Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Here is a belated gift to you all...my first cooking video! I decided to start a YouTube channel to go along with the blog. I thought it would be fun to make some "how to" videos for some of my sweet treats. The very first one is Nutella Hot Chocolate!
Monday, October 8, 2012
Last weekend, I catered cupcakes for my first wedding! The beautiful bride wanted 3 mini cupcakes per person, so I ended up making about 350 minis, 10 different flavors, AND the cake! Whew! It was my first time doing that large of an order and while not everything went smoothly, it turned out beautifully. Most importantly, there were no left overs! Every cupcake was eaten! Yay!
All set up!
The Cupcake Flavors
The Bottom Row is Double Chocolate
(I forgot to take a close up photo of those)
Cookies 'N Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter
24 Carrot (get it? because of the edible gold glitter!)
All Set Up
Monday, October 1, 2012
Autumn is here! My all time favorite season! It's such a cozy time of year that it inspired me to make some comfort sweets. I was watching, yet again, another episode of Unique Sweets, and they gushed about the individual deep fried apple pies at Michy's in Miami. They didn't provide a recipe, so I decided to recreate it myself! And since it's apple season, it will make the filling all the more delicious!!!
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
I was intrigued when I saw this box in my local Sephora. Italian Cream Soda is one of my absolute favorite drinks and I wondered what could possibly be in this adorable package. Normally, I'm not a fan of body wash that is food scented, mostly because, at least the ones I have found, smell sooooo artificial, or just don't smell good at all. But, the scents within this package not only smell yummy, they don't smell the least bit artificial. In fact, the three body washes are so well done, they actually smell fizzy! Seriously, if "fizzy" was a scent, Philosophy captured it.
While the limoncello and the strawberry smell amazing, the black cherry is by far my favorite! It smelled so authentic, I was tempted to drink it. There was only one thing I was skeptical about when I bought this product: The soaps claim to be 3-in-1. Each bottle is a body wash, a shampoo, and a bubble bath. Now that I've tested them all three ways, I can say that the product lived up to the expectations. It made a lovely body wash. As a shampoo, it was very good and left my hair smelling delicious. I especially love it as a bubble bath. Rather than the stiff bubbles that are created by a lot of bubble baths, the bubbles are soft and luxurious.
By far the best thing about this product? Each bottle has a recipe on it! Philosophy tells you how to make all three flavor of italian soda. I can't wait to make the black cherry one! I hope you all enjoy this post. I know it's different from anything I've done before, but I wanted to share this scrumptious find with you all! xoxo
Disclaimer: These opinions are 100% my own. I bought the product with my own money. I am not in any way affiliated with or sponsored by the company.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Around mid-August, I'm just ready for fall. I've had enough of the summer heat and long for the crisp, cozy mornings of autumn. I found myself switching from light, citrusy Lady Grey tea with my morning toast, to a Hot Cinnamon tea. But, boring whole wheat toast just wasn't satisfying me. I wanted some spicy, molassesey, nutty goodness. After a couple trials, I found this recipe to be perfect for my tastebuds, and my morning tea. :-) I hope it's as good for your tastebuds!
First, measure out your spices. I used cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, and ginger
In a medium bowl, whisk the spices into the flour, along with the salt and baking soda
Toast the chopped pecans and spread on a large plate so they cool quickly
Add the vegetable oil and equal parts of granulated sugar and dark brown sugar into the bowl of a mixer
Beat on medium for 30 seconds, scrape the bowl down, and beat for another 30 seconds
You will need 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree
After beating the eggs in, add the pumpkin puree. Mix until just incorporated
Add in a third of the dry ingredients and slowly beat in
Pour in half the water and vanilla. Beat in slowly. Repeat with another third of the dry ingredients and then the other half of wet ingredients. Finish with mixing in the last third of the dry
Stir in the cooled pecans, reserving 1/4 cup for the streusel
This recipe makes 2 loaves, so grease 2 8 inch loaf pans
Pour the batter into the prepared pans
On to the streusel! You will need light brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, salted pepitas, the reserved toasted pecans, and softened butter
I like to mix the streusel by hand because I get a better feel for when it's ready. It should be moist, but crumbly
Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the 2 batter filled loaf pans
Bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes
Makes 2 loaves
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp ground all spice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup water
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/4 cup salted, shelled pepitas
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs softened butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 2 8 inch loaf pans
Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice together
Set bowl aside
In the bowl of a mixer beat together vegetable oil and sugars
Beat 30 seconds, scrape bowl, beat 30 seconds more
Beat in eggs, slowly, one at a time
Mix in pumpkin
Beat in 1/3 of dry ingredients
Pour in 1/2 of the water and vanilla
Beat in another 1/3 of dry ingredients
Slowly mix in the last of the water and vanilla
Beat in the last 1/3 of dry ingredients
Be sure not to over beat!
