date cake + salted caramel & b. toffee
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wooooohoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i finally get to share with you one of the big projects that i have been cooking up in my teenie tiny kitchen!

it's crazy the difference between when you are TRYING to do what you love for work, and when you are ACTUALLY doing what you love for work. and it finally feels like i'm REALLY doing what i love for work. 

and lately, i've been working on a collaboration with b. toffee. a DELICIOUS and LOCAL toffee company sold in some amazing retailers nation wide. we just so happen to have a bunch of friends in common, so it was a natural fit for us to work together on something sweet in and out of the kitchen. 

not only is their toffee the PERFECT addition to this date cake + salted caramel, they were the perfect people to throw a little party to celebrate the upcoming event season with. so together, we are throwing a bash for creatives, small business owners and local influencers to eat, drink and mingle. 

planning has been zapping a bit of my time (hence why i am down to one post a week) but it is just the beginning of some very exciting things and i can't wait to share everything with you as it unfolds. 

date cake + salted caramel & b. toffee

prep time: 10 minutes

bake time: 25-30 minutes

total time: 40 minutes

ingredients: 12 oz pitted & chopped dates. 1 tsp baking powder. 1 cup water. .25 cup butter at room temperature, plus some for the pan. .25 cup sugar. 1 tsp orange zest. 2 eggs at room temperature. 1 tsp vanilla extract. 1.25 cups all purpose flour. 1 tsp kosher salt. 1.5 tbs baking soda. .5 cup salted caramel. b. toffee for garnish. 

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start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees f. in a large sauce pot, combine the water and dates. bring the liquid to a boil, breaking up the dates as you go. Simmer for 1 minute and then remove it from the heat.

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add in the baking powder.

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the mixture will bubble a bit. set the dates aside.

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in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the butter, sugar and zest. mix together on a medium speed for a few minutes till light and fluffy.

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add in the eggs one at a time. then pour in the vanilla. your mix may look like it is not combined.

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combine the flour and salt and then add it in to the wet mixture a little at a time.

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push the batter down the sides of the bowl and with the mixer on slow, add in the date mixture one third at a time till everything is combined.

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add in the baking powder and mix till just combined. 

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you can make the cake in a 9 inch cake pan or some ramekins. make sure to butter them well.

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fill the bottom of what you use to bake your cake with some salted caramel, just so the bottom is lightly coated.

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if you are using ramekins, fill them .75% of the way up and bake the cake or cakes for 25-40 minutes (smaller cake pan, less time). just until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. allow the cakes to cool for a couple minutes then turn out.

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drizzle with salted caramel, top with b. toffee and enjoy warm. 

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xo, a

date cake + salted caramel & b. toffee

prep time: 10 minutes

bake time: 25-30 minutes

total time: 40 minutes

ingredients: 12 oz pitted & chopped dates. 1 tsp baking powder. 1 cup water. .25 cup butter at room temperature, plus some for the pan. .25 cup sugar. 1 tsp orange zest. 2 eggs at room temperature. 1 tsp vanilla extract. 1.25 cups all purpose flour. 1 tsp kosher salt. 1.5 tbs baking soda. .5 cup salted caramel. b. toffee for garnish. 

start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees f. in a large sauce pot, combine the water and dates. bring the liquid to a boil, breaking up the dates as you go. Simmer for 1 minute and then remove it from the heat. add in the baking powder. the mixture will bubble a bit. set the dates aside. in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the butter, sugar and zest. mix together on a medium speed for a few minutes till light and fluffy. add in the eggs one at a time. then pour in the vanilla. your mix may look like it is not combined. combine the flour and salt and then add it in to the wet mixture a little at a time. push the batter down the sides of the bowl and with the mixer on slow, add in the date mixture one third at a time till everything is combined. add in the baking powder and mix till just combined. you can make the cake in a 9 inch cake pan or some ramekins. make sure to butter them well. fill the bottom of what you use to bake your cake with some salted caramel, just so the bottom is lightly coated. if you are using ramekins, fill them .75% of the way up and bake the cake or cakes for 25-40 minutes (smaller cake pan, less time). just until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. allow the cakes to cool for a couple minutes then turn out. drizzle with salted caramel, top with b. toffee and enjoy warm. 

crab cakes

for the last two and half years, when people would ask me what i do for work, it was really COMPLICATED to answer. basically, i did anything food, yoga or swim related that people would pay me for. but now, i feel confident answering the question with, "i'm a caterer." 

