Well today was the last day of the fair and tomorrow Amber and I get to pick up our fair entries. We had a lot of fun this year and are already thinking about what we want to enter next year. I am considering challenging myself and entering a fondant cake next year and Amber is already starting on her photo entries. Below I added three of the pictures that she took at this year's fair, I really love the different color techniques in each one. Hopefully she will pick one of these for next year's Local Category!!
I love to bake and when I don't have time to bake from scratch nothing beats adding to a pre-made box mix. One of the baked good categories for the fair is just that, this year I decided to do an easy mocha cake, here is the recipe.
One box French Vanilla cake
1/2 cup oil
1 cup extra strong coffee
Preheat the oven to 375
Mix all the ingredients together
Pour into two 8" greased and floured pans
Bake 30-35 minutes
To make the frosting mix 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of crisco, one pound of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 3 tablespoons of cooled strong coffee. Blend until smoothed and fill and spread over the cooled cake.
Super easy, super tasty and won me 3rd place in best cakes!
The other day I showed off my cake fair entry from this year and I'm really excited that I got best in division again this year! Since I brought up my Starry Night Cake in that post I thought it was only fair that I took the time to share the process and what it looked like. The hardest part of this cake was the amount of time it took. I followed the same process as I did on this years cake, I would pipe buttercream and then brush and blend it with a paint brush. I started with the cypress tree since that was going to be my measuring guide for the other details. I used a dark chocolate buttercream and piped thin black lines as in the original picture. I knew the original also had a lot of texture due to the think layers of oil paint so I replicate that feature with the buttercream. After the tree was completed, I followed the same process for the houses and mountains. For the stars and moon I used several shades of yellow and white buttercream and blended it accordingly. Lastly the sky was used with lots of shades of blue and I carefully created the swirl in the trying to mimic the same brush strokes as Van Gogh used. The sky was really the hardest part because it took the longest and the most blending! When I was finished I even sent a picture to my former Modern Arts Professor who got a total kick out it! from fro
Similar to my Slower Cooker Chicken and Dumplings Recipe, this is a great recipe to put together before work and come home to delicious meal. Its perfect over some fresh baked biscuits!
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast, cubed
10 Red Potatoes, quartered
1 Small Bag of Frozen Vegetable Mix
2 Cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Place the chicken, potatoes, vegetables, soup and salt and pepper in a slower cooker. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours.
***To freeze the meal, put everything together and freeze until needed. To Cook thaw overnight in the refrigerator and follow the directions above.
I love entering things into the Fair. I feel like it is a fun way to show off my creativeness. In the past I have entered quilts, aprons, photos, baked cakes and over the last two years I have entered decorated cakes. Last year I did a cake version of the Vincent Van Gogh Starry Night painting. This year I didn't want to do another painting so I decided to do my version of a Tiffany Stain Glass Window. I found a stained glass window I liked online and blew up the picture. I hand drew the image on the Styrofoam cake; it's always best to do a fair entry cake on Styrofoam since it will sit in a warm display case during the fair and it will melt very quickly. Once the image was sketched out I piped the lines using black royal icing. Over the next 12 hours I piped and brushed the remaining buttercream onto the cake, and blended the colors to give the look of stained glass. I didn't intend on staying up all night watching my favorite disasters movies (Independence Day, Twister (watched twice), The Day After Tomorrow, and Jurassic Park (watched one and a half times) and working on the cake, but I just got into working on it that I didn't want to stop. I love when something in my head comes out so beautiful....can't wait to see how I did in the fair!!!
Update: I got Best in Division Advanced Cakes!!!
Amber has a great passion for her photography hobby. She loves to take pictures and later play with editing styles. I think she is an amazing photographer and I love sharing her beautiful photos with everyone here on Oak Tree Lane. This year she took a huge leap to share them with everyone else by entering three of her incredible photographs at the County Fair. I hope everyone is inspired by them as I am.
