How to Freeze the Top Tier of a Wedding Cake

In honor of all those upcoming June weddings, I think it’s only appropriate to share this tutorial on freezing the top tier of a wedding cake.

It’s tradition to save the top tier of your wedding cake to eat on your first anniversary. I’m sure you already know this. Most couples I know who have done this haven’t had much success, but that’s just because they didn’t know my mother.

My Mom and step-dad had taken the top tier of their wedding cake all the way to Florida to enjoy on their first anniversary. However, it was so bad, they ended up throwing it on the beach for the birds. My Mom didn’t want us to suffer the same fate, so when we ordered mine and Travis’ wedding cake (seen above), Mom started asking questions about preserving it. The lady who baked our cake is amazingly talented and was happy to share her knowledge, which my mother ended up tweaking a bit.

I’m happy to say that we actually enjoyed our wedding cake one year after our wedding day, which was especially nice since neither of us had a full piece at the wedding. It was a special nod to the most special day of our lives. And it was delicious!

Wedding Cake from BetweenWeekdays.com

After a wedding we attended a few weekends ago I was entrusted with the top tier of the bride’s cake (along with the remainder of the groom’s cake.) I followed my Mom’s advice to preserve their cake.

Here’s the step by step for any other brides out there who wish to preserve the top tier of their wedding cake.

  1. After the wedding have the cake boxed up (your caterer should be able to do this) and send it home with someone you trust, like your mom, for instance. This person will be responsible for preserving your cake. You’ll be on your honeymoon. Have the designated cake freezer follow the steps below.
  2. Remove any non-edible decorations. The cake I was working with had a butter cream swirl decorations on the side; this is fine to freeze since it’s edible. The groom’s cake had a printed design on top; this is also, obviously, fine to freeze.
  3. The cake will need to be thoroughly chilled before it can be frozen. I recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight.
  4. After the cake is chilled, remove it from the fridge and wrap in plastic wrap. Securely wrap all sides of the cake with several layers of plastic wrap. Like 8 layers. Seriously.
  5. Wrap the plastic-wrapped cake snugly with aluminum foil. You can tape down any loose ends if you want. Taping is completely optional. Travis decided we needed to tape down the edges of the cake we were preserving since it would be traveling. We froze the top tier of the bride’s cake, the remainder of the groom’s cake and a piece for the newlyweds to enjoy after their honeymoon. 
  6. Immediately place in freezer.
  7. Eat in one year!

Some types of cakes will not freeze as well as others, so please check with your baker if you’re not sure.

This post was originally shared September 23, 2012. When I moved from to a self-hosted blog, some of my favorite posts seemed to get lost in the shuffle. During the next month or so, you may see more posts like this. 

I’m linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick.

How to Make a Clothespin Photo Wreath for the Laundry Room

My laundry room is about 50 percent complete. We painted, bought a new washer and dryer, added some temporary storage, hung some art and called it done for now. Well, “done for now” is driving me crazy. As it turns out, I don’t like unfinished projects. So, I decided to tackle something I’ve had on the list for awhile: making the space more personal.

I toyed around with a lot of different ideas for making the space feel more like me. I knew I wanted to be able to add photos at random. At first, I considered a memo board, but I’ve been there, done that. Then, I thought about adding cork with push pins. But that didn’t seem like me. I thought about hanging a ribbon and pinning photos to that, but that seems like kitten bait.

One day I woke up and knew exactly what I was going to do. It was a true moment of clarity. I decided to make a clothespin wreath that could look pretty on its own, but also hold photos of friends and family. I know, it’s probably not a very original thought, but I’m in love with the final product.

DIY Clothespin Wreath at BetweenWeekdays.com

Here’s how I did it:

Supplies:

Clothespin Wreath Supplies from BetweenWeekdays.com

Clothespins (purchased at the Dollar Tree)
14″ Wire Wreath Form
Ribbon
Hot Glue

Happily, I had everything but the clothespins on hand, so this project cost me a grand total of $2.

