Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lemon Bars

I am a sucker for lemon bars. I used to love the kind from the box, but then I made them from scratch and there is no going back. They are so simple!

So, last night, I was craving some! And I had a lemon or two in the fridge. So, I made them. And they are yummy! They are actually from Weight Watchers, and you would never know! Yeah and I ate way too many!

So here is the recipe:

1 1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
8 Tbsp butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large egg(s)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup(s) powdered sugar, divided
3/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest

* Preheat oven to 350°F.

* To make crust, mix flour and light brown sugar using a food processor until fully incorporated. Toss butter into flour mixture and pulse to combine using short bursts of power until butter is cut into tiny pea-sized pieces and dough appears lumpy. Sprinkle crust mixture onto an ungreased 13 X 9 X 2-inch baking pan as evenly as possible; press down with a spatula to create a packed surface. Place crust in middle of oven and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

* Meanwhile, to make lemon topping, beat eggs in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Add vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of powdered sugar; mix well. Add lemon juice and remaining powdered sugar; mix until powdered sugar is completely dissolved and then add zest.

* As soon as crust is finished, remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Immediately pour lemon mixture over hot crust. Bake completely, about 30 minutes; cool, and cut into 24 bars. Yields 1 bar per serving.


* The crust must be HOT when you pour on the lemon mixture.

You’ll need approximately three lemons to yield the amount of juice and zest in this recipe.

You can increase the lemon flavor of these bars by adding more zest or eliminate the zest altogether for a less tart taste. You can also change the flavor completely by subbing fresh lime juice and zest for the lemon.

* Photo from Weight Watchers!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Making Icing...a little trick

So, when making Royal Icing, or Buttercream frosting, it always says to "sift" the powdered sugar. Maybe it's just my sifter, but man, that's a lot of work. Especially if you double the recipe so you are doing 8 cups of powdered sugar. Ridiculous. But necessary for the right consistency.

Well, I have recently learned a new trick. Maybe many of you already know it. But for me, it was great to learn. I learned it from a friend, who learned it from a friend.

Whisking. You whisk the powdered sugar instead of sifting it. It produces the same result...isn't that crazy? And it saves my wrist and my time.

What other tricks of the trade do you know???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gluten Free Muffins

I found Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix.

I decided to use it to make some GF muffins for my Mom and some of Ryan's co-workers. From what I hear, they were yummy!

I just followed the recipe on the package and threw some blueberries into half the batter, and chocolate chips into the other half. I was happy with how they turned out!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Strawberry Trifle

I was spoiled this year on my birthday. My MIL got me a beautiful Trifle bowl. It is from Pampered Chef and the base fits inside with a plastic lid. It's wonderful!

So,I had to make one of my husbands favorite dishes to showcase the new bowl.

It is a Strawberry Trifle from Betty Crocker (click here to see it)

It is so simple and easy!

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg whites called for on cake mix box
2 boxes (4-serving size each) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
4 cups milk
2 bags (16 oz each) frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed
1 1/2 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Make cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
2. While cake is cooling, in large bowl, beat pudding mixes into milk with wire whisk about 2 minutes or until blended.
3. Cut or tear cake into 1-inch pieces. In 3 1/2-quart glass trifle bowl, arrange half the pieces, cutting pieces to fit shape of bowl. Pour half of the thawed strawberries (with syrup) over cake; spread with 2 cups of the pudding. Place remaining cake pieces on pudding and around edge of bowl. Top with remaining strawberries and pudding. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled.
4. Spread whipped topping over top of cake. Sprinkle with almonds. Store covered in refrigerator up to 12 hours.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


So, the new craze I have found is doughnuts. Doughnuts Doughnuts everywhere!

For my birthday my husband got me a couple of the Wilton Doughnut pans (He got them at Sur La Table). I have been talking about making these for so long, he decided I needed to!

So I did. I made some cake doughnuts with a chocolate icing. I took them over to our good friends who were just getting settled into their new place! They turned out yummy!

Here is the recipe I used from Family Circle (I didn't use their glaze recipe, I used one for Better Homes and Garden for chocolate icing):

Vanilla Cake Doughnuts

* 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
* 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2-1/4 cups confectioners sugar
* 3 tablespoons milk
* Sprinkles, toasted coconut, mini chips, cinnamon-sugar
* 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 6-indentation doughnut pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk, sugar, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; whisk until smooth.

