Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nashville Part 1: Best Friends, Caramel Bottom Cake, Junior Mint Brownies and Buckeyes!

We never dreamed of living in Nashville. Frankly, we wanted to live on the beach. Nashville was everything but the beach but we packed up our stuff, one year after being married, and moved there. It turned out to be the sweetest and biggest blessing and our lives will never be the same. You would think it was because of the country music, Honky Tonk row, gorgeous hills and celebrity sightings that wowed us. While we loved these things, honestly, it was the family of friends and community that we had while there. Seriously, we arrived not knowing a soul and within a few months, we had a Nashville family that surrounded us and that family continued to grow. We left Nashville in December 2011 and were able to visit last summer and we just visited again over the 4th of July holiday. It feels like we never left. Our friends were all ready and is a small recap with a few amazing recipes that went with me:)

Our first night was spent at our dear friends Amy and Josh's home where I got to FINALLY meet their baby boy, Issac and they got to meet CC! Amazing how much can change in one year! Collins and Issac hit it off and to watch our babies playing together was priceless. That first night was spent in the company of some of our best friends who have never left our side even through our move. Good food and great talks were involved as well as maybeeeeee too much wine and dancing:)

I was in charge of dessert and cooked up a Caramel Bottom Cake. It will knock your socks off!
Caramel Bottom Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 cup all purpose flower
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil 
3 eggs
1 bag toffee bits
1 can dulce de leche 
sweetened whip cream
caramel topping, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350. (325 for dark or nonstick pan)
Spray bottom and sides of 13x9 inch pan with baking spray with flour. 
2. In large boql, beat cake mix, flour, water, oil and eggs with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Bet on medium 2 minute, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of toffee bits. Pour into pan. 
3.Reserve 1/2 cup dulce de leche. (If you cannot find dulce de leche, boil one can of sweetened condensed milk for 20 minutes). Spoon remaining dulce de leche by teaspoonfuls onto batter.
4. Bake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. Drop reserved dulce de leche by spoonfuls over top of cake and spread evenly. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Cool about 1 hour before serving. Top each serving with whipped cream and caramel topping. 
The next day was the 4th of July and it rained all day and all night. But it was a great day in spite of the rain...well, after a certain said headache from too much wine went away;) We were able to visit my sweet Ashley's store, Southern Honey, that she co owns with a friend. It is ADORABLE! My little Texas bred friend has an eye for turning old furniture into the cutest piece you ever did see. And they even make their own chalk paint. So proud of her! Kind of thinking she needs to move on back to Texas and I can help her open a store here...just saying;)
That night was spent in the company with the Nashville family that we have known and loved since day one. 

Our great friends who are always up for hosting (Jen and Jett) another party of course had us all over to celebrate being together and the 4th. It was sooooooo (not enough o's to put here so I will stop) good to be together. When we arrived in April of 2008, there were zero kids. Now look how they have multiplied! 
It was the most precious sight to see them all in the same room. This night was spent just laughing, watching our babies and eating lots of food which included Junior Mint brownies.Yummy!

Junior Mint Brownies
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3 oz. box Junior Mints, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 13x9 inch baking pan. Set aside
In a large bowl, combine sugar, cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring well. Add butter, eggs and vanilla, stiring well. Add chopped mints, stirring, to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until set 20 to 25 minutes. Do not overbake. Let cook completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares. 
Saturday was supposed to be our day at the lake. Well, the rain did not corporate and we canceled much to our sad little hearts dismay. But that is okay. We gathered for Mexican food (a if we don't get enough in TX!) and then had a rainy game day together. Our boat food was already made so we had plenty of snacks and my contribution was Cake Frosting Buckeyes. I made these for my Bug...that man LOVES chocolate and peanut butter together.There was not one Buckeye left. Buckeyes that involve cake frosting are pretty much a sin.

Cake Frosting Buckeyes
1 bag (10oz) peanut butter chips
1 (16 oz) container vanila creamy ready to spread frosting
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Line cookie sheets with waxed paper. Melt peanut butter chips over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. stir in frosting. Let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. 
2. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls; place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt chocolate chips on low heat on stove top.
3. To coat each ball with candy, pierce bal with toothpick, dip into melted chocolate, leaving small area around toothpick uncoated. Place dipped ball on cookie sheet, pushing candy off skewer with tines of fork. Let stand 5 minutes or until set. 
Nashville Part 2 will follow soon!

Pin It Now!


Post a Comment