I found the recipe for these Chocolate Sunday Cupcakes a few days ago.
They looked really good, and I needed a dessert to bring to a volunteer luncheon. The problem is I had to bring them up a day early, so I wouldn't be able to throw the cherries on right before (I was worried the juice would leave the icing weird after a day). I decided to make minature red cake balls to look like cherries for the tops.
CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: (Use your favorite recipe, I love Hershey's-I made 12 really full cupcakes with1/4 c. batter in each)
GANACHE: (I used the same recipe I used for the icing of the Boston Creme Cupcakes, but I halved it, the halved recipe was plenty for the filling, and the topping.)
1 c. heavy cream, 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate.
BUTTERCREAM ICING: (This is Wilton's recipe, and it makes 3 c.)
4 c. powdered sugar, 2 T. milk, 1 t. vanilla, 1 t. Wilton's butter flavor, 1/2 c. shortening, 1/2 c. butter (softened)
1. Bake 12 chocolate cupcakes.
2. I hollowed out the cupcake and filled the hole with a spoonful of ganache filling (about 1 T. in each).
Here the ganache is in the center. I needed to cut one in half (cough and eat it cough) for the sake of a picture....because I'm committed to reporting cupcake news.
3. Place a large spoonful of icing on top so that it looks like ice cream. You could also use the large 'deviled egg like tip' to make it look like you squirted whipped cream, but I had to cover these with syran wrap b/c my cupcake carrier was going to be occupied elsewhere, and I wasn't sure if the ridges would stay, so I decided the 'mounded ice cream look' would hold up best!
4. Drizzle the remaining ganache on the cupcakes, add sprinkles (I didn't b/c I forgot) and a cherry.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I found the recipe for these Chocolate Sunday Cupcakes a few days ago.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
...what a day for a day dreamin' girl....sorry...don't know where that came from....now back to 'my day.'
It was an amazingingly beautiful, perfect day filled with adventures, and the most amazing deals. In fact, I don't know that I've EVER scored so many great buys for such low prices in a single day. This is not good....I want to go do it all over again tomorrow.
I mentioned a few weeks ago after visiting a Lavender Farm near Gainesville, Texas that I'd be heading back for their festival over Memorial Day. They had vendors on site, and the lavender was finally ready for picking.
The farm provided baskets, and scissors, and you were released into the field to go select your stems.
You brought your clippings back to have the ends wrapped in a damp clothe, and bagged. I didn't cut any lavender b/c we weren't heading directly home, and I bought some dried lavender the last time around, but I watched, and I shopped.
The vendors were GREAT....lots of antiques and vintage fun.
I bought several fun things, my favorite was this bird cage for $10.
Next, we headed down the road, and across the border into the great state of Oklahoma. We decided to see what was going on with my very favorite place on planet earth (today), Lake Murray.
This place houses so many of my very best childhood memories. About three years ago we found out the state had sold a portion of the resort to a private company that was planning on taking it all down, and rebuilding a luxury resort, but guess what? The economy stinks everywhere, and the deal fell through. Many of the cabins have sat empty for 3 years, so there are a lot of repairs to be done, but now the state plans on restoring it to 'yesteryears' which happens to be JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT! I'm so excited! I won't go into too many details about my memories at this point, but...life is good. In addition to this good news, I finally got a shot of a butterfly up close.
Why does this matter? I chase butterflies and birds around all the time with my camera, and the only time I can snag a picture is when they are in captivity. I don't even care if this turns out to be a moth, I was just excited it sat still on the flowers by the lake so I could snag a picture. It was a goal of mine, goals are important. I hope it tells it's friends I'm harmless and they should stop fluttering around when I'm trying to take pictures.
After lunch, and a walk around Lake Murray, we headed back up the highway via some back ways through the tiny little town of Marietta, Oklahoma.
I saw an antique shop, and made my cousin pull over. It was just about the only thing IN the town other than the obligatory Sonic and McDonald's. I don't know if I bought a trunk load, or if I stole it b/c the prices were practically garage sale level. I found SOOOOO many great things, and could have spent so much more if I weren't about to leave on a two week vacation, and I was pretending to be responsible with money. I found antique (blue) ball mason jars for 3 bucks each (I usually see them for 10-12) and these plates I've been in love with since Maggie introduced them to me at a Christmas brunch she hosted. I got 2 boxes in mint condition with 8 pieces each for 8 dollars a box. They have this little round groove that holds the cup. I....love....them. These dishes and I are getting married. You're invited.
