Monday, November 04, 2013

It's the Inside that Matters

Good evening and thank you for joining me for another episode of  "Sydney's Kitchen Adventure." I'm your host, Sydney Schultz...

Kidding, but for cereal, welcome to my blog: if you've never been here, thank you for stopping by, if you've been here before, thanks for coming back!

Let me begin with an English lesson:

Nutella: [nuˈtɛlla]: Happiness in a jar.

Okay, that was the lesson. There will be a pop quiz, so make sure you understand.

Enough joking, here's the deal:  I made cookies a week or so ago...and the idea kind of really blew my mind. I mean cookies are good enough to start with but stuff a cookie with Nutella and it's practically like eating magic.

I was a bit confused by the instructions on the site I found the recipe on, so I adapted it to make more sense.... at least to me...

Nutella Sugar Cookies:
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 7/8 cups butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • *Using a teaspoon, scoop out Nutella and place small drops on a lined cookie sheet. Put in the freezer until the dough is ready. (1)
    *Preheat the oven to 350*
    *In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
    *Use a mixer to beat together the butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar on medium until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
    *Turn the mixer to low and beat in the flour mixture until just combined. 
    *Place 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl for later
     *Use about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie, scoop dough onto cookie sheet. They spread quite a bit so leave an inch or so of room between each one. (2)
    *Using spatula, lift the mounds of Nutella from the baking sheet and press into the middle of each cookie. (3) If the Nutella starts getting soft, toss it back in the freezer for a few minutes.
    *Make sure the dough covers the mound of Nutella. (4)
    *Sprinkle the sugar you put aside previously over each cookie (5)
    *Bake for 10 to 13 minutes. The centers should till be soft and puffy.
    *Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

    And because words are confusing, here's the picture version of those instructions!


    I imagine you could use any sugar cookie recipe...and shove some Nutella inside.

    Also, I found that the mound of Nutella didn't really spread out like I would've liked it to. When scooping out the Nutella, I would suggest spreading it out into more of a disk than just a mound. 

    What nice looking sugar cookies.... BAM! Nutella filled!

    What a pleasant surprise!

    Well thanks again for stopping by, I'm going to go continue listening to Christmas music. Only 50 days, you know!


    Monday, October 21, 2013

    If You "carrot" all...

    Well here I am, finally getting around to a post about baking. I would apologize but it would be very insincere, so there for I won't. Sorry...for not being sorry. Camp has slowly but surely consumed basically every ounce of free time I have and I don't exactly have an oven in my dorm so it makes this whole baking blog thing a bit difficult. I did, however, spend the afternoon baking today so I should be stocked with recipes for a while now.


    My last experience with carrot cake was terrible. It was for a wedding cake I made last summer. Long story short, the recipe was so heavy my cakes fell in the middle and were just a mess to work with. But I got her done.

    So needless to say, I was a tad weary to try carrot cake again. But I left it in the hands of google to tell me which was a good recipe and I'd say it turned out pretty great.

    I'm not normally a big Wilton recipe fan, but this one didn't start off with saying "buy a cake mix..." so I thought it would be safe to test out.

    And what carrot cake is complete without cream cheese icing?

    And now, for your baking pleasure, here's the recipe:

    Wilton Carrot Cake:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup vegetable oil
    • 4 cups (2-ish big ones) carrots (shredded)
    • 2/3 cup nuts chopped
    *Preheat oven to 350°F.
    *Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and baking soda.
    *In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer until foamy; add oil and mix well.
    *Add flour mixture to egg mixture; mix well. 
    *Fold in carrots and nuts.
    *Scoop into lined cupcake tin and bake for 18-20 minutes

    Isn't it just the cutest little guy ever?

    And here's the frosting recipe:

    Cream Cheese Icing:
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 2-3 cups icing sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    *With an electric mixer, mix together the butter and cream cheese until completely smooth
    *Add the vanilla extract

    *Slowly add the icing sugar until it's as sweet as you want it to be (I used 2 cups)
    *Spread or pipe the icing onto your cake or cupcakes.

