Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

I know it has been almost 2 months ago that I posted, but Christmas cookies are all over my house needing to be shared. No matter if it seemed like The Taste Bud Diaries were dead!

I made the first batch of cookies with my friend Amy, right after Thanksgiving. We made Spritz (recipe below), and gingerbread cookies, both are my favorite. Amy also introduced an added flavor to the spritz recipe that I absolutely love. Using the wreath press, add dough in to the whole than put a dollop of raspberry jam in it. After cooked you can sprinkle powder sugar on top to give it a polished and impressive touch. The flavor is heavenly.

The next cookies were twisted candy canes. I made them with the confirmation class of 6th graders I co-teach. We took a day off from the curriculum and made cookies for women shelters around the twin cities. It was amazing how excited the kids got when they found out they could give back to the community by doing something fun.

The next cookies were twisted candy canes. I made them with the confirmation class of 6th graders I co-teach. We took a day off from the curriculum and made cookies for women shelters around the twin cities. It was amazing how excited the kids got when they found out they could give back to the community by doing something fun.

Last weekend we went to my grandma’s house to make lefsa. It’s a Scandinavian food made out of potatoes and usually looks like a tortilla when all done. This year we used 7 pounds of potatoes and 3 pounds of butter, for a total of 80 lefsa's. Every Christmas eve we have Swedish meat balls and lefsa. I have never gone a year without. My Parents and brother also made popcorn balls last weekend. Sadly I was not home to enjoy making them. I did however eat my fair share

On Thursday evening I was noticing our cookie supply was running low. Paul and I made more spritz for Christmas day, because my family is hosting my mom’s side.  About 15 people would be without Christmas cookies :( We cant have that!

Spritz Recipe

1 cup of butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla (I like almond
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
Heat oven to 400°. Mix butter and sugar. Stir in remaining ingredients. Fill cookie press with dough: form desired shapes on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set but not brown, 6 to 9 minutes.
You can also use food coloring or sprinkles to add some festiveness. 

I will be making a ginger bread cake for Christmas eve at my grandparents, on my dad’s side. And (fingers crossed) will be up in early January. I would do it sooner, but on Christmas night I am leaving for Washington dc and won’t be back until next year.

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays :-D

Saturday, October 1, 2011

16 Birthday

To celebrate my 16 birthday I am counting down my top 16 cakes that I ever made! Today I don’t have a whole lot of birthday plans some shopping and going out for lunch, and it is the homecoming dance tonight. Talk about the best party ever:)
Oh I forgot to tell you a secret. I don’t like cake. At least not plain vanilla or chocolate, I do like coffee cakes and “fancier” flavored cakes. This was a big factor in my favorite cakes.
Lets get Started

Number 16: Poseidons Trident

This cake was for Paul’s 9th birthday party. It was Percy Jackson themed . Percy Jackson is a book about a boy, living in 21st centaury New York, who finds out he is half human and half god. In Percy’s case his father Is Poseidon. Paul (and I) loved this book so we made it his theme. On the trident is says Happy birthday in ancient Greek writing.

Number 15: pool balls  
For my uncles birthday I made pool ball cupcakes. You cover the frosting with colored sugar. I just added food coloring to sugar. Then slice a marshmallow and write a number on it. Leave one ball with only vanilla frosting to be your cue ball.  Starbursts work great for pool stick chalk and use chocolate dipped pretzels for pool sticks.
Number 14:  Star burst

Simple yet fun, I made these cupcakes for my aunt’s birthday this summer. I didn’t have a lot of time, so I made them look polished with fun colors and the star with the opposite color was piped on to give a finished touch.
Number 13: The avalanche
We still don’t know what happened to this cake. My Friend Taylor and I made this a few years back. It makes number 13 because how much fun we had doing it. Best cake experience ever.
Number 12: super soaker
My brother’s 7th birthday party was all about water guns. It’s only fitting that we made him a super soaker cake.
 Number11: Blueberry lemon swirl cake

This cake was super tasty. Here is the link to it!
Number 10:  Apple crumb cake
Last year for my birthday we went to a apple orchard/ corn maze. For my birthday cake I made a Apple Crumb Cake. It was supper moist and dense making it the perfect fall cake. To top it off my dad made two apple swans for decoration.
Number 9: Teddy Graham Football

Paul had a football themed party this year. I made a vanilla cake and frosted it green. Than with white frosting I made the ten yard lines and touchdown zones. My friend Mariel and I frosted jerseys on graham crackers.  Two chocolate chips sitting bottoms together make the football in the middle of the field and chocolate dipped pretzels make the field goals.
Number 8: Camping Moose!
This cake has a very interesting story. We were camping last year on my brother’s birthday and I wanted to make him a cake. All the decorating stuff was bought at a gas station up in northern MN. It is made with a standard cupcake frosted with chocolate frosting. Than on Paul’s cupcake I frosted a Twinkie and stuck it into a stick (from a branch, you have to use what you can while camping:-) and then into the body. I melted a Hershey chocolate bar to form the antlers and a bit of marshmallows for the eyes. Both are already camping musts.

Number 7: Bible
This year I got confirmed. In the Christian faith and in most denominations (for me Lutheran) people are confirmed at some point in our high school life. When we were babies we were baptized. Our parents said that they would raise us Christian. Being confirmed is when we say that we will stay Christian and become an adult member of faith community. I added strawberry jell-o to the vanilla cake mix. By cutting the cake in ½ I was able to make a realistic sized bible. In between the layers were cutup strawberries. A flattened laughy-taffy was used as a book mark.
Number 6: Red velvet Sweetheart cupcakes  

I made these with a few of my friends for Valentine’s Day last year. For the full story and directions click the link.

