Tag: Recipes

“How To Cake It” Makes A Delicious Read

Yolanda Gampp is a self-taught cake artist who started out baking novelty cakes in her mother’s kitchen and is now one of the forces behind How To Cake It, a hugely successful, Webby Award-winning YouTube channel and online community of over six million cake enthusiasts from around the world.

Yolanda and her work have been featured on the Today Show, and in Buzzfeed, Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan, while Yolanda has served as a guest judge on popular Food Network shows such as Cake Wars and Sugar Showdown.

Inspired by her father, who worked as a baker, Yolanda graduated from chef’s school and discovered that her true passion was working with sweets. Yolanda lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband (Mr. Cake) and young son.

We at Momma Braga had the pleasure of reading, How to Cake It by Yolanda Gampp and it was a delicious read to say the least. The book reflects on Yolanda’s own experience going from a beginner baker to a cake artist. It is designed to grow your skills whether you are just starting out or perfecting your cake skills.

In this beautiful book you will get detailed recipes, tips, designs and so much more. We love the way the book is divided into different sections. You begin at the “Bake It” section and “Yo’s Recipe Box”, where Yolanda lays out the foundation by sharing the recipes for the cakes that you will need to carry out her magnificent designs. Then there is “Yo Knows” where she shares her tips, tricks, and fundamental skills for success in caking. After the real fun begins when the art begins in “Cake It.”

What I love is that in this section it is broken down a bit further depending on the level you are comfortable with. Beginners can start with, “Caking Your First Steps,” then as you progress you can do “Cake It Up A Notch” and finish off with “Cake It To The Limit.” There are just so many amazing skills that you can learn through this great book. I only touched the icing on the cake. 😉

So how easy are the recipes in the book? I put it to the test and I am a perfect example as I am not great at following recipes. I was so nervous about trying it out that I had to call in for some back up which was my sister who loves to bake. We set up a date for our cake day and of course my three year old daughter was excited to join in the fun too.

Since I am a chocolate lover it was only natural to pick, Yo’s Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe. After reading the recipe, it appeared to be much simpler than I was anticipating. I got all the ingredients listed and was ready to start!

We went through each step to make the batter for our Ultimate Chocolate Cake. I have to note that the instructions were very simple and easy to follow especially for me as I don’t follow recipes well but this one made sense to me.

We got our batter into a pan and placed into the pre-heated oven. We waited patiently and it was smelling great. Before we knew it, it was all ready. We removed it from the oven and waited for it to cool down before we did our taste test.

Now it was the moment that I was waiting for since we started putting the ingredients together – eating it! We cut a piece and of course we made sure to have our glass of milk ready to wash it down with. We took a bite and it was delicious! I couldn’t believe that I actually baked something from scratch and it tasted amazing. We couldn’t help but notice how moist it was (even on the next day) and the chocolate taste was perfection. We now had dessert to offer to our weekend guests and it was loved by all.

This #MelandNikkiReview was really fun to do as we got to try a yummy recipe. For this review we give, How to Cake It, 5 Yo’s out of 5. Yolanda beautifully articulates recipes, trick and tips in this must have cake book.

This Cake book is not just a book full of recipes, it is an opportunity to create memories with your family. It is a book that can be opened up in your kitchen and followed at your finger tips. It can be passed on to your children and then their children. They hold those memories that are made with each page turn especially if you accidentally let batter hit the pages. Those are all precious moments that can not be obtained through an online recipe but one that is forever shared in a book. This book is definitely one that can be used for a lifetime and just think of all the wonderful cakes that can be shared at the dinner table with all your loved ones.

To get your copy of How to Cake It, you can click here. Make sure to follow Yolanda on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see what other remarkable creations she does.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

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Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of my uncles about my blog and the feature of recipes. We went through a different list of some of our favorite dishes and then he asked if I shared the Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna recipe…I haven’t! So thank you Uncle John for inspiring this share!

Growing up this was a dish that my mom often made and it was so yummy but I think families will appreciate how quick and easy it is to make.

