Brownie “Ice Cream” Cones

Last year when my dad was sick, during some of the down time my mom and I (and sister in law!) would bake.

It was, as it always has been and still is today, a great way to just lose ourselves in something when times are tough.

At the time, I didn’t have this baking blog so I never shared this really cute project we did.

These are VERY easy, SO cute for any party you are having, and were a huge hit among our friends and family.

Here is what you will need to make these:

Mini ice cream cones (you can buy them at Michaels, or you can buy regular cones and cut the ends off!)
Mini M&M’s
Rainbow sprinkles
White chocolate candy melts or coating bark
Batch of brownies
Small ice cream scoop, or if you don’t have it a spoon would work too!

First, bake your batch of brownies according to whatever recipe or box you choose to use. My mom swears by Ghirardelli Brownie Mix and I tend to agree with her!

Once the brownies are done, let them cool.

While those are cooling, melt your candy melts according to the directions on the package.

Now that the brownies are cool, start scooping them into your mini ice cream cones. The fun part about these is that during the whole process, there is really no way to mess them up. Ice cream scoops always look different, so don’t get too obsessed with perfection.

Next, take the melted white chocolate and let a big spoonful drip on top of the brownie. Again, no wrong way to do this! You may always want to try dipping the top right into the chocolate bowl to really get it covered!

Quickly add the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens, and don’t forget your “cherry” mini M&M to top it all off!

And that’s it! Put em nicely on a platter of some sort and watch as your guests go crazy for this cute idea.

Enjoy!

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An Update On The Present & A Time For Reflection

Well. It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve posted. In fact, it’s been awhile since I’ve baked.

Let’s catch you up really quickly on the present, and then take a moment to reflect on the past.

A month ago, I resigned from my job. Lot’s of people think I am crazy for having done this, and perhaps part of me is, but another part of me is hoping that you guys will respect a person who is willing to take risks in her life in order to move forward.

I saved money from every pay check I received while employed, and currently I am taking the summer off for the first time in 13 years, while also applying for jobs in hopes of finding my next career home.

If you don’t know, I’ve worked in radio since college. The people I worked with quickly became family, and for four awesome years I did some of the most amazing things any young person out of college could have dreamed of doing.

I coordinated concerts, recorded interviews with amazing artists, planned some incredible prizes that I believe the winners will remember for the rest of their lives. I worked 18 hour days, 80 hour weeks, went back stage and on-stage for some of my favorite bands, collected VIP lanyards for every show I could have ever dreamed of seeing, let alone be in VIP for, and 16 year old Sasha can’t believe that was ever something she got to participate in during her life time, period.

Walking away from that job was (and still is currently) one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. And while some days I wonder if it was the right one, I keep moving forward in hopes that I will land somewhere that I can be just as proud of as I was when I was at the peak of my radio career.

So.

Now that you are all caught up on the present, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a time not too long ago where I was going through a ton of changes, like I am right now, where I couldn’t always see a bright future ahead of me but I charged along until I found my way. From that experience came one of the greatest accomplishments of my life: I created an after school art program for a low income school. One that would make such an impact, that art would later be reinstated to the regular curriculum because the principal realized how important it was for her students.

I found the first blog that I wrote about the experience, one of many blogs that unfortunately are lost in the abyss that is the internet, but I wanted to share the one I found.

This is copied straight from my myspace page! ha!

The program started small, but eventually 20 kids joined, and it was amazing.

So here it is:

