Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A 'Tangled' Birthday Cake

I made this for my daughter's 4th birthday last weekend and had so much fun doing it! The best tip I can give you is: order the donut holes beforehand if you plan on making this on a Saturday morning. I went to 6 donut shops between 9-11am and every store was sold out of them except the very last store. Supposedly, they're the hot item for Saturday morning breakfast!


  • 1 flat, round wood cylinder.

  • 1 24-inch-long plastic pole/small pvc pipe-thoroughly washed

  • 1 really creative, awesome father to attach the pole to the wood with his wood-working tools.

  • 24 rainbow-sprinkle cake donuts

  • 2 dozen plain donut holes

  • decorating icing

  • fondant flowers

  • royal icing

  • 4 snack-size snickers bars

  • tiny Rapunzel doll


  • Attach pole to wood cylinder, then super glue a pretty silver cardboard tray to the wood for the donuts to lay on.

  • Using a knife, make the holes in the sprinkle donuts larger so they fit around the pole without cracking or splitting in half.

  • Place 20-24 donuts around the pole just so the top of the pole is slightly covered. I attached the top 2 donuts together with white royal icing so the top one could hold decorations without tipping over.

  • Decorate the donut tower with green royal icing and fondant flowers all the way up to make it look like Rapunzel's tower.

  • Place 4 snickers on the top donut using royal icing.

  • Attach Rapunzel to the middle of the snickers bars using royal icing.

  • Place donut holes around the base of the tower using royal icing on each donut hole so they don't roll off.

  • Write a birthday message around the base of the cake and use fondant or paper flowers and leaves to make it look like the ground.

  • Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Better than Sex Cake

I remember my mom making this cake for baby & bridal showers when I was a kid (although she always called it "Better than Robert Redford" cake). Thanks, Mom, for making the name a little less R-rated for us:) This cake really is so so good no matter what it's called!
Better than Sex Cake

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix

  • 1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

  • 6 ounces caramel ice cream topping

  • 3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped

  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  • Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.

  • In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm. (Hint: I crush my candy bars into small chunks as opposed to crumbs - I used my food processor and it worked perectly).

  • Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day French Toast

This is our new favorite recipe for french toast. I made it for my husband who normally doesn't like the "soggy" texture of french toast, but loved this one because it was not soggy at all. I also learned a great tip about french toast from my brother-in-law: use Sweet Hawaiian Bread! It tastes amazing, try it!French Toast


  • 4 eggs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 12 pieces bread

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil


  • Mix the milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup in a bowl. Heat up a frying pan (or grill) on high for 3-4 minutes.

  • When heates, turn it down to medium and pour in the oil.

  • Let it sit for 2 minutes or until pan sizzles.

  • Coat the pieces of bread, one at a time, in the mixture and put in the pan. Grill to your liking.

  • Serve with fresh berries or maple syrup on top.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Back in my college days, I worked at cafe in the business building on was a tedious job and luckily I only worked there a year before I landed my dream job where I got payed to do my homework. However, I did learn a lot of great lessons regarding food prep and some great recipes as well. I use this one most often because I love salads and I don't think you can have a great salad without some great croutons! I never buy croutons because it's just so easy and cheap to make my own!

Brittney's Homemade Croutons:


  • 2-4 slices white bread (depending on the size of the salad)

  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1-2 tsp. minced garlic

  • salt & pepper to taste


  • slice bread into small cubes.

  • Mix bread cubes with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper until everything is combined.

  • Transfer to a heated sillet. Cook croutons 1-2 minutes on each side until toasted.

  • Add to your favorite salad and enjoy!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Focaccia Bread

I love to knead bread by hand, I've always thought it was fun, so I knew I would love this recipe. It's a great bread recipe to accompany any dish: soups, pastas, beef, etc. I even microwaved a few leftover pieces and served them the next day and it still tasted great. My favorite is to serve it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in.

Focaccia Bread


  • 2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 1 tsp. white sugar

  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1 tsp. dried thyme

  • 1 tsp. fresh minced basil

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese


  • In a large bowl, place flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and garlic powder.

  • Fold in the vegetable oild and water.

  • When the dough has come together, place it on a lightly floured surface, and knead it until resilient but smooth.

  • Lightly brush with oil on both sides and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  • Press dough down and flatten; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle.

  • Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with final ingredients of oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper, Paremsan cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chocolate M&M Pretzel Buttons

Luckily, I came across this recipe just in time for a bridal shower I was throwing and also right before I hosted Easter at my house. I tied a handful of them up in bags with a pretty ribbon for both events and everyone loved them. These pretzel buttons are very fun for kids to make and there's really no way they can make a mess with just 3 simple ingredients.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and arrange mini pretzels on a baking sheet.
Step 2: top each pretzel with any flavor of chocolate melting wafer (I used white vanilla, obviously). Place baking sheet in the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough for the chocolate to melt and stick to the pretzel, so you are able to stick the M&M into it.

Step 3: Take out of oven and place an M&M on top of each one. Put the tray in the fridge to set for a while and viola! You're done!!

Be careful...they're addicting!

Monday, April 4, 2011

St. Patty's Leftovers...

I have my sister and Trader Joe's to thank for this wonderful recipe! This is the first year I've made a traditional St. Patrick's day dinner (corned beef & cabbage) instead of the all-green dinner I usually make on March 17th. My sister had been to Trader Joe's earlier in the day and had watched a little cooking demo and called to tell me these open-faced sandwiches were delicious. I gave them a try and invited my in-laws over for dinner and they all loved them. I made 12 sandwiches for 4 people and there weren't any leftovers!Open-faced Corned Beef Sandwiches Ingredients:

  • Corned Beef, cooked & shredded

  • Onion Rye Bread (found at Trader Joe's)

  • Swiss cheese, sliced

  • Deli-style spicy brown mustard


  • Lay 12 slices of bread on a baking sheet and spread with mustard.

  • Top with shredded corned beef and swiss cheese slices.

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees and place sandwiches in oven for approx. 8-10 mins. or until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. (You can also place under a broiler for a few minutes).

  • Serve immediately with extra mustard on the side for dipping.