Monday, December 26, 2011

Tiger Watercolor

So, believe it or not, a couple weeks ago I found myself bored  (I guess there isn't much to do on Christmas break). Anyway, I sat in my room wondering what to do, I had already baked, I didn't have an inspiration to draw, and I had already been on Facebook enough that day :) So, I decided to pull out my watercolors to paint. Well, I googled the word "Tigers" (because, for some reason, that seemed interesting to me), found a picture, printed it out and painted it.
Just a sidenote: I don't have anything against people who trace images then paint them but I'd rather not. I like the feeling of looking at a picture and knowing that I painted it myself, no tracing required. 
Ok, so anyway, enough said. This is the end result :)

Sweet 16 Cake

So, I guess it's time to post about another cake! :)  I made this one a few days ago for a friend's 16th birthday.

The bottom tier was vanilla cake (white and purple marbled) with raspberry/blackberry filling and buttercream frosting. Then, the top tier was chocolate cake with vanilla filling and buttercream frosting. Everything was homemade (of course) so the cake took a while to make and construct. I made the butterflies out of white fondant then painted them with zebra stripes, I also made the "16" square out of fondant and painted that as well. Altogether, the cake was challenging but really fun!
I get inspired by looking at people's cake pictures so I hope this inspires you to create something :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


There are a lot of "artsy" things that I enjoy (baking, cooking, drawing, painting, etc.) and among these is photography. I love to take pictures and try to make them look as professional as possible, even though my camera is just a little point-and-shoot digital one. So, I just want to share this photo that I took of my sister and brother. I love it but can't pinpoint exactly it is though :)

My Attempt at Poetry...

Well, most of my posts are about baking even though this blog is titled "The Random Life of Me- The Journal of an Aspiring Artist." So I figure that I should add a little more than just food... here is my attempt at poetry :) I had to write this for a  literature class and discovered that I kinda actually enjoy writing poetry! So, here it is:

I Am Thankful

I am thankful for...

A family unbroken
in a house full of Love
A shortage of nothing,
always enough
A cozy, warm house,
a place by the fire
On freezing cold nights
I am safe

CAKES!!!!!!! :D

Here are some sorta recent cake photos, hope you enjoy them!

I made this one in July for my friend, it was homemade confetti cake with a vanilla pudding filling and vanilla buttercream frosting.

I made this one in September for my birthday, it was vanilla gluten-free cake with chocolate filling and icing. 

And I made this one in November for my sister's 20th birthday! The bottom tier was chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling and vanilla buttercream, then the top tier was vanilla cake with the same filling and frosting.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Maple Banana Muffins (made with oat flour)

After many failed attempts, I finally created a non-crumbly oat muffin :D And a delicious one as well! The secret: Lots of eggs! It's a moist banana muffin with a maple glaze topped with cinnamon. Here's the picture:


1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
6 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs. molasses
1 tbs. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. maple extract
2 very ripe, mushed bananas
5 cups oat flour
6 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 400 F and grease muffin tins (enough for 2 dozen) and a loaf pan.
Mix the milk, sour cream, oil, eggs, brown sugar, molasses, honey, vanilla, maple, and bananas together until somewhat smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the other mixture and blend well. Pour batter into the prepared muffin tins and pour any extra into the loaf pan. Bake the muffins for 18 minutes and the loaf pan until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
*Important note: do not overbake

After the muffins have cooled, drizzle Maple Glaze (recipe below) over the top then sprinkle with cinnamon :)

Maple Glaze


3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. maple flavoring

Stir all the ingredients together adding just enough milk to make the icing "glaze consistency" Very simple!

And voila! There you have delicious, wheat-free muffins :)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No More Wheat Flour For Me!

Well, I haven't posted in a while because I keep forgetting to take pictures of what I bake...either that or I'm in too big of a hurry! Anyway, I found out a few weeks ago that I am allergic to wheat...sad, I know. However, it has not kept me from my kitchen and it has actually opened a door for me to bake with oat flour (my newfound love!) And the coolest thing is that I found out I could make oat flour in a coffee grinder, it's easy! (double bonus!) To add to that, I discovered that you can adapt a lot of recipes to accomodate oat flour :D Anyway, that's my little piece of news for today :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blueberry Muffins Complete With Crumblies...mmmm....

