Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foodie Friday #37 -Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

Ok, I'm not one to toot my own horn -but don't these look gorgeous?  I'm really impressed with how the final photo turned out this time.  It wouldn't take much to be an improvement on most of my photos, but still.  I discovered Instagram and Pic Monkey and love them both!

So here we are at Friday again, and I'm even more excited than usual to share this chocolate cupcake (from scratch!) recipe with you -because the photo looks so awesome.  Ok, and now that I've built it up... I have some un-edited photos too.... one step at a time, right?

So here is the bowl with the flour, sugar, cocoa, margarine, egg, vanilla, baking powder and baking soda.....

Then you add the boiling water and mix it WELL.

Pour into your prepared muffin tins.  Now, I don't often have cupcake/muffin liners in my house because when I make muffins, I just spray the muffin tins.  BUT you can obviously use cupcake liners for these.  OR you can brush the muffin tins with some CAKE RELEASE using a pastry brush.  It's fantastic stuff -and easy to make!
Remove from the pans and let cool.  Then add BUTTERCREAM FROSTING (that recipe coming soon!) and DIG IN!  They are so moist and so delicious... you'll want to eat 2 ... or maybe 3.  Counting calories is for wimps, right? LOL.

Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes: 

(makes 12-15)

1 c sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
4 tbsp margarine
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c boiling water

 Whisk all together and beat.  Pour into prepared pans or cupcake liners.  Bake at 350 F for 20-22 minutes.  Or bake in a cake pan for 40 minutes.

And here are some photos I tried using Instagram... but sadly they looked great on my phone and the exposure looks wrong on the computer... sigh.  Have a fabulous Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

So You Think You're Crafty Audition Coming Up

 Remember how I said I have the chance to audition for So You Think You're Crafty??  Well, my audition project is all done and sent off to Missy (Aaaaaah!), the wonderful hostess, and the auditions are up for VOTING June 4th-8th!  This is so exciting, I can't handle it.  So PLEASE show some love and go vote -hopefully for me ;).  The projects are anonymous.  Crossing my fingers.... this would certainly be a fun adventure.  

Wish me luck... I'm off to the races!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Singing Time Aids

Thought I would just quickly share some of the things I have made for Singing Time recently.  I photocopied some signs from an old singing time book my Mom had (thanks, Mom!) and colored them.  Then used my laminator (of course!) that you have heard me rave about before. 

I made "Boys Only" and "Girls Only" signs...

"Quiet Like a Mouse" and "Loud Like a Lion"
I had some cheap plastic putty knives, so I just used masking tape to tape two together with a putty knife in between (opposites together -Boys/Girls, Loud/Quiet). 

Then when we are singing a song several times in a row -you know, like when they have to learn a new song.... instead of the kids getting bored because they are singing it over and over and over... I get a helper to come up and they choose when to turn the sign.  Then it's more fun and they have to watch!  And we have been using them for Family Home Evening too.  My kids love them! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Foodie Friday #36 - Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

I can't believe it's Friday again already!  Time goes by way too fast and I can't seem to keep up with it.  The weather here has been rainy for the last several days and so the kids are driving me nuts.  They go crazy when they are cooped up that long.  I still haven't had a chance to get my garden in because of the rain -but that's probably a good thing since it might snow (WHAT??!) here tomorrow!  Gross!

So here are some little morsels to brighten your spirits -chocolate is good for that.  How about some delicious No Bake Cookies?

 Combine the sugar, cocoa and milk in a sauce pan.  Bring to a rolling boil and then simmer for 2 minutes.

Add butter, peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal.


Spoon onto waxed paper and cool in the fridge.  Yes, it's really that easy!  And they are so tasty with a cold glass of milk. Yum!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk

Simmer 2 minutes after mixture comes to full rolling boil

Then add:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups oatmeal.

Stir together and spoon onto wax paper.  Put in the fridge to cool.

