Monday, February 24, 2014

Amaya's Pink Ruffle Cake

I haven't made a cake in a while, so was excited to make this for my birthday twin: cutie pie Amaya.

I thought it turned out pretty nice.  And I'm very in love with my new cake stand.

Here are the details and linked recipes for each part of the cake:

And, a few notes:  
  • I made two batches of the buttercream.  One batch is typically enough for a 9-inch layer cake, but the ruffles use up more than you would on an average frosting job.  
  • I found this video on ruffles very helpful.  I've watched it many times.  
  • Before putting the ruffles on the cake, do a crumb coat and refrigerate the cake for about 20 minutes.  A crumb coat is a very thin layer of frosting that seals in all of the insides and crumbs before you do the "real" frosting.  You should use about one cup of frosting for the crumb coat.  This is what the cake looked like after the crumb coat. 

And the finished product!  TA-DA!!

Happy birthday, Amaya!  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cherry Crisp

I love a good crisp.  I think I'd almost always prefer crisp to pie.  The crumbly topping is so delicious, and in my opinion, better than pie crust.  And, when it's warm and served with a scoop of melty vanilla ice cream?!  Good night.  Also, good news, crisp is WAY easier to make than pie!  It's a no-brainer, really.


Cherry Filling:
  • 6 cups pitted cherries (fresh, frozen, or canned)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted 

Mix cherries, sugar, flour, and vanilla and transfer to a 9-inch square baking dish.

Mix oats, brown sugar, flour, almonds, salt, almond extract, and melted butter until crumbly.

Spread topping mixture on top of filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Source:  Not totally sure; I looked at and modified several recipes.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Really Good White Cake

I really wanted this recipe to be good.  I've always prefered white cake to any other kind.  Having a good solid homemade version seemed like a really good idea.

These cupcakes were perfect. Moist and simple. Top with your favorite frosting and you won't be disappointed.

I subbed out the vegetable shortening for coconut oil.  Added bonus: I made my own buttermilk using the method below*.  I love when I can make something without having to go to the store.

* Homemade Buttermilk:  Place 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.  Add milk until the total liquid reaches 1 cup.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes.

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with butter and flour, taking care to remove all excess flour.  

In a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and coconut oil.  

Slowly add sugar, one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another.  

Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.  

Add vanilla extract.  

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  

Add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the butter/coconut oil mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. 

Beat cake batter on high speed for about 5 seconds to fully incorporate all ingredients.  

Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure all ingredients are mixed well.  

Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven.  

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Note on Cupcakes:
Fill cupcake tins 1/2 full and bake for approximately 18 minutes.  Makes approximately 36 cupcakes.  

Source:  add a pinch

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Red Enchiladas

When I came back after the holidays, I brought 180 corn tortillas with me in my suitcase.  I have yet to find decent ones here and was really missing them.  Now I have a freezer full, which makes me super happy.

So, I was pretty excited to bust out some of my stash for these enchiladas.  And, I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe because it changed my mind about red enchiladas, which aren't usually my fave.  These are simple, flavorful, and freeze well.  This is a recipe I will definitely come back to often.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin 
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (about 3 large chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas 
  • salt and pepper 

In a large saucepan, combine onion, jalapeno, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and oil.  

Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.  

Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, and cook until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.  

Stir in tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a simmer.  

Nestle the chicken into the sauce.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12-20 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of the chicken breasts.  

Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.  

Continue to simmer the sauce over heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  

Strain the sauce through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing the onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.  

Season sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste.  

Transfer the onion mixture from the strainer to a large bowl and set aside. 

Shred the chicken and add it to the bowl with the onion mixture.  

Add 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup jack cheese, and cilantro and mix well.   

Wrap 4-5 tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 45 seconds-1 minute, or until warm and pliable.  

Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla, tightly roll, and lay seam side down in a greased baking dish.  

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  

Pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.  

Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through.    

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes, until the cheese browns.  

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and chopped cilantro.