Birthday Girl

Yesterday was my birthday and although I love a day that is all about me, this year I did something a little different. Instead of spending the day at the spa or shopping, which I would typically do on my birthday, I decided to make it a day about giving to others. I spent the whole day doing 27 (because that's how old I am) random acts of kindness and managed to do them all. By the end of the day I felt so accomplished for completing all of them and so good thinking about all the people I had helped to brighten their day or even more, changed their life! As Mark Twain said "Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see."

  1. We (because my little bug tagged along as mommy's sidekick all day) started bright and early in the morning by driving to my mom's house before she left for her busy day and delivered her flowers and a thank you card, because it's her day also. She has been the greatest mom for 27 years.
  2. Next we went through the Starbucks drive through and bought a coffee for the car behind us.
  3. While at Starbucks I bought 4 tall coffees, their was a homeless man asking for money in the parking lot and I gave him a coffee with a few dollars.
  4. We took the remainder of the coffees to our security guards in the community where I live.
  5. Next, we went to the bagel shop where they carry the yummiest gluten free bagels. I left a hefty tip in the tip jar their for the sweetest employee.
  6. I'm not sure if this counts, but I think it should. A gal at the bagel shop noticed my shirt that said birthday girl. She asked if I was doing anything fun for my birthday and I had told her about my 27 random acts of kindness. She was so inspired that she asked if she could steal the idea and do it for her upcoming birthday.
  7. Next we stopped by my husbands office and brought him his favorite bagel sandwich with a love note inside the bag.
  8. While at the office, we brought a rose to every girl who worked their to brighten their day.
  9. After the office we headed to the humane society. I had bags of dog food and cat food to donate and I thought my little bug could play with the kitties. They weren't open when we had arrived and two men were sitting out front of the building waiting for them to open the doors. I started talking to them and one guy was there to pick up dog food and cat food for his pets. I asked him if he just wanted to take my bags so he didn't have to wait. He was beyond grateful and I could tell it had clearly made his day.
  10. Since the man had taken our dog and cat food we left a bag of dog toys at the front door of the humane society building.
  11. Next we headed to Target. We collected all of the carts in the parking lot.
  12. Then we hid dollar bills in the dollar section. RAK 9
  13. This is one of my favorites of the day. At the checkout at Target I had purchased a ten dollar gift card and after the cashier had given me my receipt I had given her the gift card right back, she thanked me and started crying.
  14. Everywhere we had gone we had gone into the restroom and posted sticky notes on the mirrors that said "you are beautiful".
  15. After target we headed to the hospital, we brought a box of cupcakes to the nurses at the postpartum section of the hospital. These ladies were absolutely incredible when I had my C section and we were there for 3 days.
  16. I also brought a vase of flowers with me and asked one of the nurses to give it to a mommy who really needs to be cheered up.
  17. Throughout the day I made a conscious effort to smile at everyone I came across. Especially in the hospital, I think people really appreciated a smile.
  18. In the parking garage we walked around and stuck sticking notes that said "have a wonderful day" on cars as well as a rose on the windshield. I noticed a woman walking to her car on the phone, completely weeping. She went to her car just to grab something and walked right back towards the hospital. I ran over there and gave her my last rose and placed it on her windshield. RAK 8
  19. We headed home and I made sure to run out and leave my mailman a chocolate bar and a note that said "thanks for all your handwork." After he dropped off my mail he wrote me a note that said"thank you".
  20. After lunch and a nap, we headed to the fire department. We brought the firemen some cookies and thanked them for their service. They let Peyton sit in one of the fire trucks and gave him a sticker and coloring book. RAK 7
  21. We headed to the gas station at the bottom of our hill, there they have a red box and we taped a bag of microwave popcorn to the screen.
  22. Next we headed to the park. While at target we bought bubbles in the dollar section and had hid them all over the playground for kiddos to find.
  23. Since earth day is on Friday. We had bought a tree at home depot and got our hands dirty and  planted it at the park.RAK 4
  24. Next we collected all the trash we had could find. It was so sad to me the amount of plastic bottles around the basketball court.
  25. Throughout the day I made a conscious effort to be a curtious driver. This was big for me, as I am constantly in a hurry and have bad road rage.
  26. While at my birthday dinner with my family, I gave the hostess a comment on the beautiful color of her hair.
  27. Lastly, I had made my own birthday cake and I left a nice comment on the blog that had inspired my cake to let her know how lovely it was and how much I appreciated her sharing her tutorial.

It was definitely a lot of work but I am so glad I did it. It felt so good to spend a day that's supposed to be all about me and make it about others.

Here are the recipes for the cake I had made. This is a day of cake, as I had made this the day before and ate it the day after and it was very dry. I think if I had eaten it the day I had made it, it would have been perfect.

RAK 1

Enjoy!

