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Saturday, May 25, 2013

100th Anniversary Blue Ball Mason Jar Bathroom Accessories

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  It's the perfect time to try one of those pinterest DIY projects you've been wanting to do, but haven't had the time.

For me, it's a mason jar project.  Not just any kind, but a functional  one.  One I need.  Or at least want.  Bathroom accessories.
Ball just celebrated their 100th anniversary, and produced a commemorative version of their signature blue mason jars.
When I saw this, I knew I had to have them!  I ordered mine from, and had it sent to a store. and Target also carries them.  They are adorable.  I was so excited when mine arrived!

 Next, I needed some pumps.  I wanted metal, but was willing to get one of those plastic ones they paint to look like metal.  They're actually more expensive than you would think.  If you're looking for one, search "replacement pump", amazon has them, and Lowes and Home Depot carries them too.
you could do what I did.  I went to Beals Outlet (you could go to TJ MAXX or Marshal's too), and found their bathroom accessory section.  On top of that, they had a clearance section, which was even better.  
So, I found these awful beach ball soap dispensers.

First of all, who would spend $15 on these?  Secondly, yay, they were $2.98!  
You could obviously save money, and use one from a used hand sanitizer or soap.  I just wanted it to look as "finished" as possible.

Next, nab yourself a helpful, and always supportive (oh, and handsome) husband, to help drill a hole in the top of the mason jar lid.

He was very meticulous, measuring out the center of the lid.

And then, he drilled a hole on the top.

Once the hole was done, we put the pump in it.  To make it water resistant, we put caulking around it.

Spread it around, to make sure it's in all the nooks and crannies. 

Wait for it to dry, place on lid, and ta-da!  I made two, one for soap, one for lotion.

Bella had to check it out for herself.

The beach balls were shorter than the mason jars, so I had to go buy some tubing.  They had some at Lowes, and it was SUPER cheap!  Check it out:

14 cents a foot!  Score!

For the toothbrush holder, I just left the metal ring on the jar (taking out the "lid"), for the Q- tip and cotton ball container, I found a votive that fit the top at World Market, took off the whole lid, and done.

I am going to wrap some raffia around the mouth, and hang a little tag that says "lotion" or "soap".  I'm trying to figure out though, if I can laminate chip board.  Anyone know?

Well, hope this helps, and that it inspires you to make something of your own!

Quick review, here's what you'll need:
Mason jars (from a garage sale, or around the house of course would be cheaper, but if you want it to be uniform, buying them would be easiest)
Replacement hand pump
Possibly extra tubing

Danish Lagkage For A Special Someone's Birthday

Happy Saturday, folks!
So, my husband turned 29 yesterday, and I wanted to do something nice for him.  He's not really a cake guy, but when he lived in Denmark for a year (attending Master's Commission), he found a cake that was much to his liking.  It's called lagkage (pronunciation [ˈlɑwkʰæːɪ]).  It literally means layer cake.  I think he likes it because it's not super-sweet, (like many European cakes are), contrary to most American cakes.  Also, it has a light, airy texture, which makes it a nice summer cake.  In addition to all of that, you can use any filling, and my man does love fresh fruit, so there you have it!
I made lagkage.

I searched online for a good recipe, and found this one: 
While the recipe itself was good, I had to tweak it to my own oven-situation.  My oven loves to overcook/over-bake stuff.  So, I followed the recipe to a T, and ended up over-baking the first layer.

Not terrible, but not the "airy, spongey" texture I was going for.  Plus, the bottom was... well ... done.  Very done.  The original recipe said it would make 4, 9 inch cakes.  In my opinion, it only made 2.  
So, with half the batter left, and since it is called a "layer" cake, I decided to make a whole new batch.  Therefore, I had 1 1/2 of what it called for, and thought it was just the right amount.  So for you, that's the amount I will give.
What I ended up with, and I quote, was "Exactly the right taste, and even better, because even Danes don't make it from scratch."  You tell me this now???  Anyway... on to the recipe.

Cakes (makes 3 layers):
6 eggs
4 1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

(you can use anything, Nutella, jam, plain whipped cream, fresh fruit, whatever you like)
I used:
1/2 cup fresh blue berries
1/2 cup fresh, chopped strawberries
2 cups heavy whipping cream (I actually eyeballed it, but I think that's about what I used)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

What you'll need:
Mixing bowls
Hand or Standing mixer
9 inch cake pan
Cooling rack (I used a silicone baking sheet liner)


1.  Separate all the eggs into two bowls.
2.  Beat the egg yolks.

3.  Add 4 1/2 tablespoons of water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat for 2 minutes.

4.  In a separate bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 1/2 tablespoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt.  

5.  Add to egg yolk mixture, and beat well.

6.  Beat egg whites until stiff.  (This was my first time beating egg whites, and it took longer, and a higher speed than I thought it would.  Once I saw bubbles, I knew I was on the right path.)

7.  Once they are stiff, fold into the egg yolk mixture, and add the 1 1/2 tsp vanilla until it looks like this:

8. Preheat oven to 425 F.

9. Pour a third of the batter into a greased and floured 9 inch round pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until just slightly golden brown.

Place on cooling rack, and bake the next two layers.

Now for the filling.
1.  Put the 1/2 cup of blueberries, and the 1/2 cup of strawberries in a mixing bowl.

2.  Add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.  Eyeball it.  If it doesn't look like it's enough, add more.  You can never have too much whipped cream.  Next, add the powdered sugar, and whip away!
It should look like this:

Then, start spreading it generously between layers.


If you're not planning on eating it right away, leave it at this, cover it, and put it in your fridge, so the cream doesn't lose its consistency.

(We went out to dinner at North Beach Fish Camp, and got a fantastic, free cranberry bread pudding for dessert, and were feeling very full when we got home, so cake had to wait.)

You can leave it plain, you can can decorate with fruit, you can do whatever.  I chose to decorate it with some whipped cream and blueberries. 

And then, being the fabulous wife that I am, I brought Dan breakfast in bed.

Ps: the sweet and condensed milk is for the coffee.  Try it.  Trust me. :)

So, that is how you make Danish lagkage.  Dan has told me, that this is what he wants for his birthday, from here on out.  And that I'm not allowed to make it for anyone else.  So, if you want some of my lagkage, you'll have to come by next year, on May 24th. :)

Hope this recipe helps, and inspires you to make your own lagkage.  

Here are some questions:

1.  What is your favorite European dessert?
2. If you've made lagkage before, what filling did you use?
3.  Do you have any filling suggestions for me for next year?

Thanks for stoppin' by! :)