Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Southern Living Chocolate Truffle Cake

My contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year was a Chocolate Truffle Cake from one of my Southern Living was a huge success! It was a sweet (and pretty) treat if I do say so myself!
It took a little while to make and decorate, so I would advise planning ahead for plenty of time to try it out!
The finished product before...
...and after! Enjoy!
Cake Ingredients
  • 8 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1¾ cups buttermilk
  • unsweetened cocoa
  • Chocolate Truffle Filling
  • Ganache
  • 2 (14 ounce) containers of Pepperidge Farm Pirouline hazelnut rolled wafer cookies
Microwave chocolate in medium glass bowl for 1 minute or until melted. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar together at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and then chocolate and vanilla and mix until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until blended after each addition. Pour batter in 3 greased 9-inch cakepans dusted with cocoa. Bake at 350 for 22 minutes or until wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to cooking racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Truffle Filling
  • 4 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • 6 TBS. butter
  • 6 TBS. whipping cream
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
Microwave chocolate and butter for 1 minute or until melted. Stir in whipping cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, stirring until blended and smooth. On cake stand, place first cake and then spread truffle filling between each layer as you stack.

  • 10 (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped
  • ½ cup whipping cream
Microwave chocolate for 1 minute or until melted. Add whipping cream and stir until smooth. Spread ganache on sides and top of cake. Break cookies into long pieces and and line the sides of the cake with them. Decorate with thick ribbon and tie or hold in place with a long pin.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Give Thanks

Alan and I had a fantastic Turkey Day. We are blessed beyond measure with each other, our amazing families, great jobs (in Knoxville!), sweet friends, and so much more. We began the day bright and early with the 'Hot to Trot' 5K in Turkey Creek. Alan's parents, Katie, Patrick and Elizabeth all joined us. Some of us ran while others walked and it was a great excuse to get out of bed and start the day!
Around noon, we went to Alan's grandmother, Mimi's, house for a delicious lunch with most of the aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Heather, McNeill, Tinsley, and Brittany

Later that afternoon, Susan and Mitchell went to pick up the 2 kids they mentor through the KLF Amachi program: 2 adorable twins- Tionna and Tion.

Then we went to my parents' house for our traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Yum!
The whole crew (minus Colin and Rachel)!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday Funday

Yesterday was a super fun and super busy Sunday! Alan and I went to church bright and early and then went over to my parents' house for lunch to see my wonderful aunt Claire and uncle Peter who were in town for the weekend. Claire and Peter live in Connecticut and we have missed them like crazy!
That afternoon we went to the Knoxville Convention Center for me to help with Tinsel and Treasure, which is my committee this year for Junior League. We had some GREAT vendors and it definitely got the wheels in my head spinning with Christmas ideas! I told Alan that he was lucky we don't have a house yet, or our credit card might have gotten a little bit of a workout!
That night we went to...
to celebrate Will's 29th birthday! It was so much fun going out with them and several other couples from our small group. They are just the greatest friends and we are so blessed to know them. Happy Birthday Will!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Very Merry Unbirthday

Lyndsay, Liz, me, Lindsey
Saturday night Alan and I joined in the celebrations and raised a glass to my good friend, Liz, who had a very merry unbirthday and turned the big 30! Her super creative sis, Mimi, planned a Mad Hatter b-day extravaganza which was oh so fun! Liz moved from Knoxville to Wilmington, NC last year so I do not get to see nearly enough of her now but we had a fabulous time catching up! Happy Birthday Liz!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Living...Southern Style

This past Sunday, Alan and I drove to Nashville for reasons of our own:
Alan's Reason: go to a Titans game
My Reason: see the 2011 Southern Living Showcase Home

Let me just say, if you think Pinterest gives you great ideas, you (are right of course but) haven't seen nothin' yet! A...MAZE...ING is all I can say. Not only do you get to walk through a beautiful home, each room custom designed and decorated, but you also get to speak to the designers, ask them any questions you want, and the best... open up every drawer, closet, etc to see all the incredible details. The pictures below do not do this home justice but enjoy:
front door (already decorated for the holidays, I love it!)
living room
breakfast nook
mud room (this was one of my faves)
awesome sliding glass doors opened from the living room to screened-in porch
master bedroom
this little detail was one of my faves...double doorway
beautiful hallway upstairs, notice Elizabeth's "slippers" we had to wear, ha!
family room (this was Alan's fave)
After a late lunch, we went on to the Titans game.
cool display of the American Flag during our National Anthem
Elizabeth and Patrick... thanks for inviting us, we had a blast!
Such a fun day!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love & Basketball

Well, not quite. So last Thursday- Alan and I went to the first UT exhibition basketball game. We were given tickets at the last minute so Alan and I (yes- shamefully admit) skipped out on Small Group to see the Vols begin their season with new head coach, Cuonzo Martin. They did not look too impressive, but did manage to pull off a win!
On Saturday, Alan and I went to the UT vs MTSU Homecoming game. And that's where the "love" part comes in... I guess! I will now admit that as a college sorority girl back in the day, I (along with many other ladies) dreamed about meeting some super cute and oh so fun guy during the week of Homecoming. How many hours were spent at the fraternity house painting, pomping, and trying to race against the clock to have everything ready on time! Alan and I actually did Homecoming together our senior year and I do remember a few conversations we had that left my head spinning :) I guess the rest is history...
So based on all that, I couldn't help but take a picture of all the sorority ladies and fraternity men accepting their hard-earned awards from ACE after a long, and I'm sure quite fun, Homecoming week!
The alumni band members even made it back for Homecoming and participated in the ever-so-popular Circle Drill. Gotta love the band... and Homecoming!!!