Sponge Cake from Food.com

1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons water 4 eggs, separated 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla 1 1⁄2 cups cornflour, make sure it is gluten-free (cornstarch) 1 teaspoon baking powder, gluten-free 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Coat 2 spring form pans with baking spray, then line with baking paper. The baking spray helps keep the paper from moving around.
  2. In a microwave bowl or small saucepan, place the sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Stir every now and then to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Slowly drizzle in the hot sugar mixture with the mixer running. Then beat really hard for 3 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla.
  4. Sift together cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Carefully fold these into the egg mixture. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake 18-20 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, drop the pans from knee height, square on the floor - seriously! This is a strange sponge making trick that 'shocks' the cake and stops it from deflating.
  6. Then immediatly turn sponges out onto a wire rack or baking paper to cool upside down.

To finish cake:

1/2 cup elderflower syrup

  • I brushed this all over the sponge cake

Edible flower

1 egg white

sugar

  • brush each flower with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar

10 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 cup elderflower syrup

  • To make the frosting, slowly mix the syrup with the powdered sugar

For the whole tutorial visit Peonylim

 

 

 

Remembering The Lady In Red

grandmaThis weekend we celebrated the life of one of the most amazing, caring, smart, independent, thoughtful, funny, hard working women I know….my grandma. Although this weekend was emotional to say the least, it was so wonderful to get together with our family and friends and share our most cherished memories of this incredible human being. Her favorite color was red and if you knew her, you could definitely tell from the lipstick on her lips, the nail polish on her hands and toes, and the car she drove, not to mention most of her appliances and her favorite outfits were all red. In honor of her most beloved color, everyone wore red to the festivity. It was so beautiful to hear the sweet words of just a few of the lives of people that she had touched. She had taught me so much in life and even in the afterlife she still has managed to teach me, as this weekend I learned how short life is and how important it is to be a friend and to be kind and to love with all you have, to leave memories with people that they will want to talk about forever, and just how important family is. There was nothing my grandma loved more than her family. All the vacation time she ever had was spent with her family because that was what made her the happiest. My grandma is a huge influence in me wanting to be a baker. The kitchen was where she flourished. She loved to cook and loved to bake and she passed that down through the generations that followed her. She is most famous for her apple cake, which she promised was going to make me famous one day. This cake has been present in nearly every family get together; in pastry school I used this recipe as the dessert in our restaurant for a week. I haven’t willed myself to make an apple cake since her passing, but when I do I know my grandma will be watching to make sure I don’t mess it up. I want to share this precious recipe with all of you. This cake is quite time consuming so make sure you allow enough time to make it properly.

Enjoy

Ingredients:

2 cups Sugar

1 ¼ sticks Butter, softened

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Nutmeg

2 tsp. Baking soda

¾ tsp. Salt

2 cups cup4cup gluten free flour

¼ cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted

4 Granny smith apples

Procedure:

  1. Prep Bundt cake pans with flour and butter
  2. Toast walnuts and chop
  3. Sift dry ingredients
  4. Mix sugar and butter
  5. Add eggs and spices
  6. Add flour, batter must be really stiff
  7. Fold in cut apples and walnuts
  8. Bake 350F for 30 min.

grandma post

 

Hoppy Easter

As a kid we used to visit our family in Arizona for Easter and there, we would celebrate all the spring birthdays in our family which included mine as I am an April baby. This was my memory of Easter as a child. The Easter bunny wasn’t such a big deal, it was more of being with family and when we weren’t in Arizona we would attend church in our Sunday best. Fortunately I was able to visit my Arizona family this last week under different circumstances, but it was nice to reminisce my childhood during this holiday with them. I have to say that my all time favorite easter was when my grandma surprised me with a real bunny, his name was snugs and I had him up until my parents adopted a dog who loved to torment the poor thing and we had to give him up. The last few years Easter has kind of taken a back seat and we haven’t done much, but this year with our little one on the move, Easter has a whole new meaning. Yesterday we took him on his first egg hunt with all the grandparents in attendance of course and took him to see the Easter bunny, which he wasn’t very fond of. We dyed eggs, which he absolutely loved and then started throwing them like they were baseballs and breaking the shells. This morning we had a special brunch with our families at our house and we did another small Easter egg hunt in our backyard. Easter has transformed for us to creating memoires for our boy and making the holidays as special as we can for him. This year for Easter I made GF Easter nest cheesecakes. I found this recipe from an advertisement for Philadelphia Cream Cheese, although I made some adjustments and didn’t even use Philadelphia cream cheese, they turned out pretty yummy.

easter cheescake.JPG

  • 1 cup gluten free graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted
  • speckled M&MS

To Make

 

  • Heat oven to 325°F.
  • Mix Gluten Free graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
  • Bake 25 to 30 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate
  • Top each cheesecake with 1 Tbsp. coconut; shape to resemble bird's nest. Fill with
  • M&M eggs.

Happy Easter Everyone!!

