Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Flowers



I can't believe tomorrow is Halloween!  Where has time gone??? The last couple of weeks have been so busy with school and work, I feel like it's flown by. 

I am so glad it's Friday though- it could honestly not get here fast enough.  Once I make it to 5 o'clock I should be able to slow down and enjoy the weekend, yay!

It should be a really good one- I'm going to the OSU/Texas game in Stillwater for Chris's birthday! Maybe I'll bake something for Halloween when I get back (I have an idea in mind!)- as for now though- NO time. 

Happy Weekend!

Ash

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter bars...



...aka Special K bars!  These are so simple to make and they are pretty darn good too.  At first I was worried because I stuck them in the freezer to harden the chocolate before cutting, and before I knew it, they were rock solid.  (My dad was like mmm, let me have one... then he couldn't even bite into it, haha!)  But I let them thaw out completely and they softened up.



(My mom said she even heated her's a little, like 5-10 sec, in the microwave and that they were even better warm!)

Want some?  Here's the recipe:

Special K bars
adapted from cooks.com

1 c. sugar
1 c. light Karo syrup
1 1/2 c. peanut butter (I used crunchy)
6 c. Special K Cereal

Chocolate Topping:

2 Hershey's candy bars
3/4 c. peanut butter

Bring sugar and syrup to a boil but then immediately turn heat down to low. Add peanut butter, stirring until melted completely. Pour over Special K and mix well. Put in a buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. (Put wax paper on top and smash down to flatten into the pan) Melt Hershey's bars and peanut butter together in the microwave, then spread on top.

That's it, enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!! :)



I'm 24 today!

*Thank you everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes!  I truly appreciate you taking the time :)

I had a GREAT birthday by the way... My boyfriend threw me a little surprise party with family & friends!  I was shocked and so excited- no one has ever done anything so thoughtful and special for me like that <3  He planned every detail with our moms- how cute is that!

I think I'll keep him :)
-ash

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Doodle dee doo




This is the result of major boredom in class today.  The faces are a little strange, I know.  I wasn't too terribly focused on the subject matter as you can see, just passing by time.

It's dark outside and pouring down rain which makes me just want to stay inside and doodle or paint the day away...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Aren't Owls Cute?


graphite on cardstock

Friday, October 16, 2009

TGIF Flowers


I'm so glad it's Friday. Finally.

I'm off to finish up the projects I've been working on, along with the million other things I have to get done...

See you soon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!


It's been a little bit since my last post, but I have lots to share with you soon I promise! I have paintings that are coming along, drawings, and some cupcakes too (remember the Bake It Pretty order I put in???)

Anyway, this is my dad's German Chocolate cake I made for his 54th birthday. I made Trisha Yearwood's recipe again, but I filled and decorated this one a little different. (I wasn't too pleased with the look of the last one, still a little too much like a giant cheeseball!)

But this one was much more attractive and was more yummy than the last... maybe it's due to all of the extra ganache I spread onto the sides :)

Here's the recipe if you want to try it! (The only difference with mine is that I added chocolate ganache, decorating it differently.)

German Chocolate Cake
Trisha Yearwood

Ingredients

4 ounces sweet dark chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup warm milk
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 medium egg whites
2 cups sugar
5 medium egg yolks, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk, well shaken

For the coconut frosting:

1 cup sugar
4 medium egg yolks
1 1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 ounces fresh or frozen and thawed grated coconut
1 1/2 cups finely ground pecans

Yields: 12 servings

Preparation

Prepare the chocolate by melting it in the top of a double boiler, stirring until it is smooth. Add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of the butter and stir until it is melted and blended. Add 1/4 cup of warm milk and stir until smooth. Set the chocolate aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบF.
Line the bottoms only of three 9-inch cake pans with circles of parchment paper, or grease each pan bottom only with solid shortening and dust lightly with flour. Sift together the sifted and measured flour, baking soda, and salt.
Whip the egg whites until stiff using the wire beater of the mixer. Transfer the beaten whites to a separate bowl and set aside.

In the mixer bowl, cream the remaining 1 1/2 sticks of butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the melted, cooled chocolate and the vanilla. Mix well.

With the mixer on very low, stir in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Do this by adding about a third of the flour and slowly stirring it in completely. Then add about half the buttermilk and stir it in. Continue adding flour and buttermilk in this manner, ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir again. With a long-handled spoon or spatula, fold and stir the beaten egg whites into the batter until the batter is smooth with no visible clumps of whites.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pans and springs back to a light touch. Cool layers in the pans for about 8 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of each pan and turn the layers out onto wire racks that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Cool layers completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, combine the sugar, egg yolks, and evaporated milk in the top of a double boiler. Stir with a wire whisk until the yolks are fully incorporated. Add the butter. Place over simmering water and bring to a boil.

Simmer for 12-15 minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add the vanilla, coconut, and nuts. Cool.

To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake stand and spread with frosting. Frost each layer completely, top and sides, as it is added to the cake.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Flowers


I'm not sure why but I have been especially drawn to sunflowers lately.

Isn't this just beautiful?