Portuguese Potato Salad With Tuna

INGREDIENTS

  • Water
  • Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder or a Clove of Garlic
  • Tuna
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional: Eggs, Onion and Chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

  • Peel the potatoes, chop them into pieces and wash them in water.
  • Fill a pot with water and add the chopped potatoes.
  • In the pot add some salt and a dash of garlic powder or a clove of garlic (This is a great added taste). You can also use this time to boil eggs if you would like to add this to the dish.
  • Boil the potatoes until they get soft to eat. You may want to taste them during the process to see if you need to add some more salt for taste.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, drain the water.
  • Open up a can of tuna and drain out the oil. Break up the tuna to place over the potatoes.
  • Take your plate and add the desired potatoes that you would like to eat, then add the tuna that you would like on top.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the food and mix it all together.
  • Optional: Chop up some onions to add on top and slice up some boiled eggs. You can even add chickpeas to the dish and it will be just as great and filling!


And there you have it, Portuguese Potato Salad with Tuna! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Momma Braga’s Mini Pizza Recipe

This recipe is one of my favorites and super easy to do especially for your family. I remember my mom making this for us to eat when we went away to our trailer many years ago. Get ready to learn how to make mini pizzas and enjoy them at your next family dinner.

INGREDIENTS

– English Muffins (6 pk)
– Mozzarella Cheese (shredded)
– Tomato Sauce
– Toppings (e.g. pepperoni, green peppers, mushroom, etc.)

DIRECTIONS

– Cut the English muffins in half (the 6 muffins will then become 12).
– Spread tomato sauce on each muffin using a spoon.
– Drizzle mozzarella cheese on each muffin and use as much cheese as you desire.
– Add your favorite toppings (the ones mention above are my favorite but I use turkey pepperoni instead).
– Once each muffin has it’s ingredients place them on a baking sheet and place them in the oven at 400.
– Time may vary but usually 30 minutes later you have yourself some mini pizzas to eat.
– Let them cool down before consuming.


There you have an easy and fast mini pizza recipe to try out and feel free to share if you try it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Momma Braga’s Lasagna Recipe

Lasagna is a popular dish and one that originated in Italy. Even though I am not Italian and do not claim to be a lasagna expert, but I do enjoy making this dish for my family and friends to eat.

Since this is one of the dishes that my friends request when I host a dinner party, I decided to share Momma Braga’s lasagna recipe with all my readers and fans! Enjoy!

Lasagna

INGREDIENTS

  • Ground Chicken (or Ground Turkey or Ground Beef)
  • 1 Onion
  • Half of a tomato
  • Olive Oil
  • Lasagna Pasta
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons of red wine

DIRECTIONS

  • Marinate your meat (which ever one you prefer to do. We love the ground chicken as it tastes much lighter) prior to cooking. I usually do this the night before to have the meat soak in the juices for more flavor.
    • Wash meat well.
    • Place meat in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, 4 teaspoons of red wine (the wine added is what sets this recipe apart from many). Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating.
    • Leave the meat covered and in the fridge for the next day cooking.
  • The following day you can start cutting up your onions and tomato.

  • Once the onions and tomato are cut, place them in a pan with some olive oil. On low heat cook the onion and tomato until the onions are a golden color. Then add your meat.
  • With ground meat you will need to keep breaking it apart and stirring it to ensure it gets cooked. Once the meat is cooked remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon to ensure that the olive oil is drained.
  • Place the ground meat in a bowl and mix some tomato sauce.
  • In another pot, fill it with water and add a drizzle of olive oil and the add your lasagna pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain the water and fill it with cold water to cool down the pasta.
  • Then the layering begins. Start with some tomato sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the lasagna tray. Layer with lasagna pasta, tomato sauce, ground meat and mozzarella cheese. Continue layering until all ingredients are used, reserve 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese for the top of the lasagna. *Tip: Use cheese on the first layer and the layer before the very top.

