Hello, I'm glad you're here, and hope you enjoy your visit. It has been said that "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." This blog is about me, my adventures, silly moments, and keeping in touch with you. Life is exciting and so full of possibilities, so let's enjoy the journey together.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cupcakes in a Cone!


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                       Sounds like a fun idea. . .


what a great idea. . .
creative. . .

ingenious!


seriously, no more wrappers to wonder what to do with, especially for the kiddos.

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They sound simple enough, the tutorials I found on line made them sound easy enough
Line the top of a standard muffin pan with foil. . . I recommend a heavy duty foil for added support, but the light weight should work.


using a basic knife stab the foil in the center of each muffin hole


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then with your finger make the hole slightly smaller than the bottom of the ice-cream cone


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carefully place the cone inside the hole you just created and they will stand up nicely for baking and decorating. . .


easy. . . always a bonus in my book!

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My first experience was. . . well,


lets just call it one of those epic FAIL moments Sad smile 



As they were baking they melted the side of the cone and overflowed. . . we ended up using these anyway, but. . .

well, they were, 


for lack of a better description. . .


UGLY                     



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but the crowning FAIL was when I tried to “cheat” and make it easy by using ReddiWip for the topping. . . 

I was being lazy and didn’t want to take the time to make a batch of buttercream icing. . . 


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Even with the melted cone overflow,


complete with sprinkles they turned out pretty okay. . .

for about. . .


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10 minutes. . . 



just as I was finishing the last cupcakes with sprinkles, the topping. . .


Well. . .


. . . My grandmother used to tell me. . . “haste makes waste”

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. . .the Rediwip began to melt

It’s sort of frustrating when the wisdom of grandma is correct . . . AGAIN. . .
let it be known, that I miss my grandmother, Very Much!

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every 10 minutes it became more problematic!


This stuff was turning everything to an absolutely gooey mess . . .


Ugh, my brilliant time saving effort was a total and complete disaster!


I kept asking myself:  why, oh why, didn’t I listen to grandma’s wisdom. . .


well, because I didn’t know this stuff turned to disaster. . . in a
   
                                   VERY SHORT TIME


. . . that’s why        

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In the end (after approx 30 minutes) this is what we ended up with. . . 


a horrible unusable mess!


I definitely didn’t have time to redo these as regular cupcakes as the party these were intended was beginning in less than 30 minutes. . .

so in the last moments as we were leaving I removed as much of this mess as I could and replaced it with buttercream.  We arrived with not so great looking cupcakes only about 5 min late.


but now, for those of you who choose to take the easy way out have been forewarned and if you choose to try the path of “Rediwip” not such a bright idea. . . the results lay entirely on your shoulders


These little critters looked so dreadful. . . (but they still tasted super yummy) . . . . that I just sort of snuck them in and placed them on the table and came in another door never “claiming” the disastrous handiwork. . .


Not one of my better projects for sure.



ahh, I feel better now that I have given sufficient warning about using “REAL” whipped cream as a tasty fun topping on your cupcakes!


. . . Did I mention that using “Rediwip” is a BAD, a VERY BAD plan?


cuz it is!  . . .  Just trust me on this one . . . 

Just use a simple good quality homemade buttercream icing. . . no regrets, I promise Smile


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I have no idea what is in this "Rediwip" stuff, it say’s “real whipped cream”  but it is NOT like the stuff I whip up when I make “Real Whipped Cream”!

Let it be noted: 
I will only use the “Real” whipped cream from this point forth!










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the second time I attempted these, I tried a couple of different things 
and I would recommend both.

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use a small muffin liner and cut the bottom out like this

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. . . you will end up with a circle like this


Be careful not to stretch them out too much, if they are too big they don’t work as well.

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the other piece of advice that I would offer is

DO NOT FILL the cups past the little ridges in the cone.

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after you fill the cone with batter, place the liner in the cone to protect the cone from “melting” during the baking process.

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If you stretch the pleats in your liners too much they don’t go around and “join” at the ends as well and they are more difficult to remove in the end.

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. . . these were slightly overfilled which is what caused my problem.
While there is still a small amount of overflow on a couple of these, but it is MUCH better than without the liners

(note picture below).

