Big Annoucement!

Hello friends and fellow bloggers!

I owe you an explanation of why I have been missing in action the past few weeks. It appears that the wiring in our new home is overloaded and our Internet was the straw the broke the camels back. Apparently wires don’t like too many things traveling it’s currents at once, such as internet, phone, AND a home security system. And so living in the boonies, it takes forever for a company to contract someone to come all the way out here to fix the problem. THEN we went on a week long vacation. HOWEVER, I think we’ve got most of the bugs worked out and I am back!

When I started this food blog I wasn’t real sure which direction I wanted it to go. In truth, when I started this blog I HATED to cook. But the idea of food blogging intrigued be, as I LOVE to EAT!  I had hoped that if I started a food blog, it would give me the incentive I needed to break out of my box and try new recipes, and hopefully learn to like cooking. Well in only a few months this blog has already done way more than I expected ! I have learned to love to cook! I have learned that I LOVE fresh ingredients. I have learned that I love using herbs and spices, and that I HATE using boxed and bagged foods! They are so unfulfilling!  I have learned that it gives me great pride and joy to serve my family a home cooked meal of fresh foods. I have also learned that my style seems to consist of “Simple and Delicious” and thats OK!! That there are MILLIONS of recipes out there that cater to busy family’s, and we don’t have to eat boxed and bagged crap!

Having this blog also opened a new world and direction for me. I have always known that I like desserts. OK OK not just eating them! I have always enjoyed baking over cooking. This blog introduced me to the world of baking I never knew about. And I LOVE it! It opened the doors to so much that I didn’t even know was out there. And I can’t forget the people! So many wonderful people out there that I never would have met otherwise.

Which leads me to now say, that I am so pleased to announce that I have made the descision to follow my heart and start my own baking company! It’s a bit scary but I’m more excited than anything. Who knows where this journey will take me next!

Here is the Website if anyone is interested in taking a peak! I will be serving the greater DFW area of Texas.

 Itroducing: Sweet Addictions Sugar Art Bakery !!

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www.TheSweetAddictionsBakery.com 

 

Not to worry to my readers! I won’t be abandoning this food blog. The Reluctant chef will still be here. And I will still find the time to publish more recipes!  If you’d like to start following my bakery blog too, you can do so here :

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And we are also on Facebook! We’d love you to stop by and become a fan! 😉 

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Many thanks to all my readers out there! With out you guys I wouldn’t have a blog and may never have found this new direction in my life!  HUGS TO YOU ALL!  I appreciate your support and look forward to a bright furture together! 🙂

 

 

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Fishing cake

This is a purely selfish blog post. My husbands birthday was yesterday and I knew I wanted to make him a special cake that was all about HIM. His most favorite place in the entire world is in a boat on a lake with a fishing pole in his hands. So it was no question what his cake needed to look like! I quickly sketched up exactly how I wanted it to look. It actually took me all of five min. to figure it out, which was good because I only had about 7 min before our church service was starting! It took me two days to make this cake from start to finish. Not whole days though, I was out of the house with it at 11 am to deliver it on day two. I took it to his office so he could share. When the cake was completed I busted out in a fit of giggles and couldn’t stop. It looked exactly like I had planned it out.  I couldn’t believe it. It was cute!  lol. So without further ado, here is my hubby fishin on a lake, lol!

 

 

 

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I definitely intend to get more practice in on making people.  (need to work on my people skills, ha ha) This was my first time, and he came out kinda blocky, but I needed to make sure that he was going to be stable enough. Cause we women like our men stable 😉

 

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Close up of the cat tails. Everything on this cake is completely edible, minus the fishing pole and fishing line

 

 

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Close up of the bass fish that he caught, splashing out of the lake 🙂

 

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the lilly pads. I wanted to make tiny frogs too, but ran out of time. I was tickled the flowers turned out so well

 

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Back view of the cake, notice the fish in the boat that he already caught.

 

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Here’s a better view of the fishing line.

 

 

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The boat was cake that I carved out and covered with fondant.

 

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I only use homemade Marshmallow fondant on my cakes. I won’t use anything else. Not only is it edible, but it actually tastes great! (think cereal marshmallows)

 

So there you have it, my hubby’s fishing cake. It was so much fun ( i have to laugh here, because I originally typed FIN instead of fun, lol pun intended I suppose!)  to make and gave us all a big smile. It made it in perfect shape, even after a 45 min drive on the bumpiest interstate you could ever drive on! It didn’t last long AFTER it arrived though 😉

Thanks for looking!

