Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The most delish cupcakes for your cupcakes

Hi y'all! Well, we are "snowed in" (well, iced in...snow doesn't fall in my neck o' the woods, just icy mush and sleet). That means school was cancelled and my lovely little cupcakes & I were at home all day. Since I had nothing better to do but clean, I decided to make cupcakes instead. A better option in my opinion... here is what I did:

I was watching Martha Stewart the other day and she had a lady on there from some bakery (I know, my attention to detail is astounding) and she (bakery chick) cooked her cupcakes in 5 1/2 " square parchment paper. They were so cute & I thought I would try it...these are coconut! Didn't turn out quite as I had hoped. I put the parchment square in the muffin thingy (technical culinary term) and squished & twisted the parchment down into the thingy. It didn't stay in until I filled it with cupcake batter. I think I should have just filled them about 3/4ths full & they might have done a little better.

By the way, these are my secret (well, not any more) ingredients for quick and gourmet tasting cupcakes. Not pictured is my "Duncan Hines" box of cake mix. I always add about 1 tsp. of vanilla extract to my cake mix (good tip if you are taking notes). Then, I use the Wilton buttercream icing (make double what you would normally use), add about a teaspoon of vanilla (I am wild about Mexican vanilla...equal opportunity baker here...there is something about it that just beats the pants off of regular vanilla), a few shakes of almond powder, and use REAL BUTTER! I prefer it, as does my good friend Paula Deen (I taught her everything she knows).
Here is the finished product (note the cute pink bow and fancy is pale pink...I do this with all of my cupcakes don't you know?). Purdy ain't it?
Here is it's ugly step-sister. Not so purdy, but she'll taste the same.
Voila'! Plop them on a cake stand, add a ribbon, and make your Valentine squeal with delight.
P.S. I am beginning to close in on my 100th post...get ready for a GIVEAWAY!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Some Valentine Inspiration

Do you have VD on the brain?
Valentine's Day, of course...what did you think I meant? I am in full blow Valentine's Day mode. I am not necessarily a huge fan of said day (neither is the hubs), but I thought that my kids would get a kick out of me making a little fuss this year. I have a few ideas for all of the little loves of your life.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries...need I say more?
Okay y'all, this is a perennial favorite at my house. They look tough, but trust me, a monkey could do it...although I don't think you would want him to.

What y'all need:

16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries with long stems

dark chocolate chips

white chocolate chips

peanut butter chips
finely chopped peanuts (unless your love is allergic, in that case, it is totally up to you whether or not you want to spend the evening in the ER)
anything else you want to drizzle on top, drag through, or dip your strawberries into
What y'all do:
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
In a double boiler, melt the milk chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool (or if you don't care to be quite that fancy, just slap them down onto a piece of wax paper).

When they cool, melt your other chocolate chips, white chocolate, etc. and then just drizzle it on the top. You could even dip them half-way in. You could roll them in the peanuts. You can do whatever you darn well want to do. Go crazy you wild woman!

There is a picture above to give you a good idea of what glorious masterpiece you would wow your Valentine with.

Here is a super-cute craft idea from Veronica at Shabby Chic Crafts (link is below):

Cute, easy & cheap (sounds like one of the girls the hubs use to date....totally kidding...couldn't resist that one no matter how inappropriate...please excuse my humor!)

Here is a fun idea for a little mood lighting for that gourmet meal that you will be whipping up (or the take out that you will be throwing on a plate to make it look like a gourmet meal that you whipped up).

The last little picture is for the men (you may go grab your man from in front of the t.v., snatch his hand out of the chip bag & and sit him in front of the screen now). Guys, we love you. We love you more than anything in this world, but, PLEASE DON'T GET US A BLENDER FOR VALENTINE'S DAY! No, that doesn't mean that a toaster oven is okay either. We don't want anything that we have to share or that we have to use to make other things for other people. We want something totally and completely selfish. Something unmistakably impractical. Flowers are a nice start. Not just the dozen roses from the grocery store. Go crazy man! Look at the picture above, hit print at the top of your computer screen, take it to your nearest florist and say, "Here, make this, please". You will be a hero in your little love's eyes. Better yet, do you know her favorite flower? If not, shame on you! If you do, go get those. Even better, get her like, 3 dozen of them! Yes, totally impractical, but that is the point. Don't wait in line at some fancy-schmancy restaurant on Valentine's Day, make her dinner. Trust me, even if you aren't a great cook & your pasta is a little too "al dente", your rolls are like rocks, and the souffle falls like the Hindenburg, she will gag it down with tears in her eyes and love you for eternity. Now listen, if you leave her a heaping mess of dishes, she will quickly turn on you, so for the love of Pete, please clean up after yourself as well. There, you may go back to your t.v. & bag of Doritos...

