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Friday Find: Thug Kitchen

26 Apr

It’s been a long week.

And I mean a looooooooong week.

But don’t worry, I have the perfect Friday pick-me-up, courtesy of one LD.

Ever heard of Thug Kitchen?

Well, now you have.

Never trust a glove with a face.

Or so they say.

This stuff is deep bro, real deep.

And yes, I will get down on some lavender lemonade. LIKE A BOSS.

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And then I made the Most Epic Mac & Cheese. With Bacon.

24 Apr

So I was out in le Texas visiting CPBF, who happens to be pretty awesome.

We went and stalked the longhorns.

Texas Longhorns

And some cows.

Texas Cow

Silver Cow.

Texas Cattle

Black cow.

Then we went to Hullabaloos. And Freebirds.

Like I said, pretty awesome.

So I made CPBF some epic macaroni and cheese. With bacon.

Because everything is better with bacon.

Mac and Cheese

I wasn’t as much of a food pornographer as I normally am (probably too many mojitos and stalking hanging out with CPBF out at the grill…) but I still think it looks good.

And did I mention I wasn’t cooking on home turf? Always. Intimidating.

Here’s the deal. You melt the butter, whisk in the flour. (No whisk? Use a fork.) This is the ‘roux’ part which you need to thicken stuff up. Add in the milk, and cook over medium-low heat…until it thickens up. Make sure you keep stirring. Patience people!

Then, add in the cheddar & gruyere cheese, and whisk until smooth.

While the whole milk-thickening business is going on, boil some water for the pasta.

DO NOT add olive oil to the water. Hugest myth in pasta making. Oil will coat the pasta, and prevent your sauce from sticking to it. Do not add olive oil. Just some salt.

When you drain the pasta, reserve some of the cooking water – in case you need it to loosen up the sauce. (I doubt you will, but justin, justin case…)

So, after you drain the pasta, mix it with the cheese sauce, and pour into a baking dish. Top with the bacon, some more cheese, and 15 minutes later, epic mac and cheese.

I always put a cookie sheet under the pan while baking, in case stuff bubbles over.

Not going to lie, this was pretty awesome sauce. (and I don’t say that about everything I make, just some things.)

Macaroni & Cheese with Bacon Recipe:

  • 8 – 12 oz. dry pasta, preferably elbows or similar shape
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere, grated
  • 6 – 8 slices applewood smoked bacon

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces, and cook until crisp. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add in the whole milk, whisking continually. Continue whisking until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Add in all of the gruyere and 2 cups of the cheddar. Stir until melted.

When you start the butter, put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Cook until al dente and drain, reserving some of the cooking water. When the cheese sauce is ready, mix together the cheese sauce and the pasta, and pour into a casserole dish. Top with the bacon, and remaining 1/2 cup grated cheddar. Bake at 375F for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.

DIY 90’s Cupcake Toppers

2 Apr

You know you’re dedicated when you cut out individual N’sync and Notorious B.I.G. action figures to use as cupcake toppers for a 90’s party…

DIY 90's Cupcake Flags

But seriously, these are awesome.

Like any cupcake flag, after you slice them out very carefully, don’t want to lose a Backstreet Boy, tape them onto toothpicks, and you are good to go.

90's Cupcake Toppers

In case you’re wondering, the cupcakes are Irish Creme, and were epic & delicious.

DIY Cupcake Flags

Boozy cupcakes + 90’s cupcake flags? #Winning.

DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

4 Mar

So I love cake. Like, literally love cake.

And Tiffany’s. And cake plates. And any sort of project that involves hot glue.

Saving the world, one hot glue gun burn at a time? I like to think so.

When my bff was in town this weekend, we whipped up this DIY tiffany blue cake stand.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

The base is a candle holder, and the top is a dinner plate. I was a “maxinista” (#shamerattle) and procured both of these items for less than $10.

Blue Cake Stand Plate

Candle Holder Cake Stand Base

Add a little hot glue, and you have a cake stand.

DIY Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

Seriously, I could give the chick who made the ‘redneck wine glasses’ a run for her money with these.

Tiffany Blue Cake Stand

#Love.

Now, all I need is some cake.

