Friday, August 10, 2012

Utterly Overdo Blog Update...What Can I Say?

Nothing like the last day of summer vacation to finally update the blog! This past year had been a doosey....been thrown so many curve balls some times I wonder if there will ever be a "new normal." I know that God will never hand me anything I can't handle! It's times like this that I would have loved to turned to the kitchen; however, Michael had changed jobs and my sweet creations were too much for two manly men. And lets face it...a ball of stress left at home with 24 cupcakes= another sad part of the obesity epidemic. So instead I focused on distressing this summer. Some days I couldn't even tell you the day of the week. Well, that's not true. I could tell you based on my workout schedule. Kickboxing=Monday, Zumba= Tuesday or Thursday, Power20=Wednedsay, etc. I'm happy to say, it worked! Although the stress is still present I feel like I can actually cope with it now and stay focused on being positive. Ahhhhhhh!

So here it is the last week/day of break and I can actually take the time to update everyone on the little baking I actually did do during this ridiculously hot summer.  Here it goes.....

At the front of the line is a special treat I baked up for my class at the end of the school year! Oh, how I am going to miss them this year. In teaching you have those years where everything just clicks. Of course they are always too stinkin cute. But the class gets along, they love you, they love school, they love to learn, and teach you more than you teach them... these are the years that are cherished! I literally cried the whole last week of school. Last year will be a hard year to top! 

I had promised them all year long that I would bake for them. Well, celebrating the summer birthdays at the end of the year seemed like the best time to do it (ha, that and I put it off until then.) I found a very yummy summery recipe via Pinterest, duh! This mouth-watering recipe comes from Your Cup of Cake. The whole class loved it, only about 2 ended up in the trash can after the frosting had been consumed....

(from Your Cup of Cake)

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Lime Cake: 
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 egg whites
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn starch
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
Zest of 4 limes
Strawberry Buttercream:
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons strawberry jello powder
4-5 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter and sugar for 2 minutes and scrape down the bowl often.
3. With your mixer on slow, add eggs and egg whites one at a time until full incorporated, scrape down your bowl between each addition.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and corn starch.
5. Alternate between adding your dry mixture and wet mixture to your sugar/butter mixture.
6. Add sour cream and lime zest and mix until combined.
7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 17-23 minutes, or until and inserted knife comes out clean.
8. Strawberry Buttercream: Beat butter for two minutes. Add vanilla extract and strawberry gelatin . Slowly add powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
9. Pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and top with a fresh lime slice.

I also was able to use these adorable cupcake liners that my Aunt Debbie picked up for me. (Thanks, Debbie!) My kiddos loved them more than the cakes I think...they loved that they resembled flowers once they peeled the wrapping down.  And, yes they used the word "resembled" (we did lots of vocab work over the year...they are unbelievable little sponges.) 

Having newly found free time, I suggested we host Father's Day! I really do love if I could just figured out how to host and be apart of the party I'd be all set. :)

Wanting to celebrate my incredible padre, I was in search of grub so that all his favorites were present and accounted for. An must was Butterfingers! And again, thank you Pinterest for allowing me to find Butterfinger Whoopie Pies. (WARNING: These are one of those inconceivably tempting goodies that you might want to make sure you have plenty of people to share with or your might eat them ALL!) Ha, ha you think I'm over exaggerating....I'M NOT!

Butterfinger Whoopie Pies 

For the Whoopie Pies 

1 white cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
1 egg
10 snack size butterfinger, crushed

For the Butter Cream 

1 stick butter, room temperature
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. water
3 c. powdered sugar
6 snack size butterfingers, crushed


For the Whoopie Pies

Preheat oven to 350*. Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl for about 2 minutes. Form into 1 inch balls and place on a non stick baking sheet. Bake 9 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes then remove to your wax paper lined counter to cool completely. Fill with Peanut Butter Butterfinger Butter Cream.

 For the Buttercream

Cream butter, shortening, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add in honey, vanilla, and water and beat again. Slowly add powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Beat in the crushed butterfingers.

Continuing with the Peanut Butter theme, I found these unusual jems on and had to try them.....

Spicy Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings
-slightly modified
  • 1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 5 pounds chicken wings
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup jalapeno pepper jelly
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (probably increased to 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 dash chili garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®), or to taste (I use a ton!)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Whisk mashed potato flakes, vegetable oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large shallow bowl. Add chicken wings and toss to coat.
  3. Whisk peanut butter, pepper jelly, rice vinegar, soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and chili garlic sauce in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. Place coated chicken wings in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn wings over using tongs, and return to oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken wings to the peanut pepper jelly mixture; toss to coat. Return chicken wings to baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

 Yes, they sound awkward but are in fact delicious! Some can say they taste the PB, others can't. I personally wish you could taste it more. I have already made them again this summer, and plan to make them during football season!

Also had to share a picture of my Chocolate-Cherry Brie Baguettes...

Pretty, huh!

Our glorious garden has had some up and down this year. It's been so hot that we've seen only a handful of tomatoes, 3 jalapenos, 6 wax peppers, 3 squash, and HUNDREDS of zucchini. So much so that I got tired of the brownies and loaves from last year and needed something new to use my bountiful zucchs in. I'll let you guess where I found it...*paused for effect,* Pinterest!!!!

This is my favorite loaf recipe yet! It is different and refreshing on those lazy summer mornings.

Lemon-Zucchini Loaf with Lemon Glaze

 (modified from NancyCreative)


 Makes one 9×5″ loaf
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (low-fat worked just fine)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup grated zucchini 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, but don’t overmix.

Pour batter into prepared 9×5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (if your oven tends to run hot, check the loaf after 40 minutes)
Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

 While we have had our share of struggles, we have also had many exciting things happen in the past couple of months. One of those being that Michael graduated with his BA in Project Management, and has since been hired on at a company that has taking him out of the laboring side of the business. :) And now I can bake again!!!! Wooohoo! To celebrate I made something I pinned months ago and have been eying ever since. Plus, I had to practice with them before I make them for Dad's birthday this month.

While mine did not look at perfect as Annie's, I was very happy with the outcome and look foward to making them again soon.

( From Annie's Eats) - Been a fan of her blog for a long time!

makes 26 cupcakes

1) To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the hot brewed coffee and cocoa powder until dissolved.  Set aside.  In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.

2) With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the coffee-cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated, being careful not to overmix.  Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.  Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pans briefly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3) When the cupcakes are cool, make the ganache by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer, pour over the chocolate, and let stand about 2 minutes.  Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.  If needed, let cool briefly at room temperature to thicken slightly before using.

4) To make the peanut butter cookie frosting, combine the peanut butter and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high for 1 minute.  Turn off the mixer, add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix on low speed until fully incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.  Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and use clean, dry hands to form it into a patty.  Use the tines of a fork to make the classic crisscross pattern on top of the “cookie”.  Repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture.

5) Use an offset spatula to spread a layer of ganache over the top of each cupcake.  Place a peanut butter “cookie” on top of each cupcake.

The batter for the cupcakes is delectable! I have to admit I licked the spatula when I was cleaning up.

Some of my baking summer playlist favorites:

Dirty Laundry (Skeewiff Remix)- Bitter:Sweet
Make It Bun Dem- Skrillex and Damian Marley
Promises (Mayon and Shane 54 Remix)- Andain
Here We Are- Silversun Pickups
Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men
Come On Closer- Jem
Some Nights- fun. 
Hit and Run- Breathe Carolina
Kate Nash- Nicest Thing