Saturday, February 25, 2012

I finally made Cake-pops that I am proud of...!

It's four in the morning...and what am I doing?  I am up blogging about baking & cooking and all those fun ideas.
I have finally, finally, finally  made some cake pops that I am proud of!  Where's the pictures?  No pictures.  At least not this morning.  My camera's bottom has decided not to "shut" once batteries are put it in.  So this post is "picture-less", I'm sad to say.  I could get my phone but I have a 9-week old...oh, well, you get my point.

Any-how, I have finally, finally made cake pops that I am proud of and it happened tonight in a series of three steps.  If you've checked over my blog or looked at it for any length of time, you've noticed that I have  made cake-pops before.  Sure!  But they weren't "right".  You know what I mean... too crumbly, too moist, there was always something not quite right.

Now this time around I have finally gotten Bakerella's cookbook...and I've followed the instructions...and they turned out right.  Sounds simple, I know.  But you have to understand, I jumped on the first train to "something new in the cooking world" and I didn't even check to see if I had my train ticket, lol.  And the conductor (the result) came asking me for my ticket (the instructions) and did I pay for it (was I following them)...and I was not.  Hence the "not so great end product"!  Well, I've got my ticket, paid my fair, I know where I'm going...I am finally on my way to being a pop-star, a Cake-pop star that is!  Anybody want to come with me?  Or already on their way there?  Got your ticket?  I do now...(smile).  And it's all up-hill from here.

I'm gonna make cake-pops,
I'm gonna make cake-pops,
And good ones this time,
And good ones this time!

Now with that, go out and get yourself a cookbook or go online and learn how to make your favorite item, by following a recipe, step-by-step.

You'll be so glad you did!

Good Night (or Good Morning...)
and Happy Baking!
-Bakie (aka Chemeeka ;-)

Monday, February 13, 2012

A really moist meatloaf

When you hear the word, "meatloaf" what is the first thing that comes to mind?  (Be honest...) "Dry", "crusty", "not tasty.." does any of that ring a bell?  Many a person I have spoken to whenever I even mention the idea of making a meatloaf they always tell me how their mother's was very, very dry and just didn't leave a good taste in their mouths or their minds for that matter.

Now when I think of meatloaf, I think of, soft, juicy and even flavorful.  Why?  In part because I have come across this recipe~actually a concoction of mine that I think just might work to solve those dry meatloaf woes, if you will.  Let's start with 2 pounds of 80/20 ground beef.  To that add:

1/2 cup no-salt added tomato ketchup
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
2 egg yolks
1/2 part-skim ricotta cheese (just trust me on this one)
1/4 breadcrumbs
1 cup dry rolled oats
your favorite seasonings (for me that would be salt, pepper, a little garlic
powder and maybe some italian seasoning)

Go ahead and mix all of this by hand in an un-greased 2quart oval baking dish.  Form it into a loaf and top it with a mixture of 1/8 cup sweet barbecue sauce & one 1/4 cup no salt added ketchup.  (The reason for the no-salt ketchup is because it seems to be a little "fresher" an adds more moisture to the dish ;-).  Pop it in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 mins.

Let it rest when it's done before slicing, so that it doesn't crumble when you do.  And there you have it..a very moist and delicious meatloaf.  What more could your family ask for?  :-)

As always...
Happy Baking!
-Chemeeka (Bakie :-)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bakerella, You inspired Me!

