Easily Entertained

... parties, crafts, & celebrations that are anything but ordinary!

Author: EasilyEntertained (page 1 of 3)

Damn Fine Cup of Coffee Donuts

Makes about 15 donuts

Every day, once a day, give yourself a present.

-Agent Cooper

 

And what better present than warm, homemade donuts filled with a coffee spiked pastry cream.

The perfect present- for you, your family, friends, coworkers, the local sheriff, or even a bird named Waldo (May he rest in peace).  Sweet, soft and most importantly, filled with coffee flavored pastry cream.

Bet you can’t stop at just one.

Having never actually made donuts before, We went in with fears of dead yeast that wouldn’t rise, and visions of face melting 3rd degree burns. Luckily, neither of these things came to pass, and this recipe turned out to be surprisingly easy overall. The hardest part, was waiting for the dough to rise.  Not quite 25 years… but it sure felt like it.

Did we mention the coffee flavored pastry cream?!?

Because it’s amazing!  One might even say- damn fine.  And… the recipe makes plenty so there’s more than enough to snack on while you’re waiting for your dough to rise.


To make these donuts you will need:

  • 1.4 oz. of fresh yeast
  • 1/2 of cup warm milk
  • 1/4 of cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.7 oz. butter, at room temperature
  • About 6-8 cups of vegetable oil for frying
  • Additional sugar to roll the donuts in.

To make the coffee cream filling you will need:

  • One 5.1 oz package of Instant Vanilla Pudding (you could also use chocolate pudding and go for a mocha vibe.)
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons of instant espresso
  • 2-5 Tablespoons of milk

Other materials:

  • A 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or drinking glass.
  • Parchment paper.
  • A cookie sheet, maybe 2.
  • Paper towels.
  • A wooden spoon.
  • A pastry bag with a long nozzle tip.

Begin by making the coffee cream.

Dissolve the instant espresso in 2 tablespoons of the milk, and set it aside.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk, or with a hand-mixer, beat the whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form. Then run the mixer on low while slowly sprinkling in the pudding powder. Mix until fully incorporated.

Add the coffee flavored cream one tablespoon at a time, Mixing in between. Then you can add another tablespoon or two of milk until you reach a good piping consistency. Add more milk if you want a thinner, smoother filling.

Store the filling in the fridge while you make the donuts.


To make the dough:

Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and mix with the lukewarm milk (warm in a pan or microwave for about 30 seconds) and a tablespoon of the sugar until dissolved.

Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for about 10 minutes.

Then add the eggs, egg yolks, remaining sugar, vanilla extract and butter.

Sift the flour on top and then mix and knead with your hands until you get a nice, smooth dough. You can also use a mixer fitted with a dough hook. We did both- starting by hand and then finishing in the mixer.

Once the dough is smooth, form a ball, cover again with a kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 more minutes in the bowl until doubled in size.

Once doubled, roll the dough out on a floured surface to the thickness of about an inch. Cut out rounds using the biscuit cutter, cookie cutter or drinking glass.

Then re-roll the scraps and cut again into circles, or make small balls for donut holes.

Place the rounds on a baking parchment covered cookie sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap – let rise for another 30-40 minutes until doubled in size.

Heat the oil until you reach a temperature of 350°F.
Add some sugar to a small bowl.

Carefully add about 3 or 4 of the dough pieces to the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes on both sides until golden brown.

When done, take out and let drain slightly on a paper towel, then roll in the sugar until covered.

Let cool on a wire rack. Fry the remaining dough pieces.

Take the cream out of the fridge and add to a piping bag with a long narrow nozzle.

Cut a small hole in side of the cooled donuts and use the back of a thin wooden spoon to make the opening bigger and to open some space inside the donuts for the filling- then fill this space with the cream.

These are best served the same day, but can be stored in a large lidded container in the fridge.  Still tasty the next day, but they do deflate a little.

Twin Peaks

DIY Carrie Cake

From prom night slashers to summer camp decapitators, our Halloween party this year was a tribute to all of the highly inappropriate teenage slasher films we probably should have never watched as kids, but totally did.

