Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Swiss Swirl Ice Cream Cake AKA My Baking Disaster

The July 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Sunita of Sunita’s World – Life and Food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home.

Unfortunately, my recipe was a complete bomb and not so much of a bombe (sorry, I couldn't resist).
Here's what it was supposed to look like:

Pictures from Sunita

The recipe called for homemade everything. I made the ice cream, without an ice cream maker. (I haven't tasted it yet, but that part appeared to work.)

Then I made the swiss roll cake and that's where everything went terribly wrong. The eggs didn't beat up like they were supposed to...I stood there for over 20 minutes and they just weren't getting the right consistency; I think my hand mixer maybe didn't have enough power or something (the recipe said prep should be about 10 minutes and I was already way past that). I decided to move forward anyway.

The recipe said that it should bake for 10-12 minutes. I didn't know if my oven temp was off, but it was not setting up at all...I had it in there for over 30 minutes. (See update below!)

I thought maybe it was supposed to be like that, so I took it out and tried to flip it onto a kitchen towel...but sure enough it wasn't done and it didn't work at all.

I've narrowed the cause of the failure to one or more of the following factors:

* I halved the recipe (but the ratios were the same so that should have been fine)
* The eggs didn't reach the right consistency before folding in the flour and chocolate (this is most likely the cause)
* My oven temp is off
* I maybe could have been a bit more focused on the recipe instead of trying to multi-task, but things have been so busy lately I had to squeeze it in on Sunday night to meet the deadline
***UPDATE: As I was finalizing this blog post I realized my error. I didn't see that the recipe provided two different baking temps (one C and one F). I obviously used the wrong one! Clearly I should not have been multi-tasking and should have read the recipe more closely.***
Oh well, you can't win them all :( And now I know. It's a rather embarrassing error, but these things happen in real life.

I'll have to revisit this recipe sometime in the future. Maybe after I get a stand mixer, I have a little more time and I set the oven temp correctly.

For those of you that want to take a stab at it, the recipe is below.
Swiss Roll Ice Cream Cake
(inspired by the recipe of the same name from Taste of Home)
For the recipe with step-by-step photos visit Sonita's site: http://sunitabhuyan.com/

