Let’s Talk About Buttercream

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It’s all about Buttercream today folks!

It is one of my favorite things to make, and it is not as hard as you may think. All it takes is a little patience. One of my favorite buttercream’s to make is Italian Buttercream, you can’t go wrong with it. It’s definitely my go to buttercream when I am decorating or frosting a cake.

It is not greasy, heavy or overly sweet. It’s perfect.

Let’s get started….

What You Need:

1 1/4 Cups of Sugar, divided into 1 cup & 1/4 cup

1/3 Cup of Water

6 large Egg Whites, at room temperature

3/4 tsp Cream of Tartar

2 1/4 Cups (4 1/2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, very soft and cut into pieces

1 Tbsp. Vanilla (or any other flavoring you want)

What To Do:

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Place your 1 Cup of sugar and 1/3 Cup of water in your pot. Gently stir the sugar and water together. Bring it to a boil over med-high heat. There is no need to rush this process, I actually put my heat on medium-low and let it sit, I then get my egg whites ready. Keep an eye on your sugar.

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On medium speed whip your egg whites until they are nice and frothy. Then add your Cream of Tartar.

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After your Cream of Tartar is added, turn your mixer to medium-high speed , beat your frothy egg whites until you get a soft peaks. (like in the photo above)

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After you reached soft peaks, add your 1/4 Cup of sugar and turn your mixer on high speed.

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Whip your egg whites and sugar until you get stiff peaks, (like in the photo above). Once you have achieved this, keep your mixer on stir. You are now able to leave your egg whites alone and focus on your sugar that is on the stove.

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Your sugar should be clear and bubbly. If is is not turn the heat up a bit.

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Your sugar will become bubbly and slowly start to have a slight yellow color to it.

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When your sugar gets a yellow- caramel color pull it off the heat. This is considered Hard Ball Stage. It can go from a caramel color to a burnt color in seconds. So move quickly but safely.

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Turn your mixer from the stir setting to a high setting. Pour your hot sugar mixture between the side of the bowl and whip. Do allow it hit either the sides of the bowl or while. Pour directly into the egg whites.Once the sugar is pour in, keep the whipping everything on high speed.

Tip: To get the harden sugar off of your pot..fill your pot up with water, and bring water to a  rapid boil. This helps melt away any harden sugar on the bottom of sides of the pot.

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Allow your mixture to keep mixing for several minutes oh high speed. The sides of your bowl will be very hot.

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Once the sides of your bowl have reached a lukewarm- cool temperature add your chunks of softened butter. Not all at once. Keep mixer on medium speed. Once you added your last chunk of butter add about 1 TBSP of Vanilla. At this point this is when you can add any other kind of flavoring you want to.

I like to let my Buttercream sit for about an hour before I would frost a cake. Just so that everything comes together nicely.

And there you have it your first batch of Italian Buttercream!!

What is your favorite type of Buttercream or flavoring? I love Espresso Buttercream, it’s amazing!

 

 

 

 

 

Confetti Party

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Sophia is officially TWO! This past weekend was her Confetti Birthday Party! I had a ball planning this party. A few months back I wasn’t not sure if I was going to have a theme except “Birthday Party.” Thrilling I know.

Until one very late night on Pinterest I came across a cake that I loved and became my inspiration. I made the cake above, this cake was my inspiration that I found on Pinterest. IMG_4603

Friday night my mom and I did as much decorating at possible to make Saturday go a lot smoother. This was our backdrop, my idea was to take photos of the kids with my polaroid camera so they had a photo of themselves from the party. Along with a cup filled with candy to go home with!

IMG_4605I made this “About Me,” board as I did for Sophia’s 1st Birthday Party. I love seeing how different one year makes!

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Saturday before the party I filled about 10 Confetti Balloons! I loved how they turned out! But it was a little bit of a process, but totally worth it! I may have them at all Birthdays!

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We sprinkled Confetti on counter tops, tables and even on the couches. That was later picked up, because some of the babies were putting it in their mouths.

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Sophia’s Uncle Aiden made her party dress! He is a clothing designer. You can find him here on Facebook!

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This was our cheese tray that we had.

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This Bean Dip is amazing! I will have to share the recipe soon!

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Our famous Party Punch! I make this for all kinds of parties! Then we ordered pizza!

