Working That Pinterest Voodoo

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It was dark as I made my way to the hidden cave, hidden to all but me. Every so often a strike of lightning would light up the night helping me find my way. Once in the cave I lit blood red candles and gathered up supplies for the magic I was about to work.

I could hear the storm raging outside as I threw the white powder into my magical bowl. The powder covered the precious silver pieces that lay at the bottom. I poured the magical brew from my cauldron into the bowl. The sizzling sound let me know that something was happening. I pulled out one of the precious metals and looked at it closely in the candlelight.

I had done it. I had worked magic! I held the silver high into the air and shouted out to the empty night, “I am Gotha the great and powerful!”

That’s what happened in my mind. In reality I was in my kitchen on a warm sunny day with the doors and windows open letting in a nice cooling breeze. I was getting ready to attempt to clean my tarnished silver jewelry.

I am not a fan of gold, as a matter of fact I own no gold jewelry at all. Mt husband says he is the luckiest man alive since I am not a fan of gold or diamonds. I do love me some silver. What I don’t love is how the pieces I do not wear everyday tarnish while chilling in my jewelry box. I did not want to go buy expensive jewelry cleaning products. So I did what I normally do. I searched Pinterest. Pinterest is my first stop on searching information. To me Pinterest is the new Google.

Search ‘cleaning tarnished silver’ on Pinterest and hundreds of pins appear. Most, by most I mean almost all describe the same process. So many similar pins. Must work right?

Well I was going to find out if it worked. Boy did it work. I will share how this ‘magic’ is worked.

Gather what you need to work your magic:

Tarnished silver jewelry

A bowl

Aluminum foil

Baking soda

Salt

A towel or soft cloth

water

Here is the ‘spell’:

Line your the bowl with aluminum foil.

Put small pot of water on the stove to boil. You want it heated to just ready to boil.

Take all your tarnished silver and put in the bowl.

Then cover the silver with baking soda and salt.

Pour the hot water into bowl.

Watch the magic happen.

Let the magic continue for a few moments.

Fish out your silver with something (I used a fork) so you don’t burn yourself.

Dry your silver with a towel, giving it a good rub as you do.

Stand back.

Admire your magical prowess.

Welcome to the world of magic or as my husband calls it, science. He tries to suck the fun out of all my adventures. He is worse than grumpy cat sometimes. Yet I love him anyway. J

How tarnished!

How tarnished!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh the shame.

Oh the shame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Line bowl with foil

Line bowl with foil

 

Add silver. Cover with baking soda and salt.

Add silver. Cover with baking soda and salt.

Pour in hot water. Bubble, bubble...

Pour in hot water. Bubble, bubble…

 

shiny

shiny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, pretty!

Oh, pretty!

 

 

shiny

 

 

Something Wicked This Way Bakes

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cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

The Whole Enchilada, Story of a Casserole

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so yummy

So I shared with you how to make your own Taco seasoning a few days ago. I had found a few Mexican recipes on Pinterest I wanted to try. Each recipe called for Taco seasoning. It was cheaper for me to make my own seasoning mix. Here is one of the recipes I tried.
The Enchilada Casserole was the first dish I tried. It turned out to be a fairly easy recipe. You brown your meat, layer everything in your cooking dish then bake away. Throwing it together was quick. The baking took the longest amount of time. While the dish was baking I went out to do some yard work.
When it was time to take the casserole out of the oven I came back inside. Oh my goodness. The house smelled so darn good. Like a Mexican restaurant.
I was lucky to get to take the few pictures I did take. My hubby was hovering over me, demanding me and the camera get out of his way. Seems I was standing between him and the enchilada casserole. I snapped a few quick photos then moved out of his way. He helped himself to HALF of the casserole. While walking away with plate in hand he said. “You can take all the pictures you want now.”
I cut me a small piece and joined my husband on the couch. Yes we are living room eaters. Very rarely do we sit down to the dining table to eat. He finished his dinner before me. He took his empty plate to the kitchen. A few minutes later I followed him. The casserole was so good I wanted another small piece. Imagine my surprise when I saw an empty casserole dish.
I looked at the hubby and said, “What the fudge?” to be honest I didn’t use the word fudge.
“Oh I thought you were done so I put the rest in a container to take to work tomorrow.” Being the good wife I am I told him it was okay. I told him it was okay but in my mind I was planning his demise. Don’t judge, the enchilada casserole was that good, but luckily for the hubby I didn’t follow through with my evil plan. This time.
We now have another recipe that will be a regular on the menu.
I would share the pin but Pinterest has decided it is a link to spam. Thankfully I had saved the recipe to my recipe folder.

Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 ½ c. salsa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp taco seasoning
6 flour tortillas (you can use corn tortilla if you want)
1 sm. Can of corn, drained
¾ c. sour cream
2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook beef in onion in a large frying pan. Drain. Return to pan. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning. Add beans and corn. Stir. Add sour cream and stir well.

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

With sour cream mixed in

With sour cream mixed in

 

In a 2 qt. casserole dish spoon out a layer of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

meat and cheese, bottom layer

meat and cheese, bottom layer

 

bottom layer with tortilla

bottom layer with tortilla

three layers

Cover with a tortilla. Repeat layers until dish is full. The top should have the most cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

 

I’m sure this would be just as good made with shredded chicken also.

 

baked

 

 

 

 

 

Birthday Cake and Evil Ideas

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5

Landyn, a good friend and co-worker had a birthday coming up. Last year I made her a layered multi-colored cake for her twenty-first birthday. I just couldn’t make her a plain old cake after last year. This year I had to top the multi-colored cake.

So I took to Pinterest. Oh the pins I scrolled through. So many pins yet no cake screamed ‘Landyn’. I know I spent over an hour looking for the perfect cake. I left Pinterest, I hoped maybe a break would help. I would make dinner for the husband and myself, maybe read a little, catch up with some family on FB. Then I would venture back to the land of cake pins.

The birthday cake gods must have taken pity on my plight. I signed onto FB and there it was THE CAKE. My cousin found a cake on Pinterest, shared it on FB and tagged me in it. It was another multi-colored cake but so damn amazing looking. I immediately went and pinned that cake.

I love this cake, you can do so many different themes with it. My mind was going crazy with ideas, one idea stuck with me. A dark evil idea. Finally I had to reign in the brain so I could focus on the task at hand.

I went with the colors used in the Pin. They were pink/purple/yellow. Easter and spring colors. Landyn’s birthday was so close to Easter I figured those would be good colors to go with.
I read the instructions. I knew this was going to be easy as pie or as we now say at the crypt, easy as heart shaped pancakes.

One thing that was used for the cake I did not have was a Bundt pan. I went and borrowed one from one of my Aunties. This was an old sad well used pan. The inside coating was flaking off. My aunt mentioned she used the old one all the time, she was looking for a new one, but hadn’t been able to find one that was budget friendly yet.

Well I took that pan home. I looked at it and decided I was not going to let my aunt keep using a pan that the coating was coming off of. She is all the time doing nice things for others I decided it was time to do something nice for her. I went to the store, again the cake gods did me right. I found her and myself really good quality pans at a fantastic price.

So now I had the pan. I gathered all the ingredients and began my newest cake quest.

Spring Color Birthday Cake
Ingredients:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Mix you cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

layers of color

Stick that pan in the oven and let the magic happen. Oh how I stressed from this moment on. I worried that my cake would not turn out anything like the pin. I envisioned Landyn cutting into her cake and finding a disaster inside. I would not know the outcome until first break (10 a.m.) the next day.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

baked

Here is what I like about the pin I followed. You don’t have to mix up any frosting. You just use a canned frosting. White of course. Divide it up between 3 bowls. Take you first bowl of frosting and heat in up in the microwave for 20 to 25 seconds. You want it runny so you can drizzle over cake. Once it’s runny time to color it. Just like you colored the cake batter. Mix and mix it good. Now spoon it over your cake. Do the other 2 bowls of frosting the same way.

Done!

