Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cake Wrecks

A blog all about cakes - mostly wrecks, but my favorite days are the perfections.  Jen started the blog Cake Wrecks - when Professional Cakes Go Horribly, Hilariously Wrong in 2008 and I've been watching it about half that long.  She showcases terribly decorated cakes caused by mis-understood instructions, poor spelling, poor sense of design and some overall bad choices.

Since today is St. Patrick's day, I'll borrow some examples from Jen that fit the theme.

Like this one in 2011. These poor cupcakes never really stood a chance with this heavy handed piper.

Her Tradition for Sundays is Sunday Sweets.  This means on Sunday she posts photos of amazingly decorated cakes and I'm jealous of the talent of each and every one of their bakers.

On today's page for instance, you'll see some amazing Irish themed cakes & cookies... like this one. Amazing colors & piping.  Each of the stunning works of art showcased on Sunday, also comes with a link to more info on the baker.
By: Bobbette & Belle Artisanal Pastries

Two combine both the amazing and the oh so sad, another theme is called Missed Marks.  This is a feature where the customer presents the baker with a photo of a cake (or design/logo) they would like to take home for themselves.  Very often the results are just sad.

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I was raised in a very craft rich household.  As a result, in my adult life I have accumulated enough craft knowledge to have learned how to do many, many different things.  I have to limit my visits to craft stores for specific projects (otherwise I'm much too tempted to come home with more projects then I can possibly accomplish in a lifetime).

My very favorite crafts though (and my biggest weakness) revolves around yarn.  Knit, Crochet, and even spinning my own yarn from raw fibers.

In late 2007 I discovered and joined an amazing community of crafters and discovered patterns and ideas from around the world that I never would have found otherwise.

If you like knit, crochet or even spinning - this site is for you.  Membership is free and if you don't already belong you are missing out.

Browse patterns from around the world.  Sometimes they're free, sometimes you'll have to buy a book or magazine, but it's a great way to peek inside a publication before you make that purchase.

Find a beautiful yarn in your favorite shop and have no idea what to use it for?  Search for your yarn and see how other people used it.

Keep a digital favorites list of projects you love, want to make, or just to use as inspiration

Keep a digital log of all projects you are currently working.  It will help you track all the details along the way, including the fiber used, how long it took you to complete, any special notes or changes you made, even how difficult the project is. 

Create a catalog of your fiber stash.  How much you have, where you bought it.  Want to offer it up to share with someone else, there's a feature that allows you to "advertise" you're willing to part with a fiber in your stash.

Create a personal library. Go through your physical library and catalog everything on your bookshelf.  Whether it's a magazine, a ravelry purchased .pdf, published book and sometimes even loose patterns.  

 Join groups (like online bulletin boards) on a huge variety of topics... not all necessarily fiber related.

Can you tell I love this place?  Like I said, if you are a knitter/crocheter/spinner... you should check it out.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm Jealous of Colossal art

I love to discover new places online that showcase the artistic and scientific minds in the world.

Here are just some of my favorites.  Colossal & Jealous Curator are basically online museums.  Amazing things they find.

Colossal - Art & Visual Ingenuity 
Sculpture & Paint 3D scenes by Shintaro Ohata
LED Mushroom Lights by Yukio Takano
 Poolied Oil Paintings by Matthew Davis
Melting Ice Cream Truck by the Glue Society
Black Hole, Centrifugal paint flinging by Fabian Oefner
Composite Photographs by Shawn Clover
blending 1906 San Francisco with present day
Paper scultpures of every day objects by Vincent Tomczyk
3D Paint & Resin koi goldfish ponds by Riusuke Fukahori
Jealous Curator
Thread installation of Gabriel Dawe
Swing Installation of Ann Hamilton
Cloud by Caitlind & Wayne
Flying Houses by Laurent Chéhère

Google Art Project
If you like a brick & mortar museum, but don't have a world travelers budget, then this is for you.  Virtual tours of real museums from all around the world.
Visit the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
or maybe the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Fancy a trip to Greek Acropolis?

TED Talks 
Ted stands for: Technology, Entertainment, Design.  You can download podcast versions in audio or video format, or of course watch them online live.  Most people will never get to attend a TED conference in real life, but they do give you access to everything digitally.  So many amazing idea's and stories to be discovered here.  I won't give you samples, you really have to check them out for yourself.


I know some young people who had a baby recently.  Neither of them are very good cooks nor do they have much money.  I went on a website search for them once to help them learn how to get the best use they can out of their WIC funds.  They are no longer using the assistance, but I know there are others out there who could.  

If you put yourself on a WIC challenge, how well do you think you'd fare?

Government websites with receipes and information
California Department of Public Health
Minnesota Department of Health
USDA WIC works resource system
Texas Wic
Marquette County Health Dept
The Bean Book
WIC Cookbook

Mother Love Goddess
WIC food recipes
On Food Stamps
Food Stamps Cooking Club

Other websites
Team4nutrition Food Stamp Challenge
Cooking with WIC

Not Free

$2.99 on Amazon (Kindle Edition)
The Food Stamp Budge Gourmet Cookbook
$2.00 on Lulu (.pdf)

More free recipes

Now that I'm on a recipe hunt, I wanted to share more things I found today or have had Favorited for a long time.

