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Monday
Aug112014

Cinnamon Roll Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recently, Pillsbury sent me a roundup of their "State Fair-inspired" recipes. When I opened the email, I almost clicked my heels in delight: therein was a fantastic collection of recipes ranging from churros on a stick to deep-fried candy bars to pizza cones. OMG! 

But this one, I simply HAD to share. Cinnamon roll waffle ice cream sandwiches! I mean, seriously. There's no wrong in that recipe, only right. And lots of right. 

Here's the recipe; for the others mentioned, click on the respective links above. Here are some process shots they sent me, so I don't have to disrupt the flow of the recipe to share them with you.

Cinnamon roll waffle ice cream sandwiches

15 minutes active, 30 minutes total; makes 5

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 can Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Supreme refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (5 rolls)
  • 2 1/2 cups ice cream, any variety, softened slightly
  • Powdered sugar
  • Assorted candy sprinkles, if desired

Procedure

  1. Heat Belgian-style waffle maker. Grease generously with oil. Separate dough into 5 rolls; spoon icing into small resealable food-storage plastic bag, and set aside.
  2. With serrated knife, cut each cinnamon roll in half lengthwise; grease both sides of dough with oil, and place 1 or 2 at a time (depending how many fit without touching) on waffle maker. Close waffle maker.
  3. Bake 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until cooked and golden brown. Using wooden kitchen utensil, carefully remove to cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cinnamon roll dough, greasing waffle maker and dough each time. Cool waffles completely.
  4. To make sandwiches, with ice cream scoop, add about 1/2 cup ice cream to center of 1 waffle for bottom, and top with another waffle. Cut corner of icing bag, and pipe icing on top of each waffle sandwich; sprinkle with powdered sugar and candy sprinkles. Serve immediately, or place in freezer until ready to serve.
Sunday
Aug102014

How to Fix Common Watercolor Calamities

A guide to fixing watercolor mistakes

If you've ever painted in watercolor, you know that it's a minefield of potential calamity: colors becoming muddy by mixing when you don't want them to, accidentally dropping your brush, so on, so on. These things don't mean you need to toss out the entire painting, though. Here's a guide to how to fix common watercolor mistakes.

Saturday
Aug092014

How to Make Buttercream Even Better

Buttercream. There's no part of it that is wrong. I mean, a word that consists of the two parts "butter" and "cream"...what's not to love? But even as perfect a foodstuff it is, there are some ways to make it even better. I've put together a nice roundup of simple ways to elevate and flavor your buttercream for extremely delicious results. Read the full article here.

Friday
Aug082014

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Reading cookbooks as history. Unlock the past, deliciously!

If I ever have kids, I hope they are like these kids who launched a "Candy Unicorn Mini-Mart".

Would you eat an ice cream sundae in a can?

I think it's time to add to my United States of Ice cream compilation. What's your favorite place to get ice cream? Either comment on this post, the post linked to, or send me an email. 

In case you missed it: a dessert you never ever have to share.

Would-be robbers don't get money, but do get some doughnuts.

Ombré ice cream pops. Don't you want one right now?

An interesting little background on the story of one of the most important food volumes there is.

Sausage and apple pie. Dinner, or dessert? Depends on if it's a la mode, I suppose.

I would like someone to throw me this exact Hello Kitty themed party, but for my 33rd birthday instead of my first.

Mistakes happen. However, if your mistakes are in watercolor, I can help you fix them.

You all know how devastated I was to hear of the closing of Angel Food Bakery in Chicago. BUT the story is not over: the owner is now offering classes in how to make her bestselling treats!

Speaking of Angel food, the cake, not the bakery, here's an interesting insight into its history.

Book of the week: Fix It In Foil. This book is all about foods that you can grill (or bake) nestled in foil. Because if you enjoyed my cakes grilled in orange shells, the dessert chapter in this book has awesome ideas along the same lines...s'mores burritos? Banana boats? Apple crisp? Yes, yes, yes. 

Wednesday
Aug062014

Postcards from Puerto Rico, Volume 1

Seaglass paintings

Greetings from sunny Puerto Rico, my sweet readers! I don't know if I have ever told you this, but my parents have a house here, in the lovely beachside town of Rincón. I realize that this might make us seem wealthy or something, but it's really not like that. My dad, who has been a surfer since his teens, scrimped and saved and was able to make this house happen. Isn't that cool?

Casa rosa

While that is inspiring, that is not the point of this post--it's just to explain why I am here. It's a nice and quiet place to spend time, write, and do artwork. 

Puerto Rico

I have been doing a ton of work on my potential memoir (as referenced in this post), and have been really pleased with the result so far. 

But that's not all I've done, so I thought I would share a few snapshots of the tasty times I'm having. Consider it a virtual series of postcards, from me to you!

I mastered a yoga pose I've been trying to get for weeks, just in time for my dad to capture a beach shot. Woot! A huge thanks goes to my teacher Leia Hays for helping me master this one.

 

I did a series of "dessert confession" illustrations with all of my dessert-y quirks. Dessert Confessions Dessert Confessions

And even though per my "confessions" I am often underwhelmed by panaderia offerings, there is a treat in Puerto Rico that is always an exception...we get ours at La Rincoeña...Downtown Rincon, Puerto Rico

The treat I speak of is cupcake-sized macaroons known as "Besitos de coco". They are made by a local wholesaler and are available at many of the bakeries. They're rich as all get-out. I love them.

Macaroon

After my dad left, I decided to bake a cake, a sort of adaptation of basbousa, but made with olive oil for a mediterranean feel. It came out quite well, and I shared some with my neighbors.

