Kitchen Concoctions

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Byte of Texas Conference

Next month, September 27-28, is the first ever Byte of Texas Conference! This conference, presented by the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, will be a weekend filled with learning, food and fun!


I am extremely excited for this event for several reasons! First, one thing that I love about blogging is all the amazing people I have gotten to know along the way. I love getting together with fellow food lovers, bloggers and friends; and I am thoroughly grateful that I am a part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance. The Austin Food Blogger Alliance (AFBA), is a food blogging organization based in Austin, Texas. AFBA was founded in 2011 and today has a membership of well over 150 active bloggers (wowzers!).Through this group we have regular social, philanthropic, and educational activities. While AFBA has presented and hosted educational events in the past, including a Photography Camp last year, the Byte of Texas is the AFBA's first full length conference!

If you are a fellow blogger, you can look forward to to a variety of classes taught by not only local, but national, industry leaders and professionals! Speakers including, cookbook author and award-winning food blogger, Lisa Fain of The Homesick Texan, professional photographer, Melissa Skorpil, social media expert and bestselling author Andy Sernovitz, local award winning food blogger Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons, and many more!


Blogging conferences are always a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. A few of the classes I am looking forward to are, Writing for Other Publications, SEO, Syndication and You, and Publishing Your Book.

Even if you are not a fellow blogger, just a passionate foodie or proud Texas, this conference is for you! In addition to delicious meals provided by the Salty Sow, Whole Foods Market and The Texas Beef Council; there will be a book fair with author signings (including Lisa Fain of The Homesick Texan and Monica Holland of Lick the Bowl Good), and fantastic (non-blogging specific) classes and events including, Beyond Manuel Mode (for anyone wanting to learn some photography skills), Writing Texas Food Culture and Mousetrap: Pairing Texas Beers with Cheese and Preserves.

Are you excited to attend?


Here are some additional details:

Where:
Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 N. Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701

Time:
Saturday, September 27, 2014 8:30 am to 4:00 pm (Dinner at Salty Sow at 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm)
Sunday, September 28, 2014 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Tickets:
Starting at $20 (for the Conversation with Lisa Fain) to $199 for a full conference pass.

For more information, including the full conference schedule, speaker bios, and a list of generous sponsors (hello swag bags!); visit the official conference website.

Wait there's more! Thanks to the generosity of The Harvard Common Press and Bob’s Red Mill, some of the conference partners, you can apply for a full conference sponsorship. Not only that, the sponsorship includes the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a few Byte of Texas experts. For more information about the conference scholarships, visit the Austin Food Blogger Alliance website. But hurry, you only have until August 31 (that's tomorrow!) to enter!

I am looking forward to seeing you all there!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

When I was in high school all I wanted to do was 'grow up' and move out on my own. I thought life on my own would be so cool.


Don't get me wrong I loved my family and had good friends, but I wanted an adventure and I wanted freedom.

As soon as I graduated, I moved out and life has been an adventure, to say the least, ever since.

One thing that I would tell my younger self, if I could, is to appreciate that family time. Now that all of my siblings and I are adults, we are scattered all over the country. Family time, as we once knew it, as just the five of us, no longer exists.

Now we all have families of our own, and because of our new lives and obligations, it gets harder and harder for us to get together.

This month my brother and nephew celebrated birthdays, and because of life and living far apart, I won't be able to celebrate their birthdays with them in person. In fact, it has been a long time since I have celebrated a birthday with any of my siblings.


But I guess that is the circle of life.

Growing up. Moving on. Having your own family.

Luckily, even though there are thousands of miles between us, with modern technology, I can still send birthday wishes!

If my brother and nephew lived close by I would make this Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake just for them! This cake was the recipe chosen for August as part of the Lick the Bowl Good Cookbook baking group. It is a fantastic way to use up any lingering zucchini that maybe hanging around your late summer garden. This cake is chocolaty and moist due to all the zucchini and dusted with powdered sugar. I lighted up the original recipe quite a bit, because I was taking it to a dinner party where several guests don't like overly sweet desserts and it was still delicious! In fact, I know that even my veggie hating brother wouldn't be able to deny a few pieces of this cake!