So, I hope this helped a little. If you have any great ideas, please pass them on...I can use all the help I can get. Oh, by the way...sorry about the weird spacing above...the computer hates me today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Santa Clause has already come and gone to town

No, this is not a picture from a magazine...this is my in-law's mantle at their house...sickening isn't it? Okay, I can't seem to locate the other pictures, but I will be vigilant and continue on my quest...I'll post more of them when I find them, so the one up top will have to do for now.
Well, I have been as busy as a bee lately with preps for my brother-in-laws wedding, painting the kitchen (yes, my beautiful red is long gone) and the living room. In it's place are a sort of sage green in the kitchen (it is still a little too light, so we are going to go a little darker) and a nice gray-blue in the living room. I LOVE the living room! I will have to get some pics up once I get back from the wedding.
Okay, where would be a good place to go for the hubs and my 10th anniversary? I'll take any suggestions that you might have. Haven't decided if beachy is the way to go unless I have a smokin' hot bod by the summer (still working on it...Jenny Craig is going full force!), or pretty scenery (i.e. mountains) or what. What do y'all think? Any personal faves?
Just to add some more randomness to this post, here are a few Christmas pics for the family & friends...unless you just like to see pictures of people that you don't know, and in that case, enjoy!
My super cute hubs & the littlest monkey in our zoo.

The littlest monkey & my favorite nephew...okay, so he is my only nephew but isn't he a doll! I know that W looks supersized next to him, but they are acutally the same size. Kind of like Heidi Klum & me...hmmmm strange how that works...

C. baking brownies...notice the chocolate residue around her little mouth...a girl after my own heart! Okay, so you know how there is that ONE toy that everyone loves & you just never know what it is going to be...well, this is it. No, it isn't a toy dumptruck, it is an is all the rage!
That face is too precious for words...don't let her fool you...under that sweet grin is a wild child! I couldn't ask for a more precious & spunky little lady!My one and only sis. Cute pic Bean (nickname that I won't bother, she doesn't particularly like beans, just thought you might wonder)! One of my favorite pics of W. He is a tiny little guy, but his cheeks beg to differ.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yes, I have been dissed...

Well, I have officially offended someone. "Anonymous", if you are out there, I apologize. If I have offended you for being a "muffin top", or if it was your gangsta' graffiti, or possibly the UGGS and mini, I, from the depths of my heart, apologize. Seriously, I never mean to offend, only to laugh at the world around me. "Anonymous", I appreciate your honesty and will heed your heartfelt request to "look at myself in the mirror". Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Deep thoughts...don't get excited, I'm not talking Confucius here...

This is the most random post because I am waiting to download my newest pics from Christmas onto my computer. I am a wealth of totally useless knowledge and observations and I thought that I would share. By the way, these are genuine thoughts that I ponder time to time...sad, but goes...

  1. Have you ever noticed that gang members have the coolest writing when they put graffiti on the underpasses? It is my theory that they use to be cheerleaders and that they were so ridiculed, that they threw themselves straight into "gangdom" where their "puffy" letters would be appreciated on a slab of concrete instead of a useless piece of white butcher paper that the football players will destroy anyway. That, or it is a class that they have to take upon initiation...Gangsta' Penmanship 101.

  2. I am from Texas, born and raised, yet I do not do/have/own the following: ride a horse, own a pair of spurs, have a ten gallon hat, chew tobacco or stew possum. I do, however, use the words y'all, fixin' to and dangit.

  3. Have you ever noticed that when they interview people on t.v. after some unfortunate incident, that they find the most ignorant, illiterate, gramatically incorrect person within 20 miles of the scene? Also, they have only 3 teeth and 2 of them are hanging by a nerve.

  4. Has anyone else noticed that, to be on the news, if you are a woman, you have to look like Cindy Crawford? What happened to all of the homely reporters. I just can't take "Cindy" seriously...her hair is too poofy and her lips are too shiny! It is like a deer in headlights...I can't look away, but I am oblivious to everything around me.

  5. Why is it that toy manufacturers feel that they have to package children's toys so that it is harder to get open than breaking out of Fort Knox? Why? Are they trying to make parents look like complete monkeys? That plastic must be made out of some mutated form of titanium...and what is up with the 423 twist ties? I think that they actually spend more money on the packaging than the toy itself. Merry Christmas kids...go grab the butcher knife, or better yet, a chainsaw to get your booty!

  6. On the same note...who invented the plastic that goes on CD & DVDs? It is worse that Saran Wrap! Don't even get me started on Saran Wrap...I could go on for hours. All I will say is that I have wrestled more Saran Wrap than I care to admit.

  7. Thongs. Okay ladies, I know that this is debatable, but I just have to say this...I spend a good portions of my day digging my drawers out of that crevice, and I don't want something up there permanently. Well, I only dig when noone is watching. I do the funny little booty shake where you kind of throw one hip out, tighten your cheek and dip and keep on going like noone knows what is going on down there. It is amazing how that works...anyway, no thongs here except the ones betwixt my toes.

