Friday, December 31, 2010

Breakfast Strawberry Crepes

We made these for breakfast:
Photo taken from Closet cooking

Click here for the recipe!

Yum, yum YUM.  But beware of the sugar rush that will follow! I didn't use whole strawberries just a strawberry filling from the cake filling I had left over.  The cream cheese spread is so GOOD.  Thanks Angie and Dixon for the yummy breakfast idea.

Architecture Dreaming

 This house make me go Mmmmmmm!  I will probably never live in a contemporary modern house like this but I can dream.

Doggy Fun

 This is a usual walk....

Desk Project

 I bought a desk! For $50!!! 

I have been looking for a few months and for some reason the craigslist in San Diego hasn't had the awesome deals I here about online all the time.  I just have to complain about how much IKEA stuff and super cheap fake wood stuff is out there and people want top price, it's kind of annoying, anyway... Patience finally paid off and I got this all wood, in great condition, huge desk.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I read somewhere about this simple Brazilian dessert that is suppose to be the up and coming dessert this next year, it's called Brigadeiros. So I tried it out last night. The recipe is super simple and the recipe is really easy to follow.  It uses lots of sprinkles to cover the balls so I tried a few with sugar sprinkles and a few without anything.  I think coconut flakes, peanut bits or crushed graham cracker crumbs would be yummy to try as well.  

Here is the recipe:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shower Love

I think I could spend more time in this shower then I should. I love the windows and the big bench and the rain fall shower head that drops from the ceiling. I think a few wall mounted shower heads would be nice. I also like the weaved tile on the floor. It might be a bit of a pain to squeegee all that glass after every shower though!

Monday, December 27, 2010

More Holiday Cupcakes

 Here is the last picture of my holiday cupcakes.  These were my favorite.  I used a yellow cake box mix, following the instructions on the back.  Combined some strawberry filling and buttercream frosting and filled the inside of the cupcake.  Frosted them with cream cheese frosting, drizzled some of the strawberry filling (without the frosting added) and topped it off with red sprinkles.  They were so awesome.
 My assistant, not being so helpful, just kidding. He was super helpful at the taste testing part!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas The Night Before Christmas

......when all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

I hope everyone has a wonderful night!

Chocolate Carmel Cupcakes

I am taking cupcakes to our Christmas Eve party this year.  I wanted to do something fun and unique.  So I'm going with this recipe, Red Velvet and then a yellow cupcake with a strawberry filled inside which (I will blog about once I make those).  I found this recipe and decided to try it. I thought they turn out pretty good looking and they taste A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  I had a little bit of a hard time with the Carmel frosting, it didn't set up very thick so I added some buttercream frosting and it thickened right up and I think tastes better then what I had to start with.
I used cream cheese frosting and then drizzled some of the caramel filling over the top and then a few chocolate sprinkles

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes (found on Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)
(Makes 20)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder, unsweetened
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 + 1/3 cups Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup Milk, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the cupcake pans by greasing or placing paper liners in them.

2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl occasionally. Beat in Vanilla Extract. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in cooled chocolate.

4. Beat in the flour mixture in 4 additions alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture and beat briefly until smooth on low-medium.

5. Fill cupcake wells 3/4 of the way. Bake about 22 minutes or until a toothpick in middle shows a few moist crumbs.

6. Cool on wire racks ten minutes. Then remove cupcakes to racks to cool completely.

Caramel Frosting (adapted from Betty Crocker)

  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Milk, divided
  • 3 cups Powdered Confectioners' Sugar, plus a little extra if needed

1. In a 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, reduce heat to low.

2. Boil and stir 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Milk. Heat to boiling, remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes.

3. Pour the caramel into a large mixing bowl gradually stir in powdered sugar and milk. Beat with an electric hand mixer on low about 6 minutes until light and fluffy. If too stiff add milk a teaspoon at a time to get the right consistency. If too watery add additional powdered sugar beating on low until it reaches the right consistency.

