Thursday, February 27, 2014
My son has baseball games and practices at a field that is behind a Whole Foods. Often my husband and I will grab a quick bite at Whole Foods. While my husband was ordering some food - I wandered off to look at the floral section and eventually ended up front of the cupcakes. I thought we should get a cupcake and share it - but a simple lemon cupcake was $4 and if I pay $4 for a cupcake, I want it to be from a specialty cupcake store/bakery. So yesterday I bought a big bag of lemons and started perusing the internet for recipes. I found this recipe on http://sugarcrafter.net and she has some great recipes!
These took me awhile to make - first the cupcakes, then the lemon curd, finally the frosting. The dishwasher and sink were full of bowls, spatulas, whisks, cutting boards, measuring spoons and cups. I should have just paid the $4, but I am stubborn! I wanted to make my own lemon cupcakes. I have a tendency to often do this and it drives my husband crazy!
2 1/4 cups cake flour
! tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
lemon zest from two lemons
1 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 stick of butter, cubed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the cupcakes preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake liners inside two cupcake pans.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
In another medium bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together until it smells like a Jo Malone perfume.
In another bowl whisk together the egg whites and milk.
Add the butter into the sugar mixture and beat until light and crumbly. I just used an immersion blender.
Then beat in the vanilla and lemon juice.
Add in the flour and egg mixture, half at a time. Beat until everything is well combined.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners - fill each one about 3/4 full. Bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the middle of a cupcakes and comes out clean.
After the cupcakes have cooled - poke a hole into the middle of each cupcake using a small spoon.
While the cupcakes are baking make the lemon curd - so that it has time to firm up and chill. Lemon curd is very simple to make!
Simply put the egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in the lemon juice and lemon zest - stir constantly. When the mixture is nice and thick add the cubed butter and continue to stir until the butter is melted. Pour the mixture into a container and place in the refrigerator to chill.
Place the lemon curd into a zipper top bag and snip off an end and put a little dab into each little hole.
To make the frosting - cream together the butter and shortening. Beat in the lemon juice and gradually add the powdered sugar. Add vanilla and beat until everything is combined. Start frosting the cupcakes!
Yum! These were fantastic! Make them for the lemon lover in your life!
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Perhaps you think this is a little early for an Easter post? However, the minute Valentine's Day is over the stores start putting out the Eater candy, grass and baskets. So although I think this post is early, in the retail world this is perfect timing. A few days ago - I posted a plethora of felt Chicks that I made for Meals on Wheels. So today I am going to show you how I packaged the little chicks.
I found some little plastic bags in my craft cabinet- they were approximately 4 x 5 inches.
The I cut a little piece of blue and white scrapbook paper to size and put the felt chick on top of the paper and taped the bag shut. So simple and now the chicks can be added to the Meals on Wheels meal near the Easter holiday.
Note: Buy your scrapbook paper on sale - I stocked up with basketball and baseball scrapbook paper this week at Hobby Lobby. The scrapbook paper was on sale for 50% off!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Every so often I substitute teach a religion class and I often make a little "bribe" for good behavior. Today i was teaching a Rosary lesson so I made some heart shaped cookies with little crosses and some dots to look like Rosary beads,
I simply made some heart shaped sugar cookies and frosted them with some melted white chocolate. Once the white chocolate was set - I melted a little blue chocolate and added the decorations. Then I packed two cookies into a cellophane bag and tied with a coordinating ribbon.
I think the kids really liked the cookies!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
They say that making crafts can be beneficial to your health. Crafting can reduce your stress level. I enjoy crafting while I watch my favorite television shows.
Two circle items to trace
Yellow embroidery thread
For each chick you will need two yellow circles.
On the orange felt trace a quarter. For every chick you want to make - you will need one orange circle.
Draw a line down the middle of each circle. Start cutting the circles out.
Once all the orange circles are cut out - they need to be cut in half.
Each chick needs two yellow pieces - a top and bottom. On the top piece sew on a black bead for the eye and an orange wing.
When I sewed the beak on I cut the black marks off the orange piece.
On the bottom piece fold the other half of the orange circle in half and spread out a little and sew on the little beak.
Sew the top and bottom pieces together. Use a simple running stitch. These would look cute glued on barrettes, headbands or Easter baskets. They would also be adorable made into a banner.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I used the vases I made from the tin cans to hold brownies, pretzels and heart shaped lollipops.
I dipped some pretzel rods in pink melted chocolate and used Valentine themed sprinkles to decorate them. Once they are dry they can be packaged into pretzel bags and tied with ribbon.
I also made some Valentine lollipops made out of mini candy canes.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the mini candy canes out into heart shapes leaving room to add lollipop sticks on parchment paper. Bake for 3 minutes.Perhaps your oven or candy cane brand might take a minute longer.
Once the hearts come out of the oven - pinch a lollipop stick into the bottom of the heart. Be careful the candy cane is hot and sticky. Once the heart lollipop is hard - remove it from the parchment paper and place in a small plastic bag and tie with a ribbon.
Then I added little bags of brownies (the brownie pictures turned out awful) but we all know what brownies look like, pretzels and lollipops to the Valentine teases.
I hope you have a romantic Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Isn't this the cutest tank top ever? I know that Noelle will love it! And I also bought her sweet friend Erin one for her birthday. I wrapped them in red gingham paper - put them in a padded envelope and sent them off this afternoon while Christian was at baseball practice.
I still don't know what I am going to get my husband for Valentine's Day!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Today I made some Valentine vases out of tin cans. We really don't eat a lot of canned food at our house. But whenever I use something from a can - I remove the label and rinse out the can. Then I run the can through the dishwasher. Since Christmas I have only used 5 cans - so in keeping with the reuse, recycle, repurpose mantra - I made 5 Valentine vases.
I wrapped the tin cans in some leftover Christmas wrapping paper.
Then I just glue gunned some ribbon (also left over from Christmas) to the top and bottom of the can.
Then I glue gunned some red heart Rhinestones on the vases. I am actually planning on putting little treats inside my vases for my neighborhood friends. So you will also see these in a later post.
However these would also make sweet little vases for flowers.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Today I made some oatmeal packets. I decided to make some Apple, Brown Sugar and Walnut oatmeal!
I found some brown wax paper sandwich bags and labels in my craft cabinet. I do not remember where I bought the brown wax bags or fancy labels. Sorry!
1/4 cup quick oats
2 tablespoons dried apples (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon walnuts (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of salt
Combine the above ingredients in a small bowl and put them into a snack sized zipper bag or wax paper bag. Put a label on your little baggie.
You could always add a little extra brown sugar if you like a sweeter oatmeal. To serve just add boiling water or warm milk.