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King Arthur Flour’s 2015 Recipe of the Year

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Today I whipped up a fabulous and simple recipe to bring to family we are visiting in the hospital. It is this year’s Recipe of the Year over at King Arthur Flour. This recipe was perfection! I had everything on hand and did not need to modify the recipe one bit. Give it try and let me know what you think!

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Weight Watcher’s Friendly – Lemon Oreo Faux Cheesecake

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Friends! What a find! I adapted the recipe below from one I found over at sleevedinthecity.blogspot.com.

This version is just 3wwpps! These treats are flavorful, high in protein and super satisfying! Please enjoy!

 

imageLemon Oreo Faux Cheesecake Recipe

12 Lemon Oreos, 10 whole and 2 crushed

1 Small Package of Sugar Free Jello Instant Pudding, Lemon

16oz of Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt, I used Chobani

10 cupcake liners

Yield: 10 portions at 3wwpp

Line a standard muffin pan with 10 cupcake liners. Place a cookie at the bottom of each lined cup. Next, using a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment add the Greek yogurt. On medium speed, slowly add the contents of the jello packet. It is very important to combine these two ingredients slowly to ensure the jello blends well without leaving clumps or grit. Once the packet is empty, continue to beat the mixture till everything is well incorporated. The mixture will be thick!

Next, using a piping bag or spoon distribute the mixture evenly among the 10 liners. Take the remaining crushed Oreos and sprinkle a bit on each. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. It is very important to let this mixture sit for at least 6 hours or over night to allow the flavors to develop and the gelatin to fully bloom. Trust me it will taste so much better!

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Happy National Dessert Day! Strawberry Cupcakes

Hello Friends!

I thought I would get a quick post in tonight to wish everyone a happy National Dessert Day! Tonight I made fresh strawberry cupcakes for a wonderfully sweet coworker. She requested mini cupcakes and I had to be a bit creative with figuring out a fresh strawberry garnish. I thought this would be a unique approach since the strawberries I purchased were enormous! What are your thoughts, any ideas for future projects?

Well, I hope everyone has a super sweet night! Enjoy the photos!

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Simple Comfort: Quick Pumpkin Cobbler

I have been under the weather the last couple of days and I am desperately craving something sweet, warm, and comforting. Before I became ill I had some beautiful pie pumpkins I had baked off and pureed in preparation of an upcoming Pumpkin Pie blog post. Well things changed a bit and I just don’t have the energy to go through the whole pie making rigmarole. Granted it would be worth every bit of effort, but not tonight, sadly.

I wanted some pumpkin pie like goodness to nourish me right on back to normal. I was able to slap some things together I had on hand in the pantry and came up with a Pumpkin Pie Cobbler. I know it sounds hokey, but it works! Enjoy the recipe and photos!

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Quick Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

30oz of Pumpkin Puree (Canned or Fresh)

(2) 14 oz cans of Sweetened Condensed Milk (I had Fat Free on hand)

4oz of Butter, melted, preferable unsalted (I only had salted on hand)

1 box of Golden Butter or Butter Flavored Cake Mix

4 whole large eggs

2 tbs of Pumpkin Pie Spice

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 baking pan. Then combine puree, eggs, milk, and pie spices in a large bowl and mix well.

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Pour pumpkin mixture directly into a well greased pan. Make sure you get all that good stuff!

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Next, take the entire box of dry cake mix and sprinkle evenly over the top of the pumpkin mixture.

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Finally, drizzle melted butter over the top as evenly as possible and pop the pan into the oven and bake for one hour.

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When finished, the cobbler can be served right away. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if you are feeling particularly pathetic.

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First time with Fondant – Wolverine Cake

Friends! Last night I made a cake to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. He requested an X-Men inspired cake. I was super excited and thought this would be a great opportunity to experiment a bit with fondant. Feeling a little uncertain about my fondant handling skills I settled on a design that primarily utilized buttercream and just a wee bit of fondant.

I was able to find a fondant recipe that would utilize items I already had on hand, which was a huge plus! The recipe worked wonderfully and it even had a great taste!

