Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Italian Cream Cake - Soo Yummy!!

This past Friday, Grandpa Inspiring turned 82.  Saturday we had a birthday dinner in his honor. 

I did something pretty risky!! 

I tried a new cake recipe - and it was DELISH!!

Incredibly Delicious Italian Cream Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cut shortening (I used Crisco butter flavored sticks)
2 cups granulated (white) sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cut butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp light cream (I used half n half)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three 9-inch round cake pans with spray and then flour the pans. 

In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.  Mix in the eggs, buttermilk mixture, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup coconut, baking powder and flower.  Stir until just combined.  Pour into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 mins, or until golden brown and cake tests done.  Allow to cool in pans 5 minutes then turn onto wire racks and LET COOL COMPLETELY.

To make frosting:  In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 tsp vanilla and powdered sugar.  beat until light and fluffy.  Mix in a small amount of cream to attain the desired consistency.  Stir in nuts and coconut.  Spread between layers and on top and side of cooled cake.

When I made this Saturday, I didn't allow it to cool enough.  I mean, it wasn't hot by any means, but... it wasn't completely cool.  So I put it together, and to keep it from sliding, I put tooth picks in it.

That didn't help.

The frosting slid around in the car........  kind of oozed......  So I had to fix it.  I did and it was ok...

Actually, it was very yummy and Grandpa loved it. 

There was only about 1/4 of the cake left.  Saturday night, when we got home, I put it in the fridge.  Sunday, it was even better!!! 

I found this recipe here!  The website is From Karen's Kitchen and she has TONS of cake recipes.  Actually, she's got all kinds of recipes!!

I'm definitely going to visit her again!!

Let me know if you try this or any of her other recipes!!

Have a great day!!

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm linking here:
A Diamond in the Stuff

Sunday, February 19, 2012

WHAT Was I Thinking?????

To sum that question up?   Easy!!   I WASN'T!!

Never again will I be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of having Pizza Hut delivery pizza.  I will never again be able to call Mr. Inspiring and tell him I want Dominoes........  I will never again get to enjoy having hot fresh pizza delivered to my door.

I ruined it and it's nobody's fault but my own......  

So here's how it happened.........   Thursday night, Ms. C and I were discussing what we'd like to have for supper Friday.........  I mentioned I was in the mood for home made pizza........  I usually got one of those Martha White pizza crust mixes that you add a half cup of water to the mix, knead it for a bit and then voila, you have a 'fresh' pizza crust.............  Who knew that HOME MADE pizza crust was as easy as that?  And that it tastes SO MUCH BETTER than anyhing else???  Not me!!  Friday afternoon, I got a wild hair up my....    and decided to look for home made crust recipes online.  They didn't look too hard.....

Well, I went to the grocery store after work and got the necessary ingredients.  When I got home, instead of pulling up recipes on the internet, I pulled out one of my Taste of Home cookbooks. 


mmmmmmmmmmmm      AAHHH-Mazing!!!

AAHHH-mazing Pizza Crust

2 pkgs (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups warm water (110 - 115 degrees) divided
4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 1/2 - 7 cups all purpose flour

In a medium bowl, empty both yeast packages and add sugar and salt.  Add 2/3 cup of the warm water and stir to disolve.  Add 1Tablespoon olive oil.  Let sit for about 5 minutes so the yeast gets good and 'frothy'.  Then add 2 more Tablespoons olive oil and the rest of the water.  Stir to mix. 

Transfer mixture to bowl for stand mixer and using your dough hook, mix 5 cups of the all purpose flour.  Beat til smooth.  Add enough of the remaining flower to form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and eleastic, about 6 - 8 minutes.   Grease a large bowl with the remaining olive oil.  Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and then a towl.  Place in a warm area of your kitchen to rise until doubled - about 1 hour. 

Punch down and divide.  Roll out with rolling pin.  Transfer dough to pans and form an edge all the way around.  Spread out pizza sauce and top with your favorite ingredients and cheese.   Bake in 425 oven for approximately 25 minutes.

** Notes....  My first batch of this dough, I divided it into 3 portions.  I made 3 pizzas using 1 large Pampered Chef round stone and 2 of the rectangular Pampered Chef Stones.  The edges puffed up and were chewy.  The edges would have been excellent to stuff with cheese    I divided my second batch of this dough into 4 portions.  I put each portion into a zip top bag and put them in the freezer.  This morning I got out 2 of the portions  and put them into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan.  I warmed my oven up to 200 dgrees and when it reached that temperature, I turned it off.  I put the pan the dough was in into the oven with a bowl of water that I had just boiled.  Fast thaw and it was awsome.  The dough was stickier than when I first made it so I turned it out onto a floured surface and kneaded it again.  I made 2 pizzas, one on the big round stone and one on one of the rectangle stones. 

Also - - please know that you can not knead bread dough too much.  Dough loves to be kneaded (don't we all??? *wink* *wink*) 

Here's what ingredients I used for the pizza you see in the picture.

Cheap off-brand pizza sauce spread all over
pieces of Provolone cheese spread all over
pieces of thin sliced ham
browned ground beef (I added salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano when I browned it)
browned bulk sausage
chopped onion
chopped green pepper
covered with shredded mozzerella cheese

And that is how I ruined my chances of ever having pizza delivered to my house ever again.........

