Strawberry Margarita Cake

Strawberry Margarita Cake

I made this cake for the first time about four years ago.

 

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My boyfriend at the time was working in a managerial position for Claire’s corporate, and I had somehow ended up as the official cake baker for his employees birthdays. They quickly caught wind that I enjoyed turning alcoholic drinks into baked goods so besides for this Strawberry Margarita cake, I also made a White Russian cake and my classic Irish Carbomb cake.

strawberry margarita cake

When it showed up on my Timehop, I knew without a doubt I had to make it again. Fortunately I had the perfect excuse, it was my mothers birthday on the 2nd and she had requested a Mexican theme for the food. So, along with our Crock-Pot Enchiladas (for which I made my own red enchilada sauce), we had a taco bar, margaritas, chips and guacamole with the most perfect avocados I’ve seen all season, Cream Cheese Things, Tomato Basil Mozzarella apps,  Coconut Macaroons, and this cake.

strawberry margarita cake 2

As you can see from the photos, the frosting looks a little suspect. Not only was it very warm in the house which exasperated the situation, but I had somehow run out of powdered sugar and it was just too late to get any more. I experimented with using a little corn starch to try to thicken it up, but it didn’t work like I had hoped.

strawberry margarita cake 3

If you use as much sugar as you’re supposed to, you’ll have a nice fluffy frosting on your hands like my picture from four years ago.

Strawberry Margarita Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 16 people
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks room temperature (or hurriedly microwaved) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons lime zest (about 4 limes worth)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup non-alcoholic margarita mix
  • 2 Tablespoons tequila
  • Tequila Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoon Tequila
  • Frosting:
  • 8 oz room temperature Cream Cheese
  • ½ cup room temperature salted butter
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, blended
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 Tablespoons non-alcoholic margarita mix
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • Special Supplies:
  • Stand Mixer
  • 2, 9" Cake pans
Instructions
  1. Cake:
  2. reheat the oven to 325 and butter and flour the inside of two 9" round cake pans.
  3. In a small bowl sift together the flour salt and baking powder.
  4. In the bowl of stand mixer with a paddle attachment, blend the butter and granulated sugar on medium low until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape down the sides and one at a time add the eggs.
  6. Scrape down the sides slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Do not over mix.
  7. Scrape down the sides and add the lime zest, milk, margarita mix and tequila. Mix until combined. If you feel your batter is too thick, add more margarita mix.
  8. Divide and pour equally into the prepared pans and place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean from the center. Rotate the pans once halfway through baking.
  9. When they're done, remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the cakes from their pans as carefully as possible and set flat side up on some cooling racks. Brush the tops of the cakes each with a quarter of the tequila glaze.
  11. When your frosting is ready, cut the first cake in half and place the glazed half down onto your plate or tray. Frost this layer generously.
  12. Place the second half of the cut cake, cut side up on top of the frosting. Brush with ¼ of the remaining glaze and allow it to soak in for a couple of minutes.
  13. Frost this layer generously.
  14. Approach the second cake in the same way, cut in half, put the cut half on top of the frosting, frost, place the last half on top, glaze, and then frost.
  15. At this point you're ready to frost the rest of the cake. Be generous with your delicious frosting.
  16. Decorate with freshly sliced strawberries and a twisted lime slice right on top.
  17. Glaze:
  18. When you cakes are about ready, prepare the glaze by mixing the sugar, water, and tequila in a small bowl with a fork or a whisk until fully combined and smooth. Set aside until needed.
  19. Frosting:
  20. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, place the butter and cream cheese and whisk on medium until blended and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  21. Add the lime juice, blended strawberries, and margarita mix, whisk for another 2 minutes.
  22. Add the powdered sugar slowly, scraping the sides of the bowl every now and then, until the frosting is at your desired thickness.

The frosting is a little week, but still delicious. However, the cake itself is amazing; super moist and tangy and delightful. You could forgo any alcohol or even margarita mix, and just use it as a zesty lime cake!

Crescent Ring Sandwiches

Crescent Ring Sandwiches

Mark doesn’t often request a particular food, but when he does we see what we can do.

