#BundtBakers: Birthday Bundts

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostToday is the first #BundtBakers post of the new year! #BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

The first theme of the year is quite fun – birthday bundts. A big thank you to Sue of Palatable Pastime for this creative theme. You’ll be sure to find a cake recipe or three to help celebrate a year of birthdays.

My first thought was Funfetti. Nothing says Happy Birthday quite like sprinkles! And it looks like a few bakers went in that direction.

My second thought was, hey, it’s my husband’s birthday! And not just any birthday. The big 3-0! (Earlier this month, not today.)

My husband greatly enjoys Oreos and will order a cookies and cream milkshake over any other flavor 90% of the time. There’s a reason we don’t buy those cream filled chocolate cookie sandwiches – they’d be gone in two days!

I knew a cookies and cream birthday cake would be quite appropriate. But that meant I had to buy that blue package of cookies. Without hesitation, my husband opened up the seal. I told them the cookies were for his birthday cake, a cookies and cream cake! His response was priceless, “No, I’m just going to have regular cake because there won’t be any Oreos.”

With funfetti still on my mind, I simply added some rainbow sprinkles to the cake! So fun. If you have an Oreo lover in your family, this Cookies and Cream Sprinkle Bundt Cake is sure to please on their special day.

Decorating cakes is not my strong suit – another reason I love bundt cakes, the cake mold is typically all the beauty a cake needs. But, we’re talking birthday cake and birthday cake requires frosting. I used my simplest bundt mold and my novice frosting skills. I thought it’d be fun to put sprinkles on the outside of the cake to reflect the funfetti nature inside, but the result was a cake that looked like a donut. Not that donuts are bad (they’re not!). So I scraped it off, mixed in some more sprinkles and refrosted. I decided to top the cake instead with some extra crushed up Oreos. I was much happier with the new finished result.

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There are two comments I’m going to make about this cake that I don’t think I’ve ever made before. 1 – This cake tasted better after two or three days than it did day of baking. 2 – I liked the frosting more than the cake! Seriously, that last comment blows my mind. Frosting is my least favorite part of cakes and why I don’t normally make one for my bundts. But, you guys, this frosting is amazing! I still have the extras in the fridge and I’m seriously tempted to dip some Oreos into for a serious sweet tooth fix.

Cookies and Cream Sprinkle Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Cookies and Cream Sprinkle Bundt Cake

Ingredients for cake:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 C canola oil
  • 2 C sugar
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg whites, beaten to soft peaks
  • 7 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • 4 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 4 – 4 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 – 4 tbsp heavy cream
  • 6 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • sprinkles (optional)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, oil, and sugar.
  3. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
  4. Combine buttermilk, heavy cream, and vanilla extract in a measuring cup.
  5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the liquid ingredients to the stand mixer, beginning and ending with the dry. Remove the paddle attachment and fold in the egg whites with a spatula. Fold in the crushed Oreos and the sprinkles. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
  6. Bake 60 – 65 minutes, until a cake tester comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool at least one hour before unmolding.
  7. Make frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together all of the ingredients until desired consistency and sweetness is reached. Frost cooled cake. Garnish with extra Oreos.

*This recipe is modified from Monique at http://divascancook.com/homemade-cookies-n-cream-cake-recipe-oreo/ *

Cookies and Cream Sprinkle Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze from All That’s Left Are the Crumbs

Birthday Buttered Rum Cake from Faith Hope Love and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Bundt Cake de Bollo, Canela y Nutella from La Mejor Manera de Hacer

Confetti Birthday Bundt Cake fromPalatable Pastime

Confetti Lime and Cheese Bundt Cake from Bizcocheando

Doughnut Funfetti Bundt Cake from Kids and Chic

Eggnog Bundt with Hot Buttered Rum Sauce from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Lemon and Prosecco Bundt from Food Lust People Love

Piñata Birthday Bundt Cake from Patty’s Cake

Piñata Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes

Sugar Cookie Bundt Cake from Cookaholic Wife

Tropical Birthday Bundt Cake from Basic N Delicious

#FantasticalFoodFight: Slow Cooker Soups

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I’m happy with this first food fight theme of 2017 – slow cooker soups.

