Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TWD Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

This week's TWD recipe was chosen by: Clara of I Heart Food For Thought
I almost didn't get this recipe done this week. I have so much to do this week with Halloween coming up (I still have to complete all 3 of my kids' costumes! Ay! What was I thinking wanting to make them all this year!?)

But, some girlfriends of mine are getting together tonight for supper, and I thought I'd bring these along for dessert.

The recipe was pretty simple. The glaze as well. I have so much to do today, so I will keep this short and sweet!
Have a Fun Filled Halloween everyone!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Double Birthday = Double the Cake

Today the kids and I are going to a double birthday party! It's for a brother and sister whose birthdays are only a week apart. One is turning 4, and the other is turning 1! I am helping their mom out and making some food for the party as well. Her husband is in Iraq now, so she is planning this party on her own. (Been there, it's tough) In fact, her husband is the Marine I am hosting for my Operation Baking GALS Team.

The pictures didn't turn out too well on some of these as I took the pictures around 1am this morning! I do my best work when the kids are asleep. Most of the time, that is the only time I can do my cakes, at least without any interruptions!!

This is the first time I have used my grandma's dinosaur cake pan. I have a ton of shaped pans in my closet that I haven't used yet that are from my grandma's collection.

The kids are very excited to go today, let's just hope the rain stays away until the party is over!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blog Giveaway - You Big Turkey!

I'm having a double giveaway on my craft blog! Come check out the fun Turkey themed prizes here and enter to win!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

TWD "Get In My Belly" Pumpkin Muffins

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Mmmmmm Mmmm Mmmmmmmm. Oh, sorry! I was just enjoying some pumpkin muffins that I just pulled out of the oven.All hail Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp for chosing this recipe for this week! I love you!

These pumpkin muffins are indescribable. I love spices, and pumpkin, and pumpkin pie! Mmm pumpkin pie! These muffins are like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast....or lunch, a snack.....or while you are blogging!

They were so easy and the batter was so delicious! It's a good thing my 4 year old son, who usually gets to lick the spatula, didn't like the batter, because we would have gotten into a wrestling match over who gets to lick the spoon with this recipe!

I made 11 standard muffins and 2 dozen mini muffins, which are probably half gone now...ok I'm exaggerating, but the night isn't over yet!

*I will say that next time I will have to turn down my super hot oven...my poor pumpkin muffins got a little too 'brown' around the edges in there!

I've got playgroup Thursday, so if there are any left, I'm totally bringing some, even if I have to make another batch!

This was the perfect recipe for the season! I can't wait to get me some pumpkin pie! But these will tide me over until then!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Team Ugly Angel's Marine for Round 4

Our team is hosting a great Marine this round.

Captain Alan Trammell
Alan is with 1/3 (1st Battalion 3rd Marines) based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. They are currently deployed to Op Omar - Iraq for 7 months and are just about at their halfway point.

Captain Trammell acts as the liaison for the Iraqi Police and Tribal leaders in the area. He is also the air officer. He calls in air support for protection if needed when out on patrol, and he also goes on missions and checks things out when suspicious activity is reported from the air.

Alan is provided two meals a day, but due to their schedules, he usually only gets one.

Here is a list of items Alan could use if anyone is interested in adding any additional items to their packages.
  • Hand Warmers (they are nearing the colder season)
  • Wet Wipes
  • Protein Bars
  • Individual Snack Packages
  • Single Powdered Drink Packets (to add to water bottles)
  • Beef Jerky
  • Tuna Lunch To Go Packets
***Please, no packages of nuts or trail mix.

Alan is a close friend of our family. We met him and his wife Sherree when they first arrived in Hawaii 4 years ago. They have a 4 year old and 1 year old. Two of our children are only weeks apart in age from theirs, so our families have been through a lot together. Lots of training, and a few deployments. So I am very proud to be hosting Alan this round!

Packages need to be shipped between:

If you have any question about packaging or shipping, there are a ton of tips in the FAQ page on the Baking GALS website. Otherwise, feel free to contact me with any questions at kimturner@hawaii.rr.com !

With that, we have a great group going for our Operation Baking Gals Team!

