Monthly Archives: April 2011

Texas Sheet Cake with White Chocolate Icing

Although I try my best to lead a healthy lifestyle, I have a few setbacks…duh, who doesn’t?

Mine are:

1.  Eating too many sweets.
2.  Spending too much time on the computer.
3.  Laying out when it gets sunny.

The first two are inevitable with this blog, but the last one I have no excuses for.

In high school, I tanned in tanning beds for prom and it’s honestly really hard not to anymore.  Not just because I like to get a tan, but because in the winter time I just need a little “sunlight”. 

Nowadays, though, I sick solely to the good ol’ outdoors.  I can assure you that I was outside the very first day it was sunny and above 60 degrees and loved every minute of it!  It just feels so good.  Sometimes I listen to music, but most of the time I just relax and enjoy the time to myself.

Today, I indulged in all 3 guilty pleasures and I don’t feel guilty at all.

Rachel at Dressed to Dish featured me on her blog!! (This is the pic I sent her.  Go check her out!)

P.s. I just thought I’d give my desserts some credibility. These are my friends…just eatin’ a few cake balls.

And Kellen being a killjoy. 😉

What are your healthy lifestyle setbacks??

Texas Sheet Cake (Cupcakes)
All Recipes

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

 Icing:

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup melted white chocolate
  • ¼ cup sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10×15 inch pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the sour cream and eggs. Set aside. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until blended.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. For the icing: In a large saucepan, combine the milk,  vanilla and ½ cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in the melted white chocolate and stir.  Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly, mixing until blended. Spread frosting over warm cake and add sprinkles.

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Texas Sheet Cake with White Chocolate Icing

Although I try my best to lead a healthy lifestyle, I have a few setbacks…duh, who doesn’t?

Mine are:

1.  Eating too many sweets.
2.  Spending too much time on the computer.
3.  Laying out when it gets sunny.

The first two are inevitable with this blog, but the last one I have no excuses for.

In high school, I tanned in tanning beds for prom and it’s honestly really hard not to anymore.  Not just because I like to get a tan, but because in the winter time I just need a little “sunlight”. 

Nowadays, though, I sick solely to the good ol’ outdoors.  I can assure you that I was outside the very first day it was sunny and above 60 degrees and loved every minute of it!  It just feels so good.  Sometimes I listen to music, but most of the time I just relax and enjoy the time to myself.

Today, I indulged in all 3 guilty pleasures and I don’t feel guilty at all.

Rachel at Dressed to Dish featured me on her blog!! (This is the pic I sent her.  Go check her out!)

P.s. I just thought I’d give my desserts some credibility. These are my friends…just eatin’ a few cake balls.

And Kellen being a killjoy. 😉

What are your healthy lifestyle setbacks??

Texas Sheet Cake (Cupcakes)
All Recipes

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

 Icing:

  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10×15 inch pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat in the sour cream and eggs. Set aside. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, add the water and 5 tablespoons cocoa. Bring mixture to a boil then remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until blended.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. For the icing: In a large saucepan, combine the milk,  vanilla and 1/2 cup butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in the melted white chocolate and stir.  Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly, mixing until blended. Spread frosting over warm cake and add sprinkles.

Passover Pecan Brownies



I received an email from Osem…  I almost deleted it, but I was interested because I had never heard of Osem before.


I checked it out and they’re a large provider of kosher foods.  Kosher means that something is “meant to be eaten” and kosher foods “conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework”.  


Although I’m not Jewish, I decided to make these brownies… mostly because they looked really good, but also because I wanted to branch out a little bit.


If you don’t know where to get Matza cake meal, you can get it here or here. Or you can just switch the ½ cup Matza cake meal out with 1 cup of all purpose flour.

Today is the last day of Passover, so if you get a change, I highly recommend you make these delicious, chocolatey brownies.  The top crust is crunchy and the inside is light and moist.  MMM!

PECAN BROWNIES
Levana Cooks

The Passover version of this timeless classic is virtually identical to the year-round one: Osem Matza cake meal is that good! Secret of delicious brownies, beside of course delicious chocolate: Do not be tempted to bake a minute more or they will harden.

