Brownie Shortcake

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Last weekend I made an early Valentine celebration dessert since we’ll be at a wedding on Valentine’s Day. Let me say, a wedding is going to be a fun way to celebrate!! 🙂

I didn’t make anything heart shaped or dyed red or pink. I just made some brownies, topped them with sliced strawberries and finished it all off with whipped cream. This is now a new favorite dessert!! There’s something so refreshing about this lighter dessert. The yummy chocolaty-ness paired with the fresh strawberries and sweet whipped cream.  It’s the perfect combination! I was dreaming of another bite! 🙂

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Brownie Shortcake

Ingredients:

*Brownies baked to your liking

*Strawberries, sliced and mixed with a bit of sugar to create a syrup (you could skip this step if your berries are super ripe)

Whipping cream, whipped with a bit of sugar (or not). I like to over whip my cream a bit as it holds up better and is more luxurious).

*Layer and enjoy! My Sweetie LOVED it!!

Always perfect with a cup of tea!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spend some time with your Sweetie, and your little sweeties too! 🙂

Recipe Exchange: My Copycat Dairy Queen Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

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This year for my birthday (in December) I decided to try to tackle the yummy Dairy Queen cake I’ve had a few times. Armed with a few times from HERE  and a refresher from the Dairy Queen website (but I remembered it VERY well), I tackled it and was VERY happy with the result!

Unfortunately, I was only able to take quick photos with my little Sony Cyber Shot camera…sigh. So here you go. Here’s today’s Recipe Exchange yumminess!

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In all honesty, this photo was taken the next day with my good camera, and after having a chance to freeze post decorating. We ended up eating it the day after my birthday and the family was in hurry to get on the road, so we rushed it a bit. Regardless of how melted or messy it was, this cake was DELICIOUS!!

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Filled with ooey gooeyness, it really did remind me of the original cake!

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Here’s what it looked like as we sliced it. :>

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An ooey gooey, delicious mess!

All right, so here’s the scoop:

(Haha!)

Peppermint Ice Cream Cake

2 cartons peppermint ice cream

20 oz chocolate fudge (not hot fudge)

4 Tbl chocolate crunch (from cake decorating shop) or crumbled chocolate wafer cookies in pinch

Stabilized whipped cream (1/4 pint or so unless you “ice” the entire cake)

Decorations

Spring form pan

This is an easy recipe, but takes patience and time. :>

Soften the first carton of ice cream, then spread on the bottom of pan and freeze for 1 hour. Next spread chocolate fudge over first layer and freeze again for 1 hour. Sprinkle crunch over fudge and freeze again for 1 hour. Soften the 2nd carton of ice cream and spread over all, then freeze overnight.

Ahead of presentation time, spread stabilized whipped cream over sides (or all) of cake and decorate as desired. Then freeze at least 1 hour before serving to avoid the melting mess we had! :>

As you can see, I chose a few pink sugar sprinkles, pearls and a cute gingerbread boy as my decorations.

I was happy with the adorableness he added to the festivities, especially since I have a bit of an obsession with all things gingerbread!  :>

Happy cake making!!

Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange 02/18

Every Tuesday Afternoon

Babies {Welcome Home Wednesday Homemaking Link Up on Raising Arrows}

Birthday Celebrations

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Last weekend we celebrated my Sweetie’s birthday. I had one idea for his cake, but he wasn’t to excited about it, so he gave me some ideas of what he would like. Basically some different cakes I’ve made for him other years. I decided to combine a couple of ideas into one… and add a new one.

I decided to take the “easy” route…haha! Every time I pick the easy choice, something goes wrong to make it stressful…and NOT easy!

I bought an Angel Food Cake, and made a Chocolate Malt Icing, (instead of making my Chocolate Malt Cake). I used my Sweetie’s aunt’s trusted Buttercream Icing recipe, and added cocoa powder and malt powder to it. Yummy!!

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After a full morning of running slides for both services at church, we met up with family and heading out for steak at Tahoe Joe’s, topped off by a slice of their AMAZING Ski Jump Chocolate Ganache Cake! split 5 ways! Then home for gifts, a slide show of 1/3 of our European photos and this cake with Tillamook’s Udderly Chocolate ice cream (still known as Brown Cow to me). Ironically, I now eat Brown Cow maple yogurt, and I feel like a traitor, since they’re the reason Tillamook changed the name!!

 

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Then I tried this adorable idea for Meringue Mushrooms from Criottes Pallette Culinaire. My Sweetie LOVES meringue! And this is where the troubles began! I should have just used my own recipe, but I didn’t feel like digging it out. Oh, but it would have saved me so much trouble and work. Meringue is a bit persnickety, but still easy, unless you use this recipe…and it’s a very muggy day.