As for decorating, I really struggled with this project. I am not a naturally inclined artist so I  really had difficulty trying to capture the essence of this character as simply as possible.

In the end, I have come to terms with this cake. I am not entirely pleased with the texture or the look of the fondant. I think with practice and an investment in a few fondant hand tools, I may be able to improve my technique.

 

Here are a couple of snap shots from today…

 

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Homemade Fresh Pasta Recipe – What’s Cooking with Paula

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Each month I teach free cooking demonstrations at our local library called “What’s Cooking with Paula.” This month I made fresh pasta and it is a whole lotta fun. Using just a few simple ingredients you can produce incredibly delicious results! I find it ultra rewarding running a small amount of dough through a pasta press and ending up with tons of fresh pasta! I love working with dough, always have, I LOVED play-doh as a child. Working with a pasta press reminds me of a play-doh hair salon extractor set I used to play with…

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 Well anyhoo…

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Fresh pasta is a blast to work with and fairly simple, I hope you enjoy the recipe below! A special shout out to Monique at Graced Filled Graphics for the photos!

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Everybody’s Basic Pasta Dough Recipe, 4 servings

2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

4 whole large eggs

Directly on your counter top, or on a large cutting board pour flour into a pile and create a well. Crack the 4 large eggs directly into the center of the well. Slowly with your finger tips or a fork gather the flour and egg mixture till just combined.  Add additional flour to your worksurface and begin to knead the pasta dough for about 5 minutes. Conitnue to add flour to your surface till the dough is no longer tacky. Let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.

Next, using a rolling pin or pasta press, roll or press pasta until barely translucent (you want your pasta very thin because it will expand significantly during the cooking process.) Using a knife, pizza cutter, or a pasta press cutting attachment, slice your pasta into desired width and lengths.

Cook pasta in boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes depending on your preference.

Special Note: Uncooked homemade fresh pasta can be stored in the fridge for up to two days.

 

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Simple Cheese Board for Friends

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Recently, I had the pleasure of putting together a simple spread for an event at work. I work closely with a group called the “Friends.” They are a group of local supporters who advocate for the mission of the local non profit I work with. They are a wonderful group of community leaders who have done a bunch to help us. They recently had a celebration of their achievements over the last year and I was so happy to put this beautiful spread together. A HUGE thank you to Monique at Grace Filled Graphics for taking such beautiful photos! Also a shot out to my fabulous and oh so fashionable friend Shara, who prepared the beautiful floral arrangements. You can contact her for floristry and other event related services at partypolishaffairs@gmail.com.

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Enjoy this gallery……psst I’m the delightfully chubby one!

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Dr. Suess Inspired Cupcakes – Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

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Hello Friends! This weekend I attended a lovely Dr. Seuss themed baby shower. I had the honor of creating some fun cupcakes that fell in line with the theme. Scouring Pinterest I came across a well of inspirations for The Lorax and Cat in the Hat themed cupcakes. Below are some photos of the outcome. I am pretty happy with the results, and I think mommy and daddy-to-be were pleased too!. I have also included a Vanilla Butter Cream recipe that I use over and over and over again, always with great success!

 

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Vanilla Butter Cream Cupcake Icing

1lb Salted Sweet Cream Butter (softened)

1 32oz Bag of Powdered Sugar

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract (or more to taste)

1 to 2 tbs of milk

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment begin to beat softened butter till smooth at low speed. Slowly add powdered sugar, about a cup at a time (I add it directly from the bag a bit at a time.) As you continue to add powdered sugar the mixture will begin to get thick and dough-like. To remedy this increase the speed for a few seconds to regain a smooth texture, reduce speed and continue to add powdered sugar. Once you finished adding the sugar next add the vanilla extract. If the texture of your mixture is still too thick add milk a tablespoon at a time to make it smoother. Avoid adding too much milk, loosening the mixture too much will make the icing running and difficult to use for decorating. Use immediatley and keep at room temperature.