A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘baking’

A Birthday and a Million Projects

Sunday was Babe’s birthday. We celebrated in minimalist fashion, I’d like to call it. Lol.

Last week Monday was my niece’s birthday and my sister made fried chicken wings and macaroni. It was pretty awesome, and Terneille kinda raved about it. When I told my sister her birthday was coming up, she immediately went into planning mode. “I’ll make her a pan of macaroni and fry some chicken wings! What time you want it?” YAY, for awesome sisters! That made it a lot easier for me.

cakecropBabe requested a carrot cake. Last year was cheesecake. This set my wheels turning, and I wondered if I could pull something kind of experimental off. I measured, poured, and mixed with confidence. It was only after I put the bundt pan in the oven that I started wondering if I was crazy, and imagining the horrible ways it could all go wrong. But it worked! WAAAHOOOOOO! Carrot cake and cheesecake in one, y’all! I know, I know. I’m a little out there. Whatevs. It worked and it was pretty tasty. Babe really loved it and my sister even called to tell me that she “NEEEEDS” me to make one for her. Hahaha.

Since I’m currently unemployed and don’t even have pennies to count, I made it rain on Babe in a different way. COUPONNNNNS! Let’s just hope she remembers to cash ’em all in. They’re pretty valuable, lemme tell ya!

So aside from birthday stuff, here’s what’s up:

  • I’m venturing into the world of zines. I’ll be making some of my own. Four, to be exact. I’m excited about it! I plan to complete the first issues of each one this weekend. Then I’ll start selling them on Etsy next week. Look out for linksies!
  • I finished The Whispering Willow! Did I mention this already? Even if I did, once is not enough. I FINISHED IT. The writing, that is. There is lots of editing to be done. But the first draft? FINITO!
  • I started writing a new novel. It’s not as fun to write as I thought it would be, and that’s probably because I didn’t plan it ALL out before I started writing. I work much better with a plan. A pretty precise plan. NOTED.
  • I need to workout. My body is all achy and sedentary and I’m super lazy right now. I hope to start this weekend. A little bounce on the trampoline. A 20 minute run. 15 minutes of yoga. I’ve gotta get this body in MOTION. STAT.
  • Currently reading The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. It’s a bit slower than her other two novels which I completely devoured. It’s taking me a bit longer to get through it due to pacing plus my zillion plus one projects I have going on. But it’s good. I’m enjoying it. Morton knows how to spin a tale. That’s for sure.
  • New 100 word story is up. Read it, comment on it, share it! 🙂

What about you? What’s up? Working on any projects?

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My First Cheesecake

Saturday was the bday party for Babe, and I didn’t want to be stressed out all day, so I made the chesecake on Friday night. I’m no fan of that no-bake nonsense, so I got the family recipe for my aunt. Unfortunately, that means that I can’t completely share it with you. Hers is a basic cheesecake, and I decided to raise it a few notches. Now how, you may wonder, do you raise a cheesecake up a few notches? Well, it’s easy. You CHOCOLIFY.

Instead of the cracker crust, I made an oreo crust. I just crushed oreos to bits in the blender until I had a cup full of them. Of course, my afterthought was that I should have counted the oreos so that I could tell you how many you need for a cup. *sighs* Maybe next time. Anyway, I mixed the oreo crumbs with about two tablespoons of butter to make it stick. Then, I pressed the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Once that was done, and the sides of the pan greased, I was free to mix the actual cake. When all done, I poured it into the pan and put it in the oven. The recipe gave me no clue how long to bake it for, so I googled and googled until I found a random basic cheesecake recipe. One hour. Good. At least I knew it wasn’t 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. When the hour was up, the middle still didn’t seem done, so I let it sit in the hot oven (which I’d already turned off) for another 10 minutes. Then, I let it cool. After that, it was ready to chill in the fridge to really set.

