Now that baby girl is over the age of 1, I’ve found a new appreciation for honey. Sweet as sugar but a much more natural sweetener option. Tess loves it and I’m quickly realizing how great it is to bake with. Cue these bars!
Typically, I don’t like to mix fruit and chocolate. Bananas and strawberries are the exceptions. I am well aware that chocolate and orange are a famous pair, but I haven’t been on board until just recently.
Whenever I state something about my future with absolute certainty, the opposite inevitably comes true. For example, I once said, “I would never date a gym teacher” (some inane idea about them just wanting to play games all day – whereas now I’m like, um hellooo that’s awesome). Regardless, I’ll give you two guesses as to my husband’s occupation.
I like this title because it seems like it rhymes, but it actually doesn’t. Cake is fun to make because it’s fun to eat. The only problem is, most cake recipes serve 16 people. I so infrequently bake for 16 people, that I barely ever make cake (which is why pie is awesome. Shout out to pie).
Wow, could that title be any longer? “Hi, I’m Chandler, could I be wearing any more clothes”. Did you know that the current high school-aged kids don’t know Friends references? I’ve heard crickets many a-time in my classroom. These mini-cupcakes are toddler approved, both because they’re healthy and because my toddler ate three. And she doesn’t really like eating, so I was pumped. I also ate three. So good. Let me explain.
In level-two cooking we did a cake unit (yes, a cake unit in a high school class – high school kids have it good). They always wanted to do a cheesecake, because, well, cheesecake is the bomb. I’d explain that it wouldn’t work in the time period – you can’t eat a cheesecake until it’s been chilled at least 8 hours. While this was frustrating for a high school cooking class, it’s AWESOME for a home cook. Make ahead desserts are what it’s all about. This cake, friends, is not to be missed.
The interesting thing about being particular is that you more often get what you want. Case and point – my father. He hates sweets of all kind, preferring instead the really bland, old school, stale-seeming Italian cookies. He does like a good carrot cake, though, so every September he gets a carrot cake for his birthday! It’s nice, in a way, to know exactly what he wants as you’re ensured a great response for putting in the work of making a homemade cake. And it is work, but of a more satisfying sort than most. Let me explain…
I made 20 cupcakes on Saturday. I ate one of them on Saturday night. I didn’t freeze any. They were all gone by Sunday night. Doesn’t this sound like one of those (really hard!) 5th grade word problems in math class? What I am trying to say is that seconds were had. My friend Brad actually had 3.
I like homemaking things, as in, I like food that is homemade. I think it tastes better, and I like that I can pronounce and recognize all the ingredients used to make it. That being said, when a recipe has TOO much involved, I pass. If it’s full of arbitrary ingredients that are stupid expensive or difficult to find, I turn the page. Anyone notice that Cooking Light recipes are often this way? Way too many random ingredients. Anyways, I love when you dig into an appetizer dip or a dessert and think – “OMG this is divine! How do you make it!? I need to recreate it as soon as possible!”, and your friend says something like, “Oh, it’s sausage, salsa and sour cream mixed together”. Or, “it’s boxed pudding and oreo cookies”. Dangit! Why did I do all that work for my so-so dish?? If this has happened to you before, I am pleased to bring you this coconut cake recipe.
When I was 21 I did a short (but amazing) semester abroad in the French West Indies. Oddly enough, considering we were living in paradise, my dear friend Carrie and I found ourselves slightly homesick at times. There is something comforting about seeing a familiar item when you’re far from home, and for us it was an Almond Joy bar. Never a candy I’d been interested in, suddenly I HAD to have it. It was epic, memorable, and began my love affair with all things chocolate/coconut.
Learning how to cook will save you money, calories, and your life. Don’t scoff – cooking for yourself is almost always healthier than restaurant food and long life is an indirect result of a healthy diet. There is a downside to cooking; the mystery calorie curtain is lifted and your entire view of food will change a bit. You can no longer pretend that cheesecake is good for you because cheese has protein.
Super cheesy (pun intended) name, but I went for it.
One of my best friends just had a BEAUTIFUL baby girl named Avery. She is the picture of perfection. With a baby brunch plan intact, I asked her what she wanted me to bring her. She says, “something warm, buttery, cinnamon-y. Hmm…blueberry buckle, but with apples… can you do that?” Oh heck yes.
I like to drink hot chocolate and eat thin mints. If you take a sip of the hot chocolate and then quickly bite into the cookie, it gets all melty and happy in your mouth. That’s my thin mint story for you. You probably have of your own, because the thin mint is the best girl scout cookie there is (except for caramel delight, aka, samoan – was samoan not PC?). Anyways, this cupcake matches it in flavor but instead of being hard and processed in a gargantuan factory somewhere, it’s warm and made in your oven!
Look, cake is bad for you. If I want cake, I don’t want it made with egg whites and spenda. I want CAKE. Buttery, chocolaty, fluffy, grin-inspiring cake.
At school we make a jelly roll during the cake unit; a jelly roll is actually a flat sponge cake that you spread with filling and roll up into a log. Ever heard of a Buche de Noel? Same thing, except that is covered with chocolate. Sponge cake is a category of cake that has no fat! No oil or butter whatsoever. It has lots of eggs which are whipped up to make the cake spongy, aka sponge cake.
At work we have filing cabinets full of hundreds of recipes; literally, like 800. One day, very randomly, I stumbled across a pineapple upside down cake. I didn’t have pineapple, but I DID have some apples!
I’ve been on the health train lately, at least in terms of what I’ve posted here. Next stop, Fatty McFatterson. But so worth it… so, so worth it.