Here are some pictures of our table and my little Easter Bunny.

easter2016

easter2016 pic2

 

St. Patricks Day

Tomorrow is St Patricks Day, so make sure you wear green, and although I may not be st patricks dayIrish, I like to reflect on and acknowledge just how very lucky I am! I have been blessed with so much in this life and am so truly fortunate, that my list could end up in a book. So, if you aren't celebrating your heritage or even if you are, take a moment tomorrow to reflect on how lucky you are. There are so many people in the world who look at just surviving as being lucky. And the fact that a lot of us are fed, clothed, loved, healthy, and have a roof over our head should consider that as being lucky. My utmost favorite thing to bake is bread, and when I found out I was celiac this is what devastated me the most. I thought that my passion of being a bread baker had been crushed and I had to take another route as a baker. Little did I know that baking gluten free bread is just as fun. I will be making this yummy GF Irish Soda Bread from The Peaceful Haven to go along with my bangers and mash (my husband isn't a fan of corned beef and cabbage) and gluten free omission green beer. I will make sure to post a picture of my finished product on my Instagram page @bakercam19.

Enjoy everyone and Happy St. Patricks Day!

irish soda bread

Photo Credit

GLUTEN FREE IRISH SODA BREAD

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 cups gluten-free flour mix

2 tsp. xatham gum

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 stick of room temperature butter (1/2 cup) or ghee

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 TBS. raw honey

1 cup of currants or raisins

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Dump all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients all well combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.

3. Dump the dough onto a terra cotta baking stone. Shape into a circular mound .

4. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a knife comes out clean. Let sit 30 minutes and then eat with butter! YUM!

Rainy Day

rainy day Today the weather gods paid us a visit and delivered snow and rain for the forecast all day long. These are the kinds of days I want to stay home and snuggle up with my boys on the couch and a cozy blanket with a yummy cup of hot chocolate in my favorite tinker bell coffee mug and watch our favorite movies all day. Unfortunately, it was Monday and our responsibilities and activities for the day took precedent and we weren't able to do any of this, but one can simply dream right? I think this goes for most people, but what is it that is so amazing about the smell of rain after it hits the asphalt. It has to be the greatest smell in the whole world. Fortunately, I was able to cuddle up in bed with my puppy babies and a book and listen to the drops hit the window while my little one was taking his afternoon nap. Ahh.. the simple joys in life. I can't imagine that people, who live where it rains all the time, feel the same about this type of weather as I do. If i were to live in one of those places, then I would never get anything done. I would just want to stay at home and soak up every minute of the wet weather.

Here is a yummy gf hot chocolate recipe from belle of the kitchen for you to save for a rainy day. Aren't these so cute?

rainy day 2

Photo Credit

Ingredients Cupcakes: 2 cups cup4cup flour 2 cups granulated sugar ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup vegetable oil 1 cup hot water Buttercream: ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened 1 (7 oz) container marshmallow creme 1 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Toppings and decor: Mini candy canes, cut to fit (see note below) Mini marshmallows Chocolate chips Crushed candy canes Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well. Add in vanilla, eggs, buttermilk, and vegetable oil mixing until smooth. Pour in hot water and mix well. Batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners, about ⅔ full. Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. To make the frosting, beat softened butter with an electric mixer over medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add in marshmallow creme and beat until combined. Finally add in the powdered sugar and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until smooth. Top the cooled cupcakes with frosting, then sprinkle each one with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crushed candy canes. Add a candy cane handle by inserting the hook end of the candy cane into the top-side of each cupcake. Enjoy soon after decorating.

 

Oscar Night

oscar night Its Oscar night and every year my in-laws invite everyone over for a big party to watch the awards show. We print out a sheet for each person with the nominations so that you can make your guess at who is going to win each category. My brother-in-law is a huge film buff and beats us all every year. Half the time I’ve only ever seen a couple of the movies up for an Oscar but he tries to make it to the theaters to see every movie in time for the awards show so that he can give his best opinion. Aside from the CMA awards (I’m a big country fan), the Oscars are really the only other awards show I like to watch and it’s extra special that we make a yearly family event out of it. This will be our little ones second Oscar party and every year he has made a point to look the part in his black tie. If you will be watching the Oscars tonight I suggest you make these fancy black tie strawberries to indulge in while you view all the actors and actresses in their fancy black tie. I have made these strawberries on many occasions. I first learned how to make them in pastry school and since then have made them for bridal showers (the strawberry is the groom), amongst many other events and they are always a big hit.

tuxedo strawberries To make these strawberries you need a dark dipping chocolate as well as a white chocolate. I like to use Wilton’s dipping chocolate but if you are really fancy, you can temper your own coverture chocolate. First wash and dry the strawberries. Then dip each strawberry fully into the white chocolate and let dry. Next dip each strawberry at an angle on either side to make the tux jacket. Let each strawberry completely dry. Cut and make a few parchment bags. Fill a parchment bag with melted chocolate and snip a tiny hole at the end of the bag. Make a bow and a few buttons and voilà , you have a tuxedo strawberry fit to attend your oscar party.

