First up, Easy Salsa.
I'm still wary of using tomatoes from cans to make salsa. It almost feels like why bother when I can just buy jarred salsa if the ingredients aren't going to be fresh, you know? I do have PW's salsa pinned and just might consider someday... but for now... it's salsa with real tomatoes. I actually prefer the cheap Roma tomatoes over the others to make salsa because there are less insides and therefore the salsa will be less runny, because I use the whole thing.
For this recipe, I substituted about 6 tomatoes in place of the can of tomatoes, added 1/2 jalapeno instead of the green chilies, and way more cilantro. Because 2 Tbsp? I mean, really. We're talking about salsa here.
I've made this recipe twice in two weeks and it's a great way to clean out the produce.
Next up, Birthday cake.
I don't have a single photo of the cooking process, but man did that take forever. We ended up with like 72 mini cupcakes and a smash cake, all from scratch. I don't own a mini cake pan for the smash cake and asked all of my local friends if they had one and none of them did. I ended up using two of my Pyrex 1 qt. glass storage containers to make the two layers of the cake. I have this set. Got the idea here. My mom has way more baking skill than me and suggested we heavily butter and flour the insides to prevent sticking. I filled each of them with even amounts of vanilla cake mix (see below), added sprinkles to make it my own funfetti mix and baked until done. Then I plopped them out immediately onto a wire cooling rack for cooling. The next day, I cut off the top of each cake to make them flat, added icing to the middle, a sliced strawberry, and iced the rest before adding the sprinkles. Sprinkles cake inspiration here.
|Steps: starting top right and going clockwise|
Steps to the Sprinkle Number Process:
1. Bake layers, cool, slice off tops using bread knife, ice center, stack, icing all around (shown in 1st step).
2. Let icing harden for about 30 minutes. When no longer sticky, place number piece of paper in the center. We printed to size - many images available on Google images & using Paint, you can shrink them.
3. Use a butter knife to ruffle the icing around the number so it's sticky again, because you want the sprinkles to adhere and stay.
4. Sprinkle all around, being careful to keep that number down without pushing too hard that it stick too well when it comes time to pull it off the cake.
5. Quality control. The key is to get into the corners of the number (with sprinkles) so it's sharp. You want the number to be distinct when you pull it off the cake. Peel number off once you feel the sprinkles are good to go!
I used two cake recipes-- one vanilla and one chocolate. And the recipe for the vanilla buttercream frosting. I planned to make cream cheese frosting, but I forgot to buy the cream cheese at the store. But the butter? Yeah, I didn't forget that... so buttercream frosting it was!
They were okay, but the only thing I'd probably make again was the frosting. It was extra vanilla-ey and I like it that way. Otherwise, the cake was just... cake. I did add chocolate chips to the chocolate cupcakes, so that made them pretty yummy, but the cake itself was just okay. I loved the sprinkles top and plan to make that again for sure!