St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cake

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! There isn’t a dessert I love more than a delightful Rainbow Cake with fluffy, homemade Butter Cream Frosting! Don’t shy away from creating charismatic cake, it’s not as hard to make as you may think it is. If I can make it, you definitely can!

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow CakeTo Create Your St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cake, You Need:

  • Six 9-inch cake pans
  • Vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg whites (no yolks)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple gel food coloring

To Make the Buttercream Frosting, You Need:

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 bag (2lb) powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons milk

How to Make A Rainbow Cake:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Coat each cake pan with shortening and then line the bottom of each with parchment paper. Brush again with shortening and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl then set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, slowly mix the sugar and butter together using a handheld electric mixer. A great tip on slow mixing would be to add small increments of each at a time, then combine and repeat.
  4. Next, slowly incorporate the egg whites until well combined and then mix in the vanilla.
  5. Now combine your flour mixture in small increments with the milk by beginning with the flour and ending with the milk until everything is well mixed.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into six bowls. Add yellow, orange, red, violet, blue, and green food coloring to each their prospective bowls and mix until combined. Pour each color into a separate cake pan and bake for 15-15 minutes.St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cake 1
  7. To make the Buttercream Frosting, mix the shortening and butter with an electric mixer. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Then, add in the milk 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.
  8. Once the cakes are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes.
  9. After they’ve cooled, remove them from the pans.
  10. Place the first layer (violet) on your desired serving dish and frost the top and sides with a spatula.
  11. Repeat the stacking and frosting of each layer until you’ve reached the top. St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cake 2
  12. Smooth the top and outer layers of frosting with a spatula one final time.

Cut a piece of cake and serve!

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cake 3Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a Style Expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning”, and features “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.

Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor

Post by Giulia Doyle, photographer and blogger at Audrey’s
Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter DecorIs the snow melting where you live, the sun a little stronger and happy spring feelings in the air? Ready for a little Easter fun – some whimsy and punches of colour? Well, the Land of Nod sent me some fun Easter products to try and the Meri Meri Easter paper goods are wonderful – just a little cheeky and with a punch of neon color. I loved everything they sent me.Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 3To go with all the fun plates, cups, garland, baskets and bunny ears, I decided to make lemon sable cookies dipped in chocolate with the fun Meri Meri Easter cookie cutters. Not only are these cookies fun, but the recipe is easy to make, versatile and dipping things in chocolate is always a good idea.

 

Chocolate Dipped Lemon Sablé (French Shortbread recipe adapted from Le Cordon Bleu)

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150 g butter at room temperature
  • 95 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 vanilla bean (pod)
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • 280 g of flour
  • 2 g salt
  • 100 g of dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • royal icing and sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Mix butter with powdered sugar until fluffy. Add egg and whisk well.
  2. Cut and scrape vanilla bean. Add seeds to dough and mix.
  3. Add lemon zest and mix.
  4. Add flour in small amounts and mix. Add salt and mix.
  5. Wrap dough in plastic and store in fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350F.
  7. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut shape and place on parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until edges are golden.
  9. To decorate, melt chocolate gently in microwave in 15 seconds intervals. Add cream and stir until you have a smooth glossy texture. Dip each cookie into chocolate, let excess drip off and place on parchment to dry and add sprinkles. Add royal icing details if you want.

Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 5Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 7Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 9To add to our small dessert table we also made a lemon loaf cake. Again, easy to make in advance, keeps well, simple to transport and just as perfect as a dessert or a breakfast indulgence. You could also use the recipe for muffins and use the Easter cupcake liners and toppers available.

Lemon Loaf (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Serving Size: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • Zest of 2 lemons, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1-2 cups of icing sugar
  • Milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Butter and flour two 4 1/2-by-8-inch (6-cup) loaf pans.
  2. In a small bowl (or liquid measuring cup), combine buttermilk with lemon zest and juice. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in poppy seeds.
  4. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three parts alternately with the buttermilk mixture in two, beginning and ending with flour; beat just until smooth (do not over mix).
  5. Divide batter evenly between pans. Smooth tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 1 hour and 10 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan. Turn out cakes onto a rack; cool completely before glazing.
  6. Make glaze by combining 2-4 tablespoons of milk with icing sugar until you get the consistency you like. You want it to drip but not be too watery. Add lemon juice if you want.
  7. Set rack with cakes over a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Pour glaze over cakes, letting it run down the sides; let dry, about 30 minutes. (I also added leftover royal icing from my cookie decorating.)

Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 11

Are you hosting on Easter? Any great plans? I know I’ll be pulling out all of these great details to celebrate the day.

Easter Sweets Recipes & Easter Decor 13Giulia Doyle blogs at Audrey’s. She loves to share the sweet and savory, be it in the kitchen or travels. She juggles a family and a full-time job – they cook, travel and often paint a wall a new color.

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cupcakes

Post by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow CupcakesThere is no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with a batch of colorful Rainbow Cupcakes! These cupcakes will be the hit of any St. Pattie’s Day party and impress all the kids, and Mom’s too, in your child’s classroom.

