crushed
1 stick butter, melted
1 quart vanilla ice cream*, softened


1. Mix butter with half of the Oreo crumbs.

3. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

3. Spread ice cream over crust.

4. Sprinkle the rest of the Oreo crumbs on top.

5. Freeze. Move cake from freezer to refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving so it will be soft enough to cut and serve.

I'm pretty sure my grandma actually only uses 1 package of oreos. But I prefer a thicker crust. And you need to make sure you have a few extra cookies to munch on.

*This could easily be done with all different kinds of Oreos and ice cream. I've done it with vanilla Oreos for non-chocolate lovers (how such a person exists is beyond me) and chocolate cream Oreos with chocolate ice cream for chocoholics (surprisingly not as good as I expected, but I think that was because of the quality of the ice cream). There's mint Oreos and berry Oreos and Uh Oh Oreos. If two packages of oreos still isn't enough for you, you can use cookies and cream ice cream. I'm dying to try peanut butter Oreos with Chocolate Moose Tracks ice cream. Overkill? I think not!

Monday, August 22, 2011

In A Nutshell

In case you've been wondering, here's what you missed:

July 15-24 — Larsen Family Reunion

10 days at Lake Tahoe with ALL of Brian's extended family. Probably the longest family reunion I've ever been to or even heard of. Yes, they are all insane, and I'm gonna fit right in. I've done a lot of camping, but only at church camps or my family reunions, both of which have every second of every day planned out for me. It was great to just relax at the beach, go on hikes, eat ice cream, and sit on our "porch" and read. Brian and I definitely won the cutest tents award. Mine was decked out inside with a closet, a table (with a yellow gingham tablecloth, of course), a lamp, and even a vase with a bright yellow daisy. Brian (jealous of my uber fabulous tent) made himself a rock garden, complete with pinwheels. Between the two was our porch, where we could sit and read (I started and finished 5 books a few days before the trip was even over) or watch the kiddos play, or just generally act like old people. Ok, it was just two camp chairs, but it served it's purpose.

July 25-31 — In Between

After the reunion and before Girls' Camp, I hung out in Lincoln for a couple of days. My mom was in Wisconsin visiting my brand new niece, so it was just me and my step dad. we're both quiet, keep to ourselves kind of people, so it wasn't too eventful. Have I mentioned that I don't like summer like the rest of the world seems to? Besides the awful heat, these kinds of days are why. My summers always seem to be filled with lots of traveling and visiting, which is great. But the days in between? Not so much. Unpack. Do laundry. Re pack. Not enough time to do anything, but too much time to do nothing. I've been mostly living out of a suitcase for over three years now, ever since I graduated high school really. I'm in between homes, in between stages of life, in between schools, in between age groups. In between isn't my favorite. But I digress, back to the fun stuff.

August 1-6 — Girls' Camp

At only 20 years old, this was my 10th year of camp, and I definitely went out with a bang! I went for 7 years as a youth and this was my third as a leader. I was semi-in-charge of 23 girls ages 12-17, and I just adore every one of my little cousindaughtersisterfriends. The highlight: we won the jingle award, for the first time EVER in all of my 10 years. We've won all the other awards lots of times, but never this coveted prize. I must admit, I'm very proud of our wonderful song, the entire camp even begged for an encore. That's right, if you need a popular Disney song re-written to be about mold, lice, and throwing hatchets, I'm your girl. I could tell about ten million more stories, but I'll spare you. I don't know when I'll be able to go to Girls' Camp again, but I definitely left on a good note. I actually almost teared up when the girls asked me to "stomp my feet and boogie to the beat" one last time as I was walking away. Even Brian got to "wiggle it, just a little bit" when he came to pick me up. He's a natural.

August 6-7 — Brian's Birthday

Well, okay, his birthday was only the 7th, but we celebrated both days. After a week long sleepover in the dirt, I wanted nothing more than a long shower and an even longer nap. But Brian's friends were in town for his birthday, so instead I rinsed of the dirt, put on some new clothes, and headed out again. We went to Virginia City and spent the rest of the time hanging out and swimming at casinos. I got kicked out of not one, but two places within 24 hours. First a soda shop in Virginia City for "running" (I was just dancing to the great 50s music that was playing in the store, but I guess they didn't appreciate it with the store filled with hundreds of glass bottles). Then I got kicked off the carpet at the casino for not being 21 (I was only 10 days too young, and I didn't want to gamble or drink anyway). Overall, a very exciting weekend.

August 8-13 — Hot August Nights

I must say, Reno is a strange little place, but I love how the entire city comes together for events like this. Even the DMV was all decked out in 50s memorabilia. Brian worked the whole week taking pictures of the Hot Rods. I got to work with him on the last two nights, telling the cars where to park. I'm pretty obsessed with the 50s, so I was in heaven. Especially when the soda jerk and greasers would stop b, or when a Buddy Holly song came on.

August 14-20 — Birthdays Galore

On the 14th, Brian and I had a joint party with his family. I practiced our wedding cakes, only in pink and blue instead of black and white. Sorry no picture, but they turned out pretty stinkin' cute. On my actual birthday (the 17th, if you want to know) I spent the morning cleaning (better than it sounds, I LOVE to clean) and the evening on a great double date. Two of our bestest friends, who just got married, came to Brian's house, and we all ate cereal and watched old-timey cartoons in our PJs. Best. Date. Ever. On the 19th was Eden's birthday party, and of course I made the cake. Finally something besides Dora. More about that later. On the 20th, Brian gave me the best birthday present I've ever gotten. CLOTHES! Lots of clothes. But that's another story that will have to wait for it's own post.