Week in Review (4/9-4/13)

Hey hey hey there Friday! Lookin good, there. Pretty fantastic week here at Beautiful Disasters. Let’s recap…

Monday I shared with you guys my First Ever Guest Post! I made a delicious Triple Chocolate Birthday Cake in honor of my sister’s birthday (which was in March), and posted it over on The Heritage Cook. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you definitely should, because that thing was dee-lish! Chocolate gone wild.

I also got my prom dress!!! I was pretty nervous that it was going to be like IMPOSSIBLE to find one that I like under $400. yes, that is a 4 with 2 zeros behind it. Prom is expensive.

Tuesday I got to get out of school early, so our team could make it to our game in time. Good deal!!!! We won :)

Wednesday I showed you guys the yummy Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes that I brought to Ren Hen. YUmmm. I’m probably just about the only person in the world who would bring cupcakes to a bakery. But hey, the owners like them and I love bringing my stuff to them for them to try! A post on my visit will be coming soon :)

Thursday I had another game. Third one of the week. We lost, but put up a great effort and were all exhausted

Friday was my Bloggie’s Birthday!!! My blogiversary, if you will. So exciting! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since this whole shebang started. It’s crazy to see how far everything has come, yet there is always so much to look forward too. I want to thank each and every one of my readers for your amazing support, loving comments, pins on pinterest, and everything else you guys do that just makes me smile. You guys are great, and you make blogging the fun it is. It’s so nice to have this as an outlet so I’m not stuck talking to myself about all these crazy things from bugs to couples eating eachothers’ faces off. So in honor of the big day, I made you guys what seemed to make the most sense. Super Duper Funfetti Mini Layer Cake. Maybe my titling of recipes could use a little work?

Today I have my FOURTH and final soccer game of the week. High school soccer season is cray cray.

Random Fact of the Day: Over 340,000 liposuctions were performed in the US in 2008

Happy Birthday Beautiful Disasters!

It’s been a whole year! Seriously can’t believe it. One year ago from today I posted this. “y’all”…really? Who do I think I am? Woody from Toy Story? I’m from the Midwest. I live 30 minutes from Chicago. Y’all and I don’t mix. Anywhoooo..

There are a couple things that have gotten better (as an addition to my improved word choice-I’m no thesaurus, though!..yet). One of the things that have stuck out the most to me is the improvement of my photography. I’ve never taken a photo class. I do not pay for some fancy schmancy photo editing program (although, I am thinking about it for in the future!). But I do have a wonderful mother who allows me to borrow her big, nice Nikon camera.

With that Nikon camera, a few tips from other blogs, and a little bit of help from photobucket.com, my pictures have gone through a few changes. Let’s look at the progression…

oh yeah, and there of course have been several DISASTERS. Capital D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R-S! Somehow I managed to once totally mess up a boxed brownie mix…?

Dum Dum DUUUUUM.

And then there was a pretty nasty looking first attempt at making toffee.

trying to spread chocolate on the separated butter and sugar, can you say FAIL?

So clearly I have learned a lot along the way. I’ve learned that going to bed before midnight, is a real accomplishment, foodgawker will cause you to literally want to eat your computer screen, REAL sunlight is the best way to take a picture, eating too much cookie dough will make you not even want to think about eating a baked cookie, some bloggers are just unbelievably amazing and I have NO idea how they do it (like Jess or Jenny), and that commentors can truly make your day.

You readers are one of the biggest motivations EVER. I love you all, and I feel like I truly have gotten to know a few of you. It’s amazing to see what incredible people you can meet through blogging. It’s always fun to connect with a fellow baking nut. You can never have too many baking buddies!! Or cooking friends, I like cooked food…occasionally. Like mac and cheese. Yumm… anybody wanna comeover and fix me some? I got cake.

Funfetti cake, in fact. It’s adorable. It’s delicious. It’s sweet. It’s got sprinkles out of the wazoo. It’s food blogging on Beautiful Disasters at its finest.

So here you go, a mini funfetti cake to thank all my wonderful readers, family, friends, and supporters for making this first year of Beautiful Disasters possible. It’s been a fun first year and I’m ready for the journey to continue! Now let’s eat cake.

Mini Funfetti Layer Cake

1 box cake mix, prepared**

1/4 cup oblong sprinkles (“jimmies”)

  1. Prepare cake mix according to directions on box. Preheat oven to temperature suggested on box. This is usually 350 degrees F or 375 degrees F. (Maybe I make cake too much.. this isn’t normal information for an average person to know)
  2. Bake in small, greased cake pan. I used a 4 inch oven-safe ramekin. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  3. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack for an additional 20 minutes. Stick in fridge to make cutting in half for layers easier.
**NOTE: I poured the amount of prepared cake batter into my ramekin and then put the rest (which was a LOT ) into a plastic baggy and popped it in the fridge. This is perfectly safe. Whenever you want to bake a cake or cupcakes, you can just put the bag into the fridge and let it soften and get to room temperature, snip off a corner of the bag, then pipe into cupcake molds or into a cake pan! Bake as you would according to directions on back of box.