...and they all lived happily ever after.
So....in every addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
I'm passionate about step one...it's the other 11 I find boring, tiring, and unappealing.
I'm such an avid step one-r in this case, I'm wearing my first step.
(Please forgive my iphone pics filling the rest of this post, the colors are so much better in person! All the letters are glittered, with rhinestones etc. I brought my camera to work so I could take a picture before passing these out, but I realized I left my memory card at home, and I just couldn't wait to give them to the other gals. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures at the party. I'm so bad at candid party shots....must...work...on...this (...and so many other things!).)
I think it's important to wear the right outfit to every party.
Last November when we attended the New Moon premiere there was a girl behind me with a super cute shirt. Since I'm me, I asked her where she got it b/c I puffy drippy rhinestone hearted it a lot. She told me, and I filed the info in the clutter that is my brain. Recently, I approached the idea of getting shirts for our little Twilight party in just a little over a month....and 18 were on board. The rest of the attendees aren't willing to go this far, but there's always the next movie....
But then there was drama. You see 12 of my 'peoples' got my vision....
(Apparently iphones don't like glitter letters, they really do look good, promise!)
I love the rhinestone blood drops!
And then there were these three.....
(Again, the letters are more brown than the weird orange hue this displays!)
OK....I kinda love this a lot, minus Jacob's name....but how cute are those hairy letters? Those rhinestone claws?
I asked the shop owner for a vomit pan as I describe what 'they' wanted.
Who are these people? Did I really invite them? ;o)
Party lines have been drawn, my friends.
And then there are some people I believe might just be attending out of sheer curiousity to see how far we will all go. 6 people weren't willing to go to the dark side, but three gals were willing to make some statements.
I love this one....not exactly a Twilight fan, but willing to be a part of the madness, she'll at least get a good laugh out of the whole ordeal....
The popcorn is gold glittered, actually, all the writing is glittered....not exactly the best picture, which is the theme of this post!!!
And this next friend's shirt probably sums up what you are going to be seeing July 1st if you check back.
But this one is my absolute favorite. (The paw is silver sparkle, and the letters are red and silver sparkle with dripping rhinestones.)
You ain't seen nothing yet.
OK....and as for the shirt, we got them from a company called Texas 2 Stitch in Richardson, Texas off of Coit and Beltline. She does all kinds custom shirts (including the last three for no extra charge, she even gave us a really fabulous discount). She specializes in bling, glitter letters, and being super flexible, super nice, and very cool. Did I mention her name is Christy too? I get nothing for saying this, I get nothing for saying anything I say-except maybe strange looks. I just really liked her. I'm thinking of seeing if they will hire me. I could happily spend my day with rhinestones and glitter letters.
Friday, May 28, 2010
I stay up late at night wondering how I can throw more calories into my desserts. It's the one area of life I never fail....ever. ;o) I didn't come up with fried ice cream, but I think I managed to add a few calories. This is good....too good. Don't try it if you want to wear a swimsuit or something this summer, but if you are cool with hiding inside under sweaters, I recommend it.
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
2 egg whites
4 c. cinnamon toast crunch
1. Scoop ice cream into 1 c. size balls. Place on wax paper and freeze for 1 hour.
2. Crush cinnamon toast crunch, and place them in a ball.
3. Whip egg whites in a bowl until foam. Roll ice cream balls in egg white mix, and then roll in cinnamon toast crunch until coated. Place on wax paper and free for 3+ hours.
4. Heat oil, roll ice cream balls in oil for a few seconds just to get the outside crunchy.
5. Place flour tortillas over the back of a muffin tin,
spray with butter, and cinnamon sugar mix, and bake at 350 for about 8 minutes (until just browning).
