On April 17th, a small town named West in Texas was rocked by a fertilizer plant explosion. 15 people lost their lives with almost 200 injured. Many of those that fell were firefighters that were first to the scene. It’s such a tragic event to hit this little Czech/Texan community. With more then $100 million in damage, my fellow bloggers and I decided to #BakeForWest to show our support in hopes to raise awareness for those to donate to help this great Czech/Texan town West, TX.
I live about two hours from West, TX. My sweet V and his parents are Czech. His parents came to Texas more then 25 years ago from the Czech Republic and they love it here. When I witnessed the tragedy on the news I knew I had to help somehow.
In West, Texas is a quaint little shop called the Czech Stop that are famous for their kolaches. It’s right off one of our main highways. The town is well known for its Czech culture and heritage In fact, the Czech Republic is donating monies to help with this community. It may not be much but it is nice of them to put forward an effort to help.
Today, I am using a recipe that V’s mom sent me a few years ago after she baked me this wonderful cake with fresh plums from the tree in her backyard. It is traditionally made with cherries or other fresh picked berries that grow wild in the Czech Republic. I looked everywhere for cherries but they are not in season here yet. I decided to settle on raspberries since they are a berry and one of V’s favorites. Here is my #BakeForWest recipe: Raspberry Bublanina (bubbly cake) in honor for those lost or injured in this horrible tragedy.
If you would like to donate to help those in West, TX you can donate here through the Pointwest bank.
Please take a moment and stop by to visit these other fantastic foodies for their wonderful Czech desserts for #BakeForWest
It’s carnival time again and I am counting the days till Fat Tuesday when I get to celebrate with fried gator tail and plenty of drinks. Until that time I plan on cooking everything Cajun in my book of secrets. Hence the Mardi Gras cupcake recipe.
Last year, I bought some doubloons from the dollar store to decorate my cupcakes with. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to use them. Though I am glad because I did not know my way around my new camera then. Now my abilities have grown and well I hope you can see that in the pictures below.
One of the many questions I get asked is how do you swirl icing. It’s pretty simple! I just add a tad of each color to different spots in the pastry piping bag and then squeeze. I only add a little at a time of each or the colors tend to blend too much. You can see my bag below
The tip I used is 1M by Wilton. I like this shape a lot for cupcakes as it gives a nice ice cream swirl effect. The Mardi Gras beads are a part of the collection of beads I have started to get ready for all the Fat Tuesday fun. I picked them up at the local Dollar Tree if you are interested in getting some of your own.
Now, I cannot take full credit on this recipe as my daughter, whom is 12, took the fun of baking these cupcakes. With a recipe from me she had fun with the colors and the endless licking of all the bowls. That is her favorite part of baking sweets. In fact, I generally have to continue to tell her the licking belongs at the end of baking not while we are trying to mix everything. She’s hilarious!
Last year I made these cupcakes and the icing was poop! So tomorrow I will make new and pretty cupcakes to use your left over champagne in! These are the champagne pop rock cupcakes I made last year.
As long as I can find the pop rocks. See last years cupcakes.
When I reduced the wine it really made it sour in the cupcakes and the frosting. After redoing them time and again I found that no reduction is needed.
Happy New Years Eve!
Last weekend we had our Halloween party and I though I would share with you guys and gals as my Halloween countdown. Not very many people came out though we still had tons of fun. We had sinister cider with voodoo heads, buttered corn (popcorn), eyeball punch, caramel apples, and petrified pizza. Maybe a few late night tacos from Jack in the Crack (ie: Jack in the Box) for the drinkers; at least we had the sober driver go and get them
Today, I want to share with you a DIY project on how to make wood grave stones and a recipe for the classic caramel apples with bacon or with nuts. But first I want to scare the crap out of you
This would be my brother whom scared the piss out of the my teens and their friends at our Halloween party. He came through the house in the pitch dark while the movie was on and stood behind them. It’s was a class A scare!
This year I decided to go with a literary/science Halloween theme.The gravestones I crafted feature Poe, Tesla, and Shakespeare. What I seriously love about wood stones is they do NOT blow away in the wind. Just take a long piece of plywood and cut into three. Lowe’s will do this for you for free if you ask and don’t have a saw at home. Stencils are great for the lettering. I used spray paint in black, one to each slat, and acrylic white paint for the lettering. Used wood fencing pieces and adhered them to the back with screws and a drill to insert the stones in the ground to stand upright. These stones are better on the environment as you can use them year to year and they don’t blow away in the wind like the Styrofoam stones you can buy at the store.
Halloween can’t be without a treat! These were requested by the other half.
We chopped up our own nuts and added bacon to a few. I used Fuji apples.
Four days until Halloween! What do you have planned?
Today, I visited our local world market and I fond two of the cutest Chinese bowls with a place to hold the chopsticks. They are white with a black design. I can not wait to use them for a upcoming recipe! I scored them for only $2 a piece. Trying to decide if I should go back and pick up the plates that match.What do you think?
The lovely people over at Chobani sent me a case of yogurt to try out. I love the blood orange flavor and the pomegranate. Though, the honey goes perfect with so many desserts and savory dishes that I had a hard time deciding what recipe to make. My inspiration came to me when I was at the local organic store and I could smell the cantaloupe from across the way. Some might say yellow curry is spicy, but I feel it is actually flavorful. If your not a curry fan you can replace the curry in the recipe with apple pie spice. My son said apple pie spice would be wonderful with it. He’s not the hugest fan of curry. On the other hand I love curry spice especially with yogurt or apples!
My recipe for curry cantaloupe parfait.
Chobani Greek yogurt is currently sponsoring Team USA! And I am giving away a case of Chobani to one lucky winner! First the recipe for this simple parfait then you can fill out the rafflecopter below for the giveaway.
*Disclosure: I was given a case of Chobani to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
The lovely team at OXO sent me a Cherry Pitter to test out. I am already bias to OXO tools since everything I have tested is wonderful! The cherry pitter is simple to use even for my left handed daughter who is 12. She was excited to use the new tool and insists that I buy all OXO tools for her to use in the kitchen because it is difficult for her with most kitchen gadgets. As you can see below it pops out the seed and has a splatter proof shield.
Here she is using the cherry pitter to pit the rainier cherries for this rainier cherry ricotta cobbler recipe.
In addition to the cherry pitter, OXO is running a recipe contest which will be judged by creativity, taste, and presentation. Below is my recipe for Rainier Cherry Ricotta Cobbler in which I am entering into the OXO Cherry Recipe Contest. The ricotta acts as an ice cream in this dish and it is topped with a crumble crust regularly featured on cobblers with a fresh topping of Rainier cherries that have been tossed lightly in honey added to the top with more honey drizzled over the entire dish.
I hope you all enjoy this refreshing dessert in this relentless heat.
My son always challenges me for his birthday to create a new cupcake with a liquor flavor and no alcohol in it. I have a feeling this will change on his 21st. Until then I get to be creative. This year he asked for a Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcake with a cream cheese icing.
Here you can see his birthday blow out and display of my cool chalkboard wall and the strawberry daiquiri cupcakes.
And here is a picture of the cupcakes with out the top ice cream cake.
Strawberry cupcake recipe adapted from Bakingdom’s Strawberry Cake recipe.