The Swiss Rolls
Preparation time- 10 minutes
Baking time- 10-12 minutes
Rolling and cooling time- at least 30 minutes
Filling-5-8 minutes
Filling and rolling- 5-10 minutes
6 medium sized eggs
1 C / 225 gms caster sugar /8 oz+ extra for rolling
6 tblsp / 45gms/ a pinch over 1.5 oz of all purpose (plain) flour + 5 tblsp/40gm /a pinch under 1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted together
2 tblsp /30ml / 1 fl oz of boiling water
a little oil for brushing the pans
For the filling
2C / 500 mls/ 16 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, cut into small pieces of about ½ cm (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
5 tblsp / 70gms/2.5oz of caster sugar
Pre heat the oven at 200 deg C /400 deg F approximately. Brush the baking pans ( 11 inches by 9 inches ) with a little oil and line with greaseproof baking paper. If you have just one pan, bake one cake and then let the pan cool completely before using it for the next cake.
In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and sugar and beat till very thick; when the beaters are lifted, it should leave a trail on the surface for at least 10 seconds.
Add the flour mixture, in three batches and fold in gently with a spatula. Fold in the water.
Divide the mixture among the two baking pans and spread it out evenly, into the corners of the pans.
Place a pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes or till the centre is springy to the touch.
Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and sprinkle a little caster sugar over it.
Turn the cake on to the towel and peel away the baking paper. Trim any crisp edges.
Starting from one of the shorter sides, start to make a roll with the towel going inside. Cool the wrapped roll on a rack, seam side down.
Repeat the same for the next cake as well.
Grind together the vanilla pieces and sugar in a food processer till nicely mixed together. If you are using vanilla extract, just grind the sugar on its own and then add the sugar and extract to the cream.
In a large bowl, add the cream and vanilla-sugar mixture and beat till very thick.
Divide the cream mixture between the completely cooled cakes.
Open the rolls and spread the cream mixture, making sure it does not go right to the edges (a border of ½ an inch should be fine).
Roll the cakes up again, this time without the towel. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge till needed, seam side down.
The Vanilla Ice Cream
Preparation time-5 minutes+freezing
I have made the ice cream without an ice cream maker.
2 and ½ C / 625 ml / 20 fl oz of whipping cream
1 vanilla bean, minced or 1 tsp/ 5 ml/ .15 fl oz vanilla extract
½ C / 115gms/ 4 oz of granulated sugar
Grind together the sugar and vanilla in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, add the cream and vanilla –sugar mixture and whisk lightly till everything is mixed together. If you are using the vanilla extract, grind the sugar on its own and then and the sugar along with the vanilla extract to the cream.
Pour into a freezer friendly container and freeze till firm around the edges. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
The Hot Fudge Sauce
Preparation time-2 minutes
Cooking time-2 minutes
1 C / 230gms/ 8 oz of caster sugar
3 tblsp / 24gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tblsp /15gms/ 1 oz of cornflour/cornstarch
1 and ½ C /355ml /12 fl oz of water
1 tblsp /14gms/ 1 oz butter
1 tsp/5 ml / .15 fl oz vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornflour and water.
Place the pan over heat, and stir constantly, till it begins to thicken and is smooth (for about 2 minutes).
Remove from heat and mix in the butter and vanilla. Keep aside to cool .
The Chocolate Ice Cream
Preparation time- 5 minutes + freezing
2C/ 500 ml whipping cream
1 C/230gms/8 oz caster sugar
3 tblsp/ 24 gms/1.5 oz of natural unsweetened cocoa powder
Grind together the sugar and the cocoa powder in a food processor .
In a saucepan, add all the ingredients and whisk lightly.
Place the pan over heat and keep stirring till it begins to bubble around the edges.
Remove from heat and cool completely before transferring to a freezer friendly container till firm around the edges. If you are using an ice cream maker, churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instruction, after the mixture has cooled completely.
5. Remove from the freezer, beat till smooth and return to the freezer. Do this 3-4 times and then set completely.
1. Cut the Swiss rolls into 20 equal slices ( approximately 2 cms each ).
2. Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl in which you are going to set the dessert with cling film/plastic wrap.
3. Arrange two slices at the bottom of the pan, with their seam sides facing each other. Arrange the Swiss roll slices up the bowl, with the seam sides facing away from the bottom, to cover the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till the slices are firm (at least 30 minutes).
4. Soften the vanilla ice cream. Take the bowl out of the freezer, remove the cling film cover and add the ice cream on top of the cake slices. Spread it out to cover the bottom and sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze till firm ( at least 1 hour)
5. Add the fudge sauce over the vanilla ice cream, cover and freeze till firm . ( at least an hour)
6. Soften the chocolate ice cream and spread it over the fudge sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4-5 hours till completely set .
7. Remove the plastic cover, and place the serving plate on top of the bowl. Turn it upside down and remove the bowl and the plastic lining. If the bowl does not come away easily, wipe the outsides of the bowl with a kitchen towel dampened with hot water. The bowl will come away easily.
8. Keep the cake out of the freezer for at least 10 minutes before slicing, depending on how hot your region is. Slice with a sharp knife, dipped in hot water.

Good luck and be sure you have the right oven temperature set ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Cupcake Series VI

It is week VI of the Summer Cupcake Series, if you missed the first five weeks you can catch up with the links below:

Week I - Tropical Cupcakes
Week II - Watermelon Cupcakes
Week III - Cupcake Cones
Week IV - Grass Cupcakes
Week V – Glazed Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

This week we are taking a slight change in direction for the Summer Cupcake Series. I am out of pictures of past cupcakes I have made that are summer related and I didn’t have time to make any new summer inspired cupcakes this week.

So this week, I am going to point you over to Oprah.com to see these adorable Berry Pie Cupcakes from What’s New, Cupcake? By Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

Picture via Oprah.com (link below)

A friend (obviously someone that knows my obsession with cupcakes) sent me the link to these a while back and I love them. I wish I had a summer picnic to make these for, they are so much fun!

The picture and recipe are both at this URL: http://www.oprah.com/food/Bake-Sale-Pie-Cupcakes


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Personal Training Session #7 and #8

I'm a bit late in posting, but it was a very busy week! There's so much going on right now.

Session #7 was Wednesday last week, and the focus was split pretty evenly between upper and lower body. I'm not sure if that was the original plan or if that became the plan when I told my trainer I had to be able to walk the next day because we had our engagement photo shoot scheduled. Either way, it was a good workout...I was feeling much better mentally and physically focused than I had the week before. I was able to walk the next day, I actually felt pretty good overall.

