Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to make your own candles out of old ones?

Make these:




Out of this:



Do not throw away your old candles - Make new ones again with them.  If you are like me and love candles, you will find yourself with finished candles that will still have lots candle wax but no wick in them (like the one above). Do not throw them out - Keep them in a box until you have a few and then remake them into a new candle.

I have been burning a lot of candles in the winter, so I had quite a few candles and decided to make some new ones this weekend. This is how:

Tools and things you need (all of this can be bought a craft stores):
  • New wicks (I like the stiff ones that are covered with wax already)
  • A candle melting pot (tall)
  • A wax sieve
  • Wax potty
  • Old wax and candle pots
  • Pencil

 

The first thing to do is to cut the wax in small pieces, if your candles are inside glass pots, put the glass pot briefly in a pan with boiling water. The wax on the edges will melt a little and you should be able to carefully remove the leftover wax out of the glass jar.



Put your wax pieces in the candle melting pot and place the pot in a pan with boiling water (double boiling). The wax will start to slowly melt (never put the wax pot straight on the flame as your wax will burn). Do not worry if the wax has pieces of wick or the little metal holder for the wick on it, as once melted you will pass it through the sieve and it will collect all stuff.

While the wax melts, prepare your container. I normally reuse the same containers where the candles came in on the first place. These are normally glass and heat resistant. You can use other containers, but make sure they are strong and not flammable.



I first clean my container from any left over wax. To clean it I place it for a short 30 seconds on the microwave (make sure your glass container does not have anything metallic). I remove it carefully as it may be hot and pour out any melted wax that could be there. Let it cool and then wash with warm soapy water and a sponge. This will remove any wax as well as black smoke marks if any. Dry the container thoroughly.

 


Take your new wick (with metal disc attached) and place a little wax potty at the bottom of the disc. Put in place in the middle of the container. Straighten the wick and curly around a pencil, rest the pencil on top of the container to make sure the wick is centered on the container. Now you are ready top pour the wax.







Once your wax is melted, put the sieve on top of the container and slowly pour the hot wax in.  Put the container in a place where it will not be moved until the wax cools down. And voila! you have a new candle.


Keep a little wax, sometimes as the candles cool off, they will sink in the midddle. Do not be scared! just melt the wax you saved and fill that well!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My best cakes of 2010!!! Here are some of my favorites!


I wanted to put together some of my favorite cakes from last year. Let me know which cakes are your favorites!! Click on the link to go to that cake's post and "How to"

Swimming Pool Cake 3D
Swimming Pool Cake Post
Soccer Cake 3D

Soccer Ball and Player Cake Post


Minnie Mouse Cake
Minnie and Mickey Mouse Cake Post

Princess Cake
Princess Cake Post

Friday, February 18, 2011

A submarine: No not a real one - this is just a nice Argentinian Hot chocolate! Un submarino de Chocolate


My husband found these great little videos at the library. Each one of them has about 15 minutes of great information on pretty much every single country in the world. We were watching the one on Argentina and discovered they have a great way to make Hot Chocolate. They call them Submarinos. Here is how to make them:

Ingredients:
  • Hot Milk
  • A bar of milk chocolate (Good quality)



Making it is very easy -simply heat the milk and put it in a cup. Then put your chocolate bar inside the cup and stir until it melts. Yummy!!

Pumpkin seeds: How to make them yummy in the tummy






You will not believe this, but I did not know that you could eat pumpkin seeds until this fall. Ohhh All those wasted seeds that I have been putting on the bin throughout the years.... Well they were making them as a snack at my daughter's pre school, they gave me the recipe, but I had to change it a little and make it a little more Latin! Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Butter
  • Goya adobo

I collected the seeds from a pumpkin that I roasted in the oven. The first thing to do is to clean the seeds, I put then in a colander and run water trough it. Pre heat your oven at 400F


Once they are clean, I put them in a piece of aluminum paper (you can also put them in a tray) and sparkle some Goya adobo (not too much or it will be too salty).



Then put about 1 spoonful of butter. 


Fold the sides of the paper up forming a little tray and put it on the oven for about 15 minutes or so - Keep looking at the seeds as they can burn quite easily. The seeds are ready when they are  nice and golden. That is all!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chicago Fire Party: The Cake and the Pinata

Chicago Fire Cake

Chicago Fire Cake and Pinata

My boy wanted a Chicago Fire Party, so why not? another fun cake to make. Here you will find instructions for the cake and the pinata.

