Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Apple Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!
We all know today is Halloween, but did you know that there is another holiday going on today worth celebrating? Today is yet another national food holiday and today it happens to be national candy apple day. Now I really wanted to make somethings to celebrate this occasion, however I'm not a big fan of candy apples because they are too hard for me. Therefore I came up with candy apple cupcakes. Unfortunately they don't taste like candy apples, they just sort of look like them. I would have loved to make them taste like an actual candy apple, but I settled for white cake and vanilla frosting because I just did not have the time to be that creative. These were actually very simple to make. All I did was bake them in red cupcake wrappers. When they were cool I frosted them and then dipped them in red sanding sugar. To top it off i stuck a lolly pop stick in the center and placed a white cupcake wrapper underneath the cupcake for decoration. Well I hope everyone enjoys their two holidays today and eats lots of sweets.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Candy Corn Cake Truffles

Great news, today is national candy corn day and to celebrate I made candy corn shaped lemon cake truffles. They are just like the regular lemon cake truffles I make, but this time I shaped and dipped them to make them look like jumbo pieces of candy corn. I brought these to work for our Halloween party potluck and they were a hit. Everyone kept coming up to me to tell me how wonderful they were and by the end of the day they had vanished off the plate. These cake truffles were surprisingly easier to make compared to the original ones. I put these in the fridge for an hour and it helped them keep their shape as I dipped them into their different colors. When it came to dipping I started off by dipping their bottoms in the yellow chocolate and then I set them on a parchment lined baking sheet. After they were all covered in the yellow I flipped them upside down and dipped the rest of the truffle in the orange chocolate and then I put them aside again until they were all dipped. Last I just dipped the tips in the white chocolate and then I set those aside to dry. I did not use any tools when it came to dipping. Since they held their shape pretty well I was able to use just my hands to dip them in the chocolates. Well I hope everyone has a wonderful day on national candy corn day.

Fun Candy Corn Facts
  • More than 35 million pounds of candy corn is produced every year. That equates to 9 billion pieces, which is enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if they were laid end-to-end.
  • Halloween accounts for 75% of annual candy corn production.
  • A cup of candy corn has less calories than a cup of raisins.
  • Candy corn was first invented by George Renninger and produced by the Wunderlee Candy Company in the 1880's.
  • Candy corn comes up for other holidays other than Halloween. There is reindeer corn for Christmas (red, green, and white). Indian Corn ( chocolate and vanilla). For Valentine's Day there is Cupid corn ( red, pink, and white). And for Easter there is Bunny Corn ( which is pastel colors).

I got this fun information from Candy Corn Wonderland.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pasta Fagioli

Last night for dinner I wanted to make this delicious soup that I saw in this months issue of Food Network Magazine, but when I went to the store to pick up the ingredients I soon realized that I couldn't find some of the ingredients and the ones I did find were a little costy. Since that dinner plan went down the drain I had to quickly think of something else. I began to read recipes on the back of some of the products at the store, but I was still having no luck. Then I saw a website listed on the back of a package. So I pulled out my phone and looked up the website called Barilla. I decided to look up soups and the first one that came up was one that looked exactly like the soup I was originally going to make but cheaper. So I grabbed the ingredients I needed and gave the recipe a try. I changed the recipe a lot to accommodate to my taste, therefore the recipe provided below is how I made it. Since I changed the recipe I also had to change the name of it as well. So if you want the original recipe then click this link to go to :)

Pasta Fagioli
1 1/2 cup pasta shells
4 medium carrots sliced
4 cloves garlic
32 oz chicken broth
2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of Italian style tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Add carrots and garlic to a large stockpot and saute for a few minutes or until tender. Add broth and beans; heat to a simmer. Stir in tomatoes, pasta shells, 2 tablespoons parsley, oregano, pepper and salt. Boil 10-12 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining parsley and 1/2 cup cheese. Serve with some cheese on top and enjoy. :)
This is the picture Tomas took with the garlic cheesy bread we had with it in the background

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bear Sleeping on the Beach Cake

This is my latest cake creation, and I would have to say it came out pretty cute. This cake was for my friend Christina's birthday, and her and her dad came up with this design, which has special meaning for her. The beach represents Huntington Beach, which I think is where she is from but I'm not a hundred percent sure if she is or not. The bear sleeping on the beach represents UCLA, which is where she graduated from. And the owl perched on the bear's shoulder represents law school, which she is attending right now. When she asked me to do this cake she wanted to know if this would be feasible for me. I instantly had an idea for the beach and the sleeping bear, I just didn't know how I was going to do the owl, so I took the challenge. I figured the best way to make the owl (unless I bought one at the store) would be to mold one using fondant. The only problem with that is I never used fondant before and I never molded or sculpted anything before. Well to my surprise I did pretty good because it only took one try for me to make an owl. Then I started to get a little more creative and I made the pail, shovel, and beach ball out of fondant as well, which I then painted with some of the dyes I had. Overall I think the cake came out great and my friend felt so too. :)

