Saturday, February 26, 2011

Pillow Talk

I have been searching for new couch pillows all winter. It hasn't been an easy hunt. I look for style and comfort. Style and comfort are both equally important to me. I also look for softness and easy to clean fabric.
Earlier this week while at Costco, I came across some ruffled pillows. I kinda like these pillows and I have seen this style at many stores, but they are almost always made out of silk or a similar synthetic fabric that isn't practical.

I don't know the exact measurements of this pillow, but it is a little larger than average and I love it! You can chose from square or oblong. The best part, it is a very soft, has cleanable fabric like my other pillows and it was $13.99.
I found these pillows last month at Pier One Imports. Thanks to my mom for the gift card I finally settled on these! I got two of each pillow. The teal blue ones match my living room colors. I have some frames, a lamp, and some candles that are the same teal blue color. The teal pillows is very soft, easy to wipe clean if I need to, and puffy.

My pillow search has come to an end.
Do you change out your pillows? What are your living room colors? How long have you had your couch pillows and what do you look for?





Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chocolate Chai Latte In The Works

This is my Chocolate Chai Latte that I have been working on. I am still working on the recipe, it isn't as creamy and flavorful as I want just yet.


I used whole milk, heavy cream, and liquid chai concentrate. I added some extra spice and topped it with my homemade chocolate whipped cream. For the chocolate, I used belgium milk chocolate. I painted some of the melted milk chocolate inside the sides of the glass as you can see and I also painted some milk chocolate into the bottom of the glass. You can drizzle extra milk chocolate across the top of the latte as well.





Still working on it and when I complete this recipe I will share it with you all!



Don't forget to follow me on Twitter, I often post different photos on Twitter:





Sunday, February 20, 2011

California Smoothie


This is one of my favorite smoothies, called the California Smoothie, which is a recipe that can be found on AllRecipes.com
I use my Jack LaLane juicer to juice fresh navel oranges when I make this instead of using store bought orange juice. I also use fresh strawberries and organic vanilla yogurt. Here is the recipe adapted from the one on AllRecipes.
1/3 Cup Fresh Navel Orange Juice
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
7 Fresh Strawberries
Pour ingredients into blender and puree.
These are so great for breakfast or even for a snack later in the day. I usually some a little homemade whipped cream to the top of mine.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Working With Fondant


This is a cake I made last year (exactly one year ago today) when my family for visiting for some birthday's we were celebrating. This was my third time working with fondant. I used the Marshmallow Fondant from AllRecipes.com


You can see one of my seams here, but I have since purchased a Wilton tool that helps to smooth the fondant out, but I haven't had the chance to use it yet.




I got this cake flavor combination after watching Cake Boss on TLC. I used a white cake mix because they are super moist, then the filling is chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries. I dirty iced in with buttercream, probably a little too much and then covered in the marshmallow fondant.



I am hoping to make a fondant cake or two this week to get more practice! Have you worked with fondant? Do you make your own or do you purchase it?





Friday, February 18, 2011

See What's Baking in my Kitchen This Week

These are some random photos of things I have been making the past week or so. I am still enjoying the MySweetCreations Peanut Butter Cookie Pie pictured above. I think I like the addition of homemade whipped cream on the side with extra chocolate for in between bites of the cold, rich pie. I haven't had much of an appetite this week, otherwise I could finish this pie off myself in a few days.


I still have a bag of crisp rice which is different than rice krispy cereal. I bought the crisp rice from a candy/cake making specialty store in my area and it is the same crisp rice that you would find in a Nestle Crunch or 100 Grand candy bar. I felt like experimenting so I made some milk chocolate crunch eggs with cinnamon. Basically milk chocolate, cinnamon, and crisp rice. I wrapped them in pink foil...they will be great for Easter treats.


These are some sort of cream cheese filled blonde brownie/cookies. It was a recipe from AllRecipes that I used. The concept was really great, but the brownie/cookie was dry. I only ate two of these because I felt obligated but I hate desserts don't turn out and I end up pitching it in the trash.


