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Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! This is one of my utmost favorite holidays and it’s not just because it’s a day to celebrate love, that should be everyday, but it’s one of the best baking days of the year! From confections to pastries to share with your loved ones or just to consume yourself, it truly is one of the best holidays when it comes to being a baker. I will never forget when I worked at the casino bakery and Sunday brunch was our time to shine and show the world what we were capable of. Our chef let us have free reign, and my last Sunday before leaving the bakery was Valentine’s Day brunch and it was my absolute favorite brunch I had partaken in and the best way to go out from this job. It also helps that my favorite color is pink and Valentine’s is of course filled with lots of pink and red. Last Valentine’s Day, my husband and I only had our son for just over a month long. I had thrown a big sip and see Valentine’s Day party for all of our friends and family to come over and meet our new addition. Unfortunately my husband had to leave half way though the party and work, when he had returned he seemed to have forgotten all about V-Day even though he had been hyping it up all week. I don’t really blame him though, becoming a new parent and working hard tends to jumble your mind and you often forget. To make it up to me this year he is taking me to one of my favorite places just the two of us for a fun romantic get away. I’m truly such a lucky girl to have such an amazing man that loves me and spoils me. To all of you with a significant other I hope they spoil you just as much as my hubby spoils me and to those without a significant other, go out and spoil yourself and remember how loved you are in this life even if it’s not by a partner, there are plenty of people who love you including me! I fell in love with these Valentine’s Day macarons from Sugar and Cloth her video tutorial are as follows and you can find the recipe for these from Veras Cookbook! Make them for the gluten free someone you love! Enjoy everyone and happy Valentine’s Day! ❤

valentines macarons

Super Bowl Celebrating

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Happy Super bowl Sunday everyone! Who is your team this year that you are hoping to win? My family is hoping that the broncos take the victory. We of course are 49er faithful but my husband went to college in Colorado and we think it would be pretty awesome to see Peyton Manning end his career with a win. Every super bowl for the last 4 or 5 years we have competed with our friends in an annual chili cook off. For the past two years we have come in second place and have never taken the win. This year I think I found the recipe that is going to declare us the victors (fingers crossed). I also made my infamous football chocolate covered strawberries to pass around, they are so cute and easy and always a big hit. On top of watching football and judging chili, our amazing hosts find ways to give back. One of my dearest friends works for the girl scouts organization and the money that we bet on for squares and pledges goes to this amazing philanthropy. What kinds of things does your family do on super bowl Sunday? What are the parties like that you attend? Maybe you can find a way to incorporate some of the party traditions that I ‘ve mentioned into your next Super Bowl celebration.

chocolate strawberriesFor my football chocolate strawberries, I washed all the strawberries and patted them dry with a paper towel. I lined a baking sheet with parchment and melted a bag of Wilton’s dipping chocolate into a bowl. I dipped the strawberries and scraped the bottoms on the lip of the bowl and set onto parchment baking sheet. After dipping all the strawberries I melted 1/2 a bag of Wilton’s white chocolate and filled a parchment bag full and cut a small hole at the tip of the bag and started drawing the lines on the strawberries to make it look like the laces of a football. If you get chocolate feet on your strawberries after they dry, use a warm pairing knife to cut the feet off. Enjoy and go Broncos!

 

Photo credit

Junking Joy

This weekend was filled with so much fun. Aside from baking and being a mommy my next favorite thing to do is Antiquing. Yesterday one of my dear friends and I took a trip to meet my Aunt in northern California and we went on a Junking excursion and found lots of fun treasures. I love the idea of turning what someone would say is a piece of junk, into something beautiful and thinking of that piece of junk that I have acquired and all the life that it’s lived, and who else aside from me has loved it in it’s past. While we were having a fun girls time junking, my amazing husband drove ten hours round trip to pick up our new home away from home, a 1968 forester canned ham trailer. I am absolutely obsessed. I have wanted one of these beauties for quit sometime and this incredible man of mine made it happen for me. The outside is painted white and outlined in a fire engine red. It is so cute and so retro and we can’t wait for the weather to warm up and get our glamping on. I’m already planning a trip to Jo Ann’s this week to start picking out fabrics to decorate the inside and make it extra adorable. This camper is definitely one of my favorite antique treasures thus far.