Olive Oil Cake

On a rainy afternoon, I did a series of teeny tiny paintings on seaglass. 

Seaglass paintings - puerto rico Seaglass paintings - Puerto RicoSeaglass paintings - Puerto Rico Seaglass paintings - Puerto Rico

While going to the aforementioned panaderia, we had noticed a new bakery in town, called Dulcis Vita. They do more American-style cupcakes and cakes. I went back a few days later, and I got an Oreo cupcake and some chocolate cheesecake.

Cupcake, dulcis vita, puerto rico

Living up to my "dessert confession" I put salt on the cheesecake before devouring. Was it ever good. I was impressed by both the cheesecake and cupcake. Very good, better-than-mom-made type of stuff.

Dulcis vita, Puerto rico

I checked out the art walk downtown, which was very sweet. One of my favorite sights was a truck that pulled up to sell lanterns. It looked like a truck full of rainbows, and it made me smile.

Art walk, Rincon, Puerto Rico

I did a series of "sweets and yoga poses" illustrations, just for fun.

Yoga

And, OK, yes, there was maybe a tropical cocktail involved somewhere in all this.

So, you're getting the idea behind my tasty adventure in pretty Puerto Rico. If you'll excuse me, I need to go to the store to pick up some supplies to make my own besitos de coco...stay tuned for the recipe next week!

Happy summer!

Tuesday
Aug052014

How to Make Ombré Ice Cream Pops

Make your popsicles, well, pop--with a fantastic gradient of color. This lovely specimen is made with layers of vanilla, French vanilla, coffee, and chocolate ice cream, and tastes sort of like the best parts of a mocha frappuccino in lickable form. Here's how to make them.

Monday
Aug042014

Single Serving Dessert: Microwaveable Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

To some, the idea of a "single serving dessert" seems sad. Like, poor you, you don't have anyone to share dessert with.

I don't find single serving desserts sad at all. I see it as a definite reason not to have to share. It only makes one! So you can see, it's a decision that you can make to treat yourself and no one else. The recipe which follows is for a quirky little single-serving chocolate cake which you can make in the microwave. I stuffed mine with hershey's kisses so it would be a little gooey inside, but you can do whatever you want, from topping it with ice cream or fruit (if you're into health food) or even some buttercream frosting

If you started to feel panicky there, don't: you won't be sharing the toppings either.

If this all sounds quite terrible of me, so be it, but I wasn't planning on sharing dessert with you anyway.

I'm going to try something a touch different today and put all of the photos before the recipe, so that if you want to follow the recipe, you can easily follow it without picture breaks. Which way do you prefer? 

All right, here we go.

Next time you're feeling greedy and want something all for you that nobody else can have, here's how you do it. 

First, you'll mix up a couple of wet ingredients.

Then you'll add some dry ones and mix til it's smooth.

If you want, add a generous handful of (unwrapped!) chocolate candies such as Hershey's Kisses.

Then you'll put the bowl you mixed it in right in the microwave for a few minutes. It will puff up and pull away form the sides of the bowl. Actually, it will kind of look ugly. But...

Go for it. Don't share. What do you think?

Single Serving Chocolate Cake in a Bowl

Makes one

  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • a handful of chocolate candies

Procedure

  1. Mix together the sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla in a bowl. And by "a bowl" I mean the one you indend on microwaving. Use one with decently high walls, so that the cake has room to rise.
  2. Add the flour and cocoa. Mix until incorporated. Add the milk and mix until smooth. You can use a fork, spoon, or mini spatula for this.
  3. Fold in the chocolate candy.
  4. Put the bowl in the microwave and heat on high for 3 minutes (if you know your microwave is a lower powered model, go four minutes. It will puff up, and then deflate once removed from microwave.
  5. What are you waiting for? Top it, if you want to, and eat.

What's your favorite dessert to not share?

Sunday
Aug032014

What a Difference a Medium Makes

What's your favorite way to color in your artwork? Here's an exploration of several of my favorite ways. You might be amazed at what a difference the medium in question can make on a finished piece. You'll learn mroe about how to make your art come to life with this fun roundup. Read the full article here.

Sunday
Aug032014

Tips for Adding Emotion to Illustrated Characters

Let me tell you how to make faces. With your art, I mean. Learn my secrets here!

Friday
Aug012014

Baker's Dozen: A Batch of Sweet Links!

Oreos smiling

Salt and pepper cookies: sort of like fancied up homemade oreos.

I tried to make a dull subject (perspective in art) exciting and cute. Did I succeed?

Donut doubt my devotion to these holey treats.

I'm in Puerto Rico right now, so I'm enjoying these plantain recipes in their natural element.

Although this is from 2008, this is an interesting piece on the phenomenon of shrinking ice cream cartons in stores.

I was expecting more from this collection of houses that look like cakes, but I like the idea.

I also like these cakes inspired by real buildings!

In case you missed it: a fun donut activity to distract you from work.

Add some color to your life with this exploration of ways to color in your illustrations, written by *me*.

Individual apple crisp recipe. You know what that means: it's all for you.

If you need a little Christmas, right this very minute...snowballs are tasty any time of year.

Peanut dacquoise with peanut butter mousse and glaze? I am so down with this.

Post of the week: 10 Commandments of Guilty Pleasure Desserts.

How to make buttercream even better. Yes, it's possible!

How to make cake in a mug in the microwave.

Book of the week: Peeps: Recipes and Crafts to Make with Your Favorite Marshmallow Treat. I mean, I'm just happy that the book exists, but all the better that it has adorable crafts that expand your peeps artistry beyond torturing the things in the microwave. Peeps sushi, anyone?

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