3. Spoon batter into a large resealable plastic bag. Cut off a corner and squeeze batter into prepared indents, about 2/3 full. Smooth tops. Bake at 325 degrees F for 13 minutes, until doughnuts spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on rack 3 minutes, then carefully turn out onto rack to cool.

4. For powdered doughnuts: Place 1/4 cup confectioners sugar in a sifter and gently sift over cooled vanilla doughnuts. Flip doughnuts; cover with sugar.

5. For white-frosted doughnuts: In small bowl, combine 1 cup of the confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

6. For chocolate-frosted doughnuts: Combine remaining 1 cup confectioners sugar, the cocoa and remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth. Dip cooled doughnuts into bowl and allow excess frosting to drip back into bowl. Transfer to rack. Top with sprinkles, coconut or mini chips, if desired. Transfer any extra frosting to a plastic bag.

7. For drizzle: Snip small corner off bags of frosting. Decoratively drizzle over cooled doughnuts.

8. For cinnamon-sugar doughnuts: Toss still-warm vanilla doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar to coat

My cat, Meow decided he needed to check out the doughnuts as well.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cherry Pie

I love fresh cherry pie. In fact, I think it's my favorite kind of pie. I love when cherries are in season.

Well, they are. And I got them on sale! So I decided for my MIL's birthday celebration I was going to make a cherry pie! I used sweet cherries for it. I also decided I was going to try something new, a lattice top. I was so intimidated by this, but it turned out to be pretty easy. I just followed the recipe from my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.

The pie looked beautiful. Until I pulled it out of the oven. The crust was perfect. Nice and golden brown. But the cherries were sitting in a pool of cherry juice. Oh no!

After much research I found out that the sweet cherries are a bit juicier. So I revamped the recipe. I used less sugar, and a little more cornstarch. I also added almond extract, lemon juice and some butter. I used a combination of the Better Homes Recipe and this recipe I found from Smitten Kitchen.

The second one turned out much better. There wasn't a puddle of juice, and it was delicious! I cannot wait to make another!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pharmacy Graduation Cake and Cupcakes

Our really good friend, Jeff, just graduated (well in May) with his PharmD. A doctorate in Pharmacy. I told his wife I would make the cupcakes and cake (which was a surprise for them) for his party! I was so happy with how they turned out.

It was also my first time using fondant as more than a purse handle. I made 1 inch by 1inch squares and drew on them with edible markers to look like prescriptions. For the cake I made a pill bottle. I tinted the fondant orange and again used my edible markers to write the prescription. It all turned out great.

Here are some pictures:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream

Last night the hubby and I decided it would be a great night to BBQ! We have to take advantage of this Oregon sunshine while we have it!

We had some very yummy lime marinaded chicken with lime chips and mango/peach salsa. It was perfect. So I decided grilled peaches would be a great finish to our meal.

I cut a few peaches in half and pitted them. Then I put some butter on both sides of the peach and sprinkled it with brown sugar. Then we put them on the BBQ. They needed to be cooked about 5 minutes on each side. Just enough to get them soft!

We immediately added a scoop (or two)of vanilla ice cream. It melted all over the peaches! They were amazing! The husband decided to add some strawberries to his creation, but I opted out. The peaches were perfect for me. We will be having this again!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chai Spiced Cookies

Today is my best friends birthday. I wanted to make her something yummy. I was going to make some Chai flavored cupcakes, but I was missing some of the ingredients. So I went to Betty Crocker..I love the recipes there. And I found this one for Chai Spiced Cookies. I couldn't resist. I got right to it. Then I realized that I didn't have Cardamom. So I ended up at the store anyways (and paid a lot for that one little bottle...). But let me tell you, these babies are totally worth it. Not to mention they are so simple. Really. If you like Chai, these are the cookies for you! I saved me a few and plan on having them with a nice hot chai tea. Maybe that will help with the chill (we have been having rain and more rain lately).

The best friend LOVED them and said she was going to stop at Starbucks on her way home!

