Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Anniversary Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I've been married to my love for 6 years! So I made a homemade chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and it was oh so good... I have been seeing a lot of 'deconstructed' cakes on my Pinterest feed so I thought I'd try my hand at making one. It was very easy, and I think it helped that the frosting was pretty thick. I used an icing spatula, which allowed me to get the frosting smooth (like at a bakery) then once the spaces between the cake layers were filled, I just scraped some of the frosting away to expose the cake underneath - alas, you have a deconstructed cake! I melted some chocolate chips and dipped some strawberries for the top of the cake and ordered a gold glitter "Love" cake topper off Etsy to complete my Anniversary cake. And let me tell you... the leftovers are still just as good to eat the next day!

Chocolate Cake

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. espresso powder, I used finely ground coffee
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water

1. Mix your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder, together in your Kitchenaid Mixer.
2. Slowly add your milk, vegetable oil, 2 eggs (one at a time) and vanilla to your dry ingredients. 
3. Slowly add your boiling water and beat batter on medium for 1 minute. This will thin your batter.
4. Line the bottom of your cake pans with parchment paper and grease them. Divide your cake into thirds or halves in your cake pans, I made 3 layers. 
5. Bake cake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Buttercream Frosting

- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk

1. Beat your butter with whisk attachment in Kitchenaid Mixer until fluffy.
2. Slowly add your powdered sugar. The mixture will get very crumbly.
3. Add your vanilla and milk and mix until desired consistency. 

 Deconstructed Cake

I love you as much as chocolate cake... <3


Monday, April 4, 2016

Garlic Parmesan Wings

I bought some baby chicken drumsticks to make with this recipe and it turned out so well! I plan to make it with wings for our next party. The key was using the broiler at the end to get the chicken crispy without frying. I dipped mine in ranch dressing but I don't think you need to dip them into anything. Kid-friendly!

Garlic Parmesan Wings

- 2 dozen chicken wings
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. garlic
- 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Season your wings/drumsticks with salt and pepper and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. In a saucepan heat your butter and olive oil until butter has melts. Whisk in parsley, garlic and salt. Heat on low.
4. Turn broiler on after you take wings out of the oven and drain the excess liquids. Broil wings for 10 minutes. Flip wings over and broil for 10 more minutes.
5. Place wings in a bowl and pour sauce on top. Add parmesan cheese and toss wings to coat.

 Garlic parmesan sauce

Garlic and Parmesan Wings/Drumsticks


Friday, March 25, 2016

Easy Easter Bread

Happy (almost) Easter! I made this beautiful Easter bread last year and did not take pictures of it, so I repeated it this year and took pictures to share with you! We are traveling for Easter, so I will include the recipe for the powdered sugar glaze, although I will not be making mine until Easter morning to the bread travels nicely. Hope you all can celebrate with friends and family!


- 2 3/4 cup flour
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp. butter, divided
- 4-5 dyed eggs


- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2-3 tbsp. milk
- sprinkles

1. Heat your milk and 2 tbsp. butter until butter has melted, allow to cool so it is warm milk.
2. Place 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in your Kitchenaid mixer with dough hook attachment.
3. Slowly pour your milk in and mix the dough. Add your remaining flour slowly. Add your eggs.
4. Allow dough hook to mix dough into a ball.
5. Grease a large mixing bowl and place your dough ball inside. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place. I heated my oven to 180 degrees and turned it off before placing my bowl inside.
6. Allow bread to rise for an hour.
7. Punch out your dough on a floured surface and divide into two pieces. Make two ropes that are about 2 feet long. tuck the ends together on one side and twist ropes together. Pinch ends together.
8. Place bread on a greased baking sheet.
9. Gently brush your bread with the remaining tbsp. of melted butter.
10. Separate the twist and place your dyed eggs into the dough.
11. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 min.
12. Allow bread to cool, once cooled you can pour your glaze and sprinkles on top.