“One week ago today marked the beginning of the after school art program that I started at a local elementary school here in Orlando. This whole idea came about after meeting my little sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Florida. The first day we met, we spent the last 1/2 hour of our time together drawing pictures. I was amazed when I saw how talented she was, and was disappointed to hear that the funding for art at her school had been cut because of insufficient funds. I knew that money for the arts was low in a lot of schools, but had no idea the magnitude of this until I started speaking with people for donations.
I met my little sister in Septemeber of 2006. For those of you who know me well, and for those of you who are interested, 2006 was a very tough year for me. I’m not going to go into the depressing details of it all, but I’m happy to leave it in 2006. I signed up for Big Brothers/Big Sisters months prior to actually getting a match. There is a whole process that you have to go through to get cleared, background checks, interviews, reference checks, etc. I signed up when my life was feeling pretty stable, and by the time we were actually matched with a student, things had fallen pretty low. I was incredibly aprehensive about the situation, as my confidence had been shattered for the moment, and I wondered if I really had anything to give to this kid, and my fight or flight mode kicked in.
When anxiety and insecurity mix together, in most cases in my past I chose flight. I know a lot of you can empathize with this, anxiety is not an easy emotion to overcome, and most of us just run and hide until enough time has passed to come back out and look around. I went back and forth between choosing to quit Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and just sucking it up and taking a chance.
I am more than happy that I chose to stick it out, because I have now accomplished a goal that has brought a huge light back into my life. So back to the art club….
As soon as I found out that art funding had been cut, a million ideas started running through my mind. I wrote to some friends and family to see if I could raise some money, and one friend told me he would donate a big chunk of cash. That was all I needed to get the confidence that this was something that I was capable of doing. That day I wrote a proposal of supplies that could be purchased, how many kids could be involved, and set an appointment to speak with the people I needed to connect with.
Over the course of the next 4 months I spent time getting things prepared, and I am proud to say that as of last week, the first goal for this project was achieved. The first art class went off without a hitch, and it was more fun than I ever expected it to be. Now keep in mind that my experience with groups of kids at that point was non-existant, no teaching, no camp counseling under my belt. I threw myself into this situation, and did my best to mimick what great teachers I have had in my past did with their students. I also have an art teacher for a mother, so that was helpful as well.
I started the class by presenting the kids with their personal art kits. Each student gets one and that is the one they will have to take good care of because its the only one they get! =)
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The coolest part of that was when they clapped for one another as I called their names to come to the front and get their kit. It made me laugh and laugh, it was just too cool.

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After we made name tags, (which I forgot to get pictures of, sorry) I taught them all about the color wheel. I had them use their water colors to fill in their color wheels, and showed them how to mix primary colors to make secondary, as well as tertiary colors. It was a blast to see how excited they got when they mixed the colors to make new ones!
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We ended the day by making a mural based on things we thought of when we thought of Florida. My favorite answer was “Great Restaurants and awesome shopping!” I have to agree on that one. And my favorite drawing was when one of the kids drew an orange with wings…..its poetic.
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When they finished the mural, I presented them each with a sketch book that was kindly donated by a manager of a great art store in Boca Raton. They were thrilled to have a book of their own, and I cant wait to see what they draw when they are at home.
Today is week two..and we will be making thank you cards for all of the people who donated so far. I have plenty of blank cards, so if you still want to donate you can. *wink*
I will be sure to take more pictures today…stay tuned if you are ineterested.
Lots of love,
Sasha ”

I look back on that and remind myself that for every big change comes something incredible that you will take with you forever.

I have no idea what my future holds, but I know there is a future waiting for me and I look forward to meeting it.

Lots of love to everyone who made it to the end of this post.

Sasha

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Bakerella’s “Snow Cone” Cupcakes For Memorial Day

To continue my red, white & blue baking this weekend, I took on the task of baking these “Snow Cone” inspired cupcakes made by someone I really think is amazing, the one & only Bakerella.

If you don’t know about Bakerella, you need to. She is amazing.

So, I decided to take this one on right after making these red, white & blue pancakes. So much baking in one morning, and I advise if you are going to try the snow cone cupcakes to leave yourself enough time. I was rushed, and it was crazy!

Instead of making mini cupcakes, I went with the full sized variety and they came out pretty nifty if I do say so myself.

Instead of making the batter from scratch, I used a box of white cake and added a tablespoon of my new favorite madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract. It’s a bit more expensive than the regular kind but worth EVERY penny.

She has a delicious butter cream recipe on her blog, so go for it.

Make sure you have piping bags ready because you need quite a few of them.

Also, to get that perfect stripe of the three different color batters, make sure when you are piping the batter into the cupcake tins you use a fluid back and forth motion, don’t keep the bags stagnant! You need some motion to make the stripes.

And that’s it! They were super yummy and a crowd pleaser at the party.

Have a nice day.

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Red, White and Blue Pancakes!

It’s Memorial Day weekend, three days off of work and a time to make sure we thank veterans who have given their life to protect our country.

It’s hard to be too serious when talking about red, white and blue pancakes but I really do mean it. I’ve known many people who have dedicated their lives to our military, and whether or not I believe in the reasons we are fighting certain wars, I still have nothing but respect and gratitude for those who serve.

Real talk.

Alright, on to the pancakes.

These are super simple, and a really fun way to be festive (these would be great for fourth of July too!) and just make you happy in the morning.

I used this pancake recipe, divided the batter into three parts. Added a few drops of food coloring, and made em!

Simple. Easy. Makes boyfriends/girlfriends/roomates/brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers/daughters/sons/cousins happy!

Enjoy your weekend. I’m off to make red, white and blue “snow cone” cupcakes for a BBQ!

Cheers.

