Posts filed under ‘Main’

Seven Tips for Working with Marshmallow Fondant

I bake for #Cake4Kids. This is a non-profit group that bakes birthday cakes for underserved children. You don’t have to be a professional baker to join. I wasn’t. It has been fun and rewarding to learn new skills. Right now, I am learning how to make fondant. I’ve tried it four times now. And I still have issues. I will keep at this until I am proficient and so that it doesn’t take me all day!

I used the marshmallow fondant recipe from Gemma at Bigger Bolder Baker. 

Gemma lists the following ingredients for her fondant  . . .

  • 10 ounces mini marshmallows
  • 2-3 Tbsp water (if it is humid use the 2 Tbsp)
  • 4 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar

I made these superhero toppers for cupcakes.

You basically put the marshmallows in a greased microwave-safe bowl. Cook for one minute and stir until all the lumps are smooth. You might need to add another 20-30 seconds.

I still need to learn more tips. But below are things I’ve learned to make working with fondant easier. None of these ideas are mind-blowing. But, hopefully, they will help you if you are new to this technique. Please, share what has worked for you.

I had fun makig these
bugs out of fondant for a #Cake4Kids group birthday party.

My Seven Tips

  1. Wear an apron. The first couple of times I did not use an apron when making fondant. Big mistake. I got powdered sugar and cocoa powder all over my shirt. It is so much easier to wash my apron than have to change AND wash my shirt. (I used cocoa powder twice when making black fondant.)
  2. Get parchment paper. Even though many recipes said I could use the counter or cutting board to knead and roll the fondant, the fondant stuck every time. Parchment paper is what I had the best success with.
  3. Tape down the paper. I am new to this fondant making, and maybe there is a better way to keep the parchment paper from slipping. Until I taped down the sides, the paper would not stay flat and in place. I even reverse rolled the paper to get the curl out; it didn’t make that much of a difference.
  4. Grease well. Grease the bowl, spatula, hands, and really anything that comes into contact with the fondant. Crisco was suggested. Once I used a flavored olive oil (Blood orange) because I wanted to fill the cupcake with orange curd.
  5. Use marshmallow crème. The last time I made fondant, I ran out of marshmallows because I couldn’t get my fondant the correct grey. I ended up putting in too much coloring. It turned brown; I’ve no idea how I did that. So I wanted to start over and all I had was marshmallow crème. It worked just fine.
  6. Mix in the bowl. Per the typical instructions, I put 3/4ths of the powdered super into the melted marshmallow mixture until it bound together. Then I poured it onto the parchment-covered counter and kneaded in the rest of the sugar. The problem is every time it was a sticky mess. This last time I made fondant, I watched a video where you mixed all of it in the bowl. I still had some difficulty, but I liked this method better. I hate getting icky-gooey-sticky. I will try this a couple more times and then see what I think.
  7. Store leftovers properly. Roll your fondant into a ball or log and coat with white vegetable shortening. Wrap it with plastic wrap. Then store it in an airtight container or ziplock bags. Keep on a shelf or cupboard away from direct sunlight.

Your Turn . . .  Please, share your fondant making tips. . . . Is there any tip from above that you’ll try? . . . Do you have any questions?

Related Posts . . .

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Kindness is Planting a Tree

Kindness is doing something that is thoughtful and beneficial. Taking care of our planet by planting trees falls into that category.

Several years ago, some ladies from my church and I went camping at Smudea campground in Northern California.. One of the activities was to plant seedling trees. It was a meaningful time for all of us. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to plant more trees.

I don’t think you can have too many trees in any city.

My city is having a tree planting event on Saturday, March 28. My daughter and I are going. Want to join us? The details are below

March 28 — Cordova Meadows Neighborhood & Taylor Park Planting

Saturday, March 28 8:45A – 12:00P

Join us in planting trees in the Cordova Meadows area of Rancho Cordova! The trees we plant will improve mental health, create more breathable air, and reduce negative health outcomes such as asthma and cardiac disease!

Go here for more information.

Your Turn . . . Have you ever planted seedling trees? … Been to a tree planting party? … Do you know the song about Johnny Appleseed?

Related Posts …

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

My Landing Page for This series . . . Sprinkling Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure.  Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth wrote a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

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Kindness is Calling Someone by Their Name

Scroll down for the Landing Page information  (aka Table of Contents) for this Kindness series.

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”   Dale Carnegie.

If a name tag is present, I will call a nurse, wait staff, or a receptionist by their name. I think calling them by their name acknowledges them and shows respect.

I like name tags. Wearing a nametag makes me feel more connected because if others are wearing one as well, we have the option of calling each other by name. There is less awkwardness. I want the person I am addressing to know I believe they are important. Using a person’s name has that power.

Using a person’s name is thoughtful, attentive, considerate, and friendly. In short, it is kind.

