Sunday, January 29, 2012

All Things Rainbow & Mini

This post is about all things rainbow and mini.  While on pinterest we found the recipe for a mini cake found here.  So naturally we wanted to find a cheap/easy way to make it.  What started out making a can cake quickly turned into a swirl of colors and ended with some mini cupcakes.

For the Can Cake aka the Mini Cake you will need a can, like the type that has corn or beans in it and a white cake mix.

Make the cake mix according to the box.  Divide the batter evenly into 4 bowls.  The number just depends on how many colors u want.  We did four and added a few drops to pick the exact colors.

For the can: cut out the bottom and the top.  Make sure to rinse the can. Otherwise corn/bean flavored cake might happen--unless you like that, then go for it! 

Place the can on a baking sheet and preheat oven to 350.

Here comes the fun part.  Scoop in about 1 tablespoon of batter of the colors.

Make sure to not fill the can over halfway.  Actually its probably more like 1/3 of the can.  We filled it too high and had a major disaster... the cake didn't cook all the way through. So be careful!!!

Bake for 13-17 minutes.  Our average was 15-17 minutes depending on how high the batter level is.  Make sure it cooks all the way through.  Let sit for a few minutes.

To remove the cake, once it was completely cool, we flipped over the can and slightly push the cake out.

When this cake works out it is totally cute and fun. However the most important thing we can say is, don't fill the batter too high. The box will make about 5-6 cakes. Total cost: $3.

After making a couple of cakes we decided to use our mini cupcake pan for some rainbow cupcakes.  These are super easy to make. We cranked out 48 in 20 minutes.

In order to create the rainbow we scooped about a teaspoon of batter.  Fill about 2/3 of the cup. Bake for about 9 minutes and viola! Mini rainbow cupcakes.

Recipe for Can Cake aka the Mini Cake

Preheat oven to 350F

Prepare can:

  • Cut out top and bottom of can
  • Wrap tin foil on bottom of can
  • Place on baking sheet     

Mix cake following the recipe.
Separate evenly into 4 bowls.
Add food coloring.

Add batter until 1/3 can is filled.
Bake 13- 17 minutes.
Let cool. Flip can upside down. Remove tin foil and slowly push cake out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bananas a la Mode

This recipe costs less than $.50 for the main course. A la Mode it's more like $1.50 tops. Did we mention it takes less than 5 minutes to make and less than 30 seconds to eat?  It's rich, but light enough that you don't feel guilty after.  This quick dessert was created from a moment of inspiration by Aubree and her friend Nina.  After spending all day in the kitchen making other food, they wanted to make a dessert with bananas. They found this recipe from Eating Well, tried it with some variations, and found it to be delicious and nutritious.

Start by cutting a peeled banana in half length wise and in thirds width wise.  The recipe calls for two bananas. 

Next melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan over medium-high heat.  Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and mix.

Lay bananas on butter/sugar mix by placing the cut side up. Heat for 20 seconds.

Add 1/4 cup orange juice.  For a thicker sauce add slightly less than 1/4 cup.  Sprinkle a couple dashes of cinnamon across the entire pan.  Let sit for 45 seconds.  

Flip bananas.  Baste bananas with sauce from within pan.  Continue this for approximately 1 minute or until the liquid thickens.

Remove from heat and plate with ice cream.  Drizzle the sauce over the ice cream to create banana greatness in every bite.  Beware how quick, easy, and conveniently simple the ingredients are, for this might be your favorite Friday night snack.

Bananas a la Mode

2 Bananas
1/2 Tablespoon Butter
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
Dash Cinnamon
Vanilla Ice Cream

Cut bananas lengthwise
Melt butter in nonstick pan on medium heat
Add brown sugar to butter
Lay bananas on butter/sugar mix placing the cut side up. Heat for 20 seconds
Add orange juice to pan.  Sprinkle thin layer of cinnamon on bananas.  Let sit for 45 seconds.
Flip bananas.  Baste bananas with sauce from within pan for 1 minute or until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and plate with vanilla ice cream. 
Drizzle sauce over ice cream.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Aubree's Zebra Cake

A little while ago I was on pinterest and the zebra cake from The Whimscial Cupcake.  I feel in love with the cake, but of course didn't want to make the cake from scratch.  My grandma has a theory about box cakes.  My great-grandfather worked in a test kitchen many years ago.  So my grandma always tells me to cut corners and save time because testers spend hours working on a good recipe.  This cake can be time consuming so using the box cakes cuts back on the time.

