Ninja Crib Mobile

ninja-mobile-done

I started off titling this post just “Ninja Mobile,” but that kept making me picture a ninjamobile– a car filled with ninjas who would drive around and pick fights with bystanders– so I felt the need to clarify.

This crib mobile is a gift for a friend’s baby shower, and is actually the second mobile I’ve made– the first featured corgis and sheep, and I was inspired to make it after paying far too much for an Etsy seller to make a mobile for my own daughter’s nursery. Making your own mobile is easy, though of course you can always complicate matters (at least I can) by planning fancy details.

Basically, the mobile is made of a wooden embroidery hoop, from which you hang various felt ornaments– in this case, ninjas. Then you cover the hoop in felt and hang it from the ceiling. Simple, right?

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Mini Animal Donuts

animal-donuts

It’s no secret that I adore cute food, and cute food that’s been miniaturized is automatically cuter than the original. So when I saw these cute-tastic Japanese animal donuts, I immediately tried to think of ways to make them myself, only extra-adorable. That’s where my mini-donut maker came in.

Another one of my kitchen unitaskers, the mini-donut maker churns out ridiculously precious little donuts, 6 at a time, without all that frying. No, the donuts don’t have the classic texture of a fried donut– firm to the initial bite, then giving way to pillowy softness– but they’re perfectly respectable baked donuts, and did I mention they’re cute?

I’ve made these with regular boxed cake mix before, but the soft fluffiness of the cake made the donuts one-dimensional and boring– plus, the relative thinness of the cake batter made the little donut wells more difficult to fill properly. I’ve learned that boxed pound cake mix actually works best for mini donuts– it’s thick enough that it can be easily piped into the donut wells, it rises to just the right height to make a nice rounded donut, and the pound cake flavor is pretty close to a classic old-fashioned donut, which is my favorite. Sure, I could make my own pound cake mix from scratch and use that, but these are so small and will be coated with so much sugary icing that no one is going to notice the flavor of the cake– at least not the difference between homemade and box mix.

Anyway, so I mixed up the cake mix per the box directions, piped it into the heated donut maker, cooked for 3 minutes (2:30 if you want them extra-soft), and pretty soon I had a big batch (about 6 dozen) of tiny donuts. On to the decorating!

animal-donuts-cooking

animal-donuts-rack

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