This weekend has been a baking weekend! I love it! These muffins are sweet and soft with a crispy top and pockets of blueberries, how much better does it get???

Here's the recipe:

3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup blueberries

2 tbs. barely softened butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease muffin tins (this recipe makes a dozen). Stir the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg togther in a bowl. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir until everything is moist (the batter will be lumpy). Then add the blueberries. Divide the batter among the muffin tins.
Now for the crumblies: stir the butter and brown sugar together, the mixture will form little balls or misshapen pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle this over each little muffin.
Bake them for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Don't forget to enjoy! :D

Chocolate Cupcakes

Well, there isn't much to say about these cupcakes except that I made them for a party...oh, and chocolate shavings are very temperamental to work with. They melt the moment you touch them, so just beware :)

Lesson from a Volcano Cake and a Little Brother

I made this cake for my (now four year-old) brother's birthday on Friday. He wanted a volcano which is kinda strange since he's into puppies, slugs, and cars, but he could have whatever cake he wanted and he chose a volcano. This cake didn't turn out very well but at least you can tell what it is! I was debating on whether or not to post the picture but in the end I decided that I should. So here it is:

He was very pleased with the fact that I was going to make his birthday (pronounced: boitday) cake and so, he decided that he needed to direct me in the process. He insisted that he watch the process and observe the result of everything I did. Then he would "instruct" me from, keep in mind, that I have been baking and decorating cakes since before he was born, so you can imagine that his instruction was a bit uncalled for :) Anyway, it got me thinking that we do the exact same thing to God. Here he's had our whole life planned out since before the world was made and yet we have to audacity to question him and/or instruct him what to do with our lives and with the world for that matter. We are often that "3 year old" standing on a chair looking over God's shoulder telling him to do this or do that. Thankfully, though, God is MUCH more patient than I am! :)
So, that's my little "nugget" for today!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My sister's 14th birthday cake

Here is the cake I made for my sister's birthday party this weekend :) I saw a picture of a purple pillow cake with a pink "glass slipper" on it in a cake book. My sister promptly expressed a desire for a cake like that, except with a different shoe and different colors (pink and purple weren't cool enough!) So, this is what I came up with!

The cake was chocolate with a buttercream filling, and it was covered in homemade marshmallow fondant. Then I painted it with red food coloring and dusted it with red and white pearly decorator's dust. The pillow seemed a bit lacking so I added white chocolate swirls which worked really well (actually I was too lazy to make more fondant just so I could make a twisted ridge around the middle, but we'll keep that part quiet :) ) Anyway, for the shoe I melted white chocolate and spread it on a parchment paper template and shaped it while it hardened. I had to carve the heel out of a chunk of white chocolate and the rest is pretty self-explanatory. The picture doesn't really show it, but there are chocolate zebra stripes on the back of the heel (ordered by my sister because zebra stripes are cool)
I haven't been able to fully convey how much this cake forced me to be creative but just believe me, it involved a lot of challenges and problem sloving :) However, overall, this cake was REALLY fun to make, it took a while but I loved every minute!

Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Patricks Day Cupcakes

Sorry, I haven't posted in a while. I have friends (and my sister) who post almost every day and I thought I would too when I first decided to blog. Now I realize that I have more of a life than I thought and really don't have a lot of time to blog (no offense to you devoted bloggers out there)! Nevertheless, I did have time to make St. Patricks Day cupcakes, photograph them and, surprisingly enough, post this entry :)

Here they are:

As you can see, this lovely green cupcake is covered in creamy buttercream frosting (also green) and bedecked with a small fondant leprechaun sitting beside his pot of gold (which I hope you can recognize by the way!) I made the cupcakes then decided on the spur of the moment to quickly make a leprechaun. After he was happily sitting on the cupcake, I noticed that he looked lonely and therefore made him some gold to keep him company :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Wolverine (not the superhero)

This blog, as you know, is called "The Journal of an Aspiring Artist," however, I haven't posted anything but recipes...until now. This is a painting I did for my art class. We had to find a logo and adjust it by changing the color, name, and graphics but it still had to be recognizable. So voila! Here is mine:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spiderman Cake

