11.30.2012

Twinkie Cupcakes


With the whole mess going on with Hostess, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out this recipe :)
I wouldn't say that taste exactly like Twinkies, but they're still delicious! My dad says they were the best cupcakes he's EVER had, so I was very happy with the results :) 

Cupcakes and Filling
Recipe from: thedomesticrebel.com
You will need:
- 1 box Yellow Cake Mix + ingredients on back of box
(for mine, it was oil, 3 eggs, and water)
- 1 small box of Instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix
(For the filling)
- 1 Jar (7 oz) Marshmallow Cream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons very hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line cupcake tins with liners, this recipe made about 20 cupcakes. Set aside.
3. Prepare cake mix according to box directions and stir in pudding mix. 
4. Fill liners about 2/3 full, and bake about 14-17 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
5. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack to cool completely 
     (We actually chilled them in the fridge for about ten minutes before the next step)
While cupcakes are cooling, prepare the filling: 
6. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in hot water. Set aside.
7. In a large bowl, use mixer to beat together marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
8. Add salt/water mixture and mix until well combined. Should be fluffy and not as thick as frosting.
9. Core out cupcake's center with a sharp paring knife. Be careful not to cut all the way through. 
10. Pipe filling into center of the cupcake, fill just to the top.
11. Put cupcakes back into the fridge while preparing the frosting.


Marshmallow Buttercream
Recipe from: thedomesticrebel.com

You will need:
- 1 Jar (7 oz) Marshmallow Cream
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 1 bag (32 oz) powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat together marshmallow cream, butter and vanilla until combined. About 2 minutes.
2. Add sugar in, about a cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy. 
     (We used most of the bag of powdered sugar, and the frosting was way too thick, we had to use whipping cream to make it thinner, I'd recommend using about 1-2 cups less than the full bag of sugar)
3. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

11.25.2012

Wonderful Weekends: Thanksgiving Edition










My sister's earrings // Watching football on Thanksgiving // Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies









Christmas Ornaments! :) 









Our cute little Christmas tree.. ;)  and our engagement ornament.. Hopefully will get a cute wedding one this year, last year we waited too long and the ornament place was closed :(


We also bought some Christmas books and a few more Lemax Village buildings! :) Is it weird to shop for our future children even though we won't be having any for at least 7 years? We buy books and Christmas decorations when they're on sale. We usually buy ornaments and stuff like that AFTER Christmas because the sales are awesome. We figure if we buy a little as we go, we'll have a lot for our kids by the time we have them :)

11.23.2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need: 
Recipe from: howdoesshe.com
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup oil 
(I used 1/2 c applesauce, & 1/4 c oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
2. In a large bowl, stir sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. 
3. Add canned pumpkin and combine with a mixer.
4. Add egg, oil, applesauce (optional), and vanilla. 
5. Fold in chocolate chips. 
6. Bake 11-13 minutes. 



11.19.2012

Let's Take a Tour, Shall We?

For the past few weeks I've been settling into my cube at work and trying to make it more of my own. At work there aren't very many ways to express yourself, but a cubicle is one of those ways. I wanted my space to be professional, but give people a glimpse of who I am. :) 

So this is the view when you first walk into my cube, the papers hanging up are work related, but they are hung up with cute and colorful map pins ;) You will also always see a water bottle on my desk, and my fan. I got it at Target for like $20, it's a lifesaver! My mason jars also make an appearance.. I've been made fun of a couple times for the amount of pens I have, but jars just look better when they're full! :p And see those cupcakes? Chocolate cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream :) Everybody loved them! 

To the right, there is a shelf. Complete with two wedding pictures, Pooh Bear, and my paper rose from The Husband :) There's also a Cardinals flag, and fortunes.. I really need to get a Baltimore Ravens flag or something.. It's just easier to get Arizona stuff because we're in Arizona :P 

I love fortune cookies, and when I find a fortune that fits perfectly, I put them up. 
I also color coordinate with the map pins because I am just weird like that :)

To the left... My Sea Shepherd flag and some photos :) I wanted a way to display a lot of different pictures, without having to hang each individual photo up. So I made a mini version of this frame :)  I used mini clothespins, I got them at Party City in the baby shower section.. They worked perfectly! 

Maybe I'm a little too prepared but, when you're at work for 8 hours, I guess it's good to know what you'll want to have around! I have a massive gum supply, band-aids and Advil.  Also, chap-stick, lotion, and hand sanitizer. And of course, note pads, paper clips, and post its :) 

And of course, can't forget snacks can we?! :) 

I also listen to these wonderful things while I work :) Ear buds really hurt my ears, so I finally invested in some good, comfortable head phones. They were not cheap by any means, but they were definitely worth it. 

What are some things you can't live without while you're at work? 
What do you do to personalize your work space? 

11.16.2012

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Cupcakes:
Recipe from: Chef in Training
You will need: 
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Line cupcake tins and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2. In a small bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Sift cocoa into a medium size bowl. Pour in the cup of hot water, and whisk until completely dissolved.
4. Add buttermilk, then add sugar, and whisk until combined.
5. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix again.
6. Take flour mixture and whisk until wet mixture. 
7. Stir in heavy cream until evenly mixed in. 
8. Pour batter into cupcake tins, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
9. Let cupcakes cool completely. 
10. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

Salted Caramel Buttercream:
Recipe from: Chef in Training
You will need: 
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup butter (softened) 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 package Dream Whip (there were multiple packs in a box)
3 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan, stir together sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 
2. Cook without stirring until it turns a deep amber color, about 9-10 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. 
(Make sure to do this immediately after removing from heat)
4. Let the caramel cool for 20 minutes, it should be just barely warm and still pourable.
5. Beat butter and salt together with a mixer until light and fluffy.
6. Reduce mixer speed and add dry Dream Whip until combined.
7. Beat in powdered sugar, mix until combined. 
8. Scrape down the side of the bow, and add the caramel. 
7. Mix for about 2 minutes, until light and airy.  
8. Frost the cupcakes. 
This was my first time ever frosting cupcakes.. and it was so much fun! I will be doing it again, and hopefully they're prettier next time! ;) 
I brought these to a potluck at work on Tuesday, and they were a huge hit! Everyone raved about them. The Husband also took them to his work Wednesday, and they were loved there as well :) I think I'll stick with this chocolate cupcake recipe, it's delicious! The frosting was a little too rich for me, but I'm picky like that :p

11.12.2012

DIY Mondays: Geometric Polymer Clay Earrings

My little sister's birthday is tomorrow, and I wanted to make her something she would like, but something small enough to mail easily. These earrings were the perfect thing!  And they were pretty simple to make :) 



I just guessed on the size, I figured it would be easier to have extra than to not have enough. 

This step is totally optional, and you could completely skip it.
I just found it easier to start with a cube shape. 

They were all a little different, I tried to keep the size of my earring back in mind while I was making them smaller. I didn't want to make them too small. 

I let them cool down for about 10 minutes. 

And there you have it :)

Inspiration: hunryhappened.com and etsy,com

11.05.2012

DIY: Color Block Magnets


You will need:
- wood shapes 
(I used circles and squres)
- paint
- magnets (not pictured)
- painter's tape
- foam brushes
- hot glue & glue gun
- scissors 

I used painter's tape because it's what I had on hand. I just cut thin strips of it.

And you're done! :) 


Inspiration: seethatthere.com