Instructions:

1. Decide on a placement. I decided I wanted all but a few of my clothespins facing out in order to maximize the number of photographs that could be displayed. At the very top of my wreath, there are four clothespins that face inward so a photo or two can be located inside the wreath.

Clothespin Wreath Placement from BetweenWeekdays.com

 

2. Glue all of your clothespins into place. I found it best to place a line of glue on the highest two bars of the wreath from and then lay down the pins before the glue dried.

Gluing Clothespins at BetweenWeekdays.com

3. If you want, add some decorative elements to your wreath. I decided to make some ribbon rosettes following this tutorial. The wreath looked pretty enough on its own, but I think the addition of the ribbon rosettes are a pretty, final touch.

4. Add a ribbon to the top of your wreath for hanging purposes. I added a simple bow to the top, but a loop of ribbon would also look great.

5. Add photos and enjoy!

DIY Clothespin Wreath Tutorial at BetweenWeekdays.com

Our laundry room may still have a long way to go, but at least I’m feeling a little better about its appearance. This $2, 20-minute project goes a long way in making the laundry room a happier place to be. For now, I’ll be arranging and rearranging different photos on my new wreath!

I’m linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick.

How to Grease and Flour a Cake Pan

Tomorrow, I’m sharing a delicious bundt cake recipe, so today we’re preparing by talking about how to properly grease and flour a cake pan.

Supplies:

Supplies to Grease and Flour Pan

  • Bundt Cake Pan
  • Flour
  • Crisco

Instructions:

How To Grease Cake Pan

1. Add a small amount of Crisco to your hand.
2. Work the Crisco into every crevice of the cake pan.
3. Repeat until pan in completely greased.

How To Flour Cake Pan
4. Add a small amount of flour to the cake pan and rotate pan to cover.
5. Add more flour and rotate pan until entire cake pan is covered in flour. Shake out excess flour in sink.
6. Add cake batter (recipe coming tomorrow!) and bake!

Easy peasy! Be sure to check back tomorrow when I’m sharing a delicious butter pecan bundt cake recipe.

How To Prepare a Large Family Dinner

Every week we host a family dinner — known as “supper club” — for my Dad, step-mom, grandparents, “brother,” his expecting wife, and occasionally my great grandmother on Tuesdays. If you’re counting that’s a grand total of nine (½ if you count my future neice or nephew) mouths to feed each week. When you’re accustomed to preparing food for only two people, the jump to nine can be dramatic!

I’ve learned a lot about preparing meals for a crowd these past few months, so I thought maybe someone out there might benefit from my experience.

A Basic Formula for Entertaining Large Crowds

I try to follow a basic formula for our weekly dinners:

  • one main dish
  • a salad
  • two or three side dishes
  • bread
  • an easy dessert
  • fresh sweet tea; I also have bottled water available in the fridge
  • paper plates
  • paper napkins
  • paper cups

When “supper club” first began, I used our everyday china for dining. After a few weeks of endless dishwashing, I made the switch to paper. It’s saved me a lot of stress, and makes entertaining easy. For holidays or special weeks, I sometimes use themed plates and napkins. After the hot pink and zebra baby shower, we ate on hot pink plates for a couple of weeks.

Planning

Sometimes I scour my recipe books for something to fix, other weeks I cook from my freezer, and sometimes I go to the grocery store with an idea and fill in the gaps when I get there. This week, we’re eating from the freezer and deciding on desert at the store.

The weather in Southeast Tennessee has been simply stunning, so I knew we would grill out this week. With that in mind I asked Travis, the grill master, what he felt like grilling. His answer: kabobs; specifically steak and potatoes, bratwurst with shrimp and chicken. With that in mind, I checked the freezer to see what we needed and headed to the grocery store. Here’s what I came back with:

GroceryStoreItems

When I’m planning the weekly menu, I also plan to have leftovers for Travis to take to work for lunch. However, some weeks we have very little left over. I also like to think about how I’m going to serve the week’s meal. I try to keep my most used serving pieces easily accessible, such as my salad bowl which used to live tucked away in a closet, but is now proudly displayed in my glass-front kitchen cabinets.

