first blog*

Yay, I am officially now a blogger! I still am not quite sure what I am doing, but I am sure I will learn along the way. I guess I will start by telling you a little bit about me. I am 24 yrs old and I am married to the most amazing man I have ever met. We have been married 3 1/2 yrs and we have a little yorkie named Tank and he is 3 yrs old. He is the most spoiled puppy ever! Actually, I am quite sure he doesn't even know he is a puppy. My hobbies are cooking (obviously) and shopping. I am a GREAT shopper! I am usually so busy I don't actually make it to the store, but I can find something online like it's no ones business!

Let me tell you a little bit about where I work. I work at Heritage Schools, Inc., which is a residential treatment center for youth ages 12-18. We can hold up to 175 students, but currently have about 150 on average, and we have about 350 staff. You should definitely check it out, it's pretty awesome! Anyway, where I fit in with all the madness is that I am the Director of Food Services. What does that mean, you ask?? Well, basically it means I am the one responsible for trying to make 150 TEENAGE kids happy with the food they eat! Quite the task as you can imagine. I am currently making some new menus and have been looking at food blogs like crazy. I am actually surprised my printer hasn't given way on me yet! Then, just yesterday actually, I decided that I should start to blog my creations. When I am looking for recipes there is hardly ever any that are meant to be made for 150+, but I refuse to stick to only hamburgers, casseroles and spaghetti. I am on the constant search for recipes that I can modify and make them work in my area. So, welcome! If you have any suggestions or ideas PLEASE feel free to fill me in!

So that's a little bit about me. Now, let's get down to business. I am going to start with a birthday cake that I made yesterday for one of the students. They wanted a red velvet cake, which I was ecstatic about because I have wanted to make this recipe for quite sometime. The one that I actually found was on Erin's Food Files, but it is actually a red velvet CHEESECAKE! Can you say YUMMY?!! I am actually planning on making this on the 17th because one of my staff is turning 85!! Yes, you heard me right, EIGHTY-FIVE! He doesn't know it, but there is a surprise party a-brewin and a red velvet cheesecake will be served!

Anyway, back to my cake. I used this recipe, but left out the cheesecake part. I thought that I would need more frosting than what it called for because 1. I usually always need more frosting and 2. that cake didn't have frosting in the middle. So I doubled the frosting recipe and actually had enough for a whole other cake! But I LOVED how this cake turned out and even though I only got to eat some of the crumbs that I had left over for the top with a little spoonful of cream cheese frosting, that little bit I had tasted was AMAZING! When it was in the oven it actually smelled like a sugar cookie, and kind of tasted like one too. It was SO good! I did think there would be more cocoa powder in the recipe though...but then again I have never made a red velvet cake so what do I know :)

Lincoln's Red Velvet Cake
cake and frosting adapted from Apple a Day

For the cake:
2 1/2 c. cake flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. buttermilk
2 TBSP (1 oz.) red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. white distilled vinegar
For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. confectioners' sugar
1 bar white or dark chocolate (Optional for decoration), I used Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate


Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla, and vinegar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until well combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly between 2 greased and floured 9" round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool 5 minutes, then invert each onto a plate, then invert again onto a cooling rack. Let cakes cool completely, then level.

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Add sugar and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, 5–7 minutes.

Place bottom layer on cake stand. To get the crumbs on top, I leveled the bottom layer with a knive and saved the extra for the top. Frost only the top of the layer with cream cheese frosting. Place the top layer of the cake on top of the bottom layer and coat with a generous layer of the cream cheese frosting to act as the crumb coat. Be careful not to get any red velvet crumbs in the bowl of frosting! Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes, then frost with as much of the remaining frosting as necessary. Top with shaved white chocolate and/or shaved dark chocolate and the crumbs that were saved earlier. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I wish I had a picture of what a slice looks like, but I don't think the birthday boy would have appreciated it :)  HAPPY EATING!



Dee said...
January 6, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Alyssa, you are the CUTEST!!! Heritage is SO LUCKY to have you, and what a talent! I love your passion and enthusiasm. Those kids are so damn lucky!!! Everything looks amazing. I'm seeing such a bright future for you. GO ALYSSA!!! You ROCK!
Can't wait to see you again :)

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