Sunday, October 2, 2011

Back in the saddle again....

Ok so this time, I'm really back to blogging. I love my free time, but I'm actually getting a little bored with it so I must occupy my time with something! I have not been baking lately because, well....I don't know why actually. Because of my new love for Pinterest (aka most awesome website/app ever!!) I have been trying out all sorts of new things lately. They have DIY ideas and crafts, holiday decorating ideas, FOOD recipes, and all sorts of yummy desserts. My plan is to blog about one Pinterest dinner recipe a week and, of course, to continue to blog about any and all desserts. 

Although I did not post anything about this recipe when I made it, I wanted to include it for those of you that are looking for an easy and delicious cobbler recipe. This was given to me by a patient and I'm pretty sure she got it from The recipe is fool proof and perfect for a quick "game time" dessert.

The "whatever kind of fruit you want" Cobbler
(I have tried this with peach and apple so far, both delicious)

1 stick butter (1/2 c. butter)
1 c. sugar
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
2 cans "whatever" pie filling
Melt butter in 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Mix sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and milk - will be thin. Pour over melted butter. Top with cherry pie filling (do not mix). Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or brown. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Ok, onto the next topic...Football Sundays!!! I just love Sundays, except for the fact that I have to go to work the next day. The weather is perfect and everyone's excited about "the big game". Today Matthew had a few friends over and I just had to share the experience with you. First of all, guys and girls are so different. If there is a planned get together, girls have an idea of what exactly they are going to make and it usually consists of fun game themed food. I love that! Guys, on the other hand, want their idea of football rolls, taquitos, chips, and beer. The messier and more gut forming food, the better. There is nothing wrong with this, but I just think the whole mentality behind men and football is hilarious. So let's start from the beginning...
Matthew and I started our day with a wonderful (and huge) breakfast on the patio of a cute little cafe up the street from us, 5th Street Cafe. It's small, cute and the food is pretty good. We met the nicest couple there that are new to Frisco and have the cutest little baby. We love meeting new people and really enjoyed talking to them. Of course, before we left breakfast, the guys had to discuss fantasy football. I really think it's pretty much all guys talk about between August and January. Do they really even care about who wins the games? Or do they just care about how many points they get and if they win in their league that week? The whole concept cracks me up. Guys and their fantasy football. Anyway, we got home around 11:30 and were planning on watching the game at home. The next thing I know, there are 3 guys showing up at our house.
Classic, right? Even Turbo fits in with them. All of a sudden I had to think like a was of utmost importance! I caved, I needed something quick. I ran up to Walmart and grabbed the manliest food I could think of and this is what it ended up being...
Yes, Taquitos, pizza rolls, chips, dip, and beer. Now, I couldn't let this define me a hostess, so I had to add my own touch to the mix and decided I HAD to bake something. The dessert of choice....Strawberry Cake Balls!!! Yuuuum! If you've never had cake balls before, you must try them! They are easy and fun to make and make great finger food desserts. 
They don't have to look perfect to taste good. Also, I have mentioned this before....the best desserts are those that cause you to make a HUGE mess! Let me tell ya, covering these in chocolate= HUGE MESS!!!
Lessons learned from this quick thinking hostess experience, 
1. Guys don't care what they eat, they just want something quick and at their finger tips
2. Girls think too much and we care WAY to much about presentation
3. When it doubt, go for pizza rolls. They disappear from the plate faster than you can put them down
4. Make sure to tell your guests that the pitcher in the fridge has iced coffee in it, not sweet iced tea. Oops!
5. If you are going to stay in the same room as the football watchers, wear head could get loud and heated!
and finally...
6. Women will never understand the obsession with Fantasy Football :-) 
I love football Sundays! Until next time...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gorgonzola, my new best friend...

As I mentioned in a previous blog, there is this awesome website out there called It is a virtual pinboard and lets you add pictures, recipes, and ideas to your board to use at a later date or right away. It's absolutely fabulous and I highly recommend it for anyone and everyone. 

On that note, I am once again side tracking from my usual topic and going straight for the best stuff on Earth....PASTA! Let me start by mentioning that I have become completely obsessed with looking up and pinning recipes on Pinterest, especially at lunch time oddly enough. There are so many delicious looking entrees that I am dying to try.

