Everyone loved these cupcakes

Everyone loved these cupcakes
My nephews’ birthday party was this past weekend. And my sister got cute, monster themed cupcakes for all the kids. (Monster is a cute theme! I’m going to have to keep that one in mind.) But I volunteered to make some cupcakes for the grownups. I was in a cupcake baking kind of mood.

I love to spend time thinking about just what I want to bake. I’m notoriously bad with generally refusing to honor specific requests. I like to bake whatever I feel like. So I decided I wanted to make white cupcakes (I’m still working on nailing down the best white cupcake recipe) with chocolate ganache filling and Baileys frosting. Sounds good, right!? But I couldn’t find a little bottle of baileys anywhere. So I had to change it up a little.

Chocolate filled white cupcakes with Godiva liqueur frosting

In trying many recipes for white cupcakes, I’ve definitely decided that Martha Stewart’s, from her cupcake book, is one of my favorites. It’s a little fussy, and not my official favorite yet. But it’s reliably very good. Soft and fluffy.

White Cupcakes

3 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising) (note from Cakes: I HATE the variations in measuring flour! And the mess. I used 130grams here.)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (another note: I really think you can just go with 1 1/4 cup here. Her recipe isn’t super moist anyway.)
1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir vanilla into milk.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating until just combined after each.

3. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (do not overmix). Fold one third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten. Gently fold the remaining whites in two batches.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Firmly tap the tins once on the countertop to release any air bubbles. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozn up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Don’t overfill your liners like I did and get flat muffin-y tops. It’s not so pretty and made me sad.
Now then, I’m going to tell you a secret. And by you, of course, I mean JUST you, and not the other people reading this. Shhh. I was going to make chocolate frosting for the filling and didn’t feel like it. So I bought a can of Duncan Hines. And whipped it with my mixer to improve the texture. But really, that was NO simpler than just making some quick ganache and then whipping it. So do that if you want these to be even better.
image
I actually use my apple corer to put holes in them, and then I pipe in the filling. Lola and I took turns popping the removed portions (cupcake holes?) into our mouths. ūüôā

For the frosting on top:
When I couldn’t find any Baileys, I was kinda bummed. But what I did find was Godiva White Chocolate liqueur.
image

Everyone gets upset with me because I almost never follow frosting recipes or measure anything; I just add stuff until it tastes right and seems like the right consistency. For this one, I can get you pretty close. But just to warn you, I hate measuring powdered sugar like a thousand times more than I hate measuring flour even.

1/2 brick cream cheese (4oz)
1 1/2 sticks butter, soft
1 little minibar bottle of liqueur
About 3-4 cups powdered sugar? I used about half of a two pound bag.maybe a little less.

– whip the cream cheese and butter with your mixer until very soft and fluffy. Dump in the bottle of booze and whip some more. Add powdered sugar until it has the right consistency and doesn’t taste like straight up butter. This is a “to taste” thing.

This particular frosting was a little denser and butterier than my usual. And I personally think this liqueur was a little mild to really come through taste wise. BUT! I got a crazy amount of compliments. So, it must have been pretty good. I normally like to pipe a big mound of fluffy frosting on my cupcakes, but this was so rich, plus they were filled, so I went with a more modest coating.
image
They looked a little boring, so I wanted to jazz em up a little bit. I sifted, of all things, some hot cocoa mix on top. But you could also use just cocoa powder or chocolate sprinkles or whatever you’d prefer.

And there you have it. I had at least three guys tell me afterwards, “I ate like three of those cupcakes.” And one even told me they were his favorite ever. That seems like a stretch. But suffice it to say they were pretty delicious. Bake and enjoy. ūüôā

Tres leches (and other things making me fat)

Remember that post like five minutes ago about body acceptance? Well, I already failed at it. I’ve decided that I really wanna be skinny again. Since making this discovery, however, I have developed an unfortunate addiction to skittles. Like I eat a ton of them. Almost daily. And when I ran out I thought, “Thank god, now I can stop.” And the next day when I realized that there would be no skittles that night, I got kind of anxious about it. For real. Like a for real addict. Like a coke addict or something. Except they’re probably skinny.