While participating in the Countdown to 2017 blogging event (also hosted by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes) I discovered that I hadn’t blogged a single slow cooker recipe in 2016. Good news, I’ll have at least one slow cooker recipe to share at the end of this year.

My slow cooker will be earning its keep in my cupboard this year. I’m happy to finally report that we’ve worked out a way to add Pure Barre back into my schedule.

I gave Pure Barre a try in January of last year in Ohio and loved it! I became hooked and attended class as often as possible. While my husband was getting his masters it was easier as his schedule was more flexible.

When we moved to California I immediately searched for the nearest studio and found it less than a mile from our place. It’s conveniently located next to Whole Foods, an easy 20 minute walk (sans stroller) or 4 minute drive. I was excited! But then I saw their class schedule times and my heart sank. It simply wasn’t going to work with my husband’s schedule/traffic.

After coming back from our Christmas vacation we reassessed and figured we at least had to try. I’m nearing the end of my 1st month unlimited membership and I’ve been able to go 3-4 times a week! Those days that I’m only able to go around dinner time, the slow cooker is going to be my best friend. I’ll be able to feed the kids before heading to the studio and my husband will have warm food whenever he wants it and I can have a warm dinner when I return home, too.

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has brought to this food fight!

I’m sharing a Japanese Onion Soup with Mushrooms. It’s a simple soup that makes for a perfect appetizer or light lunch. I served the soup alongside homemade teriyaki.

Japanese Onion Soup with Mushrooms for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

As I was editing my photographs, I realized I forgot to garnish with scallions! Oops. I’m happy to say I still like the pictures! I decided to set aside enough soup to save for a photo shoot the next day at lunch to take advantage of natural lighting. Evidently, I forgot about slicing some fresh scallions.

Japanese Onion Soup with Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in half
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 1 container (8 oz) sliced mushrooms

Steps:

  1. Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and scallion in a slow cooker. Top with the chicken stock. Cook on LOW 4-5 hours.
  2. Remove veggies from the broth.  (I added the onions to my teriyaki!) Season to taste with S+P. Add the mushrooms and cook on LOW one more hour.
  3. Serve warm. Option to garnish with fresh scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from Amanda at http://theskinnyfork.com/blog/2013/3/8/crock-pot-japanese-onion-soup*

Japanese Onion Soup with Mushrooms for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

To check out the other Fantastical Slow Cooker Soups click here:  

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

Seared Cod with Tangerines and Kale

The kids have been a little difficult lately.

Firecracker just turned 2.5 and I don’t know if there’s some cognitive leaping happening, physical growing, or it’s those 2 year old molars working their way in but his ability to listen and obey has taken a turn in the wrong direction. It’s been highly frustrating and our patience levels keep getting lower by the hour. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t nap and when he’s tired he becomes destructive and a bit of a Tasmanian devil. His ability to sleep through the night, a skill he’s never conquered, has reverted back to coming to our bed 2-4 times meaning none of us are getting the sleep we need!

Treat meanwhile is definitely working on teeth, he’s constantly hungry, and the cough he had at the end of the year has crept its way back into our lives. He’s following his brother around like a hawk and has developed quite the skills for climbing and “jumping.” There’s no room for a lapse in childcare with that one!

With two tired and hungry boys on my hands, my husband deserves a lot of credit on the execution of this recipe. I quickly made them a blue box of macaroni and cheese in the middle of trying to make our dinner. I pull out the freshly purchased cod from Whole Foods while my husband feeds the boys and I discover that one of the fillets was not deboned. And we don’t have proper fish cleaning tools. The adults switched places.

In a mode of determination, my husband grabbed a clean pair of pliers, washed them, and got to pulling. We’d definitely be “chopped” for execution skills as that fillet looked a bit mangled. He then proceeded to season the fish with S+P and sear it in olive oil while I get the kids cleaned up, put in pajamas, and started the bed time routine. I even stuck him on photography duty while I sat with Firecracker until he fell asleep.

He was able to eat his fish and accompanying salad warm while watching Treat and then getting him to fall asleep.

By the time I made my way back upstairs I had a cold plate waiting for me. And you know what, the fish was delicious cold! It was such a light, refreshing, and healthy meal.