  8. Along the lines of fashion...let me go ahead a preface this with the fact that I am no fashionista. I have spent the last several years with a uniform of food encrusted tee shirt, workout capris and either Crocs or Teva flip flops (complete with pony tail and minimal make up). Although my wardrobe is not one to be envied, let me tell you what makes no sense to me...those big fuzzy UGG boots and miniskirts. Please tell me, specifically, on what part of Earth, that your feet, ankles & the better part of your calf are freezing, but from your knees to your buttcheeks is just a little toasty? Do these girls know how ridiculous they look? What is cute about looking like you have cankles? I have had them during all 3 pregnancies...THEY ARE NOT CUTE!

  9. Okay, another fashion faux pas in my book. The muffin top. You know what I am talkin' about. It is the phenomenon that occurs when one wears pants that are too tight in the waist in combo with a shirt that is too tight as well. Again, not cute & I have one myself (muffin top that is)...but I don't go parading myself around in clothes that belong in the "junior miss" department. Buy clothes that fit ladies! Close your eyes when you look in the label & deal with it!

  10. Last but certainly not least...this is one of my favorites & I know that some of you are guilty. Here is the scene...woman walks up to the fast food counter..."Hi there...UM, yeah, give me just a sec...okay, I'll take a Double Chubby's Cheeseburger Combo, please. Oh, and can you supersize that? To drink? Oh yeah, a diet coke. Seriously, a diet coke? You can't possibly like the taste of it...although, I do have a theory that diet coke actually is addictive. I mean, have you ever heard of someone that limits themself to 1 diet coke a day? I haven't. If they drink one, they drink 6 or 7. Only diet coke...HMMMM....

Well, know that you know what wanders aimlessly through my mind during the day, what are some of your weird observations? I am always looking for new things to poke fun at all day keeps it interesting. Also, did you know that....flies take off backwards and poop on you every time they land, noone can sneeze with their eyes open, you can acutally become intoxicated from drinking too much water, if you put a piece of garlic between your toes, you will taste it in less than 30 minutes, you can't tickle yourself, the average person eats 8 spiders while sleeping during their lifetime, women blink nearly twice as much as men, only female mosquitoes bite, almonds are part of the peach family and the dot over the letter "i" is called a "tittle"...hee hee, I said tittle.

Have a blessed day & hey, while your at it, have a Big Mac & a Diet Coke for me...and pull up your pants, your muffin is hanging out!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm baaaaack!

Glory, glory, glory! I have my blog fully operational again (knock on wood) and so you may commence in leaving comments again. I don't know how I managed to totally screw my layout up whilst on our glorious Christmas vacation (to West, it isn't Maui, but it isn't home either...), but I did. Not surprising for those of you who know me and my lack of computer "skillz". Well, so what has happened in the world of the Southern Domestic Goddess or S.D.G. for all of you cool people? Not a lot. The hubs and I had a whole week to ourselves (well, we still had W. with us) while the eldest 2 were with their Grammy last week. It is amazing how, when you have three kids, and 2 of them are gone, you almost forget that the third one is there with you. Just to clarify, if you only have one kid...enjoy! The transition from 0 to 1 will rock your world. You can no longer sleep until noon and eat Cheetos for dinner any more. You have to actually THINK when you leave the house and prepare food, bottles, diapers, pack & plays, etc. If you go on vacation, you feel as though you are packing to leave for the entire month. Well, just wait until you have 3 little ones. I think after the 3rd, you finally figure out:
(1) Kids really don't need baths, do they?
(2) You can just prop them up on the table to eat instead of dragging the high chair along.
(3) Who needs pack & plays...just stick them in the bathtub with a couple of blankets for cushion and
(4) Children of all ages are entertained for hours if you just bring along some peanut butter to put on their noses for them to lick wait, that is for dogs, right?
All kidding aside by the time that you have 3, you really wise up as to what is a necessecity vs. a niceity. Some things are just better left at home. Especially when you end up having to tote a small retail chain worth of toys back home in your cramped Suburban (yes, it is possible to be cramped in a mammoth of a me...I know).
All of that being said, we had a blast. We ate until the elastic in our stretchy pants were stretched to within an inch of their lives, watched enough football that we were beginning to speak to each other in "plays" (Honey, run a slant route to the dip and bring back that bag of chips while you are at it, ready, set, HUT!), and unwrapped more gifts than an entire retail chain could possibly carry in one location. You know...the true meanings of Christmas! HA!
I am running out of time for this post, but tomorrow I will post some pictures of my father & mother-in-laws home at Christmas. It was gorgeous! They had 3 huge trees and 2 smaller trees (including an upside-down tree...yes, they do exist) and a small city worth of lights and greenery.
Okay, you may leave a comment now...really, I am needy like that....

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't have a clue...

Okay y'all,
It has been brought to my attention that my adoring fans are not able to comment. Let me first of all say...I am computer semi-illiterate. Secondly, I am tired...I will be working on this sometime tomorrow and will, hopefully, have some brilliant post that you may all comment on then. Until then, feel free to browse some old posts or check out my etsy shop (shameless plug...).