Let's start with the Chicago Fire cake.

Ingredients:
  • Cakes
  • Buttercream icing: 5 cups white, 3-4 cups dark blue, 1/4 cup red, 1/4 cup grey and 1/4 cup black - 2.5 batches of my recipe (see recipe)
  • Icing tips stars #16, #18 and a flat one #

The logo of the Chicago Fire Soccer team is square, so you can bake a couple of square cakes or in my case I baked 3 rectangular 9x13 inches cakes (I do not have a square pan).



I cut one rectangular cake in half and placed one full cake (flat side down) and a 3 inches slide of the cut cake at the bottom of my square glass.



I made a strawberry filling and covered the cake with it.



Then you put the other cake on top of the small square and then the other 3 inches cake (flat side up) - so you end up with a 12X12 inches square cake.




To make the strawberry filling, put about 1/4 cup of strawberry jam, 1/4 cup of water and 1 can of condensed milk in a pot. Heat it all up until it is all mixed together.




Make one recipe of thin buttercream (see my recipe here) and leave it white. You will use the buttercream to cover the whole cake as a crumb coat. Reserve - keep covered with damp towel or cling film.

From your square cake, you will need to cut each side on the shape of the Chicago Fire logo - cut it with a sharp knife in the shape of an "S" on each side. I keep the sides of the glass clean at all times - you can use wet paper towels to clean.

Once you have the shape you want, you need to put the crumb coat around the cake before you frost it. The coat will keep the cake from crumbling. Take your thin buttercream and spread it around the cake with a spatula. This will also level the cake and seal the edges. If you want you can cool the cake a little before applying the buttercream. If you do not cool it, you need to work carefully and slowly so it does not fall into pieces.




Put the cake on the fridge for at least 1 hour before icing so the crumb coat hardens. This will make the rest of the process so much easier. Once the cake is cold and the crumb coat hard, you will start by covering the cake with blue icing. Make one recipe of thin blue icing. Always remember that the color in the icing intensifies as it dries, so do not use too much blue coloring.

Once your icing is done, cover the top of the cake first, use a big spatula to make sure the top is as smooth as you can. Then do the sides with a small spatula, again trying to spread it as smooth as you can. A nice trick is to get your spatula in hot water, pat it dry and quickly smooth with it.



I have printed a Chicago Fire logo to help me with the design. I used a a piece of paper and cut a circle with the right dimensions and placed it on top of the cake. With a tooth pick I drew the circle in the cake, I repeated with a smaller circle for the middle. Once I had the 2 circles, I drew the rest of the details in the cake with the toothpick. These will be my guidelines in where to put the frosting later. Remember to keep cleaning the glass as you go.




Now you are ready to put the other colors. I started with the black icing and the flat tip. Put a straight line in your 4 diagonals and then do small triangles in every corner. Continue the triangles with 3 straight lines down the side of the cake.


Then you will do white. Start with tip #18 and do a line around the black lines as well as the borders of the Chicago Fire cake. Keep looking at your print out of the Chicago Fire logo so you know what you are doing. You will also do the outside circle with one line of stars and the little triangles pointing out from the circle.



Then I did the middle C in red with the star tip #16 and with the same number tip do the grey circle.





The cake is almost done. With gray and start tip #16 write Chicago on the top and Fire at the bottom, making sure the words are centered.


With red and tip# 16 do the red inside lines following the same shape as your white lines. With white and star  tip #18. Do a star border at the bottom of the cake. Please make sure that your glass is clean all around it as once the border is done you will not be able to clean it without smudging the border.



And that is it, your Chicago Fire cake is done!!


Chicago Fire Cake

Chicago Fire Cake

Chicago Fire Cake

For the Chicago Fire pinata I sort of cheated. I bought a boy pinata and did some remodeling. I took away all the paper and cover it again with the colors from the Chicago Fire Juniors team. I used white crepe paper for the socks, and red crepe paper for the uniform. I cut small strips of white and red to make the lines on the socks and uniform. I printed the Chicago Fire logo in 2 sizes, one for the shirt and one for the socks.


If you like this post you may also like these ones:

A soccer ball cake
How to make a bear pinata?
How to make a Titanic cake?
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