This is Michelle's fabulously famous frosting recipe. I'm posting it here so I can have it easily available when I want to use it.
1 cup solid white shortening (I like to use the sticks so I don't have to measure)
1 tsp butter flavor/extract (McCormick or Watkins have this, so does Wilton)
1 tsp other extract (vanilla, carmel, raspberry, vanilla nut, almond... have fun)
2 tbsp milk
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar (sifting is recommended but necessary. Sift after measuring.)
1 tbsp Wilton Meringue powder if it is a really hot day or it will be in the car for a long hot drive.
In a bowl, cream together the shortening, milk, salt, and extracts/flavors. Add the sugar and meringue powder (opt.) and mix at medium speed until thoroughly combined. I then whip on medium high until really creamy and kind of fluffy. It takes about 2 more minutes in my kitchenaid.
This makes 3 cups of stiff buttercream. You would use this for roses and sweet peas. If it cracks coming out of the tube it is too stiff, add a couple drops of water at a time.
To make medium consistency, add an additional 1 tbsp milk or water to the whole batch, or 1 tsp per cup. This is for stars, borders, and all other flowers. Also for figure piping, like clowns or faces.
For thin, add an additional 2 tbsp milk or water to the whole batch, or 2 tsp per cup of frosting. Thin is what you will need for frosting a cake, doing vines and leaves, or for writing on the cake. For writing, leaves and vines, you can mix in a little corn syrup, but it will work fine without it.