    My darling friend Robyn turned 18 a few weeks ago and since carrot cake is her favorite, that's what she got! Happy Birthday, Robyn!

    Well I hope autumn has been as good to you as it has to me.

    May you continue to wear pretty scarves, throw leaves at your friends, and sip tea by a fireplace. 


    Sunday, October 13, 2013

    "I thank God Everytime I Remember You"

    For all the times I have missed a chance to say thank you. For everyday I spend taking things for granted. For each person who has impacted my life more than I let them know.

    I am blessed.

    I'm sure your parents are great, but have you met mine?

    Don't get me started on how lucky I am to have a sister like her and a brother-in-law who treats her like the princess she is.

    These guys are rad.

    These girls are the most incredible people I know.

    Not only did I get to spend time in our great capital city, I got hang out with amazing people for a whole week.

    I know people who load into vehicles every February and drive to Saskatchewan just to party hard for Jesus.
    Who needs mountains when you have this view every evening?
    I have the best job in the world.
    Best Fwiend , you know I love you.
    Pulse {Grace Young Adults}. If you haven't experienced it, you need to.
    A mile from where I live, and I'm still speechless.
    This girl and the other beauties I get to dorm with for the year - they'll change your life.
    These goofs. Combining, piano concerts, 3am, and abs from laughing; I like them a lot.

    Friends that sneak into your dorm just to put up glow-in-the-dark stars.

    Cats - is there a more beautiful creature?

    I can't tell you how much I love my camp family.

    High school friends, where would I be without you?
     I will not be thankful only on this day, once a year. There is so much in this beautiful life, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness.
    Thank you.
    From the bottom of my heart, I cannot be grateful enough.

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Camp. My Happy Place.

    Howdy y'all! Okay so here's the thing...I know I haven't posted in over 2 months. And maybe you feel like I've abandoned my blog. Or maybe you actually hate my blog and were glad I stopped posting (if that's true...go away). But regardless, let me fill you in on what's been going on in my life.


    I've been at Winkler Bible Camp pretty much all summer working as a counsellor or as support staff. And let me tell you, it has been a slice. I've gotten the opportunity to connect with such beautiful campers, parents, and staff.

    First off, the campers. Whether they were in one of my cabins or I was serving them chicken fingers for lunch on Wednesday, they were all such blessings. Children are so rad. I can't even begin to list all of the things I've learnt from working with different kids this summer.

    Parents, grandparents, foster parents, wow. What beauties they all are. I loved getting to meet each parent as they dropped their child off. Each parent had a small story about how excited their kid was or about how they used to be a camper at WBC or about how their friend's cousin's cousin works at camp. And so many families drive all the way out from Winnipeg or some other place relatively far away just so their kid can come specifically to Winkler Bible Camp.

    Staff...2013 Winkler Bible Camp staff. Oh man. Probably the sickest group of people I've ever been blessed to meet. I don't.. I just... I think... I can't even... you're just all so beautiful! I have no words to describe them. That camp family is so powerful, so overwhelmingly loving, so on fire for God. It's like they've stolen my heart but I never want it back. They are my happy place.

    {Over a hundred kids and a whack load of staff partying for Mr. Jesus. Does it get any more beautiful?}
    photo credit: Abigail Sunshine
    {Only a small portion of the fabulous staff after rocking the Harvest Festival Parade.}
    photo credit: Bran-Bran
    {Our fantastic Assistant Camp Director, Mark Bergen... featuring some goats and the wonders that come along with having live animals on stage!}
    photo credit: Bran-Bran
    Well that's what I've been up to. I had the time of my life this summer, thanks to so many beautiful people.
    God is good.
    Stay golden,
    Sydney xoxo

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    When Life Gives You Lemons

    This is my last week at home before I head off to camp for the majority of the summer! Woohoo! Any of you who have been to or worked at Winkler Bible Camp know what a party it is, so needless to say I'm a little excited! I'm pumped to see God work in the lives of all the children and staff alike!