  • Bake in preheated oven for approx. 45 minutes (or until the cheese is melted to your liking). Remove from oven, and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

And there you have it, Momma Braga’s lasagna! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Bifanas (Beef Sandwich) Recipe

Bifanas is a popular dish in the Portuguese community and I learned how to make it recently with my mom. To my surprise it was really simple and didn’t take too long to make. Normally this dish is done using pork but we use beef instead.

I know that simple and easy to do dishes is always ideal for families and hopefully you will all enjoy this as much as we do.

BIFANAS

INGREDIENTS

  • Beef (Thin cut is best)
  • 3 onions
  • Red Pepper (or Green or Yellow)
  • Tablespoon of butter
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Half cup of wine
  • Half cup of water
  • Buns

DIRECTIONS

  • Marinate your beef prior to cooking. I usually do this the night before to have the beef soak in the juices for more flavor.
    • Wash beefs well.
    • Place beefs in a bowl and add the following ingredients; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, half cup of wine and half cup of water. Measurements for the ingredients are based on what you normally use in your meat marinating.
    • Leave the beef covered and in the fridge for the next day cooking.
  • The following day you can start cutting up your onions and bell peppers to be cooked which will be used in the sandwiches.
  • In a pot add the onions, bell peppers and the beef (without the sauce that it was in). Also add a tablespoon of butter.

  • Let it cook and stir as its cooking.
  • Once it is cooked, add your favourite tomato sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • After the 5 minutes, it is ready to be served.
  • Take buns and place the beef, onions and bell peppers in them.

And there you have it, bifanas in the simplest way! Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

– Momma Braga

Simple Trick and Treats for a Friendly Halloween Party!

Special Guest Post

By: Karen Braga
Twitter: @Karenbabydoll22

Throwing a Halloween party can be sometimes a lot of work; however, it can also be a lot of fun. Between playing games, dancing to music or just mingling, your guests will be hungry. I will share with you some of my favorite simple Halloween themed foods and baking goods to have at your Halloween party. These ideas are simply delicious and yet fun to do with your children. Please use your best judgment as to which of these are age appropriate for your toddler or child to participate in.

Sometimes just creating spooking Halloween names to your home cooked meals and appetizers will get your guests talking. For example, you can have a bowl of spaghetti with meat balls and call it “guts with eyeballs”. Giving an ordinary dish a spooky name can even spark interest to those that are picky eaters. Another great idea is making little sandwiches that are Halloween themed. You can find some Halloween cookie cutters at your local dollar store and make them into charterers using toppings and other edible ingredients. Nevertheless, no matter what you decide to make please keep in mind of any allergies that your guests may have.

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Top five favorite easy recipes and ideas for meals/appetizers:

  1. Mummy is that you?

This dish is super easy to make and only requires four ingredients. Hotdogs, Pillsbury mini croissants, ketchup and mustered. First cut your hotdogs in half and put them aside. Then unroll each mini croissant and slice them into long pieces. Once you have done that wrap each piece onto each hotdog until you achieved your mummy look. Make sure to leave some room to add the eyes after it is done baking. Once golden brown and cooled off, use ketchup for one eyeball and mustered for the other.

  1. Pumpkin mini pizza

All you need for this one is English muffins, pizza sauce, toppings of your choice, black olives and cheese. First slice or break apart your English muffins and put them on your baking sheets. Then add your pizza sauce and cheese. With your peperoni and other toppings cut them in shapes you need to create your pumpkin face on your mini pizzas and then bake them.

  1. Eye see you tacos

This recipe is super fun and delicious. Ingredients required is hard shell tacos, toppings of your choice, sauces, ground beef, taco mix and black olives. I will explain how I make this dish but please feel free to use the toppings, sauces and meat of your choice.

First cook your ground beef in a skillet and follow the instructions on the back of the taco mix package. Once cooked and browned add it to each taco shell. For toppings I use avocado, cheese, tomato and green onions. Cut up all the ingredients and add them on top of the meat; however, not the cheese. Add your sauce like salsa or sour cream on top then add your cheese. For your eyes, add some salsa or sour cream to hold down your black olives.

