Tag Archives: birthday

More birthday baking

30 Oct

Well it’s been a while since I have posted anything on the blog. Sorry about that. Life and lots of crafts are getting in the way.

I have been busy making cakes, making quilts, sewing dresses, knitting and getting ready for Halloween. More about the crafts in the next post. First up Kizaiah’s birthday cake. He requested a chocolate cake with fudge cookies on top.  ki's cake ki's cake top

I used this chocolate cake and this ganache  that you use for the Snickers cake recipe. Baked it in a bundt pan and crumbled broken up fudge cookies on top. He loved it. That’s all that matters. I can’t believe how fast kids grow. ki's cake candles ki's cake candle blowing

 

My friend Donna had a birthday this month and requested the Snickers cake but with one slight modification. Instead of the nougat filling she requested vanilla ice cream. I have to tell you that modifications WAS FREAKING AWESOME. I don’t think that I will make it the original way again. The pictures don’t do it justice. I’m telling you, YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE NOW!!! I lined the same size cake pan with parchment paper, filled the pan with vanilla ice cream and froze it over night. When I was ready to assemble the cake I put a layer of cake on the bottom. I dunked the sides of frozen cake pan with the ice cream in a bowl of water just enough to loosen the ice cream, pop it out of the pan and place it on the bottom layer.  Next top ice cream with some caramel sauce and nuts, then the second cake. Put it back into the freezer to make it solid again. After and hour or so, pull cake out of the freezer and top with the frosting and ganache just like the original. So freaking good I tell ya!

snickers ice cream cake

snickers ice cream cake cutI will be posting about all the crafty goodness that has been going on in this house soon. Hope that everybody has a Happy and safe Halloween!

 

Angel food cake for the Diva

3 Aug

hello kitty cierra candles

Well we have one more birthday under our belt and one more to go. Cierra turned a sassy 6 and she wanted another strawberry cake. I gave her other options but she insisted on strawberry. Even though the original strawberry cake was good I really didn’t feel like making it again, especially since she wanted it frosted exactly the same way and everything. We came to a compromise and she ended up deciding to have strawberry shortcake with homemade angel food cake. I was so nervous about making this cake and had it in the back of my mind that if it didn’t turn out right I could just go to the store and buy one. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised…so much so that I might end up making this cake a lot more often.

The hardest part was waiting for the darn egg whites to turn into peaks. I am not very patient I guess. As the mixer was doing all the work I cleaned up the kitchen a bit to try to pass the time.

hello kitty angel food cake topAngel Food Cake

Source: A taste of home

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups egg whites (about 9) (I used egg whites in the carton)

1-1/2 cups sugar, divided

1 cup cake flour

1-1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

10 inch tube pan (*I used a bundt pan. It worked perfectly)

 

Directions

Place egg whites in a large small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Sift 1/2 cup sugar and flour together twice; set aside.

 

Place oven rack in the lowest position. Preheat oven to 350°. Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold in flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time.

Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and entire top appears dry. Immediately invert pan; cool completely, about 1 hour.

Run a knife around side and center tube of pan. Remove cake to a serving plate.

hello kitty angel food cake cut2

hello kitty angel food cake cut***For the strawberry sauce I just cut the tops off the strawberries, cut them up added some sugar and mashed them with a potato smasher. Topped everything with a heaping helping of whipped cream.

 

It’s Birthday Season

23 Jul

It’s birthday season here in the Goodwin house. My son D’Andre celebrated his 11th birthday while we were in California on vacation. He wanted red velvet cheesecake for his birthday cake, so I obliged. I have made this cake 2 times June…that’s how good it is.

 

red velvet cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

source: Stuck at home mom

Ingredients:

CHEESECAKE:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

RED VELVET CAKE:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups vegetable or canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (two 1-ounce bottles) red food coloring***I DON’T USE THIS MUCH!, I used gel coloring and it doesn’t take this much I just added enough to turn the batter red****
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar

 

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare the cheesecake layer: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn’t seep into the pan). In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and salt and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Finally, mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

2. Prepare the cake layers: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert cakes onto a rack to cool completely.

3. Prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla until it is smooth and creamy.

4. Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
5. Frost the cake: Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won’t be transferring any red crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don’t worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to “set” the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn’t have any red crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer.

red velvet cheesecake sliced

I will be celebrating my birthday this Thursday but we celebrated this past Saturday. I wanted Brown Eyed Bakers Snicker Cake for my special day. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint either.

snickers cake

Snickers Cake

source: The Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:

Cake
2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup evaporated milk
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped *I used Milk Chocolate Chips*
4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:
Additional salted caramel sauce *The recipe I used below*
Chopped peanuts *I used salted peanuts*

Directions:

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

snickers cake side

snickers cake sliced

I didn’t have all the right ingredients to make the Brown Eyed Bakers Salted Caramel sauce so searched Pinterest for another one. You can add a tad more salt to yours if you’d like but I suggest you taste it before you do.

salted caramel sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

source: Recipe Girl

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir. Bring the mixture to a boil and shake/swirl the pan very often (don’t stir it while it’s boiling) until it turns a medium amber color (should take 12 to 15 minutes). If sugar crystals gather along the sides of the pan during the cooking process, you can use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush the sugar down the sides of the pan so that it becomes incorporated into the boiling mixture.

