Friday, May 18, 2012

Best Butter Cream Frosting

This recipe I found on I am baker which is an AMAZING blog about baking and decorating cakes and cookies with tons of tutorials. I absolutely LOVE her! And this frosting recipe she adapted from an recipe is my absolute FAVORITE frosting that I only use for special occasions!
oh I also make my own adaptations of this for other flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, coconut, almond, etc...

2 cups shortening (I use butter instead, quite often for more flavor, but shortening is cheaper)
8 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon clear imitation vanilla extract
6 fluid ounces heavy cream
In a large bowl, cream shortening with mixer until fluffy.  Add confectioners sugar (2 cups at a time) until well blended.  If the frosting gets to thick at any time you can add some of your heavy cream.
Add salt, vanilla, and heavy cream and blend until combined, then blend on high until frosting is light and fluffy.  If you need to add additional cream you can. (up to 2 tablespoons)

For CHOCOLATE, replace 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with 1/2 cup of coco powder, mix into sugar before adding to the butter.

For STRAWBERRY, omit vanilla extract and add strawberry instead, OR put a cup of FRESH strawberries in blender and puree, add to frosting after creaming butter and sugar but before adding cream.

For COCONUT, add coconut extract instead of vanilla, OR omit 1 cup shortening for one cup coconut oil (store and keep in cool area because the coconut oil will melt easily!)

For other flavors, either add extract of other flavor instead of vanilla, OR puree/melt and cool/ or just add softened ingredient to the butter and sugar mixture before adding heavy cream.

♥Happy Baking!♥ 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Traditional Irish American Feast!

Having been made in a crock pot (or slow cooker) this meal was simple, fast to prepare, and easy to serve!

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Potatoes and Carrots

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours

  • 1 Corned Beef Brisket from the store (I got mine half off at Albertsons)
  • 1lb bag of baby carrots
  • 5 large red potatoes or 1lb bag of small red potatoes
  • 1 medium to small sized white onion
  • 1/2 head of cabbage (or the whole thing depending on the size of your crock pot)
  • 1 cup of water
Cut the potatoes and onion into quarters ( or 1/2 inch chunks). Mix with the carrots and place half of the veggie mixture into the crock pot. Unwrap the corned beef brisket and rub the spices that come with it if desired. Place on top of veggies, fatty side down. Place remaining veggies all around the brisket. Cook on LOW for 7 hours. If you start this at 9:30am your dinner will be ready to serve by 6pm.
when your meat and potatoes have cooked for 7 hours slice the cabbage in half twice lengthwise and place into the crock pot on top of the meat. Continue to cook on LOW for 1 more hour.

This is when you would start your Irish Soda Bread.

Brennans Irish Soda Bread

Of all the soda bread recipes ive tried this one is by far my favorite. I follow this recipe to a "T" and it always turns out great! I found it on Its fast, easy and goes GREAT with corned beef and cabbage!


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir the milk and vinegar together, and allow to stand until curdled, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually stir the soured milk into the flour mixture until the dough just comes together, and turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead a few times, and shape into a round. Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut an X shape into the top of the dough to release steam and help the bread keep its round shape. (i also dusted mine with flour, giving it a more rustic look)
Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 45 minutes. (i left mine in for 40 minutes)

Put on some classic Celtic music for added Irish atmosphere and have yourself a Happy St. Patricks Day!

An Irish Blessing
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Healthy spin on Cream of Mushroom and Celery Soup

Cream of Mushroom and Celery soup
5 servings
10 medium cremini mushrooms ( Costco pack)
1 medium onion
2 tsp
mince garlic
2 tsp seasoning salt
1 small pack celery chopped
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of fat free Greek yogurt
Tbsp. Evoo
1 ½ tsp
dry thyme ( you can use fresh too)

In a Large pot (Dutch oven) put oil,
mushrooms, onion, and celery. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. We want the
celery soft but not mushy. If you need to cook longer go ahead. Next add all seasonings and mix ** I
personally am a lover of garlic and according to family put a little too much
garlic in it *GASP* (no such thing as toooo much) **. Then add your chicken
stock **I use trader Joes low sodium from concentrate and it is the only
chicken stock I have tried that taste like it is homemade.** Let the soup
simmer for about 10 minutes. Next slowly
add the Greek yogurt (I also like Trader Joe’s Brand… can you guess where I do
my shopping??). Final Process put the
soup in blender or food processor and bam!
There ya go homemade cream of mushroom and celery soup. You can add more yogurt to make it creamier
if you like. What’s awesome about this soup besides the flavor, simplicity, and
serving of veggies is it really is not too high in fat or calories. According
to myfitness pal it’s about 90 calories. There are about 5 servings and that is
large servings. So there you go it’s a perfect
soup for a cold day where u need some comfort but don’t want to blow your diet
or go overboard on a fat creamy soup.
Hope you enjoy J