<3 day

valentines heart pic Happy Valentine's Day to you all! This is one of my utmost favorite holidays and it's not just because it's a day to celebrate love, that should be everyday, but it's one of the best baking days of the year! From confections to pastries to share with your loved ones or just to consume yourself, it truly is one of the best holidays when it comes to being a baker. I will never forget when I worked at the casino bakery and Sunday brunch was our time to shine and show the world what we were capable of. Our chef let us have free reign, and my last Sunday before leaving the bakery was Valentine's Day brunch and it was my absolute favorite brunch I had partaken in and the best way to go out from this job. It also helps that my favorite color is pink and Valentine's is of course filled with lots of pink and red. Last Valentine's Day, my husband and I only had our son for just over a month long. I had thrown a big sip and see Valentine's Day party for all of our friends and family to come over and meet our new addition. Unfortunately my husband had to leave half way though the party and work, when he had returned he seemed to have forgotten all about V-Day even though he had been hyping it up all week. I don't really blame him though, becoming a new parent and working hard tends to jumble your mind and you often forget. To make it up to me this year he is taking me to one of my favorite places just the two of us for a fun romantic get away. I'm truly such a lucky girl to have such an amazing man that loves me and spoils me. To all of you with a significant other I hope they spoil you just as much as my hubby spoils me and to those without a significant other, go out and spoil yourself and remember how loved you are in this life even if it's not by a partner, there are plenty of people who love you including me! I fell in love with these Valentine's Day macarons from Sugar and Cloth her video tutorial are as follows and you can find the recipe for these from Veras Cookbook! Make them for the gluten free someone you love! Enjoy everyone and happy Valentine's Day! <3

valentines macarons

https://youtu.be/3uNsGmaUSQE

Super Bowl Celebrating

super bowl 50 Happy Super bowl Sunday everyone! Who is your team this year that you are hoping to win? My family is hoping that the broncos take the victory. We of course are 49er faithful but my husband went to college in Colorado and we think it would be pretty awesome to see Peyton Manning end his career with a win. Every super bowl for the last 4 or 5 years we have competed with our friends in an annual chili cook off. For the past two years we have come in second place and have never taken the win. This year I think I found the recipe that is going to declare us the victors (fingers crossed). I also made my infamous football chocolate covered strawberries to pass around, they are so cute and easy and always a big hit. On top of watching football and judging chili, our amazing hosts find ways to give back. One of my dearest friends works for the girl scouts organization and the money that we bet on for squares and pledges goes to this amazing philanthropy. What kinds of things does your family do on super bowl Sunday? What are the parties like that you attend? Maybe you can find a way to incorporate some of the party traditions that I 've mentioned into your next Super Bowl celebration.

chocolate strawberriesFor my football chocolate strawberries, I washed all the strawberries and patted them dry with a paper towel. I lined a baking sheet with parchment and melted a bag of Wilton's dipping chocolate into a bowl. I dipped the strawberries and scraped the bottoms on the lip of the bowl and set onto parchment baking sheet. After dipping all the strawberries I melted 1/2 a bag of Wilton's white chocolate and filled a parchment bag full and cut a small hole at the tip of the bag and started drawing the lines on the strawberries to make it look like the laces of a football. If you get chocolate feet on your strawberries after they dry, use a warm pairing knife to cut the feet off. Enjoy and go Broncos!

 

Photo credit

Junking Joy

This weekend was filled with so much fun. Aside from baking and being a mommy my next favorite thing to do is Antiquing. Yesterday one of my dear friends and I took a trip to meet my Aunt in northern California and we went on a Junking excursion and found lots of fun treasures. I love the idea of turning what someone would say is a piece of junk, into something beautiful and thinking of that piece of junk that I have acquired and all the life that it’s lived, and who else aside from me has loved it in it’s past. While we were having a fun girls time junking, my amazing husband drove ten hours round trip to pick up our new home away from home, a 1968 forester canned ham trailer. I am absolutely obsessed. I have wanted one of these beauties for quit sometime and this incredible man of mine made it happen for me. The outside is painted white and outlined in a fire engine red. It is so cute and so retro and we can’t wait for the weather to warm up and get our glamping on. I’m already planning a trip to Jo Ann’s this week to start picking out fabrics to decorate the inside and make it extra adorable. This camper is definitely one of my favorite antique treasures thus far. To celebrate our new canned ham camper I am going to leave you with this adorable inspiration picture of retro camper cookies that I found on Pinterest. You can buy a camper cookie cutter to make these cookies from cheapcookiecutters.com. Below I have provided you with a gluten free recipe for sugar cookies from Faithfully Gluten Free and Sweet Ambs has an excellent tutorial and recipe for royal icing. Have fun with these. Decorate them how you would love your dream camper to look.

camper cookies

 

Ingredients 1 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but good) 2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract 1 large egg 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 1/3 cup white rice flour (200 grams) 2/3 cup tapioca starch (95 grams) 2/3 cup potato starch (not flour) (125 grams) 1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum Instructions

1.In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the softened butter and sugar until fully incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the extracts and the egg. Mix just until blended. 2.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum. 3.With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix just until the dough comes together. 4.Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly before refrigerating for at least 1 hour. This will help your butter to solidify and help your cookies to keep their shape while baking. 5.When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper. 6.Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, roll the dough to about 3/8-inch thick between two sheets of plastic wrap, dusting with a small amount of sweet rice flour if necessary. Cut to desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2-inches between cookies. You can re-roll the scraps until all the dough has been used. 7.Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The cookies should just barely be turning brown around the edges, and have just a light brown colour on the bottom of the cookie. 8.Let cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with icing or storing in an air-tight container.

