Friday, May 25, 2012

Mocha Cupcakes with Espresso Frosting

While I can typically pass on just about any dessert, when it comes to something flavored with a hint of coffee, I just simply can not resist. That is why it is extremely dangerous for me to make these mocha cupcakes without a very good excuse, such as a potluck, or birthday party, or anything else that will force me to only eat one...(or three)...before being whisked away to be served.

I found the recipe for the frosting on one of my favorite blogs, Brown Eyed Baker, and I have to say that at this point in time it is my favorite frosting to make. It is so soft and creamy and just melts away in your mouth.

However, the first few times I made the frosting it didn't turn out and looked like the vanilla was separating from the rest of the ingredients, giving the impression that my frosting was leaking! 
Now maybe this was just my inexperience and you already know this, but I wanted to share what has made the difference in a successful batch so that if this happens to you, you can have at least one solution to try. Turns out I wasn't beating my butter enough. As soon as I turned my mixer to medium-high and really pulverized my butter until it started looking more like a "cream" my frosting stopped leaking. Now nothing can stop me from achieving pure espresso bliss!

As far as the cake is concerned, I cheated yet again and simply exchanged the water called for in the recipe of my chocolate box cake with strong coffee. Go ahead. Try it. I bet you never use water again :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Even though it has been a really mild winter here in central Illinois (I think we have had snow on the ground for a grand total of a week all season), I am anxious for Summer to get here. So I decided I would pretend that it is here already and make some Pina Colada cupcakes! After all, what better way to chase away the winter chills than to fill up my kitchen with the warm aromas of baked pineapple and toasted coconut mixed in with a little bit of sugary sweetness.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Baked Strawberry/Blueberry Pancakes

Typically I am not a huge pancake fan, but in my quest to find the perfect breakfast treat for my sweet husband, I stumbled upon these baked strawberry pancakes and knew that I simply HAD to make them.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Mouse in the House!

Usually having a mouse in my house would be a problem, but I am perfectly OK with letting this little guy find his permanent home on my desk :)


I don't know how many of you are familiar with buckyballs (the little magnets sold in 6 x 6 or 5 x 5 cubes), but once you start playing with them it is hard to put them down. I had received a 6 x 6 silver set last year for Christmas, so when I ( I say 'I' when what I really mean is my husband whom I stole these from) got two more 5 x 5 blue sets this year, I couldn't wait to explore the new possibilities available to me.

Bucky (the mouse, named by my husband when he got home and saw what I had done) was born out of  "hmmm, I wonder what happens if I do this," and a lot of trial and error. After all, the magnets often have a mind of their own. Here's how you can make a mouse of your own.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Time to Reflect

Wow! It's 2012 and, if it is anything like 2011, I am going to have to strap in and hold on tight for a fun ride! Over the past year, my husband and I have gone through a month of being apart while he served in South Korea, a major bathroom remodel (see below), a week long dream vacation in Orlando, and new jobs for both of us. It has been a year filled with blessings, and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us. Happy New year!

I want to share my remodeling experience because it is one of my biggest accomplishments to date, and something I am very proud of. Not having the cash to hire professional contractors, I took on the project with the help of family and friends. It took a few months (technically there are still some tiny details....ok....not so finish up) but for a DIY I don't think we could have done better. Well, here goes :)

The Adventure Begins!

Following blogs? Yes. Creating my own blog? Not so much. See, whenever I think about writing anything....ANYTHING....I freeze up and go into panic mode. In fact, I have written and deleted about five different opening statements, and it has taken me ten minutes just to get to this point (not a good sign). Why start one then? Because I love crafting, and baking, and finding neat ideas online, and in the process of sharing these things I do love, maybe I will overcome my fear of writing as well (here's to hoping anyway). Enjoy!