Ingredients 


8 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, chopped, or 2 cups best-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup margarine (try your best for a good natural brand)

4 eggs
1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup Osem Matza Cake Meal (or 1 cup AP flour)

¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (12 to 15 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven)

Directions


Preheat oven to 375°F. 
Melt the chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over very low heat or in a microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. 
In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the chocolate mixture and mix. 
Add the matza cake meal and vanilla and mix, pulsing until just combined. 
Fold in pecans.
Pour the batter into a greased 12-inch square pan (or any pan of a comparable size) and bake for 35 minutes until the top is barely firm. It will set completely with the residual heat sticking to the pan. Chill before cutting, so you can cut them neatly. 
Store refrigerated in a sealed container. Makes about 3 dozen.



P.s. Beautiful Ari is having a giveaway… you should all go check it out!

Passover Pecan Brownies



I received an email from Osem…  I almost deleted it, but I was interested because I had never heard of Osem before.


I checked it out and they’re a large provider of kosher foods.  Kosher means that something is “meant to be eaten” and kosher foods “conform to the regulations of the Jewish Halakhic law framework”.  


Although I’m not Jewish, I decided to make these brownies… mostly because they looked really good, but also because I wanted to branch out a little bit.


If you don’t know where to get Matza cake meal, you can get it here or here. Or you can just switch the 1/2 cup Matza cake meal out with 1 cup of all purpose flour.

Today is the last day of Passover, so if you get a change, I highly recommend you make these delicious, chocolatey brownies.  The top crust is crunchy and the inside is light and moist.  MMM!

PECAN BROWNIES
Levana Cooks

The Passover version of this timeless classic is virtually identical to the year-round one: Osem Matza cake meal is that good! Secret of delicious brownies, beside of course delicious chocolate: Do not be tempted to bake a minute more or they will harden.
Ingredients 

8 ounces best-quality dark chocolate, chopped, or 2 cups best-quality semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup margarine (try your best for a good natural brand)
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Osem Matza Cake Meal (or 1 cup AP flour)
¾ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans (12 to 15 minutes in a preheated 325 degree oven)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. 
Melt the chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over very low heat or in a microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. 
In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add the chocolate mixture and mix. 
Add the matza cake meal and vanilla and mix, pulsing until just combined. 
Fold in pecans.
Pour the batter into a greased 12-inch square pan (or any pan of a comparable size) and bake for 35 minutes until the top is barely firm. It will set completely with the residual heat sticking to the pan. Chill before cutting, so you can cut them neatly. 
Store refrigerated in a sealed container. Makes about 3 dozen.



P.s. Beautiful Ari is having a giveaway… you should all go check it out!

Vanilla Cupcakes for ONE!

Sometimes, I just can’t handle more than two cupcakes.

Am I being for reeealll???  Yes, I’m being for real.

I just can’t do it.  Especially since Easter was yesterday and Easter means Easter Bunny.  Easter bunny means:

That’s not even the half of it, or the third of it… I would even venture to say that that’s not even the 1/16th of it.  Candy overload.  I act like this is a problem, though.
As much as I enjoy it, I was still thankful to find Jessica’s one bowl vanilla cupcakes for two.  I may or may not have turned them into one bowl vanilla cupcakes for one.  But, I healthified it, so that’s fine, right?  Just like it’s fine to make up words…

How was your Easter?!  Did the Easter Bunny bring you anything?  I’m pretty sure I’ll be receiving an Easter basket until I have children.


One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for… One
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
serves 1
Ingredients
1 egg white
2 tablespoons Splenda (or sweetener of choice)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)
¼ cup flour
¼ heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ tablespoons (almond) milk
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and Splenda and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and pumpkin and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired. 
Frosting:  I used a mixture of one tablespoon Mascarpone cheese, one tablespoon powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons cocoa powder for one and the other I did the same thing, only I added 2 teaspoons of peanut butter instead of cocoa powder.

Vanilla Cupcakes for ONE!

