Sunday, December 18, 2016

Amy's Cheese Ball

I'm not usually a big cheese ball fan but I got this recipe from my friend, Amy, and it's my favorite.  Only takes about 5 minutes to put together.  It has good flavor and very addicting.  Sorry about the picture, don't think there's a way to make it pretty.  

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 c mayo

1-2 c grated cheddar cheese (I like with the full 2 cups)
3 T bacon bits (can either use store bought bacon bits or cook your bacon and break it up)
2-3 stocks green onion chopped
1/2 t dill weed
1/2 t celery seed

Beat the cream cheese and mayo until well blended.   Stir in cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onion, dill weed and celery seed.  Refrigerate until cool.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Red Velvet Cake

I found this red velvet cake recipe from Velvet Lava. They claim it was like the original Waldorf Astoria recipe.  It turned out sooo good.

3 tsp. cocoa (not dutch), heaping
1.5 oz. red food coloring (about 3 tbs.)
1/2 c. shortening
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 tbs. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour (all-purpose)
1 c. buttermilk (room temp., if possible)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbs. vinegar, white

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing baking position to middle rack. This recipe can be used for (2) 9-inch or 8-inch pans, or 24 cupcakes; butter and flour inside of pans, then line bottom of pans with parchment paper - or - line cupcake tins with liners.

In small bowl, combine cocoa and food coloring - making a runny paste, set aside. Here is what it should look like.

Using hand-held mixer, combine shortening and sugar, cream until combined; then add eggs 1 at a time - beat until combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add red paste, beat until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and salt, beat until incorporated. Add 1 cup flour, beat just until combined; add all of the buttermilk, beat until combined; add remaining cup of flour, beat just until combined. Do NOT overmix. Sprinkle the baking soda over the top of the batter; pour the vinegar over the top of the batter. Gently fold these last 2 ingredients in by hand - do NOT beat. Pour batter into pans or cupcake tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester that is inserted into middle of cakes comes out clean; cupcakes should bake for 18-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Place cakes on cooling rack to cool, then remove from pans.

I learned this next step from my Aunt Mary who makes the best wedding cakes.  Right when they are out of the oven, wrap them in saran wrap and put them in the freezer.  It makes them very moist.

The frosting is not the typical cream cheese frosting that is used with red velvet cakes.  It's a creamy frosting with a hint of vanilla.  I was worried about getting it right because the comments were saying how finicky it was.  It was actually pretty easy though.

2/3 c. flour, all purpose
2 c. milk
1 c. shortening
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
2 tbs. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Prepare a cooling bath. Fill a sink or large, wide container/pan with ice water; have a medium bowl ready to cool the flour mixture. In medium saucepan, over medium heat (4-5) - add milk and flour, stirring occasionally at first and then almost constantly as the mixture begins to warm and thicken. Attentive stirring later in the cooking process will prevent unbreakable "lumps" from forming while the flour and milk begin to combine. Mixture will continue to thicken, bring the consistency just past pudding stage, where it begins to get a bit gummy. Take the mixture off the heat and pour into the waiting medium bowl. Stir vigorously and place bottom of bowl into cooling bath to speed cooling, stirring every few minutes to avoid big lumps, until mixture cools.

In large bowl, beat shortening and butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until incorporated and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt, beat until completely incorporated. When cooled, add the flour mixture and beat, at high speed, until completely incorporated - for 5 minutes.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Baby Max's Quilt

My cousin Marissa is having a baby boy in April.  I had a quilt top that I had done a while ago but never finished so figured  I'd try to quilt it myself and give to her.  Well that didn't work out so well so started from scratch. 

I saw this helicopter fabric and had to use that since my uncle flies helicopters.

The fabrics I had were all light colored so I was trying to find one to darken it up and found this cute bow tie fabric.

For the quilting, I wanted to have a more fun design and found the bow ties.  I still need a lot of practice on sewing the corners of the binding so sorry Marissa the corners aren't too pretty.  Hope you like it!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cade's Quilt

Here is the last of the quilts for Jen's kids.  This is Cade's.  It was an easy patten but frustrating figuring out who I was going to arrange it.  I gave up and decided to have it very random.

(I need to figure a better way to get a picture of the quilts)

I used dark brown minkee for the back and Cade is really into soccer so he chose that design for the quilting.

I don't think I made any big mistakes on this one so I can tell I am getting better at this.  Now Cade won't feel like I he's being neglected since he hadn't gotten his yet. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pumpkin Bread

I tried out a new recipe and it turn out really good so I wanted to make sure I kept this one.

2 cups sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla pudding (I prepared a box of instant pudding)
4 large egg whites
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Spoon batter into 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pans on a wire rack, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Strawberry and white chocolate pie

I wanted to make sure I had this recipe saved.  It was pretty simple and super good! 

1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
5 T butter, melted
dash salt
12 ounces cream cheese, softened (1 1/2 packages)
2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C white chocolate chips
1 1/2 T orange juice (fresh please)
2 C cool whip
dash of salt
1 pound strawberries, sliced
3 T white chocolate chips
1. Grab some graham crackers (a little more than one package should do it) and toss them into a small food processor (I used my Ninga blender). Grind them into fine crumbs. You need 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs.
2. Pour 5 tablespoons melted butter over the top of the crumbs. Add a dash of salt and blend the butter into the crumbs.
3. Pour the buttery crumbs into a regular sized pie dish.
4. Using a small measuring cup form the crust to the pan, pressing firmly both along the bottom and along the sides.
5. Pour 1/2 cup white chocolate chips into a small bowl. Pop it into the microwave and melt the chips for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval. Once the chips have melted, set the bowl aside allowing the chocolate to cool just a bit.
6. Into your stand mixer, or large mixing bowl, place 12 ounces softened cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese until its smooth. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and mix until the two are well combined.
7. Add 2 cups of cool whip, 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, and the melted white chocolate. Add a dash of salt and then mix well, until the ingredients are nicely combined and the mixture is creamy and smooth.
8. Carefully spoon the filling over the crust.
9. Wash and slice 1 pound of strawberries. Then lay them on top of the filling. It works best if you start along the outside edge and work your way in to the middle.
10. Melt 3 more tablespoons of white chocolate in the microwave. Make sure to only heat them for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each cooking interval.
11. Drizzle the chocolate over the top of the berries.
12. Pop your beautiful pie into the fridge to chill for 1 hour before serving.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rainbow quilt for Maddy Bean

This quilt took me quite awhile.  I started back in March, took a really long break from it and finally finished the end of December.

I got the idea from this quilt from pinterest.  They had all the colors randomly but I liked the rainbow look so I made the colors in rows and I like it better this way.

For the binding I used a rainbow striped fabric to tie in all the colors together.  I really like how it looks.

I've learned I'm definitely not a perfectionist but at least from far away you can't tell too much.  Hopefully Maddy's happy with it.