Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, lil' Monkey!

Over the holidays, my youngest nephew turned two. It was my pleasure to volunteer to make his cupcakes.  Here's why: I experience baking anxiety on a regular basis.  What? Not so much anxiety, but there's a MAJOR correlation between the expectations of the event and things going wrong on my end. Seriously. I've forgotten eggs in cakes, dropped entire brownie pans on the floor, fallen asleep while something was in the oven - you name it.

So when the expectations on me are not high (when it isn't my child or husband or event), I view that as "practice."  And that has actually been helping me. I don't have my husband's gift of being effortless in the kitchen.  Oh noooo. I'm frequently a train wreck in the most dramatic sense and I've broken down over co-workers cakes countless times.

These monkey cakes were so fun to make. They are from scratch.  The chocolate cake was amazing, Barefoot Contessa. And the chocolate icing was easy to work with and delicious. In true form, these were made shortly after Christmas (tired, overscheduled, late at night)...and after adding the hot coffee called for in the cake recipe, I turned on the blender by accident and sent the coffee splattering over every surface available, not to mention me.  Since I'm experienced at mishaps, I took a deep breath, remembered the end result, and cleaned up the mess. Whew. I'm sure Mr. Kitchen Savvy is so glad he didn't come upon me that night crying my eyes out on the kitchen floor.

Oh & monkey cupcake designs are all over the web, of course. My variety was simply large and mini vanilla wafers and tubed red and black icing for details.

Happy Birthday, Aiden!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Garlic cheese toast

This is my favorite (favorite!) way to eat garlic bread, a.k.a. cheese toast.  It is quite possible that I'm the only person that would like this, delicious though it may be.  Something seems kid-like about it (minus the garlic).

Butter your bread with real butter.  Slice a garlic clove thinly and lay the slices on top of the butter. Cover with mozzerella cheese or a mix of italian type cheeses. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes - keep an eye on it.  Then broil for two shakes to make your cheese brown on top.

It is just a very satisfying way to eat bread, I say - also a way to consume some good ol' healthy garlic.  The type of bread you use can really kick it up, too, but I'm not above doing it with sandwich bread when needed.
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