I’ve had some free time.
Lots of it. Enough to share.
I’ll give it to you. For free. Just give me something to do.
But since no one seems to be offering time consuming activities, I have taken on the hobby of cooking.
I feel like I’m falling into the stereotype of the new wife presenting her husband with burned food and he eating it just to make her happy. This might be more true than I want to admit.
I’ve dabbled in a couple “real food” recipes, but my favorite thing to look for is desserts. I love desserts. Always have. (Why didn’t I inherit my mother’s super genes and triathlon metabolism? My brother gets all the luck.)
A few weeks ago, I made this beauty:
Blackberry Cheesecake courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. Delicious. And blackberry is Mr. A’s favorite. He’s so spoiled.
I also made her cinnamon roll bread.
Homemade people. Not in a bread maker. Completely from scratch. I know you don’t know me personally, but this is insanely impressive for the girl who used to only make things that came in a box with directions on the side. I added raisins, per Mr. A’s request. Toast is and add a little butter….yummmmmmm. Almost makes all the trouble it took worth it to make this weekend. Almost.
For starters. I love root beer. Add ice cream to this and it’s just heaven in a frosty glass. Now that I can drink caffeinated sodas, diet root beer is pretty much my only way to get my soda fix.
So I figured these would be amazing.
Not so much. At least not in my opinion.
For one, I think I goofed on the amount of root beer flavoring. The recipe called for root beer extract, and after searching and seeing that Hobby Lobby had root beer candy flavoring, I went and bought it. I didn’t, however, see that it said “4 times stronger than extracts.” So the 2 teaspoons of extract I needed? I did the same amount of flavoring. Which I think was too much. Also, I didn’t make the frosting the recipe calls for because Mr. A and I don’t really care for whip cream frosting.
Mr. A loved them and I sent them with him to school today. He claims the others loved them as well, but he would say that to me anyways. So who knows.
And then the cake pops.
These are actually Bakerella’s cake pops, but I followed Beach Bum and Baby’s directions. I have seen other people blog about these and how they only got like 6 to turn out correctly. I was nervous, especially after I didn’t like the cupcakes, so I went into this little project today having realistic expectations. I figured most would crumble or something wouldn’t go as planned, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I only had 2 fall apart. And this made about 30 or so pops. Delicious cake on a stick covered in chocolate. How can you NOT like these?
I do have a couple tips for these.
1. You are supposed to grease the bottom of the cake pan. While letting my cake cool overnight, I left it in the pan I cooked it in. The greasy pan. This made the bottom of the cake moist and when I was crumbling it into the finest pieces possible, some wanted to clump together because of the moisture.
2. Mix the cake and frosting together by hand. Yes, it’s messy. But I couldn’t get it all to mix with a spoon or spatula. My hands, however, did a great job.
3. My cake pops wanted to crack a little. (This was after the stick was in, before dipping in chocolate.) I have no clue if this was due to not enough/too much frosting, temperature, or what. If someone figures this out, let me know.
4. I had to re-melt my chocolate about halfway through. It started to get thick, so I just put over heat again. Also, use Beach Bum’s tip of adding a little vegetable oil to thin it out if necessary. It helped a ton and didn’t change the flavor, at least as far as I could tell.
I’m planning on making these for Mr. A’s family Thanksgiving. Being from KY and all, they seemed to be easily awed. Haha. (Nothing against them. I love them. They just don’t branch out much…)
Another tip, Hobby Lobby has melts in EVERY color. And most are just vanilla flavored. Mr. A doesn’t like the flavor of white chocolate ( I have no idea what is wrong with him) so the vanilla flavor was perfect. Also, with the colors, you can make them more decorative, swirl color, make for any occasion.
Unfortunately, we can’t live off sweets.
So i also attacked the project of meal planning. Having NO experience in this, it was a little difficult at first. But thanks to some fellow bloggers, I have all the meals planned for next week. I found all sorts of fun and yummy recipes, and mostly (fairly) healthy. Hopefully neither of us get food poisoning next week.
Sunday: Grilled chicken
Spinach salad with dried cranberries, pecans, and strawberry vinaigrette
Brie and peach biscuit bites from ARealLifeWIfe
Monday: Turkey sloppy joes (spicy)
Tuesday: Stuffed crab
Wednesday: Frozen lasagna from MIL and garlic bread
Thursday: Turkey Chili
Friday: Left overs or go out to eat
I hope it all turns out well. I’ll keep you updated.