The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It

Another Hot Mess: Cake Pops
December 9, 2012, 8:25 pm
Filed under: Food I Make, Food Made by Other Food Folks | Tags: , , , , ,

Going to Toys-r-Us with two kids within three months of Christmas has to be the worst idea ever.  Their minds are filled with the greatest of expectations from the toy commercials that constantly bombard them, and then the toy aisles are filled to the ceiling with the material realizations of those expectations.

It is a bad, bad place to take a kid in December.

For some reason that must have made a lot of sense at the time, we recently had to go in Toys-r-Us.  We got what we needed, and then both kids were allowed to get one small item.  No problem for Mr. Picky.  He is actually very easy to please and entertain.  It only takes him moments to find something that he can be happy with for a long while.  He made it out of there with a small trinket and a smile on his face.

And then there was his sister.

After looking for many, many minutes and not finding any satisfaction in anything less than $20, I had had it with her.  Finally, though, we found something we thought we both could love:

058Don’t those kids look happy? Couldn’t Miss Helper and I be that happy too? Don’t we love cake? Yes, yes, and yes!

So, we took our sanity-or at least what was left-and our cake pop kit home to make some awesome cake pops and be happy with shiny, smooth hair like the kids on the box and just like the Christmas-time commerical had promised.


The cake pops on the box. We could do this, right?

We followed the directions and worked our little hearts out.  Little Miss Helper and I baked and shreadded that cake like nobody’s business.  We mixed in the frosting and dipped those balls in that melted chocolate.  This was going to be awesome!

054Ours weren’t too shabby, if I do say so myself.  We put sprinkles on a few,  and we left them to cool as directed by the shiny haired girls’ directions.


Cake pops in real life.

Later, somehow gravity began to work against us and the heavy chocolate began to drop like poop.  It was bad.  Miss Helper wanted nothing to do with them, and I must say they didn’t look too appetizing.  Another Christmas commerical proven wrong.

We didn’t even bother to finish them.  We just chunked them and put the box in the closet where it shall gather dust until we are bored enough to get it back out.

I hope the cake pop fad dies, and soon.

Next time I will push for her to get a Barbie.



Mr. Opinionated’s Birthday Cake
May 30, 2012, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Food I Make | Tags: , , , , , ,


So, the hubby had a birthday recently. The actual day was on a busy Sunday, so on the following Monday, Miss Helper and I decided to make him a special meal. While he was out of the house for a while, we whipped up a meal to remember that included this cake.

The recipe was inspired by a salted caramel milkshake that I had that was very good. This cake was good too, but it could use some improving.

To make this birthday cake, I made a Duncan Hines Butter Golden Recipe cake to the package directions. While it was still warm, I poked holes in it and poured a whole jar of caramel sauce from the ice cream section all over the top. I then set it aside to soak all that caramel goodness up.

Meanwhile, I melted two tablespoons of butter. To that, I added one cup of peanuts. I tossed the butter with the peanuts and salted them with kosher salt very generously. I roasted the peanuts in the oven for five minutes.

When the peanuts we ready, I poured them over the cake and added a sprinkling of salt over the top.

Getting ahead of ourselves, we then decided to put the candles in so the cake would be ready when he walked in the door. Unfortunately, the cake was still quite warm. The candles drooped on the cake and looked quite sad. He was still surprised, though.

It’s the thought that counts, right?

The cake was moist and salty but sweet. The peanuts were a good crunch. I think it could be improved with a layer of whipped cream or maybe some ice cream on the side.


Maybe we can try that for the next birthday.

A Tribute to My Friend Amanda: Snow Cake

It has been a mild winter, to say the least.

We’ve had the promise of four separate snows. None of them amounted to anything.

And today, the high is supposed to be in the seventies. In February. It’s just not right.

Still, we’ve tried for that beloved event of the winter-the snow day. We’ve made four snow cakes.

Several years ago while preparing for book club, my friend Amanda made this cake. It snowed, and book club was canceled. When book club was rescheduled, she made it again. Again, we were snowed out. After the third time she made the cake and book club was snowed out, we dubbed the cake “The Snow Cake.” We’ve been been making it with the hopes of snow ever since.

It is a very simple cake, and it is mostly effective for making it snow. When snow is in the forecast, the cake must be made as insurance for a day off.

I have made it totally from scratch, and I have made it from a box mix. Either way makes a lovely, moist cake that sometimes guarantees a wintry mix.

Amanda’s cake has a better snow success rate than mine does, but I’ll share mine for this blog’s purposes.

The recipe using a box mix:

One box of any white cake mix, although I like Duncan Hines best. Once I used a yellow cake mix. I then had a yellow snow cake. It was good, but one should not eat yellow snow, so it was a little weird.

Anyway, I digress. Make the cake according to the directions on the box. Allow it to cool slightly. Using a fork, poke holes all over the whole thing.

Then mix
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Pour the milk mixture over the warm cake. Pour nice and slowly and cover the whole cake. Let the cake set until all of the milk is absorbed.

To make the icing, beat 2 cups of whipping cream until thick. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and whip to incorporate.

When the cake is cool and the milk is absorbed, spread the cream over the cake. Keep it refrigerated.

As you eat this beautiful, white, super moist cake, pray for snow for the teachers out there like my friend Amanda who deserve a day off. Or two.

The Christmas Cookie Cake: I Think I’ve Figured It Out

I think I’ve got it!

To fix the recipe I tried earlier, I tried a few things differently, and it worked out pretty well.


I divided my dough into two, and instead of baking the cookies in a cake pan, I flattened them on a cookie sheet. It was much easier to remove to cool.  They weren’t perfect, but they worked. Next time, I may bake them on the round cake pans turned upside down.


Then, I mixed the Nutella with the sugared pecans while they were still warm. Much easier to spread.


The best improvement was the cream cheese. I creamed two boxes of softened cream cheese with one cup of sugar. It was so smooth and creamy.


I forgot to save a little dough to make a little decoration on the top. Next time, I’ll try it.

The cake was great, if I do say so myself.  A keeper for sure.

More details are on my post from earlier this month. Please check it out.

I hope you try it too.

Mrs. Opinionated’s Home for Peculiar Food

Tonight is bookclub.  Yes!  I will get to stuff myself silly with awesome food and visit with some of my favorite people in the world. 

And discuss a great book as well.

This month, we read Ransom Rigg’s book Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  Since it is October, we wanted to read something on the scary side. 

And, in keeping with the theme of the book, we will be dining on peculiar/scary food as well.  We get to have fun with this every October.  One year, we had peanut butter eyeballs and garlic buttered toast.  Another, we had garlic chicken on a mirrored platter.  Last year, one of us baked a whole pumpkin and made a salad to go inside. 

This year, though, ups the stakes a little since our dishes will be scary and peculiar.  I had picked out an avocado cheesecake to make, but I didn’t have any avocados.  I was too lazy to drive all the way to the store for them.  I scoured my pantry, and then scoured Google.  There, I found the recipe for me-

See that stringy stuff on the beaters? Sauerkraut. Mmmmm.

I have made a sauerkraut cake.  It has the normal stuff in it.  Along with all the flour, butter, sugar, and other regular cake ingredients, it also has half a cup of drained sauerkraut.  Yum.

Or at least we’ll see tonight. 

I can’t wait. 

Before the Icing but with the Kraut

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