Here is a picture of our new camper!

new camper

Pie Day

pie post In honor of national pie day on Saturday I want to share a throwback, because it is throwback Thursday,  from a fourth of July wedding I did and would like to share one of my all time favorite pie recipes. Pie is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion and seems to be so underrated as far as desserts go in this world. Pie seems to take a backseat. You don't ever seem to see many dedicated pie shops like you would see cupcakeries and pie is such a classic go to dessert that is loved by most. I believe there is something truly amazing and beautiful about making a pie. When you make the dough from scratch it is a long process because you often times have to let it cool over night, so you have to plan ahead when making your pie. The type of pie and filling you choose can vary from a berry, to an apple, to pumpkin, to a pecan, to a moose, to peach, the list goes on and on. And then the topping you choose can also vary from a whipped cream, a crumble, a lattice, a full dough top, or you can just leave it blank. You can choose to decorate you edges with a braid or even imprint it with a fork. The possibilities are endless,  you can let your creativity flow and the outcome is beautiful and delicious.

My throwback Thursday goes to a beautiful fourth of July wedding I had the honor of, not only attending, but making the cake and 130 cherry pies in a jar. They were incredibly easy to do and adored by all the guests. Pictures are as followed. I also want to share this delectable recipe from Gimme Some Oven. After making this recipe and sharing it between my husband and I, the entire pie was gone in just a day. It is so yummy and so easy to make.

I would love to here some of your favorite types of pies and if you loved this recipe as much as we did. Enjoy everyone and happy pie day!!

French Silk Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:

4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened 1 1/2 cups ultrafine (or you could substitute granulated) sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 4 eggs, room temperature (optional) 1/4 tsp. espresso powder 1 fully pre-baked 9-inch pie shell (gluten free homemade recipe or a gluten free shell) 3 cups whipped cream 1 chocolate bar, roughly chopped or shaved or melted into chocolate curls

DIRECTIONS:

Heat chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes until it is room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. When melted chocolate has cooled, gradually add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until thoroughly until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined

IMG_1057

IMG_1083

IMG_1174

 

 

Farewell To Snape

harry potter Are you all still distraught over the fact that Alan Rickman passed away yesterday? I know I sure am. I was just so sad to hear that the beloved yet scary Professor Snape was gone from this world. If you grew up loving Harry Potter as much as I, then I'm sure you feel my pain. To honor his beloved character I'm going to cozy up with my family this weekend and throw a "Farewell to Snape" tribute by watching a Harry Potter marathon. If you plan on joining me then I encourage you to make this yummy recipe for butter beer cupcakes from The Collegiate Baker. These super cute and yummy cupcakes are sure to settle the grief you are enduring. I altered the recipe to make them gluten free friendly by switching out the flour for cup4cup flour. If you don't have this gluten free flour in your pantry, then you need to grab your keys and get in your car and head to Whole Foods immediately or simply log into your amazon account and buy it there. It truly changes your world when it comes to baking gluten free. The flour allows you to directly switch out all purpose flour in essentially any recipe. It's absolutely amazing stuff.

butterbeercupcakes03c

Photo Credit

butterbeer cupcakes

2 cups cup4cup all purpose flour 1 tsp gf baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup oil 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps 1/2 cup cream soda (I used A&W)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners. 2. In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Careful whisk them together. 3. In another medium-sized bowl, combine both sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until just combined. 4. Add half the dry ingredients, half the butterscotch schnapps, and half the cream soda. Mix well. 5. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, butterscotch schnapps, and cream soda. Mix until incorporated. 6. Transfer cake batter to cupcake pans, filling each liner about 2/3 full. 7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean. 8. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. butterscotch schnapps frosting 1 cup butter, room temperature 2 tbsp butterscotch schnapps 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar Yellow sugar sprinkles (optional)

1. Cream butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. 2. Add the butterscotch schnapps and vanilla extract. Mix well.e 3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, starting on the lowest setting until the powdered sugar is mostly combined. Bump up the speed to medium-high. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix for two more minutes. 4. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Or if the frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of schnapps at a time until the desired consistency is reached. 5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round open tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. 6. Sprinkle with yellow sugar sprinkles. white chocolate wings 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted parchment bag Clear sugar sprinkles, optional Parchment paper or wax paper Stencils of wings (here & here)

1. Measure one cup of white chocolate chips and melt them according to the directions on the back of the package. Make sure you use a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate. 2. Let the chocolate cool for a minute. While it's cooling, lay the stencils on a flat surface and place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper over them. You should be able to clearly see the stencils underneath. 3. Transfer white chocolate to parchment bag and snip off a tiny piece of one of the corners. 4. Trace the wings and immediately sprinkle them with the clear sugar sprinkles. If you wait until you've traced all the wings, the chocolate will probably be too hard and the sprinkles won't stick. 5. Transfer the chocolate wings to the refrigerator or freezer for about 10 minutes. They should be solid enough to pick up. 6. Add the wings to the snitch cupcakes and enjoy!