I made this cake last night for my brother's birthday. Thankfully, he's young enough not to care about the appearance. As long as Spiderman is recognizable and the cake tastes good, everything is right in the world :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Amazing Thin Crust Pizza :D

I made pizza tonight for dinner and it was SO GOOD!!! I guess I have this thing for thin crust pizza with lots of sauce, anyway, I have to say that it was delicious :)

So, here's the recipe for the crust (it makes 2 pizzas):

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. of active-dry yeast
2 cups of flour
3/4 tsp. salt
Herbs (optional)
Garlic powder (optional)

Preheat the oven to 500 F
Disolve the yeast in the water and set it aside. Next, combine the flour and salt (and the herbs and garlic powder if desired). Pour the yeast water into the flour mixture and stir them together. Knead the dough until it's elastic then divide it in half.
This next part is super smart, I discovered it from a website and it works so well. It helps the pizza crust to be super thin. Here it is: Roll the crust out on a piece of parchment paper. The dough sticks to the paper, helping it to stay stretched out and thin when it's uncooked. But as it cooks, the dough releases from the parchment paper. It's so simple but it really makes good crust!
Next, put all the toppings on the pizzas, except for the cheese, and place them (with the parchment paper) onto cookie sheets and into the oven. Bake them for 5 minutes, rotate them, then bake them again for 5 more minutes. After that, add the cheese and put them back in the oven for 10+ minutes, until the crust is golden (or close to golden).

This is one of the best recipes for thin crust pizza that I know of...mmmm...enjoy! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I have a confession to make: when it comes to buttercream frostings, I improvise. I don't have set recipe, but my vanilla buttercream consists of 4 components:

Softened Butter (of course)
Powdered sugar
Whipping Cream (makes the frosting fluffy)

It's a pretty basic recipe but it tastes fabulous.
For the purpose of this blog, here's a recipe (with measurements) for vanilla buttercream frosting:

1/2 cup of softened butter
1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
4 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup of whipping cream
Milk (to add if the frosting is too thick)

Cream the butter and vanilla together then add the powdered sugar and whipping cream. Whip the frosting until it's fluffy. As I said in the list of ingredients, if the frosting is too thick then add some milk. Be careful though, because a little bit goes a long way :)

Sidenotes: This frosting works best when used right away. Also, after icing cupcakes or a cake, refrigerate it. That helps to keep the frosting in the right shape.

Enjoy this tasty recipe!

Cream-filled Valentines Day Cupcakes

Ok, so I made these cupcakes for Valentines day a couple days ago. They turned out really well and all my friends and family loved them (except for my little brother who was appalled at the lack of chocolate)

Here's the recipe:

3 cups of flour (all-purpose, I rarely use cake or self-rising flour)
2 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
2/3 cup of softened butter
1 3/4 cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. of vanilla
1 1/4 cup of milk
10 drops of red food coloring
1 tbs. of red sugar sprinkles

Whipped Cream

Vanilla Buttercream frosting (dyed light blue)

Rolled fondant (white, pink, and red)

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake papers.
Sift the flour and baking soda together in a bowl and set it aside. Meanwhile beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy. Next, add the flour mixture and the milk alternately into the butter mixture, beating until smooth. Mix in the food coloring and sprinkles, then spoon the batter into the cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes before taking them out of the pan.
After the cupcakes have cooled completely, cut a quarter-sized circle out of the center of each cupcake. Pull the piece of cake out and cut the top off of this piece. Fill the hole with whipped cream then put the top of the cake piece back to cover the whipped cream.
To frost the cupcakes, fill a pastry bag (tipped with a large star-shaped decorating tip) with the blue buttercream frosting. Swirl the frosting on the top of the cupcake to make it look pretty.
As for the fondant decorations... it's pretty self-explanatory. I rolled the fondant into little balls and I cut the heart out with a steak knife, no fancy cookie cutters here :) The stitching on the heart is just red food coloring painted on with and toothpick.

So, over all, this recipe is really simple, but super delicious!

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My first post :D

Hi! I just wanted to welcome you to my 5 minute old blog :) It's a site of recipes, pictures, small stories, and random posts. But first, two things you need to know about me: 1) I'm a little strange, and 2) I never use unsalted butter :)

I hope you enjoy all my posts from this point forward!