Tasty Tuesday: Vanilla Cupcakes

I’m not a huge vanilla fan. I think it’s the most boring flavor ever and I’ve always been chocolate for life!

BUT. I made these cupcakes and they were definitely not a typical boring vanilla flavor. I had offered to make some cupcakes for a special family event a few weeks ago and instead of making regular box cupcakes I decided that I would just make cupcakes and icing from scratch. Because I like to bake and I had the time. I was looking for a really good cupcake recipe because I had to make vanilla so I knew that they had to be really delicious to be a huge hit with the crowd. They were both delicious and a hit!

I’m lucky enough to live close to the wonderful Georgetown Cupcake (from the show DC Cupcakes) so when I stumbled upon this recipe from Get Sweet Smart I knew I had to give it a try.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcake

I made the Get Sweet Smart recipe exactly, with the exception of the vanilla bean because I couldn’t find it and adding pink food coloring to the icing because of the occasion.

The recipe is hers, the pictures are mine (hers are better, but I don’t steal photos). If you love this recipe (& you will) I encourage you to head over there and let her know.

(and no she has no idea I’ve made these, am posting about her wonderful recipe, or am sending you over to her to give her love…I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do).

Cupcake ingredients

Cupcake ingredients

2 1/2 c. flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

8 tbsp butter, room temperature

1 3/4 c. sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/4 tsp. vanilla

seeds from 1 vanilla bean (I omitted)

1 1/4 c. milk, room temperature

Icing ingredients

Icing ingredients

5 1/2 tbsp butter

5 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

8oz low fat cream cheese

Directions

CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350; line cupcake pans with wrappers

In a small bowl sift flower, baking powder, and salt together

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes

Slowly add eggs one at a time until combined

Add vanilla and vanilla bean seeds to milk

Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to the egg/butter mixture and beat with stand mixer until well combined.

Add 1/3 of milk and mix thoroughly.

Repeat with remaining dry / wet ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 16 to 18 minutes

FROSTING: In bowl of stand mixer, with paddle attachment, beat all ingredients on high speed until light and fluffy (aprox. 3 minutes).

Frosted cupcakes

Frosted cupcakes

They tasted AMAZING. And that’s saying a lot for someone that will pass up vanilla cake.

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High Five for Friday!

Hooray! Another Friday. Another week over and another weekend to enjoy. I’m linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth giving a nice big high five to Friday!

One.

We had family dinner this week at my in-laws and not having to drive home right after work gave me an extra hour to play with Sydney and take a walk to the park.

Fun times at the park.

Fun times at the park.

Two.

Speaking of taking a walk. We were able to take a nice long fall walk. I love taking long walks and fall has to be one of the prettiest times of the year to take those nice walks. Both Sydney and Buddy like taking walks but there is no easy way to walk Buddy and keep track of a toddler that doesn’t believe at all in listening so when we go for walks I end up taking 2 separate walks so they can both get some fresh air. #ilovefall

beautiful fall

beautiful fall

Three.

Someone was a bit under the weather this week and we kept her home on Monday. She was a poor sick baby and she actually laid around on the couch which is something she pretty much doesn’t do ever. At all. For any reason. Because she is full of energy so it’s definitely obvious when she’s sick.

Sick baby.

Sick baby.

Four.

There’s a consignment sale this weekend and because I can’t get enough of them I’m going to be doing a little shopping. After I hit up the consignment sale for Sydney I’ll be swinging by a little consignment shop to do a little shopping for myself.

Five.

We don’t really have much planned this weekend but we have some little projects that we’ve been trying to get done so I’m hoping to be able to get quite a bit done around the house. I’m hoping for a relaxing, but productive weekend. We’ll see how that goes.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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Tasty Tuesday: Salsa!

I love a good salsa, don’t you? Especially a fresh version of salsa. I will buy salsa that someone else has prepared but there is just something about a good, fresh salsa that hits the spot sometimes. I had a couple of tomatoes that were going bad this summer and decided to make some salsa. After some quick googling I stumbled upon this recipe The Best Fresh Tomato Salsa and determined that I had everything I needed to make it so I did just that. I adapted the recipe a bit to fit my needs so these ingredients and directions are mine but you can find the original version in that link up there.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

3-4 tomatoes

1 onion

1 green pepper

1 jalapeno

some cilantro (fresh is best!)

(roughly) 2 TBSP Lime juice

1/2  tsp cumin

Some salt

Some pepper

 

Directions

Dice up tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and jalapeno and combine in bowl.
(I diced up the tomatoes first and then gauged the amount of onion and green pepper needed based on how much tomato I had… I always used the entire jalapeno). 

Chop up some cilantro.
(I feel like cilantro is a taste that not everyone has – so use your judgment based on your tastes – if you love it, add more… if you hate it, add less).

Add lime juice

Add cumin

salt and pepper to taste

mix

Serve cold.

YUM!

YUM!

Results.

This was a hit at the couple parties we attended and with the neighbors when we stuffed our faces full of it one afternoon. It’s really quick and easy to make with delicious results. This salsa hasn’t been a stranger to our house this summer.

Throwback Thursday.

Because I can think of nothing better today than going through some old photos. I love taking pictures and capturing those memories. Sometimes, looking back, you think you look stupid but you always remember what fun you had. Old pictures always make me miss “the good old days” when life was a little more carefree and how, even though I think I might, I’d never change any thing I did for any thing in the world.

