Saturday, July 30, 2011

4 Layer Pink Lemonade Cake

I made it back from my week long trek across the country, aside from the flat tire in the middle of the night and locking the keys in the car it was quite uneventful. We saw family and were able to squeeze in some time with a few friends. I wish I could have stayed longer, but a week in the car is long enough for me!

Tonight I'm making one of my kid's favorite meals, Calzones. This will be our first family dinner since January when the boys went back to college, so I'm super excited. I'm making their favorite Italian salad with their favorite dressing and this cake, I hope everyone loves their meal.

I've made a variation of this recipe before, but this time I decided to make it into a decadent looking cake. All I did was double the recipe and make cakes instead of cupcakes. 

I was recently in Utah and went to the most amazing baking store Orson Gygi, I picked up some awesome new frosting tips and bags. I'm looking forward to making even more fun goodies to share with everyone.

Simon likes the cake version more than the cupcakes since, "You can control the amount of frosting better". What a perfect ending to any meal!

2 White Cake Mixes
6 Egg Whites
2 1/2 c Water
2/3 c Vegetable Oil
6 TBSP  Country Time Pink Lemonade Mix
A few drops of red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Mix the cake according to directions on the box then add lemonade mix and food coloring. Pour batter into 4 prepared cake pans and bake for 25 minutes or until done. 

For fun I only added red food coloring to half of the batch

Ingredients for Frosting
2 lb Powdered Sugar
2 Sticks unsalted butter, room temp
6 TBSP Pink Lemonade Mix
Pink Sprinkles

Mix butter and lemonade mix in a stand mixer, slowly add in powdered sugar. Add milk a TBSP at a time until desired consistency is reached. Place frosting in-between each layer and stack cake, I like to do a crumb coating on my cakes, to learn more about crumb coating check out this link and follow the directions. 

After the cake has sat in the fridge for 1-2 hours and the crumb coat has set frost the rest of 
the cake with a more liberal coating of frosting. I ended up making another 1/2 batch of frosting, I probably didn't need it but I always get nervous when frosting a large cake. 

Out of the oven and cooling
Pink frosting
Stacking them alternate colors
Crumb coat, now refrigerate
I frosted the sides with additional frosting and piped a design on the top.
I also piped some additional frosting around the base of the cake.
I used white sugar crystals on-top of the cake

Thursday, July 21, 2011


I am once again traveling across the country, this time I'm flying to Los Angeles and then driving with my oldest son back to Orlando. We are hoping to stop and eat at some amazing places as we make our way across the country. I'll be back soon with more delicious recipes.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Grilled Margherita Pizza

I'd been trying to make grilled pizza for numerous days before it actually happened. During the summer in Florida we get daily afternoon rain showers and every time I'd plan on grilling pizza it would rain, I finally got a great weather day yesterday. This is a super easy and delicious way to make pizza, the crust is crunchy without being crispy, does this make sense? It also doesn't heat up the house which in the summertime is a huge bonus, AND the pizza tasted like it had been cooked in a wood oven. This was probably the best tasting homemade pizza I've ever made; next time Olivia wants me to top it with more traditional toppings, I'll be sure to do that and keep you posted.

1 Ball of Pizza Dough, I buy mine at the grocery store, or you can make your own
1 Ball of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
2 Roma Tomatoes
2 Cloves Garlic, rough chopped
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper

Turn grill on. Roll out pizza dough on floured countertop. I didn't worry about it being perfectly round, I was going for the rustic look. Next brush on some olive oil onto one side of the crust, transfer crust to hot grill, place oiled side down. Add additional oil to the "up" side of the pizza dough. Let cook on high for roughly 5 minutes, or until the crust starts to bubble and brown on the bottom. Flip dough over and cook on second side for another 5 minutes. Carefully remove hot crust, carry it on a cutting board back into kitchen or work area. Place a large piece of aluminum foil underneath cooked dough. Place sliced pieces of mozzarella cheese and chopped garlic on top of pizza dough and head back outside. Place aluminum foiled pizza back on grill, turn the heat down to medium and close the lid. Let cook until cheese is melted and bubbling, approximately 10 minutes. In the meantime go slice your tomatoes and basil. Once cheese is melted, place the sliced tomatoes and fresh basil on top and immediately remove from grill. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve. Serves 4 

Cover your rolled out dough with olive oil
Place it on the grill
Flipping the dough over
Look at the awesome grill marks
My photographer Olivia, she took the grilling shots for me
 Place sliced mozzarella and garlic on cooked dough and place back on grill
Roma tomatoes and basil ready to top the pizza
Yummy melted cheese
Add the tomatoes
And fresh basil and dinner is ready


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Red Velvet Brownies

My daughter is on vacation in Panama City and sent me a text message photo of a red velvet brownie. A what??? I immediately jumped online looking for recipes and this one caught my eye. Plus earlier in the day my husband called and informed me he'd volunteered me to bring a dessert to a baby shower, so I gathered up the ingredients and got baking. What an amazing combination of two of my favorite flavors!

