Thursday, February 19, 2009

Valentine's Recap.

I'm sorry I've been a bit MIA lately. It's been a bit ______ (draining/stressful/busy/annoying/crazy/frustrating) - insert any of the above - around work. I've been pretty much just trying to make it through Friday to get to the weekends. Stupid economy. ::kicks economy::

Let's move on to greater things, shall we?

Valentine's Day 2009 - our first as a married couple!

The above is an adorable wreath that my fabulous mother-in-law made for us. Adds just the right touch to our door for February! Very cute!

I remember blogging about our last unmarried Valentine's Day last year. It was very different and we were still in wedding planning mode. Crazy to think how far we've come in just a year!

This Valentine's Day was a lot more relaxed. We woke up, laid around the house some, and I baked some yummilicious Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling - seriously, these were sooooo good!

I usually try to make a sweet treat for my Sweetie since we don't typically exchange V-day gifts. I don't really think of it as a gift-giving holiday, more of a day to spend with the one you love and remember the important aspects of your relationship.

Furthermore - I know I'm kind of strange - I don't like getting flowers for V-day because I KNOW how the floral industry increases the price of flowers exponentially just for this Hallmark Holiday. Knowing this takes away the joy of receiving. I'd rather not waste the money when we can get the same exact flowers 50% cheaper, and still at a pretty profit for the vendors a week after V-day. Anyway, enough about that, I know I'm a Debbie Downer.

So, I baked the Whoopie Pies and then Mark and I went to a delicious dinner at G. Michael's, down in German Village. It was really good, great ambiance, and very romantical. Then, we went home, changed into PJs and ate some whoopie pies while watching a movie.

It was a perfect Valentine's Day!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 small box white chocolate instant pudding

1/2 block of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 stick of butter (softened)
7 oz. jar of marshmallow fluff

Combine cake mix with water, eggs, and vegetable oil, then incorporate the pudding mix. Scoop 1-2 tablespoons (I think I did a cookie scoop that was approximately 1 1/2 T. which yielded 14 pies) of batter onto a silicone lined baking sheet. Make sure to leave space because the batter will spread as it bakes!

Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.

While cakes are cooling...

Mix softened butter and cream cheese together until completely smooth. Then, gently fold in the marshmallow fluff until totally incorporated.

Spoon the filling onto a pie and then top with another.

Chill in the fridge - they're much better once the filling sets up a bit as it's a little runny before chilling, afterwards they are PERFECT!


*Filling borrowed from Cookies on Friday

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Superbowl Contribution.

Oops, am I allowed to mention the hallowed name "Superbowl" without the trademark people coming after me? I hope I'm safe. ::eye roll::

I can't contribute team spirit, or excitment about the big game. I can't contribute football knowledge, or intelligently discuss what's happening on the screen in front of me. Actually, I have to force myself to stay awake because I don't like football. (I know it's a cardinal sin to confess this since I'm a born and bred Central Ohioan, but I'll take my chances ; ) )

What I can contribute is Superbowl worthy food. I do love to cook.

For this evening's main event, I'm bringing Buffalo Chicken Dip (always a favorite), Black Bean and Corn Salsa (delicious and healthy), and these little cuties:

Whoopie Pies (shaped like footballs)

I think they turned out pretty cute and hopefully they put people in the game day spirit :)

The recipe:

1 box devil's food chocolate cake
1 small box instant chocolate pudding

1. Prepare cake mix according to box instructions, except use only 3/4 cup of water instead of what the box suggests.

2. Mix on medium speed for about 2 mins until everything is well combined.

3. Add in instant pudding and mix to combine.

4. Drop small mounds onto a silicone lined baking sheet (I used a cookie scoop)

*5. Before I put these in the oven, I used the back of a wet spoon to try to shape the balls into more of an oval to look like footballs.

6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

7. Allow to cool and decorate and fill as you like. (Note: traditional whoopie pies are fillied with a marshmallow-y filling, which Mark complained about, so I ended up filling them with a traditional vanilla frosting, and using some of the icing to pipe out on the tops to draw laces)

8. I like my whoopie pies chilled, so after they are filled, pop them into the fridge for a bit to chill down.


*adapted from