Friday, February 4, 2011

Playing with my food: Exploring Cricut Cake











Welcome to the "FEEL THE LOVE" Blog Hop (Saturday, February 5) hosted by Jaime at Glitter, Stamps and Paper Oh My.  Jaime issued a challenge -- it's not just cards we're looking for this Valentine's Day, but other gifts "from the heart."   So if the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, what better time to take out my Cricut Cake for its introductory spin?!

That's right, Mr. Smiley (my DH John) bought me a Cricut Cake for my birthday last August, and it took until the dead of winter for me to take it out of its box.  So many toys, so little time! 


So what to make? How about some heart-shaped cookies? I purchased some storemade sugar cookie dough and rolled it out to 1/4" thick, as instructed with the Cricut Cake ... 
Here's a little suggestion: Roll your dough out right onto the cutting board. I only have one Cricut Cake mat and they're not widely available and they're expensive. I found this alternative in my grocery store ... Cut 'n Slice Flexible Cutting Boards by Norpro.  Three came in a pack for $7.99. They were approx. 10"x14" so I just trimmed off 2" to make it fit under the rollers like the standard 12" mat.  These are food safe and ready to use, and worked great -- did not cut through or peel/chip or anything. 

 After rolling out your dough, I suggest chilling it to make it easier to cut (reducing drag). Slip the whole sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes ... and cut!
 Slow to medium on your speed, and medium to medium high (4'ish) on your pressure ...  I cut the hearts out in a variety of sizes to see which I liked best. The cookies cut cleanly ~ 1" min. as well as larger.  Smaller than 1" had increased drag resulting in an uneven cut of the dough.



To remove the cookies from the mat, I popped the CUT sheet into the freezer again to firm for about 10 minutes. (This is why you'd like more than one mat, to keep your production line going.)  

I laid the cookies out on a parchment-covered cookie sheet to bake.


You can cut much more intricate shapes than just simple hearts.  Here is a sweet image with a knock-out of the word LOVE.  I made this cookie fairly large -- about 4" I believe, so the text would hold together as its own cookie. That cookie is shown at the top of this post.




The nice thing about cutting cookies with the Cricut Cake instead of cookie cutters is the variety of sizes you can control ... and the uniformity of the cuts.


The OTHER nice thing about using dough instead of paper to cut with your Cricut is that you can re-roll your scraps and voila!  Another fresh sheet to cut!  Sure saves on having that drawer full of scrap paper, ehhh?
Now ... on to more adventures with Cricut Cake.  First thing first ... prepare the mat. To get your foods to stick (remember, these mats have no glue .. they're food safe!), use a pastry brush to spread a thin clear layer of Crisco onto your Cricut Cake mat.

Next, I tried pasta sheets.  These skidded on the mat unless I sprayed them with water first.  I think it would be better if I used fresh pasta....

Again, I cut heart shapes out of the lasagna sheets, thinking that I'll make individual layered luscious lasagnas for my honey for Valentine's Day ...


Mostly, it cut very cleanly. However, every once in a while, the sheet shifted so there was a rough or uncut edge to the pasta. Kitchen scissors to the rescue! Again, these are food-safe and clean. Make sure yours are too, if you cut food with your scissors.

I'm on a roll now ... turkey roll, to be precise!  Let's see how deli meat is tackled by Cricut Cake.  The meat stayed firmly to the shortening and was pretty easy to cut. It might be easier to freeze it to add firmness. I also tried cutting salami, but that was WAY too soft and was a cutting disaster ... even clogged my blade. So stick to firmer meats.


Hard cheese was also very easy to cut. In this case, I used sliced deli provolone from a pre-cut package. I cut these hearts at 1". The little hole in the bottom center cut was a natural part of the cheese, unrelated to the cutting process.   I could use both the cut hearts, as well as the off-cuts for a sandwich or a pretty topping for a meat pie?

Can you imagine how much fun you could have making hors d'oeuvres for a special party?  Use card symbols (heart, diamond, spade and club) for a bridge party ... a stork and baby symbols for a baby shower?




Whether on a cracker or toast or on top of a pizza, your deli cuts using your Cricut Cake expand the world where your creativity can have tons of fun!   



Of course, you can always use your Cricut Cake to use it conventionally -- that is, to cut fondant or gum paste to make cake, cookie or cupcake decorations.  Here, I used pink fondant and cut heart shapes for Valentine's Day.  I then used food-dye color markers to decorate the fondant with a handpainted flower and dots.  I plan to put this atop of some Royal Icing on the cookies.

As much fun as I had exploring the different things to cut, here is my recommendation: If you're only interested in cutting a standard shape for which you have or can get a cookie cutter, use a cookie cutter, not your Cricut Cake.  It is much faster especially when cutting cookies or deli meat. 


But if you want to have fun playing with your food (despite what your mother told you about starving children in Third World nations), Cricut Cake opens a whole new universe.






And remember, DO NOT use your standard Cricut or a modified Cricut to cut any food product. That will void your warranty.

