“Cake Bitch” or “The Bachelorette Party sans Man-Bits”

So, if you’ve been a keener on my blog you’ll remember that my friend Katie got hitched recently. So, many of you know, doing the bridesmaid’s shuffle includes more than walking down the aisle with your little bouquet of fleurs. It can be hard friggin’ work. Without even factoring in the tasks of holding the bride’s hair back as she heaves or trying to get her hard earned 50 dollar bills BACK from the undulating, male stripper, there are many steps involved in making sure that the bride’s last hurrah doesn’t turn into a snooze-fest.  The one relief I had came from the only request Katie had for her bachelorette party: Please, no peens.

What I thought of as comfort later became a bit of a pickle (pun always intended).  I realized man-bits are usually the go-to for every bachlorette and without that template, I can tell you now that we had a little bit of a stressful day trying to gather a booze assortment, buy/apply decorations, bedazzle t-shirts, whip up tasty delights, and plan activities. When my fellow bridesmaid and best friend, Ms. Cardigan, dropped her rum in the driveway and ended up crying hysterically while splayed out on the asphalt (I had to convince passer-bys that she wasn’t severely alcoholic), I realized that man-bits really are the easy out for a stagette.  But, staying true to the bride’s wish (and because she has been such an accommodating bride, who really didn’t ask for much) I wanted to do something special for her.  So we trekked on with our penis-less party and after a hung-over morning filled with Cake Boss marathons (you know you’ve been there), I figured a cake would be a a pretty surprise that lacks genitalia of any sort.   So, I’ve decided to share with you some of my amateur fondant creations so you can DIY the guts out of your bachelorette party (and it beats the hell out of paying someone else to do it).

The Cake for Katie:

Fondant is just like Play-Doh for grown-ups, so just think about it as making many shapes and gluing them together (with water, not glue, because if you really are a grown-up you know that eating paste is for the weird kids). So here’s how to do it…

Easy as Pie… er… Cake
Make your cake.  You’re going to spend a fair amount of time on fondant, so I would recommend a mix from a box.  We don’t want to twiddle our lives away on measuring flour and other such foolishness.  I opted for a Betty Crocker French Vanilla.  The size and shape of your cake is up to you.  I wanted to do a triple layer because I wanted an excuse to use my teeny tiny pan.  After I had made the individual cakes and they had set enough that they weren’t doing all that steaming and crumbling business, I cut each one in half and filled it with a generous heaping of Nutella and sliced strawberries.  Then I put it back together and “dirty iced” the bottom layer (thanks for the vocab lesson, Cake Boss!).

The Fondant:
Fondant is a pretty easy thing to work with, but it looks scary.  Buy a big tub of it (got mine at the Bulk Barn) and say over and over to yourself “Do not be scared, this is just a cake.  It’s only a baked good, I’m not performing open heart surgery”.  Use your kitchen table (clean clean clean), with a nice little layer of flour.  Knead in enough colour to make it vibrant, I choose flamingo pink, and roll it out with a floured rolling pin.  When you think it’s big enough, throw it up over your cake.  Mind you, the dirty icing will make it stick so make sure it’s positioned well before you set it down.  Now, a lot of fancy, shmancy cake makers have a steamer that make for seamless fondant edges, however, I refuse to bust the bank for something I’ll only break out for holidays and special occasions, so I made some folds around the top corner using the natural sway of the fondant (kind of like how a tablecloth has natural folds when on a round table).

(BTW, check out my sick MS Paint skills.)

Add a band of  fondant to cover the untidy fondant edges at the bottom of each cake layer.

Pump it Up
Fondant shoes are super cute, iconically girly, and easy to make in a few simple steps.  You’ll need gum paste for these.  I used Wilton’s Ready to Use stuff.

First, mix in your colour.  And flatten ‘er out with a floured rolling pin.

Cut out the shape of a shoe-sole…

And the toe of it.  You can gauge the size of the toe by tracing the tip of the sole and making it just a teensy bit wider.

And assemble using water as glue.  Lean it on a piece of thick-ish paper so it’s got some slope to it and use a ball of plastic wrap to keep the toe rounded.  Make a little stump out of the gum.  Add as a heel.

Pop it in the fridge until it’s hardened (once it’s stiffened a little bit easier to work on- that’s what she said).  Add gum paste ribbons or bows.  “But, Crafty Bitch,” you say, “How will I ever make a bow?!”  Well, my darlings, I will tell you!

Tying the Knot
Bows are super-duper simple and look elegant .  They’re a little delicate so don’t Hulk-smash it onto your cake, but once you make a couple, you quickly get the hang of it.

Cut two “flower-petal” shapes out of flattened fondant (or gum paste, whatevs).