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And Then We Got REALLY Motivated And Did A Ton Of Stuff Before Noon On A Sunday

Right when I think I have given up on doing just about anything remotely productive besides work, in comes a Sunday where my boyfriend is working allll day, my friends are either out of town or enjoying their Sunday with their loved ones, and I am all by my lonesome needing something to occupy my time.

You see, the phrase “Idle hands are the devil’s play thing” was written for me.

Seriously.

I go from being the happiest, funny, light hearted lady to a totally depressed, hopeless ball of mush when I’m bored. Life just sucks when you are bored, what can I say?

So today I decided that instead of sitting in my apartment staring at Facebook and getting sad that all of you are out on a boat, running a marathon, vacationing in Tahiti, or doing some other fabulous event without me, that I would be productive DAMNIT! And when I am productive, I’m REALLY productive.

I woke up, did laundry, painted a picture for our bedroom and unpacked from New York (only a week late!) all before 10am. No joke.

(Im not LOVING the yellow, it came out a bit bright for my taste, but its good enough for now. I also plan to stencil some white branches on it at some point, which should bring the brightness down a bit.)

Oh hey look! It’s Washburn. Did I mention we adopted another cat? Yeah, he’s cool. We like him.

Ok, so now it’s about noon O’Clock and I realize that I have an entire day ahead of me and will get bored pretttty quickly if I don’t find something else to do.

In walks Netflix. We hang out, watch some depressing documentary about crazy shit because I am a weirdo who likes to watch stuff like that and then it’s time to make cupcakes.

I realize to myself, “Self, you have that new Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, and everything you need to make vanilla cupcakes.”

So I did.

I went to Joy The Baker’s website, found this recipe, added chocolate chips because why not, and made myself a good ol fashion batch of vanilla chocolate chip cupcakes with a chocolate butter cream.

I didn’t have the Ovaltine she uses in the recipe, so I just didn’t put it in there. The frosting still turned out great.

I then packed everything up in my nifty new cupcake carrying case, thanks to my great friend Tara who hooked it UP for my birthday, and called it a day.

Well, hope all you fancy pants people with Sunday plans enjoyed yourselves today.

I sure did 🙂 And I have clean shirts too! Go me! I’m a productive member of society with clean shirts and cupcakes! BEAT THAT MARTHA STEWART!

Toodles.

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The Lazy Baker: Mini Nutella Cakes

So it’s been getting prettty, prettty lazy round these here parts.

I know I keep talking about it (BORING!) but it’s true.

We were out of town for an amazing wedding last week and if I was a true food blogger, I would have taken pictures of the food and commented on how lovely everything was (note to self, do this in the future!) but instead I was focused on the incredible, amazing bride who honored me with a request to be in her bridal party.

I mean look at this couple, could you die?

Ok, back to baking!

Recently, I have been really into quick, simple baking recipes.

Perhaps this isn’t a good thing, because it makes delicious baked goods right at my finger tips, but who cares, no big deal, I want mooooooooore! (If you got that little mermaid reference we are best friends forever now, good job!)

Tonight I made the four ingredient Mini Nutella Cakes found at this blog right here.

SO easy. They rose better than most of the cupcakes I’ve made in my life, and they were awesome. I mean like offensively good.

Note: instead of chopping up semi sweet chocolate, I just added a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips and folded them in. This was a good choice.

Little balls of delicious Nutella cake. Go make them. Right now.

But you don’t have Nutella on hand, you say? What kind of sugar addict are you, man? Get with it. Go get you some. I won’t tell.

Goodbye for now!

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Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Hey! Remember that one time I used to make really fun, mildly complicated recipes that required time and effort and thought? Yeah, those days are over. Not totally over, but kinda sorta over for the moment.

So last night was Cinco De Mayo. And what better and more authentic way to celebrate than to go to the Hollywood Improv after eating a left over tuna fish sandwich from lunch, for dinner. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY.

Not one to entirely ignore a holiday, I did ask brother bear and boyfriend to take a shot of tequila with me before we went into the show, so there ya go.

Well, after two more tequila drinks and a brisk walk home, I decided that I definitely needed sweets of some sort. And since boyfriend had NO interest in going to buy me ice cream while I sat on the couch waiting, I decided to look up three ingredient cookie recipes.

BOOM. Peanut butter. Duh.

So with a cup of peanut butter, a cup of white sugar, and an egg in hand, I blended those suckers together, and baked em in the oven. I added  forth ingredient of chocolate chips to a few of the cookies just because and they turned out pretty darn good for a 15 minute ordeal.

The recipe with baking instructions is right here for ya.

And that’s it. Soon the name of this blog will be The Lazy Baker. Hm. I think we’re on to something.

Well. Good talk. Thanks for stopping by!

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