A Preview of a few of the Cakes from the Show

These are just a few that caught my eye today, and I don’t have any names of the creators since they were still judging some of them as I was taking photos (I’m missing some of the titles as well as I didn’t want to keep getting in everyone’s way). Also, these only go up partway through the Intermediate division because it’s getting late and I haven’t had much sleep lately.
 
 
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Forgot to collect the title of the cake – but I’m betting this one was made by Tyler Gary.

(Teen: Wedding Tiered)
 
 
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Forgot to collect the title of this one

(Culinary Student: Special Techniques)

 
 
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Grey seems to be one of the themes this year.

Title: Happy Birthday Alexa
(Adult Beginner: Novelty Tiered)

 
 
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Title: Where the Wild Things Are
(Adult Beginner: Novelty Tiered)

 
 
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Title: Kukul-kan Guarding its Temple
(Adult Beginner: Novelty Tiered)

 
 
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While I’m not sure I’d be willing to eat this cake, they did an amazing job with it.

Title: Willie Nelson
(Adult Intermediate: Sculpted Cakes)

 
 
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I think I’m beginning to like this color more than I used to.

Title: Paper Garden Cake
(Adult Intermediate: Novelty Tiered)

 
 
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And this is one of the better versions of this year’s big trend…peacocks (and grey).

Title: Peacock
(Adult Intermediate: Wedding Tiered)

See you tomorrow with more photos!

It’s the Capital Confectioners’ 9th Annual Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition!

 

 

 

With all the medical issues this past year, I had planned on only entering the tasting competition this time around. That actually worked out well since I also have a Root Beer Schnapps cake recipe I’ve been working on for a while, and one of the categories this year is cakes made with or flavored with alcohol.

And then BOOM!

I ended up getting sick last Saturday (it’s always a bad sign when a hockey rink starts to feel too warm for long sleeves). After a week, I’m finally well enough to attend the show, but now there’s not enough time to slam out a non-contagious tasting entry. Oh well, at least I get to check out all the other entries.

Steve was worried that I’d be depressed about not being able to compete this year, but I thought I was fine with it until I saw Nicolas Lodge judging my usual division and category today. Now I’m a little depressed.

My camera and I had some disagreements while photographing cakes, so many of them didn’t turn out. I’m going through them now to see what I can post tonight. Tomorrow I’ll spend most of the day retaking pictures since there’s less of a crowd on the second day (most people are too busy with the vendors or classes). I’d be further along with getting photos up tonight, but Steve decided to start watching the entire run of Cheers on Netflix and it’s turning out to be funnier than I remembered (I didn’t have a TV when the show came out, so I’ve only seen a little of it).

Maybe it’s a good thing that Steve’s now playing his new PS3 game so I no longer have an excuse not to rummage through my photos. If I can stop grousing about my camera and how crappy a photographer I am, I may get something out in the next hour.

Alamo’s First Annual Kurt Russell Marathon

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Wow.

A friend who had attended an Avengers movie marathon at the Alama Drafthouse told me that while he had a fantastic time–he’d never do it again.

After experiencing it for myself, I have absolutely no idea why he felt that way. But then, I used to get together with a buddy back in the 80’s and 90’s and do 24 hour movie marathons several times a year, so a wimpy 12 hour movie-fest was a piece of cake. A larger-than-life, tasty, testostorone-filled slice of cake. And I’m lucky enough to have a husband who wanted to share it with me!

Alamo’s decision that it was time to celebrate 50 years of Kurt Russell movies was a great idea because HE’S NOT DEAD YET! Which means there will be new movies to add to the list for the second annual Russellmania. Not that there aren’t already over 90 of his movies to choose from. (Heh… Steve and I were ‘politely disagreeing’ all week about which movies we wanted to see, even though we agreed that there were a few that they couldn’t NOT show during the marathon.)

The day began with eye-patches and candy cigarettes for everyone, moved to a special Russellmania menu designed just for this event, and then really got started with the announcement that the super secret special guest star that was not Kurt Russell, even though they tried very hard to get a hold of him.

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Between each of the movies, there were trailers for Russell movies that we wouldn’t be seeing. This helped to rule out what we were going to see fairly early in the day (each title was a secret until it was time to start the movie). Steve was disappointed that Tombstone wasn’t included, and I was hoping for Miracle (not that I don’t already watch this one at home on an annual basis prior to the start of the hockey season).

The hosts, who all dressed up as various Kurt Russell characters, started each movie with an explanation of why that particular movie was selected for this marathon. And I have to admit that I was somewhat pleasantly surprised by a few of the movies they chose (in order of viewing):

Captain Ron – Eye-patch Comedy! (With a lead-in that made it sound like it was going to be Escape from New York.) I’ve never seen this one because the trailers made it look like a slap-stick comedy with way too much Martin Short in it. And right now I’m willing to publicly admit that Martin Short was much less annoying in it than I had expected. In fact, I kinda liked his character. And… we’re going to leave that at that.

