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I’m a Pepper, You’re a Pepper….

Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?Remember that Dr Pepper commercial from the late 70's, early 80's? Quite the catchy little tune, wasn't it? That commercial and my favorite beverage, Dr Pepper, was the inspiration for the cupcakes I made yesterday. I had made the pumpkin roll for my husbands birthday, but was being kind of selfish and didn't want to waste something so delicious on the younger crowd of kids that would be attending his little party last night. The cake roll was for the adults.... cupcakes, I decided, for the kids. I remember making a Coca Cola cake once and thought that the flavor was slightly unique. I began to wonder if I could do something similar but exchange Dr Pepper for the Coke. Since I'm not confident enough to create baking recipes from scratch, I decided to do a little search on Recipezaar to see what I could find in terms of a Dr Pepper cupcake. Lo and behold, there was such a thing... the Dr Pepper cake. It seemed simple enough and I knew that since it was chocolate, the kiddos would enjoy it. These cupcakes have a rich chocolate flavor with a hint of spice, which I'm assuming comes from the Dr Pepper. The frosting was a bit sweet, but it didn't keep anyone from scarfing them down at the birthday party.Even though I didn't create this recipe, I did make a few minor adaptations (reduced the amount of sugar, added a bit of grape juice) I'm submitting this post and picture to the Cupcake Roundup being held by Garrett of Vanilla Garlic and by … [Continue reading]

A Big Dose of Confidence

It's amazing  how having a successful attempt at something you have wanted to do for so long can give you that extra boost of confidence you need. This past weekend I made the Lighter Than Air Chocolate Cake Roll and it was a huge, delicious success. For so many years I've been watching people make cake rolls and I've been so envious, certain that doing something like that and having it result in one piece without cracks was beyond my culinary baking capabilities. To that fear I say, farewell! I now know that I can make a cake roll and I know that I can do it well. A task that was intimidating me for so long ended up being really not that difficult. I could kick myself for not tackling this sooner.To make up for lost time, I'm now on a cake roll kick. The one cake roll that my husband always comments on is the Pumpkin cake roll. Every holiday season we'll go somewhere and there will be a pumpkin cake roll and he gets so excited... it is one of his favorite desserts. Well, today is his birthday so as his cake I made him a pumpkin cake roll. It was surprisingly simple and incredibly delicious!For those of you who commented after my Chocolate Cake Roll post that you too have been intimidated by cake rolls, kiss that fear good bye. Follow the recipe instructions carefully and you too can be a master of all cakes rolled. … [Continue reading]

Contradictions

We have had this conversation before. "Mommy Doesn't Do Snow." I just don't like being cold. I don't like having the bitter winter wind in my face stealing my breath away. I don't get pleasure out of not being able to feel my toes in my shoes. This weekend, however, I became sort of a convert. Yes, sort of a convert. I still don't like snow, but the snow we had this weekend was not like most snows. It came down from the sky in nice large fluffy flakes, coating the ground with a beautiful soft blanket. I can't remember the last time we had such a perfect snow.It was beautiful. The even better thing was that it wasn't really that cold outside. It was chilly, but not the bitter cold that usually comes along with a snow storm like this.When we woke up Sunday morning, my kids immediately started begging to go out and play in the snow. Daddy was home, so they were in luck. You see, Nick grew up in Northeast Iowa. He is used to the type of snows where you have to shovel through your front door to be able to get anywhere. Kansas snow is nothing to him.I watched from the windows, peeking out to snap a picture or two. I was perfectly content inside when one of my neighbors called, insisting that I come outside and encourage the hood on while they build some snowmen. She convinced me that it wasn't that cold, so outside I went. It really was fun. I didn't "play" in the snow. I simply watched, chatting with the other moms and capturing the Kodak moments as they … [Continue reading]

Come in out of the snow

 Come in out of the snow. I know your hands and feet have got to be freezing cold from building the neighborhood's largest snowman. You must be exhausted from sledding non-stop down the hill and back up and down the hill and back up again, over and over. Take your coat, shoes and mittens off and sit down to a nice steaming cup of hot chocolate and my first Dorie Greenspan recipe attempt...Chocolate Malted Whopper Cookies. They didn't turn out puffy like her recipe suggested, but they were still a great treat to go along with the fire and cocoa. Enjoy!To read more about the perfect snow man building snow we had, head over to our family blog "Dishing It Up Family Style"   … [Continue reading]

Power of Suggestion

I am a marketers dream. I am the target audience that marketers go after when they are trying to entice customers merely by the power of suggestion. It will be 4:00 in the afternoon and a commercial will come on the television for a restaurant. I watch, get hungry, and can't get that restaurant out of my mind until I visit it. I hear a friend talk about a product, and if they are speaking favorably about it, I get to the nearest store and buy it to try it out for myself.Yesterday I added a little widget to my blog from widgetbox.com. You can find the widget I added towards the bottom left hand corner of my blog. This particular widget is from epicurious and it shows a little slide-show of various recipes you can find on Epicurious.com. I installed the widget and then sat there watching the recipe slideshow flash tempting photos of enticing recipes. When the recipe for Lighter Than Air Chocolate Roll popped up, my mouth started watering. My stomach started growling. My craving for some chocolate goodness intensified. I had to try this recipe, and I had to try it ASAP. I slept on it, thinking that surely by the next day I wouldn't feel the urge to create this chocolate roll. Didn't happen... I woke up this morning and it was one of the first things I thought of. The Lighter Than Air Chocolate Roll and I were going to meet today... I couldn't avoid it. I must start by saying that I bake often, but I have never made a log or roll of any kind. I've always been intimidated by the … [Continue reading]