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Here are some of Sophia’s buddies and family!

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We all sang Happy Birthday to Sophia, but she became ultra shy which is rare. Sophia didn’t blow out her candles, I had too.

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The inside of Sophia’s Confetti Cake!

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I also made Confetti Cupcakes….but no one got any…because…

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I dropped them. If you follow me on Snapchat at Sarah_BellaLife you may have saw this entire thing go down. Thank goodness we had cake!

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It was a really successful party! I can’t believe my baby is 2! Adrian was unable to attend he was on the road for work, but I told him when he comes home we will do something to celebrate Sophia’s birthday together!

Once I learn how to use my movie maker on my Macbook Pro, I will make a Birth Video/blog post.

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Please stay tuned for future posts!

 

Tropical Sunset Drinks

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I am a total avid youtube watcher, it’s a serious addiction. I have been following a few channels for quite sometime now, but one of my favorite channels is called HeyKayli. I just love her, she is so crafty and down -to -earth. If I was a ‘youtuber,’ I would want a channel like hers.

The other day I saw she made some non-alcoholic tropical drinks with her two kids. And I thought “I have to make those for Sophia.” Considering we only have about a month left of summer these drinks are perfect way to celebrate the season a little bit longer.

What You Need: 

  1. Welch’s 100% Unfiltered Grape Juice- 36g Sugar
  2. Sunny D Orange Strawberry -28g Sugar
  3. Sunny D Burst Blue Raspberry- 27g Sugar
  4. Sparkling Ice Coconut Flavor – 0g Sugar
  5. Sparkling Ice Orange Mango- 0g Sugar
  6. Glass cup
  7. Ice
  8. Straw
  9. Whipped Cream
  10. Cherries (optional)

What To Do:

  1. Fill your glass with ice, all the way to the top.
  2. Pour the juice that has the highest sugar content on the bottom, pour directly over the ice. (I used the Welch’s 100% Unfiltered Grape Juice, because it has 36g of sugar. The sugar content has to go highest to lowest.
  3. Top it with some whipped cream..maybe add some pretty sprinkles and a fun straw
  4. And Enjoy!

Example: Grape Juice is first…Sunny D Burst Blue Raspberry second…and then the Sparkling Ice Coconut Flavor. Make sure you pour all the juice over ice, I can’t stress that enough.

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You do not have to use the same bands in juice as I did. If your base juice has 28g of sugar and the middle layer have 27g of sugar the sugar will mix up and won’t give a layered look.

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This one turned out to be my favorite one. If Sophia was older and had a pool. I would host a pool party just to make sunset drinks for them!

Here is HeyKayli Channel. Check her out, she gives great DIY projects!

If you decide to make these drinks I would love to see your creations! Send me your photos to my email (in my contact info)..snapchat/instagram/twitter: Sarah_BellaLife!

 

 

 

Not Another Kabob!

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We are talking about Steak Kabobs! They are super super easy to make and really good! My mom gave me this recipe to try out the other night for dinner. And I loved them!

What you need:

Kabob Sticks

1 CUP OF OIL ( we used canola)

½ CUP OF WINE ANY THAT IS OPENED (I used Pinot Grigio)

1/3 CUP OF STEAK SAUCE

CHOPPED GARLIC 3 CLOVES (large cloves)

Chopped Sage, Chives, Basil, Rosemary (Be Generous)

SALT & PEPPER (to taste)

Steak

Green & Yellow Pepper

Cherry Tomatoes

Mushrooms

Carrots

What to Do:

  1. Wash and Clean all your veggies & cut them up.
  2. Time to make your marinade: oil, wine, steak sauce, garlic cloves (minced), chopped; Sage, Basil, Rosemary and chives. Salt & Pepper to taste.
  3. In a large container lay your steaks down, Place your veggies all around your steak. Pour marinade over veggies and steak.
  4. Put in refrigerator over night or for at least 6 hours. Take out about 1 hour prior to grilling.
  5. Put your veggies and steak (cut up steak) on the kabobs..alternate veggies and steak.
  6. Cook them on high on the grill…make steak to your own liking.
  7. End enjoy!

Here is a post on how to make Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs, those are great too! Whatever one best suits your family.

If you make any of these Kabobs send me photos at Sarah.BellaLife@gmail.com or my Instagram/Twitter at Sarah_BellaLife!

