Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rainbow Cake or The Cake That Should Have Won

WHAAAAAATTTTT? There's no bitterness here!

So I stumbled upon this Rainbow Cake beauty on my new favorite blog Omnomicon (which I so DON'T want to share with you because there are many lovies on there I want to make and show off). Aleta has the cutest little rainbow cake on there and I decided to try it out for our bake-off. But here's the big secret. It's diet. THAT'S RIGHT. Diet. But not ewww-that-is-so-gross-diet. YOU CAN'T EVEN TELL. In fact my dad, who is NOT a big cake eater, said it was one of the moistest cakes he had ever had. Oh and ps? The frosting is diet too. Let's make cake, shall we?

First up you are going to mix the cake mix with 24 oz. of clear diet soda.
Yes Matt. IT'S A BOX.


Your batter is going to be lumpy. But it's okay. Just mix it up according to the box directions. And you can take licks of this! No raw eggs!

Here's where I suck because I didn't get any of the dividing-the-batter action. (Sorry the pictures is a little blurry!) I knew I only wanted 3 colors so I basically figured out how many ounces were in the whole thing and divided it by 3, then put the batter in 3 separate bowls. I added the gel color until it was the color I wanted.

I don't know how I got perfect circles in my cake but here is how I layered it. I knew I wanted the bottom color to be the most prominent so I put about 2 and half cups of the bottom color in first. Then I put about 1 1/2 cups of the second color and about 3/4 cups of the third color. Eyeball it and trust your gut.

Then bake that sucker according to the directions on the box. Mine required an extra 10 minutes or so. Just keep poking it with a toothpick until it comes out clean. The tops of my cakes were really bloated so I shaved the entire bump off the bottom layer and part of it on the top. Now it's time for FROSTING!

All you're going to do here is take 16 oz. of cool whip and mix in the two packages of fat-free, sugar-free pudding (I used the white chocolate flavor). I would do it one at a time. It makes it a little easier to mix. Also, I would mix this while your cake is baking. That way the whip cream has time to thaw out. That will come in handy later.

Start frosting that sucker! This frosting is very sticky. Meaning it sticks to the cake! So that's why it is important that it has sit for awhile. I found that it was easier to spread the frosting warmer it was. It's not going to be perfectly smooth like buttercream so if that bothers you, sorry.

How cute is this thing? I really loved it. And seriously. GOOD. So moist. I really think this is some of the most moist cake I have ever had. I can't wait to try the full rainbow!
Rainbow Cake
2 boxes white cake mix
24 oz of clear diet soda (I used Sprite)
gel food coloring
16 oz. whipped topping such as cool whip
2 oz instant fat-free sugar-free pudding mix (I used white chocolate flavor)
1. Mix the cake with the soda according to the box directions. It will be slightly lumpy.
2. Figure out how many total ounces of cake batter you have and divide that by how many colors you want to do. Divide batter into bowls, add gel coloring and mix!
3. Drop your colored batter in your greased pans in the order you want your rainbow. Your bottom layer should be about double the amount of your top layer.
4. Bake your cake according to the box. You will probably need an additional 10 minutes or so. Check it every 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let it cool completely.
5. While your cake is cooling mix your 2 packages of pudding with your whipped topping. Do one package at a time and mix thoroughly.
6. Frost your cake and chow down!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And the winner is. . .not me :-(


THAT DARN TARTLET! And I mean Michelle!
That's right the winner is The Pecan Tartlet by Michelle! BOO. Nah, I'm kidding. We had such a good time doing this. It was so much fun! Thank you for all of you who voted! Make sure and come back and comment OFTEN! :-) And tomorrow I'm going to let you in on a BIG secret about my cake! You'll be surprised! Stick around kids, we might do this again!

And now, here's a few words from our winner. . .on her blog.

CONGRATULATIONS MICHELLE! YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF BAKING!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mardi Gras Bake-Off

Two bakers. Two desserts. One winner. Who will you pick? Please choose dessert #1 or dessert #2 and post your choice in your comment. The winner is decided BY YOU. Voting and comments will be kept open until noon on Wednesday, February 25th! Happy voting!

Dessert #1:
The Big Easy Chocolate Pecan Tartlet

Dessert #2:
Mardi Gras Rainbow Cake

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Commenting Tutorial

Okay, so tomorrow is a big day here at Bwildered! Michelle and I are having our first bake-off! And if all goes well we will do it again. HOWEVER, it is time for you lurkers to come out of the shadows and closets and wherever else you are hiding. And because I really, really, really want to win I need as many people to comment as possible. So let's make sure you know HOW to do that.