    But before I head off I would like to get a few more posts in! So here's a recent one for ya!

    One of the teachers at my high school has become a loyal customer of mine (thank you, Mr. Toews!). This time around his wife ordered some lemon cupcakes for a 30th birthday celebration. The icing, more like whipped cream, for these cupcakes is to die for! I couldn't stop licking it off the spoon!

    For your baking pleasure, here's the recipe!

    Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Whipped Cream:
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter
    • 2 cups white sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    *Pre-heat the oven to 375*
    *Mix the flour and salt in a bowl
    *In another bowl, beat the butter (and say that ten times fast) and sugar until light and fluffy
    *Beat the eggs one at a time into the butter mixture, mix in the vanilla and lemon zest
    *Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add the milk and lemon juice. Beat until just incorporated.
    *Fill cupcake tin and bake for 17 minutes
    • 2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
    • 3/4 cups icing sugar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
    *Beat the cream until it begins to thicken
    *Add the icing sugar and lemon juice and beat until soft peaks form (about 5 minutes)
    *Spread over cooled cupcakes and lick the rest out of the bowl.


    For the toppers for these cupcakes, I used some colored chocolate wafers and just piped them into "30's" and "k's."

    When I had enough to decorate all 24 cupcakes, plus a few extra in case of breakage (which did happen) I piped some dots to use on a later project....or just eat....because let's face it chocolate wafers are too good to not eat.

    And when all was said and done I couldn't have been happier about making a few extra cupcakes...


    Enjoy the sunshine,

    Friday, June 14, 2013

    Some Sugar for you, Sugar.

    Ahh it's been far too long since I've been here chatting with you lovely folks. So here's the deal: cookie Friday.Yes.
    People make cookies on Thursday and hand them out to other people on Friday. It's fantastic. I had the best intentions of making a huge cookie Friday post with all the cookies I've made for this event...and then my camera decided that was a bad idea and deleted all my cookie pictures. Darn.
    But here's an old adventure I didn't get around to posting until now!

    First of all, if you don't like sushi...get out. Now.

    Just jokes, please stay. But really, once you've had good sushi you'll be hooked, I promise. And if not (there's probably something wrong with you, first off), maybe you'll like this version of sushi.

    Candy Sushi.

    My mother found this recipe in the Readers Digest a while ago, and I made sure to save it so I could experiment with it. And that's just what my sister and I did.

    The actual recipe can be found here, or you can just kinda do your own thing.

    Basically you wanna get some fruit leather, or fruit roll ups. With the fruit roll ups you'll need to line up several stripes to get one roll, but it worked for me.

    We used a Ziploc bag for a rolling matt to make the process easier.

    You'll also need to whip up a batch of rice krispies and some candy (stuff like gummy worms and licorice).

    Alright, so once you've got the fruit rolls laid out, put a scoop of rice krispies on top of it, you'll figure out portions and stuff as you do it.

    And than you want to put some candies on top of the rice krispies.
    And than start rolling it up!
    Taa daa! It's just that simple.

    Proceed to chop it into bite sized pieces and shove the left over candy in your mouth.

    I'm gonna give you all a warning before you run off and make this...the sugar will hit you eventually! You can practically taste the pure sugar when you eat this....but you only live once, right?
    Go out and do something fantastic today! Enjoy,

    Saturday, May 04, 2013

    Would you like that Upside Down or Downside Up?

    Okay so I'll only keep writing if you promise not to judge me for the images I publish in this post. My camera had a small spazz attack and decided to not save the pictures I took the other day. So needless to say, I was left with the "ugly" leftover cupcakes to photograph and not enough care to re-setup my say hello to paper towel backgrounds and sad looking pineapple upside-down cupcakes.