Stir in the pecans with a spatula
Pour batter into prepared loaf pans
Mix all the streusel ingredients together until moist, but crumbly
Sprinkle streusel evenly over the 2 batter filled loaf pans
Bake for 65-70 minutes
Let cool for about 10-15 minutes before taking it out of the pan
Slice, butter, and enjoy!
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
For the past couple of months I have been rehearsing for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Carousel". It was an absolutely fabulous production, with an immensely talented cast, and I felt so privileged to be dancing along side them! The cast party was a potluck, so I wanted to do something special. In keeping with the carnival theme at the beginning of "Carousel", I made mini cotton candy cupcakes. I found some adorable carousel pony chocolate molds on Amazon.com. They were a big hit!
For the ponies, I used white candy coating and some lollipop sticks. I kept the lollipop sticks fairly long , so the heavy ponies would have enough support on top of the mini cupcakes.
I also added some iridescent edible glitter on top of the buttercream to make them extra special :-)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
I purchased this wonderful little booklet at the Raleigh Tavern Bakery, where I also purchased my first slice of Sally Lunn. As tasty as it was then, it was even more scrumptious when it came fresh out of my oven.
This particular recipe was written circa 1770 by Governor Spotswood's granddaughter, who was from Charlotte Court House, Virginia. The picture above shows how the recipe was originally written. Your eyes do not deceive you, it does appear that there are f's where there should be s's. The "f" is actually referred to as a "long s". The "long s" was only used at the beginning or middle of a word. That is why you will see a regular "s" used at the end of some words. If the "s" is to be capitalized, they used a regular "s". Just a little history lesson for ya :-)
Grease a tube pan thoroughly
Heat the milk, shortening, and some water in a pot until very warm, but not boiling. It's not necessary for the shortening to melt all the way
It should be about 120 degrees F when it's ready
In the bowl of a mixer, blend together 1 1/3 cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Pour in the warm milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Gradually add another 2/3 cup of flour and the eggs. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Add the last 2 cups of flour and mix until well combined.
The batter should be thick and slightly sticky, but not stiff. Cover the bowl and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until it's doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and turn it out into the prepared tube pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place once again. This time, let it rest for about 30 minutes
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-50 minutes
Run a knife along the inside tube and the outside rim of the pan. Turn the bread onto a plate while it's still warm
Immediately slice a few pieces and slather some on some butter, so that it starts melting into the spongey bread
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup water
4 cups sifted, all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 packages active dry yeast
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease 10-inch tube cake pan
Heat milk, shortening, and water until very warm, but not boiling...about 120 degrees F
Shortening does not have to completely dissolve
Combine 1 1/3 cups flour, sugar, salt, and dry yeast in a mixing bowl
Blend in milk mixture to dry ingredients
Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scrape sides of bowl occasionally
Gradually add 2/3 cup more flour and eggs to mixture
Beat on high for 2 more minutes
Add last 2 cups of flour and mix until well combined
Batter should be thick, slightly sticky, but not stiff
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until it doubles, about 1 hour 15 minutes
Punch down dough and turn into prepared tube cake pan
Again, cover with kitchen towel and let rise again, about 30 minutes
Bake 40-50 minutes
Run a knife around tube and outer edges of bread
Turn bread out on a plate to cool
Slice up and enjoy!