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They looked BEAUTIFUL! But they were too sticky to work with, so I put them in the oven overnight. The benefits of a gas oven that is always slightly warm.  They were dried out enough in the morning to work with, and I came up with a toothpick trick that helped. But when I packed everything up to transport to the in-law’s, their kitchen was so warm that the beautiful mushrooms melted so much I was only able to salvage 4 for decorating the cake. 4 is better than none!

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Not a perfect result, but doable, and he was happy with the cake, but not the stress I encountered. He was even understanding when I said I just couldn’t bear to add anymore red to the mushroom tops, so they were sort of pink. Understanding husbands are great!

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I also added sprinkles around the base of the cake to act as grass and daisies. There would have been mushrooms interspersed in the grass if more had survived. And I noticed afterward a couple of spots not quite covered by the icing…oops!

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I scattered some pop rocks around because we were 70’s kids! My sister-in-law thought the cake reminded her of my phone case! :>

Here’s the yummy icing recipe:

Chocolate Malt Buttercream Icing

3 cups icing sugar

1/3 cup softened butter, unsalted is better

1-3 Tbl heated milk

(1 tsp vanilla, if you’re making a vanilla buttercream)

1 heaping Tbl cocoa powder

1 heaping Tbl malt powder

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and enjoy!

Happy Birthday Sweetie!!

 

 

Healthy Energy Cookie

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This recipe is one I found during my juicing searches and I thought it could be a healthy snack that would give me energy and help me deal with hunger.  Especially once I added the pulp, more substantial food. I think I originally found it on Pinterest, found it again, but can’t really remember for sure how it popped up onto my radar.

Anyway, the first time I made them, I only had quick cook steel oats because we don’t really keep regular oats around anymore. I  recently decided to give the quick ones a try, thinking my Sweetie might be willing to make them for himself if they were faster. I usually just end up making extra and he heats the leftovers up in the morning. I am addicted to regular Steel Cut Oats, and these just don’t have the nutty crunch! I was hoping I could could use them up in these cookies, but they were not good at all! So I finally made them the right way and they were better, a bit rubbery, but something I could get used to for a healthier cookie. Something I think I can get used to, but they NEED the chocolate chips!!! If you love banana, you will probably love them!

Super easy, using only 3 ingredients, you can whip these up in no time! And the kids can help!!

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Healthy Energy Cookie

2 Large bananas, mashed

1 cup quick cook oats

1/4 cup chocolate chips

**Mix the bananas and oats together until combined, add the chips and spoon onto cookie sheet with a teaspoon. I flatten them a bit, so the middle cooks better. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 9 small cookies. They’re tastiest still while warm. Enjoy! :>

Do you have an easy,  healthy recipe to share?

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Wise-Woman-Builds

Recipe Exchange: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

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I realized I should have made this dessert for St. Patrick’s Day, even though it may be technically British. But tea biscuits are very popular in Ireland also, so it’s a great recipe! I discovered this through a friend that lived in Ireland the same time I did and we ate plenty of McVities tea biscuits and digestives, so this is a fun recipe for us. I guess Prince William grew up eating this and requested it as his groom’s cake. I saw chocolate and tea biscuits in the photo and was hooked immediately!

So I’m linking up with The Little House on the Prairie Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange once again.

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I believe the only change I made was using milk chocolate instead of dark, although I would probably use plain in Ireland, which is more of a mix of the two. We really don’t like dark chocolate. I made this for my husband’s birthday a while back, so I added some festive Sixlets for some color!

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

4 tbsp (60 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

4 oz (110 g) milk chocolate, chopped

1 large egg, beaten

8 oz (225 g) McVities Rich Tea Biscuits (about 28), or other tea biscuits (such as Social Tea or Marie/Maria), broken into almond-sized pieces (I found Marie brand at Cost Plus World Market)

Icing:

8 oz (225 g) milk chocolate, chopped

Line bottom of 7-inch/18-cm (or other small) non-stick springform pan with parchment. Butter sides.

In medium bowl using electric mixer on medium, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

In top of double boiler, or in stainless steel bowl set over pot of simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring. Stir in butter mixture. Stir in egg. Remove from heat; fold in biscuits, stirring until well coated.

Spoon biscuit mixture into prepared cake pan, filling all gaps on bottom (it will be the top when unmolded). Refrigerate, covered, at least 3 hours until cold and firm.

Remove cake from fridge. Remove ring from springform pan. Turn cake upside down on cooling rack set over parchment-lined baking sheet; remove bottom and parchment.

In top of double boiler or in stainless steel bowl set over pot of simmering water, melt milk chocolate, stirring. Slowly pour over cake, filling crevices and smoothing top and sides using offset spatula.

Let cake stand at room temperature until set, at least 1 hour. Carefully run knife around bottom of cake where it has stuck to rack, then transfer cake to serving plate.

Makes 8 servings.