6. Serve ice cream in bowl, top with toppings, and enjoy. And then run, don't walk to the gym.
It's a Blog Party
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I have no doubt this has been done 8,000,467 times....today. Make that 8,000,468 now. My teammate and I decided to do a very small something for all the classroom teachers a few weeks back when our big round of state testing reared it's stressful head. Things were a little tense. Our theme this year at work is to Think Pink. There is an acronym for the word PINK, so we sort of went with that...PINK has consumed our year. We decided we wanted to make cookies (we=my teammate putting up with me, and then me going overboard on whatever she's tolerating). I've mentioned my work sort of has a sugar cookie 'thing.' We like them. I guess my teammate and I must have been in a fairy tale mood, because we decided to make magic wands (you can only get away with stuff like this when working in an elementary school). I don't believe in magic, but I'm a fan of a sparkley wand, a good Cinderella story, and the idea of Prince Charming is fun. :O) So....I pulled out my star cookie cutter and got to work.
I cut the cookies pretty thick so the sticks would slide in (about 1/4 inch?). I slide the sticks in as soon as the cookies exited the oven.
I added a little karo syrup to my icing so it would harden (about a T for every 3 c. of icing). Iced, and sprinkled for a little sparkle.
I then let them dry overnight before bagging and tagging them.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Last year myself and many of the people I work with were really moved by the struggles of a student in our third grade who was diagnosed with cancer. His teacher, Melissa, took a hands on, hearts on approach involving herself in making sure he was reminded often that we all thought of him and missed him as he journeyed through treatment. She and her husband took on the task of fulfilling his Make A Wish dream to head to Disney world with his family, and he did just that this year with a clean bill of health, and a full head of hair after a long journey, but a continuously wonderful attitude, and positive spirit. I've worked with this little guy a few times over the years, and he's precious. I took joy this year in redirecting some silly behavior that comes with being a 4th grader. I love that he's as much a part of life as ever, despite a year of unusual circumstances. He's still not allowed to be TOO silly in my group, but I appreciate the efforts and attempts all the same ;o)! We held various fund raisers last year like garage sales, bounce house drives, etc to help raise funds for the family's daily living that was strained with all the additional bills, and we also got involved with the American Cancer Society's all night Relay for Life with this story, and so many in our community directly impacted by cancer in one way or another. It's one of those things that touches everyone at some point or another. It has to be one of the ugliest words that ever entered my life, but it somehow brings the best out of people, and it certainly builds bonds that can't be broken amongst the victims, and caregivers. Last year we participed in Relay for Life as our student battled cancer, this year we participated in his honor because he beat it, thanks to the great research, and passionate people pursuing a cure that allow teachers like me to continue to correct silly behavior amongst 4th grade boys who get the chance to live a normal and healthy life.
We had about 20 members on our team (the picture at the top is not nearly everyone....I set my camera in water, and it would not work the rest of the night so I wasn't able to get a true group picture :O(...it's still not working, but that's the least of my worries). This year we raised money through online donations, a garage sale, a pickle sale (sponsored by our Beta Club), and a change drive (sponsored by our Student Council) that allowed the students to send our principal up on the roof to hang out for a day because of their generosity (it's probably the most uninterrupted work she has sat through all year). I don't know the grand total our group raised, but I know it was over 3000 last time I looked.
There were over 20 other teams from the city that participated. You head out to a field and stay up all night. The idea behind this concept is that cancer doesn't sleep, you can't take a break or rest from the journey, and neither do we. There are various ceremonies all throughout the night in honor, memory, and celebration of cancer victims. Here are two of our teachers, who are survivors. They came out in support of the cause, and kicked off the event by walking the first lap for us.
The relay portion comes in with the fact that someone from your team walks at all times throughout the evening. The track is lined with luminaries people have bought in honor, and memory of loved ones.
Each team was asked to choose a 'theme' to decorate their campsite with (the track ran past all the teams, so it was fun to see what each team came up with). The overall theme was 'Birthday Parties'....a celebration of life, seasons, and the years we have had with the patients. We chose a rodeo birthday theme (due to the field day theme most of the gals spent the morning participating in back at work), and sold cupcakes to raise additional funds (each team raises funds on sight as well).
It was a great way to spend time with co-workers, and I know memories and bonds were built that will make us all better working buddies in the years to come.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Look what I won from Yesterday on Tuesday?
