Friday, May 25, 2012
Hello Shabby Shoppe readers! Happy Friday to everyone! This is Rosy, here to bring you a food post all about birthday cakes!
I enjoy making birthday cakes and I think the shaped ones are especially fun. You can get a great looking cake without needing any special cake decorating skills, and the kids love them! Here are the few that I’ve done.
This airplane cake was made with one cake mix divided into a heart shaped pan and an oval casserole dish. Yes, I believe in using what you have! The oval cake was cut in half and then the top cut off of both halves. These pieces were stuck together with buttercream icing to form the body and tail of the airplane. The heart was also cut into four pieces to form the wings. Here is how the shapes looked.
Once the shape is formed I usually freeze the cake before frosting it. This helps to minimize the crumbs. For Isaac’s airplane cake I frosted it in yellow and then piped on blue for the windows.
The butterfly cake is very simple. A double layered heart cake cut in half and then placed with the cut edges out. (note: a round pan would work just fine for this as well) After frosting it, I used a hoho cake (swiss roll) as the butterfly’s body and two pipe cleaners for the antennae.
For the fish cake I made one rectangle cake (a common 9X13 cake pan) and cut off all four corners. These corners were placed as the fins and tail of the fish and frosted with a contrasting color. The eye was made with a brown M&M.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these cake ideas. (Please note that these ideas are not original with me. I found photos online and then came up with my own version, using what I had on hand.)
Have a great weekend and we’ll be back on Monday with layout of the week.
Food Stuff, Uncategorized
Friday, April 20, 2012
Hi y’all! It’s Casharina bringing you another easy dish; can you tell those are my favorites? Today I’m sharing a recipe that I got from my cousin/bff, that my family ended up really liking, so I thought I’d share it today…and did I mention it was pretty easy too? Lol! I even got my itty bitty to help me out with it! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
- Cook pasta shells according to directions on the box, drain and rinse in cold water.
- Thaw spinach and dry. (Tip: I used a dish towel to help soak up the excess water and it worked pretty well!)
- Brown your ground beef and let cool.
- Add the meat, half of the shredded cheese, and the remaining ingredients to a large dish.
- Stir well.
- Stuff pasta shells with mixture and place into a 9x13in baking pan. (Get your kiddos to join in on this part if they are willing! ;) It gets a little messy but just think of the wonderful memories you’ll have.)
- Continue until your pan is full.
- Pour the remaining mixture (if any) on top and then add the rest of the shredded cheese.
- Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 350 F (180C) for 25 minutes, uncover and bake a few more minutes to brown the cheese.
- Eat and enjoy!!
Also check out this receipe card I made to share…I hope you like it. Just CLICK HERE or on the below image to download!
I just love how the deep colors of the Gracie Kit worked so well to create to these images today! And I used one of the new Baked with Love Recipe Card Templates too!
Thanks for dropping by the blog today! Kylie will be back tomorrow with a little blog news :)
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Friday, March 23, 2012
Happy Friday everyone! Jenelle here, with my first ever Food Friday post… a bit daunting really, given all the culinary talents of our wonderful team here at the Shabby Shoppe, but I will give it a whirl and see how we go!! I do love to bake and my kids are always at hand to crack the eggs, mix the ingredients, lick the beaters and do a taste test. Thus, my end product always looks a bit ‘rustic’ shall we say, but I do believe the process is the best part and we always have fun together in the kitchen as we go.
So, with Easter fast approaching, I thought it would be a fun activity to bake and decorate some biscuits (a.k.a. cookies) with my kids. We have a huge collection of plastic cookie cutters in our cupboards, so we sorted through them all and found some that would suit our Easter theme! Here’s a photo of our finished biscuits, then I’ll talk you through how you can make some too.
One of my ‘golden rules’ when cooking in the kitchen with the kids, is to make sure I am all prepared before I even tell them we’re going to be cooking! Otherwise they get far too excited and can’t wait to start while I am still running around trying to get everything out, find ingredients and more often than not I have my head stuck in the Tupperware cupboard and eggs starts cracking on the floor behind me!
