Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

These were amazing..... if I do say so myself.

I use this jazzed up box cake mix recipe a LOT!
It's really easy and really good and a time saver too.

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 box instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream, I have used plain yogurt
as a substitution. Works just as well.
1 cup vegetable oil.
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water BUT, I use coffee.
It helps to bring out the chocolate flavor.
Mix everything together.

This is optional but, I fold in 2 cups of mini
chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 or 30 minutes.

Once the cakes are cool, hollow out the centers. For this task I
like to use a small melon baller or an apple corer. Then
fill the cakes with  salted caramel sauce from these guys.
It IS the best around!

Frost with chocolate ganache.
12 oz chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
Bring cream to boil.
Pour over chocolate, mix until you have smooth lovely
glistening liquid chocolate. Place in refrigerator until set.
Once cakes are frosted drizzle them with more Trader Joe's
salted caramel sauce, then sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bet ya can't eat just one.  ;)

Come check out all the fun at Be Different Act Normal.
I've been asked to join a blog hop over at Adorned From Above,
come check out the fun!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Bread

Look at all those garden fresh rubies.

It's hard to believe that four strawberry plants
have turned into this whole bead. I don't use
fertilizer or pesticides.

So, these guys are really helpful at keeping
the bugs away.

AND, they are so much fun to see around
the garden too!

All the hard work the ladybugs did in the
strawberry bed this year has left us with a
ton of berries.

So, I got to experiment with a few and came
up with Strawberry Spinach Bread.
Why spinach, you ask??? I'm evil and I like
to get back at my children by sneaking
vegetables into their treats. HA!

In a large bowl cream together,
1/2c. melted butter
1c. sugar
1-1/2t. lemon extract
1t. vanilla extract
1/4c. milk
1 egg
1-1/2c. strawberries pureed
1c. processed spinach

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
2c. wheat flour
1T. or 2T. ground flax seed
1t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4t. salt
Once combined fold in
1/4c. diced strawberries
1/2c. slivered almonds
AND if you so desire 1c. white chocolate chips

I like baking in mini pans, it makes freezing 
and portion control really easy.
This recipe filled four mini bunt pans nicely.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Love the flavors and texture.
Almonds add a nice bite and you don't taste the
spinach. Just lemon and strawberry.

Most important my kids like it. Confession, non made it to
the freezer. They snacked on it all week. ;)

Thanks to the ladybug and all their hard work. We'll be berry
pick-en in the backyard all season.

Come check out all the fun at Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons and
I've been ask to link up over at Just Winging It come check out the fun!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quick and Easy Father's Day Treat

Father's Day is fast approaching but, there is
still plenty of time to make dad feel special.

Wouldn't this be nice tucked inside dad's
briefcase or lunch box the Friday before
Father's Day..... setting the tone for the weekend.

Who doesn't love chocolate dipped "cigar" pretzels?

All you need are some of those fabulous Whisker Graphics
Middy Bitty Bags and a sewing machine.

Measure dividing the bag into three sections.

Then measure down a few inches and cut away some of the bag.

Leaving a piece for a flap.

Now run the bag threw your sewing machine. Stitching along
the section lines. Trim off excess string.

Fill with chocolate "cigars", licorice, or maybe
some biscotti. Attach a label and leave in a
place that dad will be sure to find it.
Thoughtful and easy too.   ;)

Sewing machine
Treats for dad

Friday, June 1, 2012

DIY Bathroom Remodel Part 2 ...and The Style Board

Happy Friday!
This weekend is all about the bathroom remodel.
In my last post I don't think I mentioned that
our hall bathroom is our ONLY bathroom.
Well, it is....! My parents live close by so we
are showering there. A toilet was still a must.
It would also be really great to have a half-bath
in a house with four people. So, we decided
this useless (to small) linen closet would make
a great half-bath.

The back wall of the linen closet is also the
side wall of my sons closet. His closet is kinda
big (wide) for his room. Don't get me wrong
it has held a LOT of storage. Although,when
you are talking about adding a most needed
half-bath... toys can find another home.  ;)

That wall behind the dresser was more or less
wasted space. Now it will be our new half-bath!
As you can tell I "staged" the top of the dresser.
Ha..... ;)

Here is the demolition crew busting threw the wall.

Closet gone.

Toilet in, sheetrock up, the birth of a most
needed half-bath.

I pulled together a little concept board of finishes
and colors.

My hubby has a 1948 Ford truck.
Over the years we have collected vintage
advertisements form when the truck was new.
I plan on framing as few of the adds to use as art
work in the half-bath. aka "the boy's bathroom"
So, those vintage adds we have been hoarding
for 15 or so years, have provided me with the
concept for the bath as well as some pretty neat art work.

Well back to the construction site for me, or maybe
to my mom's for a shower.
Ohhhhhhh shower how I miss the... ;)