Yes! Cake Pops

I think these cake balls might just be my best accomplishment yet! I wish I could show you what they looked like the first time I tried back in July but I wouldn’t dare. Oh boy what a mess. Picture this: large, brown, icicled, chocolate balls with frosting spikes. Sounds delicious no? Actually they tasted amazing, they just looked awful. If you have attempted these trendy balls of goodness and failed I bet you did the same thing I did. Melting regular chocolate chips or frosting will not work for the outer shell. 

You must buy “candy melts.” You can get them at Michaels or other specialty stores for candy making. I actually found them (after I went to Michaels of course) at my local grocery store. I also picked up some lolly pop sticks at Michaels as well. I like them better on sticks, easier to eat and way more fun.

I followed Ree’s instructions over at The Pioneer Woman. Her photos were extremely helpful. She of course adapter her recipe from bakerella’s signature cake pops.

My separate advice: After you freeze the cake balls (small cake balls the size of a walnut) stick in your lolly pop stick next and then swirl and coat them in the melted chocolate. I found that they were more evenly coated that way.  

I went with a coconut cake mixed with a cream cheese frosting. The candy shell is dark chocolate and white. The crumbs on the outside are some cookies and toffee.

Fancy Schmancy Jello Shots

We had a little party on New Years Eve. I made some treats that I will be sharing with you this week but these were by far the coolest.

Jello shots are always fun at a party, but those flimsy Dixie cups can be such an eye sore. Try this instead!

(One orange makes 4 shots so buy accordingly) We made about 50 shots with two boxes of jello. Cut the orange in half and scoop out the insides. Then make your jello and vodka mix. 1 packet of jello, any flavor, gets 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vodka. (Follow the instructions on the jello box. They call for two cups of water and use your liquor of choice instead for one cup) Fill your orange halves with the mixture and then place them in the fridge until they are very firm. When they are ready carefully cut the halves into quarters and voila!

We used cherry because we already had it in the pantry but think of all the delicious and pretty combination’s you can come up with. Imagine lime peels with lemon and tequila jello! Or lemon peels with pink lemonade and vodka jello!

Check out more interesting jello shot recipes here (these kids really put some effort in this).

Bananas Foster: A Love Story

I have a million memories of  making bananas foster but my favorite was when Heather and I braved the first storm of “Snowmageddon” last year (close to 3 feet of snow total) and walked to 7/11 for a midnight snack. At first we grabbed Doritos, and Snickers bars but then we saw that they had bananas and those little packages of Sarah Lee pound cakes. We had butter, brown sugar and rum. Jackpot.

The streets were deserted and completed white, it hardly looked like a main turnpike. The sky was pitch black. We looked like Eskimos with 7/11 bags and I think we even sang Christmas songs. It was wonderful.

Bananas Foster
Recipe from Paula Deen (It’s got a stick of butter in it! Of course I used her recipe) 

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 bananas peeled and halved, cut lengthwise
1/4 cup dark rum
1 slice of pound cake 

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add brown sugar and stir together. Slice and add the bananas, cook until caramelized over medium-high heat. Pour in the rum and carefully light the pan on fire with a match or lighter (a long candle lighter is best). Flambe. The flame will shoot high out of the pan, don’t panic it will die out within 25 seconds. Serve immediately over a slice of pound cake with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

French Onion Soup on a Cold Day

It was really cold today. They said we were going to get about 6 inches of snow, but we never saw it. I decided it was a good day for some soup. French onion is so warm and the cheese is gooey and the bread is crusty… is there anything better on a snow day? (Or a supposed to snow day)

Shopping List (3 servings) 
2 1/2 cups beef stock
2 onions (whatever color you prefer)
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove
3 tbs butter

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
and French bread

Chop up the onions to desired size for  soup and throw them in a large saute pan with 3 tbs butter. The pan should be large enough to add broth later. Saute onions for about 15 to 20 minutes tossing in the sugar and chopped garlic clove half way through. The sugar will help to onions caramelize. When the onions are translucent and almost gooey add beef stock and wine plus about 1 tablespoon of salt and pepper. Stir. Add the thyme and bay leaf and reduce the heat and cover to simmer and let the flavors combine.

Tear up bite size bits of the French bread and toast them until they are crisp and brown. Remove the bay leaf and ladle soup into bowls, place crispy bread pieces on top. Cover soup and bread completely with shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and place bowls in broiler until the cheese bubbles up on top, no more than 4 minutes usually. Remove carefully and enjoy!


Note: I used Swiss Gruyere and decided after that mozzarella melts much better for that gooey, brown french onion soup effect. I would add some Parmesan to the mozzarella for more flavor. 


Honey Love

I hope everyone had as merry of a Christmas we I did! In addition to our new puppy I also got a digital SLR camera, it’s the Canon Rebel XS. (Let me know if you can tell the difference in my posts) I plan on spending the next few days using it to get Honey on The Daily Puppy.

I’m lucky enough to have almost over a week off right now. I want to make butterscotch bread pudding and my famous bananas foster for Nick. I got a new “Cooking for Two” cookbook as well and will try a few things in there. We will be heading to Roanoke for New Years Eve with family. It’s gorgeous up there in the mountains around Christmas time I hear. Honey will get to play with Cowboy too, the family corgi.

So we know that Honey is half Labrador but we don’t know the other half. I think beagle. What do you think? It’s driving me crazy. I guess I’m one of those people that has to know.

She is so well behaved.
She collects all her toys and puts them in a pile in front of her before she plays with them.
She sleeps a lot and even through the night with us in bed, no accidents, she just wimpers at about 6:30 am when she needs to go out. Then we all go back to sleep 🙂