Strawberries!!!

I am SO excited to see my favorite fruit back at the store AND looking fresh.  We all know it’s such a tease to see strawberries throughout the winter because even though you know they aren’t good cine they aren’t in season and have most likely been imported from some far away place, you buy them anyways because they’re your favorite, and they end up being incredibly disappointing.  Or am I the only one that does that?

Anyways… strawberries are back.  Like, fresh, red, and juicy kind of back.  And I am oh-so-excited.  So I tried out yet another vanilla cupcake recipe, but this time added a strawberry buttercream that was to dieeee for.  Seriously.  My mom licked the icing out of the bowl and she doesn’t like icing at all.  She usually scrapes the icing off of her cupcake into the the trash (that’s hard for me to type).

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I tried this vanilla cupcake recipe:

http://www.macaroniandcheesecake.com/2012/02/dc-cupcakes-vanilla-cupcakes-wvanilla-buttercream.html

They were a little too heavy and dense for me.  Clarielynn’s Cupcakery was so sweet to give me some pointers on this post about dense cupcakes.  Guess I’ll keep experimenting!

I used this strawberry buttercream:

http://redbarn-recipes.blogspot.com/2010/06/strawberry-frosting.html

For the frosting, I used Smuckers strawberry jam and I added a 1/2 tablespoon of whipping cream.  And I beat it for a good 6-7 minutes.  I’ve discovered this is the trick to have light, fluffy icing that isn’t too sweet.

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Coconut Nest Cupcakes

 Last weekend my family combined Easter with my birthday celebration and my aunt’s birthday celebration.  I was in charge of my aunt’s birthday dessert and decided to test out a new cupcake recipe.  My mom has a variety of piping tips, so I had a lot of fun experimenting with the icing.

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I would have liked more coconut on these, but I waited too long to put it on and the icing had already begun to harden.  Rookie mistake.

Here is the recipe for the coconut nest cupcakes:

http://www.marthastewart.com/436619/coconut-nest-cupcakes?crlt_pid=camp.XpdH9orK6PQI

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(I spy “Death by Chocolate” cake behind these cupcakes… my birthday cake request for my aunt.  Delicious.)

Basic Vanilla

You know something that never lets me down?  A basic vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing.

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And I found the perfect recipe:

http://www.recipegirl.com/2007/03/16/white-wedding-cake-cupcakes/

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Can you believe I just figured out you can use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake liners?  My life has been changed.

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I used a buttercream cream cheese frosting found over at my friend’s blog:

http://jlucashcaldwell.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/my-favorite-cupcake-recipe/

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YUM!!

Photo on 3-24-13 at 5.26 PM

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has arrived and snow is in the forecast.  I am not a happy camper.  In an effort to encourage the spring weather, I made a spring wreath for my front door.  I’ve never used burlap, so I was excited to work with it.

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I used a straw wreath, regular burlap for the wreath and pink burlap for the tie, and different pieces of felt for the flowers.

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I cut the burlap into 3″ strips.

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I wrapped the strips around the wreath, while using hot glue to secure the ends on the back of the wreath.

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To make the felt flowers, I drew swirls starting from an edge of the felt and cut along the line.

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Starting from the “center” of the swirl, twist the felt into a flower.

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Final product!

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Inspiration from http://jenmooremn.blogspot.com/2012/03/spring-wreath.html

Happy Spring!! :)

Did Someone Say Cake Batter?!

My favorite ice cream?  Cake batter.  My favorite milkshake?  Cake batter.  My new favorite cookie?  Cake batter.

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I saw the title of this recipe and knew these cookies would be right up my alley.  They tasted like a sugar cookie with a touch a cake batter.  Does it get any better??

Everyone go try them ASAP:

http://www.chef-in-training.com/2011/10/cake-batter-pudding-cookies/

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It’s obvious I was stingy on the sprinkles and this was completely unintentional.  You know I’d never purposefully let you down on sprinkles.  No worries, though… I learned my lesson!

Cinnamon Rolls = Heaven

I like to think that Heaven will have an endless supply of cinnamon rolls.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Not only would it smell delicious, but you could have one (or two) for every meal and not gain a pound.

I had a snow day today, and for some reason when I hear snow day my brain instantly thinks cinnamon rolls.

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mini cinnamon rolls I made with Mom on a snow day last week

Who am I kidding?  My brain is always thinking about cinnamon rolls.  But surprisingly, this is one thing I’ve never tried baking.  So I tried it out today.

I used this recipe found on Pinterest:

traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2013/03/lighter-cinnamon-rolls-and-giveaway.html

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The result?  They were pretty good, but they weren’t sweet enough for me.  Which probably sounds crazy as you see the pictures loaded with cinnamon, sugar, and icing.  I’m guessing it’s because the recipe was a “light” version.  So…. if you are crazy unique and don’t prefer things too sweet, this might be the recipe for you!

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

So, I got these new canisters.  I’ve been looking for canisters for a longgg time and my mom spotted these at TJMaxx.  They are so perfect with my kitchen.  It was a birthday present to myself. :)

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So obviously I had to test them out and do some baking.  I went for these lemon raspberry cupcakes:

http://cannella-vita.blogspot.com/2013/03/lemon-raspberry-cupcakes.html

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I must say… they were pretty darn awesome.  And now I have 22 lemon raspberry cupcakes on my hands and I’m not sure what one does with that many cupcakes.  Help?!

I’m Bacckkkk!

Well, folks, I’m back in the blogging world.  Under a new name, new look, new everything.  I wasn’t really feeling my old blog anymore so I’ve been brainstorming on starting something new.  I anticipate this blog will have a strong emphasis on baking and DIY projects, but we shall see!  Follow me if you’re interested in seeing inside the life of a teacher.  It’s super exciting, I promise.

- Steph