now, catering has never really been my dream. but feeding people is. and doing that is a priority, even if the situation is not ideal. catering is hard. lots of shlepping. loading and unloading and loading and unloading again. and MANY people tried to deter me. family, friends and plenty of strangers have told me along the way it is too much work. but you know what? even though it is freaking hard, i LOVE it.

people invite us into their homes for their most important celebrations. i will NEVER forget who catered my twenty-first birthday fiesta or our wedding. funny side note. wes's stepmom now works (and i've worked some jobs for) the people that catered my twenty-first birthday. such a small wold. ok.... let's get back on track. 

basically, we get to be apart of people's special moments. and that is a gift. sunday, we catered the sixtieth wedding anniversary of my childhood neighbor's parents. this family has lived next to my parents for thirty+ years and my brother's and i grew up right along side their kids. it was a crazy time warp to celebrate such a momentous occasion with such long time friends. 

in the end. all the shlepping is worth it. and these damn crab cakes were delicious. they are perfect for special occasion or an easy dinner at home. you can make them in advance and store them in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to fry up and eat. 

crab cakes

serves: 6 medium crab cakes

prep time: 10 minutes

inactive time: 30 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes

total time: 50 minutes

ingredients: 1 lb lump crab meat. 1 bell pepper, diced small. 1 shallot, diced small. 2 green onions, white and green parts halved and sliced. 2 tbs parsley, finely chopped. 1 egg. .5 cup panko bread crumbs. .5 cup italian bread crumbs..25 cup mayo. 1 tbs worcestershire sauce. 1 tbs garlic powder. 1 tsp paprika. 1 tsp chili powder. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp pepper. .25 cayenne pepper. 3 tbs vegetable oil. lemon wedges for garnish. arugula for serving. 

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in a large bowl, combine all the ingredients but the oil.

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using the best tool nature gave you (your hand) combine the mixture until you have a pretty dense, kind of wet mixture.

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make cakes about the size of your palm and about 1 inch thick. place the cake on a platter and set aside. continue the process until you have used all the crab mix. 6-8 cakes. place them in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. you can store them in an airtight container if you aren't ready to use them right away.

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when you are ready to cook. heat your oil in a heavy skillet. when the oil is hot (test a little piece of cake, the oil will bubble rapidly when it is ready) add in your cakes. be careful not to over crowed the pan. if you have too many to do in one batch, cook the cakes in two batches. fry the cakes for 4-5 minutes a side for nice, crispy cakes. when the cakes are cooked, remove them from the pan onto a paper towel or drying rack to remove some of the excess oil.

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plate on a bed of arugula. squeeze with some fresh lemon and serve. 

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xo, a

crab cakes

serves: 6 medium crab cakes

prep time: 10 minutes

inactive time: 30 minutes

cook time: 10 minutes

total time: 50 minutes

ingredients: 1 lb lump crab meat. 1 bell pepper, diced small. 1 shallot, diced small. 2 green onions, white and green parts halved and sliced. 2 tbs parsley, finely chopped. 1 egg. .5 cup panko bread crumbs. .5 cup italian bread crumbs..25 cup mayo. 1 tbs worcestershire sauce. 1 tbs garlic powder. 1 tsp paprika. 1 tsp chili powder. 1 tsp kosher salt. .5 tsp pepper. .25 cayenne pepper. 3 tbs vegetable oil. lemon wedges for garnish. arugula for serving. 

in a large bowl, combine all the ingredients but the oil. using the best tool nature gave you (your hand) combine the mixture until you have a pretty dense, kind of wet mixture. make cakes about the size of your palm and about 1 inch thick. place the cake on a platter and set aside. continue the process until you have used all the crab mix. 6-8 cakes. place them in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes. you can store them in an airtight container if you aren't ready to use them right away. when you are ready to cook. heat your oil in a heavy skillet. when the oil is hot (test a little piece of cake, the oil will bubble rapidly when it is ready) add in your cakes. be careful not to over crowed the pan. if you have too many to do in one batch, cook the cakes in two batches. fry the cakes for 4-5 minutes a side for nice, crispy cakes. when the cakes are cooked, remove them from the pan onto a paper towel or drying rack to remove some of the excess oil. plate on a bed of arugula. squeeze with some fresh lemon and serve.