Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Twilight. Yes, I know.

So, I must confess, I've fallen victim to the whole Vampire/Werewolf/Super-Natural phenomena. Don't worry- I'm not out getting tattoos or attaching fangs nor did I stop shaving my legs. But I like it. I have something about love that shouldn't work, but does, and that whole allure of the forbidden. I have no excuses for it.

I'm a Twilight series reader. I LOVE True Blood and have read those books. I've seen the Twilight movies (so far) and haven't missed an episode of True Blood. So in light of today being the opening day for Eclipse (no I haven't seen it yet- don't ruin it for me), I'm going to share with you a party my awesome party planning Aunts and I put together. We had one for New Moon too...what can I say- we'll take any excuse for a party!!

The Setup.

The Details:

The Dessert:
Vampire Cupcakes, Eclipse Brownies, Wolf Cupcakes

The Place Setting:

The Wolves:

The Vampires:

We ate spaghetti and garlic bread and gorged on desserts. We then settled down to watch New Moon for a refresher.

To all those who saw the movie today (MOM!) hope it was good...I'll be dragging my husband this weekend.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

SMS: Ginger Snaps - sort of.

So I'm baking in a borrowed kitchen. It's foreign and I don't have my usual supplies. So we made do.

These actually contain honey vs molasses and crystallized ginger vs ground ginger and no white pepper. So they're kinda off the mark. That being said, they were good!

Please stop by and visit our host this week: Gloria, The Ginger Snap Girl. Boy she picked a good recipe to host this week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Key Lime Cupcakes with Cheesecake Icing

These have history. My Dad, a most awesome cook, just never did sweets. However, there has always been a little sweet spot reserved for cheesecake (and I mean good cheesecake) and key lime pie. Then my Dad had an aneurysm rupture, and that sweet spot- turned into a huge crater sized craving. That thing managed to change my Dad's palate! While he doesn't cook much anymore- he does enjoy the sweets! And since I love to bake- I love trying out new stuff on him. Last year for a holiday- for the life of me I don't recall if it was his birthday or Father's Day- we had cheesecake cupcakes with keylime icing. Well, when I was remembering what we had (my most awesome step-mom requested them again for this year) I had it backwards. Key lime cupcakes with cheesecake icing. Either way, a combination of my Dad's two favorites. While these were very good- I think I'll have to go back to a cheesecake cupcake with key lime icing.

Key Lime Cupcakes
1 box of white cake mix(I love Duncan Hines)
1c flour
1c sugar
1c KEY LIME JUICE ( you can squeeze yourself or get the bottle)
1c sour cream
3 eggs

Combine and mix on med for 2 minutes until smooth. Not kidding- it's that easy.
Put into cupcake liners (use an ice cream scoop to get even cupcakes).
Bake a 350 for 20-25minutes until a light touch springs back.

Cheesecake Icing
1 stick salted butter
1 8oz package cream cheese
1lb (give or take on consistency you like) of powdered sugar
1 cap-full of LorAnn Cheesecake Oil
Milk or Heavy Cream to thin as needed

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth- add in powdered sugar slowly until combined. Pipe onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with lime peel if you're feeling a smidge fancy.

Happy Father's Day Dad!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

XL Triple Chip Chocolate Cookies

These started as a "I should be doing something" cookie. I had this recipe I found somewhere (my mommy brain stole where from) for some XL m&m cookies...but I really had this hankering for something chocolate...chocolate, chocolate. That's super good for me while on my diet right? Hey I've lost 15lbs- (woot!) I can indulge a bit. And I was going to bring said experiment to my friend who's in the hospital (last I heard anyway, Sheeba, call!) I baked these in a muffin tin- I think my new fav way to do some giant cookies!!

XL Triple Chip Chocolate Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
3/4c sugar
1c packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
2T vanilla
3 3/4 c flour
1 1/2t baking soda
3/4t salt
2c mixed chips (I used milk, butterscotch and white- they were in my cabinet all 1/2 opened)
extra chips for decor on top and melting down
smidge of shortening (for top of cookies- don't add to batter)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. In your mixer beat butter an sugars until well mixed...creamy.
3. Add in eggs and vanilla- mix well.
4. Add in flour, soda and salt.( Guilty confession: I'm not one to mix separately and add it in- I know I should)
5. Add in chips and combine.

6. I used a muffin top tin- after hunting for weeks for one (for my diet rolls) I found one and it sat in a wrapper in my cabinet. So, busted this baby out to make some nice uniformly shaped cookies since I didn't have a giant cookie scoop to do this.

Anyway,muffin top tin: Scoop in enough to 1/2 way fill to the edge of the tin and smoosh down. Sprinkle on mixed chips in top and arrange artfully if you're so inclined.

If you don't have a muffin top tin (why not!?) and you wanna scoop those babies onto a parchement sheet- do so, but know they won't be uniformly shaped. Unless you're awesome and have a giant cookie scooper- or you wanna make regular sized cookies.

I seem to be a bit off the beaten path here.

7.Bake 9-11 minutes. I went right @ 11 in the muffin top tin and they were good. Cool on a wire rack.

8. To drizzle. Take 1/2c of each flavor chip and a 1/2ish teaspoon of shortening and nuke until smooth- usually 1 minute tops. Drizzle and let set. (don't wanna smoosh the pretty drizzle!)

Makes 18

Sunday, June 13, 2010

SMS: Chocolate Orange Macaroons

I love coconut. I really do. I try to add it to just about everything. We already know orange and chocolate were separated at birth, add coconut and it's a wonderful trio. So naturally I was excited to find out that this week combined my favorites all in one.

Be sure to check out the recipe at our host for this week : Blue Tree Green Heart. Thanks for hosting Ellen!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakery

I didn't forget. I promise. Life has been- well....crazy for lack of a better term. AND I've been on a diet. AND I went on a mini vacation to see my husband. AND I'm supposed to be pre-packing for the movers. Excuses. LOTS of them.

I went to visit my husband in Washington D.C. We did touristy (is that a word?) things- saw monuments, ate lots of good food, paid too much for funky museums. You know touristy things. So right down the street from the Crime and Punishment Museum (you wanna guess who's idea that was?- BTW it's $20 a person to get in) was the Red Velvet Cupcakery. Oh it was cute!!

I was able to talk him into getting two cupcakes. (at $4 each I was having a hard time talking him into one) Anyway we finally decided on the Southern Belle (since it was called Red Velvet Cupcakery after all) and the Devil's Food (cause I have this problem with chocolate...and if I was gonna cheat on my diet....). They were both AWESOME. I wish I took a picture of the set up in the shop- then you'd be able to see why I had a really hard time deciding!!

Yes that's a sad photo. It was way early in the AM when we got them- and that's the look of them AFTER they ran through the security center at the National Archives...just a bit smooshed.

Don't tell my husband I posted this. He liked his cupcake though!

It was one of those things that just had to be experienced. They were time I'm gonna go for a few different flavors, thinking the peanut butter or cookies and cream...

Yes, they do deliver.

Oh and just so you can see that at least our heads went on vacation...