I made 6, yes 6, king cakes this year. They were all hideous. I’m pretty sure I just wasn’t supposed to make them.

I wanted to make beautiful braided king cakes with bright sprinkles and then stand back and ooh and aah over how amazing I am (ha!). I started looking for king cake babies shortly after the new year. I mean, I’d assume the city that gave us Mardi Gras (true story) would be well stocked with babies. Nope. Hobby Lobby has had their Mardi Gras stuff out since before Thanksgiving but no babies.

I should’ve taken that as a sign and just given up on my king cake hopes.

So I wandered into a Mardi Gras warehouse one day where I finally found these freaky gold babies. And ended up with 30 of them. Because they wouldn’t just sell me one baby.

From there, everything else went wrong. My dough was sticky. They rose too much. The filling oozed out. The glaze didn’t stick because I was rushed and put it on right out of the oven. Or all of the above, like the one up top.

Next year! Next year I will make a beautiful king cake. I promise.


Happy Joe Cain Day to everyone around here! Happy Valentine’s Day to the rest of you!

I know a lot of people hate Valentine’s Day but I actually kind of love it. Not because it’s a day of love blah blah blah but because it’s an excuse to put hearts on everything and I heart hearts. I really didn’t want to do too much for V-Day (Hello lazy!) but I did want to use these cupcake wrappers and the sprinkles that I snatched up as soon as Target put their Valentine’s stuff out. So I decided on plain vanilla cupcakes and some cinnamon buttercream for a little spice.

The cupcakes were amazing. The cake was so soft and delicious, and the cinnamon buttercream is my favorite. I wish someone had told me how life changing cinnamon buttercream is. I’m already thinking about the next cake I’ll pair with it.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream

cupcakes from Martha Stewart


For the cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 - 4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    To make the cupcakes:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.
  5. To make the buttercream:
  6. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar a 1/2 cup at a time until completely incorporated, adding up to 4 tablespoons of milk when the icing gets to thick. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat until just combined.


Mardi Gras is by far my favorite holiday. Every year I force my husband and friends to go downtown with me and stand in the cold and rain (because it rains on us every time, without fail) for the parades. I just love it!

So with Mardi Gras less than a week away it was time for me to make some cookies! I found a Mardi Gras mask cutter recently and was so excited to use it. I used the same recipe I have been using with lemon extract instead of the almond and royal icing to decorate. Plus lots of Mardi Gras colored sprinkles that I bought for king cakes!


Next up on the BBA list: Light Wheat Bread. I was so excited to finally make a loaf of bread. We’ve made rolls, English muffins, crackers, and so much more but no regular sandwich bread.

The idea of this bread is that it’s 33% whole wheat flour which means you get the whole wheat taste but it’s still very light in color and it doesn’t have the heaviness that you sometimes find in whole wheat breads.

Mr. Reinhart mentioned that this is a good formula for the bread machine so that’s what I did. It really doesn’t get any easier than that. I did, however, shape it into a loaf pan after it had risen.

This bread was good but we usually prefer an entirely whole wheat bread. My husband did comment that this bread makes the best toast so I’m sure I will be making it again one day.

The Light Wheat Bread is on page 181 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Visit Pinch My Salt to catch up with the other bakers.


So it turns out that I had Bourbon Chicken planned for the night of the Superbowl. Coincidence? Nah, a gift from the blogging gods. I think this is supposed to be a take off of a Chinese dish but were going to pretend it’s Bourbon Street Chicken for this post.

I slow cooked it because I’ve recently found myself with no time for cooking, baking, blogging etc. and the chicken turned out so tender. I just love chicken done in the crockpot. The sauce was a bit on the sweet side so I’ve changed the recipe to make it not-so-sweet but you still may have to play around with it. I found some parsley and crushed red pepper flakes sprinkled on top really helped counteract the sweet and make it extra delicious, of course.

Bourbon Chicken


2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce


  1. Put chicken in bottom of large slow cooker. Cover with other ingredients. Let cook 6 - 8 hours on low; remove chicken and shred or cut into chunks. Return to slow cooker and stir to combine. Serve over rice with more crushed red pepper flakes on top.