 Bread twist before baking

Easter Bread before the powdered sugar glaze

Easter Bread with icing and sprinkles


Monday, March 21, 2016

Palmer's Superhero 3th Birthday Party

Our little superhero is turning 3 this week! I can't believe it! This year Palmer's actual birthday lands on Easter weekend, so we decided to celebrate early this past weekend. A few semi-homemade touches and a couple of friends, pizza and cake and he had the best time! I had a custom Spiderman shirt and cape made for him to wear at the party from Etsy. I had also ordered each kid a cape and mask to wear at the party. Hope you enjoy what I did!

The Cake - I wanted to make a fun cake that had different colored layers inside and used blue Sixlet candies to decorate the outside bottom of the cake. Found cute little superhero 'star' candles to place on top!

Three different colored cake layers

 Star candles and sixlet candies


The Decor - I made a city outline out of black foam board, chalk, and yellow construction paper. Turned out so cute! I bought the comic book birthday banner from Punch Bowl.

City outline and banner

 Table set for pizza and cake

Party Favors - wish I had taken a picture of all the kids wearing their capes but they ran around our house non-stop until it was time for food! Each kid got to pick out their own cape and take home 2 homemade cookies - a spiderman and the number "3."

 Royal icing sugar cookies

"Thanks for coming" tags

Palmer the Superhero!


Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Bachelor Party Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

Bachelor fans! I won't disclose who won, but I wanted her to win and so I invited a few ladies over to watch the 3 hour finale! We all put our kids to bed and gathered for some dessert and wine. Not pictured are the delicious brownies one of my friends brought over with a caramel sauce on top. A simple and delicious dessert I made was a strawberry shortcake trifle with my pretty trifle bowl. We had a blast watching and feasting!

Simple Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

- 2 x 8 oz. Cool Whip
- Angel food cake, cut into cubes
- Strawberries, sliced

1. Place a layer of Angel food cake on the bottom of your trifle bowl.
2. Spread a layer of Cool Whip on top of your cake.
3. Stick strawberries slices along the outside of your bowl and on top of your Cool Whip layer.
4. Repeat layers.
5. End with Cool Whip on top with sliced strawberries around the top.

 Strawberry Shortcake Trifle

 Will you accept with Rose?

 The spread

Wine Time


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Champagne Cheese Fondue

Happy (late) Valentine's Day! Every year we make fondue - cheese and chocolate for dinner and dessert. This year we tried a new fondue recipe with a champagne base - and it did not disappoint! Delicious! We hope you can make some fondue soon - we will be enjoying some more at the end of the month when we go on vacation to the mountains!

Champagne Cheese Fondue

- 1 1/4 cup Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 x 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 2 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- large pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. flour

1. Heat your champagne in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add your shallots and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add your cream cheese and whisk until it is no longer clumpy.
3. Add 1 tbsp. of flour to your gruyere and add it in handfuls as you whisk the mixture together.
4. Add your parmesan cheese and bring cheese to a boil, constantly whisking.
5. Mix in your nutmeg and place cheese in your fondue pot.

*We like to dip French bread pieces, carrots, broccoli and Kielbasa sausage slices into our cheese!

 Champagne, shallots and cream cheese

 Adding Gruyere



Tuesday, February 2, 2016

One Pot Lemon Greek Chicken

I can't believe it's February! Where did January go?! We have been really busy with work and school and Kyle's recruiting schedule for Summer internships. Things are looking good for Denver... so we will see!

I've made a few new dishes last month and last night I made this really simple and delicious chicken and rice dish. The rice was so moist like it had been cooked in a crock pot for many hours, when in fact, it had just been in the oven for 30 minutes! Below is the recipe.

One Pot Lemon Greek Chicken

Marinade for Chicken
- Juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 5 chicken thighs, bone-in (I used boneless)
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. salt

- 1 cup rice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp. oregano
- salt and pepper to taste

- chopped parsley
- Lemon zest

1. Make marinade and place on chicken in a ziplock bag for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
2. In a deep pan use 1 tbsp of olive oil and brown your chicken thighs. Keep reserve marinade in the ziplock bag to use for later.
3. Remove browned chicken and set aside. Clean out pan. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil and cook onion until translucent.
4. Add your rice ingredients and reserve marinade and bring to a boil.
5. Place chicken thighs on top and cover pan.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place covered pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
7. Serve with garnish if desired.

One Pot Lemon Greek Chicken