He's One!!

IMG_0278 This has truly been an exciting day but an emotional one at that.There is no greater moment in life than that of becoming a parent and this time last year I experienced that moment and I have been reminiscing of that special time all day long. I will never forget the wave of emotions that washed over me the second I heard his cry. We had gone through such a rough battle and to finally bring this beautiful boy into the world was absolutely incredible. It has truly been the greatest year of our lives. This child has taught us patience, strength, caring, and the meaning of unconditional love. He has brought so much joy into our lives and we are so great full that the universe chose us to be his parents!

Today we threw a proper first birthday bash for our little man. We invited all of our closest family and friends of course and the turnout was astounding to say the least. It is so amazing the love and support that we have from the beautiful people that surround us in our lives. The theme was a football theme relaying to the fact that the playoffs were on today. For dessert (because dessert should always be first) I made gluten free chocolate cupcakes, popcorn boxes, and football chocolate covered strawberries. I made a small smash cake for our little one to go crazy with, but he ended up eating the cake instead of smashing it (I guess he likes mommy's baking). For lunch we had a chili bar equipped with hot dogs, fries, and baked potatoes for our guests to choose to put their chili on, as well as different yummy topping such as: cheese, sour cream, onions, and corn chips. This was super easy to do and the feedback from my guests made me think it was a success. The planning that commenced for this party made me think I was throwing more of a wedding than a birthday but overall it was an incredible day and one we will remember forever. Pictures of our party and the desserts I prepared are following. My advice to parents is to soak up every second of your little ones first year and those that follow. Time definitely flies by way to fast especially when you are having so much fun. If you have any questions on how I made anything please feel free to ask.

Happy first birthday little bug! We love you so much!

DSC00479IMG_2200

IMG_2199

Hello 2016!

2016 Hello all,

It's been quite a while since I have made a blog post but one (there are many) of my new years resolutions this year is to begin blogging again as well as create a brand for my future Cami Cakes business. 2015 has been such a roller coaster year for my little family. We started the year off with the greatest joy of becoming parents and since then we have created so many beautiful memories with our little guy. It was definitely a year of growing for me, as being a first time mommy takes some getting used to. With the good there was also some bad. My husband and I each had some loss in our family. Between the two of us we lost three grandmothers, but the best thing we can do for ourselves is be grateful they had long lives and were able to meet the newest addition to the family.

2016 will again be another year of change for me. This year my resolutions involve focusing more on bettering myself as a person. Now that I am a mother, I want to make a point to lead by example. I want to be the best me I can be and in turn my goal is that it portrays back to my son.

To end this post I am going to leave you with this yummy recipe for champagne cupcakes from pizzazerie to cheers the new year. Enjoy!

To change this recipe to gluten free, I used Betty Crocker's gluten free white cake mix.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes: 1 box gluten free white cake mix 3 large egg whites 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1 1/4 cups dry champagne 1 teaspoon almond extract For the Frosting: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened 4 cups powdered sugar 6 tablespoons champagne For the Decorations: white sixlets white gumballs white pearl sugar sprinkles disco dust Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 °F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners. In an electric mixer, combine cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs, and almond extract. Beat on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top (and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean). For buttercream frosting, cream softened butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating after each addition. add champagne and beat for 2 minutes on medium, until light and fluffy. If you want a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar. If you want a looser frosting, add more champagne. Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and decorate with piped frosting bubbles using a big round tip and candy bubbles. Top with a shimmer of disco dust!

This is a picture of how mine turned out after making this recipe!

champagne cupcakes

 

Pack Pride Cupcakes

wolf pack cupcakesToday I end one of my college summer courses. I am working to finish my Business Management degree at the University of Nevada Reno. I am coming to an end of my college career, which at my age is a really good thing. I am much to old to still be a student. As I reflect on my time at the university it brings me such joy. I truly grew up as a person while attending school at UNR. I have made so many lifelong friends. It saddens me to say goodbye to this chapter of my life. I have loved the school spirit and the gorgeous campus. The class that is ending was one of my favorites that I have taken thus far in my major. I have enjoyed this class tremendously and wish all classes were like this one.

 My professor had asked me jokingly to bring in one of my baked goods for everyone to try. Today being the last day, I had decided to follow through with his request and bring in some yummy gluten free cupcakes. I wanted to bring out my wolf pack pride and theme the cupcakes based on my soon to be alma mater. To make these cupcakes, use your favorite gluten free vanilla cupcake recipe. I topped the cupcake with Wilton butter cream frosting. The décor was made out of Wilton white and blue fondant and I sprayed the base with silver Wilton food coloring spray. I cut out different sized circles with circle cookie cutters and coated the blue fondant portion with blue disco dust sparkles. These are a simple cupcake design and I hope my classmates like them. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy and GO PACK!!

wolf pack cupcakes 2

In-laws and Apple Streusel Cheesecake Dessert

blog post mother in lawI’m so fortunate to have such incredible in laws. I know a lot of people are not as lucky as I am. My family and my husbands family get a long tremendously. My mother-in-law is such a kind hearted loving person. She has three boys and loves them more than anything in the world and when I came into the picture she loved me as her own. Family values were such an important thing to my husband and I when we first started dating, as we both come from such extraordinary families we wanted that for ourselves. My mother-in-law makes a point of having the entire family over for Sunday night dinner. She is an amazing cook and since my husband and I have been celiac, she makes an effort to make the entire meal gluten free. It’s so special to unwind at the end of the weekend before returning back to work with a nice glass of wine and a good home cooked meal, especially when you don’t have to do the cooking.

