Monday, January 26, 2015

One Layer Fudge Cake

Absolutely sinful... There's just no other way to describe this One Layer Fudge Cake folks! Have you made ganache before? It was a new food to me and I couldn't get over how shiny and beautiful it is. And yes, I will be making it more often:@) The cake was really, really good too, moist and deeply chocolate. This was a big hit at Sunday dinner and as you can tell, I can't recommend this recipe enough!
Bloggy Buddy Liz made a pretty round cake and the ganache dripped and draped down the sides... The bonus about making it in a baking dish? None of the ganache drips off the bottom, it gets trapped in the pan, those slices on the sides have some serious icing:@)
Oh Momma...

One Layer Fudge Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing-from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Cake:
1 C A/P flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C plus 2 Tblsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 oz (one stick) butter, melted and warm
1 1/4 C brown sugar-I used 1 C
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C hot water-I boiled mine and took it off the heat until I was ready to use it

Ganache:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 C heavy cream
1 Tblsp sugar
  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Sift cocoa powder into dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate. (I just sifted everything together.)
  2. In a large bowl mix the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Add the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the hot water over the top and stir until just combined and smooth.
  5. Pour batter into a greased 8" round cake pan or greased 8" square baking dish. 
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. If using a cake pan, allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a cooling rack. If using a baking dish allow to cool completely.
  8. Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a simmer and remove from heat. Pour over chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is smooth. Add sugar and mix well. (I used chocolate chips that I heated in the microwave a bit first and added the sugar to the chocolate before adding the cream-don't tell Liz:@)
  9. Let the ganache cool a bit and then slowly pour it over the cake. 
  10. Step back and admire your masterpiece!
Treat yourself to something amazing and have a happy day:@)

My New Foods List:
(If my sons happen to read this... relax! I still promise fairly "normal" Sunday dinners...)
hominy ~ artichokes ~ fish sauce (I'm scared) ~ leeks ~ almond paste ~ oyster sauce (scared again) ~ gorgonzola ~ dates ~ brisket ~ parsnips ~ adobo ~ meringue powder ~ fennel ~ goat cheese (I'm told to be scared) ~ souffle ~ red velvet anything ~ curry ~ capers ~ chow chow ~ pot stickers ~pho ~ ponzu sauce ~ fondant ~ fire roasted tomatoes ~ Gruyere ~ Quinoa ~ Tetrazzini any kind ~ Divinity ~ Meyer lemon ~ lemon curd ~ shallots ~turkey tenderloin and Chipotle Powder ~ Smoked Turkey Sausage ~ ganache 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Snippets-Cupigs and Snow

Ya gotta love the pig folks! Have you seen these adorable flying Cupigs for Valentine's Day at Walmart? Too stinkin' cute and I love the little tuft of hair on top. There's a rumor floating around that if you're visited by Cupig on Valentine's Day he leaves chocolate covered bacon under your pillow:@)

Philly had it's first snowfall with any real accumulation last night, about 3" at my house. It's very pretty and since it's the weekend and I didn't have to worry about getting to work, I'm enjoying it:@)

Even though we've had a mild winter so far, I am still looking forward to spring and picked up some snow pea seeds last weekend. I also saw these cute little planters, they'd be a fun winter project for the kids, or even a good idea to store away for their Easter baskets. They have farm animals and jungle animals.

And I've been dreaming about grilling out... While nosing around Pinterest one day I came upon this little beauty, looks like a fun toy!

Stay warm and have a happy weekend everyone:@)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Salt Dough Ornaments Using Impression Cookie Cutters

I'm always looking for new ornaments and when I brought my feather tree out for Valentine's Day stopped by all the usual stores, but didn't find anything. So that meant I'd have to make something on my own:@) Salt Dough Ornaments are a quick and easy craft that's been around forever, the fun twist on it is using the impression cookie cutters that are out today. Since salt dough is just flour, salt and water you can still safely use the cookie cutters for cookies too, whereas working with clay requires dedicated cutters.
  Because I'm frugal er, resourceful, I used some old nail polish to paint the ornaments. 
Use whatever you'd like or have to decorate them.

