Friday, February 26, 2010

Brownie Fail...and a few other things.

Another snow day...

Yet, not the most successful day of baking.  In the simplest of terms, I tried to use this...

to make brownies, but ended up with this...

and this...

So much for trying to be cute with brownies.  The bright side is that Matt loves to use brownie pieces in his ice cream.  Guess what we are having tonight instead of cute brownies?

I also made some Peanut Butter blossoms using some cookie dough I had made awhile ago and frozen.  Delish.  Can't go wrong with peanut butter cookies.

Finally, I attempted to make my own fondant for the first time.  I detest the way store bought fondant tastes, so I decided to try a homemade recipe.  Let me tell you, I will never use store bought again.  This fondant tastes just like buttercream icing, and it is simple to make.  I need the fondant for cupcakes I am making this week and thought that I could get a head start.  It  is not pretty right now, but hopefully I will be turning it into something special later this week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Big Winner

I won!

This week, I was the lucky winner of the Foodie Blogroll Giveaway!  Considering I NEVER win anything, I was very excited.  Annie the Baker sent me 12 cookies, which included several of her delicious flavors...Semisweet Chocolate Chunk, Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter with Mini Peanut Butter Cups, Oatmeal Double Chocolate Chip, and Doodle Snicker.  I have to tell you, THEY WERE DELICIOUS!  I have only sampled a piece of each one, as they are so rich that I knew I would not be able to eat one of each!  Annie describes her cookies as "chewy gooey mounds of decadent cookie goodness," and I could not agree more.  They almost taste like the heaven that is raw cookie dough.  If you are in California, you are lucky enough to be able to visit her at the Napa and Saint Helena Farmers Market; however, everyone else can buy her delectable treats at her store on Foodzie

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Matt and I are not usually in to the Hallmark Holiday, but we had my cousin and her family over for lunch to celebrate.  We had a simple lunch of homemade pizza and heart shaped brownies.  Both were very good.  But watching the kids, Kate and Jack, was better. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes

Snow Day #4

Another snow day today.  The amount of snow that is out front is almost unfathomable.  Unfortunately, Matt had to go to work today, so I'm alone.  I have been wanting to try this recipe out of my Martha Stewart Cupcakes book.  These cupcakes are a basic chocolate cupcake recipe with the centers of the cupcakes scooped out.  I made the homemade salted caramel from the book.  I've always been intimidated to make caramel at home, but this was effortless!  Then, they were topped with decadent chocolate icing.  To top it off, I sprinkled them with sea salt.  This cupcake, although very messy to eat, is simply scrumptious.  The consummate combination of salty and sweet.

without the icing

the cupcake with its inspiration...the snow!

an aerial shot

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day #3 of the Season

Snow Day =  Cookies!

Not much to say except, today I baked these...

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Because of this...

I have never seen so much snow.  Today was the best day. Matt and I each took a couch in the living room, curled up in blankets, read, and watched the snow fall out the window.  When the snow started to slow down, we went outside.  Matt shoveled, I built a snowman! 

My first cake

Karen's Baby Shower

Ok, maybe not my first cake, but the first one I have ever made for a large party.  It was a little over five years ago that Karen was expecting the first great grandchild on my mom's side of the family.  We were super excited and went a litlle overboard with the pink.  I wanted to make the cake, but I had never really made a cake for that amount of people before.  Thank goodness for my mom because I had several freakouts while making it.  In the end, it turned out pretty good, and, oh boy, was it delicious!  It was a three layer neapolitan cake.  It was so moist and delicious.  I have been wanting to post a picture of this cake for awhile, but never had one in my posession.  Luckily, my mom had one and mailed it to me yesterday.  Sorry for the poor quality, but I had to scan it in.  (Well, ok.  Matt scanned it in for me.)  I'm only disappointed that we didn't take a picture of the cake once it was cut.  The inside was just as pretty as the outside.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Are you ready for some football!?

Superbowl XLIV

I'll be honest. I don't really care who wins.  My favorite thing about the Superbowl is hanging out with friends and eating good food.  Matt, again, was the artistic director on these.  They turned out pretty cute, but I still need to work on my piping skills.  I made devil's food cupcakes with buttercream icing.  Hope you enjoy!

Matt added the 3D action figures cut out of a Sports Illustrated.  I added the cookie from yesterday to make up for the fact that the recipe I used for the cupcakes only made 22 cupcakes, not 24.  So we have a hole in the middle that I just piped icing and added the cookie!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Baking Cookies on a Snow Day

As I have posted previously, I like to bake cookies on snow days.  It was always a deal my brother and I had...he shoveled, I baked.  Luckily, my husband seems to like the same deal.  I made some chocolate chip cookies for us to enjoy and some sugar cookies to take to a Super Bowl party tomorrow evening.  Matt agreed to be my "artistic director" as I had no idea what the Saints or Cults uniforms looked like.  This was my first attempt at seriously decorating sugar cookies, so I guess they turned out ok.  I think I need some more practice on piping.  Judge for yourself.

Some goodies for us to enjoy today.

Are you ready for some football!?!?

Go Saints!

Go Colts!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hard Cider Bread

Magner's Bread

So, I know most people make beer bread, but I don't like beer.  However, I do LOVE Magner's, which is what Bulmer's is called in America.  I fell in love with Bulmer's in Ireland and was heartbroken when I found out you couldn't get it in America.  However, after some research, awesome information from a friend, and the generosity of my brother, I have been able to enjoy a bottle of Magner's from time to time.  I wanted to make some bread to go along with the cheddar fondue I've been craving, so I decided to mix it up and use a  bottle of Magner's instead to add to my beer bread recipe.  It was delicious!!!  Oh, and I made an applewood smoked cheddar and Magner's fondue to go with it.  Add some apples, carrots, and celery, and I was in heaven! 

I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of the fondue, but we were just too excited to eat it while it was hot!