4. Store in refrigerator for 15 minutes before frosting to help it firm up.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Zuppa Toscana

Have you ever had the Suppa Toscana at the Olive Garden? My husband loves it and I found the recipe online the other day so I tried it for dinner.  Huge success, huge!  Here is the recipe, if you try it out I would love to know what you thought.  A recommendations: etween the sausage and the bacon there is a lot of meat, I would cut it in half or double the liquid and potatoes for a double batch.  Also I didn't put in the kale, Kolbe doesn't like it and while I was writing this post I googled what the benefits of kale are and the first link pops up "one of the the healthiest vegetables known to man!" Oh shoot, I guess next time I better put it in, just so we can have the healthiest vegetable known to man in our diet!
Photo via Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Zuppa Toscana
(found on Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into a small dice
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, ground or links with casings removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) chicken broth or stock
  • 3 cups Russet potatoes, cubed
  • sea or kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 2 loose packed cups kale, in bite size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream or 14 ounce can evaporated milk
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving

1. In a large soup pot or sauce pan cook bacon over medium until crispy. Add sausage and break it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled drain off the grease leaving a tablespoon or two to saute onion.

2. Push the sausage to the edges of the pot and add onion to center; saute until translucent; add garlic; saute until fragrant.

3. Stir in broth and potatoes, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, simmer for about 20 minute or until potatoes are tender.

4. Add kale and heavy cream or evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer. Serve with Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

My photo, I don't claim to be a great photographer, thus why I use others photos or stock photos instead!

Holiday Decor Fun

You may have thought that I switched my blog to a cooking blog but don't worry I have some good posts on design coming up.  For now I want to post some fun holiday pictures.  I use to have a large holiday file and I can't find it. There have been so many fun holiday ideas this year that I got a little crazy saving a few and didn't keep track of where they came from so if they are yours or you know who they belong to let me know and I will give them credit.  Happy holiday decor dreaming
Via 33 Shades of Green, and one of the best photographed Christmas trees I've seen
via Sweet Something Designs- So festive and fun!
 I know this person is on my blog role I just can't find where!

via Sweet Something Designs
 The best part was this gal made this ornament from a cool whip lid insert, very creative

Via Bliss Bloom

Via Martha Stewart
via Centsational Girl- I am going to attempt a version of this sometime soon!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I feel like lately all I've blogged about is food but holiday events require food so I think its a good thing right? I promise I will get back to décor soon, I do need to post some great holiday décor I have been seeing. As I've watched baking shows and read baking blogs everyone raves about Red Velvet Cake. I think I've had it before but I don't really remember if I like it or not and Kolbe had never tried it so I decided I would make it. Our consensus was that they were just okay. The recipe was easy to follow and the texture and moistness was good.We felt like they were too oily, and rightfully so, the recipe called for a cup and a half of vegetable oil! The friends I delivered them to all loved them which tells me they were a success in general. I've included the recipe and an awesome to die for cream cheese frosting recipe, BUT be careful after you have made this frosting you will NEVER go back to the tub of frosting again, never!
Via Food Network

Red Velvet Cupcakes (as found on the Food Network website)

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbs red food coloring- (I recommend the gel, I just added it in until I like the coloring)
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake papers, this recipe will make 24 cupcakes.  In a medium mixing bow, sift the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder).  In a large bowl gently beat the wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla extract). Add the sifted dry ingredients in to the wet mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins, about 2/3 filled (I like using a 1/4 cup measuring cup not quite all the way full). Bake in the oven for about 20-22 minutes.  Test with a toothpick for doneness.   Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting (I found this on the TLC website, the DC Cupcake girls did an online video demonstration, it is by far my husbands FAVORITE frosting)

  • 6 oz. Cream cheese
  • ½ cup of butter (1 stick)
  • 4 cups (1 lb.) of powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

Mix butter and cream cheese on med/high speed for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of powder sugar at a time until it is all mixed in. Right before last cup of sugar add in vanilla and scrape the down sides. Whip on high speed for 1-2 minutes to make light and fluffy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No New House

So we were suppose to close on our new house today but a few weeks ago we ran into some major repairs that needed to be done and changed our offer to the bank to have them help with some of these repairs since we wouldn't be able to get insurance on the house without them.  They took FOREVER to get back to us and finally told us yesterday that their answer was NO.  We kind of suspected this would happen so we weren't too shocked, but maybe a little bummed.  I'm excited to get my office set up since I have put this off in lieu of the move.  We are going to enjoy the house we have right now and I'm sure more pictures will come as soon as I wrap up a few other projects.

Cranberry Citrus Cream Cheese DELIGHT

I was reading over on Sand & Sisal, and she has this great recipe.  I made it and Kolbe and I loved it so I made some more and wrapped them up for gifts.  It was easy and fun and kind of a gourmet thing that my friends loved. 

