Friday, March 28, 2014

$1100 Thank Goodness It's Spring Cash Giveaway

I am so excited to be a part of this giveaway.  Stephanie (aka) Spaceships and Laser Beams always does an amazing job coordinating these.  I would really love to have more followers on my blog so if you would like to follow me, please join.  Good luck everyone!



These large cash giveaways would not be possible without an amazing group of bloggers and small businesses who contribute. They include: Spaceships and Laser Beams, Vintage ConfectionsTania Fischer DesignThis Little MamaMade by a PrincessMighty DelightyDesigned by Dawn NicoleYumtasticsFrench PemberleySamantha Walker LLCJellyfish PrintsYoung Adult MoneyA-Manda CreationBellaArtista InvitationsSugar Co.BellaGrey DesignsParty PatisserieA Wife A Mom A LifeBabies ArtroomPiece of CakeKristeNicole PhotographyHousekeeping Services of Hilton HeadThe Storybook ShoppeSeshalyn PartiesBest BirthdaysCustomized Wedding CreationsFantabulosityGiggles and Grace DesignsMagical Vacations by TracyOne Swell StudioEat It & Say YumWise Owl ShopReality To DreamsSugar Sugar CakesUR InvitedTutus & Bowties EventsBe Envied Entertaining and Child Go GoAnd that's not all! To see the entire list check out the Rafflecopter form below!

$1100 Thank Goodness It's Spring Cash Giveaway
March 27, 2014 at 11:59PM toApril 21, 2014 at 11:59PM
Open Worldwide

PRIZE: One winner will receive $1100 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, April 21, 2014 at 11:59PM. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to report to and adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country or territory where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must have a PayPal account to receive it. The winner also must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. Please ensure that  spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win! Running short on time? Come back as often as you like to finish the form and maximize your chances of winning the big prize.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hockey Cupcakes

Hockey sticks and puck are made out of melting chocolate.  I used a stencil and wax paper to trace them.  The cyclone is an edible image placed on top of black fondant.  

Blueberry, Champagne and Raspberry Coulis Cupcakes




Butterfly Cake

I am now charging extra to match the birthday girls outfit.  LOL!  Just kidding.  This was not planned at all and I find it hysterical that the cake matched her shirt and bracelet perfectly.  

The picture above is much more true to the color.  I took this picture very early in the morning with barely any light.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Refacing a Fireplace

On my weekends away from baking which are few and far between, I love to do home projects.  When we moved into our home a few years ago, everything was a blank canvas.  I am not an oak girl.  I love dark woods and warm whites.  My first project was to reface the fireplace.  I thought to myself, how hard would it be to reface this little ol' fireplace.  The answer was....all weekend.  Sanding, priming, spray painting the gold trim and painting.  It was a long process, but well worth it.  The end result was exactly what I wanted and I saved a lot of money doing it this way instead of removing and replacing it.  Here is a picture of my before and after.  Anyone else out there have any before and after pics of their home projects?  Share them with me if you want.  I would love to see them.


Before

After

Side by Side Before & After


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Owl Cake Pops

I have to admit, these are one of my favorite cake pops I've made to date.  I molded the owls by hand. Even the ears.  I usually just use chocolate chips, but didn't want to have too much of a point at the top.  These were for a baby shower and filled with vanilla bean cake.  I love using fresh vanilla bean because it really elevates the flavor that you just can't get with vanilla extract.






Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Favorite Dinner!

I only post my sweet creations, but today I wanted to share with everyone my all time favorite meal.   It is cod with brown butter brussel sprouts and a sweet potato puree.  Food is really my first passion and baking started more recently.  I love reading food blogs and have always wanted to take pics while I cook.  Usually don't have time to take pics while I am cooking, but I tried to do it this time.  I am not a photographer, but I have a great camera so hopefully my pictures will do the food justice.  Here goes.
Ingredients for Brown Butter Brussel Sporuts
I use frozen brussel sprouts and always cut them in half.  The inside browns so nicely.
Look at that beautiful caramelization! Yummmmm

1 bag brussel sprouts
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Pinch cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
In a saute pan, add butter, caraway seeds and cracked black pepper. Melt butter until browned.  Add brussel sprouts and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add lemon juice.  Continue to cook until you see beautiful brown color.  
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aaron-mccargo-jr/brown-butter-sauteed-brussels-sprouts-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback


Ingredients for Sweet Potato Puree (I forgot to include the chicken broth)

I am mezmorized with the inside of nutmeg :)




Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 lemon, juiced

Directions
In a medium saucepan add chicken stock, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sea salt, 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and almond extract. Stir mixture and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes and cut into medium-sized cubes. Add to the chicken stock and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.

