Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cake Decorating - Course 1 - Week 4

Course 1 was pretty much about borders, roses, writing, leaves and learning to make the buttercream icing the correct consistency. In weeks 2 - 4 we learned a different part of the rose each week.

For the final class I decided to be brave and try a fruit filling between the two layers of cake. I made a spice cake and used an apple filling. Fischers sells the fruit filling in bags and you just have to cut the tip of squeeze out the amount you need. Here's instructions on how to do a fruit filling:

First, you pipe a ring around the edge of the bottom layer to keep the filling from seeping out and running down the outside of the cake.

Squeeze some of the filling out onto the center of the cake and then spread it to the sides like you do jelly on toast. Then place the top layer on top and ice and decorate.

Here is my final product from Course 1:

This was my best rose, I need to find some time to practice them.
Now its on to Course 2 where we will learn flowers, flowers and more flowers and we begin working with royal icing. Luckily we don't need a cake again until the last week!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I took a truffles class a few weeks ago and couldn't wait to try out what I learned. In the class, we learned 2 different ways to make the ganache for the truffles. One is quick and easy and creates truffles with a short shelf life, so you have to be prepared to eat them within several days. The other version is still easy, but calls for a few more ingredients, the most important being invert sugar. I am still not sure what invert sugar is, but it looks like granulated sugar mixed into corn syrup and it gives the truffles shelf life.

Quick and Easy Truffles

There are only two ingredients for these truffles: heavy whipping cream and chocolate (chocolate wafers, I don't know if chocolate chips will work). As our instructor said, these aren't healthy by any means, so go for the 40% heavy whipping cream.

For the truffles, you use 1 cup of cream for every pound of chocolate. All you have to do is bring the cream to a slight boil and then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a couple minutes while the chocolate begins to melt then stir to combine. Put the chocolate in the refrigerator until it is easy to handle. Form the chocolate into small balls and roll in your desired topping (nuts, sprinkles, cocoa powder, etc.) Store in the refrigerator. The date on your cream carton is a good reference for how long the truffles will stay good for.

Now, lets say you are tired of rolling all the truffles and you think you have made plenty, but you still have extra chocolate. That is where the next idea comes in.....

Chocolate Stuffed Strawberries

Use the same recipe as above, but this time whip the chocolate with a mixer until it is light and fluffy and then put it in a piping bag (or ziploc bag with corner cut off). Haul out the inside of the strawberries and let them sit out until they are dry. The instructor said you can use a hair dryer to dry the strawberries quicker, but that seems a little odd to me. Also cut the bottoms off the strawberries so they will stand up on their own. Then pipe the chocolate mixture into the strawberries. These will only stay good for a couple of days before the strawberries go bad, so plan accordingly.

I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 pound chocolate and I was able to make 22 strawberries.

Chocolate Truffles with Ganache Center

These were pretty easy to make and they turn out very nice. At first glance everyone thought they were store bought. The heart design comes from a chocolate transfer sheet. It is a sheet of plastic with the design painted in cocoa butter. You cut out the size you need and then dip the truffle in chocolate and then place on wax paper. Wait about 30 seconds or so for the chocolate to settle (but not harden) and then place the chocolate transfer on top and press down lightly. The heat from the chocolate pulls the design off the plastic and onto the chocolate. Let it sit for a 5-10 minutes (or until set) then carefully peel away the plastic.

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp corn syrup

1 pound chocolate, melted

1 tbsp invert sugar

1tbsp butter, softened

Additional chocolate to dip the truffles

In a heavy saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to a boil. Add butter and invert sugar. Cool to at least 98 degrees. Melt chocolate in the microwave. Blend with a wire whisk until a smooth consistency is reached. Pour in a 9x9 pan lined with parchment paper, keeping the top as smooth as possible. Chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Remove from pan and use a pizza cutter to cut 1x1 squares. Dip in melted chocolate. Place on wax or parchment paper until set.

You can also use a cookie scoop to shape the truffles and then dip them, or you can mold them in a chocolate mold.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mardi Gras

I was a little overwhelmed with Super Bowl, my first "hands on" cake class, February birthdays at work and Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day all falling in the same week. It didn't help that I came down with a killer sinus infection and some kind of stomach virus that sidelined me for about a week. I didn't get to make the chocolate truffles or chocolate stuffed strawberries that I wanted to make for Valentine's Day. But, I am hoping to have a Valentine's Day redo either this weekend or next since Scott and I spent our Valentine's Day eating Ramen noodles since I wasn't feeling well.

