Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mmm-Mmm Good In the Morning

This morning I woke up and I was hungry. REALLY hungry. And I wanted muffins. And ONLY muffins.

That's one of the tortures of being pregnant--your stomach is telling you it will only accept foods that, quite frankly, your body doesn't feel like making.

But my stomach won. I got up and went to the pantry only to devastatingly discover I didn't have any muffin mixes on hand. my choices were to create a scene so dramatic that Rodney would volunteer to go to the store to get me a muffin mix, or better yet an already made muffin, OR I could get online and find a recipe.

I'm a considerate, loving wife who already had a long "Honey Do" list for the day, so I opted for the recipe search.

I went to my girl, Martha (Stewart), and she had tons and tons of muffin recipes. I finally came across one that I had all the ingredients for and it seemed as though it would fit the craving that had taken over my body.

It was Coffee Cake Muffins. And if you ever need an indulgent breakfast, or something to take to all your skinny friends at brunch, or you want to impress someone with your baking should try these. Two sticks of butter are what make me want to share these with my skinny friends...."Get some meat on your bones, already!" (Or fat on your ass!) I've been pregnant for the last three years and am tired of looking at all these little bags of bones. :-)

It's important to note it calls for a JUMBO muffin pan. This is why there are no pictures of mine. I didn't notice that small detail and mine went running all over my oven b/c I still used all the batter. So mine were ugly, but they were SOOOOOOO good.

Also, it calls for 1 cup of sour cream. I was about 1/2 way into my recipe when I realized the 8 oz. container of sour cream only had about 2 oz. left in it. So, I found some plain greek yogurt and dumped that in and was still about 1/4 c. short. So, I topped it off with some Vanilla Yo-Baby yogurt. So, my point is...feel free to substitute yogurt for the sour cream. But make sure if it's a vanilla yogurt that it is made with real sugar and not artificial sweeteners...they get bitter when baking.

Let me know if you try them. And know that if I show up with them at your house, then I think you're too skinny!

Fat and full,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cake Balls - The Road to Insanity

Have you ever agreed to a project that you were very excited about, but found out about halfway through that maybe you would have rather agreed to poke your eyes out with a fork??

Me, too.

About a year or so ago, we ALL started planning a wedding. My sister Chelsea's wedding. During some discussions it was brought up that Brian's favorite kind of cake was not really cake, but cake balls. And somewhere in that discussion it was decided that the groom's cake should be made of cake balls. And somewhere else in that discussion we came up with a figure that would be needed based on how many cake balls Chelsea can eat in one sitting. And from that point we moved forward to see what it would cost to order each guest the number of cake balls that CHELSEA can eat in one sitting. And through that calculation we came up with a cost of approximately $4,000. Gasp.

First mistake--don't ever base anyone else's eating capabilities on what Chelsea can do. She eats like horse and looks like a freakin' bean pole. You see, Chelsea can eat 8 cake balls in one sitting....yes, EIGHT. And when you break it down, that's 1/3 of a cake. No one....and I mean NO ONE eats 1/3 of a cake at a our calculations were a bit off. But it was too late....we had run with them...

So, anyway....somewhere in all those discussions, I agreed to make these 600 cake balls. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

But you see, Bakerella had made it look so easy. You just bake...then shred....then mix....then roll....then freeze....then dip. Easy peasy pumpkin pie, right?

So, for the past year every event I have gone to where I have been asked to bring something, I have taken cake balls. I've made cream cheese cake balls, red velvet cake balls, chocolate-chocolate cake get the picture. But making one batch of cake balls is much different than making 600.

Here's what 616 (plus the dozen or so eaten by bystanders) cake balls look like prior to a careful, artful creation. The amount of ingredients alone should have been a huge red flag....but I was still in that, "I'm so happy to do this for my baby sister and her hubby-to-be" state of mind.

I spent two straight days of baking 16 cake a kitchen that's under construction, no less. Not sure I'll ever bake another cake again...maybe just pies from here on out. :-)

During those two days, I also shredded each of the cakes and mixed them with the appropriate flavor of icing. We had Chocolate-Peanut Butter and German Chocolate...the groom's two favorite flavors. Happy to oblige, I was.

I spent a whole third day doing nothing but dipping and topping my little prizes.

To be honest I only dipped about 550 of them, because we didn't have enough boxes to pack them in...but I still like the ring of 600, so I tell that story.

After carefully packing each of the hand rolled, hand dipped treasures into their boxes, we packed them in coolers so they could stay unmelted during the 400 mile trek from my parents' house to Austin. I was just glad I didn't make those in Nashville and try to board a plane with 600 cake balls and two toddlers...can you imagine the crazy that would have come out of my eyes?

Anyway....I was feeling really good about myself for having finished such a big project and being able to contribute such an important piece to the reception. I realize it wasn't "THE Wedding Cake", but it was the Groom's it was almost as important.

But I'll have to admit I was a bit taken aback when I saw the presentation of the cake balls. Actually, I'll be honest...I lost my breath for a moment. I had been informed that the cake balls would be resting beautifully on a tiered platter. I had imagined 200-300 of those sweet puppies being displayed at once....oh, what a grand presentation that would be.

I walked in looking for this tower of perfection. I looked left. I looked right. I looked around the room about five times and there was not a single grand tower of chocolate anywhere. And then over in the corner, barely peeking up off the table, I saw it. A small tiered platter that held no more than 37-39 cake balls at a time. A sad little tear trickled down my cheek... could this really be? Did I slave for three days hunched over an endless supply of cake balls for such a small display that was so easy to miss?

Indeed, I had. I wiped my tear. Remembered this day was not about me. And headed upstairs to help the bride button 427 buttons down the back of her dress.

I will say, the compliments about the cake balls throughout the night were endless, and greatly appreciated. We, of course, over estimated our audience's cake ball consumption by about 450, but the cake balls were passed on to others and joy was spread beyond the walls of just our celebration....

And isn't that what life is really about? Sharing the love... Indeed it is.

To see more great pictures of this beautiful love affair, check out my other blog or my sister's blog.