Start off by making the white cake and chocolate cake per the directions on the back of the box.  Our cake used milk chocolate, but for a darker color on for the black strip we think a dark chocolate cake would be better. 

Once you have the two cake mixes ready the next step is to take the 9"round or whatever size round container you want to use and start pouring one color at a time in the middle.  Only put a little bit of batter at a time because as you put more batter down it pushes the previous batter to the outside. 

Then place the cake inside the oven and bake per the recipe.  I would use a different container to pour the batter out of than the mixing bowl.  I used a measuring cup.  Watch out batter is going to drip, you don't want it to drip onto your masterpiece.

This cake was for Aubree's birthday, so i colored the vanilla frosting orange (it's her favorite color) and then staked the four cakes.  This cake takes 2 containers of frosting (something I didn't think about and had to run to the store to get another).

The candles were from Party City and were sparklers.  If I did this cake again i would only buy 1 box and then add cocoa to half the batter.  This way I wasn't making 2 cakes, but 1.  It also cuts down on prep and cost. 

This cake turned out more marbled.  If I did this again I would add more batter so the cake was taller and you could see the design more. But, it still takes delicious. I bought each box for around a dollar and frosting for less than two leading to a grand total of just over $5. 

Happy Birthday Aubree!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gail's Ham & Cheese Rolls

We've made this multiple times.  It easy, delicious and above all perfect after a holiday if you're eating ham.  Our family is almost more excited over the leftovers and making this than the original meal. Plus its cheap.  All you need is some dough, ham, cheese, and a mustard sauce --then you're on the way to some filling cheese-y goodness !

Start with allowing the frozen bread dough (or fresh if you want) and allow it to rise.  Generally speaking the bread rises faster in a warm place so for this step you have to plan ahead.

Once you're ready to start prep time roll the thawed bread dough into a rectangular shape.  Mix 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard (if you don't want a strong mustard taste then use regular yellow mustard), 1/8 cup honey and 2 cubes melted butter.  Spread the mustard mix leaving a 1" edge.

Chop up the ham (if you want bacon, sausage or hot dogs as a substitute go for it).  Evenly layer the meat and then the cheese.

Roll up up the dough like you would a cinnamon roll.  Then prepare to cut the dough into even slices.

The easiest way to do this is to use floss.  Place the floss under the dough then wrap it around and crisscross the strings.  Pull the floss up and it will make a clean slice.  If not, then you can use a knife to make the slices as well.

Place on a greased 9X13 pan or cookie sheet.  If you want to make less then use a smaller plan, just make sure to allow space between the rolls.  Let rise for 20- 25 minutes.  The dough will continue to rise and the rolls will increase in size.

they are ready have the oven preheated to 375.  Bake until golden brown or the dough is baked.  For our oven it took about 15-20 minutes.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be scaled down depending on how many loaves of bread you want to bake.  It's also cheap! The bread + cheese + ham = under $10.

Gail's Ham & Cheese Rolls

1 Pkg Bridgford frozen bread dough 3-1 lb loaves
2 cubes melted butter
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard (can substitute with regular mustard)
1/8 cup honey
1 1/2 cups sliced ham (bacon, sausage or hot dogs)
3 cups grated cheese of your choice (we used cheddar)

Roll thawed bread dough into rectangle shape (just like cinnamon rolls) 
Spread mixture of butter, honey, and mustard leaving a 1" edge
Roll up (like cinnamon rolls)
Cut into 1 1/2" slices
Place on a greased 9X13 pan or cookie sheet
Let rise for 20-25 minutes
Bake in a Preheated 375 oven until lightly brown (about 15-25 minutes)