Friday, May 29, 2009

Watery Spaghetti Sauce

I have to say that there is nothing like a bowl of spaghetti with lots of sauce.  Yeah, I know, I'm stuffing myself with carbs, but I don't care.  The one problem that we have with spaghetti sauce is that when it's ready to be served, it usually ends up watery on the plate.  Yes, I do drain my pasta and let it sit for a little bit before serving, but it never seems to work the way I want it to.  So, while browsing one of my cooking magazines, I came across a tip to prevent it from becoming watery...BREADCRUMBS.  Who would have thought?  The breadcrumbs absorb a lot of the moisture and even makes the sauce thicker.  I'm all about having think sauce.  So next time you're making your spaghetti, add the breadcrumbs to the last few minutes of your cooking time and they'll work.  It's like magic!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Yes, I know that I have been slacking, but life has just gotten away from me. In our second class, we have the priviledge of making clowns to put on cupcakes, as well as putting flowers on the cupcakes.

I decided to make "periwinkle" colored clowns because I had to be a little different. One of my favorite things about cake decorating class is that we get experiment with colors.

I have to say that I had no problems making the flowers, but when it came to the clowns, I sucked royally. I'm sure that I can make lots of excuses for the way that they turned out, but no, because it was so worth the laughs we had at class.

So if you look closely, the clown on the left is just chilling, but his friend is having some issues. We believe that has was partying too much and just had one drink too many.

All he was missing was a little clown toilet bowl to puke in!

Here's pictures of the flowers I did on my cupcakes...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cake #1

For the second cake decorating class, we had to bring an iced cake, as well as several containers of buttercream icing (which were 3 different consistencies).  The buttercream icing is actually pretty easy (and pretty tasty) to make.  Thank Dan that I have a stand mixer because the icing will kill hand-held mixers.

For the cake, I decided to use the cookbook that Tina gave me for my birthday:

Inside, there is a recipe for a 1-2-3-4 cake, which I have determined tastes like pound cake and goes VERY well with the almond flavored icing.

After the cakes were baked and the icing (all three consistencies) was made, I started coloring my icing.  The design for the first cake was going to be a rainbow.  I wanted to be a little different with my rainbow colors, so I chose burgundy, green, orange, and purple.  Now, I know that the shades aren't what you might expect, but I'm still learning here.  Oh, and my clouds aren't white and I don't care.

Icing my first cake proved to be a little challenging.  I didn't set aside enough icing to frost my cake, so the frosting didn't look as pretty as I wanted, but you live and you learn.  

In class, we got the chance to practice making stars and zig zags and writing (that's hard).  Oh, and we learned how to make the base for roses.  After we practiced, we got the chance to start decorating our cakes.  We had to transfer the rainbow from the book to our cakes using piping gel and wax paper.  I love how simple that is to do.  Once the rainbow was transfered onto our cakes, we got to work filling in the rainbow.  I enjoyed that.  Once our rainbow was done, we had to make the clouds using zig zags.  Oh, and we got to put a border on our cakes.  Before I knew it, it was time to go home, so I didn't get to finish my cake at class, but I was able to finish it at home.

Here's my cake before I went home...

Once I got home, I pulled out the extra icing and got to work on finishing the cake.  I decided to finish up my cake.  I put my name on it and added little blue dots to my star border.  So here's the finished product...

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So far, April has not been the kindest to folks (ha, what a funny word) all over the place.  It's been way too cold here in NC this week, so I decided last night, on my way home from work that I wanted chili for dinner tonight.  Little did I know that today was supposed to actually be quite nice, but what do I care?  I'll eat chili in the middle of the summer because it is so yummy.

I remember as a kid, my mom would make two pots of chili at a time.  One with onions (yuck) and one without.  Am I right Lisa?  She had two crock pots and this was the only time I can remember that both of them were in use at the same time.  I loved when my mom made it because the house would smell so delicious and I used to take a spoon out of the drawer and taste the chili.  YUM!

Once I was finally out of the house and (trying to) live on my own, I got a crock pot for Christmas.  I never made chili in it until I was living with Dan.

Now since I like to use recipes from my mom, I had to call her up and ask her how to make her chili.  One of my favorite things about it is how easy it is to make.  All you need is 2 cans of kidney beans (I love lite and dark combined), 1 pound ground beef, 2 can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of McCormick's chili seasoning.

1.  Take out everything you need to make this meal, including the crock pot.
2.  Brown the meat.
3. Pour beans and tomatoes into crock pot while meat is browning.  And no, don't drain any of the cans because you need the liquid.
4. Add the chili seasoning.
5. Drain the meat and add to crock pot.
6. Plug in crock pot before you leave for work in the morning and let it cook all day.  The longer it sits the better.
7. Scoop out enough for you into your own bowl and sprinkle (or overload) it with cheese.
8.  Dig in.

*** A great side to this is Fritos ***

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cake Decorating

Oh, I'm so excited!  I am finally going to be taking a cake decorating class!  While in Michael's last week, I saw that they were offering the classes 1/2 off for the month of April.  I contemplated about doing one and while talking with Dan yesterday, he said that I should do it.  We were at Michael's yesterday and I know that he got annoyed with me for not asking about it while we were there, but I told him that I would call today while at work.

So I did make that phone call.  And, sadly, the class is full for that store.  But, not one to always take no for an answer, I called the new Michael's that's a little bit further from our house, but is probably not well known because they just opened within the past 4 months or so, and the class isn't full.  I signed up for it over the phone and I just have to go in and pay for the course this week.  Oh, I'm so excited.  I get to try something that I've been wanting to do for a while.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.