Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Hello!!  Oh and Happy New Year!  I know I have been neglecting you and I swear I don’t mean to.  I wish I had a legitimate reason for my absence, but I don’t.  I will however promise to not neglect you for so long next time.

Now, let’s catch up.  Here’s what’s been going on in my life:

  • Spent a weekend in Branson with all my co-workers for our office Christmas Party.
  • I turned 30.  Yes, the big 3-0!  I wished that I was back home in CA to celebrate it, but my hubby still made it special!
  • I got the Rosegold Michael Kors watch I have been coveting, thanks to my BFF.
  • My office won a cruise to the Caribbean.  We go in February.
  • Decided for the cruise that I would try to eat healthier and exercise.
  • Started my diet on Jan. 3rd and then gave it up that same day at about 11:30 am.  What can I say, I was having a Mac Attack!

So here’s the thing, I may have given up on my strict eating healthy rule, but I did not give up on making my food choices healthier.  I love desserts, as you can tell, and it’s hard for me to give them up completely.

Angel food cake is already pretty low in fat and is as healthy as cake can be.  For me, it satisfies my chocolate craving.  What’s even better is that this cake is topped with a dark chocolate glaze, oh and it’s made with a boxed cake mix.  I don’t typically make cakes from a box, but I figured what the hell, what can I lose except for some weight.  And at about 150 calories a slice, I don’t feel so guilty having a piece for dessert.

 

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Chocolate Angel Food Cake

slightly adapted from: the sparkpeople cookbook

Ingredients:

Cake:
1 box angel food cake mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Glaze:
1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 tbl. sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz. finely chopped dark chocolate

Directions:

Preheat the oven to temperature specified on the package.

In a large bowl combine the angel food cake mix and cocoa powder. Add the water according to the directions on the box and mix for about 2 minutes or until smooth. (I suggest using a hand mixer.)

Pour the batter into the ungreased angel food cake pan and bake according to the package directions. Let cool.

Make the glaze by warming up the evaporated milk in a saucepan, then sift in the cocoa and sugars, whisking to avoid lumps. Stir until the mixture comes to a simmer.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate in melted and the mixture is smooth. Drizzle the warm glaze over the cooled cake.

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[obsession]: Ikat


(image sources: desk set, card, prints, shirt, clutch, chair, pillow)

Mason Jar Gifts

I love mason Jars!! I have used them to bake with, to store with and to make favors out of.  I have pretty much used Mason Jars for anything you can think of except for canning.  Hey, what can I say, I have yet to learn how to can anything.  I think that will be on my New Year’s Resolution list, maybe

Another thing I love are gifts in Mason Jars.  They make great homemade gifts! I found a few Mason Jar Gifts to inspire you this holiday season.

 

 

Cupcake in a Jar
Bath Snowballs in a Jar
Sewing Kit in a Jar

 

 

Everything in a Jar
Mason Jar Snowglobe
Cowgirl Cookies in a Jar

Nutella Twix Squares

This past weekend I had myself what I call a “Lazy Sunday”.  I know there are a few of you who have the same Lazy Sunday as I do.  Lazy Sunday is my favorite day, because it’s a day where I stay in my PJs and do absolutely nothing and it’s wonderful!

Although, I did cheat a little this past Sunday and didn’t have a complete Lazy Sunday.  I did have to go grocery and get a Christmas tree, so there was a point during the day where I had to get out of my favorite holey sweats and put on non-holey sweats.

And when I got home I got inspired to bake something.  Actually, I didn’t have to bake, it was more like slapping a few things together and calling it a treat.  So, this is what I would consider a “Lazy Treat”, even the pictures were lazy (they were taken on my phone using a fancy app).

I came up with an idea to make Nutella Twix Squares…

and than I thought how about PB Twix.

So, I went with both.  It’s a win-win situation!

So I took some shortbread cookies and spread Nutella and PB on them.

Then I put some creamy caramel on it.

Dipped them in chocolate.

And while I was waiting for it to set Parrish asked that I take a picture of his new gloves that match his sweatshirt.

This is what they look like when they are ready to eat.

And this is what they look like when you cut them in half and take a picture with your crappy phone camera.

It doesn’t matter what the picture looks like because the end result tasted yummy!

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Nutella Twix Squares

Ingredients:

About 40 shortbread cookies (I used Lorna Doone cookies)
Nutella or Creamy Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups of Kraft Caramel Bits
1/4 cup of water
24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper and line up the cookies side by side. Spread Nutella/Peanut Butter over each cookie.

