Birthday Cake and Evil Ideas

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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.

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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!

Lemon, Limes and Cookie Cakes

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lemon cookies 1

I have been in search of a good lemon cookie recipe. I still haven’t found The Lemon Cookie Recipe. The one were the cookie is not hard but not so soft it falls apart in your hand. Until I find that recipe I will share all the others I try in my search.

This one I decided to try because I just happened to have a box of lemon cake mix. The recipe was similar to a crinkle cookie. I made the two batches following the directions. Oh how I love the taste of lemon. Oh how the lemon taste in this cookie was too much. To try to tone it down the last batch I baked crinkle cookie style. They were good but still the lemon was too strong. These cookies are very soft and will fall to pieces easily.

The original recipe called for a lemon icing. I decided to go with a lime icing to try to balance the flavors. In my opinion it worked.

The husband tried the cookies, he said they were okay. He is not a lemon fan. Which was good for me. I had lemon cookies all week long. For first break at work, last break and for dessert after dinner. I was a very happy Gotha.


 

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

Mix ingredients by hand.

Set in freezer to harden.

Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes.

Cool and frost with lemon or lime frosting.

 

Lime Frosting (or lemon)

Ingredients:

4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of water or milk (I prefer milk)

Mix until smooth. Spoon over cookies.

Some I covered heavily with frosting others much less.

IMG_5646IMG_5649

Thank you for joining me on another Pinteresting adventure. Hopefully one day I will find that perfect lemon cookie.

lemon cookies

 

Meatball Adventures

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cooked meatball 1

I’m trying to cut pasta out of my life. Trying is the key word. So I have been searching for recipes to try that will still give me a bit of the foods I miss. I found a recipe on Pinterest for meatball sub casserole. I am also cutting back on breads but pasta has to go completely. Pasta is an addiction for me, I cannot have a little, I cannot control myself. I have to say bye to it completely.

Meatball Sub Casserole

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1-lb. pkg. fully cooked frozen meatballs, thawed
1 (28 oz.) jar pasta sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Toast bread slices
Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an 9×13 baking dish.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings.
Spread mixture over bread slices.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
Layer in the meatballs.
Spoon sauce over meatballs and cheese mixture.
Cover with remaining cheese.
Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

I did not use a whole loaf of bread, I used less than half. After toasting a few slices I tore them to good size pieces to line the bottom of casserole dish. The cream cheese I used was actually a product that is new to me, it’s half cream cheese and half Greek yogurt.
I mixed it with the mayo and seasoning. It was not an easy process spreading it over the bread. But I powered through and got it done. I assembled the rest of the casserole, threw it in my trusty oven and baked away.

uncooked

While the meatball sub casserole was baking I used that time to go through my make-up case to see if any items needed to be replaced. When I say make-up case I mean my horror/zombie make-up case. I should probably be ashamed how much horror make-up I have but the dark side of me feels no shame. One day I will show you what all I have in that case. My everyday make-up? I hardly wear any, when I do it’s lipstick and mascara. In case you are wondering, all the make-up was good only thing that I need to replenish is my liquid latex. I’m down to one bottle of blood but that should get me through my next zombie walk. That took up the 35 minute bake time. I checked the casserole the cheese had not browned any so I baked it 10 more minutes. That did the trick.

How was it? My husband loved it! He ate two plates of it! I was not a fan, mainly because I’m not a big cream cheese or mayonnaise person. Now I did love the meatball, sauce and mozzarella. Those three baked together paired with a salad is a meal I could get behind.

The pin I found on Pinterest led me to The Country Cook blog. You can find the recipe I used there. She has pictures to take you through every step if you need them.

