cake pops

Besides trying to figure out why someone would hack a baking blog,  I made cake pops over the weekend for my cousin’s bridal shower.  Long before cake pops were in Starbucks, they were being made by Bakerella, and this past Christmas, my cousin gave me a signed copy of her cook book, Cake Pops, that I lugged with me on my eight-hour bus ride from Chicago to Minneapolis.

 

To say making this fun treat was a breeze would be a lie, but they were easy enough that I woke up at 8:00 Thursday morning, and they were complete and ready to eat by 6:00 pm. Please remember that this was not all I did that day.

As you can see, I just stuck the pops in a Styrofoam block from the craft store and then decorated it with the paper from the bridal shower invites.  Once things were wrapping up, my S-I-L and I packed up the treats as party favors with plastic wrap and raffia ribbon.  I even got to share some with friends the following day for a birthday celebration.

Here is the recipe but instead of red velvet, use chocolate and instead of cream cheese frosting use vanilla and instead of chocolate bark use candy coating chips.

Tips:

If you’re in a time crunch, freeze the cake balls for the 15 minutes – no need to put them in the fridge for half the day.

Plan to fail when dipping at least the first four of your cake balls. Seriously, people will be just as happy to eat them.

You can get all your supplies at the grocery store and on Bakerella’s amazon storefront.

 

friday photos

My fellow knitters and I had a blast on Friday at Nina’s meeting author Susan B. Anderson.

The shop showcased all of her books, so we got to fall in love with Spud and Chloe and the animals, like these giraffes, from Itty-Bitty Toys.

We also got to chat with Susan and find out more about her creations and pick her brain on how she stitches on those cute little faces.   She recommend that we look over her tutorials in her books and view her “Face Embroidery” how-to video.  Also, you can buy the pattern for the baby owls on Ravelry.

Also, this weekend I started knitting Elisa Nest Tote to use while shopping at the farmer’s market this summer.

 

at the farm

Susan B. Anderson will be at Nina a Well Knit Shop a local shop in Chicago.  She will be signing some of her books and showing off her new pattern designs in Spud & Chloe at the Farm. I’ll be going with a few friends so hopefully I’ll have a few fun photos to share on Monday.

Click on the image and you’ll go to the free pattern!  You can check-out more of her free patterns on Spud & Chloe’s blog.

smash

This month I’ve felt like post-its are taking over my life.  Between apartment hunting, weddings, birthdays, classes and just life my desk, planner, computer and every moleskin I own are covered.

So yesterday I dug out my SMASH book that was apart of my SXSW swag and started filling it will all my wedding invites, gift ideas and bits and pieces of magazines that I’ve been ripping out over the last year.


Check out this great SMASH video or their blog on how you can use one of their notebooks.

log cabin baby blanket

I recently knit two Bobbi Bears for two little cousins for their first birthdays and had about 3/4 of a skein of yarn left over from each.  I kept trying to think of what I could do with these brightly colored leftovers but kept coming up with projects that weren’t worth using such nice yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton).

Then a few weekends ago I found the Half Log Cabin Ombre pattern from Purl Bee and thought, “what a great unisex baby blanket pattern!” I just started knitting the first square last night but hopefully the seven hour car ride to and from Minneapolis this weekend will give me enough time to get through a skein or two.

Hope you all have a great weekend and if you’ve got some time this weekend, try one of these frozen dessert recipes from bon appetit!

Root beer cake

Root beer floats and fried cheese curds at LaGrander’s drive-in in Chippewa Falls, WI is one thing I miss during the summers here in Chicago; however, this root beer float cake helped ease the pain.

I started to make this cake on Sunday for my neighbor/friend’s birthday on Monday and made the frosting and frosted the cake before I went to work on Monday morning.  If you need to put together a cake but don’t have enough time right before the event (and you don’t want to serve a dry cake), you should this recipe. It is one of the easiest “do ahead” cake recipes I’ve made. Plus, it is a bundt cake, and who doesn’t love a bundt cake?

Click to download a pdf of BrownEyedBaker‘s Root Beer Float Cake recipe.

 

Tips:  My frosting came out way too thick, so I just added more root beer as I mixed, just like you would do with milk.  I turned my oven down to 300 and took it out after 45 minutes, and I think it still needed a bit longer.  Next time, I’m going to leave the oven on at 325 and just keep a closer eye on it.  You must eat this cake with vanilla ice cream or a vanilla-ice-cream-like substitute.

lemon roll

Last night, my friend Kate made a wonderful “family” dinner for a few of us and finished it off with a delicious summer dessert. I literally grabbed my dish back as she was clearing the table and demanded that she let me finish my last bite.  The great thing about this dessert it wasn’t even that bad for us because it was from the The American Heart Association Cookbook.

 

22 once can lemon pie filling

16 ounce package angel food cake mix

1 tablespoon confections’sugar

2 cups fat-free or low-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed

12 ounces fresh blueberries

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Line a 10×15 inch jell roll pan with wax paper

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the pie filling and cake mix,  Beat on medium for 5 to 7 minutes.  Spoon in to the pan, using a rubber scraper, smooth the mixture. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Sprinkle a dish towel with confectioners’ sugar Invert the cake onto the towel Peel away and discard the wax paper.  Neatly trim the edges of the cake roll.  Starting from a short end, roll up the cake in the dish towel.  Let cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours.

In a small bowl, stir together the  topping and lemon zest.

Unroll the cake and remove the dish towel.  Spread the whipped topping over the cake; reroll.  Freeze for about 2 hours, or until the whipped topping is firm

To serve, cut into 16 slices.  Sprinkle with blueberries – don’t be stingy.

 

Click here to download the pdf of the recipe.

 

 

downtown sound

Music in Millennium Park has started!  So to get prepared for bringing a picnic and cold beverages down to the park I picked up this cooler messanger bag from Whole Foods.

I was super pumped but then I thought about how many other music/park goers would have the same bag so, in order to make mine a little different and that I can spot it at the end of the night I put this steely bow on it.

It only took me about 15 minutes to sew it on and if you aren’t that in to the idea of sewing it on you can use fabric glue or adhesive webbing.  If you can’t think of treats that you’d pack check-out these mason jar meals from the decorated cookie.