About marymargaretripley

I am a professional Bakery Manager at a privately owned grocery store. I also owned my own bakery for over four years. I have been baking for 15+ years professionally. I also teach canning and preserving classes and have been gardening since I was 5 years old. I live in Western, NY with my husband, teenage son, Bernie the Cat and Muffins the Hamster.

Eight Steps to a Beautiful White, Blueberry Filled, Cream Cheese Frosted, Drip Cake

A couple of months ago I popped an unfrosted cake into the freezer to use for later and forgot about it. I came across it while I was looking for something else in the freezer and thought I would bring it out to have it as dessert last night.

Cream cheese frosting sounded better than butter cream this time and I had blueberries in the freezer that I could thicken and use as a filling. Perfect!

With all the ingredients on hand I formed a plan in my mind and set to work making a blueberry filled, cream cheese frosted white cake. Yum right?

Step 1, I used a 6″ baked cake, excess cake sliced off to create a flat surface. I created a frosting “dam” to prevent the filling from oozing out.

Step 2 fill it! I thicken 1 cup of frozen blueberries with about 2 Tablespoons of flour and about 3 Tablespoons of sugar (or to taste). Microwaved it for about 2 minutes then stirred, then another 2 minutes until it thickened. Then I cooled it before using it on top of the cake reserving about half of the thickened blueberries for the blueberry drip.

Step 3 place the second layer on top with the bottom of the cake facing up.

Step 4 crumb coat. It really helps to do a crumb coat to seal in all the crumbs. After frosting with the crumb coat pop it in the fridge to harden up for about 15 minutes (go stick a load of laundry in while you are waiting πŸ˜‰ ).

Step 5 final coat of frosting.

Step 6 Blueberry drip. Using the leftover blueberry mixture dump it all right in the middle of the frosted top layer then carefully spread the blueberries towards the edges being careful not to just slop it over the sides. It should delicately drip down the sides.

Step 7 using a large star tip gently pipe pretty peaks onto the blueberries. (You can never have too much frosting right?)

Step 8 slice and enjoy!!

I hope you enjoyed this fun little step by step on decorating. Hopefully this gives you some ideas! Happy decorating πŸ™‚ -MM

SAL #3 Crown of Thorns

Good morning from windy New York! We are expecting a high wind storm the next 2 days with winds reaching 75-80 mph. I didn’t get a lot stitched these last three weeks. I have been catching up on my reading instead of crafting but if the weather reports are right I will be getting a lot more stitching done if the power goes off.

We have a new member to add to the group this time. Welcome Sharon!

Here is where I left off with Crown of Thorns:

And here he is as of last night:

I worked on the bottom of his beard which was mostly whites.

If you have a chance, please visit the other members of the group by clicking on the links below. We are all working on fantastic projects.

See you in three weeks! -MM

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 24-27 – Up to Date Results

Hi all! I looked back to see the last time I posted a monthly result and I haven’t posted results since October! Yikes! Sorry about that.

Between Christmas shopping bills and property tax bills that came due in January I am a little behind in paying off debt but I do have some progress to post about!

In October I posted that at the end of the month we were down to owing $30,531 in debt.

As of now our debt owed is $27,011. That’s down $3520.00. Remember I talked about owing for medical bills for a night in the emergency room that added up to at least $3500? Well I haven’t gotten the bill for it yet so as of right now that $27,011 is still a solid number.

Now that, the Old Navy balance is gone I need another bill to focus my energy on so this time I am picking a bill that has a smaller amount owed, our home equity loan. Right now the balance due on that loan is $2,207.46. Seems a much smaller goal to pay off than that $6500 Old Navy balance right?

If I can get this bill paid off quickly it will free up that payment of $328.00/month which will give us a much greater cash flow.

I told my husband every time we pay a large bill off we will add another $10 to his 401k retirement a week. Doesn’t sound like a lot but when his employer matches that amount it will definitely add up. So far we have increased his 401k contribution $20/week since December.

How are you doing on your debt? Do you use a budget? See you next week! -MM

 

SAL #2 Crown of Thorns

It’s been three weeks since our last update and we have had multiple snow storms even blizzards in that time so boy did I get a lot done on my current project!

Here is where I left off last time which was my first post on this WIP:

And here is Jesus’s haunting face which is coming through beautifully:

It’s been an interesting experience working on this project. I had some trouble with knotting and misplaced stitches which led to some rip outs but once I started on His eyes is was like I was building him from bone structure to finally flesh. I should have taken a photo of that in-between process to show you.

I have never stitched a human face like this before.

Hopefully we won’t have any more blizzards for a while but I didn’t mind get stuck in the house stitching!