First, if you are coming directly to my blog you will see all the posts. At the end of every post, right after my name you will see "Written by Bree at XX:XX PM 6 Comments". If you want to comment you need to click on the word "Comments". Once you do a little box will pop up. Scroll down to the bottom after all the millions of other comments. You'll see a box right under the words "I heart comments!". That is where you write your comment. Once you feel out your brilliant comment you will see 4 choices under the box. They are Google/Blogger, OpenID, Name/URL and Anonymous. If you have a Google email you can choose the Google button. If you don't choose Name and type in your name. And then click on "Publish Your Comment." And you have OFFICIALLY commented on your favorite blog!

Now come on out lurkers! I'm countin' on ya!

It's on Like Donkey Kong

I have a little contest going on with my pal Michelle. And you my dear readers (and hers too I'm assuming) are going to be deciding the outcome. Here's the wager: it's a BAKE-OFF. That's right. I have found a way to incorporate food into every part of my life INCLUDING my competitive streak.

Michelle and I were both very, very sad to see Valentine's leave with all it's pink and red glory and we were trying to decide what holiday we could celebrate next so we could bake more cute things. Michelle in all her smartness came up with Mardi Gras! It's a Mardi Gras Smackdown! A Fat Tuesday brawl! And it won't be easy. Michelle is a baker from way back when and I'm a novice. But I'll give her a run for her money.

We are both supposed to make the cutest, yummiest looking dessert by Tuesday and then we will post the photos (without names! I don't want any of Michelle's friends coming over here and voting for her's to make me lose! what paranoia?) and you my dear readers, will vote. All 12 of you. AND YOU LURKERS TOO. That's right Natausha and Aunt Carlene. I'm calling you out.

So be prepared to salivate and vote FOR ME. I mean, vote for the one you think looks the best. Which is mine. Bring it on Michelle. You're going down sista!


P.S. The prize is the title of BEST BAKER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. But that's only if I win. (No, I am not competitive at all. Why do you ask?)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

30 Day Shred

Okay so I have been hearing SO MUCH about the 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels. You know the trainer on Biggest Loser that reduces her contestants to puddles of tears? Ya, that girl. Anywho, I have been trying to in corporate working out into my life and it has gone, well, not at all. So after hearing all about the 30 Day Shred and finding out it's only a 20 minute work-out I decided I'm going to give it a try. I can commit to 20 minutes a day. I might even be able to get up 20 minutes early to do it! So, keep me accountable. Ask me how its going. And I'll let you know if I survive the butt-kicking!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

E-Session

I was lucky enough on Thursday night to do another e-session shoot with The Memory Journalists. This time I shot with Kelly (who is such a fun gal and a ROCKIN' photographer!). Kelly and I had the pleasure of shooting Ashley and Charlie and their little doggie munchking, Jake. I seriously CANNOT say enough good things about this couple. She is beautiful and he is so easygoing. They were such a joy to shoot! For the full story and slideshow click the bottom image to head on over to The Memory Journalists blog.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Easy Breezy Chicken Pot Pie

I'm a little family of two. Well, three if you count the dog but she eats kibble. So that means cooking for two. Which sucks. Most of the recipes out there are for four or more people which means a lot of leftovers. And my hubby is not a big fan of leftovers. Plus, we are eating a whole lot healthier in this house so there are definetely some challenges. So I'm working on coming up with two people recipes that are YUMMY and HEALTHY. Not always the easiest thing to do but I will prevail! As I do I'll share my recipes with you here! First up, chicken pot pie.

Easy Breezy Chicken Pot Pie

2 chicken breasts
1 can of 99% Fat-free Cream of Celery soup
1 steamable bag of mixed veggies
1 can of Reduced Fat Crescent rolls
Lawry's Seasoning Salt
Pepper
Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Chop up the chicken breast and throw it in a frying pan with a little bit of Pam. Season with Lawry's and pepper. When almost done add some Mrs. Dash. Cook until lightly brown.

3. While the chicken is cooking, steam your bag of veggies.

4. Mix the chicken, soup and veggies together. Put into a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes stirring half way through. You want your mixture to just start bubbling.

5. While your chicken mixture is cooking open up your can of rolls. Pinch the seams together and put four of the rolls on the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish. Add your chicken mixture when it is done cooking and place the other four crescent rolls on top of the mixture. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Blog Share

I am participating in a Blog Share. Basically what this means is that you sign up and write a post that is anonymously posted on another's blog. It's a way to say some things you need to, get some things off your chest and do it all in a forum that you won't be recognized. I think it is kind of cool thing. So here is the following post written by one of the Blog Share participants. Please be as kind to this person as you are to me.


Title: They say "suicide is painless."

I'm thinking about killing myself.

Now, calm down, before you start trying to figure out how to call the suicide hotline on behalf of an anonymous blogger...I'm not suicidal.