    My friend had her birthday yesterday! The big 18, the entrance into adulthood. Woohoo! To celebrate we went to see Iron Man 3 in the city. And was it ever fabulous. Robert Downey Jr, you've done it again! If I had to pick a favorite superhero...Iron Man would win, hands-down. Is there really any kind of superpower that trumps witty humour? Yaa...I didn't think so.
    Jaidyn is a huge fan of pineapples. Yes, pineapples. So After racking my brain for pineapple related cupcakes, the obvious answer hit me. Duh! Pineapple upside-down cake...cupcakes.
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 cup flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 3/4 cups brown sugar
    • 6 maraschino cherries
    • 1 can (20-ounces) pineapple rings
    *Pre-heat oven to 375*
    *In each cupcake cup, put 1/2 tablespoon unmelted  butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Put the pan in the oven until the butter melts (about 3 minutes)
    *While this is happening, mix the butter (batter) and milk in a pot over medium heat until melted. Remove from heat once melted
    *Cut the pineapple rings into quarters and the cherries in half. Once the butter and sugar is melted, put a cherry (cut side up) in the center of each cup and place a quarter ring of pineapple on either side.
    *In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    *In a large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
    *Add flour mixture to egg mixture and stir until blended. Add the milk mixture and stir until well combined
    *Scoop batter into cupcake tins
    *Bake for 25 minutes until edges are brown and pulling away from the pan

    I've never had pineapple upside-down cake with having nothing to compare it to, this recipe was fantastic!

    And having a jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge doesn't hurt anyone.

    Well that's my latest project and collection of sad pictures for you.

    Thanks for not judging my photography skills :)
    Stay golden,
    Sydney xoxo

    Friday, April 26, 2013

    Owl You Need is Love

    Howdy all. Please forgive how backed up my posts have become, April for some reason is always a busy baking month, why? I have no idea! But in the midst of the chaos, I have done tons of baking and have been lagging in getting it posted.

    My dear friend, Abbey, turned 18 earlier this month! Yay! Yay! Yay! She deserves three "yay's" because she truly is that fantastic! I don't think I know a more genuine person than Abbey, she is really one of the greatest people around.

    Happy Birthday, Abbigail Sunshine! :)

    Abbey and I have been friends since grade 7, so needless to say we have a lot in common. Tea being one of those shared loves. For a Christmas party last year, I made some Chai Tea Cupcakes. And they were a huge hit, especially for Abbey!

    So when her birthday rolled around she put in her request for these cupcakes. And that's just what she got!

    I'm huge into Pinterest, because let's face it, it's fantastic! So one day I stumbled upon a tutorial for making some adorable clay owls. Well, I'm not really into clay but the similarities to fondant are impossible to miss! And from there I'm sure you can figure out what happened.

    The end, thanks for reading.

    Just jokes. I made a tutorial for you guys!

    I made some marshmallow fondant. Okay that's a lie, I had left over fondant from another cake so I just used that but same deal-io.

    So basically you just need some fondant, a circle cookie cutter (mine was about 2.5"), a pen or marker cap, a smaller point thing (like the end of a paintbrush), and a toothpick.

    If a picture's worth a thousand words...than take a look at this:

    I made them in all the colors I had left over just to make it more fun...because colors are fun!

    And from there I just slapped 'em on some cupcakes with those yucky little ball things that nobody likes but they look pretty. Fashion over function, people. Ha, only when we're talking food.

    On a side note, check out this stellar mug! I made it. Say whaa? Yeah I did. Okay I painted it but that's basically making it! In Winkler we have fantastic pottery studio, Clay Owl, where you pick your piece and paint it up. It's wonderful, if you're in the area I highly recommend spending some time there.

    Wanna know what happened on Wednesday?
    ...happened. Yes, that's a house wrapped in wrapping paper. 26 roles to be exact. When someone has a birthday the whole block should know it, and Travis had a birthday so we just wanted to inform everyone of it.

    Happy Birthday, Travis!

    Well I'm about to embark on a crazy busy weekend, so I'll catch ya laters!
    Stay golden,
    Sydney xoxo