Sometimes, I just can’t handle more than two cupcakes.

Am I being for reeealll???  Yes, I’m being for real.

I just can’t do it.  Especially since Easter was yesterday and Easter means Easter Bunny.  Easter bunny means:

That’s not even the half of it, or the third of it… I would even venture to say that that’s not even the 1/16th of it.  Candy overload.  I act like this is a problem, though.
As much as I enjoy it, I was still thankful to find Jessica’s one bowl vanilla cupcakes for two.  I may or may not have turned them into one bowl vanilla cupcakes for one.  But, I healthified it, so that’s fine, right?  Just like it’s fine to make up words…

How was your Easter?!  Did the Easter Bunny bring you anything?  I’m pretty sure I’ll be receiving an Easter basket until I have children.


One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for… One
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
serves 1
Ingredients
1 egg white
2 tablespoons Splenda (or sweetener of choice)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (almond) milk
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and Splenda and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and pumpkin and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired. 
Frosting:  I used a mixture of one tablespoon Mascarpone cheese, one tablespoon powdered sugar, and 2 teaspoons cocoa powder for one and the other I did the same thing, only I added 2 teaspoons of peanut butter instead of cocoa powder.

EatStrong {Veggie & Egg Quinoa}

 
I was fortunate enough to be able to sample EatStrong’s new Trail Mix and Energy Bar. 

The Energy Bar is basically a huge bar of peanut butter with a nice crunch to it and “chocolate chips” (organic cocoa) liberally incorporated throughout, but still only has the average 230 calories most energy .  I didn’t know what to expect when I opened it because the color is a bit off-putting… but the taste is so good!  And it kept me full for a few hours. 

The snack mix includes cashews, flax, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and organic cocoa drops.  The bag has the perfect amount to satisfy and is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  The chocolate drops were obviously my favorite, but the rest was good, too.  The snack mix is a little more calorie dense, but only by a little bit at 260.  It also kept me full for quite a while.

I was pretty impressed with the products and the simple ingredient list.  It’s convenient and delicious.  Try it out!!

I figured I’d keep with the healthy topic and give a healthy recipe today because I do actually try to eat well aside from all the baking I do. 
 



Veggie and Egg Quinoa (For one)

Ingredients 

¼ cup quinoa
½ cup water
½ green bell pepper
½ a medium sized onion
1 plum tomato
1 egg
Seasoned Salt to taste
Garlic Salt to taste

Directions

1.  Bring the water to a boil and add your quinoa.  Cook quinoa until the water has soaked up.
2.  Chop the veggies and heat in the microwave 1-2 minutes.
3.  Cook your egg however you want it.  I scrambled mine.
4.  Add all ingredients in a saucepan and saute for 2-5 minutes. 

EatStrong {Veggie & Egg Quinoa}

 
I was fortunate enough to be able to sample EatStrong’s new Trail Mix and Energy Bar. 

The Energy Bar is basically a huge bar of peanut butter with a nice crunch to it and “chocolate chips” (organic cocoa) liberally incorporated throughout, but still only has the average 230 calories most energy .  I didn’t know what to expect when I opened it because the color is a bit off-putting… but the taste is so good!  And it kept me full for a few hours. 

The snack mix includes cashews, flax, sunflower seeds, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and organic cocoa drops.  The bag has the perfect amount to satisfy and is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.  The chocolate drops were obviously my favorite, but the rest was good, too.  The snack mix is a little more calorie dense, but only by a little bit at 260.  It also kept me full for quite a while.

I was pretty impressed with the products and the simple ingredient list.  It’s convenient and delicious.  Try it out!!

I figured I’d keep with the healthy topic and give a healthy recipe today because I do actually try to eat well aside from all the baking I do. 
 



Veggie and Egg Quinoa (For one)

Ingredients 

1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 a medium sized onion
1 plum tomato
1 egg
Seasoned Salt to taste
Garlic Salt to taste

Directions

1.  Bring the water to a boil and add your quinoa.  Cook quinoa until the water has soaked up.
2.  Chop the veggies and heat in the microwave 1-2 minutes.
3.  Cook your egg however you want it.  I scrambled mine.
4.  Add all ingredients in a saucepan and saute for 2-5 minutes. 