Giving up pasta is not easy but I was able to kick my artificial sweetener addiction so I can conquer this pasta addiction…maybe.

cooked meatball

When Caramels Attack

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Inside this chocolate goodness lurks a surprise

Inside this chocolate goodness lurks a surprise

Last Christmas I did so much baking and candy making for family and friends. When all was said and done I had a few things left over I needed to use. One thing I had was little caramel candies. Honestly I don’t even remember what I used them for originally. They were still there taking up much needed cabinet space.
I remembered a pin where you put a ROLO candy in the middle of a cupcake or brownie before baking. I thought why not use the caramels in the same way? So the plan was simple, bake some chocolate cupcakes with caramels inside as a nice little surprise.
Yeah, pretty thought. Everything appeared to have worked out greatly. I opened one up while it was still warm, oh it looked so heavenly. The hubby and I ate one right away. The others I put some icing on after they cooled.
So after they cooled, icing applied and they sat on the counter for a little bit I decided I needed to eat another one. Did you know that once melted and cooled those damn little caramels get hard again? Hard as a damn rock. Why that did not dawn on me when I came up with the plan, I do not know.
Biting into that soft moist cupcake then hitting that hard sticky piece of caramel. Not a happy moment for me. I’m not going to lie one of my teeth got stuck in that chunk of caramel. I had to run to the nearest mirror and thus began the fight to get my tooth free from that evil caramel. I was in a panic I feared if I yanked that caramel to hard my tooth would come out with it. I envisioned an emergency trip to the dentist where once he asked to see the tooth I would shamefully pull from my pocket that piece of caramel with my tooth embedded in it. That was not going to happen!
I tugged, I twisted, I even tried to talk that caramel from my tooth. Wouldn’t budge. Finally I grabbed the caramel with both hands and yanked as hard as I possibly could. There was a “pop” then it was over. Thankfully it ended well for me. The tooth is still where it is suppose to be. No shameful emergency dentist visit. Whew!
I threw those cupcakes in the trash. I would say lesson learned but I know me I will see some pin, read the directions and decide to try it my way. Once again I will be off on another Pinteresting adventure.

Looks so innocent doesn't it? That caramel is EVIL!

Looks so innocent doesn’t it? That caramel is EVIL!

 

Captain My Captain Morgan Coconut Rum Cake

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I was in a cake baking mood. Also in a coconut rum mood. Those who know me know I am a lightweight when it comes to drinking. I may have a mixed drink once a month sometimes not that often. Tonight was Captain Morgan coconut rum night. So we have cake baking and coconut rum. What not combine both?

Searching Pinterest I found several recipes I liked but they were so involved. I was in the mood to bake but I had just got home from work so I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen. Gotha needs to rest sometime.

So I just found a basic white cake recipe and used the rum in place of the liquid. I had a small dilemma during the mixing of the cake. I had only a small amount of rum. If I use all for the cake I wouldn’t have any to drink later. After a whole two seconds of deliberations I used half the rum along with milk in the cake. To give the cake a strong coconut taste I added two tablespoons of coconut bakery emulsion. FYI: I’m drinking the rest of the rum now. Public Service Announcement: Friends don’t let friends drink and blog.

Okay the cake is in the oven. I’m baking two 8 inch round pans plus two mini round pans. The mini rounds are a test. I’m baking Ms. K a smash cake for her first birthday, I want to see if the minis will be big enough. RESULT: nope not big enough. The mini round will make a good top layer to a small tier cake.

While the cakes are baking it’s time to toast some coconut. Here is where I give short but sweet instructions to toast coconut. That went by so quickly I had time to find some spooky pins I plan to try out soon.

Cakes are out of the oven and cooling. I planned on making the frosting from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Uh…nope not happening. I am a lightweight drinker. I had just enough to give me a tiny buzz now I’m just sleepy. So, Betty Crocker to the rescue. I just happened to have a can of white fluffy and a can of milk chocolate frosting. I mixed some coconut emulsion into the white fluffy. That went on the tiny cake. It was going to go on the big cake also but once I saw that can of milk chocolate frosting all I could think about was Almond Joy. Holy toasted coconut Batman! That was a good cake. The white frosted cake was okay but much better the next day after the emulsion had time to mingle with the frosting.

Here is the basic white cake recipe. Maybe one day I will try that frosting I planned to use.

The tiny cake photos turned out okay but once it was time to snap some shots of the chocolate coconut cake I was so tired. I snapped a few shots. I don’t think you can tell in the photos but I didn’t even frost the whole thing. Also the hubby was in such a hurry to try a piece he was standing over me with a knife. He had been waiting all day to eat cake by then his patience was wearing thin. I’m going with the theory the knife was for the cake and not me. Now if I would have taken more pictures making him wait longer who knows, that knife may have been used to get me out of the way. The hubby loves cake.