Last night she surprised us with a delicious dessert she prepared at the end of the meal. It was so yummy that I wanted to share this tasty recipe from Betty Crocker with all of you. It’s a simple recipe and perfect comfort food. She didn't chill it for the required amount of time and it was still absolutely delicious. Share this recipe at your next family gathering. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Enjoy. Photo Credit 

Ingredients

1 box Betty Crocker™ Gluten Free yellow cake mix

½ cup cold butter

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 can (21 oz) apple pie filling

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Place cake mix in large bowl. With pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly and coarse. Reserve 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture; press remaining crumbs in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • 
Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over partially baked crust. In medium bowl, mix pie filling and cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle reserved crumbs over top. Sprinkle with walnuts.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes longer or until light golden brown. Cool about 30 minutes. Refrigerate to chill, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie For One

cookie blog post

Have you ever just wanted a freshly baked cookie but didn’t want to go through all the hassle of making one of your recipes and ending up with a whole slew of cookies that you are now stuck with eating, and if you throw the rest of them away you feel guilty about it? I found this recipe on Gluten Free Foodie and it allows you to make a single cookie that will cure your craving without ending up with all these other cookies that you don’t really want. It’s such a simple and delicious recipe that allows you to indulge without over indulging and feeling guilty afterwards. Double this recipe and share a mug with someone special.

Enjoy this recipe and let me know your thoughts and what you think about your mug cookie. Photo Credit

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or 1 tbsp melted butter)
  • 3 tbsp GF flour (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (Note - As one of my readers pointed out, this may be too much salt for some people, so if you’re not as salt-loving as we are, definitely start with a pinch and adjust based on taste.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 to 2 tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. In a small mug/cup/ramekin (I used an expresso mug), mix together all your ingredients except the chocolate chips, until you get sticky cookie dough batter.
** This cookie won’t rise much, so you probably don’t want your mug/cup to be too big. Although I guess you could double or triple the ingredients for more cookie volume!
  2. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Place your mug in the microwave and cook on high for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.
** I suggest doing this in 30 second intervals so you can check on the cookie. If it still looks kind of wet/doughy on top, leave it in the microwave for a little longer. You shouldn’t need more than 1-1/2 minutes though — chocolate chip cookies are supposed to be gooey in the middle!

Allow mug and cookie to cool for a little bit, then dig in!

Fantasizing About Football

I know I may be getting a little ahead of my self, but I am so excited for football season to begin. My husband and I are huge football fans and we love watching games together. I tend to get a little more vocal then he does, but I am a very competitive person and don’t like to lose. We play fantasy football with all of our friends and the last few years I have made it pretty far. I think it surprises most men of my knowledge for the sport. In high school, I was captain of the dance team and we performed at every football game, at home and away. After being forced to watch the game, I feel in love. I would watch football every Sunday with my dad; It was such a special time for us and a great memory that we share. When I met my husband he was pleasantly happy how much I loved the sport not to mention we have a love for the same team.

In honor of the first preseason game airing tonight and my favorite team playing, I wanted to share this easy idea for football cupcakes that I found on The Baker Chick. For theses cupcakes you would want to use your favorite gluten free chocolate cupcake recipe and chocolate frosting. Using a star tip, zigzag across the cupcakes surface. For the laces use a small round tip and pipe over the top of the chocolate frosting with a white frosting. These are simple and a great cupcake for the entire football season. Invite your friends over for a Sunday Funday of watching football and share these yummy cupcakes. Let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions on the technique used. Enjoy and GO NINERS!! Photo Credit

football blog post

It's A Boy!!

blog post baby boy This weekend was one of the most special times in both me & my husband’s life. We started off with an ultra sound to find out the gender of our baby. The ultra sound took place in this amazing viewing room that fits 20 people with a giant 80 inch screen TV, so that everyone can see what was happening. We invited our closest family to attend. Sure enough we are having a BOY! We couldn’t be more excited to find out. Knowing the gender, we are now able to start planning for the arrival of our son and have an idea of what to expect and prepare for in the future.

To continue the celebration we threw a BBQ to announce to all of our friends and the rest of the family that were not in attendance at the ultra sound, or our so-called “gender reveal” party. We decorated the entire house and backyard in blue décor so our guests would know as soon as they walked through the door. Everyone was so happy for us. It’s such a great feeling to finally know and start to imagine what this little man is going to look like. After the party I immediately started online shopping and my husband and I day dreamed about our future baby. We are still on cloud nine and the happiness continues.

