Posts Tagged ‘cream cheese’

Rainbow-Surprise Lemon Cake & Surprise-Inside Cakes Cookbook Giveaway

Traditionally frosting is the star of cake decorating, but what about the inside? Amanda Rettke proves that it’s the inside that counts with her cookbook, “Surprise-Inside Cakes”.

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When it comes to decorating cakes I am not an expert. Upon receiving the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook by Amanda Rettke (I Am Baker) I was a bit intimidated to go beyond the recipes for different layers of color and/or frosting without any cutting and cake-puzzle-assembling. It is truly impressive how many different interiors she was able to design and execute. But after reading through a few of the more complicated recipes I realized that with the right tools and some patience, paired with her excellent step-by-step photos and directions, I might be able to pull it off.

I really loved the smiley face cake and argyle cake but decided to start out small with one of the easier recipes – the rainbow cake. First I had to decide on a cake flavor. Amanda provides recipes for perfectly level cakes and frostings which can be used to create any of the surprise-inside cakes. However, you could also use your own recipe or even a boxed mix, I won’t tell. If using other recipes you may end up with a domed top which will need to be leveled off, unless of course you know that particular recipe does come out flat. Either way, a cake with these interior designs will look made from scratch no matter what recipe you choose.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 1

To see if a boxed mix would work, I decided to doctor up a white cake mix to create a lemon cake. (Did you know that rainbows taste like lemons? Well, at least this one does.) The cakes did dome but that was easily solved by slicing off the tops with a long serrated knife. After that I followed Amanda’s detailed instructions for assembling and frosting the cakes. I don’t think I’ve ever frosted such a smooth cake before.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 2

Upon that beautiful white scene I created my own balloon decorations using the cake-top scraps and leftover frosting. It looks like fondant doesn’t it!? Nope it’s something even better, something I have decided to call cake-ball-fondant! Yup, I am a genius. Instead of forming balls to be dipped in chocolate, roll flat with a rolling pin and cut out shapes with cookies cutters. Consider your mind blown.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 3

In order to find out exactly how I colored and assembled this cake you’ll have to read about it in the Surprise-Inside Cakes cookbook! To assist in keeping a copy into your hands asap I am giving away a copy of this awesome cookbook to one lucky reader. After checking out the recipe use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter.

Rainbow Balloon Lemon Cake 4

One year ago: Baked Eggs with Crispy Hash Brown Crust

Two years ago: Cheesy Cat Treats

Three years ago: Funfetti Cake Batter Smoothie
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Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake gets a spring-time makeover with blueberries, blue food coloring and even a blueberry cream cheese frosting. It’ll disappear faster than you can slice it.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 2

Warning: this is not a joke. I know it’s April’s Fools Day but I truly did make a blueberry blue velvet cake with blueberry cream cheese frosting topped with more blueberries. Why? Because my nephew Luke LOVES blueberries so I made him the bluest and blueberriest cake I could possibly come up with for his birthday last week. He actually had his own personal blue truck shaped blueberry blue velvet cake, but everyone else had to share this cake. It disappeared as fast as I cut it, making me think I baked a magical disappearing cake!

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 1

One year ago: Rainbow Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Three years ago: Baked Funfetti Doughnuts
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Mini Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Cheesecakes & Giveaway

Get ready for the best day ever – it’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Day! Join our hosts, Carla (Chocolate Moosey) and Miriam Overtime Cook), and a group of 31 bloggers who are sharing their favorite chocolate peanut butter recipes, ranging from cookies and bars to scones and muffins. Follow the hashtag #chocPBday on social media and join us with your favorite chocolate and peanut butter recipes. Looking for recipes all in one place? Follow our Pinterest board. We are also teaming up with OXO, King Arthur Flour, and Peanut Butter & Co. to bring you three fabulous prize packs. You don’t want to miss this opportunity! Giveaway details are at the end of this post.