Online Recipe Links (online or downloadable)
Sunmaid Raisins 
Weber Grilling Guide
The Prepared Pantry - How to Bake The Art & Science of Baking (sign up to have emailed to you)
DaVita - Healthy Cooking with Diabetes & DaVita - Kidney Diet Delights
Spark People's Chef Meg - over 25 eCookbooks themed cookbooks (holidays, ethnic, healthy living, seasonal, ingredients & prep methods) Even includes a restaurant copy-cat book (Applebees, Olive Garden, Panera Bread, etc.)
The Coupon Snob - The Five Year Recipe Book
Stone Soup - Minimalist Home Cooking (5 ingredients, 10 minutes)

And the not so free:
Digital Magazines for Subscription
Taste of Home 
America's Test Kitchen
Cooks Country

Penzeyes - This is a spice shop catalog.  They have stores nationwide but you can also order online. Highly recommend the catalog though - it's free and each issue comes with great recipes.

Free Recipes

For my first post, I think maybe something in the "free" realm; because really , who doesn't like free? I recently discovered Woman  All it really is, is new free offers every day, sometimes coupons, links to samples offers, digital downloads, you get the idea. And they have other sites for things related to babies, pets, beauty, food, etc.  

Today while looking for Easter Eggs on the site  I came across digital downloadable cookbooks.  The kind like you find in the grocery store at the check out counter.

They linked up two from that site directly and I love them so much I had to go on a hunt for more. Below you will find a list of everything I could find on my morning web tours.

They are created through a company called nxtbook and work with Adobe Air, some can be downloaded in .pdf format, and others as their own executable or in the .air format.  Nxtbook by the way looks like a really cool resource if you wanted to publish a digital book, catalog or ezine of any kind.

General Mills - Indexed
Gold Medal Baking Mixes - Make More with Less (22 recipes each, download in .air & .pdf)
Volume 3 - Volume 4 - Volume 5 - Volume 6 - Volume 7

General Mills including: Betty Crocker & Pillsbury (Volume.Issue)
5.2 Betty Crocker - Appetizers & Desserts more than 70 15-minute appetizers (.exe, .pdf)
6.1 Betty Crocker - Cakes, Bars & Cookies 70+ recipes (.air, .pdf)
6.3 Betty Crocker - Bisquick 70+ recipes & tips (.exe, .pdf)
7.1 Betty Crocker - Cookies, bars & cakes 70+ yummy recipes (.exe, .pdf)
13.2 Pillsbury Casseroles & Slow Cooker Meals - 24 speedy casseroles (.exe, .pdf)
14.1 Pillsbury Holiday appetizers, sides, desserts, menus
14.2 Pillsbury One-Dish meals 70 + recipes (.air, .pdf)
15.1 Pillsbury Spring Get-Togethers - 70+ fun recipes (.air, .pdf)
15.3 Betty Crocker - Soups Stews & Chilies 28 slow cooker recipes (.exe)
15.4 Betty Crocker - Holiday Cookies (2007) 70+ recipes (.exe, .pdf)
15.5 Betty Crocker - Diabetes Easy Family Meals 70+ recipes (.exe)
16.1 Betty Crocker - Brunch Main Dishes - Coffee Cakes - Desserts & More (.exe)
16.3 Betty Crocker - Birthday Parties 70+ recipes 9 menus (.exe, .pdf)
16.5 Pillsbury Easy fabulous Pies, Tarts & More - 74 recipes (.exe)
17.1 Betty Crocker - Healthy Home Cooking 60 recipes under 300 calories &  175 tips to better eating (.air, .pdf)
17.5 Pillsbury Cresents biscuits & more 70 + recipes (.air, .pdf)
21.5A Betty Crocker - All-time Best Recipes 107 recipes celebrating 90 years of Betty Crocker (.air, .pdf)
21.9 Pillsbury Best Recipes ever! 121 recipes (.air, .pdf)

General Mills - Not Indexed
Gold Metal - Whole Wheat Baking (2008) - 12 Fabulous favorites (.exe, .pdf)
Gold Metal Mix Champions (2011) (.air, .pdf)
Betty Crocker Casseroles & slow cooker meals (2009) 70+ recipes (.air, .pdf)
Betty Crocker - Big Book of Cupcakes (.air, .pdf)
Progresso Soups & More 74 recipe cards (.air, .pdf)
Pillsbury - Halloween food - parties - crafts - fun (2006) - Over 100 spooky ideas (no save option*)
Pillsbury Bake-Off More than 50 years of contests, 41 recipes (.air, .pdf)
Pillsbury Bake-Off #43 (.air, .pdf)
Pillsbury Place & Bake Buscuits  (.air, .pdf)
Pillsbury Place & Bake Muffins (.air, .pdf)
Pillsbury Biscutis - Vesatility Made Simple (.air, .pdf)

Other brands
Jiffy - America's Favorite Jiffy mixes Recipes (rev 03.03.10) (.air, .pdf) 

There's an App for that (on ITunes)
Betty Crocker Cookbook
Nxtbook Nxtstand