Saturday, February 13, 2010

Family Olympics Project

My husband and I are both big fans of the Olympics. He's got a competitive spirit and I love all the human interest stories they tell about the athletes. I love to sit, night after night, and cry about the hardships people have overcome to appear in the Olympics. It's so cool to witness someones "big moment" in life, where their hard work and sacrifice pay off and they have a moment of pride. So, although I am proud to be an American, I usually end up cheering for the athlete with the best sob story. I'm a sucker for sob stories.

The winter Olympics hold a special place in my heart because the last time they were held, Joseph and I had just started dating and we were able to watch them together. Our first valentine's day was spend in front of the TV, cheering on team USA and splitting a pizza. We're low maintenance like that.

This year we were invited to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with some family friends. We said we'd bring dessert. So, we decided to bring the winter Olympics to the Rutchik home and make a family project out of it!

First we made a cake.

Then we made another cake. I'm a firm believer in layered cakes and never split a cake mix to make them. 2 layers, 2 cakes.

Then Joseph sorted a large family size bag of M&M's into separate cups. I'm so blessed to have an amazing hubby who never has to be talked into family projects such as this. He jumps right in without being asked, and I love him so for it!

While we let the cakes cool, we took some time to practice colors with Tessa. A little tip for parents of 2 year olds having trouble with colors; being able to eat an M&M after correctly identifying its color was a brilliant idea! Little miss Tessa now knows her colors, and has eaten a lot of chocolate this weekend!

Here are our cups of M&M's!

Miss Anna Clare wasn't too into the family project. She expressed her displeasure with busy arms unable to hold her with screams and pleas for "UP!"
We bribed her with M&M's and she was back on board for a family project!

I then made my famous homemade peanut butter frosting and Tessa enjoyed squeezing the red food coloring in and watching it change colors. Being able to actually SEE that something she was doing was having such an effect while cooking was a joy to her.

As the cakes continued to cool, Tessa and I filled a brown ice cream cone with broken pieces of licorice to create the Olympic torch. We then filled the cup with red and orange M&M's to hold our "flames" in place. Because as everyone knows, if the flames go out, it's bad news!
Joseph punched a hole in the bottom of the cone with a toothpick to insert into the cake and hold our torch in place.

We created the famous Olympic rings with M&M's, sprinkled some white sugar on to to look like snow and finished the cake off with a blue and read border of M&M's to show our support for team USA!

Here Tessa and I pose with the finished product. The look on her face is her reaction to being caught eating the frosting red handed. She's not doing a great job of hiding the fact that her month is full of frosting, is she?
Over all, I really enjoyed this family project and the cake turned out just how I was hoping. I know we aren't Ace of Cakes over here, but I so enjoy making cakes and decorating them for special events. I often dream about really getting into it, but fondant and fancy cake tools cost a lot, and it just isn't something I'm willing to invest money in. So, I do the best I can with what I can buy at the supermarket.
We had a wonderful time at the Opening Ceremonies party. In my excitement over the Winter Olympics I forgot that it was - well - WINTER. When we got in the car and turned the heat on our cake melted and started bleeding the red frosting from its middle. I was proud of myself for letting it go and not letting it ruin my night! By the time we reached our destination it was a bit of a mess - but is tasted GREAT!
Happy Olympics! if you're looking for Joseph and I this Valentine's Day - we'll be watching team USA and sharing a pizza (and maybe a piece of cake)!


Searching for Hope said...

What a fabulous idea with colors and making a cake. I am sure it tastes as good as it looks :)

Katie said...

Love it! What a neat idea and so great of you to, as usual, get your family involved!

Anna Clare looks so grown up! I keep forgetting she's not a baby anymore!

Love ya! (and I love that you don't split a cake mix for a layer cake - can't say that ever get two boxes for one cake, but I'd be happy to partake in any of your cakes anytime! (special memories from my birthday last year, too!))

Erin said...

Following you from Friday Follows. That's a fun cake and a great idea for colors.

Crayon Wrangler said...

Following you from Friday Follow. I adore the cake and will be stealing the idea! Way to go!

Elysabeth said...

The cake is SUPER cute -- I love it! Nice job, Holls.

Kim said...

What a beautiful cake, Holly! I give you a lot of credit for getting your young daughter(s) involved in family projects. Cute pictures of Tessa with the red frosting and eating the frosting off the cake!

Thank you so much for the very kind words on my blog.

God bless you!

Lynn said...

Your cake is adorable! Love that Olympic torch you added. The perfect touch!

Deb said...

Cute cake! What a wonderful family project.

Kelley said...

I love this! The olympics is the one time I'm sorry we don't have TV service.

Enjoy the last week of the games!

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