Because I am getting married soon, I really want to try to start taking on some wifey duties. I know how to bake and truly enjoy it, but when it comes to cooking, I am a disaster in the kitchen. I am slowly starting to try out new recipes and so far, it's going ok. That being said, I am going to start posting recipes I try that are successful and tasteful. 

Last Thursday I decided to try two recipes: Lemon Garlic Pasta and Italian Bread with Gorgonzola. They were both delicious!

Matthew and I are really trying to choose healthier options which can be a little difficult when you have a love of pasta like I do. I saw this on Pinterest and it looked so pretty and sounds healthier so I just had to try it. Oh and PS, I have never had gorgonzola cheese before but OMG it is fantastic on bread!!!

Lemons Garlic Pasta

4 oz dry spaghetti
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon
2 tbsp pine nuts
5-6 basil leaves, chiffonaded

****Here are a few things I learned from preparing this: 1 clove of garlic is not the entire white cluster you buy from the grocery store. I was slightly confused, but after googling it, I discovered it is only one of the half moon shaped things that comes out of the white cluster you buy from the grocery store. Phew! Potential disaster was avoided! I also learned that lemons are different sizes and this recipes doesn't specify the size. Just to be safe, stick to 1/2 of any size lemon, otherwise it ends up way to lemony. Finally, I have never used fresh herbs before and definitely did not start with this recipe. I eyeballed the amount of dry basil, but I would guess it was about 1 tablespoon.

Start by mincing the clove of garlic and letting it heat up on low until it browns slightly in the olive oil

(While the garlic and olive oil heat up, go ahead and cook the pasta noodles. Also, don't use this large of pan. My smaller one was dirty, so this is all I had)

Combine dry ingredients in a good sized bowl, squeeze in juice from 1/2 lemon, and then add browned garlic and olive oil to mixture
Once noodles are done, add to bowl and mix well.

The finished product is absolutely beautiful!
Italian Bread with Gorgonzola

Loaf of French Bread
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese
1 to 2 cloves garlic
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Optional: Basil or Oregano

*****Side note: I used pre-minced garlic that you can buy at the grocery store. It just seems to work better with the bread. I also recommend melting the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds instead of just softening it. I chose to use both the basil and oregano as well. 

********Extra side note, my wonderful fiance was in charge of making the bread for our meal and he did a fabulous job! 

First, melt the butter and then add all other ingredients to it.

Then, make slits in bread and spread mixture into each one.

The next step is optional, but I think it tastes better this way. Pour a little olive oil in a bowl and use a brush to "brush" it on top of the bread. 

Also optional, but we added Parmesan cheese on top of the olive oil.

Finally, wrap bread in foil and place it in the oven for 15 minutes on 400 degrees. 

The final product looks amazing!

This meal was, in fact, delicious! The pasta is the perfect combination of light and tasty. While the flavor is subtle, each bite is a unique blend of garlic, lemon, and nutty flavors. This would be great paired with a garlic chicken. If you are looking for a full flavored pasta, this is not the recipe for you. However, if you want something light that enables you to still have room for dessert, I highly recommend this. The bread was heavenly. The Gorgonzola brought a very Italian flavor to the bread. I also enjoyed the few chunks that fell on my pasta when I would bite into the bread. The cheese added a unique flavor to the pasta that is indescribable, but tasty. Matthew and I thoroughly enjoyed our healthy pasta and paired it with a nice bottle of wine. Now, I didn't tell you this, but because we felt soooo healthy, we decided to treat ourselves to an extremely healthy dessert......
a Dairy Queen Blizzard! :-) 

I highly recommend these recipes! Thanks to Pinterest and especially to those that originally posted these recipes. Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Swing Batter, Batter....

Well, now that my day of feeling sorry for myself is over, I can get back to what really matters in life....dessert! 

So the softball party I mentioned before was canceled, sadly. I had already bought such cute baseball themed decorations and everything! So, with baseball/softball on my mind, I decided I should put some my ideas to good use.

Now this first cake I am about to show you will NEVER and I mean NEVER be seen again! Anyone who knows Matthew and I know what huge baseball fans we are. Naturally, living in Texas, we are die hard Rangers fans. So, here is what happened....