One Year Ago: Chicken Tenders with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Two Years Ago: Chile Rellenos
Three Years Ago: S’mores Ice Cream Sundae
Four Years Ago: Foil Packet Tilapia
Five Years Ago: Texas Chili


Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake
Printable Version
Prep Time: 20 minutes Bake Time: 50-60 minutes Wait Time: 20-30 minutes Serves: 10-12

A chocolaty, moist Bundt cake filled with zucchini and dusted with powdered sugar. 

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
3 cups grated zucchini (about 4 medium zucchini)
3-4 tablespoons powdered sugar, for topping
Whipped cream and fresh strawberries or raspberries (optional), for serving

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using the 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter, generously butter the inside of a large Bundt pan. Dust the inside of the buttered Bundt pan with 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Swirl sugar around the pan to evenly coat the pan and tap out any excess sugar. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, oil, vanilla and applesauce. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and slowly add 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar. Beat until mixture is thick and light in color. Add oil mixture to eggs, mixing until well combined; then gradually add flour mixture, being careful not to over mix. Once mixture is well incorporated, add grated zucchini.

Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan, filling only about 3/4 full. Place pan in preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool completely in pan, for 20-30 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack, plate or cake stand.

Right before serving, use a wire mesh strainer to dust the top of the cooled cake with powdered sugar. Serve cake with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if desired.

Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good and Lick the Bowl Good: Classic Home-Style Desserts with a Twist


In case you were wondering here are the recipes that the Lick the Bowl Good Baking Group has made so far (click on the link to find the recipe, recipe review and/or completed recipe photos):   

January: Banana Pecan Breakfast Cake
February: Chocolate Strawberry Brownie Kisses
March: Irish Cream Cake
April: Pina Colada Mini Cheesecakes
May: Vanilla Bean Pound Cake
June: Fruit Pizza
July: Skinny Berries Romanoff

Check out the calendar of recipes we will be baking from Lick the Bowl Good: Classic Home-Style Desserts with a Twist here.

Here is my official review of the cookbook and recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes.

Learn more about the cookbook author and fellow blogger, Monica, by reading this interview: "Bites with Bloggers" - Lick the Bowl Good

Buy the Lick the Bowl Good: Classic Home-Style Desserts with a Twist Cookbook here!


Note: This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links which helps support Kitchen Concoctions. Thank you for supporting Kitchen Concoctions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hatch Chile Cheddar Biscuits

I have been obsessed with New Mexico since I was in the third grade.


I know it seems like an odd obsession, but when I was in the third grade we learned about that great state on our western border.

We learned about the state capital. The four corners. And we discussed the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest hot air balloon festival in the world; and did a special New Mexico class project (part of which involved designing our own hot air balloon).

And even though I had never been, I was smitten. I desperately wanted to go and explore this scenic state.

A few months later we took a family road trip and I got my wish, we were going to be driving through part of New Mexico! Even though we were just passing through, I vividly remember the star filled sky and glow that the full moon cast over this picturesque southwestern land.

And like that, the moment was over.


To this day I still long to revisit truly visit New Mexico. To explore Carlsbad Caverns National Park. To camp under the light of a full moon and stay the night at a working dude ranch. To stare up at a balloon filled sky (seriously, top on my life's bucket list) and devour some authentic New Mexican cuisine.

I will get there someday. One day.

In the meantime, I wait every year for the celebrated Hatch chile season. Hatch chiles, grown exclusively in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, are only available for a short period of time. And every year I eagerly snatch up as many as I can... adding as much New Mexico flare to every dish I cook!