This quilt was a year and a half in the making. In March of last year, my cousins asked me if I would be willing to sew her a wedding guest book quilt. I happily agreed and we went out to buy the fabric we needed. I cut out all the fabric in 5" x 5" squares and for the signatures I suggest using a none print fabric with a permanent fabric marker. The wedding came and went and a year later we realize that we never finished working on the quilt. During my birthday party in June, we started talking about it again and I asked if she would care if I entered it into the fair. She agreed and I now knew I had a deadline! In August we finally got together and planned the layout of the quilt and picked out the pictures she wanted to add to the quilt. I used a direct print on cotton fabric product that I purchased at Joann's for the pictures since I knew I didn't want to use a print and iron on product. I've used them in the past but I find them to me more work. With the direct print fabric I was able to center the picture in a Word document, printed it, then cut the fabric to the size square I wanted. It took about a week to sew everything together and that was working on it only a few hours a night. I love how the fun fabrics work so well together, and hopefully so will the fair judges!
Update: I received Second Place in the Memory Quilt Division!!
Today is the anniversary of September 11th and I proudly wore my red, white and blue. As many Americans did today, I thought about where I was and how I heard the news. I can still hear my aunt's voice on the other end of the phone telling me that "America was being attached". While making dinner tonight I was talking to Jack about how he first the heard the news. He was in a laundry mat in France , but he didn't think it was real. He didn't really understand what was going on until he got home and seen that horrific news footage on TV. I then realized that one day our future kids were going to ask us the same thing. I remember asking my parents where they were when they heard the news that Kennedy was shot; the thought of having to tell our future kids about this day sent chills down my spin. I spent the evening watching documentaries on the heroic and tragic stories from thirteen years ago. As I watched I started to recall our visit to New York this past May, trying to remember if I seen the surrounding buildings that were showing on my TV screen. I remember the feeling of surrealism of standing at the fountains at the 9/11 Memorial where the towers once stood. I remember looking around and trying to imagine how could all of those massive buildings be in such a small area. I remember how quiet everything seemed, the only sound I could hear was of the waterfalls. It was very humbling to be in one of the busiest cities in the world, surrounded by people and only hearing the sound of the water. As I stood there listening, I started to read the names and I started to cry.
We Will Never Forget.
Well today was the official kick off of football season! As with any good sports fan, we like to show support by wearing our team's colors. The photo on the left is the dress I made for Amber's birthday gift earlier this year. It is made from an old tshirt I bought on eBay and some fun orange and white chevron fabric. Follow the steps below for your own perfect and unique game dress!
Sports Team Shirt
1 Yard fabric
Cut the collar and sleeves off of the t-shirt.
Cut the fabric for the skirt by tracing a skirt or dress with a similar shape. Make sure to allow ½ inches for the seams.
When cutting the skirt it will be easier if the bottom of the t-shirt is the same width as the top of the skirt fabric.
Next, sew the side seams of the skirt. Pin the top of the skirt to the bottom of the t-shirt and sew together. Hem the bottom of the skirt to the desired length.
Lastly, fold and sew the top neckline of the top (front and back), pin if necessary to leave a small gab. Feed ribbon or hemmed fabric through the opening and sew or tie together.
Additional notes: If desired add a ribbon around the waist. I also didn't need to add elastic to the dress but depending on your fit you may need to use some. I completed Amber’s dress in under two hours.
This is not my mom's chicken and dumplings, but when it comes to a no fuss dinner its perfect. Put this together in the morning and by dinner time you will have a nice savory meal by dinner time.
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast
1 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Cans Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
Peas and Carrots to taste, I use the frozen kind
1 Cup Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Packages of Refrigerated Biscuit Dough
Place the chicken, onion, soup, peas and carrots, chicken broth, and salt and pepper in a slower cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. 30 minutes before services, tear the biscuit dough into pieces and place on top of the soup in the slow cooker.
***To freeze the meal, put everything together expect the Biscuit Dough and freeze until needed. To Cook thaw overnight in the refrigerator and follow the directions above.
I created this blog to share my creations with hopes that it will inspire others to show their creative side.