May 28, 2010

Making Sidewalk Chalk

I saw a great tutorial for making Homemade Sidewalk Chalk on Martha a few weeks ago and thought I'd give it a try.  It's super easy and we really enjoyed it.  We liked the idea of making shaped chalk so we used silicone baking trays and even some plastic chocolate molds.  All you have to do is follow the directions on the package for Plaster of Paris and add a little dry tempera paint to the mix.

This chalk does NOT work on chalkboards because it's a little too hard, but it works great on sidewalks.

May 4, 2010

Colorful Marbled Birthday Cake

For Holly's birthday she insisted on lemon cake.  She'd never had lemon cake before, but was determined to have it nonetheless.  I started with a plain vanilla cake recipe, but added the zest of two lemons and substituted half of the water for fresh squeezed lemon juice.

I added some pretty colored sugar sprinkles to the batter, but it still didn't look quite pretty enough.  Something seemed lacking.  So, I decided to marble the cake with food coloring.

I divided the cake batter into two round cake pans and dotted neon food coloring on top.  Then, I ran a toothpick through the colors in a figure eight pattern... dragging the toothpick in and out of each color until the batter took on a marbelized look.

After baking, I iced the cake with a thin layer of lemon icing and put it in the freezer to set.  Once the icing had hardened a bit, I frosted the cake with cream cheese frosting and decorated it with her name in tinted lemon icing and a rhinestone tiara.

Cutting into the cake was a thrill with each layer revealing delicate strands of color inside.  Everyone loved it!