These Hatch Chile Cheddar Biscuits are one of several Hatch chile recipes I plain on sharing over the next few weeks. Just as I am the state of New Mexico, I am smitten with these biscuits. They are drop biscuits (no rolling out dough or cutting into shapes required), which makes them super easy, not to mention buttery, cheesy and full of smoky Hatch chile heat!

One Year Ago: Chicken Tenders with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Two Years Ago: Strawberry Banana Bread
Three Years Ago: S’mores Doughnuts
Four Years Ago: Crock-pot Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Five Years Ago: Texas Chili


Hatch Chile Cheddar Biscuits 
Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Bake Time: 20-25 minutes Yields: 10-12 biscuits 

Buttery, cheesy drop biscuits with a smokey Hatch chile heat. 

Ingredients:
2 Hatch chiles*
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
¾ - 1 cup buttermilk
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons melted butter (for topping)

Directions:
Preheat broiler to high heat.

Wash and thoroughly dry Hatch chiles. Place whole chiles on a foil lined baking sheet and place in oven 4 to 6 inches below the heating element. Roast chiles for 3-5 minutes or until the skin is charred and blistered. Using tongs, flip chiles over and roast opposite side for an additional 3-5 minutes or until charred. Remove roasted chiles from oven and place in a heat-safe bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Once chiles have cooled, cut off tops and scoop out seeds. Peel away outer charred skin and dice chiles into small pieces.

Reduce oven heat to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with butter or line with a splat mat or parchment paper. 

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Using a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers; cut in cold butter until coarse, sand-like crumbs are formed. Lightly mix in grated cheese and diced chiles. Slowly mix in buttermilk, just until moist, making sure not to over mix.

Using a regular tablespoon, drop heaping spoonfuls of the biscuit mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown.

When the biscuits come out of the oven, immediately brush the melted butter evenly over the biscuits. Serve immediately.

*Note: When not in season, substitute the Hatch chiles with poblano or jalapeno peppers.

Adapted from these Cheddar Herb Biscuits


Other recipes you might enjoy:
Cheddar Herb Biscuits
Olive Herb Rolls
Beer Biscuits
Herbed Oat Pan Bread
Brown Butter Cornbread

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seasoned Shoestring Fries with Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce

I love a big, juicy, mouthwatering burger!

(This post is sponsored by Stubb's.)

I mean seriously how can you not?!?! From the perfectly cooked patty, to the soft bun, and the variety of scrumptious burger toppings... burgers are so versatile and such a crowd pleaser!

But equally as important, is what is served along with the burger. To me a burger is not complete without French fries. I'll go as far as to say that if a popular burger joint doesn't have good French fries, well... that's an official deal breaker!

I'll take my French fries anyway... give me classic deep fried French fries or even oven baked... I love waffles fries, wedge fries, steak fries, shoestring fries, crinkle cut fries and curly fries. I even love sweet potato fries, carrot fries, green bean fries, parsnip fries, pickle and avocado fries! I'll take my fries simply seasoned with salt with a side of ketchup, to having them covered with cheese and chili!

I love making French fries at home and make them often! In addition to burgers we love fries to accompany Sloppy Joes, grilled chicken sandwiches, a cheesy panini to fried fish and even steaks! 

Usually I bake my homemade french fries, season them with BBQ seasoning and dip them simply in ketchup. But awhile back I decided, to put a little more “oomph” into my homemade French fries. I used Stubb's Beef Spice Rub (my new go to French fry seasoning) to season my hot and crispy deep fried French fries and whipped up a Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce! To say that these are the perfect French fries, well that might be bragging a bit, but they are certainly our new favorite! (Smile.)


Seasoned Shoestring Fries with Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce
by Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Serves: 4

Seasoned homemade French fries with a smokey, mesquite fry sauce. 

Ingredients:

Seasoned Shoestring Fries:
Canola oil, for frying
2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
1-2 tablespoons Stubb's Beef Spice Rub

Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce:
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup Stubb's Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons Stubb's Steak Spice Rub

Directions: 

For Seasoned Shoestring French Fries:
Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat (360 degrees F). Line a pan or a plate with paper towels and set aside.