To celebrate our new canned ham camper I am going to leave you with this adorable inspiration picture of retro camper cookies that I found on Pinterest. You can buy a camper cookie cutter to make these cookies from cheapcookiecutters.com. Below I have provided you with a gluten free recipe for sugar cookies from Faithfully Gluten Free and Sweet Ambs has an excellent tutorial and recipe for royal icing. Have fun with these. Decorate them how you would love your dream camper to look.

camper cookies

 

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but good)
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup white rice flour (200 grams)
2/3 cup tapioca starch (95 grams)
2/3 cup potato starch (not flour) (125 grams)
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
Instructions

1.In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the softened butter and sugar until fully incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the extracts and the egg. Mix just until blended.
2.In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the salt, baking powder, rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum.
3.With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix just until the dough comes together.
4.Scrape the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly before refrigerating for at least 1 hour. This will help your butter to solidify and help your cookies to keep their shape while baking.
5.When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
6.Working with a quarter of the dough at a time, roll the dough to about 3/8-inch thick between two sheets of plastic wrap, dusting with a small amount of sweet rice flour if necessary. Cut to desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets, leaving 2-inches between cookies. You can re-roll the scraps until all the dough has been used.
7.Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies. The cookies should just barely be turning brown around the edges, and have just a light brown colour on the bottom of the cookie.
8.Let cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with icing or storing in an air-tight container.

Here is a picture of our new camper!

new camper

Pie Day

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In honor of national pie day on Saturday I want to share a throwback, because it is throwback Thursday,  from a fourth of July wedding I did and would like to share one of my all time favorite pie recipes. Pie is the ultimate comfort food in my opinion and seems to be so underrated as far as desserts go in this world. Pie seems to take a backseat. You don’t ever seem to see many dedicated pie shops like you would see cupcakeries and pie is such a classic go to dessert that is loved by most. I believe there is something truly amazing and beautiful about making a pie. When you make the dough from scratch it is a long process because you often times have to let it cool over night, so you have to plan ahead when making your pie. The type of pie and filling you choose can vary from a berry, to an apple, to pumpkin, to a pecan, to a moose, to peach, the list goes on and on. And then the topping you choose can also vary from a whipped cream, a crumble, a lattice, a full dough top, or you can just leave it blank. You can choose to decorate you edges with a braid or even imprint it with a fork. The possibilities are endless,  you can let your creativity flow and the outcome is beautiful and delicious.

My throwback Thursday goes to a beautiful fourth of July wedding I had the honor of, not only attending, but making the cake and 130 cherry pies in a jar. They were incredibly easy to do and adored by all the guests. Pictures are as followed. I also want to share this delectable recipe from Gimme Some Oven. After making this recipe and sharing it between my husband and I, the entire pie was gone in just a day. It is so yummy and so easy to make.

I would love to here some of your favorite types of pies and if you loved this recipe as much as we did. Enjoy everyone and happy pie day!!

French Silk Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:

4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups ultrafine (or you could substitute granulated) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
(optional) 1/4 tsp. espresso powder
1 fully pre-baked 9-inch pie shell (gluten free homemade recipe or a gluten free shell)
3 cups whipped cream
1 chocolate bar, roughly chopped or shaved or melted into chocolate curls

DIRECTIONS:

Heat chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes until it is room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. When melted chocolate has cooled, gradually add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until thoroughly until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined

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Farewell To Snape

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Are you all still distraught over the fact that Alan Rickman passed away yesterday? I know I sure am. I was just so sad to hear that the beloved yet scary Professor Snape was gone from this world. If you grew up loving Harry Potter as much as I, then I’m sure you feel my pain. To honor his beloved character I’m going to cozy up with my family this weekend and throw a “Farewell to Snape” tribute by watching a Harry Potter marathon. If you plan on joining me then I encourage you to make this yummy recipe for butter beer cupcakes from The Collegiate Baker. These super cute and yummy cupcakes are sure to settle the grief you are enduring. I altered the recipe to make them gluten free friendly by switching out the flour for cup4cup flour. If you don’t have this gluten free flour in your pantry, then you need to grab your keys and get in your car and head to Whole Foods immediately or simply log into your amazon account and buy it there. It truly changes your world when it comes to baking gluten free. The flour allows you to directly switch out all purpose flour in essentially any recipe. It’s absolutely amazing stuff.

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Photo Credit

butterbeer cupcakes

2 cups cup4cup all purpose flour
1 tsp gf baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butterscotch schnapps
1/2 cup cream soda (I used A&W)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Careful whisk them together.
3. In another medium-sized bowl, combine both sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until just combined.
4. Add half the dry ingredients, half the butterscotch schnapps, and half the cream soda. Mix well.
5. Add the second half of the dry ingredients, butterscotch schnapps, and cream soda. Mix until incorporated.
6. Transfer cake batter to cupcake pans, filling each liner about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
8. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
butterscotch schnapps frosting
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp butterscotch schnapps
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Yellow sugar sprinkles (optional)