...but wait....it gets better! Waaaaaaaay better!
I was sooooo excited. I heart this book, from the mama of all bloggers! I puffy heart it!
I actually visited the Yesterday on Tuesday blog (and have continued to do so) because she has a truly precious blog, with fun ideas, and while I was hanging out on the blog, I saw she had this giveaway going on, so I entered.
...and then....I won!
I didn't even realize I won when I saw my name....I blame my Mom for naming me 'Christy'....I'm so used to ignoring it when I see or hear it b/c 99.9 precent of the time it's someone else!
I'm so glad it wasn't this time! Yay!
And can we just pause for a minute and note the details of the packaging?!?! I love that it had a pink ribbon, a sweet little tag, and her business card is too stinkin' cute. I'm a girl that appreciates the details.
I'd tell you visit Yesterday on Tuesday's blog b/c it's precious, but in addition to that, she is always having great giveaways you can enter, just another little blogging perk!!!
Pizza and Beer...sort of a staple on college campuses around the world....minus my alma mater, of course ;o). But really, this present is rated G because there is a little Baptist girl in me that just insisted on the 6-pack of root beer....it helped that it was much cheaper than a 6 pack of beer.
My Mom needed a graduation gift to take to a party recently, and I have an ever growing stack of things I want to 'try out,' and there are only 365 days a year, and as many reasons to celebrate, which is about 203 less than the ideas in my craft folder. I decided to pull one out I've been wanting to try for awhile. As usual, I manipulated the project to meet the needs of the occasion, as opposed to looking for a project to fit the occasion. I saw this idea . They had the cute cinnamon bun-on-a-stick idea I took, and fed crack to until it became a gift, and I did the same with this idea. Crafts on Steroids-sorta my speciality.
for pizzas-on-a-stick on my new, imaginary best friends' website artisanbread
I also adapted their recipe for the pizza bites, but for the 'real version' hit the link above. Here is 'my version.' It's the easy way out. I'd say 'easy' is my middle name, but that just doesn't come out right. How about simplified?
MAKING THE PIZZA BITES
I BOUGHT a can of pizza dough, and spread it out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
I then grated about 4 oz of cheese (1/2 a block) over the entire dough.
I added two rows of pepperoni in a long line down the middle (this used up about half a package-so it would be REALLY easy to double this with another thing of pizza dough).
Leave space between the two rows of pepperoni (leave the cheese lines), which help all the dough stick together, and hold tightly in the rolls-on-the-sticks.
I rolled tightly, and I cut about 16 pieces 1/3-1/2 inch thick. I didn't get out my ruler.
I added this step: I sprayed the tops of each roll with spray butter (0 calories, because, obviously, calorie count is important to me, ha!....and it's easy). I then sprinkled the tops with garlic salt. This makes it pretty salty, but that's how I like it, but be warned if you don't, and adapt as desired!
I baked at 425 for about 10 minutes.
As soon as they came out, I poked bamboos skewers into each roll before they cooled. The bamboo skewers I found in the grocery section hanging on the end of an aisle, ready for summer cook outs. I cut them down a bit because they were a little long, but I liked having the 'pokie' end, it slid into the dough nicely. You could also use popsicle sticks or sucker sticks....I was just feeling really daring.
I then put little bags over each pizza bite so I could make a bouquet. I think life is best delivered as a bouquet. I also think life's events are best told in song, but I'll leave that for another time.
I tied off each bag with raffia, because I heart raffia...still....no new news there.
I got a metal can from the dollar section at Target, stuck some styrofoam from the dollar store in the bottom, and then poked my pizza bites down. I did super glue them into place since they'll be traveling with my Mom....I worry when other people deliver 'my crafts' that they the delivery 'person' won't know to rearrange the shifted product.
I attached a card. I'm going to write Greeting cards if this not-for-profit blog thing doesn't work out. You'll be able to get them two for a dollar at the dollar store, but still, they'll be mine. I won't claim them either, but still...mine.
My 'beautiful' graduation inspired poetry:
The attached card reads:
Instead of studying until 7 am, you'll head to work at 7 am.
Instead of taking out study loans, you'll begin paying student loans.
