Archive | April 2013

Home Design

It’s time to start adding to my blog something other than just cooking. I’d love to start the decorating side of my business soon. My sister just bought a house and asked me to help her decorate, so I’m putting up some samples of what we came up with. I don’t have any before pictures yet, I’ll add those later.

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The picture that shows a large collage of photos surrounding a bible verse was put together by me, although the verse decal was designed and made by my talented friend Ellisha. Here’s the link to her site where you can order your own (she can custom make pretty much anything that tickles your fancy) http://etsy.com/shop/soundsayings. You can always ask me directly and I can get her in contact with you.
All of the things we put together were very inexpensive. For instance, the Neds decoration above the love seat in total cost less than $30. I’m pretty good at scouring stores and finding/making good deals.
Eventually I’d like to have a business doing similar things for other people. So if you want a demonstration, let me know and we can give it a whirl 🙂

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Andes Mint Chocolate Cake

Decadent. That’s all I can say.

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1 cup boiling water
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 c. milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar)
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped Andes Mints

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 8 inch cake pans with wax paper and spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray. Bring some water to a boil and keep it simmering while you mix the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer until combined.

Add 1 cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed in. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Shake the chopped Andes Mints in a ziploc bag with a tablespoon of flour, until they are lightly coated. Fold the mints into the batter and pour into prepared pans. Bake for 20-23 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).

Mint Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
green food coloring
1/2 cup milk (may use less)
Mix butter, sugar, vanilla, peppermint and food coloring on low speed in large mixing bowl. Gradually add milk until you reach the desired consistency. Keep covered.

Ganache
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the chocolate chips in a metal bowl. Heat cream over medium heat. Watch it closely and immediately remove from heat when it starts to boil. Pour over chocolate chips. Let stand for 1 or 2 minutes. Then slowly stir the mixture until all the chips have completely melted. Stir in the vanilla.

Allow the ganache to cool and slightly thicken before you use it. Let it sit at room temperature for a couple hours, or put in the refrigerator if you want to speed things up. Start pouring the ganache over the center of your cake, and slowly move outward in circles.

-From Bird on a Cake blog