A wild time before Wi-Fi when you actually had to leave the house (THE HORROR!) to rent a movie, in a long-dead format called… VHS.

The sleepless nights that followed were the inspiration for this 80’s style Slasher Bash that is our loving tribute to the horror movies of the 70’s and 80’s.  The music, food and décor were all inspired by that time period starting with a red velvet tribute to our favorite prom queen, Carrie.

We guarantee that no one will laugh at you if you serve this cake at your next Halloween gathering or Netflix Horror viewing party.


To make our Carrie Cake you will need:

Preheat your oven to 350 F or temperature in the directions of your homemade recipe.

Following the directions on the box, assemble your cake pan making sure that the center tube is in place and the pan is standing upright on its base.Carrie cake

Finish preparing your cake pan by covering it well with the baking spray or a combination of the solid vegetable shortening (do not use butter, margarine or liquid vegetable oil) and flour.

If using the shortening, sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons flour inside pan on top of the shortening and swirl it around until the flour covers all of the greased surface. Once covered, turn your pan upside down and tap lightly to remove excess flour.

Make both cake mixes according to package or recipe directions. We mixed them together in one large bowl.

The recipe with our pan called for two mixes, but we used only a small amount of the second mix.  The recipe called for 6 cups of batter, we used 7 and made cupcakes with the rest.

Carrie cakePour the batter into the pan and bake on the middle rack of 350 F oven for 70-85 minutes or until cake tests done according to recipe directions. We suggest putting the pan on top of a cookie sheet just in case.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on cake rack for about 10 minutes.  Remove the center tube from the cake.

If your cake domed up in the center, carefully slice off the raised portion while it is still in the pan using the edge of the pan as your guide. This will help prevent cracking and give you a flat, stable edge for your cake to sit on. (We usually eat this part for you know… quality control.)

To remove your cake from pan, place a cooling rack against it and turn both the cake rack and pan over. Then lift the pan off carefully.

Let your cake cool for at least one hour. Then transfer it to a serving board or plate, by holding a cake board against it and turning both the cake and the rack over.

To decorate: spread a thin layer of icing on the cake.  Add an extra dollop of icing at the top and position your doll in the center. Put your cake in the fridge for about 10 minutes to set up.

Using your decorator bag and star tip, pipe individual stars starting at the base of your doll and going down tin a straight line to the bottom of the skirt.  Do this around the whole cake until every inch is covered.  Then pipe small stars around the doll to finish the top of her dress.

At this point we put the cake back in the fridge to set up again, but you can add the red sparkle gel icing now if you like.

Follow the directions on the package to cut open the icing tube. (If you concentrate really hard you might be able to do this step with your mind.  If not, we suggest using scissors.) Starting at the top of the dolls head, go around and around dripping the gel icing down to look like blood.

Carrie cake

White Walker Cupcakes

In that darkness, the white walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders big as hounds…

-Old Nan

To help you get through the Long Night after last night’s episode of Game of Thrones, we suggest you try a little… vodka, in cupcake form.

Deadly, but beautiful- these otherworldly cupcakes are laced with vodka and gleaming with peppermint candy ice. Sharp and sweet, they are the perfect way to face your fear of ice zombies.

white walker cupcakes

To make these cupcakes you will need:

  • Vanilla cupcakes.  Made from your favorite homemade recipe or from a cake mix following the instructions on the box.
  • Vodka buttercream
  • White decorating sugar to decorate the finished cupcakes.

To make the Vodka buttercream you will need:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped cream vodka

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter and sugar.

Add vodka, one tablespoon at a time mixing in between.

Once your frosting is ready and cupcakes are cool, use a butter knife to spread the icing on in a smooth mound that is higher in the center.  Sprinkle each cupcake with white decorating sugar.


To make the candy ice shards you will need:

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter
  • 2/3 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of blue gel food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of peppermint flavored candy flavoring
  • A silicone mat
  • A medium or large pot
  • A candy thermometer
  • A silicone brush
  • A large glass measuring cup (that holds more than 2 cups)

Place the glass measuring cup in a cold oven, then turn the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the sugar and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.
Heat 1 cup water, the corn syrup and the sugar mixture in the pot on medium heat.

Boil the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sugar begins to boil, use a pastry brush or silicone brush and a little water, and brush the crystallized sugar off the sides. Don’t put the candy thermometer into the pot until the sugar is boiling.

It will take quite a while for your sugar to get to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but do not walk away or your sugar might burn. The temperature will move very slowly up the thermometer at first until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and then it will quickly jump up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove your pan from the heat and allow it to cool to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Do stir it, or add anything until it lowers to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit, add the food coloring and the flavoring and stir it gently. If there is any crystallized sugar on the side of the pan, try to avoid stirring it into to the mixture.
Remove the (now very hot!) measuring cup from the oven and pour your even hotter sugar into it. Be very careful. Also- do not pour the hot sugar into your glass measuring cup unless you have heated it first.  If you do not heat it the high temperature of the sugar may cause it to shatter.
Place the measuring cup back into the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to remove the bubbles.
Take the sugar out of the oven and you are now ready to create your ice shards!

To make the ice shards we poured out the sugar onto a cookie sheet (covered with parchment paper). Once cooled we broke it into pieces and then chose the best ones .

Once your candy ice shards are finished, stick them into the tops of your cupcakes and serve immediately.
White Walkers

Easily Entertained Tip: If you are planning to make your cupcakes in advance, keep the ice shards separate until almost ready to serve.  When left over night, the blue color and peppermint flavor stared to melt onto the icing and inside of the cupcakes.  The added mint flavor was nice, but the cupcakes weren’t as pretty.

Mother of all cupcakes!

Without giving too much away, last night’s episode of Game of Thrones showed some seriously strong women kicking some serious butt!

In honor of them both, we have two new cupcake recipes that we hope you will enjoy.

First we have:
Don’t Mess With Daenerys Cupcakes

Pale but strong, these vanilla cupcakes have a Fireball Whiskey kick and are adorned with real flames.  Well… real candy flames.

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To make these cupcakes you will need:

  • Vanilla cupcakes.  Made from a cake mix following the instructions on the box, but substituting ¼ of a cup of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky for some of the liquid in the ingredients.
  • Icing. Can be either homemade from your favorite recipe or your favorite store brand.
  • Candy Flames

To make the candy flames you will need:

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter
  • 2/3 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of red gel food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon flavored candy flavoring
  • A silicone mat
  • A medium or large pot
  • A candy thermometer
  • A silicone brush
  • A large glass measuring cup (that holds more than 2 cups)

Place the glass measuring cup in a cold oven, then turn the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix the sugar and cream of tartar in a separate bowl.

Heat 1 cup water, the corn syrup and the sugar mixture in the pot on medium heat.

Boil the mixture until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When the sugar begins to boil, use a pastry brush or silicone brush and a little water, and brush the crystallized sugar off the sides.

Don’t put the candy thermometer into the pot until the sugar is boiling.

It will take quite a while for your sugar to get to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, but do not walk away or your sugar might burn. The temperature will move very slowly up the thermometer at first until it reaches about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and then it will quickly jump up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove your pan from the heat and allow it to cool to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Do stir it, or add anything until it lowers to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.

When it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit, add the food coloring and the flavoring and stir it gently. If there is any crystallized sugar on the side of the pan, try to avoid stirring it into to the mixture.

Warning: the flavoring was a bit strong and there was an immediate cinnamon blast when we first dumped it in.  It dissipates quickly, but be ready for it.

Remove the (now very hot!) measuring cup from the oven and pour your even hotter sugar into it. Be very careful. Also- do not pour the hot sugar into your glass measuring cup unless you have heated it first.  If you do not heat it the high temperature of the sugar may cause it to shatter.

Place the measuring cup back into the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to remove the bubbles.