Fold each petal around a pen (wash the pen first, you filthy minxes).

When you’ve got two of these little pieces, stick the points together with a little water.  Cut out a tiny rectangle of fondant to wrap around the centre of the bow, hiding the stuck-together-bit.

Cut out some slightly larger rectangles and attach like an upside down “V” to the main bow part.  Cut tiny triangles out of  the bottom of these rectangles, and, voila, you’re fit to be tied.

Shaken, not stirred
A party for dirty girls isn’t complete without a few dirty martinis.  So I decided to stick some on the cake. For the olives, roll some green fondant into a ball, add a little red dot.  Shove a toothpick through it and place on your cake.  Voila!

For the martini glasses, use black fondant.  Roll it out on a floured surface. Using a knife, cut out some triangles, then cut smaller triangles out from the inside of your big triangle.  Add a stem of flattened fondant and use your small triangle for the base of the glass.  Throw in a tiny green ball for a mini-olive.  You should get something like this:
(BEHOLD the power of MS Paint).

The End
Arrange your tiny fondant pieces around your cake at your preference.  And if you’re wondering how tour party went: we stayed true to our word, there was not a twig-‘n’-berries to be seen.  However, I must admit, I thought pretty hard about serving the cake on these napkins:

Song of the Day:


Cheap and Easy (Dresses, not the Bridesmaids)

So, my friend Katie got engaged a while ago on a beach in the Dominican.  I always assumed her wedding would go somewhat the same– on a beach on some tropical island, on a boat off the coast of no-where, by Elvis in the Chapel of Love under the bright lights of Vegas.   However, once it was apparent her family, future family, and probably future husband weren’t too kean on any elopement theories they set their destination in a little place called Cow Head.  I know, I know.  However, you’ll be surprised to find that Cow Head is actually a beautiful little place. 

Now, here’s the catch.  Try having a full and lavish wedding with an elopement wedding timeframe.  Katie had about three months to plan and execute a dazzling display of love, devotion, commitment and all that other traditional foolishness.  Understandably, brides who have months of planning and wedding planners at their disposal often end up in a tearful heap on the bathroom floor more than once.  To me the term “Bride-zilla” is synonymous with “Just-trying-to-freaking-cope”.  Granted, many matrimonial monsters are created out of the “me-me-me” attitude that has an overwhelming fear that everything won’t be perfect for “MY special day”.  However, I suspect that many wives-to-be, my best friend Katie included, are afraid that their guests won’t have a good time, or that, they’ll have 50 years with the memory of a streamer and tissue paper nightmare of a decorating job.   So, when Katie asked us all to pick out our own bridesmaids dresses, she was being a real peach of a bride.  However, finding brown dresses to fit our four different body types and preferences was easier said than done.  A week before the wedding Katie became the oh-so-gracious-one again and actually friggin changed everything around to accommodate us and what was available. We picked up some pretty purple dresses, but it got me to thinking that wedding attire in a pinch can be a real sticky sitch.  Therefore, I have preplanned my bridesmaid’s dresses (for my imaginary  wedding, of course).  They’re a little bit granola, but they’re also inexpensive, hassle-free, and unlike every other bridesmaid’s dress in the universe, you can actually where them again (minus the sash).

Step One:
Buy a white cotton dress.  These are easy to find and extremely inexpensive.  I bought this one at Winners for 15 bucks.  As well, while they may have a slightly different cut, most knee length white cotton dresses have the same look to them.  So finding a number of them in an array of shapes and sizes is no problem-o.

Step Two:

Wash said white cotton dress.  For the dying to work it needs to be clean and free of any dusty-bits that may be there from sitting on the rack.

Step Three:

 Read instructions carefully (This may require taping them back together if you’re a savage at opening things like me).

Step Four:
Follow instructions and commence the dying sequence.  Just a couple side notes, if your instructions say add salt, add lots of freaking salt.  The last time I went a-dying I skimped a little and ended up with what I call my Jackson Pollock dress.  Also, when the instructions say “Not for tub dying”, they are not kidding (see picture below for proof).  Use a plastic bucket or something you can give the old heave-ho to after you’re done. 

Step Four:

Once you’ve soaked your dress until it’s good and covered, let it sit for a little bit.  The colour it is when it’s washed and finished will be muuuuch lighter than right now.  So, wash it, let it dry and if it’s not the colour you’re looking for, give it another go. 

Step Five:

Ad any pretty little embellishments you would like to make your dress look fancy.  I bought this giant spool of ribbon at Michaels (or as I like to call it, Church of the Crafty), for 14 dollars.  It has enough ribbon on it to make about 6 sashes. 

Step Six:

Get all gussied up.  Not too shabby for a dress that costs about 20 dollars.