Team Ugly Angel Roll Call:

1. Kim *me* (Hawaii) from 3rd Generation Cake Lady and Yummy Cuppy Crafts
2. Alaina (Hawaii) of Ladner's Latest
3. Pam B. (Alabama)
4. Julie S. (Hawaii)
5. Julie T. (Iowa) of www.slowdownhayfeeder.com
6. Nayeli of www.IttyBittyCakeShop.com
7. Cherie
8. Cheryl
9. Katie (Massachessets) of www.kcroteau.blogspot.com and www.kcroteau.etsy.com
10. Jill (Texas) of www.jillmanty.com
11. Marsha (Alabama)
12. Sharon (Iowa) Wilson Auction Service
13. DeAnne (Iowa)
14. Beth
15. Erin (Alabama)
16. Susan (Florida) of www.yaffadreams.etsy.com
17. Angela (Iowa)
18. Jennifer (California) www.eatsleepdreamfood.blogspot.com
19. Marge (Texas)
20. Suzanne
21. Lynda (Hawaii)
22. Kristina (Hawaii) At the Attwoods
23. Samantha (Connecticut) Boat Drinks and Dreams

*I will update this as our team grows!

Pumpkin Cake

Here is a set of cakes I did for a baby shower with a fall theme. They didn't want it too Halloween-y!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Riflery Team Cake

Here is a cake I just finished for a local Riflery Team.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Team Ugly Angel - Operation Baking GALS Round 4

This is my second round participating in Operation Baking GALS (Give A Little Support) but my FIRST time hosting! I am very excited to start Team Ugly Angel!

Operation Baking Gals is a group of over 700 people. This month there are 30 teams consisting of up to 25 people each that host a serviceman/woman and sends them baked goods and other items during a certain time period.

If you would like to join my team, please email me at kimturner@hawaii.rr.com and let me know you want to "Give A Little Support"! Then go to the official website and register. It just takes a second! Once you have registered, you can go check out Round Four Info and see all the teams that are participating and the troops they are hosting!

I will email the members of my team and get them the address of our host, along with any items they may request specifically. I will also remind the team when it's time to ship!

As a proud marine wife, I am so excited to host some friends that we have overseas right now! Soon, my husband's squadron will be deploying and hope to continue to host marines from HMH-362 Ugly Angels!

Keep watching my blog for the profile of our first lucky marine! I'll be posting his information in the next couple days!

In the meantime, go to Operation Baking GALS and register!!!! Go Team Ugly Angel!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

TWD Lenox Almond Biscotti - Yum!

Woot! Woot! I love me some biscotti! And I was so excited not to see another cookie recipe or chocolate something. Don't get me wrong, I have a sweet tooth like no other, but sometimes a girl needs a break!

I love love love almond, too, so I just knew this was going to be good!

Since my husband is off training (again) for a couple months, my friend Sherree asked the kids and me over for supper tonight. She made red beans and rice....something she introduced me to a while back. LOVE IT! Me, being a poor deprived midwestern girl, grew up on meat and potatoes and casseroles! So I love all the southern foods my friends make!

I decided to throw this recipe together quick and take her some. She is a coffee drinker and I knew she would enjoy some biscotti! She is also guilty of introducing me to the Hot Caramel Mocchiato at Starbucks. But...the secret was to get it as skinny as they make it so you don't ever know what you are missing without all the good stuff.

Oh, I digress. I have always been so surprised at how simple it is to make biscotti. Had I known this, I would have started making my own years ago! The smell of this batch was devine! I even snuck a quick lick of the bowl after I made my biscotti logs. (Which, by the way, were so not even!)

These got a little browner than I would have liked the first round in the oven, but oh well. I think I left them in a couple extra minutes than I should have.

I even cheated a little on the cooling stage due to my lack of time in order to make it to my dinner date. Doing so caused some of the ends to break off as I sliced it....darn, they just HAD to be eaten! I can't have little bits laying around my pan!!!! Ugh!

A quick round two and they were done. I threw some in a mug for my friend, and decided the little bag I had them in didn't hold very many if I was going to tie the end up, so I threw in a few more and left the bag open....they were still steamin' a bit anyways.

She was thrilled to have some biscotti...and I was equally thrilled to eat her red beans and rice...as well as not have to cook supper! Ha!

I also have a package to send to my sister tomorrow. My neice just turned 6, so I have a package full of goodies for her....plus, my big sister is soon turning the big 3-0! So I thought I'd package up a few for her with the recipe and some herbal tea.

You better beleive I'll be making these again! Super Uber delicious! Thank you to Gretchen of Canela & Comino for chosing this recipe! Kudos!!!!

By the way, I'm on my second one tonight as I'm sipping Melaleuca Tangy Lemon hot herbal tea while posting this blog!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My First Operation Baking Gals Package

While perusing the blog-o-sphere a while back, I came across a blog called OPERATION BAKING GALS. It was a group of gals who sent packages to the troops every month with home baked goodies. I was thrilled to see that. And of course, I wanted to join!

