Life of aspiring Social Worker/Baker/Chef

Social Causes Meets Food Obsession

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For the man in my life...

Many of my close and personal friends know I have a wonderful man in my life. He tells me he loves me for no reason, that I am his best friends and makes me laugh daily.

Ok, ok I have two....but in all fairness I made this one. :)

And we were also out of town for his birthday....So, what do you do for an impromptu celebration? Chuck E Cheese! His bffs from Memphis came and we scheduled a play date at the said establishment. And it wouldn't be a play date with out sugary goodness. I made ice cream cupcakes (this is the first year I made cupcakes for his birthday).

I got the idea from Joy the Baker. However, Conner wanted Lighting McQueen flavored ice cream (where do you even find that? can you imagine Disney-Pixar flavored ice cream?). And I was baking in a kitchen as a guest with out my normal spices and goodies.

I opted for using a cake mix instead of home made and made a chocolate fudge icing instead of a true Ganache, but for a play date/celebratory affair they turned out mighty fine.

Strawberry Ice Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache
(Adapted, but not by much, from Joy the Baker)
*Devil's food cake mix
*1/2 cup of Sour cream
*1/4 Tsp of sugar
*Softened strawberry ice cream
*Cup cake liners
*3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
*1/4 cup Heavy cream

Prepare your cake batter according to the directions. Add the 1/2 cup of Sour cream and the sugar (this moistens the cake mix batter to fool people into thinking it is home made). Fill the liners only about half way or a little less. I only made half the cake mix and still had some cake mix left over. Allow to completely cool.

While the cupcakes are making, place the ice cream in the refrigerator and allow to soften. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop your ice cream right on top of the cupcakes still in the pan. Take a spoon and pack and smooth the ice cream. Place the cupcakes in the freeze. Allow to refreeze.

The day before or 2 hours before the party heat the heavy cream in a small sauce pan on medium heat, remove from heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until shiny. Coat the cupcakes (quickly as it will immediately set when it touches the ice cream). Top with sprinkles and again refreeze.

Friday, June 11, 2010

LOST: the final party....

I love Lost. LOVE it. We were all on edge when finale rolled around. And WHAT a finale. 2 hour build up before the show, 2.5 hour show and interviews after that. So, I invited my nearest and dearest to celebrate at my new apartment (fondly called the "man cave").
So, what do you make to feed six people for at least 5-6 hours? And how do you make it seem lost-ish and make enough to last?

I started with some fun decorations to get in the spirit. Then, I thought Mangoes...what could I do with Mangoes? I found a simple salsa with onions, mango, cucumber, spicy peppers (which I left out) and I added fresh corn to thicken it up to serve the number of people. Needless to say it was the simplest dish and I literally had none left over! I also wanted to do something substantial for such a long sitting of TV. I made Mr.Cluck Cluck's chicken nuggets (home made nuggets) served with carrot sticks and Hugo ranch.

I also bought peanut butter filled pretzels for Charlie and Claire PB pretzels (I ran out of time or I would have made PB cookies). Which leads us to my favorite part of any meal - dessert! Really, you can't watch your favorite TV show without sweets. At least that is how we operate in the "Man Cave". It's a rule. So, for our Island theme I made coconut truffles also named "brigadeiros" in Brazilian and Latin American cultures. This slice of heaven is fudge like and rolled in sprinkles, coconut and whatever your little heart desires. I confess for my second dessert dish I have just wanted to make an apple cake. So, I christened it the Adam and Eve Apple cake. It is all kind of moist, cinnamon apple goodness.


Mango Salsa
- 2 mangoes
- 1 ear of corn or one can of corn
- 1 cucumber
- 1 quarter or half a onion
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice
- Handful of chopped cilantro to taste

Add all ingredients and stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Tribeca Yummy Mummy
- 4 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder
- 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Shredded coconut,sprinkles and any other toppings

In a medium sauce pan combine the milks and the cocoa powder over medium heat. Stir until it thickens (about 10 minutes). Let come to room temperature and sit the mixture into the fridge for 20 minutes. Line a plate or pan with parchment paper. Slightly wet your hands and, using a spoon, scoop out segments of chocolate. Roll it into a ball with your moisten hands. Then, in a shallow dish, roll the chocolate into your desired toppings. To make Carmel flavored instead of chocolate, add 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup.

I promise the Apple cake recipe will make an appearance soon. ;)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Remember me....?

So, to say it has been a long time is a bit of an understatement. Just a wee one.

I have very good excuses! Really do! Such as: end of the semester, moving, loss of camera connector doodad, new internship and current loss of the Internet.

Sad I know....I won't do it anymore. Scouts honor.

I do have LOTS of things to blog about. Such as LOST finale food extravaganza, pasta in a pinch, and ice cream cupcakes! YUM. So, soon little blog you will be filled with lots and lots of entries.

Did I mention I have a new internship? Community Connections of Northeast Georgia (CC or CC of NEGA). What is THAT, right? Well, what CC of NEGA does sounds really simple (believe me it is not). CC connects callers to a service they need. SO, if Daniel needs help to obtain Child Support; then he can call CC to get information he needs. However, we (as the behind the scenes people) are responsible for maintaining the system of information, taking calls and the other departments of CC. Oh, there is more you say?

Yes, more. They also have a program called HandsOn Northeast Georgia where they establish volunteer activities and connect volunteers to volunteer opportunities. CC also works to establish stronger Nonprofit Organizations in Northeast Georgia through their Nonprofit Development Alliance where nonprofits can get training, funding and information for becoming fully developed. Get Help, Give Help and Grow Help. Simple, right? Ha.

Anyway, they are a fantastic organization and I am pleased as punch to be here this summer. I love it. One of my responsibilities includes the HandsOn Northeast Georgia blog. Here is where it gets interesting. I am going to bake things for my "Coffee and Community" sessions for the CC blog. So, stayed tuned for my upcoming blogs, baking like crazy blogs and tune into CC's blog to hear about the organization!