Our friends, Tim and Jamie, are also lovers of baseball. Unfortunately, they cheer for the LA Angels. It's horrible, I know. I don't know why we are even friends with them! :-D Anyway, Jamie's birthday was last week and I offered to make her a cake. For some CRAZY reason Matthew, of all people, suggested I make her an Angels cake. Seriously!?! I'm pretty sure those words tasted very bad in his mouth. I'm also about 98% sure that he regretted saying it as soon as it came out. Despite my astonishment and bewilderment (aren't those fun words?), I proceeded to make the cake. Because the last couple of cakes I have made have used gum paste and fondant, I decided to switch gears and practice my piping! It's been awhile and, clearly, I'm a little rusty. This was the best I could come up with...
 This is a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Smashing ideas!

So the "smash cake" photo shoot is officially over, so I can now post the cake picture! I don't have any action photos from the shoot, but I also don't want to invade my cousin's privacy by plastering her baby all over my blog so it's probably for the best. He's such a cute little boy and I really hope he enjoyed destroying his first cake! Special thanks to my cousin for letting me practice on Hunter's smash cake! Thanks Mel! I appreciate it!

P.S. Another special thanks to Tim and Jamie for the most wonderful cake turn table ever!

Now, onto the next desserts! We are having our coed softball end of season party tomorrow night and, of course, I will be using another opportunity to practice cake decorating! I can use all the practice I can get! 

So my plan is to keep it simple and stick to just a few things. One of our team members has a Gluten allergy so I'm planning on making some Gluten-free brownies. I've only made one other dessert that was gluten-free before and I didn't think it tasted quite like normal. My goal is to research and find an awesome Gluten-free brownie recipe that is so tasty, no one will know it's not the real deal! The other dessert I plan on making is cake balls! I haven't quite decided what flavor yet, but I plan on dipping them in white chocolate and drawing red lines on them to make them look like baseballs. Cute, right? 
Feel free to offer any other ideas or suggestions!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally, I'm back

Well it's been awhile but I've been a busy girl! Last week was super busy, but very productive! I worked on the baseball cake last week and delivered it on Saturday. I also finished up my finals and graduated from college on Saturday afternoon. So, I was a little too busy to update my blog, but I'm back now and happy to be!

Soooo, where did we leave off? The baseball baby shower cake!
I ended up making new baby animals: an elephant, a giraffe, and my newest addition, a monkey! I thoroughly enjoyed making the little figures and I was very pleased at how they turned out. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the put together cake, but I did manage to get pictures of the individual tiers.
This is the bottom tier

and this is the top tier
The monkey is my favorite! Thanks to the practice I got on this cake, I was able to make another monkey for a different cake. I am making a "smash cake" for my cousin's baby's first birthday! I guess the new thing for babies is to have a little photo shoot of them tearing into their first cake on their first birthday. I did a little research online to help get some inspiration and the pictures I found were absolutely adorable! 

I delivered the "smash cake" tonight, but the photo shoot isn't until tomorrow, so I won't reveal little Hunter Hopkins' cake until after the shoot! Until then...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Softball Playing Giraffe!

Hello again! So I had so much fun creating the cute little elephant yesterday, so I decided to go ahead and make the giraffe as well! It was a little more difficult to make than the elephant, but it's alright for the first try! I've never made a giraffe before...

I made a few other figures last Christmas for my family Christmas dinner. My plan was to make cake ornaments and place a figure in front of each one as sort of a name tag. I made two penguins, an elephant, a mouse, a reindeer, an owl, Tigger, and Winnie the Pooh. I had so much fun making them! Unfortunately, they ended up being a little bigger than I anticipated. They were the same size as the ornaments! I did not end up using them and later threw them away :-( Here are a few of my favorites...

Well I guess that's it for today...all that's left are some mini baseballs, the cakes, and a few other details! I'm excited to see the final product!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Elelphant!

So I'm getting very excited about the baby shower cake I am making for next weekend. I decided to get a head start on some of the gumpaste figures and details this weekend. 

