Thursday, March 31, 2011

Behind the Apron TIP: Say "cheese plates"!

Don't forget the cheese!! 

Team Lola Pearl is in love with all things cheese. Each one of us has our favorite, whether it is Cambozola, smokey pepper cheese, or a sharp Canadian cheddar. We tend to devour it, but when your at the store, plan on 3 oz per person, (or more if you want to try to save some for yourself after!!) Mix things up with textures and origin. Not sure? Ask for a sample!! 

Remember, if you are going to serve it, you should remember where it's from! Chances are that you have tooth picks and paper around your house. Tape strips with the names of the cheese and where it is from for easy identification.

Adding sprigs of parsley and marinated olives bring this plate and the fun to another level!  Pin It

Friday, March 25, 2011

DIY idea: "Mallow-cakes"! Super kid-friendly fun!!

This is a fun way to solve two pesky problems that comes with kids and cupcakes: food allergies and those who only eat the frosting!! (You know you're out there!)

The idea came to me one day when my five year old, dairy-free, nephew was helping me make buttercream. It broke my heart to hear him shrug "I wish I wasn't allergic to milk anymore!" So, I did what any loving Auntie would do, and promised him his own batch of frosting.  :)

Out came the shortening and the wheels started turning. We chose to tint the frosting blue, but what could we put it on that would work in place of cake? Since my darling nephew typically eats only the frosting of the cupcake, (who's child is he?!) I knew it had to be something easy and aplenty.... 


We cut them in half (to make them little mouth friendly), piped the frosting, et voila! 


We had a great time making these sweet treats. It was adorable seeing him proudly serve the family his new creations, and isn't that what baking is all about?!  <3

What you need: 
Dairy-Free Vanilla Frosting** (recipe below)
Pastry bag and tip
Marshmallows (not mini) 
Mini cupcake or candy liners

Step 1:
Cut the marshmallows in half (width-wise)

Step 2:
Place sticky side down onto liners. (This is will make your life easier when frosting!)

Step 3: 
Frost your "mallow-cake"!
 Step 4: 
Apply sprinkles! 
Step 5:
Share and enjoy! 

**Dairy-free vanilla frosting recipe:
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup shortening, like Crisco
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons soy milk

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening, salt, and vanilla, until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar gradually, beating after each addition. Add soy milk one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth and at desired spreading consistency.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

DIY RECIPE: Irish Soda Bread

If you're planning a traditional corned beef and cabbage meal this holiday weekend, don't forget the soda bread! This recipe for homemade soda bread is sure to impress your guests!
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups sifted flour
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 cups dark raisins or currants
1-1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk
1 to 2 Tbsp melted butter

Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Add enough buttermilk to make a dough, mixing with a fork until the ingredients are moistened.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 1 to 2 minutes or until well mixed. Shape the dough into a large ball and place either on a well-greased baking sheet. Flatten the dough into a 7-inch circle and cut a 1/4 inch X in the center.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when rapped with knuckles. Remove the loaf to a wire rack and immediately brush with the melted butter.

Let stand until completely cooled before slicing. Enjoy!
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Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
This chocolate cake was filled with Irish cream frosting - yum!
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Leprechauns love gold cakes

'Tis the season of helping the wee little Irishman find his pot of gold....How about a gold cake instead?? 
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrity Post: Mardi Gras Cupcakes!

To celebrate Fat Tuesday, here's a picture sent in by loyal LP fans, Jonas and Madalyn!
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Happy Baking!
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