Thursday, August 29, 2013

Flashback to August 2012

Whoa this summer has flown by and so has August.  I really wanted to get this out earlier in the month but kept getting distracted and sidetracked.  But here it is, August last year:

At this time last year, I was getting ready to start my second year as a speech-language pathologist and I was baking up a storm.   Some recipes turned out, others did not, and some were even good enough to share...

I love banana bread.  And I usually have a few extra ripe bananas at the end of each bunch.  This is a great way to use up those bananas! The recipe is a combination from Baking: Illustrated and Brown Eyed Baker.  The streusel topping is a delicious combination of nuts, sugar, and spices and the whole loaf gets doused in a rum glaze.  What's not to love.

Coffee.  And frosting.  Two of my favorite things paired together can not go wrong.  The American-styled buttercream has a great coffee taste that isn't overwhelming or bitter and goes great on chocolate desserts (like these chocolate cupcakes, these chocolate cupcakes, or sandwiched with these chocolate cookies, just to name a few suggestions).  The cupcakes look super cute dusted with cocoa powder and topped with a chocolate covered espresso bean.

To be honest, these cupcakes are good, but I think they could be so much better.  The chocolate cake is good, but I prefer either of my chocolate cupcake recipes better (here and here).  The center is filled with a milk chocolate mousse that is delicious and the whole thing is topped with chocolate frosting and chopped Snickers bars.  Although good, I would definitely do it differently next time, namely: different chocolate cake, filled with homemade nougat, topped with salted caramel Italian meringue buttercream, and decorated with chopped peanuts and drizzled chocolate.  I will be doing this soon, I don't know when exactly, but that recipe will be posted in the future :)

Happy August, everyone!
This is my kind of salad, ha! (I did not actually make this salad, I just love bacon)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Funday 8/25/13

As a new addition to Sweet Your Heart Out, I'm starting Sunday Funday. Hopefully I'll post every Sunday...that's the goal at least. In these posts, I'll update you on the latest happenings on the blog, like any important changes or new features, I'll share some things I've bookmarked during the week, definitely sweet and maybe some savory, and I'll probably ramble about current things going on in general, like things I currently love, etc.

So here's the first Sunday Funday post // 8-25-13

On My Mind:

1. School started this past week, I've officially rejoined the working world in my third year as a speech-language pathologist.  I love my job and I'm excited to see what the year ahead holds. However, I don't like waking up before 9, so 6:30  comes far to early. I'm trying to get a hair/make up routine to 7 minutes, but so far I'm still clocking in at 10 minutes.  Last year I hardly wore make up to school, so this year I'm making more of an effort to be put together.

2. SYHO is on Pinterest. You can follow me here.  You'll see recipes posted from here and from around the internet.  You might also catch an occasional speech therapy resource, something house or baby related (no, I don't have kids, nor am I pregz), or humorous images.

3.  The Hubbo and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary on Wednesday, and we've been together now for 7 1/2 years. - since I was a college freshman at Ohio State.  For each anniversary, we get each other small gifts, then go out and do something nice together, like dinner at a really nice restaurant followed by a night at the ballet. This year, I got some gourmet, high quality chocolate like Scharffenberger and Lindt from Jungle Jims. Hubbo got some craft beers and a bottle of ginger syrup as a nod to his summer spent in Poland where beer was commonly splashed with ginger syrup.

4. Pineapples seem to finally be in season. All summer long I scope out the selection of pineapples in the produce department and for the longest time I could not find any worth spending money on.  That finally changed this week and I think I ate a whole pineapple in 3 days.  The key to selecting a good pineapple is by smelling the fruit where the stem attaches - it should be sweet and fragrant.


1.  Crispy Ravioli by Once Upon a Plate.  With fall and football season right around the corner, I'm sure we will have friends over to watch the Buckeyes dominate the Big 10 or head out to friend's houses for other autumn occasions, and these treats seem like an easy and tasty twist on a favorite.

2.  Butterfinger Cupcakes by Make Bake Celebrate.  I'm all about Butterfingers.  I love the how the chocolate melts into an almost toffee like peanut butter middle that just sticks to your teeth and makes your dentist hate you.  Now in a cupcake format, I'm sold.

3.  Smore's Dipped Strawberries by Craft Quickies.  With Fall quickly approaching, I know I will be into lots of smore related things.  I've been known to sit by a campfire on a Friday night with friends and say "I want to eat so many smores that I throw up like I've been drinking" (not that you should do either....ya know, drink or smore irresponsibly).  But but add strawberries, and suddenly it's healthy, right? Right.

Things I love:

1. My double oven. Now I can cook multiple batches of cookies, make dinner and a side, etc, all at the same time. And even better, they heat true to their settings.

2. My new ice cream maker and the book Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home.

3. The autobiography The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort. The movie version is coming to theaters this November and the cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, and Jonah Hill, to name a few so you know it's gonna be great

4. Netflix and Hulu Plus. Since moving into our new house, we cut cable. Except that I still enjoy watching tv and having it present as background noise. What do you like better?

5. This sock bun maker. It works so much better than a cut up sock and it really helps pull off a polished look with minimal time. My hair is really long and I've had a hard time rolling my hair in the bun. I solved this problem by only pulling my hair halfway through the donut (so its looped at the end), splitting the top in two, and rolling down. I've had to play with exactly how much hair to double, but I can usually get a good roll on the first or second try.

Have a great week everyone!  Don't forget to follow SYHO or subscribe to my posts through email (at the bottom of the page)!

Just some humor for ya :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream

Difficulty: easy
Time consuming: no.

I tend to have a ton of extra chocolate cupcakes in my freezer at all times. This happens when a recipe says it will yield 2 dozen cupcakes but actually yields closer to 3. And then I don't neeeed the extra cupcakes but can't waste them either. So into the freezer they go. And out they come for a handy snack or dessert when friends come over.

I recently topped some chocolate cupcakes with toasted marshmallow butter that was incredible. It's reminiscent of nights around the campfire, complete with little bits of toasted marshmallows!!

Toasted Marshmallow Butter Cream

Depending on how generously you top your cupcakes, this should yield enough frosting to cover 24 cupcakes.

4 ounces (in weight) of marshmallows (about 16 large mallows)
1 cup of marshmallow fluff
1 cup powdered sugar (doesn't need to be sifted)
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place marshmallows (not fluff) on sheet and toast under the broiler. This will happen quickly so pay attention. A little brown toastiness is okay. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer on high until creamed. Decrease the mixer speed, add powdered sugar and beat, increasing speed until the mixture becomes fluffy.

3. Add toasted marshmallows, fluff, and vanilla extract, and beat until the frosting becomes light and airy.

4. Top on your cupcakes and enjoy. Or eat it straight out of your piping bag or bowl, I won't judge you.

**Note: if your toasted mallows are too warm when you add them to your butter/powdered sugar mixture it will be almost impossible to whip up a proper buttercream. Don't worry! Just set the bowl in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to help firm up the butter, take out, and whip as planned.

From Baking Me