Welcome to my blog!

I'm so glad you came to visit! My goal with this blog is to share my cooking and baking adventures, kitchen tips, and fun!! I hope you'll join me on the adventure. Keep an eye out for new kitchen tips every Friday. Have some you'd like to share?? Let me know, and I'll be sure to post them! I'd also like to share recipes and swap some with friends, maybe even cook our way through a cookbook or 2. Who knows??

Please feel free to leave a comment if you like the post! (For those of you new to blogging,
under each post will be the word "comment"
- click on it and follow the directions.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oops...a few days behind!!

Things have been so crazy busy around here, as I'm sure most of you can relate to!! There has been less cooking, and a lot more baking going on around here!! I made some delicious chocolate covered pretzel rods, as well as Oreo and Nutter Butter Truffles, some pink and purple cupcakes for a birthday party, 2 cakes for my niece's First Birthday (regular cake, and a "smash" cake), and plain cupcakes for the kids to decorate at our Cousin Christmas Party!!
Coming up this weekend: Red Velvet Cake, Cannolis, S'mores Bars and Brownies!!! Stay tuned for pics!! Below are seome pics from this past week!
My niece celebrated her First Birthday!
I think she enjoyed the cake.....

Baby Cake had fun decorating cupcakes with her cousins!!


A sea of cupcakes.....

Christmas Pretzel rods!

A plate of goodies ready to go for Baby Cake's teacher (I made the ceramic trays they were on too!!)
Well, until next week... here's wishing everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Have a safe and joyous holiday!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

What a Week!!

Well, crazy holiday time is officially upon us!! I have been baking and cooking up a storm this week!! Tonight I'm going to share 2 easy dinner recipes, and then some pics of the 2 cookie orders I did this week.
Between baking and shopping and wrapping and packing and working on the new house, I needed a couple quick and easy dinners. So this week, I made two of our old favorites: stuffed shells and tortilla pie.
Let's start with the stuffed shells!!
Here's the ingredients:
large pasta shells
15oz ricotta cheese
2 cups grated or shredded mozzerella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp parsley
2 eggs
1 jar pasta sauce

Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 16  shells, and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain shells in a colander, and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking any more.
In a large bowl, mix together all the rest of the ingredients except for the sauce.
Pour about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Stuff shells with about 3tbsp of the filling and place side by side in the pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and bake in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes.
Yum!! Just add some good garlic bread on the side, and you're ready to go!!

Now for the tortilla pie!
1 package of 9 inch flour tortillas
1 lb ground meat (we use turkey, but you can use beef if you prefer)
1 jar of salsa con queso
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
assorted toppings of your choice: sour cream, tomatoes, green onions, salsa, etc

Start by browning your meat in a skillet. When fully browned, add entire jar of salsa con queso;mix well and heat for an additional 2 or 3 minutes.
Place a tortilla in a 9 inch pyrex dish and spoon some of the meat and cheese mixture onto the tortilla. Place another tortilla on top, then more meat, then one last tortilla, last bit of the meat, then sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Bake in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes.
Good stuff! Then just add any toppings of your choice!!

Now, on to the really fun stuff!!
I had two sugar cookie orders this week.
The first was for zebra print cookies. Here's a couple of my fav pics!

And then I had an order for Christmas Cookies. I took a lot of pics, but here are a few favs! (If you wanna see the rest, visit me on facebook-if you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will find a "like us on facebook" box!)

Tomorrow's adventure - a whole lot of cake balls!!!
Have a great night!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy!!

Hi everyone!! Sorry it's been so long since my last post, but last week was my busiest week of the year!! My daughter's school held their annual Holiday Concert and Silent Auction, which I was in charge of. We had over 300 people attend! And, in the midst of the craziness, my husband had to go out of town for work, and we got the news that we will be closing on our new house this coming Tuesday! So I've done very little cooking and baking in the last week, but I will be getting back on track this week. (I hope). The only thing I did bake last week were some cake balls for the concert, so here are some of my favorite pics of them. I promise more interesting posts next week! ;)
And I couldn't resist adding a pic of my sweet Baby Cake with Santa at her concert!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