Here is a closer look of the bear falling asleep and the owl that I am proud of.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Golf Cake

Even though I have already made a post today for caramel apples, I wanted to share another post. This here is the golf cake I just got finished making. It was for Cory, the father of the kids I watch. I made it while watching them today, so I had them help me a little since it is their father's birthday cake. While the cake was in the oven, we made their dad birthday card books. I think he is really going to love his cake and card books.
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Caramel Apples

Today is a really tasty national food holiday because it is national caramel apple day. I didn't want to make just regular caramel apples for this special day, instead I wanted to go crazy and dip them in chocolate and drizzle them with nuts as well. I really never made caramel apples before so this was a first for me. Turns out I did a good job because they didn't last long in my house. I will definitely be making these again because they were so delicious. Well I hope you can enjoy national caramel apple day with a caramel apple of your own, even if you go buy one from the store. :)
Caramel Apples
1 package of caramel squares unwrapped
2 tablespoons of water
5 apples
5 Popsicle or lolly pop sticks
1 package of melting chocolate (milk, dark or white, you decide)
Chopped nuts (optional)
Heavily butter a baking pan and set aside. Place the sticks in the apples and set aside. Melt the caramel squares and water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir constantly until melted. Dip the apples in the caramel and scrape off excess before transferring to the buttered pan. Repeat until all apples are covered. Chill for a few minutes. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish, making sure to stir constantly making sure it doesn't burn. Dip apples in the chocolate and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle nuts and drizzle chocolate on the apples if you desire. Let cool and enjoy. :)
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Extreme Chocolate Cupcakes

Today is a really great national food holiday because it is national chocolate cupcake day. Therefore, I figured the best way to celebrate it is with an extreme chocolate cupcake. When it came to making these I didnt use any special recipe. All I did was use a chocolate cake mix and a can of chocolate frosting. The only special thing I did was the choocolate decorations that I made to put on the tops of the cupcakes. To do those I used melting chocolate, which I placed in a bag with one of the corners snipped off. I then layed out a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and began making random designs with the chocolate. I let them harden for a while and then I placed one on each of the cupcakes. Everyone in my house thought they came out really nice and I hope everyone at my job likes them too because I am bringing them to work today so they can enjoy these extreme chocolate cupcakes on national chocolate cupcake day.
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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fortune Cookie Cupcake

Today is National World Food day and that is why I thought it would be perfect if I shared my fortune cookie cupcake with everyone. I wanted to make something Slovakian, since my boyfriend Tomas is Slovakian, but I didnt know any slovakian recipes, plus I was super busy this week. Now if you look closely at the cupcake it is not a real fortune cookie, it looks like one but it is not. It is actually a caramel square that I rolled out and shaped into a fortune cookie. I got this idea from my the book Whats New, Cupcake? It is actually pretty easy to do. Just take a caramel square and roll it out into a circle using a rolling pin. Then fold in half and then bring the two ends together making a fortune cookie shape. You can even gie it a little creative touch and put a small fortune inside the cookie. Well I hope you enjoy this national food holiday of world food day with you favorite international dish. :)
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lentil Soup

I was first introduced to lentil soup at the day care that I went to when I was a child. I absolutely loved that soup and still think about it to this day. My mom has tried recreating it, as well as myself, and every time it does not taste the same as the one that my daycare would make. Don't get me wrong, the soups that my mom made were great and the one I just made was really good too, but there was something about their lentil soup that is making me crave it to this day. I try to tell myself that my taste palate has changed since I was younger and that the lentil soups I eat today probably taste the same. But not matter how much convincing I do, I still think that lentil soup was the best soup ever.

Even though this lentil soup I made is not the same as my childhood, it is still pretty good. Everyone at my house loved it so much that there was not even a drop left in the pan, as a matter of fact there want even a single lentil left in the pot. I got this recipe of the back of the bag of Market Pantry Lentils from Target and I made a few changes to accommodate our taste. So I will provide the revised recipe below. I crinkled cut the vegetables for presentation purposes, but you don't have to do the same if you don't choose to. Well I hope you enjoy this tasty soup. Enjoy :)

Lentil Soup
3 cans chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup lentils
3 medium carrots, diced
5 red potatoes, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons Herbs De Provence, or Italian Seasoning
1 kielbasa sliced

Slice the kielbasa and place in a 10-inch skillet. Saute until they are a little browned; set aside. Add everything, besides the kielbasa into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the kielbasa and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fluffernutter Brownies