Session #8 was on Friday. It also seemed to be a combo workout of upper and lower body, but with more abs/core exercises thrown in. I definitely felt the lower body workout on Saturday morning when I woke up.

My homework this week was to focus on adding in some snacks to my day to make sure I'm getting enough calories to fuel my workouts...I'm trying. If anyone has any good healthy snack ideas that pairs protein and carbs (preferably not super heavy snacks), please leave them in the comments, I could use some new ideas.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Cupcake Series V

It is week V of the Summer Cupcake Series, if you missed the first four weeks you can catch up with the links below:

Week I - Tropical Cupcakes
Week II - Watermelon Cupcakes
Week III - Cupcake Cones
Week IV - Grass Cupcakes

There's nothing more summer than lemonade. Unfortunately I don't have a lemonade cupcake to share, but I have something close...Glazed Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes.

Personally, I'm not a fan of lemon baked goods. However, I did like how these looked with the yellow cupcake liners, the glaze, and the lemon zest sprinkled on top. I made these with a gluten-free mix and a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze for a party that I hosted for my parents' anniversary a couple of years ago.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

My fiancé LOVES strawberry rhubarb pie, it’s one of his all time favorites and he rarely has an opportunity to have it. Last year I made him strawberry rhubarb crisp for his birthday because I didn’t have a pie plate. Until that time, I had never had rhubarb, but I ended up really enjoying the strawberry rhubarb crisp and so did the fiancé.

A few months back we passed the clearance shelves at a store and found a glass pie dish for $3. Remembering my excuse for not making pie, my fiancé bought it for me.

Not having a pie plate was a very convenient excuse for not making pies; truth is I was a little nervous about trying to make a pie. I had never made one before and I had this impression that pies were very hard and complicated to get right; everything from the dough to the filling was a potential disaster.

Since I no longer had my convenient excuse I figured it was time to face my fear and bake a pie…besides if the pie didn’t turn out it wouldn’t be the end of the world by any means. So I decided I would surprise my fiancé for his birthday for two reasons: 1) surprises are more fun on your birthday and 2) if he didn’t know it was coming he wouldn’t be disappointed if it didn’t work out and all he got was ice cream for dessert instead of pie a la mode.

I thought about using store bought pie dough, but I figured if I was going to jump into pie making I might as well go all in, so I went in search of a pie crust recipe. Thankfully I didn’t have to search far, Pioneer Woman has one in her cookbook, “Perfect Pie Crust”…Woo Hoo! If Pioneer Woman trusts the recipe and calls it ‘perfect’ then it’s good enough for me; she’s never let me down before. I did have a slight hesitation when I realized there was no sugar in the recipe and it was recommended for her Chicken Pot Pie recipe, but at the end it also recommended the recipe for dessert pies so away I went. (Another reason why you should always read the full recipe start to finish before you begin cooking.)

I don’t currently have a pastry cutter, so I improvised and used a couple of knives and a large fork instead. This is something I’ve done before with other recipes that called for a pastry cutter…I really need to get one soon though if I’m going to be making any more pies…hint, hint honey ;)

This pie dough does require a little planning ahead, just an FYI. I also didn’t get my dough to roll out quite as smoothly and pretty as Ree’s but it still worked and it ended up delicious and flaky…it really is a “Perfect Pie Crust”.

For those of you that have the cookbook, the recipe is on page 128. For those of you that don’t have the cookbook, what are you waiting for? Go buy one right now!

Now onto the filling, unfortunately I couldn’t find a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie via the Pioneer Woman. I set out to Tasty Kitchen and a few other online resources; but I didn’t find one that completely won me over. So I combined elements from a few recipes, along with the recipe from last year’s strawberry rhubarb crisp, and created a version I hoped would work. Sure enough it did work and it was wonderful!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Follow recipe on page 128 of Pioneer Woman Cooks

3 ½ - 4 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into ¼ - ½ inch slices (~1 ½ - 2 pounds rhubarb from the store)
3 ½ - 4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced (~ 1-2 16-ounce containers)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
a little lemon juice squeezed from ½ a small lemon

Egg Wash
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Prepare bottom of pie crust and place in fridge until ready.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place sliced strawberries in medium bowl. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over sliced strawberries and stir. Place sliced rhubarb in a second medium bowl. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar over rhubarb and stir. Let sit as you prepare and measure other ingredients.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Add in strawberries, rhubarb, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix together.