Take the sugar out of the oven and you are now ready to create your flames! The easiest way that we found to make the flames was to use a spoon and draw the flames of sugar on the parchment paper. Then after it was cool to the touch, but still slightly gummy, we twisted it and molded it until we felt we had a perfect flame. We also used a dragon cookie cutter and poured some of the liquid sugar into it and let sit until completely cool. Just make sure to spray the cookie cutter with Pam so the sugar doesn’t stick.

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Once your candy flames are finished, stick them into the tops of your cupcakes and serve immediately.

Easily Entertained Tip: If you are planning to make your cupcakes in advance, keep the flames separate until almost ready to serve.  When left over night, the cinnamon flames stared to melt onto the icing and inside of the cupcakes.  The added cinnamon flavor was nice, but the cupcakes weren’t as pretty.


Next we have:

Sansa’s Lemon Cakes

Lovely, with a strong, lemon bite!

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To make this recipe you will need:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large saucepan melt the butter with the lemon juice and water on medium high heat.

When the butter is melted remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add the sour cream (or yogurt), beaten eggs, vanilla extract and lemon zest and whisk together. Let this mixture cool completely before preceding. Make sure it’s not warm.

In a separate bowl whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together, then whisk the dry ingredients into the batter.

Prepare muffin pans with cupcake liners. Pour the batter into the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Do not open the oven until 18 minutes have passed.

Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan. Then remove them and let cool completely before frosting.


To make the Lemon Buttercream you will need:

  • 1 lb. of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 lbs of powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest finely zested with a microplane
  • 1/3 of a cup of fresh lemon juice

Using a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer beat the butter well, about 1 minute.

Add about half of the powdered sugar, the vanilla, lemon zest and juice, and beat on low until incorporated, then on high for about a minute.

Add the rest of the sugar, (start on low again) then increase to high speed and beat until very fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Use immediately to frost your cupcakes. We used an open star tip and piped multiple, tiny stars on the tops of our cupcakes.

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Recipe adapted from, Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for the Lemon Lover by Melissa aka The Alchemist.

Have an Epic Mother’s Day!

This Mother’s Day, go medieval! And surprise your mom with the mother of all brunches.

With this Game of Thrones themed brunch, you can treat your mother like a queen.

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Every brunch needs a quiche! THIS quiche. Goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes combine for one of the tastiest, creamiest quiches ever.  Easy and elegant, your mom will think you slaved all day.


To make the Goat Cheese Heirloom Tomato Quiche you will need:

  • 1 store bought refrigerated or frozen piecrust, or your favorite recipe. We used a frozen, deep-dish piecrust.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1-¾ cup of the milk of your choice.  We used 2%.
  • 1 cup of mixed heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 4 ounces of plain goat cheese
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Heat oven to 375 F.

Bake the piecrust according to package directions for a pre-baked pie shell.

Heat olive in a frying pan over medium heat. Add green onions and sauté, stirring for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs in a large bowl. Add milk and continue to whisk until smooth.

Stir in tomatoes, green onions, and salt and then crumble in the goat cheese so that some chunks will remain in the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

Carefully pour the mixture into the pre-baked piecrust.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until edges are brown but the center is set.
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Garnish with fresh basil.  This recipe was adapted from Good Housekeeping.


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To make the Sour Cream Dragon Cake you will need:

  •  3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 eggs, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Baking spray or butter and flour to grease dragon pan
  • Or your favorite box mix

Heat oven to 350 F.

For cake mix, follow instructions on the box.
For the home made recipe- cream together the sugar and butter, then add the egg yolks one at time beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then add to the batter mixture and beat well.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the cake batter.

Pour into a greased and floured dragon pan and bake for an hour and a half or until the cake test done in the center.

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To make the Basil Cream Cheese-Filled Strawberry Dragon Eggs you will need:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese at room temperature. (You could also use the same amount of mascarpone cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • About 20 large strawberries. Look for ones that can stand up on their own when placed flat on their stems.  Do not remove the green leaves.

In a small bowl, combine cheese, confectioners’ sugar, basil, lime zest, and lime juice, stirring until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

Stand strawberries on their stems/leaves.