There are teams that have several members. Each team hosts a soldier and sends a package during a certain week. Before you can host your own soldier, you have to join another group for at least one month. So I joined up with Team Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases. We mailed off a package to Chaplain Michael Jones this past week.

I baked up some snickerdoodles and threw in some local candy and snacks that I picked up at the exchange before I mailed the package. I needed the candy to fill the dead space in my box! And then I wrote a little message on the back of a Hawaii postcard.

I snapped a quick picture of my package with my cell phone before I sealed it up! This was taken on my lap, in the van, sitting in the post office parking lot! I almost forgot to take a picture!!!

I am waiting to hear back from the master mind of OPERATION BAKING GALS about hosting next month! I have a couple marines in mind for next month, so I hope I get the chance to start a team!

Thank you to Donna at Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases for letting me join the team this month! I am so excited to do it all over again!

Monday, October 6, 2008

TWD Caramel Macadamia Nut Brownie Cake

This week's TWD was chosen by Tammy of Wee Treat by Tammy. I almost backed out of this week's baking because things have been so hectic around here... But, by 4 year old son was BEGGING for brownies tonight, so I thought, well, I'll just bake these real quick. (Plus, I was out of town last week, and haven't participated in two weeks)

I glanced through the ingredients and was pretty sure I had them all. First thing I realized I didn't have was bittersweet chocolate, so I substituted 1 oz of unsweetened and 3 oz semi sweet.

Brown sugar....uh, none. So I was sure there was an easy way to substitute that, so I googled it quick and found you could use white sugar and molasses. I happened to have molasses on hand because I bought it not too long ago for a recipe, which I never made. I think I do that a lot. Anyways, brown sugar delema was solved.

Then, I was just SURE I had light corn syrup....NOPE! I always have it on stock for scotcheroos! So I replaced that with some dark corn syrup I just happened to find clear back in the pantry.

So, at this point, I am thinking, "This recipe is going to just flop, I know it!" But I carried on because I had a very excited little 4 year old helper in the kitchen with me who was happy to be making brownies with mommy!

Oh, yeah, and finally, I had tossed my cheap springform pan I had because it was one, cheap, and two, started to peel. Yuck, I know. CHEAP! So I used my stoneware baking dish from Pampered Chef! Can't go wrong there! Plus, my son was so determined to have brownies, if I made it look like a brownie "cake", he woudl have a fit. He immediately corrected me when I told me 10 year old that we were making brownie cake. "No...mommy, we are making brownies, not cake!"

The cake turned out perfect! And in a lot less time then it called for! As you can see, my son wanted his brownie as soon as it came out of the oven. He wouldn't want all the extra goo on his 'brownie' anyways.
My attempt with the caramel didn't go so well. I just couldn't get the caramel to darken, and I was so afraid I'd scald the stuff! So after nearly 15-20 minutes on the stove, I gave in and added the cream and butter. It still tasted alright!
I did have peanuts, but they were all UNSALTED....and since the recipe called for salted, I kept digging. I came across a can of macadamia nuts. Hmmmm, macadamia nuts it is! And Yum-o!
Due to a missing 'brownie' from my pan, I ended up with a caramel waterfall...
But, the overall result was amazing! I'm sure that if my caramel would have actually turned out to be caramel, that this would have been even more amazing, but nonetheless, it was very good! I may attempt this again, when I have all the correct ingredients! Now, what to do with all these brownies!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

3 Minute Mug Cake

I got an email with a recipe for this quick chocolate fix recipe you can do in your microwave in just 3 minutes. It sounded interesting, so I finally got around to trying it out:

In a mug, stir together:
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cocoa
Stir in 1 egg

Then stir in:
3 Tablespoons Milk
3 Tablespoons Oil
Splash of Vanilla

And, if you'd like,
3 Tablespoons Chocolate Chips
(yes, I'd like!)

Microwave on High Power for 3 Minutes.
Cake may bake up above the rim of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Let it cool a minute in the microwave, then flip it out onto a plate!
(Or you can just eat it out of the mug!)
This was okay. The chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom of the mug, then stuck there when I dumped the cake out on the plate. Enough for 2... that is, if you are willing to share!

I would give it a 5/10.

However, if you wanted to drizzle caramel, fudge and top with whip cream, then it may bump it up to 7/10!

But I will admit, if I didn't have any chocolate in the house, and was needing a chocolate fix... I would definitely make this and could be satisfied in less than 5 minutes! (Especially if I had some caramel and whip cream on hand!)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Jungle Cake with #1 Smash Cake

Here is a big jungle cake I made for a friend of mine who's little man turned 1 this month! They had a big party today!

I also did a #1 smash cake...but he didn't want anything to do with it! It was so cute!