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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Oreo Cake

Many know I love being in the kitchen and the kitchen is the most relaxing place for me to spend my free time.  I have made many a meals and spend countless hours cooking, but when it comes to baking, I usually don’t have the patients to do much of it.  When they say it really is a science, they mean it!

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However, when it comes to special occasions and special people.  I’lI drink an extra stiff drink   and ake a little extra time to do a little baking.  Thus I searched all over for the perfect dessert for my family

I knew I wanted something with a little chocolate, and also kept in mind the family loves cookies.  Thus I found this Oreo Cake recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. However, I omitted the Chocolate gnash because I figured the cake itself would be super rich already with out it.

I was a bit nervous going into it, I have NEVER made a cake from scratch, all Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker for me,  but figured I would try and if it didn’t work out I would turn it into a tri-fold dessert,

So I went to town and gathered everything I needed

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Bless my mother for letting me try this experiment in her kitchen.

So I mixed, added, beat, whisked, cussed, and prayed like heck the cakes would turn out.  I separated the batter between two 9” cake pans put them in the oven and cleaned up my mess.

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And to my surprise the cakes rose and turned out perfect!

*I baked and left them cool over night in the pans.  Note to all those who bake as much as I do….Take the cakes OUT of the pans after ten minutes off cooling to allow for the cake to slide right out.  I did not.  Thus when I went to take them out they were stuck and it took A LOT of patients, mommas magic cooking touch, and a lot of praying for them to finally get them to come out in one piece.

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I next set out to make the “Crème” filling

I mixed the block of crème cheese, sugar and chopped cookies and got the cakes ready

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Perfect amount and perfect frosting technique.  No tearing or cake in the frosting.

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I then I added a few more chopped cookies to the top and set it outside in the freezing garage to set over night

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It turned out PERFECT.  Wow.

The cake was soo moist and not overly chocolaty. (Mom and I ate all the crumbs that stuck to the bottom of the pan and what fell off the side of the cake.)  As the recipe below notes, the batter is super thin, and I was a bit worried it was going to turn out as two big pans of chocolate pudding.

And the crème filling was a little tangy from the crème cheese, but sweet from the sugar and the cookies.  So solid and on point.  I wish I would have seen the oreo cookies with different filling for Christmas, Halloween, ect, but was in a hurry and just grabbed the regular.

This cake could be used with ALL the holiday themed Oreo Cookies to make it even more festive.

Everyone loved it.  But since it was a two tired cake, it was pretty rich so there was like half left over.  However, lucky I am family with fellow sweet tooth’s and the rest found a home at my aunt and uncles house Winking smile

I’m not sure if I every want to eat a box cake again and in all honesty it was not a daunting task as I thought it would be.

Cookies & Cream Oreo Look-Alike Cake

Yield: 12 servings

For the Cake (Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake)
2 cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

4. To make the filling, with a stand or hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream on low until it starts to become frothy and thick. Gradually increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

5. In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended and smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream, and then the chopped Oreos.

6. Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate, spread the filling mixture on top, and top with the second cake layer.

7.  Let chill for atleast an hour for the filling to set!

Again the cake was so good and I will for sure make this again.  So if you are not a baker and are scared or don’t have the patients to bake, I highly recommend to atleast give it a shot, you may just surprise yourself.  And what the worst that can happen if you try to make this cake?  You end up with some amazing Chocolate Pudding and a heck of a Oreo crème filling to eat Winking smile

Question of the day?

What’s one food you are nervous to attempt to make for your family

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4 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Super Bowl XLVI

Pride, Hard Work, and Dedication are the first words that come to mind when I think of the effort and execution in which Indianapolis and the Super Bowl Host Committee put forth last week.  Living downtown, in the heart of  the Super Bowl, we may have experienced first hand, one of the most well run parties the NFL has witnessed.   I knew the city would put on a good show, being that they seamlessly host the Big Ten Basketball Tournament for football and basketball, NCAA tournaments, and many other large events and conventions held throughout the year.  However, I had no idea it would be on this level.  The city began to prepare for the Super Bowl over four years ago when it was announced by the Super Bowl Host Committee Indy had won the bid, thus the last few days,  the city has a bit of hangover from the hype and festivities.  Moreover, as I look back on the week that was, is how well the city rallied behind each over to make this event one of the best.  Yes, perhaps we were spoiled by some amazing weather, and there were no major incidents to ruin the buzz of the week.  It should be noted the way this city and its residents handled the whole week, and it is a testament to what Indianapolis can really do when we put all our energy and resources together.

Numerals, Zipline, and Super Bowl Village

I feel the reality of the event set in for most residents, when these Numerals were put up down on the circle two weeks the Super Bowl.

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The Roman Numerals on the South side of the circle at the heart of it all, stood 30-feet high and 82-feet wide, and weighs 96-ton, was for sure one of the biggest attractions. 

 

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However, the numerals were not to be outdone by perhaps the hottest Super Bowl attraction, the Zipline, which spanned Capitol street, and there is already talk of having it back for the Indy 500 Race at the end of May.  10,429 people flew down the zipline in Super Bowl Village, and at only 10 dollars a pop, it was a no brainer to hear that some families just came downtown JUST for the zipline.  The last weekend of the Super Bowl, people were lining up at 10PM the night before to try and get tickets and a spot in line.  The local news even found two girls who were standing in line and sold their tickets for $250.00 each to someone whom could not get a ticket. 

Even Jimmy Fallon was recorded on the zip line seen here.

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This was the sign at the end of zip line in front of St. John Catholic Church, where Fr. Rick Nagel did a great job of opening his doors to all the downtown visitors. 