Over a medium-low heat mix the caramel bits and water until smooth. Once the caramel is smooth pour a spoonful over each cookie. Place in the refrigerator to set (about 30 mins).

While the cookies are setting melt the chocolate until smooth. Remove the cookies from the fridge and place a cookie on a fork and gently dip each cookie in the chocolate until fully covered. Gently tap the fork to remove any excess chocolate and place on the wax covered baking sheet to set.

Let it set for a few hours and enjoy!

[obsession]: rosegold

(image sources: wristlet, dress, watch, ring, nails)

Classic Victoria Sandwich

I promise that this “sandwich” is sweet.  It’s not a ham and cheese sandwich it’s a buttercream and strawberry jam sandwich, awesome right?!

 

I got the hankering (Did I really just say hankering?!) to make this cake as I was watching “The Best Thing…” on Food Network.  Is it just me or does that channel just make you hungry?  Anyhow, back to what I was talking about.  Oh yeah, Chef Robert Irvine was talking about his “Best Thing” and mentioned a Classic Victoria Sandwich.  I’m pretty sure I drooled when I saw the cake.  Me, being adventurous with baking, decided I would give it a try.  The result was an easy to make cake that went perfect with my coffee.

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Classic Victoria Sandwich

adapted from: BBC

Ingredients:

CAKE:
1 cup sugar
15 tbl. butter, softened
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. milk

FILLING:
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
strawberry jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together the flour and baking powder

Cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes beat in the eggs one at a time making sure that they are mixed well. Then slowly add the milk and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Divide the mixture evenly between both cake pans and smooth out the surfaces with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes or ntil golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the filling:

Beat the butter until smooth and then gradually add the powdered sugar. Once the icing is smooth beat in the vanilla until well blended.

Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the cakes and then top it with the jam. Place the other cake on top. Dust with powdered sugar.

[obsession]: monogram



(image credits: wall decal, invitations, pillow, door hanger, necklace, glass)

Candy Bar Brownies

“Hello?  Is there anybody in there?  Just nod if you can hear me…”  (Singing Pink Floyd’s [or the cover by Scissor Sisters], Comortably Numb)

First, I must apologize for being a horrible blogger.  I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I want to.  It’s not that I am an extremely busy person, it’s just that life gets in the way.

Halloween has come and gone.  Parrish was a black Angry Bird and Ava was the Little Mermaid, their costumes are the last things my dad bought for them.

Don’t they look so excited?!

And so of course they got a TON of candy that they are not allowed to eat.  So what is a mom to do?  I can’t eat the candy to myself or can I?!  Of course I can’t eat all the candy, but I can eat the majority of it.  I did decide to bake with some of it and that is how Kit Kat and Reese’s PB Cups ended up on top of this brownie.

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Can you see the Kit Kat and PB Cups?

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Candy Bar Brownies

adapted from: southern cooking

Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
kit kat and reese's PB cups, coarsely chopped (as much as you like)

Directions:

Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs and butter, stirring well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter in a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle evenly with candy pieces; gently pushing the candy into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

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[DIY]: Cakestand

I love cake stands! My problem is the price tag on the cake stands.  Of course, if you know anything about me than you know that I have expensive taste, so the cake stands I want are never less than $40.  I guess you can say I have “Champagne taste on a beer budget”.

I have solved my problem and decided to craft my own for all less than $2.  Yup, all less than $2!

Here is what you will need:

– glass candlestick holder (I got mine from the Dollar Tree.)

– a pretty plate (I had this collecting dust in my cabinet.)

– glue gun and a glue stick (Every Domesticated Diva’s necessity.)

 

Take the glue gun and draw a circle (with the glue) in the center of the plate and trace the rim of the candlestick (with the glue).

 

Stick the candlestick on to the bottom of the plate and let dry.  It should only take a few minutes.

 

Turn it over and enjoy!

 

Stick one on top of another and end up with a tiered dessert stand, perfect for cupcakes or macarons.

 

I made these stands in literally less than 5 minutes tonight (which explains the Instagram photos).

I love the way they look and I love the price tag even more!

 

[obsession]: hair romance

I have been obsessing over this blog for a few months now. Hair Romance has made me want to do more than just straighten my coarse and frizzy hair.

My favorite is the Twist and Pin to the Side. Now, if only I can actually do the hairstyle on my on head, I can barely even braid it. Yes, I am braiding-illiterate. Don’t worry, I will master it, someday.