Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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A Father’s Day Cake DISASTER

Happy belated Father’s Day to all you dads out there. I didn’t post yesterday, I was a little busy. First it was family time, followed closely by some of my favorite kinda time – kitchen. Not the cleaning part, but the cooking & baking part. If you’re new to my world, I really love to cook! My hubby calls me Betty. As in Crocker. Although there are some days  I feel more like Betty Rubble from the Flintstones.

Like yesterday. I’m not new to baking. It’s one of the things I love to do. I have to be careful in the cooler months b/c the things I love to bake are not exactly healthy. I do have some healthier recipes, but you know, they’re just not as much fun as a big batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!

So yesterday is Father’s Day. I really wanted to go all out for my husband and totally spoil him. We made his favorite breakfast – orange cinnamon rolls & bacon. My daughter made her ‘famous’ cheesy eggs for him all by herself. When I asked about dinner, he asked for garlic chicken stir fry. Ok, I can do that. We all love it. Dessert, well, that’s my department. I’d seen a recipe that looked really decadent and deadly – dark chocolate Guinness cake. Wow! My husband is a beer lover and he really enjoys the dark beers. So I thought I’d make it a twofer-the beer can be part of his FAther’s day gift and make a delicious dessert at the same time. And that is when the kitchen gods laughed at me and my folly. The nerve to attempt something like this was apparently too much. Although I do have to say I’ve done much more complicated things than a layer cake. I mean come on! My 8yo daughter could do a layer cake!

I followed the recipe to a T. Did everything I needed to do. Except that the recipe recommended using cocoa powder in the cake pans. I normally use sugar, it doesn’t leave icky tasting blobs on the cakes and they turn out just fine. Hm, well, ok, I’ll give the cocoa powder a go, I mean, it’s a chocolate cake, why the heck not? I’m already living on the edge here, let’s go for it!

Did I just say living on the edge? Yeah, well, I went over the edge. Cakes bake up, smell wonderful. I’m getting really excited. And then it happened. I tried to turn out the first cake on the rack. Notice I said ‘tried’? First cake broke and I was so bummed. Rather than forcing the second, I put it in the fridge, determined to make sure it was totally cooled before attempting to turn it out. When it was good and cool, I pulled it out and let it come to room temp before trying (I wanted it to be pliable, not brittle ya know?). And….BAMMO! Broke again! GRRRRR. I wasn’t frustrated this time around, I was PISSED. So mad. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s just maddening. Fine. Fine. Then my son, oh my son. I love that boy. He’s growing into a fine young man. He came into the kitchen and saw my disaster, the source for my anger and asked me
‘Which one broke worse?’
‘What? What do you mean? They’re both terrible!’ I said with a real growl in my voice.
‘Which one broke worse? Which one is worse?’
‘LOOK AT THEM! THEY ARE BOTH TERRIBLE!’ (yes I know it’s all caps, that’s b/c I was yelling I was so mad.)
‘Which flavor is worse?’
Oh, ok, i get it now. When I told him I was making dark chocolate Guinness cake, he thought one cake was the chocolate and the other was the Guinness.
‘No son, they are the same. The same batter was in each pan.’
‘Oh, ok.’

Then hubby pipes up, ‘Son, one of these days you’ll learn when you just need to shut up.’

Boo. So mad at this stupid cake and I yelled at my boy.

Damn this cake. I will make it work. I will. I will. I will!

I made the frosting and cobbled it together. It was ugly. I called it my ‘Thunder cake’, since our Thunder are playing kinda messy these days, it was dark and messy, just like they’ve been! I put it in the fridge w/the thought that the frosting might act kind of like glue and hold it all together.

O.M.G. I sliced it up and, all I can say is, I almost became an instant diabetic! So rich and so strong! It’s very decadent and rich and if you plan on making it, make it when you’ve got a crowd, because one slice is all you’re going to be able to handle. I had one slice last night and I don’t want any more! Fortunately, I’ve got some great neighbors that I consider friends and I shared with two families and still had some left for whoever is brave enough to have more! I haven’t heard from them yet, I”m interested to hear what they think about it.

The next time you have a kitchen disaster, relax, have a glass of wine, and know you’re not alone. And try to make it work. I will say I’ve had some disasters that were beyond repair (one cake looked like someone had taken a big dump in the pan) and that happens too. Try not to stress too much, or growl at your kids.

Enjoy your week!

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Identity Crisis Pie (trust me, you WANT to look at this!)