King Cake
I did find enough energy on Saturday to make a King Cake for Scott & Tara's Mardi Gras party. I was a little skeptical of how this cake would turn out because I did not have a clue what I was doing, but it tasted SO good! I actually combined two different recipes for this cake. One had a dough that sounded easier and I had everything I needed to make it without going to the store. But, this recipe called for an almond pastry filling in the middle. Since Scott is allergic to nuts I don't think it is fair to make something he can't eat. So, I used the filling from a second recipe which consisted of butter, cinnamon and sugar. It ended up tasting like a giant cinnamon roll.
This recipe is the way I made the cake:
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 stick butter or margarine, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tbsp ground cinnamon

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water
Purple, green and gold colored sugar

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll one portion into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Brush each rectangle with 1/2 stick of butter within 1/4 inch of the edge. Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and sprinkle half of it over each rectangle.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with colored sugars.

Yield: 2 cakes (12 servings each).

*You can substitute the filling ingredients with 2 cans (12 1/2 oz each) almond cake and pastry filling.

Let me warn you to put something underneath the cooling rack as you glaze the cake. This is what my counter looked like when I was done with the cakes. It was not fun to clean up that mess!

Friday, February 12, 2010

February Birthday Lunch

About a year or two ago I started making the desserts for our birthday lunches at work. I have a lot of fun doing it and try to come up with fun and new things to try.

Chocolate Eclair Squares

Laura found this recipe on and made it for her mom's birthday. Both of us liked it, but everyone else crabbed about a cake made from "soggy cookies and puddin". I thought my coworkers would like it so I made it for our lunch. Laura's turned out much prettier though! She used the dessert plate chocolate in a squeeze bottle and I think it was easier to make it look pretty than just drizzling chocolate on it.

2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold milk
1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped Topping, thawed
64 vanilla wafers
2 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Beat pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in whipped topping.
Arrange 16 wafers on bottom of 8-inch square dish; cover with 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining wafers. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Microwave chocolate in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until melted when stirred. Drizzle over dessert.

*I used fat free milk & cool whip and reduced fat vanilla wafers to make it slightly healthier

Valentine Parfait Cupcakes

I saw these on and thought they were super cute, so I had to try them! They were super easy too!

1 box devil's food cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 can (1 lb) Betty Crocker Whipped fluffy white frosting
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (6 oz)
2 teaspoons shortening
heart sprinkles

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups. Make cake batter as directed on cake mix box, using water, oil and eggs. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about 2/3 full).

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center come out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Spoon frosting into decorating bag fitted with large round tip. Pipe dollop of frosting on top of each cupcake.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 minute, stirring once halfway through heating. Drizzle melted chocolate over frosted cupcakes; sprinkle with hearts.

*Tip: I use my large cookie scoop (from Pampered Chef) to fill the cupcake pans. It perfectly fills the cup about 2/3 full and gives you uniform cupcakes. ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cake Decorating - Course 1 - Weeks 1 & 2

I have wanted to take cake decorating classes for a while, so I was super excited when I finally signed up for them. I am taking them at Fischer's in Florrisant. They teach the Wilton courses and each course is 4 weeks long and I am signed up to take all 3 courses. I will post pictures of all my cakes here, hopefully you will be able to see improvement from week to week.

Week 1

Week 1 was all instructional, but I feel like I learned a lot. Here are some of the tips I learned and the recipe for buttercream icing that we use in the class.

My favorite tip or trick I have learned so far is the bake even strips. I didn't know something like this even existed, but they help your cake bake evenly and eliminates the crown that tends to form on the top of the cake. They are cloth strips coated in an oven safe material and you soak them in water and then wrap them around the cake pan and pin them in place. They are made by Wilton and you can find them at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or any cake supply store (about $9 for a set of two 8"/9").
My oven creates horrible crowns on cakes and I feel like so much of the cake is wasted when you have to level it off. This is an example of a cake without the bake even strips and then a cake with bake even strips that I made on the same day.

The round cake isn't perfectly even, but you could tell that my oven is nowhere near level because both round cakes I made came out perfectly sloped. I think once I level the oven it will work much better.