Begin rolling out top pie crust and cutting strips for a lattice top. Once you have the majority of strips cut, take the bottom pie crust out of fridge.

Pour the strawberry rhubarb mixture into pie crust. Cover the filling with the pie crust strips in a lattice pattern.


Cut off any excess dough and pinch the top crust and bottom crust together to seal. (I tried to make my border pretty with this trick I saw on Martha Stewart one time, but I obviously still need some practice in that area.)


You could save some time and just roll out the second pie crust and cover the entire top of the pie, just be sure to cut slits into it for the steam to get out.

Place pie plate on cookie sheet; it makes it easier to get in and out of the oven (it also avoids a mess in your oven if your pie bubbles over, but luckily mine didn’t!). Brush the egg wash over the crust.

Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking until crust turns golden brown and filling bubbles, about another 1 hour and 30 minutes (I might have left mine in there just a tad longer). Transfer pie to rack and cool.

Just out of the oven

Serve warm with ice cream or let it cool completely and serve on it’s own as a refreshing treat.


My strawberry rhubarb pie experiment was a huge success! My fiancé LOVED this recipe, probably more than anything else I’ve ever made him


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Birthday Dinner

My fiancé’s birthday was earlier this month and to celebrate, I made him a special birthday dinner with dishes I knew he would love:

Bacon and Steak Spinach Salad
Whole Wheat Baguette
Fontina Mac and Cheese
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie a la Mode

I’ll give the recap on the main meal today and follow-up with a second post on the dessert tomorrow.

Since I was trying out some new recipes I wanted the sides to be fairly easy and simple. I bought the whole wheat baguette from the grocery store bakery and threw together a pretty easy salad. My fiancé is getting a little tired of my spinach obsession, so his salad was not entirely spinach; I mixed in some lettuce for his version. But I thought the spinach was a great complement to the steak so I didn’t take it out completely. I used leftover bacon from BLTs I made earlier in the week and I actually even took a shortcut on the steak.

I knew that I might run behind if I tried to make steak on top of everything else and since steak wasn’t the main focus I decided it would be okay to buy steak that was salad ready. I actually bought a steak burrito at Qdoba for lunch and asked for the steak on the side; already cooked and cut up, bueno! I put the steak in the fridge until that night and then when I was ready I warmed it up in the microwave and then sprinkled it onto the salads. It worked great and I’m so happy I decided to go that route.

Bacon and Steak Spinach Salad

½ bag (approximately) ready to eat spinach
2 lettuce leaves (washed and torn into bite size pieces)
½ carrot (washed and peeled)
½ tomato
6 slices of cucumber
2 slices bacon
1 container of steak from a Qdoba burrito with steak on the side J
Salad dressing of your choice (I went with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette and my fiancé went with ranch).

Place the spinach and lettuce into two bowls.

Use a peeler to shave off long strips of carrot. Slice the tomato and cucumber into bit size pieces. Place the carrots, tomato and cucumber on top of the greens.

Break up the bacon into tiny pieces. Sprinkle bacon and steak over the tops of salad.

Serve with your choice of dressing.

One of my fiancé’s favorites is mac and cheese, but I wanted to do something a little more special than the usual homemade mac and cheese recipe. I found the perfect solution on Annie’s Eats; Fontina Mac and Cheese. Annie’s family also loves mac and cheese very much so she’s always coming up with new ways to put a spin on the classic dish.

I love Annie’s Eats…it’s one of my favorite food blogs. I have a very long list of her recipes that I’m anxious to try. You definitely need to visit her site if you have not already, it’s great.

Click here for the link to her site.

Click here for the link to her Fontina Mac and Cheese recipe.

Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the Fontina Mac and Cheese plated, but Annie's web site has a gorgeous picture.

It turned out great. The only comment I would add is that the Fontina cheese is very soft which made grating it a little tricky…but that was likely due to my tiny little grater but next time I will probably stick it in the freezer for a bit before grating. It was well worth the effort though.

Tomorrow I’ll post about the star of the show…Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Personal Training Session #5 and #6

Session #5 was Monday and it was another session focused on lower body. It was a good session, it was tough and I felt great afterwards, but I figured the pain would come later. Sure enough, on Tuesday my butt hurt; my legs actually felt good. Wednesday morning it hit my legs and I felt it in my hamstrings, just in time for Session #6.