1 box Brownie Mix ( 9x13 version) and ingredients to make it, Duncan Hines is my favorite
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix and ingredients to make it, Duncan Hines is my favorite

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 pan. Make brownies and spread into pan, next make the red velvet cake mix and pour on top of brownies. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (this could take more than 40 minutes so don't panic)  Let cool and frost. I cut  my brownies into squares, placing them in cupcake liners then piping a dollop of frosting on top.

Ingredients for Frosting
1 Stick Butter, softened
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 lb Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
Milk, optional for thinner frosting

First the brownie layer
Then the red velvet batter on top
This is what a cross section looks like, yum on top of yum
Decorated for the baby shower

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Spicy Mexican Carrots

Earlier this summer I was in Los Angeles and went into this great burger joint and sitting on the counter was a mini buffet bar of pickled carrots and onions. One bite and I was in LOVE! The spice and heat that are packed into these veggies will blow your mind, literally! This makes a great alternative to chips and salsa without the calories and fat. You've gotta give them a try. Remember the longer they pickle in your fridge the spicier they get.

8 Carrots, peeled and chopped
6 Cloves Garlic, rough cut
4 Jalapenos, stem removed, sliced 1/2 thick
8-10 Small Onions, cut in half
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 3/4 c Vinegar
1 3/4 Water
7 Bay Leaves
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil

In a large pan heat oil, carrots, jalapenos, garlic and onions. Let cook on high for 6 minutes. Add in salt, pepper, vinegar and water and continue to cook on medium for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add bay leaves, mix and let cool. Once cooled pour into a plastic container, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving. Will stay good in fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I used boiler onions
On the stovetop before adding the liquids
Ready for the fridge
I love the chunks of garlic, so tasty!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Black Magic Chocolate Cupcakes

While cleaning out the fridge this week I found a half jug of buttermilk that was about to expire and thought I better use this.... quickly! I've been wanting to make this cake recipe for a while and today was the day. I decided to turn them into cupcakes and as I pulled them from the oven I realized that you CAN NOT over fill the cupcake liners, so remember this recipe makes 24 cupcakes. I frosted some of the cupcakes with leftover chocolate icing I had in my fridge, and I  frosted the rest with my favorite Butter Cream Frosting. This cake is super moist and tastes nothing like coffee, if you are wondering.

1 3/4 c Flour
2 c Sugar
3/4 c Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 eggs
1 c Strong Black Coffee, cooled
1 c Buttermilk
1/2 c Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with 24 liners. Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix on medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into cakecake liners and bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  If making a cake place in a 9x13 pan and cake for 35-40 minutes.
I placed a scoop of frosting on warm cupcake and let it melt
Easy way to top cupcakes
Three different ways to top the cupcakes


Source; Just a Pinch

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome Home Brownies

My favorite daughter (only daughter) has been vacationing in the Keys for almost 2 weeks and she is finally coming home tomorrow!!! I am making her favorite meal, Calzones; and since the main course is  fairly labor intensive I thought I'd make the dessert the day before. These brownies are rich, chocolaty and moist, you'll love the lightness of the frosting, the flavor melts on your tongue.  These make the perfect treat for any special occasion.

Ingredients for Brownies
1 1/2 c Flour
2 c Sugar
10 TBSP Cocoa Powder
1 c Shortening
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 pan. Mix eggs, shortening and sugar together, add vanilla. Add cocoa and the flour and mix together. Batter with be thick. Bake for 30 minutes.

 Ingredients for Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 Box Powdered Sugar
4 TBSP Cocoa
1 Stick Butter
3-4 TBSP Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

Using a mixer, beat all ingredients together on medium speed until creamy, frost cooled brownies.

Right out of the oven, the smell was divine!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chipotle's Corn Salsa

One of my favorite restaurants is Chipotle. I love every single thing they offer, my favorite item on their menu is the corn salsa, I always ask for 2 scoops on my burrito bowl. This recipe tastes exactly like Chipotle's version, tonight we had make your own burrito bowls, tomorrow I'm spooning it over Mahi Mahi.


5 cups Frozen Corn
2 Poblano Chilies
1/2 Red Onion
2 Jalapenos
1/3 Cup Chopped Cilantro
Juice from 1 Lime
Juice from ½ Lemon
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Roast the Poblano chilies on a grill or BBQ and let cool. Peel the skin off pepper and dice the Poblano chilies, onion, and  jalapenos. (remember to wear food prep gloves when handling jalapenos)  Combine all the ingredients and season to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Poblano Peppers
I used my panini maker to grill the peppers, you can use
a regular grill 
Look at the gorgeous grill marks
Let cool and peel the skin and remove seeds and top
Dice Jalapenos peppers
Red Onion
Juice of 1 lime and 1/2 Lemon
Add corn to diced veggies and combine, season with 
salt and pepper