Pink Champagne Cupcakes

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I have a slight obsession with cupcakes.. if you haven't already noticed with these Gooey Chocolate Cupcakes, and these Mini Chocolate Ganache Cakes. I know the Mini Cakes are actually cakes, but they are MINI cakes.

I love cupcakes. They are the perfect dessert. And I especially love them since I bought these amazing little things. Especially for only $3.95 each. I couldn't even find them that cheap at Target, Ross, anywhere...

I made these pink champagne cupcakes for a wedding shower for a friend and fellow OT at work last week. They are so pretty! And super moist. I love having the option for a shower like that of having regular cupcakes and mini cupcakes for people who maybe don't want a whole cupcake. And the secret is: THEY ARE SO EASY! You just use a cake mix and add champagne!
The hubby and I are heading to Vegas to visit some friends this weekend! I can't wait!! I'll post some pictures next week. What are you doing for 4th of July???

Pink Champagne Cupcakes (From:
1 box Betty Crocker white cake mix
1 1/4 cups champagne (I used Beringer sparkling white zinfandel)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 egg whites
4-5 drops red food coloring

Champagne Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup champagne
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 drops red food coloring

Garnish - Pink Sanding Sugar (recipe follows):
1/8 cup white sugar
1/4 - 1/2 drop red food coloring

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or non-stick pans). Line 24 regular sized or 48 mini cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners - I used 1 large pan and 2 mini pans.

2. In large bowl, combine dry cake mix and champagne. Add oil, eggs, and food color. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 min. Divide batter evenly among muffin pans.

3. Bake 17-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from baking pans. Cool completely about 30 min.

1. In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients together with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.

2. Frost cupcakes using piping tips.
3. Add sugar to food processor, and chop until superfine consistency. Add 1/4-1/2 drop red food coloring and mix using a fork.


What's Been Blooming

>> Monday, June 28, 2010

Look what I did!!! I can't believe I actually got something to bloom... okay ripen, but still!

My mom planted these when she was here a couple months ago, and I honestly didn't believe they would live to see the day of being red.

My mom took all the green thumb in the family for herself! :)

She also planted basil, cilantro, and parsley
Hmm... what should I make with these beauties?!


Pull Apart Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

Once a month, the pastor's wives at my church Southbay Church, get together for some face to face time. It's a great way for us to spend time together, fellowship, pray together, share what's going on in each other's life, and grow together.

It seems funny that we see each other at church every week, live in walking distance from some of them, and live only a few miles from the others, and we still feel like we don't get to see each other, much less be able to talk in depth and create good relationships.

It's really important for us. Since our church is a church plant, we are all new to the area, moved here not knowing a soul other than each other, and are still a very new, growing church - so cultivating and maintaining close relationships with our own team is crucial. We celebrate birthdays together as staff families, have our monthly staff wives brunch, and are just very intentional about relationships with one another.

This past month, I hosted the brunch at my place. I tried to get a picture of all of us girls, and of course, everyone said "no, not today", so I can't show you our beautiful faces, but I'll try again next month! :)

I made these pull apart maple sticky buns - and they are amazing! They have cream cheese dipped in cinnamon and sugar wrapped around biscuits, drenched in butter, and covered with maple syrup and pecans!!! The recipe is from

Have I told you about before? I haven't? Shame on me!! (and no, I definitely am not getting brownie points from Kraft to talk about them - I just love them)

This is the first website I started using when I first started cooking. There are hundreds of recipes for every kind of type. You can even put in three ingredients you have on hand and it will tell you what to make for dinner. There is a healthy living section, and enough desserts to make you the talk of the dinner party for months on end!! And they are EASY with not too many froo froo ingredients. The summer recipes and Christmas recipes are the best!

Check it out.... but for now, go make your hunny some sticky buns for breakfast!


3/4 cup PLANTERS Chopped Pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, divided
1/3 cup maple-flavored or pancake syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cans (12 oz. each) refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cut into 20 cubes

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Sprinkle nuts onto bottom of 12-cup fluted pan or 10-inch tube pan sprayed with cooking spray.

3. Melt 2 TBSP. butter in small microwaveable bowl. Stir in syrup; drizzle over nuts in pan.

4. Mix cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.
5. Separate biscuits into 20 biscuits. Flatten each to 1/4".
6. Roll cream cheese cubes in cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated; place 1 in center of each biscuit.

7. Gather up sides of dough to enclose filling; press edges together to seal. Roll each into ball.
8. Melt remaining butter in small dish. Dip top of each ball into melted butter and then cinnamon and sugar.

9. Arrange half the balls, cinnamon sugar side up, in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining balls to form second layer. Top with any remaining butter and cinnamon sugar.
10. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 min. in pan.
11. Invert onto serving plate. Remove pan. Top buns with any remaining nuts in pan. Cool slightly.


Favorite Things

>> Monday, June 7, 2010

I have several kitchen and entertaining items that I LOVE. I thought I'd share. I'd love to hear from all of you what your favorites are too. I was thinking about making this a recurring series with a link up - doesn't have to necessarily be cooking gadgets - anything that's your favorite things that you want to share. What do you think?

This is probably my favorite kitchen/baking item! I LOVE my Kitchenaid mixer. My husband bought it for me for my birthday a year after we were married - back when we were BROKE and shouldn't have been spending so much on kitchen tools. ha. It was a special at William's Sonoma that year, and now you can't even get them. So if anything ever happens to it, I'll be so sad, cause I really love the color -terra cotta. But maybe I'll just have to replace it with a pistachio one to go with my one day vintage kitchen! This really does make a difference in the way batters come out. They are much smoother, creamier, and the end result turns out so much better than when I make it with my hand mixer.

My husband is affectionately known as the "cheese grater". I like to actually call him my sous chef because he does all the smaller tasks for me when I'm cooking. He was tired of using the small hand-held grater we had and cutting his fingers, so for Christmas, he bought me a cheese grater! :) I love it too!! It slices and grates - so you can use it for veggies as well as cheese.

I love milk glass! I think it's so classy and pretty. I don't have a lot of it, but a couple different serving pieces, including this pitcher and some tumblers. They make a perfect addition to a brunch, etc. I always look through the kitchen stuff at thrift stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc) and find some great finds. I would love to add this!
This was my first "real" knife. It's so handy! I use it for just about everything.

I love this spatula because of the size - mini. It's perfect for getting out that infamously hard to reach first brownie from the batch, making it into corners on casseroles, and the like. It's so convenient, and I find that I can't keep it clean because I'm always using it. Definitely a must.

This is another must. This is not an ordinary ice cream scoop! Rather, it has a liquid inside the handle that reacts with the warmth of your hand and softens the ice cream when you scoop it. It doesn't melt it, just softens enough so it's not impossible to get out. GENIUS!!
No more smelly garlic hands! Enough said!
The best way to cut meat, herbs, anything you need. Another one of those items for me that never stays in the drawer because it's always being used.

Last, but not least...

You all know about my love for coffee. Oh you don't?! You can read about it here. :) Yes, I love it. And it doesn't get much better than when you have a coffee pot that will grind the coffee and brew it all in the same pot! Love that. I bought this for my husband a few years ago from Target. They don't have it there anymore, but you can sometimes find it online. I've also considered getting the Cuisinart model (so expensive!) because the top of ours is being held down by a piece of tape. Don't judge! I love my coffee!!!
Hope you all enjoyed this feature. I might be back with some favorite brands, more gadgets, etc!!