So here’s what you’ll need to have out and ready to make these yummy Easter Biscuits.
- Mixing bowl
- Food processor
- Baking/Parchment paper
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutters
- Piping bags
- Tea towels for sticky hands
- Baking trays lined with baking paper
- Wire cooling rack
- 175 grams (6oz) unsalted butter
- 200 grams (7oz) caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 and a half teaspoons vanilla essence
- 375 grams (13oz) plain flour
- Royal Icing to decorate (or any store bought icing/frosting you can pipe onto your biscuits)
- A variety of confectionery/sweets for decoration
Hands are washed, equipment and ingredients are ready, so now it’s time to start baking!
Line 2 baking sheets/cookie trays with parchment/baking paper.
Blend the softened butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a food processor until smooth (I used the plastic blade on my food processor, but check the settings in your processor’s user guide if you are unsure).
Next, add the egg, egg yolk and sifted flour.
Process this until it forms into a smooth dough. I needed to work the dough a little myself on a floured surface to bring it together nicely.
Then, wrap the dough in foil/parchment/baking paper and chill in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Farenheit).
Take dough out of fridge and unwrap. Roll it out onto a lightly floured surface to about a quarter of an inch thickness. (This got a bit tricky with the kids, but we used our hands a bit and got there in the end!)
Cut out your Easter/Spring shapes (eggs, chicks, bunnies, flowers, butterflies etc) and place them on the baking trays. I found it easier to flour the cookie cutter each time so it didn’t stick to the dough.
Pop them into the oven for around 10-12 minutes, then cool them on a wire rack.
While they are cooling, you can make your icing. I made a Royal Icing mix that I found here, which uses egg whites. It came out pure white in colour and adding food colourings also worked well with this mix. If, however, you would prefer not to use egg whites, I found another recipe mix for Royal Icing here. I simply scooped the icing into small, plastic zip-lock bags, snipped the corner and piped the icing around the edges of our biscuits. Before the icing set (royal icing sets hard once air dried), I placed a mixture of sweets on top to help decorate them! You could use tiny marshmallows for the bunnies’ tails, rainbow choc-chips, sprinkles, cachous, chocolate chips… the list is endless!
Last of all, we had fun bagging up the decorated biscuits to give away as Easter treats. The Shoppe’s Sprout Confection Collection has some gorgeous tags and neat gift boxes you could use to package up these sweet treats.
Thank you so much for ‘indulging’ me in my first ever Food Friday post! As a little treat for reading along, I’ve made up a 4×6 recipe card you can grab as a free download. I used a card from the Shabby Shoppe’s Made from Scratch recipe templates, along with papers from Sprout and some cute stickers from Sprout Easter Additions. Just click HERE or on the image to download.
I do hope you have a wonderful weekend ~ we’ll see you back here on Monday with our latest Layout of the Week winner. Have you uploaded to the gallery this past week? It may just be you! We are always on the lookout remember! Until then, happy scrapping everyone!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Friday, February 24, 2012
Happy Friday everyone! This is Kim here to share one of my favorite sweet treats with you. This one has some history for me. My grandmother was quite the baker and made and decorated wedding cakes. She was the one who made all the birthday cakes growing up. Somewhere along the way she made a Boston Creme Pie and I fell in love! It has been my birthday treat all these years now, and recently I finally made one myself with her recipe. Now, it’s not exactly a “quick and easy” treat, but it’s well worth it for a special occasion!
So what is Boston Creme Pie? It’s actually not a pie, it’s a cake. I got interested in where the idea came from, so I found out that it dates back to 1856 when a French chef working at a Boston hotel started playing around with a recipe. It probably was called a pie because at that time, most people would have had pie tins instead of cake pans. They were probably baked in the pie tins and cut like a slice of pie.
Now here comes the yummy part… how to make a Boston Creme Pie. There are a number of different versions out there. I am going to share my grandma’s recipe, as I think it is absolutely the best (and I am not biased at all – LOL!)
OK, let’s get started! You will need to prepare 3 different parts to the cake before you can put it all together.