And then my coworker was very kind and bought me a bunch of skittles because he was thinking of me. So I’m still in the throes of my addiction. Is it sad that my life has become such that I get really excited about putting the kids to bed so I can watch Friday Night Lights* on Netflix and eat horrifying amounts of skittles? Yes, it is sad. I used to be less boring, I swear.

So I’m going cold turkey on the skittles. Starting today. Which isn’t putting me on the road to slender anyway, because we’re having birthday dinner for my mom. And who the hell wants to start dieting on taco night!? I’m in charge of cake, and what goes better with tacos than Tres Leches Cake? Which is something I make a lot, and it’s a real crowd pleaser. And I’m going to give you the recipe so you can be crowd pleasing too. Take advantage of these kindnesses now, I don’t know if I’ll still be nice when I’m skinny. Hungriness is next to bitchiness, I think.

TRES LECHES CAKE
2 C (10 oz) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whole milk
8 T in salted butter, cut into chunks
2 tsp vanilla**
4 eggs, room temp
2 C sugar

– Heat oven to 325. Grease a 9 x 13 pan (I always use my Pyrex).
– Heat milk, butter, and vanilla together in a saucepan until butter melts. Let this cool a bit so you don’t get scrambled eggs later on.
– In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
– With an electric mixer, whip the eggs on medium-high. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to whip until very light and thick.
– With mixer on low, add melted butter mixture. Then add flour mixture in two additions. Mix until all is smooth.
– pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Cool for about ten minutes, then poke a whole bunch of holes in it and add the Tres Leches mixture.

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk (AKA Heaven in a Can)
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

– Mix it all up:
image

Then pour it over the holey cake:
image

Stick it in the fridge till you’re ready. For me this is usually a few hours, which it needs in order to soak up the goodness. But I bet this cake is fine made the day before too. I like to just serve it with fresh whipped cream:
image

Happy Birthday, Mom! (And that’s my nephew, Michael)
image

*This show never appealed to me when it was on TV. But I’ve heard so many good things about it over the years that I decided to check it out. And now I don’t sleep. Because “I’m just gonna start the next episode.” Also, holy hell I wanna be Tami Taylor. Mostly just because I want her super marriage and her awesome rack.

** I would like to show you a picture of one of my very best friends:
image
Vanilla bean paste is where. it’s. at. I honestly like it even more than using actual vanilla beans.

Yeah, I’m on a photo effects kick again. I’ll try to get over it soon.

Cookies on a Stick

I decided this weekend that I wanted to try making those cute royal icing coated cookies on a stick. Which was an interesting decision considering I don’t have time to bake brownies these days, much less try out a complicated new thing. But the baking blogs, they call to me.

I was not quite as good at this as I hoped I’d be. But not a bad first effort. A coworker just found out he’s having a baby girl, so I went with a pink theme.

I used the cookie recipe from Sweetapolita.
And the icing recipe from Sweetopia.

It was a lot of steps. With the rolling and the freezing and the icing and the drying and the icing some more. And the Lola underfoot eating everything raw and begging me to squirt icing in her mouth.

But look what a cute little gift I have for my coworker:

Faux Fries, Lola-isms, and a New Award!

I just have to start out by saying that I was AGAIN busted as I was singing along really loudly (along with some car dancing) to Born to Run this morning when I pulled in to work.  And then I realized that the car parked next to me actually contained a person.  A person with her windows down.

Beyond that, I’m going to take that last part of the title first, just so I can give a shout out to Coffee Powered Mom, who’s been so kind to me, and is very very funny!¬† She passed on to me this Reader Appreciation Award.¬† And I haven’t received this one before, so I thought I’d have a go at it.

And then there are questions.  I wish I was feeling more clever this morning.

What is your favourite colour?

Okay, I’m gonna go ahead and say Seafoam.¬† Just so the people who know me IRL don’t suspect that I’ve been kidnapped and someone else is now writing my blog in my name (because really, that’s bound to happen, kidnappers are DYING to take over my blog!)¬† But I LOVE colors.¬† Almost ALL of them.¬† I especially like to combine them.¬† Sometimes I pick up a huge stack of paint chips from Home Depot and just play with them and make color combos.¬† That’s really flippin strange isn’t it.¬† The kidnappers are all “I don’t think we should mess with this one.¬† She’s crazy!”