Here is the recipe:

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Stir in remaining cookie ingredients.
2. Shape dough by tablespoonfuls into balls. On ungreased cookie sheets, place balls 1 1/2 inches apart.
3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until very lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack; cool 5 minutes.
4. In medium bowl, mix coating ingredients. Working in batches, gently roll warm cookies in coating mixture. Cool on cooling rack 5 minutes. Roll in mixture again.

* The picture is borrowed from Betty Crocker. See, I took pictures..but I haven't uploaded them yet and I just had to share this recipe. And it's better with a photo. My cookies look like these...just not as good of a photograph! I will post my own pictures soon! I promise. Thanks Betty.

A Little Laughter

My Mother in Law sent this to me today in an email. It made me laugh. Cheesy or not. I thought it was cute.

Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71. Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but, his later life was filled with turnovers. He was considered a very smart cookie, but, wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he was still a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children, John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus, they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tropical Pool Cake

A couple of years ago my mom and I saw an article in Woman's Day Magazine. It was for this cake pictured here.

I had to make it.

I did. Now, it didn't turn out quite as fancy as the one in the picture (I stole this one from Woman's Day, because I don't have a picture of mine, and theirs is prettier).

It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. There are so many little steps to making it, but it's just too cute not to. I think I might need to make it again this summer.

Why not. Maybe then I will show you my pictures! :)

Here is the recipe:

o 2 tubs (16 oz each) vanilla frosting
o Blue, brown, orange, red, green, yellow and black paste or gel food color
o Two 8- or 9-in. round cooled, baked yellow cake layers, tops trimmed level and 1 layer frozen about 2 hours for easier cutting
o 1 1/2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
o 2 boxes (3 oz each) Jell-O Berry Blue gelatin
o 1 cup green chocolate melting wafers (Wilton)
o 3 plain breadsticks
o A few Cocoa Puffs cereal balls
o Teddy Grahams cookies (Nabisco)
o Goldfish Colors and Baby Goldfish crackers (Pepperidge Farm)
o Butterfly-shaped graham crackers (Keebler Bug Bites)
o Red or orange decorating sugar
o Green sprinkles
o 2 chocolate Nuggets (Hershey's), unwrapped
o 2 tsp yellow nonpareil sprinkles
o 2 red ball sprinkles
o Green Fruit by the Foot
o Striped sour belt candy
o 1 Gummi ring
o 2 small striped peppermint
o candy balls
o You'll also need: qt-size ziptop bags, 3 wooden spoons


1. Tint 1 tub frosting light blue. Tint 1 cup of the other tub light brown and spoon into a ziptop bag. Place unfrozen cake layer on a serving plate. Spread top with 1/2 cup blue frosting. Top with frozen cake layer, trimmed side down. Starting about 1 in. from the edge, cut a crescent-shaped outline about 3/4 in. deep for pool. Using a fork, remove cake within outline in an even layer.

2. Spread blue frosting smoothly on sides of cake. Snip a small corner off the bag of light brown frosting; pipe on top of cake to cover all but the hollowed-out pool area. For sand, sprinkle top and around base of cake with the vanilla wafer crumbs. (It's OK if some land in the pool area.)

3. Pool: Prepare both boxes of gelatin using a total of only 2 cups water. Set in a bowl of ice cubes and water; stir until gelatin just begins to thicken. Carefully pour into hollowed-out pool area. Refrigerate 2 hours or until set.

4. Coconut Palm Trees:* Arrange 3 wooden spoons crosswise on a baking sheet. Cover with wax paper. (Spoons will help make the leaves a bit wavy and more natural.) Put the green melting wafers into a ziptop bag. Microwave on high at 10-second intervals, squeezing bag often, until melted. Snip a very small corner from the bag and pipe 1 1/2- to 2-in.-long palm leaves on wax paper crosswise over spoons. Repeat to make at least 15 leaves. (It's a good idea to make extra.) Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until set. Peel leaves from wax paper. Using a serrated knife, trim breadsticks to 8 in. Reheat green chocolate in ziptop bag for several seconds if necessary. Remove wooden spoons from baking sheet, leaving wax paper. Pipe dots of green chocolate at one end of breadstick. Add several leaves; refrigerate until set. Repeat, adding more leaves. Attach Cocoa Puffs as coconuts with a few dots of frosting.

