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Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Cupcake Decorating Classes

In cupcakes, Dessert, Halloween, Recipes on February 3, 2011 at 4:05 am

The adorable Cami Hutton asked me to teach a cupcake decorating class for a church activity back in October….yes, I realize this is VERY behind! Hopefully, though, this will provide some great ideas for next year’s holidays! Haha – really, I am very sorry this is so late.

Anyhow – the classes went great and were very fun to teach. I may have surprised myself a bit on how much I know about baking and decorating. Not that I don’t have plenty to learn…I certainly have room to grow….but I did have a marvelous time getting to meet the different women in my classes and enjoyed all their delicious creations!

Here I am: My new haircut and my new apron! I have a personal shopper at Anthropologie – if you’re ever shopping at Gateway mall, as for Patrick. He’s only the BEST. He also happens to be my brother in law (insert smiley face here).

We had a few Halloween ideas that included these pumpkins, using a star tip. 

Another idea that I didn’t get a picture of is to make the cupcake into a graveyard and use candy melts to make little bone shapes – mine are visible in the tupperware to the right. I also made some little pumpkins that can be used on top of the cupcake.

Here are some examples for Christmas cupcakes: a present, a (very soft) Christmas tree, and a peppermint. There is also another Halloween idea that I posted about last year – the MUMMY! They’re my personal favorite.

Another Halloween idea (this one my friend Lesli made) is the spiderweb! 

I hope I get the opportunity to teach again! I had a lot of fun. One thing I appreciate when teaching is how much I learn from my students. There is something to be said for a group of extremely creative people working together on a project. I look forward to doing it again! If you’d like me to teach (or would like to order a cake!), please email me at Livinsweet4@gmail.com.

Here are some cupcake decorating basics I handed out to my class:

Wilton Buttercream Icing Recipe:

(Stiff Consistency)

1 cup solid white vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon Wilton Flavor (Vanilla, Almond or Butter)

2 tablespoons milk or water

1 lb. pure cane confectioners’ sugar (approx 4 cups)

1 tablespoon Wilton Meringue Powder

A pinch of salt

Icing Consistency Adjustments

Stiff: Standard recipe

Medium: Add one teaspoon water to each cup of stiff (one additional tbsp of water when you are using the full recipe)

Thin: Add two teaspoons of water for each cup of stiff consistency icing (two tbsp of additional liquid for the full recipe)

A few baking tips:

  • I bake everything at 325 degrees, regardless. Your baking time will need to be increased when your temperature is lowered, but this will help your cakes and cupcakes bake more evenly with their edges.
  • I also substitute milk for water when making cakes, cupcakes and often icing.

My Favorite Homemade Pan Grease:

Blend equal parts of flour, oil and Crisco until smooth and store in an airtight container. When ready, use a pastry brush to coat any pan or cupcake cups and even frying pans. Nothing sticks with this stuff!

Red Velvet Delight

In cake, Dessert on February 3, 2011 at 3:18 am

I recently decided to cut my hair. All of it. At first, I hesitated making the big cut because my mom (as you can see in the previous post) has a pixie cut. On my most recent visit to see my parents, I repeatedly heard the phrase “Mirror mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all.” This is true in more way than one. I LOOOOOVVVEEE Red Velvet cake….so does my mother. We delight in tasting different varieties at various restaurants and have done so for years. A few months ago, I found a recipe online that was quite different from others I had seen. Once I altered it a little and combined it with some other recipes, I decided it was ready to be shared.

I was asked to make a cake for our friend, Austin’s birthday party. As it turns out, he also is a Red Velvet fan! I must say, my cream cheese frosting was exquisite. Take a look:

Princess Birthdays

In Baby, cake, Dessert, Girls, Kids on July 18, 2010 at 6:22 am

My dear friend asked me to help her make birthday cakes for her two little cousins. It was clearly a princess party from the moment we arrived! We matched Ally’s cake to all of her gifts and her decorations, adding a little edible sparkle to make it extra special.

She may not be much of a smiler, but it is apparent she was pleased with her cake!

It was also little Laney’s birthday, so we made her a small cake as well.

Keeping to the color scheme, we matched the inside of each cake to its exterior. Needless to say, all of the adults and children were all extremely surprised!