Here is all you need to make it:

  • 2- 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
  • 1/2 can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbs. frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 Tbs. powdered sugar

Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, if not the spread will turn out lumpy.  I accidentally put 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate and so I balanced it out with 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and we liked the extra citrus flavor.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Baking

Last weekend I went over to a friends house and we made Stollen.  I had no idea what stollen bread was, so I'm betting most of you don't either.  Stollen is a Danish bread that you put a bunch of stuff in, nice description huh?  We had a fun time and made some pretty tastey bread.  I don't know how my friend made the dough, all I know is she has a sour dough start named Fred.

We spread out the dough and covered it with our fillings of choice.  There are walnuts, dried cranberries and apricots

 Once we had all our fillings on it we rolled it up and then let it rest for a little bit.

 Then we worked all the fruit and nuts into the bread and then let it rest again (apparently dough doesn't like working too hard.)

Here we are putting some almond paste to be a sweet surprise in the middle of the bread. 

Here is the bread all wrapped up and ready to go in to the oven. 

Yum, a slice of my freshly baked bread, tasty.  Hope everyone gets a chance to do some holiday baking if they enjoy that kind of stuff!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cake Time

I took my last cake class last night.  Our assignment was to bring an 8" and 6" cake to class with fondant on it already.  We learned how to stack it and then we decorated.  I had extra buttercream icing so I combined buttercream with fondant in the decor.  The cake made it home in one piece but transporting cakes has to be a class all on its own!

So here is the final product...
A little argyle 

A little scroll work

And a little design on the top.

Overall I really enjoyed taking this class, I learned a lot about cakes and baking in general.  I think I'll enjoy making cakes for family and friends events but for now I'm making some Christmas goodies and then I'm taking a break from the cakes and permanently attaching myself to the treadmill.  Seriously, even though I gave most of the cakes away, I cannot be allowed to have that much dessert around that often, I'll admit I have low self discipline.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Career Ideas?

Maybe I could take up a career in toilet paper oragami. What do you think?

I found this picture on How About Orange, who knew there was was talent like this out there.  For more ideas on livening up your bathroom, or maybe just something to do when duty calls, check out this place for some more toilet paper creations.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Trees

Here is a fun idea.  Jute wrapped Christmas trees with white berries.

I took a green styrofoam cone

Some tacky glue

and a roll of jute, 
I poured the glue and spread it out as I went and wrapped the jute around the cone.  

Once the glue was dry I take a stick of white berries (kind of like this picture but in white, I couldn't find a single picture of white berries, Google failed me!) and wrapped them around each tree.

I am still deciding how to display the trees, I'm think of tile mirrors, we will see.  Happy holiday  creating .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Cake Part 2

Here is the inside of the cake. It was a huge success at the party, yummy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Holiday Fun

I've linked to a great blog, take a look at all the fun Christmas decor ideas.  I love seeing all the creativity.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Cake Time with Fondant

Tonight was our first night working with fondant, here is the base of my cake.  Inside the cake is 4 layers- red, green, red, green.  I have a Christmas party this weekend so I figured I would take the cake to the party.  Fondant has a consistency of play dough, minus the salty feel, and it needs to be warmed up a little but you can't work with it for too long because it starts to dry out.  I bought a white base and I had to add in the coloring and knead it to make the coloring consistent.

And here is the finished piece, my first fondant cake!  I kept with a pretty simple design so that I could get a feel for how the fondant works and to see how quickly I have to work with it before it starts to dry out.

The circles were really easy but I think they look fun and whimsical.  I'm definitely a fan of fondant and I think I will keep decorating with it, I just wish it wasn't so dang expensive!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fondant Day

It's fondant night, I'm really excited to try this design medium, but I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to design.  I made a cake that is red and green layers (I know I think I have gotten hooked on making the inside cool, maybe a little too much, but it's so fun,) and is going to be a Christmas cake for a party I'm going to the weekend.   Here are some possibly ideas.

 Simple, but maybe a good place to start?
 Holy poinsettia!

Kind of busy and I'm only doing a 1 level cake.

 As I've been perusing the internet,I found this colossal tree cake, for those of you who thought my bday cake was tall... I would have to say this one beats mine 20:1.