You’ll find the original post HERE.

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If you’re looking for something unique and different, try this cake!

Recipe Exchange

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Be Mine?

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Okay, here’s how we celebrated our love and marriage. We began last weekend while we were out of town and our hotel gave us a couple of perks as a part of their valentine specials. Then we had family here all week and my sister-in-law’s birthday to celebrate. Her birthday falls on February 14th!  So last night we had a little celebration at home. :>

Our table, laden with egg salad and curry chicken salad sandwiches, chocolate covered strawberries, tea and cookies.

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My Cookies!

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My Sweetie’s!

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Some Decor!

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Have you seen these “balloons” you pound to get them to expand?

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My Place Setting!

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The cookie collection for sharing! These cookies ended up being a great creative outlet for me. I had such a great time making them! Not everything turned out perfectly, but they tasted great and were a lot of fun!

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I sent my sweetie on a scavenger hunt to find a couple of gifts.

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Then we worked on a borrowed puzzle of our local Danish town, Solvang!

How did you celebrate with your sweetheart?

I’m linking up with Bonnie over at Saturday Upsides!

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http://aproverbs31wife.com/category/of-family-matters/helpmeet/

Wise-Woman-Builds


Tea Time Tuesday

Recipe Exchange: English Toffee

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Are you ready for another recipe? I keep getting asked for this recipe, so what better time to share than on an Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange Tuesday?! I’m linking up with Little House on the Prairie Living once again with a recipe for skrumptious ENGLISH TOFFEE. If you’ve never made your own, you’re in for a treat. It’s easy to make your own! It does take some time, stirring and babysitting though, but WELL WORTH it! Yum!

You’ll notice in the photo that this is the batch I put the chocolate on too soon and it created concaves. Aaargh!  I shouldn’t have hurried it, so don’t do that! : > Even still, it is so, so yummy!

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English Toffee

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds or pecans (for bottom layer)
1 cup butter (salted)
1 cup sugar
1 T light corn syrup
3 T water
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds or pecans (for top layer)

Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and sprinkle 1/2 cup of toasted almonds in the pan on the foil. In heavy saucepan melt butter. Add sugar, corn syrup and water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat to boiling.

Cook and stir over medium heat to 290 degrees using a candy thermometer (soft-crack stage). Watch carefully and stir, it can burn easily after 280 degrees. Remove from heat and pour mixture over the nuts in the pan immediately. Let stand 5 minutes or until firm but still hot. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let the stand for 1 to 2 minutes. When softened, spread chocolate over mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate with nuts. Chill till firm. Break into pieces. Store tightly covered. Makes 1 1/2 pounds.

The ingredients:

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It starts out pretty liquidy.

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Starting to thicken up.

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Poured out on the cookie sheet.

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Spreading the chocolate chips.

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The finished product sans nuts.

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I found this recipe at The Idea Room!

Happy Cooking!!

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Wise-Woman-Builds

Feminine Adventures

And everything at the SHOP is 15% OFF for the month of January!!! Coupon Code: 15OFFJAN

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31 Days of Heart and Home: Trust and a Modest Monday Swimsuit Tutorial

I spent a busy past 5 days with visiting relatives, and now our prayers are for other relatives facing hurricane Sandy tonight. First there were Tsunami warnings possibly for Alaska, Canada and Oregon…all places friends or family are living, and now this. So we’re trying to trust God and His plan with all of our loved ones.
Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

Amen and amen!!!! That’s all we can do, trust Him with their safety, because only He sees the end game!

Now to the Modest Monday part of my post. I have been planning this post for weeks, always wishing for more time to do it justice, but I’m just going to do it today. This summer I decided to make a more modest swimsuit for myself. It has bothered me for years that they are usually like wearing your underwear in public, and I never felt that Christ would approve of that. Also I am tired of wearing a top underneath to combat the ridiculous cleavage! No matter what, everything is awkward and immodest. So I decided to make a change, just as I have a few other times with my bathing suits.
The problem? I couldn’t find fabric I loved. So I started looking around and rummaging through my existing stash. Then one night in bed, it hit me…I could make over a suit I already have and love! A few years ago, I found a suit at Mervyn’s I just couldn’t pass up. The label called the pattern Chocolate Tea Party…HELLO…it was calling my name so clearly! And I still love that fabric over ANY I have seen for swimsuits, sooooooo, I plunged in.

**Here’s what I started with: A 2 piece tankini, a swim skirt (a couple of sizes bigger than I normally wear), and old knee length workout shorts.

**I had a hard time with some of the photos because the brown throws everything off sometimes, but you get the idea. The darker photos actually show more of the true shades of the suit and skirt, and the only way I could show that was by not using the flash.

I separated the bikini top part from the blouse part, and the skirt from the bottoms.

