Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

My oldest daughter Callie, is on the competition dance team at her high school. Every year the team gets together at someones home and celebrates Thanksgiving.  This team of 11 sweet girls is very much like a family so it's only fitting that they celebrate together and share what they are thankful for.  Each girl brings a dish and the hosting family makes the turkey, stuffing and gravy.  My sweet friend Regina hosted this year and did a fabulous job.  Callie brought mini pumpkin cheesecakes with cinnamon whipped cream topping.  I sent some in to work today with my husband, because we all know what will happen if there are cute little cheesecakes sitting in the fridge.  Every doggone time I open the fridge the little suckers seductively call my name.  So...they had to go bye, bye! A few people have asked for the recipe today so I thought it would be just as fast to share it here.  It's a combination of a few different recipes that I've altered.  Enjoy!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
Yields 18  (I doubled this recipe because, well...why not?!)
18 paper cupcake liners
18 oreo cookies  (you can use gingersnaps too! YUM! or make your own graham cracker crust which is probably my favorite but the oreos are a pleasant surprise)
12 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
(OR just eyeball a teaspoon or so of "pumpkin pie spice" instead of those spices)
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup canned, puréed pumpkin
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1. Line 18 muffin wells with papers. Place one oreo cookie, into the bottom of each. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 325˚F.
3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, corn starch and pumpkin pie spice with an electric mixer. Add eggs and mix well. Add pumpkin and corn syrup; beat 1 minute.
4. Pour filling into liners, dividing evenly. I use the large scoop from Pampered Chef, perfect size! Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set.  If you have a convection oven only cook them about 18 minutes.  As when making most cheesecakes, I put an ovenproof bowl of water in the oven with the cakes while they are baking.  This adds humidity to the baking and will keep the cheesecakes more moist and sometimes prevents cracking.
5. Chill for 1 hour. Garnish as desired. (I used stabilized cinnamon whipped cream).

Stabilized Whipped Cream
This makes a LOT but it's so yummy in coffee too!  You can easily half it and use a pint of cream.
1 Quart of Heavy Whipping Cream
2 T Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 T Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar
On low, beat all ingredients until mixed. Scrape bowl. Mix on high until nice and stiff but don't over beat.         
Use immediately if possible but will stay stiff for a while.  Can be used as a frosting as well.  I added about 1/4 t of cinnamon to the batch for the cheesecakes and then garnished with a sprinkling of nutmeg.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

wedding cake cupcakes, OH MY!!!

The post about Wegmans and the little tutorial is going to have to wait because my slacker self hasn't gotten around to actually making the fab little thingy that I was going to tutorial about. So. There.   ;-)

Just like seemingly most every other estrogen enhanced human out there, I have become a total PINTEREST slave.  This Ben guy (not sure who he is but he sends me happy little emails telling me when people have pinned my pin) is an absolute genius! I love this man with my whole heart, well not as much as my husband but you know what I mean.

One day while desperately trying to pry my pin-addicted fingers off of Pinterest, I came across these pretty white cupcakes called White Wedding Cake Cupcakes from Recipe Girl.  They were described as the BEST, MOST YUMMY MOIST CAKE, so I had to move away from the computer to try them.  The fun thing is that it starts with a box cake. Yeah, I know you are thinking one of two things: A. "Thank GOD", or B." They can't be that good then."  They are easy enough if you are from the A. train of thought and you add enough extras that you are happy if you are from the B. train of thought.  Most importantly, they are so DELICIOUSLY YUMMISCRUMPTIOUS that you will just be tickled to your toes that you made them!  They make a big batch too, which I absolutely love. Plus, they were so good that I had to make an actual cake to see how that turned out and it was perfection! Dense and moist, full of flavor and with a spongy yet pound-cakey crumb.  

Hmmm, I wonder how many words I actually made up in that paragraph above? happens all the time!

I put this antique fork in the cake for the photo thinking it would look all vintage and stuff.  Sorry that it actually just looks like a dirty fork. 

