local food blog

Posts tagged “baking

Cupcake pops!!!

Look what I made today!!!

This is from the amazing bakerella website, http://www.bakerella.com, this girl has serious talent! I gave it a go and they turned out pretty good, 4 hours of long hard work, but well worth it for the smile on the beans face!! I copied and pasted the how to for you that I borrowed from the site, give it a try, its fun and they are sooo adorable!

1 13X9 baked cake (from a box cake mix or from scratch … any flavor)
1 can cream cheese frosting (or about 2 cups equivalent from scratch)
1 flower shaped cookie cutter (1.25″ wide X .75″ tall)
1 package chocolate bark
1 package pink candy melts or white chocolate bark
bowls for dipping
wax paper
aluminum foil
lollipop sticks
sprinkles, m&ms or something similar for top of cupcake
small plastic treat bags and ribbon to package the Cupcake Pops
candy cups and truffle boxes to individually package the Cupcake Bites
styrofoam block

  1. Bake a cake from a mix or from scratch and cool completely. 

  2. Crumble cake into a fine consistency into a large bowl.TIP: If the texture is too coarse, you can run it through a food processor.
  3. Add can of cream cheese frosting or homemade frosting and blend together using the back of a large spoon. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Roll mixture into 1.25″ – 1.5″ size balls and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. You may want to periodically rinse and dry your hands off in between.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for several hours.TIP: You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove. Begin to shape into cupcakes using a small flower-shaped cookie cutter. (see below) Take the chilled ball and roll it into more of an oval and then slide into cookie cutter. Push it into cutter until about half fills the cutter and the rest sticks out of the top in the shape of a mound. Then push the shaped cupcake carefully out of the cookie cutter from the bottom. Set right side up on a wax paper covered cookie sheet. Continue with remaining balls.

  7. Once shaped, cover and return to freezer. (5-10 minutes)TIP: You can leave them covered in the refrigerator overnight if you want to do the dipping on the following day.
  8. While cupcake shapes are chilling, begin to heat up your chocolate bark.
  9. Brown chocolate bark for the bottoms. Pink or white chocolate for the tops.
  10. Follow the instructions on the package for melting. Most recommend heating for 30 second intervals at a time and stirring in between. You can also do the double boiler method.
  11. When you are ready to dip, remove from freezer and set up another wax paper covered cookie sheet.
  12. Take the cupcake shaped mixture and dip bottoms into the melted chocolate – just to the point where the mounded shape starts. Remove from chocolate, turn upside down and wiggle so that the excess starts to slide down slightly. Then lay on the wax paper upside down. If you want them to be lollipops, then go ahead and insert the lollipop sticks while the chocolate is still wet. Continue with rest of the cupcakes. You can also leave some without the sticks. They’re just as cute as Cupcake Bites.TIP: Dip end of your lollipop stick in the melted chocolate before inserting into chocolate bottoms. Not sure if this helps a lot, but it couldn’t hurt.

    DON’T – get water in the chocolate. Make sure your hands are completely dry. Water will cause the chocolate to separate and mess up all your hard work.

  13. Dry completely. (15-20 minutes)
  14. Once dry, dip the tops of the cupcakes in the pink or white chocolate. You may need to move it around a little to cover all the exposed areas.

    TIP: Let the pink chocolate sit for a few minutes after heating to thicken. This will help it from dripping down the sides of the cupcake.

  15. Remove from the pink/white chocolate and turn right side up. You may need to hold and rotate it if there is any excess so that it doesn’t drip down too far.TIP: You can use a toothpick to help cover any areas the melted chocolate didn’t cover.
  16. For the Cupcake Bites – just turn right side up and rest on the wax paper. Then go ahead and put a m&m on the top and add sprinkles while wet.
  17. For the lollipops, Continue holding and place an m&m on the top and add sprinkles. Let them dry in a styrofoam block that you have already poked holes into.
  18. When completely dry, cover the lollipops with small plastic treat bags and tie with a ribbon.
  19. For the Cupcake Bites, place in a candy cup and package in small candy truffle boxes to present individually.

Its here…its here!!!!!

My new kitchen aid mixer arrived today!!! The tangerine orange 5 qt mixer with a stainless steel bowl, to replace my old one that sadly has gone over to mixer heaven (it was 25 years old after all). It was like Christmas around here today, my books finally came from amazon, the groceries were delivered and then surprise the mixer arrived!!!!! This weekend is going to be spent trying out my new cookbooks with my new favorite appliance!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

5Qs – Visiting a Burmese Refugee Camp | Monday Mag

This article is an interview that my aunt had with Monday Magazine that came out today. Diane is the reason I am going to be chained to my kitchen for the next day, baking for her tea to raise money for the people of Burma. Its a great article and a great cause!

