Thursday, November 22, 2012

DIY Cake Stand for $2

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I have really been into cakes, if you haven't noticed. Whether cupcakes, cheesecakes, cake-cakes, ANY cake! And I always think taste comes before presentation 100% of the way, so I try to bake cakes that taste really good and I know I will enjoy eating and sharing with family. Once I gathered a few recipes here and there, I began picking up tricks on how to decorate and make the cakes look delicious on the outside too... like icing and frosting the cake, adding fruits, nuts, or chocolate for garnish, and just making it look pretty.

Speaking of pretty, what's a cake without a beautiful cake stand to put it on top of. For a while I have been shopping around for different styles of cake stands, different colors, shapes, and sizes. But I can't seem to find one I love. Mostly it's because the cake stands my eyes gravitate to in the stores are way over the amount of money I want to spend. So I browsed online for styles of cake stands I like and here's a few that fit my taste.
They are all pretty simple designs, with solid colors. But the details are all so intricate, even with some of them being plain white. The problem is that most of these stands can cost up to $30 +, if not more. And I'm just not that willing to spend too much on a cake stand. Especially when I can make it!!

Here's what happened today: I went to a local thrift shop in town and scanned the kitchenware isle with a hawk's eye! I made sure to check pretty much everywhere for cake stands. But I had no luck. Instead, I found beautiful detailed white porcelain plates and pink bowls (which are probably ice cream bowls, from the looks of them), and decided to put the two together to make a DIY cake stand.

Here's how it turned out...

Here's pretty much what you'll need: 1) Ice cream bowl; 2) Flat plate, 3) Strong-enough glue (I haven't glued these together yet, but i'm planning on using a glue gun.
 Each item was <$1 ... ONLY 0.95 cents!
The kitchen lighting is washing out this pink color on the bowl, but if I can describe it better, it's like a pastel vintage pink color. 
 Fist step is to find a plate and bowl that will fit together nice and centered. Take your time in finding the perfect fit. And in my opinion, they can be whatever colors you want them to be.
 Then flip the plate over and glue the bottom of the bowl to the bottom of the plate. If you have a circle ring to guide you on the plate, like I do, this part will be easy. If not, then just try your best to be centered. It just so happened that these two fit EXACTLY RIGHT! yay!
 Once your glue has set, turn over and presto! homemade cake stand for $2  (not including the glue).
Now, you can present all your cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins, pies, etc. in something you can be proud to say you made yourself. =)

Stay fun and creative!

& Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Mango-Orange-Punch (Cocktail)

So a couple days ago this happened...
i usually gravitate towards baking cookbooks, but this one caught my eyes. I loved how cute the cover was, so i decided to pick it up. Then I immediately went to my local CVS and picked up a few ingredients for the cocktail I was gonna try to attempt! Anyway, turned out really yummy!!!!

To summarize the book, it shows you all these amazing and tasty recipes of all sorts of drinks, from old-fashion timeless drinks, to fun/fruity/tropical drinks. The book measures ingredients in parts (not the same as in baking, which measures in cups, tablespoons, or teaspoons). So i decided to convert the cocktail recipe to my usual "baking" measurement system. 

Here's a quick HOW-TO recipe for a drink I mixed using ratios I found in the book. I call this drink...

Mango-Orange-Punch (serves 4)

1 cup Malibu Rum Mango Flavored
1/3 cup 100% Tropicana Orange Juice
1/3 cup Minute Maid Fruit Punch Juice
1/8 cup of sugar + 1/8 cup water (this makes 1/4 cup of simple syrup, incorporate well)
Juice from 1 large lemon
Lemon slices for garnish

Measure and pour all ingredients in a cobbler shaker full of ice. Shake for 15 seconds, strain, and pour in chilled glasses. Drink and enjoy! =)

Here's how it turned out ...



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Deep Fried Anything?

The Fair is a great place for fun, family, and FOOD! lots of it! 

this past summer, i went to a couple of fairs and they served me THIS!
 (above: deep fried snickers)
 (above: deep fried cookie dough)
(above: deep fried twinkie, oreos, and snickers!)

i seriously loved all that fried goodness, that i decided it was going to happen...i was gonna make it happen in my life!

I made batches, batches, and batches of all sorts of fried stuff... here were the successful ones that made it into pictures!

(above: the very first deep fried snickers i ever made. as you can see, i used the fun size snickers. it's easier to fry and they are less filling than the large ones. that way you can eat all 4 of them! hahahahah)
just drizzle some chocolate syrup and dash some powdered sugar on them and serve! seriously, it took about 10-15 minutes to prepare and cook these, and the whole plate was gone in 2 minutes.

Now here's a close up!
So this next batch, I ran out of milk, so I replaced it with some condensed milk and evaporated milk and they seriously tasted like donut holes.
It got a little out of control with the powdered sugar. You must know I love that stuff!

And now, onto the recipes.

Deep fried snickers and Oreos

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (i use 2%)
1/2 tbsp sugar (i use a little less than that)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (i use just a pinch)

powdered sugar, whipped cream, and chocolate syrup for serving (optional)

1) freeze snickers and Oreos over night or for at least 1 hour.
2) prepare batter: mix all the ingredients together.
3) heat a small-medium sized sauce pan filled with vegetable oil (enough to submerge the snickers and Oreos), to medium heat.
4) Roll frozen snicker or Oreo in flour (cover well), tap excess, then dip into prepared batter. Remove excess batter by tapping. 
5) FRY! Drop the covered snickers or Oreos into hot oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, turning once, until it floats and looks golden brown on the outside. 

Tip: Make sure the oil is not too hot or else the batter will burn on the outside and wont cook in the inside. And cook only 4 at a time, so the oil doesn't get too cold too quickly.

Remove from pan, let cool a little, and serve warm. crunchy on the outside, and chocolate-y on the inside. 




So, my excuse for being MIA: WORK!

but im going to try to blog more... speaking of blogs, I love this couple's cute blog! young house love I almost picked up their book at the bookstore today, but i was convinced to wait a little while longer until i really feel crafty, and of course once i actually have my own space to decorate and all.

anyway, back to the post! WAFFLES! when i do find the energy to make breakfast, somehow I gravitate to waffles...

here's a quick recipe i use:

Buttermilk Waffles (makes about 12 (4-inch) waffles)

2 cups Bisquick brand pancake mix
1 1/3 cups milk (i use 2%)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg

1) Heat waffle maker. I use this one here: (bought it at Walmart for $30-40, GE brand and it works GREAT!)
2) stir all the ingredients together until well blended. (i just use a fork or a spoon, but you can use a whisk if you want).
3) pour batter onto the center of the hot greased waffle maker, and close lid (when i say greased, i mean butter spray. SPRAY it well so your waffle comes out easy and without breakage).
4) bake about 3-4 minutes (or until your waffle maker indicates). Make sure you turn the waffle, or it might not cook even. Also, DON'T LEAVE! stay with the waffles or they will be overcooked. 

Remove waffle, let cool, and serve like so:
 whipped cream, syrup and blueberries...
 whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, bananas and powdered sugar!
 ... don't forget the syrup!