Sunday, October 31, 2010

cake pops

cake balls

Beware! Turn back now! Despair all ye who enter here!

These cake pops are so tasty, so indulgent and so darn cute, you will quickly be pulled in by their sweet siren song. They will throw you into a deadly cycle of making and eating these little treats that will only end in driving a giant batch to a friends house in a last ditch effort to avoid resembling a cake ball yourself.

Or at least that is my experience. You, on the other hand, my have a modicum of self control.

In which case, you should make these cake pops! And if you lack self control when it comes to adorable and tasty treats, then you should make these cake pops! (And then immediately drive them to your obliging friends' house.)

Either way, you need these in your life.

The basic idea here is that you bake a cake, crumble it up (which feels so wrong), stir in almost a whole can of icing (which feels so right), roll it into balls, chill the balls, poke in a stick and cover in chocolate. It's a little fussy, but easy and a ton of fun. Not only are all edibles better on a stick, but there are sprinkles involved AND you get to destroy a cake!!

The vanilla cake and icing combo below was cute and yummy, and my husband's favorite. My favorite, Red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and chocolate almond bark, makes for a cake pop in perfect balance - the savory-sweetness of the cream cheese icing with the mild chocolate flavor of the chocolate almond bark; the soft, creaminess of the red velvet cake with the crunch of the chocolate. Heaven.

Whatever combo you choose, just don't be tempted to use chocolate chips - they don't temper properly like the almond bark or candy melts and will never set up , dry or become crunchy. There is only sadness and pain down that road. Just so you know.

For complete instructions visit the ingenious, creative and fabulous Bakerella.

Now let's get to work.

cake balls group

cake balls spear setup

cake balls assistant

cake balls skewered

cake balls speared

cake balls sprinkles

cake balls cover setup

cake balls cover

cake balls tap

cake balls covered

cake balls sprinkle

cake balls 3
Oh my but these are cute. And yummy. And adorable. And delicious. And in no way healthy or natural. But they make me very, very happy. And round.

cake balls 2

There are tons of cake pop variations on flavors and shapes on Bakerella's site. Like her spring chicks cake pops. I can't handle the cuteness. You could just lurk around there basking in her creative genius. Or you could buy her new book. Or you could just put a cake in the oven right now and get started on these beauties. Whatever you do, just be ware: you may be able to resist the cuteness, and you may be able to resist the yumminess, but you can't resist both.
And one cake mix makes 50 cake pops.
Warn your friends.

cake balls

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

shrimp and sausage jambalaya

shrimp and sausage jambalaya

Oh dear. Oh my. This is very, very good.

I've been wanting to try my hand at jambalaya for a while now. When I saw Amelia Durand make her northern Louisiana family's recipe on Barefoot Contessa, I knew the time had come.

I followed her recipe pretty closely, except for only using 2 cans of chicken broth. The next time I make it, I'll probably leave out the ham - it didn't add enough to the flavor of the dish to be worth what it added in fat.

It also gave me a chance to teach you a few of my favorite kitchen tricks, like chopping veggies while the protein browns, easily and efficiently chopping peppers, onions, jalapenos and scallions, using the most brilliant pantry item ever - tomato paste in a tube, and my favorite trick: stacking my chopped herbs next to the measuring cup so I won't have to wash it. Laziness begets cleverness! Or something like that. Enjoy!

sliced sausage

bell pepper

bell pepper de-ribbing

bell pepper slice

bell pepper chop

browned sausage

cubed ham

onion beheading

onion slice

onion chop

celery chop

browned ham n sausage



garlic smoosh

garlic chop

jalapeno halved

core jalapeno

jalapeno cored

jalapeno julienne

jalapeno chop

translucent onion

tomato paste

tomato paste squirt

add tomatoes n herbs


scallion beheading

scallion chop

scallion gradient

parsley measure above

parsley measure


browned ham n sausage

tabasco only

add shrimp

shrimp and sausage jambalaya

Amelia Durand's fabulous Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya recipe can be found here.

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