Our instructor also told us that you always grease and flour your cakes pans, never just grease them. She said you can also use Baker's Joy or Cake Release because they are the combination of greasing and flouring. I am a fan of Cake Release (just don't look at the nutrition facts!). You just squirt a little in the pan and use a pastry brush to coat the pan. You can also find this at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or any cake supply store.

We also learned how to do a fruit filling in the middle of a layered cake. I will write more on this once I get brave enough to try it.

Buttercream icing:

Buttercream icing is made in 3 different consistencies: thin, medium and stiff. Thin is always used for icing a cake and writing, medium is mainly used for the decorating and stiff is always used for flowers. The difference between the three is the amount of water you use.

This is the recipe that we use in our class (and it is very tasty):

1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
1 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond or butter) - I use 1/2 vanilla, 1/2 almond
water - 4 tbsp for thin, 3 tbsp for medium, 2 tbsp for thin
1 lb pure can confectioners sugar (approx 4 cups)
1 tbsp meringue powder
pinch of salt (optional)

Cream shortening, flavoring, water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Blend together an additional 5-10 minutes until creamy.

*Important tips for the icing:
  • You cannot use Crisco for the shortening. They remade their formula a couple years ago and took out all the trans fat so it does not work well in the icing. Use a generic brand (and don't look at the nutrition facts!)
  • The flavoring must be clear or you will tint the color of your icing. Any cake supply store (including Michaels & Hobby Lobby) sells clear vanilla.
  • The salt cuts out some of the sweetness of the icing. If you use the salt then dissolve it in the water before you add the water to the shortening to make sure it gets fully incorporated. Otherwise the salt may leave white specks in your icing.
  • The meringue powder helps the icing dry and harden, which is especially important when doing flowers
  • You can buy store bought buttercream icing. This is usually in medium consistency and does not contain meringue powder. So you can add more water or powdered sugar and meringue powder depending on what you are using it for.
  • Buttercream icing will keep in the fridge for months
(side note: I am currently watching a cake show all about wedding cakes and they are currently making a cake that has a beer flavored buttercream icing (for a grooms cake). They made a chocolate cake and brushed the top of the cake in a dark beer and then put beer in the buttercream icing.....interesting.....)
Wilton also makes a cake icer tip which makes it really easy to ice a cake. Here is more info on that:

Remember when you ice a cake to always go in one direction. Pushing and pulling the spatula in different directions will pull crumbs into your icing.

Week 2

All those tips above make it sound like a breeze to ice a cake, but I was so frustrated while I was doing all my prep work for week 2. We had to bring a 2 layer cake that was iced and smooth along with a variety of icings. I was definitely reminded why I despise two layer cakes and very rarely make them. All of my icing turned out light and fluffy. I am not really sure what I did wrong, but I am going to keep trying it and see if I can improve. Practice makes perfect, right? If not, I have a long 10 weeks ahead of me!

In week 2 we learned the star, curving & zigzag lines, writing, dots and the first step of the rose. I am terribly frightened by the rose! We also learned how to transfer a pattern onto a cake using piping gel. If you place a piece of wax paper over a design (coloring book designs, patterns from the internet, freehand design, etc) you can trace the design with a decorator bag filled with piping gel. Once you have traced the pattern, flip the wax paper over, place it on the cake and lightly press the piping gel onto the cake. When you peel the wax paper away your design will be on the cake and you can fill it in with the desired colors. You can also color the piping gel and use it to decorate your cake. If you have a cake with a water feature, you can color it blue and it is translucent like water. Or, our instructor said she has used it to make a stained glass window on a cake before.

Here is the end product from week 2:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken, again?!

I know my dad gets tired of eating chicken and I think Scott probably does too. On Sundays my dad will ask my mom if it is a chicken night if she says yes then he knows I am coming over for dinner. ;) He thinks chicken and cheese pizza are the only things I eat, but I will eat other things such as pork chops (if they are breaded), steak and some beef. The problem is I don't know how to cook any of that, so if you are eating at my house, it will most likely be chicken or meatless.

Cornflake Chicken

This is one of my mom's recipes and it is super easy and delicious. This is one of my go to recipes for a quick and easy dinner. I usually serve it with the Lipton Rice Sides (I like the chicken flavor, go figure) or the Betty Crocker box potatoes (I like the Au Gratin, but they are all good). I also like to have bread with all my meals and the Pillsbury Italian Country bread is our favorite.