 

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Why clean when you can bake?: otherwise known as Procrastinating, chocolate cake

So I was supposed to clean my room today.  Before I started, I wanted to have a little fun. I decided I was gonna whip up a batch of icing and just practice making decorations. Then I remembered that I have to go into Dallas tomorrow, and was planning on stopping by the hub’s office and having lunch with him. Well, I can’t very well show up at the office without some kind of treat. Other than being the Hubs’ wife, I’m known as the lady who sends in all the goodies. So I didn’t want to show up empty handed and disappoint. I decided to pull out my mini heart pan and make some cute little heart cupcakes. While I was filling the pan with batter I realized that I was going to end up with a hundred cupcakes at this rate. So I then decided to throw most of the batter into a large heart cake pan. So I bake everything up and think about what I’m going to do with it all. I whipped up a batch of chocolate butter cream icing and slathered it all over the cakes. While thinking about what I wanted to do with them, I remember what got me started in the whole process to begin with. So I whipped up another batch of butter cream icing, pulled out my decorating supplies, and went to town. I ended up with a way more elaborate cake than I had planned, especially for no specific occasion, but I had fun, learned a lot, and the office gets a nice treat ! 🙂  Here are pics of what I made today……….

 

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One of the very best things to me about baking, is that I can share it with my daughter. We get to spend time together and I get to teach her things. What better mother daughter moments than cooking together? I gave her the piece of cake that I had shaved off, and she got to practice her decorating techniques on her own piece of cake. Which she of course got to eat when she was through. She did great!

 

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Ya like her crazy grin?? She’s missing three teeth in a row, and a fourth is loose. If they don’t start growing in quick she won’t be able to eat anything but soup! which is bad because she hates soup!

Now I must go and supervise my daughter cleaning her room, as she tends to get distracted if left to her own devices. Hmmmm wonder where she got that trait??? what was I supposed to do today?? oooooooh yea……… 🙂

It’s HERE! Color revealed!

  

It’s HERE! and its PINK!!

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 Yes fellow chef’s and reluctant chef’s, my new Kitchenaid Stand Mixer is HERE!!!!!!!!! So exciting! The color choices were a bit tough. There are so many different choices. I could have gone with a blue to match my kitchen, but this pink one won my heart. What girl wouldn’t want a pink mixer?? lol!  Oh and it’s not just any pink, its Komen Pink! This is a Limited Edition color, and for every Komen Pink Stand Mixer sold, Kitchenaid donates $50 to the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation! How cool is that?? I support Komen when ever I can, the Komen walks are a lot of fun, and I do it in my Daughters name, because I am doing it for her and her health.

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This little splash of pink looks so nice in my blue kitchen! I’m lovin it already and I haven’t even plugged it in yet, lol! It comes with a  5 qt stainless mixing bowl, a wire wisk (not shown in picture, it was in the bowl) , a flat beater, a dough hook, and a pour spout lid (that also helps with splashing) , Niiiiice!

Mark has requested that my first adventure with my new mixer be cookies, so I am making my cookie monster his favorite chocolate chip cookies, from scratch! cause it’s easy now! 🙂

Just wanted to share the excitement!  COOK FOR THE CURE!

Dense, not too sweet, chocolate cupcakes

Ok, for my first food blog post I decided to make somthing new last night. Normally I cook out of boxes and bags, (sooo not healthy), but this time I wanted to break out and make somthing from scratch. I also knew I wanted it to be a cupcake because I love them. As we all know, theres a 50/50 shot when you try somthing new that it will turn out good. Or at least that you’ll like it. Well this recipe, it really was a 50/50 result. The cake, though not what I expected, turned out ok. The frosting however, well lets just say my garbage disposal didn’t have any complaints. Seriously, it was Nasty awful. Big dissapoinment there, but I’m not going to allow it to have been a waste of time. Therefore I am going to go ahead and post the recipe for the cupcake mix alone, and won’t divulge the nastyness that will occur if you were to get your hands on the frosting recipe. So here goes!

The Cast and Crew : Minus a few of the frosting ingredients!