The dish was inspired from a recipe in Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook Happy Cooking. We followed her method for cooking the fish, but the salad co-star was changed. I omitted the olives, used dried oregano instead of fresh, and the main difference, used kale from the farmer’s market instead of arugula.

I prepared the salad first, allowing the kale to marinate in the dressing while the rest of the meal was prepared. It’d been a long while since I’d last had kale and it was a nice surprise to realize how much I like the dark green!

Seared Cod with Tangerines and Kale

Ingredients:

  • 2 tangerines
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp + 4 tsp olive oil, divided use
  • 4 C chopped kale, stems removed
  • 4 6-oz filets cod

Steps:R

  1. Using a paring knife, cut of the top and bottom of each tangerine. Follow the curve of the fruit to cut off the entire peel. Place a strainer over a small bowl. Segment the tangerines over the bowl then squeeze the juice out of the remaining flesh.
  2. To the tangerine juice, whisk the mustard, oregano, and 4 tsp olive oil. Reserve 1/4 C of the dressing. Toss the kale and tangerine segments in the dressing. Set aside.
  3. Season cod with S+P. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear cod, flesh side down, for three minutes. Flip, an cook another three minutes. Serve alongside kale salad and drizzle with reserved dressing.

Seared Cod with Tangerines and Kale | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Blackberry Cornmeal Waffles

Blackberry Cornmeal Waffles | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com (1)

Last year (how crazy is that to say!?) for #WaffleWeek I made these Buttermilk Cornbread Waffles. I actually made them twice in back to back weeks. The first time I made them my husband was on a work trip and just knew I had to make them again once he returned. They’re so delicious, they’re something a little different, and they’re quite versatile.

So naturally, I had to make them yet again. But with a twist. Mainly due to ingredient shortages. And it might be even better – though harder to bend in the savory direction.

walcott

The new version works best drizzled with honey and served with fresh blackberries.

An Original Recipe

This recipe will make 6-8 waffles.

Blackberry Cornmeal Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 container (5.3 oz) blackberry Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1/8 C canola oil

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, yogurt, buttermilk, and canola oil.
  3. Combine wet ingredients into dry.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into the waffle batter.
  5. Pour batter into greased waffle iron and cook until golden. Serve with drizzle of sweet honey and fresh berries.

Blackberry Cornmeal Waffles | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

 

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce

Did everyone end their 2016 battling sickness or is it just us?

Pretty much all of November and December was spent with my boys passing back and forth some sniffles and coughs. My mom caught the head cold when she was here in early December and it clung to her for 3 weeks. And, unfortunately for Treat, it developed into an almost ear infection and some precautionary antibiotics before our holiday travel.

My mother-in-law came to visit a couple of weeks before Christmas. She took a week to spend quality time with her children out in California. My sister-in-law lives in Napa working in the wine industry and we’re down in the Los Angeles area, so she took advantage and planned a multi-city travel itinerary.

Firecracker simply loves it when the grandparents come to visit and has come to expect crafting projects when his Tilly (my MIL) comes to visit. Of course, she didn’t disappoint and had some adorable alphabet themed Christmas crafts to do. Crafts that have inspired me to begin planning some 2017 Christmas crafting already. (I’m just going to leave that there, chuckle at it, and land my feet on the ground knowing that’ll never happen. At least not in advance!) See my Instagram posts for adorable holiday crafting fun.

My mother-in-law was coughing a little bit and her voice was starting to go. Her trip took a turn for the worse and she ended up spending her last day in California sleeping in her hotel room. Upon returning to Alabama, a doctor’s visit revealed she had bronchitis.

At least we managed to stay clear of that!

We then traveled to Florida for Christmas. Our 2nd day there was the start of illnesses. Treat ended up having some projectile vomiting and we weren’t really sure what to chalk it up to, thinking it was just a side-effect of his medicine, mucusy coughs, or teething. But then the next night, I was the one battling what was evidently a stomach bug. That bug continued its way through our family reaching my dad, my brother, Firecracker, and my brother’s mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nieces. My best friend’s husband had it, too.

My weakened immune system meant that I got that lingering head cold from my mom. Dad did, too.