The Cricut Cake has been specially made with food-safe and washable features. For example, the blade housing is fully enclosed (no place for germies to enter) so when it gets gunked-up with salami you can wash and disinfect it. There is a piece of silicone over the keyboard, and a rubber housing to surround your cartridge, so no food products (flour, shortening) get stuck in the electronics. Yowzer, you could REALLY mess up a regular Cricut by cutting food. DON'T DO IT!! 

If you're really desperate to use/try Cricut Cake for a week or so, e-mail me privately. I'm willing to loan mine out if you pay shipping from/and back to my home.  Just one of those nice things I'll do for my followers ...

And one more thing: JUST THINK of all of the possibilities beyond food that you can cut if you can roll the medium out to about 1/4" thick.  For example, somewhere down the road I'm going to try polymer clay and ceramic slip. I can then use polymer clay to make Christmas ornaments that dry on their own, or take my slip to my favorite ceramics shop for firing to make tile designs or accents to ceramic pieces I make like vases.  Can you imagine how pretty some of the scroll-work or flower designs would be on the sides of vases??! 

Alright, blog hoppers ... time to head back into the world of paper crafting...

BUT WAIT!  Before you go, I have BLOG CANDY to reward you for slogging through this long post!!  Here's what I have -- REAL CANDY!  OK, and some paper stuff too.  I've been making Valentine's Day candy and I will send you some CHOCOLATE for you to eat, or to pass along to your honey.  I'll also include some things to make your Valentine's sweeter.  HOW TO WIN:  Be or become a follower here, AND leave a comment.  Mr. Smiley will choose a number randomly to pick the winner.

Also, if you're in the mood to win more blog candy, it is not too late to post a comment to my next posting here on "Fairy Cut Fridays".  All followers who comment on that post are entered into a monthly drawing to win a free copy of Fairy Cut Software (better than MTC or SCAL, in my opinion) ... a $99 value!  And YES, you can use Fairy Cut to design or use any .jpg or image file, and cut using your Cricut Cake, too! 

OK ... moving right along ... Your next stop is Jessica and The Overjoyed Scrapper.  Click the name OR this to jump there.  If you get lost along the way, be sure to hop on back to the start at Jaime's blog at www.glitterstampsandpaperohmy.com.

Happy Valentine's Day!

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

i idint get it before. i had not idea that the cricut could cut more than just fondant! what a wonderful toy..humm now i want one. thanks for the insperation!
Kim H
littlekoi2000@yahoo.com

BunnyFreak said...

Thanks for all the tips on the cricut cake.

Leah said...

OH my Goodness you had so much fun with this and you are an enabler ROFLLLL you got me so now I want to go right out and get a Cricut Cake...LOL. I'll tell you I've wanted one for a while, but haven't had the cashflow ~ so it's on hold for a little longer. Thank you for so much inspiration.

Karelj said...

Oh, My!!! You've thought of so many things to use the Cake for that I almost think I need one...argh!! Thanks for sharing! ksjennings at gmail dot com and or/ http://karelj.blogspot.com

Angela Joy said...

Wow that is a lot of neat stuff! Thanks for sharing! :)

Jamie said...

How fun! I really wanted a cricut cake and no where local sells them anymore, and unfortunately I missed out as they all clearanced them out :(

Your foods are so fun! Who would have thought to cut turkey and cheese too! My goodness, all the possibilites!! :)

Thanks for sharing and for joining my blog hop
Jamie
glitterstampsandpaperohmy(at)gmail(dot)com

grannyjuju said...

girl i want to have a party with you....lol GREAT Stuff, Thanks for sharing

Cards-by-Montana-Reflections said...

wow everything looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing

Debi
cards_by_montana_reflections@bresnan.net

Mary S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary S said...

That looks like a great machine!! I would love to get one of those someday!!

Happy Crafting!!

mkshriver@gmail.com

Casey said...

I love love love the turkey and cheese! How fun, this post makes me wish I had a few extra hundred dollars so I could go buy the cricut cake!

Amanda said...

What a fun way to play with your food! :)

The Scrapoholic said...

WOW! that is so cool all the things you can do with the cricut cake. TFS!

Kopperhead said...

Wow, you put just about everything through that CC. I would have never thought of any of that.
http://kopperhead100.blogspot.com/

Monica said...

hi! i'm a new blogger and follower. check out my blog and follow me too. thank you!

Debc06 said...

Thanks for the tutorial on the cricut cake.I am a follower.
Debbie
Http://craftywizard.blogspot.com
debbie_craine at hot mail dot com

QC Kelsey said...

~ Huh. I know I saw this post yesterday but why on earth didn't I comment then? You are just way too creative! I don't have a CC but even if I did I don't think I would ever think of the stuff you thought up! Very cool!
~ I'm already a Follower of your Blog!

Hip Hop and Awaaaaayyy!

Email: QC Kelsey
Visit Blog: Crystal Case Creative Creations

Anna said...