In the past two years, the people at my church have been wearing nametags. This has allowed me to learn the names of many people. Seeing that visual reinforcement week-after-week is helpful since I am a visual learner.

I believe others also find this a useful way to learn names. Regular attenders are not the only ones who benefit. Newcomers are also impacted. We can greet each other by name. I believe this adds to the friendliness of our church.

Calling folks by their name is, indeed, a kind thing to do.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you call people you see on a regular basis by their name?
  • How do you feel when someone calls you by your name?

Related Posts . . . 

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

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Kindness is Taking Time to Notice

Scroll down for the Landing Page (aka Table of Contents) for this Kindness series.

Kindness Is easy, or at least it can be.

“Our Mission is to educate and inspire people to choose kindness,” Kindness.org.

I belong to the community at Kindness.org.  I recently received an email that asked, “How much would it COST YOU to perform the following acts (in terms of money, time, effort, etc) on a 7-point scale (1 + Very Little, 7 = Very Much)?

They listed about 50 acts. I have shared some of them below. And some ideas are mine. Look at the list and rate them from 1-7.

  • ___ Bake a cake for someone’s birthday.
  • ___ Call your mom.
  • ___ Don’t write an angry internet comment.
  • ___ Each time you buy a new piece of clothing, donate one item to someone in need.
  • ___ Frame a friend’s favorite lyric or quote in a nice frame.
  • ___Give someone the right-of-way on your commute.
  • ___ Hold the elevator.
  • ___ If you spill sugar or creamer on the counter at a coffee shop, wipe it up.
  • ___ Leave extra quarters in the laundry room.
  • ___ Say “Thank you” to a janitor or anyone else who provides a service for you.
  • ___ Send a stressed-out mom some chocolate.
  • ___ Smile when you feel like scowling.
  • ___Tell your siblings how much you appreciate them.
  • ___ When everyone around you is gossiping about someone, be the one to butt in with something nice
  • ___ When you hear that negative discouraging voice in your head, cut yourself some slack.
  • ___ While you are out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
  • ___ While you are out, give an encouraging word or smile to a parent who is having a hard time with their child’s behavior.
  • ___ Write a family member a list of 10 things you like about them.
  • ___ Write a letter to a sick child or an elderly person.

When I took the kindness survey from Kindness.org, I was surprised by some of the action items. They were so simple. And yet, I never thought to do them. And a lot of the items would NOT take a lot of my time, energy, or money.

Kind actions for me to do are all around. There are easy ones, too.

I just need to take the time to look.

Let’s take advantage of those “easy” ones. They still count as being impactful. Can you imagine what our families, faith institutions, and cities would be like if everyone did one extra kindness a week?

Your Turn . . .

  • Check out the website Kindness.Org for ideas and how you can be part of the kindness revolution.
  • Which of the above examples did you connect with?
  • What “easy” action would you add to this list?
  • Were you surprised by your scores?
  • What will you do because of this post?

Related Posts  . . . 

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

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Kindness is Gifting a Banana

Scroll down for the Landing Page (aka Table of Contents) information for this Kindness series.

So many of us like to show affection by gifting food to others.

  1. We bring a cake to the office, just because.
  2. We take two dozen, straight-out-of- the-oven cookies to our next door neighbor.
  3. We fill a container with tasty leftovers for a single person at our church.

This sounds nice, right? Not always.

  • If your office workmates are on a diet, your cake is a hindrance.
  • If your neighbor is vegan and your cookies have eggs and butter, this gesture is not welcome.
  • If your single friend just doesn’t like leftovers, this food gift will annoy them.

In each of these cases, the food will be wasted. You may be considered inconsiderate if they expressed their wishes of not eating certain foods and you forced your gift anyways. Feelings could be hurt because the recipient thought you were not being kind.

My sister recently hung a banana on my office doorknob. (We work in the same building.)  I’d say my sister was being kind because really I shouldn’t eat candy on account of my diabetes.

Kindness is being . . .

  • attentive,
  • considerate,
  • friendly, and
  • thoughtful.

It was attentive, considerate, friendly, and thoughtful that she didn’t give me a sugar-laden treat.

And to top it off, this banana had freckles. I enjoy freckled bananas. Jenny prefers her bananas freckle-free. So we both benefitted from her thoughtful, kind act.

It is kind to follow the food preferences of our family and friends. If they don’t eat gluten, salad, meat, or whatever, don’t try to change their palettes. We don’t have to agree with or understand their choices or their reasons. Let’s be kind by supporting one another’s food decisions.

Your Turn . . . 

  • When was the last time someone pushed food on you that you didn’t appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • When was the last time someone gifted you food that you did appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • Would you like to make a change in this area? If yes, what will you do.

Related Posts . . .

And to top it off, this banana had freckles. I enjoy freckled bananas. Jenny prefers her bananas freckle-free. So we both benefitted from her thoughtful, kind act.