Here is the fabulous recipe directly from the Recipe Girl site, because I'm sure you are going to want to give this a try!

white wedding cake cupcakes

Yield: 36 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 18 min
I'm not usually one to use a boxed cake mix and doctor it up. I'm more accustomed to using entirely homemade recipes, but this one caught my eye and looked good. These turn out delicious, moist and fluffy cupcakes- perfect for holding buttercream frosting.


1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.
3. Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.


*Recommend: Duncan Hines "Moist" White Cake mix for this recipe.
*You can use either regular or light sour cream for this recipe, but heck... since it's a wedding cupcake and you want it to be as delicious and moist as possible, I recommend going for the full-fat kind.
*Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract (in addition to the vanilla) if you wish to have a different flavor.
*Using an ice cream scoop is perfect for getting the batter into the cupcake tins without spilling.
*You can also use this mix to make cake. Pour into greased and floured cake pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wegmans...WOW! And a little DIY idea!

It finally happened. In my town we were finally blessed with a WEGMANS!  It's definitely farther than where I typically food shop but to think of going to Wegmans as lowly ole food shopping is just about blasphemous! This store is a little slice, well huge slice of food/kitchen supplies, flowers, cheese, bakery and produce Heaven.  Yes, I like it that much!  I've been 3 times now in the week and a half they've been open.  Wegmans is totally an experience, it's a shop, use and repeat kind of store.  

Tomorrow, I'll post an example of how awesome their flower shop is.  I bought a field mix on our first trip there and 7 days later, it's still lovely!  The sweet florist told me that the flowers come directly from the grower, no middleman, that's why they last so long.  A big BIG bunch is 12.99 and is worth every penny.  If you have a Wegmans nearby and haven't been there. Go. Grab your grocery list and RUN WOMAN RUN!

Just like how behind I've gotten with this blog, I'm behind in a bunch of aspects of my life.  One of the things that I've been late catching up  to the bandwagon is PINTEREST.  I think the first time I checked it out, I was overwhelmed and I just didn't feel like putting the effort into figuring it out PLUS I couldn't get that CUTE little push pin to go into my bookmarks bar.  By the way, I still CAN'T.  Although it hasn't stopped me from falling head over LOUBOUTINS in LOVE/LUST.  Oh, um, yeah...about the Louboutins, I have not one pair nor do I realistically envision  having in my little walk-in closet.  Although, if I had the $$$ they sure would be a fun spluge!  Geez,, now I've gone off topic. And I NEVER do that. (liar, liar, pants on fire)

Anyway, while sipping my morning coffee, I came upon these gorgeous silver glass pumpkins. Oh to die for them!

That very same day, little Ms. Peyton and I ran into Marshalls (OHH and did I tell you that they are building a HOMEGOODS and a DSW shoe warehouse directly ACROSS from my new Nirvana, aka: Wegmans).  In the seasonal goodies we came across similar FABULOUS glass pumpkins.  They were just perfect but I was afraid they were just a tad too fragile.  On the way home I was thinking about several different DIY's I had recently seen on the other Nirvana that is Pinterest.  So tomorrow, I'm going to combine 2 different DIY's and make it one new special DIY and I'll let you know how it goes!  I promise I will post it in the next couple days and if it turns out like the visions in my big ole head, I think you are going to WANT to hop back by!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'm BACK from Bloggy hiatus! Hey Y'all!...

I don't know where to begin about my hiatus. Nothing exciting really happened to cause it.  But I'm back and I've realiezed I've wasted so much time worrying about trying to play catchup and that's stopping me from posting!  So I'm going to pretend that I never left. Okay? LOL

A while back, I was contacted by this awesome company called Novica. It's parent company is National Geographic and what they do in a nutshell (I'll never do the company justice if I try to explain it all) is go into distant villages where local artisans are making incredible products and offer those products to the world.  This in turn helps the village and the artisans financially and we, the consumer, benefit by getting our hot little shopping hands on incredible artisan goods that would not normally be available to us unless we traveled the world!

In order to test out the company, we were able to choose a couple products. Callie chose these incredibly lovely silver rings.  They even came with actual thank you notes written by the artist! Perfect! I love that I can purchase something so lovely from a company that is FREE TRADE and is actually benefiting the needy! So cool!

