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Fourth of July flag cake (and that time I dropped a four layer cake)

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Flag cake on a cake stand.jpg

Have you ever started a project with a bad feeling? I know it sounds so corny, but from the moment I started this cake on Friday night, I had a bad feeling about it. I can’t describe it exactly, but I just knew things were not going to end well.

I usually get nervous at some point during the baking process (Will it rise ok? Did I mix it too much? Is this thing even going to taste good?), so I chocked up my nerves to a weird week and tried to move on.

When I set out to make this flag cake, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I didn’t think I’d go so far as accidentally dropping it.

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Let me set the scene for you: I made the layers Friday night, so I woke up early Saturday to ice the cake and shoot photos so I’d have time to enjoy the weekend (aka I was rushing. Which I should know by now never ends well).

In order to get my favorite light, I shoot photos on a very small end table near our windows which you can see in these pictures. I’m able to move the table around and take pictures around it without there ever being an issue.

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As I was assembling this bad boy, it was as easy as I remembered it being when I made this cake last year. The flag makes it look 10x more difficult than it is, I swear. The design is made by cutting out the middle of the blue layer(s) and doing the same to the red and white, but keeping the middles and discarding the edges as shown above. I used a spaceship mug because why buy a circular cookie cutter when drinking glasses work so well? ūüėČ Then the red and white replace the inside blue layers. Like Russian nesting dolls! That’s it. Easy peasy.

So here I was cutting the pieces, sneaking bites of frosting and icing, when after I finished icing and cut a slice, the sun shifted and cast a nasty shadow. I set the slice aside (but not the cake what was I thinking?!) and moved the cake and end table to the other side of the living room to check out the lighting there. It was even worse. And this! This, my friends, is when things got ugly. I decided to move the cake back. Should’ve been easy enough right?

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I lifted the tiny end table with the cake on top when halfway through carrying it back to its original spot (mind you, our apartment is small so this is not the hoof it might sound like it is. Although I would like to lie and tell you I had to jump through fiery hoops down the hallway and a flight of moving stairs to make this whole thing sound more impressive.) when the end table leg caught on our leather loveseat. The cake stand nudged a little toward the edge. It sounded like the world’s most ominous game piece moving across a game board and in that moment I knew.

I knew I could not salvage what had already begun. Instead, I remember my gasps growing increasingly louder and faster as my mind raced and I tried to back out of the situation. Do I keep moving forward? Put the thing down? Scoot to the side? All logical ideas! Yet all I did was tilt the table further. And thud.

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Have you ever heard a cake drop? I can’t think of a single time before now where I witnessed an entire cake fall to the floor. (Is it too late to add this to my bucket list just so I can cross it off?) The best analogy I can think of is that a cake falling straight onto carpet (carpet. Ugh, kill me now.) sounds a lot like the thump of a human body meeting a hotel bed.

For a hot second, you expect yourself to bounce back. Surely this can’t be that anti-climactic, I always think to myself when I throw myself on top of the sheets. But then you realize you’re face down on a hotel bed going nowhere. Much like a dropped cake.

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The whole premise of my original blog post was going to be, “See! This cake’s presentation looks intimidating, but it’s so easy to make!” Now, the whole premise is, “If you make this cake, don’t drop it and you’ll already one up me!”

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I was also planning on outing myself that this particular Fourth of July-themed cake is from a box mix and pre-made frosting! When the first step of a recipe is, “Make six layers” I’m all for allowing ourselves some leeway and doing what we can to skip a few steps.

Fool me once, Betty Crocker! Although as much as I’d like to blame this tumble on the cake’s sticky consistency or the thin frosting which is less than ideal for decorating, I’ve got nothing to blame but myself. This might be the first time I dropped a cake, but I’m certain it won’t be my last.

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I hope my Great Cake Fall of 2017 hasn’t scared you away from trying this cake at home. The time spent decorating and assembling are so worth it to see everyone’s face when you cut into it!