Join me every Friday for Foodie Fridays

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Late Foodie Friday -Homemade Ice Cream Cake

Well, we used our new BBQ for the first time today.  And was it ever great!  We've never had a BBQ before but it was sure nice to be able to make dinner OUTSIDE while the kids played in the yard rather than running in and out or trying to coax them inside.

And I scored a sweet deal on a patio set (table and 4 chairs) in pretty good condition for only $30 garage saling today!  I also got some other, less expensive finds.

AND (I know, I know... I'm almost done with my rambling here...) I think I kicked this cold or hay fever -whatever it was!  Hooray!  I am feeling so much better tonight than I was yesterday!  So anyway, consider this a LATE Foodie Friday!  Am I forgiven??  Good -here we go.

I had this craving awhile back.... it just wouldn't go away.  I wanted ICE CREAM CAKE and I wanted it BAD!  But I'm a cheapskate who won't shell out $20 for a DQ icecream cake.  So I made my own!  And it was pretty dang tasty, if I do say so myself -and I DO say so myself!  And perfect timing for this recipe -summer is on it's way!

So here's the scoop (well actually it's closer to a gallon...) on making your own ice cream cake.

You'll need:
1 lb (500g)  Oreo cookies (or generic chocolate sandwich cookies) -that's the BIG package
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted
4 Skor bars
1/2 gallon (2 L) chocolate ice cream
1/2 gallon (2 L) vanilla icecream

First, smash up your Oreos.  Then combine the oreos and the butter in a bowl and mix until moistened.  You might have to add a bit more butter.  Take half of the Oreo mixture and press it into a greased (with butter) 9x13 inch pan.

Put a layer of vanilla ice cream over the crust.  You may have to soften your ice cream a bit.  Try to get an even layer.

Smash up the Skor bars.  Add half of the Skor bits to the remaining Oreo mixture.  Sprinkle that all over the vanilla ice cream.  Then add a layer of chocolate ice cream and top with remaining Skor pieces.  I would also consider drizzling it with chocolate sauce but I didn't have any.  Cover and freeze several hours or overnight until firm.

It was even better with homemade Caramel Sauce drizzled on it before serving!  Yep, that caramel fondue recipe has been used now for all sorts of things at my house.  It's great!

If you really wanted it to be more DQ-ish, you could figure out how to make some whipped cream type of frosting and make is in a spring form pan so you could decorate it like they do for DQ cakes.  But I'm good with just this.  The piping gel and frosting are my least favorite parts of DQ ice cream cakes anyway.

Hope everyone has a great long weekend!  Go make some memories and have some fun!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Short Break

Hi everyone!  I completely spaced it that it was supposed to be Foodie Friday today -I apologize profusely!  I have been sick and haven't felt much like blogging.  I hope to be back next week -hopefully this cold or whatever it is co-operates with my plans because my sinuses feel like they might explode.

I've also been offered a chance to audition for this season of So You Think You're Crafty!

Yay!  Which means I have to get a project ready to submit and it has to be anonymous.  So if I'm not posting a lot in the next little while it's probably because I have to get that done quickly and won't be doing a lot of other crafting. Hope you will all stop by June 4-8th and vote -who knows, maybe I'll have a shot. 

Sorry again for abandoning you.  Hope to "see" you all again soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Latest Garage Sale Find

So Sorry there was no Foodie Friday yesterday.  My In-Laws watched the kids from yesterday afternoon until this afternoon and Paul and I got to celebrate our anniversary (which is tomorrow)!  We went to two movies and dinner in between.  But on the way to the movie I saw a garage sale I just couldn't pass up.  LOL.  My husband is probably rolling his eyes right now if he's reading this.... but anyway, he knew my love of garage sales before he married me. 

The garage sale was put on by a school group raising money for a trip, so I snagged these awesome scooter things for $4 each.  Sadly, I didn't have enough cash, so they held them for me until today, but someone accidentally sold one so now I only have 2 (and 3 kids... uh oh). 