1. Yellow Cake:
Different recipes call for different kinds of cake as the base of this dessert. What I grew up with was a yellow butter cake. You can either do a box mix to keep it simple or find a from scratch yellow cake recipe. I baked mine as one layer in a 9×13 inch pan.
After the cake is completely cool, split it into two layers. In case you haven’t heard this trick for splitting a cake, here is what I did. I took a small knife and ran it around the edge of the cake, making a groove on all sides where I wanted the cake to split in two. Then I put a piece of thread (you could use dental floss for this too) all the way around the cake in the groove made by the knife. I brought the ends of the threads together, then crossed them and pulled the thread through the cake so it made the split. This is a good way to get a clean and even split.
Once you have the two layers, place a piece of waxed paper between them and freeze.
2. Creme Filling:
10 tablespoons flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 slightly beaten eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups scalded milk
Mix the first five ingredients in a separate bowl. Heat the milk in a pot on the stove until it is scalded, which means just below the boiling point. Then add the other ingredients and continue heating on medium heat. While it’s heating, mix with a hand mixer the entire time, until the mixture thickens and comes to a slight boil. At that point, remove the filling from the heat and cool in refrigerator until cold.
3. Richmond Chocolate Frosting:
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup boiling water
Mix the sugar, cornstarch and cocoa in a separate bowl. Boil the water in a pot on the stove and then add the premixed ingredients, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick. Remove from heat and mix in butter and vanilla. There you have it… yummy chocolate frosting! As a side note, this is where I think a lot of Boston Creme Pie recipes vary. Some of them have more of a ganache frosting, made from melting chocolate. This one will be more of a glaze, but I really love the way it works with the cake and creme filling. Give it a try!
Now to finish the cake:
You’ve probably noticed that each of these three parts to the cake has their own requirements. It’s best to freeze the cake, the creme needs to be well cooled in the refrigerator, and the frosting is actually easiest to spread on the cake when it’s still slightly warm. Because of this, I recommend making the cake and filling ahead of time, then make the frosting right before you’re ready to put the cake together. Once you have everything prepared, spread the creme filling in between the layers of cake, then pour the frosting over the cake, spreading evenly. You will need to store the cake in the refrigerator if you are not eating it right away.
And of course, the last step is the best… Eat and enjoy!!
Finally, we also have a FREE download of a 4×6 recipe card. I used a template from the Shabby Shoppe’s Made From Scratch recipe templates, the Clementine kit, and the olive dot paper I love from the Gracie kit. (For more info on fonts, etc, see the TOU in the download.) Just click HERE…or on the image, to download!
Thanks for joining me for this sweet treat today! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, and we’ll see you back at the blog on Monday as Kylie announces our Layout of the Week!
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized
Friday, February 3, 2012
Hello everyone…Happy Friday! :o) Kylie here with a sweet little Food Friday post. An easy homemade treat that I think is just perfect for Valentine’s Day (or any day, really!!)…Rocky Road…YUM!
Chocolate, marshmallow, nuts and a few lollies thrown into the mix…what a yummy combo!! Oh, and in Australia, yes, we say lolly…in the US you say candy, and I think in the UK you say sweet…am I right?? Any which way you say it, it’s delicious!! This recipe is soooo simple to make (no baking required) and you can play around with the combination of ingredients too… always lots of fun!!
600g (approx 21oz) Milk Chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
150g (5oz) marshmallows, chopped
1 cup of mixed soft lollies/candies/sweets (your choice)
1/4 cup of chopped nuts (optional)
Grease and line a brownie/slice pan or similar. Have the baking paper overhang the pan edges so that you can lift out the rocky road after it has been refrigerated
Combine all ingredients, except for sprinkles, in large bowl and stir well. Enough to coat all the ingredients with the melted chocolate
Press mixture into pan and tap, several times, on work area to help remove any air bubbles
Scatter sprinkles over the top
Refrigerate until firm ~ approximately 3-4 hours
Use a heart cookie cutter to carefully press out shapes or use a sharp knife to cut into square pieces or long strips
More information and tips
Chocolate ~ I used 3 x 200g blocks of Cadbury dairy milk chocolate for my batch of rocky road…so any store bought eating chocolate is fine. You can use baking or cooking chocolate instead – white, milk or dark…your preference. And you can even mix the milk and dark chocolate 50/50 for a darker look that isn’t as strong in taste as straight dark. Melt your chocolate by your preferred method…it just needs to be runny enough to coat all the other ingredients, but not too hot as to start melting the marshmallows.