As for me, I’m planning on serving¬†these cake balls this holiday weekend instead.

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p.s. Follow the directions on the box, and you’ll be just fine! For each of the six cakes, I used 3/4 cup of mix and added food coloring until I reached the desired colors. The grocery store only had gel food dye, so don’t fret if you can’t find liquid: the gel works just fine.¬†

Here are the cake pans I used and highly recommend.

And one last thing: I recommend mixing the dye into the cake mix in a glass mixing cup. That way you can more easily make sure your color is consistently mixed. Good luck!

Have you ever dropped food or a dessert you were cooking all day? I would love to know I’m not alone, so tell me more in the comments!

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Brie, bacon and fig jam panini

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Brie, bacon and fig jam sandwiches stacked.jpg

One of my favorite parts about the summer is long picnics in the park. We’re fortunate to live only a block away from one of the best parks in the city, and every year I look forward to reading a book and eating dinner on a blanket.

Plus people watching while eating dinner feels like dinner and a show. What’s not to love? Not to mention nothing takes your mind off the heat (and feeling like you’re melting) quite like other city dwellers sweating through their clothes alongside you.

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It’s hard to say whether the snacks or the people watching is my favorite part of picnicking.

People watching pro:¬†You learn so much about your city neighbors! If you’re lucky, you’ll overhear some gossip.

People watching con: If you’re not so lucky, you make awkward eye contact with the people on whom you’re eavesdropping and then you feel like a creep. (The more you’re sweating, the more your creepiness increases. I don’t make the rules. I just follow em.)

Snack pro: On the best days, you attract all the neighborhood dogs to your picnic and then feel like a happy dog owner if only for a moment! Plus, you get snacks. Win win!

Snack con: Is there one? Maybe it’s that you make everyone jealous?

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This crunchy baguette sammich is exactly the kind of thing you want to lug to the park to enjoy outside. Jealous side eye be damned! It’s like packing cheese and crackers and leaving the knife at home. (This goes unsaid, but a knife would most certainly increase your creepiness.)

Since we’re all friends here, I have no shame admitting I hardly noticed when fig jam fell out the side and onto my shirt. Like a beautiful love stamp. Proof that this sandwich is so good not even the mess it makes will bother you. But if you can shake the crumbs and jam off a blanket at the end of a meal instead of your shirt, then you’re doing something right! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Brie, bacon and fig jam panini – Serves 2, 20 minutes total

Ingredients

4 strips of bacon

6 3-in long slices of brie

4 tablespoons of fig jam

1/4 of a baguette cut in half and split open

Directions

  1. Cook the bacon in a skillet. Flip frequently. When crispy, set aside on a paper towel on a plate.
  2. Cut a standard baguette into quarters. Cut one of the quarters in half so you have two small subs. Put the flat part of the baguette on the cutting board so that you can slice it open. Repeat with the other portion.
  3. Spread fig jam on both sides of each baguette.
  4. Layer 3 slices of brie on top of the fig jam. Add the bacon and top with the other piece of baguette.
  5. Put in the George Foreman or cook on the stovetop for 8-10 minutes.

(I ate both sandwiches pictured, but it was a bit much for one person. Hence I highly recommend splitting it with a pal.)

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The restaurants we loved the most in London

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I’m going to come right out and say it: I’m a really embarrassing dinner date when¬†traveling. When we visit new restaurants in DC, I’m not usually compelled to take pictures of the food. When traveling, however, I’m maybe¬†a little too comfortable with the notion that I’ll never see 99.99% of the people at a¬†restaurant ever again so I have no shame whipping out my phone and snapping pictures during¬†meals.

As a result, you’ll find most of these pictures are grainy at best with a few hidden details that really make me smile – like the woman on the brochure in the picture below or the gentleman looking into the camera who I cropped out of the photo from Aphrodite. In short, I might be¬†shameless about whipping out my phone but not so much so that I have a small photoshoot before diving into a meal.