What is your favourite animal?

Polar Bear.¬† Duh.¬† Don’t even have to take a milisecond on that one.

What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Tough one.¬† I think maybe Raspberry Italian Cream Soda.¬† But I’d like to give very close runner ups to Diet Pepsi, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade (made by anyone but me because I SUCK at it, which is really torture because it’s not that commonly available),¬† Horchata, and Chocolate Peanut-Butter Banana milkshakes.¬† ūüôā¬†

Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

I prefer death.¬† I’m just kidding.¬† Sort of.¬† I caved and now somewhat use facebook a little bit.¬† So I don’t get to be self-righteous anymore.¬† Bummer.¬†

What is your favourite pattern?

I LOVE patterns!¬† I’m gonna go ahead and lose the respect of Coffee Powered Mom, though, and say “small repeating flowers.”¬† You know, like old old cottage-y¬†wallpaper.¬† But I like most patterns.¬† Not wild about plaid.

Do you prefer giving or getting presents?

I WANT to say giving.¬† So that no one knows that I’m secretly a terrible person.¬† But it’s getting.¬† I love getting presents.¬† Because I’m broke but I love having new stuff!¬† Judge away!

What is your favourite number?

I don’t have one.¬† I know, I’m sort of eccentric and seem like I would.¬† I DO feel like numbers have personalities (and I think that’s actually, like, a condition.¬† Like with a name.)¬† But I don’t have a favorite.

What is your favourite flower?

Man!¬† These questions are crazy!¬† Half of them, I feel like someone’s saying “here is a case of French pastries.¬† Pick just one.”¬† I really think that all flowers are gorgeous and I love them and I constantly feel bummed that I never receive them.¬† A favorite?…I guess today I’m going to say¬†…you know what, I really can’t do it.¬† I could maybe give you a list of 10.¬† But really, who’s that interested?¬† lol.¬†

What is your passion?

Everything.  I am an overly passionate person. 

Bloggers I want to pass this on to:

Stay at Home Tatte

Sillyliss

Going Coverless

Okay, here is where I have to confess that I’ve had virtually NO time for reading others’ blogs lately.¬† I swear I’m going to get back to it because I LOVE it.¬† But these are the only 3 I’ve tuned into regularly lately.¬† So they are the ones I’m going to mention.¬† Until I can stop being so self absorbed and adore the rest of you again.

Now then…

The kids and I visited my cousin and her kids yesterday.¬† I wanted to bake with them.¬† But I STILL haven’t perfected the art of finding something the kids will be impressed with without losing interest in halfway through.¬† My plan for yesterday, Cupcake Burgers with Sugar Cookie French Fries.¬†

It all started out well:

I had premade¬†the cupcakes the night before.¬† AND I bought (GASP!!!) mixes for the cookies and the brownies to save time.¬† PLUS store bought¬†frosting.¬† And these still took all damn day and by the end it was just me and Cami¬†(who was a great helper.¬† And was also hysterical because she doesn’t do a lot of baking and said things like “you can make things without a mix!?”¬† And “what does sugar look like?”¬† She also said at least 10 times “this is so clever!” So she’s my new bestie.¬† ūüôā )

Anyway, here is the world’s WORST picture of our finished result:

I overfilled the cupcakes and¬†undercooked the brownies, and I forgot to bring some essential things like a round cookie cutter (because Christmas Tree shaped burgers would have been less convincing.)¬†¬† But overall, they were cute.¬† Basically, the buns are cupcakes, the burgers are brownies baked in a 9×13 pan then cut in circles, the french fries are rolled sugar cookies, and then frosting for the rest.¬† I thought the little paper containers added a fun touch.¬† I “borrowed” those from my work cafeteria.¬†

I think the kids were pretty tickled.¬† They even brought some to the neighbors and said “did you guys order some burgers?”¬† It was cute.¬† Lola had SOOOOOOO much fun which was awesome.¬† Less awesome was the fact that she spent the ENTIRE hour ride home whining “I don’t wanna go home!”