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I did not heat my frosting for 20 seconds. I heated it 12. Mistake. The icing was too thick to drizzle like I wanted it. I have done another cake since and heating the frosting 20 to 25 seconds works better.

So journey through time to the next day. It’s break time. Landyn has knife in hand. She cuts the cake. SUCCESS! I was so happy that if I was the hugging type I would have hugged everyone in that break room. The cake looked great and tasted pretty darn good too. (yes I’m tooting my own horn)

Oh sweet success

Oh sweet success

This is an easy way to bake a cake that will make you look like a rock star! It may have taken 15 minutes to mix the batter, divide it, color it and get it in the oven. So little effort with such a big pay off.

I have so many ideas for Halloween cakes using this recipe. Gloriously evil dark ideas. Oh the fun I shall have. Don’t be surprised if you see another post with this recipe in a few weeks or even days. It will be Halloween themed of course!

Here is the pin. The multi-colored Bundt cake is beautiful. Go check it out.

cut 2cut 3

DIY Taco Seasoning

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diy taco

I have several new dishes I will be trying out in the next few weeks. Each one requires Taco seasoning. I didn’t want to have to go buy several packets so I rummaged around in my spice bowl. Yes a bowl, I just toss my spice jars into one huge bowl. I would love a fancy spice rack but space is limited in my kitchen, so spices go into a bowl that goes into the cabinet. Honestly it’s not even a bowl just a huge plastic container Sweet Stripe mints came in. Nothing but class around here.

I made a list of all my spices. Did a quick search on Pinterest for Taco season recipes. Amazingly I had all the spices I need to make the taco seasoning.

This recipe took me about five minutes from start to finish. It took that long because I had trouble finding my measuring spoons. They were right in front of me the whole time. How did I miss seeing them? I have no clue, they’re bright red in a white cabinet.

I looked at several Taco seasoning Pins, the recipe was basically the same on all of them. The only thing I have changed was the red pepper flakes. In the other recipes the red pepper flakes were ground up. I used my red pepper flakes as is. I will probably end up changing the amount of some spices or omitting the red pepper flakes next time I make this. My hubby can’t handle too much heat. There is always a chance he might surprise me and will be able to handle the heat from this first batch. Doubt it but a girl can dream, right?

So without further ado, here is the recipe to make your own Taco seasoning.

DIY Taco Seasoning

½ c. chili powder
¼ c. ground cumin
2 ½ tbsp. sea salt
2 ½ tbsp. black pepper
1 ½ tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano

Measure all spices out into a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or fork until well blended. This makes 1 ½ cups of Taco seasoning. I poured the mix into four small canning jars. I would have liked to just put it in one jar but all my bigger jars are occupied at this time.

all spices

Like most spices toss out any you have left after six months or a year. Some people keep their spices for a year. Some even longer. Just go with what your are most comfortable with.

That was easy, wasn’t it? So easy it should be illegal.

DIY Taco recipe

What the Peep? Cake

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bunny3
It is apparently cake baking week here at the crypt. I’ve been baking cupcakes or cakes everyday this week. Family gatherings, birthdays and tomorrow, Easter dinner.

A year ago I hosted a baby shower for my daughter who was expecting her first child. We had peep smores at the shower. So for Ms. Kaylei’s first birthday I suggested we peep out the cupcakes. My daughter agreed, which was a good thing since I had just bought a ton of peeps to try out the peep cake I saw on Pinterest. I had a lot of peeps. It was a peep invasion here at the crypt. So today I’m going to kill two peeps with one post.

The peep cake pin caught my attention for the simple fact. I LOVE PEEPS! I have never met a peep I didn’t love. This cake actually had peeps mixed in with the batter. Holy Peeps in a cake, Batman! I was excited to try to make this cake. I followed the pin to the website that had the full instructions.
The instructions used a spring form pan. I don’t have one so I used two round cake pans. FYI: if you have the spring form pan, use it. Before we go any further I must tell you. This cake was delicious. Mine did not turn out as pretty as the picture on the pin but I was able to live with that. I’m sure using the spring form pan would have changed the outcome of my cake. Guess maybe I need to invest in one.