Instead of listening to the professionals, you'll be the professional others are listening to.
Instead of looking forward to summer vacation, you'll begin counting the days until retirement.
Instead of pizza and beer for dinner...
Never mind that one is pretty much universal no matter what stage of life you find yourself in.
"There is no facet, no aspect, no manner of life that can't be improved with pizza." Dario Morgendorffer
And thus completes another episode of-what I do at about 1 am on a work night. P.s. I think this would be a fun Father's Day Gift as well, AND we did a shower once at work for a 'guy' with the pizza, and root bear theme, and then Home Depot gifts, it was fun...just a little random aside.
Night Own Crafting
Just a Girl
Fun to Craft
Monday, May 24, 2010
I attempted more cake ball microphones (I blogged about these a few weeks ago after getting a new cupcake book) for the school choir's end of year party. It was MUCH easier with the kid cones (though sawing the cones worked OK if there are no options). It also used less supplies (chocolate, sprinkles etc). After a bouquet, and 33 choir microphones I would be fine not spending any time with kid cones, and silver sprinkles for awhile, but I can say attempt #2 was better.
2. OK....I've lived in my 'adulthood' house a long time. I sort of moved in, sorta unpacked 9 years ago, and then...nothing. It is time for me to start doing some decorating, and home improvements.....slooooowly. I'm writing it here to hold myself accountable. My goal is to make very affordable little changes, but....it's sort of this huge area of my life I ignore-my house. I figure it'll give me something to blog about for...the next nine years or so, and then I'll be ready to do it all over again. Maybe in July I'll find some time. June is already fully loaded with activities and fun that don't include home (or self) improvement projects. First, I should think about cleaning the house I want to decorate.
3. I was looking through my very full, very messy, fire-hazard of a garage the other day, and I looked down close to the door where some stuff had slipped around and saw this tape.
This is the answering machine tape that was hooked up to my personal line when I was a teenager. Geez....I spent the years 10-22 attached to my phone, and all the people on the other end. It doesn't surprise me that I kept it, that's the sort of thing I'd do. It's a good thing I don't have the answering machine anymore, but I have a pretty good idea of what I'd hear if I plugged it in and why I wanted to save it.....typical teenager-I'll save those stories for some anonymous blog I write someday. Now that I'm older...I think it's important that I destroy this. I just wanted to show my friends a missed opportunity for black mail...sorry, find a new avenue. Shouldn't be hard... ;o)
4. I love spring, it's beautiful, but it makes me itch. The world is a beautiful, itchy place.
5. I was watching the chihuahua who has taken over my house, and my heart attempt to eat a black jelly bean the other day (in between snacking on snails he found outside...I dunno) and I was wondering....are there actually any PEOPLE who eat black jelly beans? I think they are dis-gusting and I'm pretty unselective when it comes to candy. Why do they even make that flavor? They are always there in the bag for me to have to pick through and throw away, I pretend it helps counterbalance the calorie count...the sorting. Then my dogs get into the tossed black jelly beans, and carry them around WANTING to like them, but ultimately they are a sticky blob somewhere in my floor b/c not even my dogs like black jelly beans. My dogs eat things like soap, and snails, and if they don't like something...well....you get my point. If anyone DOES actually like black jelly beans, I'd like to meet them b/c I have 30 years worth of them to send their way. And thus completes another series of 'Deep Thoughts'
6. Hypothetically speaking, has anyone noticed how LONG speeding tickets are these days? I LITERALLY...ummm....saw one recently that measured 3 feet long. I measured it...after using a fork lift to bring that big thing up. Wouldn't a scalet letter on my shirt...I mean....the criminal's shirt be less obvious? What would happen if I...I mean YOU had two traffic violations? They obviously didn't get the save a tree message (sorta like I didn't get the speed limit message). Can you sue the city if the ticket throws your back out? It was slightly remniscent of Santa's Naughty list. In an ironic twist, since I'm not necessarily talking about me-I did find a defensive driving course online that worked out pretty well...if that's possible considering....BUT if you live in Texas and want to take a course to get the insurance discount or I...I mean YOU need this information in the future for....well...nevermind, but the site was www.getdefensive.com.