The following is a must read from our all inspiring, mother-of-all-baking-inspiration herself, Ms. (Angie Dudley) Bakerella.  Am I a fan?  Absolutely!
From her post, "Cake Pops: An Adventure"  by Bakerella
Today almost snuck up on me. I realized it just in time to reminisce and celebrate with you guys.
Oh and this is a pretty long post, but I had a hard time making it any shorter.
Four years ago today, on February 1, I posted something that changed my life and maybe even some of yours.
Cupcake Pops
I posted these cupcake pops. I posted them the day after I posted these pink cake pops. And I had no idea then the impact they would have. Seriously, read the old posts. Pretty amusing.
While the pink cake pops were super cute and definitely different since they were cake on a stick, it was the cupcake pops that became crazy popular thanks to so many of you.  If it hadn’t been for your enthusiasm, I don’t know if I would have kept experimenting and creating craziness like the muppets cake pops for instance. It could have just ended right here with the cupcake pops. And, that would have been okay, too. They are still my and my mom’s favorite. I guess I have an attachment to them.
A little background history…  when I first made the pink cake pops, I was so excited by how they turned out. I wanted others to see them too because I thought they were so cute and I just knew they would make people smile. I was following the blog Cupcakes Takes the Cake (CTTC) at the time and I thought that if I could just make them look like a cupcake, they might feature them on their blog. So after I made the pink cake pop, I figured out a way to shape the cake balls with a cutter and dip them twice to make them look like a cupcake. Success! I couldn’t believe it. So I added my photos to the CTTC flickr group and crossed my fingers that they would pick them to feature on their site. And they did.
For me that was it. I wasn’t looking for anything more. Just to keep baking and making cute treats. And hopefully bring smiles to anyone that wanted to look at them.
But then, something crazy happened. A month or so after I posted the photos, I was invited to show Martha Stewart how I make them … on her show… like standing next to her. I thought I was being punked. I mean I had only been blogging for about four months when I received the invitation. And I hadn’t been baking much longer before that. Let’s just say I was petrified. But I did it anyway. You can watch the video here on her site. The link is on the sidebar. If you haven’t seen it before I think you’ll get a chuckle at what she calls them. Of course it wasn’t funny at the time. I think I managed to mask my shock pretty well. I know I told them we shouldn’t use chocolate cake on TV. Good times.
Lots of other fun things have happened since then, too.
  • I started experimenting with designs and creating all kinds of cake pop themes.
  • I visited the Pioneer Woman and we had a cake pop demo at the lodge. So fun. Love you Ree.
  • I proposed to Melissa for Rich with cake pops. Miss you guys.
  • Betty Crocker invited me to make cake pops for the cover of one of their magazines.
  • I wrote a little book. You may have heard of it.
  • I made cupcake pops with Blake Lively. Ummm… what is going on?
  • You guys became Pop Stars.
  • I made some cake pops for Disney’s website.
  • I made a little kit and some cards, too.
  • My cake pops were featured in magazines like People, Entertainment Weekly, Taste of Home, Family Circle, O, and more.
  • I went on the Today Show. Kathie Lee shook the pop a bit too hard and got candy coating on her eyelashes. My stomach sunk. Mortified.
  • The book has been printed in several languages throughout the world. Craziness.
  • And there’s a couple more fun things coming that I can’t say just yet.
But that’s not all that’s happened because of these tiny treats on a stick. So many other things have popped on the scene because you all fell in love with the cake pops I made. Your excitement and enthusiasm for cake pops are probably the biggest reason for their success and why they are now so popular. For example…
  • Cake pops are sold in a certain world dominating coffee shop.
  • Bakeries and cupcake shops now sell them in their lineup.
  • Businesses have packaged sprinkles and such to market for them.
  • Commercials and other kits appeared. Some even use my designs. Flattering, I guess one could say.
  • Machines are now on the market to make them … albeit they don’t let you mix the frosting in or custom shape them.
  • Other books have surfaced on the topic, too, which just reinforces how popular cake pops have become.
But it’s not all that stuff that makes me shake my head in amazement. You guys have done so much with them on a personal level and have continued to inspire me along the way.
  • So many of you have started home businesses selling cake pops.
  • Or websites devoted to cake pops
  • Or created rollers or stands or just about anything else you can think of to make or use with cake pops.
  • I know many of you that make them just for fun. And make lots of them.
  • Your emails and stories brighten my day every time I read them. There have been so many sweet ones too. Emails from all over the world. From places I’ve never even heard of. Some that made me cry and some that made me laugh. But all that made me feel so special to have played a little part in bringing smiles to your lives.
  • Big hugs and congratulations to all of you, too!
I think cake pops have definitely made their mark in the baking world, making life a little bit sweeter.
Actually, I think we need a National Cake Pop Day. Or an International Cake Pop Day. And today seems like a great choice to me. That’s it I’m proclaiming February 1, the Official Unofficial Cake Pop Day. Who’s with me?
I’d love for you to tell me if cake pops have meant anything special to you.
  • Do you sell them? What’s your site?
  • Have you made them on your blog? I’d love to see.
  • Do you have a picture of yours on your facebook? Share a link.
  • Do you follow my facebook page for cake pop inspiration?
  • Do you have the book? Do you have a favorite design?
  • Are you a Pop Star? Do you want to be?
  • Have you started a business to help people make them?
  • Maybe you’ve just eaten them before. Or have seen them at a bakery or wedding or party.
  • Maybe someone has given them to you as a gift.
  • And maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about? That’s okay, too.
Go to to leave a comment.