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You will need:     all purpose flour, unsweetend cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt
 unsalted butter, light brown sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, & buttermilk

( By the way, this is a sneak peek at my new Kitchen island that my hubby made for me, feel free to oooh and ahhh as its simply Delightful! I will be posting pictures of my kitchen at a later date as it was night time and I was too lazy to drag out my honking flash, just feel honored that I didn’t use my cheap crappy point and shoot, 🙂 )

Lets get started:

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start with  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour in a bowl. Easy right ? 😉

 

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dump in 1 cup unsweetend cocoa powder, sifted ( I couldn’t find my sifter, so Mine did not get sifted! but they still turned out to be chocolate cupcakes, whew! that was close!)

 

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next add in 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder , 1/2 tsp. baking soda, & 1/2 tsp. salt. (lovin that pretty island!)

 

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Now mix it all up (thats my camera strap in the bottom corner, and a sneaky package of oreos trying to make its way in!)

 

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 In a seperate mixing bowl beat the 12 Tablespoons UNSALTED ROOM TEMPERATURE butter on medium speed until smooth (or if your like me, just nuke the butter for a few seconds. just DON”T forget its in the microwave! 😉

 

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Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed

 

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 Beat in the vanilla. (this is where the bad lighting comes in)

 

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Now start adding the eggs one at a time

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Here’s where the interesting part comes in. Add 1/3 of the cocoa/flour mixture that you made in the beginning. TIP: I turned OFF the beaters at this point and folded it in a bit first, as clouds of cocoa were starting to fly everywhere! once it was slightly wet and mixed in a bit I turned the beaters back on. Mix well.

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Pour in Half of your Room Temperature whipping cream. Mix well.

Now repeat the process, Add another third of your cocoa mixture, mix well, then the rest of your whipping cream, mix some more, and then add your last third of cocoa powder. Mix well but don’t over mix. Specific right?

 

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it will then look like this. So I sneaked a little taste and WOW it was rich and yummy! I wanted to eat the whole bowl as is. iterestingly things changed once baked, read on…….

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Pour into muffin pans. I made two trays of regular sized cupcakes, and a tray and a half of minis. Bake in an a 350 preheated oven for 18-20 min. but as always, you be the judge on how long with your oven

 

 

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And this is how they turn out! Normally I fill the cupcake pans fuller, but I wanted to make some mini’s as well, so I cheated the bigger ones out of their normal dose of batter.

 

MY REVIEW:

All in all I was a bit dissapointed in these, BUT I can see where there is a place in this world for them. The ended up being Dense & not very moist, However – they were pleasently chocolately in a mild not too sweet way. So I would say that this recipe would best be suited for a time when you need your cake to hold its shape and not be so moist and spongy that it falls apart, or if you are using a very sweet icing, these would compliment them well as to not overdo the sweetness.

All in all I may end up using this recipe again if the need arises, I won’t scratch these off my list.

These were SUPPOSED to go to my husbands office so that they would not sit around tempting us to eat them all day, but since they had no frosting to go with them, they stayed home. I must admit I find myself popping the mini’s in my mouth time to time as I walk by. Even without icing. Nice when you need a little dose of chocolate. Now if only they were a little healthier!

 

ALSO I did learn somthing else. I’ve had it with hand mixers! That was an awful lot of work to try to make and still find hands to take pictures. Therefore I have ordered a New Kitchenaid Stand Mixer this morning so that I won’t have  to deal with hand mixers anymore. I’m very excited! (though I’m sure I’m the last person on earth to get one, but thats ok, I finally have a place to work with one.)

It was tough to choose so many colors to choose from. I’m going to keep my color choice a secret until it arrives! Oh and I sound a SMOKING deal on them, so if anyone is interested in where I got it, let me know and I’d be happy to share the info!   

So in the end, all in all not a bad first go round with Made from scratch baking!   

 

 

Here’s the complete Recipe should you want to try it:

Ingredients:

For the cake:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetend cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth.  Gradually add the brown sugar and continue beating until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.   Mix just until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated, being careful not to overmix.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Recipe by : Annies Eats

I love cupcakes

Well its about time to start getting my cooking blog underway. I have been recently updating my kitchen of sorts and I’m almost ready to begin! Here’s a littl etidbit about me. I love cupcakes. They are cute, delicious, portable, and so customizable. Tell me, who doesn’t love a cupcake?? I found this short video today and it makes me smile everytime, so I wanted to share. Its a cupcake race! 🙂 

http://current.com/items/89109759/cupcake_race.htm