Number 5: Easter Chocolate Nest Cake

This is the perfect cake for chocolate lovers. It is a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The eggs are truffles and the nest is a cut up chocolate bars. For the recipe

Number 4: Sunflowers

My birthday is, obviously, in the fall. I didn’t really know what to do for my cake, so I decided on sunflowers.  Frost your cupcakes green, place an Oreo cookie in the center. With yellowish orange frosting, pipe on the leaves. They look great like this, but for a finishing touch use a red M&M and chocolate frosting to create a lady bug.
Number 3: Babies!

This summer my aunt hosted a baby shower for my step cousins and his wife’s, son.  You can’t have a baby shower without babies! I only made ½ a batch of these because they are a lot of work, and a whole batch of number 2 below!

Number 2: Chocolate malt cupcakes with cherry vanilla butter cream

I have never loved a flavor of cake as much is this. The two flavors complemented very nicely. On top of the butter cream I added a whooper for a fun touch. There will be a post on this recipe soon.

Number 1: Monarch Butterflies

I have loved butterflies for as long as I can remember. These monarchs have beautiful wings made out of candy melts (found in craft supply stores). It works best to have two people when making the wings. My mom piped on the orange and I did the brown. Then take a tooth pick and pull it through the brown to orange.  Use the brown to make antennas and chocolate chips for the body.

Hope you enjoyed:-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Strawberry Trifle

Update on my life. Wake up, go to school, come home, practice piano, do home work, eat, do more home work, go to bed. Today Finally I have found some time to sit down and do something I want to do and love doing:-) (I do love piano though) The first few weeks of school were a lot more hectic than I thought they would be. Oh well, by now I have my routine down and slowly, but surly I am gaining more free time. YAY
This year my dad turned 46. His favorite cake is angel food cake with strawberries and whipped crème so I thought I would class it up a bit and make a Strawberry Shortcake Trifle. Really, truly, a delicious substitute for the all too common birthday cake.

Lets Get Cookin'
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 loaf pound cake, cut into 16 slices
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • 2 cups thinly sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec (or orange juice)
In a pan, combine milk and salt. Warm over medium heat until milk is just below a simmer.

In a bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and eggs until smooth.

Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1/3 of milk into sugar mixture. Whisk mixture back into pan with remaining milk; return pan to medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

 Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

Whisk in butter and vanilla.

Cover with plastic, pressing it directly on surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely cool, about 1 hour.

When custard is cool, arrange cake slices on a work surface.

Spread one side thinly with jam.

Line bottom of a glass trifle dish with 1/3 of pound cake slices, jam side up.

Top with 1/3 of strawberries, and drizzle with 1/3 of Orange juice (2 teaspoons)

Spread with 1/3 of custard.

  Repeat layering 2 more times (for a total of 3).

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 êêCritics Reviewêê
Me: êêêê Dad: êêêêê Mom: êêêê Paul:êêêêê

Would I Make it again…

Yes. It was super easy to make, but had a very tasteful and a polished appearance.

For complete instructions click below

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Camping Menu and Oatmeal Scotchies

Wow time sure flies while traveling. I apologize for not posting sooner, but I was in Ohio a few weeks ago and then last weekend my grandparents took my brother and me to the St. James Hotel in Red Wing, MN. Also its summer and I need a break from the computer. However I am back at it, starting with camping!
                The first time I went camping was when I was 8 months old and have loved doing it ever since. This year I took four of my closest friends camping with me. It was one of the best weekends of my life. It involved lots of laughs, talking, walking, bugs, bonding, swimming AND of course FOOD.
Every time we go camping we bring enough food for an apocalypse, and we always end up taking most of it home.  Because we bring so much I thought I would share some of it with you:)


Here is the meal lowdown:
Friday night: We roasted marsh mallows on the fire and made s’mores.
Saturday morning:  For breakfast we had beagles cheese scrambled eggs, sausage, orange juice,  mini doughnuts and fruit.
Saturday Noon: Peanut butter  and jelly we had for lunch along with chips and cookies.
Saturday Afternoon: We had popcorn. My dad made a gigantic tub full of popcorn the day before we left.
Saturday Evening: We roasted hotdogs.
Saturday Night: More S’more’s and Jiffy Pop
Sunday Morning: We had cereal and bananas
Sunday Noon: We were not very hungry and just did some munching:)
Some other things we had where:
Oatmeal Scotches (see below for Recipe)
Lavender cookies: which my friend Mariel made. They were Delicious!
Pretzels: they are also a great healthier substitute for chips
We had a whole bunch more snack food, but you probably don’t care ;-)   
Some tips for packing food that my dad and I have discovered.
·         Pack individual packs of cereal. That way every one will get kind that they like.
·         Also do this with chips. Everyone will have a kind that they like. As well people could eat a standard size chip bag, leaving none for anyone else.
·         We didn’t make pancakes this time, however a really easy way to do this is get the Bisquick Shake and Pour. All you have to do is add water.
·         Jiffy pop is a lot of fun, but it takes work, and you don’t get enough. So if you are planning of having popcorn make some to bring.

Oatmeal Scotchies

Oatmeal Scotchies are my mom’s favorite cookies. Packed with gooey butterscotch chips, and the fact they keep good in the humidity and heat, makes them the perfect cookie to bring camping.


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.)

Lets Get Cookin’

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.
Gradually beat in flour mixture

Stir in oats and morsels
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

More from camping!

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