Sapphire Blingin’-What I Learned

So for Mother’s Day, I did a dessert table with the theme “A Mother is a True Gem.” I thought it turned out pretty nicely…I really liked the rich blue hues.

For the cake, I decided to make sapphire candy to adorn the cake and it looked a little royal, no?

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About those candy jewels…

All that glitters isn’t gold, nor is it always the easiest task in the world…

I found this awesome tutorial over at Chica and Jo that took a pretty thorough approach to the task. As with any project, make sure to read all of the directions before proceeding. Especially the calibration step…it’ll save you a lot of headaches in the end.

There’s a particular passage in the tutorial that states, “Just pour the sugar slowly and carefully into the molds, taking care not to overfill them. Do your absolute best to not leave huge puddles or trails of sugar between the pieces, because they will be nearly impossible to remove later.”

Correct and correct!

See that? Beautimous!

photos courtesy of Chica and Jo's tutorial

photos courtesy of Chica and Jo’s tutorial

What you don’t see is reality. Well, at least my reality. What the tutorial fails to mention is that the hot, molten, sugar lava will be trying to escape from itself into the cool embrace of the greased up candy mold. This is what will happen:

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not the nicest words were exchanged here…

I quickly figured out that this was fixable. Maybe not the most efficient task, but fixable.

First things first, this stuff is hot. If you can’t take the heat, well, don’t try this in the kitchen.

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Simply take a sharp, non-serrated kitchen knife and clean the edges off of the mold. Remember, the stuff is hot to the touch, but be aware that it will cool very quickly once it’s in the mold. Work quickly and efficiently! If when removing the excess, the entire piece starts to come out of the mold, you’ll either need to leave it alone or sacrifice it to your stomach gods once the mold is cooled and set.

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What about the cup full of hot, molten, sugar lava? If you have to work on cleaning every mold (like moi…) it’ll take some time. In the middle of the candy cleaning, the sugar mixture will cool off, but that’s why microwaves were invented! Probably, maybe? Anyway, depending upon the wattage of your microwave, pop the glass back in for about 30 sec to 1 min. If you don’t mind having the color of your gems differing a very slight shade or two, it’s great for working slowly.

Honestly, no one notices the difference in color when they’re devouring them 🙂

Another thing…remember seeing those faint strings of candy between the gem cavities from the original tutorial pictures? That will happen too, but again, no big deal! You can fix it in a snap!

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Literally…fix it with a simple snap!

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Be sure to check back with Chica and Jo for the original tutorial…it’s actually pretty sweet and I’ll definitely be using their method again in the future. I hope these hints were helpful and will keep the kitchen niceties flowing 🙂

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We Remember

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Today is Memorial Day! While you’re out spending time with friends and family today, please take a moment to remember that we get to be off work and chillaxin’ today because of the sacrifice of our military service people and their families. If you see any military person today, especially if they’re with their family, tell them thank you for all they’ve done for you…whether they know you or not. Let them know their sacrifices aren’t in vain, and maybe you can remind others in the process!

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A Jewel Indeed

Happy (almost) Mother’s Day!

If you forgot that it’s THIS Sunday, I recommend flowers, a sincere card, and/or jewels.

For Mother’s Day, I planned a surprise dinner for all of the moms in my life. As it may go with surprises, sometimes they don’t happen because, you know, people don’t know what’s going on and stuff, my mom goes to the hospital, scheduling gets rearranged, so forth and so on…but as it goes with life, you keep going!

I just wanted to share with you the dessert table I prepared for Mother’s Day with the theme “A Mother is a True Gem.”

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I think that next year I’ll expand upon the idea and invite everyone. And by everyone, I mean that if you have a mom and I like you, your mom is my mom. If you’re a mother figure, you’re my mom. “Mom collecting” comes in handy when you’re hungry and too lazy to cook 🙂

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The menu for the dessert table was simple: a cake with hard candy “jewels,” strawberry and vanilla cupcakes, cake pops, white chocolate and vanilla covered pretzels, white chocolate cake pops, and beverages.

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I wanted to go for a simple elegance, and not too much “bling,” which I did by using glitter card stock in the theme colors, as well as, diamond gems,  jeweled blue tone fabric and ribbons, silver accents (those are pipe cleaners on the cake pop sticks!), and glitter!

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If you are blessed to still have a mom in your life, let her know you love her…more than once a year 🙂 Be grateful for the mother figures in your life, especially if they have their own children. That’s pretty rock star of her to love on you (and feed you) too! And if you’re a mom (or trying to be one) it’s a pretty phenomenal gig and you’re all treasured beyond measure.

I hope that you have a…

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Thanksgiving May

Today is May 1st. In addition to being May Day, this month is full of things and people for which to be thankful: tequila and tacos on Cinco de Mayo; teachers who give their time and energy to shape the future (7th); moms who are essentially teachers with less sleep and less thanks, and nurses who help to heal us (12th); among many other holidays. The most important to me is the celebration of those who fight, have fought, and have given their time…and lives…to protect our freedoms.

May is also National Military Appreciation Month, which is fitting to also celebrate Armed Forces Day (18th) and Memorial Day (27th.) If you’ve followed my blog or know me in any way, you know that I have so much love and appreciation for our military. If you’re curious,or may have forgotten, you may read about it here.

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This morning I was sent an email from one of the suppliers that I use and it stopped me in my tracks. I was able to read the story of Corporal Adam C. Jones, who lost his life in 2011, while serving his country in Afghanistan. Sadly, his story isn’t unique and there is nothing in this world which is truly free, especially our freedom and independence. Factory Direct Craft is donating a portion of proceeds to Adam’s Hope, the charity established in memory of Cpl. Jones, which works to provide continuing support to all of our military currently serving. To read more and donate, please go to the Adam’s Hope website or “like” and support them on Facebook.

But that’s not all! There’s always more to do to help support our troops! There’s a varied saying that starts “Behind every great man…” and in this situation, behind every great man and woman serving our country is a spouse and family serving with them.

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Creating Awesomenessity has also teamed up with Operation Shower! OS is an absolutely wonderful organization that works to provide a “Shower in a Box” to all of the expectant moms of military spouses. Being a military brat myself and having a love for children, I was incredibly honored that they would allow me to assist in their efforts. If you would like to support this cause, it’s really simple! They have a registry set up with Babies-R-Us so that you may purchase items and they will be sent directly to the organization. It’s found online at http://www.babiesrus.com/operationshower…no fuss, no muss, all appreciation!! If you’re not one for the online shopping, you may also stop by your local Babies-R-Us while picking up gifts for an expecting friend or relative, purchase an item from the Operation Shower registry, and ship it to them yourself. They are most in need of board books, baby rattles, and receiving blankets; the address is:

Operation Shower
18 S. Central Ave
Clayton, MO 63105

Thank you again to all of our troops. Regardless of political affiliation or opinion, what you do deserves the highest honor and support from those of us unable (or unwilling) to walk in your shoes.

Thank you for supporting our troops, they appreciate you more than you may ever know…

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