Archive | September, 2011

A Cupcake Surprise

30 Sep

Have you noticed a new product on your grocery store shelf? There is a new type of cake mix that is specifically for making cupcakes with filling inside! What?! Should we pay more for something that appears to be easy? I then had an idea while standing in the baking aisle looking at that box of cupcake mix, marshmallow fluff centers!

I mixed together red velvet cake mix as directed on the box. Once the mix was finished, I poured it into the baking cups, only partially though. I used a piping bag (or zip lock bag and cut the corner tip) to pipe the fluff in the baking cup. Next I poured more mix on top to cover the fluff.

During the baking process, the house began to smell like marshmallow and campfires. The fluff worked its way to the top of the cupcake mix while baking. The fluff never actually burned or caught fire, but it didn’t look that good once it came out of the oven.

After the cupcakes cooled completely, I frosted the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Finally, they looked like normal cupcakes! I used little leaf sprinkles for a fun fall treat! The cupcakes were a hit and the marshmallow was a nice and sweet hidden surprise!

A Little Birthday Bling

26 Sep

My youngest turned 2 over the weekend! Yay, terrible twos!!

For his birthday I planned a small grilled cheese party. We called it a “Whine and Cheese” party. Cause terrible two-year olds whine, and he adores cheese…Get it? Okay, just checking.

I went to the deli and bought 1/3 lbs of 6 different cheeses and laid out other fix-ins like, onion, tomato, peach salsa, tomato chutney, avocado and pears. To butter the bread we had regular butter as well as herb butter (my fav). We provided sourdough, country white and whole wheat bread sliced and cut in half so that guests only had to eat a half a sandwich at a time, leaving room to try another combination! I had the Panini press hot and ready to go when guests arrived. Not only was it great faire, it turned out to make for great conversation. Everyone was a buzz about the different combos!

We had to have birthday cake. Since I was a little under the weather, my dear sister Keila did the baking for me. She made a small chocolate cake and a dozen chocolate cupcakes. I frosted everything and topped the cake off with a little birthday bling!

To make the glittery no. 2 just pipe vanilla melting candy in the shape of a two on to a piece of parchment paper, making to sure to add a little tab at the bottom to be pressed into the cake. Then, add your glittery sprinkles and let it set in the fridge.

Happy Birthday Magoo!

Fall Explosion: Pumpkins

23 Sep

We moved back up to the Northwest where fall has begun… the air is crispy, the sun still shines, and the leaves are changing from healthy greens to glowing golds and reds. I wonder if we’ll see any vampires or werewolves up here? Anyhow, prepare yourself for the onslaught of pumpkin soups, apple pies in jars, and maybe a ratatouille?

How much are your local pumpkins?

Dip Dyed

21 Sep

There are a lot of great cupcake wrappers out there.  Sometimes we just need something custom.  Did you know that you can dye plain white cupcake wrappers?

I purchased plain white cupcake wrappers from my local grocery store, which by the way are often times cheaper since they are in fact plain.  In two bowls I mixed some water with liquid food coloring drops in the colors of my choice.

Then, one at a time, I dipped the wrappers in the water.  I let them sit for a minute to soak up the color.  The longer you leave them in the more color they’ll pick up.

I let them dry on a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to catch any drips.

I let mine dry overnight, but they felt pretty close to dry after just a couple of hours.  It creates a nice ombre effect as well since the very bottoms of the wrappers never touched the color.

Autumn’s Revenge: Visit Tim Burton

20 Sep

Need an idea to feel Autumn’s revenge? I guess this applies to Southern California or if you’re planning a visit to sunny LA: The Tim Burton exhibit is at LACMA until October 31st, so if you want to prepare yourself for what may come this Halloween or just gather some inspiration the Tim Burton exhibit is a must.

There’s plenty to see from Burton’s crazy and twisted mind, from cult classics such asEdward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Batman, to the dark animations, such asNightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. As well as his newer features like Alice in Wonderland andCharlie, Big Fish, and Chocolate Factory. Plus so much more!

Photography is not allowed inside but you can snap a couple upon entering and exiting and the surrounding grounds of LACMA offer plenty of photo ops!

Lemon Blueberry Buttercream

19 Sep

We brought another little one into our club….

For the party following the Baptism I was in charge of baked goods.  Again, I went with a small cake and a dozen cupcakes (much like I did for this Baptismal celebration).   Since this was for a little boy, I naturally leaned towards working the color blue in.  Actually, I used several shades of blue!