To create these fun St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Cupcakes, you will need:

  • Gluten free yellow cake mix (regular will work too)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Vanilla frosting
  • Green food coloring
  • Rolo’s
  • Airhead Xtremes

How to make them:

  1. Start by cutting ¼ off of the Airhead Xtreme and continuing to do so with however many rainbows you will need. Take the larger pieces that remain and position them over a glass bowl, then pop them in the freezer. This will create the rainbow shape!
  2. Then, in a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, and butter. Mix until smooth.
  3. Next, Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Line the cupcake tin with liners and spoon in the cake mix so they are ¾ of the way full. You don’t want them to overflow! St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes 1
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until the cake springs at your touch.
  6. While the cupcakes are baking, mix the vanilla frosting with green food coloring until they are well combined.St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes 2
  7. To check if your cupcakes are done, insert a toothpick into the center of a single cake and see if it comes out clean. If your toothpick is clean, remove the cupcakes from the oven and set them aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Once they are cool, frost your cupcakes and use a knife to create two small slits on opposite sides of the top of the cupcake.
  9. Remove the Airdhead Xtreme rainbows from the freezer and insert each end in the slits on the cupcake. Place a Rolo at each end of the rainbow (each one is a pot of gold!)

These colorful and delicious Rainbow Cupcakes are ready to be eaten!

St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes 3Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a Style Expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning”, and features “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.

Meal Planning with Kids

Post by Adrienne of Susie Makes Supper

020515-cooking-with-kids“Mom, what’s for dinner?” used to be the question that I loathed most in the world. I knew that regular meal planning could save me sixteen unnecessary trips to the grocery store each week. Even so, the thought of actually sitting down and creating a meal plan remained overwhelming.Meal Planning with Kids 2

The sheer volume of writing about meal planning does not make the actual planning any easier. Most often, meal planning is a pretty solitary experience. Gather your recipes. Make a list. Make a schedule. I know very few meal planners who engage their families in the process of meal planning. The truth? It is amazing how much easier meal planning is (and how many fewer meal time battles you will suffer) when everyone is included in the process. This does not mean resigning yourself to hot dogs and mac and cheese every night. Believe it or not, you can feed your family healthy, simple meals by planning them together.Meal Planning with Kids 3

Let me let you in on a little secret. Kids love the kitchen. Do you know what else they love? Kids love to eat whatever it is that they cook. The same enthusiasm is true of meals that kids plan. Here are a few great ways to get started meal planning with kids:

  1. Develop a meal planning template specific to your family. You don’t need to cook something different every night. There is a reason that Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday are both popular things on the Internet. Who doesn’t love a taco? It is perfectly ok to jump on the theme night bandwagon for a few easier planning options. Better yet, pick a category of cooking for each weeknight that works for your family. Sports practice on Wednesday nights? Try making Wednesday your slow cooker day. Tend to lose your steam in the kitchen by Thursday? That makes Thursday an excellent night for leftovers. You can chose a theme that is as simple as a single ingredient (chicken or pasta) that everyone in the family likes.
  2. Make a “Family Favorites” recipe list. Over dinner one night, ask each member of your family to identify their favorite meals. Make a list (or better yet, a binder) of all of those favorite recipes to keep handy. Once or twice a week, you can incorporate a family favorite into your meal plan. (Friday Family Favorite Night? I think yes.)
  3. Incorporate Kid Choice Night. This can be as simple as letting one of your kids chose a vegetable, side, or main dish for your meal. Even better, let them chose the whole meal. This is a great way to teach your kids the practice of a balanced plate. Multiple kids? Great. Every Monday night, one of them gets to pick the menu. Four kids? Perfect. You’ve got a month of Monday nights covered.
  4. Breakfast for dinner is a thing. And it is very good. I haven’t met a kid yet who won’t scarf down eggs and bacon and French toast when served for dinner. Serve breakfast for dinner with a fruit (and spinach) smoothie and you are on your way to Mom of the Year.
  5. Head to the library. Kid-focused cookbooks come in all types. The best way to start with kids’ cookbooks is to borrow them from the library to get a feel for whether your kids like the concept and whether you like the recipes. Most recently published kid-centered cookbooks are good at including meals that are both healthy and kid-friendly. Many kid-focused magazines (also available at the library) also include recipes geared towards kids. Kid cookbooks and magazines are an excellent way to introduce new types of food.
  6. Order from your local CSA. The scary thing about ordering a produce box from your local CSA is that you never know what is going to be in it. The fun thing about ordering a produce box from your local CSA is that you never know what is going to be in it. Order that your produce box then create a family challenge to use the ingredients.
  7. Hand your kid a cookbook and a pad of sticky notes. When all else fails, hand your kid any cookbook in your kitchen or even a food magazine with a pile of sticky notes. We have tried more recipes than I can count using this method with our teens, and some of those recipes are now on our family favorites list.

Meal planning with kids can be stressful but it can also be fun. The successes can be huge when kids are involved in the kitchen and the failures can be memorable. Most important? Have fun. Enjoy the meal as a family from start to finish.

Have any more great ideas to get kids engaged in the kitchen? I’d love to hear them!

Adrienne is a compulsive list-maker with a very busy family and a not very clean house. She’s also a planner and a recovering perfectionist. Adrienne blogs at Susie Makes Supper, where she gives weekly meal plans and shows her successes and failures in the kitchen.