Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movie Nights... Upgraded!

Mother's day is right around the corner! How about grabbing dinner and renting a movie with mom? Movie nights can be more than just the "usual". Spice it up with homemade popcorn and soda pops. Love this idea :) Not only for Mother's day, but also a date night with your hunny or a group of friends.

I haven't had the opportunity to plan birthdays or holidays in a LONG time. Now, I'm on break from school and finally having time to be a wife, I am having so much fun looking at entertaining & craft ideas, recipes & finishing up my scrapbook. I have to make-up for all the time I have been BURIED in homework.

Enjoy your week everyone!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

My Final Product

I made these cupcakes for George's Birthday. He absolutely loves Funfetti, so his wish was granted && it worked because I wanted to use my new cupcake stand so bad! Here are the final products. :)

Happy Easter :)

Happy Easter everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. I know I sure did. It was a much needed break from school and work. This year has already been extremely hectic, so it was nice to celebrate Easter with the 'Smith' family. This year was different for me. I didn't get to celebrate the holiday with my immediate family because my mom went to Destin to be with my expecting sister in law {so freaking excited!!!}. Not to mention the first holiday of the year without my dad. I didn't like the fact that I wasn't with my entire family, but maybe next year. My family has been through a lot especially since the passing of my dad, some of them have distanced themselves due to selfish reasons... their loss! So I was able to feel comfortable & welcome with George's family (as always) while my family took care of some priorities. Anyways, we want to wish EVERYONE a Happy Easter :)

Happy Easter from the Smith Family to yours!

Addictive & Delicious

After baking for some of the doctors at work, I realized that I love baking for others. I love seeing the satisfaction on people's face. Of course, I want to work in a health care profession because that has been my dream... but how awesome would it be if I could open my OWN bakery. :) Maybe one day. I definitely need a lot more practice before then, but who wants to be my taste testers :) Here are Salted Caramel Cupcakes. I don't know if anyone has tried a salted mocha caramel from Starbucks during the winter but they are BREATH-TAKING. This recipe reminds me of those.

The Method:

*Use whatever recipe floats your boat. Chocolate cake or yellow cake would be equally as amazing.
*Find a basic vanilla buttercream recipe.
*I usually combine 3 sticks of softened unsalted butter
*1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
*2 pounds of confectioners’ sugar
*Add enough milk to reach the desired consistency (about 4-5 tablespoons).
*Hollow out a small circle in the center of each cupcake; I use an apple corer
*You can also use this piping tip from Wilton which allows you to inject frosting into cupcakes.
*Add in a bit of homemade caramel sauce
to the hollowed center, then replace the small piece of cake you removed from the center.
*Top the cupcake with buttercream frosting
*Finish with a square of homemade Vanilla Bean Fleur de Sel Caramel

Enjoy :)

My Baking Addiction

Oreo Cupcakes :)

As most know, I absolutely LOVE to bake. If anyone as some sort of get together or party, almost 100% of the time I bring a sweet treat. I just get such joy out of the end result. Call me weird, but I guess things could be worse. I saw these cupcakes on a website and totally fell in love not only because they look good but a bakery in St Augustine sells them and they are FABULOUS. I am going to try the recipe on the next get together. Here is the recipe if you want to try them too. I just wish my hubby enjoyed sweets as much as I do, but instead I'll just bake for everyone else.

Ingredients1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used miniature)

DirectionsPreheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.
*Note: I made cupcakes with this recipe. I ended up with 28 cupcakes that were baked at 350 degrees F for about 21 minutes.

Buttercream Dream Frosting
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1 cup shortening
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
4-6 tablespoons very cold milk (I used 5 TBS)
8 crushed Oreo cookies with the cream removed before crushing

Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency. Fold in the Oreo cookie crumbs. Top cooled cupcakes with the buttercream frosting and garnish with 1/2 an Oreo.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Birthday to my hunnay!

It has been an extremely exhausting week. I have had my final presentations & finals, to close out the semester. Not only has school been an exhausting issue, but so is missing my husband who has been in South Africa. George, Carlton & Uncle Les traveled to South Africa for work and enjoyed a little leisure time as well. This is the mine they visited and one of the several mines that his client manages. As they set work aside, they enjoyed visiting the lion park, where you can pet wild animals and do a small safari.
While he's out having fun and sightseeing in South Africa, I am at home making him his favorite treat for his birthday. I can't believe he is TWENTY-FIVE today!! He's becoming such an old man!

We have such a busy weekend! I will be picking him up from the airport tomorrow morning. We will celebrate his birthday Saturday, Easter on Sunday and our 2 year anniversary on Monday!! Very exciting. I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Mother's Day

I'm backkkkk... well for now! I have 2 weeks of school left, then it's smooth sailin' ! I was taking a break from homework and decided to catch up on my Martha Stewart. I can't believe Mother's Day is right around the counter. I passed this gift idea for all the momma's out there who like to be in the garden.

Tools and MaterialsSterile soil seed-starting mix
Plastic bag with zipper seal
Rubber band
Plant-tag template
Copper plant tags
Double-sided tape
Cork board
Push pins
Herb-garden-instruction template
Card stock
Terra-cotta pot
Herb seed packets
Osmocote plant food
Japanese floral shears
Watering can
Garden stones
Herb Garden Kit How-To1. Place sterile soil seed-starting mix in a sealed plastic bag. Gather burlap around plastic bag and secure with a rubber band. Add a raffia tie around the rubber band.

2. Download, print, and cut the copper
plant-tag template. Place a copper tag on cork board and affix the tag template over it with double-sided tape. Using a push pin, pierce through the marked dots on the template into the copper plant tag.

3. Print the
herb-garden instructions on heavy card stock and cut out.

4. Assemble the herb garden elements in a terra-cotta pot: add herb garden instructions, seed-starting mix, copper plant tags, herb seed packets, osmocote plant food, gloves, shovel, Japanese floral shears, watering can, and garden stones.