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food / peppermint mocha cake

Is it too early to start planning for Valentine’s Day parties? Absolutely not! 

I was lucky enough to taste this glorious peppermint mocha cake made by Calli and let me tell you… it tastes even better than it looks. AND it was inspired by one of my favorite Starbucks drinks!

- Jordan

peppermint mocha cake recipe - valentine's day party food!

Chocolate Cake 

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cool
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Peppermint Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 sticks butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon creme de menthe extract (peppermint)

* I don’t know about you but I am simply not a fan of the overly sweet, slightly gritty, and flavorless buttercream that comes standard on most grocery store cakes, and don’t even get me started on the frosting in a can or tub. Buttercream is exactly and should be that, buttery and creamy. Beating together 2 sticks of butter with a pound of powdered sugar and adding a teaspoon of vanilla just simply does not make my mouth water. If you have grown up on these kind of icings then this recipe will take you by surprise. It tastes more like a marshmallow meets the texture of whipped cream. A little warning for the journey you are about to embark on, if it is your first time then this icing it is going be a little more challenging than you’re average recipe. Let me just say it is so worth it.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 16 oz chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
peppermint mocha cake recipe - valentine's day party food!

food / 07

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

* One great thing about this recipe is that it can easily be vegetarian with the substitute of tofu sausage and vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. 

Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Sauté 

  • 1 leek, thin half moon slices
  • 1/2 onion, small dice
  • 1 cup wild mushrooms (crimini, shitake, button, baby portobello, its all up to you! be adventurous)
  • 1/2 cup sausage (another option that you should feel adventurous to chose. I picked mild Italian from my local grocery store)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sage, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste

Bread

  • 1 french baguette, cut into small cubes
  • 1 quart (32 oz) (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

For the Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Sauté 

on medium – high heat saute sausage, once brown add garlic, onion, and leek, cook for 5 minutes

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

add mushrooms, herbs, and salt and pepper, once mushrooms are cooked through turn off heat and seat aside

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins
Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

For the Bread

in a large bowl combine bread cubes with your saute’d goodness

beat your eggs with 1 cup of chicken stock and pour mixture over bread, then add 2 more cups of chicken stock to your bread mixture and your heavy cream

stir everything together and lightly oil a a muffin pan

fill each spot with the bread mix, making sure to press down the bread to form a nice muffin shape, its good to have it overfilled, it makes a more rustic looking muffin

after each one is filled pour the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock into each one, trying your best to divide it evenly.

bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown

Wild Mushroom + Leek + Sausage Savory Bread Pudding Muffins

let cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin to ensure they keep their shape + enjoy! 

xoxo calli

_____________________________________________________________________________

( photography by Sarahdipity Photos for create like crazy )

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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio

 

food / 06

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

Cranberry Apple Caramel Cups

Cranberry Apple Filling

  • 4 Apples (about 1 apple per person), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes before using)
  •  juice from 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Pastry Cups

  • 1 package of puff pastry
  • 2 cookie cutters, same shape but one bigger than the other
  • egg wash = 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water

* These little pastry cups are great for a million uses (soup, ice cream, and winter stews)! They are really simple to prepare and you can really make them your own. we decided to use pumpkin shaped cookie cutters for the fall season but you can really do anything! make sure you work with the pastry while it is still a little frozen and not completely thawed. It can be a little tricky if you wait until its really soft. You also want to use cookie cutters that if you put the smaller one inside of the larger one you get about a thumbnail of space in between each one.

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

* Working with hot sugar can be a pain in the rear end. It is extremely hot so be careful and never try to touch it with your hands, always use a spoon. When you are finished stick all your utensils into the pot you made your caramel in and fill it with hot water and simmer, it melts all the sugar off and makes it much easier to clean.

 cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card. fruit on a vintage scale with a white background
cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

For the Cranberry Apple Filling

mix all of your ingredients in a large sauté pan and simmer until apples are tender (about 15 minutes)

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card. frying pan sauce pan flip

For the Pastry Cups

preheat your oven to 375 degrees and on a floured surface cut out as many shapes as you can fit with your larger cookie cutter on the puff pastry

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

set half of your cut outs on to a lined cookie sheet, with the remaining half use your smaller cookie cutter to cut out the edge of your larger shape. the easiest way to explain it is that if you were using circles then your new shape should look like a doughnut but with a larger hole.

egg wash the larger shapes that you set on your cookie sheet, and place your outline cut outs on top of each one. egg wash the top of those as well.