Use a paring knife to make 2 intersecting cuts in each strawberry, keeping base in tact. On each quarter of strawberry, make a small cut, angling the knife slightly inward.

Transfer cheese mixture to a piping bag fitted with an open-star tip (Wilton #32). Pipe cheese mixture into center of each strawberry.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, place strawberry eggs around your dragon cake.


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No Game of Thrones brunch would be complete without some Littlefinger sandwiches. We chose a trio of tastes including a fruity spin on chicken salad a matcha tea based cucumber sandwich and a warm creamy spinach artichoke dip. And no spread is complete without your very own apple dragon.


To make the dragon you will need:

  • 1 apple (a few extras won’t hurt in case of mistakes)
  • Lemon Juice
  • A good pairing knife
  • This video
  • A lot of patience and practice!!FullSizeRender-5 (1)

To make the Strawberry Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches you will need:

  • 12 slices firm white sandwich bread, such as Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Style
  • 2½ cups chopped cooked chicken. We used a rotisserie chicken from the super market.
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • An 11-ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
  • Poppy Seed Dressing

In a large bowl, combine chicken, strawberries, pecans, celery, green onion, mandarin oranges, and Poppy Seed Dressing and mix. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a 2 inch square cutter, cut 2 squares from each bread slice. If cutting your bread in advance, store in a resealable plastic bag so they don’t dry out. You could also trim the crusts off your bread and use a knife to cut each slice into 4 square pieces.

Place approximately 2 tablespoons of chicken salad on a bread square. We left ours open-faced, but you could ass a top layer of bread if you prefer. Repeat with remaining bread squares and chicken salad.


To make the Poppy Seed Dressing you will need:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise. We used Hellman’s
  • 1 tablespoon of white balsamic or rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, poppy seeds, sugar, salt and pepper, whisking to blend.

Cover and refrigerate until needed. Dressing can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.


To make the Cucumber Sandwiches with Matcha Aioli you will need:

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 6 slices of very thin, firm bread.  We used Pepperidge Farm thin wheat.
  • Matcha aioli

Cut the crusts off and cut the bread slices into triangles. Store them in a resealable bag until ready to use.

Using either a knife or a mandolin, cut the cucumber into paper thin slices.

Spread matcha aioli onto bread triangles and top with a layer of cucumber slices, overlapping them slightly. Top with another bread triangle.


To make the matcha aioli you will need:

  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped capers
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 1/4  teaspoon of matcha green tea
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of ground black pepper

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, capers, lemon zest, matcha, salt and pepper and stir until blended and smooth.  Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a day.

Easily Entertained tip: All of your tea sandwiches can be made earlier in the day, covered with damp paper towels in an airtight container, and refrigerated until serving time. Garnish them just before serving.

To make the Artichoke Spinach Crostini you will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 (6 oz.) bag of fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 9 oz. of jarred artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of salted butter
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced shallot
  • 5 oz. of cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ of a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup of sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 24 crostini
  • Red bell pepper for garnish

Heat oven to 350 F.
Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray or rub it with oil.
In a large, non-stick sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat, add spinach, shallots and artichoke hearts and stir until spinach is wilted.

In a food processor combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper. Add the spinach mixture and pulse until combined.

Spread mixture into prepared baking dish and bake until hot and bubbly around the edged.  About 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cool 10 minutes and spread onto crostini.  Garnish with red bell pepper if desired.

To make crostini: cut a French bread into ¼ inch slices, spray with Pam olive oil spray, salt, pepper and bake for about 10 minutes until golden and toasted.


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To make the Mother of Dragons cocktail you will need:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh dragon fruit fleshFullSizeRender-2
  • 2 strips dragon fruit skin
  • 12-15 mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Ice
  • 3 oz Prosecco or other sparkling wine

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the dragon fruit flesh and skin, mint leaves, and lime juice until well combined and fragrant. Add the Prosecco and ice to the glass and let sit until it turns pink. Stir and strain into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

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Iron Throne Cupcakes …

…with Bacon and Ommegang 7 Kingdoms Beer

The Iron Throne- many have died because of it.  Some in their quest to rule, and others from the sentences they received.  Some went mad… and some probably just caught tetanus from one of its many sharp edges.