Cake Mix Cookie Balls

The other day, my dearest friend Brandon tried some homemade cake mix cookies that I made and proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t decide if he liked those better or the cake balls I make… so I made a combination.  Plus, these are one of my best friend JORDAN’S favorite desserts and she’s home from college this weekend! 🙂

It kind of lead to a series of disasters in the kitchen. 

I was trying to make granola at the same time as these cookie balls and I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

First of all, my cake mix cookies definitely didn’t turn out as well as last time.  They turned out more like cake, so although the finished product was delicious, it kind of defeated the whole purpose of my little experiment.  I’m not even really sure what I did wrong because they turned out great last time!  I’m thinking I used too much milk…

Then, while trying to multitask, I spilled my granola alllll over the floor and counter!

I also didn’t realize how many cake balls I was getting myself into… yiiikes!  It took probably an hour and a half to coat all of them.  Wooo!! Quite the day, but, like I said, these turned out really well and they’re made completely from scratch!

They also turned into a delicious trifle that I’ll be posting soon… 🙂

What are your worst disaster stories in the kitchen?

Cake Mix Cookie Balls

*The recipe obviously needs a little tweaking since mine turned out cakey-er than I would’ve preferred, but this is my recipe I used. 

Ingredients

1 recipe Homemade White Cake Mix
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
½ cup oil
1 batch White Chocolate Frosting
1-2 packages almond bark (I used one vanilla, one chocolate)  depending on how much you use
2 tablespoons oil, depending on how much almond bark used


Directions

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients until incorporated.
3.  Drop by tablespoonfulls onto a greased baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.
5.  Wait for cookies to cool, then break them all apart and put them in a large mixing bowl.
6.  Mix frosting with cookies.
7.  Roll into your choice of size balls (I used a small melon baller) and place in freezer for about 30 minutes.  This will help the dipping process.
8.  Melt one package chocolate with 1 tablespoon oil.
9.  Dip chilled balls in melted chocolate.

Cake Mix Cookie Balls

The other day, my dearest friend Brandon tried some homemade cake mix cookies that I made and proceeded to tell me that he couldn’t decide if he liked those better or the cake balls I make… so I made a combination.  Plus, these are one of my best friend JORDAN’S favorite desserts and she’s home from college this weekend! 🙂

It kind of lead to a series of disasters in the kitchen. 

I was trying to make granola at the same time as these cookie balls and I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

First of all, my cake mix cookies definitely didn’t turn out as well as last time.  They turned out more like cake, so although the finished product was delicious, it kind of defeated the whole purpose of my little experiment.  I’m not even really sure what I did wrong because they turned out great last time!  I’m thinking I used too much milk…

Then, while trying to multitask, I spilled my granola alllll over the floor and counter!

I also didn’t realize how many cake balls I was getting myself into… yiiikes!  It took probably an hour and a half to coat all of them.  Wooo!! Quite the day, but, like I said, these turned out really well and they’re made completely from scratch!

They also turned into a delicious trifle that I’ll be posting soon… 🙂

What are your worst disaster stories in the kitchen?

Cake Mix Cookie Balls

*The recipe obviously needs a little tweaking since mine turned out cakey-er than I would’ve preferred, but this is my recipe I used. 

Ingredients

1 recipe Homemade White Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 batch White Chocolate Frosting
1-2 packages almond bark (I used one vanilla, one chocolate)  depending on how much you use
2 tablespoons oil, depending on how much almond bark used


Directions

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix all ingredients until incorporated.
3.  Drop by tablespoonfulls onto a greased baking sheet.
4.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.
5.  Wait for cookies to cool, then break them all apart and put them in a large mixing bowl.
6.  Mix frosting with cookies.
7.  Roll into your choice of size balls (I used a small melon baller) and place in freezer for about 30 minutes.  This will help the dipping process.
8.  Melt one package chocolate with 1 tablespoon oil.
9.  Dip chilled balls in melted chocolate.