Session #6 was today. I made it through, but it wasn't a great session. I haven't been sleeping well lately and I've had a bad headache since Monday afternoon; so physically I was exhausted and mentally I just wasn't all there. I considered rescheduling the session, but I didn't want to make excuses so I decided to suck it up. Thankfully my headache was gone before my session started, but the other factors definitely made things more challenging today than they should have been. I struggled with things that really should not have been that difficult.

Although there was one thing my trainer added at the very end today that was freaking hard and I think it would have been regardless of my physical and mental state...if any of you can do planks and/or push-ups on an exercise ball all by yourself, I'm IMPRESSED! Balancing on the ball and holding your body up are hard and my natural insinct was to push out the ball which pushed it away from me and caused me to lose my balance and fall; my trainer had to help keep the ball in one place for me and it was still hard!

We also did a check-in today, unfortunately there's no significant improvements to report, but to keep it positive and finish off on a good note... I am starting to feel stronger and it's been fun and encouraging to realize I'm capable of pushing myself further.

Summer Cupcake Series IV

It is week IV of the Summer Cupcake Series, if you missed the first three weeks you can catch up with the links below:

Week I - Tropical Cupcakes
Week II - Watermelon Cupcakes
Week III - Cupcake Cones

I know you already saw these, but I couldn't leave them out of the Summer Cupcake Series - green grass is summer!

For the full posts on the grass cupcakes visit these previous posts:

Grass Cupcakes (also includes Extra Special Buttercream recipe)
Party Post: Adorable Ladybugs (includes pictures of the finished grass cupcakes)

The possibilities for grass cupcakes are endless! You can use them for sports cupcakes...baseball, football, golf, soccer, etc. You could make a little fondant blanket and picnic basket to put on top for a picnic cupcake. You could put flowers or bugs or animals in the grass. The list could go on and on. If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in the comments section.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cookie Pizza? Fruit Pizza? Cookie Fruit Pizza!

So, the fiancé and I disagree slightly on what this creation is called. I originally referred to it as a Cookie Pizza. My fiancé thought a ‘cookie pizza’ was just a very large cookie the size of a pizza, like at Old Chicago’s or Papa Murphy’s. He said it should be called a Fruit Pizza. In my mind a fruit pizza is a normal pizza crust with a fruit filling topping and icing drizzled over the top, like the apple and cherry pizzas you sometimes see at Pizza Hut buffets.

I searched online to try and find some recipe titles that would prove me right, unfortunately, most of the recipe titles for this type of creation sided with him. However, in my mind a fruit pizza still has a true pizza crust. So I’m going with Cookie Fruit Pizza, it is much more reflective of what the end product actually is.

Cookie Fruit Pizza

1 package refrigerated sugar cookie dough (or you could mix it up with whatever your favorite cookie dough is…chocolate chip walnut for example, chocolate and nuts go great with fruit)
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
8 oz tub of frozen whipped topping, thawed (you could try some of the flavored frozen whipped topping options as well)
Variety of favorite fruits for the topping*
¼ cup white sugar
pinch of salt
½ tablespoon cornstarch
¼ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 cup water
¼ teaspoon orange zest (optional)

*I like strawberries, kiwis, mandarin oranges, star fruit, blackberries, and raspberries…I tend not to use bananas unless I’m serving the pizza right away but that seldom happens so I usually leave them off (supposedly you can dip banana slices in lemon juice and they won’t darken, but I haven’t tried it),. You can use whatever your favorites are though…pineapple, peaches, oranges, etc.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out cookie dough and place onto pan (you can use a pizza pan or just make a rectangular Cookie Fruit Pizza with a normal cookie sheet pan). Don’t worry if you don’t get the dough perfect or it tears while placing into the pan, just cover up any holes or thin spots by smushing on some extra dough wherever needed.

Bake the cookie crust for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool.

In a large microwave safe bowl, soften the cream cheese with a couple of quick zaps in the microwave (there are usually time instructions for softening on the cream cheese package). Sir the cream cheese to make sure it is all the same consistency.

Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese. Spread mixture over cooled cookie crust. At this point you can place the crust into the fridge until you are ready to top it with the fruit (this can be done in advance if you want to save some time before a party).

Take your selected fruit toppings, slice and/or peel those that need to be sliced and/or peeled. Arrange the fruit on top of the pizza however you would like – in a circular pattern, in straight or diagonal lines, in shapes, in letters, etc. Place the Cookie Fruit Pizza back into the fridge.