Using a sharp knife or a mandolin fitted with the julienne blade; cut the potatoes into thin strips, about 1/8-inch wide. Rinse the sliced potatoes in cold water and dry thoroughly with a paper towel. 

Working in batches, carefully add the potatoes to the hot oil; frying until the french fries are crisp and golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fried potatoes to the paper towel lined plate. Season hot fries with beef spice rub. Repeat cooking process with the rest of the potatoes.

Serve immediately with Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce.

For Creamy Mesquite Fry Sauce:
In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, Stubb's Smokey Mesquite Bar-B-Q Sauce, Dijon mustard and steak spice rub; whisking until thoroughly combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Disclosure: I am in a working relationship with Stubb's Sauces and Marinades. This recipe was developed by me for Stubb's. This sponsored blog post was written by me on behalf of Stubb's. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Because of sponsors like Stubb's I am able to continue to bring you all the content I feature here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Three Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe {No Machine Required!}

One day I hope to be the cool Mom.


You know baking up special treats. Surprising my kids with spontaneous vacations. And staying up late having water balloon fights in the backyard.

I am grateful that I have so many great memories of my own Mom. One these memories from my childhood, were a few times when my Mom would come home from a long day at work and declare it "ice cream for dinner" night! I mean really, ice cream for dinner (!!!) that is a kid's dream!

My siblings and I would then pile into the minivan, as giddy as could be, eagerly awaiting our family night at the local ice cream shop. Right then and there our Mom was the coolest Mom on the planet, quite possibly the universe!

Everything about these special ice cream nights will forever live as one of my favorite childhood memories. Not only because of the fact that my Mom was willing to occasionally throw all the parenting rules out the window, but because my siblings and I were able to bond and create memories over bowls of ice cream on a hot summer night.


To this day, I can't walk into an ice cream shop or even enjoy a big bowl of ice cream without thinking about those "ice cream for dinner" nights. The excitement, the conversations and of course the assortment of flavors and toppings each one of us would carefully pick out.

While much of the country is already headed back to school, we have a few more days of summer freedom ahead of us. I can't think of a better time to be a 'cool' Mom, and allow some rules to be broken! Some ice cream for dinner? Sure why not!

This Three Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream is adapted from the Three Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream I shared last summer. Both of these ice creams are so easy to whip up and don't even require an ice cream maker! A big bowl of creamy, chocolaty soft serve ice cream is what's for dinner tonight! : )

One Year Ago: Pina Colada Ice Cream
Two Years Ago: Campfire Meatballs
Three Years Ago: Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Four Years Ago: Canadian Bacon and Pineapple Pizza
Five Years Ago: Fried Pork Chops


Three Ingredient Chocolate Ice Cream {No Machine Required!}
Printable Version 
Prep Time: 15 minutes Wait Time: 6-8 hours Makes: approximately 1 1/2 quarts

Creamy, soft serve ice cream, rich in chocolate flavor! 

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream (1 pint)
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup cocoa powder

Directions:
Sift cocoa powder into a small bowl to remove any lumps.

Pour sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl. Slowly stir in cocoa powder a little at a time. 

Pour heavy cream into a separate bowl and whisk until medium peaks form. Slowly fold whipped cream into sweetened condensed milk mixture folding until well combined. Pour into a freezer safe container.

Cover and freeze for at least 6 to 8 hours or until firm. After freezing place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on ice cream (to prevent freezer burn) and place lid on top. Return to freezer until ready to serve. Serve as desired.

Optional: Additional add-ins, such as flavored extracts, chocolate chips, candy, fruit, crushed cookies, and so forth, may be folded in before freezing.