And now, everyone’s¬†favorite segment (okay, maybe just Matty’s favorite):¬† Silly Things Lola Did Yesterday

– She found a can of crabmeat in the cupboard, Chicken of the Sea brand, and pointed to the logo and said to me “I never saw mermaid food before!”¬† All excited.

– One of my cousins was over the other day and every time a plane flew by, she’d tell the kids where it was going (i.e. Florida, Chicago, etc.)¬† When we were driving yesterday, Lola pointed out a plane, and when I asked her where it was going she said “McDonalds.”¬† Okay, I’m a LITTLE ashamed.

– When the kids were bringing the little baked good meals to the neighbor kids, we ran over there and they each had a “meal” in their hands, except Lola.¬† She stopped halfway there and yelled “Guys! Wait!¬† I forgot my dinner!”¬† I just thought it was so cute how she didn’t quite understand the concept and thought the other kids were just running with their own, as opposed to the extras for just the neighbor kids.¬† And also, I was tickled that in our household, to Lola, cupcakes, brownies, and sugar cookies constituted “dinner.”¬†

– Brian found her a Princess Celestia My Little Pony figure on eBay to go with her (still small) Ponyville collection.¬† He gave it to her yesterday and I have never seen so much unprompted, genuine gratitude from that girl in my life.¬† It was so sweet I couldn’t stand it.¬† She hugged him and said “Thank you so much for bringing me that, Daddy.”¬† It was just so sincere that it melted my heart.

– Bringing home groceries is the funniest. thing. EVER!¬† when Lola’s home.¬† She goes through the bags and just has the weirdest excitement over every. single. item.¬† “Daddy, you brought this!?”¬† “New ones!?!?”¬† “New PRETZELS!?!?!?!?”¬† And the excitement, volume, and pitch just builds and builds, until the piece de resistance: “NEW HELLO KITTY BANDAIDS!?!” at a level that caused all the dogs in the neighborhood to start howling.¬† Seriously.¬† It’s every item, every week.¬† She gets worked up about paper towels, y’all.¬† I need to record this next time.

Wednesdays with the Kids #5

– The VERY GOOD side of Brian recovering from surgery: he doesn’t have work or school this week.¬† This morning Brian actually offers to take Corbin when he wakes up early, and I get to sleep in till SEVEN!

РEveryone eats breakfast this morning at more or less the same time.  Mine includes 3 Lindt White Chocolate truffles.  I am a failure.

– I feel so spoiled by the fact that Brian is around to help me that I decide to be all ambitious and make Corbin a t shirt:

– Corbin falls asleep for his first nap, and while he’s sleeping on the couch, Lola brings him a glow worm.¬† She is really getting to be a great big sister.¬† The majority of the time she is being kind to him and trying to play with him and comforts him when he cries.¬† It’s ADORABLE!

– And then she screws around and makes so much noise¬†that it¬†wakes him up.¬†Corbin is a pretty happy little guy; can you imagine how happy he would be if he ever¬†got to finish a whole nap?¬† I tell Lola I don’t want to play with her if she’s not going to behave.¬† Her response: “maybe you can make me behave.”¬† If only.¬†

– And then as evidence that I can’t make her behave, I come into the bathroom to find her dunking Corbin’s beloved Tigger¬†in the toilet.¬† And by “Corbin’s beloved Tigger,” I mean the one that he constantly chews and sucks on.¬†¬†My Mother-in-law¬†was at our house for the last couple days to help Brian care for the kids while I was at work.¬† Somehow this transformed Lola into a crazy, naughty, spoiled brat.¬† This awful phase can’t last longer than the 2 days that created it, can it?

–¬†After spending much of the last 6 months lying prone on the floor while I wished he would do stuff, Brian has decided that the days directly following back surgery are the PERFECT time to make up for lost time.¬† He edged the lawn the day I brought him home from the hospital.¬† Today he has decided to bring all his textbooks back to school to sell back.¬† 8 college textbooks couldn’t POSSIBLY weigh more than the 10lbs¬†his doctor has okayed for him to lift, right!?¬† I have yelled at him every way I know how for all this, and now I’m thinking of telling Dr. Prpa on him.¬† If anyone has any idea how to make my husband be useless again for another week or two, pass it my way.

