Tips-y Tuesday Tip #6

Happy Tuesday everybody! Spring has arrived (according to the calendar) so I am inspired to talk about colour, since I am happy to put the dreary winter days behind me!

The colour I am talking about is of course, the kind you use for food. There are many kinds and they can be found in grocery stores, craft stores and even your local Wal-Mart. However, they are not all made equally, and some are better for certain purposes than others. I personally am a fan of the Wilton Icing Color pots. They are affordable, and a little can go a long way since they are very concentrated. They also come in a wide variety of colours. I use them for colouring frosting, royal icing,  and fondant since they are a gel consistency and don’t add any liquid to the frosting or fondant which can be a problem if you’ve ever used liquid food colouring for such purposes. With the liquid formulas, you basically end up with runny frosting or a sticky fondant mess, and nobody likes that!

Food colour markers (also by Wilton) are also a quick way to add some colour to dried royal icing and fondant, since you can basically “draw” with them. Sometimes if I need a small amount of fondant in a pale shade, I will just scribble on it with the marker and then knead the fondant to blend the colour. It literally takes seconds to do and doesn’t alter the texture of the fondant.

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Hope I’ve inspired you to add some colour to your day!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

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Tips-y Tuesday Tip #5

Hello everyone! Sorry for missing last week, things have gotten a wee bit busy around here! No fear though, I am back with an awesome tip to help your oven sparkle 🙂

We all know about self-cleaning ovens and the icky oven cleaners one can buy at just about any store. But….have you ever thought about what’s in those oven cleaners? There’s a reason the bottle says to use in a well-ventilated area and to wear gloves while using it. Friends, the stuff is TOXIC. And not just while you clean, think about the residue it leaves in your oven, those yucky chemicals are attaching themselves to the food you cook! Ewww! Personally, I can’t stand the smell of those cleaners, they literally make me choke. 

Anyway, my oven needed cleaning so I set out to find a simpler and less toxic way. And guess what? Two simple household ingredients, BAKING SODA and VINEGAR did the job! No yucky smell or chemicals to worry about either! Interested?? See the steps below:

-remove oven racks and set aside

-fill a spray bottle with white vinegar

-spray the inside of oven and the oven door with vinegar, then generously sprinkle baking soda on top

-leave to sit for a few hours, I left it overnight. It can be left as long as you like, since there are no offensive odours!

-when you’re ready to clean the oven, spray more vinegar on top of the baking soda until it is nice and wet. This part is really satisfying actually, since you can see the baking soda bubbling when it comes into contact with the vinegar. You can see it working! Show your kids, it’s a cleaning lesson and a science experiment in one 🙂

-now simply wipe out the vinegar and baking soda with a sponge. The stuff you wipe up will be yucky looking, but it’s worth it. You don’t even need to wear gloves! My oven needed minimal scrubbing, since most of the gunk wiped right off. 

-as for the oven racks, I soaked them for a bit in hot water and added some vinegar and baking soda to the water. After about an hour, they wiped clean very easily.

So, there you have it. No need to dread the oven cleaning, or invest in a HAZMAT suit just to keep your oven shiny. This is simple, easy, and best of all, non-toxic!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

 

 

Tips-y Tuesday Tip #4

Who has trouble getting their royal icing to be just the right colour? Just about everyone! If you’ve ever needed a darker colour,  and had scraped out your pot of icing colour, stirred until you couldn’t stir anymore, and were basically ready to chuck the whole thing out the window and go back to buying your cookies at the store, then this tip is for you. You need………….

………………………………..

Drum roll, please…………

…………………………………….

COCOA POWDER!!! 

I kid you not, my fine feathered friends, cocoa powder is the answer. It gives just a hint of chocolaty flavour, and helps to darken your colours so that you don’t go insane or burn a hole through your hand from all that stirring. Just make sure to sift it before adding to your icing to avoid any pesky lumps, and if the icing turns out too thick you can always add a bit of water. I usually start with about a 1/4 tsp of cocoa powder and go from there. This works for reds, browns, blacks, etc, any time you need a bit more depth to your icing shades. As an added bonus, the icing will also smell and taste yummy! Just don’t eat it all, ’cause you know, it defeats the purpose if the icing never makes it onto the cookies……  😉

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

Tips-y Tuesday Tip #3

Hello my fine followers! It is Tuesday once again, and that means it is time for another handy tip!

Baby wipes: Not just for babies anymore!

It’s true. If you ask me how to clean anything, I will probably tell you to use a baby wipe. I discovered these glorious little wipes when I had a baby (duh) and 5 years later, I am still using them. We used to buy the fancy Pampers or Huggies brand, but since my baby isn’t a baby anymore, I switched to the Parent’s Choice Walmart brand. They work just as well and are more affordable, which means I am okay with using them around the house. And no harsh chemicals either 🙂

Here are a few ways I use baby wipes in my home: (I’m sure there are many more uses, too!)

-to get rid of pen marks on clothing or furniture

-clean salt/dirt/dust from suede boots

-to wipe the cat’s paws when she gets into a mess

-erase marks on walls

-get rid of food colouring and ink on hands

-as a laundry pre-treatment: rub on stain as soon as it happens, then wash. Good as new!

-a quick swipe is all it takes to keep my purses looking brand new

-sticky car seat? baby wipe to the rescue!

-a quick way to clean up toys and stuffed animals

All hail the mighty baby wipe! 

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

 

 

Tips-y Tuesday Tip #2

Hope your Tuesday has been awesome so far! Mine was, and very productive too which is always good.

Today’s tip is something I’ve mentioned before; and honestly can’t stress it enough. Re-purpose your cake/cookie/baking supplies! I always get people asking me how I got my cake or cookies to be such-and-such a shape, and really it is no big secret if you learn how to “build” things in edible forms. Cookie cutters can be used for many different shapes, so really there’s no need to buy out the cookie cutter section at Michaels, although I’m sure they’d love it if you did. Cakes can also be made round or square and then stacked/cut/carved into infinite shapes with a little imagination. And the best part? No two will be alike 🙂

So use your imagination to find new uses for supplies you already have. Your wallet, and your other half (who is being pushed out of the house by a never-ending pile of baking supplies) will thank you!!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo

Tips-y Tuesdays!

Ugh, who else is sick of winter? Nothing like a Canadian winter to induce the blahs. I am tired of the snow, slush, and mess outside and having to wash everything endlessly because it is all so dirty. Yuck! Too many layers, static-filled hair and frozen fingertips….where are you Spring?!

Ok, enough complaining! I wanted to introduce a new feature to my blog called “Tips-y Tuesdays”. I know what you’re thinking, Tuesday is way too early in the week to start drinking. Although we deserve a drink for surviving the dreaded Monday! Especially when it involves fighting the weather…..grrr….

Anyway,  this new feature  won’t be about drinking (or the weather) at all. Instead, I will focus on tips that have to do with cake decorating, baking, and a mom’s life in general.  I will write about different things I’ve learned along the way, tips that work for me,  and also include some product reviews. Hopefully it will be interesting and inspiring!

If you’d like to see a specific topic or product review, or have another suggestion for a future post, please feel free to drop me a line. I would love to hear from you!

Until next Tuesday…

M xoxo