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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Adult Flavored Lollipops

We are all kids at heart! We all enjoy the simple things in life.
Like, seeing the flowers in bloom, getting that extra special gift from Santa, running through the sprinklers, and a yummy lollipop.

However, as I got older, my taste and preference changed. 
That dandelion flower isn't putting a smile on my face.
Santa should be well versed in the three C's.
No white shirts on sprinkler days.
And, I want something interesting in my chocolate for my taste buds to enjoy!

So, to satisfy my sweet tooth and my taste buds, I made some ADULT LOLLIPOPS!

I started off with some yummy Mercken's Dark Chocolate. The real stuff, not the candy melts. The BAR at the bulk foods section. I melted and tempered the chocolate (for a great link, try this) by melting half a pound over a double boiler and then seeded it with the 4 ounces of unmelted chocolate. Stirring it until it's melted and gains a beautiful sheen. I placed a piece of wax paper over a cookie sheet and poured out a three inch diameter shape. Then roll the lollipop stick in the bottom third and allow to lay flat. 

Now for the toppings!
I picked some fun "Adult" toppings. I know they are for adults only because my little cup turned her nose up at my pops.

First up: Furikake- This is a blend of seaweed, sesame seeds, and salt. I put it on my white rice and sometimes eggs. It's a Japanese condiment and can be found at international markets. 

Second: Maple Bacon: I made some bacon and eggs for breakfast and save a piece. I cooked it up extra crunchy!

Third: Chili Pepper Flakes and Cayenne

Fourth: Candies Hazelnuts - I took 10 whole raw hazelnuts, chopped then up and added them to a small pan with a tablespoon of sugar. I cooked them over low heat until all the sugar melted. Then I let them cool and harden. 

Fifth: Candied Ginger - This was just from a bag I bought at the grocery store. 
As I poured out each lollipop, I added the toppings before they hardened.

These turned out so yummy! 
The sweet and salty; the sweet and heat. 
Hubby liked the chili pepper and I liked the hazelnut and ginger. And Bacon. And Seaweed.

Also, since my little cup was watching me destroy perfectly good chocolate, I had to make a lollipop for her. 

She wanted Sprinkles and a Fish Candy. Who am I to say no? 

I link up at these fun parties!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chick Pops

I Love E!'s "Talk Soup" a.k.a. "The Soup"! I've missed it since we got rid of cable television almost 2 years ago.  But, I get my Joel McHale fix in "Community" via Hulu! I think Joel McHale is a cutie! I don't care if he has had hair plugs - I think he's just a big 6'4" cutie-pie!

You know what else are cutie-pies?? These Pops!

 I made some Chick Cake Pops. 

I started off with some basic cake balls and shaped some into an egg shape.

I dipped them and decorated them. 
To decorate the chicks, I used some flowers for feet, some hearts for the wings and a mini colored chip for the nose. 
The eyes I dotted on some Wilton's Cookie Icing in Black with a toothpick.

For the Eggs, I just dipped them in white and added the black crack with the Cookie Icing using a toothpick.
No real skill is involved in that. Just make a jagged lightning bolt around the egg cake pop.

For the "hatching" eggs, I dipped the bottom third of the cake pop in white and then added a stick to the base.
Once that was dry, I dipped the top 2/3s of of the pop in yellow. Once dry, dip the top third into the white and then add the features.

Enjoy these treats for Easter, or anytime!

I link up to these Awesome parties!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chocolate Strawberry Bomb Cake

Who dropped the BOMB?? 
That's the big question!

I wouldn't mind THIS bomb dropping into my mouth! 
At first the dark chocolate outer shell will melt on your mouth, but watch out for the second bite of strawberry mousse.

This bomb cake will explode in your mouth with flavor!

Everyone loved this Chocolate Strawberry Bomb Cake! 
I hope that it's decadent enough for the Capitol! 

