Monday, July 11, 2011

Heath Bar Cookies

Here it is-- the moment you've all been waiting for. I've decided to share my recipe for the best cookies ever (according to Adam). They really are truly awesome cookies. I get a lot of compliments and requests for these, and they are so easy! I found this recipe for chocolate chip cookies and just substitute the chips for broken Heath bar chunks. Don't buy the Heath bar pieces, buy the actual bars and break them on your own. That way you get big pieces--- what you get in the bag is small little crumbs and it doesn't taste the same. You could also do other things.... dark chocolate is good, as is butterscotch chips. I've also tried chopping up Snickers, but really Heath is the best.

In blender mix:
1 cup packed brown sugar (I use dark-- better tasting)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cubes melted butter (this is key)
Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla
Mix together dry ingredients in a separate bowl (I never sift):
2 cups + 2TB flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix into wet ingredients. Then stir in chopped up Heath bars (I use 6 bars-- 1.4 oz each).
Then I bake at 325 for 14 minutes total (swapping front to back and top to bottom 7 minutes in). I prefer my cookies to be slightly underbaked so they remain soft. When you see them turning slightly brown at the edges, take them out of the oven. They will cook a little longer on the sheet. Let them sit for a couple of minutes and then remove them with a metal spatula onto a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all before they cool completely. Yum!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going back in time part 2: Devin's 1st Birthday Cake

For Devin's first birthday I was super excited to do his birthday cake-- I spent a lot of time planning exactly what I wanted to do--- and since he is a boy, I wanted to do a train cake. It was a big undertaking. I actually am a bit embarrased to divulge that I did a couple of trial cakes before the big day. With disastrous results to boot. It was a good thing I practiced, otherwise I probably would have had a meltdown the day of the party.

Anyway, my mother-in-law gave me the idea to bake the train engine in a recycled Hi-C can (you know, the juice that comes in a can). It was the perfect shape and worked well, but I had to practice to know how long to bake it. I practiced with a box cake mix and the first time I really undercooked it and when I went to remove the cake, it literally ran out of the mold. Yikes! Live and learn.... Eventually I figured it out.

The day before his birthday I took a vacation day from my full-time job and spent the day baking, cutting, assembling, de-assembling, mixing frosting, buying candy to decorate, preparing the cake board, etc. It was fun!

Here are some pics of the process and the final product.

I was pretty pleased and Devin seemed to like his first taste of cake (from scratch, of course)!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going Back in Time: Devin's 2nd Birthday

When Devin turned 2 he was really into the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney channel (in fact he still loves that show). So, I wanted to do a Mickey themed birthday cake. I found a simple Mickey face on line and saved it into powerpoint-- then I played around and printed out different sizes to get a size that would fit my 9" cake pan well... I actually went a little bigger (you can see it cut off his ears a bit) because I wanted the face to be a good size. Then I made several copies and cut it into pieces to create a template. I frosted the outside first with white buttercream and then did an outline in black of Mickey's face-- then I slowly cut the image away as I frosted more parts. For instance, I cut just around Mickey's face so that I could trace the inside black lines. I kept cutting away at the template to make sure the size of Mickey's facial parts were correct. I definitely could not free hand this-- I'm not that artistic. When I finished with all of the outlines, then I just used a star tip to fill in the flesh tone and used a small cheese knife to fill in the black and red areas. Overall it turned out pretty well!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Devin's Birthday Cake

Hi-- anyone there? Ha!

So-- for Devin's 3rd birthday this year I made him a Toy Story cake with Woody and Buzz. He has been watching all three movies and is hooked on them. He loves to jump off of the couch and yell, 'To infinity and beyond!' With gusto!

Buttercream frosting is hard to work with-- I can never get it smooth. So, I decided to make it look like the sky and do swirls (similar to the movie poster)?! I don't know how well that part turned out....

Also, I couldn't find a pan to use because Disney is difficult with their merchandising! So, I did a buttercream transfer. I printed out a picture of Buzz and Woody and taped it to a cutting board. Then I taped plastic wrap on top of that really tightly and 'traced' the image with frosting. I also used some edible markers to do the details in the face-- which would have been difficult to pipe. Then I froze it (I did this a couple weeks ahead of his birthday because it was very time consuming). Then the day before his birthday I baked the cake, frosted it the day of and took the transfer out of the freezer. I flipped the transfer over and got the reverse image of my printed version. It worked out really well. I will use this technique again when I want to 'copy' something complex in buttercream. The best part is that it made a very happy boy!

The happy birthday boy!

Monday, June 12, 2006

More Pics....

My last post wouldn't allow me to attach anymore photos, so I am adding on here.


A lot has happened the last couple of months! In february we attended the Chocolate Ball, a fundraiser for the Christie School. It was a fantastic dinner, with everything cooked in chocolate!

Then in March, we drove up to Whistler for some gorgeous snowboarding with Denay and Brian.... The village was amazing and I definitely could get lost up there!

In May we took an incredible trip to DC, NYC, and Boston. We got to visit with Adam's uncle Ed and grandma Bea:

We also were able to visit MIke and Christy and their new daughter Rachel (10 days old).

In New York we did all of the fun tourist activities (Statue of Liberty, Empire State building, etc.) Some notable things were going to the taping of a David Letterman show, the Today show, walking across the Brooklyn bridge, going to a broadway show (The Producer's) and of course seeing Wall Street (for me). Here are some pics of our adventures in NYC...

We only had a couple of days in Boston, but that was enough to see 2 Red Sox games! We had VIP seats (thanks to one of Adam's agents), and the atmosphere was like nothing you would get on the west coast. It was the highlight of the trip!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mike and Christy's Baby Shower

We got to host Karen's cousin Mike and his wife Christy's baby shower this month. They live in DC, so this was the only opportunity for the whole fam to get together and celebrate. Here is a pic of the happy couple.

Here are some more pics of the event:
The sisters and cousin sarah....


A very large lapdog:

The chemo brothers:

Wait, whose shower is it anyway?

Family photo:

NFC Championship Game!!

We were lucky enough to score some tickets to the NFC championship game on sunday (thanks epb&b)! We also lucked out with the weather that day, no rain! It was a great game, the atmosphere was unbelievable, we had to shout to hear each other. It was one of the best games we have ever been to (it even rivaled the Oregon-Michigan game from 2003). As everyone knows; the Seahawks won the game and we got to witness a great celebration. Here is a picture of us in the crowd, did I mention we had great seats?

Funny story on this picture: A random person took this, and one of Adam's old friends spotted him after looking through the random person's album (friend of random person). Small world, huh?