If you aren't familiar with gumpaste, think of it as play doh. It usually comes in a package or a bucket and you can buy it in a number of colors or just buy plain white and add your own color to it. Although it has a dough-like consistency, it can dry out very easily so make sure to turn off ceiling fans above you when working with it and keep the bag closed or lid shut to keep the remaining gumpaste moist. Also, while working with gumpaste, the consistency may turn to stickiness. If this occurs, put a little Crisco on your hands and keep on sculpting.

Ok so enough of that boring stuff and on to the exciting creation! I have decided to make a two tiered cake with a few animals, a large baseball, small baseballs, a few baseball bats, and a pendent. If you can't visualize all that together, don't worry....I don't want you to! What fun would that be if I drew out in detail what I was going to do before I do it?? Hey, it's even going to be a surprise for me!

My first figure I created today is a baby elephant. He's a cute little guy that is clearly very hungry!
 Well, what do you think so far???

Which animal will I make tomorrow.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Christmas in August!

So I've been dreaming of Christmas all day and have now resorted to actually listening to Christmas music while I finish homework and play on the Internet. Our office has been a bit chilly which has been great because that means it is "sweater weather" at work. It reminds me of cooler weather which is nice because it is so dang hot here in Texas! The cooler weather, of course, reminds me of Christmas which is my favorite holiday ever! Christmas this year is especially exciting because we're getting married on Thanksgiving day in Costa Rica and having a wedding party back home to celebrate it the week before Christmas. This means the party will be the perfect combination of the beach and yes...CHRISTMAS!!! 

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas themed party with Christmas trees, white lights, drinks, dancing, CAKE, and of course, sea shells! After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! (can you guess which Christmas song I'm listening to right now?) 

So my wonderful mom is planning and throwing this party for Matthew and I, but I'm in charge of the dessert table(YAY!) and the candy bar(WOOHOO!). What better job security is there for a dental assistant??  

Here's some inspiration for our dessert table
***Thank you for referring me to . (you know who you are) It is such a fun website!

Imagine these starfish in all white...Pretty!

I love this cupcake, but I have no idea how I would make this beautiful flower!

These are fun desserts!
 Ok, so I was searching the web for pictures of cakes and I came across this really cute picture. If you are a girl and, like the rest of us, have body issues, you'll love this!
 Isn't it such a pain that the first place we lose weight is in our boobs, but it seems nearly impossible to gain them back??? Oh well....let's keep eating cake and keep our fingers crossed that it will move up to our boobies instead of down to our booties!

Until next time....

P.S. I'm still working on the baseball baby shower ideas. I'm going to make the gumpaste figures this weekend so I'll post those as soon as I make them!

P.P.S. I've decided to make a new blog that relates to the "Love Is" comic from The Dallas Morning News. It's super corny, but I used to cut those out and collect them. I have an excuse for being over the top girly because I'm don't judge!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame!

I am sooo excited about the upcoming baby shower I am making a cake for! It is for a friend of my coworker who is having a baby boy with a baseball themed shower. How fun! I love baseball and am going to have a very tough time trying not to throw in Texas Rangers signage all over it. The directions are to make a baseball themed cake that is cute, but omits most of the typical frou frou baby stuff and does not represent a particular baseball team, aka the Rangers. 
Here are some inspirational baseball themed cake pictures...

This cake is so cool....I may have to use this for a special someone at our wedding party :-D

Although this is Ranger themed, I think it's very cute and might work for the baby shower :-D
 This may be my best bet....
Well, I think I have some good inspiration here! Let's see what I can come up with!

Any ideas??

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bridal Shower!!

We are getting married in 4 months! Technically it was 4 months on July 24, but who's counting? :-D Matthew and I are starting to get really excited about the big day now that's it's in clear site! It's crunch time people! And by crunch, I mean crunches because we will be on the beach in t-minus 4 months. Maybe it was a bad idea to make so many dang cake balls the other day. Oh well, speaking of weddings and sweet deliciousness...

So I am making desserts for my sister's best friend's bacherlorette party this weekend. The theme is Marie Antoinette which I could either nail and get the theme perfectly or could fail miserably. Here are some of my inspirations so far...

