Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Heart Sunday Comics

I read the comic below by Bizarro and literally laughed out loud! You probably won't laugh as hard as me since you probably don't work at a financial institution like me, but hopefully it will make you smile. 
Here are a few other comics that I hope bring a smile to your face and start your week off right : ) 

If you don't get what this Foxtrot is referring to then you have to have to HAVE TO check out this youtube Video.  So funny. 

ha ha ha ha.  Stone soup you slay me.
Pearls before Swine how do you always make me laugh at the most inappropriate things and make me love you for it?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cake Pops!

I've done it. I've finall done it.
Cake Pops were created by Bakerella and they are delicious! Basically they are cooked cake and frosting rolled into a ball (cake balls) and then put on a stick (cake pops)! People go crazy with them!  I am frequently daunted by the amount of creativity people people put into them.  Bakerella has make them into anything from a mini cheeseburger to Micky Mouse!

So I decided to take my own Valentines day advice and make cake pops for my one and only.  Since I was making these for valentines day I decided to make them in the shape of a heart with a cute cookie cutter I already had.  I had originally intended to make red velvet just as Bakerella did in her Red Velvet Cake Balls but apparently in my town red velvet boxed cake is not to be found....anywhere.  So I moved onto plan B and decided to fall back to our favorites: Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix and Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip frosting!  Traditionally Bakerella uses cream cheese frosting but I seriously cannot resist rainbow chip.  

These are the ingredients I started out with but do to unforeseen circumstances I did not end up using the white chocolate and red food coloring. *sigh*

 So I cooked the cake, cooled it, crumbled it and mixed the cake with the frosting just as instructed in: red velvet cake balls and but to make the cake pops themselves I looked at her blog for instruction. I also watched the video she posted on her amazon page for her book.  Its a good instructional video! Check it out at Cake Pops or click on the cake pops picture.
Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats

Once the cake mixture was ready I rolled the mixture into a giant ball flattened it out slightly on a cookie sheet and then cut out the shape I wanted with a cookie cutter. I used the heart shape for valentines but you could use any shape....maybe even a shamrock or an Easter egg?
Melt a small amount of the chocolate. I used semi-sweet chocolate to balance out the sweetness of the cake, but you can use any kind of candy melt.   Dip one end of the candy sticks into the melted chocolate about a 1/4 to a 1/2 of an inch and then place it into the shaped cake about half way.  Then pop the cake pops into the freezer until they are very firm and will hold their shape.  

While the cake pops are freezing melt the rest of the chocolate either in the microwave or in a double broiler.  Once melted dip the cake pops into the chocolate.  DO NOT stir the cake pop in the chocolate instead use a spoon or butter knife to help cover the pops with chocolate.  

 I found that to keep the shape of the heart I needed to form some the chocolate with a butter knife.  Otherwise the chocolate wanted to clump up at the top of the heart which made it look more like an oval. I would recommend putting the shapes onto a stick because shaping the chocolate without a stick was more work then it was worth.

Then Bakerella suggests that you set each cake pop stick into a brick of Styrofoam so they will stay upright. to buy one so I just put some in mugs or laid them down on some foil. I found in both cases the cake pops looked great! The photo below shows some of my different alternatives to styrofoam. 

Let the chocolate cool and Wa-La you have cake pops!
Once they all cool I put them all together and made a candy pop boquet! 

So you may be wondering what happened to the white chocolate and food coloring  that I have in the first picture.  Well I was going to drizzle the white chocolate on the cake pops and make them look more festive.  Then I thought if I add red food coloring to the white chocolate it will look even more amazing BUT for some reason when I added enough food coloring to the chocolate it change from super creamy to basically a solid! Weird! Next time I am buying the colored candy wafers!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top 5 Favorite Valentines Ideas

As I mentioned before in "Chimichangas Make My Top 5"  my husband and I have a thing for listing our top 5s of things.  Thus today's post is just a continuation of the obsession.

*Note*  My Top 5 are not necessarily in order.  I have the inability to pick my absolute fav of everything! Thus it is highly likely that in any Top 5, I like all five options equally as much : ) 

Top 5 Favorite Valentines Ideas

1. The Dating Divas have done it again and this blog of theirs is all about anticipation!  It is basically the 7 days of Valentines.

2. These fantastic Date Dice made by Say it on the Wall will help you make your date night plans not only for Valentines day but for the rest of the year too!

3. Cake Pops would make such a fun Valentines dessert!  Cake Pops and cake balls were thought up by the ingenious Bakerella and are delicious and so much fun! (Photo by Bakerella)

4. Make a luxurious meal and eat it by candle light with your Valentine!  Imagine candles everywhere! It's a classic and so very romantic (I took this pic when we lost power this last week!)

Via Flickr
5. List your Top 5's with your Valentine.  (Ok I  actually made this one up but i know from experience that this is a good one).  Even if you have been together for years I am sure that Listing your Top 5's with each other are sure to bring up a few surprises.
Ideas for your own Top 5:
~Top 5 favorite things about each other
~Top 5 favorite memories together
~Top 5 dreams for the future
~Top 5 worst and best 80's films
~Top 5 favorite love songs
~Top 5 music/movie/book picks when your were 16

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow old friend, How I have missed you!

It Snowed!!!
I know for many of you snow is no big deal  in fact you may even be sick of it but I live in a place where it never snows.  For example, I have lived in my current city for at least 4 years and in that time it has only snowed one time before this.  Sure there have been the occasional flurry here or there but only once before this did the snow stick!!!  And this time it really came out of no where! Just this weekend my husband and I were out walking out dog in just a long sleeve t-shirt.  Normally my scarves only come out to play when I go home to visit my folks. Finally I get to accessorize winter style!

Three cheers for Snow!  
This was the view from my front door this morning! I had to use my dust pan broom to get the snow off my car because I didn't own a real snow duster (or whatever they are called).

Look at how green those leaves still are in my backyard! 

I for one am going to enjoy this valuable cold snowy day over a hot cup of tea! My favorite kind of tea this time of year is the Harney and Son's Hot Cinnamon Spice tea !  Add a packet or two of Splenda to it and the Hot Cinnamon Spice tea taste just like red hots! I introduced this tea to my mother and Sister-in-Law and I am pretty sure they are hooked for life.  
I know I am. 
*Before you go out and buy this tea..... try a cup of it at Barnes and Noble!  That's where me and my girlfriends got stuck on it.
 P.S.  This tea totally comes in one of those sweet pyramid shaped Satchets! I love that!
Harney & Sons Fine Teas Hot Cinnamon Spice Tin - 20 Sachets