In spite of the constant threat of death, you know you still want one!  If not to rule over the 7 Kingdoms, then for your living room so you can rule over the TV remote.   And sure, you could defeat all of your enemies and spend the next 100 days forging your own out of their melted swords, but… we may have a better idea.

It involves BACON!

And if that isn’t thrilling enough, we bring to the table beer, chocolate, pretzels and peanut butter.

In our scenario- you can have your throne… and eat it too!

Game of Thrones Bacon Throne


To make these cupcakes you will need:

  • Cupcakes.  Either homemade from your favorite recipe, made from a cake mix following the instructions on the box or store bought.
  • A bottle of Ommegang Seven Kingdoms Hoppy Wheat Ale
  • 1 lb. of thick cut bacon. The thicker the better. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. You may even want to pop it into the freezer for a bit so it is easier to cut.
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 bag of thin stick pretzels
  • Brown tulip baking cups

A small amount of chocolate to melt and drizzle over top.  We used milk chocolate Wilton baking melts.


To make the peanut butter icing you will need:

  • 10 oz. of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 5 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter.  Not the natural kind that separates.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Bake and cool your cupcakes. While they are cooling you can candy your bacon.

Turn your oven up to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire cooling on top.

With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut your bacon into smaller pieces.  Be sure to cut it into points. The goal is to you get rid of all the straight edges.  You want to have about 3 different sizes here so that you can make the cupcakes higher in the center and then gradually shorter going out to the ends of your cupcake.

Lay bacon on top of cooling rack. Make sure all of your pieces are set in from the very ends of the rack and cookie sheet.  Any bacon pieces near the end or hanging over, will make a greasy mess in the bottom of your oven.

Cook for 10 minutes.

While the bacon is cooking, combine the brown sugar and 1/3 cup of the beer in a small bowl.

After cooking for ten minutes, remove the bacon and coat with the sugar beer mixture.  There are a few ways to do this: you can brush one side with the beer then flip it over and brush the other side, or you can do what we did which was put small batches directly into the bowl of your mixture and gently stir them around until they are full coated.

Return the bacon to your tray and put it back into the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is crisp.

As the bacon cools it will get an almost glossy finish.

Take your thin pretzel sticks and cut the tops into sharp edges like you did the bacon.  This is a little bit harder since the pretzels are brittle and have a tendency to break while you are cutting them.  We found it is best to use a serrated knife and delicately saw through the pretzels.  It get easier to do once you get a feel for it.  Place your pretzels aside while you make your peanut butter icing. Just like the bacon, you need a few different sizes of pretzels.

To make the icing, put the butter and cream cheese into the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  You can also do this in a bowl using your hand mixer.  Cream the butter and cream cheese until fluffy.

Slowly add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time, mixing on low in between additions and going up to a higher speed once the powdered sugar is combined.

Once all the sugar is combined, add your vanilla and peanut butter.  Then whip for 3-5 mins. Until your frosting is fluffy.

To decorate your cupcakes we suggest piping your icing on with a bag and star tip.  The goal here is to have a nice, high peak in the center that will help you make the shape of your throne.  You can use a butter knife instead, just remember to make a cone of icing that is higher in the middle.

Once your cupcakes are frosted, start in the center with your tallest pieces of bacon and pretzels.  Then us the medium pieces and shortest pieces as you get near the edge.

Easily Entertained Tip: When you are finished sticking all of your pieces into the cupcakes put a handful of chocolate melts into a small ziplock bag.  Leave the bag open a tiny bit and put it onto the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Squish the pieces around in the bag with your fingers until they are smooth.  If they are not fully melted you can put them back into the microwave for 10 second intervals until they are.

Once they are smooth, cut a very small piece off one corner of the bag and use it like a pastry bag to drizzle chocolate over all of your thrones.

