Archive for the ‘How to’ Category

Orange Cake

Oh boy….Is being a while and I miss you all!!can I just say Happy 2011!! ( even though is almost February???)

I do apologize for being gone for so long but a lot happened since I last posted. We had relatives over for the Holidays and then we got that terrible blizzard, on top of that we are moving to a new house so I had to start packing and belive me when I say that doing that with a toddler around is challenging. We move next week and I’m so excited!!

I grew up in Brazil and being a girl with 3 brothers kind of made me the cook cheff of the house. I used to bake cookies and cakes, pies, pizzas, all from scratch. And then I moved here and discovered the magic of “buying it ready”. Oh boy, was I happy! And like this it went for years until I became a mom and decided I wanted to give Joshua only the best. So this week the Betty Crocker that have been living deep inside me, hiding, decided to come out and in a week I made 3 delicious cakes – all from SCRATCH. And I wanted to share with you  the recipe. I promise you that is easy, easy.

Here it goes

Orange Cake

 You will need:

  • 1 whole orange – NO SEEDS – washed, top and bottom cut off and then cut up in small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • A blender and a Mixer

For Syrup

  • 1 cup of fresh squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar

In a saucepan, combine the orange juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until a thick syrup. Reserve

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

 Butter an 13×9-inch cake pan, then dust with flour.

In a blander

Blend together oil, eggs and orange until it becomes a “smoothie” consistency.

Pour it in a mixing bowl and add the sugar. Beat in medium power for at least 2 minutes. Add the flour ( sift it) and beat for another 5 minutes. Add the baking powder (sift it)and mix it with a spatula (not the Mixer). Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until middle of cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove cake from oven. Cover it with the syrup while still hot and dust some powder sugar. Voila!

Wasn’t it easy? I just love this cake and sometimes I add coconut to the batter when I’m making it. I hope you give it a try and let me know how it turns out.

Happy Tuesday everyone!!

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It seems that I’m following a pattern…writing in this blog every other month – almost…sorry internet!

But you know If I could I would like to explain myself. It’s been pretty chaotic in our house now ( when isn’t???), my mom went back to Brazil last weekend after 3 weeks of intense shopping and sightseeing, Joshua got a cold and so did I, we were hit by a storm last Thursday and were left without cable/internet and on top of that I went back to school…so you see internet it not like I don’t have anything to tell you I do, belive me… a lot! Is just that my boss sometimes acts like a baby 🙂 but a  very cute one!!

I got so extremely happy to open Casamenteiras and see our party there, yay!!! They are so amazing and the things they feature are to die for.

After planning this party everyone is telling me I should do this for a living and Oh boy, I would love that, so my dear friend Roxy is trusting me with planning/decorating her son’s 1st Birthday and I’ll tell you more about that in a few days.

A lot of people are asking me how I did Joshua’s party so I’m going to do a little behind the scenes with this post. First of all I need to tell you that I am a mom on a budget so everything was a result of a good bargain and a lot of hard work.

I thought I would give you the details of some of the things I did for the party and also the vendors I used.

 Joshua’s shirt was ordered from Melina at lilpinkchicken, on Etsy. She was so sweet, even called me to make sure she was using the colors I wanted.Will definitely use her again!

The sailor hat he’s using I got at Oriental Trading.


The white vases and the cake stand were  from my local Marshalls. The mini lighthouses from the Dollar Tree ( you can buy their stuff online now) The shot glasses, candy boxes and tubes were from Brazil ( I filled them um with blue M&Ms and coconut drops – bala de coco).

I got the wood boats, lighthouses and anchors at Michaels, painted them with acrylic paint and voila!

My mom had this brilliant idea of hanging ribbons on this window and then gluing (actually double-sided tape was used) the origami boats that her friend in Brazil made for us and the miniature shapes that I also got at Michaels and painted. She did it on both sides of the window, the other side was facing the entrance of the party where we had the kids section with toys ( that I brought from home and used some of the church) and their food.



This is one of my favorites! We covered the windows on this wall with paper towel and decorated with pinwheels I made it myself and Origami boats and birds that my mom’s friend made it. I would never thought about using paper towel to cover anything but sometimes the simplest idea can transform a place.

I ordered the 3 foot balloons from here and they were just so magical.I used one of those air mattress machines to fill them up, I actually took one to be filled with Helium and it popped right away, so I used nylon thread and hung them from the ceiling down.

I also had 2 seagulls hanging from the ceiling, made by my grandpa right before he passed.It was my way of  honoring him.

And oh, the bears, I just loved them! They added so much to the table.


I got the straws here , the anchor, the J, the “1” sign (actually a clock I covered with a printed out number 1) and the cupcake wrappers at Homegoods. The banner and all the other paper goods, like the cupcake topper, I did it myself.

So, you see, it was a lot of things involved and a lot of time and work but oh boy I loved every minute!

My advice is be open. Don’t set your mind at finding everything at one store, keep you eyes open and take advantage of the deals and end of season sale. At the end the party needs to be stress free so you can all enjoy the labor of your love.

Are you planning a party? Or just had one? How did you do it? Would love to know!

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