Have you ever had those times you just can’t figure out what you want to eat? Do I want something salty? nah. Sweet? nah. Meaty? nah. Greasy? nah. Since you just can’t seem to make a decision, you just go without? Yeah, me neither. I mean I can always come up with something to eat. Going hungry just isn’t in my skill set. sometimes it’s a constant grazing. Others, it’s a complete gorgefest with a side of my-pants-are-already-too-tight-why-did-i-eat-that-entire-pizza. I’ve seen people my age in the hot rod cars. Others who divorce their spouse of 20 yrs to hook up with someone half their age. I get it, an identity crisis. I’ve been there too, although I didn’t go completely off the deep end. Don’t think it wasn’t a thought though, my rational side (slim though it is) kicks in before I do any real damage.

I got a magazine in the mail a few wks ago and the cover was all cheesecakes. OMG I nearly licked the cover. And I definitely drooled on it! I love cheesecake in any form. Will you eat it in a house? Will you eat it with a mouse? Will you eat it in a box? Will you eat it with a fox? Oops, sorry, I slipped into a Dr Seuss frame. Anyhoo. My boy loves cheesecake too, a child after my own heart! When he saw the recipe I made, he asked, nay BEGGED me to make it for today, Easter. Well cha, of course! I renamed it Identity Crisis Pie. Not because I”m having one, but because it really didn’t fit anything. Is it mousse? Is it cheesecake? It’s a great recipe, it just couldn’t make up its mind. See why I did that? Doesn’t it sound cooler? Tastes the same, but much easier to say! I also changed up a few of the ingredients to make prep a bit easier & quicker. I will start with a warning, do not consume this if you don’t like rich desserts, have at least a gallon of milk or a dose of insulin handy. If you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Oh, and one more thing, don’t be afraid. It’s not really a cheesecake, there’s only a little bit in it and there’s no oven involved. So if you’re afraid of the cheesecake b/c of the baking or taste, this will be a lovely surprise!

Please forgive the setting. I was taking it quickly before my hubby ate it! 🙂

IDENTITY CRISIS PIE

CRUST
1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers crushed
1/4C butter melted

FILLING
3/4C creamy peanut butter

5oz cream chz softened

2tbsp butter softened

1-1/4C powdered sugar

1-1/4C heavy whipping cream, whipped & divided (it’s tough to divide whipped cream! The 1-1/4C measurement is BEFORE it’s whipped, just in case you haven’t made whipped cream before.)

5oz 60% cacao chocolate chips (I splurged & used Ghiradelli chips)

4oz milk chocolate chips (once again, Ghiradelli)

1/3C sugar

1/4C 2% milk

1tsp vanilla extract

GANACHE

6oz 60% cacao dark chocolate chips

2/3C heavy cream

1tsp vanilla extract

PREPARATION

A. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs and butter. Mix well and press into the bottom of a greased 9-in springform pan and set aside.

Beat the peanut butter, cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered (confectioners) sugar and beat until smooth.

With a spatula, gently fold in 1-1/4C whipped cream. (This may take a few minutes, don’t stir, but gently fold so as not to lose the air in the whipped cream, hence the fluffiness of it in your mousse layer). Spread this mixture over the crust.

B. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl. In a small sauce pan heat sugar and milk just to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream and spread the chocolate over the peanut butter layer.

Cover and freeze 2 hours or until firm.

C. For ganache, place chocolate in a bowl.

In a small sauce pan bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate and whisk until smooth.

Stir in vanilla. Cool to spreading consistency, stirring occasionally.

Spread over pie.

Refrigerate until set. Run a knife around the pie to loosen it from the pan before removing the rim.

Top with chocolate shavings or curls if desired.

And have coffee/milk/insulin at the ready! Enjoy!

I nearly forgot to mention, you don’t have to have an identity crisis to eat this! You just have to love rich desserts!

 

 


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Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I know, zucchini and chocolate? Really, it works. This is so good, my kids love it, AND they know it’s got green veggies in it! Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! I love to make this when zucchini is in season. Another way for me to sneak healthy foods into my kids w/o them complaining! And the use of applesauce in place of oil helps keep the calories and fat in check, and reduces the guilt factor when you’re eating this delicious treat.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2-1/2C flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2C cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1-1/4C sugar

1C unsweetened applesauce

3 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

2C shredded zucchini

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease mini loaf pan.

2. Mix dry ingredients. Place all wet ingredients, except zucchini, in a bowl and beat with hand or stand mixer until well blended.

3. Add dry blend to wet mixture. Pause between additions to allow the wet and dry to become well incorporated.

4. Add the zucchini and mix well.  Pour into a greased mini loaf pan. Bake 40-45 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

You can peel the zucchini if you want to be sneaky or don’t care to see green in your chocolate bread, but I don’t. Go on, give it a try, you’ll like it, I promise! One more thing I like to do is use a mini muffin pan with this recipe. My kids love the little bite-sized chocolate treats!