A well in the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border

A well in the Mae La refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border


5Qs – Visiting a Burmese Refugee Camp

Posted By: Otiena Ellwand

06/02/2010 8:00 AM

Diane Pennock helps the people of Burma

Victoria resident Diane Pennock knew little about the country of Burma (officially known as Myanmar) when she first decided to accompany a friend there in 2009, but meeting the Burmese people, who are some of the poorest in the world and have been dealt brutal cards (nearly 50 years under a military regime and a deadly cyclone that hit in 2008), changed her life. In a month’s time she visited 10 orphanages, a leper colony and a remote medical clinic, and knew she had to share her experience upon her arrival home. Pennock also knew that she would be back soon. Last January she embarked on her second trip—this time to the Thai-Burma border, where there are millions of refugees living in squalor. She volunteered with a few Canadian charitable organizations that work with Burmese orphans, met children who’d been bought and sold into trafficking and were now being protected in safe houses. She also met some of the Karen people, a minority group who do not consider themselves to be either Thai or Burmese and have been struggling to keep their identity for over 60 years. “The SDPC [Social Development and Peace Council, a.k.a. the Burmese military] routinely burns down villages and crops, beats and kills the men, forces the boys into the army, beats, rapes and kills the women and girls,” says Pennock. “When I was asked to speak, I talked about my family and my home, and how I have taken for granted the peace and security I have known all my life.”

Monday Magazine: Can you explain what you think the main issue is here?

Diane Pennock: How little is known about Burma, its political climate, the human rights violations and the plight of the people. I had heard of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, but didn’t know she is Burmese and has been under house arrest for most of the last 20 years. And some people are aware of the difficulty that relief organizations had in getting into Burma after Cyclone Nargis. But for the most part, Burma is rarely in the news, the general public isn’t aware of what goes on there and, as a result, it isn’t high on the priority list for charitable donations.

MM: When you got to the refugee camp, what do you first remember about it?

DP: I was overwhelmed by the size of the Mae La refugee camp: 40,000 people living in close proximity, basic shelter, no running water, no electricity and very basic food rations. This is one of only 10 refugee camps on the border that are recognized by the Thai government. They have been in existence for 25 years or more; some of the children were born there and know no other life. There are also lots of informal camps that are built by the Burmese who have fled their country because of poverty and human rights violations. When the Thai army discovers these makeshift camps, they are burned down.

MM: What did you do at the refugee camp?

DP: While at Mae La I visited two dormitories for “unaccompanied children.” This includes orphans and other children who have arrived on the border without adult guardians. I met the young people who live in the dorms and gave a talk to encourage them to keep studying. They have so little access to the outside world, and although hungry for knowledge, they have no context for how it will help them. A sense of hopelessness permeates the camps and results in a high rate of suicide.

MM: What do you think is the most important thing for people to know about your experience?

DP: People sometimes ask me why I have become involved in the Burma issue, and there is no simple answer to that—except that we really do live in a global village, and a little-known country with an estimated 55 million people is being subjected to unimaginable atrocities and for the most part, the public knows nothing about it. If I had been told a couple of years ago that I would be doing this, I wouldn’t have believed it. Burma wasn’t even on my radar! And yet here I am.

MM: What’s next for you?

DP: Good question! I have to decide whether I am going back to Mae Sot to do volunteer work or to just continue the work from here. It is an interesting time for Burma, as the first elections held in 20 years are coming up in October. The Burmese have been patiently waiting for this election for many years, but most observers predict that nothing will change. It’s hard to say what will happen when the people realize that. M

There will be a fundraiser tea from 2-4:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Matthias Church Hall. Tickets are $15 at Ten Thousand Villages and Full Circle Studio Arts. All funds raised go directly to the Room To Grow Foundation in Mae Sot (roomtogrowfoundation.org). For more on volunteering at the refugee camps, contact Diane at burmaorphanfundraiser@yahoo.ca.


1 hour left till I have to be at the hospital 😛 My stomach is jumping every which way, doesn’t help that you are not allowed to eat before you go 😦 I know I will be fine, I will be in and out in 2 hours and back home where I can watch all the episodes of deadwood that I slept through the first time; but the thought of being in the hospital creeps me out.