Oh my stars you are having way too much fun with this. LOL Love all the creative things you are doing with food. YUMO!!! Too cute to eat (almost)I'm a follower.
Thanks for the chance to win.
http: // mamawann. blogspot. com/
annadowdy at gmail dot com

Danielle said...

WOW!!!

I'm working on convincing my MIL that she needs a Cricut Cake :) I think I'll forward this post to you. BEAUTIFUL work :)

Michelle said...

Wow you really did a great job with food. I love it. You've made art out of food. I think I posted on the wrong post before....
Michelle
http://peanutbutterandjellydesigns.blogspot.com

Scrappy Jackie said...

Wow! There is sooo much more you can do with the cricut cake... I never thought about it! THanks for sharing all of your fun ideas! pjritsema at gmail dot com. As a kid we always had heart shaped hamburgers and pink milk for valentines day... green for St Patricks day!

Star said...

You are so clever!!! And so many great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Brenna said...

that is amazing!! great ideas! super cute!
brenna
rbanderson@live.ca

A Scrap Above said...

OK now this is too cool.. LOOK THE THAT CUT CHEESE!!!! LOL.. I simply love it.. oh and YES to some YUMMY candy!!
I am already a follower of your blog
TFS and a chance to win
Bonnie
http://ascrapabove.blogspot.com
ascrapabove(at)aol(dot)com

TuttleTime said...

My stomach is growling...Looks like so much fun to cut and play with food using the cricut! I love the idea of making sandwiches into shapes and cookies...

Jane H said...

Very cool, I keep thinking about getting one of these for my daughter. She does cakes all the time never would have thought for cheese, cookie doe and all the rest!

jengd said...

Turkey roll and cheese. I'd say that's thinking out of the box. WAY out of the box. :)

Kristin said...

I can't believe you thought of cutting all those things with the cake! too funny!

Kristin
ksully4597 at gmail dot com

Audrey said...

Love what you did with the Cricut cake, no such things like that here in Mexico. I do have a cricut that a dear freind bought for me as a gift and I use it every day!!
I became a follow not to win but because I like your blog and your baby is adorable!!

audrey@rosemansroost.com

Raven B said...

HAHAHA these are all so fabulous. I LOVE the sandwich it was so pretty, or was it because I'm so hungry lol AH either way super cute stuff.
Hugs,
Raven

Naomi L said...

I truly enjoyed your explanations of the circut cake. I am going to share your blog with a friend who wants to purchase one. Thanks.

Karen Y said...

Great ideas for using the Cricut Cake, you just made me want it even more. I am a new follower

Thank you,
Karen
countrygirlin_md at yahoo.com
karenscreativeramblings.blogspot.com

Shawn Mosch said...

Great ideas! Do you have a cartridge with a football? The meat and cheese would be PERFECT for the big game tomorrow!

Darlene said...

oh my! What fun you had! The cricut cake does look like fun, but whoam I kidding, the cookie dough never even makes it to the oven in my house! TFS

Darlene
desaucier at bellsouth dot net

Vicki said...

Love seeing what you did with your cricut cake. All the goodies made me hungry. Thanks for sharing.

vwilson577 at yahoo dot com

Mike J said...

Very creative use of the Cricut Cake. I have not seen it used yet.

Thanks,
Mike

johnson.md at sbcglobal dot net

Jennifer said...

Ellen,

You are so creative!!! :) I love that you cut bologna and cheese & so many different things with your Cricut Cake! Are you serious about lending it out? If so, you are too incredibly generous!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing,

Jennifer
partridgelu at yahoo dot com

The Crazy Cardmaker said...

Ohhhh wow that soooo cool. I can just picture that at my wedding. So sweet =) Well not this time, maybe i will fix to get the cakemachine for my lil sisters wedding =)

Hugs from Lilli =)
l.a.nikolaisen at gmail dot com
www.crazycardmaker.blogspot.com

Babe O'Mara said...

Looks like you had some fun!! Love the turkey and cheese. You are so creative. I'm already a follower.

Babe
youiesmom@att.net

Karen said...

Well you have absolutely left no stone unturned! That was a very thorough test of food, I am a new follower, Thanks for sharing!! Karen<3
Karenskrafts1@aol.com

Lisa said...

I am a new follower! I love how you give such good instructions! Cute ideas using your cricut cake.

paperbutterflies AT sbcglobal DOT net
lisaspaperbutterflies.blogspot.com

Kim said...

I Love seeing all the fun you had with your Cricut cake! I have wanted one too! I only thought about cake decorating but you widened that thought!
follower
~Kim
http://crazyaboutscrapin.blogspot.com
kfordyce6638 at gmail dot com

LesleyfromWI said...

So cool. I have never seen the cricut cake used before and now I am seriously thinking of getting it. Thanks for sharing.
lfuchs1 at wi. rr. com

McVic said...

Im a new follower- I have never seen a cake in action, who would have thought lunch meat? very cool.
kacee
mcvicwif@yahoo.com

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