In our Stitch-a-long group we blog our progress every three weeks. If you are interested in joining our group please contact Avis, the first name in the contacts below. And don’t forget to check out the other member’s blogs and the projects they are working on by clicking their links. You’ll be amazed at the talent. Welcome to new members Jocelyn and Carmela!

See you again in three weeks! -MM
Avis,
Claire,
Gun,
Carole,
LucyAnn,
Kate,
Jess,
Sue,
Constanze,
Debbierose,
Christina,
Kathy,
Margaret,
Cindy,
Helen,
Steph,
Linda,
Heidi,
Jackie,
Sunny,
Hayley,
Megan,
Catherine,
Deborah,
Connie,
Clare,
Mary
Margaret,
Renee,
Jenny,
Carmela,
Jocelyn

SAL -#1 – Crown of Thorns

I’m back! I am so excited to be back with my favorite stitchers. I was gone for quite a while because I wanted to concentrate on getting my debt paid down. Now that I am well into my 80 week challenge I decided it was time to get back to stitching.

I received a kit for Christmas that I have been quite taken with for years. It’s a chart of Jesus’s face with His crown of thorns which is by Vervaco. Thank you mom for the very thoughtful Christmas present! This image is haunting to me. Just beautiful in fact.

I haven’t stitched a kit in years so I am trying not to mess us to often because I don’t want to run out of a color.

Here is the kit image and here is how much I have gotten done so far. I have had to rip thread out twice! I’ll get there though.

There are a lot of other stitcher in this group. Please visit their blogs by clicking on the links below. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you see! See you in three weeks! -MM.
Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, LucyAnn, Kate, Jess, Sue, Constanze, Debbierose, Christina, Kathy, Margaret,Cindy, Helen, Steph, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Catherine, Deborah, Connie, Clare, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny

Not Impressed With Our Debt – Weeks 22 -23 -Rearranging

It’s been an interesting two weeks. I didn’t think I would get much extra debt paid off this month because I have Town/County taxes to pay, our planes tickets for our trip to Ireland to save for and now these medical bills which just got bigger today.

But get this… we had an unexpected surge of cash this week which lent me to paying our taxes in full (Thank you to Him!), that’s one off the list. We have saved about $500 for plane tickets so far and from the advice of our pastor I am going to apply for a grant through the hospital to help pay for the medical bills from that emergency room visit. We will see what happens.

Remember when I posted about reading all the mail you get? A few weeks ago I got another set of checks from our credit card company where I could use the checks to pay off anything I wanted and the interest rate would be just 2.99% for a full year.

I thought a lot about those checks and I even called the credit card company which was through our credit union and asked about the details. They were in fact valid checks and I could use them for anything.

So after really thinking about it, I decided to sit down with my favorite Credit Union rep yesterday and I asked her what she thought about paying off our Home Equity Line of Credit with one of the checks.

She said “well it would certainly save you a lot of money in interest.” The interest rate on the loan was 15% and the amount I owed was still the exact same amount ($5000) since I took it out 8 years ago. I took the line of credit out in 2010 to pay for the equipment to start my bakery and I still owed the same amount because I kept drawing from it.

Without even thinking about it anymore I told her to do it. I wrote the check and she gave me my receipt and I paid it off. In my mind it’s one more thing that’s done. Yes, it’s on a “credit card” but if you use them correctly they can actually set you free of debt. I have one year to pay it off before the interest rate goes up and believe me I intend to do just that.

Every day I work on our debt. Every day. You have to stay on top of things my friends. Keep working and using your magic to get out of debt. There will never be a dull moment!

See you next week! -MM

 

Not Impressed With Our Debt -Weeks 18 -21

I survived the holiday baking season. The only thing I can say without going into details is that it was awful by the end and I am so glad it’s over! Terrible to say that isn’t it?

During that time though I am happy to report a very good thing and very bummed to report a very not so great thing.

Here is the very good thing:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=547540485763700&id=1455853581377715

I paid off the Old Navy card!! All $2048.00 left on it. In full. Felt amazing!

Now for the not so great news… Remember that emergency room visit I had in November? I am getting a whopping bill for over $3500 from the hospital from it. That’s after insurance took care of only about a $1000 of it. Gotta love that high deductible plan we all have right?

I was devastated at first but not for long. We have to keep going. I will get that $3500 paid off next is all. I am not worrying a single second about it. Yes it sucks but the Old Navy is gone and it’s never coming back.

We accomplished paying off $6500 in debt in 5 months. That’s a reason to celebrate in my book!

I hope you all had a very Happy Christmas and please enjoy your New Year. It’s always a new beginning. -MM