Game of Thrones Bacon Throne

Put your finished thrones into the brown tulip cups and there you have it. Edible Iron Thrones for all!  The perfect snack to enjoy while watching the new season of Game of Thrones on HBO.

Peeps Krispie Treats

One of my favorite treats has always been Rice Krispie Treats. What better way to enhance one of the simplest, sweetest desserts than to add Peeps instead of marshmallows.

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 35 Peeps
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over low hear. Add Peeps and stir until completely melted. If using different colors, melt in separate color sections within the pot. Do not mix colors until Step 2. Remove pot from heat once butter is melted.
  2. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated.

melted peeps

  1. Evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 1 1/2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool completely before cutting. Store in an airtight container.

Easily Entertained Tip: One way to enhance the colors would be to add in a little colored sugar crystals on your final stir

Patience, Grasshopper

It’s not easy being green… but it sure is tasty!

This St. Patrick’s Day enjoy the after dinner drink that is as much a dessert as it is cocktail.

The Grasshopper (definitely NOT made of grasshoppers, or insects of any kind.) is a classic after dinner cocktail made of equal parts crème de menthe, cream de cacao and either heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.

Think of it as a grown-up Shamrock Shake.


To make classic Grasshoppers for two you will need:grasshopper

  • 2 ounces of green crème de menthe
  • 2 ounces of clear/white crème de cacao
  • 2 ounces of heavy cream (or half and half if you want to cut the calories a bit)
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Optional: chocolate syrup, whipped cream, mint leaves or the garnish of your choice.

If using heavy cream or half and half:
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill half way with ice.  Shake vigorously for about 30 seconds or so, until the drink is cold and frothy.

Strain into 2 cocktail glasses.

If using ice cream:
For a creamier and more shake-like version, swap out the cream for a few scoops of ice cream.  We used about 3 scoops, but you could use more if you like. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds or so until the ice cream incorporated.
Pour into 2 tall glasses.

 

Easily Entertained Tip: Both versions can be served plain, or garnished any way you like.  We garnished our cream version by swirling chocolate syrup into the bottom of our cocktail glass first before adding our grasshopper.  We topped both versions with whipped cream and sprinkle of gold colored sugar.

Sláinte!

grasshopper

Taste the Rainbow!

This St. Patrick’s Day my twins wanted to make a rainbow to bring to their school party.  So I scoured Pinterest for ideas and came across a healthy and easy recipe. So easy, in fact a 4 year old could make it!

What we used:william rainbow

  • Strawberries
  • Halo Oranges
  • Pineapple
  • Green Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Red Grapes
  • Marshmallows

You can substitute any of these fruits with some of your other favorites including: Raspberries, Bananas, Kiwis, Oranges, Apples, Pears, or Watermelon!

Wash, peel, and cut your fruit according to where it will be placed in the rainbow. Make sure to have extra ingredients on hand since my helper ate his body weight in strawberries and marshmallows!!

Arrange the fruit on a special plate or platter for serving.

Easily Entertained Tip: For the gold under the rainbow you can also place a small bowl at the end of the rainbow and fill it with small gold chocolate coins.

rainbow CollageTo finish off the rainbow we added marshmallows to the bottom of the rainbow. Of course, the 4 year old didn’t think I added enough marshmallows so he finished his off with even more!

William's Rainbow

William’s Rainbow

My finished Rainbow

My finished Rainbow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

-Jessica

 

 

Celebrate Pi Day with a Rhupumple-pi (our twist on the Cherpumple)

Celebrate the infinite nature of Pi, with infinite calories. Ok, not infinite, but still… it’s pretty damn bad for you!Rhupumple

This Pi day, enjoy some cake.  Well, some cake… filled with pie.  3 in fact.  3 cakes. 3 pies: chocolate cake with rhubarb strawberry pie, carrot cake with pumpkin pie and vanilla cake with apple pie. All piled high and held in place with a glorious amount of cream cheese icing.

It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to see this is headed somewhere delicious.

Now, we didn’t invent this epic bakery creation.  That glory goes to this man, Charles Phoenix.