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card. egg wash in measuring cup on white background

bake until your puff pastry cups are golden brown, about 15 minutes, once cooled press down the inside with a spoon to create a deeper bowl and now your ready to fill it with apple goodness!

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

For the Caramel Sauce

in a sauce pot on low – medium heat slowly melt your sugar, you want to resist every urge you have to stir this stuff. it can crystalize and it will mess up your lovely smooth caramel sauce. Very gently swirling the pot is acceptable for those of you that just cant resist. In the beginning it may look like nothing is happening but it will, i promise!

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card. stick of butter on white background

when your sugar is melted and is turning a nice caramel brown remove from heat and add your butter, it will spatter and bubble but it is all right! whisk it in until its fully melted, next add your heavy cream, the caramel will do the same thing as before just wait until it settles down to stir it all together.

once your mixture is all whisked together pour it into a bowl and leave it on the counter and let it come to room temperature. you don’t want to put it straight into the fridge until it cools down some.

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card / cup of vanilla ice cream in neutral colored bowl on white background

cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

Cups + Apples + Vanilla Ice Cream + Caramel = Enjoy! 

xoxo calli

 cranberry apple caramel cups recipe with free printable recipe card

Download your new free printable recipe card here: [download id="25"]

_____________________________________________________________________________

( photography by Sarahdipity Photos for create like crazy )

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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio

food / 05

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

Autumn Vegetable Tart

Tomato Red Pepper Spread

  • 1/4 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1 T garlic, minced

* for this recipe i decided to pre buy both the roasted red peppers and tomatoes, i have a fresh market and a whole foods in town that make their own in house and they are quite delicious! they are packed in olive oil with garlic and herbs which means they are bursting with flavor, to roast your own you can sprinkle olive oil and dried herbs of your choice on the veggies and roast in the oven on 350 for about 45 minutes

Autumn Vegetables

  • 1 graffiti eggplant
  • 1 yellow heirloom tomato
  • 1 delicata squash

* these are the vegetables i chose, have fun with this recipe! go to the market and pick what looks good to you, thats what i did! if you know certain veggies take longer to cook than some others you picked then slice the ones that cook quicker a little bit thicker and the long cooking ones really thin, itll be great! make sure you get some that are all around the same thickness, your tart will be a little bit more uniform. 

Tart Crust

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • goat cheese
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water = egg wash

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

For the Tomato Red Pepper Spread

finely chop your red peppers and tomatoes with salt and pepper until it forms a smooth paste, you can even give it a whirl in the food processor, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of the flavored oil from the package, mix your minced garlic in.

spread the mix evenly on your puff pastry rectangle leaving about 1/2 an inch around the edges for a nice crust.

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

For the Autumn Vegetables

take your thinly sliced veggies and lay them out along the tart in whatever pattern your heart desires!

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

drizzle with olive oil and salt + pepper, brush your edges with an egg wash and pop in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. top with pieces of goat cheese.

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

cool + cut + serve = enjoy!

xoxo calli

autumn vegetable tart a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

Download your new free printable recipe card here: [download id="21"]

__________________________________________________

( photography by Sarahdipity Photos for create like crazy )

check out the outtakes on the CLC facebook page

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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio

food / 04

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese

Cheese Sauce + Pasta

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 (1 quart) cups milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cup gruyere, shredded
  • 1/4 cup soft goat cheese (of your choice, i chose a roasted garlic and herb goat cheese)
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 lb cooked pasta (of your choice of course!)

