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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tres leches soaked almond pound cake

When I was scouring my cookbooks and the internet looking for desserts that could easily be miniaturized, I came across a tres leches cake.  Tres leches just means “three milks”.  I found for a normal tres leches cake, you bake a white or yellow cake (or I guess really any flavor your little heart desires) and then pour a mixture of the milk over top and let it soak over night.  The reviews that I read kept saying how delicious it is, but how rich and sweet it is.  So, it seemed perfect to make as a bite size version!  I used a Tastefully Simple almond pound cake mix for the cake.  It was really very easy to put together and a crowd favorite!

1 box Tastefully Simple almond pound cake mix

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 can half & half (I didn’t have half & half, but I did have heavy cream and 2% milk so I did half a can of each)

Follow the directions to bake the pound cake (or whatever type of cake you decide to use). Let the cake cool and cut into small bite size squares.

In a bowl, combine the three types of milk.  If you want the mixture to be a little thicker, use a little less of the half & half.  (I will probably do that when I make it next time).

Place the cake cubes in your mini bowls or glasses and pour the tres leches mixture into each bowl or glass.  Let it soak for several hours or up to overnight(covered) in the fridge.

You could definitely do this just as the cake and slice it to serve.  If you do this, poke holes in the cake after it has cooled and then pour the mixture over the cake.  Let it soak overnight (covered) in the fridge.

Enjoy!  My friends really loved this one and drank up every last bit of the milk after eating the cake.

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Complete Magic: AKA Homemade Marshmallow

As I mentioned in my last post, when I opened my professional grade Kitchenaid on Christmas morning all I could think about was making marshmallows!  I had seen many recipes in the past few months, and in pretty much all of them I kept seeing the word “magic”.  You may think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but believe me…!  With a few beyond simple ingredients and a few minutes ticking by you watch this clear syrupy stickiness into a thick, fluffy white confection.  It is really amazing.  A couple friends came over to help, and a couple minutes after the mixing started one mentioned how they weren’t going to stand and watch the whole time.  About 30 seconds later, the magic started happening!  And we did basically end up watching it the rest of the time.  The mixture grows in volume and gets thick and white and shiny as the whisk does its job.  The end result is (in my book) so much better than store bought mallows.  These are fluffy and spongy and soft  and airy and all together wonderful.  I used vanilla that was called for it the recipe, but I will definitely be adapting this recipe with different extracts and flavors.  Raspberry.  Hazelnut.  Caramel.  Kahlua.  Do you have suggestions of what else I should try?!

I found the recipe from pintest, but it said it was originally from Martha Stewart.  There is a broad who knows what she’s doing!!!

Cooking spray

4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 TBSP plus 1 1/2 tsp)

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups light corn syrup

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with vegetable spray.  Line the pan with parchment paper and spray again.  Sprinkle the parchment paper with confectioner sugar.

In a medium sauce pan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over high heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Once the sugar is dissolved, cook without stirring until the syrup reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.

While that is cooking, add the gelatin into your mixing bowl and cover with 3/4 cup cold water.  Let it soften for about 5 minutes.  Next time I will probably let it sit a little longer and/or stir it a few times.  Part of the gelatin clumped a bit and it made me nervous that it was going to throw off the whole process.  Luckily, it didn’t matter.  So, if that happens to you, no worries!

Attach the whisk better to your bowl and begin to mix the gelatin on low speed.  Gradually pour in the hot syrup.  Gradually raise the speed up to high.  Beat until the mixture is very stiff; it will take about 12 minutes.  The mixture will really increase in volume and become white a glossy.  It’s just plain beautiful!  Add in the vanilla and beat again until it is combined.  Pour the fluff into your dish and let sit uncovered.  I topped it with more powdered sugar after about half an hour.  I let the fluff set over night.  Cut the set marshmallows in squares.  It helps to spray your knife with a little bit of cooking spray so that it doesn’t stick.  (I actually didn’t have time to cut them in the morning, so I placed another layer of parchment paper on the top and covered it with the lid.)