– Corbin graduates to his big boy carseat¬†today!¬† The rear-facing convertible, I mean.¬† From the infant carrier type seat.¬†Very cute!¬† Except that this causes Lola to throw a total fit about wanting¬†THAT seat.¬† I try to explain that she is a big girl.¬† I try to explain that she DID¬†get to have a seat like that when¬†she was small and now it’s Corbin’s turn.¬† Nothin¬†doin.¬† In the end, I resort to bribery.¬† Scooby Doo snacks to the rescue!

IMG_0555-1

– I have to take both kids to run some errands.¬† And though a trip to Old Navy for a couple t shirts that I don’t even need to try on winds up taking 30 minutes and requiring 2 trips to the bathroom, overall it’s pretty stress-free.¬† Wanna know why?¬† Bribery.¬† This time with a bouncy ball.

– Another of our errands is a trip to the grocery store where I buy, among other things, a carton of vanilla ice cream for our cobbler (more on that later.)¬† Lola whines that she doesn’t LIKE vanilla ice cream.¬† My response: “well that’s fine honey, then you don’t have to eat any.”¬† Which causes some lady to tell me I’m a good mom.¬† Finally!¬† When I no longer seek your approval, you come around.¬† Damn you, public!

– Really it’s been a busy, but not very entertaining day.¬† Cranky kids. Too much¬†bad behavior (mostly from me and Lola.¬† As I tuck her in tonight, we both promise to be nice tomorrow.)¬† The highlight was the cobbler.¬† So let me tell you about that.

Raspberry Peach Cobbler

The cobbler part is actually a simple scone recipe. 

1 Cup (5 oz) flour

2-3 T  sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

4 T cold butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 Cup heavy cream

– Put the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and blend.¬† Add the butter and pulse a few times until the butter is in small bits.¬† Add the cream and pulse repeatedly until it comes together in clumps.¬† I have seen this referred to as a “shaggy dough” and I agree. Put this in the¬†fridge till you get¬†the other stuff ready.

Filling:

2lb ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

6oz raspberries, unwashed

1/3 Cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla bean paste (I LOVE THIS STUFF!  But you could use vanilla extract I suppose.)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 T cornstarch

Рput the sliced peaches and raspberries in a big bowl.  Add the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch and toss gently so all is coated.

– put the filling into a baking dish.¬† I used a deep dish pie dish.¬† Top with lumps of scone dough.¬† Bake at 350degrees for about 40 minutes.¬† Serve warm with¬†vanilla bean ice cream.¬† YUM!¬† My sister called it her favorite EVER.¬† ūüôā¬†

 

Miss Julia Child Visited Me!

Actually, it was just my friend Karl.

Karl is a super super good cook AND baker.¬† I know!¬† How annoying that he gets to be awesome at BOTH!¬† I requested a private lesson, and¬†his other half, Matty (who is also my Soul Sister and Lola’s Godfather) even came with and kept Lola entertained.¬†¬† So I now know how to make some new things.¬† ūüôā¬† Yay for everyone in my house, because I’m not a very good cook.¬† But I feel that just watching someone who’s good at that stuff helps a ton.¬† Especially with the baking stuff that I’ve already got at least a lot of the practicing done on.¬† It’s easy then to pick up little things.¬† Whereas with the cooking I was mostly writing stuff down and trying not to be impatient.¬†

So, Sunday was a busy day overall.¬† It started with a GREAT idea to have breakfast with Elmo.¬† Apparently the humane society was having this for charity at the local Moose Club (Lodge? Den?¬† whatever it’s called.)¬† So I mentioned it to my mom, and she decided to bring my nephew and meet me there, which was awesome because that meant she’d pay.¬† ūüôā¬†

I should have known how the day was going to go when I saw the parking lot.¬† It was both PACKED LIKE SARDINES and totally muddy.¬† SO GLAD I decided to have Lola wear her brand new Nikes.¬† So, with Corbin in the Peanut Shell (that’s a baby sling, for those who aren’t into that stuff), and diaper bag in hand, I then also carried Lola to the door.¬† To preserve her clean shoes.