Once potatoes are soft, place potatoes in a food processor. Reserve the liquid and set aside. Add heavy cream and lemon juice and blend until smooth. If too dry, add reserved potato liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aaron-mccargo-jr/seasoned-sweet-potato-puree-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback


I am hardcore dieting right now so I omitted the wine sauce and grilled the fish.  Honestly, it tasted nowhere, and I mean nowhere near as good this way so I will definitely stick to the recipe next time.  

Ingredients
4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, for egg wash
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon butter
1 sprig fresh thyme
Butter Sauce, recipe follows
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the fillets on a sheet tray or rack so the fish can release its natural juices.

Place the bread crumbs into a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish add 2 beaten eggs. Season both sides of the fillet with salt and pepper. Once seasoned, brush the belly side of the cod with the egg. Dip the egg side into the bread crumbs.

In a cast iron skillet add grapeseed oil. Before placing fish into pan, make sure the skillet is very hot. Sear only 1 side of the fish (the side with the bread crumbs). Once 1 side is seared, place the skillet in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes until cooked.

Once the fish is cooked, flip it over and add the lemon juice, butter and sprig of thyme. Let melt and baste the fish with the juice.

Pour over the Butter Sauce and serve.

Butter Sauce:
2 cups white wine (recommended: Chardonnay)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 shallot, sliced
2 clove garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Freshly cracked black pepper
In saucepan, add wine, sprigs of thyme, shallot and garlic. Set on back burner to allow the wine to reduce. Once the sauce is reduced to a syrup, strain and add the heavy cream, and lemon juice and bring to a slight simmer.

Whisk in cold butter and once melted add the fresh chives and season with black pepper.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aaron-mccargo-jr/seared-cod-with-chive-butter-sauce-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

One more picture of my Princess Belle cake



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Cupcakes

Below are a few other cupcakes I made over Christmas.  After taste testing far too many of these delicious cupcakes, I am hardcore in eat healthy / workout mode!

Pistachio
Chocolate hand piped Christmas Tree cupcakes
Bourbon Pecan 
Recipe for Bourbon Pecan Cupcakes:

http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/chocolate-bourbon-pecan-pie-cupcakes-butter-pecan-frosting/

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Butter Pecan Frosting
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Ingredients
    Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes
  • 1 cup bourbon*
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup greek yogurt
  • Pecan Pie Filling
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Butter Pecan Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped raw pecans + 18 whole pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the bourbon, canola oil and cocoa powder until smooth and creamy.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and greek yogurt with an electric mixer. Slowly add bourbon and cocoa mixture. Combine on medium speed until silky and smooth. Beat in the sugar.
  4. Slowly add flour, salt and baking soda, combining on low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Fill baking cups three-fourths full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling, at least 2 hours or covered overnight.
  6. Meanwhile make the pecan pie filling. Combine 1/4 cup cold water with 2 tablespoons cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, salt and corn starch mixture to a sauce pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking consistently for about 5 minutes. Do not stop whisking the mixture, especially in the beginning or you will end up with scrambled eggs. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the pecans, bourbon and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool a few minutes and then transfer to the fridge for at least one hour or until completely cooled and thickened.
  7. To make the frosting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat.
  8. In a medium sauce pan, melt together 1/4 cup butter, cream, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl in the freezer (or fridge for longer) for 15-20 minutes or until cool.
  9. In a bowl whisk together the bourbon, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and cinnamon. Add pecans and stir to coat evenly. Transfer nuts to prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted. Remove and toss the pecans with 1 tablespoon butter. Allow to cool 10 minutes, set aside.
  10. Now grab the cooled butter mixture and add the remaining 1/2 cup room temperature butter, vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until well combined. MIx in about 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans. If the frosting is not stiff enough to frost the cupcakes place it in the fridge for 30 20-30 minutes or the freezer for 5-15 minutes. The remove and whip it for a few second to get everything smooth again.
  11. To assemble the cupcakes: Use a small paring knife to cut a cone-shaped piece from the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the cooled pecan pie filling. Add the frosting (if you want to pipe the frosting on use a circular tip, double the frosting recipe and swirl the frosting on in a circular motion) and sprinkle each cupcake with the remaining pecans. If desired top with 1 whole pecan.
Notes
*If you do not want to use a whole cup of bourbon you can do 1/2 cup coffee + 1/2 cup bourbon. I really recommend using all bourbon though!