 

 

Italian Days

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One of my summers goals this year was to take Sophia to a festival. This past Saturday my family and I took her to Italian Days in Bloomfield.

The last time I was there, I was about 9 months pregnant. I remember how hot it was, but during the course of my pregnancy I wanted nothing but Italian food, especially red sauce (normally I don’t eat red sauce to much). The heat wasn’t keeping this 9 month preggo away, so Adrian and I ate our way through Italian Days 2 years ago.

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If you are ever in Bloomfield there is awesome pizza place called Angelo’s. It is some of the best pizza I have had in a really long time! Sophia is snacking on some pizza crust…a girl after my own heart.

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We got this Coconut Head tropical drink in Mango Madness for Sophia. You had the option of adding alcohol to it, but I was sharing with Sophia. So, that was definitely not an option…bummer.

This group had amazing voices, I could have watched them for hours. If my profession was a music producer..I would offer them a contract right there. I wish my phone had better sound quality, so you can truly hear their natural talent.

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Sophia is giving them a tip! She enjoyed them as well. We all did!

If you live in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend attending Italian Days in Bloomfield. It’s a great time!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

 

Banana Yogurt Bites

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Today I am sharing with you another healthy recipe that I enjoy myself, especially when I am on the go! I wish I would have known about this recipe when I was in school, it definitely would have made eating breakfast a lot easier. Since I am not typically a breakfast eater this would be perfect to have on hand.

Yes, we are using more Greek Yogurt!!

What You Need:

Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or any flavor or brand)

1 Banana (or two..or three..depends on how many you want to make)

Blueberry Crumble Granola with Flaxseed (any kind of granola you want)

Wax Paper

Container to put the Yogurt Banana Bites in to freeze

What To Do:

  1. Peel your banana, cut it up in nice thick slices. Put your yogurt & granola in a separate bowl.
  2. Cover the bottom of your container with the wax paper.
  3. Take one slice of your banana and cover it with the yogurt. (not to heavy).
  4. Then roll it is the granola. If there is to much yogurt on the banana, then granola will roll off.
  5. Set it on the wax paper in your container, continue to do the same for the rest.
  6. Once you have coated all your bananas, put then in the freezer for about 6 hours or overnight.
  7. And Enjoy!

**Please note: if your granola is to chunky, put it in plastic bag, hit it a few times with a rolling pin…don’t make dust!**

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All of my ingredients are prepared and ready to go!

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Rolling my banana in yogurt!

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The Blueberry Crumble is my favorite, if you can find it at your local grocery store..try it out! What did I do with the left over yogurt and granola? Around 11pm when I was working I mixed everything up and ate it…it was heavenly!

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All ready to go in the freezer! I let mine sit overnight.

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The next day! Be careful, they are frozen and really cold!

These would be great to give your kids as they are running out the door to catch their bus or even an after school snack.

If you make these..show me I would love to see how yours turned out! My snapchat, instagram and twitter is Sarah_BellaLife.

Have a fantastic day!

 

 

 

Healthy Yogurt Fruit Bars

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I was at the store the other day picking up some odds and ends, when I came across popsicle molds. So, I thought it would be a perfect week to share my Greek Yogurt Fruit Bars. This is also a much healthier version of “ice cream,” that you could even give to the kiddos for breakfast or it would make a perfect late night snack.

What You Need:

Popsicle Molds- (whatever ones your have should work just fine)

Raspberries & Blueberries- (whatever berry you want, I chose Blueberries & Raspberries)

Chobani Greek Yogurt 32oz- (Either the Strawberry or Vanilla, we chose the Vanilla)

What To Do:

  1. Wash and dry your fruit. I cut my Raspberries in half; length wise, and my blueberries in half.
  2. Start layering your fruit and yogurt in the molds. There is no right way to do it.
  3. Put in your freezer for about 8 hours or overnight
  4. To remove the fruit bars, run the molds under warm water for about a minute. Check it about every 20 seconds to see if you can remove them from the molds. Be patient, it will work out.
  5. And Enjoy

**Tip: To add some extra flavor, you can some Honey to your yogurt.**

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Sophia loved them!

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Have you every made these before?

Stay tuned for tomorrows blog, I am going to share a recipe on what to do with your left over Greek Yogurt.