To see the instructions I followed please visit the original site for Peepza Rustica. Here is my journey I took along with my peeps.

Peeps Inside the Cake Instructions:
Ingredients
Your favorite white cake box mix or white cake recipe
About 2 dozen peeps. A variety of colors.

Heat oven to your cake recipe/box instructions. Prepare your pan.
Mix your batter. Again follow the recipe/box instructions.

Now get your peeps chop those little guys up, show no mercy. The original recipe has you chopping the peeps into tiny pieces. Mine were bigger, mainly because those things are sticky. The more you chop the more marshmallow insides are exposed and the more stickier things get. I was not a happy peep slayer when things got sticky.

Butchered peeps

Butchered peeps

If using a spring form pan: Once the peeps are chopped. Pour enough batter into your prepared pan to just cover bottom. Cover batter with your half your peep parts. Layer in more batter. Layer in rest of peeps, cover with rest of batter.

If using two round pans: Once peeps are butchered. Cover bottom of each prepared pan with a thin layer of batter. Split your peep parts into half. Layer one half in one pan the rest in the other. Cover each peep layer with rest of batter.

Bake according to recipe/box instructions or until an inserted a toothpick or fork comes out clean.

pre bake and bake

I cooled my two little cakes. Once cooled I turned them out. Before I could layer them atop one another the top layer fell apart. What the peep? The cake is just so fragile when you divide it in between two pans. I then understood why the spring form pan was used. So forgive my pictures of the little slices I was able to save.

slice 1
So you see it wasn’t a pretty sight. Oh my, it tasted so good. So incredibly good. The cake did not even need frosting. I don’t think I will make this cake again. Mainly for the fact chopping those peeps up is pretty sticky business. I just can’t convey how sticky of a mess it was.

Peep Topped Cupcakes Instructions:

Bake your cupcakes. I made chocolate.
Frost the cupcakes.
Add your colored sugar or sprinkles. (optional)
Now pop a peep on top of each cupcake.
The chick peeps you just have to place on top of cupcake and push down slightly.
The bunny peeps, you need to make an indention in the icing in center of cupcake and hope the bunny stays upright when you place it on the cupcake.

Ain't no party like a Peep party!

Ain’t no party like a Peep party!

Party time with my peeps!

Party time with my peeps!

Kaylei grabbed a cupcake with a bunny on top. Crammed the cupcake into her face. When she pulled the cupcake away there was the bunny peep sticking out of her mouth. She is such a cute peep slayer. The other kids loved the peep cupcakes also. What’s not to love? An awesome cupcake with a marshmallow peep on top. Life just doesn’t get any better.

The poor peep. He didn't stand a chance.

The poor peep. He didn’t stand a chance.

I hope you try adding peeps to your next cake. Either inside your cake or placed on top as a decoration. I’m sure you and others will enjoy the amazing peep/cake combo!

Thanks for joining me on a Pinteresting peep adventure!

Do You Know the Pumpkin Muffin Man?

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cupcake 2

I’ve been doing a lot of baking. A LOT. Last week I baked the star shape in a cake. Monday I baked Pumpkin muffins. The two posts to follow this one are going to be about baking also.

This past Monday I was looking for something simple and quick to bake that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I had pinned the pin for this the other week, I remembered it was simple. Two ingredients! Also there seem to be a few claims that each muffin is only 1 Weight Watchers point. Is it true? I have no clue, but it sounds good to me. Simple, quick and waist friendly. Sold!

The two ingredients are one box cake mix, any type and one 15 ounce can of Pumpkin puree. The pin used a yellow cake mix I used a white. I added a third ingredient. Just a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. That was a suggestion in the comments on the blog that the pin led to. Mix well. I used a hand mixer. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Simple as that. How did it taste? Okay. I was not a fan, everyone else loved them. I might have liked them if I had some sort of frosting to put on them. I read where the chocolate cake mix with the pumpkin was better than the other cake flavors. I may try it one day. I also think it might be a decent breakfast muffin if you add some granola before making.

The Pumpkin Muffin post from Pinterest.

cupcake 1