Peppermint Popcorn Crunch

My friend at work brought in this amazing bag of popcorn and shared with me.  Angie's White Chocolatier Peppermint Kettle Corn.  Best.....popcorn....EVER!

http://shop.angiespopcorn.com/Holidrizzle-White-Chocolatier-Peppermint/p/AKC-000109&c=AngiesKettleCorn@Holidrizzle

I thought, a cupcake based on this popcorn would probably be unbelievably wonderful so here is what I came up with.  Let me just say it was the hit of every party I made it for this past holiday season.



Princess Belle Cake

Oh my gosh, I am so behind in my posts.  With the holidays, I just didn't have time.  Here is a Princess Belle cake I just finished for Emma who is turning 3.  I love how it turned out.  It is vanilla cake with yellow vanilla buttercream and has 3 layers on the bottom and 2 layers on top.





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Article About Yumtastics!

I started this little business for fun.  Never thought someone would want to do an article about me, but someone did and here it is :)  I was honored and really quite excited.  Thanks for supporting my small business.  Thanks Megan at The Karcher Group for doing this great article.

http://www.tkgenius.com/2013/10/yumtastics-social-media/

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

$1100 HOLIDAY MAGIC GIVEAWAY! JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS. YAY

I know we just wrapped up the Fall giveaway, but I'm excited to announce that we are going right into the Holiday Magic Giveaway.  I love that so many people visit my blog during these giveaways and hope you all are able to join my blog and continue to follow me throughout the year.  Good luck everyone!

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY 2014.



This giveaway would not be possible without an awesome group of bloggers and businesses. They include Spaceships and Laser BeamsMighty DelightyThis Little MamaDesign DazzleA Wife A Mom A LIfePaperCandeeDoodlecraftMade by Cristina MarieSquared Party PrintablesBellaGrey DesignsPetite Bebe, I DO invitations by michelleMore Than PaperPSA EssentialsYumtasticsBauble YumzPartystockPretty My PartyAngelina's Dream PartiesParty With the WarriorsWe Heart PartiesGiggles GaloreJ'adore Lexie CoutureFancy Cakes LLCInkberry Cards + DesignCupcake Wishes & Birthday DreamsSamantha Walker LLCI Will InvitationsTempo di FestaRibbons Unlimited, Inc.Young Adult Moneybabiesartroom and Hello My Sweet. And that's not even everyone! Take a look at the Rafflecopter form to see everyone who so generously provided sponsorship.

$1100 Holiday Magic Cash Giveaway

November 21, 2013 at 12:00am - December 16, 2013 at 12:00am
Open Worldwide

PRIZE: One winner will receive $1100 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from 12:00AM ET on November 21, 2013 to 12:00AM ET on December 16, 2013. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. We don't want to have to do that! Please ensure that the email spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This giveaway is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win!
(If you're running low on time, you can come back as many times as you like to finish the form and optimize your chances.)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 15, 2013

Check out the giveaway Yumtastics is having on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Spice Cake Pops

I wanted to share the cake recipe I use for my Apple Cinnamon Spice Cake Pops.  The cake itself is so good.  I even wrote out step by step how I made these particular cake pops in case anyone wants to make them.  Happy Cake Pop Making :)
  • Moist Apple Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup natural applesauce
  • 4 cups diced apples (Granny Smith or your favorite) – approx. 2 lbs
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I do not use these in my cake pops)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
    • In a large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, and diced apples. Mix in eggs and walnuts.
    • In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to apple/egg mixture and stir until combined.
    • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
    • Divide into 12 even slices.