Adapted from this Three Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream 


Other recipes you might enjoy:
Three Ingredient Vanilla Ice Cream
Chunky Monkey Ice Cream
Pina Colada Ice Cream
Vegan Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Homemade Ice Cream Drumsticks

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tailgating Recipes: Game Day Cupcakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeamJellO #CollectiveBias 


As the end of summer draws near, I grow more and more excited about fall. The cooler weather, all the fun fall festivities and of course, football season! Some might find it hard to believe, but I love college football! I love the pride college students and alumni show for their team. I love bonding with new friends and old at a tailgating party while devouring game day food. And I love the intensity of the game.


In fact, not only is Texas the home to Tex-Mex, BBQ, and the Alamo; football is considered a religion here! : ) Texas A&M and the University of Texas have a long standing rivalry, spanning decades. However, in my family, the friendly football feud is between myself and my brother-in-law. My in-laws are from Georgia and so my brother-in-law, “S,” is a huge University of Georgia fan. But I bleed maroon through and through! So every fall, for the past 8+ years, my brother-in-law and I have bonded over college football. Following each others teams, cheering each other on, watching games together and of course some friendly teasing and competition!


As a good will gesture, to get get our football rivalry off to a fun and friendly start and get us excited for football season; I wanted to come up with a special treat to share with my brother-in-law. Then when I saw these new Jell-O University Molds, over on Walmart.com, I knew instantly what I wanted to make. These Jell-O University Molds are available (to order online) for a variety of universities and come with coordinating flavored Jell-O; making it easy to show your team pride!


Use the molds to make team Jell-O jigglers for tailgating parties or make some of my easily customizable Tailgating Cupcakes! These cupcakes have several steps but are really easy to whip up ahead of time. Even though I made University of Georgia cupcakes for “S” and Texas A&M cupcakes for myself; feel free to adapt the recipe for your favorite team!


Game Day Cupcakes
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time 18-20 minutes Chill Time: 3 hours Makes 18-24 cupcakes 

Show team spirit with these easy to customize game day cupcakes! 

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 (16.5 ounce) box white cake mix
1 cup sour cream
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk
3 egg whites, beaten stiff
1 (3 ounce) box Jell-O mix (in flavor to match team colors)*
1 cup boiling water
½ cup cold water, juice or soda (in flavor to match Jell-O)

Frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
6 tablespoons milk or juice
6 cups powdered sugar
1 (3 ounce) box Jell-O mix (in flavor to match team colors)

Mascot Cupcake Toppers:
1 Jell-O University Mold, for desired team
1 (12 ounce) package chocolate or candy melts (in matching team colors)
1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable oil

Directions:

For cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, sour cream, oil, and milk; stirring until completely mixed and no lumps remain. Fold in egg whites.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes for 15 minutes in pan, then transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, pour Jell-O mix into a small bowl. Pour boiling water over Jell-O mix and stir for 3 minutes, or until completely dissolved. Immediately stir in cold water and stir for one minute.

Once cupcakes have cooled, use a flavor injector, to pierce the top of the cupcakes, 4-5 times, and inject the prepared Jell-O mixture (be careful not to overfill the cupcakes with Jell-O). Alternatively, cupcakes can be pierced with a wooden skewer or fork and the Jell-O mixture carefully spooned into the holes.

Refrigerate Jell-O filled cupcakes for 2-3 hours before frosting. To frost, pipe frosting onto chilled cupcakes. Top frosting with mascot cupcake topper. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.

For frosting:
In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time alternating with the milk, mixing until desired consistency is reached.

Once frosting is at stiff constancy, remove half of the frosting from the mixing bowl and set aside. To the remaining frosting, beat in Jell-O mix, mixing until fully incorporated. Add additional milk, if needed.

To frost, fill one 12-inch decorator (piping) bag with white frosting and another 12-inch decorator (piping) bag with colored, Jell-O frosting. Push the icing all the way to the small end of each bag. Using a rubber band or twist tie, tie off the top of each piping bag.