5. Swimmers, Fish and Butterfly: Spoon 2 Tbsp vanilla frosting into a ziptop bag. Divide remaining frosting among cups; tint different colors. Spoon each into a ziptop bag. One at a time, cut a tiny tip off corner of bags and pipe clothing, features and eyes on bears and fish. Decorate the top of the butterfly graham cracker with frosting; sprinkle with decorating sugar. Pipe a green line of frosting for the body; add the green sprinkles as antennae.

6. Treasure Chest: Place a chocolate Nugget in the sand at the base of the cake, flat side up. Pipe yellow frosting on top and add some yellow sprinkles. Place another Nugget on top, flat side down. Pipe red lines of frosting for straps. Add red ball sprinkles.

7. Assemble: Using scissors, cut Fruit by the Foot into seaweed and leaf shapes. Press seaweed onto the side of the cake. Attach decorated fish with some frosting. Pipe white dots as bubbles above the fish. Insert coconut trees at different heights. Arrange leaves under the trees. Add a few extra Cocoa Puffs in the sand. Attach butterfly and decorated bears with frosting. Use a length of striped sour belt candy as a beach towel and a Gummi ring as an inner tube. Place peppermint beach balls. Pipe white splashes around bears in pool.

Plan ahead: You can make cake layers up to 3 days ahead; wrap airtight and refrigerate. Make through Step 6 up to 1 day ahead. Wrap ziptop bag of white frosting airtight to use the next day. Leave decorations at room temperature. Assemble up to 2 hours before serving; leave at room temperature.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baking for a Cause

I stumbled upon this: Baking GALS.

It is a group who sends baked goods to our troops to show them support. Here is what they say about themselves "Baking GALS (GALS stands for Give A Little Support) is a group of volunteer bakers from around the country who bake and ship homemade goodies to our heroic military men and women who are currently deployed in a war zone. Our goal is to show our support and send a little bit of home to remind them that we appreciate all that they do for our freedom."

I am hoping to jump in for this round! What a great way to share my love and passion for baking. I am so excited to help support the troops in this way!

Visit their website if you would like to participate!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Hadlie!

Last year I helped my Sister in Law with my nieces first birthday cake, a lady bug on a bed of grass. It was pretty darn cute! But Hadlie, my niece, wanted nothing to do with her first birthday cake. In fact, she cried. I knew I couldn't take it personally, after all, I did make her first chocolate chip cookie, and she LOVED it!

So, I was asked to make the cake for this years birthday. A purse cake. It had to be pink, inside and out. So I made a strawberry cake, and white chocolate butter cream icing from Wilton. I was so happy with the flavor, unlike my Valentines Day cupcakes. But the recipe says to melt the chocolate with the milk, I did that. It smelled awful. So I tried again, and just mixed it in with the melted white chocolate...much better! Anyways, I made a 2 buckle with pink candy melts, and the handle out of white fondant. Yup, I used fondant. Ok, just a tiny bit of the pre-made stuff, but I was so happy with how easy it was to use!

The purse was more challenging than I thought..but that is because I didn't crumb coat it...what was I thinking?

Well, Hadlie didn't even want to TRY the purse cake. No bright pink frosting. No pink cake. Nothing. Just shook her head at it.

BUT! I had made some cupcakes with the extra cake batter. And well...Hadlie liked that! Especially the frosting.

I am happy that my first Purse cake turned out so well...despite a few setbacks!

I think she was a little unsure...


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

I love Cinnamon Rolls. They are one of my favorite things, especially for breakfast!

I make breakfast for my husband's work once a month, and I decided to make these. Homemade totally from scratch Cinnamon Rolls. I was a bit intimidated. Ok a lot intimidated. But I was so happy with them. They rose when they were supposed to. And I didn't burn them.

I am not sure anymore the recipe I used...but when I find it, I will put it on here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Valentines Day...a bit late!

I have finally loaded up my pictures from my Valentines Day goodies!

I made Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing, and Strawberry Cupcakes with a white chocolate icing. I had a very difficult time with this recipe...but they were a hit, I think because they were minis!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Easter Carrots

This year for Easter, I made carrots.

Carrot Cookies that is.

Carrot SHAPED Cookies to be exact.

