First thing's first.......I skipped out on the short blog last night to do Day 2 of the Photo Challenge (see, told you I am not good at these things), and decided to add it to tonight's blog.
DAY 2: What I Wore
This is the dress that I wore for mine and Davey's romantic night out during our last night in Vegas. I bought this dress and the sparkly heels (yes, they have sparkles on them, you just can't tell from the picture) specifically for this trip and this night. I could NOT wait to wear them out on the town!!!
Now, on to day 3.......
Day 3: Clouds
Here are some clouds that were in the sky today. It was funny because today started off very overcast and it wasn't until about noon that the sun actually started to make an appearance. Casey was over and I told her about the photo challenge and we decided to go out and get a picture of the clouds. Here comes the funny part.....we went out and there were NO clouds in the sky, besides these ones!!! That is SoCal for ya! Even if these aren't much of clouds, I think the picture is actually really pretty! Love how the sun's glare is a magenta color!!! <3
All riiiiiiiiiiight.....now on to the good stuff! The bestie, a.k.a. Casey, came over this morning to go for a walk to a winery that is just under 3 miles from my house. We were both feeling a little lazy, and I was soooooo excited to start baking, that we decided to hold off on our walk and just start baking. The first thing we started with was the cake balls. I used a red velvet cake for these delicious balls. I baked the cake last night, let it cool, and crumbled it all before bed last night so that it was ready to go for today. I had never made a red velvet cake before and found a recipe from Cake Man Raven from another blogger girl, Lindsey, who runs Gingerbread Bagels. I get so many awesome ideas from her, so she deserves so much credit (which I will definitely give her when I do make one of her recipes). Back to the cake......it was so moist and delicious, I had to stop myself from eating it so that I could make the cake balls.
Red Velvet Cake
Thanks to Cake Man Raven!!!
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used Baker's Sugar........like I do for most my recipes)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt (I used just regular old table salt and it all seemed to work out fine)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 oz red food coloring (I used a whole tube of the gel food coloring......the batter was coming out orange so I kept adding more until I ended up using the whole tube......oh well, it was the perfect red!!! :D )
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Sift together all dry ingredients
- Put wet ingredients into a stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated
- Slowly add dry ingredients to the bowl until all the ingredients are combined
- Pour into cake pan and bake for 20-30 minutes (mine took 30 minutes)
- Remove from oven and let cool
|Red Velvet cake batter! See the perfect red color!!!! The color of looooooooooveeeee!!!! <3|
After deciding that we WEREN'T going to walk first thing, I started right in on making the frosting. I split the cake crumbles into 2 separate containers and made two different batches of frosting. I started with a cream cheese frosting (since that is normal for a red velvet cake). The second frosting I made was a peanut butter frosting! I am going to give you the "whole" recipe for each frosting, but I split each in half since I didn't need all that frosting for the cake balls (I only used half a cake for each frosting, after all).
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Thanks to Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sift the powdered sugar and then set aside
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl and mix until both ingredients are combined
- Add in the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated
- Slowly add in the powdered sugar until it is all combined
- With a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl and then give the frosting one last mixing
|Butter and Cream Cheese!!!|
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*Note, frosting will be "non-sticky" and kind of oily. This is normal and just try a bite! Yummmm! ;)
CAKE BALL DIRECTIONS:
-Once the cake has completely cooled, crumble up into a mixing bowl (I used two bowls since I was making two different flavors)
This is what a whole tube of red food coloring gel will do to your cake!!!! :D
-Make your frosting, then add it to the cake crumbles
-Mix together with a wooden spoon or your hands (I used my hands cuz I like to get dirty that way! ;) Plus, it gives you an excuse to lick the cake/frosting mixture of your fingers!!!! Followed by washing your hands, of course)
Mixin' like a meatloaf.....hey, that could be a new song! ;)
-After the frosting is completely mixed into the cake, do a small taste test to make sure it tastes all right!
*Ok, that is NOT an official direction, but you know you want to, so go ahead and follow the directions.....
-Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper (I actually used my brand spanking new Silpat baking mat to store the cake balls on.....but only because I just bought it and wanted to use it. I also ended up using parchment paper for the second batch and that works just fine.)
Modeling the new Silpat! I was dressed and ready to go for our walk that we didn't do right away, so pay no attention to the nerdy running shoes! ;)
-Roll cake mixture into 1" balls and place on sheet
Yay for the Silpat!
-Put cake balls into the refrigerator and let cool for a very long time. If you have room in your freezer (like I never do) you can store them in there to cool faster
-Now, go for a walk or a run, or go ride your bike, go for a swim (if the weather permits), or grab a glass of wine or margarita and relax (of course I opt for the physical activities since I need to burn off all those tasting calories). This is a direct order because you are going to become waaaaaaaay too impatient just sitting there waiting for those cake balls to become very cold!!!
-Once the cake balls are cold enough that they don't fall apart when you grab them, heat up some semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl on medium (50%) heat for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir.
*The chocolate will be very hot, so please be careful
-Insert a toothpick into a cake ball and roll around in the chocolate until it is completely covered.