Escape from New York – Eye-patch Action! Everyone expected to see this movie, so I think that’s why they decided to get it out of the way. I enjoy this movie, but it’s not one of my favorites.

Dreamer – Drama! (Two of the hosts even admitted to shedding a manly tear when they first saw this movie.) I had never heard of Dreamer. I have no idea how I missed hearing about Dreamer… I mean, come on! It had Kurt Russell and lots of horses! Obviously I really liked this one.

Breakdown – Thriller! The hosts said they were very surprised with how many people requested to see this one during the marathon. They decided to go with it because it was one of the few movies where Russell portrayed a man who was pissing-his-pants-scared throughout the entire movie. This was another one I hadn’t heard of before.

Big Trouble in Little China – Action Comedy! This was one of the movies that we actually expected to see during the marathon. It’s also one of my three favorite Kurt Russell movies (the other two being Miracle and ahem….*cough*Overboard*cough*). And after seeing it again, I have to say that Big Trouble just keeps getting better and better every time I see it.

Throughout the event, everyone was repeatedly reminded to stay all the way through the credits of the final movie, which meant that there was a good chance that the secret guest star was somehow linked to Big Trouble in Little China. While I was kinda hoping that it would be John Carpenter (squeeeee!), I was thrilled to see that the super secret guest star was James Hong (Lo Pan)!

James Hong as a Super Secret Special Guest

Mr. Hong’s in town to host another Alamo movie event on Wednesday for a movie he directed in 1979. I have no idea if they tacked that on to the schedule to convince him to come to Austin for Russellmania, but it doesn’t matter because he’s a perfect fit for an Alamo event either way (he’s got both movie AND geek cred these days).

We stayed afterwards to have Mr. Hong sign a photo and a shoe (I’ll explain about Steve’s shoe collection some other time), as well as have a picture taken (we had to quickly switch shirts so Steve could wear the Lo Pan shirt in the photo with him).

Overall, we had a great time, we were introduced to some great Kurt Russell movies that we had never seen before, and we got to meet James Hong.

I can’t wait to see what happens at the second annual Russellmania marathon.

2012 That Takes the Cake!

With work being so busy (I got the promotion–woo hoo!), and trying to deal with a new health issues (side effect of it taking almost a year to sort out the kidney stone problem), I decided to take it easy and only enter the Buttercream category this year. I thought it would be less stressful since it wouldn’t require much effort on my part to win.

No, I’m not boasting…much. But the two entries from the past few years have been mediocre and not much of a challenge. Of course, that’s when it got a bit more complicated.

As I was getting out of my car to go register for the competition, there was a sudden flash of an idea. I knew that somehow, that mango candy recipe from December would make a great cookie! So I went ahead and signed up for the tasting competition in the Cookie category, along with the Buttercream Only category for the decorating side.

Figuring out how to turn the candy recipe into a cookie recipe took a lot more time than I expected, along with lots and lots of baking. Since Steve and I are trying to make healthy food choices, all my extras went to work where I received some excellent feedback. The resulting cookie is rather rich, but good enough to keep around even if I lose. Since all levels are lumped together in the tasting divisions, I’ll be competing with professional bakers, which is why I won’t be too devastated if I don’t place (I’ll post the recipe after all the obligatory photos from the show are finally up).

As for the buttercream entry, instead of doing the sort of novelty cake that I specialize in, I wanted to do a Lambeth style design instead. Something I’ve never tried. I’m not sure why I was so hung up on it since my piping skills are rather weak, but since I wasn’t too worried about the competition for that category, I figured it would increase the challenge a bit.

It’s lovely how karma sneaks up you when you least expect it. My cake didn’t turn out that great. My piping is still too wobbly, I haven’t had any training on this style of decorating, and I was trying to figure out how to do the different designs based on the finished product rather than building it up correctly since all I had to work with were images of completed cakes. Then when I woke up this morning, part of the top border had fallen.

I fixed the border, drove like a little old lady trying to get it to the show in one piece where it fell apart again while trying to wheel it from my car to the convention center. I fixed it one last time (thankfully I brought all my stuff with me), and located my competitors.

That’s when karma decided to stop trying to get my attention and just started to hit me with a really big stick…

…the entries I expected were not there. But the winner from the beginner’s division last year decided that she needed more of a challenge and moved up to intermediate. She’s good. She’s very, very good. And she’s much better than I am…so much for an easy medal.

You win this time karma.