Then we had to wait in line.¬† Forever.¬† Because apparently EVERYONE ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH NEEDED to see Elmo and eat pancakes¬†yesterday.¬† I can’t tell you how much a 5 month old, a 3 yr old, and a 2 yr old LOVE waiting in line in a crowded hallway.¬† In retrospect, I shouldn’t have brought Corbin, but I had no idea that this was the hippest spot in town.¬† What was weird was the people who were there without kids.¬† I mean, really?¬† Just for a 7 dollar plate of pancakes?

We were all packed in the Lodge (or whatever) like sardines.¬† Like, it was such close quarters that when a large-ish guy sat behind me I was unable to hold Corbin on my lap and sit at the table.¬† So DEAR GOD WHY did so many people insist on bringing their giant jogging strollers!?¬† This is a point of irritation with me.¬† Parents who need to carry the entire contents of their homes around with them in a wheeled contraption roughly the size of a Ford Explorer.¬† I have never ever found either of my children to need that much stuff when we’re out for an hour or whatever.¬† I was able to carry both of my children plus all of our things across the parking lot without breaking a sweat.¬† That should be the standard, I think, of whether you have TOO MUCH CRAP.¬† End rant.

Basically, it was pretty lame.¬† But Lola and Michael did get their photo with Elmo.¬† Which I will try to remember to scan in later.¬† You know, looking back on all that, I realized how boring it probably is to read about.¬† I’m not feeling very witty today, so oh well.

Corbin turned 5 months old last week.  Insert lament about it flying by too fast here.

IMG_0473-1

Here’s Lola at the same age:

IMG_0896

You can’t tell in those two pictures, but I was AMAZED by how alike they look at the same age.¬† So then I tried to imagine Lola as a boy, to see what Corbin might look like in a few years.¬† Which is funny, because I usually try to imagine Brian as a girl, to see what Lola might look like in a few decades, lol.

I tried for a few minutes to get a picture of the two of them, because the one I wear in my nametag¬†at work is still a 2 week picture of just Corbin. (and as an aside, what is with people insinuating that I’m a bad mom for this?¬† They’ll be like “Come on, Mom! Geez!”¬† verbatim.¬† I’m BUSY, FOLKS!!!¬† And my baby likes to be crabby at the exact moment I pull out the camera.)¬† So, here’s 3 shots from that session, none of which are really nametag quality.¬†

IMG_0476

Um…what are you guys looking at?¬† You’re not even looking away in the same direction!

IMG_0478

Corbin, could you be more bored?¬† Lola, could you have more syrup on your sleeves?¬† There’s a thing called a napkin!¬† And also, the camera’s up here.

IMG_0479-4

What the…?¬† Okay, I quit. I told you to¬†“say cheese,” not to “fake sneeze.”¬†

On Wednesday, I SWEAR I will get a decent picture of the two of them!

And THEN came the cooking and baking.  We made profiteroles.  They looked like this:

Please ignore the ugly orange juice mustache, Crystal Light makes a much prettier one.

So, I didn’t write stuff down, but they were WAY easier that I thought!¬† Basically:

Melt one stick butter with one cup water in a saucepan.¬† Bring to a boil.¬† Add 1 cup flour, remove from heat, stir it up.¬† Add 4 eggs, one at a time.¬† Then pipe them out onto a silpat¬†mat (or parchment paper I suppose) on a cookie sheet and bake at 450 (ish.¬† Karl’s REAL nonspecific on times and temperatures.)¬† When they start to look golden and puffy, turn the oven temp down to about 350F and let them cook a bit longer till they get all dried through.¬† I think he planned for that to be about 12 min.¬† You can take one out and open it up, if it’s still a little “wet” or doughy in the middle, just leave it in a little longer.¬† They seem to be fairly forgiving.

Here’s¬†Ina Garten’s¬†profiterole recipe, if you’d want something more specific.