The following restaurants are the meals we loved the most, the ones I couldn’t bother with a taking more than a picture or¬†two during, quality be damned, because the food looked too good to wait any longer! I hope you have the chance to visit some of these spots¬†should you find yourself in London. I can say without a doubt we will revisit¬†more than one next time we’re in town.

Honest Burger.jpgHonest Burger – We stumbled into Honest Burger after my cookie class¬†on our¬†first full day in London and didn’t wait more than five minutes before nabbing a table at the Portobello Road location. Overhearing all the different languages around us was a complete thrill, and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t both surprised when fries showed up¬†on the plate instead of potato chips.

Dishoom.jpgDishoom¬†– This was our favorite meal of the whole trip! Get the black daal and chai tea and make sure you check out the kitchen in the lower level¬†where you can see all of the naan lined up like soldiers waiting to go in the oven.¬†Funnily enough, Kevin and I got lost on the way there, and thanks to reading Google Maps wrong, I lead us¬†into a closed strip club. Thankfully¬†we didn’t just hang our heads and turn back. I would have loved to eat here more than once¬†if only we hadn’t visited on our last day in town.

Harrods.jpgHarrod’s Food Halls¬†– Kevin said¬†that because of the sheer opulence in every corner and the absence of windows disorienting you at every turn, Harrod’s feels like a casino. To which I have to say it was the most luxurious¬†casino I’ve ever seen!

We visited for¬†the sole purpose of visiting the Food Halls and could have spent hours¬†exploring the meals in each themed room. Pictured above is the produce¬†room (couldn’t you tell from the grapes in the chandelier? ūüėČ ), but we also explored the dessert room, the meat room, the chocolate room (I repeat: the chocolate room), the seafood room, and a whole list of places¬†we didn’t even see, like the ice cream parlour!

We made the mistake of buying some pies¬†before realizing there is no place to eat them, and some stands won’t heat up the food. So if you drop by, grab a snack on the go or take¬†a sandwich to the park! I highly recommend¬†the chocolate dipped candied oranges from the chocolate room.

Aphrodite.jpgAphrodite –¬†Recommended by our Airbnb host as her favorite local spot, Aphrodite’s¬†friendly staff, dim lighting, and tables so close you might elbow your neighbor¬†all make you feel like you’re dining with friends. We ordered the meat mezze, per our host’s recommendation, and there were eleven plates on our table at one point. Eleven! I’ve never felt more like a gluttonous American than during that meal.

One of the waiters even warned us to lay off the (five) dips so we’d have room for all four courses. If it sounds decadent, it’s because it was. The first course was cold appetizers (hummus, baba ganoush, labneh, etc.) followed by warm appetizers (portobello mushrooms and grilled haloumi atop tomatoes). As if that wasn’t enough, we then tried at least five different kinds of meats and fish and ended the meal with a salad. Everything we tried left me at a loss for words because it was so delicious, but I especially liked the part about the salad last!

Duck and Waffle.jpgDuck and Waffle –¬†Duck and Waffle¬†is the highest restaurant in the city on the fortieth floor. I’m having a hard time finding a more perfect phrase to describe it other than “gastro-club.” We rode a glass elevator straight to the top and some seriously strong beats welcomed us when the doors opened. Stylish youths sat all around the high tops and poufs, and very few of them¬†were taking pictures of the city around us. One can only assume that dining decadently at the top of the city is a regular occurrence for them.

