Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patty's Day

My classroom had a nice little visit from Brian O'Mally the leprechaun today before leaving school. He walked all over the ceiling leaving leprechaun footprints scattered about, left a note on the whiteboard and decorated the classroom in green. Ahh now THIS is what I love about teaching first grade!!

Over the last couple days, I have been working on some St. Patrick's Day cookies for work. I used a sugar cookie that I LOVE and decided to add ground up chocolate chips to it. I don't know if I would do this again unless someone requested it. It really didn't taste all that different. Here is the finished product

So, then on to the cupcakes for my class. Originally I was going to dye the cake batter green, but I used most of my green food coloring on my cookies. So, I used a boxed white cake mix. I went with applesauce instead of oil because I had applesauce left over from my Lemon Cake. Once the cupcakes came out of the oven I waited for them to cool and piped green buttercream frosting into each cupcake. I then topped it off with white buttercream frosting and a few green sprinkles.

Tah-Dah!! I think I can say I am ready for St. Patty's Day! =)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lemony Goodness!!!

Oh my gosh...I think I have found a recipe I will make for years. I made it a couple months ago for a friends birthday and fell in love with it. This past weekend I decided to make a lighter version of the cake and I think it was even better!! Here's the recipe: 

1 box of lemon cake mix. I actually used yellow cake mix this time because it's what I had it in the house and it was just as good. 
2 3oz packages of lemon flavored gelatin, 
1 3.4 oz box of instant vanilla pudding
1 8oz container of frozen whipped topping thawed (I used fat free)
1 cup milk (I used fat free milk too!)
1/3 cup applesauce
3 eggs

You can bake the cake according to the directions on the back of the box if you'd like. I decided to go for the lighter version and I used 1 cup water, 3 eggs and 1/3 apple sauce instead of what it called for on the back of the box. Bake at whatever temperature the box tells you. The cake mix I bought told me to bake at 350.

While the cake is baking start to make the cool whip topping. Mix the pudding and one box of the lemon gelatin with 1 cup milk. Make sure it's mixed really well before folding it into the cool whip. Return to the fridge until you're ready to frost your cake.

When your cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a fork. (I get a little crazy with this!!) 

In a bowl mix 1/2 cup hot water, 1/2 cold water and the remaining box of gelatin. Mix until the gelatin is completely dissoved. When dissolved, spoon the liquid over the cake. It will seep into the holes you made with your fork. Let your cake cool on the counter until you're able to pick up the cake pan without burning your fngers. At this point you can put the cake in the fridge to cool completely.

Once the cake is cooled you can frost your cake with the cool whip topping you made earlier. 

I like to make my cake the morning before I need it because the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it seems to taste. I had the last piece of the cake tonight, 2 nights later, and I think it tastes 10 times better then the first piece. 


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cake Cookies

These days I eat, sleep, and breathe cookie ideas. I seriously go to bed at night and I lay there thinking about different cookies I can make. So once I get one in my head, I HAVE to make it! I have been wanting to make a birthday cake. What I pictured was a 3 tiered, "chunky" cake.  I was at a bake shop near my house and I found a 4 tiered wedding cake cookie cutter. Not exactly what I was looking for but I figured it would work to play around with. 
 I'm not completely thrilled with how they came out but it was fun and I got to play with a few different tips!

Tangerine Martinis

This was the perfect drink for a night in with fajitas! For the drink you need, 3 tangerines, 2/3 cup cranberry juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups vodka and either 1 lemon or 2 limes.

First, you squeeze the juice from the tangerines into a saucepan and then throw the skin from the tangerines in too! Add the sugar and the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove and strain into a container that will fit in your refrigerator. Let it sit in your fridge until it's chilled. 

I then decided to put everything in to a pitcher so I could just shake what I needed.  So I added the tangerine simple syrup, the cranberry juice, vodka, and the juice of either one lemon.. Stir and when ready pour in to a shaker over ice, shake away and serve.