Friday, February 11, 2011

Here it is...

Well I have been thinking about writing a blog of my cooking adventures but was not confident that anyone but me would be interested in reading it. Recently, I have been encouraged to actually do it. So here it goes...
I have know that I have a passion for cooking since I was a little girl. Somewhere I have a picture of me learning to cook pancakes with Dad, probably around age 3 or 4. I will try to find that and post it. From then on I have gotten a joy from cooking a successful dish of any sort. I find it fascinating to start with so many different single ingredients and then some how you incorporate them and get a fantastic (hopefully) end product. I love to try to create new dishes, usually from parts of several recipes spliced together. I like to learn from failure but however, I do not like to fail. My husband can attest to this, as he has seen the result of many failed projects. Lets just say it winds up with a big mess and I usually raise my voice and stomp my feet a few times. Lol. I really have two goals in an earthly sense. #1 to make people laugh and #2 to please people's taste buds with my culinary endeavors. Hopefully with this blog, I can do both...
Fantastically Great Aunt Wanda
My latest adventure was to make my "famous" chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing. I have to thank my dear great aunt Wanda for sharing this wonderful creation with us as kids.
I remember going to her house as a kid, usually on Halloween, and she would have a delicious chocolate cake, smothered with thick peanut butter icing. Now, I never knew this wasn't a common dessert staple that every person enjoyed until I got married. I knew my husband loved chocolate and peanut butter almost equally. (Chocolate always wins). So I decided to make him this cake. When he saw the icing, he was like what is that? Confused, I said peanut butter icing. Equally confused, he said he had never heard of that. I'm relatively sure I almost passed out to that statement. He then ate a piece and told me that it was the best cake he had ever eaten and something about how no other kind of icing should ever be allowed on chocolate cake. (At this point, if there was any doubt, which there wasn't, but if there had been, I was 100% sure I had married the right man.) So after this confusing experience, I was curious. I began to ask around, to my co-workers, etc if they had, had pb icing. One after another, I got an astounding no. So I took a batch of cupcakes to work and now they are requested at least once a month. 
So recently our church family had a party for the Superbowl at our church member and co-worker Dawn's house and I was requested to bring them to the party. So of course I agreed. However, every time I had made them I was bothered by how thick the icing was. It was like working with modeling clay, lol, and does NOT go on smoothly. So my goal over the next few weeks was to tweak the recipe to make it go on smoothly and look more aesthetic. So, I wound up making the recipe relatively the same but as a butter cream. It worked fabulously, creamy, beautiful icing. However, it was much paler in color and when I tasted it, it was delicious but paled in comparison to the original. The pb flavor was much weaker. But they were still delicious so I decided to give it a try and see what people thought.
Result: Mistake...
The people that had never had them before said they were great, however, the people that had been spoiled by the rich peanut butter flavor were not content with this new recipe. 
Two morels to this story:
#1 Looks, apparently, do not matter.
#2 If it's not broke, don't fix it!
Cupcakes with original icing.
Cupcakes with new, but not improved pb icing.

(((Ok looked for picture of me cooking pancakes, could not find, must be at Mom & Dad's )))


  1. Welcome to the blogsphere! Love the pic of Aunt Wanda! Wish that I knew her better. She looks so much like Grandma that my throat got tight... Will you be sharing this recipe? I've never heard of PB icing either...looks yummy!

  2. i do plan on sharing many recipes on here, however this one i am not going to give out yet i don't think. there are several reasons behind that. i think everyone should experiment and create their own to their liking. it can be thick or thin, strong peanut butter flavor or light, gooey or fluffy, just depending on how you prepare it and different varients to the amounts. everyone is different so why not make your own. i recommend just googling pb icing and try splicing together few recipes that sound good. that is what i did, just using basic icing component knowledge then adding pb, etc to create what you like. b/c of this my recipe is never exactly the same. i do have some other icing ideas that i hope are successful that i plan to try out and share soon. if anyone has any ideas of dishes i should try out and write about, please feel free to share!

  3. awesome job you must get your cooking ability from someone besides me lol love you, mom

  4. Thts not true. Ur a wonderful cook. I love u too!

  5. Ok. I am reading. As I said. Very good!! I also see that I should get more pictures together of Wanda, Bernice and all. I have trouble wrapping my mind around you all being old enough to be interested.
    My mom made a great chocolate cake, my mother in law gave me a great receipe for a choc. cake. Of course, I make the traditional chocolate pie from scratch on holidays in honor of mom and Bernice. Wanda makes a mean one too. Did she show/teach you how to make it?
    The art of real cooking (from scratch) is not done much, so it's reassuring to see you young folk cooking!!

  6. I was always more interested in Grandma's lemon meringue pie. I will definitely try to include more pictures for everyone as I go. It is amazing how many people have never even made a cake from scratch. It's not satisfying to make something from a mix. I obviously don't make everything from scratch (we had a digorno pizza for dinner tonight) but its always more satisfying when I have the time to.

  7. Love it, thanks for the wonderul memories, I of course thought eveyone had made peanut butter icing??? One time I went to Wanda's and had the pleasure of homemade ice cream with homemade chocolate syrup. WOW. but of course you get your cooking bug from me, I sure didn't learn from my mother, Grandma Long, who really didn't like to cook so much, but had some things she made that were great, like her yeast rolls, pies, homemade doughnuts and a mean pot of beans!!! Her homemade fried doughnuts, she only made on cold and snowy days when she could dtay home from the store or on Sunday afternoons, but not often. Raised dough, fried in Crisco and then glazed. Hot, sweet, crunchy, moist, wonderful. Thanks for this blog, I love it. Keep on Cookin'

  8. I have to add those picked from the garden green beans with onions and bacon. Potato salad with lots of onions and that secret ingredient, just a bit of pickle juice. Baked beans with that hint of mustard and the bacon slices on top. Rhonda has the beans down pat, but we both make a mean potato salad. I am pretty sure the Lemon Pie was Jello Pudding, but she made the meringue from scratch. Mom gave Rhonda pretty much all of the recipes so we keep her memory alive, and I keep getting fatter. Keep up the good work Tiff, love the blog. Uncle Steve