We both ordered the duck and waffle – crispy fried duck breast on¬†a fluffy belgian waffle topped with a fried egg, although I think the bacon wrapped dates were the real star of the show!¬†Don’t let the 40-stories up (I’m afraid of elevators, but the trip seemed to last¬†less than a minute)¬†or the warnings on their site about certain outfits required scare you away. The food was fun to try once while taking in the view, but I think next time we’ll¬†end the day there with just a cocktail.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing more from our trip! We had so much fun exploring new places, meeting new people, and trying new foods.¬†I’m already looking forward to the next adventure, if nothing else so I can justify another four course meal ūüėČ

More from the trip: 

Biscuit icing class at Biscuiteers

Everything we loved in Iceland

Sights you should see in London

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Sights you should see in London

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Notting Hill neighborhood.jpgAfter visiting Iceland, we spent about six days in London, and the city exceeded our expectations in every way! We stayed in an Airbnb on the edge of Notting Hill, although we loved every hood we visited. We relied on the Tube for our main transportation, and aside from getting separated one time, we had no trouble at all.

Below are some of the places we loved visiting¬†grouped by proximity. Full disclosure: This was our¬†first time visiting London, so we spent most¬†of our time visiting obvious spots, all¬†of which were¬†fun to visit at least once, but I’m really looking forward to seeing even more hopefully soon!

The London Eye.jpgWestminster Abbey.jpgThe London Eye РWe booked tickets ahead of time, and the birds eye view was the perfect welcome to the city! The trip around the wheel took about thirty minutes, and while it did feel like the British equivalent of visiting Times Square with all the tourists everywhere, we still had a lot of fun!

Westminster Abbey РI had high hopes of waking up early and beating the lines outside of Westminster Abbey, but the morning we went, we overslept! So we waited for about an hour in the drizzling rain, but it was so worth it. Within the first five minutes of the audio tour, they point out the grave of Sir Isaac Newton, and the tour ends with a corner dedicated to Shakespeare and other famous writers. Nuff said.

Victoria and Albert Museum.jpgBuckingham Palace.jpgThe Victoria and Albert Museum¬†– When your friend tells you, “This is my favorite museum in the whole world,” walk, don’t run there. Every inch of the Victoria and Albert Museum is covered in art. From the room of plaster casts of famous sculptures to the design exhibit surrounded by¬†a library pictured above, there was something exquisite to take in around every corner. Just look at the cafeteria’s ceiling¬†of all places!

Buckingham Palace – How could we visit and not drop by? Also, as if I wasn’t cliche enough, I read The Royal We¬†while we were abroad. It’s about a young woman who falls in love with the heir to the Crown. Aka the perfect vacation read right up my alley.

Windsor CastleWindsor streetsWindsor¬†Castle¬†–¬†We didn’t buy many advance tickets, but we did buy tickets for Windsor ahead of time. It was a quick train ride from the city, and a great day trip! We saw¬†the former moat filled with a lush garden and the¬†dining hall where they organize the dishware with a ruler. Like in Downton Abbey! Even the hanging lights have crowns on top of them.

The town next to the Queen’s weekend castle (casual.) had plenty to explore too! Had we known, we would have spent more time hanging out, but instead we caught the train back¬†to see Dreamgirls at The Savoy. And no surprise here, we loved that too.

Diagon Alley.jpgThe Dursleys House.jpgHarry Potter Studio Tour РWhen we booked tickets for the Harry Potter Studio Tour I first thought every time slot was booked, and I nearly cried. Thankfully I quickly realizing there was one open timeframe left. Hallelujah! I took nearly as many photos during the Harry Potter Studio Tour as I did during our three days in Iceland which says it all.

We saw The Great Hall! And Diagon Alley! And Privet Drive, Dumbledore’s Office, costumes and wigs from every character, and countless other¬†amazing sets and props¬†from the movie. They recommend spending four hours on site, and if it weren’t for our needing to catch the last shuttle, I have no doubt we would have poked around¬†for longer than the almost three hours we took everything in. It was truly a magical experience, and you should absolutely go if you’re a Harry Potter fan!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some what¬†we loved during our first trip to London. Tomorrow I’m sharing all of the restaurants we visited because¬†if anything deserves its own post, it’s the food!

