Red Velvet Lava Cakes 

Hi, friends!

I am currently in the middle of my last high school spring break! Ahhh, time is flying so fast. When I was younger I always dreamed of going to college and furthering my education, but I never thought the time would really come. Now I am just a couple of months away– I just have to survive AP tests. 😉

I decided the best way to celebrate the occasion with Red Velvet Lava Cakes. These cakes are so cute! The red velvet color with the cream cheese lava center is different from any dessert I’ve ever made, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.

Also I finally decided to invest in a real camera! I am still getting the hang of all the different settings and buttons that come with a fancy camera, so please bear with my photography skills. 😉 Stay tuned for a more in-depth post regarding the camera and the things I weighed when looking at different types (P.S. I am the queen of pros-and-cons lists).


YIELD: 12 PREP TIME: 40 minutes

COOKING TIME: 12 TOTAL TIME: 52 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10 Oreo cookies
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease muffin tin
  2. Separate Oreo cookie cream and cookie components in separate bowls
  3. Cream together Oreo cookie cream and cream cheese
  4. Once the cookie cream cheese mixture has combined place table spoons of the mixture on a greased parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes (make 12)
  5. While the mixture freezes combine all the dry ingredients and mix together
  6. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until a batter forms
  7. Scoop the red velvet mixture evenly into the muffin tin (make 12)
  8. Push the frozen cookie cream cheese mixture into the red velvet mixture (covering the cookie cream cheese mixture after each placement)
  9. Place the remaining cookie tops on the red velvet batter
  10. Bake for 12 minutes (to remain lava cake consistency strictly follow this time)
  11. Once baked flip out of pan, dust powdered sugar, and enjoy

NOTES:

  • Step 8: make sure to cover the frozen cookie cream cheese mixture with the batter in the batter– when baking you do not want to the cookie cream mixture exposed
  • These can also be frozen if you do not want all of them! Just place in an air tight bag and reheat for 10-15 second when desired
  • Recipe from

❤ ,

Hira

Curiosity Didn’t Kill the Cat

Yes, no, maybe. These are the replies most people receive when they ask a question. What happened to those in-depth lengthy answers?

Today, as a society, we are continuously condemning the curiosity that enables us to live in a world full of imagination, innovation, and exploration. In recent years, the school systems has failed on students by forcing them to memorize arbitrary facts and methods. What happened to the days when school was a just for learning? I’ve never lived in that type of education system.

I have never experienced the pure joy of learning for the purpose of learning. Instead, I “learn” (more like memorize information) for grades, ranks, and numbers– that inevitably define me.

The proverb: curiosity killed the cat, is something I have heard for a majority of my life. I am a very inquisitive person. I like to question everything around me. However, today, we have marked curiosity as a negative trait– student’s should just understand something without a real reason.

Curiosity, investigation, experimentation are all actions that promote positivity. Yes, there are dangers in the world from excess discovery, but with discovery comes solution. Solutions for problems that plague our world today.

When I was talking to people about the phrase, curiosity killed the cat, they told me that it is just expressing concern for unnecessary discovery that could engender potential harm. However, I am a firm believer in the idea that no discovery is unnecessary. Yes, some discoveries are painful, sad, and devastating, but they are necessary to elicit growth.

I am tired of society promoting a culture that believes curiosity and inquisitiveness are somehow harmful characteristics. Every bad discovery can produce a million positive discoveries.

Curiosity is able to cure the cat, but society has conditioned citizens to think otherwise.

❤ ,

Hira

Vanilla Naked Cake with Berries

Hello, friends!

How are you guys? Are you ready for a recipe?

This was the week of Valentine’s Day, which happens to be one of my favorite holidays because it’s my dad’s birthday! This year, I wanted to bake a cake that was fresh, appealing, and easy to make on a week night. This cake definitely met (exceeded) all expectations.

I did accidently over bake the cake, which ended up making it a tad bit dry– but nothing a little extra whipped cream couldn’t fix.

Life update: I wanted to talk a little bit of what’s going on in my life! As you know, I am a senior in high school, which means college is around the corner! Well, keep your eyes open because I am going to be posting a college announcement soon. 🙂 So far senior year has been bittersweet. I hate it at times, but I know in a couple of months I will be finished– which is terrifying.

YIELD: 8 PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOKING TIME: 20-25  TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes

INGREDIENTS: *this is for one layer. Double or triple recipe for the amount of layers you desire.

  • 1-1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1-3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • I pint whipping cream
  • 1 cup powered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (separate from cake)
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cake pans.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  5. Gradually combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mix until combined.
  6. Place batter into pans and bake for 22-27 minutes or until the cake has set (keep an eye, this cake bakes fast).
  7. Allow cake to cool completely.
  8. While cooling make frosting by whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla until a frosting like consistency forms.
  9. Frost first layer, then place sliced strawberries, then place next layer, frost layer, place sliced strawberries
  10. On the top place blueberries and strawberries

 ❤ ,

Hira

Reflections

Hello, friends!