Remove the pan from heat and pour in the cream. It will bubble up like crazy. Give it a whisk, then add in the butter, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk again until everything is nice and smooth. It should be the color of caramel. Cool it in the pan, or pour it into a large measuring cup so that it will be easier to transfer to jars when cooled.

Divide the sauce evenly among the four jars. Place lids and labels on and refrigerate until ready to use or gift to friends. The sauce must be kept refrigerated and it will stay fresh for 2 to 3 weeks.

 

I will be posting 2 more cakes in August, my son Kizaiah and daughter Cierra will be celebrating their special days. Happy Baking.

 

Cinnamon Rolls

2 Apr

My friend requested Cinnamon rolls for Easter, of course I had to oblige. Here is the recipe that I have used for years. I make them a couple of times a year. They are so easy and good and make enough rolls to freeze for later or to give as gifts.

Cinnamon rolls iced

Cinnamon Rolls

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) (plus additional rise time)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Yields: 12 huge “Cinnabon” size or 18-22 regular sized rolls.

Dough
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 Tbs. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. yeast)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
2/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water (110 °)
1 cup warm milk
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Up to 8 cups all-purpose flour
Coating
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  • Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the cinnamon; set aside (this will be used later to spread on dough)
  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water; set aside
  • In a large bowl, mix together milk, 2/3 cup sugar, 2/3 cup melted butter, salt, and eggs; add yeast mixture and 4 cups of flour to mixture; beat until smooth; stir in enough flour to form a slightly stiff dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, or if you have a mixer that can accommodate this many ingredients. I always know when my dough is finished kneading (either by hand or machine) when it can stretch quite well. It must be elastic enough.
  • Place dough into a large greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll dough out onto a floured surface into a 15″ X 20″ rectangle.
  • Brush 1/2 cup melted butter over dough; sprinkle cinnamon sugar liberally over dough
  • Tightly roll up dough and pinch edges together to seal; cut the roll into 12 – 18 slices using unflavored dental floss or thread.
  • Lightly grease a couple of 9″ pie pans. Place 6-8 rolls in each pan. You can either cover with plastic wrap and foil and freeze at this point or place in refrigerator overnight.
  • If you are going to bake them right away then cover pan and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until they have nearly doubled in size.
  • Bake rolls in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

***If you are going to bake the frozen rolls, pull them out the night before and place them in the refrigerator. About an hour before you are going to bake them then set the rolls on the counter to allow to rise the final time. Then bake according to the directions above.***

cinnamon roll no icing
Cream Cheese Frosting ***if you aren’t planning on baking all the cinnamon rolls at once you can easily half this recipe***
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz.  Butter

1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice
16 oz. powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread frosting on warm rolls.

cinnamon rolls

Moms Birthday present completed.

8 Mar

Well my Moms birthday has come and gone and now I can post about my latest finished project. In the new tradition that I have started by making the people I love in my life quilts, I made my Moms.. It’s my biggest quilt to date. It measures about 77″ square. Even though this was a simple quilt to put together I had lots of difficulties. Let’s just call them “brain farts” 😉 I love the finished product and I am so glad that my Mom loves it too.

moms quilt

Pixelated Heart Quilt

moms quilt back

With just a simple quilt back.

My sister and I recruited the kids to write little messages to their Grandma D. I know that she will love and cherish this quilt. She brought it to work the other day. Happy Birthday Mom glad you love your quilt. My poor Dad has been left out of the quilt mix. Honestly I didn’t think that he would want one but after seeing my Moms quilt he can’t wait for his. Father’s day is around the corner I foresee making a quilt for Father’s Day in my future.

d'andre blockmatthew blockkizaiah block

sadie blockcierra block

An up close look at the grand kids quilt blocks.

Thanks for checking out the blog. I have a couple other quilts in progress. One for my Niece Sadie and one for Me or the Shop I haven’t decided yet. Stay tuned I will post those once they are done. Happy Crafting.

 

 

Thank you to A Crafty fox and Blue Elephant Stitches for the pixelated ❤ inspirations.