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar, salt, corn starch, orange juice, lemon juice and water. Place over medium heat and stir regularly until it comes to a boil. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes after it comes to a boil or until the sauce has thickened a bit. Remove from heat. If you are using the orange zest mix it in at this point. Allow the mixture to cool, but don’t leave it for too long or it will set-up and you’ll have to start over. Take the Cookie Fruit Pizza out of the fridge and use a pastry brush and brush the sauce over all the fruit. (I usually don’t end up using all of the sauce, I like just enough to have a thin glaze over the fruit, but use as much as you like based on your preference.)

Place the Cookie Fruit Pizza back into the fridge and chill until ready to serve (can chill for as little or as long as you like…anywhere from 2 minutes to 2 hours).

Cut and serve.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Personal Training Session #4

Session #4 was yesterday...today I can barely walk.

Before we got started, my trainer asked how my arms were doing...at that point they were a little sore. Today, however, they hurt. I'm not sure if my arms should be feeling worse...it's been 3 days since they took a beating in Session #3. (I'm planning on trying a heating pad this evening, maybe that will help.)

Not that it mattered how my arms were doing since she had planned a lower body workout. It was a very tough set of exercises, but I made it through.

My trainer gave me some 'homework' to do before next week when we meet - two cardio sessions. I asked if I could do one on Thursday (today) and she laughed...at that point I should have realized what I was in for. She recommended that I 'wait and see how I felt, but I'd probably only be able to take a casual walk around the neighborhood'.

I know that I will be very happy with all of my sessions and the results they bring, I'm even pretty happy now with the sessions and that I'm being pushed and challenged, it's a good feeling...except today. Today, my muscles are not just sore, they hurt, everything aches and I'm pretty sure my body hates me right about now.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer Cupcake Series - III

It is week III of the Summer Cupcake Series, if you missed the first two weeks you can catch up with the links below:

One of my favorite summer sounds is hearing the ice cream truck; it just doesn't seem like summer without ice cream. (I'm not a huge ice cream fan, but I do it enjoy it from time to time.)

In honor of ice cream as a long standing summer tradition, I wanted to share with you my Cupcake Cones.

I made these about 4 years ago for a friend's birthday.

Cupcake Cones

1 box mix or recipe for your favorite cake
~24 ice cream cones (with a flat bottom so they can stand up)
2 cans or 1 recipe of your favorite icing
Your favorite ice cream toppings (sprinkles, nuts, coconut, etc.)

Make the cake batter according to mix instructions or recipe.

Place the cones in a cupcake pan (if they have a flat bottom they should stay standing, however if you're worried about moving the pan and having them fall you can scrunch up some foil and place them in each cup of the pan around the cone for extra support).

Fill each cone with batter about 1/3 to half full. Because most cones are skinnier on the bottom the cake should bake up to fill the top of the cone, but if you fill it too full the cake will bake over the sides of the cone (you can do a test cone first if you're worried about overflow).

Bake according to mix intstructions or recipe for cupcake times. Let cool.

Once the cupcakes are cool, you can start decorating. I filled a pastry bag with icing and I used a larger star tip to get the ice cream swirl effect, but you could use any size or shape tip you prefer. (You don't even have to use a pastry bag, you could just use a spatula to ice the cupcake cones. I just prefer the swirl look.)

On top of the icing, sprinkle on your favorite toppings. I just used colored sprinkles for half of mine and left the other half plain. But you really could use anything, whatever your favorite ice cream topping is, just sprinkle it on top of the icing (although, hot fudge might not work so well).


These are great for parties for any age because they are so fun and festive. Plus with these you don't have to worry about the hot summer day melting away your dessert (unless it's so hot the icing melts, but then you probably should find some shade and get out of the sun anyway).


Personal Training Session #3

Today's session went really well.

My trainer started off by asking how I felt and if I was sore. I told her I was a little sore, but it was better than a few days ago and I was feeling pretty good. She followed up with a question about whether my arms were sore. Telling her that just my legs and core were sore may not have been the best idea...she definitely focused in on my arms today, with a few leg and core exercises thrown in.

My arms now feel like jell-o, but overall I feel good, we'll see if that's still the case tomorrow :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Personal Training Session #2

My second personal training session was yesterday.

It was tough.

I didn't throw up :)

My legs felt like jell-o at the end.

Today I'm feeling muscles ache that I didn't even know I had, but I still got my 'homework' done (cardio on the elliptical).

Looking forward to a day off tomorrow, then back with my trainer on Monday.