Needless to say, our holiday vacation was one spent mostly on the couch.

img_5071What does any of that have to do with Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce?

Not much really. Except that the pasta I used was a package my mother-in-law found while up in Napa. She brought me quite the fun kitchen gift set including holiday towels, colorful pasta, and a chocolate raspberry sauce.

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 C toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 lb pasta of choice
  • 1 C reserved pasta cooking water
  • 2 tbsp butter

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions. Reserve 1 C of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Toss pasta with butter and return to pot to keep warm.
  2. Put toasted walnuts, olive oil, cheese, basil, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Add sauce to the cooked pasta with 1/2-1 C of the pasta water. Serve with extra grated cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Andrea at http://cookingwithmammac.com/linguine-with-creamy-walnut-sauce/ *

Creamy Walnut Pasta Sauce | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancookk.com

#FoodieExtravaganza: Popcorn

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This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza theme is popcorn. TheFoodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. Thanks to Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla for hosting this poppin’ party.

There wasn’t any question about whether I’d participate in the first Foodie Extravaganza of 2017.

Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks. Or meals… Truth be told, one of my favorite things to do with my mom is have a dinner of popcorn while watching movies (or catching up on Once Upon a Time).

The thing I miss most about movie theater dates is 80% the movie theater popcorn and 20% getting lost in a movie plotline. We got the chance to see Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them in early December when my parents were visiting and while the theater was great with insanely comfy seats, the popcorn was a letdown. I’d be way more upset about it if it weren’t a Harry Potter franchise movie.

The at-home popcorn snack I’m sharing today is spicy and savory. It utilizes za’atar, an herbal spice blend popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. I’d heard of the seasoning watching Food Network and when my sister-in-law asked if there was a spice I wanted to try, I instantly had an answer for her. I’m looking forward to exploring more uses for it, but this popcorn pretty much hits it out of the park.

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • canola oil
  • 1/2 C popcorn kernels
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne

Steps:

  1. Put canola oil in pot over medium high heat along with 2-3 kernels of popcorn. Cover and stand by. Once you hear the kernels pop, add the 1/2 C of popcorn. Cover and cook over medium heat until popping slows. Gently shake the pot during the popping process so as not to burn the popcorn at the bottom. Remove from heat and remain covered until popping has ceased, unless you want to be pelted with popcorn. (If you have another method of popping popcorn, feel free to use it.) Place popcorn in a large bowl.
  2. While popcorn is still hot, add the remaining ingredients and mix to distribute flavors evenly.

*This recipe is adapted from Stephanie at http://www.thekitchn.com/vegan-party-or-anytime-snack-z-136417*

Spicy Za'atar Popcorn for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other popcorn recipes:

Hubby’s Vanilla Caramel Popcorn by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Kirsten’s Popped Corn Crack by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Parmesan Popcorn with Lemon & Thyme by Caroline’s Cooking

Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn by Food Lust People Love

Popcorn Cornbread by Palatable Pastime

Popcorn Pairings (Yes, With Wine) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Spicy Za’atar Popcorn by Sew You Think You Can Cook

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Popcorn by Hardly A Goddess

White Chocolate Popcorn by Sneha’s Recipe

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Countdown to 2017: Beverages

unnamedHappy New Year! The countdown to 2017 is over and 2017 is here!

This blogging countdown party is hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing of Recipes and today Sarah leaves it wide open for us to decide what category of recipes we want to highlight from last year.

In 2015 I looked at all of my Mexican Monday posts and last year I looked at my favorite Sunday Supper submissions.

For a while now smoothies have been the go-to when Firecracker won’t eat dinner. I always use yogurt (typically Greek) to provide protein and add a generous handful of spinach to add some bonus nutrition. Treat is also a big fan of smoothies.

With all that smoothie practice I end up successful on my ratios more often than not. (Seriously, I used to struggle immensely with getting the proper thickness.) Every now and then I decide to measure things and generate a recipe.

To add to the trio of smoothies below, I’ve got two lovely champagne cocktails to share.

Cranberry Oat Smoothie

Felix Felices

Roshambo

Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie

Best Beverages of 2016 | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Find out what other bloggers are highlighting today here: An InLinkz Link-up