pull-a-part owl cupcakes

owl-cupcake-pull-a-part

I was browsing through my many Halloween decorating books for inspiration staging my own Halloween party this year and I ran across this great pull-a-part owl cupcake from Matthew Mead’s 2008 Halloween Tricks and Treats book.

So many of us are into owls right now and not just for Halloween. I myself have three invitations in my shoppe sporting this nightly creature. As is, this guy would be perfect for my campout invitation and with a few color changes and maybe a nicer demeanor he could be perfect for my owl fun birthday party or owl couple baby shower.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 30 unfrosted cupcakes
  • 4 cans icing
  • 2 chocolate glazed jimmy-topped donuts
  • 2 black jelly beans
  • Orange, red and brown gel food coloring
  • Resealable bags (freezer weight) with couplers
  • #199 fine cut tip
  • #2 and #5 round tips
  • Offset spatula

And here’s how you pull it together {wink}:

  1. Arrange cupcakes on large round platter (shown at 16″ diameter)
  2. Spoon 3/4 cup icing into a small bowl and tint with 23 drops of orange food coloring and 10 drops of red food coloring, mixing until blended for the beak. Spoon 1/4 cup frosting into a second bowl and tint with brown food coloring for accents. Take out 2 large dollops of icing and then tint the remaining 3 cups with 30 drops of orange food coloring, 9 drops of red food coloring and 6 drops of red food coloring.
  3. Fit a resealable bag witha  #199 tip. Fill the bag with the orange icing. Cover the top of the assembled cupcakes with “feather” peaks as shown. For each peak, hold the bag straight up with the tip against the cake; squeeze the bag, keeping the tip in the icing until the peak forms; stop the pressure and reposition the tip for the next peak. Work from the center out, rotating the plate; refill the bag as needed.
  4. Place the donut tops on the frosted cake for eyes. Remember those two large dollops of icing you kept out, now pipe them into the center of the donuts for the whites of his eyes and top them with a jelly bean. For the beak, use a spoon to place 3 dollops of frosting on the cake: start with a largish dollop near the eyes, then add 2 dollops below it, each smaller than the previous. Run the spatula under hot water until heated, dry thoroughly and use to contour the beak as shown.
  5. Fit another resealable bag with the #5 tip and fill it with brown icing. Hold the bag at a n angle and pipe the brown outline onto the cake as shown. Change the tip to a #2 and pipe on the squiggle details.

Enjoy and make sure and check out Matthew’s 2009 Halloween book. You can see a preview at MatthewMeadStyle.com.

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camp in with your kids

campinFinding things to entertain your children through the long winter months, especially those that are very active outdoors when it’s warm, can be challenging. So why not think inside your box and have a camp in. I’ve not met a kid yet that cared if their s’ mores was made over a campfire or in an oven.

Here are a few ideas on how to set the stage and enjoy some family time:

  • Campfire – most of us have one built right in; it’s called a fireplace.
  • Sleeping arrangements- for young kids, pitch a tent in the living room, the kind that pop to life. For everyone else, arrange sleeping bags on the floor.
  • Ghost stories -leave the television off for a night and tell ghost stories to each other. And if you just must have the television, make it a movie night without cell phones or computers.
  • Goodies – serve all the same things you would if you were outside: hotdogs, marshmallows, hot chocolate, popcorn.
  • Night sky - pick up those peel-n-stick stars that glow in the dark. I know what you’re thinking, “I’m not putting those on my living room ceiling.” Don’t peel off the backing, instead use some double sided tape or a hot glue gun to attach them to the ceiling and they’ll pull right off with no damage in the morning.
  • Breakfast – don’t let the fun end as soon as the sun rises. Have breakfast together and leave the outside world at bay as long as you all can resist.

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