I very much enjoy being part of the occasions I make my cakes for! I love seeing my clients’ reactions and being able to enjoy all the fun right along with them! Thanks for having me P & G’s!!!! Glad you liked the cake!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Mania

In cake, Dessert, Food on July 18, 2010 at 5:55 am

I don’t think anyone in the world loves Reese’s as much as my husband does. Each candy-related holiday, I fill our themed candy jars with different varieties of Reese’s candies. I always buy 2 jumbo bags and they are ALWAYS gone within 2 days. I don’t eat any of them. In past years, I have even taken the excess candy to hide at work and in different drawers and compartments around the house. He (and my co-workers) have always found and devoured ALL of it.

SO- what better way to celebrate his and his brothers’ birthdays than a cake made almost entirely of Reese’s and chocolate?

This is a milk chocolate cake, iced with chocolate buttercream and packed FULL of 2 entire bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups. The inside filling is my own very cream cheesy – cream cheese filling.

This cake tastes like nothing I could have ever dreamed. It is amazing.

Ooey Gooey Cheesecake – Recipe!

In cake, Dessert, Recipes, Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 4:10 am

My mom has made this easy cheesecake for as long as I can remember. A great idea, which I got from my sister, is to use one of those brownie/cookie sheets that have the high lip on the edge. I feel like there is a better crust to cheesecake ratio….there are things I like about using a 13×9 as well, but it just up to you!

Crust:

1 Yellow Cake Mix

1 Egg

1 Stick (1 cup) of melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

1 lb (4 cups sifted) Confectioner’s Sugar

2 eggs

1 pkg (8oz) softened cream cheese

Mix crust ingredients, press to bottom of pan.

To make filling, mix eggs and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar slowly. Pour filling on top of crust and bake at 350 degrees for approx 30-40 minutes until center is cooked through and just barely beginning to turn golden brown on the top.

Enjoy! These are a major guilty pleasure of mine. I could eat the entire pan myself. For reals.

Mothers Day – A Teeeensy Bit Late…

In Dessert, Food, Holidays, Mothers Day, Truffles, Uncategorized on May 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Our ward had our Visiting Teaching Conference during Relief Society on Mothers Day – so, little gifts were, of course, required. Their original plan foiled at the last minute and on the Tuesday before this glorious holiday, I got a message asking if I could provide about 300 small truffles for the ladies in our ward. That is A LOT of truffles…especially for one person, so I recruited some help!

Jackee made the adorable little purses to box them in!

Thanks for the help, ladies! I couldn’t have done it without you!!! And of course, thank you to Jackee, for thinking of me and the yummy treats I can make.

Madagascar Cake and Par-tay!

In Baby, cake, Dessert, Dinner/Meals, Kids on April 29, 2010 at 4:17 am

I just arrived home this afternoon from my very first trip to California. I spent the last six days in Danville and had probably the most FUN day of my entire life!!!! I have Baby Wyatt to thank for the occasion and his parents for having a baby one year ago last Friday. I also have his Aunt Jennie to thank for inviting me to join the party and stay with her family (Becky didn’t ask…she pretty much told me I was going to come and make her kid’s cake…love you Becky!)

While I was there, I enjoyed the most amazing bowl of fettuccine with fresh scallops and prawns in a sherry cream sauce from The Great Impasta. Jennie’s ravioli was incredible, too….I also enjoyed Bruce’s tri-tip and famous party chicken. Mary made some AMAZING lasagna from scratch (which I, to this day, have still not done!) I am going to miss the incredible sourdough, too – we had lunch at Boudin’s on Pier 39 in San Francisco and I wanted to try so many things, I ordered myself two meals. Clam Chowder and a turkey sandwich on sourdough. O.M.G. I should have smuggled more bread on the plane in my bra or something…it was SOOOO good!

Let’s get to the main event….we spent 3 days  on this cake…filled with approx 20+ hours! of hard labor, teaching and baby tending. About five minutes into cake making I was labeled as the “Warden”. What can I say? I am really good at delegating. It also helps when I have such talented you-know-what’s do do my work with me!

I do wish I’d gotten more pictures of the cake making process, including frosting and powdered sugar fights…alas, all I have are photos of the finished product and some slices of the most tasty cake I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of Baking.

In perfect baby’s-first-birthday and Becky fashion, she requested that we have fresh fruit in the cakes….what better fruit to use in California than fresh strawberries? They were quite ripe, perfectly sweet and mine for the tasting….

The zebra layer of Wyatt’s cake was OH SO delicious and Jennie and I had shared our cake (one piece of each) so we really didn’t get as much as we would have like to. So, late Saturday night, we decided to run out to the store and bake another cake, this time really only going for the easiest way to get the flavor. It turned out just as delicious as we dreamed. We didn’t go to be till after midnight, but we’d been up that late the previous two nights, so we figured, what the heck! It was totally worth it, too.

