Archive for the ‘Recipes’ 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

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!


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!


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.

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.

Roasted Sweet Potato Fries and Veggies

In Dinner/Meals, Food, Kids, Recipes on March 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm

As promised, here is how to make them yourself…a day late!

I love sweet potato fries, but they can be a little too fatty for those of us who are still losing baby weight….so here is a delicious alternative. Surprisingly, the idea stolen from my mom. Only, when she made them, they accompanied chicken tenderloins that had been rolled in mashed potato flakes and (extremely dry) whole wheat pancakes….this was for dinner…and recently….

Anyhow, in this post, we’re going to roast some vegetables. My son is just a little guy-we’re trying to put some weight on him without clogging his arteries. He loves french fries- especially from In N Out – so this easy side is perfect for adding a little extra carb without the extra grease.

Of course, start with your vegetables.

Peel them...

Cut them into your desired shape

Toss them onto your cookie sheet

Sprinkle or drizzle a little olive oil and a little salt over your veggies before you put them on the tray

Roast them at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. Put them on a higher rack for a crispier outside.

Toss a little salt on your sweet potatoes and carrots. Less salt is of course healthier!

And viola! Lunch for the little guy. I also made him a pork chop, which he ignored and ate all his veggies instead.

You can, of course drizzle a little caramel over the sweet potato for a little Sammy’s-like flavor, or just eat them as a side to a little steak or other protein-filled main dish.

You can also use a variety of other vegetables, adding a little black pepper, too. Some yellow squash, zucchini, red potatoes (really any kind of potato).

Next to some pasta, lasagna, or chicken parm, you can use a little Italian dressing instead of Olive Oil on and add some halved cherry tomatoes with asparagus (broiling them in the oven would be good, t00!). In this case, a dash of garlic powder couldn’t hurt, either.

I also would like to recommend those McCormick grinders – they have a sea salt and peppercorn grinders -the flavor is so much more vibrant than usual!

P.S. I made curry last night and it was delicious! I had leftovers for lunch….

Pecan Pie

In Dessert, Food, Pie, Recipes, Thanksgiving on February 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Once again, I used one of Paula’s recipes…love her….this is her Mystery Pecan Pie – it has a layer of cream cheese filling and BOY is it delicious.



  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 un-baked deep-dish (9-inch) pie shell
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla, and egg until combined. Pour into pie shell. Top with chopped pecans. Pour topping over pecans. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I also made a traditional pecan pie…for this one, I used the same recipe that my Great-Grandma used. Her neighbor had a pecan tree that leaned over the fence into her yard. She would ask me to gather the pecans and then help her shell them. This is definitely one of my very favorite holiday desserts.

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Roll Cake

In cake, Christmas, Dessert, Food, Recipes, Thanksgiving on February 28, 2010 at 10:24 pm



  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Powdered sugar


  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 cup whipping cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup English toffee pieces for garnish
  • Additional powdered sugar, for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups purchased caramel sauce, warmed, for garnish


For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a 15 by 10 by 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.

Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until very thick. Add the pumpkin to the egg mixture and combine at a low speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until mixed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cake batter, stirring with a spatula, until most of the white streaks are gone.

Spread the batter onto a baking sheet and smooth out. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. While the cake is hot, dust generously with powdered sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the edge of the cake and roll up. Cool completely, edge down, for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For the filling: Soften the gelatin in the rum. Stir over low heat until the gelatin dissolves. Cool. Beat the chilled whipping cream and powdered sugar in a large bowl until peaks form. Fold in the gelatin and 6 tablespoons English toffee pieces.

To assemble, unroll the cake and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of English toffee pieces. Spread the filling over the toffee. Start at 1 long side of the cake roll and, using the towel as an aid, roll up the cake to encase the filling. Place the cake, seam side down, on a platter.

Trim the ends of the cake at a slight diagonal. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Spoon some warm caramel sauce and the remaining toffee chips over the top of the cake. To serve, use a serrated knife to cut the cake crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Drizzle more sauce on each slice and serve.

I normally LOVE Paula Deen, but I was a little disappointed in this cake. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious – but I think I was hoping for a little bit more than what it turned out to be. First, it called for Rum…which is fine. I made a special trip to the state liquor store and wandered blindly for a few minutes before asking someone to tell me what I needed. This was actually my first experience with Rum…did you know it smells like cleaning products mixed with gasoline? Anyway, unless you are accustomed to the boozey flavor and appreciate it more than I do, then I suggest leaving it out entirely. It was way too strong, and I, personally, would have liked it better without.

Second, the filling was made with whipped cream, made by yours truly, none of that Cool Whip stuff….I did add extra caramel sauce to the center of the cake before I added the filling and some extra toffee chips…why not? Again, leave out the rum – the filling was pretty good on its own. My complaint about it though is that I kept wishing it had cream cheese….I love cream cheese….and I think I would have liked it more with cream cheese…..

Third, it was Paula Deen’s recipe…but it didn’t call for any butter. Not a stick, not a pad, not a shaving…I think the cake would have been better if it was slightly buttery – and I think it would have been a little more “Paula Deen” if it had at least a tiny bit of butter! Oh well…

Like I said before, it was a perfectly delicious cake. Only, if I’m going to absorb the calories, I’d like to not be left wanting….

I’ll let you know when I find/come up with a better recipe….one with cream cheese, perhaps?


In Dinner/Meals, Food, Kids, Recipes on February 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Obviously, I love to cook and bake treats. I have always enjoyed cooking and have, many times since the beginning of my relationship with my husband created elaborate and delicious meals for him to eat. While he certainly enjoyed them, I often wonder if he would enjoy a microwaved frozen chimichanga just as much. He’s definitely into the ‘quick fix’ type foods and most things that you might normally feed your elementary-age child. So, just for fun, I decided to do a little Halloween spin on the classic kids’ finger food, pigs in a blanket.

They were super easy – you will need the following:

Hot dogs

Pillsbury crescent roll dough

Kraft American Singles

Mustard (and ketchup if you so desire)

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the Kraft Singles (or a cheese of your choice) into 1/4 pieces. I actually used sharp cheddar for mine (I have a weird thing about American cheese), and they were still good. The only thing was that the cheddar was thicker and more stiff than the American singles, and was therefore more difficult to wrap and would break apart.

Flour a clean surface and roll out your package of crescent rolls. Smoosh the perforated edges together and give the dough a quick roll out with your rolling pin, just to make it a little bigger. Use a pizza cutter to make 1/4 inch strips, by 4 (ish) inch strips.

Stick your cheese on your hot dog, and then wrap him with the strips. Bake for approx 15min at 375, or until your mummy’s wrap is golden brown.

Garnish with a little mustard to make his face.

*You can add a little more grown up taste to it by adding a nice hearty bowl of chili to dip him in*

It’s a fun treat for the kids and of course, the kid in you…or your husband.