Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi ya'll! Last week, the hubs and I got to talking about ereaders and which one would be the best.  He had been doing some research and was down to Nook vs. Kindle. I asked him why he was even bothering to do this research. I mean its not like we are going to get an ereader anytime soon.. That's when he surprised me and said he couldn't make the final decision between the two because it would not be for him. He was planning on getting me an ereader! *happy dance*

I am now a proud owner of a Kindle!

That's pretty much it for my week.. I had to work a ton last week so I didn't get much reading done. And I'm behind on posting my recipes! I have an awesome coconut cream pie recipe I want to post.. Hopefully I will get it up tomorrow!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! Okay, so I think I am finally getting back into my baking groove! I made a ton of cookies this past week, plus made a yummy pie! Of course my reading has suffered a bit.. I've gotten 4 books read so far for this month..

What I've Read:

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle
I really enjoyed this book. I do wish it could of ended a little better though..

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
I only got half way through this one before I had to put it down.. It just wasn't holding my interest. I loved the first in the series, but this one just wasn't doing it for me.

Elixir by Hilary Duff
Honestly I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one! I wasn't sure how well Hilary Duff could write a book.. I can't wait for the next one!!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
I really loved this one and can't wait to get the next in the series from my library!!

What I got:

A lovely selection of dried fruits (cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries and apples) some dried tomatoes, some dried salmon. Plus a couple individually wrapped biscotti. All of this came from my dear friend Ginny up in Oregon as a part of our baked goods exchange. I've got some of the Chocolate Melt-A-Ways set aside for her along with some Oatmeal Raisin cookies.
 I have had so much fun trying to come up with things to send her! I'm thinking I need one more item for her next package.. Any ideas?


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Hi Ya'll! Okay, so I know I've posted carrot cake cupcakes before, but what can I say? These are one of our favorite cupcakes to make and to eat! I love trying out different recipes, and came across this one in my awesome Flour cookbook. The cream cheese frosting in this recipe is awesome! Not too sweet, but not too cream cheesy either. Its just right. This recipe can be used for carrot cake as well as making cupcakes. We just like the cupcakes better!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

2 eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 cups tightly packed shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (about 4 hours). I use 2 whole blocks of cream cheese..
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room tepmerature
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin tin with paper liners ( or grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan)

Beat together the eggs and brown sugar until mixture is light and thick using the paddle attatchment on your mixer. In small bowl or pitcher whisk together the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Slowly pour oil mixture into the egg-sugar mixture.

In a small bowl. sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture. when most of it has been mixed in, add the carrots, raisins and walnuts. Continue to fold until the batter is well mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes ( an hour and 20 minutes if your making a cake). Let cool on wire rack.

For the frosting:

Using your paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the butter and continue to beat for another minute or so. Scape the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Beat for another minute or until well blended.

Now if you would like to be fancy and add some decoration to your cupcakes, here is how to make some candied carrot strips.

Peel 1 carrot with a vegetable peeler. Then using the peeler press firmly to cut lengthwise paper this strips. Depending on the size of the carrot, you should have 8-10 strips.

In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup of sugar to 3/4 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the carrot strips and boil for 10 seconds. Remove from heat and let the strips cool completely in the syrup.

Remove the strips from the syrup and gently blot any access syrup. Coil the strips into spirals and place on your cupcakes or cake.

Eat and Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite cupcake?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chocolate Melt-A-Ways

Hi Ya'll! Recently my most favorite chocolate place had a huge sale. Of course they are located up in Oregon so I couldn't go.. I was able to talk my Mom into stopping by and picking up a few things for me!! Love you Mom!

I got some U of O colored Maltballs for the hubs (Go Ducks!), some Dark Chocolate Buttons for baking and some Milk Chocolate Easter Eggs for me! This is seriously the best chocolate in the world! Oh how I love me some Euphoria Chocolate! They have some awesome recipes on their website too! I had to make something right away with my buttons, so I made some Chocolate Melt-A-Ways from their site. I chose this recipe because it is super easy and I already had all the ingredients.

Chocolate Melt-A-Ways:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
6 tablespoon confectioners sugar, sifted
1 egg
6 oz. Dark Chocolate Buttons, coarsely chopped (or just regular chocolate chips..)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Sift together flour and baking soda; set aside. Beat together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Stir in Dark Chocolate Buttons. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 minutes, or until light brown. Cool on racks.


Of course if your like me at all.. you forget a step here and there. I forgot to chop the buttons as you can see from the pictures.. oops.. The cookies taste just as great though. The hubs says the taste kind of like a sugar chocolate chip cookie.

Do you have a favorite brand of chocolate?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Tuesday's

Hi Ya'll! I have been so good with not buying any books lately.. I've been getting all my reads from my local library. Once I got my first paycheck though.. I got to go to half price books and get 2 books! The trade off of course was an expansion pack for the World of Warcraft game for the hubs.. Anyways, I got 2 new books! Yay!

What I bought:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan

What I got from the Library:

The Hollow by Jessica Verday
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Mercy Burns by Keri Arthur

My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle

Elixir by Hilary Duff
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

I read a total of 10 books in April. My TBR pile on my night stand is getting bigger and bigger! But I'm loving all of the ones I've read so far!

What are you reading?


Monday, May 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Cookies

Hi ya'll!  Okay, so I’m a horrible blogger! I promised to post a cookie recipe like forever ago and never got around to posting it.. I have no excuse..  I meant to get around to posting it, but I would forget and by the time I remembered, go figure, I was in bed.
My husband is finally done with finals! Yay!  He gets 2 weeks before he starts his summer classes and I am only working a few days a week at my new job, so we will get to be able to spend some quality time together.. Ha! As I type this he is off in the other room playing World of Warcraft or some such computer game! I just know most of his break will be spent in the office playing his games.. Men! lol!

Speaking of the new job, who knew standing on your feet for 8 hours would hurt so much! I spent too much time at home looking for a job. I'm out of practice with this whole work thing! I would love to find a job that pays me to stay home and bake, read and update my Facebook status!

Anyways.. on to the much promised cookie recipe. The hubs said these were bad ass peanut butter cookies!

Peanut Butter Cookies:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla cookies
1 3/4 peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice! I used creamy)
2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed for about5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla for 2-3 minutes or until combined. Beat in peanut butter for another 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking soda, and salt until well mixed. On low speed slowly add the flour mixture into peanut butter mixture. Mix until just dry ingredients are totally mixed in.

Scrap dough into an air tight container and let rest in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Drop the dough in 1/4 cup balls onto baking sheet. flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Use a fork to make the criss crossed pattern. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let baking sheet cool on wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

And there you have it! One recipe for some bad ass peanut butter cookies!

Eat and Enjoy!