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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 02/14/12

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

DON'T GO AND BUY HOLIDAY SPRINKLES FOR YOUR CUPCAKES, MAKE YOUR OWN!

   This diy comes from www.bravetart.com .  Everybody loves sprinkles, whether they are on a cupcake or cake!  If you don't like what you find at the store, make your own and enjoy the taste of the rainbow.

Rainbow Sprinkles · (hundreds and thousands!)

I know how this looks. I know having a recipe for homemade sprinkles essentially brands me as some kinda baking weirdo, culinary elitist, or just someone with too much time on her hands.
But it’s not like that. I’m not crazy. Really. I like grocery store sprinkles just fine, or maybe some from fancy flours if I need something . . .fancy.
Yet, sometimes you just want to say, “I made this 100% from scratch!” Sometimes, you need to make your own sprinkles.
If you’d like to make an egg-white free/vegan version, click here.
Homemade Sprinkles!
8 ounces powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla, or other extract
assorted food colorings


as many piping bags as you have colors, fitted with a small multi-opening or plain tip.
Mix the first four ingredients until a semi-thick paste forms.
Divide the paste into as many portions as you have colors, tinting each batch with the color of your choice.


Mixing homemade sprinkles
Put the colored paste into a piping bag and, on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, pipe out long, thin lines. Take care the lines do not touch each other.
Repeat the process with the remaining colors and allow the piped lines to dry for 24 hours. Really. You will have an unworkable mess if you say, “Oh, it’s been 8 hours. I can go ahead and do the next step.” 24 hours. They need to be dried out to the core for this to work.
After the time has elapsed, use a bench scraper or knife to scrape off the dried sprinkle lines and then to break/chop the lines into fairly long pieces for "jimmies" or quite short for "hundreds and thousands".
Store in an airtight container, indefinitely.
These make the perfect finishing touch for a 100% homemade Pop Tart.
Vanilla Mint Sprinkles, mix the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean in with the powdered sugar along with 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. This flavor has a tendency to get toothpaste-y really fast, so start small with the mint. To make the , begin by tinting the entire batch the palest shade of green. Pipe an inch’s worth of rows then return the mixture to the bowl and add a little more food dye. Repeat like this, piping a few rows then re-tinting, until you’ve used up the whole batch. It seems like it would be easier to mix up several shades of green and layer them into the bag, but the mixture is incredibly stiff and difficult to pipe, so I wouldn’t advise it.



Sprinkles 2.0


I developed this recipe as a vegan version of my original sprinkles. They’re both super easy to make, but lots of people had concerns about the egg white in the other sprinkles. So here’s a worry free recipe.
The key to making really pretty sprinkles lies in striking a balance between a stiff, dry sugar-dough and a pipeable paste. You don’t want to give yourself carpal tunnel piping a psychotically stiff mixture, but thin it down too much and it will ooze into flat, not-so-attractive sprinkle blobs. Aim for a Play-Doh like thickness.
a rainbow of jimmies

