Sunday, October 28, 2012

Rainbows, Birthdays, and Pumpkin Spice Kisses

This isn't the first (or even the second) time I've made an "epic" rainbow cake for someone's birthday, but I usually do save it for a significant milestone. Madeline's 5th, Sharon's 60th, and now Jamie's 40th. Jame's was the tallest cake yet since we did the full Roy G. Biv of rainbow colors, plus a pink layer on the bottom. Eight layers of goodness, especially since I used the vanilla cake recipe from Smitten Kitchen! It was delicious, sturdy, and worked well with all my colors. I used this recipe for the frosting (always delicious).

And, this weekend I made these Pumpkin Spice Kiss (and Kissless) Cookies that I spied on Pinterest from Sprinkle Some Sunshine right here. They are not too sweet, especially the rolled-in-cinnamon-sugar kissless ones), and tasty!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wicked Witch Treat Mix

So, instead of adding the cute witch hats to a batch of my Wicked Caramel Corn (which would be tasty), we went even easier (but very tasty) with a batch of air-popped popcorn (4 cups? 6 cups?), several cups (maybe 3-4 cups) Rice Chex cerals, 2 cups (or so) of pretzels rods, and about 1 cup of broken pecans mixed together then tossed with one 14-oz. bag of melted Wilton white candy melts, 1/8 cup of orange sprinkles and 1/8 cup of black & orange Halloween nonpareils. I really mostly eyeballed everything in my large rectangular roasting/sheet cake pan. That's how we do things around here. Thankfully, it worked out for us. 

We think the pretzel rods look like broomsticks, and the Chex a little like bristles. One child may have suggested that some wicked witches crashed their brooms - oh, the imaginations! Hmm... regardless, this is a tasty and cute treat mix with our witch hats tossed in bags for friends to enjoy!

A Touch of Magic!

Last year on Pinterest, there was this sweet holiday snack mix with Chex and M&M's and pretzels and some other items, including adorable Santa hats made from dipping Bugles in melted red candy melts, then white sprinkles on the bottom and a mini marshmallow on top. Totally adorable. It was on the Cookies & Cups blog, and I never ended up making it, but my lovely friend Heather gifted some to me. Maybe I'll make some next year — check it out — her photos are light-years more lovely than mine!

So earlier this week, when Erik requested Bugles at the store, I bought some and then remembered those adorable Santa hats, and thought of making witch hats by dipping Bugles in dark chocolate. When we got home, I found that we had green candy melts and butterscotch chips, so we melted both in the microwave, I filled small Ziploc bags with a little of each and piped circles onto parchment paper for the hat bottoms. Then we dipped the Bugles in the melted candy and popped them onto the (slightly hardened) circles.

The kids loved helping with these, and I think that they will be adorable mixed into a new concoction of my Wicked Caramel Corn with Chex and pretzels and nuts (and maybe some Halloween-colored M&M's). Cute and sweet, just like these two!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Crepes? Oui, Merci!!

You really can't beat a piled-high platter of crepes for brunch. Add a buffet of topping/filling choices like lemon or lime slices to squeeze, powdered sugar to sprinkle, lingonberries, whipped cream to top, butter, syrups, Nutella, bananas, berries, peaches, sauteed apples, yogurt, chocolate chips, dried fruit, or savories like cheeses, sliced ham, and chopped fresh herbs... use your imagination! Add a plate o' bacon, or a platter of sausage, and some tasty beverages and you are set.

So, the best advice for crepes? Mix them up in a blender! Pour directly from your blender into your pan. Use whatever sized pan you want, but a lighter pan is easier to manage when you're tilting and swirling the pan to coat the bottom with your batter. Especially if you are working two pans at once (and feeding a crowd). Brush the bottom of your pan with a tiny bit of melted butter as needed to prevent sticking too.

I've made this recipe for years, and it is a favorite of my best bud, Jamie, whose birthday it is today! Happy Day Jame!!

Jamie's Favorite Crepes

2 c. milk
3 large eggs (or 4 smaller ones)
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. melted butter
1.5 c. flour

Add the ingredients to your blender, wet first, then dry, and blend until smooth (scrape down if needed). You can chill mixture in fridge briefly, or even overnight if making it ahead of time, or just get cooking. Blend the batter briefly right before you start pouring. 

I usually use about 1/4-cup of batter per crepe so the 9-inch pans I use, but adjust as you go to get thin, but sturdy crepes. Cook over medium heat, but adjust temperature as you go if they're browning too fast. 

This makes about a dozen crepes, and I often double the recipe. They freeze wonderfully, just stack them on a plate with a piece of waxed paper between each crepe. Enjoy!! 


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