Monday, November 23, 2009

Black Friday Deals!!!!

I always love to go out shopping on Black Friday. Last year I took my daughter with me, and we had a great time. Our adventure started about 3:30 a.m. and ended about 9:00 a.m. I'm not sure if I like it because of the deals, but I know that I like the thrill of being in a crowd. And I really like to people watch. People get so crazy when they are trying to get a good deal on things. It's like their inner demons come out as they rush into the store and wrestle with others to get that one COOL gift.

My husband thinks that I am crazy for even wanting to go out so early. He would much rather stay in bed and shop online without the crowds. Now, I know that a lot of you are like my husband, and would rather stay in bed. So that is why I am doing this post. Amazon has already started their Black Friday Deals. They started today!

Amazon searched for the best Black Friday deals everywhere--including deals other stores are planning--so they can meet or beat their prices and bring them to you even earlier. These limited-supply offers will go quickly but they will add new ones throughout the day, every day this week, so you can skip the long lines and still save a bundle.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Bread Cornucopia

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity of hosting Thanksgiving Dinner at my house. I was thrilled at the chance I had to decorate and get ready for such an event. I decided to make a Cornucopia out of bread to hold my home-made rolls. It was a little tricky to make, but in the end it turned out really cute and was well worth the effort. If any of you are feeling adventurous this year, I will post the instructions so that you can give it a try. I wish I would have taken step by step pictures as I made this, but unfortunately I wasn't a blogger back then. Hopefully you can do it with just the instructions. You can also email me if you have any questions.

Bread Cornucopia

Ingredients and materials:

Aluminum foil
Vegetable oil
2 loaves of frozen bread dough (I used my own bread dough)
Egg wash (used as paste)
Cooking brush

Wrap a colander with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable oil.

Let the frozen dough thaw (but not rise), then roll one over the colander. Use egg wash as a paste to attach the bread around the colander. Once it's attached, egg-wash the entire surface.

Cut the other loaf of bread dough into strips. Lay the strips of dough from the top to the bottom and tuck inside the colander. Lace the cornucopia with the dough strips, basketweave style.
Egg-wash the complete surface again and twist the bottom together. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

**This portion is just for show, not to be eaten.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In Loving Memory of Kevin's Youth.....My First Tombstone Cake

A dear friend of ours turned 40 today. His wife surprised him with a HUGE party. It was a funeral for his youth. I was so lucky to be able to make the cake. (Be sure to click on the picture to get a better look at the details.)

This cake was a lot bigger than it looks in the picture. It took more than 5 dozen eggs and a half a gallon of oil. The top portion of the tombstone was made using rice crispy treats (5 recipes). My husband, Jim, helped out a lot with this cake. He started by drafting it out on the computer for me, and he even marbled the fondant. Isn't he good?

Here is the back of the cake.

Almost everyone came to the party dressed in black.
Here is the birthday boy, Kevin... aka Bishop McEvoy. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
It was such a fun party. I am glad that I got to be a part of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

We got to go to many parties this weekend for Halloween and Birthdays. We ended up taking a Pumpkin Sheet Cake to two of the parties. I really enjoy pumpkin cake, pumpkin cookies, and really anything that is made of pumpkin. But this pumpkin sheet cake is the MOST DELICIOUS pumpkin cake that I have ever eaten. It is super moist. For this reason I am going to share the recipe with you. I think EVERYONE needs to try it.

Like the Candy Corn Sugar Cookies that I made, this recipe also comes from Tina at Mommy's Kitchen. I really love her site, because she has a monthly menu and she posts recipes for all of her meals. They are easy, practical meals that anybody can make. And of course, she also has delicious desserts and treats. Stepping into her blog is like stepping into her kitchen. So thank you Tina, for having such an AMAZING site.

Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

15 oz. can pumpkin (I used Banana Squash that I had baked)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt

In a mixing bowl, beat the pumpkin, sugar, and oil. Add eggs and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and add to the pumpkin mixture, beating until well blended. Pour into a greased 10X15 inch baking pan.

Bake for 25-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool the cake completely and then frost it with the cream cheese frosting. Here's what you'll need for the frosting:

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick butter, softened (1/2 cup)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
5-6 tsp. milk

Beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the vanilla and blend till smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well. Add the milk a bit at a time until you get it to a spreadable consistency. Spread on top of the sheet cake.

You can also top this cake with some chopped pecans or walnuts, but that is optional.

I hope you give this cake a try and enjoy it as much as we did. DELICIOUS!