Baking A King Cake

Carnival season is in full swing here in New Orleans and king cakes are for sale everywhere! When I was living in Boston I really missed Mardi Gras and king cakes, so one year Zander and I decided to try baking one. I meant to post a recipe and photos to the blog but never got around to it even though I took pictures of the process. So I’m resurrecting the photos for y’all today! It came out pretty messy and lopsided, but it tasted great and made me miss home a little less!

Baking A King Cake From Scratch

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Colored Sugar

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Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Rubbermaid and Sharpie but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RubbermaidSharpie  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO
Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar

The Super Bowl is less than a week away y’all! I’m bummed that the Saints didn’t make it this year, but I still like to watch the big game for the commercials and as an excuse to throw a party! I love a good Bloody Mary while watching football but a Bloody Mary Bar is even more fun and perfect for a party since everyone can customize their own drink! You can make your own Bloody Mary Bar in a few simple steps.

Bloody Mary Bar Sign with Sharpie Markers

As a fun backdrop, roll out a big piece of kraft paper and use Sharpie markers to write out all of the ingredients you’ll be offering your guests. My friend Ashlee did the drawing while I prepared the ingredients. The new brush tip Sharpie worked really well for the lettering.

Bloody Mary Bar

Next you’ll need your main ingredients; vodka and Bloody Mary mix. My favorite mix is Zing Zang and I also like to have hot sauce, worcestershire, Tony’s and celery salt incase anyone wants to doctor it up. Then the fun part, your garnishes! I have to include pickled spicy beans in my Blood Mary and some other garnishes I like are green olives, celery, lemon, lime, cherry tomatoes, pickles, bell peppers and pickled okra. Some people get real crazy and add shrimp, cheese cubes and even bacon!

Bloody Mary Bar Ingredients

Put out some toothpicks and each of your garnishes in Rubbermaid storage containers for easy access. This also makes cleanup super easy on you!

Bloody Mary Bar Ingredients Sign

And here’s some exciting news for all you Target lovers: they offer mobile coupons! From January 25th to February 8th text the word COUPONS to TARGET (type TARGET in where you would text to a phone number) and you will receive $1 off both Rubbermaid Storage Containers and Sharpie 4 pack or larger! Do you have any party plans for the Super Bowl?
Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you.

The Font Feast Presents Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothie Recipe Inspired by Raleway Font

It seems like eating better is at the top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution list, and really, it’s no wonder. I think a brand new year inspires us to find our best selves, and after the treats and sweets and snacks of the holidays, everybody is ready for fresh, healthy foods. I’ve been having smoothies for breakfast every single day (okay, fine, except Saturdays and Sundays) since January 1st, and I’m really liking this change! It gets me eating breakfast, which we all know is the most important meal of the day, and gives me the chance to load up on fruits and veggies and superfoods and vitamins, and all that good-for-you stuff. We’ve done a little experimenting here and there over the past two weeks, and this Kale Berry Smoothie is my favorite smoothie creation to date. It’s packed with goodness (Kale, people!), and is sweet and delicious.

I have to admit that I chose a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek font to go with these smoothies: Raleway. You probably don’t get the connection yet, so let me explain. Raleway is a great all-purpose font, smooth and sleek, and it comes in lots of weights, ranging from Heavy to Thin. See?? It goes perfectly with healthy smoothies and New Year’s resolutions!

Kale Berry Smoothies

Kale Berry Smoothies inspired by Raleway Thin

1 banana
1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
kale (I use 3 big black kale or dinosaur kale leaves.)
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
100% apple juice (I start with a generous splash and work up from there.)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir as necessary. You will still see blackberry and raspberry seeds, but you shouldn’t have any visible green bits.

P.S. Ciera was over on Lulu the Baker last week sharing what it’s like in her kitchen, check it out!

The Font Feast Presents Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

homemade hot cocoa mix with candy cane

I’ve never been particularly high-brow about my hot chocolate. Give me a box of Swiss Miss and a pot of boiling water and I’m good to go. I could drink cheap cocoa all winter long and be perfectly content. My husband, on the other hand, is a bit of a hot chocolate snob. When we were first married, he bought himself a little cookbook full of really legit, high-class hot chocolate recipes from all over the world; he loves to make “real hot chocolate” and turns his nose up at most hot cocoas. So it came as a shock to me when I made him cocoa the other night using a favorite recipe from my childhood and he said, “I love this hot chocolate!” My Nana used to make us this cocoa mix when I was little, and we’d keep it in an absolutely massive jar with a Santa face painted on the side. It makes me happy that this bit of my childhood has passed the cocoa test in our house with flying colors and gotten two enthusiastic thumbs up from everyone, even the cocoa snob!