Anyone else have these in school??  I was sooo excited about them, and Paul just said "yeah, so?".  haha.  I guess he has accepted that he is growing up and I'm still clinging to my youth. Speaking of, I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast today.   lol.  I remember playing "bucket ball" with these -you know, like basketball only on scooters and shooting into huge (clean) garbage bins.  Or racing.  Anyway, in Elementary school they were SO COOL.  Only ours didn't have handles and lots were made of wood.

On a different note, we had a great anniversary celebration!  We don't often go out to the movies, or to dinner for that matter.  But yesterday we splurged and went to 2 movies and dinner (with a gift certificate).  We saw The Avengers -in 3D -and LOVED it!  It is seriously an AWSOME movie.  Then to Hunger Games.  I'm not going to lie, I love the Hunger Games books (well, at least the first one, and number 2 was ok) but the movie was ok but disappointing.  The camera was too shaky for me.  Blah.  But I highly recommend Avengers.

And now I'm off to our Stake Women's Conference and I'm super duper excited!!  Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Festivities

This year for Cinco de Mayo we had Pulled Pork Enchiladas.  They were absolutely fantastic!  I was so thrilled with how they turned out.   We were very happy to have friends over to share them with.

To make these babies I used the Mexican Pork recipe from the Our Best Bites cookbook.  Once that was done in the slow cooker, I divided the pork (drained of ALMOST all of the cooking liquid) between the tortillas.  Then I put some black beans and Monterey Jack cheese in each tortilla.

Meanwhile, in my baking pan (I used a 9x13 and a 9x9) I put a bit of green enchilada sauce over the bottom.  Then rolled up the tortillas and placed them seam side down in the pans.  I combined some of the remaining liquid from the pork with a 28 oz can of green enchilada sauce and poured that over all the enchiladas.

Cover with foil and bake at 400 F for about 25 minutes.  Then remove the foil and sprinkle generously with more cheese (I was running low on Monterey Jack so I added some cheddar).  Cook another 5-7 minutes uncovered until the cheese is bubbly and barely golden. 

I also whipped up some delicious Pico de Gallo so have with tortilla chips.  It's really very easy to make and tastes good too.

Pico de Gallo (fresh salsa):
2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/4 c cilantro (or to taste -depends how much you like cilantro)
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Salt to taste

As I mentioned before, sadly this year we had no pinata, but there's always next year!  Here is our pinata from last year -Tomas the Taco.  Anyone else celebrate Cinco de Mayo?  What are your fun traditions? 

Linking up to:
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Foodie Friday #34 - Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

 I have been (or felt) super busy this week.  I just got called as a counselor in the Primary Presidency in my ward.... and the President JUST had a baby girl (hooray!) so I have been scrambling to come up with Sharing Time and Singing Time lessons/ideas.  And with Paul gone to Youth Conference all of last weekend, well I'm just worn out.  So this week for Foodie Friday I am going to cheap ever-so-slightly....  I just have a kind of follow-up to one of my past recipes. (*Sorry*)

Remember this yummy caramel fondue or ice cream topping?

Well, one secret I didn't share with you was that I didn't use the Sweetened Condensed Milk like the recipe calls for.  *Gasp*  Me?  Use a substitute? Never! (note the sarcasm...).  haha.  I didn't have a can of Eagle Brand Milk in my pantry.  I thought that I did and so I started the recipe.... and, well, I didn't.  So I did the next best thing -I Googled substitutes and found this.

Condensed Milk Substitute:
1 cup instant dry milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
3 tbsp melted butter

It says to blend it all in a blender, BUT I DIDN"T.  Shocking, I know.  I just whisked it really well and used it in the recipe the same as I normally would.  It turned out great -I couldn't even tell the difference.  Not sure how it would compare on it's own, but in this recipe it works!  Yay!

Gotta love SUBSTITUTIONS in baking.  I know I do!  And I'm sure all of you know that by now too -since I tend to substitute or "guess" a lot.

Anyway, hope you all have a great weekend!  I promise to have some more posts lined up for next week. Anyone celebrating Cinco de Mayo?  I didn't get a chance to make a pinata this year, but I plan to STUFF myself with some PULLED PORK ENCHILADAS on Saturday (that to come).