Strawberry Champagne Birthday Cake

I woke up this morning to clouds and the potential chance of rain. I heard the other day we’re like 18″ behind in rain for our area this time of year. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I haven’t verified that, but I can tell you we’re in a huge drought. We need rain. This last week has been hot, but not humid like it was. I know, people find it hard to believe humid in Missouri, but I’m telling you… You walk outside and you feel like you’re either in a sauna or you just took a shower.

Last month I talked to a guy from Southern Oklahoma about a trip he once took to Columbia, Missouri. He said he had relatives that live in Kansas and this time of year, Kansas is just hot. He figured that’s how Missouri was. He said boy was he sorely mistaken. I love when people from coastal areas talk about humidity like we don’t know what it is… and we’re landlocked so where the humidity comes from I have no idea. (Oh and he was from Southern Oklahoma… I know that’s not a coastal state, just saying.)

But, it’s summer none-the-less in the Midwest. That makes it hot and dry. Especially since we’re at the end of July quickly approaching August. August is a hot dry month anyway for us… but dang, we need rain. Come on 80% chance! But they said on the tv last night that we have this hot climate without the humidity right now which feels nice but is making the rain coming from Witchita, Kansas area dissipate before it gets to us. Eventually, enough rain chances will come and break through that and we’ll get rain plus our humidity back, but until then… less humid weather (even though it’s hot) is what we’ll have. By the way, today’s high is 81˚. I think it’s time to break out that Parka!

Anyway… Summer = birthdays! Well, some anyway. My youngest daughters birthday is in June, mine is in July, my grandmas is the same day as mine (or is mine the same day as hers??)… And a friend of mine has a summer birthday also! Oh, I know there are way more, but today, we’re focusing on Jody’s birthday. Hello! :). (more…)

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

I hate to say this, but I had a rough night. I don’t want to talk about it. No one is physically hurt, other than my feelings. Don’t worry, my hubby isn’t to blame :). He’s great! Don’t be fooled, we have our moments! Everyone does. It’s okay to admit! But my feelings were hurt none the less. So, to brighten the mood, I want to tell you three things.

  1. Today is my date-i-versary with the hubs. 9 Years ago today we went on our first date.
  2. Today is a new day.
  3. Chocolate Orange Cake Bars will always brighten your day, right?

Chocolate Orange Cake Bars

What’s the deal with the Chocolate Orange Cake Bars? Well… I saw them on Tatyana’s Everyday Food YouTube Channel. They looked good. I also needed something to take to our PEO Meeting so… Plus, I love chocolate and orange together. Does anyone remember those Chocolate Orange flavored oranges you get usually at Christmas time? You Wack it, Crack it, and Unwrap it. They are sooooooooo good and addicting. Hubby said he’s never had one. I guess I’ll have to find him one and introduce him to it. (more…)

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

Guys, it’s time to start thinking about my birthday cake. Yes, I’m making my own birthday cake. I chose to. Yup, that’s right, I want to. Remember, pretty cakes make me happy. You see that one above? That one is gorgeous and made me happy!! In fact, I’m debating if I want that one for my birthday or not. There are sooooooo many cakes to make, I just can’t decide what I want.

Neapolitan Mousse Cake

I must admit, the cake rounds are finally getting their act together. That little punch out in the middle is GREAT when you are trying to do a huge tall stacked cake when you need to put a dowel in the middle to help stabilize them. Used to, you had to try and hammer them through the cardboard and hope it worked. Now… you just have to find the middle and you have extra help. (more…)

Espresso Spoons

I’ve mentioned before that coffee is a newer thing to me. I didn’t really drink coffee until after I was married. Hubby and I went to the Showboat Branson Belle and coffee came with the meal. I told them, yes I wanted some. He looked at me like I was crazy. I probably was, but I actually drank it and liked it. And the real kicker is, so did he.

We had already owned a coffee pot basically because I thought every house needed one in case you had a guest come over who wanted coffee. That and every once in a while a recipe called for coffee so we were set. But after that, that Christmas he got a Keurig Machine because we wanted one. Ooooh, we went high class, right. ha. Nowadays I want a French Press just because I hear it is even better coffee and I’ve never tried it. I found one on Amazon I want that is gorgeous but expensive… I found a cheap one ($10) at Ikea a few weeks ago. When I said I was going to buy it, I was told to hold off and get the one in the Amazon cart. It’s $40 versus $10. If I don’t like it, I’m only out $10 instead of $40. Needless to say, I don’t own either one.

Anyway… I saw a YouTube video that Tatyana of Tatyana’s Everyday Food did on Espresso Spoons. This year I got to attend our PEO talent table to raise money for our projects. I was trying to come up with something different to make for the auction. Those spoons popped into my head, so even though Tatyana says they are for winter… I thought it was something different! (more…)

Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Icebox Cupcakes

I swear, I’ve been obsessed with cakes and cookbooks. Well, the cookbook thing isn’t anything new. But this new, pretty, big, fancy cakes thing is new. I can’t tell you how many cookbooks I’ve at least picked up here recently if not put in my Amazon cart. No, I haven’t bought all of them… but a couple here and there. And the websites and the YouTube channels. Oh gosh, someone needs to break me of this habit. Although, right now I need to point out that so far this week I haven’t done ANY baking. I’m almost feeling at a bit of a loss.

