Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I LOVE getting ready for Halloween. I love making fun fall themed and spooky treats, doing crafts with the kids, and going to the pumpkin patch. I love the harvesty feel that October brings... I just don't care much for trick or treating. I don't know... there is something about going door to door begging for candy... it is just NOT my thing. Unfortunately, the kids love it... so we will be partaking in the fun this evening. Hailey is going to be a rock star, Jack is Thomas the Train, and Paige is a peacock! They are so cute!

We finally made it to the pumpkin patch this past weekend! Here are some cute pictures of our fun at the patch!

At least one kid knows how to look at the camera! :)

Sweet girl!

Picking the perfect pumpkin!
Hanging with the scarecrow!

After we got home, Daddy took the kids out back for pumpkin carving. He is the resident carver here. I usually have the extreme pleasure of being the "pumpkin guts scooper"... FUN! Surprisingly, I escaped that duty this year!  Yay!

The rest of our weekend was spent playing games with the kids, baking, a little cleaning, a LOT of laundry (Boo! ), and of course... Dressing up!!!

Arrrggg matey!!!!

Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

So Tired

I just cannot shake how tired I have been the past several weeks. It is awful! Maybe I should take better vitamins or something... I don't know.  I just feel like I can't accomplish anything lately. We have been in our new house almost one month... its so hard to believe. I was so energized when I started moving everything in and the past couple of weeks I don't think I have touched one single box... SAD! I feel so lazy! Oh well... they aren't going anywhere I guess! Ha! The days just go by so quickly... here's hoping I get my groove back soon.

Just a few things that have been occupying my time in the last week! :)

My baseball boys

Not happy that the other kid on the team got the ball first!

Precious girl

Learning to ride without training wheels

A baby shower for a dear friend

We are trying to get the kids to the pumpkin patch... here's hoping this weekend we will make it! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Black Magic Cupcakes

I think I said in a previous post that I had been baking/cooking a lot... and I do mean A LOT! Everyday has turned into Kitchen Fest 2011. If I see something that looks good, I can't get it off of my mind until I make it. This week has consisted of making several pans of lasagna and baked ziti... (I even gave some away and still have some in the freezer... yay!), chicken tortilla soup, this Honey Sesame Chicken, with a side of Pioneer Woman's Sesame Noodles (these are so good i will eat them cold for days after...) and much more.... including these cupcakes...

Don't mind the picture... I tried to make them look Halloween-ish for the kids... I'm not a food stylist...Ha!

 I found this recipe for Black Magic Cake on Pinterest (shocking, I know given my new love for Pinterest)! It looked sooooo good I had to make it. I wanted to make a cake, however hubby and I have differing views on frosting. He prefers disgusting canned frosting, which I usually will not buy, and I prefer homemade. I'm not particular... cream cheese frosting... good; buttercream frosting... good; ganache... good!!! While Jason is not a fan of buttercream, he does like the other two and I wanted to experiment with different frostings so I made cupcakes. These are so YUMMY! I made a mochaish (is that a word?) buttercream, and a ganache and they were great with this cake. I would imagine a peanut butter frosting would be fantastic too... I guess that gives me a reason to make this cake again!

Black Magic Cake - I read that this is originally a recipe from Hershey's cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1 cup strong black coffee OR 2 teaspoons powdered instant coffee plus 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans or one 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes (Batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 35 to 40 minutes for rectangular pan or until wooden pick
    inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool
    completely. Frost as desired. Yields 10 to 12 servings.
I made 24 cupcakes and a large ramekin and baked them for about 18 mins... they were perfect!

These are kid approved too... 

(I left off the one with him EATING the paper towel to get every last bit of chocolate.... BOYS!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I've had a lot of workers in and out of this house in the past few weeks...

But I think I'll keep this one...

He's been running through the house "fixing" things. Love this kid!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pinterest and Yummy Muffins

So I originally took awhile to check out Pinterest. I have a problem with becoming obsessed with checking things on the internet and I didn't need ANOTHER site beckoning me to the computer. Finally, I gave in. I didn't get the hype at first... unfortunately, now I do. I dig it... BIG TIME! It was a great help when I was looking for ideas for the house, but I am really on there for the recipes. I am a cooking blog hound... I LOVE them... as in I can't get enough looking at recipes. I look at so many that when it comes time to bake or cook... I can't decide on what to make because I have seen SO many! Anyway... today I was going to make pumpkin spice mufffins. Its raining here and cool and pumpkin muffins just scream fall to me. So I had planned on making Pioneer Woman's recipe , which are to die for, but I didn't have any evaporated milk in the house. Hoping to find another worthy recipe, I turned to my new friend Pinterest... and there were plenty to check out there. This recipe was the winner...YUM!!! Make these... trust me... you will thank me! SO good!!!! Even my picky 3 year old loved them...which is saying something!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Courtesy of Annie's Eats
Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Printable recipe here

Yield: 24 muffins
Ingredients:For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.
To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)

I didn't have cloves and I couldn't find my nutmeg so I just used 2 Tbsp of Pumpkin Pie spice... still good!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011


We have been moving for the past week... it has been SO fun!!!! (sense the sarcasm here). Seriously, though... I do enjoy getting everything settled in and put away. I have been able to make REAL meals... in a NORMAL sized kitchen which has been HEAVEN!!!! I still have my handyman in the house completing all the little projects we have going... they seem to be neverending! I am also proud to say that my not so handy husband has surprised me in the past week. He replaced light switches in all the bedrooms... and he did it CORRECTLY!!!! He also drained and cleaned the spa, replaced outlet covers, and put together furniture, on top of moving all of our stuff from the apartment and storages. I think that there just may be a handy guy in there waiting to come out... or maybe not! :)   As soon as I get most of our junk things put away... I will update with a few pictures! Now back to unpacking!!!!