  1. Not so scary devil’s eggs

You will need eggs, mayo, paprika, salt, pepper and black olives. Boil your eggs and then let them cool off. Dry off your black olives and cut just a few into thin slices and put them aside. Once your eggs have cooled down and the shell is removed; cut your eggs in half. Scoop out the yoke and put it in a bowl leaving the white part faced up on your tray. In the bowl mash your yokes into small pieces and add the rest of the ingredients in (salt, pepper, paprika and mayo), minus the black olives and then mix it. With a pipping bag or spoon, put the mixtures into the white part of the eggs. The final touch will be the black olives for decoration. Add one whole olive on top and some of the thin slices on each side of the olive to make a spider.

  1. Halloween burgers

This one is SO easy that it really will only take you a couple of minutes to prepare. All you need is hamburgers, buns, condiments and sliced cheese. While your burgers are cooking, cut a pumpkin face out of the sliced cheese. Be sure to create different faces as your guests will have fun picking one out for their burger.

For more meal ideas for your Halloween party be sure to check out Google or even my favorite app Pinterest. Now that your guests are full they will still look forward to dessert because no one is ever too full to have that. If you do not have any recipes to use or looking to make something new, be sure to check out one of my favorite websites: http://allrecipes.com/.

Top Five Favorite Halloween Themed Desserts

  1. Halloween cookies

Grab your favorite chocolate chip or sugar cookie recipe. Once your cookies are baked you and your child can decorate them with cookie icing, candies and chocolate chips. For my chocolate chip cookies, I like to have some chocolate chips show on top of the cookie. Then I add some melted chocolate to each side creating legs to create little spiders.

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  1. Halloween cupcakes

First make your cupcakes and let them cool off. Once they are all iced and ready for decorations grab your toppings. Have your child sprinkle some Halloween themed edible decorations on the cupcakes. For a more advance design you can make witch hats to add on top. All you need for that is a chocolate covered cookie as your base. Then with icing attach a Hershey kiss on top, and then to complete the look add some details with icing.

  1. Witch brooms

This one is very simply to do but it does require mini peanut butter cups so please make sure no one at your party has a peanut allergy. To cut costs I went to my local Bulk Barn and bought my ingredients there. You will need mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and straight pretzels. Unwrap your mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and face them upside down. With a knife make a small hole in the middle of the upside down peanut butter cup. Have your child insert the pretzel stick inside and there you have your witch’s broom.

  1. Mud pie

Kids love the name, they have fun making it and the taste of this desert. You will need clear plastic Jell-O or drinking cups. Ingredients needed is chocolate pudding, chocolate chip cookie crumbs and gummy worms. First have your child crush the cookies until there is nothing but crumbs left. Then make your chocolate pudding. You can choose to get the Jell-O pudding boxes and follow the instructions or if you do not have time you can buy the already made chocolate pudding and scoop it out as you assemble this dessert. Have your child add some cookie crumbs at the bottom of each cup. Then they can add about two tablespoons of chocolate pudding, followed by a gummy worm. Continue the process until the cup is filled but be sure to have the top covered with little cookie crumbs and gummy worm.

  1. Scary fruit

Be creative and use your imagination with this one. You can cut out a piece of an orange and get fake vampire teeth from your local dollar store to insert as its teeth. Another great idea is making fruit shish kabobs, it’s super easy to have your child assemble it while you cut up the fruit. You can display these shish kabobs in your pumpkin.

Overall, your imagination has no limits; however if you’re stuck be sure to explore the internet for ideas but always try to add a personal touch. Remember that cooking and baking with your child is an amazing learning experience and they are never too young to learn. Even toddlers learn a lot just by observing, so have them watch you and have them do simple things like putting the cupcake papers in the pan.

Until next time…. Happy Spooking!

 

About the Author

Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Karen is passionate and knowledgeable about Halloween. Combined with her ECE background and passion on Halloween, she has recently become an expert writer on the topic for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can help families enjoy this holiday.