Do you dread dicing onions? Does it drive you nuts when you can’t make small, even little squares? I’ve got the perfect video tutorial for you to help you with that… “How to Dice an Onion”!
I’m baaaaaaaaaack! Well, sorta. Back in August while in the Dog Tag, Inc. Fellowship Program, I had a 5 week rotation in the kitchen of the Dog Tag Bakery learning from the Executive Pastry Chef Rebecca Clerget and her amazing staff. One afternoon, we had the privilege of learning basic knife skills from “Kitchen” Kyle Wronsky, head of the savory menu at Dog Tag Bakery.
Kyle taught us how to dice an onion in a way that I had never seen before and my mind was blown! His technique, which I am sure is only new to me, was not only simple, but it created a small, uniform dice of the onion.
I knew I had to turn it into a video tutorial so I could share this with all of you!
How to Dice an Onion with “Kitchen” Kyle Wronsky
Prepare Your Work Surface: Place a wet cloth flat under your cutting board. This will ensure that your board does not slide around while you are dicing the onion.
Sharpen and Hone Your Knife: Not only must you start with a sharp knife, but you must keep your knife sharp. Hone your knife before & after each use to keep it sharp.
Trim the Gangly Bits: Trim the extra gangly bits off the root of the onion, making sure to keep the root in tact.
Cut the Top Flat: The opposite end from the root, slice off the top creating a flat surface to set the onion on.
Slice the Onion in half: Cutting through the root, slice the onion in half.
Make Horizontal Cuts: Cutting 80% through the onion making sure not to penetrate the root, make horizontal slices about 1/4″ apart starting at the bottom and moving to the top.
Make Vertical Cuts: Again, cutting 80% through the onion making sure not to penetrate the root, turn the onion 45 degrees and make vertical slices about 1/4″ apart. Start at one side and move to the other.
Make Vertical Cuts again: This cut creates the dice. Turn the onion 45 degrees again, and make vertical cuts 1/4″ apart creating an even dice of the onion.
Repeat: Repeat this process with the other half of your onion!
Big THANK YOU goes to Rebecca of Dog Tag Bakery for allowing us to use her kitchen to shoot this video! Bigger thanks to “Kitchen Kyle” for sharing his skills!
Wilton dyes in – green, yellow, & two other colors of your choice for flowers
Disposable piping bags & small couplers
Wilton tips #102, #3, #233, #67
I really love how the Sweets & Treats Boutique green dot liners really add to the overall look of the cupcake! I’m a firm believer that the cupcake shouldn’t just look pretty on top where the frosting is, but the it should be cute from top to bottom!
Prepare the green cake mix as instructed on the package and bake them in the Sweets & Treats Bake Bright green dot liners. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Separate the buttercream into two… 2/3 in one bowl and 1/3 in another.
Separate the 2/3 buttercream into three equal parts. Leave one white and color the other two any color you want for the flowers.
Separate the 1/3 buttercream in two parts, 2/3 and 1/3. Color the 1/3 yellow and the 2/3 green.
Fit the piping bag with the #102 small petal tip and fill the piping bag with the first color.
Place a dab of frosting onto a parchment square and place it on the flower nail. Pipe 7-8 petals onto the square, spinning the flower nail as you pipe. (See the video for more details) Place the flower onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the other two colors of buttercream until you’ve made at least 3-5 flowers per cupcake. (For more details on how to pipe the flowers, see the Cake Style video that inspired me to make these cupcakes)
Fill a piping bag fitted with the #3 small round tip with the yellow buttercream. Pipe 6-8 dots of yellow into the center of each flower. (See the video for more details)
Freeze all the flowers until they are firm.
Fill a piping bag fitted with the #233 grass tip with the green buttercream. Pipe little shoots of grass onto the top of each cupcake. (See the video for more details)
Fill a piping bag fitted with the #67 leaf tip with green buttercream. Pipe dabs of frosting onto the top of the grass. This will act like the glue to hold on the flowers.