In the midst of my pie baking (pics and such to come on Friday!), I made some chocolate covered pretzel rods. As if chocolate covered pretzels weren't fabulous enough on their own, I rolled some of them in mini Reese's Pieces. Now, can I just tell you how completely fabulous these are????? I don't know if I've yet mentioned my absolute love and adoration for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter - but, I'm kind of an addict! They're super easy to make, and they look cute set out with your Thanksgiving meal. So I took pics of them - which is swiftly becoming a favorite activity of mine....wonder if I can convince the hubby to buy me a fancy camera for my birthday? Hmmmmm......better start working on those hints now!!
Here are the pics from "The Chocolate Covered Pretzel Fashion Show". Enjoy! ;)

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hello, Gorgeous!!

Tonight I made cake ball samples for my mom's work friends.
Here's just a couple pics of the process. (For a real tutorial, visit Bakerella, which is where I learned how.)

Start by baking a Red Velvet Cake. (Go ahead and use a box mix - I won't tell!)
Once cooled, crumble it all up into a bowl.

Next, mix it up with some cream cheese frosting, and roll into balls.

Toss 'em in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then dip in chocolate!
Voila- Cake Balls!!
(Now you can indulge me by looking at all these pics - can you tell I'm experimenting with photo taking???)

I hope you enjoyed my cake ball "photo shoot". ;)  They were very cooperative models, and fairly easy to shoot. None of them had diva attitudes, which is always a relief for a photographer.
Oh dear! Can you tell I'm a little punch drunk?? I need to get myself to bed before I start naming them all and giving them personalities!! haha (It's been a looong day!!)
Good night!

Now on Facebook, too!!

Happy Sunday Everyone!
I have a page on Facebook now too! Please stop by and check us out, "The Cake Girl". You can see some more pics of my work, and there's info to place orders as well. I hope you'll stop by and "Like" my page!! The business is continuing to grow, and I'm so excited! I met with two Moms-to-Be this weekend to help plan the goodies for their shower, and I'll be doing my first wedding cake in March! I'm really hoping to keep on growing and to keep expanding my repertoire!
Thank you to my loyal readers - please be sure to recommend this blog (and my Facebook page) to your friends! I greatly appreciate referrals!
Stay tuned this week for more baking and lots of pies!!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just Had to share...

I loved these dog cookies over at Flour and Sugar. Check em out - they made me smile!!
You should swing over and check out her site!! Super cute stuff!! I just love the humor in these puppies!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cakegirl and Baby Cake Collaborate!

So, this afternoon my darling daughter (Baby Cake) and I were looking through an issue of Rachael Ray Magazine when we stumbled upon a recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies. Baby Cake remarked "I like chocolate pretzels though." Which got me to thinking....how could I combine those flavors? Baby Cake and I decided to experiment with different options.
Now, generally I don't experiment with baked goods. In fact, this is the first baked good I've ever created a recipe for. Let me share my oh-so-scientific findings with you: (oh, and you'll also see I had the cutest sous chef ever assisting me - my beautiful Baby Cake!)

So, we started with a basic peanut butter cookie base. We also got to work breaking up small pieces of pretzels. (We prefer Rold Gold brand around here.)
Then we whisked together 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 tsp of baking soda.

Next, we beat 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1 cup of peanut butter in my beloved Kitchen Aid Mixer, till fluffy. (About 5 minutes.)
Then beat in two eggs (one at a time), and slowly add the flour mixture. Then I put Baby Cake to work unwrapping 12 Dove Chocolate Caramels. (Isn't she ridiculously cute??) She may have sampled 1 or 2....
Then we scooped a heaping tablespoon of dough into her hand, where she then tucked a Dove chocolate.

 Then we rolled it in the bowl of pretzel pieces and set it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
We baked them for about 17 minutes. A little caramel leaked out of the bottom of a few of them.

We thought they tasted a bit like a Take 5 Candy bar (one of our favorites.)
 Then, on to part two of our experiment.
To the remaining dough we added a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

We scooped them and rolled these ones in the pretzel bits as well. Then they were placed on the baking sheet.
After about 17 minutes, we took them out to cool.

SEE PART TWO OF MY POST! (for some reason it would only allow me to use a certain number of pics in this post!!)