The last time I have a Peanutty S'More was about 3 years ago when I first discovered AllRecipe. The recipe is on their website but it is quite simple. You make a s'more but you use a full size Reese's Cup instead of a plain chocolate bar. The picture quality of bad because I made these at night with no natural daylight remaining outside. I am looking forward to the time change so I can get better photos into the evening.



Last but certainly not least is drinking chocolate. You may be wondering what the heck drinking chocolate is? It is a thick, rich melted drinking chocolate, thicker than a hot chocolate and made using whole milk, heavy cream, and chocolate. I advise you only made 4 ounces at a time because if you ever has drinking chocolate you know it is quite rich. I have been experimenting with making my own drinking chocolate recipe.




Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Forgive my poor photo quality, I normally take photos of desserts, not myself. I found "What I Wore Wednesdays" in its earliest days and it is a great blog party started by The Pleated Poppy. You can go there to share what you are wearing or simply go to check out what others are wearing and get style ideas.
Monday:
Top: The Limited
Jeans: Joes Jeans
Shoes: Born patent leather flats


Tuesday:

Top: Merona flannel from Target

Jeans: Joes Jeans

Shoes: Born patent leather flats

Close up of the flannel color, it is difficult to see in the other photo.


My favorite shoes of all time. I actually have two pairs of these Born patent leather flats. They are super comfy and they last a long time since they are real leather inside and out.


Wednesday:

Top: Gap white slouchy top

Jeans: Seven for All Mankind

Shoes: Mercona Target rubber rain boots since it is raining. They are black with white polka dots.



Check out the link below to see what others are wearing and for more style and clothing ideas:

http://thepleatedpoppy.com/2011/02/what-i-wore-wednesday-14/
You can follow me through Twitter and YouTube here:


Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Treats, Share Yours Here!

Link up below and share your sweet Valentine's Day treats or ideas with us!


I like to call these "Lollipop Cookies" but they are better known as "Playdough Cookies" or "Fun Cookie Suckers."

This made a great Valentine for my daughter to pass out to her friends. It is also something they can take away from the day and enjoy. Below is a photo showing how I packaged them. I used clear bags and silver twist ties, you can find them at your local Michael's or candy/cake specialty store. Tieing the baggies off with ribbon is actually way more cute that using the twist ties. As a side note, these cookies also make for great party favors!






I also made my staple cookies, chocolate chip with milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I usually press M&M's into the tops. For Valentine's Day, I decided to press one jumbo red heart into each cookie just before baking. I added some white pearlized nonpareils to some of them.




Happy Valentine's Day!





Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chai Latte Muffins






I have a lot of recipe ideas bouncing around in my head and finally life is slowing down enough and I am able to create some of the recipes. I love Chai Tea Lattes and I have always wanted to create a Chai Cupcake. Last night I had the chance to be creative.

I meant for this to be a cupcakes or perhaps a cake. My friend and I found them recipe to be very tasty, but they are more like a muffin than a cupcake. I sprinkled some extra nutmeg and cinnamon on the whipped cream and drizzled some caramel sauce on top.

So, here is the recipe for my Chai Latte Muffins:


BATTER:
1 Cup Butter
1 ¼ Cups White Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
½ Salt
2Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Cardamom
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
½ Teaspoon Cloves
½ Cup Whole Milk
3/4 Cup Chai Tea Liquid Concentrate


WHIPPED CREAM TOP:
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 .35oz. Stabilizer Packet
2 ½ Tablespoons Powdered Sugar


1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.) Begin by creaming butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together. Next begin to add in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour. Once well mixed, add in cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and ginger spices.

3.) Mix together Chai Concentrate and milk. Begin slowly adding the liquid mixture to the batter until incorporated.

4.) Fill cupcake/muffin pan 3/4 full and bake at 350 for 15 - 17 minutes.

