ODP Day 4 – Friends

Hello reader,

Some days are just good. Full of hugs, sweet messages, good food, and friends. Today was a good day.

This cake, which I made to bring to lunch with friends, is potentially my new favorite chocolate cake. It has cherry whipped cream as icing and a cherry filling, and it is delicious. And I have a jar of leftover whipped cream in my fridge right now, which I am very excited about. 

  Today’s outfit looks almost exactly the same as yesterday’s, but for some reason I like it better. I think it’s because blazers make me feel sophisticated, and sophistication is on of my major goals in life to achieve.

Even a blazer won’t make me sophisticated at 10pm on Sunday when I’m doing homework due the tomorrow… This morning person does not appreciate late nights… Yay for procrastination, coffee, and friends who take sneaky pictures of you studying!




#ODP14 Day 24

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Today’s outfit was super simple, even though it was a pretty awesome day! I wanted to wear a TWU shirt as an affirmation for the assignment I was doing. Two of the classes I’m taking this semester require you to observe children for two hours each week. So that’s not a huge problem, except I just moved here and don’t know anyone with children well enough to say, “hey, can I come to your house for two hours and watch your child?” That would sound pretty creepy. So instead I went to the mall, because they have a children’s play area.Although it’s still a little weird, it’s not as bad as being in a stranger’s house. Anyway, I wanted to wear the TWU shirt in case anyone asked me why I was watching their child play at the mall. Also, I was still making up for the four hours of sleep I got the night before and did not want to put forth more effort than absolutely necessary. Also, I’m running out of ideas. But on to exciting things: I got new coffee mugs at Ross today! They’re super cute and match our dorm perfectly! (check them out on instagram?). I also bought brownie explosion coffee, which I’m super excited to try! Continuing the food theme, I went over to a friend’s apartment and made banana bread (mind blowing fact: there were only three ingredients. 3 bananas, 2 eggs, 1 yellow cake mix. 350 for 40 minutes in two small loaf pans. Legit, it tastes like regular banana bread, only a teensy bit sweeter. My next adventure is to try to make it in a mug in the microwave). BUT: the most exciting news of all time is that………..Rachel and Lindsay just bought their plane tickets to come visit me!!!!! I am SO EXCITED!! We’re already planning our short week Together in Texas (that’s the theme of this Clarinet Reunion, I just decided that). What is your favorite thing to do in San Antonio and surrounding areas?ODP14 24 2


Butterflies and Flowers

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Don’t those look pretty? My mom and I made this for my birthday this past year. It all started with a cake. I wanted to make this delicious sounding cake that I saw on Pinterest (of course, right?). I mixed up the batter, baked it, let it cool, popped it out of the pan, and it broke straight in two. Right before I had to go to work, so I couldn’t try again… So my mom took over. And the same thing happened to her. So now we had two delicious, yet broken, cakes. The day before my birthday. So what do you do with broken cake? You make it into trifle, of course! And you can’t just make a normal trifle for your own 18th birthday, so I had to do something cool to decorate them. Re-enter Pinterest! You’d think I’d have learned not to trust Pinterest the day before things have to be done, but I haven’t yet. The second time time, it was definitely a pin-win, not a pinstrosity. I had seen these pineapple flowers pop up several times and wanted to try them for a while, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity. It was really simple: slice your pineapple into extremely thin slices, lay them out on a cookie sheet, and bake at 225 degrees for 30 minutes at a time, flipping them over after each 30 minutes. Depending on how thin you slice your pineapple, baking time can vary from about 1-2 hours. When they seem thoroughly dried out, place each slice in a muffin tin (mine went into mini muffin tins because I wanted more of a curve) and let them sit over night. This will make the shape of the flower.

The next step to fancy up my trifles was chocolate butterflies. I had made these before, and I think I put them on the blog, but I’ll recap for you here. They’re super easy to do! The most important thing is DO NOT USE CHOCOLATE CHIPS! The first time I made these I disregarded that rule, and my butterflies turned out extremely lumpy and fragile. Use almond bark. It is much smoother when it melts, and it keeps its shape much better when it cools. Print (or draw) a butterfly design in a couple different sizes. Lay wax paper over your paper designs. Melt your almond bark in a double boiler (or in 30 second intervals in the microwave) and let cool until it’s hardened just a teeny bit. If you try to pipe it too soon it runs everywhere and doesn’t form a butterfly, but if you let it cool too much then it is difficult to pipe. Pour the chocolate into an icing bag (if you don’t have one, you can use a ziplock with one small corner snipped out. Pipe the chocolate over the designs carefully. When you have as many butterflies as you want (I suggest making extra ones in case some break or don’t turn out as well) carefully set the wax paper on an open book, with the butterfly’s spine in the middle of the book’s spine. This will create the arch of the wings. Set the books in the fridge and let chill overnight.

The next morning you can assemble your trifles! I layered my cake with whipped cream and strawberries, with a pineapple f’lower and a chocolate butterfly on each one. I would say they were a hit, even if creating them was a bit more of an adventure than I anticipated! Enjoy!Pineapple Flowers 2

