Monday, February 16, 2009

Tiramisu Layer Cake

I thought I'd be brave and try my hand at making a cake from scratch. Not just any cake, but a 3-layer cake. What was I thinking?!

I got the original recipe from allrecipes, but below is my modified version (thanks to the reviews on the website).


1 package moist white cake mix
4 teaspoons instant coffee power
1/4 cup coffee
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liquor (I used Kahula)

2 packages cream cheese (softened)
5 Tablespoons sour cream
3 Tablespoons coffee flavored liquor
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar


2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons coffee flavored liquor

1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate (use a veggie peeler to create chocolate curls)


1. Preheat oven to 350*, grease three 9" cake pans.

2. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Pour 1/3 of the batter into one of the pans. Add coffee liquor to the remaining mixture (it helped to dissolve the instant coffee in a bit of water) and pour into the remaining two pans.

3. Bake the cake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine the coffee and 2 tablespoons of the coffee liquor. Set aside.

4. To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low, combine all of the filling ingredients, fold until stiff. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge.

5. To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on med-high, beat the cream, confectioners suger and coffee liquor until stiff (I added more sugar until I got the consitencey I wanted). Fold 1/2 cup of the frosting mixture into the filling mixture.

6. To assemble the cake (This is where I had trouble). Place one layer of the coffee filled cake on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke hole about an inch apart into the cake. Pour 1/3 of the coffee mixture onto the cake. Repeat with the other two layers (I let the layers freeze in the freezer so they'd be easier to handle since the coffee mixture makes them soggy).

7. Top the bottom layer with the filling mixture and carefully place the plain layer on top.

8. Repeat and add the top coffee layer (Now I know why professional bakers have knives to cut the cake layers so they're flat...go ahead and laugh, I did!!)

9. Spread the sides and top of the cake with frosting -- and feel free to use the frosting to fill in all of the gaps and holes like I did! :)

10. Top with chocolate curls and refrigerate for at LEAST an hour before serving. I left it in the fridge overnight so the frosting could really "set".

11. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear Nadya Suleman: I Don't Like You. At All.

Is it just me, or does the Octo-mom look more like Michael Jackson then Angelina Jolie?

That being said, I don't think I've ever been as disgusted with a human being than I am with this person who calls herself a mother.
The following are just a few examples of how not to be a good parent:
  • Bringing 14 children into the world without a husband/father/partner

  • Making your parents raise your own children
  • Living off SS and disability payments, when you should've gone out and gotten another job after you "healed" instead of turning yourself into a baby-making factory

  • Spending money on fake nails and lips when you can't even provide for your kids

  • Living in your parents 3 bedroom house with your 14 children

  • Saying "God will provide" when asked how you're going to manage. (Last time I checked, God wasn't the one who brought in a paycheck or put food on the table)

  • Going straight to a media interview when released from the hospital instead of going home to see the rest of your children.

Shit, I'm a happily married 25 year old with a very good job and even I know better than to start popping out kids!

I want to bitch slap her. Hard.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Meet our nephew!

On February 1st, the world welcomed baby Cy to the world! He's so precious -- we had a great time meeting him and visiting our niece and family. We're very lucky to have them in our lives!

Nia loves her little brother!

Nia was 'reading' me the Curious George book we brought her!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's Magestic!

Aunt Lynn emailed us our flight numbers today, including where we'll be staying in Barcelona. We arrive around 8:30am local time, after flying all night. We're planning on staying up when we get there -- no point wasting a day in a foreign country -- and doing a bus tour to see all the big spots. Then we'll find somewhere to have a relaxing dinner before we begin our adventures the next day. Luckily, this is where we get to rest our head that night:

The next morning we'll wake up early and do another tour of Barcelona -- this time on Segway's! I think it'll be a blast -- and probably slightly entertaining. Aunt Lynn is already worried about having "helmet hair" and I'm pretty sure my mom won't go faster than 2mph on it. We'll look like complete tourists, but I think it'll be well worth it to look like idiots.

After our Segway experience we'll head over to board the cruise ship and wait to set sail! Only 4 months and 8 days -- not like I'm counting...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Cuddle Bug!


Keith loves Jambalaya, so I thought I'd try my hand at it. I've only had a taste bite so far (I cooked it for hubby and I'm not hungry yet) but it's yummy! It has a nice spice to it and lots of flavor!

I got the recipe from my Better Homes and Garden "New" Cookbook.



1 lb fresh or frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used olive)
2 cups chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8oz kielbasa sausage, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 tsp ground red pepper (I used a little more to make it spicy)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup cubed cooked ham


1. Thaw shrimp if frozen; set aside. In a 12-inch skillet cook onion, celery, pepper and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, sausage, rice, basil, black pepper, red pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes.

2. Stir in shrimp. Return to boiling. Simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes or until shrimp turn opaque and rice is tender. Stir in ham; heat through. Discard bay leaf.

*It was a little thin when it was done, so I took it off the heat and left covered for about 10 minutes. It thickened up quite a bit from this picture.

Chicken & Noodles

I love Chicken & Noodles, so I searched high and low for a better-for-you version. I came across this one, handwritten in one of my recipe books. I have no idea where I got it, so I can't credit anyone. Sorry!

Chicken & Noodles (Yields 8 servings)

1/2 lb yolk-free egg noodles
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 diced onion
2 cups nonfat milk
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 (10 ounce) package frozen peas (I used green beans since the hubby hates peas)
1 (10 ounce) package cut carrots
2 cups chopped chicken
1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Preheat oven top 350 degrees. Spray a 11x13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Cook the noodles per package directions drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour and 1/2 cup of the broth in a small bowl until the flour dissolves.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3 minute Stir in the milk and the remaining 1/2 cup broth; bring the mixture to a simmer. Whisk in the flour mixture; cook stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickness, about 3 minute Stir in the mustard and tarragon.
Mix the peas and chicken in with sauce.
Pour noodles into a 11x13 baking dish then top with sauce mixture. Stir the mixture together then top with cheese.
Bake Until bubbling and golden brown about 40 minute.
Let stand for 5 min then serve.

It turned out pretty yummy, but I think I'll add a little chicken bouillon for some more flavor. It was a little bland for my taste.