Wyatt shared a piece of his cake with my little one, who was well past his nap time but didn’t want to give up his cake. We gave him a little more later to make up for it!

My boy, eating his piece of cake

I very much enjoyed my trip to California – the weather, the people, the trees and all the fun!!!!! I will miss having helpers to make cake with! We’ll be back together in June this year, so we might have to create something else! Thanks for all the fun ladies!


Vegas Cake Re-Do

In cake, Dessert, Food on April 14, 2010 at 5:24 am

This post is for Linda….she had a wedding cake order in Vegas go wrong a few years back and this cake is to make it right! Linda wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, but her husband was insistent on the French Vanilla Cake with chocolate buttercream…either way, it turned out delicious, or so I heard….

Linda asked for yellow flowers, which I happily provided on a not to big, but not too small mound of more frosting. I hear her family enjoyed their treat and I enjoyed making their cake! Next time, I’ll make you a chocolate chocolate, okay?

Fresh Baked Cookies

In Cookies, Dessert, Recipes on March 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Sometimes when I open that jar of Jif, I feel like it’s a Folgers commercial in my house as all the noses perk up and my puppies and husband are all suddenly standing around the kitchen, eager to partake. My husband in particular has an obsession with the peanut butter-chocolate combination. I love to do a number of variations on that. He also loves to eat healthy and exercise quite a bit, so for me to make a traditional batch of peanut butter cookies when baking for ourselves just isn’t realistic. That is why this easy recipe is perfect for us. You’ll need just three ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Mix your ingredients, roll out onto a cookie sheet. Criss cross a sugar dipped fork on the top of each cookie, then bake approx 7-9 minutes at 350 degrees.

I love to add my own twist sometimes by tossing in some chocolate chips, preferably white. I once found some chips that were a white chocolate-peanut butter swirl, but I haven’t been able to locate those for a while- they were by far the best.

Recipe makes about a dozen good-sized cookies, or two dozen smaller ones. Perfect for movie night or just a treat for the kids when they get home from school.

Good Eatin’ in Provo – Sammy’s Cafe

In Dessert, Dinner/Meals, Food, Restaurants on March 4, 2010 at 5:27 am

I stumbled upon this little joint last year when I went to have lunch with my friend in downtown Provo. Ever since then, I frequently crave the perfectly crispety-crunch outside and soft potatoey center of their seasoned fries. What really gets me, though, is their fry sauce…..

For those of you who are not from Utah or have never been near Utah, I’d like to explain this ketchup/mayonnaise (gag here) phenomenon. I have never liked “traditional” fry sauce. I probably never will like fry sauce. Occasionally, however, I will stumble upon some people who know how to dip right (like Sammy’s!) who will skip the ketchup and opt for some bbq sauce instead. I still can’t say that I love fry sauce in general, but if that’s what they’re serving in Utah, I will get mine at Sammy’s.

The second part of my favorite starchy side dish is their sweet potato fries. Delish! And to top it off, instead of anything else to dip it in – go with the house suggestion and dip them in some caramel. It’s like dessert.

I very much adore the simplicity of Sammy’s. The cafe is small, but it has the feel of a classic soda bar from back in the day, modernized by blue walls painted with a silver tree and covered in old school polaroid shots of regular customers and faces that don’t want to be forgotten.

I like that much of the food construction is right in front of me, so I can make sure my burger is done right (and since I’m a germ-a-phobe, I can make sure they’re wearing clean gloves!). Speaking of their burgers – delicious! I try to pick something new on the menu each time so I can see how they all turn out, although I very much like my past orders and am tempted to get them again.

Last night, I shared one of “Robi’s South of the Border” along with two orders of fries….did I mention their prices are pretty good, too?

OOOOoooohhh I love guacamole on my burger!

Other great news, Sammy’s now delivers! To Provo and S Orem with a $15 (and greater) order. While I’m excited they now deliver, in their bright yellow van…it will take a lot of food to hit that minimum dollar. All this, plus two cokes – still only cost under $12.

Did I also mention that they make PIE shakes? They take a whole piece of pie, put it in a cup and make it into a shake…for real….I love those guys.

You can find more information (including their menu!) about Sammy’s here on their blog: http://sammyscafe.blogspot.com/

And for tomorrow…stay tuned for my own healthier, easier version of sweet potato fries!