This Friday (the 23ed)  is the LAST day for the Hunger Games Giveaway!  Go do it NOW!! (Thank you)

To make this Bomb Cake you will need:
3/4 cup flour 
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Here's what you do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and move the rack to the lower half of the oven.
Grease an 18x13 inch jelly roll pan. Grease the bottom, then add parchment paper, then grease the paper.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
In your electric mixer, beat the 5 eggs. Gradually add sugar. Whip until very thick and frothy. This may take up to 8 to 10 minutes. Then add in vanilla.

Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. I used a little strainer as my sifter and it works out  great. You basically don't want lumps to form. 

Then fold the egg and flour to combine. No stirring or mixing! Fold gently. You want to keep all that air in the mixture as possible. 
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
While it's cooking, prepare parchment paper in the counter greased with some shortening. 
When done, immediately flip over on to the parchment paper. (This was the most difficult task)

Let it cool for 15 minutes, then cut  18 1-inch wide strips in the cake. I used a pizza cutter.

Line a 1 1/2 quart bowl with plastic wrap leaving excess over the edges. 
Line to bowl with the strips. Pack them tightly, no gaps. 
Trim the edges as needed.

To make the Strawberry Filling, here's what you need:
1 packet (2.5 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (divided)
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
10 - 12 strawberries

Here's what you do:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water in a small saucepan and let sit until softened; about 2 minutes. 
Add 1/2 cup of the heavy cream, sugar, and salt and heat over low heat, stirring constantly until all is dissolved. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Clean and hull strawberries and place into food processor. Puree and then strain out 1 cup of strawberry pulp. I used the small metal strainer for this over a measuring cup.
Place the gelatin mixture bowl into an ice bath and add the strawberry puree. Stir until mixture is at room temperature; about 5 minutes. 
Now, make some whipped cream. With the remaining 3/4 cup of cream, whisk in electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Fold whipped cream into strawberry gelatin until combined. 
Add to the cake-lined bowl and cover with the remaining strips of cake. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 3 hours to firm up. 

Here's what you need for the Chocolate Glaze:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Make the Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at 70% power. Stir and continue heating until melted and smooth. 
Get Bomb out of fridge and carefully flip over on to a wire rack with a cookie sheet underneath.
The plastic wrap did make it a bit hard to do, but it came out after a little working.
Pour the glaze over the cake and coat all sides.
I rocked the cake from side to side to ensure and even coating. 

Place back in the fridge and allow for the chocolate shell to firm up.
Then, using two spatulas, carefully lift off the rack  and place on a cake platter.

Slice and enjoy!

I found this recipe in the Cook's County Chocolate Dessert Magazine.

I think the people in the Capitol would definitely approve! Don't you?

I link up at these PARTIES!
I linked up to Making The World Cuter, sponsored by Appliances Online and the Bosch Washing Machines 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peeta's White Bread

Oh Peeta! You had at "ka-thunk"!
You know, when you threw bread at my head! 
Be still my beating heart! 

I don't know if I should love you or kill you. Teenage love is always so hard...sigh...

But you know what's not hard? This Wonderful Bread!
It's not hard to make - you make it in the food processor. 
It's not hard to chew - it made a great side with my spaghetti dinner and grill cheese sandwich.
It's not hard to get the ingredients - I bet you have everything in your pantry.

However, if Peeta was making bread this way, his biceps wouldn't be all rock hard and pumped up. 
(little secret - I like guns on guys)

If you have no idea what I am talking about, don't worry - it's a Hunger Games thing.
Don't forget to sign up in my Hunger Games Giveaway!
I can't wait for the movie!!

Here's what you need:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 envelope of yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons of butter, cut up
1 egg
3/4 cup warm water

Here's what you do:

In your food processor, use your metal blade (not the little bread blade). Add in all your dry ingredients; the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Give it a stir for a few seconds to blend together. 

Add the chopped up butter and egg and blend again. 

Slowly add in the warm water and allow it to come together. You may not need all the water, so watch as it forms. This will take about 15 seconds. 

