Sallyโ€™s Baking Addiction: December, 2018 Challenge: Gingerbread House๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐Ÿผ๐ŸŒŸ

IMG_9788-3

So, once again, I am getting this post in just under the deadline ๐Ÿ˜‚. Honestly, I should be packing for our trip south, but I really want to keep my Sally streak alive! This past month has been very busy with holiday merriment, visiting with people I won’t see for several months and climbing with the kids. All great stuff, but I need to get back to blogging now๐Ÿ’•

 

This month’s Challenge was to make a gingerbread house from scratch. Sally provided a wonderful video and great recipes for the gingerbread, frosting and royal icing.ย 

My daughter and I have been making gingerbread houses for years. My son was there too, eating all the candy and pointing out all our flaws๐Ÿ˜‰. So this time around, I really wanted to challenge myself to construct something that truly reflected our family. So, what could be better than an outdoor climbing gym at the North Pole ๐ŸŒŸ

My daughter and I headed off to the Candy and Cake store with a rough plan. We knew this would take several days and that we would most likely have to try somethings that would not end up working, but that was ok. We purchased gum paste, fondant, templates, molds and edible paints, we set to work on the figures first.ย 

my daughter made the top row, I made the Santa and last elf.ย 

I love these penguins, but flippers do not make for good climbers๐Ÿ˜‚ We decided that they would be working the front desk!

That was pretty much the first day! We stopped here to allow the gum paste creatures a chance to dry out.

The next day my daughter was called into work, and I was on my own. I began painting these little guys.ย 

I added some elf ears and harness, safety first!
Two of the elves are on top rope and needed harness, while the middle one is bouldering, so he didn’t need one๐Ÿ˜Š
ย 
ย 
I also starting baking the gingerbread. I made one batch of Sally’s recipe and got lucky! I was able to get all the pieces I wanted, with a little leftover for some tree shapes.

IMG_9705

The ginger bread is delicious! The little extra trees and bears were quite tasty! The walls need to be transformed into climbing structures. This is where the fondant came into plays. I dyed some white fondant and made marbled colors and one dark “wall”. The fondant was rolled thin and “glued” to the gingerbread with the buttercream recipe.

 

You can see the structured wall on the right, (below) the fondant was pressed onto a brick template. The wall on the left is using the marbling effect only.

IMG_9731

The wall on the right (below) has the marveling effect and pressed with the template. Since this is the bouldering wall, we also wanted to make extra features which was done using Rice Krispies!ย 

IMG_9732

Once the fondant had time to dry, it was time to affix the elves. They also needed ropes and holds wich we made from gum paste and fondant, and painted.

Then I had to turn my attention to the front of the gym! We needed a desk, a sign and the penguin workers!ย 

IMG_9761

I struggled, so hard with the penguin eyes!!! Oh my God! I tried paint, made them out of fondant, nothing looked even half way decent! I ended up buying sugar eyes, and they look stoned๐Ÿ˜ณย 

I do like the name of the gym, “Slay It”, get it?? Sleigh=slay=crush it! I am so clever๐Ÿ˜‰

The desk is made out of Rice Krispies too and covered with pink fondant that was pressed onto a brick template sheet. The smaller trees have frosting decorations and the larger trees….

IMG_9758These are made from melted white chocolate wafers.ย 

So, after 5 days, a ton of trial and error, and the messiest kitchen you could imagine..

IMG_9788-2

I had to take a panoramic shot to fit it all in one frame! It is more of a diorama than a house, but I am pretty happy with it ๐Ÿ˜…

 

IMG_9762

I had to add some mats, safety first!!

IMG_9763

It is outdoors, so need some snowโ„๏ธ

IMG_9773

IMG_9774

IMG_9777

IMG_9780

Another awesome Sally Challenge in the books! I think I will just do the normal challenge next month!! No extra work for me๐Ÿ˜„ย 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday ๐ŸŒŸ

Advertisements

Roda’s December Gift of Gratitude Series

Yesterday my daughter and I went shopping. That, by itself is not so impressive, especially this time of year when everyone is purchasing gifts for the holiday.

What was special about this trip is where we went to spend my money! We headed out to Leavenworth, which is a Bavarian themed town, 2 hours north of our home in Redmond, Washington. It is a special community located in the mountains and they know how to do Christmas right!

The drive took us over the mountain pass into the middle of nowhere, and then all of a sudden this town appears.

 

IMG_2668

It was a clear day, but cold! 34F was the high, and a decent wind was blowing.

IMG_2666

The views are spectacular!

IMG_2681

The main street, which runs through the middle of the town, is in the Bavarian style and decked out in lights, garlands and holiday colors.

IMG_2662

There are shops and plenty of restaurants.

IMG_2647

We strolled along the street, stopping every so often to buy a gift or duck into a store to warm up!

IMG_2648

 

IMG_2652

 

IMG_2655

We had lunch and lots of coffee on this chilly December day.

IMG_2678

IMG_2675

IMG_2674

We marveled at the gorgeous decorations inside the stores

IMG_2658

IMG_2670

 

IMG_2671

 

IMG_2659

Finally, it was time to head home. We grabbed one more cup of coffee and climbed into the car for the 2 hour return trip, and this is where the gratitude part comes in!

An hour into the drive we were stopped on the road. We saw flashing lights about 100 yards ahead of us on the only two lane road out of town. No cars were traveling in either direction and we knew something bad had occurred. More cars came behind us as we waited for the accident to clear, but we didn’t move. An hour passed as we thought that we would be moving “any minute now”.

People around us began to leave their cars and walk over to the scene of the accident, and it was getting darker on this mountain road. I checked the map app on my phone and found that the only detour was to return to the town and head over two other mountain ranges to get back home. A detour that would take 3 hours and 20 minutes.

As a group passed our car, I rolled down the window and they told me it would be at least 4 more hours until the investigation was complete. There was a fatality.

A motorcyclist had lost his or her life that day. My daughter and I processed this differently. She was irritated that we did not leave earlier, assuming that we would have been through the area before the crash. I was not so sure.

As we turned around to begin the three hours detour she continued to be irritated at our misfortune. But I was grateful! What if we had left earlier and were in the accident? What if it was my daughter lying under that tarp?

We had just spent a marvelous day together and the worst that happened to us was that it took 5 hours to get home instead of 2.

But we were home, safe and sound. Eventually she came to the same conclusion and we both felt happy and safe at the end of this day, when another family had a horrible tragedy to process.

IMG_2657Our hearts go out to that family this holiday season.

Merry Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

Join the amazing Roda from Growing Self in herย Gift of Gratitude series.

Black & White & Color Photo Challenge

One of our Thanksgiving traditions is to put up our Christmas tree during the holiday weekend. Our daughter wanted to put it up today, so here it is, in our front room. Which version is best?

IMG_2387

Or

IMG_2387 2

Black and white Christmas tree

Now if only I could get my shopping done as fast!

Grab your camera or phone and join Linda fromย Everyone Else has the best titlesย and Take the โ€œBlack and White and Colorโ€ photo challenge!