They have awesome corporate gifts here .  There are also gorgeous eco-friendly gifts here .  Plus if you are anything like me, I LOVE giving a gorgeous UNIQUE gift that suits the recipient perfectly and isn't just like everyone else's!  If you love unique items, check this out!

OK, friends I'll be back with a fun post in a day or so!  OHHH and wait till you see what my son, Cole got me as an early B-day present!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ye Old Curiosity Shoppe, also known as a little slice of cluttered Heaven and a Scentsy GIVE AWAY

I sometimes get emails or visitors who will ask where I've gotten a certain piece of something or other in my home.  It's OFTEN from this GREAT little store a couple miles from my home.  Long time Whimages readers will remember that I posted about this treasure trove last year.  It's been awhile, I figured you could use a bit of eye candy from Bob, the proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shoppe.  You can spend hours here and not see a fraction of what Bob has.  Everything is packed in like sardines but usually you can ask if he has "blank" and he will!  Even after being there yesterday and then looking at these photos, I still see different little goodies that I hadn't seen while there.  There is SO much to see, so enjoy!  Remember, you can click on the photos to make them larger and if you have any questions don't hesitate to call Bob and tell him Robyn sent you! His number is 410-734-6228     
NOW for the give away!  This is going to be a "where's Waldo" sort of game.  Email me with how many different ROBOTS (pretty popular in little boy rooms) you can spot.  If you are correct, I'll put your name in for a FREE SCENTSY plug in warmer and 2 scent bars including the scent of the month!  My email is  GOOD LUCK!

I love this purple hued bottle!

Vintage iron and a sweet doggie bank (I think that's what it was!)

There are several of these enamel wash basins around the shop.

These antique and repo airplanes would be awesome hanging in a boys room!
Bob holding a turn of the century sprinkler.

Looking toward the back of the store.
Also looking toward the back but from the side.

Add caption

I LOVE this green juicer and measuring cup...I also ADORE that silver pedestal to the left and that Jadeite bow in itl!

Bob has many pitchers throughout the store.  This green one would be AWESOME with bunches of daisies in it!

Sweet slim ironstone pitcher.

Shelving at one of the sides of the store.

Shelving. If you look closely there is more of that green depression glass that's so pretty.  You could probably start a collection immediately!

Obviously, I've got a little crush on this green pressed glass pitcher!

Pansy pitcher.

Another pitcher...and the Pillsbury doughboy too!

This shelf is the first place I hit when going to Bobs, I've gotten several cool little goodies here.  Look at those cobalt blue salt and pepper shakers and those very pale blue ones further down.

The store has quite a supply of carnival glass.

I've found several goodies in this stack of plates.  One of my favorites is in my foyer, it's a divided transferware cafeteria plate (there is one at the bottom of this pile) from a restaurant in Baltimore.  Bob calls them "grill plates".

More airplanes to the right.

There is a bunch of this clear glass withthe balls on the end (I don't know what it's called, sorry) all over the store.  Again, instant collection!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Most inspired post EVER!

Last night I wrote the MOST inspired, fabulous and engaging post in Whimages history only to wake up this morning to find it gone!  Ok, so maybe it wasn't that fabulous or inspired but it took me a while to write!  It was a bit lengthy.  This time I'm just going to give you the facts. Jack. 

Our living room has somehow morphed into the room that our teenage twins like to entertain their friends.  I think it has more to do with the fact that WE are not in there than it attracting them style wise.  Regardless, it's ready for a little makeover.  I have NEVER like the paint color in there.  It's a soft lemon yellow when it was supposed to be matched to our kitchen and foyer which is a soft, warm butter yellow.  We've decided to put wainscoting and crown (which might be a long while!) and paint the top a gorgeous Sherwin Williams color I saw on HOUZZ called Tidewater Blue.  This is a totally different method to choosing a paint color than what I normally do.  I usually "see" the color in my head and then go pick it out.  (that sounds like I'm some freak)   So this is a stretch for me...I hope we love it! It's the color of the walls in the first photo from yesterdays post.  We also want to have the furniture slip covered in some super incredibly durable and washable fabric.  I think we'll get this all accomplished when the money tree we planted in the backyard starts to bloom.  In the meantime here are some of the rooms that have been inspiring me!  (I hope this post doesn't disappear!)