Just 90 minutes or so before the party was to start, I took out [the voices of angels since “Uuuuuuuhhhhhhh” beautifully] the Nutella. I covered the top AND sides of that basic cheesecake with Nutella. When I was done with that, I covered the top with more oreo crumbs so it looked like black fairy dust (or something). I decided that all it needed was a little colour. That’s where the strawberries came in. I cut about 12 (totally guessing the number there) strawberries into quarters, and threw them in a waiting pot of simple syrup (water + sugar). I let it “cook” on low heat until the strawberries started to colour the water. I let it all cool, then chill before putting the little strawberry fourths around the top edge of the cheesecake, the tips all facing the same direction.

Results: Not your grandmother’s cheesecake. No basic around here!

“Ooh! I could taste the love in this.”

“Is there NUTELLA in this?!”

“Mmm! So good!”

Happy? Yes, I am. My first cheesecake was a success. YAY, me!

Yeah, I know. No photos. No reason for you to believe me. *sighs* No longer having a smartphone means no photos.

What did you get up to on the weekend? Try anything new? What’s your favourite “basic” thing to make fun/interesting/different?

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies – StumbleUpon

 

I may not make this clear enough. I am a serious Nutella addict. Chocolate is my ish. That hazelnut… MMM! I also quite like cheesecake. Muchly. And now I can have ’em both?! IN A BROWNIE! Whoa, whoa, whoa… I need proof. You do too, right? Okay, let’s see…

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • Âľ cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • Âľ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Nutella

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheti.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, applesauce, and oil; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds or until soft and easy to pour. Pour evenly over the brownie batter, drop Nutella by the spoonfuls on top, and make swirls in the batter with a knife.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Yield: 12 brownies

Yeah. It’s possible. I’m doing it. *goes to the kitchen*

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies & The Teenage Taste – StumbleUpon.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (via NerdyBaker)

It’s bread. With rosemary. Ummm… YUMMMMM! 🙂

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread I haven't shared yet one of the best things I love about baking.  I LOVE baking bread. I love the smell of the yeast proofing, watching the dough rise, my mouth watering the entire time it is baking.  I have had a few bread fails but nothing so major as to turn me off to it completely.  The only problem I ever have with it is having the time to make it.  Even the first time I attempted a yeast dough, I didn't think to read ahead in the directions … Read More

via NerdyBaker

68 Days of Gourmet: Banana Bread

68 Days of Gourmet: Banana Bread « bakin’ and eggs.

Because baking is cool. Banana bread is awesome. You need something else to slather Nutella on. And YUM!

Banana Bread
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 2003)

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)
1/4 cup crème fraîche, sour cream or plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (9 x 5) loaf pans.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and pale and forms a ribbon when paddle is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream. Then mix in bananas, creme fraiche (or sour cream or yogurt) and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and walnuts until just combined.

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly. Bake until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center  comes out clean, about 60-75 minutes.

Cool loaves in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 loaves

Crafty Chocolatey Chocolate Cake

This is just… AMAZING. My FAVOURITE chocolate candy and bar. Decorating a CHOCOLATE cake. YAAAAAHSSSSS, puh-LEEEEEEASE!

It is basically a soft dark chocolate sponge cake surrounded with bars of Kit-Kat and a whole top layer of M&M’s! That is so heavenly don’t you think???

via AWESOME. « ajuicylittlesecret.

Homemade Goldfish Crackers…With A Homemade Goldfish Cookie Cutter! | Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen

Homemade Goldfish Crackers…With A Homemade Goldfish Cookie Cutter! | Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen.

 

 

Seriously?! Make my own goldfish snacks?! Uhhh… YES, PLEASE!

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies (via Drag it Through the Garden)

I don’t like sugar cookies, but these look a lot like YUM! I think I’ll give ’em a try on a bake-date with my nieces. If you manage to try this before me, let me know how it goes. I’m wondering if they’ll be more sugar cookie, or more cinnamon roll. Hmmm…

cinnamon roll sugar cookies I’m sure you’ve heard how, supposedly, if you talk to your plants, they’ll grow bigger and better. Well, I thought, maybe that’s the case for cookies too. So, I made sure I told these cinnamon roll sugar cookies how freaking adorable they were while they were baking. I don’t know if it worked or not. They probably would have turned out cute either way. But the compliments couldn’t have hurt, right? These are some of the cutest cookies I have ever … Read More

via Drag it Through the Garden