Monday, September 23, 2013

Chocolate Petal Cake

Here's my first attempt at a Vlog!  Check it out and stick around for more. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Team Cupcakes: Iowa State Cyclones

I'm pretty excited to share this recipe/idea!!  I'm a BIG Iowa State Cyclones fan, and they're playing the intra-state rivalry, the Iowa Hawkeyes this weekend.  I'm sure most of my friends will be watching the game from Ames, but my boyfriend and I will be watching it from Portland!  We didn't realize when we booked the trip that it was the same weekend as the big game, but we hunted down a great Iowa State-friendly bar in the area, so I'm excited to check it out!

My boyfriend needed some treats to bring to a tailgate party for the big Iowa State vs. Iowa game, so I offered to bake up some cupcakes in the best colors I know! CARDINAL AND GOLD!!! 

I fashioned these after some candy cane cupcakes my mom guest blogged about here back in December. 

I made two batches of batter.  One a red velvet and one a regular yellow butter cake recipe.  Using a cookie dough scoop, I scooped 3/4 of a scoop of yellow....

 Followed by a 3/4 scoop of red....

Followed by another 3/4 scoop of yellow.... and then another red!

I baked them up in the oven until a toothpick came out clean.

Don't they just look perfectly festive??  I'd say this was a touchdown! (Had to say it)

The frosting was a cream cheese frosting in yellow and red. Here's a little tip for frosting.  Always whip it for 5 minutes.  You can even do this with store bought frosting and it will make it way better.

Mine is a homemade cream cheese frosting... It's just as easy as whipping up a can of frosting, but 10 times better.

So I put the red in a pastry bag and flattened it out a bit, put it in another pastry bag with a star tip, snuck some yellow in there on the side, and got a half and half frosting swirl!


My boyfriend said they look like upside down Cyclones. 

The insides are perfectly striped.


You can make it in any color you want!  Except yellow and black... It just looks gross. ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Staying with our theme of quick party recipes, this one came together in about 10 minutes and was a BIG hit. 

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small tomato


 Roast the red pepper by putting it in a 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the skin is charred.  Immediately put the pepper in a ziplock bag and zip it.
Put the olive oil, vinegar, crushed peppers, tomato and salt and pepper in the food processor and pulse until chunky.
By this time the red pepper should be ready.  Take it out of the ziplock and the skin should be falling off.  Take the skin off and remove the stem and seeds.  Add to the food processor and pulse until just slightly chunky.  I left mine the consistency of salsa and put it on top of a water cracker with sheep's milk ricotta cheese. 

You can store this in the refrigerator for a few days, or serve right away.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Johnny Cakes and Pulled Pork Stacks

I made a few appetizers for a party the other night, and they were so delicious, I had to share. 

They say you should never try a new recipe for a party... but I like to break the rules.  I ALWAYS make new recipes for parties, in fact, that's why I use parties for!  Trying new recipes. 

I made 4 amazing recipes AND cleaned my apartment in less than 3-hours.  In fact, I made 3 amazing recipes and cleaned my apartment in 2-hours, and then decided to make some mini cupcakes...  So that last hour was just a bonus recipe. 

Needless to say, these next few blogs are quick, impressive recipes that you can entertain with or cook up for your family. 

The first recipe is Johnny Cakes with Pulled Pork Stacks.  It's a crock pot recipe, so you can throw it in the pot in the morning, and have your party underway when you get back from work/errands/fun stuff.

 Start in the morning with the pulled pork.

  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 boneless pork shoulder (4-5 lb)
  • BBQ Sauce to taste

 Pour the chicken stock in your crock pot.  Add the pork shoulder to the crock pot so it's half-covered by the stock. 
Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin and cinnamon.  Rub on to the pork shoulder so what's above the stock is caked. 
Cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
Shred the pork with two forks and then stir in about a cup of BBQ sauce. 

The Johnny Cake recipe is on the side of the Jiffy box!  It's basically a corn pancake. 
  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
Mix all of the ingredients and fry like a pancake on a griddle.  I used 1/2 of my cookie scoop to get perfect little bite-sized dollar pancakes.  After the first batch, your mix might get a bit thick.  Just add a bit more milk and stir until it's pour-able. 

Stack the BBQ Pulled Pork on top of the Johnny Cakes and serve**.  Expect some oohs and ahs.  No one will ever know this took you about 20 minutes to put together. 

**I thought about adding a dollop of coleslaw to these, but I didn't grab any at the store. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Nutella Monster Cookies

Remember when you used to play sports in elementary school, and your mom had to sign up for 2-3 games to bring treats and capri suns?  I go so psyched when someone would bring those zebra cakes or oatmeal cream pies and the Kool Aid bottles with the twist-off top...  Since then, my tastes have refined a bit... but I'm not going to say I haven't picked up an oatmeal cream pie at the grocery store, put it down, picked it back up.... PUT IT DOWN.  I haven't caved and gotten one in a long time, but they call my name sometimes. 

Anyhow, when you become a world state-wide famous baker, you get people asking you to make stuff right and left.  I'm working on a special project to turn my love of baking into a business, but I also like to treat my friends when I have a chance, plus I just enjoy the oos and ahs when I bring in a fun treat. 

Last weekend we had our last softball games on a team I've really enjoyed playing with.  Some of the guys had been bugging me to bring treats, so I took advantage of a long day of games to bring some treats to reward our team. They were a big hit, but I did get some flack for not packing any capri suns. 

I had some leftover peanut butter, Nutella and a giant bag of peanut butter M&Ms that I got from Arnold, so I got to work modifying a delicious-looking recipe to bring to my team.

The recipe was from Sally's Baking Addiction, but I modified it a bit, so here's my version of the recipe:


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter M&Ms 


Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Cream the butter and sugars together for about 3-minutes or until light and creamy.  Add the peanut butter, Nutella, egg and vanilla and mix well. 
Mix in the baking soda and flour just until combined. 
Add in oats and M&Ms.  Mix just until the ingredients are evenly integrated into the dough. 
Use a cookie scoop to drop cookies onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. 
Allow the cookies to cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. 

It made about 2 1/2 dozen cookies, which ended up being perfect for my hungry team!