 I love this cake...maybe I'll use a chunk of it?
 Pink and blue cupcakes?
Ok so I absolutely love this picture! Who wouldn't want to lay on a chaise lounge in a room full of cake??
So here's what I'm thinking...close your eyes and imagine the sweetness.....
A two tiered round cake with similar details to the first picture of the giant cake. Let's say maybe the bottom tier is chocolate with a chocolate ganache filling and the top tier is vanilla with a strawberry cream filling all covered in vanilla buttercream. This will sit on a Tiffany blue cake stand and will be surrounded by 2 small cake stands covered in pale blue and pale pink cupcakes with chocolate covered strawberry cake balls scattered all around. 


Ok, so here's what actually went down....
I was sick all weekend, but I hung in there and got the job done. (my hands are raw from constantly washing them by the way) I ended up making a two tiered cake, cupcakes, and a few cake balls. Here are the results...

This is the cake...
The top tier is vanilla cake with strawberry cream filling and the bottom tier is chocolate with chocolate ganache filling. The whole cake was covered with strawberry cream frosting. My original plan was to use butter cream for the frosting, but I made two batches and both, for some reason, didn't turn out. I had strawberry cream filling left over from the vanilla cake and had no choice but to turn it into the frosting because it's all I had. I hated to use it because it makes it hard to cut the cake when the frosting isn't firm. It was a pretty color pink, though, so I guess it turned out alright. 
I also made cupcakes...
These are vanilla cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Here's a little tip that I didn't find out until I made the mistake myself with these cupcakes: if you use cream cheese frosting on cupcakes, either add more powdered sugar to thicken it or keep the cupcakes in the fridge once frosting is added. I learned this on this little adventure....I made pretty little swirls of cream cheese with edible pearls and gumpaste bows. After I walked outside and sat them down in my car, the frosting slumped and slid to one side of each cupcake. The result was a not so pretty cupcake. I tried to rig them the best I could once I got to the shower site, but I still wasn't pleased with the result. I'm a perfectionist...what can I say??
Finally, I made strawberry cake balls with cream cheese frosting and white chocolate coating. I, sadly, was a little disappointed with these as well. The cake balls I made a few weeks ago were amazing and I was so pleased that I thought I could do no wrong with these. The only thing I did differently this time was coating them with white chocolate. I used the same amount(2 large bars), but got totally different results. I was able to cover all 50 cake balls 2 weeks ago with the milk chocolate, but only 16 this time with the white chocolate. It didn't cover as smoothly either. I was hoping to make more than 16 obviously, but just couldn't get them to look like I wanted. I used my airbrush kit to color a few of them pale pink to match the color scheme. They tasted fine, but, again, I'm a perfectionist and just can't be satisfied with an imperfect cake ball :-)
So, what did I learn from this experience....baking is hard if you aren't at your best. Mistakes are made and it gets way more frustrating than it needs to be. At the end of the day, all you can do is try your best and keep washing your hands! Until next time....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cake Balls!!!

Today I am making cake balls for the first time by myself! I love to bake and I have more or less mastered the basics of cakes and cupcakes and am now trying a new type of tasty treat!
I'm making strawberry cake balls using my grandmother's "secret" family strawberry cake recipe. I am mixing it with cream cheese frosting and dipping it in baker's chocolate. Yum Yum! 

First start by baking the cake!
 Then the fun begins....crumble the cake!
Then you add an icing of choice...mine is cream cheese!!
After mixing the cake and frosting, use a small cookie scoop to form small balls of cake...
I made two 13x9 pans full of cake balls and placed them on parchment paper. I then placed them in the refrigerator for an hour to chill and harden.  
You can use any type of baker's chocolate you want to when coating the cake balls. Most recipes call for almond bark which you can get at any grocery store, but I hear it doesn't taste very good, so I went with what I know tastes good...
I used two boxes of chocolate to cover all the cake balls. Once they were all covered, I placed them back in the fridge to let the chocolate harden. They're almost done!!!!
And the final product looks like...
And cut in half...
I sprinkled a little cinnamon on top to enhance the flavor of the chocolate. Delicious! :-)

So, overall I would say this little edible adventure was a success! I am excited to try new cake/frosting combinations. Until the next baking session....