Lola Bs traditional living room

House in the Hamptons traditional living room

Kitchen, Bath and interior design traditional living room

Attention to details traditional entry

Lafayette Residence Two traditional living room

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's talk CAKE! ...and a Shabby Apple WINNER!

 While looking for cake ideas for Peyton's party, I came across this gorgeous rose cake.  I couldn't get it out of my mind.  This weekend we had a Scentsy open house and also a Stella and Dot trunk show.  I figured that would be the perfect time to test out this cake decoration on my unsuspecting friends!  Unfortunately the only photo I took of the cake was the side that had the mistake.  Sorry!  The other side really looked better!  If you want to try your hand at this pretty cake (btw, I only did the outside decoration like hers, I actually made a 5 layer carrot cake) there is an easy tutorial on the FAB blog, I am baker.  It's very easy, I think you'll be surprised if you try it.  I'd love to see your cakes if you decide to make one! I had to modify the tutorial because my cake was much taller than the original rose cake and I used my favorite deluxe cream cheese frosting instead of the buttercream recipe in the tutorial.  It's such a pretty, creamy white. I also made mini blackberry cheesecakes, lemon squares, apple pie and chocolate covered strawberries.  I don't need much of an excuse to bake!
Totally off the subject, Callie got her pointe shoes at the beginning of January.  I think pointe is so pretty!  We finally had a pretty day in Maryland.  Callie had been waiting for a nice day so I could take a photo of her shoes for her facebook profile.  It turned out sort of cool with a little help of a wee bit of cross processing.

We have a Shabby Apple Winner!  Julie, number 15!  Julie lives in my town so I'm hoping I'll get to actually see it.

EDIT:  This is the last piece of the rose covered carrot cake.  It's looking a bit sad but still delicious.  I thought I'd share it with you and the good news is you can enjoy it this way without ANY calories! Yay! ...that's me, always looking out for your well-being.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

SHABBY APPLE Giveaway!! and a coupon code!

Just yesterday, a dear friend was showing me gorgeous photos from her whilwind tour of Europe.  I couldn't help falling asleep last night with visions of enchanting monuments and quaint and charming street-side cafe's.  Her son is in a college program in Spain and is loving every minute!

Ironically, this morning I discovered that I get to GIVE AWAY a marvelous vintage inspired womens dress from SHABBY APPLE and their "Roamin Holiday" collection.  Have you seen the LOVELY dresses this company has designed?  I spent all morning going over the Shabby Apple site.  Gorgeous dress after gorgeous womens dress...and accessories! Sweet little girls dresses too!

There are so many dresses that I'm in love with and there is a fabulous little style tool that shows you which dresses are cut to flatter your body style.  That's like having your best friend with you in the dressing room!  The Shabby Apple moto is: A return to what dresses were always meant to be — a one-piece outfit. No need to add tank tops, no cardigans, nothing (except accessories, of course!).  I love that!

I'm sure you are waiting with baited breath to hear about the GIVE AWAY! The dress that Shabby Apple and Whimages is giving away is called Spanish Steps, it's that fabulous dress up there next to the sexy red Vespa!  I love the cut and that gorgeous detail on the skirt.  Shabby Apple is ALSO offering Whimages followers a 10% discount coupon code!  The code is whimages10off  and will expire 30 days from today.

You have 4 chances to win this amazing dress! You will have to leave 4 seperate comments.   Here we go...
1.  Go to Shabby Apple's Facebook page and "like" them, come back here and leave a comment  to let me know you did.
2.  Become a follower of Whimages and leave a separate comment letting me know.
3.  Blog or FB about this giveaway with a link back to this post and leave a comment about that.
4.  Leave a comment telling me what your favorite Summer time food is! ;-)

Contest ends Monday at noon.

Here's some fine print: The winner must have a U.S. shipping address.  There will also be no exchanges for the winning dress.