Thursday, October 29, 2009

Punkins and Ghosts

There are so many things to love about Fall… football games, pumpkin bread, holiday excitement and cold weather… oh wait, I live in Florida. Forget that last thing I just said.

Punkins (that’s gibberish for "pumpkins") are indicative of the season. For my first Halloween, my parents dressed me as a punkin. A little, round, orange-cheek punkin. Since I don’t have any little ones to torture with punkin costumes yet, I figured I would dress my favorite sugar cookie as a punkin!

Check out these adorable Punkin & Ghost sugar cookies. Perfect for a not-so-scary Halloween! Happy trick-or-treating!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shhh, My Oven is Sleeping

My oven is getting a well-deserved rest this week after several months of constant baking. Don't worry... it will be preheating for next weekend!

Audrey over at The [Artful] Abode recommended that I partake in the "Honest Scrap" post that is going around the blog world... and I have a problem saying no to really nice people. I'm not going to follow all of the rules because I like to be the person who deletes chain emails/forwards. Yep, that's me... a rebel rule-breaker. I'm simply going to tell you how much I adore Audrey's blog and proceed to torture you with 10 honest facts about yours truly...

10. When I was little, I ate the feet off of my Barbie dolls.I actually ingested their tiny, rubber, non-edible feet. There is something seriously wrong with that.

9. I label all of my photos with the date, location and names of those pictured before putting them into albums. Hello, my name is Andrea and I have OCD.

8. I have never eaten at Taco Bell. Never. Ever.

7. The Office is my all-time favorite TV show. Sometimes I wish Michael was my boss... afterall, he is the "World's Best Boss"

6. My brother and I have a secret handshake that takes 1.5 minutes to complete. If I showed you, I'd have to kill you.

5. I had a pet pig named Jimmydean for 8 years. He now resides at Uncle Donald's Farm.

4. I have a fear of carbonated beverages and going bald.

3. I can wiggle my ears.

2. I love to read anything that motivates me. Right now i'm reading "In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day" by Mark Batterson... I highly recommend it!

1. Baking makes me happy...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Inspiring Creativity

I know you all think i'm so cool and not-at-all nerdy. Well, think again. When I was younger I was part of an Odyssey of the Mind team... not just any team, but a two-time state champion team. I know you are jealous.

We spent our evenings problem solving, writing skits, designing props and letting our imaginations run wild. Oh to be 13 again. My team's coach, Gillian, inspired me to think outside of the box and taught me that no goal is too far out of reach.

Gillian's daughter, Leigh, planned the most amazing 50th birthday surprise party for her mom... and asked me to make the cake! I had so much fun making this zebra-print two tier cake for Gillian. I really think it reflects her anything-goes personality.

The cake was chocolate with mint filling on the bottom layer and vanilla with raspberry filling on the top. The brown zebra stripes were made with homemade marshmallow fondant. Yum!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

I couldn't ask for a more perfect couple to give me the opportunity to accomplish this goal that I set for myself so long ago... thanks to Leanne & Reed, I finally did it... I made my first wedding "cake!"

I made a variety of cupcake flavors, including Chocolate with Caramel Filling, Vanilla with Strawberry Filling and Banana with Cream Cheese Frosting. For the top of the cupcake tower, I made a small Vanilla Cake with Strawberry filling for the bride & groom to save for their anniversary.

Brian designed the stand for me and had it custom built and I was so impressed with how amazing it turned out. Hopefully, it will grace the receptions of many upcoming weddings!

During the reception, I looked around the room and watched as guests enjoyed their cupcakes. I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment. Leanne, thank you for your confidence in me, I know that your marriage will be blessed with so much happiness!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Best Sheet Cake In The World

Okay, so I haven't tasted every sheet cake in the world, but I am sure this would still be at the top of my list! You HAVE to try this... you just have to.

The simple peanut butter cake base is fluffy and moist while the topping adds so much flavor and crunch. Trust me, it will rock your world.

Ingredients: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 4 Tbsp. room temp butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. With an electric mixer, combine the peanut butter, butter and brown sugar. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk until combined. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

To make the topping, stir together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup peanut butter, and 2 Tbsp. melted butter. When the mixture is crumbly, stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter chips. Sprinkle topping evenly over the cake and bake 30-35 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Buy bigger jeans, you will need them.
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