Mini Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecakes 2

When it comes to mini desserts, mini cheesecakes are my favorite. Combining these cute cite-sized treats with peanut butter and chocolate seemed like a fantastic way to celebrate Chocolate Peanut Butter Day. Peanut Butter & Co.’s Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter was used in these cheesecakes to ensure complete peanut butter and chocolate saturation, but were also stuffed with caramel-peanut butter candy bars and topped with more candy, peanuts, and caramel sauce. You might want to take a moment to admire their beauty, but only a moment because they deserve to be devoured.

Mini Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecakes 1

Check out all the chocolate and peanut butter action going on today:

One year ago: Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Three years ago: Banana Pecan Waffles
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Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart

This Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart will create spontaneous smiles with a sugar cookie crust, vanilla Greek-cream cheese filling and a rainbow of fruit.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 3

Silly me forgot to tell you something last week – I had a phone interview for a job! I thought it went very well and was also given a writing assignment afterwards to complete within a week. I sent it back a day early and am now waiting to see if I make it into the next stage of the interview process. Of course in the mean time I am still working on other applications. The job market is too rough out there to be idle between interviews.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 1

I also have not been idle in the kitchen department. I thought for sure I would have to cut back on the amount of posts per week but I’ve been able to coast along as normal. Thank goodness because ideas have started coming out of my ears. This fruit pizza isn’t a novel concept but that doesn’t mean it is any less fun. I technically made the rainbow backwards since red has a longer wavelength than violet and therefore would be on the outer edge of a rainbow (nerd alert). I prefer purple over red anyway, but regardless of technicalities you cannot help but feel happy from just looking at this colorful fruit tart.

Rainbow Fruit Pizza Tart 2

One year ago: Guiltless Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Chicken
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Mini Rainbow Cheesecake Bites

These mini rainbow cheesecake bites have a hidden piece of gold on the bottom – a golden Oreo. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Mini Rainbow Cheesecake Bites 2

For St. Patrick’s Day last year, I made Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes which had gold colored cores hidden inside and rainbows on top to lead the way. Added to my repertoire this year are these mini rainbow cheesecake bites with a hidden piece of gold underneath, in the form of a golden Oreo! A marshmallow crispie golden Oreo in fact, but any golden Oreo variety will suffice.

These vibrantly colored treats are made by dividing the cheesecake mixture into 6 small bowls, dying them according to the rainbow, and then spooning each in rainbow order into a mini cheesecake pan. Don’t have a mini cheesecake pan? You can use a cupcake pan with cupcake liners but they will be slightly bigger cheesecakes and therefore yield less than 12.

Mini Rainbow Cheesecake Bites 1

One year ago: Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cupcakes

Three years ago: Irish Car Bomb Brownies
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90-Minute Whole Wheat King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Mardi Gras! Start the celebration with these whole wheat cinnamon rolls, cinnamon pecan filling and cream cheese icing. Decorated like a king cake with green, purple, and yellow sprinkles and a hidden plastic baby.

Whole Wheat King Cake Cinnamon Rolls 1

With the coming of yet another snow storm, I figured many of you were in need of a sweet comforting breakfast option today. Even in east TN  the temperature dropped 40 degrees in less than 24 hours and there were even snowflake sightings. I think Florida is yet again the only state to be spared the wrath of the polar vortex.

Whole Wheat King Cake Cinnamon Rolls 2

One year ago: Banana Bread Cinnamon Rolls

Three years ago: Chicken Parmeatballs
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Orange-Vanilla Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Remember the peanut butter Greek yogurt fruit dip? Well I made another dip for the fruit-dipping-lovers out there! The reason why I bring up the peanut butter one is because I made both of these dips at the same time as evident by the same fruit skewers in the background. I actually made these dips months ago when my cousin Alex got married. Which happened in early fall. Makes you wonder why I waited so long to post them. I could make up all kinds of excuses but in reality I just totally forgot about them. The pictures were on an old memory card and I was distracted by my fancy new camera with it’s brand new memory card. Thankfully old pictures don’t get stale or moldy…

…dang, I really know how to make you crave this dip.

Orange-Vanilla Yogurt Dip

One year ago: Cinnamon Apple Quinoa Parfaits

Two years ago: Beef with Barley Soup
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Captain Rodney’s Baked Cheese Dip

First things first… SNOW IN EAST TN!! We didn’t get as much as some places but it still made me happy. I think that’s the most snow I’ve seen ever fall in TN. I am trying to curb my enthusiasm however as many people’s Valentine’s Day plans may be disrupted and/or lose power. That’s just not good for anybody. But you know what is? Cheese and bacon.

Even though I am restricted to cooking healthy meals, there are plenty of game nights at which to make appetizers and dessert – hooray! I took the first opportunity to make this dip (albeit I did make a slightly healthier version) using a new found love, Captain Rodney’s Boucan Pepper Glaze. It’s a sweet and spicy sauce that can be used on just about anything such as a glaze on meats and vegetables, straight out of the bottle as a dip, or mixed in to add flavor to a recipe.

Sarah made this dip for our lab Christmas party and I nearly inhaled the entire pan by myself. It’s a cream cheese and cheddar mixture topped with crushed Ritz crackers, bacon, and Captain Rodney’s glaze. What’s not to love about that? And as part of my going away present from her (which was super amazing by the way), she included a bottle of this glorious glaze. Thankfully, the recipe only required 1/2 cup which means I get to try it with all kinds of other things. So many possibilities!

Captain Rodneys Baked Cheese Dip

One year ago: White Chocolate Cake Batter Hearts

Two years ago: Pasta with Vodka Sauce
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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I’ve discovered one downfall to living in a home where the temperature is kept at over 68 degrees in the winter – dehydration. I have been dried up like a fall leaf ever since I got to my parents and I consider myself someone who drinks a decent amount of water. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining about not needing to wear layers all the time (sometimes supplemented with a blanket), but didn’t anticipate the extra water that a couple extra degrees would suck up. Guess I need to pump up the water intake… and water is in Jell-O right? (Woo look at that transition!)

This “salad” isn’t really a salad at all, making be wonder how it acquired that name because it’s a dessert. During my pre-blogging years this recipe was one of my favorite finds but I have neglected to revisit it since. So when my parents had a couple friends over the other night to play euchre I decided it was finally time. If you are unfamiliar with this treat, it consists of a pretzel crust, cream cheese filling and a strawberry Jell-O topping. I actually used a new grocery store find for the filling – Greek cream cheese which is a blend of Greek yogurt and cream cheese. Talk about a brilliant idea.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

One year ago: Red Velvet Hot Cocoa Mix & Cream Cheese Frosting Marshmallows

Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes with Amaretto Cream

Three years ago: Guiltless Fettuccine Alfredo
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Mexican Stuffed Shells

As of Sunday, all of my belongings are either in a PODS storage unit or at my parents home. It was incredibly disheartening to see the apartment at which I have lived almost 5 years completely barren. My last night there was spent watching a movie with my parents on my computer, sitting on the floor of the living room while eating the last of my ice cream, followed by a luxurious slumber in a sleeping bag.

Since I wasn’t quite prepared to leave Memphis yet, I am still residing here for a few extra days with my friend Maggie. I haven’t decided exactly when I will leave and have a feeling it may need to be a “rip off the band-aid” situation where I leave without warning. I don’t do goodbyes very well especially in times like this where I know I will turn into a sobbing idiot. Just a heads up to my Memphis friends – catch me while you can!

Anyway, yes I still have recipes for you this week because I am a psycho and made all of these before I packed up my apartment. Dedication or insanity? Either way you cannot complain. My godmother made this Mexican version of stuffed shells over the holidays and I immediately asked her for the recipe. For some reason I normally shy away from combining pasta and Mexican food but this was so incredibly good I had to make it again for myself.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

One year ago: Brussels Sprouts with Honey Vinaigrette

Three years ago: Almond Crusted Chicken with Scallion Beurre Blanc
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