 On a happier note, I have everything I need for the marathon weekend of baking I have to do….2 dozen cupcakes, 2 dozen pumpkin whoopee pies, 5 dozen cheesecake tarts and 5 dozen gingersnap cookies!!! Friday is the spring fair at the beans school and they are baking for Haiti, and sunday is the tea my aunt is hosting for Burma!!!

When life gets to much, make raspberry mojitos!!!!!!

Life is speeding up for me big time, summer is just around the corner and with that brings a lot of prep work. The bean is taking off abroad on a trip of a lifetime, with her dad and his gf. My lucky little bean will get to experience Prague, Germany, Venice and so much more!!! I however get to experience the passport office, lucky me!!!  While she is getting ready to become a jet setter, the lump has discovered that he can pull himself up onto and into everything in the house; my baby is no longer a baby:(

To celebrate the insanity of the household, and the arrival of season 2 of breaking bad (I love amazon), I made a batch of raspberry mojitos for J and I last night. Something refreshing to sip on while we watched some tv. They were perfect, we had pulled pork tacos for dinner, with home-made guacamole; the mint was a nice after thought!!

Raspberry Mojitos

You’ll need:

A handful of fresh mint leaves

3-5 fresh raspberries

Juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons sugar


1 1/2 ounces rum

splash of club soda

In a highball glass, muddle the mint, raspberries, lime juice and sugar. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice; add the rum and shake for 15 seconds. Pour into the glass and top with the club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and a straw.

definitely worth the effort!!!!!!

Today my workout video arrived….I am not a workout video type of person, but there is no time for the gym right now. That lead me to order Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred, it’s actually a little  difficult, and I definitely need to invest in a workout bra…18 months of pregnancy and nursing, well the girls are a little bigger than the last time I worked out 😛 Day one of video complete, I survived, lets see if in 30 days I am where she claims I can be by doing the video every day. PS if you hate jumping jacks, this is not the video for you!

I made the best foccacia bread ever the other day, super easy…

            Foccacia Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water

3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

2 tbsp sugar

1 1/4 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups flour

1 tbsp instant yeast

4 tsp herb mix (mine is basil, oregano, rosemary, and italian)

1/2 cup good parmesan


Grease a 9 x13″ pan, and drizzle in 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Combine the water and yeast, let sit about a minute till yeast is frothy. In a large bowl add flour, salt, sugar, herbs and olive oil, and yeast. Beat for about 1 minute with electric mixer, (seriously, this is a no knead recipe); when combined scoop sticky batter into pan. Cover and let rise for about an hour, untill it becomes puffy. Preheat oven to 375 F. Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger. Drizzle  it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until golden, about 35-40 min. Remove from oven, wait about 5 minutes, then turn out of pan onto rack. Serve warm, for best results!!

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcakes

Baking cupcakes makes me happy, and for the first 5 makes J happy as well. Although I think he would love it, if I found someone to give half the batch away to!

You have to try these light and fluffy amazing cupcakes!

• 1 cup flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa (powdered)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups egg whites (from approximately 10 large eggs)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon red food coloring

Chocolate Angel Food Cupcake Recipe DirectionsPreheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine egg whites with salt, and beat until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and continue to beat until stiff.

Stir in sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Fold flour mixture into egg whites gradually.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 1/2 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely in pan.

The Ultimate Cheesecake

I promise this cheesecake will please all lemon lovers, cheesecake lovers and just plain old dessert lovers!  It was a touch finicky to make, but well worth it!!

Lemon Cheesecake
For the crust:
2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 26 crackers)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
3 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/3 cups white granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping:
2 cups sour cream
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the glaze:
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
Thinly sliced lemon rounds, halved and twisted
For the crust: Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Blend crumbs and melted butter in bowl. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
For the filling: Preheat oven to 350° F. Using, an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until soft. Gradually blend in sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla. Pour into crust. Bake until slightly puffed, about 40 minutes. Leave oven temperature at 350° F.
For the topping: Blend all ingredients in small bowl. Spread on top of cake. Bake 15 minutes; topping will not look set. Cool for 30 minutes.
For the glaze: Combine water, lemon juice and yolk in heavy small saucepan. Stir in sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes. Add butter and lemon peel and stir until butter melts. Cool glaze for 20 minutes.
Spread glaze on cake. Cool completely. Refrigerate until well chilled, (Can be prepared 2 days ahead.) Garnish with lemon slices. Serve cold.