It is kind to follow the food preferences of our family and friends. If they don’t eat gluten, salad, leftovers, or whatever, don’t try to change their minds. We don’t have to agree with or understand their choices or their reasons. Let’s be kind by supporting one another’s food decisions.

Your Turn . . . 

  • When was the last time someone pushed food on you that you didn’t appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • When was the last time someone gifted you food that you did appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • Would you like to make a change in this area? If yes, what will you do?

Related Posts . . .

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

 

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Kindness is Being a Good Housemate

Scroll down for the Landing Page (aka Table of Contents) information for this Kindness series.

Most people I know live with someone. The age range varies and so does the relationship context (friend, family, border). But no matter the age range or relationship, we can all make-or-break the situation by our behavior and attitude.

In order to keep an ongoing friendly tone in the home, it is helpful to be kind. Kindness is . . .

  • attentive,
  • considerate,
  • friendly, and
  • thoughtful.

Kindness is being a good housemate.

I currently live with my daughter in an apartment. Goodwill is especially needed in such a small space. We both make it a priority to exhibit the traits in the above bullet list.

By nature, my daughter is a tidy minimalist. I have a looser grasp on my belongings. However, since it is important to Elizabeth, I try to put my things away and declutter. (It’s an on-going process.) As it so happens, I also benefit and appreciate the results of my decluttering.

Being considerate and friendly are two other necessary behaviors/attitudes for housemates to cultivate. On the considerate chart are actions like . . . giving people their space for quiet time . . .  not hogging the best parking spot pr remote. . . taking turns with meal prep . . . everyone keeping the shopping list updated . . . believing the best about others’ motives . . .

Being friendly is an attitude as well as a behavior. This includes saying  . . . please . . . thank you . . . and may I? . . . Giving good morning and good night greetings . . . Apologizing and forgiving . . . Letting folks enjoy their own space and inviting them to join you . . .

Being thoughtful means taking into account what the other person needs or wants. It means thinking about their preferences. It means being humble and selfless. And it means keeping the lines of communication open.

Being a good housemate takes work, prayer, and laughter. And it is so worth the effort.

Your Turn . . . What is a kind action a housemate has given to you? . . . How would you rate yourself on the “good housemate” scale? . . . Which of the following traits would you like to mature in: attentive, considerate, friendly, or thoughtful? . . . What is one action you will do today?

Related Posts . . .

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

. at . 1 comment

Kindness is Adding Beauty

Scroll down for the Landing Page (aka Table of Contents) information for this Kindness series.

Kindness is shown in many ways. It is an act that brightens up someone’s life, brings some beauty into a neglected corner of the world, gives someone hope, or brings some peace to a troubled situation.

Today. let’s talk about adding beauty to your world.

Let’s participate in a Rancho Corvova park, river, creek or ocean cleanup. There is a cleanup scheduled on Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with cleanup sites located throughout the Delta region (Sacramento) and in Rancho Cordova. … I am going to do this; I hope you join me!

There are many other ways to add beauty . . . 

  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Chat with the cashier at the checkout or another person in line.
  • Dance to your favorite song.
  • Declutter.
  • Discover a beautiful classical music piece or play a favorite. Here’s one: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3qrKjywjo7Q
  • Gather some cuttings from your walk or yard and put in a vase.
  • Get some luxurious hand soap for your bathroom.
  • Go for a walk
  • Keep your personal space and shared spaces (kitchen, living room, lunchroom, bathroom) tidy.
  • Laugh. Cause laughter by telling a joke. Read this series on laughter.
  • Let edifying words come out of your mouth the next time you feel sarcastic or like complaining
  • Make your garden attractive to bees.
  • Mail someone a note that you’re thinking of them. Or send them a Valentine.
  • Paint your walls festive colours.
  • Pick up dog poop.
  • Plant colourful flowers along your front yard fence.
  • Pray that God will fill you with wisdom and a gentle, quiet spirit.
  • Put fresh fruit from the farmer’s market in a bowl.
  • Read some poetry.
  • Recycle.
  • Release ladybugs in your yard.
  • Say kind words to someone.
  • See the dignity and image of God in a person who is overlooked (the homeless, the foreigner)
  • Shine up your kitchen counters, appliances, sink, and faucet.
  • Stop a bully.
  • Watch a sunset at the river.
  • Wear a beautiful scarf or handmade piece of jewelry.

Thanks to Shula Gossard for adding many items to this “beauty” list. She is great at adding beauty to her world.

I paint  walls at home and in my office festive colours. I recycle. And I do something not on the list. At work, there are two unused planters. I like to keep them full of perennials, annuals, and vegetables.  I just cleaned out the planters to get ready for Spring planting.

Your Turn . . . What ideas would you add to beautifying your world? . . . What is one thing you’ll do this week?

Related Posts . . . 

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

. at . 1 comment

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish DateMarch 1st, 2019

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