This Week’s Menu:

StrawberryShortcakeTrifleDessert

Do As Much Prep Work As You Can In Advance

I always try to plan my menus so that much of the prep work can be done well in advance of dinner time. There’s nothing like trying to prepare a huge meal within an hour of your guest arriving all by yourself. I know I can get it all done, but why put myself through that kind of stress?

Here’s what I did in advance this week:

  • prepared strawberry shortcake trifle the night before
  • cut steak, chicken and pineapple the night before
  • marinated meats for several hours in the morning
  • prepared salad in the morning
  • thawed bread in the afternoon
  • thawed corn and removed husks in the afternoon
  • assembled the chicken kabobs and shrimp kabobs a couple of hours before they hit the grill

Since all of my major work was done early in the day, it meant I could easily prepare the rest of the meal within the hour of our guests arrival, which was made especially easy for me this week with Travis’ help at the grill.

TravisAtTheGrill

Key Steps to Hosting a Large Dinner Party

  1. Plan ahead: prepare your menu and do your grocery shopping at least one day in advance.
  2. Follow a basic formula when meal planning: one main dish, two or three sides, bread, dessert.
  3. Ensure you have enough serving pieces for the dishes you want to prepare.
  4. Use paper plates, napkins and cups to help with cleanup.
  5. Do as much prep work as you can in advance.
  6. Keep the beverage options simple offering only one or two choices.
  7. Salads are easy to prepare in advance and always a crowd pleaser with health-conscious guests.

And, that’s it!

It’s no secret that we do quite a bit of entertaining around here. I’d love to hear what you do to make entertaining at your house simpler.

How to Prepare Walls for Paint

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time picking out paint colors and preparing walls for paint lately, so I thought maybe I should share a few tips I’ve learned along the way. To ensure paint properly adheres to walls, follow the simple steps below:

  1. Remove light switch plates and outlet covers. All you’ll need is a simple screwdriver to remove the small screws used to hold the covers in place. Just make sure you put them in a place where they won’t become easily lost, since you won’t be able to replace them until the paint fully cures. Curing times are located on the paint cans and vary from brand to brand.
  2. Fill those holes. If there are any holes in the wall, fill them with spackle (or “mud,” if you prefer). If there is anything on the walls that you will not be using, remove the nails and fill the holes.
  3. Sand, sand, sand. After the spackle completely dries, use a fine grit sandpaper on a sanding block to knock down the “mud.” You want a perfectly smooth surface. Depending on the size of the holes, you may have to repeat these first two steps a couple of times. Also, wear a mask.
  4. Vacuum the walls. Yes, I said vacuum the walls. Use a vacuum with a long handle and upholstery attachment (or something similar that will not damage the walls) to thoroughly vacuum all the wall space.
  5. Dust the walls. I like to use a Swiffer duster to go over all the walls to ensure all the dust is removed. You could also use a damp rag, but then you’d have to wait for the wall to dry. Do not skip this step. It’s amazing how much dust the vacuum misses. But don’t think you can skip using the vacuum either.
  6. Clean the baseboards. Use a Magic Eraser (or a rag with a cleaning solution) to wipe down all the baseboards and trim. Be sure to let the baseboards dry before painting or applying tape.
  7. Tape it off. Tape of any surfaces that are not being painted. For instance, if you’re painting the walls first, tape off the trim.

That’s it! I’m not much of a painter, so I can’t offer any advice there. If you follow the few steps above, whoever is the painter in your family will have a much easier time applying the paint properly.

If your walls are particularly filthy, you’ll want to be sure to wash them before you do any of the above. In our last house, we used Swiffer mops on the walls to remove the grime. It worked surprisingly well.

sneakpeek

Above is a sneak peek of our dining room. I can’t wait to show you more of our new home. We’re already completely in love with it, even if we are spending every waking minute renovating.

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