I found a Lemon Blueberry Buttercream here.   I had to add a little bit of blue food coloring to make it more blue to work with my color scheme, but flavor-wise, it was awesome!  Everyone loved it!  Well…except my husband, but he doesn’t count because he didn’t like it only because it has lemon in it.  He finds lemon flavor to be “a punch in the face.”

I painstakingly pulled rock candy (available here)  off the sticks and used them to create an ombre effect on the sides of the cake.  I also placed a single rock atop each cupcake.

Make A Wish…

16 Sep

We’re back!  Sorry for the unexpected disappearing act.  But I promise that going forward we’ll have a bright new perspective as our Dear Summer has blazed a trail (once again) to Oregon.

On to the important stuff…This weekend we have a birthday to celebrate!  Today’s post is in honor of Caasi’s youngest turning a very big 2!!!

Our family is….in a word….efficient.  Once a month we all get together and celebrate every birthday in that month.  We knock it all out in one day.  We started this for several reasons.  One being that there are a lot of us.  If we celebrated everyone’s birthdays separately we would literally have a party every Saturday and Sunday, excluding holidays.  Another reason is that as we’ve grown up (kinda) and got grown up jobs and bought grown up homes we’ve become a little more spread out than we once were.  It’s just easier.  It keeps the family bonds nice and tight and still allows us time to have our own lives.

For the September birthdays I made some pretty simple lemon cupcakes with blueberry lemon buttercream frosting and then a little kiss of lemon on top of that.  The really special part though, was the birthday candle.

I made candy candles using paper straws and candy melts.  To add a little whimsy and color to the candles I mixed some sprinkles in with the candy melts.  Once I had my melting candy ready to be piped, I cut my straws into thirds.  I piped the candy into the straws until I could see it come out the other end.  Place them in the frig to set.

Once they’re completely hard, you just have to (carefully) peel the paper straw off your candle.  Once I had them all out, I dipped the tips in a little water and rolled them in yellow sugar crystals for the “flame.”  They are so cute and totally appropriate for the little ones.  Plus you can still make a birthday wish on them.  I have it on good authority that they come true too!

Wedding Weekend

12 Sep

This is the final look for the wedding. I wore a coat with faux fur collar, from my mother in law. I bought pearls from Banana Republic and found matching earrings from Target.

I lucked out on my heels. I had these already in my closet. This was the second time wearing them, the first was at my wedding!

Lastly, the dress. I made this dress, posted previously here, especially for my friend’s very important day!

The wedding was nothing short of spectacular! The ceremony and reception were held at The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown. The food and drinks were delicious and the flowers were beautiful! Then, of course, the Bride and her Groom were beautiful together. It was a very special day!

Vintage Love

7 Sep

The big day is almost here! The wedding is on Saturday and I spent this past weekend working on a dress to wear. I was originally going to tackle a cute Cynthia Rowley pattern.. last minute I changed my mind because I found some inspiration- Mad Men. I’ve been getting my Mad Men fix via Netflix. I love everything about this show, the story, the fashion, the set decor… all of it! I found this pattern from Vintage Vogue and couldn’t resist. I know it’s not a style from the 60’s… but I fell in love.

I found this great crepe fabric at my local Joann’s for 30% off. I have lately had this obsession with dark blue ever since I bought this cute maxi dress from Forever 21 about 6 months back. I think this color is my new black! I also selected this color because I knew it would look great with a vintage coat that I plan on wearing as well. I’ll post pictures from the wedding next week.

I was a little worried about making this dress. I have heard that Vintage patterns can be hard to make since they are so tailored. I am very happy with how the dress turned out. I did have to take in the sides to make it more fitted, but that turned out to be an easy alteration. I can’t wait to wear my new dress and even more excited to see my friend get married!

Easy Squeezy Maxi

6 Sep

I stumbled upon Sweet Verbena via UCreate.  There are a ton of great DIYs on both sites.  I like simple and quick results.  So I tried Sweet Verbena’s Boho Maxi Dress.  There’s only three seams.  If can manage a nearly  straight line, you too can make this adorable dress.  I’m not joking.

While working on this project, Caasi and I managed to fit in the Maxi.  It’s seriously that easy.  I got a lot compliments on the dress when I wore it the next day and its VERY comfortable.


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