Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dark Chocolate and Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting Birthday Cake

If you're familiar with my blog, you might remember that I've had a long history with cakes. The cake bug bit me years ago when I discovered how to make my own fondant. Have you ever made fondant? Trust me, Cake Boss and any other cake shows on Food Network make fondant making and rolling look as easy as rolling out dough from a Pillsbury can.

Spoiler alert: It's not!

Making fondant involves a sticky mess of melted marshmallow, endless amounts of powdered sugar that poofs everywhere, and frantically kneading this super-glue like mixture until it eventually becomes a smooth ball of fondant. Next comes creating however many colors you need, which involves more kneading and your hands will have taken on every color of the rainbow by the time you're done. Now it's time to decorate the cake! The most stressful part of the whole process for me is "the transfer". This is when you have your main piece of fondant all nicely rolled out on your counter and you need to get that bad boy onto your cake without it ripping or splitting. If you've managed to make it past this part, the rest is more fun. Making the decorations and and the final touches creates your little work of art....that is ready to get torn up by serving knives and forks and devoured by hungry cake eaters. Take a look at some of my previous creations: South Park Cake , iPhone Cake (iPhone cerca 2011) Steak Cake, and Movie Cake.

But in more recent times, I've retired from the fondant business and instead focus my efforts on delicious frostings. The thing that bugged me about fondant cakes is that it's a lot of work and honestly, fondant doesn't taste good. Most people just peel it off and eat the cake underneath, and when you peel it off it usually takes with it the a good amount of the frosting. So here we are, this leads me to this post's recipe for Dark Chocolate Frosting and Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting.



Dark Chocolate Frosting
-1 10z bag Nestle dark chocolate chips
-3 tablespoons Hershey's Special Dark cocoa power
-2 cups powdered sugar
-2 sticks softened butter
-2 tablespoons milk

1. In a saucepan, combine the dark chocolate chips and milk. Over low heat, stir until melted, making sure never to burn the mixture.

2. In your stand mixer, combine the softened butter and chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Then add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat on low at first, then beat on high to make it light and fluffy. If mixture looks too stiff add a a tablespoon of milk to loosen up.

Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting
-1 cup creamy peanut butter
-1 stick softened butter
-2 cups powdered sugar
-3 tablespoons milk

1. Combine all ingredients and beat on high until light and fluffy. Yes it's that easy!!

Peanut Butter Frosting Recipe Source: All Recipes







Monday, August 6, 2018

Braided Apple Danish

I'm going to take a minute and start this post out a little differently. This is for all the moms.

Lately I've been feeling a little bogged down by trying to be Super Mom. What I've found about Super Mom is that at the end of the day everyone has been cared for except for...you guessed it ...Super Mom.

Laundry: Done
Dinner cooked: Done
Dishes: Done
Groceries bought: Done
Meal planned: Done
I can't even list out the amount of baby care
Self Care: Uhhh...maybe tomorrow

How many of you reading this have constantly pushed any self care to the next day, and the next day, and the next day, only to realize it's been months since you've done anything just for you? I know you can't see right now but I'm raising my hand saying "Me!!!!".

Let's all agree to something right now. Make a plan to do something just for you within the next week. However big or small you want. Take a long walk in a park, get a spa treatment, go to a museum, go shopping, make a bubble bath. We need to make sure we get on that to-do list or we realize it's been years since we put ourselves first.

Now, I realize it's bit odd posting a Braided Apple Danish after I just went on a rant about Super Mom. I promise this is easy! And quick! If the braided dough isn't perfect, no big deal. If it comes out seriously screwed up, cut it into slices and no one knows the difference. See? Those are those little tricks of a Super Mom.


-1 sheet puff pastry (Pillsbury makes this, find in your freezer section)
-2 1/2 cups peeled, diced apples (4-5 apples about)
-3 tablespoons butter
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 1/2 tablespoons flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
-Sugar for topping (recipe calls for cane sugar, I didn't have it so used regular white sugar)
-1 egg
-1 tablespoon water

1. Heat over to 400 degrees. Defrost the puff pastry on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Do not try and unfold it until it has defrosted!!

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the diced apples. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and flour. Add this sugar mix to the butter and apples and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook about 5-6 minutes until the apples are tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

3. Take your defrosted puff pastry and open the folds. To make the braid pieces, make diagonal cuts from the center, out and down. I used a pizza cutter. Click Here to view photos of how to make the cuts. Place all of the apple mixture down the center of the puff pastry.

4. Time to braid! Start with the top left flap and fold down, then the right, and so on, making sure to tuck each flap inside or else when you bake this any stray flap not tucked down and inside is going to puff up (it's called puff pastry after all!).

5. Whisk the egg and water, brush over top all of the exposed dough and sprinkle with the white sugar. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Do not over bake!




Source: Little Bits Of

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Spinach Onion and Bacon Quiche

I almost have a 10 month old baby. Seriously, how did this happen so quickly? I used to think people were exaggerating when they said time goes by so fast when you have a child. But now, I swear I gave birth to her, blinked, and here we are 10 months later. My cooking and baking took a serious hit when she arrived. Not only am I constantly tired, I have zero motivation at the end of the day to start slicing and dicing.

Serving up a good breakfast can be a bit easier. I'm not tired from a full day of work, and have a bit more energy to get in the kitchen.

The original recipe called from spinach and mushrooms, I adapted a bit and created bacon, onion and spinach. Packed with savory flavor, and of course tons of melty cheese.






-1 Pillsbury pre-made refrigerated piecrust
-10oz box frozen spinach
-4 slices bacon, diced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tablespoon EVOO
-1/4 cup diced white onion
-5 eggs
-1 cup whole milk
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 cup shredded cheese (combo of Cheddar and Mozzarella)
-salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat oven to 350. Cook frozen spinach according to package instructions, drain well.When oven is heated, place your thawed pie crust in baking pan, prick the bottom with a fork a few times and bake for 8 minutes.

2. In a frying pan over medium heat, add the EVOO and diced onion. Cook 5-6 minutes until onions start to brown a bit. Add the bacon pieces and cook until desired crispiness. Add the garlic pieces and cook a bit more to release the garlic flavor. Pour onto a paper towel and set side.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

4. To assemble, spoon the drained spinach into the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly, if you don't use all the spinach that's OK. Next, add the bacon mixture, the shredded cheeses, and lastly pour over top the whisked eggs. Bake for 50 minutes.

Source: Sallys Baking Addiction