This recipe makes 2 servings, so double or triple accordingly:

1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cornflake crumbs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1lb boneless skinless chicken breast (can use tenderloins also)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow bowl (I use a flexible cutting mat). Dip each chicken breast in milk then completely cover with crumb mixture. Place chicken in pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
* for the Cornflake crumbs, you can use cornflake cereal and crush it into crumbs, or they sell a box of cornflake crumbs. You can find the cornflake crumbs in the bread crumb aisle and they have a much longer shelf life than the cornflake cereal.

Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan

This is another one of my quick and easy go to recipes. I usually serve it with spaghetti and the Pillsbury Country Italian bread. I am planning on making this next week, but wanted to go ahead and post the recipe in case you are planning your meals for next week too. ;) I will post a picture after I make it.

Boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet Shake n Bake chicken seasoned coating mix
Spaghetti sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano leaves (optional - I don't use them)

Coat chicken with Shake n Bake according to package directions. Place in a 9x13 pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Top each chicken breast with sauce & cheeses as desired. Sprinkle with oregano (optional). Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

*the recipe says it will make 6 servings, but I am not sure you will be able to coat 6 chicken breasts with 1 packet of Shake n Bake. Luckily, I think there are 2 packets of coating mix in each box.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Super Bowl!

I LOVE football, but the Super Bowl is especially fun because whether you pay attention to the game or are only watching for the commercials it is still a great excuse to make lots of yummy food! This year it was just my parents, Scott and I watching the game at my parents' house. We started with several appetizers and then had delicious beef sandwiches that my mom made. The following recipes were my contributions along with Buffalo Chicken Dip (which now has a picture in my post on 1/17/10).

Cheesy Football

One of my friends at work made this last year for the Super Bowl and it turned out so cute that I had to make it this year. I cut the recipe in half, since there were only four of us and I figured we did not need to consume 2 blocks of cream cheese and an entire bag of cheddar cheese. The recipe originally came from and it says this will serve 32 people if you make the full version, so keep that in mind. My mom and I really liked it, I don't think the guys touched it, they were too busy devouring the soft bavarian pretzels and cheese that my mom bought.

This is the full version of the recipe:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 pkg. (3 oz.) OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits
2 Tbsp. pimiento strips

Beat cheeses and dressing with mixer until blended.

Add onions and pepper; mix well. Refrigerate several hours.
Form into football shape on serving plate; coat with bacon bits. Add pimento strips for "lacing."

Serve with crackers.

*I used low fat cream cheese, 2% milk cheddar cheese, reduced fat parmesan cheese and lite Miracle Whip, to cut down on some of the fat. I also put the cheese ball in plastic wrap right after mixing and shaped it into a football while it was in the plastic wrap.

Football Cakes

This is something I dreamed up in my head and if they didn't taste so good I would have considered them a complete disaster. I almost didn't share them with you since I was disappointed in the way they turned out, but that is what makes this blog fun, right? I know, you all want to see me make a complete disaster out of my kitchen.

My intent was for them to be similar to a Little Debbie cake, you know with cake in the middle and a coating on frosting on the outside? I started with a 9x13 pan and baked a white cake then used a football shaped cookie cutter to cut out the cakes. Then I took a tub of store bought chocolate frosting and melted it in the microwave. With the cakes on a wire cooling rack and a flexible cutting mat underneath (to catch the excess) I poured the melted frosting over the cakes. I didn't get very far so I scraped the excess back into the bowl and melted it again. This process repeated about 6 more times and I even opened a 2nd can of frosting and I just couldn't get them to look right. By the time I was done I had chocolate frosting everywhere.....all over the counter, all over me, on the floor, running down the was a disaster! I let them dry overnight. The next morning they were still a little soft, but you could handle them.

If I ever made these again (and that is a very big IF) I would probably use a 10x15 pan so the cakes were thinner. I also have a recipe for a glaze that may have been easier than using melted frosting.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tasty Treats

I was in a baking mood last weekend so while my pot of potato soup was simmering I whipped up these tasty treats.

Gooey Butter Cupcakes

I really don't understand why gooey butter cake is only a St. Louis thing. Who doesn't love the gooey buttery goodness in these cakes? After you read this recipe you may regret that I shared it with you. So, if you don't intend to try to make these you may want to skip right over the recipe, because it is better to not even know what goes into these. ;) The recipe was originally supposed to be a 9x13 cake, but I was feeling adventurous so I made them into cupcakes instead.