I so love using Royal Icing. It is so fun, and you can do so much with it!

Happy (late) Easter!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Cupcakes

I was asked by my friend Keri if I would make the cupcakes for her wedding! Of course, I said yes!

I made vanilla and chocolate with vanilla butter cream icing. I tinted the icing Tiffany blue. I was so happy with the outcome. I had a great time, and I can't wait for my next wedding...whenever that may be!

The cupcakes with the cake...which I did not make, but the colors matched well!

Of course, I needed a picture with the bride and groom, and a cupcake!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gluten Free Cupcakes

A little over a year ago my Mom was diagnosed with Celiacs. She is allergic to wheat, barley, and gluten. This was only two months before her 50th birthday. Two months before her big surprise party, with chocolate cake, her favorite.

My mind began to race. My mom HAD to have chocolate cake on her birthday. So I made her chocolate cupcakes, Gluten Free of course. I used the Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake mix, and added applesauce to help moisten it. I don't remember the exact recipe I used...but they turned out alright. I must say, I wasn't a fan of the applesauce, or the aroma it left in my mixer (weird huh?).

Anyways, I wanted to share these with you, even though they are from a year ago! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mini Vanilla Scones

I made Scones for the first time. I was so surprised by how simple they were, and how great they turned out!

I used this recipe from King Arthur Flour, without the chocolate chips. They were a big hit, and I will be making these again!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bridal Shower Cookies

Last Saturday I had the privilege of throwing a bridal shower for a good friend of mine. I am actually doing her cupcakes in a week! I did a Breakfast at Tiffany's Theme Shower. So...we had breakfast. Mini Quiche, Scones, Fruit Salad. But there were favors. To reflect the Tiffany's theme, I made diamond ring cookies.

I must say, I have to thank Bridget at Bake at 350 for all her inspiration. I learned how to do royal icing, flooding, and now glitter from her! These cookies are a result of that! :)

First I made Diamond ring shaped cookies. Then using my small circle cutter I cut the middle of the ring out when they first came out of the oven.

I made the cookies with Better Homes Melt in Your Mouth Sugar Cookies...they are my favorite but they crumble really easily because they are not intended to be shape cookies, but I just like them so much!

I frosted them with Royal Icing. Then after they had dried overnight, it was time to glitterfy them. I brushed the areas with water and a pinch of meringue powder. Sprinkled the edible glitter on (I used Wilton's) and shook it off over a coffee filter to save the extra (thanks Bridget!).

After they dried, I packaged them all pretty. I was so happy with how they turned out. I was a bit nervous as a few crumbled, and some of the glitter didn't work quite right for me. But here is a glimpse for you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

S'mores Cupcakes!

I have been craving a S'mores Cupcake for a long time now. I had one on Friday night that well, just wasn't what I was wanting.

So I made my own. I improvised, and so far...they seem to be a hit.

I lined the bottom of the muffin cups with crushed graham crackers that were combined with melted butter. Topped that with Chocolate cake mix. I stuffed some marshmallows in the mix, which all came to the top during baking, weird. Then I made Marshmallow Frosting and toasted it under the broiler.

Now, I had hoped to have a pretty swirl of marshmallow goodness on top, with a piece of graham cracker and chocolate drizzle. That didn't happen.

The recipe I had for the Marshmallow Frosting, well, didn't work. Or I messed up. But it said after 7 minutes of mixing in a double broiler (or a pan and glass bowl) that stiff peaks would form, well 20 minutes later, no peaks. And one sore hand and wrist. So I said, oh well. I globed the non-stiff frosting on top of the cupcakes and toasted away. I must say, now they look like messy S'mores not the perfect cupcake I had in my head.

But who says that the look effects the taste? Because here at work, they are flying off the plate. I love making people happy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cupcake Meetup

Last Saturday I went to the Cupcake Meet Up hosted by Cupcakes Take the Cake. It was a beautiful day, with lots of cupcakes! We met at St. Cupcake. There were fellow bakers, bloggers, and designers. And of course, Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I had with all these women.

Celeste from Celestial Cupcakes at Nye Beach Market...whose cupcakes are AMAZING!
Carrie from Bella Cupcake Couture with her delightful designs.
Susen from Indulge your Fancy.

