27 November 2012

Easy Cake Pops





I have an obsession with cake. Its even more delicious and cute as cake pops. I ended up making over 75 of these bad boys for my class and boy oh boy did I never want to see a Cake Pop again. I think I am slowly getting over that and I am planning on making a Cake Pop Tree for the holidays.  They are fairly easy to make (even easier if you have a stand mixer). 


Make your favourite cake (I made red velvet) and let it cool. Crumble cake with hands, Stand Mixer or food processor. 


Make your favourite icing that goes with your cake (cream cheese is my personal favourite). 


Add icing 1 cup at a time until cake sticks together and is easily rolled into balls. This depends on how much cake you make and how sweet you want your cake pops, I think I used about 2 1/2-3 cups of icing. This is where the stand mixer comes in handy. Its super easy to crumble the cake and mix in the icing with a stand mixer. 


Roll cake into balls and place on a baking sheet. Sick the balls in the fridge for a half hour to firm up. While they are in the fridge begin to melt your candy melts in your desired colour (I got mine at Bulk Barn).  I usually add a table spoon or so of vegetable oil to smooth out the chocolate and keep it in a cup for easy cake pop coverage. Remove cake pops from fridge and dip sticks into chocolate and place in the middle of the ball. Then place back in the fridge to firm up again. I suggest working in batches so you can alternate cake pops that are chilling and those you are working on. 


Dip balls into chocolate. Twirl. Tap off excess chocolate on side of cup and place pop either on baking sheet or the stick in a foam holder to dry. 


Enjoy!
Jaclyn

22 November 2012

Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies


Not going to lie, these cookies were completely gone within a day and a half of me making them. They were amazingly ooey and gooey and oh so delicious. If the post title didn't already have your mouth watering then these next few photos will, unless you're weird and don't like Nutella or something. Not that I've ever met anyone who doesn't like Nutella. I grew up on the stuff. So why had I not thought of stuffing only my favourite cookie with it. Heaven. Pure Heaven.  The actual stuffing the cookies with Nutella part took a while to get the hang of, but the results were oh so worth it. And I now know why the rest of the blogging world is raving about brown butter. 


Just look at that chocolately goodness!  It has already been requested that I make more. 


I followed the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen

Notes: I found the dough hard to work with at first right out of the fridge.  I used my hands to warm up the dough ball I was working with, spread it thin and placed an indent with my thumb in the middle of the cookie  to fill with Nutella. 

Enjoy!
Jaclyn

13 November 2012

Balance

Trying to find a balance in life takes time, effort and experience. It is not something that comes easily to me and I know many people struggle with it. I believe that finding balance in life is something that we work at on a daily basis and it is always something that we will struggle with as we move into different stages of our lives.
We are all busy. We all have things like work, school, blogging, relationships, personal time, exercise and chores to deal with on a daily basis.  It becomes difficult to fit all of this in and give everything that is important to you and in life equal time and effort. There are days when school takes over completely and from morning till night its a grind of class and studying, only to have to do it all again the next day. Its exhausting. Having to find something to eat or the thought of having to do laundry is just too much and cannot be handled.
For me the most difficult thing is trying to prioritize what is most important for me to get done that day. Is everything as big of a deal as I make it out to be? What can I let slide, just this once?  I have been making an effort to try and achieve a more normal balance between friends, family, school and a general healthy lifestyle, but it is difficult. Trying to get everything into a day is not easy. I have come to realize that days are going to be off balance because different things are pressing on different days and while it might not be possible to achieve a daily balance of sorts achieving a balance overall is what  I would like to aim for.
There are weeks that are academically heavier then others with projects and exams. Those weeks I know that I might not be able to go out and see my friends as often as I would like and getting to the gym feels near impossible but I also have come to realize that taking the time out for yourself, taking that hour break makes all the difference in how productive you are.
I don't have the answer to how to find balance. It is something I am still working on and struggling with everyday. I think half the battle is recognizing that you want a balanced life and making a conscious effort to achieve it.

How do you find balance?
Jaclyn



9 November 2012

Pasta: Bacon and Bocconcini

I eat a lot of pasta, usually with tomato sauce. But some days I want something a bit different. I love the combination of red onions and garlic and used this as my base for this dish.  I had just bought some bocconcini cheese (one of my favourites) and had some bacon left over in the fridge. I think bacon is the right amount of salty to be paired with bocconcini. 
I cooked the bacon first, then added the onions and garlic to the same pan

Probably one of my favourite cheeses! I often eat them on their own. Grabbing a couple each time I pass the fridge.

After cooking the pasta, I mixed it together with the cheese and the bacon mixture. I added a bit of olive oil. Then dug in! 
What is your favourite alternative to tomato sauce?
Jaclyn

7 November 2012

Day at the Farm





I finally got a time to spend the day at a farm and go apple picking! I have been dying to go for weeks now and am so excited to make some pie with my freshly picked apples.  It was the first day that it wasn't raining and although it was a bit chilly it was a perfect day at the farm.  
Vest: Old Navy. Sweater: H&M. Jeans: AE. Boots: Hunter. Purse: Coach. 
The farm had all these cute signs telling you what kind of apples were in each row.  Many of the apples were finished for the season by the time we went so hopefully I can try and get there earlier next year. 




 The farm also had tractor rides and an awesome corn maze. The corn maze was fun to wander through  and it was fun to watch all the kids also visiting the farm race through the maze trying to beat each other to the end. 

I have been enjoying fall so much this year and I am not ready for the colder weather that has slowly been moving in. I wish we could have a longer fall and a shorter winter. I am really enjoying all the fall clothes, boots and activities. 


Jaclyn

2 November 2012

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I have a thing for chocolate. The more the better. I can never resist chocolate cake for desert at a restaurant especially if it is flour-less. Flour-less chocolate cakes are always so deliciously dense and full of that wonderful chocolate flavour.
I basically followed the recipe from here, but I doubled it since my pan was 10 inches round. I also added a raspberry sauce on top since I felt it needed a little something extra. 

For the cake:
8-oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder (pref. dutch process)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line an 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring with a fork until very smooth.
Pour warm chocolate mixture into a medium mixing bowl with sugar. Whisk to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next, then mix in vanilla extract. Sift cocoa powder into the bowl and whisk until well-combined.
Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving platter. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container.


For the sauce: 
1 cup Frozen Raspberries 
3/4 Cup Sugar 
1/2 cup Water 
1 TBS Corn Starch 

A add raspberries, water, sugar and corn starch to sauce pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Raspberries should begin to break down on their own. Once all the raspberries have broken down bring mixture to a boil to activate corn starch. Strain through a mesh sleeve. Refrigerate until ready to use. 


What is your favourite desert?
Jaclyn