For uniform sprinkles, use a multi-opening tip, which allows three to five rows of sprinkles to be piped at once. Alternately, a small plain tip, or a tightly rolled parchment cone will get the job done.
Rainbow Sprinkles
8 ounces powdered sugar
3 3/4 ounce corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp extract; Silver Cloud Estates boasts a huge selection of natural extracts
1/2 ounce liqueur of choice (more info on why I use liquor here)
Equipment
assorted food colorings
piping bags for each color, fitted with a small multi-opening or plain tip
a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Directions
Combine all of the ingredients (except for the food coloring) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on the lowest setting until it forms a stiff paste. Add extra liquid only if absolutely necessary to achieve a pipe-able consistency.
Divide the paste into as many portions as you have colors and tint each however you like.
Put one of the colored pastes into a piping bag and, on the parchment lined sheet pan, pipe the mixture into long, skinny lines. Take care the lines do not touch to avoid conjoined sprinkles.
Repeat the process with the remaining colors and allow the piped lines to dry, uncovered, for 48 hours. My original sprinkle recipe only needs 24 hours to dry, but the lack of egg white and relatively higher liquid content means these take longer to dry completely.
Depending on the weather conditions where you live, this could take more or less time. A humid climate may prolong the process and those living in an arid place may find they dry quite speedily.
Regardless of how long it may take them to dry in your locale, the important part is to dry them out to the core. Check by cutting into one of the piped sprinkle lines. If the cut piece lifts easily from the parchment and does not feel squishy to the touch, it’s ready.
Use a bench scraper or knife to scrape the dried sprinkle lines off the parchment. Break/chop the lines into fairly long pieces for "jimmies" or mince for "hundreds and thousands".
Store in an airtight container, indefinitely.
Taste the Rainbow
To make Rainbow Flavored Rainbow Sprinkles, you will need seven kinds of extract and liquor on hand.
Make a double batch of the above recipe, but stop shy of adding the extract and liquor. Divide the mealy powdered sugar & corn syrup mixture into seven portions.
Add 1 tsp of extract, 3/4 tsp liquor, and the coordinating food color to each batch, and mix until a thick paste forms. Proceed with piping and drying the sprinkles as directed above.


homemade mint sprinkles
Vanilla Mint Sprinkles, mix the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean in with the powdered sugar along with 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. This flavor has a tendency to get toothpaste-y really fast, so start small with the mint. To make the color gradation I did here, begin by tinting the entire batch the palest shade of green. Pipe an inch’s worth of rows then return the mixture to the bowl and add a little more food dye. Repeat like this, piping a few rows then re-tinting, until you’ve used up the whole batch. It seems like it would be easier to mix up several shades of green and layer

DIY RED HEART PAPER QUILLING!

   This comes from www.bloominghomestead.blogspot.com .  Enjoy!


Red Heart Paper Quilling

Let's just say there have been way too many snow days lately. This week has just been crazy and I feel like I haven't even got anything done! The other day we were stuck in the house while it was dark and rainy, so I decided to try paper quilling. I wanted to make a heart. I took some pics along the way of my first quilling project, I didn't really know what I was doing but I still had fun and liked how it turned out. Pardon the lighting, I had no natural light so I strapped on the external flash and went to town.







First I used cardstock in a deep red color I liked. Cardstock is a little tricky because of its stiffness but it is the only red I had on hand (besides kids construction paper) I cut them into 1 inch wide strips roughly because I wanted some good dimension for my final project.







I started at one end slowly rolling the paper tightly until it was all rolled.







They ended up looking like this. When I let go of them they loosen and each take on their own little personality.






I decided to use a little hot glue and dabbed a little on the end to keep the rolled paper bound.
I set up all my rolled circles together and put them in a heart shape. I kept rearranging them until I got them how I liked them. Notice the very bottom one is different, I squeezed the very bottom of the circle to elongate it. After I had them how I liked them I started using a little hot glue to glue them to each other. One thing to note: Using a craft glue of e6000 would probably be less obvious, I wasn't as careful as I should of been so if you look close you can see evidence of the hot glue.





I thought these could be so cute on a valentine card, hanging up, as a garland, or even just sitting out. I really loved how the look turned out. Okay, moving on. :)







I went to the basement to find something to put my heart on. I am working on crafting with what I have and re-purposing items already in my stash. I found this little wood plaque that I had previously painted black to use for a different project that never happened. I just got some flat white paint and painted over the black. I should have used primer, but I didn't, so after like 3 coats we were good to go.






I did a light sanding on the edges just to add some personality, and you can see that some of the black started showing through which looked good.Then I just lightly put a few dabs of hot glue on the back side of the heart and stuck it on. Didn't get a picture of that step but I'm sure you get the picture!






Final product. Note to self: be more careful with the hot glue next time! If I had my sillouette (I'm still dreaming of one...think of all the cool stuff I could make!) I would have possibly added a little vinyl to spice it up a bit.






I'm so Lovin' this...it doesn't hurt that it was free since I had everything I needed to make it work.

THE CARNIVAL OF VENICE FROM ITALY!!!



    The Carnival of Venice is a festival that's steeped in history, vibrant colors, outlandish costumes, spectacular masks and of course a whole host of events make the Carnival of Venice one of the most popular times to visit the wonderful City of Masks!!
    Venice is such a beautiful and amazing city that it really doesn't need a Carnival to attract even more tourists, but the Venice Carnival is definitely one of the city's top events, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors during a time of year that might otherwise be quiet. During the 1970's, the Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of their efforts.





    You have nearly two weeks to come to Venice and enjoy the carnival festivities and to really be involved in all the fun, you'll also want to buy or make a mask to partake in the festivities and to really enjoy them to their fullest capacity. The costumes, masks and an assortment of events that happen around Venice Carnival time, means that families with children can enjoy it too, after all, what child doesn't like dressing up in a costume?
    Once you've got your costume and mask sorted out you'll want to know where all fun is taking place! There are events around most of the city during the Carnival so you shouldn't have to look very far.




 

    The Carnival of Venice historically had a reputation for attracting Europe's aristocracy, but it was also a time when the poorer of society could dress up and mingle with the upper classes. Venice still has a reputation for being a very expensive city though, if you're on a budget don't let this put you off on visiting the Carnival of Venice as you can actually visit Venice on a shoestring budget.
    The Carnival of Venice starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.






Venetian Carnival Masks

    Masks have always been a central feature of the carnival; traditionally people were allowed to wear them between the festival of Santo Stefan (St. Stephen's Day, December 26th) and the start of the carnival season and midnight of Shrove Tuesday. They have always been around Venice. As masks were also allowed for Ascension and from October 5th to Christmas, people could spend a large proportion of the year in disguise. Maskmakers (mascherari) enjoyed a special position in society, with their own laws and their own guild.





    Venetian masks can be made in leather or with the original glass technique. The original masks were rather simple in design and decoration and often had a symbolic and practical function. Nowadays, most of them are made with the application of gesso and gold leaf and are all hand painted using natural feathers and gems to decorate.

Bauta

     Bauta is the whole face, with a stubborn chin line, no mouth, and lots of gilding. One may find masks sold as Bautas that cover only the upper part of the face from the forehead to the nose and upper cheeks, thereby concealing identity but enabling the wearer to talk and eat or drink easily. It tends to be the main type of mask worn during the Carnival. It was used also on many other occasions as a device for hiding the wearer's identity and social status. It would permit the wearer to act more freely in cases where he or she wanted to interact with other members of the society outside the bounds of identity and everyday convention. It was thus useful for a variety of purposes, some of them illicit or criminal, others just personal, such as romantic encounters.




    In the 18th century, the Bauta had become a standardized society mask and disguise regulated by the Venetian government. It was obligatory to wear it at certain political decision making events when all citizens were required to act anonymously as peers. Only citizens of Venice had the right to use the Bauta. Its role was similar to the anonymizing processes invented to guarantee general direct, free, equal and secret ballots in modern democracies.
    It was not allowed for the wearer to carry weapons along with the mask, and police had the right to enforce this ruling.

Moretta

    The moretta is an oval mask of black velvet that was usually worn by women visiting convents. It was invented in France and rapidly became popular in Venice as it brought out the beauty of feminine features. The mask was finished off with a veil, and was secured in place by a small bit in the wearer's mouth.





Volto or Larva

   The "Volto" was the more common mask used in Venice for centuries. Volto, means "face", a design that is was the most common, simplest mask.




Mask Makers

   The mascherari, or mask makers had their own statute date 10 April 1436. They belonged to the fringe of painters and were helped in their task by sign painters who drew faces onto plaster in a range of different shapes and paying extreme attention to detail.