1 box yellow cake mix
4 eggs, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 (16oz) box powdered sugar
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix, 2 eggs & butter. Spread into pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 eggs, powdered sugar and cream cheese. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour into the pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the center of the cake is set. Let cool before cutting and serving.

For cupcakes: Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Divide the crust dough amongst each cupcake and press the dough flat. (Works best if you wet your fingers before handling the dough, that way it won't stick to your fingers.) Top with powdered sugar/cream cheese mixture. Bake until set. I think it made about 28 cupcakes.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I love Tastefully Simple's beer bread and they offer tons of recipes on their site for their products. I printed out a recipe for banana bread using the beer bread mix, but when I went to my pantry I didn't have any beer bread mix. :( A few days later I was excited when I found beer bread mix at Trader Joe's (and it was about 1/3 of the price of TS). The bread turned out good, but it was a little thick. I might try it again with the TS beer bread and see if it makes a difference. I have another recipe too that calls for sprite rather than milk, which is what I actually intended to make, but realized halfway through that I was making the wrong recipe, so that may make it a little lighter too.

1 box Beer Bread Mix
1 1/2 cups milk
3 bananas, mashed
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients until blended. Pour into a greased 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then cool completely on wire rack.

Mini Cinnamon Crescents

These mini cinnamon rolls were easy to make and they were light and fluffy and so yummy!

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations refrigerated seamless dough sheet
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon apple juice or milk

Heat oven to 375°F.
If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate dough into 4 rectangles. Firmly press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles.

Spread 1 tablespoon butter evenly over each dough rectangle. In small bowl, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over rectangles. Sprinkle each with raisins. Starting with short side of each rectangle, roll up; pinch edges to seal. With serrated knife, cut each roll into 5 slices. Place slices, cut side down, in ungreased 8- or 9-inch square pan.

Bake 17 to 23 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, mix powdered sugar and apple juice until smooth. Drizzle over rolls. Serve warm.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Panera's (Bread Co) Cream Cheese Potato Soup

When I found this recipe last week on, it was listed as the most popular recipe on the site. The reviews said it was outstanding, so I had to try it. Scott and I both agreed that this soup is outstanding, but it tastes absolutely nothing like Bread Co's soup. However, it is still one of the best potato soups I have ever had. My only complaint about it was it was too spicy for me. Next time I will probably leave out the red pepper. I served it with sourdough bread bowls from Companion bread (sold at Dierbergs), but I didn't really care for those. Next time I will swing by Bread Co and buy a couple of their bread bowls.

4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (I used 4 large baked potatoes)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks (I used 12oz of light cream cheese)

Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.

Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening. (I smashed the majority of them)

Reduce to low heat.

Add cream cheese.

Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.

Imo's Pizza

I could honestly eat pizza every day for every meal, if only my metabolism would allow me to! Imo's is by far my favorite, but I always thought it tasted better when you ate at Imo's and got it fresh out of the oven. So, when my parents told me about Roma pizza crusts I was excited to try them. In my opinion, the pizza turned out better than an Imo's pizza. I haven't ordered an actual Imo's pizza since I started making these.

All you need is a Roma pizza crust, Imo's cheese, Imo's pizza sauce and your favorite pizza toppings. You can find all of these at Schnucks or Dierbergs, but Shop N Save only carries the cheese. At Dierbergs the pizza crusts are in the frozen pizza section and at Schnucks they are in the deli section or an aisle end cap (usually the first aisle). I think Schnucks keeps the sauce in the deli section too. I think my parents brush their crusts with a little olive oil and put them in the oven for a few minutes to make it extra crispy. When it is warm outside, they like to make their pizzas on the BBQ pit.

The next two recipes I have not made in a while, but they taste so much like the original that I had to share them with you. :)

Sonic Cherry Limeade

1 can cold Sprite
3 lime wedges (1/8 of a lime)
1/4 cup cherry juice (Libby's Juicy Juice is best)

Fill a 16oz glass 2/3 full of ice. Pour Sprite over ice. Add the juice of the limes and then drop them into the glass. Add the cherry juice and stir. Makes one 16oz drink.

Wendy's Frosty

1/2 cup of milk
4 tsp Nesquik chocolate drink mix
2 cups vanilla ice cream

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on medium speed, stopping to stir several times with a long spoon, if necessary to help the ingredients blend well. Makes one serving.