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Cinnamon Apple Cake

If you have a Pinterest account and are remotely interested in food, you’ve probably seen this pin. It has gone totally viral the past few weeks. So I thought, it’s apple season, this pin is popular, I might as well try it out, right? Right. It was pretty delicious. Unfortunately, I left mine in the pan a little too long and it broke apart instead of being beautiful like the original photo above (from the original website). But it still tasted delicious! Also: I think it’s pretty safe to say I use a lot of cinnamon.. Today my mom bought Cinnamon at Sam’s Club, which means it’s a ginormous container. When I asked why she bought so much she informed me that I’ve used an entire little container of cinnamon ever month for the past four months. Some things you just have to buy in bulk!
 If you don’t have one of these, you should invest at once. They’re amazing. Especially at Thanksgiving when you’re making apple pie and apple crisp and apple cider etc, etc, etc. It literally takes 10 seconds to peel and core your apples this way.
 You’ll need 5 medium size apples for this recipe, peeled, cored, and diced. Cover them with the cinnamon and sugar and set overnight. I didn’t read the recipe before starting, so I didn’t really want to wait overnight to make the cake. If that’s the case with you as well, you can do it the cheater way like me.. I just spread them in the bottom of a 9×13 pan and baked them at the lowest setting of my oven for about 10-15 minutes. The purpose of them sitting out was to allow the sugar to break down the apples a little to make them extra juicy, and so baking them accomplishes a similar effect in less than half an hour.

Cinnamon Apple Cake (found here)

Combine and set overnight:
5 Medium Apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 t Cinnamon
6 T Sugar

3 C Flour
3 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Salt
2 C Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
1/2 C Orange Juice
2 1/2 t Vanilla
4 Eggs

1 Stick Butter
2 t Cinnamon
5 t Sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients, minus the sugar, together. Mix the wet ingredients, plus the sugar, together. (keeping the apples separate). Combine the two until well mixed. Layer the apples and cake batter in a greased tube pan. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. While it is baking heat the topping over medium heat in a small saucepan until bubbling. Set aside. When the cake has finished baking pour the topping over it and leave it in the warm oven for 5 minutes. This will form a hard sugary coating that is totally delicious. Enjoy!

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Pinterest Polka Dots

Is that not the coolest thing ever? I thought so too. So the other day my friend Gabby and I made it! We weren’t really sure how it was going to work, because we only had a series of pictures to go off of, but it turned out great! It’s super easy; you should make one!
First you need two white cake mixes. We used a whole cake mix for the dots, but we ended up with too many dots to fit in the pan and not enough white cake to cover them, so I would use about 2/3 of a cake mix for the dots. Separate your cake mix into bowls and color them. We used 5 colors: purple, green, blue, pink, and orange, but you can use however many you’d like. The pictures showed using a cake pop maker to make the dots, but I don’t have one. We used a mini cupcake pan instead and it worked just fine! Bake your mini cupcakes (or cake pops) at 350 for 10 minutes. You want them to be firm enough to move, but not completely done otherwise they will be dry when you bake the whole cake. 
 You can freeze them after they come out, but it’s not necessary. We didn’t freeze ours and it was just fine.
After that you place them in the pan with the rest of the mix. Pour a small amount of cake mix in the bottom of two circle pans (mine are 9″, but you can use whatever you have), just enough to cover the bottom. Place your dots on top and arrange them however your heart desires. Pour the rest of your cake mix on top. If you don’t have enough it’s not a big deal, the cake will rise. 
 Bake the cake at 350 for 15 minutes and check it. If it’s not done bake 2-3 minutes at a time, checking it at each interval. When it’s done it’ll probably look like this.
Now you can decorate! Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes and then you can flip it out. I just made a basic white icing (one bag of powdered sugar, 2-4 T milk, 1/4 C crisco) and spread that on the sides and in between the layers. Then I used another Pinterest idea for the top. The idea was to use cookie cutters as stencils and put sprinkles inside the cookie cutters. It worked like a charm, with a little spillage. However, I wouldn’t suggest trying to fix the spills by blowing the sprinkles off, because you’ll end up blowing the other sprinkles all over the cake… 
Finished product!

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Happy Birthday Momma!

My mom’s birthday is on Tuesday! Usually she’s the cake baker. She makes beautiful cakes and often makes them for other people’s birthdays. However, I didn’t want her to make her own birthday cake, so I thought I’d take over. I had to make it almost a week early because she was out for the weekend with my dad and I wanted the cake to be a surprise. Also, if I had tried to make it while she was home she would have taken over 🙂 So I made it this past Saturday while she was gone. I’m definitely not as much of a decorator as she is, so I tend to make simple, yet delicious, cakes. I was able to choose a recipe with buttermilk and heavy cream in it because we had them from making ice cream and something else, I’m not sure what. I love having random ingredients in the house! This cake is SUPER delicious. And it keeps for a really long time due to the oil in it; it’s been in our fridge for a week and it still tastes super fresh!

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake (found here)
3 C Flour
2 1/2 C Sugar
1 T +1 t Baking Soda
1/2 t Salt
1 C Cocoa
1 1/3 C Canola Oil
1 1/2 C Buttermilk
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C Extra Strong Hot Coffee (you cannot taste this in the cake, it just brings out the chocolate flavor)
1 t Vanilla 
24 oz (3 C) Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa together. Add the canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs to the dry mixture. Add the coffee and vanilla. Pour batter into two greased 9″ circle pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (mine stayed in 40 minutes). Let the cakes cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before dumping out. While the cakes are cooling heat 2″ of water in the bottom of a double boiler. When the water is boiling, but the chocolate chips and whipping cream in the top of your double boiler. (If you don’t have a double boiler, like me, you can boil the water in a saucepan and use a stove-top safe bowl that sets in the top of the pan without wiggling too much. Make sure the water in the saucepan doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl in the top.) Melt the chocolate and whipping cream until combined. Chill the icing until spreadable (about 10 minutes). Dump the first layer of cake onto a plate. If needed, level the top of the cake with a serrated knife, cake leveler, or dental floss. Ice the cake with the chilled icing. Place the second layer on top and ice it. Chill the cake for about 15 minutes and add another layer of icing. Repeat until you have as much icing as you’d like. Enjoy!
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