Working with 3-5 flowers at a time out of the freezer, gently peel each flower off the parchment square and place it onto the cupcake. Place as many as you like in whatever way you feel looks best. (See video for more details)
Pipe leaves with the green buttercream around the flowers.
Repeat until all the cupcakes are covered.
NOTE: The flowers get soft very quickly, so keep them chilled until you are ready to place them on the cupcake.
I am so super in love with how well these cupcakes turned out. Piping the flowers first, chilling them and then placing them on top created the perfect little pot of flowers!
When the buttercream flowers come to room temperature, they meld onto each other making it impossible to tell how they were place on the cupcakes! I had people amazed and how I made these!
So whether you’re hosting a garden party, a bake sale or just want to make something adorable, these Flower Pot Cupcakes are perfect for all your cupcake needs!
Surprise your friends and family with your favorite sugar cookie kicked up a notch with my Pretzel Shaped Cinnamon Sugar Cookies!
My sweet neighbor Amanda had a baby this week! A sweet little boy (well, not so little he weighed 10lbs, 11oz!) with the cutest chubby cheeks and the softest skin who just lays peacefully in my arms as I ooohh and awwww over him. Of course, I had to bake for this sweet baby’s Mamma and Grandma and decided on Amanda’s favorite cookie recipe of mine. Sugar cookies!
Instead of baking plain cookies, I decided to mix things up a bit and shape the dough into pretzels. I mean, we are in Germany after all! And to add another dimension of flavor, I added cinnamon to the batter and to the frosting! These Pretzel Shaped Cinnamon Sugar Cookies are soft, savory and sweet at the same time and so delicious!
To decorate the pretzels, I left a few without frosting and used white jimmies to act as the “salt” on the pretzel. Some I drizzled with chocolate while others I frosted and coated in rainbow jimmies and nonpareils. These really are so delicious and so cute… you need them in your life!
I made a quick video of how I rolled and shaped the pretzels. I hope it helps with you making them yourself!
Pretzel shaped Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 1 hour30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour38 minutes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2-4 Tbsp heavy cream
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening.
Add the sugar, eggs, and extract and mix on high until light and fluffy – about 4-5 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, flour, baking powder and salt.
Add the flour to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Make sure you are scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Weigh 2.5oz of dough. Roll the dough into a 12-13 inch rope.
Take each end and fold it up and over onto itself, twisting once. Make a small indentation into the dough where the ends will attach. (See video)
Bake for 7-9 minutes or until they begin to brown on the bottom slightly.
Allow the cookies to cool for about a minute or two before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Apply a thin layer of frosting to the cookie and sprinkle any sprinkles or jimmies over the top.
You can also use a small flat piping tip attached to a bag filled with frosting and pipe any decoration on the cookie you want.
I used white jimmies to look like salt on a few. I melted chocolate and drizzled that over a few others and garnished with gold sugar crystals. The possibilities are endless! Just be creative!
I have not typically been a huge fan of Martha Stewart, her recipes or tutorials. However, I did come across a super sweet video tutorial on her website that shows Five Amazingly Simple Cake Decorating Ideas! I hope that you learn something from this and try them on your cupcakes.
Personally, I was inspired by the two-toned soft serve cupcakes. I think I’ll try that myself!
Now also imagine that you’re a blogger who can’t do anything small.
And then imagine that you live in Germany where you don’t have access to amazing stores like Walmart to buy your supplies.
In my world, that’s a challenge worth accepting! You can imagine how excited I was when I was chosen as one of 5 bloggers to participate in this project with Nickelodeon and Walmart and my wheels started turning with all kinds of awesome plans, recipes and decorating ideas!
Instead of creating a slime moment for just my two kids, I invited two of my friends who have six school age children between them to join us. Three moms, one dad and eight kids make for a fun afternoon of slime!