***I opted to use my fingers for this and it resulted in a huge mess and the cake balls have missing spots from my fingers holding onto them
-Place each cake ball back on the parchment paper and place in the refrigerator until the chocolate is solid hard
-You can then decorate them any way you like. I left mine with just the chocolate, but have thought about white chocolate drizzle on them. Get crazy cuz you just made some delicious cake balls! Go to town!!!!!
Not very pretty but oh so yummy!
After making the cake balls, I jumped right in to making my next treat!!! A very wonderful patient at my work (I work as a Registered Dental Assistant [RDA]) always brings us treats and stops in just to say hi to us. Him and his wife are the sweetest people I think I have ever met (right up there next to my Grammy). They even offered to buy me lunch on my birthday! :) So sweet. The couple has been through a lot this past year. Their dog had gotten out and went missing for 9 days. They searched and searched for her but couldn't find her. Just when they thought they had lost her forever, they received a phone call from a vet saying that they had their dog and she was in critical condition. She had been attacked by some other animal and, well, the details are too saddening and this is supposed to be a happy blog, so for the happy part.....the vet got her all fixed up and she is back at home and a happy doggy once again! :D Love happy endings when it comes to animals! <3 The wife is also dealing with another hard circumstance. Her twin sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer! Man, what a hard year these two have had. The husband's birthday is Wednesday (September 28th.....which also happens to be Grammy's birthday!!!! <3) and he is coming in for an appointment on Monday, so we decided to do something special for him.
I have been wanting to make these fun little mini cheesecakes ever since seeing them on Gingerbread Bagels' blog. They are mini funfetti cake batter cheesecakes, made with actual Funfetti cake batter!!! They are colorful and festive and seemed PERFECT for a birthday treat! So without further ado, here they are!!!
Mini Funfetti Cake Batter Cheesecakes:
Adapted from Gingerbread Bagels <3
1 package Golden Oreos ( I decided to add my own little flare to these and used the golden Oreos with chocolate cream!!!! Oh yeah, yummy!)
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar (once again I used Baker's Sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, slightly beaten, and at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2/3 cup Funfetti cake mix
1 TBSP rainbow sprinkles
-Preheat oven to 275 degrees
-In a stand mixer bowl, cream the cream cheese on medium speed for 3 minutes
-Add the sugar and mix for 2 more minutes
-Add in the vanilla and mix
-Slowly add in the beaten eggs on medium-low speed and mix until combined
-Add in the sour cream and mix on medium-low speed, but be careful to not over mix the cheesecake batter
-Measure out the Funfetti cake mix and sift into a separate bowl. Of course the pretty little sprinkles won't sift through, but add those right in!
-Pour cake mixture into cheesecake mixture and then add in the 1 TBSP of EXTRA sprinkles! Yay for colorful sprinkles!!!!
-Fold everything together
-Line cupcake pan with your favorite cupcake cup things! (I used ones with balloons on them since these are for a special birthday!!!!)
-Place 1 Oreo into each cupcake liner
-Spoon cheesecake batter over the Oreo and fill until it is about 3/4 of the way full
-Place in oven and bake at 275 for 30 minutes
*Once done, the tops will be slightly sticky.....you have to remember, these are cheesecakes, not normal cupcakes
-Place in refrigerator and let chill for 4 hours
So pretty! :) And yummy!
Once we were done with the baking, Casey and I decided we should go for our walk now! We had planned to walk to that winery and so off we went. Casey isn't a runner like I am, so we just kept at a decent walking pace. We both got a little lazy and only made it about 2 miles in and decided to turn around and come back home. 4 miles round trip isn't a bad walk!!! :) We got back to my house and looked up that winery.....good thing we came back home since they were closed!!!! Hahahaha! We would have gotten there around 5pm and they closed at 4:30. We could have taken pictures while there, but oh well!!!!
After our walk we were hungry for some real food and decided to head out to dinner. Do you know how hard it is for two girls to decide where they want to go for dinner???? Ohhhhh Emmmmm Geeeee......we had such a hard time that we finally wrote down a bunch of places, placed them in a bowl, and picked one out. Red Robin was picked (that is so weird cuz we always settle on Red Robin and for it to picked out......I guess it was meant to be!?!?!) and Casey headed home to freshen up. I have been craving meatballs and penne since we were in Vegas and I had a not-so-yummy dinner at an Italian restaurant there (the food was great, just not my meal.....Davey's food was delicioso!!!!). I really wasn't feeling Red Robin.......SHOCKER!!!!!!!!!!! I can ALWAYS go for Red Robin, but dammit, I wanted pasta tonight! LOL! When the bestie showed up to pick me up I told her I wanted Italian, so we ended up at this little restaurant down the street from our houses. I got my penne and meatballs and Casers got linguine! Yummmmm!! It totally hit the spot!
Us at dinner!!! Always gotta take pictures, especially since the bestie is going to be leaving me in November to move back to Colorado!!!! :( Sadness, but you can't stop love...........uhhhhhhhhhhhh......Ok, enough sulking. After dinner she dropped me off and I threw my running clothes back on and went for a 30 minute run while watching Modern Family! I love that show!!!! So hilarious!
Well, it's off to bed I go now! Hope you all had a great Saturday like I did! Enjoy the week ahead of you and let me know if you try any of these recipes. Good night everyone!!!
****Sorry about ALL the pictures! I am loving my new camera and can't help myself! :) Thanks Davey for it!!!!! <3