Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Birthday Cake with a Surprise!

We successfully completed our juice fast!  Well, me more than hubby.  He may have dropped out a day or so early.  But it was still a big accomplishment!

And what better way to celebrate the end of a juice fast than with making giant birthday cake that you can't eat because you're trying to stay healthy!?

My dad turned 65, so Grandma threw him a party!  I brought the cake.  And a lemon meringue pie.  The cake was served at the party.  The pie was not.

Dad's favorite is chocolate cake, so I made a giant chocolate cake.  Only, because it's me, I had to do a little something extra.  So the bottom tier wasn't chocolate at all.

It was a flag cake!  Sorry for the hacked up picture. The slices themselves were perfectly flaggy.  But I didn't get any pictures of those. Of course.

For the flag cake I used this recipe from Sweetapolita. I actually make the cake recipe four times. Each recipe filled a 10-inch cake tin about perfectly, and there were four 10-inch cakes. (The other two tiers were my favorite chocolate cake.) I built the flag cake using this tutorial from Glorious Treats.  It was a little touch-and-go there for a while, but we pulled through!

Well, that's all for now.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Juicing Updated and Homemade Granola Bars!

It's day nine of the juice fast and we're not dead yet!  Although Hubby is a bit cranky.  Hopefully he can hold out for the next day and a half..

On that note, I looked at my kitchen counter the other day and saw this:

It's like a healthy person broke into my house and left their stuff behind.

Anyhoo, the almonds are not part of the juice fast.  I made some granola bars for my kids the other day, after I dared to read the ingredient label on the box that I purchased from the store.  It was then and there that I declared, "If my kids are going to eat junk, then by golly, it's going to be junk that I made for them myself!"  Who's with me!?  Anyone?

OK, so I found this recipe for granola bars over at the Pioneer Woman and decided to try it out.  I was not able to take pictures, as I needed both hands for this recipe.  (You can thank me later.)

And there's the finished product.  You can see the remains of a jar of carrot juice in the top left corner.  A girl's gotta eat.

Kids loved the bars.  They said they were the best ever.  (They do contain a LOT of sweeteners...I'm working on finding a natural alternative for brown sugar.)  I'm already dreaming of other things I could mix in...raisins, cranberries, dried cherries.  I'm sure the kids would love chocolate chips, but we're trying to be good.  The boy has a mild peanut allergy, or I would add some peanut butter next time.

Well, that's all for now.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Fun With Juicing!

Hello again.

The hubby and I have decided to go on a 10-day juice fast.  (It seemed like a good idea at the time.)  So we bought a bunch of fresh veggies and fruits, borrowed my mom's juicer, broke out the blender, and got to work!

Check out that juicer...

That's vintage 1984, Baby!

But guess what?  It works just fine.

I guess you're really supposed to drink the juice as you make it, but because of my odd work schedule, we needed to make some in advance.  We started with homemade V-8.  It was then that we discovered my husband has a deep-seated hatred for beets.  Go figure.

Anywhoo, here's some of what we came up with:

Aren't they purty?  From left to right: Pear-cucumber-mint, watermelon, carrot-parsnip, and Mean Green.  Mean Green includes kale, celery, cucumber, apples, ginger, and lemon.  It grows on you.  And the green stuff is best for detoxing.

Not pictured are the V-8, grape, and pineapple-watermelon that we whipped up.

So we're halfway through day two.  I'm really feeling fine, but I haven't been to work yet, so we'll see how I feel at 2 am.  We're hoping this kicks off a new phase of healthy eating for us.  Not that we're becoming raw-food-vegans (not that we have a problem with raw-food-vegans...it's just not for us right now), we just want to be healthier.

And this doesn't mean no more baking.  I have a birthday and a church picnic coming up shortly, and once I get the pictures off of my camera, I have a cake recipe to show you!

That's all for today.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blueberry Buttermilk Rolls and Inigo Montoya

Seriously.  Oh my goodness.  I saw this recipe over at Blueberry Kitchen and had to try it.  I was not disappointed.

(Why do my pictures look upside down lately?!?!?!?!)

Anyhoo.  Blueberry jam is not widely available around here.  Go figure.  So the hubby and I left he kids with Nana and went on a small road trip to Amish country. (OK, so we didn't really go all the way to Amish country just for blueberry jam...but we did find some while we were there.)

I should have gotten two jars.  I ran out. Fortunately, I had previously purchased a jar of blueberry preserves, in case I wasn't able to find jam.

While I was making the rolls, I noticed Hubby had left his favorite shirt on a kitchen chair, so I took a picture.

This isn't a step-by-step, just a few random pictures.  The dry ingredients and the butter:

The lovely, lovely dough after its first rising:

You can see where I ran out of jam and switched to preserves.

Rolled, cut out, and ready for their second rising:

The rolls after the second rise, just before the oven:

And fresh from the oven:

That one in front thought it was going to climb right out of the baking dish.

FYI: I doubled the original recipe because I was taking the rolls to Bible study, and I needed more than 12.  I had another 4 left over that were baked separately.  The family took care of those.

I'm not going to lie.  I didn't use the cream cheese glaze from the original recipe on mine.  I went with straight-up cream cheese frosting. I'm a rebel that way. And I didn't take a picture of the rolls with icing.  I'm also a doofus.

But trust me, they were everything I'd hoped for.  Light, fluffy, not too sweet, with just the right amount of blueberry goodness. Maybe next time I will zest a lemon over the filling before I roll them up.  Just to be wild and crazy.

Anyhoo, pop on over to Blueberry Kitchen and check out the full recipe.