For this Slime Party, we made slime-filled cupcakes then got messy with some easy DIY slime and finally we finished the afternoon with a goodie bag of homemade slime-filled chocolates! Loads of fun for all ages!
First, watch this video and then read below for all the details to Host a Slime Party! Enjoy!
Set the Scene!
Before the party even began, I had to Set the Scene! This was super fun to plan! Lime green everything! Here’s what I gathered for the party:
Lime green vinyl table cover, napkins and cups – I got this at my local drug store, but you can find them at Walmart too!
Glass milk jars – I drink a lot of those bottled coffee drinks from that one super popular coffee joint… so I saved a bunch of those jars, took off the labels and cleaned them out. Instant milk jars!
Lime green polka dot paper straws & treat bags – I ordered these online from Sweets & Treats Boutique, but I’m certain you could find similar at Walmart!
Cake stand – I’ve had this white cake stand for a while, but you could use a glass stand or lime green if you had one! I think it adds a fun focal point to the table and makes a display for the finished product!
You don’t have to gather everything I did, just use what you have at home! If you go to Walmart and you don’t see exactly what I found, no worries… just pick out from the selection they do have. Get your creative juices flowing!
Slime Filled Cupcakes
Filling and decorating cupcakes is fun for kids of all ages! At my Slime party, kids from ages 3 to 15 got in on the fun… Moms too! Before the party, I made a few dozen cupcakes and frosting ahead of time and prepared the slime filling.
Oh, you’ll never guess what I used for the slime filling either! LIME CURD! Seriously. I’ve seen other cupcakes before that have used frosting or gel for the slime, but I wanted something more delicious and less full of chemicals. Seriously genius if I do say so myself!
Cupcakes & buttercream – I used this recipe and tinted the frosting green with leaf green gel coloring. Bake the cupcakes in green liners. I got these polka dot liners from Sweets & Treats Boutique, but you can find similar at Walmart.
Lime Curd – see recipe below
Disposable piping bags and round piping tips in both small and large sizes.
Core the center of each cupcake and fill with lime curd.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with frosting. Fill another piping bag fitted with a small round tip with lime curd.
Fill each cupcake using a spoon with lime curd. Top the cupcake with a swirl of frosting then garnish with lime curd that oozes down the side of the cupcake.
After the kids all decorated one cupcake just like this, I let them go crazy with the frosting, curd and sprinkles! They came up with some pretty creative cupcakes! I’m certain that they could have decorated cupcakes for hours if I had more frosting and cupcakes!
How to Host a Slime Party: Lime Curd
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
1 lb granulated sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 oz unsalted butter
3 large limes (or 4 smaller ones)
Zest & squeeze the limes and set aside.
Using a double boiler, melt the butter on medium heat.
Add the sugar, lime juice and zest, whisking until smooth.
Bring to a soft, slow simmer (but NOT a boil) and add eggs and whisk thoroughly. Stir constantly until thickened. Make sure not to boil or bring the heat too high, you don’t want to cook the eggs.
Cook until the curd sticks to the back of a wooden spoon and is nice and thick (approx 10 mins).
Transfer to an air tight container and cool in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.
After the fun of decorating cupcakes, it was time to get messy! Since I have a young child, I wanted to make a slime that was non-toxic in case Matty wanted to put it in his mouth. So, I found a recipe for slime that included only corn starch, water and a little food coloring.
This recipe makes enough for one child to play with, double, triple or quadruple to make more! At our party, each child shared a double batch!
1 cup of corn starch
1 cup water
1 sealable sandwich bag
green liquid coloring
In the sealable bag, mix the corn starch, coloring and water together until it forms a paste.
Pour the paste into a small bowl.
Have fun! The faster you move, the harder it is to work with the slime, slower movements and the slime moves!
So you know how I said I made this non-toxic for my little one… well, he only played with the slime for about 2 minutes. Apparently, he doesn’t like getting messy. hehe
Slime Filled Chocolates
As a treat for everyone to go home with, I made slime-filled chocolates ahead of time. Don’t worry, they aren’t really filled with slime, it’s white chocolate!
Semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted – enough to make the chocolates according to the specifications on the candy mold package.
White chocolate ganache filling – see recipe below
Green sugar crystals
Fill each mold with a tablespoon of melted chocolate. Tip and turn the mold to move the chocolate around the inside of the mold being careful not to get any chocolate above the top edge. Flip the mold upside down and let any extra chocolate drip out. Place the mold in the freezer until the chocolate has set, about 5-10 minutes.
Fill each mold with the ganache filling until just full leaving a small edge on the top. Place back in the freezer until the ganache is firm, about 20 minutes.
Reheat chocolate if necessary then use a spoon to cover the tops of the chocolates. Press the back of the spoon on the top and pull up in the center, this will create a finished look to your chocolate. Sprinkle with green sugar crystals. Chill for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
How to Host a Slime Party: Green White Chocolate Ganache Filling
Yield: 2 cups
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
9 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
green gel food coloring
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium glass bowl.
In a small, heavy sauce pan heat the heavy cream until just boiling/simmering.
Pour hot cream slowly over the white chocolate and let sit for 3 minutes without touching. With a rubber spatula, stir the ganache until all the chocolate has melted and is smooth.
Mix in the vanilla extract and the green gel food coloring.
Chill until set or about 2-3 hours.
Doesn’t all this look like loads of fun? I know it got me excited to tune into the Kids’ Choice Awards 2015 on Nickelodeon! Follow #KCA on Twitter for all the fun this Saturday, March 28!!
3 1/2 years ago I discovered the online vanilla bean company Beanilla and have been in love with their beans ever since! When I moved to Germany, getting my hands on local affordable, high-quality beans was impossible so I was excited to have found Beanilla.
Before I go on… if you’re here for the GIVEAWAY scroll to the bottom for all the details!
I reached out to Beanilla a couple months ago and expressed to them how much I loved their beans and would love to partner with them for a post on JavaCucpake! I have been using their beans in my homemade vanilla extracts as well as in all my vanilla recipes. Every time I split open a Madagascar vanilla bean the aroma fills my kitchen and I go to my happy place!
Since I make all my extract in bulk, Beanilla and I decided that I’d create for you a “How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract in Bulk” tutorial for you. This tutorial will feature three distinct Beanilla beans paired with three different liquors.
I really hope you are able to get a lot of helpful information from this tutorial! Vanilla extract is super simple to make and it really is so amazing in place of store bought extract. Once you start making it yourself, you’ll never go back to imitation!
The Video Tutorial
I created two video tutorials to help you make homemade vanilla extract. This first video below is longer with more details about the beans and alcohol I used. The video at the bottom of this post has been edited to only include the specifics of making the extract.
Madagascar vanilla beans and vanilla vodka extract – Creamy, strong, full, rich vanilla beans paired with a smooth vanilla vodka make for the ultimately perfect vanilla extract for baking
Indonesian vanilla beans and honey bourbon whiskey extract – Floral, sweet, delicate beans with tones of fruit paired with a honey infused sweet bourbon whiskey create a simply sweet vanilla extract for desserts with deep flavors
Ugandan vanilla beans and spiced rum extract – Strong, creamy, rich tones of chocolate and caramel beans paired with a caramel spiced rum produce a bold vanilla extract strong enough to hold up to any chocolate recipe.
Start with one type of beans and the alcohol paired with it. Prepare those vanilla beans by using the straight edge of the paring knife and pressing the vanilla pod flat evenly distributing the beans inside the pod. Split the pod in half the long way. Repeat until all the beans are split.
Place the beans into the clean, dry glass jar and pour the alcohol until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Place the cork on top and shake gently.
Add a label to the jar noting the date you made the extract.
Store the jar in a cool place away from direct sunlight for a minimum of one month up to four months.
Repeat this process with the two other types of beans and their corresponding alcohols.