Marshmallow ~ I used some large marshmallows I had on hand and got my nieces to chop them into smaller pieces (an easy job for school-age kids) but you can also purchase mini marshmallows which don’t need any chopping and work perfectly, especially if you want an end result that isn’t too high in the pan. Experiment with different flavours too! I had the standard vanilla and raspberry but these days there are all sorts of marshmallow flavours/colours.
Candy ~ chocolate, marshmallow, nuts are the general rocky road ingredients but you can pretty much throw in anything you want…and for Valentine’s Day it’s nice to add a little extra sweetness. I chose some raspberry jellies/jubes and cut them into smaller pieces. So any jube type candy, the softer the better – otherwise cutting your shapes becomes difficult, jelly beans, turkish delight or chocolate button candy like m&m’s; all work well.
Nuts ~ I decided not to use nuts this time as my nieces aren’t big fans. And if you are giving these treats as gifts it is important to know whether or not any of the recipients have a nut allergy (or any allergies, for that matter!). If you want to add nuts, then chopped peanuts or slivered almonds are perfect…so are shelled/peeled pistachios – for a gorgeous hint of green…cashews or macadamia nuts work nicely in white chocolate rocky road too.
Other ingredients ~ don’t be afraid to add other ingredients…just not too many all at once as the combination of flavours might get a little crazy ;o) Some other ingredients you might like to try adding: flaked or shredded coconut, dried cranberries, glace cherries, biscuit (not the US ‘scone’ biscuit)/cookie pieces, sultanas or raisins.
Cutting out shapes ~ after refrigeration, take out of fridge and allow to sit for about 30 minutes, or so, to make it easier to cut through. Using a sharp knife to cut squares is the easiest by far and you get a nice finish. If you use a cookie cutter, like a heart, make sure it is a metal one with a sturdy handle and not a plastic cutter, as it takes a bit of effort to cut through…the marshmallow and jubes like to ‘stick’ to the sides. I like my rocky road pieces nice and high (about 4 cm or 1 1/2 inches) but if you use a wider pan to start with you’ll end up with a flatter layer of rocky road and it will be easier to cut through…so just keep that in mind. I also find it easier, when using a shaped cookie cutter to press through the mix and then to remove the rocky road from the cutter, press the rocky road piece from the bottom and up through the cutter…if that makes sense. Pushing from the top down just cracks the chocolatey top and damages the sprinkles.
Left-over pieces ~ after cutting out your heart shapes you’ll be left with all those little off-cuts. So what can you do with those?…chop them up and add them to ice cream, or to a chocolate muffin, cupcake or cake mix, or just eat them!!
To give out my rocky road as gifts this Valentine’s Day I wandered over to the Shabby Shoppe and had a look around at all the inspiration. Last Valentine’s I had fun with the gorgeous, gorgeous XOXO confection collection…a must have!! But this year I wanted to do something a little different and actually decided to use the outside layers of the cute little bloom box albums (Clementine and Sprout). They were so quick and easy to print out and assemble. I wrapped the rocky road hearts in some cellophane and popped one in each box and tied it all up with some curling ribbon.
And finally…here is a little 4×6 recipe card I created as a FREE download. I used a Shabby Shoppe French Toast recipe card template and the Sweetie Pie kit (see the TOU, in your download, for font details etc).
Just click on the image below to download (or click HERE)!
THANKS for joing me today! We’ll see you back here on Monday with our LOTW… until then have a wonderfully “sweet” weekend! Enjoy!! :o)
Food Stuff, Free (not desktops), Uncategorized