Place a large cupcake tip, in desired shape, into the bottom of a 16-inch decorator (piping) bag. Add both filled piping bags to large piping bag, making sure both bags are lined up and to the frosting tip. To pipe, squeeze icing down to the opening from the top and apply even pressure to both frostings, turning piping bag in a circular motion as you go.

For Mascot Cupcake Toppers:

Place candy melts in microwave safe bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon of oil for every 6-9 ounces of candy melts. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir. Return to microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Stir again and repeat heating and stirring process until candy melts are smooth and melted.

Pour melted candy melts into Jell-O University Molds. Let candy melts harden in molds for 1-2 hours. To remove from mold, place filled Jell-O molds in freezer for 15-20 minutes.

*Note: For the Texas A&M cupcakes featured here, I used a mix of cherry and grape Jell-O and for the University of Georgia I used strawberry Jell-O. For deeper team colors, food coloring may be added.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Creative Soap Ideas: Dish Towel Cake (Step-by-Step Tutorial) #Palmolive25Ways #cbias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Palmolive25Ways #CollectiveBias 


At one point in my life I wanted to be an event planner. I love taking a simple idea or theme and developing it, taking care of all the little details, delegating tasks for others to do, and then seeing the end results all come together in a fantastic event that everyone loves. It is a lot of work, but totally worth it in the end, especially seeing your friends and family so happy! Since I have hosted and attended several bridal showers and housewarming parties over the years, I am always looking for new and creative gifts and decorating ideas. A dish towel 'cake' (similar to a diaper 'cake' found at many baby showers) has been an idea floating around in my head for awhile. This cake is a gift that would be great to help newlyweds or new home owners stock their kitchen. It takes common kitchen essentials, including different utensils and cleaning items, like Palmolive dish soap, and makes them look cute in creative packaging.


I recently had an opportunity to make my dish towel cake to take to some friends that just moved into their first house. Since this was a big event in their lives, I wanted to give them a gift that was memorable, useful, yet affordable for me. Since I was on a budget and needed a variety of items to make my dish towel cake a success, I headed to Walmart to gather all my supplies. With the entire cake being made up of dishtowels, I knew I wanted a mix of kitchen utensils and cleaning supplies. I wanted every bit of the cake to be useful, so even the center base of the cake is a large bottle of Palmolive dish soap. Palmolive is the brand dish soap my Mom always used, due to the fact it is tough on grease soft on hands. I like how a little goes a long way to clean a big pile of dirty dishes, which is common in my kitchen! To put a little more fun into doing the dishes and to celebrate the many uses for dish soap, Palmolive is hosting a sweepstakes where you can enter to win a $2,000 Walmart gift card and other weekly prizes! The sweepstakes begins today, August 11, and you can click here for additional details and to enter.

Since I like to get my craft on, and I know many of you need new and creative gift ideas too; today I am sharing a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a Dish Towel Cake. Check it out below! 


Dish Towel Cake (Step-by-Step Tutorial) 
by Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Printable Version
Project Time: 2 hours Supply Cost: $25+

Supplies:
38-40 square dish towels (approximately 7x7 inches), colors to match decorative kitchen towels
Rubber bands
1 (25 ounce) bottle Palmolive Dish Soap
3 decorative kitchen towels Ribbon, color to match decorative kitchen towels
Safety pins or bobby pins
Assorted cake toppers:
  • 1-2 (10 or 12.6 ounce) bottles Palmolive Dish Soap 
  • scrubbing brushes 
  • sponges 
  • soap dispensing brush
  • kitchen utensils (whisks, wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.) 
  • pizza pan or large round cake pan 
Directions:

1. Gather supplies.

2. Fold square dish towels in half, to form rectangle, making sure tag is on the inside.

3. Starting at the bottom of the folded towel, tightly roll up the towel.

4. Wrap a rubber band around the center of the rolled up dish towel to secure. Repeat with remaining dish towels and set aside.