Another success was the Super Bowl Village, which stretched down Georgia Street.  From Capital Street, where the Zipline was set up, all the way down to Bankers Life Field House where the Indiana Pacers play.

Some highlights of the Village, were Ice Carvings from the folks at the Food Network, Food Vendors, Free Live Music on three different stages, where the free Pepsi Stage getting most of the attention.  Whom had acts such as Brett Michaels, Darius Rucker, LMFAO along with a list of many many more,

However, the music stages were a chance for the community to really get into the local music scene, and take in many local music acts that included, Acoustic Empire, whom had some Indianapolis royalty show up for their Show.

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Mayor Gregg Ballard, stopped by give the local music scene some love.

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Super Bowl Village really turned into a week long party.

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As you can see, it got a bit crazy down there, but I am so glad I had the chance to experience the whole thing.

Along with Super Bowl Village, inside the Convention Center the NFL Experience was held, and ESPN Studios were set up down on the Pan Am Plaza, where they did live shows, Sport Center, and turned into the mecca for all sports fans.

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While it was nice to all the national media highlight the events I mentioned above, I want to get back to why the city really benefited from the Super Bowl.  There were so many events that were “off the beaten path” such as Taste of the NFL, where local Chef Gregg Hardisty, whom owns and run the hip new trendy restaurants Recess and Room Four, displayed his talent

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Souper Bowl

Another great event was the “Souper” Bowl Competition.  Where 8 of Indy’s top chef’s competed in a a soup competition, where all the proceeds were donated to Second Helpings, whom turn around and used prepared and perishable food, re-prepare it into nutritious meals, and distribute those meals to over 60 social services organizations that feed hungry people.  Second Helpings had recovered 40,000 pounds of food from Super Bowl-related events!

Souper Bowl 2012 Chefs:
Greg Hardesty, Recess/Room 4 and Taste of the NFL

Kevin Peters, Columbia Club

Roger Hawkins, Circle City Soups

DeWitt Jackson, Indianapolis Colts

Kathy Jones, Iozzo’s Garden of Italy

Sam Brown, Second Helpings

Luke Caenepeel, Pogue’s Run Grocer

Regina Mehallick, R Bistro

They also reached out to local artists to create hand made bowls that they auctioned off in silent auctions, and below are just a few the bowls that were up for bid. 

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This Bowl was given to the Top Chef of the competition, and this year Ms. Kathy  Jones, head chef at Iozzo’s Garden of Downtown Indy. 

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Also a few other highlights were a Bob&Tom and a Signed Larry Bird Bowl. 

City Market

It was such a great event and with great Chefs like Roger Hawkins from Circle City Soups located in the newly rejuvenated downtown City Market, helped give some press and drew some interest for the visitors into The Market.  With great vendors such as:

  • A Taste of Philly

www.indypretzel.com

  • Potato Chip Co.

www.amazingchips.com

  • Circle City Soups
    Soups & Salads
    Roger Hawkins
    317-956-2395
  • Circle City Sweets
    Pastries, Wedding Cakes, Special orders
    Cindy Hawkins
    317-632-3644

www.circlecitysweets.com

  • Fermenti Artisan
    We offer all local, artesian meats, cheeses, sandwiches and more. We are fermenters by trade who make our own sauerkrauts, kefir sodas, kombucha drinks and more!
    Josh Henson & Mark Cox
    317-493-1652
  • Market Street Produce
    Fruits, Vegetables, Breads & More!
    Emily Gillum
  • Natural Born Juicers
    100% Natural Fruit & Vegetable Juices and Smoothies
    Laura Mann-Beatus
    317-797-4254

www.naturalbornjuicers.com

  • Papa Roux

http://flash.paparouxindy.com/

  • Three Days In Paris
  • U-Relish Farms

And if you need to wet your whistle,

  • Tomlinson Tap Room, whom has an extensive list of Indiana Craft Beer ready to serve.
    Kristin Knapp, Manager
    317-423-2337

Along with the great list of vendors, it serves as the location of one of the best Winters Farmers Market in the state, every Saturday Morning. 

Even the city’s greatest Pastry Chef Cindy Hawkins of Circle City Sweets got a wonderful phone call to make Carson Daly’s girlfriend’s birthday cake.

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It was a great week had by all in the city, but if you take one thing from my ramblings, it is that I hope you appreciate and remember all the local delivery men and woman, the bus boys and girls, the servers, the chefs, the street sweepers, and the 13,000 volunteers whom really held this city together throughout the week of madness, and put in many sleepless nights, hours logged, and worked their tails off to make this city shine on a national stage.   Thus, if you were someone in the background who did you job, which will probably never go noticed.  Lift a glass this evening and here’s a big cheers to you, we could have not done it with out all of you, well done and thank you. 

Stars were out in the City

Before I go, this week wasn’t without a few celebrity sightings in town.   

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Angela and Deb from Indy WISH TV Channel 8 News.

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Adam Sandler Hitting up some Subway Downtown

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And Guy Fieri hung out with Erin Edds whom owns Hoosier Bloody Mary Maker, said close 18,400 Hoosier Momma Bloody Mary’s were consumed during the week in the Indianapolis area.  Yet again another amazing Indiana Business who rocked it out during the week that was. 

All and all it was a great week and a heck of a Super Bowl Game itself.  Yes, the New York Giants won the game, and big ups to them and the city of New York.  However, I would say the real winner last weekend was the City of Indianapolis and all of its local businesses and blue collar men and woman who made this show go off without a hitch.  Thanks to all the fans of both the New England Patriots and NY Giants for visiting our city and giving us nothing but praise.  I met many from both places and was nothing but impressed with each and every visitor I met. Nice work Indianapolis, and here’s to getting a bid for another Super Bowl in 4 years.

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Uncategorized