Kneed the dough for a minute more in the food processor.

Remove the dough from the processor - watch out for the blades. Place it on a floured surface and allow it to rest for 10 - 15 minutes.

Roll the dough into a 12 x 7 tube, then tightly roll it up and pinch the side seems over to seal them.

Grease a bread/loaf pan (generally 8x 4) and place the dough seem side down.

Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 30 - 45 minutes. It should be doubled in size and fill up the loaf pan.

A little trick I learned about letting dough rise, preheat your oven for 5 minutes. The temp doesn't matter, you just want to warm it up. Then turn the temp off and place your bread in to rise.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

Carefully remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.

For calorie and nutritional info check HERE.

This bread is great with good quality, grass fed butter! We buy butter from HERE.

I think the Mallark's would approve of this bread!

Image credit from :

The next day, my wonderful husband made me a grilled cheese sandwich with the left over bread. It was the best sandwich eva!

Everything is tastes better when someone else cooks it!

Thank Honey, I love you!

(Don't worry Peeta, you still have a special place in my heart.) 

I link up to THESE AWESOME blogs! Check them out!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Katniss' Squirrel Cupcakes

Welcome to my Hunger Games Giveaway week!! 
I'm making treats inspired by the "Hunger Games" books and my first treat is Katniss' Squirrel Cupcakes!

Do you like?
My daughter sure did!

If you have read the books, you know that Katniss (the main character) hunts squirrels.  I think that my little squirrels are a bit better tasting compared to real squirrels!
I followed the directions from the book What's New, Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. 

You will need:
regular cupcakes for the body
mini cupcakes for the head
mini M&M's for the eyes
mini marshmallows for the ears
jelly bean, cut in half, for the nose
Stela D'Oro Breakfast Treats (S-shaped cookies)
Pretzel sticks
Vanilla frosting
black food coloring
sugar sprinkes

Front  Back

To make them - Well.... you'll have to buy the book. There is no way for me to even remotely do a better job. Sorry. 
But  if you don't have the book, you can see from my pictures how to assemble the cupcakes to make the squirrels.

My Daughter insisted that one squirrel had to be a girl! So we put a little sugar flower at her ear.
It was made with Wilton Royal Icing and left to dry. 
The acorns were made with Hershey Kisses and mini Nutter Butter Cookies.
Pull the cookies apart and attach the Kiss. Some extra melted chocolate may be needed to help secure them  together.

My Daughter, who isn't even remotely into "Hunger Games", enjoys reading "Those Darn Squirrels". It's an adorable book about an old man who loves birds and hates the squirrels for stealing all the bird food. In the end, the birds leave for the winter and the squirrels dress up as the birds to make the old man happy and therefore get more bird seed.  
So she added the cute wings to the squirrels to turn them into birds! 

      Don't forget to sign up HERE to win a copy of the "Hunger Games" book sponsored by Sweet             Southern Home and to nominate a friend to win some special Hunger Games treats from ME!

I link up at these awesome blog parties!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Hunger Games Giveaway

Welcome, welcome, welcome, citizens of Panem!
No matter what your district, we have come together today to celebrate the running of the 74th annual Hunger Games--taking place on Friday, March 23, 2012!

For the following week, my good friend Carrie of Sweet Southern Home
My Button
and I will be your Gamemasters for this giveaway: we will be holding a competition to choose two tributes.
These two tributes will receive fabulous prizes: 
 One winner will receive a paperback copy of The Hunger Games. Another winner will be chosen, and he or she will be able to sponsor a delicious prize to be sent to a loved one of their choosing! 
This yummy treat will be made and sent by ME--and it will be a surprise!
How can you become one of these lucky tributes?
Why, Simply enter the competition by using the form below,
And enter here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our two tributes will be announced on March 23!
And as always, may the odds be ever in your favor!

Congratulations to "BeautyToLove" - one of my followers on GFC! 
Thanks to everyone who entered!

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