A Happy Birthday and a Pillow

2 Sep

Just a quick post to say that I am busy sewing away getting things ready for my etsy shop :). But we did celebrate a birthday in this house. My middle boy turned 9 last week. He requested a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting just like his brother but it had to be blue. Okay no problem I can do that. I used this cake and frosting recipe again, it never fails me.

I also finished up a little project for my daughter. A while back I embroidered this sweet strawberry shortcake with plans on making it a throw pillow. Throw pillow forms can be pricey so I went to the goodwill and found an ugly throw pillow but it was in great conditions. It still had the tag on it but I bought it for $1.99. I used some fabric that I had in my stash. I love the way it turned out!

The back is minky dot fabric, oh so soft but a pain to sew. It’s so slippery. Oh well not perfect in the back but I don’t think that Cierra will care.

Happy Birthday to our Little Diva

4 Aug

Well we celebrated Cierra’s 5th birthday this week. She had a sleepover last night and a little get together today. Her real birthday was this past Wednesday and when it’s your special day in this house you get to choose whatever you want to eat that day and your choice of cake flavors.  Cierra’s choices for her special day was powdered donuts for breakfast. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch and Chicken Avocado Soup with flour tortillas. It’s 112° here in Oklahoma. Who wants to eat soup? My crazy kid does. Well I had to make the birthday girl what she wanted but rest assured I had the fan pointing right at the dinner table and the air conditioner on for sure.

 15 Minute Donuts makes about 30 Donut Holes
Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 Tbsp melted butter

2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Granulated sugar, cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, for coating

Directions:

Preheat oil over medium heat in a 10 inch non-stick fry-pan (keeping an eye on it as it is heating).  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together milk, buttermilk, sugar and melted butter.  Using a fork stir in dry ingredients and mix just until combine (think of making biscuit dough, you just want to incorporate the ingredients).

Once the oil has reached 350 degrees, measure out 1/2 tablespoonfuls dough and using your hands gently roll into a ball (gently rolling to keep them fluffy, think of rolling something really fragile.  Again this is like a biscuit dough you don’t want to overwork it).  Gently place dough ball into oil and fry until golden brown on bottom then flip and cook reverse side until golden brown.  Carefully remove with metal tongs or a fork and drain onto a paper towel lined plate.  Roll in sugar. Repeat this process with remaining dough (you can fit about 8 donuts in the pan at once if you can work that fast =).  Note: these are best enjoyed the day they are made.

 Source: Cooking Classy

Honey Oatmeal Sandwich Bread makes 2 9×5 inch loaves

Ingredients:

2 cups boiling water

1 cup rolled oats

½ cup honey

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons salt

1 package of active dry yeast(2 1/4 tsp)

½ cup warm water (110 degrees F)

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour*

3 ½ to 4 cups bread flour**

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons honey

handful of rolled oats

  1. In large mixing bowl (stand mixer bowl if you have one), combine boiling water to oats, honey, butter and salt. Let stand 1 hour.
  2. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the oats mixture. Combine wheat flour and bread flour in separate bowl. Add 2 cups of flour mixture to oats mixture and combine well. Continue adding flour mixture to mixing bowl by ½ cup increments until dough pulls together. This will happen when between 5 ½ & 6 cups of flour has been added. You may not need the last ½ cup of flour.
  4. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Or add your bread hook to your mixer and knead for a few minutes.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hr. (I preheat the oven for about 5 minutes then turn it off, make sure it’s warm but not hot and put the bowl in there to rise, this seemed to work best because for this recipe is there is much more flour than yeast).
  6. Deflate the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place in 9 x 5 greased loaf pans and cover with damp cloth & let rise again until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. (I return the pans to the oven for this step too.)
  7. Preheat oven to 375. While oven is preheating mix milk and honey together in mug and microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush warm milk mixture over loaves and generously sprinkle with rolled oats.
  8. Bake loaves at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool before removing from pans.

** I use half bread flour and half All purpose flour, a total of up to 6 cups. Only because I don’t have wheat flour in my pantry yet.

Chicken Avocado Soup source: My friend Christina

1 1/2 TBS olive oil

1 white onion, diced fairly big

8 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 jalapeno, sliced

1 Qt. chicken stock

chicken breast, diced; or I use leftover chicken and shred it

1/4 c fresh lime juice

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro for garnish

Directions:

Saute jalapeno and onion for 3-4 minutes and garlic and saute another minute or so. Stir in chicken stock, chicken, lime juice, salt and pepper. Gently simmer until chicken is done. In the last few minutes of cooking add avocado and cilantro. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve with flour tortillas.

