Halfway through the first month of 2018. Anyone still writing 2017 on everything?! I’ll be doing that until June.
Let’s catch up! First, I have to show you these football sugar cookies I made. I posted them last week, but backdated the post since it’s not really a “new” recipe. (Just my favorite sugar cookie recipe!) Still, I wanted them to have their own spot on my blog so you can see the tips/tools I used to make them. If your team’s still in the playoffs, make them. And definitely try them for the Super Bowl too.
Some of you have asked how to make the red wine chocolate ganache without red wine. Easy: just make chocolate ganache! When we include red wine in chocolate ganache, we have to add a few extras to produce a delicious texture and flavor. Things like butter, sugar, a little cocoa powder, etc. But pure chocolate ganache is just 2 ingredients: heavy cream and chocolate.
Oh and guess what? One reader said she replaced the red wine with bottled orange juice and it worked like a charm! She said it tastes like chocolate covered orange slices. How good does that sound!?
Pictured at the top: That’s my chocolate cupcake recipe baked in my mini bundt pan. I baked them for 20-22 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Fill 2/3 full. Makes about 6-7 bundts. In that photo, the mini bundts are topped with regular chocolate ganache.
Also: I’m resisting every urge to buy this ruffled heart pie dish. Though I’ll probably cave in. I have a couple regular Emile Henry ruffled pie dishes. I love them!
I haven’t been to Target in months and went a little wild in the baby girl section over the weekend. The Cat & Jack brand is new to me! I snagged this sprinkle onesie for Noelle. And these light pink bow-butt leggings to go with it. And now I want this too. Just take all my money Cat & Jack. Seriously. It’s all SO CUTE!!!!!
I was actually going through my phone pics the other day and realized that I never showed you guys the diaper cake from my baby shower. Or maybe I did? I can’t remember. How much fun is it! I believe my sisters got some of the pieces off Etsy.
Noelle is GREAT. 4 months next week, I cannot believe it. Every week just keeps getting better. We have a routine nailed down, things are falling in place, and I’m feeling much more confident. (I like this read a lot!) Her big smiles, adorable giggles, and little snuggles help too. ♥ Noelle’s such a happy babe!!! Balancing work and mommyhood can be tough, but I’m doing my best. Right now I try to get most of my important work done when she’s sleeping/napping.
Do you have any healthy-ish dinner recipes you’re loving right now? I made my lemon herb salmon the other day, but roasted broccoli instead of brussels. Forgot how good this was!! I also made a big batch of minestrone soup last week when my assistant Hilari was here during our recipe test week. I’ll definitely share that one on my blog. We loved it.
Speaking of our recipe test week— would you be interested in more behind-the-scenes/recipe testing posts like this? I loved the response that post received!
And here’s another older recipe I made again this month. I re-photographed them too. Because why not?! Chocolate chip scones with brown sugar, cinnamon, mini chips, and a dusting of confectioners’ sugar on top. Simply perfect.
For Goodness Cakes
And now the real reason I’m speaking from the heart today. Over the past several months, my assistants and I noticed a new-to-us hashtag on my cakes on Instagram: #ForGoodnessCakes. We looked it up to see what it meant and found out that through a volunteer network, For Goodness Cakes provides handmade birthday cakes to children in foster homes and disadvantaged youth throughout the LA area. My assistant, Stephanie, contacted the LA office and is now launching a branch of For Goodness Cakes in my hometown of Philadelphia. GO STEPH!!!
The local Philly community has approximately 6,000 children in foster care. We bakers have a unique opportunity to make a significant difference in their lives. The commitment of the volunteers is minimal (bake a cake and deliver it!) and the rewards are extraordinary. Showing a child that someone went out of their way to do something just for them helps nurture optimism and confidence at a critical age.
To help For Goodness Cakes begin operations in Philadelphia you can visit the donation page. Select your donation amount and in the drop-down list be sure to select the option to apply your donation to “Bring us to Philadelphia!” You can also check out the organization on their Facebook page to follow their developments.
We hope that Philadelphia will be the first of many expansions of this incredible organization. And maybe one of you will bring it to your hometown in the future!!!