I've just been thinking a lot lately, and here's the thing: I have a living will. Copies have been placed in the hands of trusted family/friends, all of whom nodded in understanding and said something along the lines of "I completely understand." Sometimes adding, "I have one, too." I don't want to spend the end of my life with a devastated body hooked up to tubes and wires, if there's no hope of recovery, particularly if my brain is essentially gone or going fast. People "get" this, I find.

But I also don't want to spend the end of my life alone and lonely, or desperate and homeless, if it comes to that. (This economy, it scares me.) I don't. If I somehow outlive my family and friends, not to mention my financial resources...well, that seems as untenable to me as being hooked up to machines. The thought of living out my days in the kind of nursing home available to people of limited means...without the advantage of family close by to check in on me regularly...it's appalling.

I don't want to end up like that. And it occurred to me recently that--I don't HAVE to. If I find myself someday facing a situation that would be devastating to my soul...why can't I take whatever steps necessary to prevent that? To me, it seems like another kind of living will. I'd rather go on to whatever comes next--and I do believe in life after death. Am I worried about eternal damnation, and all that? Well...I believe that God is benevolent and he/she/it will understand. I can't wrap my head around the idea that God would punish me for deciding that I'm ready to take another step on the journey, if this one has become an intolerably painful slog through emotional mud.

Don't get me wrong...I fervently hope that I live a long, rich life, surrounded by loved ones until the very end, when I die peacefully in my sleep at a ripe old age. But if circumstances dictate a different story--why not seize control of my own destiny? Make quality of life at least as important as quantity of life? Make a Backup Plan, if you will.

I thought this seemed very practical. I shared the Plan with my best friend. The reaction was, let's say, a bit different than the reaction to the living will. So I'm not telling anybody else. Well...only you. And you can keep a secret, right? Ssshhhhh.....

Blog Share Participants

Just in case you want to read others, here is the list of Blog Share Participants. You can also find the list and information on our hostess' blog And You Know What Else.


And You Know What Else
Andrea Unplugged
Blue Soup
Bright Yellow World
Bwildered
Caity of the Keps
Catheroominations
Citystreams
Daily Tannenbaum
Did I Say That Outloud?
Dispatches From The Failed Mommy Club
Face Down
For The Long Run
Full Of Snark
Heidikins
In Java, Literally
Just Below 63
LizLand
Malfeasance
A New Duck
NonSoccer Mom
The North Is My Snowcone
Not The Daddy
Operation Pink Herring
Pants, Pants, Pants
Red Red Whine
Sassy Buster
Sauntering Soul
Shushing Action
SnarkeSnow-Covered Hills
Swimming With Sharks
Thinking Some More
Trueish Story
Way Way Up
Whiskey Marie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wrapping Up V-day

I love holidays. LOVE THEM. Any reason at all to decorate my house or make special things for the fam and I'm all over it. I just think it is fun. I know that V-day was 4 days ago but I didn't get a chance to share so bear with me.


I'm not normally much a heart person, but as soon as it is Valentine's day and the world is throwing up pink and red I'm all about it. I found that cute little garland at Target in the $1 bins. SCORE.

This was so easy to do. I took one sheet of construction paper and outlined cookie cutters on it in various sizes. Cut them out and put them up! I really thought it turned out cute.

Do you remember these from last year? I still just think they are adorable. And I got the heart champagne glasses from my Sassy Flirty Apron Swap.

I made a lot of goodies this year. And I got all my ideas from Bakerella. Everytime I pull up her blog I want to like my screen. These are actually just Oreo Cakesters cut into heart shapes.
Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches. OH. MY. So good.

And the biggest hit of all was the Cupcake Pops. Seriously, these are sinful.

And look what the hubs got me. He's a keeper. We had a really nice day too. We did. . .nothing. :-) Sat on the couch, watched some movies and just hung out. We both actually had the day off so it was nice to get in some quality time. All in all, a perfectly lovely holiday. Now I just have to figure out what to replace all those hearts with.

Surprise in the Mail

I have great friends. Really great friends. But sometimes they surprise me with their greatness.
I got a surprise package in the mail from my pal Michelle. I had no idea it was coming and she filled it with some cool goodies. This gal knows what I like. Look at what I got!

Cherry shelf liners! My kitchen has cherries all over it and I told Michelle I was looking for something like this and she found it! I seriously can't wait to use this.

And these little lovelies! A pair of vintage measuring cups. I love them because they are really solid and unlike any other I have seen.

Holiday cookie cutters. I'm totally getting into baking and Michelle has often inspired me. So she is feeding my growing addiction.

Seriously?! How cute is this dish towel? This is the 3rd dishtowel she has sent me and she always finds the cutest ones!

And to top it all off these cute cherry note cards!

Look! Even the back is cute!
How sweet is this? Thanks TU. Really. You made my day.