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Moral of the story. . . DO NOT
over fill your cups!  Meaning, don’t fill the cups past the ridges in the top, even with the liners. 





Without liners this is the guaranteed results.     
 

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When you remove the shields after baking, you will decapitate the cupcakes . . . 


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I used an ├ęclair tip (Wilton tip# 230) to fill the centers with a super yummy raspberry icing and simply reattached the tops back on. . . it worked fabulously and gave the cones a tasty surprise inside. . .



you could use any flavor icing filling that suits your fancy. . . 


they key is. . . Yummy!



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Without the liners you are guaranteed to have this happen which is not appealing at all!
The cones literally melt in the baking process!


I did find that the Keebler cones did better than the Western Family or Generic brands did, but they still had a tendency to melt and leak cupcake batter out, overflowing down the sides.

they are still edible, just not “pretty”. . . 

                                                                           I think you get the idea here.

but now that I have the process figured out,
these little guys are cute and adorable as they should be . . .


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                                                           . . . like these


I wouldn’t hesitate to make these again, overall they were pretty simple, they are different and fun, and the kids LOVED them!

Ideally in the end this is what you will have to serve the kiddos at your party

The report from the ballerina was that these were a hit, 
they were the first ones off of the table. . .


. . . Always a happy day when a project turns out great!



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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Poached Pears


It is February and I am here to give a report on my training progress


Training is going well, in fact it is great!  

We have transitioned into a new training plan, we are now doing “block” training, and trust me, it has been more challenging!

I am feeling stronger and my confidence is building that I just might pull it together to successfully complete the Ultimate Challenge in August. . .


YAY, that thought makes me smile with happiness


I am ready for spring to get here, I think . . .


you see, I KNOW what lies ahead in August

and yes. . . I’m already dreading it

as in really DREADING . . .


Coach forewarned me earlier this week that April and May are going to be brutal for training


. . . somehow, that makes me nervous

. . . but then so does the Ultimate Challenge!

UGH. . . just the thought of riding my bike up and over approximately 11,000 feet of mountains covering 114 miles is motivation to keep my training up where coach recommends.


I’m sure you understand
and even if you don't, you may pretend

this is the same ride that ate my lunch last year.  Granted, I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been, my training had been weak and inconsistent AND I was fat


. . . way too fat to conquer that much climbing


Back to the present, my nutrition plan is working,
as I knew it would,
as it has always worked

I fell short of my January goal, but that was my fault, not the plan.


but it worked well enough giving me a total loss of 7 lbs for January 3 lbs shy from what the goal was.  Now I am looking forward to being even better in February!

Have you ever wondered what to have for desert when you are attempting to keep your diet healthy and nutritious?


Poached Pears with a Raspberry Sauce may be just the ticket. . .


What is interesting about this dessert, is that I have had it in my mind for several years to make this, but just kept putting it off.  I have even purchased pears and then just eaten them instead.  In my mind I thought they would be difficult!


How silly of me. . . 


 now I chastise myself for not adding these to my list of recipes sooner


They are AMAZINGLY easy to make 
stunning to serve and. . . 
DELICIOUS to eat!


seriously, this little baby is delicious!

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 . . . AND Super Simple to do!

The best part is you can prepare these little yummies a couple of days in advance.   
Simply keep pears soaking in the poaching liquid until ready to serve.

If you would like to make these for yourself all just click this little rectangle for the recipe


The sauce can be made several days in advance too or even while the fruit is in season and frozen, similar to freezer jam!


It is a delicious topping for ice-cream too. . .


did I say ice-cream?

oh, forgive me,

even if ice-cream is my fav. . .


it’s no excuse. . . we are having pears today NO ice-cream until April or May



. . . is anyone having a birthday party and wants to invite me?


I’ll come and . . .

I can come up with a dozen valid reasons that I should enjoy ice-cream at your birthday party



UGH, just kidding,


Honestly, I want to fit into my pants by summer, 
and my jerseys are still feeling slightly claustrophobic

I can’t afford to jump off the wagon,


so on second thought, you probably better not invite me to your birthday party
it would be tragic to turn you down, it would make me sad.


. . . unless you are having something wonderful like. . .


poached pears

yum-yum-yum!

 

they truly are wonderful after any meal




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