    •   Serving Size: 1 slice

  • *IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A CAKE POP LIKE THE ONE PICTURED ABOVE PLEASE FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS*

You will need the following:
Cinnamon Sticks
Melting Chocolates (I use Merkens)
Caramel (I always burn caramel so I buy some premade from a local store and microwave it)
Salt
Cake
Wax Paper
Buttercream Frosting (recipe below)

BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
2 sticks softened butter
3 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons of whipping cream (you do not have to use this, but it makes the buttercream lighter and fluffier)

Beat butter and confectioners sugar on low until incorporated then add other ingredients and let mix for several minutes.

I crumble my cakes in a large bowl by hand then add buttercream to it slowly until they roll and stay together.  Too much buttercream will cause them to be too mushy and not stay on stick.  Not enough buttercream will make them fall apart and not stay bound.  

Once you have rolled the cake balls,  place them in the refrigerator for about 40 minutes.  

While they are in refrigerator, warm your melting chocolate in microwave on 20 second increments until completely melted.

Remove cake balls and dip end of cinnamon stick into melted chocolate then place half way into cake ball.   Do it slowly so the cake doesn't split.  If it splits, no big deal.  Just pinch it back together with your fingers.  

Wait a few minutes and then dip each one into the chocolate.  Tap stick letting excess chocolate drip off then place onto a wax lined cookie sheet.  Let dry.

Melt your caramel and incorporate salt.  I use about a teaspoon of salt.  Taste to make sure it has the salty flavor and then drizzle over cake pops.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Jungle Cake

What a super fun cake to make for my friend who was throwing a baby shower for her friend.  I was so thrilled with how it turned out.  Especially since I am incredibly far from being a professional and am completely self taught.










Fall Fun Giveaway !!!!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone ~ I am so excited about the Fall Fun Giveaway starting this Thursday. One lucky winner will receive $1,200.00 just in time for the holidays. Remember, you can't win unless you enter :) Give it a shot. You may be the winner !!!!



A giveaway with a prize of this size would not be possible without the cooperation of many participating bloggers and small businesses. They include Spaceships and Laser Beams, Mighty Delighty, Strawberry Mommycakes, Design Dazzle, Partystock, Go Against the Grain, j'adore Lexie Couture, Michelle's Party Plan-It, This Little Mama, Petite Bebe, Unlimited Party Themes, Hello My Sweet, Party Printables, Modern Moments Designs, I Will Invitations, Krysta Steen, Vintage Confections, Young Adult Money, Giggledust Parties, Party Patisserie, Artchoo, Party Dime Time, Bison Bleu LLC dba Printable Parties to Go, Yumtastics, Pretty Little Treasures, Angelina's Dream Parties, The Kids' Dept., The Purple Pug, Paige Simple Studio, Fancy Cakes, LLC, Party With the Warriors, Greyson Design, WorldWideParty Design, A Little Pixel, Made by a Princess, anna and blue paperie, The Pretty Party Shoppe, Flaired Affairs, Marie Louise - Candy Buffets and Events, and Creative Designs by Toni. And that's not even everyone! Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter form for a complete list of bloggers and small business owners who have so generously contributed!

$1200 Fall Fun Cash Giveaway
October 24, 2013 at 12:00am - November 18, 2013 at 12:00am
Open Worldwide


PRIZE: One winner will receive $1200 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from 12:00AM ET on October 24, 2013 to 12:00AM ET on November 18, 2013. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. And that would be such a shame! Please ensure that the email spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This giveaway is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.

Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

None of the entries are mandatory but remember that the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win.
(If you're running low on time, you can come back as many times as you like to finish the form and optimize your chances.)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Snowball Cakepops

These remind me of the hostess snowball cakes I ate as a kid and still love to this day.



Halloween Gempop Cakepops

Cake pops have come a long way in the past 2 years since I started making them.  Now they can be glittery and fancy shmancy!  I have seen others make these so I decided to join in on the action.