More from the trip: 

Biscuit icing class at Biscuiteers

Everything we loved in Iceland

The restaurants we loved the most in London

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Everything we loved in Iceland

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Village near the National Park.jpg

I hope you’re recovering from a fun and restful Memorial Day Weekend!¬†Since Kevin and I returned from Iceland and London, I’ve been coding my new online portfolio (and a new home for this blog, hooray!). While I focus on learning¬†Github and figuring out¬†what the heck I’m doing, I hope you’ll¬†enjoy seeing some pictures from our trip!

We did way too much to cram into one post. So this week, I’m sharing three things: Everything we loved¬†in Iceland, Sights¬†we recommend seeing¬†in London, and Everywhere¬†we ate¬†in London. It was without a doubt¬†the best vacation ever.

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First up: Iceland! Iceland was unlike any place I’ve ever traveled. From¬†all of the pictures we saw beforehand, I thought for sure we’d land on a stretch of green grass surrounded by bright blue waters with whales swimming¬†in the background. But from the plane we saw nothing but brown grass. The initial view¬†was not what I had¬†expected, but the sights¬†the next few days more than made up for it.

We rented a car so that we could move at our own pace and adventure outside of our Airbnb in Reykjavik. The drives were the best part! The views were take your breath away stunning. One minute we were on winding roads surrounded by black rocks and gray sky and the next there was a huge lake in front of our eyes and snow was coming down. The largest lake in Iceland is pictured above. I took that picture from the side of the two-lane highway. Can you imagine if that was your backyard?

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On our first day, we grabbed sandwiches at the airport and drove to Pingvellir National Park. The walk along the path was mostly flat with the exception of some rocky places at the end in which you can see in the second picture. Although there were warnings posted all along the winding path noting to watch out for falling rocks which was quite the welcome.

This might sound funny considering it’s called Iceland, but I couldn’t¬†get over how cold it was, especially on our first day. Maybe it was some combination of jet lag, but the weather really is no joke.¬†It was really¬†windy, and by the time we left the park, piercing rain was falling, and then it started snowing as we got halfway home. Reminded me a little bit of this tweet about one week of weather¬†in Indiana, except Iceland crams all of it into one day!

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On our second day we drove to¬†Geysir¬†and Gulfoss Waterfall. The geyser¬†erupts into the sky every few minutes and everyone stands around with their cameras poised and ready. Because of¬†the wind, anyone standing to the right in the image got drenched. Waiting around with people from all over the world speaking different languages was¬†as fun as hearing everyone’s delight as the geyser exploded each time.

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We checked out the nearby hot springs before stopping at the cafe inside for some snacks and shopping.

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The wind at Pingvellir the day before was nothing like the wind at Gulfoss Waterfall. We couldn’t have stayed more than thirty minutes because from the moment we opened our car door, I was convinced¬†someone would get¬†blown off the edge and into the water. I distinctly remember thinking, “This is it. This is the moment someone gets swept off the edge by Mother Nature like some horrific movie scene.”

The top picture was taken from a small bridge which overlooks the waterfall. I lasted less than a minute on that thing before nearly crawly further from the edge.¬†Thankfully my fears never came true, and everyone was fine.¬†The windy dirt path was under construction, otherwise I’m sure someone would have been crazy enough to venture down there. Can you see the tiny specks of people in the top right of the second photo? Everywhere we went, I felt very small in the best way possible.

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Our drive home after Gulfoss didn’t take nearly as long as the way there because we were no longer pulling off the side of the road for views like this one. #worthit And just as we got back to town, it started snowing!

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One of my favorite things about Reykjavik was all of the street art. There was something fun around every corner. It made exploring on a snowy night even better!

While we were visiting, the sun rose around¬†5a.m. and set about¬†10p.m. each night. We did technically enjoy more daylight than usual, but Iceland was gray unlike any gray day I’ve ever experienced in America. Within our first few hours of driving, Kevin and I kept comparing Iceland to what we imagine Mars must look like. There were multiple¬†layers of gray clouds in the sky and the dark rock everywhere gave off a dystopian movie vibe.