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Testing...and new

Hi Everyone!!!
Im not sure if this is working so im doing a test .... also just introducing myself so your not like ... hey who is this random person. MY name is Marly. I live in the south bay which is how I know Sarah ( we went to school together for many a years and lived a block away). I never liked to cook..always perferred to eat. But when I became a mommy and moved out on a budget I QUICKLY picked it up...and fell in love. I cook most nights ( I work 2 nights a week so those are left over or breakfast nights) not everything i cook is great ( i enjoy experimenting) but hey isn't that what cooking it all about?? I also am spoiled.... I have a 2 year old who will eat just about anything ...tofu...broccoli... all fish...mashed cauliflower..... and I trained him so he tells me everything s delicious..
anywho Im excited to share some of my cooking tips and recipies with all of ya'll. Cooking is my passion and I dream of the day I can open a cafe or gourmet food truck.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Sea Salt Caramel Butter Cream adorned with a Chocolate Apple

Cake: Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 20 minutes
1 Trader Joes* Yellow Cake Mix
3 eggs
1 c (two sticks) Melted Butter
1 c Trader Joes Apple Cider
3 big Green Apples (I also got these from Trader Joes)
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

Preheat Oven to 350 F
Core and peel apples, chop to desired size, the smaller the better.
Mix eggs and cider in mixing bowl, after butter has cooled from melting add it to the mix on low speed. Add the cake mix and turn to medium speed until combined, about a minute and a half. Then add cinnamon and apples.
Spoon into lined cupcake pan and bake for 20 minutes. I got 38 cupcakes doing this.
Cool in teh freezer for 5 minutes (just enough time to make the frosting!)

Frosting: Prep: 5 minutes
1/4 c. Trader Joes Sea Salt Caramel Topping
1 c (two sticks) Butter, softened NOT melted
5 c Powdered Sugar
1/4 c Heavy Cream

Cream butter and 4 cups of sugar in mixer. Add caramel topping and half the cream. Beat on medium high until well combined and the mix fluffs up, alternate the rest of the cream and sugar until you get to your desired consistency. You dont have to add all of it, thats just the amount that I used.

Chocolate Apple Topper: Prep: 2 minutes Shape: 10 minutes Dry: overnight
Half a bag of White Melting Chips
1 tsp of no taste Red Food Coloring
1 Tb of Green Melting chips
1 Tb of regular Chocolate Chips

Melt white chips and food coloring int he microwave for 30 second intervals stirring between each one until the food coloring is combined. This will create a mushy red concoction which will feel like hardened play dough.
After letting it cool for a minute, take about 1 teaspoon of this stuff and shape it into a ball tapering to a dull point at the bottom, lightly smash the bottom tapered part to a piece of parchment or wax paper so that it sits without toppling over.
Then take a toothpick (or the Wilton fondant shaping tool #4 smooth side) and carve a little hole in the middle of the top by sticking the toothpick in and tilting it while turning the little apple, then smooth it out with your finger.
(hopefully i will get some photos of the steps soon so i can post them)

Take the green and brown chips and place them into their own ziplock baggies making sure to squeeze all the air out and close securely.
Then place them into a cup of hot water or under the hot water faucet.
Squeeze the bag every few seconds to make sure all the chips are melting.
When the chips have melted, cut a TINY hole in the corner of the GREEN bag and squeeze out onto parchment or wax (i prefer parchment because they stick on the wax a little) into the shape of a small leaf.
With the brown chips, cut a TINY hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze in the shape of a 1/4 inch long line with a little bump on the top for the stem.
Let these dry overnight

Assemble the Apple
Take the apple body, squeeze some melted chocolate into the hole, place the stem in the hole. Squeeze some melted chocolate onto the top of the apple body near the stem and place the leaf onto it, let it dry for a few minutes before adding to the top of the cupcake.

* I use mostly trader joes ingredients because they are my favorite, they are the cheapest healthy stuff and they taste super good. You can really use any brand of ingredients.

♥Happy Baking!!♥

Friday, September 16, 2011

Home Made Beef Jerky

Prep: 10 minutes Bake: 12 Hours


1 lb Carne Asada (thin Beef steaks)
1 cup Soy sauce
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Garlic powder (or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
1/2 tsp powdered Ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh Ginger Root)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F
Place steaks in baking pan single layered (do not overlap). Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour generously over steaks, rub all over the steaks to make sure the flavor is evenly distributed.
Bake at 200 F for 12 hours!
store in an airtight container in your fridge. (at our house the jerky does NOT last long enough to worry about going bad!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chocolate Sandwhich Cookies

Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 10 minutes
Finish: 5 minutes


2 boxes of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (preferably Duncan Hines)
4 eggs
2/3 c. of vegetable oil (or butter, or substitute)

heat oven to 350 F
Mix all ingredients until well combined. drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet, bake for 10 minutes. Allow cookies to to sit for a minute on the cookie sheet so they can harden enough to be moved. cool on wire rack.

8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 stick (or 1/2 c.) of butter
4 or 5 cups of Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons of milk for texture

Cream the cheese and butter in a mixer and slowly add sugar incorporating well. Add milk if the frosting is too thick. you want it kinda thick because your putting it between the cookies and you dont want it to squish out!

Assembling the Sandwich:
If youre like me then you made all your cookies a different size! So partner your cookies as much by size as you can! Then drop a spoonful of frosting on the flat side of one and squish the other one on top with the flat side down! (the flat side is the side that was on the pan while baking, you get it, right?)