I paired this Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix with a fun, retro font, Remachine Script. It reminds me of a Christmas party from the swinging’ 60’s, complete with ugly sweaters, turtlenecks, and cocoa!

homemade hot cocoa mix with candy cane

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix inspired by Remachine Script

32 oz Nesquik
1 lb powdered sugar
16 oz powdered coffee creamer
25 oz powdered milk
1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa

Combine all ingredients in a really enormous bowl (or the largest soup pot you have) and stir until well combined. Store in an airtight container. To make hot cocoa, combine 1/2 cup hot cocoa mix with 1 cup boiling water. Stir, and top with whipped cream, mini marshmallows, or crushed candy canes!

The Font Feast Presents Gratin Dauphinois

gratin dauphinois recipe

My family is really big on food traditions. We always have the same thing for dinner on St. Patty’s Day. We always have the same thing for breakfast on Christmas. And the Thanksgiving menu never changes. Without fail, we have mashed potatoes and gravy with our turkey, and they’re always delicious. BUT. These Gratin Dauphinois, which are really just scalloped potatoes with a fancy French name, are pretty irresistible, and would make an amazing addition to any Turkey Day menu. They’re actually a long-time family favorite, filled with butter and cheese and hints of garlic. If only I could talk my family into a potato upgrade…

For potatoes with such a fancy name, I needed a font with lots of oomph, and Baker Script is a perfect fit: rustic yet elegant, lovely and legible.

scalloped potatoes on plate

Gratin Dauphinois inspired by Baker Script

1 1/2 cups milk
3 lbs waxy potatoes, unpeeled (I like Yukon Gold or Klondike Red)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 heaping cups shredded cheese (whatever kind you want)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. While waiting for the milk to simmer, thinly slice the potatoes. We’re talking THIN slices, like 1/8″ thick. I use a mandolin for this and it’s a breeze. If you don’t have a mandolin, just slice them with a sharp kitchen knife. Lightly spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick cooking spray. Scatter half of the potatoes evenly over the bottom of the pan. Drizzle half of the melted butter over the top (2 Tablespoons), and sprinkle on half of the salt, half of the pepper, and half of the garlic powder. Top with 1 heaping cup of shredded cheese. Repeat layers. When the milk has come to a simmer, pour it evenly over the top of the cheese layer. Bake for 40 minutes, or until deeply golden and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Electrolux Live Cook-Off Recap

Zander and I always watch cooking shows at home, so a live stream cook-off sounded super fun and it was! In case you missed it live earlier this week, I’ve got a recap for you, or you can watch the full cook-off here. They had three amazing chefs, Phoebe Lapine, Jennifer Perillo, and Camille Becerra, prepare the same dish, on three different types of cooktops – electric, gas and induction. The challenge was to make Pan Roasted Cauliflower and see which came out the best.

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Camille who was on the electric cooktop had to preheat since electric takes longer to come up to temperature while Phoebe and Jennifer didn’t have to preheat. The induction was ready in about 3o seconds and at the end of the cook-off it was determined that it was the most responsive and had a clear edge over the others.

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The live-stream audience got to pick who they thought had the best presentation of their final dish and Camille won with her Pan Roasted Cauliflower cooked on the electric cooktop. Personally I thought that Jennifer’s looked the best!

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I really didn’t know anything about induction cooktops before this event, but they seem pretty awesome!

  • An induction cooktop can boil water in just 90 seconds
  • During the cook-off the induction cooktop heated up in about 30 seconds where the electric cooktop had to be pre-heated.
  • Induction stays cool to the touch since it uses the pan as the heat source, what?!
  • They also shared a little trick with us… if a magnet sticks to a pot or pan they will work for induction! If not, you can get a diffuser to use so that you can still use your favorite pots and pans.

What kind of cooktop do you use? I have always had a gas stove but I’m dying to try an induction cooktop now!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Influenster. Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.