5. Place a rubber band around the bottom middle of the 25 ounce bottle of Palmolive Dish Soap. Insert one of the rolled up dish towels under the rubber band, securing it tightly next to the bottle of dish soap.

6. Repeat with approximately 10-11 dish towels, inserting the rolled up towels in desired color pattern, in a circular shape around the bottle of dish soap.

7. Form second layer of the bottom cake tier by inserting another row of towels under the rubber band, lining them up directly next to the first layer of towels. Dish towels should be in a circular shape around the first layer of dish towels.

8. Place a rubber band around the top middle of the 25 ounce bottle of Palmolive Dish Soap. Insert one of the rolled up dish towels under the rubber band, securing it tightly next to the bottle of dish soap.

9. Repeat with approximately 9 dish towels, inserting the rolled up towels in desired color pattern, in a circular shape around the bottle of dish soap to form top tier.

10. To form cake topper, take one decorative kitchen towel and open towel lengthwise. Fold bottom end (about 1 inch) of kitchen towel over.

11. Next, fold the folded 1 inch piece of the towel back. 12. Repeat this process to form a fan shape.

13. Secure the bottom of the towel fan with a rubber band to hold shape.

14. Insert towel fan into the top of the cake.

15. Take another decorative kitchen towel and fold it in half. Wrap the folded towel around the middle of the bottom cake tier.

16. Using a safety pin or bobby pin, secure the towel, on both sides, at the back of the cake.

17. Repeat this process to wrap a decorative towel around the top tier of the cake.

18. Cut and tie ribbon into a bow around decorative towel for each cake tier.

19. Add desired cake toppers, inserting them into the top and sides of cake.

20. Cake is ready for gift giving or decorating a bridal shower or house warming party. Optional, completed cake maybe placed in a large round cake pan or on a pizza pan for easy transport.


Step-by-step photos:

1. Gather supplies.

2. Fold square dish towels in half, to form rectangle, making sure tag is on the inside.

3. Starting at the bottom of the folded towel, tightly roll up the towel.

4. Wrap a rubber band around the center of the rolled up dish towel to secure. Repeat with remaining dish towels and set aside.

5. Place a rubber band around the bottom middle of the 25 ounce bottle of Palmolive Dish Soap. Insert one of the rolled up dish towels under the rubber band, securing it tightly next to the bottle of dish soap.

6. Repeat with approximately 10-11 dish towels, inserting the rolled up towels in desired color pattern, in a circular shape around the bottle of dish soap.

7. Form second layer of the bottom cake tier by inserting another row of towels under the rubber band, lining them up directly next to the first layer of towels. Dish towels should be in a circular shape around the first layer of dish towels.

8. Place a rubber band around the top middle of the 25 ounce bottle of Palmolive Dish Soap. Insert one of the rolled up dish towels under the rubber band, securing it tightly next to the bottle of dish soap.

9. Repeat with approximately 9 dish towels, inserting the rolled up towels in desired color pattern, in a circular shape around the bottle of dish soap to form top tier.

10. To form cake topper, take one decorative kitchen towel and open towel lengthwise. Fold bottom end (about 1 inch) of kitchen towel over.

11. Next, fold the folded 1 inch piece of the towel back. 

12. Repeat this process to form a fan shape.

13. Secure the bottom of the towel fan with a rubber band to hold shape.

14. Insert towel fan into the top of the cake.

15. Take another decorative kitchen towel and fold it in half. Wrap the folded towel around the middle of the bottom cake tier.

16. Using a safety pin or bobby pin, secure the towel, on both sides, at the back of the cake.

17. Repeat this process to wrap a decorative towel around the top tier of the cake.

18. Cut and tie ribbon into a bow around decorative towel for each cake tier.

19. Add desired cake toppers, inserting them into the top and sides of cake.

20. Cake is ready for gift giving or decorating a bridal shower or house warming party. Optional, completed cake maybe placed in a large round cake pan or on a pizza pan for easy transport.
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