Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Over the weekend I found myself in Gravette, Arkansas. We were at a BBQ Smoking contest called Smoke on the Border. I’ll delve into that more in another post, but… as Hubby and Jared were moving stuff down on Friday afternoon, I found myself in the kitchen. I had it in my head I wanted to make something on the sweeter side, simply because of all that savory food I knew we were going to be eating over the weekend. That’s when I decided on Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites. Still a little savory from the dough, but that sweet side from the sugar and the heat from the cinnamon. Just seemed like the perfect combination.

Handheld little bites of yumminess. Although as you can see on my hand above, being in a zip lock bag, I brought some of that topping out on my hand for a nice dose of stickiness too. Hey… you win some… you lose some… and in this case, I’m pretty sure I won because hello YUM! (more…)

Chicken Garlic Alfredo

Guys, when I made my baking/cooking bucket list, there were a few things included that I have done before. I just left them there though because I was modifying the list from Brown Eyed Baker for 1. For 2, I just hadn’t made them in a while and wanted to try my luck at them again.

This just so happened to be one of the items… Fettuccine Alfredo. Gosh, as a kid, I hated Spaghetti but loved Fettuccine Alfredo. My dad on the other hand wasn’t crazy about Alfredo, so really the only time I got it was when I went to a restaurant.

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Irish Soda Bread

Guys, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Did you wear green? I did. I had on a t-shirt that said “Lucky Charms.” I also had on a sweatshirt that had green on it. Speaking of said sweatshirt, when I took it off I don’t know what I did with it… plus I don’t remember taking it off. Oy!

So Last week I showed you my list of 100+ things to bake. I’m kind of thinking of it as a 101 in 1001, but there really is no deadline… it’s also kind of like a bucket List. Either way, a lot of things I’d like to make. It’ll be fun! Especially when my new kitchen gets done! (Of course, we’ll have to move into the house also…)

But, yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve always wanted to be that mom who celebrates all holidays. I fail miserably! But yesterday, Abug and I made Lucky Charms Cupcakes, I made Irish Soda Bread (on my list), and then we had Rubenish/Deli Style Nachos. I’d say between the shirt and the food I nailed this one!

Irish Soda Bread

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Baking/Cooking Bucket List

Everyone needs a good challenge in their life, am I right? I’ve gotten swept in watching all these baking and cooking shows. I swear, my favorite tends to be the Great American and Great British Baking shows. They have baked so many things I’ve never heard of, it’s kind of crazy. But that is what keeps us growing. So here is a modified version I snagged from Brown Eyed Baker.

I deleted a few things because, well… I don’t like baked beans and I’m not sure I want to make lamb… goes back to my years in FFA… But… I like the idea she had and there were even things on her list I’ve either a) never tried or b) never heard of, so I’m growing.

If I had the guts, I would take on Julia Child’s cookbook as Julie Powell did, but I just am not sure I could do that… some of those things we don’t get in rural America. If I lived in a bigger city, that might be a different story. So here goes nothing!

Yeast Goodies:
1. Focaccia bread 
2. Bagels 
3. English muffins 
4. Challah 
5. No-Knead bread
6. Ciabatta
7. Babka 
8. Kaiser rolls
9. Panettone 
10. Sourdough bread
11. Parker House Rolls
12. Olive oil bread
13. Baguettes
13. Croissants 
14. Doughnuts 
15. Yeasted Coffee Cake
16. Kouign Amann

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Triple Chocolate Cake

We’ve been working on our house, it feels like non-stop. Some days walking in there is so… almost depressing, but some days it feels like nothing is happening. It is… but it’s happening up in the attic where you just don’t see results other than more lights are popping up as well as electrical plugins. Oh… and an HVAC system. Heat… let there be heat!!

And I swear, our friends are the absolute BEST. We’ve had so much help from our dear, darling, beloved friends. There truly are NO WORDS to describe them! So, when I found out Shelby’s 21st birthday was yesterday, I knew I had to make her a cake!! (She’s newer to this bunch, this is why it was a new find of her birthday!)

Triple Chocolate Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, Homemade Strawberry Jam, and Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Chocolate Ganache

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Oreo Cheesecake Cake

Another birthday cake! Yey, I love birthday’s!! Although… the story about this cake…

  1. The person who I made this cake for apparently doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore…
  2. I didn’t get to try any.
  3. I was told it was yummy.
  4. Life took over and I was afraid I wouldn’t get it to them on their birthday

I’ve been so consumed by the house remodel, I swear, that I was afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to deliver Dan’s birthday on time. I told him this the day before. That way he knew it was coming and I didn’t forget.