Today’s post deviates from the normal recipe. I have had reflective thoughts moving around my head, so I thought I would share.

  1. Success is not only hard work. We, unfortunately, live in an unfair world. No matter how hard we work at the end of the day we can still be robbed of the thing we want most. Success is equal parts preparation and opportunity. If you get rejected from a job, internship, or fail a test understand that you only have control over your input, but at the end if the opportunity never manifests itself it is not your fault. You do not have control over everything. Work hard. Dream. But remember you have only control on your input.
  2. Less is more. Growing up forging friendships has always been difficult. I am an outgoing, positive, stubborn person who may be an acquired taste. I have learned through the years that it is more important to surround myself with a few amazing people, then a large group of meh people.
  3. Things are not as they seem. As a teenager, in the social media generation, I have recognized that not all posts on the web are true. Social media is heavily fabricated. People only post when they are doing something incredible. I mean, no one wants to see someone post a picture of doing the dishes or laundry.
  4. Everything does not happen for a reason. I was a firm believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. Anytime the world did not go in my favor I would use this as a rationale. However, being apart of a world where violence, adversity, and horror are common, I don’t want to accept that these things happen for a reason. The little girl who lost her father, or the mother who lost her son are events that do not contain a reason. Sometimes things just happen. They cannot be explained.
  5. You can only take care of yourself. This is something that was so difficult for me to learn. Anytime I see someone I know upset, I want to drop everything and take care of that person. I have learned that you can only do so much. At the end of the day, if that person is still broken, you need to understand that you have done enough. Your health is paramount. Your unhappiness for that person’s situation will not make that person’s situation better. Live life, love, be happy. Help those going through a rough patch, but at the end if that person is still in the dark– move on. No matter what you do it is that person’s choice to feel better.

Well, that’s it for this reflections post. I just had all these lessons shuffled in my head, so I thought I’d share. If you agree (or disagree) or have something else you’ve learned that has changed your life– comment below.

,

Hira

Canada Things

Hi, friends!

If you read (or looked) at my last post, you saw my December adventure through the Eastern Caribbean. I also had the opportunity to visit my sweet grandparents in Canada– I am so blessed. This trip was a lot of fun because my dad drove us (my family) from Texas all the way to Canada. That is absolutely crazy. I mean, look at a map of North America– so many miles. We are a very adventurous family. 😉

❤ ,

Hira

 

December 2016 Trip {senior trip}

Hi, friends!

I recently went on an incredible trip with my two wonderful friends. It was an absolute blast, and to say it went by fast is an understatement. I love to travel. Really love to travel. For my senior trip, one of my best friends, Brittany, had an amazing idea to go on a cruise– together. So after convincing my parents (lots of convincing), off we went. 

This cruise went from the Dominican Republic to the US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico to the final destination Grand Turk. It was one of the greatest trips I’ve ever taken (and I’ve been on cruises before). Time flew by, but pictures are great memories, so here are some below. I also wanted to state that I didn’t take any pictures. None. Thanks to my wonderful friends, Brittany and Isabella, you can also enjoy the crystal blue waters. (The pictures are in no particular order)

❤ ,

Hira

Cherry Chip Cake

Hi, friends!

Welcome to the first recipe of 2017! I wanted to start off with a cake because cake makes life better, right?

This week was incredibly stressful. My school prefers to make finals after break, which makes no sense. How am I suppose to remember so much information after two weeks?

I survived.

To celebrate one more semester of high school and the completion of finals I decided to bake a cake. Not any cake, though. A cherry chip cake. A cake with chocolate, cherries, fluffy whip cream, and cups of happiness.

I honestly cannot believe I am almost done with high school. I remember being in 4th grade eager to enter the world of college– and now I am almost there. In just a couple of months I will no longer be living with my parents, no longer be depending on my parents for every little thing, no longer be a daily presence in my parent’s lives. I will miss them so much!

Aside from that, I am totally excited to start a new chapter of my life. Stay tuned for my college announcement in just a couple of months! Now let them eat cake (channeling my inner Marie-Antoinette).

YIELD: 6 PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOKING TIME: 30-35  TOTAL TIME: 1  hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 box of white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 egg white
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 jars (10 ounce) maraschino cherries, chopped and pat dry
  • I pint whipping cream
  • 1 cup powered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (separate from cake)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and a cake pan.
  2. Mix one teaspoon of the cake mix with the chocolate chips.
  3. Next in a separate bowl mx the cake mix, sour cream, egg whites, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  4. Once combined add chopped and dried cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Place batter into the cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has set.
  6. Once the cake has finished baking whip cream,  sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixture.
  7. Frost and enjoy!

❤ ,

Hira