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Healthy Chocolate Zuchini Bread

I just love this recipe! Amazingly enough, my children, you know the picky, short people who live in my house, the ones who say ‘i don’t like this’ nearly every night, they love this. They even know what’s in it and they can’t get enough of it! My son even used it for a project in 2nd grade. they had to make a recipe and write it out step by step to share w/the class (the recipe, not the food). I was surprised he wanted to do it, but hey, who am I to discourage him from baking something healthy??

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1-1/4 C sugar

1C unsweetened applesauce

3 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

2-1/2 C flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/2 C cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 C shredded zucchini

 

1. preheat oven to 350.

2. mix dry ingredients and set aside.

3. using a hand or stand mixer, blend eggs, applesauce, vanilla and sugar.

4. while running mixer, slowly add in dry flour mixture, pausing after each addition to allow the liquid to be absorbed by the flour.

5. add the zucchini and blend well.

6. pour batter in two greased loaf pans  or 4 mini loaf pans (my favorite).

7. bake 40 to 45 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

8. cool in pan for 10 min, then turn onto cooling rack to cool.

A couple of options: I used Sun Crystals with this recipe once, I mixed half sugar and half Sun crystals which were a sugar/stevia blend. It’s no longer on the market :(, but I think you could probably do half stevia and half sugar if you want to cut some of the calories and sugars.

This bread can also be frozen. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place in freezer bag removing as much air from the bag as possible. Can be frozen up to 3 months. Thaw on counter before removing plastic wrap. Yum!

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No-melt Mix n Match Pudding Pops

 Anybody else over this heat? Well, if you live in a cooler climate, you can just keep that to yourself! These days, I purposely avoid the weather forecast b/c it just depresses me. Almost as bad as getting on the scale on Jan 2. You know you’ve been bad over the holidays, but getting on that infernal scale only confirms what you already knew.  And since I’ve been doing everything I can to eat and cook kind of without actually cooking, here’s another yummy and fun summer recipe that the kids will love.

We first tried these a couple of years ago and they are fantastic.  Although we love our ice cream, some of us more than the others, it melts really fast and becomes a sticky mess. These pops melt very slowly and are perfect for a hot summer day. My kids enjoy helping me  make them, and the cup you make them in makes a great storage for them if someone needs to stop eating for a minute for whatever reason. I like them because I”m not the one being asked to hold a dripping, gooey ice cream cone or popsicle!

No Melt Mix n Match pudding pops

2 C cold low fat milk

1 pkg instant pudding/pie filling – vanilla or chocolate, or really any flavor you like

6 oreos roughly crushed

1/2 C whipped topping

6 oz paper/plastic cups

wooden sticks or plastic spoons

1. mix the milk and pudding mix

2. stir in the cookies

3. fold in the whipped topping

4. put approximately 1/3 to 1/2 C in each cup. Insert wooden stick/spoon in the center. Place all cups on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 3 hours, or until firm.

5. to release the pops from the cups, roll the cup between your hands for about a minute, just long enough to that is just a bit and loosen the pop from the sides. enjoy!

**Some other add ins/ideas: you could add mini chocolate chips and marshmallows for a rocky road pop.  chocolate & peanut butter chips for a ‘Reese’s’ -like pop. Crushed candy pieces for a candy bar pop. The possibilities are almost endless! Try what you like!

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An oldie but a goodie!

Once again, I find myself living in an oven, and I”m not liking it! I like to USE my oven, not LIVE in it! But since a move to a cooler climate doesn’t look like it’ll be happening any time in my future, I’ll just have to put on my big girl panties and deal with it.

One problem with living in the oven rather than using it, I am hard pressed to want to use said oven b/c of the heating of my kitchen. My home has an open floor plan and the kitchen/dining area/family room are all together, making a larger space more difficult to cool. Any one else feeling my pain right now? Yep, I thought so.

With that in mind, I broke out one of my old favorite recipes. I always loved these as a child, but now….well, I still love them! Maybe even more b/c I can have a yummy, decadent treat w/o turning on my oven.

What on earth am I going on about? No bake cookies. I know you’ve had them. I think they’re a requirement for kids. And if you haven’t tried them, you are in for a treat! These little babies are super easy to make and delicious to eat! I’m curious to see how long this batch makes it in my house! I’m also curious to find out if my daughter’s friend’s sister likes them. She announced to me that she did not like peanut butter. Not that she’s allergic, but that she didn’t like it. I probably looked at her like she sprouted an extra head when she told me this. I thought peanut butter was a food group for kids!

No Bake Cookies

2C sugar
1/2C milk
1/3C cocoa powder
2Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 heaping tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 C quick cook oatmeal

1. In a small sauce pan, combine sugar, milk, cocoa and butter. Boil 1 min stirring constantly.
2. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. Add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. Stir well to blend.
4. Drop by spoonful on waxed/parchment paper to cool. Store in an airtight container. if you’re in a warm climate as I am, store in the refrigerator.

Enjoy! And stay cool!

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