Brown Butter Pumpkin

  • 1 cup pumpkin, 1 small pumpkin will do, medium dice (avaliable at most groceries, near the winter squash)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • salt and pepper as needed

Topping Mix

  • 1/4 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs (toasted in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes and cooled)

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

For the Brown Butter Pumpkin

before cooking your pumpkin we need to clean it! make sure to peel and scrape out the insides of your pumpkin, then you can cut it into cubes, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

in a sauté pan over medium heat add your olive oil and pumpkin plus salt and pepper to your liking and cook for about 15 minutes covered stirring occasionally. you are looking for your pumpkin to be fork tender.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

when cooked to your liking, add in your rosemary then butter cooking until slightly brown and nutty. it’ll give off an aroma of toasted nuts, be careful not to burn it!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

For the Cheese Sauce

in a sauce pan over med-low heat melt butter, when melted add flour, nutmeg, and your bay leaf. cook for about 5 minutes only slightly browning the mixture. for those of you that aren’t major foodie nerds like myself this process is called making a roux, which we are using to make a béchamel which is one of my most favorite sauces, yum!

 Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

when your roux is only a wee bit brown very slowly whisk in your quart of milk a cup at a time, letting it absorb the milk before each addition, bring your béchamel to a simmer and let thicken for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom browning. your sauce should be a thick soup consistency. give it a taste and add pepper as needed, you want to add your salt after the cheese gets mixed in because most cheeses are a tad salty.

take your sauce off the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes, if you mix the cheese in when your sauce is piping hot the cheese will become grainy and no one likes a grainy cheese sauce.

add in your cheeses 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly making sure for even melty goodness. once all of your cheese is in give it a taste and add salt as needed, you might not even have to add any at all. now you have a tasty cheese sauce ready for your pasta!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

in your serving container of choice toss your 1 lb of cooked pasta with all of your yummy cheese sauce then top with your brown butter pumpkin and topping mix.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card downloadBrown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card downloadBrown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card downloadBrown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card downloadBrown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

enjoy!

xoxo calli

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac + Cheese a creative fall thanksgiving recipe by calli marie webb for create like crazy with free printable recipe card download

Download your new free printable recipe card here: [download id="10"]

__________________________________________________

( photography by Sarahdipity Photos for create like crazy )

> check out the outtakes on the CLC facebook page

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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio

food / 03

As a culinary major and an all things by scratch lady I absolutely shutter at the thought of using something pre packaged but there is one thing that I make an exception for. It is versatile, buttery, flaky, easy to use, quick, convenient, and delicious. That thing is pre packaged Puff Pastry. If you have ever made puff pastry by scratch then you would agree that you want to abandon the idea forever. It is a time consuming and labor intensive process that entails many hours of dough chilling, resting, and kneading. Not only to mention there will be butter and flour EVERY where. I don’t know about you but I simply don’t have the time to do that. Puff pastry in short is little layers of leavened dough with butter in between that when baked creates a puffy flaky pastry. The uses for puff pastry are endless. I will be using puff pastry a lot in my recipes here and once you start to make it a staple in your freezer you will too. The possibilities are endless. So go to the store, grab a box, and get to baking! One of my favorite blogs has excellent recipes on what to make with puff pastry.

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

Bite Sized Fruit Pastries

  • 1 package puff pastry ( I use pepperidge farm puff pastry sheets )
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flour, for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon tablespoon lemon zest, about 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 peaches, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • any cookie cutter of your choice ( I went for tiny and bite sized for a little treat at our #CLCbrunch )
bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

in two separate bowls mix each fruit with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon and let macerate for 30 minutes at room temperate, stirring occasionally to ensure even coating on the fruit

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

take both of your thawed puff pastry sheets and lightly roll seams together on a well floured surface, the more you rolls the less “puff” you will get with your pastry so be gentle

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

cut out as many pieces of puff pastry as you can using your cookie cutter, staying close together because unlike most doughs with puff pastry you can’t ball it up and roll it out again

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

lay out your shapes onto a lightly sprayed sheet pan and dock each piece with a fork avoiding the edges, this keeps the center from puffing up and knocking your fruit over, and we wouldn’t want that

make an egg wash by whisking together your eggs and water, brush each pastry with the egg wash

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

assemble each pastry by laying a little pile of fruit in the center of each one

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffy

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

transfer onto a cooling rack and dust lightly with powdered sugar

enjoy!

xoxo calli

bite sized fruit pastries step by step recipe with free printable download cute recipe card

Download your new free printable recipe card here: [download id="9"]

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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio