Monday, August 15, 2011

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Make Tropical Berry Pops - for these hot Summer days!

Let's face it this Summer heat has been almost unbearable for most of us!  Children don't even want to go outside to play unless there's a refreshing pool of water to play in.  But there's one way to spruce up these hot days and not only will the children love them but you will too!  What's even better is this is GOOD for you AND healthy as well! 
Tropical Berry Pops
Tropical Berry Pops can be made with your choice of berries and fruit juice.  They're easy to make and lots of fun for the children!

You'll need 2 cups of white grape juice, guava nectar, mango juice or apple juice, an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapples in juice, not water, 1/2 cup blackberries, raspberries, and/or blueberries, 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries and/or kiwi fruit and 12- 4oz paper cups or Popsicle molds. 

In a blender combine the pineapples with their juice and the 2 cups of other juice; blend until smooth.  Divide the berries evenly amongst the 4 cups or molds. Pour the juice over the fruit in each, then cover with aluminum foil.  Make a slit in the foil with a knife and insert a wooden stick or plastic spoon into each for handles. Freeze until firm, usually 4 to 6 hours.

You can also use the same recipe but put them into ice cube trays.  Once frozen you can transfer to a sealable bowl or plastic ziplock bag.  Keep them frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Variations might include flavored or plain yogurt mixed with the juice to make yogurt pops!

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Until next time..........Happy Baking!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bridal Shower Cake Pops!
Did you ever want cake but didn't want a whole slice or didn't didn't have time to sit down to enjoy it?  I have a solution!  It's called a cake pop!  

What exactly is a cake pop you ask?  It's cake on a stick.  It's easy to transport, easy to open and you won't feel like you just woofed down a huge slice of cake!   It's great for on the go, for kids lunch boxes, or for parties!  You can even sell them as a vendor at your local farmers market and make a few bucks for yourself!

Basically what you do is make the cake and icing separately, mix the icing and cake together, form balls, put them on a stick, and dip them in melted chocolate or melted candy.  Each kind is different and over the next little while I'll be posting different recipes to try.
This recipe and images are courtesy of  


  • 1 box of french vanilla mix
  • Half of can of vanilla frosting ( I don't use alot of frosting so its less sweet.)
  • White chocolate melts
  • Orange chocolate melts
  • Light blue chocolate melts
  • Lollipop sticks 6''
  • Orange and turquoise ribbon.

1. Prepare the cake mix as per instructions on the box.
2. Bake cake at 350 degrees. Once cake is baked, set to cool.
3. Once cake is cool, crumble it in a large mixing bowl.
4. Mix the crumble cake together with the vanilla frosting.
5. Once mixed, place it in the refrigerator for about half an hour.
6. Roll the cake into balls. Once rolled, place them in the freezer for about an hour.
7. Once you have your cake balls rolled in the freezer, start melting the chocolate.
8. Remove the cake balls from the freezer.
9. One at a time get a lollipop stick and dip the stick about 1/2 inch of the tip into the melted candy coating and then insert the lollipop stick straight into a cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through. Hold the cake ball and turn it back and forth or softly tap it, so the excess chocolate falls off. Place cake pops in the refrigerator to dry out completely. Once dry you can wrap it individually.

Bridal Shower Cake Pops To get the Tuxedo effect, you'll dip it in white chocolate, let dry, then dip each side at an angle in the dark chocolate.  You can use a fine paintbrush or toothpick to make the tie and dots for buttons.

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Until next time.....Happy Baking!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Create a Light Box to Photograph Your Cakes!
Start with a box, sized to suits your needs, preferably square in shape. Pick it up anywhere; new or used from work or from the back side of a strip malls, grocery store, appliance store, etc.  The thicker it is the better.

You'll need fabric.  White muslin, nylon or fleece works well and can be found at any fabric or craft store.  If you don't have the money you can recycle some old sheets, curtains or clothing.  It'll have to be large enough to cover the entire box.  Use tape to secure it to the inside of the box if you want to make it so use other colors.  Otherwise you can glue it permanently with a glue stick or adhesive spray.
Take 3 sheets of white Bristol board 2 to line your box and 1 for the back round.  Depending on the size of your box you may need more. Bristol board is a heavyweight paper (.006″ Thick) that is used in drawing/art.  If you want additional colors to experiment with then purchase that as well.
Desk work lamp or clip on lamp for lighting.  Home Depot had two kinds, A smaller reflector dish (5″) or 10.5″ reflector.
Miscellaneous Tools ‘ Tape ruler, Ruler or any straight edge, scissors and knife
Once you have the materials we're ready to make a light tent step by step. When your done you can take nice clean and crisp product shots.
 With a tape measure and marker measure in 2″ from the side of the box and mark it multiple points. When your done you will see your border, connect the points using your straight edge so you have a nice looking square/rectangle in the middle of the box with a 2″ border around it. Leave the top and bottom of the box alone as you will not need to mark it.  

Take your Bristol board and mark lines every two inches, 16 times. Cut out 16 strips with your scissors.
Glue the paper strips into the box. Make sure the side with marker goes against the cardboard so it isn't seen.


Take another piece of Bristol board and cut is so the width is the same as the inside of the box and the length is much longer than the box.

Place the long piece of Bristol board into the box so the piece curves to the bottom. Avoid creasing as it will show up in your photo. Cut off excess paper along the top edge.

Cut your fabric so it will cover the holes. Then cut a big piece so it will cover the top of the box.  Tape the fabric so covers the holes in the box except the one facing your background. Then tape the top piece on.

Place the long piece of Bristol board into the box to where the piece curves to the bottom. Avoid creasing as it will show up in your photo. Cut off excess paper that is sticking out the top.

Cut your fabric to cover the holes. Then cut a big piece to cover the top of the box.
Tape the fabric to cover the holes in the box except the one that is facing your background. Then tape the top piece on.


Completed Light Box!  Looks great!


Now light the top of the box and start shooting!


There are many variations you can do to get the photo you want. Shadow problems can be fixed by lighting the other sides of the box. If you’re getting vignetting try a lens hood or move the lens more into the box. I use Photoshop to edit some of my photos. It's great to remove the dust that specks that might be on the object or camera lens. You can also use Photoshop to adjust the brightness and contrast.


Now light the top of the box and start shooting!

Until next time..........Happy Baking Shooting!