HOORAY! It's Senior Year.

It’s Senior Year.

Senior year. We were on top of the world. We were finally about to get the hell out and be for real adults.

Ha.

Hahahahaha.

If we only knew what being an adult was really all about I don’t think any of us would have been in such a rush.

But first? We had some fun.

We are exactly what you think we are.

What? We’re not drunk.

But yes we were. And we were totally being “sneaky” about it by being super loud in the kitchen right below where my parents slept. Looking back, they totally knew, but then? We thought we were soooo sneaky.

(also, who knew that a decade later we’d actually be the family we always considered each other to be?)

My girls <3

My girls ❤

If it’s one thing I really do miss about being in school, it’s definitely seeing my best friends every day. Now? Two of them live in completely different states and I just never see the other because life just gets in the way.

And then there’s this guy.

My Blake.

My Blake.

He was the guy with all the girl friends. And he loved it. And we loved him. And he made everything much funnier than it would have been without him.

I’m not sure what got me all thinking about high school today, but these four people. My friends. They made high school so much fun. And they’re really the only people that stayed around long after the diplomas were handed out and life took us in different directions. They’re my people. And I am so glad they are.

 

 

Fall Favorites.

Since it feels like wonderful fall all of a sudden I thought I would capture a few of my favorite fall things .

I just snagged this sweater. And I cannot wait to wear it. It was also a super good deal which is why I didn’t even think twice about buying it. I’m all about being comfortable and this just looks so comfortable.

This pretty much sums up my style. A comfortable pair of jeans, some flats, and a long shirt/sweater is how I pretty much look from fall until spring. I love it.

As an aside, while I like this outfit – those shoes? ARE ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DOLLARS.

No freaking thank you. I might love them a lot, but there is no way that I would even spend that much money on a single pair of shoes. I just discovered this Polyvore website and now I’m pretty sad that everything seems to be outrageously priced. Who is putting these outfits together? Certainly not any average person, right? RIGHT? Do people really spend this much on a SINGLE pair of shoes? No. I can’t believe that.

Moving on. Because that was an upsetting discovery.

I cannot stop trying to find wonderful fall outfits.

How about food? Can you guess?

ALL THINGS PUMPKIN.

That link? It’s for a copy cat recipe of a PSL. I haven’t tried it because I just found it when I googled images for that and I’m pretty excited about trying it myself.

I REALLY want to make this delightful dessert…

I am also ready for some hot soups on a cool day. Steven usually makes a BUNCH of chili each fall/winter/whenever I will let him and sometimes I like to mix things up with a chicken chili. Like this one. It’s delicious & easy and I highly recommend it.

Now I’m all ready to cozy up on the couch in some comfortable clothes, chow down on some chili, and finish off my night with a pumpkin dessert. Bring it on Fall I’m ready for you!

YAY Fall!

YAY Fall!

Enjoy your fall, guys. Winter, and snow, will be here before we know it.

That’s definitely one thing I hate about fall. That it brings on winter.

 

High Five for Friday!

YAY Friday!

I am SO glad it is Friday. Not that it particularly matters in my work week ending because I’m quite certain that it will not end until NEXT Friday, but whatever, my work ween in the office is ending. So that’s a plus, right? This week has been made up of some really stressful, very long, not so much fun at all days. This time of year is probably one of my very least favorite times of year for what I do. But next week? It gets better. Because next week things will slow down to a normal amount of work pace and all will be right with the world. But for now, let me find five bright spots to my day.

One.

Monday I got off at a reasonable time. So there’s that. And I got to come home to the cutest little person ever who let me walk around the house carrying her cape. Here comes Princess Baby.

Princess Baby.

Princess Baby.

Two.

My in-laws are wonderful. I really do love them and I feel bad for people that do not have nearly as amazing in-laws as I do. This week we basically moved in. It gave me the ability to work late but not have to get home after bed time so I could spend at least a little bit of time with my girl (and my husband too, but he’s up later than the tot so I’d have time with him anyway.

Three.

This weekend I’m being a super wife and taking my husband to the season home opener for the Skins. He’s excited. And after this week? I’m excited to be doing something fun.

Four.

I had won a contest through the radio station I listen to and something came up and they had to cancel that event. Well, now we’re going to another they’re having next month event for free. I’m so excited. WMZQ Rocks & this really shows me how awesome they are to their listeners. Bring on all the country music!

Five.

I really can’t think of anything because my brain feels like mush so I’m just going to leave you with this. (and can I tell you how excited I am that she’s already starting to love dressing up. I cannot wait to play dress up with her. And I am pretty excited about the thought of her potentially getting my husband in on the dress up action.)

Dressing up is fun.

Dressing up is fun.

I hope you all have had a less busy, less stressful week than I have and I hope that your weekend is amazing.
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Thirteen.

It’s hard to believe that it has been 13 years.

Thirteen.

It feels like a lifetime ago that our world changed and just yesterday all at the same time.

It’s a day I will never forget. It could have a lot to do with being so close to the Pentagon, but it also has a lot to do with the significance of that day.

It changed the course of our world and we can’t forget that we fight because thousands of innocent people cannot.

Never Forget.

Never Forget.