1. Cream butter on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
2. Add the butterscotch schnapps and vanilla extract. Mix well.e
3. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time, starting on the lowest setting until the powdered sugar is mostly combined. Bump up the speed to medium-high. Mix well and scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix for two more minutes.
4. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Or if the frosting is too thick, add one tablespoon of schnapps at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round open tip. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
6. Sprinkle with yellow sugar sprinkles.
white chocolate wings
1 cup white chocolate chips, melted
parchment bag
Clear sugar sprinkles, optional
Parchment paper or wax paper
Stencils of wings (here & here)

1. Measure one cup of white chocolate chips and melt them according to the directions on the back of the package. Make sure you use a microwave safe bowl to melt the chocolate.
2. Let the chocolate cool for a minute. While it’s cooling, lay the stencils on a flat surface and place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper over them. You should be able to clearly see the stencils underneath.
3. Transfer white chocolate to parchment bag and snip off a tiny piece of one of the corners.
4. Trace the wings and immediately sprinkle them with the clear sugar sprinkles. If you wait until you’ve traced all the wings, the chocolate will probably be too hard and the sprinkles won’t stick.
5. Transfer the chocolate wings to the refrigerator or freezer for about 10 minutes. They should be solid enough to pick up.
6. Add the wings to the snitch cupcakes and enjoy!

He’s One!!

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This has truly been an exciting day but an emotional one at that.There is no greater moment in life than that of becoming a parent and this time last year I experienced that moment and I have been reminiscing of that special time all day long. I will never forget the wave of emotions that washed over me the second I heard his cry. We had gone through such a rough battle and to finally bring this beautiful boy into the world was absolutely incredible. It has truly been the greatest year of our lives. This child has taught us patience, strength, caring, and the meaning of unconditional love. He has brought so much joy into our lives and we are so great full that the universe chose us to be his parents!

Today we threw a proper first birthday bash for our little man. We invited all of our closest family and friends of course and the turnout was astounding to say the least. It is so amazing the love and support that we have from the beautiful people that surround us in our lives. The theme was a football theme relaying to the fact that the playoffs were on today. For dessert (because dessert should always be first) I made gluten free chocolate cupcakes, popcorn boxes, and football chocolate covered strawberries. I made a small smash cake for our little one to go crazy with, but he ended up eating the cake instead of smashing it (I guess he likes mommy’s baking). For lunch we had a chili bar equipped with hot dogs, fries, and baked potatoes for our guests to choose to put their chili on, as well as different yummy topping such as: cheese, sour cream, onions, and corn chips. This was super easy to do and the feedback from my guests made me think it was a success. The planning that commenced for this party made me think I was throwing more of a wedding than a birthday but overall it was an incredible day and one we will remember forever. Pictures of our party and the desserts I prepared are following. My advice to parents is to soak up every second of your little ones first year and those that follow. Time definitely flies by way to fast especially when you are having so much fun. If you have any questions on how I made anything please feel free to ask.

Happy first birthday little bug! We love you so much!


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Hello 2016!

2016

Hello all,

It’s been quite a while since I have made a blog post but one (there are many) of my new years resolutions this year is to begin blogging again as well as create a brand for my future Cami Cakes business. 2015 has been such a roller coaster year for my little family. We started the year off with the greatest joy of becoming parents and since then we have created so many beautiful memories with our little guy. It was definitely a year of growing for me, as being a first time mommy takes some getting used to. With the good there was also some bad. My husband and I each had some loss in our family. Between the two of us we lost three grandmothers, but the best thing we can do for ourselves is be grateful they had long lives and were able to meet the newest addition to the family.

2016 will again be another year of change for me. This year my resolutions involve focusing more on bettering myself as a person. Now that I am a mother, I want to make a point to lead by example. I want to be the best me I can be and in turn my goal is that it portrays back to my son.

To end this post I am going to leave you with this yummy recipe for champagne cupcakes from pizzazerie to cheers the new year. Enjoy!

To change this recipe to gluten free, I used Betty Crocker’s gluten free white cake mix.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes:
1 box gluten free white cake mix
3 large egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups dry champagne
1 teaspoon almond extract
For the Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons champagne
For the Decorations:
white sixlets
white gumballs
white pearl sugar sprinkles
disco dust
Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 °F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In an electric mixer, combine cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs, and almond extract. Beat on low for 30 seconds and then medium for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden on top (and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).
For buttercream frosting, cream softened butter until light and fluffy.
Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, incorporating after each addition. add champagne and beat for 2 minutes on medium, until light and fluffy.
If you want a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar. If you want a looser frosting, add more champagne.
Frost cooled cupcakes with buttercream and decorate with piped frosting bubbles using a big round tip and candy bubbles. Top with a shimmer of disco dust!

This is a picture of how mine turned out after making this recipe!

champagne cupcakes