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You won’t find much¬†about the food we ate in Iceland with the exception of the bakery Sandholt.¬†Their long marble countertops had two (!) dessert cases¬†full of croissants, danish, cinnamon rolls as big as your head, and so many other delicious treats.¬†It was only two blocks from our Airbnb and I have no shame admitting we ate breakfast here twice.

Otherwise, most of our meals were sandwiches grabbed on our way out of town. Before visiting we read the food is more expensive that it’s worth, so we decided to save our pennies for London. Thanks for sticking around til the end of this post. I hope you’ll drop by tomorrow to see Sights¬†we recommend seeing¬†in London!

More from the trip: 

Biscuit icing class at Biscuiteers

Sights you should see in London

The restaurants we loved the most in London

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Biscuit icing class at Biscuiteers

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Aerial view of veggies as biscuits.jpg

While I didn’t return with an English accent or a wardrobe which looks like I walked straight out of Downton Abbey, I did return home from Iceland and London with a full stomach and so many happy memories! Both places¬†were more incredible than I could have imagined. And¬†since each place was so different from the other, it felt like a perfectly well-rounded trip chocked full of time relaxing and plenty of sightseeing.

I’m working on a longer post about everything we recommend if you’re planning on visiting, but until then I want to¬†share more about my¬†cookie icing class at Biscuiteers. Or rather¬†biscuit icing class.

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I got used to calling these bad boys “biscuits” pretty quickly because I didn’t want to bring shame to my country by being that American¬†who messes up the line icing and can’t call cookies by their right name! Can you imagine? I was not looking to get myself kicked out of class, thankyouverymuch. I stood out enough by being¬†the only one drinking coffee and calling the eggplant an eggplant instead of¬†an “aubergine.” To say nothing of my accent. And let’s be real, I mostly stood out because I was telling anyone who would listen that it was my first time visiting London.

Thankfully, I didn’t get myself kicked out, and I also didn’t cry during class like I was worried I might (I was so relaxed on vacation, I could¬†hardly predict when something was going to move me to tears). I first heard of Biscuiteers¬†via the Discover section of Instagram. Their huge¬†range of cookie designs – the fruit!¬†the sweaters!¬†– blew me away, and I especially love how friendly their captions are. When I saw they host cookie icing classes in London, I knew I had to sign up.

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The class I took was on a Sunday afternoon from 11:30-1:30. During which, one Biscuiteer taught eight students how to ice cookies which look like veggies! We learned how to create¬†a border of royal icing and then flood each¬†cookie with colors¬†using flood icing. The line icing is in the photo above in the piping bags and the flood icing is in the squeeze bottles. The squeeze bottles made all the difference! In the past, when I’ve used piping bags for flood icing, the icing is so runny it pours out through the icing tip which is less than ideal to say the least.¬†Both the bags and the bottles were easy to use and as I type this I’m reminded I need to order some squeeze bottles to use at home.

We iced each cookie as a class step-by-step which made the designs far less intimidating than they might look. Here is a guide for icing some of the veggies pictured here.

Along with the the biscuits we iced, we also got to take home a¬†biscuit tin (“Homegrown biscuits” be still my heart) and an apron which has¬†the biscuiteers icing shop drawn on it! When I saw their shop on Instagram for the first time, I thought the design was photoshopped! Nope, it is that cute IRL.

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Thanks to their expert packing, nothing broke in transit!¬†And even after waiting a full week to eat them, the biscuits were still perfectly fresh and delightfully chewy. They tasted like soft iced gingersnaps. Aka heaven. If you fancy making these yourself, here is the recipe for various cookie flavors and here is the recipe for both kinds of¬†icing you will need. Just searching their Instagram will inspire you to up your cookie game, and I’m already looking forward to using what I learned again soon!

