Caramel Apple Cake

It’s no secret, I love Christmas. The last few years they haven’t been quite up to par like normal, but I still love Christmas none the less. Now… I am a true summer girl. But… I love Christmas. I’ve posted quite a few times on Facebook about X number of days until Christmas or X number Monday’s or better yet, It’s August, can I put up my tree yet? I’m only partially joking. In previous years I listened to Christmas music all year long… I’ve kind of broken that habit.

Then I saw another post I shared on Facebook last week that said, does anyone else feel like June and July flew by in like 5 seconds, or something like that… That’s basically the gist of it anyway. And then… I got accused of wishing them away because I love Christmas. Touché… We are none-the-less in August. The commercials are going CRAZY about back to school shopping. CRAZY right? Didn’t the kiddos just get out of school? Tbug starts back the 15th and Abug starts pre-school after Labor Day. Holy crap! Let’s not think about the pre-school thing. It makes me want to burst out crying.

Anyway… Another thing that comes with August is apples. Okay, okay, that’s a fall thing but hello, you give teacher’s apples, right? So for Dive Club Meeting last week I made a Caramel Apple Cake (and German Chocolate Cake Cookies, yum!). Yum! By the way, do you pronounce it Care-a-mel or carmal? I typically go the latter. (more…)

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge Friends… freak? Fanatic. That’s a better word for sure. But lately, I’ve been watching one of my hubby’s favorite shows… Gilmore Girls. I kid you not. I had watched episodes here and there, but he made me watch it start to finish. I’m now watching it a second time. Catching bits and pieces I missed the first time around.

One of which caught me off guard this morning and I laughed. It is in Season 5 Episode 2, I think (maybe episode 1… but I think 2), Luke was off helping his sister and brother-in-law at a renaissance fair. Lorelei called him, stating he was supposed to already be home. Then she started saying you’ll be home when this happens or that happens or this happens. Those this and that’s were things that may or may not happen but the time frame kept getting pushed further out. Then she said, “See you when Hilary is president.” Now, this episode aired in 2004. Hilary actually ran in 2016 presidential election.

Now, the whole world knows she didn’t win, but I still couldn’t help but giggle when Lorelei said that. I guess because prior to the 2016 election there was always speculation she may run for president, but she never had. So it was funny to me that had Luke not come back until she at least ran, that would have been 12 years he was away.

Oy, such trivial stuff… haha. That has nothing to do with anything. And to add to that… November 2016 is when Netflix released the Gilmore Girls: Year in the Life. Hey… Luke came back then… obviously, he came back from the renaissance fair long before that but still. Okay, I’ll get off the coinkidinks for now… At least I’m not quoting Friends… yet… but…..

With that thought, here’s another one. Lately, I’ve either been channeling my inner Monica or my inner Suki. Baking makes me happy. I mentioned that yesterday I think. I think I want to be Suki or Monica but dress like Lorelei because heck, that woman can dress. I know, I know, it’s all tv, but still… she can dress. (more…)

Strawberry Basil Cupcakes

Guys, I have the BEST family and friends. They spoiled me like I can’t even begin to tell you for my birthday! I think I mentioned the other day that if there weren’t tears involved in my birthday, it probably wasn’t my birthday. Well, I’m here to tell you, it was probably Christmas or something like that. I was a little sad because hubby had to leave town on my Birthday, but he even made me feel special, especially since he wouldn’t be here on my actual birthday.

I’m telling you… THE. BEST. family and friends. Last year for my birthday, Deb got me a cupcake carrier (seen in these photos). Remember all those cupcakes I did last year? Anyway, this year since I’ve been really into cakes, she got me a cake stand and cake server. I laughed and joked, “what will it be next year? haha. Pies maybe?” Who knows, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

My aunt fed my cookbook addiction. More good yummies to come. I soooooooooo badly want to write a cookbook. You have no idea. I’d also love to be a YouTube personality, but I don’t see the later one happening probably, but nothing says I can’t aspire to that one day. My aunt said she expects some good yummies. You betcha! First up for me to make for her though are Strawberry Lemonade French Macarons. That was a promise!!

That’s not to say all my other presents weren’t great, because I’m not joking, I. GOT. SPOILED. Thank you thank you! (more…)

Strawberry Lemonade Cake and Birthday Wishes

Hey Guys! Today is my birthday. I am 29 with 6 years experience. Well, technically I won’t be that until 1:51 pm, but close enough at this point, right?

I was back and forth on if I was actually going to make my birthday cake or not. Truthfully… it wasn’t because I didn’t know if I wanted to make my own cake, there were other factors involved. In the end, I decided… make the cake… screw everything else. So I went to the store in search of strawberries and lemons.

Look at everything I came home with. Yes, I did get the strawberries. But the lemons… Earlier this year I went to the store in search of limes and they didn’t have any. Not one. All they had was the bottled juice. Shucks… but I went with it. Now… when I’m in search of lemons, they don’t have any. Grrr…. why does it seem like everyone wants what I want when I want it? Oh, and if you were wondering, the store had a crapton of limes. haha. Touché. Nicely played store, nicely played.

Anyway, do you see what else I came home with? Seriously. I also meant to get the deodorant. I was out. I don’t like stinking. Just saying. But I also got iced coffee, birthday candles, chocolate chips, a cake pan, purple food coloring, 4 cheap pillowcases, and shoes for the little one that she picked out.

So now it’s time for the reveal of my birthday cake. I decided on Strawberry Lemonade. It felt summery. I also wanted French Buttercream on it. I’m kind of in love with French Buttercream these days. Next up on my list of things to try… Swiss Meringue Buttercream. (more…)

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…)

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…)