Then we filled them with filling, this is just as detailed and precise:

1¬†block of cream cheese, whip it up in the Kitchenaid.¬† Add enough heavy cream to make a nice, thick creamy filling.¬† Maybe a little less than a cup?¬†Keep whipping.¬† Add some powdered sugar till it’s as sweet as you like.¬† And then a splash of vanilla.¬† (I can’t even get on Karl for this, this is how all my frosting type recipes are, I don’t measure anything unless I’m making swiss merengue buttercream or something like that.)

Slice up some strawberries and toss them with some sugar and a splash of vanilla.¬† Put the cream and the strawberries into your sliced pastries.¬† Then douse with chocolate sauce.¬† I’m not going to give away Karl’s awesome secret chocolate sauce recipe, but that’s easy to find.¬† Or you can use store bought.

Voila!¬† They’re even tastier than they look.¬† ūüôā

Then he taught me to make chicken parmesan with tomato sauce and pasta.¬† And it was ALSO delicious.¬† I”m not going to type it all up though.¬† Also, it’s more of the same types of measurements (i.e.¬† “kind of a lot” of oregano, etc.¬† lol.)¬† But Lola sure liked pounding the hell out of the chicken breasts with a rolling pin!

IMG_0486

Are you guys getting sick of my recent¬†discovery¬†of and total ineptitude¬†with Photobucket’s weird effects?

Lastly, here’s a super cute picture of Lola and Brian.¬† Brian really needed some Lola love, and she was being silly and refusing, so I told her I’d take a picture if she sat by Daddy.¬† That kid LOVES to be in pictures!

IMG_0481 

Sometimes you just hope you can absorb your 3 yr old’s oblivious happiness by osmosis.

Start getting used to obnoxious, poorly done, SUPER amateurish photo effects.  yay! 

Pregnant Sister Thanksgiving Pie

When my sister was pregnant on Thanksgiving a couple years ago, she requested a chocolate silk pie.  Now, traditionally, these have uncooked eggs in them.  And since I had only been through one pregnancy so far, I was still sort of a lame-ass rule-follower.  So I had to find her something similar without the raw eggs.  I made a baked chocolate pie, and it was heaven, and I named it Pregnant Sister Thanksgiving Pie.

I made another of these last night.¬† I usually use chocolate graham cracker crust, but Lola (yeah, that’s right, it was LOLA, never ME) ate all my chocolate graham crackers, and we’re on a strict grocery budget these days.¬† I’m sure it would also be very good with a regular pastry crust, but that’s more time consuming and I’m lazy about it.

So, basically anything that starts with THESE fantastic things, is going to be at least pretty tasty no matter what!  Graham cracker crust, quality chocolate, and sweetened condensed milk.  YUMMY!

IMG_0408

And when it’s done, it looks like this:

DSCN0636

It’s better when you whip your own whipped cream, but¬†this was just for my coworkers and I¬†didn’t feel like it, lol.

Cakesy’s Graham Cracker Crust

1 sleeve graham crackers

1/4 C sugar

5-6 T butter, melted

Large-ish pinch of salt

– crush up the graham crackers, fine. I stick ’em in a big ziplock and go at it with a rolling pin.

-mix the sugar and salt into the crumbs, then the melted butter.

-press¬†into a 9″ pie dish and bake at 350 degrees F¬†(or 325, or 375, its not a big deal if you need the oven at a different temp.)¬† for about 7 minutes.

Pregnant Sister Pie Filling

1 C coarsely chopped chocolate

4 T unsalted butter

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 C half and half or light cream

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 pinch salt

1 T flour

-melt chocolate and butter together with gentle heat.

-once melted, whisk in condensed milk.  (and try really hard not to just eat this entire mixture with a big spoon.  Good luck!)

-whisk in cream, eggs, vanilla, salt, and flour, whisking until smooth

-pour¬†into prebaked¬†crust, and bake pie at 350 degrees F for about 35minutes.¬† You’ll know it’s done when the edges brown and it doesn’t look liquidy when you shake the dish a little.

-cool completely, serve with whipped cream, store in the fridge.