And my absolute favorite idea for dough or clay is making these baby footprint ornaments HERE.
A friend (first time Grandma) surprised her family at Christmas with them this year and there were tears of joy!
Salt Dough
1 part flour
1/2 part table salt
1/2 part water-you won't need all of the water
  1. Mix flour and salt and slowly start adding water. Keep mixing well until the dough just starts to come together. There's a nice picture tutorial HERE.
  2. Roll out to desired thickness, cut out with cookie cutters and use the plunger to add detail to the ornaments.
  3. Place ornaments on non-stick cookie sheet or parchment paper and either dry in the lowest setting of your oven for 3-4 hours or let sit out at room temperature for a few days.
  4. Paint or decorate as desired.
Make something fun and have a happy day:@)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Buffalo Deviled Eggs and fun football napkins

The countdown to the Super Bowl is on! As a wing lover it was only a matter of time until I tried some Buffalo Deviled Eggs and I thought they were great! There are many variations, some even calling for adding chicken to the eggs, I kept mine simple letting the Franks RedHot Sauce be the star. You might even want to serve them with a bottle of hot sauce available for an extra shot of spice, you know, if your crowd is into that sort of thing:@)
The recipe below is from Food Network Magazine. For my eggs, I basically mixed mayo and Ken's Steakhouse Blue Cheese Salad Dressing half and half, added celery, a few grinds of black pepper and then shook in hot sauce to taste. I do think these eggs are best eaten on the day they're made. If you're a lover of Buffalo flavored foods, you'll like these deviled eggs folks!

Walmart had some fun football items and I got a kick out of the napkins...

Buffalo Deviled Eggs-from Food Network Magazine, April 2014
  1. For each 12 hard boiled eggs, cut in half, pop yolks out.
  2. Mash yolks with 1/4 C mayonnaise, stir in 1/4 C finely chopped celery and 2 Tblsp Buffalo hot sauce. Spoon into egg whites, top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery leaves.
Eat well and GO TEAM:@)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Football Team Colors Guide for Icing

So here we are folks, down to the last three games of the year, only four teams left. And no, mine isn't one of them *sniffle*... I saw this cool Football Team Color Guide from McCormick on Pinterest and thought I'd share it in case you wanted to whip up some cupcakes for one of the games. Of the last four teams standing, who are you hoping to see win the Super Bowl? New England, Indianapolis, Seattle or Green Bay...
As for me, let's just say... I like cheese:@)

Have a happy day!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bacon Horseradish Dip-an Alton Brown Recipe

If you're a fan of the dip that comes in the little plastic tubs at the supermarket, this homemade Bacon Horseradish Dip will make you whimper! Ok, maybe that was just me, but I do think you'll like it folks. Salty, zingy, smokey and a little sour, there's a lot to love here... Alton says to let it hang out in the fridge over night so the flavors can mingle... I say good luck with that:@)
 And in this reporter's opinion, the fresher and sharper the horseradish, the better!
Oh and, if you're going to take pictures of it, it's probably a good idea to save some bacon to sprinkle on top:@)

Bacon Horseradish Dip-an Alton Brown recipe from Men's Journal
6 slices of bacon
1/2  diced onion
1 1/2 C sour cream-I used light
3/4 C mayonnaise
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp white pepper-I used freshly ground black pepper
3/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tblsp horseradish
  1. Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towel, crumble and reserve bacon fat.
  2. Fry onion in bacon fat until it begins to wilt. I scooped the onions onto a plate to cool.
  3. Mix everything well and allow to chill overnight (ha!).
Try something new for the playoffs and have a happy day:@)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The $64,000 Question...

If you were Dave, would this help you stick to your diet???
Animal place card holders from Williams-Sonoma.

Have a happy day:@)