Mini Captain Morgan Coconut Rum Cake

Mini Captain Morgan Coconut Rum Cake

coconut rum cake with milk chocolate frosting

coconut rum cake with milk chocolate frosting

Another Pinteresting day in the life of Gotha Stewart ended with a belly full of cake hubby and me taking my lightweight drinking self to bed.

I Give Good Bread

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First off, please forgive the title. It’s been a long day and lack of sleep is catching up with me.

Awhile back the hubby and I were out shopping. I decided to buy a wax burner for scented wax. Here is the conversation the hubby and I had in the store.

Me: “I’m going to buy this to melt scented wax since I know how to get the used wax out now.”

Hubby: “Oh is that something else you saw on Pinterest?” This was said dripping with sarcasm and ending with a dramatic rolling of the eyes.

Me: “No, it’s has instructions here on the box.” This was said in the tone of voice that clearly translated into, ‘you’re an asshole.’

Hubby: “humph.”

I stood there in the store thinking to myself, “Self do you think maybe you Pinterest too much?”

Self replied, “hell no.”

I then giggled out loud.  The hubby stared at me like I had just jumped on the crazy train.

Me: “Let’s hurry up and get home.”

Hubby: “What’s the hurry? I thought we were going to get coffee.”

Me: “Not now, you got me wanting to go home to get on Pinterest.”

Hubby: I can’t put down his reply. Just know it contained strong language.

He is not always anti-Pinterest. He is extremely pro-Pinterest when I’m trying out a recipe I discovered while at that much loved site. Like last night when I found a new banana bread recipe. (As you have read before, my dad is always bringing me bananas) Normally I use my go-to banana bread recipe that I got from my Aunt Betty…Crocker. But with the over abundance of bananas I had this week I had used up all of the box mixes.  So when I saw a Pin that said the bread was so good people drove for miles to eat a slice, how could I not try it?

I gathered everything I needed. I began to doubt this recipe when I realized it did not call for water or milk. Just oil and eggs. But life is not about playing it safe so I went with it. The only thing I added that was not in the recipe was pecans. How can you not have nuts in your banana bread? That is insane!

Here is the recipe. I do not give a measurement on the pecans because I don’t measure them myself. I just throw some in. Okay I throw a lot in.

This is the link that will take you to the Banana Bread pin.

Banana Bread

Dry ingredients:

1 ¾ all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp salt

1 ½ cup sugar

Wet:

3 lg. eggs

¾ cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)

2 mashed bananas

Pecans or walnuts. Hell both if you want. Remember the nuts are optional. Except at my house, here it is a must.

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter bottom of your bread pan.

Mix your dry items in a bowl. In another bowl mix your wet.  The recipe said to mix the bananas in with the oil and eggs until smooth.  In all the years I have made banana bread I have always added the bananas at the end after you mixed the batter. So I beat the eggs and oil together. Now you pour that in with your dry items. Mix. Add the bananas, mix some more. Now add your nuts. As much as you want, don’t be afraid to go nuts with them. Put in over bake 60 to 70 minutes.

Now let me tell you how this went down. Most breads I bake, I bake them between 375 to 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Never had an issue. But I followed the recipe. 50 minutes into my bake time I began to smell the bread burning. Hey must be done, I thought. Fork tested it. Nope not done. It took the whole 70 minutes. The top and edges were very darn close to burnt. My bread loving soul was not happy. Once it cooled I sliced us a piece to try. The hubby loved it. It was pretty good. Close to being just as good at Aunt Betty’s. This is a dense bread. If you want a lighter more fluffy bread, this is not for you.

The burning was totally my fault, I know my oven. I should have sided with my oven and not the recipe. I will make this again but will adjust my temperature and bake time.

Here is a photo. You can see that the bread is extremely well done. Don’t let my photo turn you off of this recipe. It is really good.

My pretty-damn-close-to-burnt bread

My pretty-damn-close-to-burnt bread

Banana Bread from Pinterest

Banana Bread from Pinterest

Thank you for joining me in my Pinteresting addiction.