He saw this intriguing Italian Hero Crescent Rings on Reddit and we decided to take it a little father.

italian ring

Not only did we make the Italian Hero with a few tweaks, we also made a roast beef and cheddar that was insanely good.

italian ring 2

 

These were super quick and easy to make with a lot of flavor.

italian ring baked

It’s a great take on classic sandwiches for dinner or lunch.

italian ring baked 2

 

Italian Crescent Ring Sandwiche
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • ½ cup well drained roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
  • 8 slices provolone cheese, halved
  • ⅓ lb deli sliced hot salami
  • ¼ lb deli sliced ham
  • ¼ lb deli sliced capocollo
  • ½ cup well drained hot pepper rings (from a jar)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark or nonstick cooking sheet).
  2. Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 8 rectangles. On ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap; half of each rectangle will hang over edge of pan. Dough ring should look like a sun.)
  3. Spread roasted red bell peppers toward center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer salami, ham and capocollo slices over cheese. Arrange pepper rings over top. Cover with remaining half of cheese.
  4. Bring each dough rectangle hanging over side of pan up over stacked filling, tucking dough under bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around sandwich until entire filling is enclosed (some filling might show a little). Sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices.
Notes
We used three different kinds of salami, pepperoni, and nixed the ham.
For the beef and cheddar sandwich, we soaked about ¾ of a pound of roast beef in an au jus overnight, and then drained it well before putting it on the sandwich. We then topped that with a very meltable cheese dip.

 

A Very Meatbox* Valentine

We had a delightfully meat-filled Valentine’s Day in the Qwerty household. Brie spotted a Groupon for a box full of amazing, meaty deals – a variety of filet mignons, pigs in a blanket, lobster tails, chicken fried steaks, twice baked potatoes, cheese cake, and more. There were three different options, and between all of us, we managed to get one of each box.

Here’s Adam unboxing one of them:

Video Transcript

Welcome to WTF Came in the Mail! (Grunts) It’s a big box. This is my cheat sheet of what’s in here,  let’s see if we can figure it out just by looking. Oooh, that’s CHILI! (Reads) “Goodbye dinner time stress, hello fresh?” I already have a veggie box, so I don’t need that. (Reads) “It’s cooler to recycle.” Thank you. That’s just more advertisements. There we go! STEAK SEASONING. These are gourmet franks, I think? $40 gift card for Hello Fresh, but I have one of those. More advertisements. What are these? WHAT ARE THESE? Stuffed sole fillet. Stuffed with… stuffed with scallops and crab meat. An unconditional guarantee that my steaks are steaks I guess? And not… rabbits. Oh. We got beef top sirloin steaks. We can get through these quicker. Maybe not. This one is sealed differently than the others. Beef tenderloin steaks with more guarantees. Ground beef burgers. No guarantees! There are NO guarantees these are ground beef burgers. Hmm? Pork loin chops, boneless. Boneless pork loin chops? What are these? Oh, caramel apple tartlets! No guarantee. And finally, I think, Omaha Steakhouse fries. With a different kind of packaging that makes me open it a different way. OK. And nutritional facts. For all the stuff in the box. And all the stuff not in my box? And an empty ice box. Now I gotta find somewhere to put all of this food. (Sighs). Well, that has been WTF Came in the Mail: frozen meat edition. See ya next time!

—–

Here’s a terrible photo of my plate – with lobster tail, asparagus, twice-baked potatoes, pigs in a blanket, chicken fried steak, what’s left of my steak, and steak fries.

food

And here’s a video of all of it (including a homemade fondue bar for dessert). Glimmering and glorious.

Video Transcript

Adam: This is a lot of food. Baked potatoes, asparagus, chicken fried steak, steak steak, lobster, cheese cake, little piggies in their blankets, steak fries. Now it’s gonna provide it’s own light. Marshmallows, apples and bananers, cookie dough balls, CHOCOLATE, cheese cake, rice krispy treats, marble pound cake, nutter butters, and that is
Cat: – And happy people.
Adam: And happy people.
(Video game voice over plays in the background)

———-

Full tummies and full hearts on Valentine’s day. Definitely could have been worse.

If you’re ever at a loss for what to do for an intimate group dinner, make sure to keep an eye out for coupons. We had a wonderful time, way too much food, and had a similar experience to a restaurant like the Melting Pot for less than half of what it cost to actually leave the house and order someplace. Plus, it was socially acceptable to wear stretchy pants.