And all the other ladies! It was a great time where I learned so much about cupcakes, making the best cupcakes, and running a cupcake business! It was a great day, thank you Rachel for hosting!

I hope to post pictures soon! If any of the ladies have the photo of the group, I would love to see that! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brownies Brownies Everywhere!!!

My twitter/foodbuzz/blogger friend Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker posted a blog today about brownies. First, it made me drool. Second, it made me really really want brownies.

The only problem, I can't have chocolate (I know so depressing huh?) my doctor has me on no caffeine because I get these headaches...

ANYWAYS! That is not the point. The point is brownies. Warm, gooey, chocolately brownies (pardon the drool spots on this posting)

On Michelle's post, she asked people to share their favorite brownies. So I thought I would share mine. Peppermint brownies.

They are simple...here is why. I use box mixes, but before you judge, there are some good ones out there. So, when you are in a hurry for a brownie fix, it is a good solution.

So, you will need one box of your favorite brownies, or a great recipe. One package of mint chips. And all the ingredients to make the brownies. After you have the batter prepared throw in a handful, or two, or five of the mint chips. Bake, enjoy!

Now, I have made these several ways. A couple drops of peppermint extract. Crushed candy cane. Crushed Andes Mints. Melted mint chips on top. But my favorite is the mint chips in the mix.

So, go ahead whip up some brownies and enjoy! If I could, I would! :)

Thanks for the inspiration Michelle!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Cakes for a Cause

As most of you know Kelly Ripa teamed up with Electrolux to help raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer Research.

Just this week they hosted a cake-off in NY. They invited 15 food bloggers to come and bake 5 cakes with the help of Buddy Valastro and his team from Cake Boss. The cakes are all gorgeous!!!!

Anyways, you can help!!!! Each time you go to http://kelly-confidential.com/ and vote on a cake, they will donate one dollar to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. You can also send a virtual cake. Each one of those that you send, they will donate another dollar. You can send one cake a day, and vote once a day.

This is a great thing that they are doing and I would encourage you to vote.

Personally, I think you should vote for Team Take a Bow…but that is just my opinion!

Happy Voting!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Starting a Baking Business

So, I have thought about starting a baking business from home. You know sell cookies, and cupcakes. The things I love making the most!

But, I have no idea where to begin.

So, all you foodies/bakers out there, who started off with a dream to share your goods, can you give me any advice? From obtaining a logo, copyrighting (both name and logo), pricing, and legally starting a business, that would be awesome!

I haven't done a lot of research yet, but I thought I would check with all of you first!



Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies

My mom has always made the best peanut butter cookies. Turns out, the recipe is from her mom. So Sunday, I pulled out the recipe, realizing I have not had peanut butter cookies in a while.

They were sure yummy and hit the spot!

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. peanut butter (I use creamy, but my mom uses crunchy)
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Blend shortening, sugars and egg together. Add peanut butter and sifted flour with soda and salt. Form into balls the size of a walnut. Press flat on cookie sheet with a fork. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees) for about 10 minutes.

Thanks Grandma for the yummy recipe!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cricut Cake

For Christmas my husband bought me my first Cricut. It's a scrap booking tool that cuts out shapes, letters, pictures, etc. It's great for scrapping! I have the personal, but I think the expression would be better. Anyways, I really like the Cricut (with the exception that the personal doesn't cut big enough for me).

I was at Bakerella's web page, and she mentioned the Cricut Cake! It's basically a fondant cutter. It does to fondant what the Cricut does for paper! I have never worked with fondant, but after watching the promo video for this new Cricut, I am sold. I guess that will have to go on my wish list!

Click here to see the video!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

My niece, the cookie monster

My niece is almost two years old. She loves cookies!!! We got her one at McDonald's the other day and she looked at me and said, "Auntie cookie?". Her first cookie was a chocolate chip one I made her, and well, she knows that usually Auntie has cookies for her! I cannot WAIT for her to be old enough to bake and decorate cookies with (like Bakerella here: http://www.bakerella.com/the-sweetest-cookies-ive-ever-seen/).

I was at Bed, Bath and Beyond the other day and I saw this adorable kids baking set. When my niece is old enough, her Auntie will def. buy her something like this (http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=17054937&RN=867).