Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

As I was surfing the web on StumbleUpon.com, Joy The Baker's website popped up...  As if the Heaven's sent me this for a reason, Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread would not leave my mind...  HAVE TO MAKE THIS!!

My photo's don't compare to what Joy has on her blog- I should honestly take the time to make pretty photos!!  

But honestly, this is so yummy, so delicious, I would highly recommend this recipe!  Find it here!

Happy Baking!!  Smiles always!!

I want this Chair!

I've just discovered www.stumbleupon.com - it's a great time waster - it captures you and you're HOOKED within minutes!!  It's basically a website that looks at your interests and brings you websites, videos, blogs, etc that matche.  The more you 'like' the suggested pages, the more customized your website choices become.

I've stumbled upon this:


I'm a cuddly person... And this chair would TOTALLY work for us!!  Not only that, it doubles as a table!!  Multi-purpose?!??!!  I LOVE that!!



It's a chair from Yanko Design and is UBER cool in my book!

Trying Something NEW- HTML

If knew how to put a huge "under construction" sign on my page, I would...  I'm trying out a new layout, which is much more labor intensive than my previous 'type-n-post'.  It requires me to fiddle with the HTML code, which, is a foreign language in it's self...

OOHHH BOY, what did I get myself into?

...Anywho, I probably should be baking more and messing around less with the HTML mumbo-jumbo- BUT I'm going to give it a shot and if not, I'll switch it back (I HOPE I know how?!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cruise to Mexico

Eric and I NEEDED a vacation, so we decided to take a cruise!  We had a last minute change of heart from our original Whistler snowboarding plan.  www.vacationstogo.com  We got a KILLER deal $550 per person for a 7 day cruise to Mexico on Holland America- room with a balcony!  

Here's a few pictures!


We did the Hidden Beach Horseback riding excursion in Puerto Vallarta- I have nothing but GREAT things to say about this tour!!  Well worth our money!!

This is my million dollar shot!!!  Whales graced us with their presence on our way- literally 20 feet away from us!!  This wasn't even part of the tour!!  Amazing, peaceful creatures...  something I will NEVER forget!

My first horseback riding experience was great!  They gave me a grandma horse that took it's time and made me feel completely comfortable!  We borrowed the people of Quimixto's horses and they took us to a huge waterfall.  This little town is only accessible by boat and I swear, this is where I want to retire!

We also stopped in a little cove and went snorkeling.  Then went to another hidden beach where they had lunch prepared while we relaxed on the beautiful beach.  Aahh, great memories!!

We also stopped at Mazatlan, however I was a little under the weather, so we stayed on board and I got to rest.  Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas where we did the Extreme Zip Lining excursion.  It was a great 2 hour workout with ziplining, rappelling, rock climbing, walking over a plank bridge, and the list goes on!!  Great experience!!

It was my first cruise and it was GREAT!  Can't wait for our next adventure!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

It has been one crazy busy new year and it's already 12 days into FEBRUARY?!  Aaah, make the time go by a little slower so I can enjoy my weekends!!

I've needed to post this for a while and have only now just found some time!!   This is a Phenomenal recipe;  it has a taste that you can't put your finger on what ingredient it is that makes it taste so uniquely delicious!  Found it on AllRecipes.com.  Don't be intimidated by the amount of ingredients, you may have most of them already in your kitchen.

   


Pumpkin Cheesecake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/8 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, 2 tablespoons white sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and the melted butter or margarine and mix well. Firmly press mixture into one 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup of the white sugar, the pumpkin, 3 egg yolks, ground cinnamon, ground mace, ground ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well, and set aside.
  4. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar and mix well. Add the whole egg, remaining egg yolk and the whipping cream, beating well. Add cornstarch and vanilla and lemon flavorings, beat batter until smooth. Add pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 55 minutes. Do not overbake. Center may be soft but it will firm up when chilled. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate.


I decided to make cupcakes instead of a pie and it turned out perfectly!  

I wrote letters out of candy melt for a personal touch!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TOP TEN in Wilton's Pops in a Post contest!!!

WHOA, like a whirlwind flurry, it happened SO fast, I don't think it's quite sunken in yet!!  WILTON JUDGES SELECTED ME AS A TOP TEN FINALIST!!  ..Oh, eM, Gee!!  They liked me?!!? ... or my pops anyway!!  Click here for my Ocean Frenzy blog.



So as I calm myself and get a grip, I realize, I'm up against some pretty darn good Poppers [NOT poopers] out there!!  



Here's what the website rules are per Wilton:
You may vote once per day until the polls close. Voting will begin Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM CST and end Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST. The grand prize winner will be posted within one day of the end of voting.


Check out the contestants here and don't forget to VOTE!!


Hero Cake Pops did some extensive research on other contestants that entered the contest and there's a crazy Cake Pop craze out there!!



Although I don't have a huge fanfare of followers (say THAT 3 times really fast!!), I'm hoping my network of Facebook friends, family, co-workers and extended people's friends of friends vote, not just for me, but for their FAV [orite]... Because at the end of the day, we're all winners :o)  



...I feel lucky just being considered at all... and lucky that Wilton Judges saw what Cody Cakes is all about (any job openings??)...  and UBER grateful for the support everyone has shown for my hobby :o)  I heart you ALL :o)  


What a great day to smile! -co

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ocean Frenzy

It all started when I was surfing through Hero Cake Pop's blog and stumbled upon a post that had to do with a Wilton Cake Pop Contest... *GASP*  Having Wilton judges LOOK at MY blog, would be an honor in itself?!? !!  [deep breaths]  ...then family graced us with their presence for the holidays and I didn't have TIME to think, plan, or prepare for my pops!!  p.s. we had a FAB time with the FAM!!

So I finally sat down and sketched out my thoughts with my inspiration being an ocean theme.
 

Wondering if my idea and odd shapes would even work, I thought I'd give it my all and see what comes of it!

It all starts with smooshed cake and Philadelphia Cream Cheese.  See the step-by-step instructions here.

Squeeze as hard as you can to make sure the smooshed cake is one whole piece, this way, it won't crack or break.  I've seen various instructions and I insert the stick in the cake ball, then freeze it, and works for me every time!

Prepping takes the longest, so patience is a must!!  Try to guess what these will transform into!!

 

So here goes!!  Dip and cover the entire cake ball.. Tap, tap, tap off all the excess candy melt.  Immediately after that it's sprinkled with Wilton red colored sugar sprinkles. (Sorry no photo because I don't have 3 hands, DARN...)

Twizzlers (pull and peel), cut about 1 1/2 inches in length and dipped in candy melt. (Octopus legs)

And immediately dipped in red colored sugar sprinkles.  Leave to harden for about 5 minutes.

Use a dab of candy melt on the end of the twizzler and attached it to the body.  Hold for a few seconds or until secure/stuck.  I also discovered that if the chocolate coating is cold (from being in the freezer) the chocolate hardens a LOT faster- just a helpful hint!!!

And here is Mr. Octopus!!  Accented with Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch eyes and candy necklace pieces as a mouth.

Okay, so I completed the first of my Ocean Crew, and I'm SUPER DUPER excited to see how the rest will turn out!!  Mr. Octopus turned out WAY better than the one I pictured!!

Here is Mr. Octopus and Family

Up next is Jelly, using Twizzler pieces covered in white chocolate and dipped in dried coconut.
...Now I'm super HYPED, how cute are these guys?!?  The dried coconut idea was purely coincidental- it was left overs from another project!!  

Crabby has some Twizzler legs too!!  Their eyes are accented with Wilton sprinkles and their claws are made out of candy melt (freehand with a toothpick)

S-Lo was made with two different sized cake balls (body + head).

And freehand fins made from candy melt.

They looked a little plain, so I added some Wilton green sugar sprinkles to their shell.

Big has a tail that was made freehand.

The Clowns were dipped in orange candy melt and immediately sprinkled with orange nonpareils and left to dry.  Their tails were made out of Wilton's Jumbo Heart Sprinkles, that was covered in chocolate and also dipped in the nonpareils.  White candy melt stripes turned them into their clown character!

...just keep swimming... just keep swimming...  Anyone a "Finding Nemo" fan?  Because I AM! 

Ms. Flounder was made using Peanut Butter Flavored Candy Melts and immediately sprinkled with crushed graham crackers.  Her tail was made -freehand and sprinkled with graham crackers.

And last, Urchin -that was originally named Spikes.  Individual chocolate sprinkles made his spikes.

I think they have the most character... Or maybe they are just my favorite!

And here's my Ocean Frenzy, each with their own shape, character, and spunk!

It was a super fun project, possibly a little over ambitious for one day's work, but worth EVERY second. Every little friend turned out 100 times better than I had imagined it to be, each special in their own way.  I've reached a new level of confidence in myself, my work is improving, my patience is growing and I'm having a TON of fun!  I can't wait for my next adventure to begin!

Thank you Cali, for letting me borrow your nice, expensive camera, I appreciate it!!  And thank you Wilton Judges for checking out Cody Cakes!!  

Make it a GREAT day! xoxoxxo