In the end, I got it there on Betty White’s 97th Birthday, aka Dan’s birthday. I did tell him it was a birthday cake to celebrate Betty White’s birthday since he apparently doesn’t celebrate birthday’s anymore….

Betty White’s 97th Birthday Cake (aka Dan’s Birthday cake)

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Chocolate Birthday Cake

What is the deal with everyone wanting Chocolate Birthday Cake? Seriously… haha. Okay, let’s back up and I’ll explain. Tbug’s birthday is the 2nd of January. Then my father-in-law’s birthday is the 9th of January. Bam, 2 in a row.

When I asked her what she wanted, it was a yellow cake with chocolate icing. Very plain and simple. Sometimes though, those are the best. Then I asked my father-in-law what he wanted. He said, oh, I guess chocolate maybe.

Chocolate, okay, we could go many different ways with that, right? But… then he mentioned, not German Chocolate or was it not Devil’s food chocolate. Gosh, I can’t even remember now. Either way… that did help narrow it down a little.

I had run across The Stay at Home Chef‘s The Most Amazing Chocolate Cake. I’ve made the cake before, which ended in me almost having a meltdown and crying. Ugh! But I’ve learned quite a few tricks since then… So… I decided to make it word for word recipe-wise.

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She’s 16… Holy Cow

I’m not sure when or how this happened, but she decided to turn 16 on me. WHAT?!?! I feel old, trust me! She was 6 when she came into my life. I was 19 when she was born. She’s 16 now. HOLY CRAP! Yes, I just said that.

Last month I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. She said yellow cake with chocolate icing is her favorite. So… yellow cake with chocolate icing it is… But I had to add sprinkles. It would have been boring without the sprinkles.

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S’mores Cake

Late last month a friend of mine asked me if I would be willing to make a cake for a fundraiser and what I would charge her. I said I’d do it for the ingredients. Heck yeah, someone else to help fund my new found interests. I don’t know, do you call it a hobby? A job? Perhaps we stick with interest? I don’t really know the answer. The thing I can tell you though is I really like decorate these types of cakes. Piping like you learn in Wilton classes aren’t really my thing. Too stressful. Wedding cakes are too stressful too.

Truthfully I could have had a “moment” with this particular cake. But that was okay. I relaxed and continued on. It was easier that way. And in the end, it worked out. Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

S’mores Cake

I mulled over my options quite a bit.

  • It’s fall. I wanted the cake to scream fall. So there are pumpkin, apples, s’mores.
  • Ooooo s’mores. Truthfully I’m not a fan of s’mores, but a lot of people are.
  • So what kind of cake portray’s s’mores? Bigger Bolder Baking Gemma came to my rescue. She recently posted a video/recipe for a S’mores Cake.
  • She used Marshmallow for the topping. Can that stand up to being out all day? I don’t know. That and I didn’t think hers was all that s’mores pretty looking. So what about Swiss Meringue.
  • Ooooo Swiss Meringue. I like a good Swiss Meringue Buttercream. This is a newly found taste.

See guys, this is what I sit and debate and debate and debate when it comes to making a cake. These are only just a few points going through my head too. (more…)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake

That cake up there is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with a Mascarpone Whipped Cream icing, cinnamon caramel glaze, and homemade chocolate truffles. Wow, that’s a mouth full!

One of my mom’s co-workers turned 30 this year. Ah, to turn 30 again. ha! A lot has happened since I turned 30… A LOT! I sold a house, had a snake in my car, had a kid, graduated from grad school, 2 trips to Cozumel Mexico, and soooo much more that might not always be sooooooo good. Oy! Ah, to be 30 again. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’d be willing to do it again. A lot of good happened but a lot of not so good happened. I think I’ll just keep plugging away and see what is just around the corner.

But this isn’t about me, this is about a cake. So… Johanna turned 30 this year. Mom hit me up and asked if I’d be willing to do a birthday cake for her. I guess that Johanna likes people to make a fuss about her birthday and being as though this was a big one, she wanted a big hoopla. haha. I don’t know, I don’t know her :). But mom wanted a big, fancy cake. Mom asked in September. That meant that I had plenty of time to start thinking about what I wanted to do exactly.

So many choices, so many options, all I knew was that she liked Pumpkin. Okay, that was at least a start.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte Layer Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream Icing, Cinnamon Caramel Glaze, and Homemade Chocolate Truffles

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