...and they all lived happily ever after.
Posted by Christy Robbins at 12:44 AM
Sunday, May 23, 2010
So.....as I was baking my 7th cupcake for the month, with several more to go, I was thinking about how I just can't seem to lose weight....I'll go ponder that, and in the meantime....here is my version of apple pie....as a cupcake.
Here's the deal....or rather, here's the inspiration....my pals at work, (also known as 'my friends') and I participated in the American Cancer Society's all night Relay for Life this past Friday/Saturday. Every team was asked to come up with a 'birthday party' theme for their campsite (more on the details of this event in a day or two). Since this was also field day at work...and our theme for THAT was 'rodeo,' the gals decided to go with this so we could just drag our decorations over to the Relay in the evening. Each team raises funds before the event, but we also raise money on site to go towards additional cancer research giving. Last year we had a bake sale, and sold glow bracelets. This year, cupcakes sales was the fundraiser of choice for our team!
Cupcakes and Cowboys....sort of like my dream come true, good job, team.
I then went to work trying to decide on a 'cowboyish' cupcake. That was totally unnecessary, unless you are me. I made some cowboy cupcakes awhile back for a Cowboy Baby Shower with little sheriff badges on top, but this time....I decided I wanted something pie-ish....and I got stuck on the idea of making some little 'pie crust cutout' for the top since I knew the base would be best as a cupcake, and I decided on Apple Pie Cupcakes.
I have NO doubt I'm not the first one who has thought of this, but I don't want to know what else is out there b/c knowing sometimes stifles whatever creativity I have going because I get that 'other vision' stuck in my head! I decided to google apple spice cake, and some sort of cinnamon icing, and a little 'real apple' filling.
I took about 17 recipes and combined from allrecipes.com....foodtv...google search...I don't know how to site my source. My source is the internet, does that count? I didn't come up with my own individual recipes, I just adapted ones that looked good and merged them all into the sinful mass of calories that are my cupcakes.
Here goes....(Didn't I already say that? Fine, here I REALLY go...)
Combine 2 c. all-purpose flour, 1 t. soda, 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 c. sugar, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 t. apple pie spice, 1/8 t. nutmeg, 1/8 t. cloves, 1/2 c. butter (at room temperature), 4 eggs, 1 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce. Combine and bake at 350 for about 17 minutes. (I filled my cupcake liners really full, so I only got 16 out of this batter, I used a 1/4 c. measuring cup to fill them....I like 'em puffy!). I used silver liners to look more like a pie pan, and these tend to bake really fast for me! In a regular liner, maybe add a minute or two.
Let cool, and then cut a cone shape out of your cupcake. I also cut the 'cone' off the top layer so the top would lay flat on the apple filling. I hollowed a few of the cupcakes out a little to add more filling deeper in the innards.
*I would probably use this same basic cupcake recipe next time, but maybe add something to make these a little more moist...sour cream?...pudding? There was so much other stuff going on, it was still good, just a little more dry than I like my cupcakes...I wasn't disappointed, just critical of the outcome!
Heat 2 T butter on med with 2 t. cinnamon, 3 T sugar and let this bubble about 1 minute, and then add 3 large apples (peeled and chopped). Let these cook over med for about ten minutes until the apples are soft.
ICING (My favorite 'taste' part of this recipe.)
Mix 8 oz cream cheese (at room temp), 1 t. cinnamon, 6 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 c. butter (at room temp), 1 t. vanilla.
I took a spoon and just mounded it on top to look a little bit like ice cream. I also sprinkled this with cinnamon sugar....that was unnecessary, but accurate as to the steps I took...additional, unnecessary steps are sort of a hobby of mine.
Take one pie crust and cut out small stars. Place these on a cookie sheet. Spray with spray butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and/or sugared sprinkles.
Ready to bake...
Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes (just until browning).
Place on top of cupcakes.
These would be fun to make on July 4th as well, but by then, I should have my mouth wired shut, and I'll be looking for apple pie I can drink through a straw, or a nice apple pie scented lotion....but *you* can make them if you want, they are tasty.
Under the Table and Dreaming
Keeping it Simple
Between Naps on the Porch
Blessed with Grace
Just a Girl