Like I said, it’s become a new obsession I guess. The pretty cakes make me happy. One of the cookbooks I did pick up was the Simply Beautiful Homemade Cakes by Lindsay Conchar of Life, Love, & Sugar blog. Guys, no one asked me to say this, but the cakes that she put in this cookbook are just beautiful. I’ve made two of them actually. Although, these are cupcakes, not a cake… but aren’t they just beautiful? (more…)

Tiramisu French Macarons

The same day I made the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons, I made Tiramisu French Macarons. I really like Tiramisu and when I saw this recipe over on Tatyana’s Everyday Food, I just knew I had to make them. The question was…. when. I was back and forth, back and forth on which ones to make between these and the Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons… but when I made the Spumoni Cake, I had 10, yes 10 egg whites just sitting around so that meant… hello, multiple flavors of French Macarons.

Now, this might also be the place to mention that when you make one French Macaron shell batter, clean all your equipment before starting on the second round of batter. If I would have done that, I would have had 3 types of French Macarons, but when I didn’t clean my equipment, it tainted my egg whites and they didn’t meringue up like they were supposed to. So just remember, wash between batters! It’s important!

The only thing you don’t have to wash is the beaters on the hand mixer because all they touch are egg whites and some sugar. Easy enough. (more…)

Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons

I have been on a French Macaron kick lately, but I guess when you make French Buttercream, you have a lot of egg whites left over. If you didn’t know, French Buttercream is made with egg yolks. Don’t worry, they’re cooked! But we’re not really talking French Buttercream right now… we’re talking French Macarons. Hey, just a thought… Do you think that French Macarons and French Buttercream were made to be compliments so you don’t waste eggs? Just a thought.

But since I’ve had so many egg whites lying around, I thought French Macarons were in order. I love making them. I don’t have them perfected just yet… And practice makes perfect. Plus at our last dive club meeting, I made my friend Danielle a deal that I’d make her French Macarons if she’d make hubby some deviled eggs. He loves them and I’m not a fan so I don’t typically make them. In fact, I’ve only made the once in my life. It was fun boiling the eggs and then seeing if I did it correctly to see if the shells would peel correctly.

Speaking of Deviled eggs, I saw a deal at the grocery store where you crack the egg, pour it in, boil it, and it makes a perfect deviled egg. Interesting! (more…)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

It seems like most years Tbug doesn’t get to be around for my husband’s families Fourth of July party. This year was different though, yey! That means she was in case you didn’t catch that. haha. One of the things the family does is whoever hosts provides the meat usually and everyone else brings a side or dessert.

Since I knew Tbug would be able to make it, I shot her a text and asked if she’d like to make something. She said yes. I then asked if she had any ideas? She said let me think about it. I told her just let me know so I can have all the ingredients needed.

She sent me 4 options…

I told her all were good options, she had to choose which one. She finally decided on the Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. I then proceeded to click on link after link without really finding the recipe I was looking for, So I went to the drawing board and said, we’ll do our own. (more…)

Wacky Cake with Perfect Party Icing

I really think people don’t believe my now 4-year-old can actually cook. There are some kids I’m sure their parents say can cook and maybe they can, maybe they can’t, but my kids, both of them have grown up in the kitchen with me. I started Tbug helping me as early as I could… she came into my life at 6-years-old. And Abug has done nothing but live in the kitchen with me because as a baby I wasn’t sure what to do with her while I cooked.

And yes, there are some people who give women in the kitchen a bad rap because of all the feminism/sexism mumbo jumbo, but I personally LOVE to cook. I haven’t always… but I have since my late teens/early 20’s. When I was a kid, I had better things to do with my time I guess. I wish I’d have started earlier.

But this is a post about Wacky Cake… not me. I’ll try to remember that…

So when we were getting ready for my husband’s family shindig, I asked Tbug what she was going to make for the party. I didn’t quite give Abug such an option because, well she’s 4 and may not know what all there is. She’d have probably told me Mac and Cheese or something like that. Truth be told… maybe I should have let her take that as her contribution. There were few sides it felt like, maybe because I didn’t care for most of them… but there were lots of desserts. (more…)

Spumoni Cake

I broke my blog this morning. I could get to the actual blog, but to write new blog posts, that’s what I broke. I couldn’t even get there. I don’t know why. Thanks to my brilliant husband, he fixed it. I made him think. So here we are, back up and running, again. I joke that I keep him around to fix my blog. It is a joke but he has fixed it for me more than once.

Back around the 4th of July (which was last week… wow!), my husband’s family had their yearly get-together. I got busy trying to decide just what I wanted to make to take. If you’ve noticed, here lately I’ve been really into cakes. So of course, I had to choose a cake. I also chose to make Cherry Cheesecake French Macarons because I had a bunch of egg whites just sitting around. I’ll explain later… obviously. (more…)