In honor of our future bouncing baby boy I wanted to share a recipe for blue velvet cupcakes. To make this recipe gluten free you just switch out the box of Betty Crocker white cake mix with the Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix. I have made blue velvet cupcakes many times in the past. One time I made them for a wedding with a peacock theme. These are a great change to the traditional red velvet cupcakes and perfect for a little boy! I hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts on this recipe! Photo Credit

Cake

1 box Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix

1 ¼ cups buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa

2 teaspoons royal blue paste food color

1 toothpick full violet paste food color

Frosting

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 ½ cups powdered sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

1
. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and lightly flour bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans, or spray with baking spray with flour.

2
. In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed about 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

3. 
Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake 22 to 27 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched in center. Cool 15 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

4. Spoon marshmallow creme into large microwavable bowl; microwave uncovered on High 15 to 20 seconds to soften. Add butter. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and salt until smooth.

5
. If necessary, trim rounded tops of 2 cake layers to flatten before assembling. Place 1 cake layer, top side down, on serving plate; spread with about 1/3 cup frosting. Top with second layer, top side down; spread with about 1/3 cup frosting. Top with untrimmed cake layer, top side up. Frost side and top of cake with remaining frosting. Store loosely covered.

Here is a picture from our special day!

blog post baby boy 2

Fall Is Just Around The Corner

pumpkin blog post Cozy blankets, apple cider, football, pumpkins, beautiful colors, crisp air, and my wedding anniversary, fall is just around the corner! It’s my favorite time of the year. I was at Michaels earlier this week in the Wilton isle of course, getting baking supplies and noticed they had put out all of their Halloween and fall decorations. This just get’s me so excited. I know that the retail industry tends to do this earlier and earlier every year, but still. I don’t mind when it comes to the fall season. I’m not a huge summer fan. Fall is my absolute favorite season and I can’t wait for it to arrive especially now that I am pregnant as the warm weather is so uncomfortable. Fall is the best when it comes to baking, as pumpkin anything is my favorite thing to eat. Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin!

The pumpkin cravings have hit and I am craving my absolute favorite gluten free pumpkin bread from Design Dining Diapers, although I like to make this recipe all year long. I like this recipe a lot because it’s baked in a Bundt cake pan, which gives it a different style. When I make this pumpkin bread it lasts barely a day in my household, considering everyone loves it. This recipe is also great because you can make it your own by adding chocolate chips, walnuts, or whatever you desire! I hope this recipe gets you in the fall preparation spirit. Let me know your favorite pumpkin recipes in the comments section below and what you thought of this yummy gluten free pumpkin bread recipe. Enjoy!

1 cup packed organic light brown sugar

4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 cup light olive oil

2 large eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Pie Mix
1 1/2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Flour (or another GF baking mix of your choice)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Mix all wet ingredients together and mix thoroughly

3. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients together

4. Slowly combine the two mixtures and mix until all ingredients are blended together

5. Place the batter in a bunt cake or bread pan

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until you can pull a toothpick out without any bread sticking to it

7. Let it cool and then serve!

 

Throwback Thursday: Sunflower Wedding Cake

This Thursday we are throwing back to my favorite wedding cake that I have made yet. Wedding cakes really freak me out because of the pressure to perform well. What if the bride doesn’t like your cake? It could ruin their whole wedding day and would make me feel horrible. This bride is one of my best friends. We had talked about her cake for quite a while. She had showed me a picture on Pinterest of a specific cake she had in mind. She had wanted a small two tiered cake just to cut into and for her guests we purchased Costco sheet cakes that we had cut up and served at their reception. This is a great idea for brides especially on a tight budget. Big cakes can get costly and this was perfect for her, as she had close to two hundred guests who had attended her wedding. blog post throwback thursdayI threw her and her fiancé at the time a cake tasting party with all of our friends in our home, so they could help her decide which cake flavor was the absolute best for her special day. We had decided on a lemon cake with Wilton butter cream frosting. I covered the cake in Wilton white fondant. Covering a cake with fondant always makes me nervous because if you mess up then you have to start all over with all new fondant, which can get pretty expensive. I hadn’t covered a cake in fondant since my Wilton cake decorating classes over 5 years ago. I refreshed my skills with several helpful YouTube videos and to my surprise the cake covering turned out perfect. I purchased sunflower cookie cutters from a website online to make the sunflowers pictured. The tricky part was the swirls that were painted directly on the cake. Of course this was nerve wracking because if you mess up then the whole entire cake is ruined. To make a “paint”, you mix a small amount of vodka with the food coloring of your choice and paint it on with a freshly clean paintbrush.

I was relieved when the cake was finished and she was thrilled with the end results. Guests at the wedding made an effort to tell me how beautiful and perfect the cake was. This was such a great feeling after all the hard work that I had put in. Let me know if you have ever made a wedding cake and your experience or if you have any questions on techniques that I had done in order to make this specific cake.