Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Late Mother's Day post

I’ve recently decided to start homeschooling Willow somewhat to prepare her for school (even though it's a ways off still). Nothing real formal or organized. I just want to spend some time with her each day teaching her new and fun things. She’s at the age now where I think she needs some challenge. She often gets bored with a lack of things to do. So I went and bought *some* (incase my husband is reading tehee!) supplies such as books and crafts and looked up lots of good ideas on the internet. She’s already so excited to start and was even telling strangers at Walmart today about the 'school home' she was going to have. If anyone out there is homeschooling a preschooler and would like to offer advice or even recommend a good book on the subject, I am definitely open to hearing!

Anyway because I’ve been busy throwing myself into that, I haven’t yet shared the pics of the cake Kelly and I made for Mother’s day. Oh my goodness, can you say deeeelicious? We were so proud of it. It was a white chocolate cake (which was a doctored box mix – recipe below) with a raspberry filling. Yum. So now that I have a bit of time before the baby wakes up, here they are ....
We started off a few days ahead of time by making these little royal icing flowers.

We made soo many.

Way more than we needed.
We also made pretty fondant flowers.

Cute baby ones.

And pretty big ones.

The cake was baked in Wilton's sweetheart pan and here it is after slicing it in half horizontally. I used one of those sawing things to make it nice and even. Gosh, I couldn't even imagine trying to do a shape like this with a knife.

We piped a 'dam' of buttercream onto the cake and then filled with canned raspberry cake/pie filling and sprinkled a few raspberries on top.

After placing the top layer onto the filling, we frosted the cake with a thin layer of buttercream to seal in crumbs. Then, after letting it set in the freezer for a few minutes,  the second layer of buttercream went on.

Placing the little flowers in a heart shape on the top of a cake. A shell border was piped around the bottom.

 The fondant flowers went on the side of the cake and the little ones on the shell border.

The finished cake. I have to say, this was one of the quickest cakes I have made. Although I'm sure this has to do with Kelly making it with me. But also that I didn't spend so much time with the frosting. Usually I spend ages trying to get cakes smooth. Scraping the spatula over the cake dozens of times, smoothing with paper towels and my fondant smoother. But we just kind of spread it out evenly and it looked fine.

Here are the mothers. Kelly's on the left and my mother in law on the right. They were very happy with it :)

White Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from the Cake Doctor)

6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I just used 6 oz. of white chocolate melts from Wilton. Save on the chopping)
1 package plain white cake mix (18.25 ounce)
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled a little
1 cup whole milk (I used 2% milk)
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour cake pans.

Heat the chopped white chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat until melted, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly.

Place the cake mix, melted butter, milk, eggs, vanilla and slightly cooled white chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pans in the oven side by side.

Bake until they are light brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 40-45 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge invert them onto racks. Turn on one side and let cool completely.


tea said...

This sounds really good and looks pretty!

We're hoping to (Lord willing) homeschool our son. He's still real little, but I've started teaching him different little things when he's in a learning mood (numbers, colors, abc's, his little bible verse). I can't wait until we can start doing more! I don't have any tips or anything though, since I'm just a beginner myself. :)

Kelly Polizzi said...

that's what i want to do with willow, wait until she's in the mood so she's more receptive to learning and it doesnt become something she hates. I really want her to love learning and be inquisitive.

For now, I think i'll just start with a letter of the day kind of thing and give her a picture to color and snack to eat starting with that letter. But I am going to research more and work towards having more planned out 'lessons'.

Good luck with your homeschooling too!

Tracey Monroe said...

You are so talented! And have such patience like making those cute little flowers. A beautiful and yummy looking cake.
I'm also warming up for homeschooling. Like Tea, I'm just starting with numbers-colors-ABC's type things and using books mostly but also found foam ABC's. There's also a Christian blog that's been inspiring me (tot school) at http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/2009/06/behind-scenes-where-do-i-begin.html
I have no idea if this will be something of interest to you but there are so many moms posting what they're doing on her site and I have gotten lots of ideas. I find just folding it into the regular day is the best way we're doing it so we end up having done school but it looked like a regular day if that makes sense. Best wishes to you in that. Sorry for the long post, but it's something I'm excited about!

Kelly Polizzi said...

Thank you! But very far from talented lol.

What a great blog! I got tons of information from it and downloaded the worksheets etc. I am following and will definitely be keeping my eye on it. Thanks so much for the link, it was very helpful.


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