Place powdered sugar in a bowl or bag and toss the marshmallow square in the sugar to completely cover.  Store them in an airtight container (though they probably won’t last, too long!

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Hot Chocolate Bar

When I decided to have a party, I knew that I wanted to do something fun and special.  I also knew that it had to make my friends warm and cozy.  What could be better than a hot chocolate bar!?!  If you ask me (and if you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you are), not much!  I used my crock pot to keep the hot chocolate nice and warm and then had different mixers and toppings.  The mixers included vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, hazelnut syrup, Kahlua, Bailey’s and DiSarrona.  I found the cutest little white pitchers at Home Goods to put the flavors in.  I attached a little label to indicate what was in each pitcher.  The toppings included fresh whipped cream, chopped Andes Candies pieces and marshmallows.  HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS!  Yep, that’s right, homemade!  I had stumbled across a recipe months ago for marshmallows, but thought it would be kind of tough to do with a hand mixer.  You better believe that it was the first thing that popped into my mind to make when I opened my Kitchenaid on Christmas morning!  I also had Pirouline hazelnut wafer sticks on the bar.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

6-7 cups water

2 small cans of sweetened condensed milk

3-4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa

3/4 – 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Mix everything together in a crock pot and stir until everything is combined.  Start the crock pot over medium for 20 minutes or so.  Once it’s nice and warm, I turned the heat down to low to keep it warm.


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“Holiday Hangover”

I had a little get together last night with a “holiday hangover” theme.  Christmas time is always so busy and rushed, and I wasn’t able to have a party during the holidays, so I decided to try to prolong the festive spirit into January.  Though the bulk of my decorations had been put away, I did use some ornaments and silver “icicle” tinsel stuff to decorate.

The menu included an antipasto and cheese platter, spinach and artichoke dip and 4 mini dessert.  I also set up a hot chocolate bar that was a hit!  It was fun to be able to mix and match some different syrups and toppings to customize the flavor.  I can’t wait to share all of the recipes with you!


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Balsalmic Glazed Meatloaf

This meatloaf is the combination of several different recipes I found, and turned out to be pretty delicious (if I do say so myself, and usually I do haha!  and I also say when it’s not so delicious).  I have made it twice, and the second time I diced up portabello mushrooms to make it a little healthier.  The first time I made individual servings by balling up the meatloaf mix and cooking them in a muffin tin.  A serving that way was 2 “muffins” per person.

Use 1 -1 1/2 pounds meatloaf mix (which is ground beef, pork and veal already combined)

1 or 2 eggs

1/4-1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/4-1/2 cup milk

about 1 TBSP ketchup

a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

1 tsp Tastefully Simple Onion Onion

1 tsp garlic powder


1 TBSP ketchup

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a large mixing bowl add the ground meatloaf mixture, breadcrumbs, milk, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Onion Onion, garlic powder.  In another small bowl, lightly scramble an egg and then add it to the bowl.  Use your hands to really get in there and mix everything together well (but be careful to over mix, because it will make the loaf a little tough).  It can be a little bit different every time you make it, so I recommend starting with 1/4 cup of milk and breadcrumbs and then add as you need it to get a nice moist loaf that holds a form well.  If you are doing it in muffin tins, divide the mixture into portions that are about the size of a lemon (the goal is to fit them into the tins).  Or use a loaf pan or just line a baking sheet with foil and do a loaf shape (or you can split it into 2 loafs).

Once the meatloaf or “muffins” are formed, mix equal parts (about 1 TBSP each) of ketchup, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl until it is combined.  Brush the glaze over the meat and cover with tin foil.  Bake for about 30 minutes and uncover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.

If you are adding in mushrooms, chopped them finely and mix in with the other ingredients.  You will need a little more milk to get the right consistency.

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