So now I'm going to have to find a recipe for Domino's Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes because I don't believe I'll be able to not have them in my life...........

Hope ya'll had a wonderful weekend!!  Mr. Inspiring is really enjoying himself everytime he reminds me that he doesn't have to work tomorrow and I do..........

Hugs ~~ Suz

I'm Linking to these Parties:

A Diamond in the Stuff

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Linky Party Hop!!!

Cheri from It's So Very Cheri is hosting a blog hop ~~ but it isn't just any 'ol blog hop!!


Thank you, Cheri!!!

Many of you have probably already heard that

GOOGLE Friend Connect will go away

on Feb 29 for any one that is not with blogspot
but rumor has it that it is being completely phased out for everyone soon


there is good news
There is a NEW awesome tool–Linky Followers
It has so many amazing features (that GFC never had). If you have not signed up you should. (yes you can have both.) I love the new tool so much and want everyone to enjoy all the new features.
…and did I tell you its super easy and FREE!
What better way to celebrate a fun new blogging tool than to have a party
so break out your poodle skirt and saddle back shoes cuz’ we’re having a LINKY FOLLOWER PARTY HOP


1. you MUST have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool on your site to participate.

If you see that your link has been deleted you need to add the LINKY FOLLOWER tool to your site and then come back over and re-enter your link
{You can have both the LINKY FOLLOWERS & GFC on your site but you must have the LINKY FOLLOWERS tool to participate in this party hop.}

2. You MUST follow the person who has the party on their site as a thank you.

3. Just add your blog button to the LINKY PARTY below.

4.Then grab the BLOG HOP code

You will find the code right under the Linky Party where it says CLICK HERE TO ENTER
just under that it says: WHAT IS A BLOG HOP? GET THE CODE HERE
Click on GET THE CODE HERE and enter it into a post on your site.
You can grab the party button code in the FOOTER at Its So Very Cheri
You can grab info from my post if it helps you with your post.

5. Then you follow other bloggers–(as many as you want)
–leave each one of the blogs that you follow a comment letting them know you are following them and ask them to follow you back.

If you want to add the BLOG HOP to your own site you will get lots of new followers(see rule #2)
Its So Very Cheri has and will continue to visit every entry-I try to leave comments but this party has had so many entries and in order to get to everyone I had to change things around. I will come by to make sure you have the Linky Follower tool and follow you. If I mess up and forget to come over and follow you please leave me a comment and I will come back over to do so. You will see my button in your list of followers.

…So do ya want to go Cruisin’?

I plan on HOPPING from BLOG to BLOG to follow everyone who follows me.

If you would like to participate in a fun PIN party head over to the DIY Club and enter the monthly PINNING Party.
This is a Blog Hop!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Out With the Old!!

I didn't Post this!!  Why not???    Who knows??  I think I'm still suffering from my ADD......  And since we haven't had much of winter weather ...... YET..... I'm pretty sure I've got Spring Fever, too!!!

Anywho.....  We changed out our front door a couple of weeks ago and I love it!!

The original door was a steel door that I did a faux wood grain on 6 years ago or so....  I did a great job, but unfortunately, when we installed the door, we only installed the door and used the old casing and hinges and stuff..... and over the years, the screws stripped out, the door caught on kinds of stuff, you had to lift the door up to close it right..  it was a mess.......

Oh, yeah - - did I mention that because I didn't SEAL it, it faded???  I promise, when I first did it, it looked great. 

So Mr. Inspiring and I purchased a new door to install, and this one INCLUDED the casing.  And I volunteered to do the faux wood grain again...  AND I sealed it!

He just had to learn how to install it.  And discovered that YouTube is a wonderful avenue to learn by, not to just watch stupid videos!!

And now that I've gotten this far in this post, I realize that I don't have a picture of the door actually INSTALLED....    See what I mean??  ADD/Spring Fever - - I'm so sure of it!!! 

Anyway - - the door went in very well.  I used my cricut and cut out house numbers out of vinyl.  My neighbor across the street sent me a text message the next day  "Suz - - I LOVE your new door!!"  I said, "THANK YOU!!  I do, too!!"

Faux wood graining is very easy!!  My biggest tip on it tho:  Make sure you are using the correct stain for your application.  I accidentally got gel stain instead of regular stain, and it worked, but it took FOREVER to set/dry......  Regular stain works much better.    The faux wood tool is really cool!  Your local hardware store/paint store should carry the tool.    You paint the stain on the door, and then run the tool through it, rocking it as you go.  Play with it!  You can achieve very realistic effects! 

Thanks for stopping by!  And I promise I'll try to post more often this month!! 

Oh yeah - - Mr. Inspiring took the old door to the curb for the trash to pick up.  Later that day, when I went to stand out in the yard and admire the new door, I saw the old door laying by the curb, all by itself, looking so lonely............  and I walked out to it, staring at the oval window...... with the pretty leaded glass that catches the light and sparkles like crazy....  and Mr. Inspiring saw me looking at it..... and I guess I must get kind of a glazed over look on my face when my mind starts creating things...............  because he came out with a screwdriver, and without a word............ removed the glass from the door and put it in the garage.....   He's learning!!!!   And I just love him so much!!   I am one lucky girl!!!

Hugs ~~ Suz