Sunday, February 26, 2012

Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Pudding Frosting

Sometimes we settle into routines.  We get used to doing things a certain way or we all of a sudden forget the our 3 1/2 year old is just that, 3 1/2.  You get into a routine, the little munchkin is fully trusted and you begin to well....slack off on watching them like a hawk 24x7.  Instead you focus on things like staring at your skin in the mirror wondering why the 200 dollars worth of creams you bought arn't doing jack.

Above my friends is what I like to refer to as "The reason why your white fireplace is now painted black."

Being the fantastic interior designer that I am I decided that I would go thrift shopping for artwork (for the wee ones room).  I found the perfect painting with little birdies on a wire, it just needed a new frame.  Well getting something framed is not cheap, so I decided to buy some black paint to re-do the frame myself.

Easy Peasy right?

Why yes, yes it was actually.  After of course I physically was able to force that painting back in the frame without breaking the billionth of a centimeter glass that whomever created this painting decided to use.  Not to mention the 18,000 staples that were 18,000 years old that had to be bent then re-bent to try and keep my 5 dollar painting intact.

So I painted it, I put it back together...and then it happened.  Despite the fact that I had instructed my little girl to NOT touch the black paint...she did.  Infact she touched the paint and then decided to massage said paint all over our white wood fireplace.  I had settled into the "my child is perfect routine."  This is always the routine ends up being turned into, "The reason why your white fireplace is now painted black routine."

Lesson learned, until it happens T-minus 5,4,3,2.....

Delightfully borrowed, slightly modified from The little Kitchen
{Printable Recipe}

Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup black strong coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pudding Frosting
1 cup milk
1 3.4 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz tub of Cool Whip, softened
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted


DIRECTIONS - Chocolate Cake

Grease (2) 9 inch round pans and line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper cut to size.

In a mixing bowl, sift all dry ingredients together. Then take a rubber spatula and thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together.

Mix in all of the wet ingredients and mix with your stand mixer until well blended but don't over mix. Pour evenly between pans and bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes or until after inserting a toothpick into the center of a cake comes out clean.

DIRECTIONS - Pudding Frosting

Mix vanilla pudding mix with milk in one bowl, using an electric mixer, until pudding sets. In another bowl whip up cream cheese using an electric mixer. Add cool whip to the cream cheese and mix together well.

Add vanilla pudding to the cream cheese-cool whip mixer and mix together well.  Mix in the  sifted powdered sugar.

Cake should be stored in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving, and should be stored in the refrigerator between grazing's.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Spice Truffles

Have you ever agreed to a party and forgot about it?

Have you ever agreed to a party where you are the guest of honor and forgot about it?

Have you ever agreed to a party where you are the guest of honor in celebration of the upcoming birth of your newest child?  No? Yes?  Am I the only one?

Thank goodness there was a birthday party of another friend the night before, because I would not have shown up to my own baby shower if not!  Is this what they call "pregnancy brain"?  At what point do I call off work and just sit on the couch because I have become a danger to society?

At what point do I stop forgetting my water with wonderfully crushed ice upstairs?  It's body punishment to be forced upstairs to fetch my H20.  It's more punishment to have 86 glasses all over the house to wash because I can't remember to bring down my water.  I'll just blame it on my toddler.

Also when did I start doing laundry for the neighborhood?  I can't quite remember (shocking) such a pile as we have building up these days.  Of course it could be the re fluffing of the same load over and over causing the back up.  Or it could just be my husband.  Husbands are who you blame when something isn't perfect right?  I think males probably know this by now.  If not, consider yourself "aware".

Delightfully borrowed, slightly altered The Jey of Cooking
{Printable Recipe}

1 Package Golden Oreos
6 oz. Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/4 Cup pureed apple pie filling
1/2 tsp. Ginger, divided
2 Packages White Chocolate Baking Bars
1 1/2  tsp. Cinnamon
Crushed candied pecans for topping (optional)
Chopped white chocolate (optional)

*  I made the chocolate in 2 batches, I left out the cinnamon in the 2nd to just add variety in flavor.



Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer and mix together with the apple pie filling, cream cheese and 1/2 tsp. ginger. Once combined, roll out your truffle dough into bite sized balls.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.  I even put my dough balls in the freezer 5 minutes before coating to get them extra firm.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the chocolate in the microwave according to packaging,  until fully melted. Stir in the cinnamon.

Remove the balls from the fridge and dip into the chocolate, making sure they are coated evenly. Place on the parchment paper and repeat until all balls are covered in chocolate. Sprinkle pecans or white chocolate on top (I dipped four truffles, then topped them etc...) and refrigerate until hardened.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cake

Do you have a Valentine this year?  I of course hope you all do!  If you don't I highly suggest considering some back up Valentines type fill in.  Not that my husband would ever remember forget Valentines, but I have learned over the years it's good to have something waiting in the wings to make you feel all fancy and warm inside.

Let's start with the obvious, your spawn (aka your kidlet).  Your spawn are the perfect little fill in if dad doesn't pony up with candy, flowers, food, DVDs, music, breakfast in bed, a day to yourself...Yes your little toddler can be the perfect fill in for that 1 hour per day that they are actually lovable...I kid, I kid...all kids are lovable at least 2 hours per day...otherwise known as their nap...

The next obvious thing to replace any lack of gifts from your husband is bad TV and a bad attitude.  Nothing feels better than to watch some super bad reality television and come up with some super snark for the old ball and chain.  I prefer things like The Real Housewives to get me pumped up for classy wife behaviour.

A few other things that are helpful to fill in and make Valentines day wonderful?  How about kittens, puppies, Love Actually, Chocolate, Strawberries, Whipped Cream...Chocolate covered Strawberries with Whipped Cream, and let's not forget Clive Owen serving you Chocolate covered Strawberries and Whipped Cream in bed while you watch The Real Houswives and he babysits your kid for the rest of the day.

That would sort of kick butt.

PS - This cake seriously rocks, I made a double batch and it's was devoured!  It's moist, refreshing, tasty.  I tend to get caught up in the more fancy desserts, and this cake reminded me of just how good the basics could be.

Delightfully borrowed from OurFamilyTreat

1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup buttermilk *


Cream butter with lemon zest and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries with 1/4 cup flour. Add the rest of the flour, baking powder, salt and buttermilk to the butter mixture. Fold in blueberries. Grease a 9 inch pan and spread batter. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

*don't have buttermilk?  Place 1 tbs of white vinegar into your measuring cup, next add in regular milk to reach the 1/2 cup mark.  Let this sit for 5 minutes, you will notice it get much more thick.  This is a perfect sub for buttermilk*

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lemon Wedge Jello Shots

There are many things that make a pregnant lady sad.  This my friends is my intro into yet another one of Indigo's Sugar Spectrum's lists...

5.  The end of dinner.  Yes my friends when I get down to last last fork or spoonful it is such a travesty.  Have you ever wished you could do dinner all over again?  I'm not talking about some fancy 5 star restaurant dinner, being pregnant you are sad once your Pasta Roni is over...the pasta roni you topped with 1 cup of cheddar cheese.

4.  Stairs.  Not the Stair Master, I'm talking the 20 stairs that lead up to our 2nd floor.  Is it wrong that I now ask my 3 year old to fetch me things and to bring laundry up?

3.  Lack of TUMS.  Not sure how it happened but I have like 5 empty bottles in my house.  I guess I could make some rattles for the new arrival out of them.

2.  Sneezing, sneezing is fine if I have time to prepare but if I don't then it pretty much means I am going to pee myself.  Not attractive.

1.  Not being able to party down with the following Jello shots...the tears.

INGREDIENTS (36 wedge shots)
Delightfully borrowed from LivLife

1 cup water, boiling
1 cup vodka
1 envelope of Lemon Jello
 6-8 lemons, limes, oranges


Half then hollow out your Lemons.  Take a paper towel and really try to remove all the moisture.

Add one cup of boiling water to your one envelope of Lemon Jello, stir for 2 minutes.  Add in your vodka.

Place each Lemon Half in a muffin tin, you can use foil if they will not remain up right and steady.  Fill each half with your jello mixture, refrigerate over night.

When ready slice wedges off of the Lemon Halves and serve, flipping adorable!