I really wanted to make these fluffernutter brownies back on the 8th of this month because that was national fluffernutter day. Unfortunately, I was busy doing other things, therefore I wasn't able to make these brownies until now. For those of you that do not know what fluffernutter is it is actually a sandwich that is made with white bread that has a layer of peanut butter and marshmallow in between the two slices of bread. Though my brownies are not a sandwich, they still have the combination of peanut butter and marshmallow. Now when it comes to the brownie recipe, I got it off the bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Chips. Then I decided to take the marshmallow cream and mix it into the brownie batter. Well I hope you enjoy these tasty brownies.
Fluffernutter Brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 package Reeses peanut butter chips
1 cup marshmallow cream
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside. Beat the butter and peanut butter together. Add sugar and brown sugar.;beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla. Stir together the flour, baking powder and salt; mix into the peanut butter mixture. Stir in peanut butter chips. Spread into the prepared pan. Drop marshmallow cream by spoonful on top of brownies. Take a butter knife and swirl the marshmallow into the brownies. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy :)
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pomegranate Angel Food Cake

Today is going to be a heavenly day because today is national angel food cake day. So to celebrate I wanted to try a new angel food cake recipe. A while back I discovered this wonderful company that makes dried fruits. What is good about these fruits is when they dry them they don't add anything to them; they are naturally sweetened with their own sugars. They also make dried vegetables, but I haven't tried any of those yet. When I first tried them I had the cherries which I thought were amazing, so I wanted to see what else they had. When I saw they made dried pomegranate I got really excited. I thought it would be nice if I put them in angel food cake, since I saw that someone else has done it before. I put off making it for the longest time, but I thought with it being national angel food cake day that it would be only best I gave it a try. Unfortunately,after all this time planning to make it, I personally was disappointed. It wasn't really the cake I was disappointed with, it was the pomegranate. One thing I didn't pay attention to was that the seeds are still in the pomegranate. I know that some people do eat the seeds, but I personally don't like it. I usually have to spit the seeds out when I eat fresh pomegranate just because I don't like them. So if you don't mind the seeds then you will like this cake, however if you don't like pomegranate seeds then I wouldn't recommend that you make this. So therefore you should make a different angel food cake to celebrate this national holiday.
Pomegranate Angel Food Cake
1 angel food cake mix
1 cup dried pomegranate seeds
Follow directions on back of package. Fold the pomegranate into the mix. Then bake as directed on the back of the box.

That is the company that makes really delicious healthy dried fruits. I recommend you give them a try.
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Friday, October 8, 2010

Super Mario Bros Cake

This Would have to be one of the funnest cakes I have made in a while. When I was asked to make the Super Mario cake I got so excited that I started to draw it out right away. Well while I was drawing it out I happened to be babysitting at the time and the little boy I watch started to draw the Mario characters as well. When I came back to babysit a couple of days later I saw that he ended up drawing dozens of Mario pictures and he was so excited to share them with me. His drawings were very cute and I loved how much I influenced him to draw them. When it came time to make the actual cake I had a lot of fun, so much fun I started singing the theme song in my head, which is still playing in my head as I write. I really enjoyed making this cake and how colorful it came out. Because of the cake I now want to play a game of Mario, which I might just have to do when I get of work today. :)

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Taco Cupcakes

Today's national food holiday happens to be my boyfriend Tomas favorite food, which happens to be tacos. Yay for tacos!!!!!!! Tacos are always his first choice when I ask him what he wants for dinner. Therefore to celebrate this day we are having tacos for dinner and as for a special desert we are having taco cupcakes. The flavor of the cupcakes are not taco flavor, that would not have tasted so good, they are just a regular white cake with a taco decoration on top. To make the taco shell I rolled out a caramel square into a round shape. I then rolled it into a taco shell shape and filled it with things that looked like the things you would put in a taco. The taco meat is raisins, the shredded lettuce is coconut that I died green, and the tomatoes are chopped up sour straws. Everyone got a kick out of these at my house and I hope you enjoyed this quirky cupcake as well :)
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Friday, October 1, 2010

White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter Cookies

Just about every day there is a National Food Holiday that one could celebrate. Therefore, I decided that it would be fun if I select some of these food holidays and create a recipe to go with it on my blog. I am not going to do all of them though because some of the holidays celebrate food that I don't like, and that would just be too much work. Sometimes i may even provide some fun facts that are related to the food of the day, but that all depends on how much time I have.

Anyways, let me begin with today's food holiday, there is actually more than one today, but I am going to celebrate National Homemade Cookies Day. To celebrate this day I made White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter Cookies. And let me just say these cookies are wonderful. As I was shopping with my mom the other day I saw some peanut butter that caught my eye. It is put out by a company called Peanut Butter & Co and the it was called White Chocolate Wonderful; it is a peanut butter with flecks of white chocolate throughout it. When I got home I tried some and decided that I must make peanut butter cookies with this. They came out so good and they are also a great way to celebrate National Homemade Cookie Day.

White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter Cookies

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks butter)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup White Chocolate Wonderful Peanut Butter (or regular peanut butter )

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package White Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. Beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter in a mixer until creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture a little bit at a time. Add in the white chocolate chips, Drop by rounded teaspoon on to a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Here is an image of the cookies with the wonderful peanut butter.

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