Thursday, January 26, 2012

sticky buns and cupcakes, oh my!

So obviously I'm not all that good at this Photo A Day thing. Sorry! Forgive me please.  I'll give you a virtual sticky you go!  Or would you rather have a gingerbread latte cupcake?  Both of these are ULTRA yummy.  The sticky bun is a slight alteration of a recipe I found on Pinterest. (BTW, it's probably Pinterest and that super sweet guy Ben's fault I can't blog more often.  I'm stuck over on Pinterest!) Here's the original, mine is basically double the sticky stuff!  She has more photos too. Please forgive my very POOR photos, it was cold and rainy out so I had to use the dreaded flash!

First, let me tell you about this incredible, SUPER, sticky bun recipe. I think I've made this about 5-6 time since Christmas. It's truly DELISH!   It uses Grands biscuits.  I love shortcuts like that especially when you can't tell it's a shortcut!

Here's what you do

2 lg.    tubes of Grands LAYERED biscuits
6T.     melted butter
1 C.    pancake syrup
2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1tsp.   cinnamon
nuts or raisins are optional

Preheat Oven to 350
Mix the Syrup and butter till smooth and incorporated. Mix cinnamon and brown sugar and other optional ingredients.  Pour half of the syrup mixture into a BUNDT pan and spread around.  Layer the biscuits in the pan overlaping to form a circle. Pour remaining syrup mixture and then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture.  Bake for about 40 minutes

My daughter Callie is on her school dance team (MARYLAND STATE CHAMPS!) and right before Christmas they had a little Holiday Soiree.  The party seemed to call for something extra special.  If you have teenagers in your home, then you KNOW they love everything about Starbucks.  So when I came across a recipe for Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes, I knew they would be party perfect!  I made some changes to the original recipe for the frosting.  Here's what I did...

Gingerbread Cupcake:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup strong, very hot coffee
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • To make the cupcakes:
    1. Add flour, the ground ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice, and the salt in a bowl and sifc.
    2. Add 1/2 stick of the butter and granulated sugar in bowl and beat until mixture is pale and fluffy. Add molasses and egg beat until the mixture is smooth. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup very hot strong coffee water and stir until baking soda is dissolved. Stir the baking soda mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and the combined molasses and baking soda mixture into the flour mixture, stir until ingredients are well combined.
    3. Fill cupcake liners halfway. Bake the cupcakes on the middle rack of a 350 degree °F. oven for about 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (Cupcakes will be flat on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting

     * 8oz        cream cheese softened
     *1/2 C      butter softened
     *1-16oz   package of powdered sugar, sifted
     * 1 tsp      vanilla extract
Combine cream cheese and butter, beating till very smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla: beat until VERY light and fluffy

Stabilized Cinnamon Whipped Cream
  • 2 T room temp milk
  • 2 T instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


If using a stand mixer, use whisk attachment
  1. Chill mixing bowl and beaters or whisk for at least 15 minutes before using. Put the milk and the pudding powder in a small bowl and mix till smooth.
  2. Remove bowl and beaters from refrigerator and pour in cream, sugar, pudding and vanilla extract. 
  3. Beat on high till stiff peaks form but no longer (you'll end up with butter)
  4. Use immediately

When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them with a relatively thin layer of cream cheese frosting.  I broke up a bunch of the Pepperidge Farm Gingerbread Men and smashed them into crumbs.  Roll the sides of the cream cheese frosted cupcake in the crumbs.  Then using a pastry bag with only a cupler, make large swirl only in the center of the cupcake.  Sprinkle with nutmeg. Top with a gingerbread man right before serving. (otherwise his legs will fall off, no kidding!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

...not all bubblegum and unicorns!

So much for my photo a day, huh? I lost it two days into the year! Let's just say that my January hasn't started off so great in the Whimages household.  I've had kids sick with weird mysterious illnesses (totally not kidding, but every one's okay now) and appliances going haywire like crazy!  I only have a minute to blog this but I promise I'll be back later today to "really" blog!  Until then here's a photo to chew on.  (AHA!) It's from my niece, Grace's birthday party at Sass Cupcakes...more photo's to follow.

Monday, January 2, 2012

photo of the day 2

Photo number 2. Nothing much exciting other than I got these sparkle sneaks at American Eagle for $11.94!  Liked them so much and little Ms. Peyton's feet are so big, I was able to snag her a sparkly black pair for $11.94 too!  Thank God for good sales and big footed children. Or children with big feet. Whatever. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Molding, New Photo Of The Day and other New Aspirations

I don't need to tell you that I've been neglecting my blog. You probably know that. But that ends today.  You know just like how my diet starts tomorrow, right?   Okay, on to something more interesting.

We've got these twin 15 year olds who have a lot of 15-17 year old friends.  We want them to hang at our house.  Yeah, maybe we are a bit on the crazy side. KNOW where your kids are when you hear them cackling like fools in the other room or see random kids getting junk food out of your pantry or even when a few kids come in asking if they can use some of your russet potatoes and aluminum foil to cook on the fire that they made in your fire pit.  (oh, BTW, NOT not having run on sentences is not one of my new year resolutions) (I'm famous in my own mind for them, actually)  Problem with having all these teens in our house is that we do NOT have a basement we can lock them in.  Which is probably a good idea because I'm not really sure I want all those 15-17 year olds deep down in a basement behind closed doors where we might forget they are there.  So, we have decided to make our living room a bit more teen friendly but NOT look like a college dorm room. Plus we already have some furniture that is more on the formal side and it is not really in the budget to add new furniture to the budget and as usual, we have to do this on a teeny tiny little ol' budget but we have gotten used to that.  Plus that's what a Home Depot credit card is for. Right?  First things first...I need to give you some background info on our home.

We have one of those cookie cutter houses that a big portion of middle America has from what I hear.  You know, the kind where sometimes family members occasionally pull into the house 4 houses down because it looks just like your house. (We HAVE fixed that to some degree, thank GOODNESS!  We now have a pretty little portico and the only carriage-style garage doors on the block!)  That cookie cutter-ness used to flow right inside too.  Our home came with itty bitty baseboards and no window trim other than a slim little window sill.  We have slowly been changing that over the years.  Admittedly we are molding addicted and get giddy over the oodles of molding in older homes. The living room and the study are the last two rooms on our first floor that do not have the windows trimmed out.  But, that's a-changing my friends!  Matt has already put up the crown molding and he's put in lovely large window sills too.  He is now working on the window surrounds and the pediments!  I'm so excited about how they're looking!  Ignore the current wall color, it never was correct.  When they "color-matched" it to the paint chip from our foyer I think their computer had color blindness or the flu.  I've already picked out the color for the walls but I'm going to keep that a secret a bit longer.  I have to keep you coming back now that I'm BACK on the blogging train!

One other little tidbit.  I'm going to TRY really really hard to do a photo a day.  I've always admired the people who do that.  It sounds like a cool way to chronicle your year or something like that.  It's not always going to be a artsy photo that I took time to compose and light and stuff. I just hope to actually get it done and posted. Let's start with that, 'kay?  Today's photo is a sweet little pic of Cosmo's paw.  He's laying on the little bench in my reading nook as I'm typing this.  My camera is sitting right here, so that's what you get today!  You can see a little bit of the bench in the photo of the family room window. (OHHH, and do you see that fabulous antique hay wagon there in the corner?  My Dad got me that for Christmas as a surprise!) If you want to see the entire nook where I blog, it's over there on the right under the most popular posts.  It's one of Cosmo's absolutely favorite places to sleep. :-)