All hail the stretchy pants.

What did you do this past Valentine’s Day?

———

*Under no circumstances should you look up the slang meaning of “meatboxing.”

Puppy Bowl Sundaes

sundaes

I’m admittedly not a big fan of football (no judgement on those of you who are – it’s just not my thing). And, since I never turn down the opportunity to annoy people with my puns, this year I announced that we’d be having Puppy Bowl Sundaes instead of the usual Superbowl fare.

sundaebar

We set up an easy, albeit not particularly visually appealing sundae bar for the occasion. It included: peanut butter, chopped peanuts, strawberry sauce, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, hot fudge, sprinkles, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chopped strawberries, bananas, freshly made waffles, and chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream.

whippedcream

Some of us like whipped cream. A lot, apparently.

We also served chips, salsa, Chex Mix, and hoisin wings for anyone needing something a little more solid in their stomachs.

It was a lovely, fun time and the sundaes were a really colorful, fun addition to our time together. I highly recommend sundae bars for casual get togethers (they sure get sticky)!

And if sundaes aren’t your thing, you can still just opt for regular ole Puppy Bowls.

puppybowl

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats

I’ve been craving Rice Crispy Treats for a while now, and honestly I don’t think I would ever turn them down.

pumpkin spice rice cripsy treats 1

 

This week though, with Autumn upon us, I knew I wanted to add a little twist.

pumpkin spice rice cripsy treats 3

I found the Pumpkin Spice marshmallows in my grocery store and thought, “Perfect!”

These treats couldn’t have been any easier or quicker.

pumpkin spice rice cripsy treats 2

I highly suggest whipping these up for a snack, a dessert, or for bringing to any get-together in the Fall and Winter seasons.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Crispy Treats
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 10 ounces Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
  • 6 cups puffed rice cereal
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot over medium head.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir continuously until completely melted and remove from heat.
  3. Add the puffed rice cereal and stir until combined.
  4. Transfer mixture into a large buttered/greased glass baking dish and spread evenly, pressing down with a greased spatula.
  5. Cover the dish and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until chilled.
  6. Cut into squares of desired size and enjoy!

 

 

Recipe Trials – In Search of the Perfect Chicken Cutlet Sub Sandwich

Recipe Trials – In Search of the Perfect Chicken Cutlet Sub Sandwich

When I lived in New Hampshire, there was a local pizza joint that we frequented and one of the things I would get most often was a Chicken Cutlet Sub. It was simple and delicious and my favorite.

I have much loved memories of getting a whole sub to myself while we watched the New England Patriots play in the super bowl; it felt super special.

Ever since I moved away I haven’t been able to find one quite like it. I don’t really see it on the menu around here either.

My craving became so intense that I decided to embark on a journey to make my own.

chicken_cutlet1

I didn’t realize it would be a journey at first though, I assumed that I would be able to just throw the ingredients together and have it be exactly what my mouth remembered, but clearly that was asking too much.

Although this recipe is delicious and tasty and yummy and such that Cat immediately wanted seconds, it’s not quite what I was hoping for. I’m determined to keep tweaking to see what needs to change. Maybe the bread?

Comment if you have any suggestions!

Chicken Cutlet Sub Sandwich - Take 1
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 Sandwiches
Ingredients
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying, enough to be half an inch deep in a medium pan
  • 2 sub sandwich rolls
  • 2 slices hothouse tomato
  • ½ cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • Red onion slices
  • Mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Butterfly the chicken breast into halves and pound each half even.
  2. In one of two wide mouth dishes combine the egg and water (whisking with a fork), and in the other, the two breadcrumbs.
  3. Heat the oil on the stove to 350 degrees and while the oil is heating dip the chicken breast halves in egg to evenly coat, and then in the breadcrumbs to evenly coat.
  4. Fry the chicken in the oil on each side for three minutes or until golden brown.
  5. As soon as the chicken is ready, place them on a folded paper towel to drain and cover each with two slices of the cheese to begin to melt a little.
  6. Spread each side of the rolls with a generous layer of mayonnaise.
  7. On the bottom add half the shredded lettuce, two slices of tomato, and your desired amount of onion rings.
  8. Place the chicken on top and close up the sandwich!
  9. Slice in half and enjoy.