He’s our new idol!  And his recipe and instructions are as easy to follow as they are entertaining. When we read the part about serving this monster creation ala flambé, we knew we could never compare.  But still… we were intrigued and fascinated and just had to try it for ourselves.

Our flavors differ from his based on our own personal preferences and need for rhubarb.  The great part about this recipe is that you can do just about any combination that you like.

Keep in mind that each pie-filled cake layer takes about an hour to cook and even longer to cool.


To make the Rhupumple-piecaken-monsterpi you will need:

  • 3 cake mixes in the flavors of your choice
  • The eggs, oil and water required on the box of your mixes
  • 3 pies (we purchased ours from the bakery section of our local supermarket.)
  • Pam Baking Spray
  • 10” springform pan

To make the cream cheese frosting you will need:

  • 3 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1.5 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

First, turn the bottom of your springform pan upside down so that you have a flatter surface. Then spray your springform pan well with pam and put it aside.

Mix your first cake mix by following the instructions on the package. And pour a small amount of batter into the bottom of the pan.

Carefully remove the metal pie plate from the bottom of your first pie.  We did this easily by placing the pie upside down on a plate and gently pulling off the foil tray. Then place the entire pie, right side up, in the cake pan directly in the batter.

Before pouring the rest of your batter in and around the pie, use a knife to cut a few slits into the top.  This way, a little bit of the batter will go inside instead of crushing the delicate top of the pie.

This was our middle layer of pumpkin pie and carrot cake.

This was our middle layer of pumpkin pie and carrot cake.

Pour the rest of the batter over the pie.  Don’t worry if it looks like there isn’t enough batter.  It won’t fully cover the pie.  The magic will happen in the oven as the cake starts to rise.

Once you have poured in all the batter, tap the pan on the counter a few times.  This will get rid of any air bubbles and help the batter to distribute easily.

Start checking your cake for doneness after an hour.  The times for our layers differed slightly with each cake/pie combo, but all fell within an hour to an hour and 15 minute timeframe.  For this recipe its better to slightly over bake your layers than to under cook them.

Take a cake tester or toothpick, and gently insert it into the center of the cake to check for crumbs or uncooked batter.  If the toothpick/tester comes out clean, you’re usually good to go.  This project is a little trickier since there is a perpetually gooey pie in the center of your cake.  In this case, your main concern is to make sure that the center of your pie is not jiggly.  It should have a rounded or even appearance and not be sunken in.

 

Easily Entertained tip: We suggest cooking each layer separately.  This is true of all baked goods.  The more things you put into your oven at the same time, the longer and possibly more uneven your results will be.  If you do choose to bake more than one layer at a time, you may want to switch their positions on the oven rack about halfway though the baking time.

When your layers are finished baking, put them on a metal rack to cool.  If you want them cool even faster, remove the side of the pan after 5-10mins.


While the layers bake and cool, you can make your frosting.

This is a large batch recipe and will make more than enough icing to fill, cover and decorate your cake.  Chances are you will even have a little bit left over.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Stir in vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat 5-7 minutes or until fluffy.

We left our frosting white, but you could easily add any color of gel food coloring during this step.


To assemble the cake:

First, you need to level the tops of your cakes.  We were lucky and our layers came out of the oven nice and flat.  If you do need to trim them, the easiest way, is to put the ring back around your pan and use that as a guide.

Once all of your layers are trimmed, you are ready to start stacking them.  Begin by putting your first layer down on a plate or cake board and spread a layer of icing on top.  Then, and you may need a buddy for this part, carefully add the next layer on top of the first.  Then more icing and repeat with the last layer.

Depending on how much icing you used in between, your layers may slide round a little bit here.  Use your hands on the sides to push all the layers back into place and finish icing and decorating your cake any way you like.

You could serve this immediately, but we suggest putting it into the fridge first to chill.  This will allow your icing to set up and make for a more stable cake.  This step is especially necessary if you plan to transport your masterpiece across state lines. Or, you know… over to your favorite mathematician’s house.

Happy Pi Day!!

Rhupumple

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