Monday, July 25, 2011

Case of the Monday's

Somebody's got a case of the Monday's....

Just got through with a fantastic weekend of Comic Con with the little bro, little sis, and her BFF as well as the lovely Joselyn & Stefano's wedding! This Monday is a very tired one, but we're making it through. Pictures will be coming shortly, and if your lucky so will a little video of me riding a mechanical shark.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heaband - Feathers & Tulle

I figured it's about time to get my craft on here. This is a headband I made a while back, but it was super simple and easy! The Wal Mart was closing out it's fabric department, and they had everything there 75% off. There wasn't a lot of good fabrics, but I did find a ton of tulle. For like 25 cents a yard I bought a lot and started looking for things to do with it. This is one of the first things I did, and I'm still looking for more to do a year later! :)

For this I used feather, tulle, a bit of felt, and a big button. You'll also need a glue gun and a headband. This could easily be put onto a pin back or other hair pin if wanted. 

I first cut a circle out of the tulle. I  gathered it just a little in the center to give it some additional texture.Then, I took my feathers and started gluing them around the center. I put a small piece of felt on the other side of the tulle to prevent dripping glue and so they had something to stick to. 

I use a button large enough to cover the stems of the feathers, and glued it in the center. Last was to put it on a headband. I put an additional piece of felt on the other side of the headband to hold it on. Does that make any sense, I'm not sure, but you can see the picture. :)

Fish Cupcakes

It was a co-workers birthday this weekend, and Hayley made these adorable fish cupcakes to celebrate on Monday!
A picture of these was originally found on pintrest, and she took it and did an amazing job recreating these adorable little masterpieces!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Root Beer Bundt Cake

My brother, lil sister, and her BFF are coming down this week to go to Comic Con! I'm very excited to see them and have some fun times. I was realizing there was something from when they were visiting in March that I hadn't posted about yet, so I decided to get on it.

This is a recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, my favorite cookbook. They actually have a second cookbook and are working on a third, but I'm still loving the first so I haven't gone out and gotten the second yet. I'm about done with all of the recipes from the first, so I'm thinking it won't be too long before the second makes it's way onto my bookshelf.

This cake is one I'd been wanting to make for a while, but I actually don't have a bundt pan. (It's on the registry list now). When Kate and I were looking through the cookbook and decided we wanted to make this I got a pan from a friend, and we went at it.

Ingredients <pic1>
  • 2 cups root beer (do not use diet root beer)
  • 1 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate (60% cacao), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup root beer
  • 2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 325. Spray or butter a bundt pan and dust with flour. Knock out excess flour. (I wasn't too good at that step, and ended up with a lot of flour in the pan, as you'll see when the cake comes out. But, frosting covers it all up.)  

In a small saucepan, heat the root beer, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted.<pic2> Add the sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool.<pic 3>

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.<pic4>

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until just beaten,<pic5> then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.<pic6> The batter will be slightly lumpy--do not overbeat, as it could cause the cake to be tough.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan<pic7&8> and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a small sharp knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Gently loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and turn it out onto the rack.<pic9>

Now make the frosting. The instructions are to put all ingredients in the food processor, and pulse til it's shiny and smooth. I don't have a food processor, so we just used the hand mixer. Put all ingredients in a bowl, and mix. Pour frosting over the cake and see the excess flour you had in the pan disappear!

This wasn't my favorite thing I've made from the cook book, and I wanted a bit of a stronger root beer flavor, so next time I'd add more root beer or try to find root beer schnapps as they suggest. Overall it is a yummy chocolate cake!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cupcakes Galore

Recently, a wonderful co-worker, Mia, hosted a cupcake decorating party at her house. We headed up after work one evening and spent a few hours decorating cupcakes with every topping, frosting, color, and candy imaginable!
Some of them were very cute or creative, some were just silly, but all of them were delicious!
This is such a great party idea for kids or adults, just bake a few dozen cupcakes, and get some basic decorating supplies and let people go at it!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Key Lime Pie

 I'm soon going to be making a special Key Lime treat, and so I'm going to share my experience with Key Lime Pie. I made this a year ago for the bosses birthday, and it was so simple and so good. I've actually even made it a couple times since. The recipe is from the Joy of Baking.

Graham Cracker Crust:

1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (on the Joy of Baking site they say you can also used 'crushed digestive biscuits' I'm not quite sure what that means, but if I find out I'll be sure to share)

2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

5 - 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


3 large egg yolks, room temperature

1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime juice (can use regular limes, I've done both and it has come out well both ways)

2 teaspoons grated lime zest


Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter spray a 9 inch pie pan.

Mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter until everything is moistened. Press along the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside on cooling rack.
In medium bowl, beat egg yolks until pale & fluffy (2-3 minutes). Gradually add the condensed milk and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat in lime juice & zest. 

Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10-15 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool. Once it has cooled completely, cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Once the filling is chilled, cover with whip cream. You can put the mound of it on there, or can pipe it through a star tip to give it a little extra on the presentation. Then just enjoy!

This recipe makes one pie. You can easily double it if needed (and I suggest you do, it goes fast!)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whipped Cream

Whipped cream is a must for many, many things. There is nothing better, or easier, then making it fresh. Next time you are going to grab that tub of cool whip or that can of spray on, just move down the aisle and grab a carton of whipping cream and whip up your own!

Heavy whipping cream (1 c will cover a pie)
Sugar (1 Tbs for every cup)
Put your whipping cream in a bowl and start beating. Put the mixer on high and let it roll. Soon, you'll see it thicken up and soft peaks will form. Once you have those, add 1 Tbs of sugar for every cup of whipping cream. Start beating away again. Soon, stiff peaks will form and you are ready to enjoy. Top off your favorite dessert, or just eat by the spoonful! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Independence Day

I'm so excited that it is almost the 4th of July! This is my favorite holiday of the year. I love the American spirit, the bbqs, the movies, and most importantly the fireworks.

This year I haven't made anything special (yet, we still have a couple days and I just bought berries) for Independence Day, but I thought I'd share some projects I've seen across the web that I love.

What an adorable way to get our patriotic colors on one yummy fruit

These would be such a great dessert for a BBQ. I would add blueberries and a chocolate drizzle too

Fabric yo-yos are so simple to make and what a great way to use them!

I believe there should always be a wreath on the door. It's just so much more welcoming. I really need to up my collection, so I'm not switching between the same two... :)

I love cheesecake, both to make & eat and this berry one looks amazing!

And last, but certainly not least....
French Toast with Berry Butter
She combines softened butter with fresh berries, and the french toast recipe sounds amazing. I was going to do banana and Nuetella stuffed french toast this weekend, but this may have changed my mind!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day

According to my trusty Oriental Trading calendar today is creative ice cream flavor day. I'm celebrating by thinking up ice cream flavors with the fiance while we eat a banana split.

His first ice cream choice: chicken alfredo ice cream...yep you read it correctly
My first choice...s'mores ice cream

Thomas: Raisin Bran
Sandra: Avocado

Thomas: Taco
Sandra: macaroni & cheese

What would your creative flavor be?