Canine Cakery: Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

24 Nov

So every once in a while I go out on a limb and I make something other than cupcakes.

Wait, you can actually cook things besides cupcakes?

Yes, I do occasionally make things that do not involve mass quantities of butter and/or confectioners’ sugar.

Emphasis on “occasionally.”

So a few weeks back I mixed up these delicious and oh-so-nutritous dog treats.

They are made with organic peanut butter, oats, and coconut.

Promptly scarfed down by hungry dogs…and cats.

And in the event a family member thinks these are cookies and eats one…well, it will taste like a very dry and not very sweet peanut butter cookie. How do I know? Don’t ask…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treat Recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, until well combined. Add additional flour or oats until you have a consistency suitable for rolling cut-outs. On wax paper, roll dough to 1/2 inch think and cut out treats. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool, and enjoy! Store in an airtight container for freshness.

Christmas Comes Early: Irish Cream Mini Cupcakes

19 Nov

I may have a soft spot in my heart for Bailey’s…and a hollow leg to store it in…

So let’s be honest with each other. And admit it.

We’ve both had moments where, it’s say…a Tuesday morning…and its time to leave for work…and a thought pops into your mind…Man, I wish it was socially acceptable to put a splash of Bailey’s in my a.m. coffee.

If at this point you’re saying “That’s never happened to me,” think back to the holidays and STOP LYING.

Irish cream is delicious. Just admit it already. It’s Christmas in a glass.

So to get around the apparent “frowned upon” factor of drinking on the job (insert ‘frowned upon’ Hangover movie reference here), I make irish cream cupcakes.

In bite size form.

It’s like Christmas. In a cupcake. Bite size.

Amaze sauce.

You’ll need a mini cupcake pan for these. Luckily, I have one because I have every kitchen item available and yes I know my having so much kitchen stuff really cuts down on what I can put on my wedding registry. But since I’m not registering for anything anytime soon…back to cupcakes.

You could make a full-size cupcake, but these are just…cuter.

irish cream cupcakes

Without frosting they’re naked. But I still dig it.

baileys cupcakes

Improvements? These could only get better if served with a batch of homemade Bailey’s.

Funny you should mention that…

So I wish you happy baking & bailey’s-ing, and happy freaking holidays. (Even though it’s November.)

I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday,and I can’t wait to post about it. So I hope you enjoy some early Christmas cheer with an irish cream cupcake.

And please, cakerypapery reminds you, always cupcake responsibly.

Irish Cream Cupcake Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup irish cream liqueur

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (or more…) irish cream liqueur
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the irish cream. Mix until smooth, but don’t overmix! Line cupcake pan with paper liners, and fill each one 2/3 full. Bake in the oven (one pan at a time) for 15 minutes, or until just slightly golden brown.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Add more confectioners’ sugar or irish cream if needed to give frosting the desired consistency.

Halfway Homemade: Mexican Cheesecake

24 Sep

Okay, I made another Sandra Lee-esque recipe. Shame rattle. 

Sandra Lee must want to spite me, because I have never gotten so many compliments on my baking at work before. Like, ever. And this is about the least scientific thing I have ever made.

It takes just five ingredients. One of them comes in a pop-open can. But it tastes amazing.

Be warned: it will make your house smell of cinnamon buttery goodness and you most likely will not be able to contain yourself from taking a bite.

You layer together crescent rolls and cream cheese, then top with butter, cinnamon and sugar.

Instant cheesecake. In just about 30 minutes. It reminds me of a fried cheesecake, like you would get at a Mexican restaurant.

I imagine this served with vanilla ice cream…some sort of raspberry drizzle…a sprig of mint on the side…champagne…conversation about how swell life is…sigh.

Mexican Cheesecake Recipe:

  • 2 packages Pillsbury butter crescent rolls
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350F. Unroll one package of crescent rolls and place in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Smooth the edges together to eliminate any puncture marks. Mix together cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Spread over the top of the crescent roll. Unravel the second package of crescent rolls, and place on top of the cream cheese layer. Brush melted butter on top, and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

You can also make this a day in advance–layer together the crescent rolls and cream cheese mixture and refridgerate. When you are ready to bake, just top with butter, cinnamon and sugar.