Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OWL Always Love You Birthday Cake!

I have three best friends from college.  The four of us are you know, the FAB FOUR?  One-third of the DIRTY DOZEN?  The MAGNIFICENT SEVEN minus three?  Okay you get it.  We are pretty awesome.  We chose different sororities in college, different paths after college and even different states to live in.  But we still share the same brain, and I'm pretty sure at some point in the future we'll be living together like the GOLDEN GIRLS.   This summer, they all came to visit and we decided to celebrate Jenny's birthday while she was here.  Now Jenny and I were Chi Omega sorority sisters, and our mascot was the OWL.  When I saw the idea for this owl cake on Pinterest, I knew exactly what Jenny's birthday cake would be.  Until Barbara caught wind of it and said, "That owl had better have IVY in his beak and an ANCHOR on his arm."  (Symbols for the Alpha Phi and Delta Gamma sororities.)  Of course she was teasing, but hey, I did not want Barbara or Amy to feel left out, so that's exactly the cake I made.  a CHI OMEGA OWL, sitting on a branch of ALPHA PHI IVY,  dressed up with DELTA GAMMA ANCHOR buttons!

This should make Chi Omegas, Alpha Phis,
and Delta Gammas everywhere HAPPY!
I made a cake using a chocolate cake mix.
I have to admit, I'm not much of a cake decorator,
and I did not have the patience to make a cake
from scratch, frosting from scratch, and
decorate all night. 

I baked the mix using two round pans.  One full
cake became the owl's body.  The other round
was cut into ears, wings and feet.
Again, I'm not a cake decorator so I just
"winged" it.  Pardon the pun.
I made a big batch of buttercream frosting. 
I separated it in bowls, reserving some of the
white for the eyes and belly.  Then I tinted a
small amount yellow for the beak. 
The rest I tinted chocolate and EXTRA chocolate
using cocoa powder. 
His eyes were two mini Reese's cups.
Here's Jenny with her birthday cake!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cute Lil' Baby Shower/New Mama Gift!

I was recently invited to a baby shower for a sweet friend who is expecting her second baby.  It's a girl this time.  She's proud Mama to an adorable, rambunctious, sports-crazy, two-year old boy.  And when I say sports-crazy, you've never seen a two-year old that can throw a baseball like this little guy.  So imagine how fun it is to decorate for a baby girl when you're surrounded by sports-loving guys?  She's been working on a precious nursery, perfect for a little girl.  Proud big brother does take time away from football and baseball long enough to pick out pretty pink outfits for his "sissy."  With all the excitement, there weren't too many necessities on the list, and I thought it would be fun to treat Mama for a change.  I made her a "BIRTH" Day Present.  A little basket she could tote to the hospital with some things she might find useful.  Like her favorite candy, Sour Skittles.  Face it, expecting and new moms deserve a lot of pampering and sometimes the focus is solely on the new arrival.  Mama's just hangin' out in the corner wishing she had a pony tail holder to get her hair out of her face.  Here's the "BIRTH" Day gift I made for my friend:
I knew right away I'd be using pink. 
I know that's so generic, but she is surrounded by
sports loving guys, so she needed something
Sour Skittles (The expecting mom's fave
candy...In a pink bottle of course!)
Everything kind of
came together with pink & aqua...
Something soft for her feet in case they get coldat the hospital...
I don't think she'll need this.  She's about the cutest
lil' pregnant gal you ever saw!
Tall and thin and probably
without stretch marks! 
(don't ya just hate her already?)
Every mom can use some inspirational reading...
Anti-bacterial hand sanitizer...
For guests to use before they hold the baby!
Here's the little card I attached...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baseball & Apple Pie Cupcakes

It's no secret I'm a baseball fan.  A long time ago I learned, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em..." and I think possibly I might be a bigger baseball fan than Mr. Devilish Dish.  We go to a lot of baseball games.  We tailgate at baseball games.  We watch a lot of baseball games on tv.  And yes, I'm ashamed to admit we even listen to them on the radio.  When the OU baseball team made it into the post season, we decided to celebrate with friends and have a little cook out during one of their televised games.  Nothing fancy.  Just hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks.  Typical baseball food!   But I needed a spiffy dessert to celebrate the occasion.  I had seen some cupcakes decorated like this online using M&M candies.  I decided to use Red Hots, and I knew right then I wanted something to go along with an apple/cinnamon theme.  That's how Baseball & Apple Pie Cupcakes were born.  A yummy cake, with fresh apples, topped with a cream cheese frosting. It's a recipe I created that I'm pretty proud of.  And as much baseball as we enjoy, I'm sure to make them again and again! 

Hot Dogs, Baseball & Apple Pie!!!
(In this case, it's just baseball and apple pie!)
The Starting Line-Up
Beat together eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Add to egg mixture, until just moistened.

Stir in chopped apples.