Then I cut an upside down  triangle out of the “blouse” piece and sewed it to the bikini top for modesty.

Next I pinned the skirt to the bikini top and sewed them for an empire waist look.

Then I cut little cap sleeves from the blouse flowered bottoms and blouse pieces. Things are always trickier when you use “scraps” to “piece” together an item, but it can be done, you just need lots of patience!

I would still love to find some long brown shorts to match better, but they’re hard to find, so for now I’m using some old black ones I already had.

When I tried it out for the first time a while back on a  weekend getaway with my sweetie, it was sooooo comfy!! And I felt so pretty and modest and worry free!!!!! SOLD!!! I surprised myself, instead of feeling self-conscious, odd and confined (metaphorically), I felt FREE!! I am so happy with this choice, and I know God is glad that I made it.

And after summer, I picked this little set up on clearance at Target, because I may need to ease in to the change around some friends, in order to help them not feel awkward or uncomfortable about it. I’ll need to either wear a shirt with it though, or make a modesty panel for it. Again, this is a 2 piece suit.

Have you ever made a decision you thought might be hard, but it ended up being easier in the end?

 

**Here’s a bit of an update!**
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Skip To My Lou

Recipe Exchange: Chocolate Swiss Roll Cake

So this past weekend was my sweetie’s birthday and I made a Chocolate Roll Cake for him from my Kitchenaid Instruction and Recipe Book. More about that in yesterday’s post. But today is Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange day with the Little House on the Prairie Living linkup, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

List of Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup cake flour (cake flour really works best)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • — Whipped Cream Filling —
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

 

Instructions



  1. Place egg yolks in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 8 and whip until light and lemon colored, about 2 minutes. Continuing on Speed 8, gradually sprinkle in 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla and beat 2 minutes more. Remove from bowl and set aside.
  2. Place egg whites in clean mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 8 and whip until whites begin to hold shape. Continuing on Speed 8, gradually sprinkle in remaining sugar, whipping until stiff but not dry. Fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa together. Fold into egg mixture.
  3. Line a 10 1/2 x 15 1/2  x 1-inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper or parchment paper and grease. Pour batter into pan and bake at 375 degrees  F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar/icing sugar. Remove waxed paper, and roll cake and towel together; cool completely.
  4. When cool, unroll cake and spread with Whipped Cream Filling. Re-roll and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  5. To prepare Whipped Cream Filling:
    Place cream and vanilla in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and wire whip to mixer. Turn to Speed 8 and whip until cream begins to thicken. Continuing on Speed 8, gradually sprinkle in sugar, whipping until stiff.Yield: 10 (1-inch-thick) slices

You can use all purpose flour if you have to, but it won’t be as light. Our store didn’t have cake flour, and I didn’t plan ahead enough for a trip into town, so I used all purpose and sifted it 3 times through. I also topped the slices with ganache I made for my father-in-law for Father’s Day.

You could also change the recipe up by adding peppermint oil, coffee, cinnamon, etc.

My gathered ingredients:

The fluffy egg whites:

The fluffy chocolate batter:

All rolled up:

Yumminess:

I added special mushrooms (Chocorooms from Cost Plus World Market), some of which I covered with red icing and dots.

And at the last minute we added a skier from the Tahoe Joe’s yummy cake dessert!

We only used 2 candles since there wasn’t much space left on the cake.

The Ganache:

This is actually a pretty easy cake . It just has some careful, specific steps. But don’t be intimidated, try it and enjoy!

Little House Living

I’m also linking up with Prairie Homestead:

 

And Growing Home Teach Me Tuesdays:

Growing Home

Yummy Tillamook Ice Cream

On the heels of our 2 week trip to Oregon, I decided do a little research again and see if maybe someone was finally selling Tillamook ice cream here. I was happily surprised to discover that Von’s carries it now!! I couldn’t contain my excitement over this wonderful news! I waited 4 long years to enjoy THE BEST ice cream while we were in Oregon, and then I discover the treasure is finally available in my own “backyard!” Yay!!!!

Tillamook is my favorite brand and I’ve been eating it my whole life. My family would camp for 10 days EVERY summer at Cape Lookout, which is just outside of Tillamook in Oregon, with all of the relatives. We would have adjoining camp sites and have a great time together. EVERY trip also meant a trek in to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Pioneer Museum. and yummy Tillamook ice cream, of course.

My favorite flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip. What  makes it better? That creamy Tillamook yumminess, AND their BIG CHUNKS of chocolate!!!  Mmmmmmmmmm!! There is NOTHING else like it!

My second favorite is Brown Cow, but now they call it Udderly Chocolate. Milk chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate chips. I don’t even usually like white chocolate. but yummm!

Our local Von’s only had this one, but the checker works at both local stores and offered to order my favorite for our store! Thanks! I just picked it up today…yay!!

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor/brand?