5.) Allow muffins to cool completely and begin mixing the whipped cream topping. Pour heavy cream, vanilla, stablizer, and powdered sugar in a bowl and whip at high speed for a few minutes until it begins to form stuff peaks. Once done, transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto the muffins. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 24 muffins.

350 for 15 – 17 minutes.


Check out Muffin Monday here to find other tasty muffin recipes!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Inside "What's Cooking?" Episode

AllRecipes arrived today to film my episode of "What's Cooking?"
It was a fantastic experience and I want to thank David and Michael for coming.



Alexa even filmed her own segment at her kitchen!

Getting a closer look at the finished product.

We made the MySweetCreations Peanut Butter Cookie Pie! Stay tuned for updates on what the episode will post and how you can watch!

You can also follow me through YouTube and Twitter:



http://www.youtube.com/user/MakingSweetCreations


http://www.twitter.com/BakingbyMSC




Monday, February 7, 2011

Dipped Fortune Cookie Treats


My favorite Chinese place offers fortune cookies similar to these at the end of the meal. They also sell small bags of them for $5 but I am a sweetaholic and I bake so I can certainly save my five bucks and make them at home to enjoy anytime I want to.


This may also be a great alternative for someone on Valentine's Day who doesn't like chocolate yet you want to make something simple and sweet.

I buy pre-cut pink foil squares so I can individually wrap them up. You can find the foils at your local cake and candy making store or better yet, Michael's carries them in the baking section.


This is very simple. First you can decide whether you want to dip these in white chocolate or you can use vanilla flavored candy melts or vanilla almond bark is that is easier.
Dipped Fortune Cookie Treats
4 ounces of white chocolate or almond bark
12 fortune cookies
1.) Melt the chocolate or almond bark in 30 second increments in the microwave. Make sure to not overheat the chocolate and take it out often to stir. It will be ready and still retain some of the shape, just simply stir to melt the rest of your chocolate or almond bark.
2.) Lay a piece of wax paper down on the counter. Begin dipping the back end of the fortune cookies into your melted chocolate or almond bark. Rest each fortune cookie on wax paper until dry.
3.) Remove from wax paper and wrap each cookie in foil wrappers individually or place in a airtight container.
You can also follow me on YouTube and Twitter:


Sweet Sunday Update


Hey everyone, I just wanted to update you on Sweet Sunday. I decided to put Sweet Sunday on hold for a little while since I haven't been receiving that much interest in it. Maybe in the next month or two when my schedule opens up I can generate more interest and take some time to figure out Blogspot (because it is so not user friendly) and I may revisit Sweet Sundays at that time.
Thanks for your interest and understanding!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Homemade Mud Pie


Delicious.



A purely homemade mud pie.

I was looking for an ice cream mud pie and I came across a recipe on AllRecipes.com
I decided to make this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, I was actually looking for something very homemade and labor intensive. Second, the recipe has no photo of it posted yet and the last review was left in 2008. I decided to make homemade vanilla ice cream and homemade whipped cream to go along with this as well.



I took the sides off of the springform pan and some of the espresso fudge came out. No worries, I just scraped it and placed the extra fudge on the plate next to the slice and put some homemade whipped cream on top.


For the topping as you see, I put some of the espresso fudge on top as the recipe indicates. I wanted this to look nice so I piped homemade whipped cream around the side, added some Godiva 85% chocolate shavings on top of the fudge and placed some pitted cherries on for some color.

You can find the link to the recipe here:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mud-Pie-II/Detail.aspx?prop31=3

Friday, February 4, 2011

Glasses Update

Last month I asked everyone which pair of glasses I should chose. I fell in love with two different pairs of Gucci eyeglasses and I mentioned how stressful it is for me to make these kinds of decisions. After asked for opinions nearly everyone chose this brown pair pictured over the black ones.


So here you have it...I chose the brown Gucci glasses. I really go for that fits and looks the best on me which has been a challenge previously. I never found glasses that I really loved until I found these ones.

Thanks for the opinions!



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