Flour Tortillas:

Ingredients:

1 3/4 c All purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 c Hot water

1/4 c shortening, butter, or lard (using butter tastes better than shortening but tortillas get hard quick)

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients into a bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry cutter until flour mix resembles a coarse mill. Add hot water mix until just combined.Knead for 3 minutes. Dough should be fairly stiff but easy to work with. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll each ball out super thin. Cook on a dry nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When cooking tortillas bubbles should form on top, once top starts to form bubbles flip tortilla and allow to cook until light brown circles form on the 2nd side. Place cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer or in a clean kitchen towel wrapped in foil. Serve immediately while they are warm.

For her party I made 4 different types of pizza, cheese, pepperoni, sausage and buffalo chicken along with a side salad. She wanted a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and roses on her cake. This is what I came up with. I am pretty proud but let me tell you buttercream frosting is not my friend in August. It was so soft that I had to put it in the freezer to cool it down enough just so I could frost the darn thing. It was good and oh so pretty if I do say so myself. Cierra loved it too, that’s all that really matters anyway right?!

Strawberry Layer Cake
Yield: 3 x 8″ round layers

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups (12 oz/350 g) granulated sugar

1 (3 oz/85 g) package strawberry flavored gelatin (such as Jell-O)

1 cup (8 oz/227 g) butter, softened

4 eggs (room temperature)

3 cups (10.5 oz/300 g) sifted cake & pastry flour

1 tablespoon (15 mL/17 g) baking powder

3/4 teaspoon (3.75 mL/5 g) salt

1 cup (236 ml/8 liquid oz) whole milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (2 liquid oz/4.5 oz/130 g) strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (puree itself should be closer to room temp, not frozen or icy)

Method:

1. 1. If you’re making your own strawberry puree, remove frozen strawberries (about 2 handfuls) from freezer and place in a single layer in a flat dish to thaw slightly. Place into food processor and puree the strawberries until smooth. Stir to ensure it is nice and smooth and not icy. Measure out 1/4 cup for cake and 3 tablespoons for frosting, and freeze the remaining puree for another use.
2.Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter, line with parchment, and flour three round 8-inch pans, tapping out the excess. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the milk, strawberry puree, and the vanilla. Set aside.

4. Sift and whisk dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and set aside.

5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, gelatin, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy–about 5 minutes.

6. Add the eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with spatula.

7. Add the wet & dry ingredients to the creamed mixture by alternating–beginning and ending with dry ingredients and mixing just enough after each addition to incorporate, but not overmix.

8. Divide the batter in three, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh each pan filled with batter, to ensure 3 even layers.

9. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cakes at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

10. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten day one.

Whipped Strawberry Frosting (or, shall we call it Strawberry Ice Cream Frosting?)

Ingredients:

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (13 oz/375 g) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

4 cups sifted (18 oz/500 g) confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) milk

1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 mL) pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

3 tablespoons strawberry puree made from frozen strawberries (if you want the frosting seed-free, you can put the puree through a sieve before adding to frosting)

Method

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4” on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except strawberry puree, and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Add strawberry puree (can be cool, but not frozen or icy) and mix until incorporated.

4. Best used right away, but can be covered in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or so.

*I colored my frosting with Winton gel dye. A mix of red and pink.

Happy Birtday D’Andre

17 Jun

10 years ago I became a mother to the most outgoing, intelligent, athletic and funny little boy. Mom and dad love you buddy.

He requested Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. So of course I had to oblige. I originally wanted to make the icing red but duh when you add red food coloring to whitish frosting it turns pink and I didn’t think that my now 10-year-old (man where does the time go) boy would appreciate a pink cake. We will save the pink for his sisters cake. So with a little Lot of mixing I endend up with vanilla frosting that looked like chocolate. But I do have to say that it did taste amazing. This will be my regular chocolate cake recipe for sure.

One-Bowl Dark Chocolate Cake

Yield: 2 8″ cakes

Serves: 8+

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup (60 g/2 oz) dark cocoa powder

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2.5 liquid oz (75mL)vegetable oil

5 liquid oz (140mL)buttermilk

4.5 liquid oz (130 mL) espresso or strong, hot  brewed coffee

2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon (15 mL) vanilla

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C. Prepare 2 8-inch round cake pans with  butter, parchment paper rounds, and cocoa powder. Tap out excess.

2. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add  all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle  attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the  plastic splash-guard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. If possible, use digital kitchen scale and weigh pans for even layers. Batter  will be liquidy.

3. Bake for 15 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick  or skewer comes clean–approximately 25-30 minutes. Try not to over bake.

4. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until  completely cool.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

3.5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

Method

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low-speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Best used right away (for ideal spreading consistency).

Cake Source: Sweetapolita

Frosting source: Sweetapolita

I put mini chocolate chips on the side of the cake but you can add anything or decorate any way you want. Here is one way I want to make it in the near future.

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