Fill muffin pans about 2/3 full.
Bake about 20 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and
powdered sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
Frost each cupcake with frosting and
decorate with Red Hot Candies to create
the seams on a baseball.
You're sure to hit a HOME RUN
with these!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

When I have a themed meal, I go all out.  From beverages, to appetizers to dessert.  Sometimes we have friends over. Other times it's just the three of us.  I don't do it every time, but life is too short to leave the good dishes crammed in the back of the cabinets.  So I like to put out the effort and make our meals fun.  For Cinco de Mayo, Mr. Devilish and I celebrated at home.  We sipped on the Best Margaritas Ever, and made homemade baked chimichangas with his famous ranchero sauce.  Of course we needed a dessert to go along with the theme.  And what else would you expect me to do but cupcakes?  Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes of course.  They were the ideal ending to a delicious meal.  A friend from the Dallas area tried one, and he told me that this was better than any cupcake from any bakery he had ever tasted.  Now that's a compliment!  You'd better try them too. You'll get rave reviews!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rice Casserole

Little Devil and I love rice.  I'd swear our heritage is Asian.  But it's not.  But we love rice anyway.  Fried rice, white rice, wild rice, steamed rice.  White on rice.  She eats it constantly with soy sauce.  I think it is the main reason she loves Chinese food.  This rice casserole is super easy and super flavorful.  It's very simple to make but packs a lot of comfort-food flavor.  A great accompaniment to any entree too!  And of course Little Devil and I love it.
Rice Casserole
Simple Comfort-Food Flavor
The Rice Casserole Cast
Melt butter.  Stir in rice.
Add soup and consomme...
Combine with remaining ingredients.
Pour into casserole dish.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches

The best part about going to our State Fair is the food.  Cotton Candy, Cinnamon Rolls, Fried ANYTHING on a stick, and smelling the most excellent smell of grilling peppers and onions.  I also like the people watching.  That ranks up there with the excellent food, but not in a good way.  To put it nicely, people watching at the Oklahoma State Fair makes the People of Wal-Mart Website look like the Miss America Pageant.  I know, that sounds a little bit tacky and I'm really a very nice girl.  But to quote my Aunt Sissie, sometimes you just have to shake your head and say, "Have you ever in your life?"  If you'd like to avoid the scenery, or you don't have your own State Fair to attend, you can have the awesome smells and tastes of the Midway right in your own kitchen.  This is the tastiest and most authentic version of street fair Italian Sausage and Peppers I have ever tasted.  So just in case you can't join me at this year's State Fair, be sure and whip up a batch of these super sandwiches!
I wish you could smell this!
The Line-Up...
You can't go wrong with
simple, quality ingredients.
Fry sausages in skillet
until browned and cooked through.
Remove and keep warm.
De-glaze the skillet with the
wine.  Add the onions, garlic, peppers,
and tomato sauce.  Season well
with salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 20 minutes.
You want the onions and peppers to be tender.
Ready to top the sausages.
Place sausage on a toasted bun
and top generously with pepper mixture.

Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwiches

2 tablespoons olive oil
10 Italian sausages (hot or mild, I buy a package of each)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 red peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup white wine
hotdog or hoagie style buns

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and fry sausages on all sides until browned, and done in the middle.   Remove sausages and keep warm  Drain  excess oil from skillet.  Pour in the wine to "de-glaze" the pan, stirring to scrape all of the bits from the bottom of the skillet.  Add onions, garlic, peppers, and tomato paste.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until peppers and onions are tender.  Place sausage on roll and top with pepper and onion mixture.

Prep Time:  Approximately 25 minutes     Cook Time:  Approximately 40 minutes

Monday, October 1, 2012

French Market Sandwiches: Make Ahead and Freeze!

Mr. Devilish Dish likes to come home for lunch.  His office is literally a mile away.  It doesn't make good sense for him to go out and eat fast food.  A waste of money and calories.  He can run right up the road and have a homemade lunch.  And by homemade I mean leftovers.  Well sometimes I fix him something for lunch, but a while back I decided to prepare several things ahead that freeze well, and re-heat well.  These sandwiches are perfect for making ahead and freezing.  They're like a hot ham and cheese sandwich with a really tasty spread.  If I'm not here, he has a "homemade tv dinner" of sorts for lunch.  That way, his lunch hour does not interfere with my pool time.  And now that fall is here, and the hectic entertaining and holiday season is quickly approaching, it's great to have something delicious in the freezer, that you can pull out and serve guests on a moment's notice!
Hot Ham and Swiss, the perfect lunch!
The French Market Sandwich Soiree
Combine softened butter
and Dijon mustard.
Add chopped green onions.
Stir in poppy seeds and curry powder.
Spread each croissant
half with butter mixture.
Place a slice of ham and cheese
on each sandwich.
Replace tops.
Wrap each sandwich individually
in foil.  Freeze.
Heat for 20 minutes
in oven and enjoy.
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