Wednesday, April 10, 2013

House Braeby

I'm not much of a A Song Of Fire And Ice (Game Of Thrones) fan. I've tried reading the books, but I always end up putting them down for something else. I'm currently on the 3rd book for the second time.
I enjoy the show, but part of me still wants to read the books before I watch all of it, so It's gotten put on the back burner as well.

What's this got to do with anything?

Well, I was checking out some of my favorite blogs, (which you can see in the side bar of Talk Star Wars To Me) Geeky Hostess, to be exact, and I came across a Game Of Thrones Family Arms creator.

Now, I love stuff like this.
I went over to check it out and ended up making this

Come on, how awesome is that? I just had to share.

You can make your own here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saturday Morning Cartoon Birthday Treats

My very awesome boyfriend just turned 30 the other week.
Him and his friends are always throwing theme parties and his birthday was to be no exception to that rule.

But what kind of party to throw?
A Saturday Morning Cartoon Party, of course.

Art by Suppa-Rider

Everyone wore graphic t-shirts of their favorite cartoons, we threw on netflix and watched all sorts of 80's and 90's cartoons; Transformers, She-ra, Power Rangers, G.I. Joe, Sonic The Hedgehog and Jem. It was fantastic.

But what's a theme party without themed food?
We went with a breakfast theme, of course. But what do you make for a breakfast themed birthday cake? I scoured the internet for breakfast cupcakes and came across this amazing recipe from one of my favorite baking blogs; Confessions of A Cookbook Queen
picture by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Captain Crunch Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Marshmallow Frosting

1 box Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix 1 cup buttermilk 4 large eggs 1/3 cup oil 4 cups Cap’n Crunch cereal, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with baking cups and set aside. Using a food processor or a large Ziploc bag and rolling pin, crush 2 cups of the cereal very finely (to a cornmeal consistency). 

If you don't have a food processor or a rolling pin, an empty wine bottle works just as well. Who knew?

In the bowl of a mixer, add the cake mix, crushed cereal, buttermilk, eggs, and oil. 

Beat on low speed about one minute, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more. 

Fold other 2 cups on uncrushed cereal into the batter.

Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Allow to cool on cooling racks.

To Make Frosting:

2 sticks butter, at room temperature (I used salted) 1 cup peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 cup milk 4 cups powdered sugar 7 oz jar marshmallow creme

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the 2 sticks of butter, peanut butter, milk, and vanilla on medium low speed until well blended. 
Slowly add powdered sugar and beat on low until just barely blended. Increase speed until medium and beat for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. 

Fold in Marshmallow Creme, not fully combining to allow for a swirl of marshmallow throughout.

Frost cupcakes generously and add a sprinkle of cereal to the top.

Note the Spiderman foils. Perfect for a Saturday Morning Cartoon Party.

I'll be honest, I was worried about this recipe. First off, I'm not one to use a box mix. I like making things from scratch, but I couldn't figure out what I needed to change by doing it from scratch, so I went with the box mix. Second, I wasn't sure how good putting cereal into cupcakes would be. But for both accounts, I was wrong. The cereal in them seemed to almost caramelize. Yum!
These cupcakes were AMAZING!!! 
Everyone loved them. 

The other new recipe I tried was bacon related from The Food Network

Candied Bacon
12 slices bacon, about 1/4-inch thick
Finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup light brown sugar
Equipment: 2 baking sheets, preferably the same size

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Put bacon slices in a bowl, season them with pepper and toss with the brown sugar. 
Cover a baking sheet with parchment or foil and arrange the bacon in a single layer on top. Sprinkle any sugar left in the bowl over the bacon. 

Top with another layer of parchment or foil and top it, squarely, with another baking sheet. The baking sheet will flatten the bacon as it cooks. 

Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check the bacon by lifting the top tray and parchment. If it is not golden brown and fairly crispy, resist the temptation to turn up the oven temperature, and cook it for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Check it again. Keep in mind that when you remove the tray and transfer the bacon to a serving platter or individual plates, the bacon will "crisp" up a little more. Be patient!

My first batch got a little burnt, so I turned it back a bit for the other batches. (sorry, I only got a picture of the burnt batch)
It was really, really good. But by the third batch, the smell of it was getting to me and I didn't end up having more than a few pieces. Of course, there was none left over for me to try again the next day.

Other party foods that we served were mini bagels, berries, pancakes, hash-browns and nutella and peanut butter sandwiches. Sooooooo gooood!!!