Aerial view of veggie biscuits on a table.jpg

More from the trip: 

Everything we loved in Iceland

Sights you should see in London

The restaurants we loved the most in London

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Scrabble tile shortbread cookies

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Scrabble tiles which say Happy Everything.jpg

If you’re reading this on Wednesday, there’s a good chance we’re 30,000 feet in the air¬†pretending like there’s more than a paper-thin carpet and a giant floating body of aluminum¬†separating¬†us and¬†the ocean beneath us. Aluminum. The¬†thing which can barely contain hot dogs and hamburgers when they’re fresh off the grill! I should’ve never googled “what are planes made of.” I was better off not knowing.

I’m a bit of a nervous flyer, and after an especially turbulent (and teary) flight last month, I’m crossing my fingers that our flights throughout¬†the next week¬†are a lot smoother! Or at the very least, that I fall asleep for every single one.¬†Knowing we’ll soon see geysers and waterfalls in Iceland makes boarding the plane a lot¬†easier. Plus¬†I’m hoping I can drown out all the weird plane noises with some Jonsi!¬†If I listen hard enough, I’ll better understand Icelandic by the time we arrive, right?

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I’ve been anxiously anticipating this trip for many reasons, but mostly I’m excited to feel very small!¬†I can’t wait to consume the news from a different viewpoint, to lay off the social media, and to meet new people¬†from all over the world! There’s nothing like time away from home in a new place to make you realize how much is out there.

To say nothing of all the food and sights! And audio tours! All the audio tours in the land!

Who am I kidding. I’m way too excited to sleep!

Scrabble tiles spilled from the bag.jpgBunch of scrabble tiles.jpg

I wish I could take these Scrabble tiles (and all of you!) with me for an on-the-go game! The best part is, the set I made has neither¬†a Z nor Q because I ate them. I also drew an exclamation point which I promptly ate before Kevin could see it and remind me that exclamation points aren’t regulation tiles. But wouldn’t¬†scrabble be more fun if punctuation was allowed? That sounds like a game I’d like to play.

I used the same sugar cookie recipe as the¬†softball cookies, and I’m happy to report the recipe made about 150 Scrabble tiles to scale. I took these photos in a bit of a hurry¬†before a game night at a friend’s,¬†and at the very least I’m glad¬†I noticed I originally spelled “Congrats” as “Congarts” before I took¬†the picture. Phew!

Scrabble cookies spelling Congrats.JPG

These cookies are the perfect addition to game night, and I guarantee if you eat two dozen while you’re icing them, you’re in good company ūüėČ They’re incredibly snackable and instantly recognizable, and as a result, they won’t last long!

Scrabble cookies spelling Game Night

Shortbread cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 cups of flour

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Cube the butter and put it in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar. Combine until fluffy and well incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium for 5 minutes.
  4. When the dough begins to stick together or to the sides of the bowl, dump it onto a well-floured surface for rolling.
  5. Place a wooden spoon on either side of the dough (but not wider than your rolling pin), so the roller stops flattening the cookies after a certain height.
  6. Flatten dough. Cut desired shapes. For these tiles, I cut strips of dough and then cut the strips into smaller squares.
  7. Place shapes on cookie sheets and place in the oven. Decrease the oven’s temp. to 325.
  8. Rotate cookies after 10 minutes and cook for another 5-6 minutes until golden brown on the edges, but mostly the bottoms.

Tip: When I make cookies, I take them out of the oven just before I think they’re fully done so they can cool on the pan for 10 minutes before I transfer them to a cooling rack.

Royal icing recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • A pinch of salt
  • Food coloring

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients until well-incorporated.
  2. If you want to make black icing for writing, I set aside about 2/3 of the royal icing for white icing and then combined the remaining 1/3 with equal parts of red, blue, and green food coloring until the desired color was achieved.