Funfetti Whipped Cream Frosting

1 cup heavy cream

2 Tablespoons powdered sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons oblong sprinkles (“jimmies”)

additional sprinkles, if desired for decoration

  1. In mixer, whip heavy cream with powdered sugar for about 5 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. It should take on the look and consistency of regular whipped cream (go figure!).
  2. By hand, fold in sprinkles.
  3. Cut cake in half, to form two thinner circles or disks of cake. Spread whipped cream on bottom cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining whipped cream on top and on the sides of the cake to frost. Sprinkle additional sprinkles, if desired.

that up there is just so you can see how tiny and adorable this little cake is!

Random Fact of the Day: The first cell phone call was placed in New York City in 1974 on a Motorola Phone that weighed over 4 lbs.

Week in Review (4/2-4/6)

Hey there April, welcome! This week on Beautiful Disasters…

Monday I showed you guys the High Protein Energy Balls. Super yummy and perfect for a quick bite. I loved having these around to just pop in my mouth before practice or have a couple before a big game. Great tasting, and pretty darn good for ya :)

Tuesday we had our first conference game of the soccer season and won 6-2. Awesome start to the season! Always fun to jump out with a big win to boost your confidence.

Wednesday I showed you guys the cheesy garlic drop biscuits I made. Super duper easy and pretty tasty. I love that you can totally change this basic recipe to whatever spices and ingredients you want in there. You can really spice these guys up by adding any herbs or spices you like, different cheeses, BACON, peppers, chocolate, you know…whatever works.

Thursday we had another soccer game…against the 3rd best team in the nation. We ended up losing 3-1, but hey, I think that’s an alright fight against 3rd in the country. It’s no win, but we did stop their shut-out streak!

Friday was a pretty great day! I had no school, I got to visit the wonderful kitchen of Red Hen and see where all the magic is made! My brother also came home for the weekend from LA!! Oh yeah, and I shared this yummy grilled honey chicken recipe with ya. Awesome for the grilling season, which is thankfully right about here! (hopefully I didn’t jinx myself there. You never quite know with this crazy Chicago weather)

Week in Review (3/12-/16)

Looky here, another week in the life of Beautiful Disasters! It warmed up a bit this week, thank goodness! Loved every second of this amazing weather, even the rain. I’m a total sucker for rain and could literally just sit in the rain and be happier than ever.

Monday I shared with you guys a delicious pasta recipe I made that tastes JUST LIKE lasagna! It’s crazy good and you must make it. It’s ones of those meals that just sticks to your ribs and fills you up like any good meal should.

Tuesday I had my LAST doubles session of the season for soccer. Praise the Lord!! Phew. Those two-a-day practices are killer! They do however get me super pumped up for the season and all the fun times we have. High school soccer is probably the most fun, exhausting, draining, hilarious 3 months out of the school year. Love it!

Wednesday the little Garlic Monkey Breads that I made for the Lasagna Linguini came out. I was so happy to get to try these. I’ve always been a little curious about making some sort of savory monkey bread and these were perfect with the pasta!

Thursday I enjoyed the wonderful weather we’ve been having around here lately. Can you believe it’s been in the 70s?! In Chicago?! I seriously think somebody needs to pinch me.

Friday I showed you guys the cupcakes I got to make! Let me tell you, these cupcakes were SUCH a treat for me. It had been so long since I got to make any treat, due to my family’s traditions during Lent. I got to make these for my parents for when they went to one of their friends’ house for dinner. I got to get a little taste just to be sure they were “safe” ;). Let’s just leave it at that they definitely passed the test.

Random Fact of the Day: In New York City, approximately 1,600 people are bitten by other humans every year.

Chocolatey Meringues

I’m pretty new to meringue. My first time making them was actually last weekend.

Honestly, they just freaked me out. That’s what was holding me back. I mean how stiff do they want their stiff peaks? What’s a soft peak? It’s all greek to me…

Anyways, I just decided to wing it and try a couple recipes that sounded pretty tasty to me. One of the things I learned, is that you can really be pretty creative with these and just add in whatever you like, kind like chocolate chip cookie base. It’s really just gonna turn out the same.

mine had the strangest texture!! Liquidey..?

This recipe seemed realllyyy strange to me when I first saw it. I mean it originally says to keep the cookies in the oven for 3 HOURS! Sure, meringues are definitely not like the normal cookie, but 3 hours just seemed way too out there. 

And…I. was. right. 

You really just need to bake these for the first hour. Really, just until the middles are a little bit soft. You might need to get your magical touch on and get your finger in there to test it out. Then again you could probably do with just a toothpick. But I just thought of that, and that would totally lose all the excitement, right?

Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Meringue Drops

(adapted from allrecipes)

2 egg whites

1/2 c. white sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

3 T. cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)

1/2 c. mini (or regular) semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 240 degrees F.
  2. Beat the egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar white continuing to beat until they hold soft peaks. Mix in the vanilla and cocoa on low speed, then fold in chocolate chips by hand. Drop by teaspoonful onto baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  3. Bake for 45minutes-1 hour in the preheated oven, or until set and centers are slightly soft. Remove from pan and store in airtight container.

Random Fact of the Day: In 2003, there were 86 days of below-freezing weather in Hell, Michigan.

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